“INSIDE LIFE” With Buchi. (Episode 2)
The sweet temptation ..
As I walked into the premises of Ibadan mall(Shoprite) sometime in 2017, I noticed a tall building by the entrance and looked up to admire the advert board hanging down from it. I froze, my legs wobbled, my eyes turned around and I nearly lost balance.
Batophobia, fear of being in or close to tall buildings, closely related to
Acrophobia, “Fear of heights”
I didn’t always have this fear of heights, infact, growing up in the village, I jumped from one fruit tree to another, enjoyed scaling high structures and found peace when looking down and watching things get smaller as I got higher. I was in love with heights and high places. I was moved to a new school in the neighboring town after the incident with the “King of boys”. It was an entirely different setting from what I was used to, and located in the growing city of Nnewi. This one had semblance with schools in the city with the most welcomed part being that I was in class with kids my age and size, and I was no longer the smallest kid in 😁.
Well, going back to “acrophobia”; one day in class the teacher started asking us what we would like to be in future. Some of the kids already memorized what their parents told them they would be, while some were confused about what they wanted to be. I wasn’t, and when I was asked I stood up with confidence. “I want to be a pilot ” The whole class went silent, most of the kids only knew doctors, teachers, nurses and engineers, not alot knew about pilots. The teacher was impressed by my answer and went on to explain the work of a pilot to the rest of the class. I felt proud, unique and determined, I was so sure I was going to be a great pilot when I grow up.
But then, life has a way of mocking us…. Inside Life”
It was the mango season and we had a big mango tree in our compound, the tree was way older than me but climbing it was one of my best sport, especially during the mango season. I would sit there for hours hiding away from my chores while also treating myself to some juicy sensations 🤤.
One day, I was sitting with my elder brother Ebere under the mango tree, the mango season was almost done and there ” little to nothing” left on the tree. But we wanted to eat mangoes, so my brother decided to climb and see if we could get something from the parts we couldn’t see from the ground. He actually did find some hidden by the thick leaves and I was on the ground to catch them as he threw them for me. That was when it caught my eye, it was red-ripe,fat and looked appetizing from where I looked. I called the attention of my brother, and told him that there’s a very tempting mango hanging out from one of the topmost branches. But dully mentioned that he wouldn’t be able to reach it as it was far out. I suggested he climbed down, so we could find a way to stone it down, but Ebere had other plans, he wasn’t going to let the sweet looking mango fall and splatter on the ground. He went for it….
As he climbed closer to the edge, I got scared and nervous, and told him to let the mango be(i was starting to see the mango as a temptation). But the man’s ego wouldn’t let him back out and he crept up to the branch, at this point he was close to 30ft off the ground. We heard the creaking sound together and as he was trying to hold on to the branch above his head, the branch he was standing on broke and the one he was holding on to followed suit sending him crashing down. The thud as he hit the ground was loud, I froze up for like 30seconds. When I recovered, I rushed to where he landed, he was groaning (anwuom o, anwuom o). I kept on saying sorry while trying to help him stand up(Stupid me😂😂) I didn’t know his waist has lost its factory settings and he couldn’t move his body. His face was bloodied and his groans got weak, he managed to mutter, “Go and call mummy, tell her I’m dying”
I didn’t need to, because the sound had the family’s attention and they had come out to see what happened. They rushed down to where he was, picked him up, put him in the car and drove off to the hospital. I stood transfixed, motionless and horrified. I had just witnessed something out of a movie, I tried to look around and that was when I saw the temptation (the mango fruit) lying innocently in the pile of branches. If only it knew the horror it has caused. I picked it up and held on to it till my parents came back from the hospital. I dreaded the news they would give me and was much relieved when they told me Ebere was fine, just that his waist just needed a factory reset 😂. I gave the mango to my mum without saying a word, she already knew the role ‘the temptation’ played. We took it to the hospital next day and I watched happily as Ebere ate “the temptation”.😅.
My brother was safe and he recovered in record time….. But I never recovered. I became terribly afraid of heights, stopped climbing, hated storey buildings, and never dared look down from one. Anytime I did try, I would feel faint, my hands will get sweaty and my body will start working up.
I had developed a phobia.
My pilot dreams were abandoned, and although I was in science class, I changed my scope to engineering.
I did end up studying Geology, a very brilliant course… I never stop thinking what could have been, if Ebere didn’t fall from a mango tree🤔
…….to be continued
“INSIDE LIFE With Buchi” is a chronicle of personal life experiences of the writer Abuchi Jonathan Ofoneme. It is entirely the writer’s opinion and does not reflect the view of AMICHI MAGAZINE.