My Satin

My nephew Lanre is one aburo of mine with a good sense of humour. He sent this to me from the family archives and I laughed till my ribs ached. I wonder why it looks like a picture taken in the ‘40s when it was taken just ‘a few years’ ago!

This picture evokes memories and nostalgia. The satin lace is unforgettable. It was my finest, most luxurious, most prized native apparel. I remember my tailor. He was honest in ineptitude – not the ones that misappropriate your cloth. Give him materials, even more than you need, he would make sure he uses it all without extras remaining, notwithstanding the measurement he took. They don’t fit on you, you fit into them, anyhow.

Yes, memories. On this fateful Friday, I had skilfully ironed it ready for a wedding the following day, neatly laid out on my humble bed. Off I went to attend a prayer vigil on the next street. My friend Kay, who taught me a lot of spiritual things (Pst Kay is now GO of a church), always hosted our vigils every Friday. We have been together since our university days. Just the 3 of us – himself, his wonderful wife who had become my sister, and me. Kay can give me his eyes as gift. This night, my fiancée who just came from campus, now my wife, joined us. She dropped a bag in my apartment containing her mum’s clothes, incidentally also some nice lace materials, to pick it the following day after the vigil. We had a nice time as usual and all slept off thereafter.

My fiancée and I made the 5 minutes trekking to my house in the morning and alas, my house had been burgled. The first thing I noticed was that my 16-inch Sharp colour TV was missing from the cabinet. My TV, product of sweat, blood and optimism – yes it was colour! – was gone! I made a dash for my room and, lo; also behold, my shiny, white, fanciful satin lace, the garment I treasured to bits, had disappeared. Not just the buba, but the sokoto with it. Not even my well-ironed cap was spared. I stared at my bed like Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb of Jesus, and a thousand thoughts flashed through my mind. Nike’s bag had also vanished. I instinctively looked under the bed, an instinct that was foolish but innocent as the iron that was supposed to be burglar-proof had been satanically ripped apart. I thought I would never recover. My TV! My satin lace!! And my prospective mother-in-law’s property!!! Kay’s consolation fell behind my earlobes.

As I looked at this picture, I suddenly realised that indeed no track hardly ever truncates without new options. Every tree hacked down, sprouts anew. What have you lost? What setbacks did you suffer? What discouragement besets you? Disappointments are determinate but hope is not. This, too, shall pass.

Now imagine the goons that burgled my apartment. Those stolen items if at all they still exist, would be fit only for the museum. But if they are caught today, they’d still do terms in jail, for time never runs against the State in crimes. Chattels however treasured, will go obsolete, but reputation will endure, even after death. I long forgave them though. Looking at this picture, I sighed again: God’s faithfulness, no be today!


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