Under the tree
where my father spent his childhood
climbing and jumping
like a matured toad
towards the mother dust
i listened to
the iga bird sing
the song of wisdom
my mother sang putting me to bed
my father said
the dabobo from the east
brings good luck
to children who adore their presence
under the tree
that father saw paradise
i loll while
taking a moment from the fountain
left untouched and unscrambled
how we sang dabobo dabobo
the song of paradise
that we sang every morning
and the whistling songs of iga
that signifies joy and happiness
like the question
where is God
under the tree of fountain
i asked the question
that got no answer
where is our dabobo and iga
the sign of every child’s joy
Each day I found myself wallowing under the frangipani trees that clustered abreast the road counting each car that whizzed past. An act that had become a life style abruptly .
The surmise were so lucid as it unfold itself gently as days turned into weeks and weeks into months. My mind took a trip down the memory lane that was clouded with pain, betrayal and a chunk of it eaten by bitter lessons.
I found myself reminiscing on the priceless and golden moment I spent with her. Endless tears that knows no bounds thrust down to my cheeks profusely as though its biding passers-by goodbye.
My heart heavy and crying like a chirping of a cricket as I pondered on those lovely moments; there were so fresh as though it took place just yesterday.
The wound was far from being healed at the first few months. Loving her with all my heart, withholding nothing with my sense out of place was insane thing to do.
The love was never reciprocated yet, I got stuck loving someone whose heart was with another; it made me feel ‘Love is blind.’
I showed to her she was irreplaceable and she took advantage of everything; I was stabbed at the back with dagger of betrayal. Breakup text was wrapped in a beautiful and astonishing case and sent to me through whatsapp on that fateful day as rain abated profusely as though it hadn’t rained for years. That day seemed to be different as I laid on my bed helplessly gazing intently at my phone.
Moving on became so hard as though my destiny was tied to her. Months rolled on yet, I couldn’t let go; I opted to do something that seemed impossible to me: to let go of her . she wasn’t looking back why should I continue to hurt myself? Why should I continue to fix my gaze on someone that derives solace in her vomit? As months kept rolling, her thoughts fades away.
A sad thing in life is when you stumble on someone who means a whole lot to you only to find out in the end it was never meant to be.
I was determined to hurt myself no more; to let go and let God, and another door of happiness got wide opened.
It was on a Friday evening that everything changed for me. My dad had just returned from the mosque; that was when the alarm clock said eight, and as was his tradition he wouldn’t remove his long white jalabia before he shouted.
Why is the generator not started yet?
I knew within me he was going to complain about my not coming to the mosque that evening which would add up to the problem at hand. To cover up one of the problem I dressed in a long Jalabia and left the house through the back door. I had to pretend I also went to the Masjid.
I sluggishly walked towards the door and tapped on it as though the Chinese door was complaining of body pains.
Who is that?
It’s me, I said stammering
When the door was opened I walked in as though I was carrying the weight of Mount Everest on my legs.
Where you not the one talking in your room few minutes ago? Queried my mum
Oh no? I shouted inaudibly. Mum you have destroyed my plan. How is your headache, she added. By this I knew I had to face my dad’s interview soon. Am getting better I said looking away.
My Dad was sitting on the sofa pressing his tablet pc. It was obvious he was reading news or perhaps on Wikipedia because as far as I knew him he never liked social media. He looked up briefly and turned all of his attentions back to his tablet pc, but I could see the ire inside of him waiting to be released.
Good evening sir, I said as he pretended not to have heard at all. I turned and was about leaving the sitting room when he roared out.
Come back here, you are now taking decisions for me in this house right?
Not so sir, I said babbling
Then how, tell me am listening, he continued. Maybe he was right. Often when ever he was away the house does as I say not because they were afraid of me but because I was given that opportunity and it was getting out of hand since I was misusing the golden opportunity.
Am sorry sir, I said leaving again but this time he got provoked as he stood up almost immediately and gave me the dirtiest slap ever. I slumped and it was the last thing I remember immediately I woke up on the hospital bed the following morning.
I was an asthmatic patient couple with the fact that I was feverish that day that I sweat and felt dizzy after walking few steps even in the room.
Immediately I opened my eyes I saw my Dad sat almost in front of me staring straight into my weakened eyes and it was at this time clear he was very sorry. His eyes carry the colours of a virgin sunset and his facial look was that of a cow. As far as I knew him he would never say sorry even though he was.
How are you feeling now Prof? He said touching my neck maybe trying to feel my pulse. He was fond of calling me Prof right from when I was a kid. I don’t know why but I could tell from his character how my education and lifestyles seems to be more of importance to him compare to my three other siblings.
Am fine, I said even though I knew I wasn’t as he made his way out of the ward. Let me go and see the doctor, he said closing the door behind him.
Immediately he returned, he rigidly supported his back on the wall. He stared vacantly at the window that barely had better curtain and shook his head every seconds and his eyes clouded with tears which he couldn’t shed.
“I will be back,” he said again even though it was not up to two minute he had just returned. The tone rang hollow, his emotions encased in a vacuum. He spoke as if it were some well-rehearsed line he had already repeated a thousand times. The announcement, though cold, remained firm, and it indicated more than just a temporary absence. The finality of the statement slowly took substance, and it lingered in the cozy room.
