Today started quite normally. Went to work, worked, called Judith, our intern at the office, from the reception about a hundred times to do a hundred little things for me; paid NEPA abi PHCN their monthly N1000 if-you-don’t-pay-we-will-disconnect-you fee. Fast forward to 6.00pm and I’m through with work. My boss is having a meeting upstairs with his students. Voices are raised, doors are banged and chairs are scrapped. I have been subtly informed it’s not my business so I don’t interfere.
I go to my room and change into my favourite pair of jeans and a simple top. That’s when the drizzle started. Seeing how I dislike water so much, I get an umbrella and stop by my tailors’ to say hi (and check how far she has gone with my dresses). See how she yabbed me.
“Aunty, na you wan bring this rain? E never begin fall and you come carry this big umbrella.”
I’m a little embarrassed and decide to go home and drop the umbrella. I remember the clothes I washed this morning still hanging on the line. Taking a quick look at the sky, I decide it isn’t going to rain. Na me be weather forecaster.
Where am I going to? Mr. Biggs. There’s this Biggs place very close to my house. The food is terrible, the service is lousy most times (except for Onyi; she’s an angel). Their only saving grace is their moin-moin. Leaf wrapped moin-moin.
That’s how I walk into the place, talking on the phone with my friend, bounce in my step. The serving girl is quite rude, but I’m in a swell mood. Even though my regular seat is taken.
Then it happens. I’m through my first wrap of moin-moin and decide to fork the peppered chicken I bought as support. I don’t know how much oil they used in frying the chicken. All I know is oil and pepper mixed together splash into my right eye. For about one minute I’m blind, muttering every variation of swearwords I know, even peppering them with a few real ones.
I’m sitting at the other end from the bathroom (abi ladies’). See me walking like a bat to the bathroom, still muttering, past the manager sitting at a table near me, past the serving counter, past other customers and into the bathroom. I started looking for the washbasin. Shebi normally the washbasin is supposed to be outside the toilet stalls? These fish-brained people put theirs inside the stalls. I lose another two minutes trying to figure out the male and female signs. I must have used up to 10 litres of water splashing my eye. Finally, after 5 minutes, lo and behold I can see! I make my way to the mirror outside and my normally slightly red eyes are fiery red. That’s how I put my hand inside my pocket to bring out my HTC Legend to snap the eye and show my mum when I see her this weekend so that the gist will be sweet (and she’ll feel sorry for her baby and make moin-moin). That’s when I realize the battery cover part of my phone has fallen off. The part I’ve been petting for close to three months so I don’t lose it.
I’m pissed sha. I walk to the serving counter and ask for a take away pack. They give me nylon. Just imagine how my eyes look. Wouldn’t a normal person ask questions? All through this drama, including when one of the serving girls comes into the bathroom to take something, looks at me and walks away, nobody asks what the problem is.
I am pissed. And when I’m pissed, I walk away. So I put my remaining moin-moin and the peppered chicken – no I didn’t leave it – inside the nylon and I walk. Into a heavy pouring rain that started when I was fighting pepper. I don’t care. I’m pissed on a lot of levels.
I walk down the main road and into the street that leads to my street. Fuming in my mind. The rain beating my head (no hair, thank God) and soaking through my jeans. My favourite pair.
Then I hear her voice.
“Aunty, please let me cover you.” I think that’s what she says. My Igbo is pretty basic. And this young girl covered me from the middle of that street to the T-junction where we parted ways. Insignificant eh? But it changed this story.
You see without that singular act, this story would be a lot different. For instance, it would have been titled, ‘An Evening of Annoying Events’. Instead, it turns it into one huge mass of positives.
1. One, my clothes are still on the line. Wet, but still on the line, even though I had forgotten to peg them.
2. Two, I starched one of my shirts with cold water starch and noticed some white patches earlier. I’m sure the rain has taken care of that.
3. Three, I’ve been doing #LoveTNC all day on Twitter and Facebook. New perspective. That’s not love.
That’s me trying to win an Apple Ipad Mini or a BB Q10. Love is what that young girl did for me. Selfless, because even though her umbrella was small, she still shared and even gave me to hold it so I’d cover myself well.
It’s the little things that make the difference. As for my peppered chicken, I ate it. Bone and all. In spite of one bottle of sprite, one satchet of pure water and one mouthful of bread, my mouth is still catching fire; just the way I like it. If not for that girl, I’d have ended up on my bed, crying tears of anger and frustration into my pillow; probably wasting my remaining moin-moin and the chicken.
To another matter. I’m dedicating this post to http://www.thenakedconvos.com. I may be less than a month old but I love all of you guys: writers, readers, members and Sirkastiq. You make my world better with your words, pictures and art. Happy Third Anniversary. Keep going strong.
Disclaimer: Any mistakes are a result of the pepper in my eye. I take no responsibility whatsoever for them. 🙂