Towards the end of June this year, being of troubled mind and weary body, I decided to take a trip home to draw strength from the soil in which my umbilical cord is buried, so to speak. And so I set off home. For those who don’t know, “home” for me is Jos; since it is the city of my birth and the bulk of my life adventures. The journey was a long and bumpy road trip filled with self-doubt, a stressed bladder and drowsiness. Eventually I was welcomed into the bosom of my family with no mishaps. The process of drawing strength consisted, for the most part, of me moping around my sister’s house, eating, watching TV and coercing her children into playing with me every now and again. Read more
It was two weeks before her wedding and she was depressed as hell.
It was so hard putting up a smile, so hard concentrating on the last minute arrangements, so hard keeping it together.
It had all started the day she went to pick up her gown. They’d had to make some minor adjustments and fix a tear in the veil, so she went back to the shop to check if it was perfect and take it home with her.
She got into the changing room, put it on and stepped out, feeling every inch a bride to be. Staring at her reflection, she knew she’d made the right choice because the dress looked like it had been made for her, and crowning it all was the cathedral-style veil. Her smile cracked a little, and it was all she could do to keep the tears in until she was back in the changing room, safely hidden from the concerned shop girl’s eyes. It was difficult to cry quietly with a broken heart, but she had no choice because these tears couldn’t wait .
She cried, that kind of release where you’re conscious of nothing else, save how to get the writhing ball of hurt out your body, through your eyes.
She cried till her eyes were swollen shut.
She cried till her chest ached.
She cried till she was wheezing like one in the throes of an asthma attack.
She cried till she couldn’t breathe and the panic pushed all the blood to her head till it roared in her ears.
She realized that she was on the floor some minutes later, and hoped to God that she hadn’t torn the veil again. She carefully stepped out of the dress and hung the veil over the door. She felt miserable.
She had everything. Her friends and family were super psyched that her big day was coming up, and the excitement in her mom’s house was palpable. The man she was going to promise forever to? Honestly, she could never have imagined a better man on this earth. She loved him so much that when he proposed, her girlfriends had to beg her to cancel the thanksgiving mass she had planned. He was everything. The kind of man she knew would help her be the best person she could possibly become. The kind of man who loved and accepted her as she was. The connection between them was such that he seemed to know when she wanted space and when she needed his arms around her. He was a flawed mortal in all the perfect ways.
And she didn’t want to tell him what was eating at her inside, for fear she’d see that look of hurt helplessness in his eyes. Because there was nothing he could do to change things. Because this time, he couldn’t give her what she craved.
She wanted her dad to walk her down the aisle.
She wanted him to walk in on her getting her makeup done the morning of her wedding, and hear what affectionate, teasing thing he’d say to express how beautiful she looked.
She wanted to look up at him through her veil, and see the love and pride and poorly concealed tears glazing in his eyes as he handed her over to the love of her life.
She wanted him to assure her, as she tried to control the tears, “You’ll always be my little girl.”
She wanted to dance with him.
But she couldn’t.
And she’d never hear him say all those things.
Because he was dead. And nothing could bring him back.
This year, we “celebrate” twenty years of life without the head of our family. You can read more here.
May his soul continue to rest in peace.
May God continue to keep my family united in love, and may His favour help us hold on to laughter, even in the face of tears.
Once upon a very weird Christmas time, an uncle of mine came over, and took me and a couple of my siblings to the zoo. It was a cheesy stab at “family fun”, but it exposed me to…well, the zoo.
So after then, I would go to the zoo from time to time, stare at the animals, give them names in my head and imagine them doing rather Dr. Seuss-like things.
It was a great idea (on paper), because I got to be on my own, cultivate some kind of a personal habit, and just be on my own and think.
It worked only once. Second time I went, I was accosted by this young chap. Senegalese, abi from Niger Republic, I can’t for the life of me remember. He stuck to me like a cow tick in a well fed dog’s fur, and wouldn’t let go.
How I was so beautiful, he was sure I could sing because I had such a lovely voice… Dude sang a couple bars of a song from an album he was allegedly working to drop real soon.
My girlfriend’s bf was competing in that Maltina Dance All show one year, and we all went to cheer the guy on. Seemed like a legit enough thing to do. During a break, I moved away from the “pack” to make a phone call, turned, and there he was. This wet-eyed Igbo boy, offering me a hanky because I was sweating from the heat and excitement inside the hall.
Toh, feeling a large drop of sweat on the cusp of splashing dramatically into my eye, I accepted the hanky and pushed aside thoughts of how weird it all was. And that was how I accepted a major stalker into my life.
There is nothing I didn’t do to shake off that guy, but even at that, it took a few months.
This one time, I was innocently walking from the house to the junction to get a keke. Suddenly I catch sight of a guy and girl standing outside a shop. The girl goes, “Ah, see this fine geh!” and in no time, the guy is coming up after me. Long story short (I never learn, I know this) I give him my number because it’s embarrassing; he has my bag and won’t let go, so passionate is his pleading.
That guy once gave me thirty – something missed calls and like four text messages ranging from “Why won’t you pick up, hope you’re ok” to “I’m very disappointed in you, why would you treat me like this, I’m never calling you again “.
Then he left some more missed calls.
What about when they fixed traffic lights at this roundabout in town here? There I was one bright Saturday morning, perched rather youthfully on a bike, heading to the tailor’s. Now, the light turned red so I was there o, only for me to hear, “Hello, baby, long time.” A slimy smile accompanied this fond greeting, after which the MAN in question proceeded to tell me how I was “his colour”. Mehn, I was Ray Charles to that guy and his teeth until that light changed and I moved on with normal life.
Right from secondary school, there was the (older) guy who’d show up in the mornings with cards and other related love-practices.
Same thing in Uni. The only time I was safe was when I hid in a particular corner of the library…
NYSC camp? Oh God. It was annoying, because I couldn’t be rude to the ones I didn’t like just so I could hang out with the interesting ones, like I would have wanted to 😦
Only last weekend, I asked an electrician to come fix a faulty outlet in my house. Now, I hate having handymen around because, small talk. I will never get the hang of talking for the sake of it, and to strangers, no less. So I hid somewhere with a Charles Dickens and waited for the guy to finish, abegs. I should mention that right when he came in, I was holding a half – finished pure water sachet in my hand. I asked if I should get him some water and your man smoothly took the one in my hand, wordlessly putting the edge I’d been drinking from to his mouth, like a promise… the chills, guys. The chills!
Anyway, your guy finished and I paid him off only for him to ask, just before I closed the gate:
“So… you living in this area, ba?”
I was all like, hell nah, nicca, and closed the gate behind him.
So far, I’m still waiting for the type I see in Nollywood; that will sweep into my life, wash away my financial and material sins, expose my skin to the best creams and polish me, generally. And all this without thinking to ask for any kind of gratification in return.
In the meantime, though, this one guy said he loves me and he buys me pens from time to time…
That counts, no? 😦
this away business here to stay?
8:14 AMJohnny Q
9:46 AMJohnny Q
this away business here to stay?
was ACTUALLY away
10:23 AMJohnny Q
been in za loo
was there for like 30mins
10:28 AMJohnny Q
10:31 AMJohnny Q
You said you’d never make me cry.
But this water pouring down
My face; it’s nothing, really.
It’s only salty ‘cos it comes from
Inside my body, like sweat. Read more