Chasing Pink dreams II
I took the book from Chinonye and traced my thumb over the gold embossed title “Pink”. My mind went back to that night.
It had been a sleepover to remember. We sat facing the open window as the cool night breeze tousled our hair and washed over our faces. Chinonye was sandwiched between us, me on her left and Douye on her right. She was reading from the book “Pink”. We were all listening with rapt attention as our minds took us on the journey through the life of the protagonist, Mivanyi and her amazing/inspiring story of how she published an international bestseller at the age of nineteen.
“‘It was the best feeling ever. One that Mivanyi would always cherish as her novel, “Pink” was the rave of the literary world.’” She read with a contented sigh and closed the book. Her face was flushed with emotions from the book.
‘’I want to be like Mivanyi. When I’m twenty, I want to have accomplished a very important dream that gets noticed by my country’’. She said quietly.
Douye nodded. “Yeah, me too. Maybe I’ll have my name in fashion magazines for the craziest dresses.” She loved fashion designing and at fifteen, she was full of passion for it. She was always drawing new designs for dresses. And her designs were surprisingly very aesthetic.
I was also touched by Mivanyi’s story. She’d conquered her fear and achieved her biggest dreams at twenty. I wanted no less for myself. Yes, I could be very lazy and carefree about things, but *sigh*, I also wanted the spotlight to shine on my ebony skin. I mean, what right thinking teenage girl wouldn’t?
“I’m willing to work towards being a popular singer at 20. Maybe win the MTN Project Fame before 20. Yeah…that’s what I’ll do.” I solemnly said.
I faced my two friends.
“Girls, you know we can do this. Mivanyi did it. We just have to start now.’’ I said earnestly.
“That gives us five years.” Douye said. We were all fifteen at the time, having the same birthdays.
“On our 20th birthday, we’d get together and celebrate our accomplishments.” She continued.
It was settled then. Solemnly, we pledged to do so, and that night, our dreams were filled with beautiful pictures of the future.
The first year, we worked hard at our dreams. I worked hard to be a singer. I composed zillions of songs, most of which ended up in the trash. I stopped eating junk and tearfully but firmly said goodbye to potato chips and began to take honey in warm water (on the recommendation of my aunt who was a Music teacher at school) each time I felt like eating a snack that would damage my singing career. Mom was impressed. Dad was proud of me. I lost a bit of my 65 kilograms.
Douye made more designs and joined a sewing class. At the end of the year, she could make some of her designs. She was going well.
Chinonye…well, Chinonye was our motivator. Not once did I hear her complain about anything. She was always the one to think and see the silver lining in our dark clouds. Douye was too busy wearing Gucci sunshades to notice any silver linings. And of course, the clouds always looked dark to her.
My head was always down staring at or scribbling a new composition in my song notebook. I didn’t even see the clouds, much less, notice that they were dark. Chinonye was a shoulder to lean on.
She had a great body, tall, slim and graceful. Her warm, brown eyes always held a hint of wisdom in them and we were glad that she was our friend. We knew she was interested in gymnastics but that wasn’t what she wanted to spend the rest of her life doing. So, she just egged us on while she faithfully practiced her on her bars, and rings and what other things gymnasts used. Lord knows I had never been anywhere near a gym in my entire life.
Graduation day came and I wrote a song for my class titled “A Piece of You”. I sang it on grad day and the crowd loved it. I was thrilled to bits. It was a very good start for me. Then college came up and as we separated to different schools, getting an A or at least a C in our various courses somehow seemed to be the most important thing in our lives. Our dreams were there and they remained dreams.
And now…they were all coming back to us. We had only less than a year to accomplish our goals.
Long after Chinonye and Douye left, I laid on my bed thinking, with the packet of potato chips to help process my thoughts. Seriously, was this going to work? Could we work hard enough and get just the right amount of luck to live our dreams? I was somewhat scared. I didn’t want to disappoint myself. What if I failed? Failing scared the heck out of me. Three years ago, when I’d failed the post-UME for the school after my heart, UNILAG, I’d almost gone into depression. Nobody could understand why I didn’t eat for two days (though I secretly sneaked some Mars bars when the hunger became too unbearable but still…). The other time too when I flunked that Chemistry competition in secondary school, I refused to go to school the next day. I was miserable. Down in the dumps.
Winning a singing talent show was something way bigger. The only option I had was to win. Win or die. Extreme? No, Douye’s slogan the next day was even more intense.
“It’s either these designs sell big time…or I’m gonna shoot everybody who ever told me…‘just give these out, Douye and your name will be on every woman’s lips.’” She said in a no-nonsense voice.
As I shuddered, I made a mental note to buy a bullet proof jacket in the near future. I mean, you never know…