Paint Me – A Short Story By Nancy Okere

Sipping from a glass of lemon squash,I enjoyed the warmness of the flowered ranch.The cool breeze brushing against my chest was enough to restore healing to a dying soul.
Going to Abuja was a dream turned reality for me. I had looked forward to having my cousins around and basking in the luxury of a tranquil place.
When it was time to return to my base, I felt like giving up but I had no choice. School was resuming the following week.
The day of my departure left my cousins and I with mixed feelings. However, we promised to keep in touch.

But I never arrived home in one piece. The driver who rode us back to Lagos consumed a large quantity of alcohol while we stopped at an eatery for lunch.
Handling the steering in a dizzy manner, he kicked the vehicle and ended up colliding with a packed vehicle. I lost my left hand to numbness.
I never wanted to believe the world was against me. I tried to be strong but my classmates in school made it worse. They were never happy with me. My brilliance and charisma that endeared many to me scared them to death.
I should have died for all they cared.With the nickname “paralysed left hand”,I fought hard with the stigma.
I would go home and cry myself to sleep.Never having a dry pillow to rest my head.
Mother! Oh, she was always there for me. She never failed to remind me that my past should remain where it was. She encouraged me to soar despite the obvious limitation.
Though she suggested a change of school but I declined.
Something happened. I got stuck in love. I couldn’t come out and wouldn’t come out any time soon.
My heart screamed with emotions daily.
My hairs stood erect at the drop of his virile voice.
My eyes yearned to read his love letters.
Letters full of joy and healing.
Letters full of care and warmth.
Letters full of victories and wins.
I didn’t want more.
Then the biggest question that changed my entirety popped.
Boldly written on gold italics
My eye fell on those four words
“Will you marry me?”
Planting a kiss on his forehead, I screamed a big YES.
We promised to have our wedding each day of our lives forever.
My change became obvious. I was always excited and most importantly I passed the next exams excellently.
My school desired to learn my secret, the story behind the new me.
I couldn’t hold it back.I wanted them to get stuck in love too.
With tears streaming down my eyes, I shortly said:
“Paint me blue, paint me green
Paint me red, paint me yellow
Paint me up, paint me down
Paint me good, paint me baf
Whatever, you use to paint me will never stick because I am stuck in love with Jesus.”

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