The words fell upon my senses like a lead weight. I stared at him turning his back, impatiently waiting for further explanation; and I was offered nothing.
Your mum will be here soon, he said as he finally bangs the door behind him.
It was when my mum returned that I was told I needed a blood transfusion, which I was given some hours later. It was getting late and my dad was yet come to the clinic which was some miles away from home.
We waited patiently but he didn’t come but only made a call to my mum that he wouldn’t be able to come until the next morning. My three other siblings were in a boarding school which means he would be alone in the house.
Mum there is something wrong with dad, I said pathetically.
What do you mean?
The way he left this morning had something more to it than just “I will be back” that he said before leaving. I said throwing away my face.
You know your dad, he hardly show his emotions, she said feeling relieved.
It was the next morning. The day was getting closer to noon yet dad was yet to come to the clinic and by this time the panic was high as his number refused to go through. My mum became restless and she couldn’t sit nor stand. Maybe it was because of my statement the previous day.
Hours later, the doctor walked into my ward and his face had stories to tell.
Hajia please come, he said as both leave the ward in slow motion motive. I waited for my mum but she was yet to return. I lethargically came down from the bed and made my way out the ward. In the reception I met one of neighbors and two of my family members sobbing and crying oceans out of their eyes.
What is happening? I asked as none of them answered.
You are not yet strong, the doctor advised as he led me back into my ward.
Towards evening I was discharged and met my house like a stadium. Everyone nodded their head like matured agama lizards.
Somebody help me, somebody please! Can anybody hear me? My mum sorrowful screams pierced through the neighborhood in a heightened tone. Her neck was revealing all the veins that lie therein as she cries the sorrow out of her heart. She shook her head vigorously and stamped her feet heavily on the harden earth yet it wasn’t enough. She rolled herself to the ground as she cried uncontrollably; she was absolutely inconsolable. Her cries of anguish echoed and wildly permeated through neighboring homes and within minutes more people hooted in. the entire compound was crowded with streams of sympathizers. Oh! Dad is dead? It can’t be, I cried
No! It can’t be. He is the most religious in this neighborhood; he can’t kill himself. He knows vividly how punishable it is for one to commit suicide. One of the mosque congregations lectured.
I sluggishly walked into his bedroom where his lifeless body lay in the bed. I was kaput and I bent to touch his feet as his bed was covered with his own pool of blood and the next thing I heard was “Prof, wake up its time for prayer”.
Subhanallah! I shouted. I am dreaming! It was a dream! But how can dream be this long and so true? Thank God I said with tears dripping down my eyes. Even though I couldn’t tell anyone the dream no doubt changed me for better.
What if I told you there are millions of people going through what you and I are experiencing!
Confuse about their nature and ready to do anything to be something or someone else,
They may at times have the option to just lie and denounce what they hold inside of them,
Let’s say am talking about you now!
Would you run and hide from yourself, or would you get ready to be the best you could be?
See the problem with you and I, is that we are prisoners of our own identify,
Prisoners of our own thoughts,
Prisoners of our own weaknesses.
Multiplied by the feelings that we are alone in these wide earth
Most would rather remain alone, than in public
So we don’t even try to be happy, but I dare to ask why?
God didn’t just create me and you to be unhappy
In these wide earth, where I could barely find happiness
Maybe it’s the way that I’m dressed in the land of the free
No brother, I should have just be like everyone
And I know it’s hard to believe, but I am not a saddest,
Actually, I was born in a hospital right down the street
And I guess many people are too
So tell me what’s the difference; is it my heart or my brain?
Or is it my nature; you could just call me a Human being
I don’t want to be like this anymore,
I’m honest, but people only deceive me
Holding onto this nature of my being is like holding onto fire,
But I still smile, am not sure if this is still worth your while
People want goodness yet they deceive others,
Anyways, everyday’s has been another chance for change
The kind of change that it’s hard to embark on
I know it’s weird but you ought to stop being your own prisoner
Our life, our happiness, in short everything about us is in our own hands.
Even though it’s tough most times, don’t give up
Don’t give up trying to be the best you can in your lonely life.
I may not be able to convince you,
But this few words are all I have got.
There’s a reason why we are what we are
We didn’t create ourselves anyway
And you can call us funny names, and do whatever u desire in our name
But there will come a day when you will realize the fact that we didn’t create ourselves
So go ahead and tease,
As for me I don’t care any longer.
THIS IS THE ONLY VOICE I HAVE FOR THE VOICELESS,
THE ONLY STRENGHT I CAN GIVE TO THE POWERLESS
THE SOUND THAT SPEAK OF MY WEAKNESS AND STRENGHT
OH THEE! WHO IS LOST IN A LAND OF NO ONE BUT HIMSELF ITS TIME TO FIND YOURSELF
JUST GET UP AND START THE JOURNEY YOU PAUSED LONG TIME AGO…
JUST GET UP OH THEE! WHO IS LOST IN A LAND OF NO ONE BUT HIMSELF ITS TIME TO FIND YOURSELF