Back in the days when I was in the secondary school, the boarding school had taught me how to extort my parents by adding a lot of unnecessary things to the ‘things-to-buy’ list so that the figure at the bottom of the list where ‘total’ resides would jump out at my daddy who would exclaim ‘shey mo kolu omo eleyin ni?’ (Have I collided with an egg seller?) I have always thought the statement was humorous and was my old man’s way of dousing the tension that would surely follow as he would expediently cross out most of the items on my list.
Until Saturday 14th April, I didn’t realize the implication of my poppie’s exclamatory statement. No dictionary in the world could ever do justice to that simple sentence and experience is undoubtedly the best teacher in this case as I had innocently set out to the market to get groceries, as I alighted at Challenge bus-stop, I discovered I had forgotten my list of ‘what to buy’ in the hostel but I quickly made a mental list. By the time I entered the market, I had succeeded in making an accurate one. Contented with my self and my purse, I allowed my eyes ravish my environment – that was when I saw her.
She is what I call a ball of colors and which informed my naming her RAINBOW. She is a chubby, lovely little thing with fascinating fat legs that seemed not to touch the ground as she walked hand in hand with someone that appeared to be her mother, she was dressed in colorful dress and the most alarming detail about her is her hair that was adorned with colorful beads which were so much that they seemed to be screaming their presence from the top of her head. I then began to search her head for a color that might have been missed from which I moved to the woman that was holding her hand who was also colorfully dressed for any semblance with our rainbow.
Meanwhile, I wasn’t totally negligent of my way as I darted occasional glances to my way and I did see a lot of people among whom was a lady hawking eggs, she had four crates of eggs piled on top of each other on a tray, but her sight was dull compared to rainbow’s, so I paid her little attention. I returned to calculating the percentage of resemblance between rainbow and the woman I had decided was her mother. Intermittently, I darted an impatient gaze back to my path and discovered I was closing up on the egg hawker, I made a mental note to avoid her then returned my gaze to the ball of colors. My attention was drawn to the commotion beside me as a man was juggling onions to the excitement of his audience which included the egg hawker behind whom I tried to pass, but at that moment, I heard a loud shriek coming from rainbow’s side which whipped my head around to discover that she was in a tussle with her mother for banana. By the time my attention came back to my own path from the other side of the road where rainbow was, disaster was unavoidable as my head came in forceful contact with a steel tray that destabilized its carrier and that sent the eggs flying in different direction.
For a minute, I thought the broken eggs on the floor were colorful, I thought they were the beads on rainbow’s head, but reality came down hard on me like cold water when I saw people looking from me to the not-so-colorful eggs on the floor. Then I knew certainly… “moti kolu omo eleyin!!!” GBEEEEEESSSSE.
*Zabzie(Zubair Aishah) is a Law student and a budding writer who takes pleasure in assembling letters and words into literary treasures. I’d love to hear your feedback. Please send them to [email protected]