I was Ugonna’s back-up plan, the one he would come to when all others failed. Only some seemed to take too long to fail and so I stayed in the back-(ground), waiting for the failure of others to be my success.
Then Mmaduemesi came along and set a fire in my belly but would not shine his light on me so others would see. I was his shadow-dancer, his night owl, his cloud that covers the moon. He loved me only in the dark; come daylight, I became a stranger; a nodding acquaintance.
Izuchukwu kept me on a pedestal. He took me down twice a day to polish me; he cared not for the smile on my face or the shine of my tears. He wanted only to display my comeliness for all to see. If I felt anything, he did not notice, so long as I sat pretty for everyone to gaze upon.
Strangely, Ugonna, Mmaduemesi and Izuchukwu helped me come to know myself…to discover that I was not made to be a back-up plan, a shadow-dancer or a trophy… that I should not be sitting and waiting for others to fail so that I could succeed…or hiding in the dark because someone didn’t really want me to be in the light nor should I be kept on a pedestal as a display of someone’s achievements.
I came to know that I did not have to be any of these.
I was more than a prize, a medal…an outline or silhouette…a backcloth or backdrop.
I was me.