I woke up this morning all shades of blue, never mind that that’s my favourite colour and it’s what I’m wearing at the moment. Music is not helping either as Fisayo has been on the Monday morning flow with his playlist. So maybe I simply need to rant. So here I am, trying to rant.
My Keni and Basi told me I give off different vibes to different people and as such it’s easy to misunderstand the kind of person I am. So this is about clearing doubts, in case you have some. Soyinka once wrote that a Tiger does not proclaim its tigritude. It pounces. Sir, I disagree. In today’s confused world, sometimes a tiger has to announce (shout sef, in case the jungle no wan hear) its tigritude.
So here goes.
I am a home person. I too like house. So night clubs, house parties, night parties are not my thing. You will not find me there. Except the house party is not the 18+ kind and the invitation is from someone I trust explicitly. For those that think being homey is equal to Cook. Big lie. I cook for only two reasons. One, I like food and that includes knowing what goes into my food. You will rarely find me eating junk (Pizza is the exception sha) Two, there’s a joy that comes with keeping bellies full. I like that feeling. But this second reason is on rare occasions. So if you ever come visiting and I offer you food (something that is not noodles), you are special.
That said, I know we all have our troubles and demons and fears. Some of us are quite adept at keeping them under wraps and when they hit, we crawl up somewhere to sort them out before we re-emerge again. and that’s fine. Some look to other people to help them figure things out and keep them on the straight, and that’s fine too.
However there’s a problem when people think being your friend is a favour or that friendship should not be mutually benefiting. Some will ‘flash’, and while you’re thinking what could be wrong, and you call back, they go “Mo ni kin ki e ni” (I just thought to say hello). A flash passes that message how precisely? One thing I’ve learnt, if someone really needs something, they will call.
To everyone out there pulling Machiavelli stunts, una sef follow. If you are the kind that notes how many people buzzed you daily, you’re part of the problem. Then there are the ones that change DP and tell their friends, “You’ll see now, so and so person/people will be the first to ping to ask what’s wrong. Just watch.” Just because people care doesn’t mean they want extra something from you. For some of us, it’s just being nice. You know how they say “be nice to people, you never know who is contemplating suicide”? Ehn oh, we are simply trying to save you from killing yourself. But if for that reason you’re getting the I’m-Obama vibe, please don’t let us stop your greatness. *In Sound Sultan’s voice* Na only you go teach yourself.
Then there are those who keep their mouths shut about what’s going on with them but when it comes to you, they want to hear everything. The moment you hold back certain information, they go begin vex. Some will even say you have Igberaga (pride). You no talk but you want make I talk. How na? Where that one take dey happen? In this world, you get as much as you give. And sometimes, you don’t get anything. Sometimes there are no returns on investment.
I’ve been told I’m the most boring person alive even though I’m nice. Always in my comfort zone, very private yet quick to make friends. Those close to me know I can gist from now till tomorrow. But the moment you start feeling important, all the best fam. Iss nor fight. Who I am is dependent on you. If you’re boring, I will be boring. Ati bee bee lo. But note, I will not go out of my comfort zone to please you if I know you will not do same for me.
Shout out to everyone who has been keeping it real from go. The ones that when they buzz or you meet, even though you haven’t talked in a while, you talk like the last time was just yesterday. I’m happy just knowing you all are doing great wherever you are and that’s more than enough. Keeping daily tabs on people is not my thing. So that the once in a while I check on you, it’s really sincere.
Anyway, it’s the season of change. Change for the better. Don’t be left behind.
PS> Part two is coming. Time to correct certain attitudes and social behaviour.
Oh finally, the Lunch lady is here!
I started this story to tell a particular story but at the end, emerged a different one. Oyin, I hope this holds the forte for when that story comes…
My name na Paulina. You see, me na from a good home. Church every Sunday, Bible study Tuesdays and Thursdays, Evangelism on Fridays, that kain thing.
As the only girl of my parents, you go expect say dem go spoil me. For where? I dey work like Jacki. For my eye, my hands be like Ponmo wey don see sun. But my friends say I get fine hands. Anyway, that one na tori for another day. You see we get blender for house yet Mummy go send me grinding stone for pepper. Pounding machine dey o because as a correct Ondo man, Daddy no dey use Pounded Yam play, but every Sunday afternoon, na me, mortar and pestle go dey make tungba tungba for neighbourhood. Everybody don know me, ‘Lina the Pounding Girl.
Na so my life be till I enter University. As I enter Uni, I get boyfriend. The boy deflower me, wetin dey there? But to yarn truth, e pain o! One, Bobo come my room. Roommates no dey. On top bunk bed wey get iron spring wey sabi do prin prin every time pesin move, na on top that kain bed e take deflower me. The discomfort no be here. Two. Bobo no use condom. But as JJC wey I be, wetin I for do? Na so e begin beg me after. “Baby, sorry. Baby, maybe I should get you something. Let me call my friend, he should know. Is it still paining you? Maybe I should just go to a chemist or something. Are you okay?”
