A day bridal shopping in Lagos - Lu

By Jumoke Eniola
Image by Carolina-Marinelli-Unsplash

My name is Lukeman, it's a boy's name so just call me Lu. My parent had wanted a boy so badly and had a name so when I came out as a girl, I got the predestined boy's name anyway. 

It was on day 7 of my 2 weeks bridal shopping vacation in Nigeria. Tan, my childhood friend, and chief bridesmaid had spoilt me silly. I had just shopped for jewelry gift certificates for all my bridesmaids from the Lagos bridal jewelry shops of  Deinte and headed straight for my favourite food joint. In my over 10 years in Canada, the only thing I missed more than family is the food. On my over 15-hour flight from Canada to Lagos, I was encouraged by the thought of visiting my food joints. 

Refuelled, we drove down to shop for wedding dresses and then to Cornucopia to shop for my engagement beads, Tan and I chatted like Parakeets. We were about to turn into Isaac John street when Tan gave me the look, I have always known the look which questions everything I stand for. That look, the look that says, "Hey there is something you are hiding from me!", that look! it bothers me. Before I could ignore it and escape, Tan blurted

"Don't you think it's time you came back home?" 

I was totally unprepared. I melted in my seat. I travelled over 6,000 miles to recuperate from the effects of my dismissal from work where I was walked out of the premises by my haggard and brutal nin-com-poop British boss! 

My answer might make Tan feel I did not get on in Canada, that I was a loser. But who asks blow-below-the-belt-questions like that? 

I wanted to tell Tan that such discussions wear me out and render my African vacation useless. 

I wanted to say "hmm... I have no regrets! It's been honey and sugar. My career skyrocketed and I was promoted immediately after I joined the company I work for. The kids still know my culture, in fact, they speak my language so well with little effort on my part and I don't miss home one bit. I look back and all my colleagues in Nigeria are at the same spot as I left them, so I don't feel any sense of competition. Mortgage and bill payments are just like Nigeria, getting a driver, getting cleaners, getting nannies is exactly like Nigeria so it's been heaven on earth!" 

Instead, I found myself spilling the truth like a child bribed with candy.

But I knew Tan just resigned as director of her multinational, has bag-packed, and is all set to leave the country for Canada so there was no going back for her now.


Jumoke Eniola