Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Day The World Ended Episode 2

DAY 7: WARNING SIGNS
Its 7am in the morning of
Tuesday last week. Why Tuesday?
I don’t know. Who knows
anything about these things? All I
know is it all started on this day.
Well, maybe not at the beginning
of the day…
I’m rambling.
The important thing is I woke up
as I usually do, alone in my room
and grumbling about how
quickly the morning had come. I
am a bit of a late-riser so my
mom always ensured that an
alarm clock was hidden
somewhere in my room, far
away from arm’s reach so that I
couldn’t smash it when it started
its annoying ringing. Why the
person who invented school
decided classes should begin by
eight o’clock is beyond me.
Anyway I grudgingly woke up as
usual and went downstairs to
brush my mouth and drive my
elder brothers out of the
bathroom so I could use it. They
always found a way to get in
there before I did. It could be
because they were always
waking up before me. And they
wasted so much time in the bath
too; anyone would think they
were girls, the way they took
their time in there. Of course they
always protested that I was the
one who hogged the toilet but
that wasn’t true. I simply did
what girls did. They are boys and
don’t understand a girl’s needs.
On this particular day it was only
Deji that was in the bathroom.
Deji is my immediate elder
brother. He’s eighteen years old,
tall for his age and chocolate
brown in colour. He just recently
started growing facial hair and
simply refused to keep quiet
about it. He combed it, rubbed
cream on it, and brushed it
almost every day. I didn’t really
know what all the fuss was
about; it’s only a few tufts of hair
beneath his chin.
Deji is handsome. At least that’s
what my friends tell me, I don’t
know what they see in him. True,
he resembles my mom in a
strange, masculine sort of way
and my mom is pretty (yes she is,
no bias). However as far as I’m
concerned he’s mostly annoying,
especially when he tries to argue
with me about why he should
remain in the bathroom another
five minutes, like he was trying to
do now as I confronted him.
“I haven’t brushed my teeth,” He
said, because he knew I was
about to protest.
“Brush it in the kitchen; I need to
use the toilet now!” I replied. “I
knew I was being petty but that’s
how I got things done my way in
this house.”
“Look, don’t start your wahala
this morning oh,” he
admonished. “I don’t have power
for you right now.”
“Then shift!” I said, pushing him
out of the way as I shoved my
way in. He grabbed my hair and I
screamed enough for Mom who
was already busy in the kitchen
to shout out “What’s going on
there? Temi? Are you awake?”
“You are lucky,” Deji said letting
go as I stuck out my tongue
rudely at him. I knew mum
would cast her vote in my favor if
she was brought into the
argument. Deji knew this too and
that’s why he had let me go. Mum
was very particular about me
‘having my own space’ since I
turned sixteen last month. It was
she who had insisted that I be
moved into my own room and be
given the privilege of the
bathroom anytime I wanted in
case I needed to dispose of what
she called my womanly
possessions. I had started seeing
my menses a few months ago, a
little late compared to my friends
but I hadn’t really minded. It’s not
as if I was looking forward to the
event with gleeful anticipation.
The day it finally happened I was
miserable but mum was
prepared and had everything
ready that I needed. I couldn’t
imagine spending the rest of my
years wearing pads at certain
times of the month, but mum
said I’d get used to it. She was
very excited about the whole
thing and told me I was now a
complete woman. She even
announced it in front of my
brothers and father much to my
extreme embarrassment. I was
mortified. But mum made up for
it by listing out my special
privileges. My pouting had slowly
turned to grinning as I saw the
boys’ faces grow dark at the
mention of my bathroom
privileges and my very own
room.
I entered the bathroom and shut
the door behind me, locking it
with the key. I brushed my
mouth and rinsed, then took of
my night gown and had my bath.
I mixed the water so it would be
hot on my skin as the night
before had been a cold one. I
had gone to bed early, hoping to
wake up in the middle of the
night to do some reading, and as
the weather was very hot at the
time, I had put on a light nightie
and turned on the ceiling fan to
number four speed before going
to bed. Strangely enough I had
woken up shivering from the
intense cold blowing in through
the window, and it was all I
could do to struggle out of bed
to turn off the fan before
groggily going back to sleep. The
air had been cold and dry, as if
someone had suddenly sucked all
the warmth out of the Earth. It
was so cold that I couldn’t get
out of bed all through the night
and had woken up this morning
feeling stiff and bleary eyed, and
dreaming of a nice hot bath
before school.
Now I stood Unclad in the
shower as I watched beads of
water settle on my glistening
skin. I turned sideways and
viewed myself in the full length
bathroom mirror hung beside
the door.
I am a fair skinned girl, kind of
thin and proud of it. My hair had
been threaded into an intricate
design of three flower petals,
diligently made the day before by
my mum. Our secondary school
wouldn’t allow me perm it, not
until I reached SS3 which would
have been in the next six
months. I had permed my hair
twice before then, both times at
Christmas for the last two years. I
always got rid of the perm just
before the resumption of school
and envied those SS3 seniors
who carried their permed hair
about the classrooms with an air
of pride. I couldn’t wait to be like
them and watch my hair flow
down my shoulders…
I daresay that I am pretty. At least
most of the boys in my class
think so or else I wouldn’t have
won Miss Cinderella for two years
running. Arnold, the labor
prefect, says he can’t get enough
of my sparkly eyes and perfectly
white teeth and I smile at him in
appreciation of his comments
though I wouldn’t touch him
with a two feet pole. He looks too
much like a hairy gorilla to me.
My bosoms aren’t big enough. I
don’t think they are. I asked mum
severally for drugs to enhance
their size but she just kept on
laughing at me and telling me
not to worry. But I do. Or did. I
worry about worse things these
days.
My hips are great. My bum is
great. The perfect shape for a
thin person like me, they curve
out just enough to make the
boys’ heads turn. I used to relish
it when I pass a group of them
on the corridor and they would
pause their conversation long
after I had cat-walked past them
to check me out. I loved the
attention; I just wished my front
was as impressive as my back.
A thunderous pounding on the
bathroom door knocked me out
of myself appraisal and I
confidently called out to know
who it was.
“It’s me, Ayo. Come out.”
Ayo is our eldest. He is 23years
old and a bit scary at times. He is
a no-nonsense, quiet kind of
fellow, tall and muscular, always
doing push-ups and carrying
weights in the backyard as if
preparing for war. My dad is very
proud of him and wants him to
pursue a military career after the
university. I tease him
occasionally when he is in a
good mood but most of the time
I keep out of his way. I have
heard stories about him in the
university. Stories I don’t want to
believe.
I hurried up and finished bathing
and tying my towel round my
chest I opened the door- and
almost ran into him.
Tbc

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