So Mr H was here. Surely you figured that out?

We were barely out of the freezing  cold when I asked him. It just popped out, I swear.

I had no idea it was a thought until it was a question.

‘So has anything changed?’

Anything like what, Mr H asked, as his eyelids started to flutter suspiciously.

The airport.

His face is a blank slate. ‘Has anything changed at the airport?

‘Are those uniformed goons still standing guard at the entrance?Do they still appraise your passport upside-down and refuse family passage until settlement occurs?

Is it still as hot as a furnace in there, are the floors less scuffed and does the heaviness of nervous sweat still leave travellers with a bent back.

Are there still airport staff milling around, with smiles that don’t reach their eyes  and do the queues leave you picturing abandoned homes and empty homes

Are travellers still expected to smile when officers say things like ‘You are from my state? So why did you go and marry Igbo now? (Complete with headshake).

Did the men at the brown tables rifle through your stuff like Blackies at the checkpoints? Did they make you ashamed of the folded 500 Naira in your Palm? Did you walk away from them filled with guilt that you are all talk. All bluster.

Will the female officers at the check-in tell me that I have nice blobs even as the pat-down continues. Which will be less grievous? Handing her my back-pocket-candy or offering it with a flourish.

Christmas, I will tag it, where Christmas is everyday.







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