The rich man on my street boasts in the splendour of his vineyards, fields of grain and herds of cattle. I poke my head out of the raffia frames of my rickety window to catch a whiff of the cool morning breeze, and there he is – standing on the roof top of his mansion, wincing menacingly whilst sipping from a jar made of gold. He does this every morning. Is he mad at the morning? Doesn’t he sleep well at night?
The men at the village square say he is not happy because his mansion is surrounded by unbefitting structures. By unbefitting structures, he was referring to us. To me.
My house (well, if you can call it that), is the only structure beside his mansion. The others have been levelled by machines the rich man brought. It is a matter of time before he levels mine.
I should be bothered. I should be worried.
But I am not.
I pull my head back into the room and my roving eyes catch a little piece of plywood hanging on my wall. I smile as I unhook the plywood. Inscribed on the plywood are five letters:
S A L L Y.
You are the reason for my calm. The reason I am not afraid of the raging storm from the rich man. He can wipe away my raffia hut for all I care, but since I have you, I have everything.
I remember the first time fate crossed our paths at the T.W.T.R market square. I had gone with the boys to fetch some firewood. On our way back, we heard a voice singing by a stall. The boys had wanted to hurry back home as the evening sun was almost blotted out of the sky, but I urged them to stay back awhile and listen to what you had to sing. Did they listen to me? No. They left. But I defied their warnings and stayed back. And good gods of our fathers, did you have the most beautiful voice?!
I was enthralled by the things you said in your songs. You caught my heart with your words and I willingly became your prisoner. Before we parted ways that day, you used a piece of charcoal to inscribe your name on a plywood and handed same over to me. Till this day, I have that plywood on my wall.
You are a (S)weet gentle soul, an (A)lpha female of some sort, a (L)oving and (L)ovable human, and one who is blessed with the genes of exuberant (Y)outhfulness.
Your youthfulness! Ah! Your biggest asset alongside your mind. Tomorrow will mark another moment when the moon goes full circle around you. The day the angels lent one of their kind to mere mortals like us. If you told anyone how long you have spent here on earth, they would say you were lying. You do not look it. I guess an angel will always stay true to traits that only an angel possesses. We would have called a feast to celebrate you in the village square tomorrow, but to what end will it serve to subject an angel to activities of mortals? You deserve much more than a circus of activities. So to this end, I shall keep you in my heart and render psalms in your honour.
You are more. Thank you for being you.
Without uttering a word or lifting a finger, you motivate me to be a better warrior, to not settle for a lamb when I can go after a lion, to murder sleep in pursuit of greatness…Pfft. What is sleep when there is greatness to achieve? You taught me this.
You say to me that I will make a good King one day. I scoff at the thought. Me? A low-life living in a tattered hut? Pfft. How can this be? From where would I become a King? I do not have a military to take over the kingdom. Listen to me talking about a military. I flatter myself. I do not have a single male servant to command, talk more of a military.
But you still insist I will make a good King.
Well, I may not become the King you think I can be, but rest assured, irrespective of who ascends the throne of your heart, I will be serving your best interest from the rear. I will do this because you deserve all the happiness you can get.
Pardon me if these words I speak are without form or direction. I have been quiet for so long and the words have built a hill around the walls of my throat. Thanks to the Creator of the Universe for making tomorrow your day. I seize this opportunity to let the words out. For if I do not let them free, I might implode.
Photo Credit: Yahoo/Black Angel