Sunday, 23 November 2014

Turning Tables...

"Babe, you are home early. Wetin happen, no weekend rendezvous with Romeo?" Derin asked, her face partly turned towards the back door that ushered in a weary-looking Kofo.

Was her voice slightly tinged with sarcasm? I hope not was Kofo's thought as she formed a passable response but somehow ended up blurting the truth as it were..."No. Nowhere romantic today. It is not my turn".

"Turn? What do you mean by turn? Is he marrieeeeeeeeed?" Derin careened to her full height, hands placed gingerly over her mouth. The thought of that innocent and mature looking, calm dude having an affair beats her. She cautioned her heart from racing faster than the normal 70bpm as she waited for her roomie and friend of 3-years to spill it all.

"No he is not. I thought I told you that before!" tears plus anger building

"Yes, you did that's why I am slightly confused as to the 'turn-thing'. It is possible he lied to you, maybe, and you just found out the truth. So what exactly is it?" Derin pressed further

It's not my turn. That's crystal enough. What's confusing in that? This weekend is for another girl, simple. Maybe it's Funmi's turn or  Bola, or whoever else I've heard him mention, I don't know." She boomed, her anger rising again.


Growing up I used to wonder how men could comfortably love more than one woman, profess all the undying love and make themselves available at every important occasion in each one's life. You see I know what it means to do 'the rotation'; one week with Mrs A, another week with Mrs B and if there is a Mrs C or even Mrs D, extra weeks are apportioned to them which implies a wife may not see her husband in close to a month.
I know what it means to want to see someone you love badly because you have juicy news, even gossips to share and you try to bottle up that excitement till it is your turn to see him...I know what it means to have to pray and hope that the week would end real quickly, that your turn can come so and you offer the same prayers, though differently this time because you need your own week to be longer. *Hehehehehe*...same way I know somehow you have to veil your thoughts from affecting your feelings because you sometimes wonder if he holds the other woman that way or it is just a special expression between you too.

I so know what it means, maybe not as the wife but as the true daughter of the wife who longs and hopes as she sits by the window every night never knowing someone else sees her tears...that sharp iciness you hear in her voice is a failed attempt to conceal her raging jealousy. Sometimes she wonders why it isn't just her he is loving and warming up to, the only woman who cooks his meals...

But then they are married and that fate is somehow sealed.

So it's funny when I hear of single ladies who are actually aware of their 'male friends' being involved with other ladies. Scratch that, like I am not one of them? I know what it feels like to be that other lady; the one in the kitchen doing all the toiling because his ma wants me to make my fish pepper soup specialty while he chats away with his lady love but somehow in the innermost part of my core I have high hopes that my domesticity will thaw his heart. I know what it means to be other lady who is shunned for weeks on end when they are in their love nest, necking and cuddling yet his phone is on and still never seem to connect...I so know what it means to have so much to say but there is just not that one person when you truly need him to listen and just listen, to feel the intensity of your excitement.

Yes, I know.

It is funny how we as ladies have caged ourselves in certain relationships be it friends with benefits (talk for another day), or live-in lovers, or boyfriends or potential husbands who have several other ladies they are 'sampling' according to them. (Sampling by the way doesn't have to entail sexual intimacy, emotional attachment for me is the highest form of intimacy to be shared with any man. That kills faster than anything physical).

The norm has made me forget what is right or wrong. They tell me it is impossible to meet a man who wouldn't have one or two others he is 'dating' and would at some point weigh to decide whom to eventually marry. When did we become objects needing to be weighed? I have seen soooooooo many really smart and beautiful ladies get tangled in this sort of web. They talk about the proportion of men to women and the embarrassingly large number of singles needing to get hitched on a man. They talk about strategies to distinguish themselves; do all the 'yes-yes' just to be in his good books; pray and sometimes in over-bloated selfishness wish the other ladies ill just so they can drop out of his 'heart commitment-race'. We keep ourselves in unpleasant conditions like we are trying to compensate for something...height? Weight? What exactly, pray tell! You think you are too fat and you would never find anyone who would be completely yours alone???? (I don't know why I chose to focus on physical appearance but it sure goes beyond that).

I wonder, for how long shall you wait till it's your turn? Two weeks? Two months? Six months??? For how long shall you strategically plan and all you ever do is to devise wicked schemes of how to annihilate another? For how long shall you pray and all you ever utter are curses and venom-filled words seeking the downfall of your perceived rival? From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, definitely not so! Read James 3...

Personally, I don't have the capacity to compete with other women for his affection no more.What you see is what you get. I too was pitiful at that younger age when I had no understanding and awareness of the immense deposits of God in my life. When I had no understanding of the plans of the Father for me. No self-actualization. No clear road map of what I wanted. Now I am armed with a clear identity of who God says I am and I refuse to be a part of that turning table game. It will always be my pause, no halt. 

Image Credit : RF Cafe videos

Friday, 7 November 2014

Reminded...of circles and lines

I checked my wristwatch for the umpteenth time waiting for the long hand to settle on the exact hour; not that the Finance class was boring...never! Especially since it was Dr Kayode himself, the guy just had a way of mesmerizing and regaling us with his enchanting tales of world events and his lil baby that never lets him sleep at night. Papa has got to rock too.

And it finally struck. Then it was time for lunch. It's shocking how I get excited about food and I end up eating very little! Off I went to the school cafeteria, quick to join the short queue before it became a nightmare I wouldn't be willing to face; my eyes dancing around the options all the while and wondering in my head what to settle for. Beans porridge. Just a portion would do and one protein...ahhhh! Sensational. What a sweet life. That was just N300. All thanks to the subsidy else I would have gone bankrupt in my 18 months duration at Business School.

