I was looking at my intervention and everything about it was hilarious. From the moment Linda, my younger sister, came into my room to call me, I knew something was up.
She stood by the door and said, ‘Lydia, mommy and daddy is calling you‘. I corrected her ‘Mommy and Daddy are calling you’ Then I frowned and looked at her, ‘Are they angry?’ She looked away briefly, looked back at me and said, ‘No o’
Then I went downstairs. My mom, dad, Linda and Aunty Rosola (one of our very close extended family members) were seated, looking very serious and mournful. I was worried. I began to think about all the terrible things I had done in the last two months; could they have noticed that Dennis broke up with me last month (even though I did my best to shake it off. The last thing I need in my family is attention); could they have found out that I inflated some of the textbook prices? Every other bad thing I ever did came rushing to my head (no need to reveal my secrets now).
I got to the sitting room and greeted everyone. They nodded solemnly. Then my mom started. ‘Sit down Adeolabo’. Fire on the mountain, I reckoned. My mom only calls my Yoruba name when there is trouble.
‘I will be plain and simple with you. You need our help.’ She continued. ‘It is a bad family that will know that one of them needs help and they will shut up simply because the person did not approach them for help. You have not appoached us for help but it is our duty to help you; and that’s what we’ll do. This is why you can see all of us here today’
I was worried and suddenly weak and tired.
My dad cleared his throat, ‘Good introduction, mummy. Yes Lydia, we are here to help you. Your sister here,’ he pointed absentmindedly at Linda, ‘said she overhead you talking to yourself in your room last night. Linda, Oya repeat what she said’
My confused, almost rolling eyes moved lazily from my father to my adorable little sister (who is the absolute master over reporting matters to higher authories). She looked sorry as though she had not planned for this report to birth such a proactive solution. ‘When I was passing beside your room in the night yesterday, so I now heard you saying: ‘I need a friend for some change.’ She looked sad and guilty as she quickly added, ‘It’s not that I went to go and report to daddy o. I was just asking what’s the meaning of I need a friend for some change means’
(Linda is too adorable. She and her bad English)
Aunty Rosola was the next to speak, ‘My love, feeling like you need companionship is not a bad feeling. Everyone needs friends. But the tone of your voice from Linda’s report is so disturbing. Baby, why do you feel like you need a friend for some change? What is going on? Are you feeling suicidal or betrayed? Did all your friends do something bad to you? Are you hurting? Please talk to us. We exist to help you okay?’
I started laughing. I don’t know how I did but I know that there was a point I just could not hold all in. It was so hilarious to me.
Finally, I stopped laughing and said, ‘Please don’t be worried o. I was on the phone with Bisi and she and I were talking about how I have friends for everything; or at least how my many friends can be important to me in different capacities. We were listing each friend and their capacity when she mentioned that I didn’t have a friend who always carried change around seeing as I always have either N500 or N1000 whenever I need to pay for something. Then I exclaimed and said: That’s right! I need a friend for some change.’
My mother still does not believe. She believes the story is ludicrous. Well, I believe the intervention was more ludicrous.