As a child, I always believed ice-cream isn’t for the villagers that live in mud houses with pointing thatches as roofs. Life in my city was heaven, and something the not so comfortable would envy from their kiosks. Kiosks with very little items to display, somewhere I wouldn’t buy a chocolate in years to come- not like I’ll find it there anyway. I remembered a Tuesday from school, my driver had taken a certain route to beat traffic on the highways. I was sleeping the whole time. I suddenly jolted from my sleep after we ran into a big hole. “Oh Christ!” I hollered irritably. “I almost broke my knee” I yelled at Brother Toonna, my driver since I can remember.
“I’m sorry Madam,” he said and looked at the rear mirror to meet my disturbed eyes, with lips muttering inaudible words in anger. I hissed and looked through the glass to the outside. Everywhere appeared dark out there, rustles and bustles of activities, naked children playing in the sand, burying their legs in the muddy pools.
“Yuck!,” I came again. This time throwing up in the car. “My precious burgers” I cried. Burgers were a sure thing at school overs for me, my nanny never fails to send them to me through Bro Toonna whenever he comes to pick me. I had just thrown them out in soft crumbles, looking gummy and milkish. The smell of the vomit soon filled the air and the AC felt warm at that time. I didn’t care though. My driver knows exactly how to fix my messes, that vomit was just one of the numerous.
When we got to a T-junction that connects to my estate, I pressed down the glass to let in pleasant air. I couldn’t have risked inhaling the stench smell from that dirty street. Lagos is not for everyone. The government could have evacuated all those people and constructed better recreation centers in those slums. I thought and exhaled. Throughout my primary education in this city and my first year in college now, I’ve never taken a route that looks that awful. Things that made me vomit in the past are mostly long hours in traffics or sighting sweaty hawkers with different products for sale. But never a naked boy playing in the mud.
When we drove into my street, I closed up the glass again to remain hidden in my tinted car. I believed I was a diamond who must never be seen with ease. At least not by these college boys that equally lived in my street. I simply saw them as wannabes that their parents managed to secure a home in the area. We eventually got home and I drifted my mind to the present again. Toonna opened the vehicle and helped me climb down. I wasn’t as tall yet to get down from the hilux with one leg extension and my breasts were still peasized too. Until then, Bro Toonna would carry me against his shoulders and drop me on the ground.
I walked straight to my room and slammed the door on entry. My king-sized bed was all made already, my pink bedsheets was on it too. It was taken out two days before for laundry after I spilled strawberry juice on it.
I slumped on the bed and smiled at the comfort it offered, how much I loved this bed. I closed my eyes and let myself wander through the forest of irokos, swishing sounds of leaves filled my ears and the air was fruity. I slept.
I later woke to the smearing of some liquid on my face.
“What is it nah,” I was burning in anger. Drops of sweat had filled my face and drenched my uniform.
“Will you go and wash those plates you soaked in the morning!” my mother thundered as she knotted her wrapper round her waist. I rolled my eyes at her and reluctantly got up from the mat I was lying. Clothes were scattered all over the place and everywhere smelled urine. The two bedroom apartment we lived in Ajegungle has been home since I was born. I always dreamed of going to the Island in luxurious cars, living in comfortable houses with maids at my disposal. I’d surely been seeing several Lagosian movies lately at Iya Balogun’s beer shop. I hissed as I moved a big bowl of plates to wash in the frontyard. Life’s indeed not the ice-cream we see in the movies.