"Oyinlola, you sure that will be enough or you are just shy because I am behind you?"

"This will do sir," I replied my MBA Director who was obviously shocked at the size of my food like he was thinking in his head for me, "you mean you rushed all the way to beat the crowd for this palsy meal?"

Hehehehehe, I am a student after all. I shall cut my coat according to my size.Thank you sir.

So I shrugged, with my smile in place and headed to one of those corners to eat my protein-rich meal in peace. 

Back in class for the Final session on Fin11 that Thursday afternoon. Kayode's voice crooned. I can't remember exactly what it was we were discussing, if I take the pain to search my note now I will find it but I am feeling too lazy to - so we shall proceed.

About thirty minutes to the end of the class, my phone buzzed. Of course as a rule our phones are always on "SILENT MODE," but somehow that day was just one of the very few times I flouted any of the school's rules. My phone was not on silent but on VIBRATE. So it kept vibrating against my skin like the hands of  a lover kneading and tugging. I took my eyes off the facilitator to find out the disruptor of my concentration and it turned out to be my younger of them anyways. Then almost immediately dad's call came in too. 

And like the worrywart I am, I wondered what the issue was.

"They would all have to wait," I thought aloud.

Then the phone rang again, then again, and yet again. I picked up the thing and decided to send a text before the poor phone suffers a temporal shutdown. 

"I'm in class sis, what's up?"

Pim. Pim.

"Mom fainted, we have rushed her to general hospital".

Like seriously, I wasn't f******* expecting that. Few minutes to the end of class but my heart was racing already. Muttered in tongues under my breath and waited till the stroke of 3!

Of course I was worried already, you can tell when something is wrong with me by the flutter of emotions across my face. I turned to Damilare; a colleague in class and bought airtime off her as I made a dash for the jetty where I could hop on a ferry home to Ikorodu from Lekki. My ever loving flat mate and sis was quick to drop me at the jetty with a big hug and wonderful reassuring smile that everything would be alright.

At the jetty I waited, called home to keep abreast of things. Mama was still in a coma was the response. I didn't stop praying. People bustled in through the open door and in no time the boat had full capacity. Ready to sail. Sailing.

Beep. Beep. My phone rang again and as expected it was from home.

"Aunty Amuda, mummy ti ku," my sister cried out on the phone.

On top water, I got the shocking, never expected in the next 40-years, never anticipated kind of news
On top water your face flashed a million and one times per second
I crumbled to my feet in the boat...on top water, in the middle of the seas and the only thing that came to my mind was "Lord let it not be"...

Strong me. Not so strong no more. Before a thousand faces I shrieked. Unknown faces. Strangers. They held me down. How I writhed. Oh how I shook! Then senses came. We were on top water and I just couldn't risk the lives of other people. And so I stared and stared into nothing really. Numb me. I couldn't even bring my thoughts together. It was all a lie. 

Jumped on a bike from the opposite end jetty to General seemed like forever ride. Lasted 20 minutes or so. Then I got to you. Eyes clear now. I'm the eldest, I can't cry before my younger ones now, can I?

I took my first look at you in two months. You were just like a baby. Staying so still like a gentle baby. My mama who loves to chat nonstop...her lips weren't even moving. She bursts forth into smiles and prayer every time she sees me, her eyes weren't even opening.

"Iya Amuda, this was not how we planned it o," my aunt cried. 

I held your hands and looked for every sign of life.

Confirmed dead, they said and off we went with you to the house you walked out of on your own that morning to pay a courtesy visit to my immediate younger sister and her hubby. But we then took a detour, took you to your husband's house all the way to Sagamu. I held your head in my hands. We sat together like there was nothing wrong even though you had the cottons in your nostril. I rested my head on your shoulder. I sang and prayed. Lost and never knowing what to pray.

We arrived in Sagamu late night. Everyone was waiting to receive your corpse! AHHHHH
They carried you. Four big, burly men! You sure had packed some weight in those few hours. Everyone gathered. I knew their thoughts but I won't dwell on them. When was the last time we visited Sagamu and slept in that room??? And we come back in tears?

I stayed with you still praying. Hoping. Praying. They thought I was mad. My dad wouldn't hear of it, having only me in the darkness at that late hour by your side. I sat staring at you. Like seriously, you were gone?

The hours flew by. No food. Kilonjebe (what is that!). No sleep. We kept vigil. Morning came and they said to begin the rites. More people have gathered. All the wives that have gone teytey (long ago) too. Then It was time to clean you up; I got called as the eldest concern. How I withstood those minutes without breaking down still alarm me. I held you very carefully as I bathe you. Dolapo and I. We dressed you up too and made you look real pretty. Of course you were always pretty, even death couldn't snatch that.

Then the time came to lower you in the ground. That was all I could take... is all I can take now as I remember mom

All the tears that have welled up
The ones I have secretly shed in the confines of my space
I let lose and cry unashamedly 
oh how I weep and wail
Energy spent
Nose running
Voice croaky
I do miss you. I loved calling you...08023005656
Let me be a child again
I'll be even a better girl
Never stressing, never giving headaches
Why didn't you let me buy that fresh fish and bring to you?
No one is offering to make 'agbo'(Herbal concoction)  for me no more
What's gonna happen to our coconut rice special?
Who will give my hands out when I want to marry?
I don't even know Eko Idumota mom, you were supposed to do all the runnings around. You know that place like the back of your hands.
And now that I have some money of my own, who am I supposed to spend them on????

Iya isn't particular different because it's a year since you passed; I actually think of you everyday. I dream of you everyday to be precise, is that normal? And not once are you dead in my dreams...not once

I hope the Angels are praying, blessing and rendering praises with another angel as you amidst them? It's the only hope I have.