The holidays will be ending soon. And I can’t say I’m sad to see them go really. My holiday has been very…mixed. Things will be looking up today, down tomorrow and then dreadful on the best of days. Kinda like the Nigerian Stock Exchange. But I’m not complaining. On the other hand, however, I really don’t want the holidays to end. School authorities have decided that we shall be resuming a week to Christmas, and starting lectures proper during Christmas week. So, while my mates are having fun drinking and killing fowl, I shall be in class. Doing ‘Criminal Law’ and catching thief upandan. Lol. It is well.
This cold, dark harmattan morning, my dad came into my room, woke me up and told me that the two of us were gonna cut the mango tree at our backyard today, and that I should “prepare myself”. The man made it seem like we were going to war or something. I was about to reply, then I remembered that my school fees hasn’t been paid yet, along with a host of other things I’ll need money for, and I held my peace. *sigh* I cannot wait to have my own children. I just can’t.
So now, I’m standing outside with a machete in my hand. This man is holding his own machete. I didn’t even know we still had one in the house, let alone two. My father, taking every possible outcome into consideration, has come up with a very elaborate plan on how the tree cutting should go. Like, he’s even drawn shii on a piece of paper, telling me where, when and how to strike the tree. In my (limited) experience, matters like these do not usually go as planned, and for the umpteenth time, I make a careful criticism of his well detailed plans. He glares at me, and the blade in his hand twitches. I unconsciously take some steps back.
We begin the cutting and to be honest, things are actually going well. Our neighbours come out to watch us, and I’m all over the tree…climbing, cutting, hitting, dancing, even shouting at it, and doing some other ‘Spiderman like’ shii. I can actually feel my dad and I bonding over the cutting of a tree. Interesting. But as these things go, all good things must come to an end.
In my bid to impress, I climb pretty high up the tree. It’s beautiful really. I can see far and wide and I’m starting to understand the thrill that all those people that used to climb Mount Everest feel. Popsy is giving me directions from below, I’m cutting and slicing, the neighbours are cheering and clapping. Life is good. Life is really good. All of a sudden, I hear a loud crack and the branch I’m standing on begins to break off. I’m still in ‘Tarzan mode’, and in all my youthful exuberance (and stupidity), I decide to leap to the next branch which is like seven feet away. The plan is full proof in my head, and I’m thinking ‘what could go wrong’?
I lift off. In my mind, everything is all slow motion and action packed, like one of those Jet Li movies. In mid-air, I’m propelling myself towards the branch, all still in slow motion of course. Long story short, I don’t make it. And so I begin my long, painful descent to the ground. As I ‘land’, I hear the excited laughter of the neighbours. Then I struggle through the pain and focus my gaze on the person that caused all this. My dad is struggling, barely able to control his laughter.
I close my eyes as I try my best to just sleep off and remember what I was dreaming of when this man came to wake me up this morning.
Today is my church’s Annual Thanksgiving Service, and I am ecstatic. I haven’t been to church in almost a year and surprisingly, I’m really looking forward to it. I mean, it’s a chance to dress to kill and goan be eyeing those sexy church girls who are all lowkey bad girls. Plus, I hear they’ll be serving us jollof rice and chicken with big coke after the service ends. What a time to be alive people 😀
I am dressed in my shiny white lace agbada. Full yoruba boy style with the maroon coloured cap and all. Staring at my reflection in the mirror, I have to admit that I do feel quite…destructive. Like, I feel like going outside and breaking up one or two marriages and cheating on three girls, just because I can. I think these Twitter pipu maybe right after all. There’s something about white agbada that just brings out the demonic entity living inside you. I better keep this on a low though, before my mum will hear and start to rebuke and denounce the ‘evil spirits’ of heartbreak in my clothes. I am so not ready for a deliverance session this early morning.
Stepping into the church though is one of the biggest ‘bubble bursting’ moments of my career. Apparently, today is ‘white native day’ and I missed the memo. The Ushers, Choir and almost every other Tom, Dick and Emeka are decked in some form of white traditional attire. From the very distinguished white agbada to what appears to be a white bed sheet, and finally the very elaborate ‘parachute looking white’. These people are wearing it all, everything. I remember something one of those motivational speakers said, about “remaining outstanding in the midst of turbulent and trying situations” even as I force myself not to cry.
I look around and spot a group of babes I haven’t seen in a while, sitting together and laughing. I immediately leave my seat and goan join them. What better way to console one’s self than in the midst of beautiful ladies?
After more than six hours, and several million naira being (joyfully of course) raised in the process, the Thanksgiving service finally comes to an end. Black churches really need to chill though. The kind of testimonies and dancing I’ve witnessed today alone is enough for me to….shaa, lemme just chill. Before heavenly lightening will just come from nowhere and I’ll turn to past tense.
I grab my packaged rice and very hot bottle of coke from the usher. These church people sef, they’ll leave someone wondering whether ice block is a sin in the bible or something. Once again, I remember the lightening and I immediately stop complaining. This man walks past me, all happy and laughing. I contemplate slicing his throat and watching the blood stain his white but, I decide against it. Lemme just go home and sleep today away.
I get to the car and find it unlocked and empty. From afar I sight my family members, all happy and socialising. The anger that passes over me is overwhelming. I am so not in the mood for this. Shaa, I had better just eat my rice in the car and wait for them.
I take off my cap and gold watch and roll up my sleeves. Finally, some action. I am literally salivating as I prepare myself to vigorously attack this food. As I open the pack, I am totally unprepared for what follows. Half of the jollof rice is missing. Along with the chicken.
The shock and despair I feel reaches even the innermost part of my soul, but along with devastation comes resolve. Slow, calm resolve. I smile coldly as I take off my white agbada and step out of the car.
If I can’t have full jollof rice and chicken, no one can.
Great Opara is…well, he’s Great, he likes to see himself as a peculiar, “tribeless” Nigerian. His hobbies include but are not limited to writing, eating, staring at his image in the mirror and talking to pretty females. Blessed with the gift of sarcasm, this antisocial, introverted, unsung hero plans to use fiction to change the world. You can follow him on Twitter: @monsieur_ace