Oh, how it feels to wake up strong, hearty, a boy. My bed sheet is wrinkled, pulled out of their tucks. I wake up on the wrong side of affairs, my hands and legs sprawled, and my mouth feels quaky. I struggle up from my bed and view the world around me. The sky-blue walls are draped with magazine cutouts of nude models and celebrities. I take a long curious look. I’m going to have to brush my teeth and decide if I’d take a bath or not. I sniff my armpits, they’re not the best of scents, but I can manage. I really should take a bath, but whatever. My laptop is at a corner of the bed, I must have slept off while browsing, viewing things I mightn’t be viewing, I might also have done some curious things to ‘liberate’ myself. Gosh! My room is the epitome of haphazard. My shirts and boxers scattered everywhere, there are so many foreign material on my reading table, things that have no business being there. Mum wouldn’t be pleased by this sight, but I guess it’s a view she’s already used to. Well, I think I’d take a bath after all.
“Sheun, come out here, breakfast is ready,” mum calls.
I smell sandwich, toasted. She had better make plenty of it because I’m starving. I stroll to the kitchen, I give mum an intermittent hug. She’s noticeably confused, she doesn’t know what the hug is for.
“Mummy, it’s for keeping up with a stubborn son,” I say
“Yes, you are stubborn alright. I was going to go to your room to wake you for breakfast, but I thought better,” she says.
And I reply, “Mum, you know boys now, room is always unkempt.”
Mum shakes her head and drops four sandwiches for me on the dinning. Four should be okay, plus tea. I don’t have to cook, all I have to do is wake from bed, decide whether or not to take a bath and get called out for breakfast. Isn’t that awesome?
I was discussing with my cousin, Bisola, some time ago and I told her that girls and guys choose their sex while in the stomach, before pregnancy proper, at chromosomal level. And she outright disagreed with me, saying that then she’d have come out a boy, that she derived no pleasure in the everyday adversities of womanhood. I still insisted though, that we were at liberty to choose for the briefest of moments before pregnancy accelerated. Well, one of my queer thoughts indeed. She said she doubted that level of freewill at that stage in life existed, and I insisted all the same that it did.
Shit! Tony is calling. I forgot I had a soccer match with my buddies; we always play on Saturday mornings.
“Mum, I have to go, I have soccer match this morning. See you!”
Mum shakes her head and smiles. ‘Sons will always be sons,’
I get back from soccer, famished, and drained of energy. Mum cooked fried rice, and I collapse on the dinning chair yet again and chomp every last grain of rice. After which I’m as strong again. Boys are like that, when we have food in our paunches we are ‘carry go!’ Life is so bearable being a boy. Thank goodness I didn’t choose to be a girl in the stomach. I guess on some level we choose the sex that best fits us in life, like I told Bisola that before we start forming in the uterus we are shown, in an inconceivable moment, a flash-forward of our lives and then given a choice; male or female. I don’t believe male or female genes are randomly giving to fetuses, by chance. It isn’t still known completely the factors that facilitate a fetus being male or female.
Night falls, and I doze at my laptop yet again, room scattered as usual, everything the same.
The next day I wake up, my chest is quite heavy as if my heart is beating fast, the kind of feeling of being heartbroken or in love. I feel fresh though, my duvet is well straight, just the same way I laid on it the previous day. I wake up in a straight and orderly position. I prompt up and make for my tooth brush. I scrub my teeth and hop into the shower. It’s surprising though, the ease with which I do all these things! I scrub all hidden areas of my body thoroughly to make sure they are clean. Mum always said I have to scrub my body rigorously even when it hurts. After toweling myself, I take a brisk look at my room, and everything’s in place. That’s good, I quickly dress up and quicken to the kitchen, I’ve got to help mum out in the kitchen with breakfast.
Wait, something wrong, if I recall properly, this isn’t how I woke up yesterday. What’s wrong? Damn, I can sense it, wow, I didn’t realise all these while. Everything’s different, look at my clothes, I’m wearing a tank top and leggings. What? Leggings? I run back to my room and look in the mirror. My hair is flat and long, cascading down. I’m wearing gloss! Gloss! Wait. I’m a girl! No no no no no no no no, and the walls of my room are pink! This can’t be, but how?
“Bimpe, better come and smash this fish, the sandwich won’t make itself!” mum calls out.
Me, smash fish, when did that one start? I’m used to being called out and my food brought to me while I’m browsing my phone or something. Now I’m meant to be in the kitchen for the whole process. Gosh, doesn’t mum realise this is unreal? Even if I told her, would she think it were sensible?
“Bimpe, be fast, cut these slices of bread. And later you’d have to prepare fried rice, that’s what we’d be having for launch. Bring out the prawns from the freezer.”
Ha! Is this me? Now cooking fried rice? Is this what it means to be a girl? I’m so finished. Strangely enough I somehow know I can do all these things easily like I’ve been doing them for ages. But why is mum suddenly hard on me? It wasn’t like this yesterday. I was free yesterday. So this is what it feels like to be a girl. Ha! God, please, take me back to yesterday.
I’m thinking of a romance novel I want to start reading. Me, reading romance novels, when did that one start? I can’t take anymore of this. I feel so… so… mushy, pink. I’m used to feeling strong, and high-octane. Not mushy and heartbroken or in helpless love.
My phone is ringing, David is calling. Who’s David? Ha, hope it’s not what I think.
“Hello, baby,” David says.
What? What the fuck is happening! Me, baby? And what’s worse, I’m actually feeling for this David! Before I can hold my tongue, I reply.
“Yes,” my voice is like the lowest string of a plucked guitar, “I miss you.”
Ha. I’m dead. My heart is actually thumping for a guy, my stomach is actually rumbling for a guy. Is this what girls go through? Plus I’m hiding to take this call, mum mustn’t catch me talking to a guy.
After the call I’m still wishing I could talk to him more, in fact, I want to be with him right now instead of in the kitchen. It’s like film trick, like these things are happening to me, like I have no control over my feelings.
So this is what it’s like to be a girl. I have to think back on my theory. I’m now thinking that we are born the way we are and we all have to deal with it, whether male or female. Maybe it’s life, maybe the girl never wanted to be a girl, and the guy too didn’t have a hand in his gender. The things a girl has to go through, and she does these things in such a slippery smooth way, things a guy would find difficult doing. But given the chance, would a girl choose now instead to be a boy? Would girls want to be boys if given the chance? I don’t know. Maybe not, why would girls want to be boys when boys don’t even imagine such. Life is fair to both boys and girls, a girl is only simply different from a boy, that’s all.