When I came to Birmingham for my master’s degree, I got there late, many thanks to the Embassy in Nigeria. First day in school and everything was flying over my head. I got home that afternoon and apart from the fact that I was cold (England saw the worst winter in decades that year, and the West Midlands are always colder anyways), I was lonely. It was my first time living alone ever, and to be quite honest, it wasn’t working.
I called three people that afternoon; my momma, aunty Pat, and Nike Coker, to say I didn’t think that the Master’s was going to work. Nike calmed me down (I was bawling like a baby), my mom calmed me down (fresh bout of tears when I was talking to her) and then prayed for me, but aunty just made me laugh! She teased me so hard I almost physically knocked myself for telling her.
She did something else though; she called me every single day from that day till Christmas. She, my mom, and my sister became like a tag team of sorts, and they called me everyday.
And then she visited I think before the end of the year, and when she was leaving, she left me her wrapper, and said to use it to remember ‘home people’. That wrapper, my daddy’s muffler, and my momma’s cardigan, became my ‘I-miss-home-and-I-want-to-cry’ clothes. If only the items could tell of how many nights I drenched them in tears.
Aunty loved me. She did. Aunty really loved me. And I love her too, never will forget her.
Death is cruel.