For a long time I have taught myself to feel nothing. Growing up with
a single mother and older brothers, and men who could be better role
models if they didn’t come home soaked in alcohol and the coulda
shoulda woulda’s that haunt the moments of sober consciousness that
slip through, you deal with it. Being the youngest kid is supposed to
I saw my mother break her back for her children, and for the children
of others of whom I was her chief example. When one of mine was dearly
departed and the other voluntarily departed, her arms took me and gave
me roots. Planting me in her chest and promising she would do her best
by me, as she did with every demon that ran out of Patience for our
Naija movie nights. And every time she clapped when I got an A, and
every time she yelled at me for being dumb.
There are few things stronger than her. And there was nothing in the
world I wanted more to be. For that I decided that the only way was
not to feel. I have learned with every new coat of rust formed on the
dam that I created that her strength was in feeling everything. And I
can only hope that one day, I can learn to do that too.
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