Dusk: Chidera

My year began on the night of the thirty first of December 2012.

Now my mom has this Jekyll and Hyde thing going on, I remember telling her this one Sunday evening as I did the dishes at our old house… I was 14 years old at the time and I think she was a little bit stunned to hear those words. Anyway, the fam was preparing to go for the vigil ushering in the new year and the damn Mr. Hyde decided to rear its ugly head again.  Long story short I hated my mom for the most part of the year and moved out of the house, couldn’t stand her. Hardly saw her this year, my dad and sister begged me to come home, telling me to forgive her and try to support her seeing as her older sis died in February, but I was too busy trying to get in tune with my overwhelming emotions, losing the only woman I could relate the term mother with in terms of showing me love that had nothing to do with providing material stuff. Granted we hadn’t talked in ages, but for the life of me, that woman was everything a mother could be to me. From my adolescent years to my teen years, discussing girls and random stuff young boys do with her sons and my kid brother in her presence without being scared of a sermon or a needless over-reaction from her end, instead she’d laugh along and still correct us when we were wrong.

Such a sweet, loving woman. I miss her. Sorely. She didn’t deserve to die. I wish I could do something. Unfortunately, I can’t… at least not now. She would let I and my siblings throw fireworks and play with other kids, she let us live, set us free from the over protective cage of our home whenever we were at her place or even when she would come over to ours briefly. We couldn’t help but feel completely at ease with her. Snuggly and warm with an intoxicating laugh and heartwarming smile.

This post should be about me, but my year was influenced by her death and the death of other people that are really important to me, so yeah this year was just me acting out on everything I felt after losing two people I considered as second parents.

NOTE: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with my parents. Considering the things I notice with other families, I’d say my parents and siblings are the best ever. So conspiracy theorists scoot to one side please. Thank you.

The morning of February 16 I got the call she had died the day before. I was in bed and I remember being so distraught I took a stroll to the lagoon side, daring myself to walk into the Atlantic ocean and get pulled away by the current. Thank God third mainland water is too dirty (That’s a joke -_- ).  I called someone who funny enough I don’t speak to anymore… or is it the other way round. Lol.

Human beings can be so fickle it’s amazing.

I hate being confronted by emotions I have no business facing. The death of a loved one is something you’re not quite prepared for and the rush of emotions that come with it is something you tend to loathe with time. Being reminded of them with nearly every step you take, trying your best to stifle tears in public when your thoughts stray to visions of them smiling at you and saying something sweet or chastening that they would normally say if they were alive, actually hearing their laughter and picturing them rolling around in glee… these are things I could never get over. It didn’t help that a few days to her death my younger sister dreamt about her and she’d told my sister to stop following her (they look so alike and were so inseparable, you’d think they were identical twins). My sister had told my mom about it and they had prayed about it… I guess God knows best.

Prior to my aunt’s death, I wasn’t one to really keep in touch. I felt if I didn’t keep in touch, it wouldn’t really hurt me if I lost someone to the cold jaws of death.  I was so wrong.  Following her death, I made a decision that I’d be friendlier to people and keep in touch with them no matter how painstaking it could be.

I did try… then I lost another great friend in August. I remember seeing him at the beginning of the year and lamenting to him how gaunt he looked. I’d rushed out and bought him food, fruits and a drink, encouraged him to eat more and be healthy. My sister showed up and we spent the entire evening making him laugh, cracking jokes about how he’d calmed down as a teacher and how lucky the present crop of Queens College girls were lucky to have the subdued version of him. I came to see him at least once a month afterwards and I remember being so happy to see him in a suit (for the first time ever in all the 5/6 years I’d known him) at my sister’s graduation. We took pictures (also a first) then I introduced him to my youngest brother and cracked a joke about him being the last sibling he’d have to deal with after training the rest of us and I reminded him he was going to be the chairman at my wedding to one of his old students, a joke we both know I’m quite serious about.  I remember when I went to see him a year ago and we sat down honoring one of his students that had died, our mutual friend, he had seemed a bit aloof and I’d wondered how he could cope so well and be so calm even when we were reminiscing.

Then he too left… so unexpectedly.

I tried his phone numbers for weeks; it rang and nobody picked, weeks went by and I was still so desperate for a connection, any connection to him. I don’t know what hurts me more, that I couldn’t speak to his only child to encourage him and assure him he isn’t alone or the fact that I didn’t get to say any words… my sister did though, she suffered the most as he taught her last and everyone knew how close they were. I remember her voice when I called her to console her. I’ve never heard her so heartbroken and tired. My heart pined for her more than myself.

Then the ember months came and I lost my cousin. She’d just had her second set of male twins at the beginning of the year and instead of raising her kids, seeing them get old enough to marry and give her lovely grand kids, her life got cut short by a hit and run driver. She wasn’t even up to 35.

I’m not good at crying, hardly ever do so. I’d rather blink those tears back. So I always feel guilty, like I owe my loved ones the tears I should have shed for them. I really hope they don’t hold it against me. I couldn’t cry over the pain even if I willed myself to. I’ve tried believe me.

