PHOTO STORY: SOLA’S TALE

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I had a very long day at work and all I could think about was that I needed to get some serious rest. Once I got out of the car, I half-ran to the door of my apartment, fished out my keys from my purse, pushed the door open and headed for my bedroom. It was almost as if my bed had a magnetic pull of some sort on me. In fact, if you had looked at me that instant, you would have sworn that I was high on something and needed a snort.

I hung my coat and my keys in the ante-room and made a bee-line for my bedroom. When I made it to the living room, my sleep-addled brain registered that something was wrong. Scratch that – everything was wrong. My gaze swept the whole room. Shit. All my stuff was gone. I slowly slid to the floor, pulled off my stilettos, dropped my handbag and sat there on my expensive wooden finished floor.I scoffed. Every single thing was gone: my 32-inch HD television set was gone, the spare cash I hid under my arm chair was gone, my hand-made crochet centre mat was gone and what’s worse, my sister’s priceless painting  she gave to me on my 35th birthday was gone. The thieves, whoever they were, cut it out of its frame and dumped it there on the floor for me to mourn its absence.

For a long while, I just sat there trying to grasp the reality of this unexpected situation. At a point I fancied the idea  of picking up my phone to call the police, but you know how it is with our men in black here; it would have been pointless. I was sure the door was locked when I came in. Or was it? I was so much in a hurry to meet my bed that I didn’t even remember what I did with the keys I had dug out of my purse.

I was tired from the hard times and unrealistic deadlines my boss gave me at the office. I was also tired of the daily pressure from my mum’s need to hold her grandchildren and I was also tired of meeting up with my divorce lawyer everyday for the past three months to finally break it off with the man who ran off on me five years ago. Suffice to say, my life was a hot mess. I looked up and I saw it still hanging there – my marriage photo. It didn’t cost much but I wished the thieves had actually stolen it because I hadn’t come around throwing it away as it was the last reminder of my horrible marriage to Bidemi. I just sat there, with no clue whatsoever about what to do next.

Speaking of marriage keepsakes, my vase! Mum’s vase! I turned to see if it was there on the black coffee table where it used to be and it was gone. I only saw one of the flower stalks there by the table. It looked so beautiful and colourful. I liked that vase not because it was expensive or anything. I liked the vase because the flowers it contained were so colourful which clearly defined the opposite of what my life was: monochromatic. It made me feel like I had a bit of positive excitement in my dull, boring life. That’s when I heard it. It started like a chuckle, a slow chuckle born out of exhaustion, frustration and pain. It was until it broke into the evil laugh it was meant to be that I realised that it was coming from me. Why did my life have to be so annoyingly dramatic?.

I took one last look at my living room and I thought to myself: which is better, panic or sleep? I never got to answer that question because some 12 hours later, I found myself at the same spot with the same clothes fully relaxed and ready to face the bullshit life gave me.

-Nduka Ifeoma (@femaleigboarch)

Edited by: Nduka Ozioma

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