An Ibadan Girl’s Guide to Fireworks

Hola!

I’m back with a new story. I had originally written this story sometime in 2020, right before Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations. I never got round to publishing it then but here you go!

FIREWORKS

I love fireworks. I love the way they light up the sky like it’s the 1st of October. The bright, bright luminescence.

Mama hates them. She hates the crackle and swoosh as the fireworks charge into the night sky. She hates the suddenness. The sudden transition from peaceful darkness to bright light.


I wish Mama could love them like I do.

Today is the 60th anniversary of our country’s independence from Britain. I can hardly sit still. Today, I will make Mama love fireworks.

I have lit up my favourite crackers. Mama lies reclining on the garden chair. I am creeping, inch by inch, to where Mama lies. “Happy Independence Day, Mama” I yell from the shadows as the lights take over the sky with that crackle and swoosh. I watch the lights till they burn out but Mama does not. She glares at the sky with unseeing eyes.

“ … a garden snake” …. “a rare poisonous specie” “ …. not known to be native to Nigeria” Snippets of the doctor’s whispers filter to my ears. “Was it swift and painless?” Baba whimpers back.

I killed Mama. I hate Fireworks.

Thank you for reading!

An Ibadan Girl’s Guide to Living

Lol, yes. Here’s a guide to living.

Too often, I find myself waiting to live … simply existing and going through the motions in the present while I set my sights and all that is within me on the future that I envision for myself.

I remember wondering, when I graduated from law school, where all that time had gone. It seemed like I had slept one night as a first year law student and awoken on the morning of my Call to Bar.

This is as much a guide for me as it is one for you (if you are anything like me). Savour today. Be it a bright, sunny day or a dour, cloudy one. Love it with everything in you and live it just as fiercely.

I vow,

To enjoy today,

Not because tomorrow is not assured,

But because today is beautiful,

And today’s beauty won’t come tomorrow.

~ Oyinkan Adebimpe circa 2016

AN IBADAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO BEING 20 AGAIN

I remember the first day I realised that time only goes forward.

I was 8 or 9 at the time and the realisation seemed huge and scary. To be honest, it still feels huge and scary every time I think about it. At the time, it dawned on me that every single second that had passed would never come back and so for a month or two afterwards, I would close my eyes at intervals, trying as hard as I could to pause time. Lol, was I one weird kid or what?

Anyway, you definitely guessed right. Of course, that did not work. But at 19 I finally had my ‘Eureka’ moment! I figured out how to pause time!

I started journaling. I did not intend to. I just began to piece random thoughts together and put them down in a notebook. I wrote about my days, my friends, the things I loved and the woman I wanted to be.

I stopped writing four days after I turned 21.

Every once in a while, these days, I pick up that journal and flip through the pages. I read as that young teenager on the cusp of adulthood writes her heart out. Boy, did she love John Lennon! I sometimes cry as I flip through the bits of her story. I mostly laugh. She was sad on some days, bored on others but she was beautiful everyday.

Re-living life through her eyes, she shows me how to be 20 again.