Life is not a fairy tale!

Life is not a fairy tale!

The gnawing pain in my abdomen grew worse. I doubled over and winced, willing the pain to pass. My head throbbed like a sore tooth. I looked over at the plate beside my bed. The dried piece of bread left over from last night sat unperturbed. My stomach churned at the sight, bile and nausea rising in my throat.

I rose from the bed to go to the bathroom, my vision doubled at the effort. I cradled my head in my hands and sat right back, apologizing to my ailing body for the unnecessary movement.

I felt uneasy, like life was draining out of me. I reached for the Amoxil tablets on the little table. It was the only table I had in the sparse cubicle-type room. My land lady had graciously brought it out from her store, all dusty and old. I had no choice.

I feverishly pressed a tablet into my right hand and looked around for my cup. It was empty. I reached for the keg of water I always had well supplied, it was empty. Aaargggh!!!

My mind raced at the thought of going out to buy water. The closest place was five houses away. I’ll most definitely faint before I get there.

I sat back on my flat mattress praying feverishly for sleep to claim my tired body when I heard a knock on the door.


Two more knocks in quick succession.

“Remi, are you in?” It was Aunty Funke. My angel in human form..

I had met her when I came to Bukuru, posted to a school to teach biology to senior students, most of them as dull as dishwater. The whole process had angered me so, until I met this pretty Business Studies teacher, a young wife living in the neighbourhood. She was Yoruba, so amidst the language confusion, I found a ready companion. I spent most Thursday evenings in her house watching Super story and gulping down bowl after bowl of Amala and ‘draw’ soup.

“Aunty, I’m here o. I’m not feeling well”, I managed to drag my bones, encased in hot, typhoid stricken flesh to my rickety door.

Aunty Funke gasped at the sight of my haunted frame.

“Sorry dear. Haba. Why didn’t you come to the house now?” She was looking around the room, probably pitying my sorry Ajuwaya life.

“Have you eaten?” she asked, clearly worried. My eyes flew to the plate beside the bed; the day old bread stared back at me. I shook my head, no.

We packed a few of my clothes and my medicines and headed to her place. She gave me a spare room and I lay down. Twenty minutes later, I was served a steaming plate of Pap with lots of milk. I inhaled it in a flash. I felt better almost immediately. Ha! Akamu wonder.

I lay back again and slept like a baby. At about 7.30 pm I woke to a heavy plate of pounded yam. I over estimated my ability to keep down such a monstrous dinner and dived in, meat first. I had finished three quarters of the meal when I felt a sudden sensation in my abdomen. I dropped the next morsel, already rolled in vegetable soup and halfway to my mouth.

The sensation in my abdomen moved to my chest. It was irritation plus nausea plus typhoid and a little of something else. Maybe I need water, I thought.

I reached for the glass of water and gulped a mouthful. It was then I understood what the mysterious sensation was. I rushed to the bathroom, my hand over my mouth. And for the next five minutes I returned everything I had taken…. and more.

I felt so drained; I could hardly stand up straight. My vision was blurred and I could not see a thing. Aunty Funke was in the kitchen still drumming up stuff. I groped for the walls trying to feel my way to the living room. It was horrible. Everything in my system felt like it belonged somewhere else.

For a few minutes I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. When I came to, I was lying on the living room floor, Aunty Funke and her kids hovering over me.

I had fainted.

I was given half a cup of ‘Agbo’ to drink. The herbal mixture confused me, it was so bitter. I crawled back to bed, hoping to sleep right into the middle of next week!

It was a terrible night. I thrashed around, unable to sleep. My dreams were haunted; I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was in trouble.

I woke up to the tune of a message alert on my phone Ah! A welcome distraction from the throes of pain. I read the message and blinked. I read it again to be sure I hadn’t added hallucination to my list of illnesses.

“You are invited for the final test and interview session. Venue:15, Industrial avenue Iluepju, Lagos.

Time: 5pm , Saturday, 7th November.

Please be punctual.”

I looked at the time, 7am. I looked at the date 7th. Today is 7th!? Okay, calm down, I told myself. The month, yes that’s it. The month is wrong. I looked at the calendar. Oh my gosh! It’s November!

