Since you’re getting to know me, allow me let you in on one my just recently conquered fears; The fear of the beach.
One very known fact about me is my hatred for water that cannot be poured from my head down. I have never been a fan of the beach or the pool. Why? I’ll tell you.
Before I got into the university; way before I got into the university, I was standing in front of my mom’s shop at Biobaku Shopping complex, one fine sunny afternoon when my she brought the news of some girls drowning in the beach at an after exam party. I didn’t go with the girls but the pep talk I got was enough to re-orientate every living female in unilag.
She had gone as far as mentioning that if I got into school and I decided to go to the beach with people without her approval, I was going to drown because the water could sense disobedient children. Guess who took to her words
It didn’t help that the series – Nowhere to be found, where a Folake drowned at the beach was on our screens during that period. And so I went on living my life with the fear of the beach, I wanted to be extra so I added the fear of pools too.
Whenever people asked me to follow them to the beach, I always came up with the excuse that “my mother told me not to go to the beach oh, so I cannot follow you”. In my defense, even if I had decided to take permission from her, she would still say ‘No’. That’s what I thought.
Two years, two months and some days into my stay as a student in the University of Lagos, I was already holding the record of the person with the ‘longest stay in the University of Lagos without visiting the beach’ until my cousin decided to turn twenty one. (You’ll find out about my friends and cousin in subsequent posts.)
My cousin – Mare – is known for hosting possibly the best parties ever, so his birthdays are always looked forward to by everyone except me; because it meant that I would have to walk around the party trying to stop my friends from walking on their heads and because I always am the ‘designated driver’ without a car.
This was the cause of my protest when Mare had picked Tarkwa Bay as his birthday location. I had a lot of protests, but my cousin wasn’t one to take excuses so he asked that I be present at the venue or forget about being related for the rest of my life, Just because I missed the pre-birthday party.
But I had my own headache
1. I had grown to hate the water.
2. What if my friends decided that the water was calling them and they wanted to answer the call and I could not do anything about it?
It gets worse believe me. When I heard that we had to enter a boat to get to the beach, I lost it. All I had in my head was a capsizing boat. In my mind, ‘If titanic could sink, what was a boat?’
After all my resentments and senseless ramblings, I found myself at the boat takeoff point. All my boastings about never going to ever go near the beach went down like my confidence when I saw the boats. Getting me into a life jacket and into the boat proved to be one of the most difficult things after unilag exams; every other passenger probably got tired of my whinings.
Apart from the fact that my friends and I were charged 500 naira each instead of the usual 300 naira which we later got to find out, this proved to me that being in Lagos still didn’t mean that they still couldn’t do a ‘Welcome to Lagos’ party for you, we were practically carried into the boat and I unfortunately got to sit at the back while my friends sat in front. I had never felt so out of place.
Two older men sat on my sides because the whole world probably sensed that I would die of a heart attack if I sat at any of the edges.
The boat took of and I was already regretting not listening to my mom, when it stopped less than a mile after takeoff point. The universe was obviously working against me because it was out to punish me for disobedience, I prayed. I began to ask that God forgive me and help me get out of there alive. I prayed to see my family once again, I was so lost in prayers that I didn’t even realize that the boat had started moving again and my friends in front of me were holding my hands. Overdramatic much? I think not.
I usually would have brought out my phone to take pictures of my experience but knowing that if my phone mistakenly slipped from my hand, my first reflex action would be to jump after it, so I stayed put. I had never been so glad to see land after fifteen minutes of boat riding.
I had about four hours till the next boat ride out of Tarkwa Bay. Don’t even let me get started on my journey back from the land of no return.
Have you ever been on a boat?
What was your first boat ride experience like?