Orisha bi iya o
Ko si laiye
Mama liked her creams. She selected them carefully. She said her cheeks were darker than the rest of her face. She didn’t like that.
She examined her face for few minutes early in the morning just as the sun rose, after she had said her prayers and would
massage the area subtly.
On some mornings, she would launch into a story about how fair and soft her skin once was. She would tell me how lean she was, with hips that swung left and right. She would tell me about the guys that chased after her, giggling like a child. She talked about spa trips in the mid 90’s and natural cleansing methods. She said so much about her dark yet dignified cheeks I started pretending to listen. She didn’t even talk about the wrinkles that lined her face, or the calluses of her firm hands. She didn’t talk about the grey hair atop her head like a crown. She didn’t make mention of her gold wedding band or dainty gold earrings. She only talked about her once fair dimpled cheeks.
Though the obsession dwindled as the years wore on, she never stopped asking for her creams.
Aunties speculated that she wanted to look good when her time came. Others said, she just needed to fuss about something seemingly significant in her old age.
Reasons regardless, she’s dead now and the tube for the last cream she used lies useless in her room.
Vanity is vanity.