Letters People I've met

Ayus 4 sure

…and the song goes “who do you love?” we replied “Ayus 4 sure” and we all giggled.

Dear Ebony,

Funny how we met and became close over 22 years now…how times flies. Ours was not one of those planned meetings, maybe Divinity designed it that way before the foundations of the Earth, but somehow we struck a cord that has been difficult to break…who wants to break or spoil a good thing anyway?

Life and love has done its bit to put distance between us, so have other friends and ‘fiends’; but somehow we know the truth. You are one of those people I don’t have to dress up for (with you, I’m just me). Back then you were not the chatty type, but those who knew us thought I knew the fabric your dreams were made up of. Over the years, we have grown and have spoken…the things you didn’t tell me in school, my ‘concerns’ about your silence, have found answers. In one day you told me everything I needed to know from across 7 seas…and encouraged me to ask you about anything, which I did. Now I lay claims to knowing things others don’t 🙂 In that one conversation, you asked your own questions, stated your ‘fears’ and got your answers.

Strange how I started out being friends with your sister Ebikela whom I call ‘PC’ aka ‘Partners-in-Crime/Partners-in-Christ’, and ended up with you. Now my family and yours acknowledge me as your friend rather than hers. Other friends have come into my life like Darlene (Uche), Bola, Otibhor, etc. and for every one of them, I’m thankful for the part each play in my life…in your present absence.

Why do I love you?

For always knowing when I needed a good word, a rebuke, a hug…you can be such a Mummy, though I’m a year older…and you have a HEART!

For the poems, that said “I care and my shoulder is strong enough to carry that burden you bear,” I still have most of those poems you know…

You even wrote me a song …just for my birthday. Do you still remember the tune?

For the prayers, when my pains were beyond words and tears were all you got (especially in love matters…more like broken-heart issues),

For watching my back and wanting me to embrace peace at all cost.

For always remembering my birthday and I yours…you said to me some years ago when I made all attempts and couldn’t reach you on your birth date “that the jinx was broken”. God knows I tried, but hey…life happens. LOL

You taught me how to rhyme my poetry lines, now writing without rhymes is so difficult…sometimes I miss that! Also showing action via words in my poems, allowing my mind to run wild and free. It’s been a wonder-filled ride in that genre, all because you pointed the way *wink*

I know you know I love you but how much is what you are yet to grasp, and while you are still thinking about that, I ask again “who do you love?”

Always your Ivory.

* Challenge for My Dear Watson


A time to be

The Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” this is one of the really powerful lines that sets me thinking about time and how when it is gone, it is gone forever. Knowing this, how do I maximize my time profitably? Well, this is one of those moments I let random thoughts flow in my head as I try to ease off.

Recently, West Africa has been plagued on many fronts by different forms of challenges – wars, rumours of wars, insurgency, kidnappings, health-care challenges etc. and now EVD aka EBOLA. One wonders, what time it is. In spite of these many struggles, suffice to say we have had great moments in our different countries, homes and families. In Nigeria, amidst every ‘trouble’, we always find a way to see the fun in all things.

With the advent of Ebola, people are becoming more well-behaved as they no longer shove you when trying to get into the bus, all those unnecessary hanging of hands behind you when you are settling in into your seat, has reduced or stopped. No one knows who is carrying what, despite all the information about how one gets infected. Nobody wants to die young. As a matter of fact, the fear of Ebola is the beginning of cleanliness. But did we have to get to this point to become hygienic in our dealings? Just a rhetorical question, you don’t need to answer.

Beyond the ‘false’ sanity in Lagos right now (those who know Lagos, know that the “rush” is what makes them thrive…it’s the adrenaline that keeps them pumping and brings action), there is the issue of nonchalance creeping in gently. As everyone seems to be watching their back and their neighbour’s touch or cough. Hmmm. I’m all out for following the proper procedure to avoid further spread of Ebola, yet it seem we are losing the last thread of humanity we had in us. It’s somewhat a vicious cycle I know, but I’ll only ask that while we keep clean, maintain our distance, don’t drain your heart of love, life or laughter. Enjoy every moment with family and loved ones, educate them on how to keep safe and maintain hygiene (even after Ebola has been sent packing), cause together we will overcome this scourge.

This is a time to be …(fill in the blanks), what do you think?

© 2014 Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.