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Walking Stories

She’s on the bench in the park, 2pm everyday. She sits there for 30 minutes, staring into space, hardly noticing anyone or anything happening around her. At 2:30pm, she rises with gusto and heads back to work

**

They come to the same park everyday to spend time together. Between 1:30pm and 2:30pm, they walk in hand in hand, holding their lunch packs in the other hand. They sit across her, trying not to stare.

*

She loves having lunch with him daily because between their schedule and commute, this is the only available time, but she wishes so much to be her.
To sit on the park bench alone, taking it all in; the sights, the wind, the sun… the peace..

*

He’s never loved anyone like he loves her and it aches him so much that all he gets is one hour of her time daily. More than that is he senses her need for solitude, but he knows he can’t bring himself to let her have it.

**

He brings his kid to the park daily, it’s always just the two of them, content in the company of each other.

*

He wants to be the best father to his son and the time they spend together at the park is one of the few ways he’s found. Since he lost his wife three months ago, he’s put in everything into loving this kid to fill in for the love momma would have given

*

His dad is everything, he knows he tries so hard for him but he misses momma. The light dad once had is gone. If only he could meet someone new…
He glances towards her; she was always alone and she looked pretty calm and approachable

**

He’s the guard at the park who’s always on the daytime shift. He watches her every time she comes in at 2pm, alone. He watches her walk to the exact bench they used to sit in and have lunch daily before he died. He looks at the couple across her; eating silently, and wonders if they appreciate what they have…

***

We are walking stories;
Of whats and hows and whys.

No Stranger, No!

My parents said not to talk to strangers o_o

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Middle Seat.”

‘Cuz I like to paint the perfect picture everytime;

If you know a bit about Lagos, Nigeria, you do know it’s largely divided into many sects; the most profound division being the Islanders and the Mainlanders.

There’s this mini sect between the two, we’re the “betweeners”

We basically dwell on the mainland, but we spend the most part of our weeks on the Island. I like to think that we’re simply waiting for fate to take it’s course and we’d move up! Literally!

So, everyday, I take a bus to the island, to get to work.

Now, I’d like to cue in again, that in some unexplainable way, there’s some sorta communal feeling when you’re on a bus in the wee hours of the morning. So, we catch the last bit of the sleep we missed together, our heads falling on each other’s shoulders unexpectedly. Then, we wake up and have devotion together; the unexpected preacher starting off with “Let’s just zing diz worship song together” after which we get off wishing each other perfect days.

Mine has an extra twist to it, ‘cuz I take the same bus from the same spot every day, so at least 70% of the people on my bus are the same, everyday! All that’s left is to pack lunch boxes for everyone, in the spirit of communal living. Really.

On random days, roughly between the traffic and the fatigue, the person sitting next to me just glances my way… It’s always my cue to plug my ears and start nodding enthusiatically to sometimes  no song.

I’m not a snob. I’m just following instructions and avoiding a weird play of events.

On a given day, some months back, for some reason, the person sitting next to me and I were the only two awake. When he glanced my way, I reached into my bag quickly to avoid the conversation I was sure was coming. I had no earphones. 🙁

He waited a bit till I was settled and then began his onslaught. The conversation went thus:

Stranger: I’ve been seeing you everyday, you work on the island?

Me: Yes

Stranger: Where?

Me: Karimu Kotun

Stranger: No, I meant the name of the office.

Me: You wouldn’t know it

Stranger: Oh, Ok. I work on the Island as well. You might not know it too. 

Me: Ok

Stranger: Ahn ahn. Won’t you ask to see if you know it

Me: No

Stranger: Why?

Me: Nothing

Stranger: What’s your name?

Me: ‘Deola

Stranger: That’s a beautiful name

Me: Hmmm

Stranger: You won’t ask for my name

Me: No

Stranger: Are you always like this? Giving one word answers and all…

Me: My parents said not to talk to strangers

***

*Conductor screaming “Obalende bole o*

I shuffle off quickly, leaving Mr. Stranger bewildered 🙁

I’m not a snob. I’m obedient. 😀

Dear Daughter,

Dear daughter

 

I bought my first compact brown powder over the weekend, along with a good shade of foundation and a powder brush. As I worked my way through putting my face together on Sunday morning, I laughed at myself for a bit. See, I remember the years of agony my mother faced with having two kids who are nothing like her where making up is concerned. I thought about how she tried everything to get us to be “make-up wearers” early enough and how she constantly rolled her eyes when she saw us ready to go out with bushy eyebrows, roughly put talcum powder and lip balm. I remembered her say at some point that we’d grow up suddenly and realize making up wasn’t such a bad thing, and I smiled at how right she was.

