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Loner Chronicles

Free Rein's picture

Nkechi is assigned to a shadow a villager who tells her that she doesn’t like to be with “people who look like you”

The above statement from the villager gives me a flashback when I was coming to college. My layover was at London- Heathrow International Airport where a white young boy, probably aged five years, stared at me for almost five minutes. Questions criss-crossed my mind. I wondered what he had seen in me that everyone else was silent about. Had I drooled over my vest on one of my naps in the plane? It also made me question the intensity of my melanin because there were other people of colour at the airport. The mother tried to draw the child’s attention but still, he kept on looking at me. Then the child abruptly shouted, “Mummy, she looks like a monkey!”. It was devastating, humiliating and heart-breaking. Everyone was gazing in my direction. The mother laughed. I had heard of this from my friends who had travelled earlier but I had thrown all the care into the wind.  This was one of the many experiences which muddle me; others of which would also be referred to as “personal issues not public matters.”

The incident really disturbed me in my next flight. I felt like boarding the next plane back home. It was my first destination. I did not want imagine having such another encounter at Philadelphia or Bryn Mawr which am glad it has not occurred; may be because I spend my entire time alone besides class. As Sarah Ahmed says, “solutions to problems are the problems given a new form.” The fear of people’s declination to work with me or embrace the way I am has greatly contributed to my current state of being a recluse: an introvert. I have never been like this; not at all. However, I would choose this option any day, to make my ‘home away from home’ experience worthwhile, because honestly, some ‘slippages’ may not be any pleasant.