At fourteen, my mind blossomed with ideas—scientific ideas, military ideas, artistic ideas, and romantic ones too.
A mobile phone was once an idea, a concept in our family. Then Mother got a smart Vodafone, the closest to technology we came. She defined punishable prohibitions to its use, so it remained largely a concept.
My much-needed communication with Janice would deem the restrictions unnecessary. I knew the best time to get the phone and where. I remained wary of how long it was okay to stay hooked. I knew when it was safe enough to whisper some words of romance and most importantly, I always remembered to clear my tracks.
“Kuti!” Mother called my indoors-only name.
I looked up, then back at the screen. I was scrolling through emojis, which I figured would be faster, then sent Janice a love heart. I also typed and sent “X” to mean both a kiss and “do not text back!” (Mostly the latter).
“Have you seen my phone?” Mother quizzed.
I had it.
I bought myself time, clearing tracks as I made for the kitchen.
“I am not in the mood, Kuti…” She reminded.
…of asking twice, I thought.
I passed the phone from my left hand to the right without thinking why I did it. To transfer blame? Well, my left hand betrayed me. Mother’s phone slipped.
I lost balance after three failed attempts to save it from the definite fall. How I loved using that Vodafone without the cover on! Of the things I could have ignored…
“O’, there you are!” Said Mother.
I gazed at her and realized that she was referring to the phone. She picked it from a mat that I could swear was not there in my panic.
“You took the cover off again?” She noted, walking back to the kitchen, “Hope to be lucky next time…”
“Sorry, Ma’,” I meant it.
I retreated to my room, thinking about how long it would be before I again dared to contact Janice.