I hate Xmas, I hate driving myself, I hate Lagos’ traffic, I hate the fact that I’m going home to fulfill all righteousness of upholding Mom’s tradition of family spending time together during Christmas. Dearest Mom, if I had my way I would stop honoring this annoying tradition cos trust me, the drama that follows could fill up a history book far more than the Cold War. Yeah, my family’s very dramatic. They exaggerate everything and it gets really irritating and sometimes, I can’t even deal. Gosh! that’s why I ensure they only see me once a year when I’ve got to sacrifice 12 whole days of my precious time, putting my life on hold to grace them with my presence.
Oops! Sorry. Let me introduce myself. My name is Lola Peters. I’m 35, unmarried, very beautiful, classy and sophisticated. I’m a financial expert with one of the world’s largest transport and logistics firm and of course, I’ve got my own fish farm on the side. I’m happy, I’m comfortable and I’m rich. Boyfriend? Well, I’ve got Lawyer man Jeff. He’s alright but sometimes, I wonder if I really need him.
Anyways, I’m driving to Mom’s now and the traffic is so annoying. What I still can’t understand is how Fashola was able to give these crazy tanker drivers a 48 hours ultimatum to evacuate the highways and Ambode can’t do same. This is just another reason I hate coming to the mainland. A thirty minutes trip always ends up becoming an hour’s trip or more. I’ve honked my horn several times but everything and everyone seems to be dragging. Oh hell! my phone’s ringing again and it’s Mom. I had given her a heads up about me arriving the house today and she’s been calling like I’m driving all the way from abroad. This better be good.
“Lola omo mi, ba wo ni?” she sounded worried
“Mami, the traffic is terrible but I should be home in the next fifteen minutes”
“Okay dear. I’ve prepared your favorite dish of semo and eforiro okay?”
“Mami I appreciate but I’ve told you before, that used to be my favorite dish but now, it’s simply veggies, no fat at all. And besides, I’m watching my weight. So, just send Bayo to get me some veggies instead will you?”
“What weight are you watching ni?! You that looks like a bonga fish!”
“It’s called being “slim and healthy” Mami. Just send for the veggies will you?”
“And please Mami, stop calling you’re making me nervous”
“Hian! okay o! See you soon Ife mi”
Jeez! Mom can be so annoying. I always end up adding weight when I visit her so I had to make a resolve to stop eating her meals. It breaks her heart but, my weight is more important to keep in check. Oh Lord, make this holiday worth this stress and sacrifice of my time.
So, fifteen minutes turned into thirty minutes extra, added to the one hour I had already spent on the road. I was fagged out by the time I got to the gate of the compound. I cringed when I heard screams and loud footsteps bounding down the stairs towards me. Oh no! they’re here. My younger sister’s kids; two boys and a girl. Tinu had married early and at the age of thirty, she still looked beautiful. I leaned on my car to keep myself from falling as the kids jumped on me. They’re so adorable but they looked dirty and I had to gently push them off before they stained my white boubou gown. Tinu who stood aside was looking at us with a funny smile on her face cos she understood my dislike for dirty kids. We hugged after I had successfully untangled myself from the strong hold of the giggling kids.
“Sister mi, you look amazing as ever” Tinu said with obvious envy
I smiled fondly at her and said “For a mother of three, I must say that you look healthy”
“Oh please, don’t flatter me. I’ve told Darey that if I find his thing in me again, I’ll kill him.”
That cracked me up cos I knew she was joking. Her and her husband were a pair and I’m sure he’ll be joing us soon. We all went inside and the moment Mom heard my voice, she rushed out of the kitchen and was all over me, checking my vitals, from the tip of my hair to the soles of my feet. I had to struggle not to continue rolling my eyes. Before I knew it, she was leading me to the dinning table to eat from what looked like a buffet. There was the legendary Efo riro, semo, amala, assorted meats in stew, catfish pepper soup, ewedu soup, and of course, a small portion of my veggies diced on a platter. I was baffled and as I turned to look at Mom in amazement, she shrugged before turning to call Bayo to take my bags to my room. Bayo, a distant relative of ours has been staying with Mom for ten years now since Dad died and I pay for his education just like I pay for everything that concerns Mom. I turned to leave as well but Mom stopped me and asked,
”Ah han! se oni jehun ni Lola?” (won’t you eat Lola?)
“Ejor Mami, mo fe lo wena. Ese Ma” (Please Mom, I want to shower first) with that, I hurried to my room before we argued about it.
I had fallen into a deep sleep after having my bath and when I checked my phone, I saw ten missed calls from Jeff. That pissed me off. Sometimes, he behaved exactly like my Mom, too intrusive for my liking. I wonder how we’ve been together for five years. I should have dumped his sorry ass long ago but, he fits the role perfectly. He’s 38, handsome, successful and responds whenever I want him. Exactly what I want in a man. I dropped the phone on the bed to go back to sleep but it started ringing again. I picked it up angrily and shouted,
“What is it Jeff?! You’ve called ten times already!”
“Hey Lolly, I’m glad you’re alright. I was worried sick” he sounded relieved
“And why were you worried?”
“Well, cos this is the first time this year you’re visiting your Mom so I was worried you wouldn’t remember the route anymore and might end up getting lost”
“Seriously Jeff? You know what, don’t call me, I’ll call you when I want. And don’t even think about coming here either. I’ve got to go now. Bye”
“Hey, hey, hey! hold it babe” he sounded soft now for a tough man with a domineering height like him and it always pissed me off whenever he got that way.
“What?!” I asked impatiently
“I miss you already”
“Noted. Now bye Jeff. Later” I hung up
Dear Jeff, I wonder how I put up with him. He’s always fussing and it’s irritating. Yes, he cares about me and wants us to do things together most of the time but time is what I don’t have for all of that mushy crap. Imagine him wanting to come to Mom’s with me. Ugh! What a man!
I tiptoed to the door to listen for any sound but there was none. I quietly opened my door and went to the dinning. The table was empty thankfully. Mom must be mad at me already for not eating at all. It was late already and even if I ate, she would conclude that I didn’t so, I sneakily went back to my room to prepare myself for day two. Who knows what drama awaits to unfold tomorrow? Right now, all I want to do is sleep again.