Lagos, 1996, I think
I missed ‘bus seven’. At this point, I was convinced my teachers who had stayed with me till 5pm were going to take me to their house or better still, mine. I was frowning outwardly but my inward tears were ‘real’. I was afraid, I was afraid my mother would be worried. A dark creature came running, shouting “Tomi! Tomi!” Uncle J to the rescue. I had never been so glad to see him.
England, February 2014, en route Buckingham.
I remind Uncle J about the incident. Before blurting two sentences, he remembers. So, we reminisce about the good old days: Iba Housing Estate, friends, neighbours, naughty neighbours and chemists. We talk about religion, culture and what my father’s reaction might be if I married a white woman. Uncle J has always been fun, I love him.
England, February 2014, Heathrow
Daddy Finally ‘shows face’; we’d been waiting almost an hour. I give him a firm hug. I could see the stress behind the smile. Having to console everyone during this sad period of Grandma’s death. We gist and I realise that I love this man more each day. We talk about mummy, my brothers, the village that Buckingham is and his disappointment that it’s nowhere near Buckingham palace. He walks through the fast track of airport security. I wave goodbye. Not many fathers would take time out of their 7-hour stopovers to see their son(s). Lest I forget, I drain some currency off him.
England, February 2014, Buckingham
I have school tomorrow, argh! Or yay! Tomorrow would tell.
♠ Tomi.O, In February 2014