NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE
I slipped on the ladder leading to the GP water tank and went back down.
I put on my flip-flops and proceeded to try again. I had just locked myself out of my aunt’s upstairs apartment with no way to get back in until she arrives from work by 7pm.
It was just 10am in the morning, and no way was I going to wait outside till then especially when I just made a hot bowl of spaghetti with sauce filled with assorted meat and fish. Buoyed by the vivid image of spaghetti waiting for me, I started climbing again.
When I got to the top, it was particularly windy, I looked down and for the first time, I was scared for my life.
What was I thinking?!.
The plan,which was to climb up the ladder, then switch to the roof of the generator house which was at least 10 – 15 feet from the upstairs balcony from where I would jump in, didn’t seem so foolproof as it did in my head.
Turning back right there and then and go seek for help would seem like the best option, but did I?. No!.
I trudged on, like an obstinate child, confident in the skill I had acquired watching one too many Kung Fu movies and the image of the sweet spaghetti which was to be my reward.
The asbestos roof groaned in warning as I stepped on it. I took my foot back, pondering the best way to make my step lighter. I was a chubby kid, so I sucked in my stomach. Where I got the idea from, I don’t know.
I continued walking, stopping every few minutes to take a deep breath. What my love for spaghetti will cause Sha.
I got to the edge of the roof leading to the balcony and made to jump. I extended my chubby arms in imitation of a dive pose and jumped.
As I stepped off the edge of the roof, the asbestos beneath my feet broke and I fell forward. I was in the air for 0.5 milliseconds but I saw my life flash before my eyes as the ground approached fast.
I grabbed and my hand slipped but held onto the bottom of the railings. My body shook as I looked down to the hard concrete floor beneath. I could have died!.
Shakily, I pulled myself up, already crying.
Eventually, I swung my leg over the railings and landed firmly on solid ground.
I half- crawled to the sitting room, all thoughts of spaghetti forgotten. I curled up on the floor and cried myself to sleep.
I woke up 4pm in the evening and took a long shower, and made a cup of tea, all appetite lost.
When my aunt arrived, naive me rushed to tell her all that happened hoping she would praise me for my bravery. She rushed to the balcony, saw the deep gash on the roof of the generator house which marked my stunt, and berated me. Furious.
She yelled at me, saying how I could have died, exaggerating everything the way only a Yoruba woman could. I felt bad and she made me promise to seek for help next time.
She made me hot Amala and ewedu and babied me all night, repeating how grateful she was for my life.
I went to bed full and fulfilled, with a smile on my face, determined to leave the stunts to the stuntmen and women henceforth.