Dear Dad, I’m in a distant land And I’m loved; I’ve got some Christmas cards, boxes and packages, I’m having fun with friends Some gradually becoming like family; But when I hear the bangs And see the fireworks I can’t help but think of home.
From Childhood, Christmas was known for love and homecomings, Meeting family not seen in a while And August visitors of course
From Childhood, Christmas was known for pleasant surprises, Round family circles and prayers Rounds of laughter and sarcasms As we take turns to tell stories of how the year went.
From Childhood Christmas was known for togetherness
and lovely smiles I’d secretly admire Mom’s beauty When’er sings the carrols
Then we’d cook almost all through the day: Different delicacies for visitors and relatives Not seen in a while And there’s always the visitor who’d come when everyone is about to rest.
Dear Dad, I’m in a distant land And I’m loved I’ve got Christmas cards, boxes and packages, I’ve attended Christmas gatherings and parties But when I hear the bangs And see the fireworks I can’t help but think of home.
After waiting for what seemed like forever, the doctor came up to me
“You’re her sister right?”
“Yes doctor, can I see her now”
“Uhm… we’re sorry Madam”
“Sorry?, Doctor what’s going on?”
My temperature had risen, my cheek flattened. I wanted to act like a matured girl, but my eyes betrayed me, the numbness in my bone found a way to express itself through the heated tears drooling down my cheeks. I was a shy girl, but this time, dragging the doctor’s Labouratory Coat was nothing compared to how I was eager to let out my frustrations.
My mind travelled back to the day after NYSC camp, how she had begged me to stay; I would have stayed but Lagos was almost breaking me. I was tired of the hustle bustle, and traffic-jammed life of Lagos. Moreover, She was having serious marital issues at the time. Emeka had turned her into an opponent in a boxing ring. Most days opened with screams, shouts and blows. Some boxing sessions landed her in the hospital and she’d come back with either a broken jaw or a torn flesh. It seemed Emeka enjoyed creating those designs on her body. She had real scars plastered on her shiny body. Her perfect, mirror-like skin reflected every single day of the torment. Her beautiful hair were strands he could pull anytime he was drunk, he would caress it so hard till they pulled off, then he would break the bottles on her skull to heighten the pleasure.
A thousand times I had arrange her escape. I wanted her to run so far from him. On the 25th of July 2016, I went to the extent of renting an apartment from the little savings I had so we could relocate with the Children and put an end to the myriads of mishaps. But Idara was too weak, She was afraid He’d find her and her punishment would be worst. I suggested divorce several times but being a ‘Public Figure’, She was too concerned with her reputation in the eyes of the society. She wanted her marital life to seem perfect and arranged in the eyes of the Public. As a Banker who had risen to the level of a Director with Jecho Bank Plc., She’d rather die in Silence than let her marriage be a public ridicule.
I was a tough girl, I could have stood by her and support her but watching her suffer everyday was affecting me. I didn’t even realise I was getting rude towards the Kids, we had little or no time to play video games or go to our favorite shawarma spot; I remember the day Emineimo came for the normal moonlight stories, I had shouted on him out of frustration; I never realized he was deeply hurt untill I went to the balcony and found him crying.
There I knew I needed a break, If Emeka was a saddist and a tyrant. I didn’t need to add to the tyranny, the home was already heated and if there was anything the kids needed at the time, It was love, care and support from their ‘considerate’ Aunt. The daily frowns on Idara’s face however seemed like a live coal on my head. I was boiling every single moment; I had lost the calm on the inside and I really needed it back if not for me, for the kids who at the time were helpless.
When NYSC presented itself, It was just the perfect opportunity to escape. I needed the serenity that the walls of Ibadan presented. I had to choose Ibadan over Lagos and I gracefully completed my NYSC there. Now it seemed it was the worst decision I’d ever make in the Century. Idara in her secretive habit had kept the pregnancy from me. When it comes to having her babies, She had her way: She’d rather keep it a secret till her tummy protrudes enough to break the news to the world. That was the pattern with Emineimo and Uwemedimo. But this time around, her Surprise pack was almost destroying me.
I found out She was heavy during the Covid-19. But that was rather late, I was already given a Primary Place of Assignment in Ibadan. There was little I could do, I offered all the support I could during the lockdown and left to my Primary Place of Assignment when it called. Now it was all about the guilt that hunted me. Maybe things would have been different if I had stayed but I was scared of my attitude towards the Kids. I was becoming an angry bird and loosing my temper at the slightest provocation. Flashes of these memories added to my torment as I found myself rolling on the floor.
“Madam, you don’t have to be dramatic, Carrel Specialist Hospital would do everything possible to ensure that she delivers safely”
” Doctor it’s been days since we came to this hospital, Regarding these lovely kids over there, She hadn’t spend up to a day in the hospital”
” The issue is She’s having obstructed labour and vaginal delivery might put either her or the baby at risk”
” Ma’am all we need is your signature on this Consent form so we can proceed with the Ceaseran section…”
I scribbled my initials in the paper without bordering to read it’s content; Down in my heart, I was praying that nothing goes wrong.
If we are stars shining from our corners
In the galaxy
Creating a sporadic spot and a milky way,
Why do we behave like footballers
Scoring own goal
Why do we run marathon
For fear of allowing others to out run us
Why do we constantly criticize one another
As though we need it to fill our bellies
Why do we inspire ourselves with so much hate
And feel happy when our others go down
If stars really shine all day
Why do we try to trade our selves
For heights we’re sure we’d reach
If stars make constellations
Why are we in constant competition?
Planning to break grounds
We don’t have interest in
Cause we want to outlive others
If stars are held by their gravity
Why do we forget we are held by our gravity?
If stars do really end
Then we must remember that one day we will end.
And new stars will glow at their own pace and time
On dark days and hopeless days,
Survive each day like it was your last
And if you wake the next, don’t bother
Yourself with fears of yesterday; I know its hard,
But that’s probably the only way to stay happy.
I know you’ve been told to be strong
But I’d rather you cry on days you can’t hold it in,
Just don’t cry everyday;
Try your best to be your best
Set goals and work towards them
If you don’t meet such, don’t bother yourself,
Always remember, life is simple
Don’t try to complicate it, by setting unrealistic goals
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim high.
Not everyone you come across will appreciate you,
Don’t expect it;
If you find sincere friends
If you don’t, be your own friend
It’s not that hard
But do not make yourself a desert
It’s a global world;