TILL DEATH DO US APART.
At that grandfather and grandmother looked at each other really surprised with what they had just heard.
“Bashi Ackim, how old were you when we took you to a boarding school?” Asked grandmother.
“Mother, I know I was young but boarding schools were different then. These days there is no security.” Elmah said.
“Listen to me my dear, boarding schools are really good schools these days. When it comes to security,they are more secure now compared to those days when you were at school. And a girl’s school is really good at that.” Said grandmother.
“And boarding schools help children to focus on education because all other disturbances like television and electronic gadgets are away from them. All they will think of is books.” Grandfather added.
“But will she manage to take care of herself?” Elmah asked.
“You have taught well your child. It’s now time to let her put to use what you have taught her. With the guidance from teachers and her peers, she will cope up with the life their and get used.” Grandmother said.
“And by doing this,she will start being self reliant and she will get to know herself more. Children who go to boarding schools easily become responsible even when they go away from
“Okay I have heard you but I will still have to consider her age. If not now, she can go in grade ten” Elmah said.
“Do you know that there are boarding schools for grade fives and six? If those kids are able to be away from their parents at their age, what more your daughter? Let our girl fly my dear” said grandmother.
“Okay. I will see what we will do” he said.
“Yes do that” granny said.
“So, how is that contract you got of building some housing units in Serenje going on?” Asked grandfather.
“We are really progressing well and am sure by next year August we might be done.” Elmah answered.
“Oh okay. That’s so good. I saw them housing units on television. You are doing a great job with your team.” Grandfather said.
“Thank you Dad” Elmah said.
In the early hours of the next day, the whether was rainy. It had started raining since midnight to those early hours. As the rain went on, grandma woke up to prepare Hellen for the journey. She went to her bedroom.
“Hellen. Hellen my dear” grandmother gently shook her.
“Hello grandma” Hellen said with sleep in her eyes.
“Let’s wake up we prepare for your journey” granny said.
“Go and bath, I have already prepared the water for you in the bathtub.” Said grandma.
“Why don’t you let me prepare water on my on?” She asked.
“I will not take that chance. You might end up opening hot water only forgetting to
“Anyway, it’s good you will always be by my side till death do us apart” Hellen said as she got out of the bed.
“Look at you. Hurry up”
When they were all set for the journey, it was time to say bye. They exchanged their bed wishes and safe journey wishes.
“I will miss you grandma” Hellen said as she hugged her grandmother.
“I will miss you too” grandma said back.
Elmah with his two kids got into his car and drove off from the farm. As it was still raining he was driving slowly in the gravel road. The road was so wet that the vehicle skidded in some instances. It was fortunate that he came with a landcruiser knowing the road and the season they were in of rains. When they finally got to the tarred road, the journey went on quickly.
Hellen was excited to be home once again. She was looking forward to meeting her mother, Misoh. The time they arrived their mother was still at work.
Around 4 in the afternoon, Hellen just heard a vehicle entering there yard. She knew that it was her mother. She ran outside to meet her.
“Mommy!” Hellen shouted as she ran towards her.
“Oh my darling!” Misoh said also as she extended her hands.
Hellen ran and hugged her mum.
“I missed you mum”
“I missed you too my daughter. Where is Ackim?”
“He is inside the house”
When Misoh and Elmah discussed the way forward for Hellen, they agreed to let her go to the boarding school she was selected to go to..
“We will be getting in touch with one of her teachers to find out how she will be living there” said Elmah.
“I will have to go shopping with her on Friday as I will be off. By the way when will take her to school?” Asked Misoh.
“On Sunday and I guess you will drop Ackim at his school as well.” he answered.
“No problem, I will”
On the Friday of that week, Misoh and her daughter, Hellen went in town to shop for her school necessities. They bought until they were satisfied that what they had bought was enough.
In the evening at home, Elmah couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the things for Hellen.
“Imwe banthu, ayenda kusegula ka nthemba?” Asked Elmah. (You people, is she going to open a grocery shop?”
“Meaning?” Asked Misoh.
“These groceries are just too much for a single person.” Elmah said.
