Friday, 7 November 2014

Reminded...of circles and lines

Posted by Lola on Friday, November 07, 2014 in , | 7 comments

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.



  1. For a moment I thought that was you in the second pic...
    You look so much like your mum.

    Take heart dear, all is well...

  2. HMMMM! Never knew..(shows we need to keep in touch more)! Take heart s'ogbo, it is well! keep being the strong woman you've always been.. God be with y'all that she left behind...May her soul keep resting in that peaceful atmosphere with God. Great emotional write-up too...felt like I was there with you through it all. keep it up!

  3. You know.. After I read this piece, I cried. Tears flowed freely at first.. Then I put my hands on my face and sobbed. I really did sob.
    My mum is alive still but I guess I just had that "what will I do if mummy died?" "From whence will I start"!? Moment. And then at that moment, compassion flowed. Love from me to you. And genuinely.
    I know your mum is in a much better place.
    I do not know how you feel? I will not even try.. One thing I know of a surety, though is that the Holy Spirit, our comforter will continue to be your balm and soothe your pain.

    Sun re o Iya Amuda. Iya Oyinlola!

  4. To some extent, I would say I know how you feel considering my experience when they broke the news to me over the phone that my dad....

    Stay strong for your siblings and believe that mum is in a far better place resting peacefully. May God remain your source.

    Amuda, stay strong.


  5. Take heart, cherie. A year already. May God continue to rest her soul in His bosom. She, sure is thoroughly missed. I deeply connect with you. Be comforted in that she has gone to a better place, away from worries and pain.Please be strong for your siblings, big mummy, and for yourself too. God will continue to be with you all.

  6. Thanks to everyone, for the kind words and sincere prayers. Me appreciates. God's blessings upon you all.