It was the onset of a winter morning. I woke up with my face wrapped up with boredom. Perhaps these was caused by multiple tasks which I carried out the previous day, helping my neighbour to prepare the wedding ceremony. Upon that I expected nothing from the tasks which I carried out and people started to talk bad about my neighbour. I was regarded as their slave who was working for food. All these words went straight to my heart, feeling useless and restless at once. Although I was not happy about all these bad things people said about me, I told myself not to allow people to ruin the relationship that I have with my neighbour.

Things became tense when my mother heard all these from the grapevine at the traditional council meeting. Consequently, she came home with a heavy heart and hollered my name from a distance. I was perching on the bench washing my clothes.

“Clement! We need to talk!” She called out.

“What is wrong mom?” I asked politely.

“You need to stop working for people, those people have their children who will assist them,” she said cantankerously.

I was surprised to see her angry like that. I remained dumb for a moment with my mouth trembling like a child petrified by a frog.

“Don’t be silent, I’m talking to you,” she said.

I looked around to confirm if there was no one hearing our conversation. Fortunately, there was no one and I said:

“Why now? I have been assisting with the wedding preparations since last month!” I responded sharply.

“I don’t know why you’re so stubborn, I will go and tell them that you won’t be able to help anymore because of some other chores that you are helping me with,” she said.

I didn’t reply because of anger, and I walked away to avoid an argument, not because I was disrespectful, but I couldn’t allow the rumours to ruin my relationship with the neighbours. A few hours later, my mother secretly went to see my neighbour to tell them that I will no longer continue to help them with the wedding preparations. When she got there she didn’t find anyone in the family and came back with a forlorn face as if she was mourning for a dead person.

“Tell me you didn’t ruin things? If I’m happy to help them, and then why are you so worried about the entire situation?” I asked.

She looked at me and when she was about to utter bitter words Mr.Ranku, our neighbour, emerged holding a wrapped tiny box. My mother welcomed her with a benign smile as if nothing happened. Mr.Ranku gave me the wrapped box with a big smile embedded on his face. I quickly unwrapped the box and found that he bought me a cell phone.

At first, I thought it was a dream, I asked him many times if the phone belongs to me or not. I was overly excited and instantly jumped and gave Mr.Ranku a hug. My mother was happy too. She deeply regretted her behaviour. I quickly charged my new phone and took pictures before the sunset.