Each time they returned, they never missed visiting me before leaving, to fill my ears with gist about their experiences in the city, and how I missed out on the fun, nice delicacies and lots more.
I knew deep down within me, that one day I would also join them in the city of Lagos.
My only hope of going to Lagos was Aunty Nana. She kept promising she would take me to Lagos whenever she visited, but she kept visiting and returning back without me. There was nothing I could do, the best I could do was sit, watch and keep hoping. After all, I couldn’t question a Lagosian, with all the exquisite clothe, gold and other accessories.
Finally, the long-awaited good news came knocking on my door, when all hopes seemed lost. As mama and I carried out our normal evening routine of breaking palm kernel, a taxi halted in front of our ‘aged’ house, which papa had inherited 4rm his father. Aunty Nana had arrived once again, and my heart leapt for joy, as it always did each time she arrived.
“Aunty Nana! Aunty Nana!” we all screamed, as we ushered her into the house. I began to pray silently, as we settled with her in the sitting room, exchanging pleasantries and receiving goodies brought from the city of Lagos.
An unending conversation began between Mama and Aunty Nana, and I had to continue in my prayers, to be taken to Lagos. I just didn’t want to hear another heart-breaking story Aunty Nana would give, as to why I couldn’t accompany her to the city.
Aunty Nana was mama’s youngest sister, and she had resided in Lagos for several years with her husband and three children. Whenever, she arrived the village, everyone around would know she was a ‘Lagosian’, because she always had the best clothes on.
I couldn’t help but stare at her, as she kept discussing. To me, no one could be wealthier than she was. On her ears, hung a pair of very large shining ear-rings, her eye-lids matched the colour of the clothe she had on, and on her feet was the best shoe I had ever set my eyes on.
Mama had refused to end the discussion they were having, so I kept struggling with sleep. “Ada, get set to travel with me to Lagos tomorrow.” It was the next thing I heard, and I wondered if the sleep had taken over or it was real.
Next morning, I was out with aunty Nana, travelling to Lagos. It was a dream come true, as I had only gotten opportunity to travel to neighboring villages.
Although, the journey was rough and tough, with gallops here and there, it didn’t move me. All I could think of was walking into her mansion, and sleeping in an exquisite room of my own.
My friends had told me they had a room to themselves, with bathroom, toilet, television and few other things, and I was confident Aunty Nana’s house was way bigger than the houses they all stayed in Lagos.
Finally, the journey which seemed unending, came to an end and I was in LAGOS. As we alighted, all that greeted me was noise, larger number of moving people and vehicles. I over-looked it, with the thought that we were not in the real part of Lagos.
We got into another bus, which aunty Nana said would take us to her house, and there was when I had my worst experience.
Getting into the bus was one problem, as aunty Nana held my hands and struggled to get a space in the bus. As we got down from the bus, I fell, as everyone was in hurry to alight before the bus came to a halt.
“Sorry o”, Aunty Nana consoled me. I had to put myself together and prepare for what was next. We got to a busy street, which was not only unsuitable for vehicles, but also legs. There were little children running about, and some others taking their baths outside.
I kept thinking if we had really arrived Lagos, because none of what I saw fit into the descriptions my friends gave me about Lagos.
Night fell, and I ended my day squeezing myself in Aunty Nana’s family house of one room, and sharing a bathroom and a toilet with about 5 families of not less than 4 members each.
I couldn’t cope, because I never budgeted for high blood pressure. I needed to go back to the east, to continue my life as a normal village girl. Ιn no time, the plan came and I feigned illness, leading to my deportation back to base.