Cool for the Summer

The last two weeks have gone by faster than I envisaged. I am 20 something and teetering on the edge of Nihilism. My middle name is troublemaker and the only thing I am good at is being unserious. I have big dreams for my life like most of the other people in my age range. Also like most of them, mine on most days seems unattainable.

I reside in Nigeria where the Nigerian dream is to love Nigeria from afar, the kids are intelligent and down for a high (Literally, the kids are on crack). It’s been a year and some months since I graduated from university and someone told me today that I was privileged to have attended one, I beg to differ. Graduating here equates most times to going back to hustling like every other person, including those who didn’t go to school at all.

Here’s what summer is like here: long hours of work, sweat and no light. Occasionally you may decide to go swimming and cool off or head to the beach but who really has time to? While the Nigerian weather may be shit, I cannot say I am looking forward to another country’s. I have friends who reside in countries where it is cold mostly all year and the slightest peek of sunlight has them celebrating as though it was New Year.

I have a session with a mentor every other week courtesy a programme I am registered under. Told her I wanted to shoot for Vogue some day, her mouth formed the wow word and I knew not whether to be offended or feel sorry for myself.

You should know that my skin colour is similar to that of milk chocolate on some days. On other days, I could almost pass for lightskinned. Colorism is subtly a problem where I am from but like other important social issues, we pretend it is non-existent.

Let me be honest with you, I get insecure when I see a lightskinned girl walk by. Why? She is automatically a 10/10 and will get what she wants with a smile while the rest of us scramble to get attention. I have looked up the price of bleaching/brightening/toning cream in the market and the best quality ones ranges from 60k — 120k. After brightening up considerably, I will have to save for a liposuction too as I am rather not blessed in the gluteus area. Perhaps after getting a fit like Kim K’s, I will take an attitude adjustment class to get me confident all the time. Then I’ll hire someone to reply my chats when the compliments stream in, because I suck at replying messages. I may reserve healing myself as a task for me. After all, me and only me could do that best.

I have made some dumb mistakes in my life and I fear some of them may come to light at some point, which is why my heart races faster when my social media apps have more notifications than normal. But then, it is summer 2019 and I am a hot cake… at least I thought I was. Maybe I will never be one. While my body is summer ready this year as always, I may not wear a bikini or one piece this time, may not take any of the vacations I have been planning to and will simply continue cancelling plans. Maybe I am too cool for the summer.

It is paramount to understand that some times, plans just don’t fall into place. I mean I did get a rejection letter today for what would have been a life changing opportunity. There is no better time to re-evaluate one’s life than the seconds following a moment of disappointment and I have been there a lotttt.

It is May 2019 and I still get reminded monthly of the woes of being female. I have a pillow under my belly and after this week, I will be looking into the option of birth control that stops my period for a duration.

The air is still now and the sound of the neighbour’s generator set dominates the air, one time it is louder than the cries of their toddlers who spend every waking moment hysterical. I push my belly further against the pillow and pain from the cramps course down my backbone and waist. Somebody give every female a crown everywhere.

It is almost half of the year and I’d be damned if I knew what I was doing.

May 14. 9:45pm

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Dammy Ajibike

Dammy Ajibike

On an adventure of a lifetime.

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