TOMORROW HOLDS A PROMISE (SHORT STORY)

Intro:
Although written in the first person case, this story is entirely fictional. That’s all I want to say. Let me get out of the way so that you can savour it. Do share your impressions when you’re through and stay blessed!

TOMORROW HOLDS A PROMISE

I’m shivering as if I have a cold but my insides are burning. I sit up gingerly and try to study. Exams are fast approaching and it’s the third term. I can’t afford to repeat SS* 1 again. I need a few moments to stop the dizziness. I pick up “A Man of the People” by Chinua Achebe, at least a novel from my Literature reading list can be understood in my present state. But the more I try to focus on the words on the first page, the blurrier they become. I notice my eyes are misting over and drop the book. I try to lie down again but every movement seems to increase the pounding in my head. So I prop myself against the wall.

Mosquitoes buzz around my ears. I have no strength to slap and hunt them as I would do on better days. Better days … they seem so distant now. I would recall them if I wasn’t feeling so weary and, perhaps, get some comfort from knowing things weren’t always like this. I look across at my younger brothers, Michael and Gabriel, tossing and turning on the other mat. I always told them they slept like they were kung fu fighting but the hunger wracking their stomachs and mine has added a new dimension of fitfulness to their sleep.

I listen to my father’s old-lorry-on-a-jerky-road snoring coming from the next room. At least, he can get some sound sleep, thanks to his medication. Not so for my mum. Awake or in her dreams, she is probably adding and subtracting to see how she can provide one meal for us tomorrow and pay for my dad’s hospital appointment. Dad lost his job in an insurance firm when he took ill and got 100,000 Naira which they called severance pay. It didn’t even pay for the next round of tests when he was referred to a teaching hospital and the inevitable selling of family property began. The burden of carrying about a terminally-ill husband and caring for the family on a primary school teacher’s salary has robbed Mum of her cheerfulness and vitality. At this rate, she may die before Dad if help does not come soon.

My head is still hurting but it’s suddenly clear what I need to do. I must stop school and find a job. There must be something a 15-year-old girl can do to earn a little money. I could wash dishes in a restaurant – good option considering the free food. I could be someone’s maid – but that will be only if I can go daily from my house. I can’t afford to leave my mum now. Besides, who will watch over Michael and Gabriel? Funny that they bear the names of archangels and still need watching over. I think I’m feeling better now, actually I think it’s the relief from knowing I can contribute to lessening the weight on my mum.

Maybe, someday, things will improve and I will go back to school. But right now, we need to stick together as a family. We need to survive. Isn’t it said that where there is life, there is hope? I know that God has not forsaken my family. I know He does not love us less than those whose circumstances are easier – like my cousins. Although my dad helped to train his younger siblings, they tell my mum tall stories when she comes for help. They forget that no condition is permanent. As my mum says, we should bear them no ill-will because our help does not come from people really, but from God, the Maker of heaven and earth.

So to God I turn. I may not be able to pray long and hard right now but I know that He hears me. I need healing for my dad. He has such a large heart and there are so many people he could help if he sticks around. I need Michael and Gabriel to be good. I want them to be regular in school. I don’t want them to join pickpockets or become lookouts for robbers. Hunger is not a good companion for spirited 10-year-olds like them. That brings me to my mission for tomorrow: I need favour to get a kind person to work for so I can bring a little food home everyday, someone like Boaz in the Bible. He gave Ruth more food than she needed, so she took some to Naomi, her mother-in-law, at the end of the day.

Related  MY BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBOUR #6 (SHORT STORY)

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My eyelids are drooping. I’ll be dozing off in a bit. But I have a smile on my face now. Tomorrow holds a promise. It may not be the end of our problems but it will certainly be better than yesterday. I have a Father that cares, His name is Jehovah. “Watch over me as I sleep, dear Lord.”

-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016
*SS stands for Senior Secondary
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

128 thoughts on “TOMORROW HOLDS A PROMISE (SHORT STORY)

    • My dear, I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. Having established her confidence in the faithfulness of God, I felt the necessary point had been made. Cheers!

  1. This piece painted a picture of a courageous teen who captured the reality of life early in life & determined to buldoz his/her way through it with the help of his Supreme Father. Sleep well young lad for tomorrow will indeed be better.

    Aunty Edith >>>this’s a >>>Fitted Fiction!

  2. What an inspirational piece! God only is the bedrock of our existence and survival, only trust and obey. Keep them coming!

  3. i love this story, its motivating, really it is good to paint our future from the scripture no matter the circumstance of things at that moment.

  4. Certainly, where there is life, there is hope.. Don’t u think you are life today is because God has plan for u? Give him d Chance to transform u.. Thanks

  5. Such bravery, and concern to help her mum in the family… but I can’t help but notice that she ended up not reading, does she want to repeat SS1 again?
    Nice story.

  6. The lord is our stronghold. Happy is the man who trust in the lord. cast your bread upon the waters: you shall found it after many days. God bless Aunty Edith Ugochi Ohaja and all the mass communication students of UNN. YOUNG SOLOMON IS HERE!