My mind raced. Jos is like 13 hours away from Lagos. How will I ever get there on time?

What if I ‘stab’ this interview? Ehn? Risk losing the job? It’s a multinational company o! After taking four different tests, for which I had to travel to Lagos at 8k per trip on my meager corper’s Alawi? Ah! Nothing dey happen. We go rough am die!

I jumped up, about to dash to my room to get ready when I felt a headache the size of World War 2. I cradled my head in my hands again and calmed down. I shall live and not die o. Lagos here I come.

I hobbled to the living room to talk to Aunty Funke.

An hour and half later, I was in a cab on my way to the very ‘dry’ Jos airport. The airport ground was so ‘dry’, I wondered if planes landed there at all. I booked my flight at twelve thousand naira, much to my chagrin. Departure was for 12 noon. I had about three hours to kill so I stretched out on the lounge seats and caught some Z’s.

It was my first time on a plane. Except for the very uncomfortable pain in my ears, it was a great trip albeit too short. I even made a friend who I found was a member of my church in Lagos and a native of Bukuru where I was serving, neat huh?

I got home at about 2pm thanks to Lagos traffic. By this time, I noticed I was feeling much better. The typhoid had probably seeped out through my ears. At 5pm sharp I was at the venue of the interview.

The e-test was first. I tried my best but the math was difficult. I never liked math.

Everything else went well. The co-ordinator told us the marks will be mailed to us the very next day. I rushed to the cyber café the next morning. The connection was poor and I was so impatient.

Could this be what I’d been waiting for? A job? Just three months into service year? I would move back to Lagos straight up.

I was so excited I almost forgot my password.

The subject of the mail caught my eye. I clicked in and read hurriedly……

Time seemed to freeze as all the excitement I had built up gradually dissipated. I swallowed noisily and got up slowly. My sister, who had accompanied me, was at a loss for words. She tried to encourage me.

“C’mon. It’s not the end of the world now.” Those were her words.

I nodded slowly as we made our way back home.

Jos, here I come, back…


44 thoughts on “Life is not a fairy tale!” by RemiRoy (@RemiRoy)

  1. This made me smile but at the same time sad. The things we through in this country . . . . .
    Remi, true success always has a story behind it. This is part of your story.
    Nice writing. The story was easy to follow and your descriptions, real.

    1. Yes dear. The things we go through. What can I say? Thanks.

  2. I’m not sure whether to LOL or say eiyah, so I’ll do both. Lol. Eiyah. Lovely piece of writing, Remi. I enjoyed this plenty.

    1. Ha! Uche. My thought exactly. A little of lol and eiyah! :)
      Thanks a lot.

  3. Not to worry Remi; all’s well that ends well, don’t they say? My Pastor mentioned on Sunday that the Bible starts quite a number of its chapters this way, “And it came to pass…” meaning ‘it’ will pass; they never stay.

    Good writing dear.

    1. Abby, I totally agree, it does pass. I learnt a lot from that experience. But hey! it wasnt all sad. i really had some laffs along the line. :)

  4. 2cute4u (@2cute4u)

    This is nice Remi..
    Great narrative skills

    1. Thanks a lot, cute.

  5. Simple,easy to follow narrative,just the way I like a story told.Good job Remi.

    1. Thanks a lot, Isaac.

  6. eeesh!!! Stings! don’t mind them! nonsense people! notice how when we don’t get what we want they become ‘nonsense’ and ‘rubbish’? :D It’s good to look back and laugh jare- keep pressing on! Oh and thanks for sharing! Nice one!

      1. Stupid Keyboard!

        Was going to say. Thanks for the love, and I agree, ’tis good to look back and laugh.
        Thanks girl!

  7. To be honest @RemiRoy, I didn’t find much to laugh about. You were ill, you nearly missed an interview, you didn’t get the job. Still, it’s good that you can look back on these experiences without feeling bad about them…

    1. Thanks TolaO. We need more people like you to make the world work. No ‘Nonsense stability’ pays.
      You are right about that, I do not feel bad about these things.

