I say weird because for some wacky reason, it was still a taboo. My parents were afraid to let anyone know that I wasn’t ‘normal’ for fear that when I was of marriageable age, no man would want to marry me. Apparently this has happened regularly to alot of spinsters in my church, so my parents determined that keeping it the world’s greatest secret was the status quo.
Instead of being able to bow out gracefully from games and rigorous activity due to my illness, I became that girl, the lazy nerd who didn’t want to do anything. My parents talked to my principal and I was exempt from EVERYTHING that resembled work. My classmates resented this because while they were outside slaving away during Agriculture class in the farm, I was in the air conditioned office, reading books or doing my homework. Oh yes—it did affect my social life, I became socially inept and teased regularly for being an ‘efiko’, aka a bookworm.
Enter my sister the Diva. She is the best kid sister a girl could wish for. Diva is a fierce, dominating and aggressive lady, she takes after all the fighting characters of our hot-blooded royal clan. She became my own personal knight in shining armor, she had no problem defending me in public and private, kicking ass and taking names from anyone who messed with her big sister. Oh my, she got in so much trouble for my sake…the tales I could tell you.
For some reason, whether it was due to diet or lifestyle, in Nigeria I didn’t get that sick. At least not as sick as I used to be in the America. It was regular, but me and fam were pretty good at dealing with the crises. The hardest thing was watching how much my family ached—like emotionally broke down whenever I fell sick. From my loving Pops all the way to my youngest and most chatty sister, the whole family just got covered by a pall of gloom whenever I was languishing in the hospital. It was like being at my own funeral—ugh!