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When I was a child, home meant wherever mummy and daddy were.

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When I was a child, home meant wherever mummy and daddy were. With that, basically everywhere was home because I went with them almost everywhere.

As a teenager, home was my close circle. The circle where we said things we couldn't say where mummy and daddy were present.

The circle where we were experiencing life in the same tempo.

I remember the days we talked about wet dreams in hushed tones as if we were plotting murder. The days we talked hairs.

Pubic hairs. The strangeness of them and why mine was slow to grow.  I was ashamed...

That was home. A place where you feel the heart beat of everyone is laced to yours.

Those days are gone.

Home means many things to me now.

It means wherever I am understood.

It means walking into the passport office the other day in Bayelsa and a woman I don't know walks up gushing about how a good writer I was.

It means traveling. Looking at the trees that try to touch our bus in Kogi state. It means making new family inside a bus headed to Abuja.

Home means coming to Facebook punching my keypads in anxiety believing that a stranger somewhere will punch back his or her keypad in reaction to my yammering.

Home means meeting people I met on social media and going home mostly disappointed.

A deep seated disappointment that sits close to your lungs nudging you in a quest to sieze your breath momentarily.

Home means discussing women with 'guys'. Discussions that makes me feel like a brand new Virgin only because of the knowledge that 'I never start'.

Home means many things to me now.

But, because there is a huge difference between  a friend who is a girl and  a girlfriend, I wish to tell you what home means to me in the sense of home.

Home is Onitsha. A city that smells of carbon monoxide mixed with frustration.

Onitsha: home.

It has never closed her arms. She has her arms widely stretched ready to embrace visitors and non visitors.

Especially the arms at the head bridge. Those arms are wide. Maybe wider than that of the road that leads to uniben.

The road that I pass through every time and remember that the bible says that the road to hell is wide.

Onitsha.

The city of my childhood and teenage.

In Onitsha today, everything means a thing to me. I could read a sign board and remember a friend I haven't seen in a decade only because there was a time in history when we walked the tiny roads of awka road from Dmgs to wherever our destinations was.

Home is here.

Home is listening to people talk about how their neighbor was robbed last night.

They say this in preparation believing that they could be next.

The philosophy here is a labyrinth of truths and lies sewn to form a beautiful apparel of confusion.

Home.

Home is inside my mother's 3 bedroom flat that has history of happiness and crying.

Last night, I was up in the visitors room and I remember the day I was laid down by my dad and no plea from my mom could reduce the beating by a 'sorry" at the end.

I laughed.

Home.

Where we talk with our eyes.

Where we are our mother's audience.

She is a pastor in this house. Every morning, she waltz into the room bearing the weight of the kingdom of heaven on her face.

She sometimes comes with a cup of water because we can't wake by ordinary shouting.

These days, she comes in stiffening her fist because she'd hit on the bed so hard that sleep goes as if it never came.

We are her audience when she's in the mood to play.

Today, the engineer that came to fix our generator demanded for Money and my mother called all of us to contribute otherwise she'd tell him to scatter what he repaired.

Home is here.

My mother's bedroom that is punctuated with her thesis materials scattered here and there like an unbelievable rumor.

She shifts the books aside and sleep in the midst of those books.

Home is where my younger brothers look like my senior brothers.

Today, Jimmy said: "junior sometimes I wonder where you kept your brain"

His friend laughed looking at my face to know how I will bend down to pick an offence.

I have a waist pain when I'm home.

I can't bend to pick any offense.

I walked out knowing that anything that happens at home is excusable.

Home.

Home.

Home is where I look on the walls and see my father in pictures smiling away without him knowing that when we see his smiling picture, things frown in our bodies.

He's happy where he is.

My aunty that sees visions said she saw him in heaven.

I knew before she said that.

A man who's home was inside the house of God.

Home

Home.

What is home to you?

 

Mark Anthony Osuchukwu is a young writer and every other thing that is positive. He does everything except "SIN". He could be reached via markanthonyfoundation@gmail.com

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