‘Nooo, this cannot be happening! Not today!’ Bosede moaned, staring at the handful of braids which had come off along with her hair.
She was in the process of getting ready for work and had decided to oil her scalp before putting on her makeup. As she removed the rubber band which held her braids together, about five braids came off her hairline, taking her hair along with them.
For a moment she had simply stared at the micro braids in her hands, as if they would suddenly stand up and explain themselves.
‘Bosede, can you see your life?’ she grumbled to herself. This would teach her to leave her braids in for much longer than was necessary. She had meant to take them out last Saturday after about two months of wear, but she had succumbed to laziness and television and watched a marathon session of ‘NCIS’ instead.
Now, here she was on a Wednesday morning, sporting a bald patch on the right side of her head. She glanced at her watch and saw that the time was now 7am. Suddenly realizing that she had to leave the house in fifteen minutes if she did not want to be late for work, Bosede snapped out of her reverie.
She went about strategically arranging her braids over the new bald patch so that it was mostly covered up. She then put on some makeup, opting for a ‘no-makeup’ look instead of her usual ‘full glamour’ look.
There was no time for that.
Bosede made it to work just before 8am, beating the worst of the Abuja morning traffic, which made her happy; she did not need another query for late-coming. She sat at her desk and enjoyed the few minutes of solitude before her three other team members arrived. Despite her colleagues living much closer than she did to their workplace, a Parastatal of the Ministry of Education, they still managed to show up to work long after the resumption time.
Bosede looked around, making sure that she was alone, and brought out her mirror from her bag. She examined her ‘braids arrangement masterpiece’ and, satisfied with her work, put the mirror back into her bag. As she pulled out her hand, out came a stray braid along with it.
‘Seriously?’ she asked herself, glaring at the offending braid.
‘Miss Bose, are you talking to me?’ asked Nene, one of her colleagues who had just walked into the office.
‘What? Oh…no, I was just…talking to myself’ Bosede replied, sheepishly.
‘Ah Bose, you know that talking to one’s self is a sign of madness-hope all is well oh!’ Nene laughed. Bosede joined in the laughter, even though she did not really know why she was laughing.
She rolled up the stray braid and put it back in her bag.
‘I must stop at the salon before I get home’ she mused to herself. Thankfully, the office closed by 4pm; she would call her usual ‘hair lady’ at her salon to see if she could schedule an emergency braids removal session.
Unfortunately for Bosede, that Wednesday was the day that her supervisor, Mrs. Kalu, decided to schedule an emergency brainstorming session.
The meeting was set for 3.45pm.
Bosede could feel her braids smirking at her.
The meeting, of course, ran until 4.30pm, with her supervisor doing most of the talking, and with very little being accomplished.
Bosede was the first out of the door of the meeting room once the meeting finally finished, and she walked quickly to her cubicle, shut down her computer, picked up her bag and was dialing her hair stylist as she walked to her car.
‘Aunty B!!! Long time, hope you are fine Ma. Do you want to make another hair?’ ‘No, Dorcas, I actually want to remove my braids now’ Bosede started to say this when Dorcas interrupted her. ‘Ah Aunty, we will soon close, can you manage it until Saturday morning?’
Bosede sighed, sitting down heavily in her car. ‘Ok dear, I will see you on Saturday’. With that, she ended the call and looked at her braids in the rear view mirror. Her hair arrangement was holding up, but she was more concerned for the safety of her hairline.
She had just put her key in the car’s ignition when her phone started to ring. It was Oche, her boyfriend.
‘Hey, baby! How was work today?’ he asked, sounding annoyingly cheerful for someone who had also just closed from work.
‘I’m fine darling…I’ve just had a stressful day’ and she told him all about her braids debacle.
He was silent for a while, and Bosede was sure he was trying not to laugh. ‘What if I come over to help you remove the braids? Would that help?’
She suddenly felt like crying and laughing at the same time. ‘Sure darling- that would be great. Okay, see you soon’. She chuckled as she ended the call. She would probably end up with no hair if she let him anywhere near her braids, but she appreciated his kind gesture.
With that in mind, she started her car and drove home to remove her braids.
© Ivie M. Eke 2016.