by Ibrahim Oga
I don’t have a home—not really. When I left for the university, home, where I grew up, where mom, dad and my kid sisters live, ceased to be my home anymore. Whenever I came back it was temporary. A semester or a session break, a weekend, a few weeks or a month, there’s seem to always be a deadline to my stay. After my third year at the university, school felt homey. Though school too had its deadline, it was where I belonged for the time being. I was between two places, and none was completely home.
I found another abode after school, the nation youth service corps (NYSC). I was a stranger in another place in another state. Yet back home, my parents’ place, didn’t feel like the way it used to before. It was not because our neighborhood or our house changed. It was simply due to a challenging urge to hatch out of a stable shell. Like a bird ready to jump out of its mama’s nest and learn to fly. I had to get out and become a man, a successful man.
When I moved into my own place after service, I had just a suitcase and a box. I had just one box with my old stuff in it back at my parents’ place. When you’re constantly moving from one place to another, you tend to learn to pack light.
I don’t bother with furniture anymore; I can’t afford to have them. I’m now teaching in the school where I served during my NYSC. Obviously not a dream job but it’s all I can do for now. My mattress is spread on the tiled floor of my single room. I don’t have a bed. With determination, I could come up with the money in three months to buy one but I don’t want to.
I don’t consider my single room home, not really. It’s where I’m currently living—for now. I must believe that it is temporary. It can’t be all that my life could amount to—a single room in a dense neighborhood. I must believe there’s a better job for me out there and better opportunities to build my desired home. I lie on my mattress on the floor to remind myself it’s all a transition.
This is not where I’ll build my home. My mattress is on the floor because I might not be here tomorrow. There are chapters ahead in my life and the journey to my home doesn’t stop here.
This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.
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