“Nothing is certain so if you’re not sure always prepare for your day of reckoning”. Cynthia started, as she talked with her friend Jane.
‘’If you feel there’s nothing more left for you, you need to ask yourself if this is what you want to be known for. When your name springs up what follows it, you get to decide that, it might not seem so but trust me it’s the shit. The choice is yours nobody else’s’’.
Jane stared at her friend as if she was actually thinking on the words; it didn’t sink because to her there weren’t any choices, just one.
My mum was single handedly raising my siblings and I, since my dad passed owing to a sickness that couldn’t be traced while it ate his organs slowly, till he dried from inside out. It was the last wrap of the semester for me, I would be a graduate, facing the real world. My only dream was to support my mum in raising my younger ones.
As soon as my exams where done I began my hunt for a job, that would offer a reasonable fee, which will be used in saving up for my clearance and also little help at home.
“Azuchala m gi” (I’m done training you) mother yelled as she reluctantly gave me money for transport on another search.
I moved from one place to another submitting an application letter where required. It was late in the afternoon, a little boy who hawked water on the road was almost hit by a speeding vehicle while trying to make a sale with a passenger on another vehicle, causing a commotion which slowly died down as the mother of the boy retrieved him shouting; “Wale” and began yelling in their native tongue.
By this time my stomach began to remind me that nothing had been put inside of it. I brought out some money I had saved up by trekking some distance, I found a store that looked like a mini-mart, containing an individual’s most pressing need close to the one owned by wale’s mother. I bought a cold drink and a snack to go with it, as I sat on a plastic chair in the store.
A car pulled up in front of the store, a girl came down wanting to buy recharge card, her voice sounded familiar so I lifted my head to catch a glimpse of her.
“Cynthia” I yelled opening my arms in excitement, as she rushed into them. ‘’What are you doing here?”, She asked letting go of the embrace.
“You’re flexing na I can see”, Cynthia continued staring at the empty coke bottle. Life as a graduate.
“Abeg no dey whine person, see as I dey” I answered drawing Cynthia’s attention to my already visible stressed face.
“Omo babe see as you ‘frosh’” I continued.
“Which one be ‘frosh’ this girl’’ Cynthia said laughing.
“I just formulate am for you just now, your looks dey give me grammatical inspiration’’ I said.
As we both laughed heartily.
‘’Babe wait abeg’’ she said moving towards the car, picked her hand bag, said something to the driver and waved as he drove off.
“She was definitely showing me the ropes” I said to myself, as she rushed back to meet me.
“My siblings are in a good school, my mom owns a supermarket and we also own a flat thanks to my new job, at least that’s what my mum thinks”.
Cynthia took me to a party where I met Ifeoma and Prisca who were lesbians, they were so rich they didn’t know what to do with money. So it was spent on traveling, shoes, bags and anything or anyone who caught their fancy. Which I did, both of them wanted me but wouldn’t share, so I was a priced property going for the highest bidder.
‘’I didn’t have much choice, my family needed the money and these people didn’t know what to do with it’’ I consoled myself as Ifeoma drove me home.
Months had stretched into years, Cynthia was no longer with us she’s married with two kids. Although I was the only one amongst others she would allow to visit. Once in a while she would invite me for different summits, church and otherwise.
Ifeoma had left me for a billionaire white woman, no one knew exactly where Prisca was because anytime she called she was in one country or the other.
“I want to stop this” I told Cynthia in one of the visits. Her eyes beamed with joy as if she had won a lottery ticket.
“But I don’t know how to” I said staring at her. It didn’t even change her countenance, she was still very glad.
“It’s like an addiction’’, I continued ‘’I tried stopping and I thought I was going to go crazy’’.
“It’s simple”, she said.
“Get a new addiction, she said and I starred at her as if I was actually seeing the words she said.
“When you’re about to go crazy do something you love and also can’t do without”. I rolled my eyes, as I said ‘’she had no idea’’ in my mind. That was when I remembered she used to be me.
The Warrior in you
Having an addiction can be controversial and intense because you really don’t know how to go about it. You are very shy to talk about it or probably be denial. Here’s the thing, you must come to terms with what you’re feeling and know that there’s a way out. Without darkness we won’t appreciate the beauty of light. Let the warrior in you rise to light the way through; the light shinned in darkness and the darkness could not comprehend it, because it was defeated.
Blossom Obi writes from Owerri, Imo State. For comments and responses, reach her via [email protected]