There’s something so decidedly feminine and adult about the whole process of getting ready and it made me think of you – even though you aren’t here yet – and my mom. I hope you meet her, and I hope she teaches you all the tricks with making up with her huge make up box that I hope you inherit. And then, I hoped that you too would one day celebrate how I was right about something you were stubborn about 🙂

I settled into wondering what you would be like, and I hoped against hope that you wouldn’t inherit some of my characteristics. I hope you aren’t stubborn about your ideals and you are flexible enough to embrace change, unlike me and that you do not want to live a fantasy or build sand castles in the sky and hold on to its possibility with dogmatism. I hope you do not have my almost horrible ability to over-analyze and dissect any situation even when I know it’s only gonna cause me grief. I hope you do not dance around pessimism and negative what ifs like I tend to but hold on to optimism like your life depends on it, ’cause it does. I hope your nails are not short and stubby like mine, and they are as far away from your mouth, as the east is from the west. I hope you do not become overly independent or dependent. I hope you are never timid, and you can stand in front of every crowd to say everything that pops in your mind, intelligently. I hope you don’t shut yourself from the world when you feel bad, because people were made to both lift you up and bring you down; you need them, no matter the state of your mind. And I hope you don’t cry so easily or so often.

I hope you love food – the cooking as well as the eating -and you have a good eating habit.  I hope you make good friends that would stand the test of time and are of good character, and I hope you keep them. I hope you know and love your body, never to lazy to keep it in shape and never shy of its weird complexities. I hope you are creatively inclined and that country music gives you peace and rock songs make you happy 🙂 . I hope it brings you joy to do crazy uncoordinated dances, like me. I hope you find your purpose early and work you way towards it with fierce determination. And I hope you’re a happy child, giving the joy to the world, one smile at a time.

I hope you have a good sense of self and hold on to becoming you. I hope you’re opinionated, actually, you have to be, it’s too strong in my family. But I mostly hope you know how to put a good balance, knowing where your opinions should rather be held on to, than said out loud. I hope your days are filled with confidence, knowing you can do anything with God and determination. I hope you’re more selfless than I try to be, knowing that people always come before things. And you’re smart and thoughtful and generous, not only because it’s sexy, but because it’s everything.

I hope you’re friends with my father, and that you spend your early years sitting at his feet, listening to words of wisdom and I hope his arms are still strong enough to lift you up like he lifted me up when I little. I hope every scar you get from the world moulds you into a woman of wisdom and character who understands better because she has learnt. And I hope it never ever gets you down. I hope you learn to love early and then find love. And I hope when you find “the one”, you treat him like he is the one.

I hope you’re more of a lady than I am, wearing skirts, heeled shoes and red lipstick. I hope your hair is always in place, ’cause I’m not sure I’d be able to help with that pretty well – my natural hair always needs to be set free in loose tangles on sunny afternoons 🙂 . I hope you’re strong and zealous and enthusiastic about life. I really hope you decide early on to live a life geared towards inspiring and helping others, living a story worth telling. I hope you work out your own salvation, love Jesus a heck ova lot and have a steady relationship, it’ll make all the difference in your life. I hope you set your path straight before you and walk in that direction daily, never losing sight of the big picture whilst still giving time to appreciate the beauties of life all around you.

Dear Daughter, above all, I hope I can be all things and more for and to you. A good example, a role model, a friend, a sister, a goofy partner, an available ear to your rants and a prayer partner. I’d love to share my shoes with you – hurry, have big feet!, and have you steal my clothes. I’d be excited to be chauffeur more often than not and your teacher every single day! I want to be the pillow you cry on when you get your heart broken – you most likely will – and I’d be glad to eat all the comfort food and get fat with you on the road to healing.  And while I’m waiting to start this relationship with you, I’d spend these days of my youth becoming someone worthy to be looked up to as a mother.

Lots of love,