I’m sorry this dies halfway. It was something I started this afternoon, stuck (and bored) at a carpenter’s shop, and when my savior came, my inspiration ran away. So, enjoy (until it stops suddenly.)
Every afternoon, I like to take a long walk down our street. If I’m going to be totally honest, I don’t do it every afternoon. I read somewhere that if you want to be successful, you have to take long walks every day to think and clear your head and properly plan your goals.
So some afternoons, not every time like the advice said, just maybe five or four and sometimes three times a week, I stand from my bed where I lay for most of the day and wear something and walk. The advice also said to not listen to music but music is my favourite thing in the world so I always plug my ears and blast loud music out my earphones.
I don’t go up my street because it always, always crowded. There’s a mechanic’s compound where urchins hang out, opposite it is a row of shops that houses a canteen that is rumoured to sell crow eggs. I don’t think it has affected her sales in any way because it is always filled with the urchins that hang out in the mechanic’s shop; that’s where they all go to have their breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The row of shops also houses two tailors who always fight over customers. They are so annoying. You can be walking in front of their shops with a polythene bag containing fabric and I swear they’ll start pulling at you, both of them at the same time, like they’re trying to pull you apart and rip you in the middle and you’ll just stand there, the rope in this tug of war, helpless and looking around for someone to save you. This happened to me. The stupid urchins, both the ones by the mechanic’s compound and the ones seating after eating at the canteen, were just laughing at me. It was so embarrassing.
The last shop (there are four of them) is owned by a man who fixes refrigerators. I don’t think he gets a lot of customers because I know he has a table-tennis table he rents out everyday. I think it is twenty naira for a game, and when it is a tournament which is most often played by those urchins, I think he gets a share of the tournament prize money which should be maybe five hundred naira which means he gets maybe two hundred or less. He can’t possibly get equal amount with the winner, I don’t think it is done like that, I mean, I don’t think it is fair.
I go down my street where the middle class houses are, not up, because when I used to go up, there was this day I met some guy at the mechanic’s shop who followed me and started talking to me. My first instinct was to keep quiet and maybe he’ll leave me alone and walk back, but then I thought to myself Come on only girls do shit like that, so when he said Hi, I said Hi back and he asked for my name and I told him Sunday and he laughed.
Now, I really don’t like it when people laugh at my name. It’s so insensitive and rude. My parents took their time to find out something precious to them and decided to bestow it upon me as my name, and someone laughing at that just means they’re insulting my parents. So I told him. But he was so mature that he stopped laughing and apologise. Guys in my secondary school would just laugh on, the idiots.
I asked his own name and when he said Israel, I told him I could laugh at that too because Jacob in the bible who God changed his name to Israel was an idiot who bowed to his son. I asked him if he wanted to bow to his son and he said no. Then he apologised again and I said it was fine, that he didn’t have to.
We went back and forth and on and on and it was so creepy because even though he was an urchin, he spoke really fluent English. I mean, fluent enough that I could understand him. He told me he had gone to secondary school before dropping out because his father died and his mother broke down emotionally and couldn’t support the family and since he was the eldest boy, he had to rise up the occasion and support his two siblings.
I thought it was very weird that he was just telling me, a stranger, all this but I didn’t tell him that because come on, he was baring his soul to me and I couldn’t shut him up. Would have been rude. Also, maybe I liked hearing about stuff like that. I mean, a little gossip exists in all of us.
So he went on and told me about his little sister who was now in the university and his little brother who wanted to drop out of secondary school too when he got older but after he beat him and threatened him, that was the end of that stupid notion. I asked him about his mother and he just looked away at the floor so I knew I had hit a raw spot and I quickly apologised.
But he said it was fine and even smiled and said his mother was taken to the village when she didn’t recover but was doing fine now and even called me everyday. I was glad, like, genuinely glad. I don’t know why.