The Inkwell Prompt #41 || Gift

Image by Kristyn Lapp

Beaming with smiles, I took the ice cream cone from the vendor and immediately licked off a good portion of it. I felt the glorious sweetness burn through my throat and spread around my insides. It was heavenly.

My mom laughed at my expression, she knew how much I loved ice cream that was why she had brought me here. She took out her hanky and wiped a smudge off the side of my lip, “enjoy yourself, my boy.”

I chuckled at that as I looked around for a place to seat. I was a freshman at the University of Ibadan, fresh into higher institution, I had left home to stay in the school hostel. That was a month ago, and I was already missing home. My joy had known no bounds when she had told me she was visiting.

“Let’s seat,” I told her as I finally sighted a good place away from the sunlight.

“I’m sorry, Stanley.” She muttered sadly, “I wish I can stay but you might have to sit there on your own.”

“You’re leaving? Already?”

She nodded, “I have to be at Abuja by ten PM tonight. I just had to come to see you first.”

“Of course, Mom. I understand.” I shrugged, “what is it this time?”

“A group of physicists and I would be meeting with the President tomorrow morning for funding for our research, I mustn’t miss it.”

“It’s always important that you don’t miss any of your trips Mom, but I’m used to it now. You can go, I’ll be fine.”

She pulled me into a hug, placed a kiss on my forehead before she hurried off to her car. I waved her goodbye before walking towards the shade where I would seat.

For as long as I remember, my mom was always traveling for one thing or the other. She was a world-renowned scientist, and that came with a price. She was always jetting around the world, participating in groundbreaking researches and government-backed projects. She had won two Nobel prizes because of her work, and with the way she was going there was probably more in her future. I was so proud of her.

My childhood had been filled with nannies, different names, and different faces over the years. But with the little time my Mom spent with me, she made sure we both made the best use of it. And it was always fun, something I looked forward to like a child at Christmas.

And today again, she was off to Abuja. At least this time she was still in the country.

Still licking my ice cream, I sat on a bench under the shade, looking at my fellow students walking about the school. Even some lecturers could be seen enduring the hot sun as well.

Just then someone sat on the bench beside me and took my hand. I turned and my eyes widened, “Mom?”

She was smiling at me, with tears in her eyes, “hello baby.”

“Uhm… why did you come back?” I muttered even though I was glad she was still around. But then I noticed some changes.

Her hair had more grey in them than before, and she was wearing a different cloth from earlier. There were lines on her face and her eyes appeared sunken. She looked aged.

“Mom!” I gasped in shock, “what the hell happened to you?”

“I don’t have much time, Stanley. I was only able to buy a few minutes.”

“I saw you just now, and you looked perfectly fine. Are you sick? We need to get you to the hospital.”

As I made to get up, she pulled me back down, “it’s a long story Stanley, and I don’t have time to explain. In three days, you’ll attend a night party at Clara’s place.”

My eyes widened in shock, “how did you know that? Are you having me followed?”

“Listen to me, Stanley! Please do not go to that party. If you do… if you do…”

“What will happen?”

“Something bad.” She took my hand again and squeezed, “please Stanley, promise me you won’t go.”

“I already promised I’ll be there.”

“That promise is not worth your life boy!” She snapped then caught herself.

I studied her again, “what is going on, Mom?”

“I’m from the future, Okay? That’s all I can say. I’m running out of time now. Don’t forget, in three days come up with an excuse not to go to the party. If you go, you’ll die.”

“Mom… what is all this? Future? What do you mean you’re from the future?”

“I was given a gift to change anything, and I chose to change your story. Don’t let… let this…” and before my eyes, she faded from view until she vanished completely.

“Oh my god!” I surged to my feet, my heart beating furiously. What the hell had just happened? Was I hallucinating? I looked around me but no one else seemed to find what just happened as strange.

I dug my phone out of my pocket and hurriedly dialed my mom. As I listened to it ring, I prayed fervently that she picked. She picked on the third ring.

“Hello baby, you miss me already?”

I let out a deep breath as I heard her voice again. She was okay, she was fine.

“Let’s switch to video, okay?” I asked.


As her face filled up my screen, I almost wept with joy. She looked normal again, as I’ve always known her to be.

“Where are you, Mom?”

“On my way to the airport.”

I nodded, feeling my heartbeat subside, “I miss you, Mom.”

She smiled at me, “I miss you too, pumpkin.”

“Talk to you later,” I made to cut the call, but stopped, “what’s the research you’re getting funding for?”

“Time travel, baby.” She said, beaming with smiles at me. “We want to research time travel.”

The End.
This story was inspired by the week's prompt Gift. Feel free to try it out.
Thank you for reading.

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