The Young Dreams By Barr. Moses Oruaze Dickson

The crowd was surging and unending
And again, we were staring at our limits
We knew from experience we cannot meet all their needs
But we had hopes, and hope kept us going
We were at Sabagria, a wonderful community in Bayelsa State.

I got so tired that i had to find a makeshift stone to sit
As i made way to stretch my feet, I felt a familiar presence
And then a young familiar  voice asked “uncle, are you tired? See, i have left with me a bottle of drink from my pack you gave me, please drink it, so you can have some strength. We have been waiting for you to join us to our evening classes as you promised”.

While attending to the kids earlier, Ken was reading his story book even as he stood patiently in the line and i had picked interest in him. When it was his turn, i asked him what he was reading about and he said he was reading for a test and that it was a story about a clever tortoise. We laughed and i told him i would like to see his classroom and so unknown to me, he had been around waiting for me with his friends.

I raised my head and it was ken and his friends
Though I wasn’t entirely thirsty, the natural generosity, courage and love in his offer instantly sparked up the thirst in me and I immediately too the drink and gulped it down.

Ken was the older one and he had told me he dreams of being a lawyer. I summoned all the strength in me, folded my trouser and off we went. We arrived late but the teacher was kind to let us in and i sat with them as the class continued.

As i sat there, my head began swelling with memories of my days in primary school. so I took a peek into my past and my mind rested on the 10’ by 12’ room space of my humble beginning. A space that served as a sitting room on one hand, a dining space at will and the bedroom I shared with my mother and siblings for many years in Toru Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The space, though like a matchbox, housed dreams in the limelight today. The credit of course goes to my late mother, Mrs. Goldcoast Dickson, who enveloped her family with love. Daily, she borrowed the creeks and forests of Toru Orua, to ensure that her family had the best life she could offer. For many days,  I woke up to the absence of mama, as she had sailed at dawn to strive for her family. For the sake of her children, mama’s body and soul grew tougher for a beleaguered life to crack; a dogged mother who stared at the face of hardship and refused to bow.

 I remember how I lurked around my school premises, waiting to get the notebooks of my colleagues, simply because I was chased out for not paying my school fees. I remember how I laughed and wished people looked beyond the splash of dentition, to hear the cacophonic thoughts of rage in my voice. When I stepped out smiling in the morning, I wished they looked beyond the stripes of pain inflicted by my sleeping mat. My nights were always pregnant with wishes the mornings craved could come to fruition and so I resolved to smile in the face of uncertainty.

I remembered how i would sweep, park the dishes to the waterside, wash off, bathe in the same river ahead of the thunderous school bell. As i sat there with my new found “classmates”, i was indeed off on a long journey to my past.

Suddenly, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder, i turned and it was ken. I did not realize almost everyone was gone. It was now 5:pm and my team would be rounding up so I thanked Ken and his friends as i saw them off. I knew nothing about what was taught in the class and i was lucky the teacher nor ken threw a question at me.

To forearm myself, i retuned to the empty classroom to check what it was. I sat gazing at the old ‘blackboard’ determined to contain myself for i have just had an encounter with the childhood friends and with the young dreams i once had through Ken.

I dedicate this piece to all those who like me and Ken pursue the young #dreams of our heart.

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