The year has been a haze to me. What I’ve put down is basically all I can remember and all I’ve thought about this year at various intervals, nearly every day. Last year lots of people died but none of them were related to me. I just took it for granted and assumed that kind of gist would never be mine. I don’t know what God is trying to tell me, but I’m more aware now, trying real hard to be careful the places I go to and remembering to pray for God’s protection. Also for some really weird reason, I’ve been thinking more and more about having a kid… I want someone to love, fuss and really care about, someone that’s really a part of me. Oh well, if wishes were horses…

Professionally this year, I’d say it’s been fair, working at a major oil firm has been an eye opener. I’ve met so many brilliant people. I’m grateful to God for the opportunity; getting more responsibilities is always a thrill. I employed two professionals at my mom’s company as part of my duties as director and I’m glad I’ve been able to touch some lives.

Uhm, my love life?  LOL! Let’s not go there abeg. I already have a headache.

Wait sef, at the beginning of the year it was looking live o! After last year’s post on this very blog, one of the ladies here decided I was worth being used as emotional punching bag. I was oblivious to what was happening to me after we’d texted for weeks till it was too late. Baby girl used me to get over whoever hurt her and threw me in the dirtiest, darkest part of relationship land laced with confusion, regret and plain stupidity on my part all before February 14. Smh. There has to be a special place in hell for some of you women… surely.

I pray God makes 2014 a great year for me. It’s the year I want all my dreams to come to pass. He’s laid down the groundwork; I want to hit the runway and start getting ready for takeoff. Only God can make that happen for me.

I’m so proud and happy for how far he’s brought me and my family. Oh, I forgot to mention, I made up with my mom. Her birthday was last month, she wasn’t expecting me, I came home with cake and a card. She’s not had anything fancy done for her by anyone asides my dad since I can remember, so I thought I’d change that a bit.  I could tell she was both surprised and ecstatic, she didn’t hide it. And yes she couldn’t help but touch on her actions earlier this year, claiming they were for my own good. LOL. Some of you women and your haughty self-righteous attitude…

I just kept smiling as we hugged.   I can’t wait to move out permanently.


Loved ones, we will not always have them. And when they’re gone, all the bad stuff they did won’t seem so deserving of our revulsion. Time is short. Chidera, thank you for sharing. It was really dark but we hope to see the light soon. Much love and strength to you.

Day 9: Tomboxe

2013 Though…

So at the end of the year we look back and think of all the things that went well for us, and the things that didn’t go so well, then we weigh them up against one another, add a splash of hope (and/or faith, or whatever rocks your spiritual boat) and proclaim that it’s been a good/average/bad/shitty year.

I’m not going to do all of that. I’m neither smart enough nor spiritual enough for all that. Let me rephrase that. I’m gonna do the whole looking back thing, but I’m not gonna take an average and I’m not gonna proclaim what kind of year it’s been.

What I will say is 2013 has been a humbling year. I found out I’m nowhere near as smart as I’ve been made to believe. Or as nice. Or as talented. Or as I-really-just-don’t-give-a-damn.

I failed this year. The school’s student liaison said I shouldn’t have pulled a Superman stunt and started a master’s degree so soon after losing my dad. It hurt, but not that much. The modules that are directly related to what I want to do I passed without too much effort.

This made me think.

What’s the point of struggling through all this academic stuff when my gifts clearly lie elsewhere? People who went to school with me would probably be aghast at hearing me say I’m not academically gifted, but it is what it is. I’ve found that out.

Entering 2013 I hoped to put out 3 EPs. I haven’t finished one track I’m completely happy with. I put out a couple of songs, but only because I knew I wasn’t gonna go back to them and I really didn’t care about them overmuch. But I did find a studio I’m happy with, and there is music coming. No timeframe, but it’s coming.

Oh, and I met a hell of a lot of awesome people this year. It’s amazing. Some I actually got to hang out with a bit, others who I hope I get to meet in person at some point.

Last thing. I found myself missing my dad quite a few times this year. Which is odd, as our relationship was fraught with… Well… Whatever difficult relatioinships are fraught with. Fact remains, I was his favourite, and with that comes a certain amount of affection, no matter how grudging it is. I realised as well that my dad never hugged me. Not once in 26 and a half years. But that was just the kind of man he was. Which probably explains why I… Never mind.

So yeah, it’s been a good/average/bad/shitty year. It’s had a bit of everything, so as I said, I’m not going to proclaim which if the above it was.

I’m not gonna make any declarations for 2014 either. Scripture says time and chance have a say in how things go down, so I’m not second-guessing them. I will ask a question though, of myself, and of you, if it applies to you.

Are you happy? If not, why aren’t you doing the things that make you happy ?

Live long. Prosper. Smile. Do.


Had no idea you lost your dad, bro. Sighs… Really sorry to hear about that. Salute your courage. I’m on the waiting list for your music too.