I have been itching to write again for a long time, a simple story, not necessarily a brilliant one, but it must be a soothing one. For days, no muse, no plot, I. tossed my imaginary manuscript into an imaginary trash can and wished a new story would write itself. It is not writers block, I doubt if I ever have that, its just the need to get it right, to tell a tale that comes from within, a lot of truth with a pinch of fiction and little or no exaggeration. Maybe I’d just stretch the descriptions of the emotion to let the reader really connect, but like Kiah, my sinsei says, make it original, make it true.
So this sunday morning I dug into my memory to find files I may have buried in brain fluids (not dust), to relive memories that were once my reality, and once, they were all that my life was about.
1996. I was shorter than most boys but Suleiman was shorter than I was, he was never going to be tall. But what he lacked in height, he made up for in brilliance. He comfortably led tests and exams and I was proud to be his friend. You could mostly find us together. The third part of our triplet was Olumide. All three of us were handsome but Olumide’s light skin knocked us of the shelves, and he was also brilliant so it seemed I was the small fish of the group, but my friends never made me feel that way. We all were in the top 7 in our class, of course I held the seventh position, while my childhood crush, Oyinkansola, held on to the second position till we lost Suleiman to another school. That was the first time I lost him and it wasn’t going to be the last.
To be honest, my memory does not have many vivid pictures of our times together and the games we played, but I have strings of memories that I could possibly piece together to make a big picture. Even though he was full yoruba, I think he had this strange Hausa beauty underneath, maybe somewhere in his lineage, someone had married a northerner. But wait, I think his family is from Kwara, and of course many Ilorin people have that Fulani blood underneath. I dunno, I can’t find him to ask him.
If you are reading this, know that I pray for you. They say all children go to heaven so I am comforted that you are in a better place. Life wasn’t what I expected it to be, for the most part its been a bumpy ride. You didn’t grow up to work in Jebba like your dad. You could talk endlessly about him and how you wanted to be an Engineer like him. Well, I also didn’t turn out to be a Doctor like my dad. I crashed out of medical school like a plane that suddenly lost all its engines in the air, and I spent the next 5years finding who I really am. Still haven’t completely figured that out.
This earth stinks, but once in a while you get that ray of sunshine that gives you hope. My mother is a diva. I finally stopped living in my brother’s shadow and wanting to be like him, he is just too awesome I can’t compete, he is Legendary and I am, me. I still think he is the ‘awesomest’ person ever though. You can say I grew up with a sorta personality disorder, I was always looking for something or someone to believe in, first it was my Dad, then my tall fine brother..lol, then it was Mubarak (a true blood), then the club lights and heavy speakers. Recall that I said my mother is a diva? Its ‘cos all through this period, she stayed, bless her soul she stayed and she is still here.
All the while I felt as if I was looking for a high, and the club lights and speakers were close to it but I couldn’t get my fill, I always wanted more. You see spirituality is different, it is as though you are floating, limitless, contended. God, He is all shades of cool
I fell in love bro, twice, I can’t say it was worth it and I can’t say it wasn’t, but it was a hellish season, sweet little angels, God bless their souls. You know what they say, no love lost, no love found. I really wish I was more patient and more matured before I ventured into such business. Yesterday is gone, there is a girl in sight now, but I’m too drained and there is still too much to accomplish, so I’d just let someone else have her. You remember how we hated girls? I kept my crush a secret from you so that you and Olumide wouldn’t tease me, *sigh* days of our lives. Olumide and I didn’t keep in touch, I saw him a few years ago, he should be an Architect now.
I am not proud of the life I have lived but I am proud of the man I have become. It scares me to death that I don’t know how many days left for me. I dunno when it’d be that I’d come up there, pray for me like I pray for you. Somehow I feel as though you were luckier, we know you are in a better place and I am still striving. I hope to see you when I get there, let’s continue where we left off.
For Suleiman, tears are not enough, good memories are what you deserve.
Inallilahi wa innaillaehi rajjiun