The Penvoice Blog | Telling the African Story

untold secrets

UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 4

Untold Secrets Blog Series chronicles the different hidden lives of different people of African descent. It tells about the untold pains, struggles, fantasies, escapades and lots more of the everyday lives of people who could not share these stories with people as a result of one personal reason or the other.

UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 4

Human nature is such a fickle thing. Sometimes no matter how attentive and responsible parents raise children to be; the moment they leave the eyesight of their parents they become unrecognisable. This factor about human nature and choices has always baffled me. Take me as a case study; I was raised with good values and my parents always advice on making wise decisions. For the longest time I thought I was part of the Solomon wisdom programme but after a few years of being on my own, I realised that sometimes I don’t even qualify to be the cleaner in the building.

Back when I was still a student, I was enrolled in the University of Ghana. I remember the first year in a different country; I kept thinking to myself how awesome it were to be several countries away from Nigeria and my family. The freedom was so appealing. I created an elite lifestyle for myself that was dependent on the monthly allowance I was sent and the currency difference at the time.

In my own way I was a baller and not a mechanic. I spent money without saving and for the longest time it never caught up to me; but after a while, the value of the Nigerian currency depreciated and I had to adjust to the best of my abilities but looking back now I know I should have done better. I could have avoided a lot of hard lessons if I was wiser but instead I had to learn wisdom through shege.

My first major encounter with my old and sometimes steady friend shege came in my third year. I was planning on coming back home for the break so my parents sent me money just for my transport and miscellaneous travel expenses which was plenty for a trip by road, that Friday after packing my things I got the brilliant idea to go out that night so by dawn I would come home then quickly shower before leaving for the bus terminal to catch my bus but there was a slight problem with funds.

Read the previous episode: UNTOLD SECRETS SERIES – EP 3

If I wanted to do this I would need more money so I called an old acquaintance that recently became a blossoming love affair and I told her I needed help with cash when I get to Lagos, I promised to transfer with interest when I get home and she agreed to meet me at the bus terminal the evening I arrive. I was overjoyed and expressed my thanks then I called to book my bus ticket to Nigeria for Saturday morning so I could party till dawn Friday night.

UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 4

I spent and danced the night away and by dawn I was at the bus terminal freshly showered and exhausted so I could sleep comfortably through the journey. I had enough cash for my transport to Lagos with a little more for travel snacks and a big bottle of water. Everything had gone according to plan so far so I was patting myself of the shoulder for my wise play, I felt like Solomon himself smiling in my sleep and as we got to Lagos I inserted my Nigerian sim card and gave her a call but after 10 missed calls no one answered so I sent a text saying i had arrived.

I told her I plan on leaving the next morning for my state and that she can come meet me at the bus terminal. I spent the night sleeping on a metal chair instead of in a room I originally had the money to pay for, I drank from my bottled water and slept with that as dinner.

The next morning I stretched my aching bones, I used the remaining water to brush my teeth and clean my face before I resumed the task of calling my talking stage soon to be girlfriend but like previous attempts to reach her I got no reply to my texts or calls. That evening after switching back to my Ghanaian sim card and lying to my parents that I had not left Ghana yet and quickly switched back and resumed calling but still after dozens of missed calls I got no reply.

untold secrets

In all this I was still convincing myself everything would be okay, she would eventually call back and I would be able to get home but by Monday night it registered that I had made a huge mistake hoping on someone I haven’t seen in years.

My mind flashed back to the amazing Friday night and I thought how stupid that was. After one night and two whole days without food wisdom on how I could have done things differently played through my mind, while I was going through different scenarios in my head the new arrivals from Ghana came in and to my surprise a kind stranger got me road side noodles after I told him my predicament. The noodles were terrible but I gulped it down with so much zeal. The next morning, my kind stranger left with my thanks but he apologised because he couldn’t help me with the transport fare.

UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 4

On that Tuesday morning after he left and I sent one last text to her; I gave highlights of what she had done and told her to have a nice life. I called my parents explaining that I came in Monday evening but that I overslept and missed the bus this morning. I knew my parents were my only escape route; but I couldn’t bring myself to disappoint them with the story of my stupid decision so after lying I sat on my bed aka the metal chair and prayed for a miracle.

The next morning as I went out to watch buses being loaded, I summoned courage and walked to the counter where you purchased tickets and lucky for me it was an elderly woman. I told her everything that had happened minus the club foolishness and she sympathized. She arranged for my bus and even gave me money to buy snacks on the way. I remember praying and thanking her promising I would pay her back with a transfer when I got home and at the time I meant every word so she copied her bank details and phone number on a piece of paper before the bus departed.

Till this day I regret not refunding that woman’s kindness but that is another foolish decision for another day.

Read the previous episode: UNTOLD SECRETS – EP 2

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