If I had fully functional tear ducts, Trust me, I would so be bawling my eyes out right now.
I slowly arranged them on top the tousled bed. My iPad went first, then the iPhone, next came the macbook pro mom had bought me for Christmas the previous year, my iPod came next naturally, how can a guy live without an iPod? Finally came the Nokia Asha aunt Meg had made me buy so we could better keep in touch.
All five of them stared back at me unforgiving, cold to touch, notification lights unblinking. Dead they were. dead to the world.
Power was out… yet again! How was I supposed to live without electricity for God’s sake? To what special section of hell had the US immigration service consigned me to?
I was just two weeks old in this hellhole that passed for a university in this damned country and already I was feeling suicidal. I wasn’t supposed to be here, preparing to resume my first year in the College of Medicine, University of Benin. No. You see, right now I’m supposed to be with Kim, George and Timi, freshmen at UCLA and getting ready to pledge our favourite fraternity. But instead here I was, in a hot sweltering room, in Nigeria of all places condemned to a life of ignominy and awkwardness.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always known I was of Nigerian descent. After all my parents were Nigerians. And after pops died and mom started feeling lonely, she would sometimes take me to those meetings where I understood nothing, knew no one and to be honest, didn’t give a fuck. But they would spend hours yammering in Edo and that’s how I got to learn a few words of it.
Slowly, I gaze around my recent abode. Apparently the hostel belongs to a friend of moms who was willing to put up the prodigal child. When my friends back home heard about my problems they had asked the same questions I initial had. How can a US citizen be deported?
Yup! I. Am. A. United States Citizen! or rather, I used to be one. See, I was actually given birth to in LA and yes again… I was deported “back” to Nigeria. A place I’ve never before in my life stepped into.
My woes began when I was selected to be a member of the senior prank committee. A great honor indeed and a tradition in all high schools across the States. You know, we probably did take it a bit too far, but, hey it is said that the young should strive to supersede the doings of the old yeah? So I wasn’t too surprised when the cops showed up at my doorstep. In fact I was excited. This was my street cred on a platter of gold. If I got arrested for pulling an awesome prank in high school, I was sure to be admitted to Kappa Di. They lived for those kinda shii.
I think that’s the last time I remember being happy. From there onwards the days were a blur as the proverbial shit had hit the fan. It took me a while to work through moms’ lawyer’s legalese, but what I could get was this; my parents had apparently entered the country as illegal aliens and 6 months later I had being given birth to. Based on their status it had being a home birth and afterwards even after they had gotten their papers they hadn’t bothered to get me registered. Getting arrested had brought that “little” oversight to the surface and now my status had changed from a suburban 2nd generation Nigerian American kid to an illegal alien. And unfortunately according to the fucking lawyer I had to leave the country for at least for a year before I could reapply for a visa and get back to my family.