It amused me greatly, I got other letters from relatives and friends who asked me to send them prospectus for universities and help them submit Visa lottery applications, because they believed that since I made it through the lottery, they could also do same.
I wished they could understand that life in Nigeria was even more interesting and rewarding, I wrote to my younger brother, Tariah once, telling him that I regretted coming to live in the US, he replied, sounding very disappointed in me, that I wondered what I had said wrong.
He said I was only looking for a way to discourage others from coming so I would be the only one living in the land of opportunities and the only person sending gifts from oversees, According to him that was the problem with our tribesmen we never wanted to help our siblings when we were in the position.
This was the same person I sent school fees for, of course he couldn’t have understand what it meant, because the money was received by mama who paid for everything, rent, fees hospital bills and other things.
If he had known how much I sat up at night and walked about during the day only to take care of these old people he would never have written me such letters.
It wasn’t their fault anyway, after all I had the same feelings before I came over to the US, I remember how I struggled to save five thousand Naira each year just to give Oga Pitan, who worked in the Immigration office at Lagos.
“No worry e go come out this year” he said each year after I submitted the forms to him, I did that for six years before I was successful, parties were arranged on my behalf by friends, family friends extended families and all those who wished me well.
Some embraced my mother and others gave Oga Pitan a manly handshake, promising to start paying their five thousands early enough so as to get the lottery.
I left and Seven years later, yet I was not happy, never been happy because it had been from one old peoples home to the other, they refused to let me practice as a registered nurse because they said Nigerian certificate was not valid.
I had been planning to go for another nursing training but I kept procrastinating. It was not so much of my fault anyway; there were pressures on me from home that made me keep working. “Send money for Dede’s burial”, “Send money for Aunty Megs treatment, Dada has not been feeling fine she needs help and helps in
I really wanted to go back home because truly I was fed up.
“Hey Miss. Why are you sleeping on duty” The senior nurse said angrily tapping my shoulders. He didn’t say any other thing to me, only looked at Bruce and looked back sternly into my face.
I jumped up only to see Bruce coughing badly.
“Oh my God I hope he hasn’t had an attack” I said rushing him into the wheel chair and off to the clinic.
I went home from there so I could pick up some things, refresh and go back to see to him, since I was the only person that would have to take care of him,
Getting home I saw a mail, and opened it as I walked in.
“God it’s so cold” I said as I removed my winter coat.
Surprisingly the letter was from Dele, a friend in
I had written him six months ago after I heard over the new Nigerian television International station that he had been appointed commissioner for health in Delta state. He was a medical Doctor and used to be in little politics, I never knew it would pay him until I heard the news.
After putting my food in the microwave I sat down to a glass of milk while I read his letter.
12th November, 2006.
How are you? And hope your Job is going pretty fine? I was supposed to come over to the
I’ll probably come by April next year.
I got your letter and was not able to reply because I wanted to make the reply come with good news. You talked about your job and how you hate it. It’s quite a pity that even in the
I spoke with the medical director of the hospital in the presidency
Without much ado, he asked me to send for you. Enclosed in this letter is a letter of appointment from the presidential clinic. You are to resume in two weeks.
I hope you will make arrangements as fast as possible to come back home.
Call me on the following numbers 234-0803 3312457 so I can give you details about the flight that will pick you from
Will see you when you arrive.
I was almost crying. That was the best day of my life. I had to start the arrangements as soon as possible, firstly I had to write a letter of resignation, but before then I would check on Bruce to make sure he was well.
I hurriedly had a hot bath, rushed my meal and took off to the hospital.
Walking into the ward where he had been admitted I couldn’t find him
I was almost hit down by the doctor as we meet face to face at the entrance.
“Where is Bruce?” I asked wondering if he had been changed to another room.
“Are you from
“Yes of course” I responded wondering if he hadn’t noticed me when I came in with Bruce, or was I so black I could have been dismissed as a shadow?
“You should know then” he said to me.
“Know what? I only went home to freshen up”
“I’m afraid we’ve lost him, His attack was severe and efforts to resuscitate him failed.
I was speechless, how could he have died so soon, he could have waited for me to give him my good news and perhaps invite him to
I ran off to somewhere, anywhere, to mourn him.
Later that day the Director of St Joseph’s issued a statement saying He would be buried in two days, cremated rather in line with his will.
If nothing else e was glad I would make it to his funeral before leaving for
“Poor Bruce, May his soul Rest in Peace”
I left St Josephs to my home so I could start reconciling some documents for my journey home.
As I passed by Mrs. Du Bois room, I noticed she was crying.
“So she had some feelings after all?” I said to myself.
I was glad that I would be going back home.