For Cannon, who taught me I can never be anyone else
Isn’t it funny how time’s so fast, yet so slow? Those nights under the moon with Aunt A where we argued what we wanted to be.
You’d say, “I want to be a scientist. Then I’d cure HIV AIDS”
I’d say, “I want to be a doctor” … Because I already used Nurse and Lawyer the week before.
Those nights where we dreamt little dreams of a future so far, it felt it’d never come.
Tee, the future is here and I’m dead tired, exhausted… Pretending I’m stronger than the demons around me. I planned to write this on my birthday tomorrow, I’d finally be an adult – not Common Law standards. Yet, I’m scared if I wait I’d remain lost then and if I’m lost as an adult, I’d probably be lost forever.
I’m scared it’d be like my sixteenth birthday, I waited for a difference there was none. She wasn’t taller, fatter, smarter. It was like she was still fifteen.
I think I’ve finally figured who I want to be. After years of following your dreams and living your goals, I think I’m now me, who I’m supposed to be.
Truth is, you were the “Taiwo” and I, the “Kehinde”. Testing the waters with both legs was your job and mine to follow your steps after.
Now I know I’d never be able to sing as good as you do and I’d be kicked out of any band, replaced with that cute Mary y’all wanted to date.
Dancing and drawing, they’re not for me. So I’d quit mimicking your dance moves and tracing out your artwork, blaming God for creating me talentless.
Rapping, creative writing, extrovertism, adult conversation – you did them all flawlessly. You were even a mini god at breaking rules while I never had the confidence to do same.
Truth is, you were my real role model – not mum, dad or Dora Akinyuli. I’d believe your theory over Albert Einstein’s, were you ever wrong?
That first class in LLT Law where Mrs Olomola asked, “Why did you choose to study Law?”
Eyes tightly closed, heart raised to the highest of the heavens, I prayed she called me not.
How would I explain that I’m studying Law because Tee chose to study Law and his steps, I follow.
Now ‘Mamami’ is a little adult with her own goals, dreams and aspirations.
I’ve decided I would no longer wait for you test the waters anymore. I’d make my own decisions and pay my own consequences. I’m ready to take risks, make sacrifices and rebel life standards, though many years late.
Yet, I want to run to your room in tears screaming, “I can’t take it anymore, Law is hard and life’s harder!!”
Then in my head I see that look on your face saying silently,
“Hey, don’t get mushy on me that’s the number 1 rule. Stay strong, only weak people cry. Fight those battles while I seat and wait. I’d only come in when it gets too hard but the number 2 rule remains that nothing must be too hard for you”
So I turn back in feigned braggadocio, pretending I have a plan to overcome life’s uncertainties.
I’d pretend I’m fine and close my eyes shut when that throbbing headache drives me dizzy and tries to force out those forbidden salty liquid from my eyelids.
I’d pretend I’m ready for my exams in the next three weeks when all I see is blurred images.
I’d pretend I’m not scared that after starting so well, I might not give mom and dad their big first class Lawyer dream.
I’d pretend I’m not scared of the Law school grading system.
I’d pretend I’m not scared that after seven years of studying Law, I’d just end up as one of the Law graduates without a name to be remembered.
I’d pretend I’m not scared I’m getting old too fast and yet too slow.
I’d pretend I’m not scared about yesterday, today and tomorrow.
So I’d just pretend I can fight my demons alone and on my own.
Presh, the tired and scared dreamChaser
About to begin a new phase; still the same, yet changed.