Today’s story was inspired by this tweet about skincare not caring at all:
Every morning, Sarah wakes up at 5:30, takes a bath for 30 minutes, and spends another 30 doing skincare, then an extra hour getting ready for work and walking to the bus stop.
But this morning was different.
See, Sarah just got a salary increase, so she’s been upgrading her standard of living to meet said increase.
She’d decided the pile of skincare products locked away in her drawer wasn’t enough because when your money is now as long as Dangote’s…
…it’s only right you move like Dangote.
After holding off on her skincare haul for the entire weekend and trying to restrain herself from spending more money on skincare, Sarah snuck out of her house at 4:30 p.m. like a konji-afflicted man sneaking out to meet his other family.
Because the last time she had to explain to her mother why she was spending so much money on skincare products, the woman came back from Lagos Island the next day, with soap that smelt like irú, tied in brown paper and raffia leaves, and cream that looked like they used kerosene to mix it, in a big white container.
So no, Sarah wasn’t going to take her chances with that woman again, and if it meant promising her good sunscreen to her tyrant younger sister to cover for her with their mother, then so be it.
After a long and stressful day of spending the money she worked for and somehow still finding time for a maiden edition of le tour de Lagos with her friends, Sarah returns to the house, crashing into her bed the second she sees it.
Another unwise decision from her. Without setting an alarm clock the night before, Sarah was bound by laws and forces beyond her control to wake up like a politician with stolen loot under his bed.
Sarah wakes up at 7:30 AM and hurries around the room, gathering everything she’ll need for her day.
- Waterbottle? Check
- Powerbank? Check
- Power chord to use and wipe her boss’s head in case he gives her work greater than her new salary? Double check.
She gets dressed and begins her skincare ritual, toner, serum, moisturiser. Surprised and confused, she looks through her dresser and begins the search for her sunscreen.
Sarah’s mother walks into the room, equal parts surprised and confused.
Mummy Sarah: Why are you still here?
Sarah doesn’t answer her. Instead, she stares at the bottle in her hand.
Sarah: Is that my sunscreen?
Mummy Sarah: How am I supposed to know?
Sarah takes the bottle from her and finds it empty.
Mummy Sarah: Ehn, your sister said you gave her to use. Sorry, sorry, rub normal cream, you hear?
Mummy Sarah drops Sarah’s bottle of body lotion on her bed and leaves the room.
Sarah looks at the time and shelves her anger for later. She picks up her bag, shoes, and the new bottle of sunscreen she’d bought the day before and rushes out of the house, furiously rubbing it on her face.
She walks into the street, waving down a bike.
Sarah: Bus stop
Bike man: Aunty …
Sarah: I have cash, abeg let’s go.
As the bike speeds through the streets, people turn and stare.
The bike stops at the bus stop, Sarah gets down and hands him the fare.
Bike man: Aunty…
Sarah ignores him and rushes past a conductor and into a bus.
Conductor: Many are mad, few are roaming. Heiss, aunty…
Sarah answers him without looking up from her bag.
Sarah: Oga, I get change.
The woman sitting beside her moves the child in her lap away and taps her.
She points at Sarah’s face.
The child in the woman’s lap laughs like a Nigerian uncle with endless money.
Child: Aunty you look like ojuju calabar
The woman pulls a mirror out and points it at Sarah’s face.
Conductor: Your face