“Baby, I really suffered a lot during my education. I lacked basic needs as I did my education. So after having my job, I vowed to never let my children go through what I went through. Let our children enjoy.” Misoh said.
“Okay I understand that. But if you are not careful, you will ruin her. She will be lacking in good morals. It important to give what is really necessary. All these things might end up distracting her instead of encouraging her to work extra hard. As parents, regardless of what we are capable of doing or buying for our children, it is important to teach to manage a few things.” Elmah said.
“Okay, I have heard. We will do that next but can she go with these things since it’s for a start?” Misoh asked.
“Yes, of course she can” he said.
On the Sunday, Elmah drove Hellen to her new school. Though she was not really sure of what the environment would be like, she was excited to go there.
As they entered the school premises, Hellen was excited to see the environment there. It looked so calm and peaceful.
There were other parents who had brought their children there. After doing the needed registration it was time for Hellen to be left so that her dad can go back.
“Take care of yourself. In case there is any challenge just go to the office and they will call me. Is that clear?” Asked Elmah.
“Yes dad. Tell mum that I will miss her a lot” she said.
“I will tell her and am sure she will miss you a lot too. I have to go now.” He said.
Hellen hugged her father.
“Have a safe journey” said Hellen.
“Thank and have a safe stay too”
Elmah got into his range Rover and drove off the school premises. Hellen stood there watching him leave as they waved bye at each other.
It was time for Hellen to start a new life without any of her relatives nearby. She wasn’t really sure of what her life would be like.
Those who were once left at a boarding school in order to start a new life away from their relatives can fully understand the situation Hellen was in. She had to strive to make new friends in order to have some company. But being an extroverted person, Hellen didn’t see that as a huddle but as an opportunity to know and make new friends.
Hellen walked to her hostel where she was to be staying. There were banker beds in the hostel and she chose the top one. She started preparing her bedding space so that she can rest on it. She got her bed cover, then used it to cover her mattress. She then got her bedsheets and spread them nicely on her bed.
She then started packing her stuff into her locker. As there were a lot of stuff, she put her clothes and stationery into it. She then left her food stuffs and groceries in her two metal trunks.
After being satisfied with her packing, Hellen went to the shower room to take a quick shower. She got into the room which was empty as other pupils were out for reporting processes. She was really getting shivers when the thought of bathing cold water came into her mind. She then remembered what her grandmother said about what to do when one goes to take a cold shower.
“The water that stays in the pipe is usually cold. So what you do before you start bathing, open the tap and let the water run a bit so that that super cold water gets out. That is when you can then bath” grandmother said. She opened the shower and cold water started running down. As the tap was running, she started removing her flared dress she was wearing and everything else until she got completely nude. She then stood looking at the water thinking of how she will get into the water.
“Hellen, today you will have to be brave. This cold water never killed anyone before” Hellen said to herself.
She then slowly put her right leg under the running water, the her left leg, then her hands after which she washed her face with the water. Hellen then made a sudden plunge under the running water as she screamed with the coldness.
Her screaming got the attention of the matron who was passing by. The matron then made a turn to check what was happening in that shower room.
“Hello, is everything okay inside there?” The matron asked.
“Yes, who is there?” Asked Hellen.
“It’s the matron” the matron said.
“Oh madam, it’s just the cold water i was shouting with.” Hellen answered as she hide her body with a towel.
“Okay, I was worried. Is this your first day here?”
“Yes madam. It’s my first day”
“I guess you like the place” the matron said.
“I don’t know yet but am sure it will be a lot of fun” Hellen said with a wide smile on her face.
Hellen’s personality melted the heart of the matron. She had received a lot of young girls but how Hellen conducted herself was so unique. She didn’t look withdrawn from her home or looking depressed. She was acting as if she had been there for a long time.
“Okay, you said your name is Ireen?” Asked the matron.
“Oh sorry, okay Hellen, see you later.” Said the matron.
“One more thing Hellen, there is a new girl in your room. She will occupy the bed below yours. She is really depressed because of her parents leaving her here. Can you kindly befriend her so that she gets used here?” Aske the matron.
“No, problem madam” Hellen said.
“Thank you” said the matron as she left the shower room.
