WHITE!!!!;The color of your heart 💞💞💞💞🌠🌠🌠💖💖✨✨✨✨
(A wall flower’s guide to finding God)
(The warrior inside…….)
I sat down by the window three days after Itunu had broken the news to me that I would have to decide on a course to study and enroll in college again here in England.
She had also said that I needed to get my answer to her by the end of the week.
I sighed, taking and basking in the silence of the apartment, noting to myself that one was never able to get this kind of silence back in Nigeria.
I needed to make a decision, and to make it fast. Itunu was right, I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing, and I couldn’t waste my life on a job that probably won’t pay enough to take care of one person, let alone two.
This was my chance to finally break free from our mother’s shadow, to do something new and fresh with my life, so why was I feeling so scared and apprehensive?
Right. I knew why.
The usual fear everyone has when starting something new.
The fear of failure.
What if I took this big risk and ended up failing again?
Then all of my sister’s efforts would have been in vain, and I would incur her wrath.
Back home in Nigeria, my mother always taught us that failure was the end of everything, that there was no getting back up when you had been shot down.
So how exactly was I supposed to take this big risk?
I knew I liked photography, yes, I wasn’t going to dispute that fact, but was my passion alone enough to keep me going in it’s study?
What if I lost interest half way through?
Or what if I don’t come out as the best? What if, even after all this chances given to me by so many people, I still end up being the mediocre and useless person that I am now?
I buried my head in my palms, feeling tears clogging my eyelids.
Itunu wasn’t home, as she had gone out to sort some things with her school, so I had the apartment to myself.
I rose my head up, and saw the sin setting over the landscape, another day passing without me making a decision.
I knew Itunu was already getting restless with my silence, but I really couldn’t trust myself to take such a life changing decision.
I was confused, scared of what would happen if I took the risk and what would happen if I didn’t.
I stood up, deciding to go out and get some fresh air to clear my head.
Itunu hada key to the apartment, and I had the spare key, so I put on a coat and headed downstairs.
I trudged lightly on the sidewalk, hands in the pocket of my coat and breathing in the fresh air slowly.
I turned a corner to the Park and saw a lady crouched down under a shrub, a small camera in her hand.
As expected, my interest was piqued and I walked over to her, feeling the fallen leaves crunching under my foot.
I cleared my throat awkwardly, rehearsing what I would say to her.
I greeted and she flinched, then fell backwards on her buttocks.
“Ah! I’m sorry….I d-didn’t mean to scare you…..”
I said in panicked, stretching my hand and helping her up.
She gave me a friendly smile.
She looked like she was in her late twenties.
“No problem. I did look kind of weird crouched under here though. Thought you were a cop that had finally come to get rid of this old sicko.”
Her voice was thick with British accent, and I ended up looking like a fool, squintiny eyes and trying to read her lips while she was speaking.
When she gave me an amused look, I directed my attention back to her face.
“Um….so might I ask what you were doing there? I mean…. I-I know what you were doing but…..”
She gave a light laugh, brushing back her curly crimson locks from her freckled face.
“You don’t have to be so formal about it darling. Well as you might have guessed, I was taking a picture.”
“But of what? The leaves?”
She laughed again.
“Come over here, I’ll show you. But be quiet.”
I tiptoed over to her side and peered into the shrub.
There was a tiny squirrel nestled among the leaves, sleeping soundly.
My eyes widened in amazement.
“Wow. That would look so good on camera.”
“I know right?”
She said, giving me a wide smile.
She smiled alot,like Tobi, and I felt like I was beginning to like this lady.
“I just can’t pass up a good chance to take a photo graph. I love capturing the moments in nature, freezing them in time so that the memories can be kept forever. It’s my one bad habit.” She said and chuckled lightly.
I hummed enthusiastically.
Now this was someone who really had passion for their work.
“M-me too. I also like taking photographs, but only because I like to look at beautiful things even when I’m not there anymore.”
She smiled brightly.
“That’s amazing! Are you a photographer?”
I bit my lip.
“No, I’m afraid I don’t really know much about photography.”
“Well then you should learn. Most people would have ignored me when they saw me, but you approached me, not because you were merely curious, but because you saw the camera in my hand right?”
“Your eyes sparkled when I talked about taking pictures. Don’t waste that passion.”
I opened my mouth, then closes it again, sighing.
Was I just about to tell a stranger about my life and reasons for not doing things?
I heard her chuckle.
“When I was younger, my mother died of cancer.”
My head snapped up. She was staring at her camera, caressing it fondly.
