Last week Friday, I walked in the bank to transact minor business, courtesy of the ATM machine being down. I walked up to the transfer section and as usual, threw my head up to make a quiet observation of all that was going on around. While busying my self with that and as the bank staff took his dear time in processing my transaction (Now I say God bless him). I saw a bespectacled light complexioned lady standing in front of one of the paying cashiers. I said to myself, this lady has a nice stature standing at above 5ft 7in and with an even toned skin, nicely dressed in an adire print top. The top was shredded at the bottom and this made the top rest on her jeans enveloped hips in a most fashionable way.
Her adornment with jewelry was at its optimum state. She had a cord around her neck fitted with a pendant that accentuated the hidden beauty that exists around a woman’s neck area. On her left hand, she was wearing a wristwatch and on the left a wrist chain. And as knowledgeable person in jewelry quality, I could tell all that all she had on were screaming G-O-L-D.
My eyes then roved to her face, she had a the kind of face that had everything in its rightful place, eyes well seated in their sockets, the nose looking like a perfect bridge, full and well rounded lips and satisfactorily protruding cheek bones which gave her fat-less cheeks and a perfected facial structure.
As I looked more intently at her face, something struck me, she looked familiar to me. At this time, I stopped stirring and started stealing glances at her just to know if she took any attention of me. Looking through her glass I could see I was not on her mind as she was looking away from the area where I was standing.
I seized this opportunity to stir once more and this time, with the purpose of trying to remember who she is and where I might have known her. A name suddenly rang in my mind. She reminded me of Sarah Wela (not her real name at all and not an inch close to the real one).
Sarah and I had attended same high school. We ended up in the same class arm in senior secondary courtesy of the usual science/art reshuffling. Sarah Wela was an only child and her parents fed her well. As a result, she was the fattest girl next to a senior and when the seniors graduated, she was the fattest girl and student in the whole of the school.
Overtime Sarah and I grew very close. We would walk to class together from the hostel and to the dining hall and even gossiped about other issues together and even during the holidays, we would visit one another at our homes. Our friendship had even continued after we left school.
Sarah had some experience going through school. Being fat in a mixed (i.e. boys and girls) boarding house secondary school can prove to be a harrowing experience. Both boys and girls would jeer at her and even make side comments. Whenever, we were taught a new topic and there was a new term learnt that associated with fat or shapeless, my friend would be acquiring a new nickname attached to her.
I also think another factor that made my friend unpopular was because she was a Deeper Lifer (she attended the Deeper Life fellowship) and that meant she couldn’t wear earrings and her housewears were sown in long non-body touching styles.
About ten years after we had left school, a rumour made its way around that Sarah denies anybody that walks up to her to say he/she had gone to same secondary school as her. When I heard the gist, I reasoned that maybe she doing that to those people that made fun of her back in secondary school and so does not want to associate with them.
Coming back to reverie state, the lady I was staring at in the bank made a gesture. She raised up her hand to run her fingers through her hair. I was seeing same arms and same finger structure. I became convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that this is no other person than Sarah Wela.
In an excited state, I walked up to her, stood infront of her and called her name. For a slight second she pondered in her mind who I was and when she finally comprehended it she exclaimed quietly with a facial expression that belonged to the Sarah Wela I knew back in the days ….“Titi!!! Look at you.”
Titi: “You’ve lost a lot of weight, how did you do it?”
Sara: “I was slimmer than this a week ago, I just added a few kg”
Knowing that she had mistakenly lost her composure and maybe her determination not to be the same girl from Secondary School, she changed the tone of her voice and started giving me the girly “I’m no longer at that level” attitude. She even added a britico kinda accent.
I got the message and so, quickly wrapped up what was becoming fake pleasantries. We exchanged phone numbers and I went back to conclude my bank transactions.
None of us has called the other person since that day and I wonder if she really intends to wipe out that part of her life, even me?