  7. When there’s life there’s always hope. Nothing is important than the hope and knowledge that tomorrow can always be better. Your story is a good read MA! Keep it up.

  8. yeah too much for a 15 year old to bear … life has its own ups and down and its so comforting that she belives she can support the family many gals awt dere wen faced wid issues like dis they see prostition as the only means …… no one wants to do degrading jobs as they call it works like washing plates in a restuarants , being a messanger and so forth ……… as ma dad would always say no job is degrading so far it brings money to your pocket and never be ashamed of wah yhu do….. lotta rich pipo have their odd side of their own story which only few wish to tell……… kinda love dis piece it sends a lot of message and hope to those going tru same ish #thumbsupma’am#

  9. What a story… can’t stop shading tears for the poor little girl. Don’t worry dear little fellow, God of the poor will surely provide for them. The birds of the air have no farms yet they survive, how come you who was created by God in His own image. and always bear in mind that sorrows may endure for a night, but tomorrow… (you know the rest)

  10. LIFE HAS ITS OWN UPS AND DOWNS….. BUT THE TRUTH IS, BETTER DAYS ARE AHEAD.GOD DIDN’T PROMISE US A WORLD VOID OF CHALLENGES,RATHER HE PROMISED TO SEE US THROUGH THEM.

  11. Intriguing! Captivating! Encouraging! At 15 the young girl realized she could do a lot to help; rules out all negative/sinful of helping! That’s very challenging. She just showed us a way to key into tomorrow’s promises. Thank You Aunty Edith for this blessing!

  12. It is as if the story is for me in particular. I was once in the girl’s shoe. I give God all the glory because tomorrow holds a promise for me and my family. God bless you ma.

  13. *in a praying position with my eyes closed* there is no better friend like God. motivational story.

  14. some people are self centered not regarding the past. why is that their uncle never mind to help them notwithstanding their co operation in training his siblings.now that things get better for him, he forgot the past.thank god who gave the 15year old such wisdom.

  15. i feel like i received this from heaven bcos God said that we should not worried about tomorrow.i am encourage now, God bless you ma

  16. Now this is what is called hope…child..never you give up on God…Man can disappoint…God can’t….echi di ime…nice piece ma

  17. The earlier we take the apt decision the better for us…life is not a rehearsal but a reality… Nice write quite inspiring

  18. Indeed, no condition is permanent.in due time there will be a transformation on that phase of life, as long as the situation is dedicated to God, her hopes and dreams are sure to materialise.

  19. Because he lives, we can face tomorrow. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the lord delivers him out of them all.

  20. Very touching write-up and soooo strong a faith for a 15 year old , everything works unto good for those who believe in God.

  21. Really,tomorrow holds a promise. trust in GOD and lean not on your own understanding.He is ever ready to hear us and deliver us from any affliction.

  22. I really love this write up…………God is still the ultimate with him all things are possible.u r a blessing to our generation ma.u r the best……………

  23. what a positive teenager who could see beyond the present, hoping for a great future, ready to be responsible and complete trust in God. A good wife builds her home. she is a hope and blessing to her husband, children and society. she comes from the Lord. sickness and poverty will always be in earth but miracles can turn things for the best!

  24. There are lots of families that are facing similar problems because this is for real. we always have to be thankful to God when He provides us with things even less than we expected because some people are in abject poverty. I believe God will make a way for this family because nothing happens without His knowledge.

    • Thank you, my dear! It’s said that as long as there is life, there is hope. And when we hope in God, we will not be disappointed.

  25. There is always light at the end of the tunnel and indeed tomorrow holds a promise, the story is very interesting and encouraging I love it

  26. So many kids go through a lot of challenges while some kids just sit at home and only worry about what kinds of clothes or shoes to wear, the kind of meal to b served for dinner. But no poor child should b discouraged. No matter how deep or far a tunnel is, there’s always light at the end of that tunnel. It,’s just faith in God that will change her story nothing more.

  27. Love this story, it is teaching me that no matter what is happening to me right now, I have hope that my tomorrow will be better

  28. I feel like crying now, ur story has encouraged me to always trust in God no matter the situation, because he watches over us always.. Thanks Ma

  29. Really empathetic story you got there, Aunty. Stuffs like this happens in two of every five homes in this country. Alot of us, am sure, can relate to that in our ways but in all, we cast our trust in the Lord who, in due time, rewards us, and not on family or friends who will definitely fail us when push comes to shove.

  30. Inspiring fictional memoir! Being a human interest cum morally courageous story make it’s value transcendent. It is a story that gives joy and confidence in the midst of our earthy suffering. It lifts the mind to God – arousing a faithful hope in me. I believe tomorrow holds a promise.

  31. Where we were born does not matter but where we are heading to. As far as there is life there is hope, we just have to be strong and trust in the Lord for he has something good and bigger for us.

