I stepped out of the aircraft and felt the blast of hot wind against my face. I was home. Finally. After 2 long years of being away from Nigeria. I was in my Nigeria and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t wait to stunt on folks this christmas. In my luggage, I had packed and packed and packed all the baffs I had accumulated. I had 5 events planned today already. My best friend, Simisola, in Nigeria had been quietly waiting for me to land. This Christmas was going to be epic.
“Abeg madam shift jare!,” I heard a voice behind me say, before I was smooshed into the side of the wall by a man and his oversized bag. I was definitely home. I managed to unsmoosh myself from the wall and began my trek down to Customs and Baggage Claim.
At Baggage Claim, I was waiting/ praying for my luggage to show up when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned back to see who it was and I saw a face that I hadn’t seen in ages.
“Heyyyyy Toyin,” I said surprised to see her. I wondered where she had come from. She looked gooood. Her weave was popping. It was long and wavy and it blended in so much that it looked like it came from her scalp. Maybe it was one of those incredible lace front wigs that I had been seeing on IG. I didn’t remember what they were called. Her face was beat complete with eyelashes and fenty trophy wife highlighter. Jesus...how did she look this good? After flying?
“Hey Kelechi,” she said. Perhaps I had never heard my name pronounced with a British accent before because it sounded Chinese coming from her lips. I was taken aback. Why did she even have a British accent? Wasn’t she in school in Florida? I wondered.
“Hey,” I said again awkwardly trying to take everything in. “How have you been?” I added as soon as I recovered.
“I’m doing great. Did you leave from JFK? I think I saw you at the airport,” she replied. I still could not get over her British accent. I hoped my eyes were not narrowing because I did that when I was pondering heavily. I stretched the muscles around my eyes to check. I was sure I looked crazy doing this so I stopped.
“Yeah I left from NY. Were you on this flight? I should have seen you at some point,” I said looking back at the conveyor belt to spy if they had starting putting out the luggage. I also wanted to get away from this conversation. Nope. There was now a crowd around the belt and I could see people getting anxious. I feared the worst.
“I was in First Class so it would probably have been difficult ,” she said enunciating the First Class so it sounded more like Fuuuurrrrssttt Klussssss.
“Ohh yeah then it would have been impossible,” I replied nodding. I sighed quietly to myself. I was really back in Nigeria. Home of the Oppressors.
“Oh well....It was nice to see you again. Maybe we will see each other again this Christmas?” she said reaching out to kiss the air next to my cheeks.
“Maybe,” I replied noncommittally.
She giggled and pulled out a gold card with her name on it and handed it to me and then took off. I watched her walk away wondering if she had any more luggage. All she had was a little Louis Vuitton carry on. I was so confused.
I slipped the card into my jeans pocket and turned around, focusing on my problem at hand. If I didn’t get my luggage I would be stuck with my clothes on my back and my clothes from secondary school. This was not a laughing matter.
I was finally in my house and my luggage was with me….just after like 2 hours of waiting for my bags and 2 hours of sitting in Lagos traffic. No big deal. My sweet darling mummy had prepared delicious pounded yam and Okro soup. My favorite food. I sat across from my dad with my mom and my cousin (who was around for the holidays) at my side. My dad had still not recovered from the language I used with him over 3 months ago so his tone was gruff when he spoke with one worded replies. It was frustrating. The air was tense in the room and I could see my mom and my cousin desperately trying to fix this.
“Nwa m,” she said. “I hope you are enjoying your Okro soup. I know you haven’t had mummy’s cooking in a long time,” she added smiling.
“Yes mum. It is so good,” I replied. It really was so good. There were snails, crabs, shrimp, oxtails all in the soup. My mother was really trying to spoil me here.
“Obinna, how are you enjoying your soup?” she asked my dad tentatively.
“It’s okay,” he said biting into a snail. “It will do,” he added.
I rolled my eyes….internally. I was not ready for WWIII up in this bitch. I wondered if my dad’s behaviour would impede on my going out. It was already 8 o’clock and I had places I needed to be at.
“Uncle, ah ah this food is delicious. Aunty has been making it since morning. It deserves more than just its ok,” my cousin said bravely. I couldn’t imagine saying that to my dad. It would be all over.
I looked at my dad to see him chuckle. Then he turned to my mom and said, “Oby it is delicious.” Turning to my cousin, he added laughing, “But she knows. Her food is always delicious. Why do you think I married her.”
I looked at my mom to see her blushing. African parents romance. Sigh. It was definitely not for me but it worked for them so hey.
My phone buzzed in my pocket and I used my one good hand that wasn’t smeared in Pounded yam and Okoro soup to pull it out. I looked at it 42 whatsapp messages. Jeez. What could possibly be happening. I knew I couldn’t check it unless I wanted to incur the wrath of my father so I dropped it on the table….sadly. I continued eating my food but couldn’t wait to finish so I could check my phone and get ready to leave and go play with my friends. I know..my priorities are screwed…..but I’m 23 and it is fucking Christmas in Nigeria….#excuses
I had just finished getting ready when I heard a soft knock on my door. I opened the door to see the new housemaid looking a little scared.
“Aunty,” she said shyly. “Your mummy said I should tell you that your friend is here,” she continued. I didn’t know who she was calling Aunty. We looked like we were the same age.
“Hey what’s your name again?” I asked her
“Blessing,” she replied shyly.
“You don’t have to be shy abeg. And please don’t call me Aunty o. My name is Kelechi,” I said laughing.
“Okay sorry Aun...em Kelechi,” she said smiling shyly.
I laughed as well. “Thank you Blessing. I’ll be down in a minute,” I said
“Thank God,” I heard her say before she left.
I grabbed my purse and checked my makeup. Yasss bitch. Killing it. I unplugged my phone from the charger. It had gone dead before I had a chance to look at my messages. I would look at them later. Right now, I was too excited to see Simi.
I ran down the stairs breathlessly. I had not seen my best friend Simisola in ages.
I stepped into the living room and heard my mother’s high pitched laugher. I wondered who could be making her laugh like that. I saw Simisola and ran to hug her but I noticed she was sitting next to a guy. He turned around and my face paled when I saw who it was. He smiled at me and my heart tightened. It was Tunde Akinyele. My high school boyfriend. The love of my life in high school. He looked fine as hell. My gawd. What was he doing here? I was now even more excited. This trip was going to be everything. Maybe we could even get back together? I was thinking about all the possibilities when I heard Simisola’s voice cut through my thoughts.
“We are engaggggeeeeddd!” Simisola yelled excitedly and then she stretched her left hand out for me to look at her ring.
I wanted to die.
My Unread messages
You can read Kelechi's 1st story here: HERE