The sky slowly lights up and rays from the still hidden sun softly filter into a dimly lit bedroom, to reveal a dark, feminine figure tossing uncomfortably on her bed. Her body, unwilling to wake continues to fight the break of day , yet in her subconscious she begins to narrate her daily anthem :
“Sometimes I wake in the night. Alone. Thoughts of decisions made. Thoughts of opportunities. Gone. I toss, I turn, and eventually sleep again. I wake to a new dawn, wiser. I awake to the first day….. of the rest of my life”
Approaching the end of her mental monologue, she lay still on her back. Eyes shut, she inhales deeply, and as air is released from her chest her eyes pop wide open. This is her daily ritual for embracing the dawn after which she usually springs up to begin a new day. Today however things have taken on a different shape. Her ritual lacks its edge. On a normal morning everything she did was marked from the moment the sun began to peep through the horizon to her recital and everything else that followed, but presently she seemed stuck in the moment “embracing the dawn” for much longer that usual. She lay almost lifeless in bed as though desiring for time to stand still. She found herself going over the anthem again and again, and the more she did the more paralyzed she felt. The words seem to take on new meaning today. An expected reaction of course for a woman only hours away from her 3oth birthday. In retrospect surely she had taken a lot for granted in her life time leading her to miss out on A LOT of opportunities, which included a few marriage proposals here and there. Regret was normal for a woman her age, but sadly she doubted that she had learned much from her mistake or that she was any wiser today. Her babyish looks and her overly free spirited way of life seemed to have been her curse.
Summoning up nerve she finally manages to drag herself out of bed to commence her last experience as a woman of the 20’s club. Slowly making her way towards the bathroom she heads straight for the sink. A splash of ice cold water on the face seems to do her some good when she pauses again at the sight of her own reflection in the mirror, and once again she is thrown into a state of panic. Maybe its her imagination but she suddenly notices stress lines and wrinkles across her face that may or may not have been there the night before. A some-what thorough inspection of her facial features is carried out. She pokes and pulls at the skin and at the same time makes funny faces to ease the tension welling up inside her.”You done dey old o babe” she says under her breath while looking back at her untidy frame and playfully pulling at her kinky locks of hair. Standing erect and very still she stares seriously at the mid-aged reflection of herself and suddenly realizes how ironic the phrase”
I awake to the first day….. of the rest of my life” seems for that very moment in time. Yes, it is her first day…and yet her last as she dies to one decade to be born into the next. She smiles….