Arrested Development

Honestly! It looked as though while God was creating me, there was power outage in the shop. Of all my family members; nuclear and extended, I was just different. The smallest in height and size. To make it worse; as I grew into my formative years I wasn’t shapely. No front, no back. You may not understand, but you see in my family, we have it all, in terms of look, shape and even height. What one lacked in one, they made up in the other. I lacked in all! You wouldn’t be wrong if you liken my family to the G-5 Super powers of the United Nations and compared me to ECOWAS.


For the major part of my life, I didn’t let that get to me. I was the bubbly Eno with no care in the world until the day we went to aunty Okama’s house for the holiday. Now, let me tell you about aunty Okama’s house. Aunty Okama’s house was everybody’s house. Her home served as a reunion ground of some sort not just because it was very big, but her warm and inviting personality was the magnet. One major attribute of aunty Okama was that you would never leave her home without a parting gift.

On this fateful day, she had invited her tailor to come take our measurements. We were eight girls in all, three of my sisters, four of my cousins and I. Just when it was my turn Ekenam, aunty Okama’s half- sister walked in and started chatting with the tailor. As the tailor put the tape rule to my chest, Ekenam chuckled and muttered “arrested development” loud enough for me to hear. She and the tailor burst into laughter after both had exchanged knowing glances. It finally hit home; compared to my cousins and siblings, I wasn’t filling out in the right places. For the first time in my 16 years, I became very self –conscious.

“You’re not that bad”, Cassy, my elder sister had told me. “Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. Ekanem was just being naughty”. I rolled my eyes. Easy for you to say. You are not the one often tormented at family reunions with “You are neither growing taller nor putting on weight, where are you from?” or the classic, “Eno just needs to stay a week in my house and she will flesh out properly”. Unlike Cassy with her hour glass shape, anytime I had to wear any cloth, I needed extra help to make it seat properly.

Sure enough, I became obsessed with filling out in the right places. I must have bum-bum and boos. I didn’t care what anybody said. I did it all, padded bras, mattress bras, thick-foamed bras. I once wore two fake bums and two pairs of shorts just so that I could tie wrapper at Okon’s wedding. Chai! This life! Nothing seem to help. Then Joan introduced me to Dr. Jumbo. All the happening babes living in the Victoria Island, Lekki -Ajah axis knew him. Dr. Jumbo was a plastic surgeon, at least that was what his resume said. Joan had attested to the fact that he worked wonders. So I decided to give it a shot. Omo! I paid through my nose, but Ekanem’s taunting voice was all I heard. I was determined to feel like a woman. So under the knife I went. By the time Dr. Jumbo was finished with me, my left breast was bigger than the right and my right bum cheek was smaller than my left. To my horror, I was completely disfigured. Now all I wear are dark and big clothes. Recently, Joan called to tell me of another plastic surgeon, Dr. Levinus who specializes in plastic surgery repairs. She had already booked an appointment for me. Should I go?