From the Future

 Yesterday, I could not post an article because I went to the future. My experience?


Let’s rewind to yesterday.

It was a pretty normal day. I was just about to start typing my article for the day when I heard someone knocking at my gate. Like the Yorubas would say, ‘Ta lo mo jero?’ I wasn’t expecting anyone. I have no ‘neighborhood friend’. Nevertheless, I went to the gate.

At the gate, there was a little girl of about 12 years old. So pretty. But apparently different from the rest of us. Her eyes were glazed. But not with tears. She sort of glowed and glittered. When she smiled at me, I felt a wave of admiration; but it was sort of electric. Like it was programmed.

She held up her palm and said ‘say your name’. I smiled at her and said ‘who are you looking for?’ She said ‘My name is Dana and I’m from the future. I bring you news, information, tidbits, scoops, whatever you call it in the past. However, I can say no more until you say your name. That’s the passcode to all the information I was given to deliver to you’.

I looked around my street. Everything seemed normal but this girl. I admitted that she looked out of place. I actually felt like I was in a 1920 movie. She looked… new. Newer and brighter than even the apparently new Mercedes Benz that just drove past. It was eerie. Of course, she was not from the future. Nobody is in the future. The future is a void space which we fill every day. But still… her glazed over eyes seemed to tell me otherwise.

I whispered my name; ‘Damilola’. I barely even heard myself. But then immediately I heard an automated female voice; ‘Passcode bang on. Your information is now acquirable. Smash this mission’. Dana smiled and her eyes became clear. Like she has just come out of a trance. Then she said ‘Thank you for cooperating. Nigerians in the past are so scared, skeptical, paranoid, cautious, hesitant and untrusting. On my neck, there are many failed missions because of people that just won’t cooperate.’ And suddenly, she turned her side and lifted her long natural hair. On her neck, there were actually marks that suggested that she had failed and passed some missions. X and ✓.

I was getting worried and fidgety. She seemed not to even notice. She looked through the ‘information’ in/on her palm, smiled and started talking ‘Sooo, thank you. What I have here is a simple case of ‘Tell her she’s not ready for her future’. You’re not ready for your future. Thank you again for giving me another successful mission. I hope you serve the same God as we do in the future. And I pray he blesses you. Good bye’.

She was beginning to sort of fade away when I heard myself say ‘Wait!’ She turned around and I (unbelievably) said ‘Please tell me more.’ She said ‘I can’t. That’s all they told, instructed and permitted me to divulge’.

I frowned and asked shyly ‘Do you… all do that in the future? Give synonyms for words when you speak?’ She said ‘No, nope, nada, Neh. Really, if you hear me speak how we speak in the future, you’ll barely be able to decipher a word. So we the MeDelis (That’s what we call messengers in the future), have to learn how you all speak/spoke in the past. Prior to now, I have spoken to some Nigerians in the past using certain words which I was told were used (or for you, are being used) but they did not understand me. So now, I just say all the synonyms I know hoping they’ll catch on to one’.

I felt stupid saying this but I said ‘Erm, okay. So, where can I find out what the message means?’ She frowned, chewed on her lip and looked thoughtful. Finally, she started walking away and said ‘Follow me. I’m allowed to bring only 12 people from the past into the future in my lifetime as a MeDeli. You’ll be my first. I agree with you. That message is pretty vague, ambiguous, equivocal, nebulous, cryptic, indecipherable…’ she continued talking till we were gone.

You might not believe it… but I went to the future.

There, everyone looked like Dana. I was the very odd one out. I looked like I was cut out of an old newspaper. I looked brown and dusty. Everything sparkled. The roads, the flying vehicles, the road vehicles, the houses. Everything was just so advanced. Everything was technology-ish. I thought to myself how nobody back home in the past would survive the future like this. Even all those tech people. The future is really the microwave age; I tell you.

Dana led me to an office. Of course, very high-tech. I would not take you through the details of how we got to the office (because I actually did not understand all the buttons and words they were using), but we did.

A very fat man; he (or shall be) occupied the office. Dana said some words to him from which I picked ‘Inquisitive’. He motioned for me to sit down on a chair across his large table. Immediately I sat, a robotic voice said my name, weight, dislikes and the last food I ate. Amala.

The man smiled and said. ‘Eat enough of that while you can. In the future here, people now drink it. They add different fruits together with the amala powder, blend it, mix it in water and call it ‘dark fruit shake’. I was horrified at the thought of it.

 Then he said ‘I hear that you don’t comprehend the message that was sent to you. I’m not surprised. Well, I’m your boss in the future and your work is unsatisfactory. Every day you come to work, you leave feeling worse than you came in because you realize that you’re the worst employee here. Not to sound harsh, but I agree with you. So I decided to help you, and in effect, help my business too. That is why I used 1 of my 5 messages on you. We, in the future are allowed 5 messages to people in the past. I would have sacked you, but I know no one else would employ you.’ Then he paused and looked at me expectantly.

At that point, I had a migraine already. It was hard listening to all of that.

Then I said, ‘Erm… sir. Well, erm. Thank you?’ I shook my head. ‘I just don’t understand you. I’m one of the best in my class. I am a good person. I do stuff. I mean, I run a blog. It’s been proven that owning a website would be very advantageous in the future.’ I paused. ‘I know this sounds wrong but, I know people duller than me. I’m a very bright student. How can you say no one would hire me?’

Then he laughed and said ‘Get your priorities right. Your future is not bright because you’re bright, your future is bright because you can see it. If you can’t see your future, it doesn’t exist. Damilola, you have no dreams. You can’t visualize yourself here. You can’t even see yourself being the best employee or an employer. You have to learn to dream vividly. It may not look like it’s possible. But look around, does anyone back in the past think all of this is possible? Dare to dream about a brilliant future for yourself. You’ll also need to work towards it. But first, dream it.’ Then he smiled and said, ‘See you in 15 years’.

I vanished and found myself back in my compound. Here. Where we all are. The past of the future. My own present. I realized ‘One day, all of this would be history. I suddenly felt hungry. I decided to have some amala

…and some big dreams.

*Just kidding. I was tired to my bones yesterday night.*

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