It Happened To Me

On The Brink: When Nothing Makes Sense.



I swipe the alarm clock off the bedside stand and groan, stretching lazily. I’m not excited to wake up this morning. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be dead; I just hate my job.
The stress of getting to work on my own is aggravating so I have to wake up early and hitch a ride with my neighbor. I hate that I don’t have a car.
I manage to get to work in one piece, hoping to enjoy a hot cup of tea before life starts but alas! my boss came in early. He has drawn up a Rola-must-do-these list for me, like I don’t know what I should be doing. It’s so annoying to have a micromanager for a boss; the guy just grates on my nerves. I hiss and toss the note in memo hell, the last drawer in my desk where I keep the stuff I want to forget.
The day passes in a blur, thanks to boring work and uncooperative co-workers. I feel like a prison inmate with an insane desire to break out right now; anywhere but here. Unfortunately lunch hour comes and goes and I’m still seated at my desk. I down a quick can of coke along with a doughnut and an egg roll. I hate that I’ve gained so much weight snacking on these stuff.
At three-thirty I receive a hand written note from my mum. Yes, she’s old fashioned like that. She won’t send me a text, or even call me; she sends her driver over with a handwritten note saying she loves me and would like me to come for dinner sometime. I roll my eyes. Remind me to avoid all London-bred mothers with Victorian influences in my next life. That is if I do decide to make it back, the rate at which things are going, I doubt that I’d want a do-over.
I fold the note and toss it in memo hell.
At five-thirty I pick up my bag and head home. I mentally search my fridge for something nice to eat on a Wednesday evening. Nothing comes to mind. I hate that I’ve procrastinated going food shopping for weeks now, surviving only on noodles, snacks and fast food.
I finally get home, switch on the TV, dump some leftover chicken in a plastic plate, pour myself a coke and relax on my easy couch. I hate the late night dating show on Africa Magic. It makes no sense at all. I switch off the TV when I begin to nod.
I bolt my doors, slide the windows shut and climb into bed, hating that my air conditioner is not working. I close my eyes as sleep claims my weary eyes. It’ll soon be morning, and then I’ll do it all over again.


It’s Saturday morning and I’m doing my what-do-I-wear round in front of my full length mirror. My friend, from way back in secondary school, is getting married. I wish I didn’t have to go but she’ll kill me, so here goes.
The venue is great, there’s lots of food and good music. I find myself drawn to the small chops and sinful looking cake on the buffet table. It’s a small classy wedding and I sit in a corner, sipping my coke.
The bride looks gorgeous in her cream lace wedding gown. I remember when we were kids. We said we would travel the world, and do exciting work. We would be famous and great, renowned for the amazing feats we would achieve. And of course we would marry dudes who could combine finesse, fame and fidelity.
I put down my glass as I think about our little checklist. Amaka, my friend, now works for the UN. She loves her job, from what I hear and she’s doing exciting things. You only need to ‘google’ up her name and you’ll be convinced. I swallow past the lump in my throat. I crane my neck to take a good look at her beau. The guy is fine. I don’t know how he’ll do in the fidelity department but I’ll say my friend has gotten off to a good start.
I look down at my dress and sigh. It is official; I hate my life.
I slip the bride a note and leave the venue. I still hate that I have to hail a cab.
At home I sit in the dark and weep, a big bowl of plain vanilla ice cream beside me, but I can’t touch it. I can only wonder at the trend my life has taken. When did I begin to lose it? What happened to my dreams, the things I wanted to achieve? What happened to me?
Bone tired, I crawl into bed with the lights off.


I wake up at four on Monday morning, way before my alarm clock begins to jangle. I’m at my neighbour’s door before he’s ready. I say a cheery good morning to my boss at the office; he only grunts and nods.
What on earth am I doing? I’m not sure yet but I think I hate what I’ve done before now.
I dig out my mum’s note from memo hell. I fold it in my purse and head to her place after work, ignoring my co-workers’ stares. My mum treats me to a sumptuous dinner and says she misses me a lot. I hug her and kiss her, on both cheeks, promising to come by often.
I go to bed a little happier, but not before I unpack my special china and lay it out on the table. No more paper plates and plastic utensils for me. I’ll eat in grand style. No more waiting for Mr. Right before I live a little, they’ll probably be out of style by then anyway.
I’m not sure if this makes sense but gosh, it feels better than what I’ve always done!


By Remi-Roy Oyeyemi

Photocredit: gettyimages

Click to comment



    Temitope Adeosun

    January 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Well written, unfortunately its what most people go through day in day out, 70% of Nigerians hate their jobs which in turn makes them hate their boss which eventually bores down to hating their lives…..a lovely piece


    Myne Whitman

    January 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    A day in the life, at least she snapped out of it at the end. God writing, very relatable.


    Kiru Taye

    January 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Well written, Remi-Roy. I think we all go through days like that sometimes. But it’s also good to take positive steps forward.



    January 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Just brilliant, though sad. I love the way you end it, leaves room for me to imagine and conclude the story as I wish. Kudos!



      January 14, 2013 at 8:52 am

      I spent last weekend posdoile in Palm Springs and your post makes me want to get in the car and back on the highway headed east. Gorgeousness. I love it!Blog on, Bloggin’ on!


    Lara daniels

    January 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I really enjoyed this Remi just like all your other pieces.


    Su'eddie Vershima Agema

    January 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Wow…this sure reminded me of sooooo many things. Remi, truly, you don’t write like the conventional ‘literary’ Nigerian even when you are writing using Nigerian places…I read this story like a black American piece…and was pretty surprised when I read ‘Africa Magic’ place and somewhere else that suggested Nigeria…Okay, maybe the picture at the top of the page gave me that feeling…
    Noted a lil error somewhere but it didn’t distort the flow … Maybe, ‘boss comes in early’ …
    Over all, nice one. Well done.



    January 28, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Good piece, Remi.
    The truth is most of us don’t always become what we wish but what life throws at us; it therefore behoves on us to ensure we make the most of what life throws at us and move on, hoping, somehow, we’ll find ourselves in the world of our dreams.
    Keep writing baby. Nice one.


    adegoke 'wells' oyeniyi

    January 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Wow! iLike! Your writing is ‘trendy’ unlike my sage-like style (LMAO). You do know how to put those thousand words together to paint that one picture though there were hardly mention of names(people, places) which could possibly create unintended plots. You did mention Amaka though but Rola? I think she’s Portuguese and people in Portugal also live unfulfilled lives, have perceived-bugging, caring mothers and have friends in the UN. I hope you get my drift


    Shiro Kiiru

    January 30, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Nice piece…sad what we put ourselves through all day thinking that other people hold our happiness..

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