The other day, I was giving myself over to that pure pleasure that can only come from scratching an itch when I remembered again the days I shared my hair with a living creature and I got shivers down my spine.
In school then, I was at drama rehearsals when I first encountered this creature. Here was a lady sitting next to me but on her clothes were a few crawling things so I swapped one away. My action caused her to turn in my direction and thank me and when I asked her about it, she said so simply, “It’s lice.” Like the name was supposed to trigger an expected reaction from me.
But I, being an indoor person who hardly had the time for some inane chatter, had missed the gossip and rumours going around in school. When the lady realised that I knew nothing of what she was saying, she proceeded to explain further about how stubborn these things were to sack from your hair once they got in.
Having heard that applying heat was the solution, she had just washed her hair with a very hot anti-dandruff shampoo and packed the famous “hell balm”, damatol in, with hopes of dislodging her occupants but all it had succeeded in doing was making a few of them come out for fresh air which was why I had seen a few on her clothes earlier.
“You know bedbugs, right? They’re just like that except they live in your hair.”
That was all the understanding I needed. What?! What?! Head bedbugs?! God forbid! I remember that evening when I brought the subject up in my room, I got my information from roommates about their increase in school. So I jumped into Google to learn more and when I did, I shook my head.
You see, I strongly believe that God cannot give us more than we can handle and I was sure God knew I was barely managing the bedbugs in school. If I got the lice, I’d die. Like I’d probably just dropped dead that same minute and came to be with him.
So when about three weeks later, I see a stray insect with short stubby legs that looked very much like a bedbug but was darker coloured on my pillow, I shook my head in disbelief but killed it discreetly. Some days later, the itching started and one fateful day, I feel this slow movement of something at the base of my neck and reaching for it, I retrieve a bug. Yes, lice. A foolish-looking stupid lice!
This was all the confirmation I needed. I could not deny my truth any longer but I did not tell my roommates because of the stigma that comes with having these things. I did take precautions though and stayed off their corners and personal space while also forbidding close contact. When I did this, it looked like I was guiding against getting the bug when in reality, I was trying to contain the spread. Hehe, sorry, roomies.
This story is a very long one of discomfort and battles. It would later take months and two relaxers to do away with these things, eggs and adults included.
I had not thought I would survive but I did. I had not known I could bear such a disgusting and uncomfortable life. I mean talk about the itching and scattered wounds around my scalp that came from scratching like a mad person.
Should I mention how the heat during the day always made me want to remove my head and keep it somewhere else? Or maybe the dirt that dropped when I combed my hair – dried eggs, alive eggs, poop and whatnot.
Look at me now – living my third-year lice free. Would you know this unless I told you? Of course not. Okay, forget about me. Look at yourself. There are many worse stories you’ve never told anyone but here you are so who told you you’re not strong?
That horrible lice season passed as all seasons will. We used to have a quote in school then whenever we were under deep stress from university life. We would say, “This too shall pass.”
We had mad lecturers that tried to suck our GPs, but they could not prevail over us. That season passed.
This Too Shall Pass!
I remember praying, hoping and swearing all the swearables to God as I hoped for an admission. That season passed.
I remember taking five O’level examinations just hoping to defeat Mathematics. That passed too.
Then I reached final year project season and I thought. “This is it. This is where UNN will finish me. That too passed.
You were r*ped but see you canvassing life as if nothing happened to you! Baby girl, you are strong. That has passed and here you are.
You might be at the junction of marriage, waiting and praying. This season too will pass and one day you’ll laugh thinking about all the stress you went through.
You might be in serious confusion. You’re praying but you’re coming up blank. Do you know that this too will pass because light is already at your doorstep?
See this election craze going on? It will also pass and we’ll get to tell our children about it.
All things will pass. All seasons will come and they will go. So hold on tight to God while waiting to see the end of the season. God’s word is the only thing that endures forever. So if he said it, then it’s coming to pass. Hallelujah!
Why should you compromise because of temporal problems that have already packed their bags and are waiting for their Uber to arrive?
It’s a new week and I encourage you to start fresh. Let’s work better than we did last week, shall we? We will keep praying and believing. We will keep pushing forward. We try one more time. Tell yourself: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.
I hope you were blessed💖.