Here’s a little throwback to the days of my childhood. I was a happy little child living with my parents and sister somewhere near the University of Calabar campus. At the point of this story I was roughly 6 or 7 years old…or younger. I dunno.
Ego, my sister, and I had childhood friends in the neighbourhood; Nana and Anthonia our Ghanaian friends, Umoh, Etete and Nko, our next door neighbours whose father was a tyrant and whose mother was passive aggressive, and Etekamba or Hassan, the light-skinned boy who the entire neighbourhood of parents and daughter doted on. We all used to play house, dress up and karate.
One day, Ego my evil sister dared me to be the bride.
And of course I, not one to shy away from an act of childish stupidity, said yes. So Ego brought out my mother’s favourite yellow and green lace wrapper, blouse and scarf and made a wedding gown and veil out of it. It was, now I think about it retrospectively, quite genius of an 8 or 9 year old.
The foolish game of DARE was not complete without the traditional bridal walk down the street. And I agreed. What the hell was I thinking??
So here I was, a little boy blithely unaware of the social consequence of being in a woman’s attire, walking rather nobly down the street. What day of the week was this? I don’t remember. Where were all the adults living in that street to stop me and give me a good spanking? I don’t know either. It was like a rapture of the adults.
When I was a good way down the street, maybe 60 metres, Ego shouted “NONSO, DADDY AND MOMMY ARE COMING BACK!!!”
I didn’t need any further warning or a prophet or interpreter to relay to me what kind of danger I was in.
Girl, I ran.
Turned back and started running as fast as I could to the house. Damn that evil girl Ego, she tied the wrapper too tight and I was practically hopping like a penguin. Of course when you’re in trouble, you immediately cease to think straight. All your energy goes into the basic human instinct of survival. “DO NOT LET YOUR PARENTS CATCH YOU IN YOUR MOTHER’S CLOTHES!!”
I ran. As fast as I could with my wedding gown’s train following me regally on the dirty street.
For my life.
For the lives of my generation yet unborn.
I ran. All of a sudden, my friends; Nana, Anthonia, Umoh, Etete, Hassan, all of them disappeared.
Such friends I had!!!
Thank God I got home before my parents caught sight of me. Ego deftly untied her creation from off me and placed them under the pile of clothes to be washed.
And the day was saved.
I am no transvestite. I have no such desires or inclinations. Thank God. Maybe the thought of my impending murder scared any traces of that out of my system. Cause Mr and Mrs Iwuchukwu would have killed the hell out of me!!!