Talius Dike: My tale in all its shades [Nigerian Voices]

by Talius Dike

When I first came across this contest two weeks ago, I didn’t know what to write; I had no base to lay my anchor, especially because the organizers didn’t specify any niche for this ‘story of my life’ contest. I put my fingers to keypad and the narration flowed, not from my heart but the head capable of thinking itself out of trouble into glory. Suffice it for me to say at this point that what I began typing that day isn’t what is contained in this post.

Validating my popular believe that a lot can happen to someone in a day, a lot has happened to me in the last two weeks, since I first saw the Facebook ad for this essay competition up till the moment of finally composing this.

Who knew life could be so fleeting?

No one died, because I know that’s probably the line your mind is towing, but most times in life there are things that happen that appear worse than death. Some life happenings are targeted at your psychology to stir your emotions to do some really stupid things, which you most certainly regret when you’re calmer and evaluating the many different ways you could have handled that same situation.

Bags the question; what happened to me within the last two weeks?

1. I couldn’t feed properly.

I know this point is not singular to me neither is it uncommon nowadays especially with the economic recession predicament in Nigeria, but that didn’t automatically console my soul when my belly twitched in pain and writhed in distress, and my expected-benefactors cried along with me over their inability to gift me the change I so desperately needed. I feared for my health, I couldn’t mentally function at my normal 100%, I had dropped far below my own benchmark because there wasn’t any fuel to run my flairs on. I became desperate – a desperate mind is a failing mind in most cases, but I knew it to be true in those moments, only I couldn’t help it but look up to my faith that my future would get better.

It did.

2. I won a monetary competition

In the days of my worries and concerns, pains and struggles, I dabbled into so many things I felt I knew how to do best, with the hope that one would stick and make my situation better.

One actually did.

I won a merited twenty thousand naira prize in a online writing contest, and at that moment I was declared the winner at midnight, I felt a great relief burst through my chest; so many thoughts began to fly through my mind;

‘I’d eat good food again,’

‘I won’t trek much to and fro my place of work anymore,’

‘I wont do this… I won’t do that.’

All these thoughts I battled within the space of two hours before I could finally fall asleep again. By the time I woke up at dawn, I did so with a disabling headache, possibly a migraine. I thought I was going to die, that my imaginary enemies had finally caught up to me and were going to kill me, just because of twenty thousand naira.
Alas, I was proved wrong when I finally visited the clinic and was told I had a usual combination of malaria and typhoid.

3. Health comes first.

Only when there’s life, hope follows. I had to treat myself, to live and fight for my future another day; I certainly wasn’t going to let a simple case of malaria (even though it had typhoid attached to it) take me out when I had fought and conquered scarier diseases in times past.

The only option was to use my newly found succor – my twenty thousand naira, to save my life.

4. I had hope again. Or did I?

The more I recovered, the more I groaned over my initial resolve to use my breakthrough money to gift the Doctors for what they were trained to do.

Then hope came again.

In the form of this contest’s announcement, I had hope once more. The thought of the many ways I could spend fifty thousand naira flooded my dreams, but what stopped them from being reality was the fact that I couldn’t decide on which of my many sob tales, both in recent and past times to tell. I kept racking my head, I kept on brainstorming, and my fingers continued to grace my keypad in many shades. Till the unexpected happened.

5. I lost it all.

In one of the most gruesome attack I’ve ever faced, I lost all my files saved on my phone, without a backup else where in the world (Asides: I know that was silly of me.) I don’t think the attack was caused by man, neither was it by computer; I still suspect my imaginary enemies for my loss.

The loss of my files had me worse than square one; devastated, worried, and profoundly troubled, but I picked myself up, gave me some self-encouragement and put fingers to keypad once again and came up with this.

PS: This might not be all emotional, it might even sound funny to some people at some extent, but it is my pain, my story, in writing. Here I am, struggling, yet still hopeful for the brighter future I was promised by God, a future free of my imaginary enemies.

This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.

We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected].

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