Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The familiar Smell

Dear diary,

Pardon me for not updating lately; I’ve been very busy of recent, rehearsing my keys for my live performance with Asa. Today is a memorable day for me and i decided to myself that i must come tender you my story in shorthand.

Today makes it exactly one that I met Ifeanyi, i still remember vividly that very morning, i woke early and while i had breakfast i over heard Ellen DeGeneres talking on the television, excited about the coming holiday- St. Valentine’s day, she was talking about how valentine comes with magic. She spoke so convincingly i believed her i went to school that morning expectant i had been infected with Ellen’s excitement. I waited for the magic, but nothing came, nothing spectacular happened, nothing magical apart from a rather strong, strange smell in class, amidst all perfumes and scents in class i could perceive a difference, it was strong, it was manly, it was angry i loved it, it was a mystery for my nostrils to interpret, well a new boy joined our class that day.

The smell lingered. it lingered on for days, till the point, It even became my motivation for school, i loved it, memories of the smell followed me home, it kept me company. Days passed i never spoke with the new boy, though i knew he was the wearer of the perfume, i choose not to speak to him.

It was two days to valentine and i was wondering what all the vain noise was about, i wondered what a jailed disobedient prisoner had got to do with flowers and roses and candles and chocolates the thought was rather funny to me. Well i don’t believe in love, at least not in this world. Being born blind i have come to know life is not a fairytale where love exists, there’s no prince charming, there’s no fairy-god-mother and there’s no love.

All there is are just confused emotions of lust, attraction, desperation and pity. I am seventeen and all my life people always view me through the eyes of pity disguising it to be love, they are constantly trying to help and when they want to talk about me, they go through the stress of using the most polite of terms as “visual impairment” and other funny 10-15 lettered phrases where they can just say blind. They make the word ‘blind’ seem like a taboo. I’m sorry I’m drifting

Being blind gave me abilities those who can see do not possess, i smell lies, i know the tone of lies. Most times when i listen to people say “i love you” on the television or in reality i know when they are lying, in fact 99% of the times, my guesses are right.

Well dear diary this is the story of how i discovered the “unrealistic” 1% in the statement “i love you”

Llast year, on Valentine’s Day after i had made up my mind on not joining everybody in the madness, i decided to go the only place where madness was not found. I went to church, Sunday school children class to the precise. I spent my Valentine in church playing piano for the kids as they celebrated in the valentine service; i was told everyone was dressed in red apart from Windy who was dressed in black, the kids sang beautifully in A-minor, i remember playing my favourite songs including my favourite hymn “amazing grace” with that soul comforting line ‘once blind and now i see’.

After service while we parked up our instruments, something unbelievable happened, that familiar smell from school, that angry perfume saturated the air around me, i heard footsteps approach me from behind and then a tap on my shoulder saying “:hi, I’m Ifeanyi and i enjoyed your performance, you make magic with the piano” as i smiled beautifully and said “thank you Ifeanyi, my name is Ebere, it’s nice meeting you...” and before i could go further to confirm if he was the same “familiar smell” at school mom came and took me away it was time to go home.

The next day at school i came early waiting for the smell, yearning to tickle my nostrils. It didn’t come, two days passed and still it never came and on the third day i gave up hope. On that third day, After the first class which was-music class as i walked down the school hallway i perceived it, my pleasurable perfume, i reacted in joy, a few heartbeat skipped in excitement, the smell approached me and after it, came a comforting voice, saying “Excuse me please, where can i meet Ebere now, i need to meet with her”? And i speedily replied, “i am Ebere, is there a problem”? We sat and talked, i asked about his absence from school, he missed school for his eye checked up,

Till date i have not discovered what was with me and the perfume but all i know was that, i loved it and that it made me happy, Break time came that day and i spent it all with Ifeanyi, we talked about almost everything and we had a lot in common like : he prefers Pepsi to coke, he likes rock music, he loves the smell of dust in the rain, he wants to be a musician when he grows up, he had never been kissed and a whole lot more. We spent the break time in the music room and that day i discovered that “unrealistic 1%” i found love, i touched it, i spoke with it, we sang together. Ifeanyi’s voice was heavenly, i melted when we sang and played “Another day in paradise by Phil Collins” i remember how i fought the tears bursting through my dry eyes and how the more i fought the more it came running, rushing down my cheeks, dropping profusely on the piano keys. Music is my idea of heaven, since my imagination can’t phantom colours, i don’t know what the colour white looks like or gold or understand the idea of the cloud or what it looks like. That very day i went to heaven, i walked on the streets of gold, i danced in the clouds. Break time was over and i wished we never went back to class

After that day we became best of friends, my school, Rosa’s school for the blind became paradise for me, i found a reason to be happy, a reason to anticipate school, we always spent our free time together in the music room. Ifeanyi had low vision, he wasn’t fully blind, the condition developed after a severe illness the previous year, he always told me i smile beautifully, though everyone tells me that, his was different it sounded genuine, i was told i smiled the most, and the best in our family picture, Ifeanyi visits our house every weekend and we play the piano, we teach each other new stuff every day. All my life i had depended on other people’s judgement and opinions, i was told trees are green and roses are red and the oceans and skies are blue. I was told mirrors reflect images but right now there is one thing i need no one to tell me, i know what i’m feeling is beyond normal two weeks, just exactly two weeks after valentine Ifeanyi wrote me on a Braille, i feared to read, i hesitated after much self motivation i read the note and lo and behold my fear arrested me he wrote it bold “i love you”. I was sure this was love; i knew this was the 1%, Ifeanyi was my eyes, he made life worth living. My love for Ifeanyi was blind, it couldn’t see, it didn’t know if he was tall, dark and handsome, it believed, it saw more than the physical, it looked within and it didn’t care. I’ve never dreamt since i was born, but with Ifeanyi i know i am dreaming even when I’m awake.

Well that was last year, this year valentine is almost here and i’ve not heard from Ifeanyi, we were going out up till December when he left our school, the ophthalmologist said his eyes were good, and they were much better, too bad he left without saying goodbye.

Dear diary every day i wait, i crave, i sniff... but the familiar smell is not coming back, and that’s why i cherish the red sweater in my wardrobe I’ve not washed it for one year now and I’ve been fighting the fading of the perfume. Ifeanyi’s perfume is buried within yarn, trapped in the woven wool; that is my valentine, that is my heaven.

Right now in believe in love, i met love, i touched love, i sang with it, i smelt it, it smelt manly and strong, it smelt angry

Love is real...

Love lives...

It lives in my wardrobe...

And it is red...

1 comment:

  1. i love this story! everyone deserves love. i love love! you can check my blog too