Today, I thought about the day my father stopped carrying me. There was that day. He didn’t know that that would be the last day. And I didn’t know either. But after that day, he stopped carrying me. For some reason; he just stopped. He may have thought I was too old to be carried or may have gotten carried away with life and his business. But since my father does not carry me anymore, there was surely a final day he stopped carrying me.
I thought about how usual that day must have been for my family. We must have woken up as usual. Someone must have grunted with sleepy eyes as she bathed for me, telling me to ‘Ah…’ and ‘Eh…’ as she brushed my teeth lazily. My mom must have breezed through the house waking everyone up, checking on my younger brother and ‘warming’ her vehicle all at once. My elder brother must have turned in his bed and covered his head with his duvet as he snored even louder. My elder sister must have locked herself in the bathroom doing God-knows-what. And my dad, he must have received a text asking him to ‘please resume work earlier than usual today’
And so, that morning, I must have run outside in my uniform dress without wearing my pair of slippers as I heard my father’s car start and as my mother also prepared to leave. ‘I must see daddy before he goes’, I may have thought. I must have run outside and seen my dad carry my baby brother and slightly throw him up in the air. My baby brother must have pierced the early morning quietness with shrills and fake baby tears because I probably gazed upon my father with the most eager face and said ‘Do my own for me. Me, I won’t cry, you’ll see’. My dad must have looked at me smiling but must have changed his facial expression when he looked down at my feet and saw that I wasn’t wearing my slippers. I must have taken my cue from that and raced to the house to wear my slippers only to return to barely catch a glimpse of my dad’s car reverse out of the compound…
That may have been the beginning of this new phase where my father no longer carries me. But I can’t be too sure.
Anyway, this thought I had made me think about the fact that there is a last day for almost everything. There’s a last day we’ll have some experiences. There’s a last day we’ll think in a certain way. There’s a last day we’ll see some people.
For instance, there’s the last day I’ll see Sunday and Sunday, the kiosk attendant on my street who becomes your special advisor / health specialist every time you want to purchase something he doesn’t have. There’s a last time Sunday would say to me; ‘We don’t have Schweps, but we have Teem. Teem is kuku better than Schweps. Schweps na sugar. Iss nor good for your health’ (alternate both products for when he does not have Teem but has Schweps)
There would also be a last day when Sunday would tell me ‘Ahahan, this thing only expire 3days ago now. Manage it like that’ Or, ‘Don’t buy 20naira pure water, buy one bag. It’s for your own good’ Or, ‘ Only one biscuit? Take two and give me the money later’
I may already have heard these words for the last time. Or I may not. I do not know.
There would be a last time Mr Walter would scare me. Mr. Walter, the kind but queer drycleaner who lives on my block. There’s a last time I would step out of my room and turn around only to find his face scrunched up in a weird way inches away from mine. There’s a last time I would scream and say ‘Mr Walter now!’ And there’s a last time he would say, ‘Hahaha. I got you this time again. I won’t stop until you learn not to come out of your room with your back. How can you come out of your room and not face where you’re walking’. There’s a last time I would say, ‘Mr Walter, you’re so kind. The kindest man in the whole world’ and he would say ‘Yes? What do you want?’ and I would say, ‘What? I’m just giving sincere compliments here. But since you asked, please can I have some water to take my bath?’ and there would be a last time he would laugh, open his big drum reservoir and say ‘Be fetching your water o. Oya take, this last time’
There would be a last time I’ll reply a contact on my BBM. He or she would send me a message. I would probably open it and decide to reply later. It might be a ‘please help me find out about…’ message. And so I would say ‘I’ll get back to you on that’ And he or she would say ‘Oh thank you, I appreciate. Waiting’ But that might be the last time I would be able to communicate with that person… and I may never deliver the message. I may be typing a reply to the message but get carried away by my roommates’ chatters and I may never have the opportunity to reply the person again. But I would never know. And he or she would never know.
There would be a last time my witty friend would tweet. He would compose the tweet, re-read it and make some adjustments (for my witty friend cares a lot about his grammar and sentence structure). He would read over the tweet draft and smile a little to himself. ‘This would get lot of retweets’ he would think to himself. He would post the tweet and pocket his phone. ‘Notifications are best seen when there’s a lot of them’ he’ll tell himself. Truth be told, my witty friend gets lots of retweets, but there’s a last time he’ll tweet. This last tweet may be his last. It may be the tweet after this one or 70 tweets after this one. We do not know and we may never be sure.
There would be a last boyfriend my friend would have. She’s had a lot of them. And she’s not looking to settle anytime soon. But there would be a last boyfriend she would have. He might have just been a temporary choice for her, she might have done it to get back at her ex, or to keep herself busy or even because she believes he’s the one. They might be in the middle of a silent-treatment treatment before he becomes the last boyfriend she ever had. Or he might just have rendered the best ‘I love you more than the world’ speech she’s ever heard before it happens. But there would be a last boyfriend my friend would have. I don’t know who. She doesn’t know when. We may never know why.
There would be a last thing I would write. And there would be a last thing you would read. It might be a string of insults or gossip or a fanastic article. It may be something which changes lives or something which tears lives apart. But there would be a last thing I would write and a last thing you would read.
Live. Laugh. Love.