As e dey talk the sorry, dey talk all these things, I dey cry the more. For my mind, fear wan kill me. Jesuuu!! What if I get bele? How I for do? Wetin I go tell Mummy? Jesuuu!!! STD nko? To come top am, that day after Bobo go, to piss na issue!! What if trumpet blow? Wetin I go tell Baba God? Na so I begin fire prayer of forgiveness, against pregnancy, STD ati bee bee lo.
But as I begin get sense, I come realize say even if Baba God go help me, me sef go help myself. After that first time, I come talk to Shayo, one of my roommates, make she follow me go Pharmacy. When we reach, I beg her make she help me buy condom and contraceptives. I too shame. Abeg, how pesin for take ask for that kain thing? But Shayo get weyrey for head well well. The way she take ask ehn, you go think say na cloth she dey buy for Yaba.
Na so things be until that stupid Clara wey her room no far from my own for Block Two decide say she want my boyfriend. JJC wey I be na, I no see wetin dey happen until Clara don steal Bobo finish. E pain me o. when I ask Bobo, e say “You’re too much of a good girl. Every time Missionary. Every time Mummy” E jo! Ewo tun ni “too much of a good girl”? As we dey argue, I use style google “Missionary”, make I first know wetin e mean. Finally, I leave Bobo for Clara, after plenty weeks of crying and begging.
Anyways I come get am for mind say, I go do Clara back. Say I go find way learn all the things wey Bobo leave me for. After she collect Bobo from me, I collect 2 guys from her but this her current Bobo, I no want. Every night na him Clara dey fire my devil for prayer. I dey hear the prayer because she dey shout “Paulina Fire! Paulina Fire!” every night, come complete am with bell. Mumu girl, instead of make she dey fire her current boyfriend for prayer, na me she dey fire. Everybody for Block One and Two know say the guy dey panel beat Clara face well well and when we see am, ask wetin do her, she go say she fall from bike, or she waka enter door. Yinmu! We know say your boyfriend na Bash Ali.
Anyways, jungle don mature and time don reach wey I go close Clara and her boyfriends’ chapter. University don nearly finish and girls don dey become women.
This afternoon I get Lunch with one of my brothers’ friend, Michael. The kain question wey I ask Michael ehn, you go think say he wan contest for President; whether e don get STD before, whether e get pikin for somewhere (too many baby mama drama these days). When I wan come finish am, I ask whether he don experiment with another guy before. You sef talk “Ha!” Be there o. You never hear say side chicks don dey be guys now?
Now I dey go downstairs go meet Michael. Our lunch na this afternoon. E say make I suggest. E dey expect say I go mention Chinese restaurant. I just tell am, “I know a place in Marina, close to Union Bank. We can have Amala there.” Bros shock. Anyways, I don dey hostel car park. I see Michael as e stand near one black Toyota Corolla. I waka go the car. As I reach, “Hi, Michael”, I talk for correct English.
“A bi olugbala kan fun wa…,” the children sang happily and Caroline watched with pride as her son, Dimeji presented his gift to Baby Jesus in his school’s Christmas Play. “He looks just like his father,” she thought. If only he were here to see him.
Dimeji’s father, Dare hasn’t been to the school carol in years. Truth be told, the family had grown distant in the last few years. Dare was always either out of the country on business trips or he was busy supervising the Real Estate contracts that his company managed across the country. At least, those were his excuses. Either way, Carol made up for his absence by being there for Dimeji.
But Dimeji wasn’t the only one in need of attention. Dare, the few times he was home, rarely noticed Caroline. Four years ago, she went natural with her hair. He hadn’t noticed the change, something he had wont to in earlier times. He hadn’t looked at her as his love in years either. Now, they’re just strangers living together. She knew a woman was involved but she wasn’t one to bring up the topic. Until last night.
“Who’s she?” she asked him as they both prepared to sleep.
“Who’s who?” he asked. It was the third night in a row he had come home and early too.
“Clara.” She continued
The answer came enclosed in silence. At first, she thought he hadn’t heard her. But his voice came up just then.
“She’s someone you shouldn’t know about.”
Her head erupted in steam and her heart broke at the confirmation. Clara was the reason Dare had no time for their family.
She looked at him with eyes glistening with tears. She should be throwing things at him, cursing him. Instead, she said calmly, “I still love you, Dare, and I’m willing to fight for us, to make it work even but I can’t do it alone. I can’t fight for two.”
Dare was lost for words. How could she be so willing to forgive? To give him a second chance?
“You don’t have to say anything now, tomorrow is Dimeji’s school play. If you come, then I’ll know you still want us.” With that, she bade him goodnight, even though sleep was far.
Now, she’s holding her breath. It’s make or mar. This play is the deciding factor. Just then she felt someone slip into the seat beside her. She looked up and a big smile appeared on her face. It was her Dare. He had come.