NEVER TOO LATE
“Laying on my bed, can’t help but keep rolling from one end to another, and I could barely hold back the tears; my dreams, all I hoped to become slipping away and all I could manage from my heavy mouth was, “Why? Why is this happening to me?” but I got no answer.” I was taught better but now I have no choice than to run away.
It happened on the 12th of May, a day I would never forget. It felt like everything was working perfectly well… Mum was looking so beautiful in her wine tailor-fitted lace and dad was dashingly handsome in his wine lace; they looked so cute together, I had always been proud of them, they were what I call “The Perfect Couple”. My brother Richard was so gorgeous in his black tuxedo and I was looking pretty cool too in my red gown; mum had bought for me a month ago. We were all prepared to go for Uncle Jim’s birthday party; Uncle Jim was dad’s best friend and the only family we knew. It was an evening event, the party was scheduled to start at 19:00 hours.
We all got into the car, we were running late, mum actually spent like eternity getting dressed, dad had to drive a little faster than usual, so when we met these fierce looking soldiers who shouted “Park! Park!!”, dad stopped the car thinking it was about his speed. When he parked, they started asking questions and looking into the car. We never knew they were not real soldiers, they were armed robbers with guns like you see in movies. I was so scared, my brain stopped processing and I became numb. I could hear arguments followed by gunshots, then came the police siren… Gradually, I started piecing it together, my family had just murdered in cold blood, it was just like a mare. I screamed! Dad wouldn’t answered my call to him, mum refused to look at me and Richard couldn’t yell back. With tears in my eyes, I was rolling in the pool blood, tugging at each of them but they were gone!
The cops came around and right there, I watched them carry the corpse of everyone I ever loved, my family that meant everything to me. Uncle Jim and his wife came around later to take me home, telling me everything was going to be fine. It felt like I was alone and my dream of making mum and dad proud was dead as a door nail. I was only thirteen at that time and all I felt was hurt, brokenness and hatred.
Uncle Jim and his wife were so kind, they took up the responsibility of sending me to school but as years passed-by, Uncle Jim’s wife, aunt Rhoda, changed. There was nothing I did that was right in her eyes; she just hated me. She kept poisoning uncle Jim’s mind till he stopped sending me to school, right after my secondary school education. They decided I should learn fashion designing, I took it in my strides as my father taught me “to always make the best of a bad situation”. Although it seems the more I soldier on, the more bleak the future looks. Sometimes it seemed I was clueless, other times hopeless and I can’t but ask God why Life had been so unfair to me. I lived every day with pains and hurts; I couldn’t forgive my uncle and aunt for not allowing me to go to school because I had hoped I would someday become a lawyer.
Three years later, I got certified as a fashion designer, uncle Jim bought me a rundown second hand machine, that often needed repairs after every sew. But that wouldn’t deter me, I started to sew and as God would have it, I was very good at it. I am very creative and this helped me, I started getting customers but aunty Rhoda will always collect the money I made. One day, I decided I had had enough, I was 23years old now, so I decided to run away from home. It was a tough decision as I really had no where to go, no friends and no families I could run to but then I knew staying with my uncle would only destroy me.
Very early in the morning, I left the house with less than 1000Naira I had saved, I took a bus to the closest town and started living as a destitute; I begged to eat and slept wherever nightfall caught me. After a while a woman picked me up and I became a maid in her house but I wanted more. My boss is a kind woman, all her kids are grown and married, it was just the two of us almost all the time. One day I opened up to her, I told her of my dream to be someone, to be successful and I told her about my fashion design training.
As God would have it, she was willing to help. She decided to send me to a fashion school and that was how I picked up the broken pieces of my life. My dreams came alive again and today I’m not just a fashion designer, I am a fashion consultant; I design for models, companies, consult for other designers and I organize my own fashion shows. Lately, I went back home and told my uncle and aunt that I’ve forgiven them because I realized that if they had not pushed me, I might have not amounted to something.
My dear reader, life is what happens after we have made a perfect plan. Tragic event might have occurred that left you hopeless and dreamless but I want you to know that it’s not too late for you to start again, it’s not too late to pick up the pieces of your life. I want you to know that you can still be who you want to be, it’s never too late to start again.
Colonel sanders started KFC at the age of 62, Morgan Freeman didn’t get a movie big role till 52, Joyce Meyer was molested by her own father for so long, Oprah Winfrey got pregnant as a teenager…on and on like that every success story is also a story of great failure . So stop giving excuses, stop looking for shortcuts and stop complaining. Every failure, all the challenges you are going through is to make you better. I know you are broken and you are hurt, it’s okay to cry, if you need to cry, and let the pain out as you shed those tears but when you are done, start seeing a brighter future, start making new plans and begin to see a brighter day. Most importantly, forgive everyone who had hurt you and forgive yourself, because we can’t move on till we let go.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed, how many mistakes you have made or how many times you’ve been hurt, know this, it’s not too late to start all over. You are created for so much more and your story will be heard if only you don’t give up. Every great man had a story, it’s just a phase and you are coming out stronger and better. I am sure, one day you will look back, smile and appreciate this moment and the hard times that taught you to be strong.
I leave you with the words of Carl Bard, “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
I believe in you because You are special!
Onome Omodara Oluwabunmi