Lagos, the dream city of any girl born in a small town, i am what you will call an uptown girl born and raised in Akure,capital city of Ondo state, very peaceful and very quiet, a community where even your neighbor could discipline your child on your behalf and get a thank you from your parents…..in other words it was a town that had the communual spirit .
Akure was one town where it truly took a village to raise achild, do i miss those days? i honestly dont know, somedays are good and some days are just outrighly boring, but looking out my window, here in lagos in our very quiet GRA, I remember and quietly reflect on how far i have strayed from home, how things that used to sound ridiculous in our Akure have somehow become the norm in the big city. Did i ever dream of living in lagos i cant remember but even if idid, thats not the subject of this episode……
I SAW MY NEIGHBOR, i am not kiddng, i really did see my neighbor…let me start by telling you what my day is like, i wake up at 4am to cook, my husband isn’t really big on breakfast but the kids still need their lunch packed and i like my family to wake up to the smell of clean air and freshly cooked food in the morning, maybe some airfreshners too so i get up early to get all those things in place after all a perfect aroma sets the pace for a great and happy day,so im the early riser, after school runs and the morning rush is over i love to catch up on the sleep i lost before its lunch time, so i laid on the couch, hoping to keep flipping through channels and resting while i fall asleep, the combination of unknown voices, the humm of the fan and the gentle song the AC breeze makes is the perfect soundtrack for sleep, just when i was about dozing off, i heard it, it first sounded like it was coming from the TV, I looked but it was a comedy show that was on, i moved up a little and it was sobbing, i heard it loud and clear someone was crying and it was close by, i opened the door and there she was on the staircase, i saw my neighbor in her night clothes just sitting there, the door had startled her so she wiped her tears and managed a smile but yes i cant miss it, i know that face, the face and eyes of a crying woman are all too familiar to me, she turned around and looked at me, manging unconvincingly to smile through the tears, her eyes still wet as mist, we stood for a complete 30 seconds no one moved a muscle, then she went back downstairs, i watched her leave yes I SAW MY NEIGHBOR AND SHE SAW ME
YES SHE DID, That night when hubby came home after a long day, something told me to tell him what i saw but i dismissed it and i told myself, housewives are known” aprokos” dont fit the stereotype, break it, be the housewife that minds her business, make your husband proud, i held him from behind and he grunts smiles and says ” you missed me right” i said ‘ you know i do” he turned to face me and as if it was on cue his towel dropped and i have a very unbendable rule of engagement, ‘eye wey see must chop’ so he already knew that was an invitation to treat of course i stepped up to the plate and addressed the matter in details after having my fill, it was his turn and we came back to earth..and there was a knock on the door, it was my six year old “mummy i want more’ , ‘i’m coming’ yelled back, realizing the irony of the situation my husband and i laughed out really loud ‘ mummy are you laughing at me” my daughter said ‘ no honey, your daddy did something funny’ she shrugged’ he is a clown’ i know.
i opened the door walked to the kitchen to give my baby more porridge,inside me thanking my God for the happy day and happy ending i just had, and i stepped into the kitchen and gave her the food i saw a shadow move swiftly behind my window i asked my baby” is this enough”? , she said “yes mummy thank you, you are the best”, “you are welcome “i said, sent her to the dinning and then waited a bit before i checked out the shadow.
i opened the door quietly this time and there she was again, this time on the phone just listening, tears running freely from her eyes, she was still, she didnt move just stood there like a statue, again i saw my neighbor but this time around she didnt see me…….i felt the urge to reach out and ask her hey whats going on? are you okay? but the Lagos spirit came over me ” you might be a housewife but you are not an amebo, is that where your husband put you? go nad mind your business and face your happy life’ and i turned around as i turned around she broke into a run, she ran binto her house like a possesed woman, i thought to myself, her food must be burning and i closed my door….
i got into back into the house and it was bedtime, i tucked the kids in and went to our room, hubby was already dozing, i turned off the lights got into bed and snuggled close to him. he held me and said ‘ are you okay baby” i aid ” im great baby” i have you and the kids and thats all i ever wanted’ he nodded good and i love you, i said ‘ i love you too, something told me to share with him the things i observed that day but i just couldnt, i didnt want to be labelled an Amebo by the man i love, i already wear the lazy housewife label i dont need anymore stigma especially from the man whose opinion means the world to me, so i kept quiet…my name is Kofoworola Brown and i saw my neighbor more than once……
I SAW HER…..to be continued