Short story: Turning point

Auntie Araba sat under the Odum tree one afternoon and reminisced about the happy times she and her husband used to have when he was alive.

He had been the breadwinner of their family and his death was a big blow to them. Life has not been easy. Nonetheless, they had managed to move on. However, sometimes she had nostalgic feelings about the good old days.

She was jolted back to reality when she heard her two sons, Sarpong and Mensah quarrelling in the backyard about who had to weed the backyard.

Auntie Araba approached them and said, “Please listen to me. This bickering must stop, ok?”

“I am old and will very soon join your father in the grave. All you boys have is each other. So try and live in harmony always and also be each other’s keeper. Don’t let anybody come between the two of you.”

“I also want you to work hard and be successful. If you succeed, your father and I will be very happy up there. You know life has been hard and I gave you all I had. It is now time to use the education you have to make your lives better because, with that, you can do so many things. And always remember that the lazy man goes to bed hungry,” she advised.

After the advice, they both thanked their mother and went about their chores for the day without fights.

A year later, Auntie Araba fell ill and after battling the sickness for a couple of weeks, she died in her sleep. The boys mourned their mother for a long time because she had been their only backbone.

What made them even more depressed was the fact that when they went through their mother’s things, they found bundles of money and a letter stashed away in one of her drawers.

They were sad because when their mother fell ill, they could not get money to buy her drugs.

“Why did she do that?” they wondered. They opened the letter and it read: My dear sons, this money is for you to start life. I sold a piece of gold your father left. Please use the money wisely and multiply it. I love you and wish you well.

When they finished reading the letter, it took them another two weeks to get over their grief.

After several months, the boys spent all the money their mother left them and were soon poor again, going contrary to their beloved mother’s advice.

Life, therefore, became very tough for Sarpong and Mensah. As a result, the eldest son, Sarpong, fell into bad company and became an armed robber. But Mensah, after thinking about how miserable their lives had become, got a job in a family friend’s construction firm. He hustled and toiled, and after years of hard work, he was able to save enough money to start his own business.

After some years, he eventually became very rich and built himself a beautiful mansion, while his elder brother never changed his ways.

One day, Sarpong was apprehended in an armed robbery attack by the police and was quickly processed for court. During proceedings at the court, Sarpong pleaded guilty to his actions and narrated what lured him into such an act.

The judge was benevolent so he gave Sarpong a light sentence. When he came out of jail, he had learnt his lesson and with the help of his brother went back to school. He studied Building Technology at the university and assisted his brother in his construction firm.

Ten years after their mother’s death, they visited the graves of their parents with flowers.

“Father, mother,” Mensah started, “We are grateful for all the sacrifices you made, so we would live better lives. Look at us, we are now successful just like you wanted us to be. Our wives and children are here with us too. Continue to bless us while you also rest well.”

They put the bouquets of flowers on the graves and with smiles and happiness left where their parents were resting.They returned home with the satisfaction that they have fulfilled their mother’s wish.


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