By Ademola Adeleke
And if by luck, I graduate from being an ordinary blind Nigerian into someone admirable in life, you’d better don’t wish you were me. My life was once in a furnace, any teenager would want to give up just like I almost did.
Tears never vacated my eyes, during my teens when both fate and happiness ganged up against me. Meanwhile, sharing my past experiences with you has no other motive attached, just that it helps me in healing up those traumatic wounds harboured in my heart.
I got blinded and most of those ones I called friends, I saw no more. Wish I could sue them all but sadly, friendship has no laws. So, I gulped it down my already troubling depression introduced by blindness and began to agree with my dad’s usual saying whenever he heard me announce the arrival of my friends.
“It is only when you’re successful that friends will visit you, nobody wants to be friends with a failure, “he would say to me, but I was too young to decode his statement. Then, visiting friends was never my problem. In fact, I could say the road sides were even disgruntled at my frequent footprints on their faces; always trekking from one friend’s house to the other like a tinker. Oh, how I wish I could travel back to my teens now and give myself a good beating.
Blindness chose me as her sweetheart and so I gave her my all by dropping out of school. Knowing I had been left behind at a spot by friends saddened my heart like a mother mourning her child; but not perceiving their smell not alone seeing them come around to visit me blew off my little hope. I lost it!
And it felt like the whole world was going against me. I became so paranoid overnight. To worsen my sorry case, my siblings were all in school at that time, so I had just my mum and my always busy dad at home with me. In the week days when all the children in the neighbourhood had gone off to school, my mum would sadly come to my room to bid me her goodbye for the day and also tell me where exactly she had dropped my food in the kitchen. Of course, my dad would have left earlier, so my mum’s departure would only mean that I was going to be alone in the big house for the rest of the day.
After I might have confirmed my parents’ exit, I would, in all loneliness, sit up on my bed and get myself so drunk in thinking. Bitter tears would be invited to my eyelashes and sporadically crawl down my cheeks. I was always wishing it was a nightmare; once the day broke, I would wake to see the daylight; but heck no! This thing called blindness is for real. And for my mum, I could tell that she was concurrently sharing my sorrows where ever she was.
She would call me often, asking me how I was doing. Smiles, I got you mum, you wanted to know if I would be doing something stupid. Something like taking my life, right?
Well, I gave that a try sha. The kitchen knife must have made me its laughing stock now. I would grab it and try poking it into my stomach but… Mehnnn.. that thing no easy jare. So, I would drop it for the day and pick it up the following day. Yet, I wouldn’t be able to do it. Once the tip of the knife touched my belly, a myriad of fears would go down my spine and I would be like…”rara o, I didn’t plan to go this way”.
So, I would check for rotten dry cells in the trash can and hope I could do something life-ending with them. I would cast out the black content contained in the batteries and dilute it with water. Ah, hope I’m not exposing someone to bad practice already..? Please o, this post is strictly discretionary! Ehn ehn, as I was saying jare; After properly mixing the battery poison, then drinking it will become another problem. Can’t really tell the part of me always persuading me to at least have a sip, but I could remember almost opening my mouth for the damn thing.
The truth is, being home alone was not helping me at all. My mind was always arrayed with evil thoughts; but fortunately, I wasn’t brave enough to execute any. Many months and years rolled by and my life was still hinged on this disheartening routine: wake up, bathe, eat, think, cry, try out few dying methods, grieve and hope Segun and Biola return early from school so they can keep me company.
Still in my melancholy, I fell in love with music and bought some music albums which I usually put on repeat to alleviate boredom. Then I tried singing on one of Eldee’s instrumentals and surprisingly, I got it right. And today, I can say music takes a considerable part of my leisure.
Many months and years rolled by and my life was still hinged on this disheartening routine: wake up, bathe, eat, think, cry, try out few dying methods, grieve and hope Segun and Biola return early from school so they can keep me company.
Thank goodness I didn’t kill myself then. Or how could I have known of this promising future awaiting me?
And to all those who turned their back against us, don’t be so sure you won’t later follow our lead. And for those ones with suicidal tendency all because of one little challenge or the other; shall we trade challenges then? You take blindness while I take that thing you consider a challenge. Nonsense!