by Chiedozie Nmerole
“Surely, there is little or nothing we can do about these past events but there is a lot we could, unabatedly, do in the present and future.”
Memories of a true story I once heard on the radio are somewhere in my head . I can vaguely recall what day of the week it was on that ‘fateful’ night; I guess it was a Wednesday. As I rushed into my hostel room that night, only one thing was on my mind- FOOD.
There was no time to undress, hunger was gnawing at my intestines so fast that my vision was blurry (yes, hunger can actually cause blurred vision!). I quickly grabbed a tuber of yam, and without peeling it; I diced it into tiny pieces and put them into a pot of water boiling on the stove. To distract myself from the rumbling of my stomach, I plugged in my headset and tuned in to my favourite radio station. Then came the story…
It was the first caller. He facilely exchanged pleasantries with the radio host, Tola, and thereafter he began to narrate his ordeal. As he spoke, his voice shook with emotion; he sounded about the age of 20.
I was compelled to listen as he began; “I was searching my mother’s room”, he said, pain echoing in his voice. ” When I accidentally came across the adoption papers. The papers said my only sibling had been adopted”, he continued. At this point, one could tell he was holding back tears. Tola, the radio host, whose usual peachy voice began to sound more like that of a day-old widow did her utmost to console the caller. “I need advice not a pity party”, he responded.
By now, hunger had mysteriously found its way out of my system, the rumblings vanished. The tranquility of the room, which once held the semblance of hell, became only erratically punctuated by the shrill sound of water from the boiling pot of yam dripping into the fire from the stove. There was silence.
Tola tried to give a piece of advice but ended up sounding as confused as a nine year old who got lost at the mall. Her words collided with an atmosphere of mixed feelings; and then there was a beep sound. The caller was gone.
Immediately , a bunch of thoughts raced into my head. What a life, what next? Is he to accost his mother? What if he too was adopted? What if she denies it all? So many ‘what-ifs’. Unfortunately, what if”ing” doesn’t solve any problem. Instead, it creates new ones. I could still hear his pitiable voice as he told his story. Maybe he asked himself what he had done wrong; If he had chosen to be born in the first place. Nevertheless, the truth remains that a lot of days are like that. The road gets bumpy sometimes. We hear things that make our ears melt against our cheeks.
After discarding the initial emotions that came with this story, I now have a new perspective on the matter. The fact is, we all err. Mistakes and regrets are part of life. If given a second chance there are things we would do differently. There are friends we wouldn’t have lost; hearts we wouldn’t have broken; anger we wouldn’t have let becloud our judgement; words we would take back; sacrifices we would have made. Surely, there is little or nothing we can do about these past events but there is a lot we could unabatedly do, in the present and future. They say life is a race. Well, it is. What wasn’t said is that we don’t have the whole track to ourselves. Sooner or later, a push or two will send us crashing to the ground. What do we do then?Scream and run after the offender or dust our backs and get on with life.?
I’m not saying we should live like puppets, always being controlled by a seemingly carefree puppeteer. I’m simply saying that most times dusting our backs and racing on is all the remedy we need. Truth is, our feelings are undoubtedly going to be hurt. Our trust will be betrayed. Our care and concerns taken for granted. A lot of people will hurt us and they won’t give a damn.
In the end, life is good not fair and people are nice not perfect. Things done with the purest of intentions will end up hurting a few. Misery does love company, let’s not satisfy misery’s cravings. Sometimes, when we are hurt, wronged or treated unfairly, it’s like getting a second chance to press the reset button. A chance to be happy once more. A chance to wake up each day with a smile gracefully perching on our lips. A chance to forgive again and also ask for forgiveness. A chance to realize that though life is not wrapped in ribbons, it is still a gift. A chance to ignite a flame of appreciation and let it consume us to the bones. We really do deserve a second chance as much as we need to give others the same. No one said life will be easy; they just promised it will be worth it. Race on!
Chiedozie Nmerole is a creative Igbo boy. He loves graphics designing. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics.
30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.
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