She is being told to speak singly
Rush not those words
And take deep breaths
But the reality, by God,
is as depressing as it is saddening.
Because over this,
She almost has no control
Many of these battles he loses
Some he wins
Draining his lungs of air in the process
But whatever you do
Never look away when he speaks
During that vocal battle
A moment that characterised by closed eyes
May be accentuated by gaped mouths, clenched fists
And probably downward glances and tramped feet
He is aware
But do not look away.
He wants your attention
She silently begs for eye contact
at that lowest moment
In the heat of battle
When the words make their exit
That victorious moment
When those words make it out in one piece
O-or t-two pp-pieces
* Stammering affects more than seventy million people worldwide.
The city is Lagos. The time is nine. The sun shone differently that day. The wind also ate the humble pie. I innately felt something was in store. Then she walked into the class and by extension-into my life. I was ten; but the boy in me knew what beauty represented at such age. Was it how she effortlessly rocked the checkered uniform? Or how her cute little cheeks parted to reveal an even cuter smile? My little boy fantasies were cut short by a tap from my then sit partner, Deji. Twenty minutes into her entry to the class; it was clear I was not gonna let go anytime soon.
Fast forward nine years later, separated my continents, I hold on to my promise. My promise of not letting go.
Happy birthday sweetheart. May your remaining days be your best. It is not too late to have a nice time. Have fun.
photo credits: http://www.mystudycorner.net/