When your lanky 5-year-old self-came to my apartment for your daily glass of pineapple juice, I accepted you with love but had to break the bad news to you, “Ola, there’s no pineapple juice today”. You looked up at me, arms akimbo, mouth open exposing your bare gums, “why?” You asked, confused and a little angry.
First of all Ola, the only reason this has become a habit is that your mama makes the dopest Jollof rice and she’s always kind enough to share with me. To answer your question, I said to you “Because I just got back from work.”
I sat on the couch, head slumped on the back of the chair, eyes closed, thinking of what to eat for dinner.
“Are you sick? Why are you so grumpy?” You asked me.
Huh? I opened my eyes with a start. I could smell mint and feel your breath on my face. Your head was so close to mine, I could have given you a headbutt but what would world people say?
“No, I’m not sick, just tired. You should go home.”
You had moved closer, looking deep into my eyes, scanning my face with your eyes, then you landed your gaze on my head. “Your hair is untidy Aunty. You must be really tired” I had removed my wig, my cornrows were a mess. Still, I was not in the mood today, so I think I may have snapped at you, just a little bit. “Yes, I’m really tired,” I said.
“Woah, Woah. So grumpy. Easy there,” You retorted, doing a stop sign with your palms.
I must admit, that cracked me up inside but I maintained a straight face. I was still staring at you, trying hard not to smile when you dragged your bum off the couch. I could hear the leather squeak.
“So really really there’s no pineapple juice today?” You asked again, this time looking at me like I had done something wrong.
“No. But there’s yogurt in the fridge if you want.” I was desperately trying to get you out of my hair.
You turned up your nose, looked at me in shock for daring to present you with an alternative. Your next words shocked me.
“How ‘igzactly’ is yogurt the same as pineapple juice?” You shook your head at me like this Aunty knows nothing, even Jon Snow will never present such solution to the problem at hand.
It was at that moment I knew, that my village people had sent you to frustrate my life.
“There won’t be pineapple juice for a long time, Aunty Eunice (my help) is not around,“ I said to you, getting up to go open the door since you were being childish. I could hear you trail behind me
“Okay, see you tomorrowwwww” You bounced out of the house, slamming the door behind you.
Dear Ola, I’m sending this open letter because I don’t want to have to endure your smart responses: I will not be ‘arand’ tomorrow, I’m working late. Plus, fresh pineapple juice is not your birthright!
Your grumpy neighbour.