We threw our caps up into the sky. We were finally graduates. I had visualized this moment for years and it was finally a reality. Dreams really do come true. I took pictures with my friends and family, and enjoyed myself to the max. Life was just about to start and I was ready for it.
Few weeks later, I went to the NYSC camp in Oyo State to begin my one year journey. Right from the entrance, I started making friends. Tall or short, orobo or lepa, boy or girl… I didn’t care. I just wanted to have fun. Maami market was always on point every night. There were ladies who didn’t need a second invitation to fling themselves at anything with beards; just a smile and they would start calling somebody “My baby. My boo boo.” Smh. As if I didn’t know where my mother was. Well, I enjoyed their company. That’s all the detail you need to know. They were as good as disposable cups; something you use and dump. I think they knew the game, but they just wanted to have fun. The funny thing is that the ladies were of different species. There were hypocrites and pretenders, engaged women, married women and even the occasional pregnant woman.
Despite all my promiscuous activities, one thing I had never experimented with was hard drugs. My auntie who was a nurse had taught me about its dangers during my early years. All that changed few days to the end of orientation camp. One evening, I was drinking with Ali and Jude when Chibuzor came with a green-ish substance. I instantly knew what it was. They offered me part of their treat, but I refused. I was not about to add to my growing list of evil habits. As the stars began to come out and the drink began to take its toll on me, I took part of what the guys offered me… Instantly, I felt high. It felt great! I saw men as trees and I couldn’t care less. Why had I stayed off something this good for so long because of one auntie’s scare tactics?
After the orientation camp, I was posted to a school in Molete. I went from strength to strength in my evil ways. I became a full blown junkie. I wreaked havoc in the school and even got some young ladies pregnant. Of course, I asked them to get rid of the babies for their own safety. I wasn’t ready to be a father to anything. This went on and on. Two months after my Pass-Out Parade (POP), I was still in Molete. I wasn’t ready to go back home. There was one little challenge however: the combo of drugs that I was used to wasn’t getting me high any longer. I decided to get some new drugs to step things up a notch. That was the last thing I remembered.
I woke up chained to a bed in a psychiatric hospital. I shouted “I am not mad!!” The doctor smiled and said to the nurses beside him, “This one is in the first stage of madness”. To cut the long story short, I was transferred from there to “Yaba left” by my parents who traced me to the hospital. There, I spent eight months of my life with several other drug addicts and mental patients. Well, that was 15 years ago. Along the line, I met Christ and that’s why I am standing here sharing this with you.
My dear friends, I have tried and tasted all the world has to offer and I can tell you that it has no lasting reward. The painful thing is that some of you are only hearing what you want to hear. You’ll go ahead and make the same mistakes I made with the justification that “Shebi Pastor Ken also messed up and God had mercy on him”. I pity you. You might not be as privileged as I was. Also, as much as God forgave me, I still have scars that I bear from my sojourn in the world. God knows that I would give my right hand (and even leg) for a chance to rewrite the past, but it is not possible. That is why I am pleading with you to “rise and seek Christ” early. A word, as they say, is enough for the wise.
PS. The story is fictional. It was inspired by the passage where Solomon said “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired… Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, all was vanity- like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11). It is only in Jesus Christ that we have Joy Unspeakable. Every other thing that we seek will only give momentary pleasure. Thanks for reading. Feel free to share your observations. Browse through the other articles on this blog for Christian stories written from a different perspective as well as some of my reflections.