A Lock Down Story
By: Pablo Emevor
It’s ironic how the lockdown has been eventful and kind of busy for me, because the only plan I had in mind, was to wake up each day to Bruno Mars’ “today I don’t feel like doing anything, I just wanna lay in my bed.”
After a lot of thinking, before the lockdown kicked off, I decided I was going to remain where I am, and not return home. Trust me when I say that explaining this to Mumci and the rest of my family members was one hell of a battle. Although it seems like I am the Victor for now, as I never went home. However, I know a bigger battle awaits me, the day I finally get home.
Staying put where I am, means that I am an older version of the kid in the popular Christmas movie ‘Home alone’. Except in my case, this isn’t anytime near Christmas. As a matter of fact, the world is at war with an unknown virus. And I wasn’t abandoned. It’s a personal and well thought out decision.
It also means that whatever I do and however I’m going to survive this period rests on my thinking cap and the few naira notes in my account. #Survivalmode/careful spending activated. #Bachelorgeng.
Being alone makes me reaffirm the saying “Na dis lockdown people go know say cooking na survival skill and not a woman’s duty”.
Fam! I cook my meals on a daily basis. Yeah, it sounds like no big deal to you. But it is for me. And hey! It’s not like I don’t know how to cook, but most times I get overly excited and just add too much salt or very little salt. So, I try as much as possible to stay away from cooking except it’s Egusi soup.
In all, by the time this lockdown is over, yours truly will be stepping out in style as a Certified Chef. Another feather to my cap! Cooking meals on a daily is one of my major highlight for this period, especially beans. I have taken the art of cooking beans to another level.
These days, I creatively come up with my own special recipes on how to prepare it. So whether it’s ‘Beans and Yam’, ‘Beans and Potatoes’, ‘Beans and Garri’, ‘Beans and Rice’, ‘Burnt Beans’, ‘Not Properly Cooked Beans’, ‘Beans and vegetable Mixed With Crayfish’ , the list is endless. All you have to do is name it and you’ll get served.
For someone that is taking the practise of social distancing and other preventive measures seriously, I am amazed at the number of places I’ve been to. And the number of amazing people I’ve met during this period. Well, it is all from the comfort of my bedroom. So I’m safe😉
Engaging in group video calls with my childhood friends on WhatsApp and bumping into them on other social media platforms was another intriguing journey for me all through this period. This got me reflecting on the relationships and friendships I’ve built in the past, and all the disconnections, ever since. I figured that most of them got broken due to lack of communication and my ability to ghost people a lot.
Well, since one cannot undo the past, I’ve concluded that moving forward, I’ll strive to do better in sustaining present relationships and making sure that new ones formed will be well sustained too. Let me add that one of such calls happened on my birthday. And this really made my day.
I stepped into 2020 with a clear vision and picture of what I want the year to look like for me. As part of my new year resolution, I took it upon myself to read a book a month. I even joined a book club. Fam! this is the fifth month and I have only read two books. Thanks to the lockdown, I’m almost done with the third one.
In addition to this, I recently resumed online lectures for a course I reluctantly started sometime in 2019. Though I’m moving at a slow pace even if I now have the time for it, what’s most important here is that I’m moving. Cheer me on!
I’m also trying my hands at the game of chess during this lockdown to kill boredom and worries. My 13year old neighbor Alex, is giving me all the help, moral support and guidelines needed to become a pro in the game of chess. We’ll see how that goes.
Still on my lockdown story likened to that of the kid in the Christmas movie ‘Home Alone’, another similar event from the movie that happened in real life was the fact that thieves came around. On this night, while I slept like a baby with no worries, my WhatsApp was blowing up with messages from my next door neighbor asking if I could hear the movements and footsteps around our compound?
As if she’s been going through my phone while i slept, and found the voice note I sent to Amanda concerning the things we will do once the lockdown is over.
As my guardian Angel immediately woke me up to go empty my bladder, I picked up my phone and saw the WhatsApp notification of my neighbor’s messages. I immediately started calling to be sure if everything was alright. I called and called but my neighbor kept aborting my calls. Ladies and gentlemen! at this point, my heartbeat was nothing close to Simi’s duduke. Different questions and thoughts started running through my mind. Seeing that my neighbor was online but wouldn’t pick my calls made it worse. I sent my neighbor a voice note to know why my calls are being aborted? The reply I got scared me even more. The reply read that my neighbor couldnt pick my call…
After thinking of what line of action to take, I put a call through to a friend of mine who stays in the same compound with us but had to go home due to the lockdown. We discussed on what to do and in the end we came to the conclusion that I have to go check up on my neighbor. #You are a man.
Fam! I gathered all the nerves, courage and guts left in me, opened my door and stepped into the dark night. What is normally about 20feet to get to my neighbor from my house, took me almost forever. As the thought of ‘what if my neighbor has been tied down by the thieves and they were the ones replying my messages now’ slowed my pace. Alas I got to my neighbor’s, knocked at the door, and after a lot of questioning as to who I was. The door finally opened. My neighbor opened the door for me and told me that she didn’t want to pick my calls simply because she didn’t want the thieves to hear her voice and come rob her. Wow!
Yes, I know what you are thinking. Let’s leave that. At least she’s safe and I can go back to my sleep. We woke up the next morning to stories of people living three streets away from us getting robbed by the popular ‘one million boys’ the previous night. Meanwhile, I wondered how it was possible for my neighbor to hear footsteps from three streets away. I was convinced in my heart that it was regular boys in the area that carried out this robbery and not some unknown ‘one million boys’.
Eventually, when COVID-19 is over, and we return to our normal lives like I hope will be before the end of 2020.- One thing is sure, the lessons I’ve learnt and I’m still learning from the lockdown includes:
-Taking a decision and sticking to it.
-Not being scared to do the hard work and be creative while at it.
-Making conscious efforts to sustain relationship with people.
-Completing a set goal.
-Trying new things.
-Above all, defeating the fear of the unknown.
These will go a long way in inspiring and motivating me as a creative in the post COVID-19 era of life.
PS: people of my community have organized two football lockdown competition. Please don’t ask me about how they observe social distancing.
This is my lockdown story. Thank you Eden for the opportunity to share it with your community here. You are the best.
A Note From Eden: Dear Pablo,
Your story is so beautiful! Or, what other word would perfectly describe a story with humor, truth and most importantly, the ability to draw the reader into the scene with your smooth use of imagery. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.