We had moved from Ile-Ife to Lagos when I was just 8 years old, and it was more than a location change. The rapid behavioural adjustments I had to make, no doubt, precipitated this amnesia, and not until after two years in Lagos was I able to make a new friend.
But today, something terrible has happened and now I have truly lost a decade. It has consistently being raining at midnight for the past four days, and today's rain came around 1:00am . As expected, our two bedroom flat became a mini dam, taking in water from under the two exit doors at the peak of the rainfall and letting it out after the rainfall. But the unexpected happened too, today's in-house dam reached a new height and flooded the lowest drawer of a cabinet that houses the entire family photo albums. And all my childhood photos are now ruined, the faces I'm struggling to remember are all gone, perhaps, forever.
Our family albums have joined the ever expanding list of casualties claimed by this recurrent flood. The first was our beautiful cream color saxony carpet, just two months after we moved in from our rented three-bedroom apartment in the same suburb, barely a year ago. Initially, I blamed my dad for this, for building on a parcel of land right in the middle of a valley. Then my mum explained to me that this parcel of land wasn't actually the one my dad wanted, that this was sold to us at one and half the original price to pay off the financially strait owner and compensate us for the loss of the parcel we had earlier bought. The parcel my dad really wanted and earlier bought was snatched from him when a banker suddenly showed up and took us to court claiming he had bought that same parcel of land 8 months before it was sold to my dad by the same land agents. And so for the first time in my life, I learnt the hard lesson: If the desired is not available, the available becomes desirable.