Last year, when I was literally drowning in debt, I told a few friends that I wanted to leave. I didn’t use the term “drowning”, but I explained that I could no longer afford to stay in my flat. I knew that even if I could hustle the rent for another year, I would be picking left-over pizza from Domino’s Pizza garbage for the rest of the year.
Looking back now, I realize that I wasn’t really serious about leaving. If not I wouldn’t have told the people I knew would convince me to stay.
“Opportunities are HERE in Lagos! Warri is dead!”
“Your problem is that you don’t even go out and meet people… don’t you know that you can just meet someone who will like you and give you a big contract?”
That last one is from my friend who always knows someone who knows someone who attends a church where people testify about ridiculously miraculous events. And it’s always the same type of testimony… a guy whose only qualification is a NaijaBet paper slip, is walking along the road and he runs into his day care classmate who ends up giving him a job as MD of an oil company, with free housing and two official cars.
Even now that I’m typing it, I feel very silly. A whole year went by and yes, I met a number of people who liked me, but none who liked me enough to give me the kind of contract they testify about in those weird churches. The closest thing to happen to me was just a few weeks ago, on my friend’s birthday. I was walking to her house and a pickup truck in slow reverse hit me while I was trying to cross the road.
I was partly to blame cos I was so distracted. When the car hit me, I didn’t fall or anything. It just felt like a hard shove. The driver wasted no time apologizing and in the end, he dropped me off at my friend’s place.
In the car, he was wary. I think he would’ve preferred a more dramatic reaction, maybe some yelling and collar-grabbing. After a long silence, he said, “It’s like you’re the quiet type.”
I wanted to tell him that he and his pickup truck were the least of my problems.
Anyway, this year I didn’t tell anyone. I just packed up my shit and left. I thought of staying with a friend, but the last thing I want to do is inconvenience anyone. To be honest, I am only fun on paper. In real life, I am annoying as fuck to live with. I arrange my remote controls according to height, my hangers are colour coordinated and I have outside slippers and inside slippers. Last week, a friend wore my inside slippers outside. We’re still friends, of course, but I don’t know if we can ever get back to the way we were before the slippers incident.
I will live from a backpack under Eko bridge, surviving only on crackers and pure water, until I learn that Premium bouquet is only for the rich and expensive perfumes are not a substitute for a boyfriend. When I run out of crackers, I will eat my decoder and my inside slippers (because I’ll be wearing the outside ones… duh!) till I learn my lesson.
Usually, I see the humour in almost anything… but when I start to sense that I’m running out of jokes and can no longer smile through, I go into hiding. That’s what I’m doing now. So if you’re driving by and you see a girl with a back pack, an LG Tv, and an extra pair of slippers, yeah that’s me…