Of all the fine things in the world, I found Poppy, this morning.

I woke up late for Institute class and when I got there as soon as I could, my sister called. Well some of you would think “oh, how cute, she probably called to see if you’re ok in school”. Sorry to take the icing off off your cakes, but she only calls me for business. So we get done with the conversation and I’m taking a few seconds off the few hours I have to get back to her on the results of some errands I have to run for her. I normally look down when I’ve resolved. So I did and I saw a snail. Two of them actually. THEY WERE LOVELY. Maybe I got attracted to them because their beauty served as an escape from the many, many tasks I need to carry out today alone. Maybe not. I don’t want to probe on the possibilities.

So I pick up Poppy, he was bigger than the other snail, they both looked very healthy, I walk back to my seat in class and place him on my table. He had coiled into his shell. I figured that was because he had noticed a change from his usual residence and I felt he would walk right out after feeling this new environment was harmless, cool, and stable. I thought wrong.

After class, I had to attend my first and only lecture for the day. I told my escort about Poppy and proudly introduced them both, to each other (wow I almost said ‘to one another’). At this point I was getting worried about Poppy, he still hadn’t come out of hiding. I told my escort about it and he said I should have let him be, because Poppy will eventually die, he can’t survive. I was DEVASTATED. I told Samuel how I had planned to get a little habitat for Poppy, water and a scoop of soil, other earth particles, make him feel ok and forget his past. I LOVE HIM. You see, I’m the kind of girl who wants everything she wants to work out. I don’t know if thats a good thing, or a bad thing. Anyways. So Samuel said water, and soil, and earth particles won’t be enough for him. He thrives on his own experience, his own yearning and gathering, so I can’t possibly keep him. He needs to explore, Feel his own light and feel satisfied and feel alive. he went on to talk about how I should have left him there because he’d never crawl back out because he’s sensing danger and then he said ,” if you really love him, you’ll let him go”. If I really love what I’ve expressed love for, I’ll let him go? Let him go where? No where will be cool for him if not with me.

Now this is the bit I do not get: you were lying comfortably in your own space, you sense a change in your normal environment and sense danger. what’s Poppy’s definition of ‘danger’? For about an hour you haven’t been tortured or killed, and you’re still sensing danger? What kind of insecure creature are you? he should have known I meant no harm, I just….needed him with me. I was still hopeful, regardless. I held him in my hand all the way to the lecture room.

The lecturer was 50minutes late. So technically, Poppy had been with me for an hour and a half. I got on my phone, Replied some messages, sent some, stayed on the urge to send some, refused to reply some and then suddenly, something caught my attention. At this point, Poppy had been lying on my desk, almost lifeless. I saw what looked like a green and white string move out slowly from the shell. Is Poppy dying? I felt helpless. Guilty. Desperate. All of these emotions coalescing into a stream forming one of the statements I dread so much. I’ve worked so hard to not hear: “you’re selfish”! Poppy doesn’t deserve to die, he didn’t. Throughout the remaining hour in class I was SAD and angry. I suddenly felt a cool flow of air on the left side of my cheek. I turned to completely see what was going right or wrong because the classroom is full over capacity, only to find that the gentleman seated next to me had resolved to fan me with his notebook; “I saw that you were sweating”. Now, a typical final year lady will feel flattered at this event but I was IRRITATED. Not because he did an archaic introduction of himself after taking a seat next to me 40 minutes ago, or because he wasn’t particularly attractive, I just had too much on my plate. Sometimes, we fail to look out for other possibilities and he “could-be’s” because we’re busy smoothening everything else out. I almost gave him a larger piece of my mind yet after the whole situation sunk in, I could only come out with a “thank you so much, but please stop” with an epic eccedentesiast in my ever so faux naïf voice. I got back to have another look at Poppy for consolation and I was ‘graced’ with the sight of the green and white stringlike material again, this time longer than I had seen it 30minutes ago. I looked closer and saw the movement Poppy was making, or was that him? Was the healthy snail I saw just a long, tiny, green and white string? I was terrified. I couldn’t feel the texture of the string, I just couldn’t get myself to. Sorry. Maybe it would have made this whole thing sound less tragic. Sorry.

Poppy when he was suffering.
Poppy when he was suffering.

Poppy died a few minutes after 9. I can’t give you guys an exact time because he may have died earlier that I discovered. I got back to my room with him in my hand. I planned a funeral. In Ghana, funeral services normally last 2 days or 3. The last day is for merry-making because by then, family and friends would have settled with the idea that the deceased is in a better place so they move on with their lives- it’s a day of celebration! So I had my new favorite things in the world, soy milk with pie and I watched my new favorite movie, “ME BEFORE YOU” and I ‘mourned’ my new found and lost love, Poppy.

To my dearest Poppy; You were so gentle, and sweet and kind, and silent. But I understood your silence. Forgive me for being selfish, forgive me for acting before I thought.

If you don’t have a ‘Samuel’, get one, and appreciate their candour.
If you have a ‘Poppy’ and he isn’t dead yet, let him (or her) go, it’s for their own good (and yours too), you deserve better. Dream of only the ones who long to be with you, or who CAN!
If you’re me strive to be a better person.


Photo credit: Me


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