“My mama like you well well”, “Aunty, u dey hear me?”. Of course I could hear him, sitting beside me was a young man, aged 20 maybe 21. The statement simply took me on a trip down memory lane, those times I was the best example any parent could refer to. I was the focused, ambitious, young lady who was strict. I was the girl who had the brightest future, one every parent admired and who most kids hated for obvious reasons.
That was then, this is now. Now I’m the owner of a boutique and the young man is a neighbour’s son who wants to learn to operate the computer in my office. Need I mention that he and I are almost mates, I’m 22 and that’s where I’m different.
“I hear you o, John” was my reply to him. “But tell your mama say I fit disappoint am”. He laughed as he recounted several times his mother would scold him, telling him to see the young owner of the boutique where he goes to learn. I was his inspiration, the reason he wanted to work hard. If a girl could work so hard, why wouldn’t he?
If only she knew!
The day’s over and I’m in my room, playing that scene in my head over vodka and enjoying the smell of my cigarette while keeping an eye on my blue inhaler.
If only she knew that beneath the smiling face of this young business lady is a frustrated girl seeking closure.
If only she knew that my trips to the ‘market’ were just an excuse to go on trips with random men. If she knew all these, would I still be the perfect example. If she knew about my bad habits, if she knew I hated men, if she knew the boutique was simply a fall back plan, if she knew I was atheist, would she still like me?
As I listen to the loud music from my sound system, I feel so bad. I’m being selfish. I should be the best example. I should be the role model. I should stop smoking, I should quit drinking alcohol, I should avoid men, I should shut up and keep sipping the vodka on the tray. Maybe I should smoke more cigarette sticks, inhale more than enough. Maybe I should sleep a little.
If the smile on my face keeps them happy, then I’ld smile till I die, but its never easy to quit. Maybe I should sleep.