Monday, August 29, 2011

Cream Skin (Non-fiction)

Being an albino, I have had all kinds and manner of experiences, especially with the locals. In reaction to my uniqueness, people have uttered all sorts, ranging from simple harmless ‘hellos’ to quite unsavoury words, to downright embarrassing statements.

Just like there have been all sorts of reactions to me or my skin colour if you will, have I also had series of reactions to them and their commentaries. I have gone from replying simple greetings of “Oyinbo” (not that it’s exactly a greeting if you ask me) to simply ignoring them. There have been rare times of humorous interactions, albeit how brief and times of utter disgust and more rare times of hurt.

One of the humorous times I would never forget was when I had to walk past Sodehinde Hall and quite a number of boys started calling out. I could have been pissed but decided to stop and do the royal wave instead (you know that one where you move your palm side to side without moving the rest of your arm?!)  

Of course, my little act caused them to cheer more and so I decided to increase the tempo of the moment- I blew them a kiss and the noise pitched. At this point, I had to walk away briskly as people had started to gather to see what was causing such raucous.

You must wonder, “So why is she writing this”?

Well, I had another humorous encounter yesterday and thought to share it wich’al. Folu and I had met up earlier in the day, watched a movie and did a bit of catching up. All the while, we had folks staring at us like we were for’ outta space’ (or maybe just me sha). We decided it was time to go home and so, continued gisting as we strolled leisurely towards the bus stop.

All of a sudden, a bus that had been speeding from a street behind us slowed and packed from across us and to our utter shock and surprise, about six guys started to bellow from the bus windows, 
                       Image result for black n yellow
They sang this a number of times and then zoomed off just as suddenly as they had packed. I could not help but laugh. My belly still hurts from laughing hard because I thought it quite hilarious. I am not sure how exactly Folu felt about the whole episode but I gotta tel’ya, it was, strangely but sweetly, the highlight of my day! *chuckles*

With this ring…....

The doors burst open and the “Here Comes the Bride” tune started to blast from the piano. My dada and I started the customary slow-walk up the aisle. When we had gotten close enough, my dada reached out and gave me a hug and I tried to hold on for as long as I could. He gently disengaged himself and made to leave but I held on tight to his hand. He smiled at me. He had sympathy in his eyes. He understood but then, he discreetly rubbed the bulge that was my tummy and gave me a gentle stare.

I let go of his hand. At that point, it dawned on me that it was not just his hand I let go of. I had let go of part of me, his protection and cover, his name, my hometown, part of my tie to him…….I was leaving my father’s house to be in my husband’s! I stood rooted to the spot for about a minute till I heard my momma clear her throat. I smiled and thought, “I trust my momma to help put things in perspective”.

I turned to climb the stairs to where my husband-to-be was patiently waiting.  My husband-to-be?! Not really. It was more like my baby papa who I am going to spend the rest of my life with.  With that thought, I scanned the crowd and saw Max. The minister had started to speak but I was not really paying attention.

I have never seen Max this sorrowful in my whole life. My heart reached out to him and I felt a sharp stab of pain in my chest. I had betrayed the one person who should be standing before me here today in the place of Ranti. I should be changing my name today to Mrs Tonya Max Smith instead of Mrs Tonya Ranti Eleru that it will become. Yuck!

I glanced over at Max again and I felt a wave of heat. My BFF, Desirae and his sister Michelle were at his sides, holding on tight to his hand, silently reassuring him that they were there to support him alone. The minister decided he would give a long speech first so we had to go sit.

Oh what a stupid mistake! I cast my mind back to that night…

Max had been abroad for over a year. I was sick of missing him and tired of spending Friday nights alone, watching dumb movies. No matter how much I tried, I just could not have fun. My world was cold and empty without Max. My parents where away for a two-week vacation to celebrate their anniversary and Desirae was spending the weekend at her fiancĂ©’s as he had just arrived from a one-month business trip.

Ranti was my crush from work but it was no big deal. Well, it was not until he showed up at my door step that lonely Friday. I knew better but I invited him in anyway. I was having some of dad’s vintage red wine and some fine small chops I had ordered out on my way from work. I had just dimmed the parlour lights and was about to watch a romantic movie. I mean, I was bored so the least I could do was give as much cinema effect as possible. I asked him to join me. We chatted a little and moved on to watch the movie I had rented.

When the small chops finished, I got out some chocolates from the fridge. Now, who does that? Take alcohol and aphrodisiac in a deserted place with dimmed lights while watching a romantic movie with your crush?! (Do not try this at home oh!)* All I know is that I was already getting crushed by the end of the movie and the end result…

The memories feel out of my mind as we walked back to the altar. As Ranti started saying his vows, I glanced over at Max again. He looked like he was facing death itself. I could still hear him pleading with my dada to let him marry me regardless but my dada refused, saying he did not want matters to be any more complicated than they already were.

I had presented my hand for Ranti to slip the ring on and just as he was about to, a terrible and very real sharp pain surged through me and lingered at my abdomen. I screamed and crouched low, holding on to my tummy.  The ring fell as I heard my momma scream for an ambulance.

There seemed to be a lot of screaming and confusion. Ranti was trying to help me to a chair while the minister crossed himself severally. I was growing weak very fast. My hand felt surprisingly moist so I struggled to peek at it through dizzy eyes. I saw blood. I understood and then, I saw black!