I Do? Part II

 

To refresh your memory, please see part 1 here. I know it’s been a long time coming, but please enjoy!

Chidi looked into her eyes as the whole congregation waited with bated breath for her to respond, he was searching for a clue. He raised his left brow and tilted his head to the left, wordlessly asking her what was wrong. Titi’s sisters took a break from their photo spree and faced the altar where Titi and Chudi stood facing each other. The priest adjusted his glasses, cleared his throat and asked for the second time: do you Titlayo Smith take Chidi Nze as your lawfully wedded husband, forsaking all others, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, till death do you part?

At this point it was obvious to everyone at the ceremony that something was wrong with Titi. It felt like a Nollywood movie and the atmosphere suddenly became charged with anxiety. After what felt like an eternity, Titi managed to say I do. A deep collective sigh of relief was followed by a nervous round of applause and as the priest hastily concluded the ceremony, it felt almost as if he was rushing through everything before Titi changed her mind again.

As friends and family gathered outside the Church for the mandatory round of pictures, everyone was abuzz and lost in the joy of the occasion, Chidi however was not a happy camper. He took Titi to the car and stood looking at her, because he didn’t even know what to say to her. She was a hot mess! Her flawless makeup had been ruined by all the tears and the pregnancy hormones weren’t helping matters at all. She opened her mouth but the words wouldn’t come. Titi’s eyes were pleading and so filled with emotion that it made Chidi want to cry with her. He took her shaky hands and tried to steady her. What is it? What’s wrong darling? Please tell me. All Titi could do was to open her mouth and close it back again with big fat tear drops streaming down her cheeks and leaving streaks on her makeup, and then to make a bad moment worse, wale started walking very briskly towards them. Titi saw him first and because her frayed senses just couldn’t take it anymore, she passed out.

…And then she woke up! It was all a dream, a really awful nightmare, but just before she heaved a sigh of relief, a wave of nausea had her bolting from the bed and into the bathroom where she retched like there was no tomorrow. As she watched her face and tried to catch her breath, it all came crashing down on her; the wedding might have been a nightmare, but she was still pregnant with Wale’s child, she was still engaged to Chidi and her wedding was still next week.

Pieces Of Me…

 

I forgot my shoes

In the same place I lost myself

I looked and looked, but the shoe really was gone and so was I

How I got this far, I know not

How I gave it all, is quite unclear

But piece by piece I gave myself away

‘Till I looked up today and found that I gave it all

What have I done? Who have I become?

Most importantly, where am I?

One thing is clear, this is not me

This is not where I set out to be

It certainly is not where I belong

And so flee I must, before I’m sucked back into this vortex

So I ran and I ran and I didn’t look back

And just when I thought I had outrun my tears and pain

I looked down and alas! I forgot my shoes

Sigh… Twas  a really nice pair.

 -Adaugo,2016

I Think I Hate My Phone!

 

Its weird how many of the bad decisions I have made can be linked to my phone. I am sitting here trying to remember what my life was, who I was  before the advent of the  cell phone, and I am almost afraid to remember.

Before I fell in love with my phone, I had more friends that’s for sure because I actually took the time to get to know people rather than zipping over to their social media profiles to feast on the crumbs of their personalities that they choose to share online. I knew where my friends lived because I couldn’t send a random hey, how are you doing? Text, I actually had to get up and go see them. I think I listened more to people and to my pastor because I wasn’t distracted by the different colour notifications that pop up on my screen: violet for whatsapp, red for BBM, dark blue for facebook, purple for gmail and yahoo. If I was talking or listening to you, you had my undivided attention.

I couldn’t hide behind my screen to apologize for my wrong doings or express my love for anyone, if I hurt someone I had to look at the person and apologize to their face. Before I had my phone I knew not what web md was and I didn’t have the paranoia that every headache I have is an aneurysm waiting to explode and kill me. I guess what I am trying to say is that I was a whole other person before than I am now and I don’t quite know how I feel about that.

I think I might hate my phone, well hate is a strong word but I am not quite sure how I feel about this phone right now…

I Am Not Alone…

 

As I lay here looking for sleep, I am convinced that loneliness knows my name, and pretty much where I live. I pick up my phone for the umpteenth time, scrolling up and down, looking for a message or a notification or even an email. Searching for some kind of clue to remind me that someone somewhere is thinking of me and that I am not alone. I looked and looked, nothing. Just as I was about to drop my phone it beeped, my heart leapt for joy at the thought that someone somewhere had remembered me, but that joy was short lived because it was  just an email from school, sigh.

I dropped my phone and looked at the ceiling, frustrated and feeling like crap. The tears which are ever so familiar to me start to burn behind my lids and just as they start to fall, I catch myself real quick and I start to ask myself. Why am I crying? Why I am about to give myself a headache? Because I’m lonely? Really? People are dying and going to hell; little children in war torn countries are orphaned and have no place to go and I’m busy feeling sorry for myself? Why? Realizing how stupid I was being at the moment, I burst into laughter and somewhere between the tears and the laughter I remembered that I was not alone.

