Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Age Aint Nothing But A Number

After sitting at the waiting area for a bit, a young girl walked up to me. This was at the salon where I was making my hair.
Aunty, can I ask you something?
Sure. Go ahead. I replied.
Can you please help me with my Ugo C. Ugo?
Huh? What's that?
Ugo. C. Ugo.  It's a Maths textbook. Everytime I ask my mummy and daddy, they say they are busy. Some parts are easy but there are some parts where they drew some boxes and I don't understand.
At this point I was wondering why she singled me out from the line of equally competent young ladies making their hair.
Can you spell it?
Okay... where do you stay?
Just down the road.
Can you go and get it?
My mummy will  not allow me.
Hmmm. So what do we do?
She looked downcast.
I was somewhat relieved. I was relieved because you see, I used to sleep in Maths class. My heart was already palpitating from the thought of having to teach someone the very things I ran away from. I hated Math. I still do, but I'm okay where counting money is involved.

That is how we became friends. Me and this little girl. 
Her mum's birthday is next month but she doesn't know how old her mum is. Her mum says it's a secret. We both laughed when she said that. Her dad says he's not even forty yet but that's not true because she stumbled on a document where he wrote, in his own handwriting, that he was forty-one.

Do you know Jumoke left for secondary school? At only eight years old o.
Wow. That's really young. I quipped.
Exactly. Everyone told her not to leave but Jumoke doesn't listen. We are age mates but I'm going to Basic 6.
I think it's better that way, no need to rush anywhere.
She nodded.

Her eyes lit up. 
I know what I will do.
Do about what?
About Ugo C. Ugo. When are you coming here again? She asked. 
Er... I'm not sure, maybe the next time I need to do my hair.
Okay. I'm thinking of copying out the parts I don't understand in a notebook, then when you come I can give it to you. 
Okay. That works.  
And there I was thanking God for deliverance...

I offered her biscuits. She declined but offered some to her younger sister who she brought to the salon with her. She didn't like the brand I was eating and told me that much. Infact she said spoilt her face and went "yuck" when I offered it to her. Imagine.

When are you coming here again? she asked again.
I tried not to roll my eyes. When I need to make my hair?
She nodded. 
I'm asking because my school is having a party and I want you to come.
Okay... that's in December right?
Nope. June.
Right... I nodded wisely. (I like the way kids think. She just compressed the time to suit her needs.)
A school party in June?
Yes. That's when I get to finish basic 6.
We both smiled. Major milestone. I get it.

We decided we will be in touch. Since she doesn't have a phone, our meeting point is my hairdresser's place.  In between hair appointment's, my hairdresser will convey messages both ways. She makes her hair every weekend, so it will be easy for her to get messages; if I drop any.

She looked sad to see me go. I wondered if I should give her a hug. I didn't. 
Bye Tomisin.
Bye she said and waved as I walked away.

True true, age aint nothing but a number.

P.s - For those who managed to have a holiday, welcome back to the hustle :)

©Naomi Lucas
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Hairy Diary said...

This veered me quickly to Adichie's Americannah hairdressing salon scenes! It's a lovely thing when life becomes so beautifully random

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Hairy Diary. Or, I would say randomly beautiful :)