Before I commence the tale of what went on in my life this year, I want you to read this short drama. Please and thank you.
Obi- the presenter.
Uju- the guest.
The sitting room of a house. Similar to the one in How I Met Your Mother.
Act 1, Scene 1
Enter the characters. Obi is dressed in a suit and looks well put together. Uju is dressed in her favorite and thus well worn blue jeans and a faded shirt. They both have messy hair but Obi’s is not as glaring as that of Uju.
Obi: (Rises. Kisses the air near Uju’s cheeks) Hello. My name is Obi. I’m so honored that you could join us today.
Uju: Join “us” where? Who is “us”? There’s no one else here but you. Where am I?
Obi: You’re with me.
Uju: Who are you?
Obi: I am you.
Uju: Then why is your name Obi?
Obi: Because we changed it.
Uju: You and who changed it?
Obi: Me and you. You and me.
Uju: But if you are me, then there cannot be an us. The pronoun “us” is to signify plurality.
Obi: But I am not you!
Uju: But you said you were. You said…
Obi: I am not YOU. I am a better you. I am the good decisions you made, the great things you did, the relaxer money you’d have saved if you had decided to heed my advice before all your hair fell out to escape that poison cream, the experiences you’d have had if you let go of your storybook blankie and joined the real world.
Uju: (Angry now) And as this better version of me, the best picture you could put up as your twitter avatar was that of a cow? Arrant nonsense! Puta n’ebe a osiso!
Obi: I just did that to create a barrier.
Uju: O_o! Barrier? Between you and what?
Obi: Between me and all those people like that “Dizzle” character. Between my real life and my twitter life. After all, who wants to set P (whatever that means) with a virtual cow? (pun intended)
Uju: I si gini? What do you mean by twitter life? Twitter exists in the real world and thus is also real life.
Obi: Oh, stop it with the philosophy already! I want to talk to my readers before they leave us alone.
Uju: Ok. I’ll be waiting… With a cutlass
Obi: Ignores her. *Turns to audience*- Hi people currently in cyberspace, wherever you may actually be in real life. If you are in your car and actually driving, I suggest that you stop reading this post right now. I don’t want to be the cause of any accidents. You’re not? Ok, that is good. Now let me talk to you properly.
*Breaks the fourth wall*
Hello. My name is Obianuju. Hence the name of the characters in the drama. (Get it? Obi and Uju?) For most of my life…
What? Oh, you don’t understand the drama? I’m not entirely sure I do either. I let my mind take control of my fingers and that is what came out.
As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, for most of my life, everybody called me Uju. Frankly, I have no problem with people calling me Uju. But Obi seemed more graceful… somehow. So I gave it a try. Oh, you don’t care? Really? Fine, I’ll just get into the story.
You are only as rich as you are willing to give out.
I learnt that from a Nollywood movie. Don’t roll your eyes at me! They can be good too. Sometimes. Rarely. AS LONG AS TONTO DIKE AND JIM IYKE ARE NOT THERE. MAYBE EMEKA IKE AS WELL.
As I was saying, it got me thinking and finally got me to return to active, continuous writing.
2012 was great. Lots of highs and lows. You know how churches tag new years? The year of breakthrough, the year of double promotion etc? This year turned out to be my year of reconnection. With one disconnection.
This year, I reconnected with my 2 childhood best friends. And with my godparents. And with my some of my secondary school classmates, (thank you Whatsapp!), and with one of my cousins that I hadn’t seen in almost 6 years. With my mom. Emotionally, that is. The year had its highs and lows. But the highs greatly surpassed the lows, which is all that we can hope for, I guess.
This year, I started to fully and actively hate this network. Crappy service, missing credit, amazingly long waits to talk to a customer care/ service operator, routinely undelivered messages and missed call notifications. They cost me a fortune in transport fares that could have been avoided, sweat stains on my favourite shirts and avoidable sun damage to my skin. Can you tell that I’m planning to sue them?
It’s amazing how the death of one person can affect someone who hardly spoke to them. Situation: A and B are close friends. A and C were childhood friends who never see each other anymore. C dies. A begins to reflect on what could have been if he had diligently kept in touch with C. A is sad. A and B are close friends. Ergo, B is sad as well.
In this case, my cousin’s husband died. They’d been married for almost 7 years and had 2 kids. What I find so senseless and needlessly painful was the way he died. And why do people die when it seems that they are getting better? For a while, I was lost in grief for my cousin and her pain. I felt useless. I felt guilty for being alive. I felt guilty for not going to visit at the hospital. Of course I didn’t know the area at all and his visitors were greatly restricted, but when faced with grief, common sense flies out the window.
