Death is the new life.
Death is the old lie-fe.
Although we become lifeless when we “die”,
we become deathless when we leave.
My gentle Oladapo is okay. He fell sick and he left me but he is okay. Bolanle is okay. She was so energetic.
Uncle Ismaila is okay. He took me to write my common entrance exam at ISI and taught me Mathematics the day before. That bread and egg and tomtom though. That year. Immediately after the exam, we began to look for where to shit. It wasn’t until we got to Osogbo where my other family members were before we “shat”. I can’t believe we held watery shit from Ibadan to Osogbo. We should have been on the Guiness Book of Records. The way we were sweating. My uncle Ismaila is okay.
Debra is okay. One day, during one of the social events at the ISI cafetaria, an A-Z list of the junior and senior students was mentioned. “As attractive as so-so-so. As beautiful as so-so-o. As creative as so-so-so. As dirty as Ronke Babajide. I was going to get some food [I stopped going for socials] at the tuck shop when I heard my name on from the speaker that could almost cover the whole school.
Gosh! I ran back to class so fast and placed my head on the table. I was so embarrassed and sad. Whoever it was that submitted my name, I hope it was worth it. It was the exact thing that I needed for the low self-esteem that I had. I, for some reason, thought being different was bad and I had to keep up. I didn’t fit in any group.
Debra was a class higher but we became friends. She didn’t let me get depressed. We would walk to the main gate together and spend our money on suya or corn. Debra even bought chicken suya for us one day. Romance-novel gang. There was always one woman that needed to be “saved” through sex but it was worth it. One day, Debra took me to watch Amos Tutuola’s “The Palm-Wine Drinkard”. Debra passed on after a car hit her. Debra is okay.
My grandmas are okay- Mama Ireakari and Mamee. My grandpa is okay. Jane Davenport is okay. She didn’t stay so I could show her how I tie my scarf, but she’s okay. My cousin’s baby is okay. Gorgeous-eyed Matt is okay.
All our “dead” relatives and friends are okay. They just don’t live with us anymore, they are living, and they are okay.