Chapter One: The Letter.
Aliya was described as the only child, asthmatic (with First Lady as a nickname from her father). Her mother was a nurse while her father was a multipotentiality. The chapter told us of her close relationship with her dad and how he was not a fan of birthday celebrations although he started to send her birthday cards since she clocked 12 in JSS1 through her Principal (Tiv and Christian) with whom her father, Mr.Bello (Yoruba and Muslim) had a good rapport with. She hated to be called a child and was expectant of her 16th birthday. She had expected to feel different, but having felt it not, asked one of her three roommates; Grace who was a taciturn but nice person how she had likewise felt.
On her 16th birthday, she got paranoid when she didn’t get her card after assembly from the Principal who failed to acknowledge her birthday too. She felt that something bad had happened to her father but to her surprise, got three presents from him: Portable digital camera, a birthday card and a spiral-bound document titled, ‘Letter to My Daughter’. Aliya had assumed it was the photocopy of the book written by Maya Angelou under the same title, but it had been a 16-page letter, a page for each year of her life.
Finally, we got to know about Bobo (Tokunbo) here during a discussion with her father on one of her visiting days. Bobo had given her a red teddy bear for Valentine and had told her of his likeness towards her. She didn’t think he was as intelligent or naughty as Akin, a classmate but still got upset after discovering he had left for Ireland with his parents without informing her.
Chapter Two: The Drive.
She started to read the letter, the part where she had gone out on a drive with her father during her JSS1 break. To her, it had been a random drive she had been excited to partake in as she had been cocooned behind tall fences which Aliya thought must have kept her Grandma away (she said it made the house looks like a prison) but the drive had been deliberate on the side of her father to inculcate values in her.
Aliya saw two girls hawking during the drive and wished to be like them, having their freedom, but her father, having had a humble beginning himself told her the girls would like to trade places with her, and then explained the hunger and drive theory: it is easier to climb up on an empty stomach than a full one. He explained that children from poor homes usually had the hunger that drove them to be more and after succeeding, the same hunger was not always passable to the already sated children.
Thereafter, they went to Aunty Gigis, a popular fast food place where she had ordered a combination of vanilla, and chocolate ice cream (the basis of which his discussion on menstruation had started; how sugar affected some women). He had learned from Aliya’s mother how she had started to menstruate. Also, they talked about sex, with him refuting the notion made by one of Aliya’s friends’ mother: that a menstruating female would get pregnant by a touch from a male. In addition, he told her to be careful of what she allowed into her mind which was like a beautiful room and to stand strong for the right things. Initially, she had loved the camera the most but at the end of the day, she realized that the letter was her best gift ever.