It’s another week, and for the first time in a long time, two plus two equals four and everything seems to be going at its normal pace but in a way, things are not different from what they used to be in Agbowo. Ok I agree. I don’t have to wake up each morning to the sound of my landlord’s voice cursing whomever he wishes to. But sometimes, I wish I am back at his place because the sound of his voice is not as loud as the voice on the megaphone at 5:30 am every morning, urging the Muslim brethren for morning prayers. At least Baba’s curses did not begin until past six in the morning.
I still wake up every morning with fetcher in my hand searching for a well whose water doesn’t stink or look like the mud on the street so I can fetch. What pains me most is the attitude of the porters when you tell them to pump water. One of them told me to look at her from head to toes and tell her if she looked like my housemaid. I walked away shaking my head, wondering how she would feel if I told her that she looked worse than the woman who begged for alms at the university gate. Just yesterday, after Ikem and I shared a kiss, he held my face in his hands and while I was expecting him to tell me how beautiful I looked, his brows knitted into a frown and he asked “why all these rashes on your face?” I couldn’t reply. How do I explain to a guy who never wanted me to stay in the hall in the first place, that my once spotless face now looks like a road filled with potholes because of Awo water? I couldn’t. I just smiled and kissed him again.
My travails at Awo? That I can bear. But this newly begun ultimate search for my supervisor is more than I can bear. It’s five weeks since I have been assigned a supervisor and I have seen him only once. Every time I walk past the quadrangle, my first stop is his office but as usual I meet a locked door and whenever I call him, he never picks up. I didn’t understand it when a friend once said “who says finding love is hard? Try looking for your supervisor” but now, I think I do understand. It is even harder than finding a lost pin in Bodija market
The pages of this book of lamentations is almost filled but still my frustrations keep piling up, hitting me hard in places I least expect. This is one of those nights, I lay on my bed, looking at the ceiling and thanking God that I have Ikem in my life. My only happiness is that after those long, stressful days, we get to talk and with my head on his chest, these things seem so tiny, almost invincible at least until I am plunged back into reality the next day. I close the this week’s chapter hoping that next week holds something better in store for me. By Tuesday, I would be a year older. I just pray it will not like last year when Ikem was too busy to even see me on my birthday. I hope I don’t cry or stare at his gifts this time with the feeling disappoint threatening to squeeze out my heart.
It’s time to go to bed, and as usual I have to patiently wait for my mind to fall perfectly in tune with my roommate’s snore before I drift asleep. It’s a starless night and there is no power supply in the hall. As the heat of the still night forms sweaty beads on my forehead, all I ask is that when next I write, my words would not echo the songs of lamentations but the tip of my pen would dance to the psalms of David. Goodnight.