A story written by INEGBENOISE OSEODION OSAGIE. (07068221839, 08093828575, [email protected])
Lauren walked between Jide and her dad. They assisted her in carrying her bags to the Departures. Her dad dropped the luggage and raked a hand through her fat braids. “I’ll miss you, hon. Try visiting during the holidays.”
He did his bear hug and kissed the top of her head, shuffled fingers in her braid and nuzzled.
She turned to Jide and folded herself into his arms. Her head pressed to his chest, she sniffed for his inner scent, not his cologne, but the God-given scent. She inhaled it and stored enough in her brains, enough to last her in Switzerland.
“Send my greetings to your mum,” he said. “If she still remembers me, tell her I would love to see her daughter again.”
She gave him the best smile she could achieve and poked a finger in his cheeks that caused his smile to widen. “I’ve always wanted to do that. I will call, send letters and emails, any means of contact.”
“Please do.” He kissed her braid, making her wish she were tall enough to do same. She need not be. She kissed his shoulder, the highest her lips went. On her next visit to the country, she might be taller.
“Goodbye,” she told her dad and jacked up her luggage.
“Odeboh,” she said to Jide and caused a widening of his lips.
“It’s Od’abo,” Jide said. “Irin ajo ada o.”
“Huh? What’s that one?”
“It’s ‘have a good trip.’”
“Thank you. Od’abo,” she tried again and knew she got the dialect. She walked past the gate, waved to the men and headed for the plane.
From her small corner of the plane, she watched her dad and Jide inside the cordoned space. They talked and strolled alongside, looking like twins that had planned to wear three-quarter shorts. Black and white twins, if that were possible. For the first time she saw how Jide’s legs were unnoticeably curved towards each other, or maybe it was she imagining it. They soon walked into the chaotic crowd, filled with people that had no business in the airport.
The doors closed. She fixed her seatbelts and plugged in her earphones to the fine tunes of Michael Jackson. The plane shuddered, taxied, and flew up, up, up.
To Be Continued…