It’s not that I’m scared of boys. Or of relationships. No one can call me shy. And yet no one can accuse me of being extroverted either. I have, somehow, managed to avoid all relationships that were not purely platonic, and all attendant sticky situations associated therewith. And it wasn’t easy. Trust me. Until this year. When it rains, it pours.
This year, all the relationship drama I’d managed to avoid so far fell on me in heaps and loads. It all worked itself out though. And that is all I’m going to say about that. J.
A Wedding and a Family Reunion
My cousin got married this year. And I was a member of the bridal train. Have you ever talked to a nervous person before their wedding? Calmed them down? Helped them sort through their emotions as quickly as possible? It’s a beautiful experience. One that everyone should have.
The highlight of the event for me was getting to see my cousins and some family members I had not seen in years. When I hear stories of people who don’t like their family members, I can’t help but thank God for my family. Both immediate and extended. I love my family. And I’m reminded so often that they love me too. Plus, I have a new family member to play with/torment periodically now. Score!
One of my big sisters was recently blessed with a baby. In this case, I was doubly relieved. Early in the pregnancy, she lost her appetite and was very weak. I researched all the possible complications in pregnancies and I wore God out with prayers for her and the baby. Fortunately, my prayers were answered.
My mom’s friend had twins. She’s almost 50. Miracles still happen, you see? These are her first kids ever. And she came out of the experience safely. I’m particularly happy for her because she’s been through quite a lot of pain and a divorce because of what people termed “her barrenness”. I love the triumph of seeing a good woman win at last. Thank you God!
In other news, baby number 4 may still come this year. I’m crossing my fingers.
Friends and family
If you’re a girl and have ever straightened your hair by yourself, raise your hands. 7…8…10 hands? Good. You can confirm this then. It hurts. It burns. By the time you’re done, it feels like your arms are burning with fever and that your blood was replaced by hot lava.
You then have to be careful not to drop the hot straightener on the floor or on your body.
So to all my friends who have selflessly helped straighten my Zahrah-the-Windseeker-like hair before… I just want to thank you again.
N.B – Straightening hair is the least of what I’m talking about here. I have dynamite friends! I love you guys. You know yourselves, yes? Good. I don’t have to list your names then. See? You just made my life easier again! Disclaimer: The friends referred to here include old and new ones, my roommates and my church family.
I already gushed about my family on this post. I’m not going to do it again. Just scroll up. Thank you.
God, Jesus and the Holy spirit
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed- You see, years ago, my very close relationship with God was shattered. Something happened and I blamed Him. Someone died and I could not see Him anymore through the tears and the despair. Through the depression and the escapism, I did not see the miracles in my life. I just saw the black pain and anger that almost swallowed me up. When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost- And then I almost died. Count your many blessings, name then one by one- No condition is permanent. Pain is a temporary thing. Regrets are not. Fortunately, I don’t have much to regret. Thank you Oscar Wilde, Nora Roberts, Jeffery Deaver etc. for pulling me out of real society as much as possible before I could hurt myself somehow. And it will surprise you what the Lord has done- I am back now. Fully. This year. To a place I should never have left. With the cross of Jesus going on before to remind me that life is ALWAYS better when you have God as your focus and serving him as well as you can as your life’s ambition. Life is not easy. I learnt that early on. Maybe too early. There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus. But when you have Jesus, you don’t have to bear all your sins, grief and mistakes all by your lonesome, incapable self. And the fact that He is there to talk to at all times is just BEAUTIFUL TO ME. So I want to thank God. For loving me.
Act 1, scene 2
*tries to repair broken fourth wall, gives up.*
Obi: I’m back.
Uju: So I should fly?
Obi: Stop being so sarcastic.
Uju: Technically, you are the one being sarcastic. I am you remember?
Obi: (Groaning) Just wave goodbye to the audience.
Obi and Uju- (wave goodbye, blow kisses and curtsey) Thank you Mr. Efe for letting us express our craziness. I hope we have managed to compensate for, by writing, all that we took from you by reading. *Voices begin to blur together, lights begin to fade*
Act 1, Scene 3
(Light comes on again). Obi and Uju now have merged into one person who is now wearing a suit jacket on jeans a la Ellen Degeneres.
Obianuju: I have a feeling that there’s something I forgot. Were we supposed to make a toast?
Audience: Err, yes!
Obianuju: (Rises. Raises glass containing Soya bean milk): May the best of your 2012 be the worst of your 2013. To 2013! I wish you all peace, joy, love, favour, God’s presence and plenty opportunities and reasons to dance gangnam style. (Lights fade out again)
THE ABSOLUTE END.
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece Obianuju. Thank you very much
Tomorrow we welcome Niro to 19th Street at noon. Do not be told. See you 🙂