Saturday Morning In Lagos
You are stirred by the sound of your unofficial alarm. The same one every neighborhood has. Thankfully, it is Saturday. So you pull your covers over your head and drift back into unconsciousness. Without guilt.
Aka Aka ya. Aka Jehovah neme ma. Eze ebube ya…
That is the sound of the Igbo gospel music that filters into your bedroom. It is your reminder. Your reminder that it is Saturday morning. In Lagos. It is the reminder that you have a pile of laundry that is two weeks old and dust-smitten terrazzo floors. But you pull your covers tighter and ignore it because it is Saturday morning. In Lagos.
You jolt out of bed; alarm blaring, phone vibrating, head pounding. You are too groggy to work but too wide-eyed to sleep. You stare into space for a while and resort to the arduous task of remembering the strange dream you had last night.
You must have had at least one extra hour of shut-eye because when you wake up you have three missed calls from Mum and a text from Desola (she wants to hitch a ride with you to the wedding).
You completely forgot about that. The introvert in you desperately wants to cancel so that you can sleep and binge-watch all the new episodes of Orange is the new black. And maybe even read that book that has been sitting on your dresser for the past three weeks. But you don’t call. You get into the shower and start getting ready; the feeling of demurral hanging over your head like a bad headache.
You check the time. It is half past twelve and for a moment, you are confused. How did the time go by so quickly? You struggle with your make-up brushes and try to look somewhat presentable. Eye-liner is your least favourite part of the routine. You say a silent prayer to the slay gods and ask them for a smudge-free finish. They are obviously asleep because your eyeliner smudges, as usual. If today were a different brighter day, you would have cleaned it off and started again. But today is not a different brighter day. Today, you are on auto-pilot. You are lethargic and cranky and cannot wait for the day to end. You console yourself. It is not obvious. No one will notice.
Desola walks in; gele bobbing, heels clunking, highlight glowing. She wants to take pictures for Instagram and so you spend the next fifteen minutes switching poses and trying to convincingly look like you are having a great time. You are not.
You finally make it out of the house and into the frustration that is Lagos traffic. On a Saturday Afternoon. No suprises there. Desola is still taking selfies and you can’t help but be exasperated. You say nothing not because you have nothing to say but because somehow you can’t muster enough energy to do so. Melancholy.
You reach the parking lot of the reception venue. Everyone is wearing the same bright pink hue and without being told you know that is the asoebi.
I really hope I don’t see anyone I know, you mutter under your breath.
You strut into the hall looking like a bag of money, a bag of money with smudged eyeliner. Runtown’s Mad over You is playing and you can’t help but smile. It’s about to go down…
You take back all you said. This party is lit! The hall is beautiful, the food is amazing and this cute guy opposite you has been staring in a non-stalkerish way.
You dance and dance until your feet ache. Desola is still making snaps. She wants to take pictures. This time your smile is genuine.
You look around and the hall is half-empty. Desola is still dancing, making snaps. You do not want this party to end but you know it already has. You drag a reluctant Desola away from the dance floor but not before she exchanges numbers with a half-drunk groomsman. You thank Rere for the invite and hope Desola does not throw up in your car.
You get home earlier than you expected. Lagos roads have been good to you. Tired and burnt-out, you take off your heels and fling them into space. As you do so, you can’t help but notice the pile of clothes sticking out from the bathroom. You sigh. Another week of undone laundry. You should just call Iya Solomon.
Fresh out of the shower but exhausted nonetheless, you scurry into your bed. The wooden frame creaks as you do. It is as tired as you. The book on your dresser is still there. Deep Work by Cal Newport. You remember to say a prayer but you are soon distracted by distant shouts.
‘Somebody’ just scored.
You smile and reflect on your day. Your Saturday. Your Saturday in that city that never sleeps.
Image Credit: 1.)Expectation- Pinterest.com 2.) Reality- Youtube.com