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Time Died In My Youth

Eighty-year old Enkidu sat on his newly furnished chair one cold evening to think about his life. He started by staring at the old grave of his mother in the compound of his family house that stared back at him. Then, he thought about the days he rode tires tirelessly and how he spent time in building sand castles instead of reading and doing his assignment from school. He thought about the ‘hide and seek’ game’ he often played with his friends while returning from school on the streets of Lagbon village. He remembered too that he was never serious with his education while he was in his primary school. Like a mosquito, he was jumping from one form of laziness to the other.

As he was thinking about how he spent the earliest years of his life, a mango tree cried out a leaf right before him. While the leaf was dropping to the floor, it rendered interesting dance steps. So interesting that if it were a human, one would accompany it. It swung itself towards Enkidu three times and swaddled itself thereafter like the funny potbelly of Anile, the glutton. Although the leaf paraded well, Enkidu refused to be distracted by it, for the tears of his earliest years were more painful than the amusing dance steps of the leaf.

Instead, he adjusted his buttocks on his newly furnished chair. Making himself comfortable again, he gave a stern yawn that revealed his scattered teeth that were like the roasted maize of Mama Ilusoji, who lived three stone throws away from Enkidu’s house and who specialized in roasting maize for the community.

Enkidu, regretted the times he placed so much efforts on misplaced priorities and said to himself, “Life is unfair, time is unfriendly and man is the greatest enemy of himself.”

Enkidu began to wonder in regret of how blind he had been to seriousness. Enkidu wasted his childhood, wasted his teen age, wasted his adulthood, until he was close to the grave at age seventy-nine, before he became serious with his life and worked to make ends meet. He began his journey into the abyss of regretful thinking at age eighty. Enkidu became rich at seventy-nine, but lived a sober life thereafter.

He soon was drenched in his own tears. As he stood up to go inside his house, he opened his mouth to say the wind his last words:

“What’s the essence of becoming a millionaire at the age of eighty, when I have incomplete set of teeth and my natural strength abated? Time died in my youth, or let me say, I killed my time with my own hands.”

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