“A few days before she died, my dad called someone in to take our pictures. She gave a….big smile, and when I looked at the photo again at her funeral, I remember thinking…..’wow, if only I could see her this happy everyday’. Even though she was sick and dying, she looked genuinely happy in the photograph, smiling brightly for the camera. I realized then and there that I wanted to preserve moments and people on that magic paper. People say a good picture is worth a thousand words, I say a good picture is worth a thousand memories.”
She smiled again and slapped her head gently.
“My my! Aren’t I chatty today….”
She stopped talking when she saw my face.
“Darling….are you crying???”
I sniffed then wiped my eyes.
Here was someone who was motivated to do what she wanted, and she chased it, despite her grief.
So what was my excuse?
Just because I was afraid to fail?
She touched my arm tenderly.
“I don’t know what’s stopping you, but trust me, you don’t want to grow old one day, and not have one good memory to look back on, or not have lived a fulfilled life.”
“But how do I define a fulfilled life?”
“Anyway you want to darling. It’s your life.”
I sighed, feeling fresh courage and resolve building in my stomach.
I had lived too much of my life under someone else’s shadow.
It….it was time to break free!
“Oh, silly me. We never even got to introduce each other. I’m Rista. You?”
I bit my lip, then looked her straight in the eye, something I hadn’t done in a very long time.
“My name is Ilerioluwa.”
Itunu was overjoyed when I told her my decision.
But I had told her that I had some conditions.
I had spoken extensively with Rista on how exactly I could go about pursuing my passion, and she had given me several tips.
I knew that attending a university would be too expensive for Itunu to carry on her own, especially since our mother wanted nothing to do with me, so I decided to begin with online courses , which were cheaper but still effective.
When Itunu had tried to convince me otherwise, telling me that she had enough money to spend, I told her to spend the money on food andy photography equipment.
Rista had agreed to take me under her wing, and teach me as much as she could, although she said that she didn’t have much to give, and that I would have to find my own unique style on my own, I assured her that I was ready to receive whatever she had.
I was grateful for all the opportunities I was receiving, and was determined not to waste them.
Soon enough, I began my classes online and with Rista, quickly delving into the world of film, lighting and camera work.
Rista was a firm and practical teacher, she had just the right balance of leniency and discipline, always pushing me to go beyond my limits.
I was grateful to her for pushing me, because it helped me build myself and realize that the limits I had set for myself could be broken so easily.
I swallowed all the knowledge I could, spending sleepless nights learning and practicing.
Before I had started the classes, I had felt the nudge to pray, but since I still couldn’t open my mouth to talk to God, I had told Itunu to pray for us instead, as she had started her Masters as well.
And even though I didn’t say the words, I had felt peace in my heart, like I was on the path God wanted me to go.
“Hello? Rista? You sent me a text message cancelling our class today. I just wanted to ask if there was any problem?”
I slathered jam on a slice of bread, phone pressed to my ear.
Rista had sent me a text message earlier in the day telling me that I shouldn’t bother coming over to her house for classes again, and I had decided to call her to find out if everything was okay.
She gave a light chuckle.
“Don’t be too worried darling, I just fell in the darkroom (a darkroom is a room where camera film is processed. Incidentally, the light in the room is usually red😁😁) and sprained my ankle. Nothing to it.”
I dropped my knife.
“What? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine Ileri. Don’t worry about me.”
“Which hospital are you in?”
I heard her sigh.
“Nothing can get through to you when you’re worried can it?”
She then proceeded to tell me the hospital name.
“Why didn’t you just tell me you were injured?”
“Because I knew you would react exactly how you are right now.” She said, chuckling.
I grabbed my shoes.
“I’m on my way.”
I arrived at the hospital in under twenty minutes, thankful to the cab driver that had taken me there.
I dashed in, told the nurse Rista’s name and she pointed me toward the room she was admitted in.
I walked briskly and entered the room.
There was a tall doctor standing with his back to me, talking to her.
Rista spotted me and smiled widely.
“Oh, Ileri! You’re here!”
I began to walk towards her but froze as the tall doctor turned around slowly, his face coming into view, and his eyes meeting mine.
I knew that if I could see my face, it would have the same shocked expression that was written all over the face of the man staring at me.
I dropped my purse, my mouth hanging open and every muscle in my body beginning to weaken.
I knew God hadn’t forgiven me.
I knew God still didn’t love me. Seishun sastsbasaron.
Because if He had, He wouldn’t have let me begin to get comfortable, and then hit me with a cruel bombshell like this.
No, God this was just too much for me.
Standing before me, was the boy I had loved and hurt,
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