All were born in the same way and nobody ever had chosen who would be his or her parents in life. But everyone has a story to tell because the path in the journey of life is different. Life sometimes could be funny and mysterious in nature. Peter never dreamt or asked his creator to make him an orphan one day. And if someone from the land of the dead should tell him that one day he would be one, he would doubt it.
Peter was the first and the only son of his parents. After his birth, his mother was unable to give birth to another child. Miscarriage has always been his mother’s sort in every pregnancy since after his birth. The very moment nature smiled on her by allowing her to carry her pregnancy for eight months, she met her death while she was in labour pain.
The hospital she was admitted refused categorically that she would not be attended to until his father deposited the sum of ten thousand naira. Where would the poor man get such amount of money from? Even if you killed him, he would not provide it. Despite all his father did for attention and medical care to be given to his mother, all his efforts were fruitless. At the end of the day, she died on the way while she was been taken to another hospital. Yes, she died in Peter’s presence. Initially, Peter thought she was sleeping. But the facial expression of his father was a clear indication that she was already dead.
It was not easy with his father since then. The death of his wife traumatised him. How he wished he lost his wife after an illness or through a car accident, it would have been something bearable and tolerable. But he lost his wife out of poverty. Peter remembered vividly that very day in the hospital, how his father was moving from one end of the hospital to the other, pleading for something to be done to his wife but no help came. Peter saw that very day, the depression, pain, sorrow, discouragement, and hopelessness that were written all over his father. He pitied him and cried for him in the depth of his heart. Unable to bear the pain after six months, Peter’s father died of cardiac arrest.
Their demise left him in the valley of suffering, pain, misery, and loneliness. Life could be so cruel to some persons on our planet earth. After the burial of his father, Peter joined the family of his uncle, his father’s immediate younger brother. The maltreatment and lack of affection that were given to him made Peter prefer the street than his home. On a very good day one evening, Peter left the house for the street and never returned. They searched for him but he was nowhere to be found. His uncle could have done more than what he did but due to his lack of love towards Peter, he never worried himself to go the extra mile in searching for nephew. Even pressure from neighbours on him never changed anything.
Poor Peter left alone on the street, where he made his home and formed his new family. Many would ask if he had relatives, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. He would say yes, but none cared to know their whereabouts. For three years, he was on the street with other children who were either orphan like him or abandoned by their parents to cater for themselves. Really life on the street is something else. On many occasions, He was beaten almost to death when caught trying to steal from street hawkers. All he cared for was just to get something and feed on. There was nothing like day or night for them on the street. Together with his friends, they would go out at midnight to people’s homes to steal water just for them to make use of. No season was ever favourable to them because they used to sleep outside, and if lucky, one would find a good place well protected from the chilly breeze of the harmattan and raindrops during raining season.
There on the street, he met the saviour of his life. He was picked together with three others and taken to an orphanage house called “For A Better Tomorrow Orphanage Home,” by a Non-governmental Organisation. There in the orphanage house which was at the outskirt of the town, they were trained in many skills like the making of beads, reading and writing, carpentry work, and so on. After four months there, They were enrolled in primary school.
It was not easy initially because it was like a strange world for him as someone who has never seen the four walls of a classroom. Sometimes, Peter used to feel unease because he no longer had the freedom he used to have when he was on the street. Everything was regulated and controlled in the orphanage house. Many times, he would leave school before dismissal to play football and returned very late. Despite the correction and warning that were given to him, nothing seemed to change. After some time, the urge of going out was not as strong as before. He started coping well and coming back home after school dismissal together with his mates. From the training given in the orphanage house, he continued doing his best in school. Whenever he remembered the sudden death of his parents, he would feel like a fierce lion, having the urge to break anything within his reach. There was a day one of his mates called Joe took a piece of meat from his plate jokingly. Joe never knew Peter was not in a good mood that very day for the pain of his parents’ death was fully on him. Peter bounced on him and gave him a punch on his face. The fellow fell down immediately and was unable to stand up. He laid down there for about a minutes. When he was helped by others to stand on his feet, there was blood on the floor. The blood was from Joe’s nose. At the sight of the blood, Peter came to his senses immediately and started apologising to the steward. Peter was cautioned that very day and was told that if such thing should repeat itself again, he would stop going to school. That same day during recreation, none was willing to play with him.
Five years in primary school came and gone like a flash of light. Six months after his primary school, Peter found himself in secondary school. Though he was not the best in his class but was doing great as expected from him by his sponsors. The orphanage home created a conducive environment to study. Almost everything they needed for their studies was provided to them. In his final year in secondary school, he participated in a debate competition with the topic “Teachers are better than Doctors?” Peter’s group was against the motion. The work he did with those in his group was an eye-opener for him to so many things. Through the help of some of the stewards, he was able to come up with a good write-up. His group won the competition and he emerged as the best speaker. Since then, he vowed to become a medical doctor in the future in order to save the lives of many innocent people who could not afford medical treatment for lack of money. Peter strongly believed that he would become a medical doctor in the future. How it would come about, he did not know but believed in divine providence.
Peter never dreamt of going to the White man’s land nor boarding an airplane in his life. He had only heard and seen Europe as a continent on a geography map in the orphanage house. As destiny might have it, he saw himself in Europe studying medicine and surgery.
In his third year, he had already started making plans on how he would start realising some projects in collaboration with the Non Governmental organisation that was sponsoring his studies and other benefactors to build a hospital and an orphanage house in his hometown after he must have graduated. For him, that would be the only way his own community would benefit from his studies, which would go a long way to put smiles on the faces of poor masses and less privileged.
After his graduation from the medical school, he got a job and was doing great. Six months after he got his new job, he asked for two good and intelligent students from the orphanage home who would be willing to study medicine like him. Aminu and Ruben were the lucky ones who were sent to him.
Peter never lived to see what Aminu and Ruben became in life. A year after their arrival, Peter died in his house as a result of high level of cortisol in his body.