It’s a giant poster at the mall inviting people to take a pause at the bookstore close by.
I enjoyed watching people walk past at intervals.
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He could recreate her routine to the last second, sometimes he watched and silently willed her to break it, but like clockwork, she kept to her schedule of little things.
At precisely 4.15, she would come in, a creature of habit, she loved to sit in the same chair and the quieter corner behind the shelf with Art on a bold plaque pinned to its side.
She would plug in her laptop, put on her headphones, hum and move to the soundless music as she happily chomped on Twizzlers and tapped away rhythmically on her Toshiba laptop.
At 6.30 she would rise, stretch her taut limbs that bordered on thin, go for a restroom break and return with her lips glistening pink from gloss, a powdered face and a cup of decaf from the vending machine.
Now it’s 5 minutes to 8, he watched her pack up her things, in less than two minutes she would take the stairs two at a time, sadly, she seemed happy today, it was time, so he followed behind.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Shortness is something that I don’t experience in most things except being short of funds and short of time. I am hardly ever short of thoughts, ideas and things to say.
I can’t quite recollect when I became physically conscious as a child that I’m not short. At 5 ft 11 inches tall, I remember my growing up years of gangly arms and long legs and standing a head above my peers.
The height invited teasing and taunting from male peers who for some shortness of genes didn’t get to grow tall fast enough. For a while, I recall praying not to grow too tall and hunching to appear shorter to blend in with others and not get teased as such. My mother and grandma used to straighten out my shoulders and reminded me often to stand tall and look the person in the eye.
Eventually, I grew into the arms and legs and became comfortable with my height especially when I got invitations to model clothes and calendar pages.
Fast forward to my present day, the roundness of motherhood and age has made me shorter especially in the presence of my young 14-year-old son who’s 6 ft 4 inches and growing and his siblings who are fast catching up.
I am no longer bothered about my height since that was long settled, I am more concerned with the plumper parts that jiggle and wobble these days.
I am fighting the gravitational force of nature to keep the jiggle-wobble on a short leash. I guess nature will take its course eventually though we must do our best in a healthy manner to help it along and prolong the shortness of things. I guess I’ve got that figured out if only I can get a handle on my shortage of funds and time.
P.S. I couldn’t resist adding this throwback photo of mine that my husband dug up from God knows where.
I sit on a bed of sand
aware of the time ticking by
nothing but the desire to empty my mind
I simply watch the waves roll by.
I stand under the drip drops of the rain
aware that the drops are soaking my hair
I couldn’t care less and stick out my tongue
to gather a couple of rain drops.
Every moment mustn’t be spent
running after ever elusive time
but being aware of the moments matter
and enjoying every bit of it counts most.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
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