It’s was the period after break. I was in SS2. Someone hit the table in the rhythm every QC girl knows, to usher the teacher in.
“Good AAAAAfternoon ma!” we all chanted. To which she replied “Bring out your new practical English textbook and open to chapter ‘x’”.
I do not remember the chapter now.
“Let somebody read to us”
“May your roads be rough…..”
There was a pandemonium as we all shouted “God forbid!”
Thirty minutes ago
I walked with steady strides oblivious of the happenings around me, clutching my nylon to my chest like my life depended on it. Horns blaring, bikes swerving, people cursing. It was too short a distance from the bus stop to my house to have all this fiasco, I thought. But I didn’t care much. I had been numbed. Momentarily. Till I found a safe place to break – My dad’s room.
I had realized that my seat of dissatisfaction lay in my lack of activity. I made a list of interests and promised I’d pursue them, one after another. It was photography this month. I bought a camera.
One hour ago
I boarded my last bus home. I was on the seat next to the open door where the conductor hung – in the typical Lagos way. I had my handbag, a nylon containing my newly acquired camera and an umbrella, all on my lap. The conductor, with his armpit over my head, asks for my fare. I reach into my bag to get my wallet out to pay, and somewhere in-between avoiding his under arm and getting the money out; the driver swerves and his sharp turn sent my nylon flying in the opposite direction, outside the bus. It was seemingly a short moment between when it fell out and when I got the conductor to run back to get it, but in that little moment, tires had run over it. Tires had crushed my camera.
Twenty minutes ago
I rushed into my dad’s room and I broke down. They weren’t tears streaming down silently, they were deep racking unending sobs from a soul that’s known to much grief in the last seven weeks. It just went on and on, and my dad – amongst other things – said: “It’s life, things always happen, you have to learn to bear it” (How does anyone even learn that ?!)
I’m learning that my roads might have to be rough.
I’m also learning that halcyon and breathing might be a long way off.
“Man is disturbed not by things, but by the views he takes of them”- Epictetus