I am excited!! I have no idea why. I just feel like I have been given a new lease on life. If you know me very well by now you also know that this is not necessarily good news with regard to the near future. That part of me is looking around suspiciously convinced that the Fates are up to no good.
Someone asked me why I am writing these letters to you, as if I am guaranteed that I will have a daughter. I am not. In fact, I have a strong feeling that if I do get around to having children after all, I may have a boy first. That is from this strange dream I had where I even saw his name and can remember bits of his passport number (there was an A19, in no particular order), yes, I saw an actual passport. His name was Eseka Campbell. He was more or less my skin color so I doubted he was mixed race.
They say we dream of things in our memory, but I had never heard of the name Eseka before this dream. I woke up that morning in an absolute frenzy determined to scour the interwebs in search of some sort of meaning…Google is still the closest we come to Biblical Daniel’s gift of interpreting dreams…so I googled. The closest I came to Eseka at the time (August 2010) was Eseka, a place in Cameroon (a Catholic Diocese, we’re Catholics your grandma and I, her more than me, but still…roots). I decided that I must see this place at some point in my lifetime.
I suspect it partly because of the hope this dream gave me that I was able to seamlessly recover from the near fatal accident I would have a few weeks later in September.
Two years later, in Sierra Leone, I met my first Campbell. Melvin Campbell. He worked at a bank. Guarantee Trust Bank. He was black. This, as I had recently come to realise, was not uncommon. In fact, the name Campbell was everywhere! My good friend’s pharmacy was located on Campbell Street and so was Alphie’s, the Ghanaian store where I bought some Ankara dresses. It was not just the name Campbell, many Western names were the norm there which came was strange to the true East African in me despite my knowledge on West Africa and slavery. I suppose these are characters I had come to expect to only exist in history books.
Suddenly, the dream I had had those many years ago was becoming just that, a dream and not some special kind of message. So I decide that if I never name my son Eseka, or have a son to name in the first place, I would set up some sort of business and name it “Eseka… something something”.
I have just googled Eseka again, and there is some coincidental madness here. There is a company in Rivonia, Johannesburg called “Eseka Business Development…”. The first time Rivonia came to life for me, having been a Nelson Madela-type place and therefore a little fictitious, was when the man I referred to as my love was considering moving there to get closer to his workplace. He did not move. No his name is not Campbell. He is not Melvin either. If I was pyscho and I ended up with him, maybe I would have left him for the Eseka of this company, so I suppose it is just as well that we broke up.
It is all just a chance I expect…or not, there are a million possibilities on everything else except the sex of child I will have. Those are two. You or your brother. My colleague had a few difficult pregnancies and consequent miscarriages before she had her first child. A boy. She has been pregnant over the last eight months. She wanted to have a girl, to balance the equation and close shop like most people want to these days, so she hoped and prayed for a girl. She refused to get a scan. A few people at work kept saying it was another boy. She gave birth to a girl on Saturday. She must be ecstatic.
What I am trying to say is. There is a lot of chance when it comes to a lot of things, except for the fact that I will love you and, or your brother. I have chosen to write to you because we are similar, you and I. It is only probably a physical resemblance in case you take after your father in every other aspect, but you are a girl and that’s enough. I am a girl too right now…or so I like to tell myself. If I have only boys…or no children at all, I am writing to me, the girl who will read this at a much older age.
P.s. No, I did not date Melvin Campbell.
P.p.s That exact name is very common in Sierra Leone!