  8. I echo TolaO,what’s the lol about?this is a sad scenario even if it ended well.
    @ Remi,I’m sad this happened to you owing that I like you lots,good write up duh,yea thanks for sharing.

    1. Awww, Your Royal Fineness.:)
      I totally appreciate that.

  9. Awwww
    kinda sad story.
    i like your description and narration Remi,the words came to life and seem to jump out at me.
    Thank God you survived sha.
    what else could be better than life itself.

    1. Nothing, Sir! Nothing at all. Now I appreciate the highs and lows.
      Life will be pretty boring without them.

      1. yes,real boring.
        you are right
        well done.

  10. yea mr,this is the kind of reply she should be receiving,you’re kind at heart.
    @ remi,I echo anderson,thank God you survived.

    1. Thanks again Gretel. You’re too kind!

  11. Will just delve straight into the literature, and forget the emotions… Love the description of your ill state…love some of the phrases you coined especially ‘Akamu wonder’. You wrote a very compelling tale. As for the emotions, your title rounded it off nicely..’Life is truly not a fairy tale’…Well done gal!!.

  12. Mercy me!
    Lol @ Akamu wonder :). I thought that up while I was laughing at myself thinking about the experience. Can’t believe I waited this long to write this. but I sure have told this tale many times. Some of my pals are even tired of hearing it!
    Thanks girl, for the comment.

  13. That a lot of us can identify with it made appreciating this piece much easier. You hit home run on imagery with me (tho I hated having to conjour the image of Akamu wonder coming out of her mouth). But I love happy endings :D, do me a sequel, puhleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease! lol!

    1. Ha girl! you don’t want to get me started. I have a few experiences to my name, but not all are sad sha. Thanks.
      And, sorry ’bout that, try getting the ‘akamu’ image out of your mind. please try. lol

      1. lol! I have o! But this one that u brought it up again.. *sigh* if this really happened to you… &*()&&^%!$()*(*%%!!!!! Oh well, Nigeria, we hail thee…

        1. ha! sweetheart. It is soooo non-fiction.
          Na real Nigeria we hail thee!

  14. RemiRoy! absolutely masterful imagery. you sure know how to pull us into your world; felt it.

    1. Thank you Scot! Glad it worked.

  15. To quote Inspector Gadget: “wowsers!” You drew me in totally. Exquisite story. I find that our expressions are at their most beautifully vivid when we describe personal experiences. But God pass dem. Lol @ “…dull as dishwater…” What?

    1. Ha! You shoulda tried to teach those kids.
      “Hope I wasn’t too harsh with that description.?” lol

      Thanks cikko907. Thanks a lot!

  16. Ahhhhh, nice non fiction, I agree with you, life is not a fairytale.

    1. Not at all!

      Thanks Yinka.

  17. LOL REMI. Great job with this one o. You caught my attention from the beginning to the very end…You have too much story telling talent which is comparable to achebe’s own. loool. I loved every bit of it and you know what girl?I can relate to the job disappointment thing…It can be so frustrating after investing so much time and energy but its good to laugh things on and move on.

    1. Lol Jane. Achebe?
      And I agree, it can be sooo frustrating. I guess best thing is to get up and move on, and catch a few laughs while doing that. :)


  18. Just can’t stop reading till the end…kudos to U…U got me spell bound…the many troubles of life and living….

    1. I agree. The many troubles of life and living.
      Thanks a lot!

  19. my sister, so this the mountain u scaled? u are a champion cos champs scale such hurdles.saw similar job-hunting pains during and after ajuwaya. ur writing is simple and neat. permit me to cal u an AKAMU WONDER!

    1. I bear those marks Brov, I bear those marks. and I agree Champs scale hurdles. What would we be without them? Thanks a lot.
      and feel free, Akamu wonder it is! lol :)

  20. Meena-Adekoya (@Olajumoke-Adekoya)

    awwwww…so sorry u had to go thru that..thank God its in the past sha…

  21. I held my breath at the part where you were checking the results, eyah…
    life is not a fairy tale. good job chronicling ur experiences, will try to write mine.

    1. Thanks Elly, waiting for yours.

  22. Yes dear.
    Thank God it’s in the past. and Thank you.

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