  32. I’m beginnning to place myself in her shoes, i reallly can imagine how much sorrow and pain she bears, and how she tries to combine all these alongside her education, being a teenager also.
    This story tends to reflect the travails, trials and turbulent times several people pass through around the world. Its certain that these conditions definitely would never last for eternity, as laughter and relief would surely across the paths of the victims and hence a cause to celebrate be given to them.

  33. There are so many people these days even older she is that wouldn’t think of helping their mom. They would not even see that she needs help. Am so thankful that she decided to put herself last and the needs of her family first and am.sure that as she has prayed and committed it all to God, he won’t abandon nor disappoint her.

  34. God never fails. i wish everyone could have the mindset of the girl in this story. most people give up on God at the very instant any struggle-like situation comes up forgetting that though sorrows could last for the night but joy would surely come in the morning. thank you for this piece ma

  35. this is inspirational, it is a lesson to young women of our days. At 15 years she could think out a positive way to make her future great but here, some girls even at 20 see such situation as an excuse to mess up their lives. Another thing to be noticed is that God remains a sure way out of difficulties any who doubts it should taste God and see

  36. Being a first child comes with a lots of responsibilities especially when the family is not well to do.

    But then, this girl is a very rare breed. At 15 she has taken up parental roles on her shoulders.

    At her age, I always complained when my parents fail to provide my needs then (we weren’t that bouyant tho), but here is a young girl striving to make sure her family members are taken care of. She’s indeed a 40year old in a 15year old body.

    Poverty na bastard!

    May God come through for all homes seeking for financial protection.

  37. It really pains me to know that some people find it difficult to eat the three square meals that come easy for others and even get wasted. I take consolation in the fact that God watches over all his children and will never let anyone take on a burden too big to bear. There is light at the end of every tunnel.

  38. Many of us today are passing through a lot of difficulties which sometimes makes us question our helper. But, with a strong faith as christians we ought to believe that tomorrow holds a promise that it will definitely be greater than today. It might be delayed but never denied.

  39. This is lovely…..our situations indeed does not determine our future because nothing is permanent in life and once we believe that and put everything before God with faith he will bless us accordingly.

  40. Never underestimate the power of God in our life, today is bad but trust me tomorrow would be better. Sometimes I over think myself and take it to God, believe me when I say he truly rescues me the next day. Everything about God is beautiful when you believe.

  41. Life is not a bed of roses imagine a 15years old girl thinking of work to help her family. Chai such is life but with the help of God our tomorrow will be greater than today.

  42. Huh!
    What an incredible burden for a 15year old child.
    I have similar story somehow but the last thing that has ever struck my mind is dropping out of school.
    It’s not really adviceable, she should just try to be very strong and shouldn’t drop out of school so that once she graduates she can at least find a better job. If she must help, then she should seek a job that is part-time,so she won’t miss out school entirely…

  43. Tomorrow surely holds a promise and no condition is permanent. I admire the little girls resolve, with the responsibilities on her shoulders she’s willing to stick around and lessen the burden.. It was so heart touching. Thanks Ma’am for sharing

  44. Dropping out of school may not be a good thing to do,but sometimes we must make hard choices. No matter how tough things may be,God is always on our side and nothing is more comforting than just knowing that. I love that he put others first. I love this story ma.

  45. Lord is our stronghold
    He’ll give us the strength to conquer and overcome every trial and tribulations.
    When there is life there is hope .

  46. A 10 year old girl having hope for tomorrow puts me to shame. I can’t say much for her formidable situation but I can say I don’t wish even for my enemy to be under such pressure.

  47. This is so inspiring and motivating. Indeed! Tomorrow holds a promise,all we need to do is to have faith and hope in God.

  48. Truly tomorrow holds a promise. With this kind of faith and trust in God, definitely help will come from the Lord.

  49. When there is life,there is hope,she has faith in God and that alone will see her through.

  50. This story is highly inspiring. I was feeling low but reading this story made me feel better and believe that “Tomorrow holds a promise”

  51. What a touching story, I must commend the 15yrs old girl’s courageous resolutions. Indeed, tomorrow is pregnant of lots of goodies. This short is highly educative and entertaining too. Dr. Edith, l like the manner at which you always start your write ups, nice ?.
    However, a midwife is needed to assist in delivery those goodies tommorow holds, I mean is that it takes patience, positive mindset, hard work, courage and God.

  52. Life is full of ups and downs but we must always have hope of better tomorrow. This is because without hope we might give in easily to the devil’s tricks which ends in disaster.
    I must condem the girls’s bravery… Nice story ma…

  53. With God, tomorrow does hold a promise. What courage from a child of 15, quite inspiring ma’am.

  54. Love this story, commends the 15yrs old girl’s courageous resolutions.
    Being first born comes with responsibility and that is what the little girl x-rayed. Typical of our African family.

  55. OMG! This is one of the best write-up I have seen on this platform, if not the best(for me though). The use of first person narration made it more engaging. I was literally forced to feel the weight of the subject’s burden.
    Poor her. A girl who turned woman overnight due to hardship. She had no choice. I hope she never turn to evil ways to make money. God help her

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