They say the moment you are about to die, your life suddenly flashes before your eyes. Like a quick summary of what sucks, and what rocks, all that has ever been monumental to you slides by within those few seconds while the weak throbbing of your failing heart serves as a soundtrack.
But I think they lied. Whoever “they” may be because when I first got the call that my Dad died, my life didn’t flash before my eyes. It didn’t happen when I attended the first two formal dinners hosted by our own Patreco Inc and Servace Oil. It didn’t happen on my wedding day, neither when I had the twins, nor tonight. Tonight of all nights, why isn’t my life flashing before my eyes? Because at each one of all these moments, I felt like I was dying. Right here, right now, I feel the same.
How did we get here? A minute ago, I was in my tight tight jeans, and comfy sneaks, strolling to class from the cafeteria telling Jide just how amazing it feels, to be finally submitting our final thesis, telling him how much I missed Nigeria, and that I couldn’t wait to go home.
“You sure about that? Jide asked, with his brows arched, and lips slightly curved. Meaning he didn’t believe me
” look Jide, nothing feels better than being back home. Can’t wait to talk to my dad!” just the thought of my dad got me super excited.
” you spoke with your dad this morning,” he said
” come on,I mean real time! Seeing him face to face… ” I snapped
” ha-ha! Got ya!” he laughed. Then continued ” come to think of it, this time last year, you couldn’t wait to leave our – er – what did you call it?” paused, thinking then continues ” yeah… our forsaken Naija”
“Whoa! Don’t be dramatic. I said that?”
” can remember vividly. You were uspet from speaking with your mum, and you said something about the subsidy removal affecting your dad’s company,”
” oh yeah, that was the day our flights were confirmed.” I smiled, relieving the memories of how excited I was when I found out my masters program was to begin 3rd of June and Jide had won the scholarship too.
“Yeah… so, you see humans can’t be satisfied? last year, you couldn’t wait to jet out of Nigeria. Today, you can’t wait to leave halifax.” he shook his head, and pulled me off the walkway, towards his motorcycle which got me thinking, my dad would go ballistic if he found out I have been biking all around halifax, Canada. Oh, how I missed that man.
” no, don’t say that.” I countered, as I fastened the helmet beneath my chin..
” the truth is, Canada is amazing. people here are nice, and you can get doughnuts of every flavour, everywhere you turn… but honestly, I wish I had prepared for the weather by spending a day or two in a walk in freezer.
“You clown!” Jide burst out laughing, then said seriously ” you are totally right. I swear, I can’t wait to be back home too!” he said, starting his bike, and we zoomed off to our off campus apartment.
We ordered dinner from an Italian restaurant and toasted to our last days in Canada. I was really excited, but I could see that Jide had something boggling his mind, and it took him till the last day, when we were about leaving for Nigeria, before blurting it out… “now what?” he said
“What?” I asked
” Simi, now we have our masters, we are going home, back to the way things used to be, now what?” he asked
I knew what exactly he was talking about. Here in Canada, nobody knows us. Nobody cares if Simi’s father was an oil businessman, or if Jide was just a poorman’s son, who managed to live above average, and who’s intelligence gets him by. Here, we were unknown, and our relationship could flourish undeterred.
For a moment, I feared going home, and having my mother yell at me, telling me about standards, and the reason why my Louboutin is 5inches heeled. “It is called Standards” she would say “the few inches that set you apart, and stand you out. You shouldn’t be squatting in a Louboutin. You should look for someone who stands as tall as you” trust me, when she says squatting, she means financially.
She believe a man’s heights and standard, is defined my how swollen his pocket is. Needless to say, mom hates Jide, and his starch stiffed shirts… as she usually referred to him.
I wish I had remained in Canada because, two weeks later, dad died, and Mom was prepping me for the first formal dinner with the partners. She didn’t even give me a moment to mourn my beloved dad.