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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Hope Hovered


    I know everything is about to change as I sit on this powder keg and wait. The ceiling fan is faster today and the air, cooler this early morning. My tough afro curls, crunch and spring up as I press and run my fingers through it. I love when my hair isn’t twisted or braided or knotted into tamed rows, boxes or even corners. Especially after a lengthy long even back length braids. Which makes me look amazing, no doubt. But my amazing beautiful thick tight curls feels buoyant when in between my fingertips, I miss running my fingers through it. And right now it feels like a beautiful reunion, me and my glorious crown. I’ve washed and unbraided it and I like the sound it makes so much when I touch it, that I don’t want to fall back asleep. It’s like a wild romance, with my one true love.

   In Twelve Hours, I will be waltzing amongst strangers and smiling at words I expect to hear. More than the people, I will be in a space that calms me. The colours will be dry and layered, projected skillfully onto canvas and forged into sceneries I long to live in. Gardens and bushes I want to run my fingertips through as I imagine myself approaching that lone house on the hilltop. In the oil painting, I have on see-through butter coloured cotton gown. I harvested the cotton balls from small farm behind my freshly thatched house. Also, I have woven my outfit in that house, on a cotton spinner I hammered together with my bare hands all within a month. Just like a beautiful fairy tale from ancient Nigeria, the Bight of Benin and even before then.
Right now, the air is clean and perfect. No fear of that sound from that device about a notification of an application update or a comment from a random forgotten friend you ask why you are still connected to on social media. All the annoying radiation emitting devices, gone and forgotten to my relief. All that is left is purity and peace of mind and the sound of my steady heartbeat. Cool winds awaken the sound of trees with lush plump leaves brushing against each other and below are dry leaves fallen and crusty, layered on top of one another. The gust of wind picks them up and they form a whirlwind of leaves around and beneath me as my dress clusters upwards and tilts to a side. My beautiful thatched roof home smells delightful as the unleavened bread I’ve made rests in a clay plate on the widow seal. I can’t wait to drink the room temperature water in the pot beside it, after at least munching on ripe yellow mangoes this beautiful morning.
The contrast of my small cotton farm, a mango tree and agbalumo tree with a swing hanging on it, makes me smile. This art work is a masterpiece, I can feel it.
 I stretch and kick someone and freeze, I should be the only one in my bed but I am not. I yawn and know for sure I am wide awake.
The voice is muffled at first and then it clears up and then I remember, my friends are sleeping over.
‘Ade, you want some?’, Nnoye asks and I blink again.
‘Leave Ade, she is still sleeping'
‘I am wide awake', I say yawning and stretching over and over again.
‘You were smiling in your sleep', Ajoke adds.
I spin in a stretched stiff manner like a crocodile doing a death roll on my bed and loving it, only slower.
‘Who were you dreaming about?’ Nnoye’s question and mind as expected, goes to the one man she is obsessed with.
Mine was on the most important person in my life, me. I fold my arm across my chest and cup my heart, I am grinning from ear to ear and loving every memory of my precious dream. I sit up and stand on my toes and love my own reflection in the mirror. The spaghetti night top and bum shorts silk night wear made me feel good and the peach colour made my dark skin glow.
‘I was dreaming of me, myself and I. Living on my five acres land with a mini cotton field, fruits and a clothes weaving machine’
  I announce to my dear friends as if they were a part of my beautiful dream.
  Nnoye’s mouth dropped open and Ajoke rolled her eyes, their contrasting response made me gloat.
‘Everyone knows you always wanted to live far off in remote Norway, Sweden, Fiji or Barbados'
‘Plus or minus technology?’
 Nnoye was right to ask and my answer shocked her.
‘Minus everything, like the weather I crave for'
‘Ade, if I want it cold, the AC is enough'
‘Nnoye's idea of cold is sixteen degrees', Ajoke reminds me.
‘Ajoke, that is correct', Nnoye adds scrutinizing my reaction.
‘It was perfect', I add missing the fresh flower smell.
‘Wait ooo, do you think we are NOT going to watch an art exhibition?’
 Notice my emphasis on the word ‘not’, this babe better not be joking. Nnoye just crushed all hope of me having and dreaming about fun paintings.
‘It’s a funky doctrine or program…’
I shut my ears because I did not Want to hear it, I was going to the art gallery not for a sermon but for the love of art. And to see that painting I have been dreaming of.
‘We can leave by four…’, Nnoye adds a little nervous.
‘I am a little drowsy'
‘Even after all that sleep'
 Ajoke critising me, shocked me, after all I was heavily medicated.
‘I need at least another four hours, I feel exhausted'
 I was playing on a sympathy card that had long expired, because… Ajoke flicked frozen slushy lemon water at me and it jolts me out of my dreamy state.
‘Ajoke stop'
‘Ade go and shower’
  Ajoke is right, no more excuses. The day needs to move forward and it starts with a long warm shower and I do so singing.
 The evening arrives briskly and I cannot wait to digest all the creative art pieces all over the gallery.
 The evening is gentle and my friends are happy and the images of meticulously forged bronze and wrought iron into humans excite me. And that’s just at the entrance, I love art galleries and I feel the bronze work changed by the outside elements. Inside the paintings are majestic and simple, there are landscapes and portraits and I soak up all the excitement.
 One painting catches my eye, it’s a woman walking through tall grass towards her home with an old mango tree. Just under the tall mango tree is a hut with a broken thatched roof and falling from the sky is a minute drizzle that she smiles and tries to capture between her full lips.
  The jolt at the touch of another person is proof that I am no longer in the painting but watching it. The sound of laughter makes me look back and freeze, that’s the image the artist captured in a simple oil painting. I do not understand why people feel the need to touch you, I definitely did not want to leave the world the artist has created. But I guess it’s too late, I am back to reality.
‘Hi’, it was bland and husky and I stare at him and realize that he was talking to me.
‘Hi’, I reply and stare at the short stocky man with paint stain on the collar of his Ankara shirt.
‘That could be you', he adds scanning the painting and comparing her with me.
‘I can see myself there…’
 I say with a satisfactory smile and I touch my hair and smile, we both have our afro free and happy like the crown they are.
I must be making the art lover proud because he was watching me watch the painting.
‘Off the grid and happy', I add.
‘Lonely’, he says.
It made me a little sad and I see the sadness in the eyes of the girl in the painting, my eyes.  But unlike the rest of the world, I am enjoying it. I know the man is trying to have a conversation with me, but I am already having one with the painting.

  I obviously need a holiday….

**"ADE'S JOURNAL", Season 3, Episode 69**

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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow @Busola Elegbede