Looking out of the window of the room I share with my elder sister, I gaze at the twinkling star perching high up in the sky. I have always loved star gazing but Maami as I call my mother would never allow me stay outside at night for a long time. All of us had to be inside our three-bedroom flat before 7pm. Heaven knows I cannot wait to be an adult so that I can stay long hours outside in the night just gazing at the stars; my hair blowing lazily around my face just like it’s shown in Indian films.
Something interesting happened earlier today. Olanma’s front teeth finally came off! We had been playing ‘window’ with her teeth for a while now, we would pretend as if we were visitors knocking at the window of her teeth and she would push the teeth forward with her tongue so that it appeared as if she was opening a window. And so when it finally came off, we began devising means of how to get rid of it.
Segun told us his Mummy normally flushed his fallen tooth down the water closet. Busola said we should throw it into the dustbin while Tolu felt we should throw it on the roof so that a lizard would not swallow it because Funke told her that if a lizard should swallow someone’s tooth, it would not grow again. Olanma was scared of having to live the rest of her life with just one front tooth so we formed an operation ‘keep the tooth away from the lizard‘ and since our house was a two-storey building, we had to devise a plan of how to get the teeth to the roof safely.
So,we, each, took our turns trying to throw the teeth on the roof. I being the tallest of us all decided to allow the rest go first knowing that their hands could not reach anywhere near the roof and then I, like a super hero, took the tooth and jumped up like Superman only to find my pride deflated when the tooth came crashing down even before I finished my descent. Just then, Segun remembered the boy’s quarter roof of Uncle Maduabuchi’s apartment. We were all afraid of big, scary, mean Uncle Maduabuchi and we felt he would have also scared the entire lizard on the roof away so, we proceeded to throw the tooth on his roof. We had to climb the reservoir’s iron rail to get to a vintage point near the roof, I and Segun had a brawl over who to climb the railings but being the only boy in the group he lost to me as Olanma, Funke and Tolu voted for me to
champion our present course of getting Olanma’s tooth safely on Uncle Maduabuchi’s roof.
We divided ourselves into different watch: Busola watched out for the emergence of any adult, Segun watched out for the dreaded Uncle Maduabuchi while Olanma stood at the base of the reservoir deeply worried about a lizard finding her teeth. As I climbed the railings, Segun suddenly raised an alarm of Uncle Maduabuchi’s coming and I hurriedly came down the railings almost losing my footing in the process then he started laughing. My face contorted with anger when I knew it was a false alarm. I promised to get my own pound of flesh later.
I climbed the railings again and this time with urgency as it was almost time for Maami to return from the market. I finally reached a good position and threw Olanma’s tooth on the roof where it landed a safe distance from where I was. Just when I was about coming down, I saw this big fat lizard with an orange head crawl near the tooth and swallowed it!! I felt pissed. After everything, the lizard still won and got the tooth as a trophy. Who was I to tell them that a lizard had swallowed the tooth we fought tooth and nail to keep away and that Olanma’s tooth may never grow again? So, I climbed down as gently as I could and shouted; mission accomplished!!