Yesterday I thought of running away. It’s not the first time I’ve had that thought this month. I even thought of suicide at some point. And by suicide, I knew that was straight to hell. But at that time, even the continuous sting of fire on the skin and the smell of burning flesh and hair didn’t seem so bad compared to what I was going through. I was even convinced that I’d prefer cancer to my present situation. I mean, there’s no battle worse than that of the mind. Physical pain is surely better than emotional dread and an aching heart. That was the first time I thought about running away.
That was my first destination. I could just hop on a bus going to Lagos and make everyone believe I was missing. I would get to Lagos and look for a well-to-do house, if not a mansion. Ask the gateman for their Madam. Go in and tell her how well I can clean and wash and even cook. I would tell her how sharp I am and how fast I could calculate things. I’d change my name of course and when she asked about my family, I’d tell her I don’t have any, but if she wants to inquire more, I’d just tell her they’re all gone. If she asked about my education, I’d just simply say I dropped out of uni because I didn’t have any money to continue. I wasn’t planning on going with any clothes or luggage. I’d just go with my handbag, my Bible, prayer book and some under wears. That’ll be enough. Madam would give me a room in the big house, tell me about all the instructions I have to follow, buy clothes for me ( hopefully very free and long ones, just in case Oga was an unfaithful husband, thank God I’m educated. I’d even prayed he travels a lot ), and give me chores to do immediately. I’d even hoped that I’d meet another house help there who was going to show me around and tell me what Madam likes and dislikes. Hopefully she’d be an illiterate or half-educated, so I’d teach her maths and physics and more English sef. We’ll get books from Madam’s children’s old ones and I’ll read so many books I could ever read.
But Lagos? Kai, Lagos is not that safe o. What if Madam sends me to the market one day and I find someone I know there, or worse of all one of my school mates?
So I think of Port-Harcourt, with the same scenario and Madam and second house help that I’ll teach and Oga travelling a lot. That one is even safer. No one will know me. And it’s far enough too. I even went as far as thinking that one day, one of Madam’s sons will come back from America or England, and see me, not just as one house help like that. He may even sneak around and see all my designs and all the drawings I’ve kept. He’ll fall in love with me and ask me to marry him. Of course I’m not stupid. I’ll say yes now. And then he’ll ask Madam. Of course Madam is not stupid. She’ll say no. Why should her son marry house help? This generation of now a days sef ehn. So her son will arrange all our travelling stuff and we’ll run away to New York. We’ll get married, he’ll start work, I’ll start fashion school. We’ll get pregnant and we’ll have our first born.
That was yesterday afternoon that I updated my back up plan – during work, when all you can do is sit down till your feet swell and you’d still get home tired – but today it’s different.
Today, I was reading one part of my Bible that said something about children. And then back up No. 2 clicked. I suddenly want to teach. I’m no longer craving to serve/ do my NYSC in a construction company. Now, I pray I get posted to a school, somewhere I’ll be able to teach and change children’s lives, change their mentality about life and what they can become. Make being rich and prosperous something they’ll be able to achieve. Then I start thinking of travelling around the world, adopting children from every nation and continent, from tribes people didn’t even know existed. I even saw earlier today at the back of one of my notes where I wrote:
22: NYSC, practise driving, get a boyfriend.
23: start work, get accommodation, masters.
24: work, save, get engaged.
25: work, get married.
26: become an Engineer, first child.
27: Second child
28: Third child
I must really be stupid to think that my life belongs to me and not to God. Or that I can plan my whole life without God having a say in any of it. But the truth is that a part of me wants something to do with so many children and whether I have the strength or not i don’t even care.
You see, my mind goes to so many places my body cannot go. My mind is unstoppable. It has the ability to think of things that seem impossible to the average man. My mind goes far, wide and wild about any and almost every thing. Our minds have the capacity to take us to places. Whether good or bad, that’s an individual’s decision to make. Now I’m not saying do whatever your mind brings up or do whatever you think about. I’m saying that whatever comes to your mind has it’s reasons for being there. Ask God to tell you why the thought is there and what you should do about it. The only being that knows you better than you know yourself is God.
Do what you have to do, but not out of desperation for comfort.