“Ann, where are you? Come and help me pack joor!” my roommate yelled over the phone.
“I will be back soon, I just stepped out to get some fresh air”, I paused. “I needed it”. And honestly, I did. I couldn’t continue staying in the room with her, watch her pack her stuff. We spent 365 days together and the thought of her leaving made me so anxious and sad. God! I was going to miss her. We have created a lot of memories together and throughout yesterday evening, I kept replaying them in my head, – the laughter, the fights, challenges faced but most especially, the love shared. She would be gone in a few hours; would I be able to cope with her absence?
“Are you okay?” She asked when I returned home.
“Yeah, sure”, I replied avoiding her gaze. She regarded me for a while and smiled. She knew something was wrong – I was avoiding her gaze.
“Ann, I will miss you too”. For the first time in a long while, I let the tears fall freely.
“I am scared, babe. You are leaving and I don’t know how the new girl would treat me”. She came close and sat beside me, rocking my back.
Roommate: You will be fine, trust me.
Me: it was fun having you around, you know. A lot happened. Like a whole lot.
Roommate: (Laughs) Like you shooting your first short film?
Me: I swear. As in, if you knew how scared and nervous I was – it was just a two days internship on a film set that fueled my drive to shoot that film. I didn’t have much money but I had friends who believed in me, plus I told a story that wouldn’t cost much to shoot.
Roommate: Yeah, I know. And it didn’t get accepted to many festivals like you were hoping.
Me: (Lets out a whoosh of breath) Yeah, it didn’t. But just when all hope is gone, it got nominated for an award. I am just glad that finally, people are beginning to recognize my work. It’s one step at a time though. No hurry.
Roommate: (Nods) that’s right. Look, Ann, I am glad that with me, you decided to start taking steps towards achieving this dream you hold so dear. I watched the way you kept jumping from one filmmaking seminar to the other not minding the challenges. You even got certified by one of the best film schools in Nigeria.
Me: (Chuckles) Del-York Creative Academy bah?
Roommate: Yeah, and I loved the way you braved the challenges that tried to weigh you down. You were practically homeless that period. And broke too! How did you do it? Damn girl! The fire in you is something else.
Me: I don’t know how I did it sha. I just had some supportive friends around and besides, it is my dream. That is one thing I hold so dear. It gives me reasons to keep living. I wake up thinking about it and I sleep thinking about it.
Roommate: (Smiles) I am so proud of you, honestly. I don’t think anything can quench that fire in you and I know people think you are crazy.
Me: Crazy? Well, of course. Do you know how crazy it sounds to look your father in the face and tell him that you don’t want to practice law? After spending six years in school and graduating with a good grade?
Roommate: (Chuckles) Ann eeh! I remember the look he had on his face that day. I know he must have thought, “Ah! My daughter has finally gone mad”.
Me: But he knew all these naw. I mean, I told him my passion even before I got admitted to study law and what did he say, “Study law, when you are done, you can do whatever you wish to do with your life” and that is exactly what I am doing. He was now making me look like an ungrateful child.
Roommate: Well, babe, I will tell you this over and over again – your dreams are valid. It might not make sense to anyone right now but I trust you wouldn’t give up.
Me: (Smiles) Sure, I would not. (Pause) wait, do you think I was good at this “Adult thing”?
Roommate: (Furrows brows) How do you mean?
Me: Don’t act like you don’t understand what I am saying joor. I mean, throughout my stay with you, I was practically fending for myself (Pause) like an adult.
Roommate: Oh, now I understand. (Laughs) Of course, you were good naw. Who would have thought that small Ann of yesterday would be asking her mum and siblings, “Send me your account number”.
Me: (Flips hair) Oh yeah! (Chuckles) But I feel good anytime I do that. I just feel they have done their part in my life, they have given me the necessary tools to survive on my own and it is now left for me to make use of them.
Roommate: Eerrr….yes sha but don’t you think it was tasking? I mean, it’s not as if you were earning so much. How much were they paying you sef? Or rather how much were you earning?
Me: Not so much. But the little I have, I give. What’s there naw?
Roommate: Yeah, that’s nice. I am glad you are no longer, “Daddy’s girl”.
Me: (Laughs) no matter how much I grow, I am still a “Daddy’s girl” or rather “Mummy’s girl”. Whichever one.
Roommate: Who do you want to deceive with that….
There is a knock on the door. Immediately, we gaze move to the wall clock – it was already 12 am.
Roommate: I have to leave now babe! Time is up.
Me: (Makes a face) the knock on the door, that’s 2020, my new roommate, right?
Roommate: (nods) Yeah, (Pause) Hey, you will be fine, Trust me. She might even be a better roommate than I have been, you never can tell.
Me: I don’t know what to expect but (Laughs) I am pretty excited. The girl is coming with a new vibe – she is ushering in the new decade.
Roommate: Yeah yeah! So fingers crossed, you will achieve a lot with her. The goals you have planned out, you will start taking steps to execute them, get better at being kind and maintaining friendships. Be smart in your hustle, love more, travel as much as you can, explore your sexuality but most especially, be happy!!! 2020 will be an awesome roommate.
Lol, Happy New Year everyone. It’s a new decade. It would be an amazing year. Believe!
BTW, dear future hubby, we will finally get to meet each other this decade. I can’t wait to have you babe; make beautiful memories and kids together.