welcome speech gone wrong
I sat down sipping slowly the third can of juice I had just gotten from a nearby health shop while I waited patiently for the boarding announcement for my flight to Lagos. The long wait had got me sipping away; I didn't realize when I opened the third can. I left home almost as soon as I woke up that day. I could barely get enough sleep as I was engrossed in the thought of all the love from family waiting for me back home. It was never the same living so far away. Even when you made friends whom you thought had your back, they never came through when you needed them the most. I couldn't wait to the jump on the the plane to see my parents and only sister. Saying I had missed them so much would be saying the least. I had been away for three years because I had to study really hard to finish my undergraduate and master’s degree in Law with flying colours.
I graduated as the best in my class and I just couldn’t wait to see my parent’s facial expressions. I was so certain they were going to be really proud of me. Both of my parents are pastors in the same church, the church I was born and also instilled with so much moral and positive values. They had just two of us; Kunbi, who is now an award winning mental health specialist as well as the Youth Pastor of the church and I. Our lives revolve around the church right? Kunbi was also my role model. I could never have wished for a better big sister. I love and respect her so much.
My parents had sacrificed so much for us that we knew being average students was not good enough which was why we worked really hard to make them proud all the time. At the time I was going to study abroad, they sold the only parcel of land they had. Just while I was deep in thoughts, I heard the boarding announcement. I was so happy, I jumped in excitement, dropped the last can of juice in the nearest bin and started heading to the boarding gate holding fast to my passport to avoid it dropping in the process. I could not afford to stay back an extra hour in London as a result of my carelessness.
The flight to Lagos was smooth and in no time we had landed in Lagos, Nigeria. We got in quite early; at about 5:30am. The aerial view was so beautiful; I could not wait to land already. Right after going through customs, while I stood thinking of how to contact my parents, I saw my dad standing opposite where I was with a huge smile on his face. Immediately, I ran to to give him a tight hug. The hug felt so good and it felt even better when I heard him whisper into my ears; “I just want you to know that I love you and I am really proud of you.” “Thank you daddy. I am so happy you are proud of me. It is all I have ever wanted. Where is mum and Kunbi?” I asked in excitement. He replied telling me they were at home finishing up with the cooking as he collected my bags. I got home really hungry and tired from the long drive. The airport to my house was quite a distance. As I entered the living room I could see from where I stood different foods lined up on the dining table just like they were expecting a very important guest. Anyways, it felt really good to be the guest responsible for all of that preparation. The food was a lot and I felt like eating all of it at once. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw that amount of Nigerian food on a table and most of all having to make a choice. The Egusi and Fufu looked really inviting and I pounced on it after giving my mum and Kunbi a very brief hug. The conversation could continue while I ate after all. I was so impatient. Little did I know I was going to get fed up of the food before I even had the chance to enjoy it. Just as I descended on the meat and started chewing with my eyes closed, I heard my mum ask my dad; “sweetheart when is the breast and cervical screening test scheduled to hold again?” “ It is tomorrow, Sunday my love.” “Okay.” My mum replied smiling at him. These two had a relationship made it heaven. They were so in love and they unconsciously set standards in relationship for my sister and I. Though they regularly counseled us on relationship and marriage, we felt there was absolutely no need as we got all the information from watching them while we grew up. “Haaa Abeni...I can't wait to show you off tomorrow. My daughter, a lawyer. In fact from now on I want to be called Iya Lawyer (which means lawyer’s mother in yoruba language). All of you better take note. I bet you all know the title doesn't come easy.” She said as she adjusted her blouse with so much pride. Just as I was laughing at my mum being melodramatic and reaching for the second piece of meat at the same time, my mum dropped the time bomb. “Abeni I'll like you to assist your sister in coordinating the screening exercise tomorrow.” “Ahannnnnn mummy, I just got back. You should let me rest.” “Don't worry my daughter, all you have to do is coordinate the members.” “Okay” I replied not too happy about my mum’s decision but I had no choice. I still could not believe I had all of the food to myself. “Besides, cervical screening is only for those who are sexually active and I trust you my girl. I know you are still intact. So you will only have to examine your breasts. Abennniiii miiiii (my Abeni),” she called as she winked at me. At this point the soup entered the wrong tract. I started coughing and my eyes turned red immediately. For the first time I began to think if my coming home at the time was bad timing.