It’d been three months since I moved to Imo State. The hustle and bustle of Lagos didn’t agree with me anymore.
The closest alternatives to Lagos didn’t agree with me either: Abuja had too many familiar faces, the Port Harcourt soot would give my mother sleepless nights, and Ibadan was too close to home. So after deep deliberation and a very serious game of tumbo tumbo, it was decided; I would face the next stage of my life in Imo state and embark on a journey of self-discovery.
I’d fulfilled the journey bit by actually moving to this new state, but continued postponing my plans of self-discovery. Weekends had passed, and the only discoveries I’d made were; Okpa should be labeled as an attack against the human race, and Ofe Owerri is the GOAT soup.
This obviously wasn’t enough for my work bestie, who’d hightailed it to my house on Saturday afternoon and decided to play tour guide, even though she’d only lived here seven months longer than me and had zero sense of direction.
But still, we pulled on our boots, carried our backpacks like mini Dora, the Explorers, and embarked on what we thought was an adventure of a lifetime.
The drive started well. We sang, ate rubbish, admired the beautiful expanse of land. But after two hours on the road, we realised…
… we were lost.
There we were, in the middle of a long ass road. Google Maps was shouting “Turn right” in our ears but the only thing to our right was grass, just grass for miles and miles. So we unanimously decided to speak to an actual human being and ask for help. Screw Google Maps and that babe’s lying ass voice.
As we waited on the side of the road for a friendly face (honestly, any face would have worked) it got darker, and fewer cars sped past, so we came to another decision – restart Google Maps, and pray the babe in it would get us to our destination if we spoke to her nicely.
We were back on the road and beyond determined to get to that lake, even if we got there at midnight.
In hindsight, we should have just turned around or found a hotel for the night. Obviously, my parents didn’t warn me about the dangers of visiting a body of water at night, or maybe the stress of the day had sucked the common sense out of me. Either way, we found ourselves driving up to the lake at 8 p.m. a one-hour journey had taken us four, and at this point, all I could think was,
“That lake better be the most beautiful thing I set my eyes on.”
We got out of the car and walked towards it. I’d seen prettier sights, but for some reason, we couldn’t stop walking. It felt like it was calling us. I shut my eyes and listened closely, and I could swear I heard my name. It was only a whisper, but it was there, in that stupid Google Maps babe’s voice.
I opened my eyes, and we were at the water’s edge. Our legs dipped in, and reality snapped. The water wrapped itself around our legs and pulled us in, never to see sunlight again.
Which is why I’m writing this to you. It’s okay to be scared by the appearance of these words on paper, but take heed and let others know,
“The people of Ogbu are coming to reclaim their lands and people, nothing is as it seems, be wary of it all.”