Some days, you have a feeling that something special is going to happen to you. Then you go about all day with that feeling of peace and you are expectant of that special thing. You know what? The day turns out to be a usual day but you were happy and fulfilled. Other days you wish you could stay in bed a little longer. Your morning is dull and then out of the blue, something happens.
Today was that type of day. I was getting ready for a 2 weeks Creative Writers meet in Melbourne, Australia. It’s a long trip but it’s so worth it. Writers from at least fifteen different countries would be there, and Australia feels like getting away from the rest of the world. So it’s cool. I’ve been on this trip a couple of times and I hoped to reconnect with a few friends. I was excited but the morning was damp and dull.
I am a writer and that may sound lame but it’s what I do. Trust me, when I first started my career, my Mom would cringe every time she had to tell what her son did. Now, I guess they have gotten used to it. After writing for numerous papers and winning national awards and international recognition, I guess they are the picture of the typical proud African parent.
“Tope! I’m set.” I called to my younger brother.
“Alright, I’m in the kitchen.” He replied. I pulled my bag into the living room. My Dad was there working on his laptop.
“Mom, I’m leaving.”
My mom stepped out of the kitchen followed by my brother biting into an apple.
“Have a safe trip Timothy.” She said with a smile on her face. “Let us know when you arrive.”
“Be careful o.” My dad said. That’s how Nigerian fathers say ‘goodbye son, I’ll miss you.’
My trip was pleasantly long.
Remember what I said about having a dull day and out of the blue something happens? Ok.
Well, I arrived in Melbourne safely and picked up my bag. I shopped a little and grabbed a snack. I tried calling some of my friends to find out where they were. I would be staying at my teacher’s house. My grade (primary) 5 teacher is an Australian and he returned to Australia while I was in the University in Nigeria. I reconnected with her on social media and I stay with him and his wonderful family when I come for these conferences.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” exclaimed a young lady who bumped into me as I was standing bent over my phone.
I look up to see who in the world this clumsy lady could be. “No problem Are you okay?” I ask politely.
And then I freeze. That out of the blue moment just struck like lightning. I look at the lady and my brain, high IQ and all, makes me recollect how familiar the face is. I am not good with faces but there are some that are just engraved into your memory.
A puzzled look crosses the lady’s face. “Timothy?”
“Yes! Wow!” She extends her hand and I shake it. My mind goes numb and I wonder what on earth is she doing here!
“It’s been such a long time. What are you doing here?” I ask.
She laughs. “I’ve been here for about four months. I’m an accountant.”
“That’s great. I’m here for a Writers conference. “ I replied
“Oh. Wow. Yeah. That’s nice. I’ve read some pieces on your blog.”
“Really? Thanks. Well, It’s so good to see you again. After 15 years.”
“I’m sure it’s a bit more.” She replied. “I’m sorry I almost knocked you over. I’m in a hurry. I need to meet one of our partners.”
“Ok. Fine. No problem. I’m still standing and I’m fine. Good to see you.” I said as I picked the handle of my bag. “Take care of yourself.”
She nodded and hurried off.
I took a deep breath. Dear God, that was not nice. I came here to concentrate on this conference. Now I have to deal with the reminder that my childhood friend is in the same city and I just saw the face that brings back so many memories!
To be continued…