Hellen finished doing all the business she had in that shower room before going to her hostel. She got to her room and found a young girl possibly of her age sitted on the bed with sore eyes obviously due to crying. Hellen felt pity for her and didn’t know how to start talking to her.
“You don’t seem okay, are you alright?” Hellen kindly asked.
The other girl didn’t say anything or even look at Hellen.
Hellen then got her lotion and applied on her body before changing into other clothes. She then sat next to the girl who was there.
“I don’t know what is making you this sad but I am sure it’s because of what your have done to you. But guess what, my parents have also done the same to me.” Hellen said at which the girl looked at her.
“They have left us here while they have gone back home. How can we live so far from them?” Hellen added as she kept quiet to hear what her friend hard to say.
“I hate them” were the first words the girl said.
“I also hate what they have done but we can punish them” said Hellen.
“How?” Asked the girl.
“By becoming friends then we plan on what to do” said Hellen.
“Okay” the girl said facing away.
“My name is Hellen, and you?”
“Oh you have a nice name. You know what Cathy, let’s now pack your things into your locker” said Hellen as she stood up.
Cathy reluctantly stood up and started packing her things into her locker with the help of Hellen. From the look of things, it was evident that Cathy came from a well to do family just like Hellen.
“Prepare your bed before we go outside to catch on some fresh air.” Said Hellen.
“I can’t do it” said Cathy in a low voice.
“You can’t do what?”
“Prepare the bed”
“So you mean at your age you can’t…………” Hellen paused knowing how rude she could have sounded if she completed her sentence of looking down on someone who couldn’t prepare her bed.
“Am sorry, let me help you” Hellen said.
“Don’t worry, I never get a chance to do almost anything myself at home. Our maids do it for us” said Cathy.
“I understand. Let me show you how to do it.” Hellen said as she showed her how to prepare her bed.
As she was doing that the matron who was passing couldn’t help but admire what was happening.
“Hi girls” she said as she passed.
“Hello madam” answered Hellen.
When they were done with what they were doing, they went and sat outside to catch up on stories and some fresh air.
On a Monday morning, Hellen had a tough time trying to convince Cathy to go and take a cold shower. Cathy insisted on using her element but there were no sockets at their hostels for obvious reasons. After further deliberations, she accepted and went to bath.
Though Hellen and Cathy were in the same grade, they were put in different classes.
The first day of them being in class at their new school was great for them. Hellen got to know a lot of her classmates and she was optimistic that her stay there would be great. In the evening before getting to bed, Cathy and Hellen spent some quality time together catching up on what had transpired on that day.
TWO DAYS LATER..
Hellen was sitted chatting with her classmates waiting for another teacher to come to their class. In that chatting of theirs, she just saw a young gentle male teacher walking in the corridor of their classroom. The teacher then entered her classroom making all the girls stop whatever they were doing. He stood their clad in nice and slim fitting clothes which matched well with his belt, necktie and shoes. It was obvious that some souls in that class had an eye on him.
“Goodmorning class” said the teacher.
“Goodmorning sir” they answered in unison.
“I know you don’t know my name’s but you will as time goes on. I am here to handle computer studies with you.” He said.
The teacher then started giving a brief overview of what is expected in his subject. When he was done what he went there for, he bade farewell about to leave.
“Excuse me, can you kindly tell us your name now?” Asked one of the girls.
“Oh okay fine. I am Mr RAM” he said.
“RAM?!” Asked the class in unison.
“Yes, Random Access Memory. Have a good day” he said then leaving.
“What kind of a name is this?” The girls asked one another.
In the afternoon when coming back from the netball coat, Cathy and Hellen got talking.
“Cathy, can you imagine someone with a name RAM” Hellen said.
“Oh you never knew? I knew him back before I came here” Cathy said.
“He was together at college with my uncle” Cathy said.
“Oh okay, but I guess it’s a nickname” Hellen said.
“Of course. You have even reminded me. Let me go I meet him in his office. I will find you at the hostel” said Cathy.
“Why can’t we go together?” Hellen asked.
“Not today. I will find you” Cathy said as she started jogging ahead of Hellen.
Watch out for episode 7.