Eniyan ni aso iyi mi ti mo nfi bora
Humans, the Blankets of my existence
Seember was a friend but just another friend (like just another wordpress site) who lived in Abuja and also works in the civil society space. I know our paths might have been crossing all along in those endless civil society meetings of tea breaks and per diems but I never took our friendship too seriously.
However, as the burial ceremony of my father came close and I waited to cast his body into the ground in the most sombre moment of my life, I heard her loudly with her daily calls that she would come for the funeral ceremony. I took it lightly. After the wake-keeping which ended with a dirge and songs cast in long voices, I knew the next day would be tough. A flood of tears will rent the space. Our house had filled with humans marking every centimetre waiting for the final journey of my late good man – Mr. Bosun Onigbinde.
In the thickset of the night waiting for the hours to race till midnight, I heard the voice of Seember, in Ibadan! She was looking for my house in the middle of the night, the eve of the funeral ceremony. She was interested in being with me, holding firm my feeble hands while I held back my tears. I was shocked. This was 11:00pm.
I met Seember at the junction that forked to my house, located in the quiet outskirts of Ibadan. She followed me to the house, consoled my Mum. She wanted to stay for the night but with the house filled to the brim and also myself finding no single space to lie, “ I asked myself, where will Seember sleep?” She beamed with a half smile.
“She will sleep beside me”.
Yes, right there on the passage, bare cement floor with thin blanket.
We finally found room for her in my sister’s room. She woke up and managed the bathroom and headed with us to Ogbomoso. She had come with an airport taxi driver from Lagos, who slept outside on a hard rock. She had taken an expensive air ticket and all she did was to follow us to Ogbomoso for the burial and turn back after five minutes.
Flesh held me bound and threw emotions into the lot.
“Maybe Seember wants something else.”
“ How does a lady risk this all?”
So I started doing some arithmetic in my head as my relationship then was badly floundering.
Nothing she risked that night on the potholed road Lagos to Ibadan was merchandise or even a love-bait. It had no strings, nothing attached. She was just being human, staying firm with another fatherless human.
I paused in times to wonder if I even took that stretch for friends. Not tossing cash into an account but with great pain, sacrificing time to just be human, for friends. I mean how much time do I give to friends? A lesson I am taking forward.
These I pondered on and I told another friend of mine,” I can’t forget Seember neither can I forget this act.” We have gone together to secure joint funding to do a new project, rebuilt websites and even cracked jokes about that ‘secret’ wedding of hers. But that pales to the risk she took that night.
Seember Nyager, Human Being
This post is part of the 30-day series on the “irinkinrido” adventure of Mr. Oluseun Onigbinde who clocks 30 this month.