I have God, I have my family and I have my friends. It occurred to me in that moment that I was being a tad ungrateful and selfish. It also dawned on me that maybe I wasn’t the good friend I thought I was. What stopped me from picking up my phone to call or text friends I hadn’t heard from in ages? So I did. I picked up my phone and I called my friend to whom I hadn’t spoken with in a long time and she sounded like she was crying too, and to my utmost surprise she told me that she was crying because she felt so alone and abandoned by everyone. We spent a lot of time on the phone and I did my best to cheer her up, but at the end of that call I learned a few lessons:

You are never alone: Though sometimes life happens and it feels as though nobody loves you or cares about you, always remember that God loves you and there people who love you and pray for you and wish you well.

Depression is real: Depression is real; it’s a lie of the devil to beguile you into thinking of all the things that have and are going wrong in your life at the moment, making life seem so bleak and not worth living. It’s that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like nothing will ever work for you, I know this because I have been through it and I can boldly tell you that help is just a prayer away. If you can’t say your thoughts to God, write them out or just sit there quietly in His presence and watch how quickly you will feel better. Worship songs are also a sure way of banishing the demons of sadness and ushering in the spirit of joy, so the next time those thoughts come, pray them away!

 I’m sure you might be starting to wonder what the point of this post is, there is a point I promise and it’s that you’re never alone. If nobody calls you, call them or text them, reach out and don’t wallow in self pity. Having made my point it is time for me to sleep, and hey who else is as excited as I am that we get to watch Game of Thrones this Sunday?

“We have all known loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.” –Dorothy Day

 

Home Sweet Home…

 

It must be love. The fact that you bothered to stop by today, despite my not so frequent postings, it must be love and I love you too!

Having said that, I just got back from my sister’s wedding in Nigeria and it was an adventure. The day before my trip, I literally couldn’t sleep. I don’t remember a time when I was that excited. I was actually sleepy but I remember getting up and making a cup of coffee because I wanted to be out the door to catch my flight to New York at dawn.

Eventually I made it to New York and then I got on my flight to Lagos, for someone who is always traumatized by flying, I could care less about the turbulence and the long dreary flight, only one thing mattered: I WAS GOING HOME! Finally we got to Lagos and I was actually quite impressed by the reception I got at the airport. For starters the ACs were up and running and the custom officers were brisk and quite professional. After a not so brief wait, my mum came to get me and the joy in my heart knew no bounds.  Words cannot describe the joy on my father’s face when I walked through the door, he literally couldn’t finish his breakfast afterwards because he had no clue I was coming home. Seeing my siblings that morning was one of the happiest moments I have ever had and to top off an already amazing morning, I ate the most luscious, delicious agege bread and akara and all was right with the world. Let me try as much as possible to summarize my three weeks at home in this one post.

NO LIGHT! Let me just be really honest and say I never thought I would be one of those people who complain so much when they come back home after spending a couple of years abroad. I love my country dearly but my poor body had a hard time adjusting to the stifling heat. I had just left intense cold and so I was genuinely distressed. This is a heartfelt shout out to my mother, for letting me run the generator even in the face of the fuel scarcity, you’re the real MVP mum!, and my friend Odogwu for giving me all that fuel as my birthday gift, (btw best birthday gift ever!)

FOOD! Ah!!! The food was awesome; I ate every single thing I had craved while I was away: sheri mango, udara, amala and efo, gala and lacasera, dry fish stew, roasted yam and plantains, I could go on and on. Sitting here writing this post, I am hungry all over again, the food just doesn’t taste the same over here.

FUEL SCARCITY! Throughout my stay, fuel was nowhere to be found and we had to resort to buying from the black market dealers. Safe to say it was a nightmare. Suddenly, every hike in price was linked to the fuel situation, transport fares went up, water, and even food. I went to buy dried fish from my customer and the following conversation ensued: “Me: madam, how much be your fish? Her: ah na 1,000 Naira oh, you know say dollar don go up and fuel no dey so fish don add money” I laughed but I had to buy the fish because she was my only option and I really wanted that fish.

The funniest thing that happened to me though, was when a guy tried to steal my phone and my wallet. I had gone to the mall with my friend to buy stuff for my sister’s bridal shower and this guy was just walking real close to me. At first it seemed like nothing and I kept on walking and talking until he started to literally bump into me.  In that instant, all the years of practice I have had protecting my handbag when I stop at Oshodi bus stop late at night  kicked in, and I clenched my wallet with my arm as hard I could, yelled at him and he quickly scurried away.

I had a very memorable trip and though it was short and I didn’t get to do so many things, I relished every single moment and leaving again was super hard. There really is no place like home, the camaraderie, the friendships and the sense of oneness is such that cannot be found in many places.

“There’s no place like home. And I do miss my home”- Malala Yousafzai