“Have you ever been in love, Uncle?”, Kelechi asked. I looked into her young eyes and laughed. She looked so eager, waiting patiently for my answer. Her innocent face melted my heart as well as opened up memories I had bottled up. Nneka was also innocent as she, or so I thought.
“Yes, Kelechi. I have. But why do ask? You’re too young to understand love.”, I replied while smoothening her hair. The young child has a wild untamed hair and a free spirit. No wonder she gets along with the opposite sex more.
“Seriously?”, she asked excitedly and began to hop on my laps. I couldn’t help but chuckle. Her melodious voice kept singing “tell me more, tell me more” and I was tempted to.
“Okay, I will. But first of all, what made you ask such a question. You’re just eight”. She stopped bouncing and kept mute for a minute. I thought she was no longer interested in our conversation before she began talking.
“Well, I have a friend in my class. His name is Samson. We always play together everyday. But on Tuesday, Samson did something that made me angry. He took my drawing book and tore it. And Uncle, you know how much I love my drawing book. When I asked him, he didn’t answer me. Uncle Simon, do you know that Samson even pushed me down. Here, look at my knee, it still hurts. I told Mum I wouldn’t talk to Samson ever again but Uncle, do you know what Mum said. Mum asked me if I loved Samson as my friend. She said if I did, I would forgive him and be patient with him because that’s what love is. She said Samson would apologize to me once he knows what he did was wrong, and until then, I should be patient with him. I always thought I was supposed to love only my family but now I know that I love Samson as well, so, I forgave him. Infact, Samson came yesterday and told me Sorry. So Uncle, tell me, apart from Dad and Mom, who do you love?”.
“Kelechi, I promise you, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. For now, complete your homework”, I whispered, emotions hanging heavy in my heart. The young ones are blessed, I thought.
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