As I flowed on the swampy lagoon, gradually letting go of my last breath, I was filled with pride as I knew that I had been outstanding in life. I had always led a good life. But before I close this page of existence, let us go back to how it began.
I have always led a life I had always been proud of. It was my thing to be thorough and always ensure that I was not to be blamed for anything. Call me perfect; no problem but I see myself as exceptional.
I was born 25 years ago, into a family of twelve, in a slum in North Central Nigeria. My Family was one of the reasons the white men must have use the adjective ABJECT to qualify poverty. Anyway, I was born poor so is not my fault since I decided to remain poor as I was given no chance to dream. I grew up in an environment where dreaming was a luxury any could easily afford. My name is EPO, I never care to ask for the meaning because I understood that there was nothing in a name.
I was robbed of my childhood as my parents used me to make money. I was always on the go, running errands for the people who were a little well to do in my environment. Being the first child, I was always told that I was born to work hard for the comfort of my siblings. So when the twelfth child of the house was to be born, I was gifted as a courier to a newly married couple who were returning to their new home in the city.
This was the first time I would be leaving Kawye Fama for the urban area. Like a sheep for slaughter I sat on the eve of my departure as my father poured the wine of knowledge to soak my soul.
“Son, remember that your success in the town is our success. Be a good boy and do not bring shame to our family; above all, always obey people” He said.
I just nodded my head as I was already exhausted from the job I had done during the day. People say the night is for you to ruminate about the incidents that took place earlier in the day but for me, the night is when I have the opportunity to give my body rest. That is why as soon as I hit the floor every night, I am ‘Sleepnapped’.
We embarked on the four hour journey to the city and I just couldn’t accept the fact that I had to be in the vehicle doing nothing, so I decided to carry my luggage on my head. As the couples saw this, they just burst into laughter but that didn’t deter me as I was resolute not to make myself useless on this trip.
We got to their house and I singlehandedly offloaded all the luggage and took them to their places. My stay in the house was going well. I was enrolled in a school to learn but I hated school. To me school was a building to help lazy people stay away from working. So I ceased all the opportunity I had to work. I failed academically not because I was dull but because nobody asked my consent. It is their fault.
One fateful Thursday afternoon, I was walking back home when a back-luxury car pulled over in my front; the driver beckoned on me to come and I went to meet him. He asked me to help show them the location of a particular street I was conversant with, so I hopped in and off they went. I had become a victim. I had just been kidnapped. It is not my fault; my parents said I should obey.
The Kidnappers got to their hide out and asked for the phone number and address of my folks, I responded “My name is Epo, I come from Kawye Fama, a village without light, a location far away from civilization”.
The men looked at me dumbfounded; they didn’t say another word as I was thrown into their mini cell. I didn’t shout or complain or cried for help, I remembered my parents told me to always be a good boy.
I stayed in the den of these men of the underworld for three months and knowing I would not escape, they left me to roam around doing their chores. I never forgot the dictum I was made to live by “hard-work pays”, so I never questioned my detractors.
In the third month of my stay, I and one of my detractors had gone deep into the forest for a walk and also to get wood for camp; he saw what must have been a pearl shining at the other end of the location where we stood. He ordered that I go get the item and I ran off.
As I got to the swamp, each step took me deeper and gradually I was out of sight. I lived most of my life in Kawye Fama(my village) but never knew how to swim because my parents said that only foolish kids spend time in water. So as I sank, I struggled to retrace my step but this was going to be the last time I would have the chance to lead the life my parents always clamoured.
I died an exceptional child obeying till the end and leading the life I was asked to.