BE GRATEFUL, DON’T WHINE: On that morning inside a bus, when her life would change forever, Ezinne woke with a headache. It couldn’t have been because of the ‘bob Marley’ hair she made at the saloon a day before. She’d rush to the rest room, the very place that reminded her of Zaina hostel. She tried to put herself together amidst the wordless rage that boiled within her. She wished her life was laced with a purpose. It has been two years in Nigeria and she couldn’t get her dream job. Even her best friend Enwongo grew tired of hearing her complaints, wails and worries. “Have you thought of writing an application to Zakka’s camp?” She asked Ezinne last week. “Ah, Enwongo, I studied psychology to get a proper job not to work in any IDP camp na,” she retorted. Later, that evening the thought of making a difference while working with the internally displaced persons would ‘haunt’ her again and again.
It was . As she walked down, journal in hand from the room where she lounged, she could feel the morning sun piercing through the glass windows in the corridor. On the door of one of the rooms was written “why do you whine?” She didn’t feel the dust waving across her when the door of the luxury bus was opened, as it’s common on the roads of Kamzioku. She thought about a whole lot as she took her seat.
|Painting of Pilgrims and American Indians enjoying Thanksgiving meal|
The deep blue eyes of the fair lady that sat just before Ezinne teased her with a glance. Her golden hair disheveled and her chubby cheeks radiated heat. Ezinne would surprisingly return a smile. Maybe that was all she needed. Or maybe not. She had begun to wish she had a job like the stranger before her. A job that could make her hair look more beautiful. A job that would infect others with a smile. “Ogar, Zakka camp oh! come get your money,” the lady would later cry out with a thin voice. “I’ll stop here sir,” she informed the bus attendant. Until she stood up, Ezinne had not noticed her ID card. She was definitely a happy staff at Zakka’s camp. She also noticed that the lady had just one leg and wore a prosthetic limp. Memories would flash back in seconds. Her smile would fade and with a knee-jerk reaction, she’d put her head down for the rest of the journey. Right there inside the bus, Ezinne wrote in her journal, messages she believed came from God. She would write a story of a girl with one leg, who is happy and working in an IDP camp. The thought of a dream job come not for her. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine! a story of a little boy with eyes of blue, who looking ahead without a word, watched his friends play soccer. She would write that he couldn’t join them, not because he did not know how to, but because he was deaf. She would title the story, “be grateful.” After writing, she dialled Enwongo’s number and preventing the tears from falling off her eyes, she said, “Enwongo ke ndi ufok, I need to do what you said.”
Written by Francis Aquaticus