My brother would keep calling from time to time, pressuring my friend, but she didn’t yield. There was nothing anyone could do because they didn’t know her house, and people were not that traceable in Lagos as they are now when technology is sophisticated.
Anyway, by day 6, my uncle called, instead of my brother. I don’t know how he did it, but he cajoled my friend to admit I was there. After she did, he begged me to come back home, that nothing would happen, bla bla bla. His mouth was so sweet, that I agreed. Anyway, I was already getting tired of the constant fun and a life without challenges I was having in my friend’s house. So I left, and went to the office, where my uncle, mum and dad, all worked.
My mum was in the other branch, my dad didn’t say anything to me, and my uncle took me home. The next day, my parents called me, talked to me for nothing less than two hours, with my dad saying how my mum is the best woman in the world, how he met her as a virgin, and I should emulate her, and all that.
In my mind, I was rolling my eyes, thinking “what is all these? Do these people actually think I’m a bad girl?” won’t it have been nice if my dad were alive today to find out that I am actually getting married as a virgin, so they should have cooled their horses then.
Anyway, after the plenty lecture, they let me go, and I never ran away from home again. Four years later, my dad died.
Now that I am older, anytime I remember that I used to be a runaway girl, it gives me more insight into the kind of person I am. This experience is just testament to the fact that I am was trying to carve myself into who I really wanted to be.
It is not news that I am highly choleric, and I have no respect for norms that are not progressive. I challenge status quos. I have been a leader right from my mum’s womb, and I am the person who gets called to come and put administration in place when something is not working well.
If I am among a group of people trying to achieve something, and things are not being done in efficient and effective ways, I would talk. I would ask them to give me the work, and I would try to demonstrate how it should be done, by carrying out the task, no matter how voluminous.
I make no bones about the fact that I do not like many parts of the African tradition, and because of this, I am very private and introspective, just like my dad. A lot of times, I keep my mouth shut amongst extended family members, and remain polite. If they become too much for me, I go to my room, lock my door, or leave the house.
I cannot thrive in an atmosphere of strife. Anytime I find myself in one, I always try to make peace, or I leave it behind completely.
I do not subscribe to the notion of a woman staying in a house where she is constantly beaten. I have never seen it happen before, and I pray to never see it. I only read about it in the newspapers and hear about it from friends.
And yes, if I am being physically battered and oppressed in my own house, I don’t think it needs to be said… As an adult empowered woman, I will run away.