It’s almost a year, I’ve moved back home after close to 15 years abroad.
Here, I’ve chosen a lifestyle which puts me in touch with ordinary people, as I eat at the same places like most, I take the same crowded taxis, and I spend a good amount of time walking the streets and markets in order to feed my mind with rough reality of life, without safe nets.
I’ve made lot of new friends, and one of them is an unordinary rich woman who keeps a small retail shop in the area where I live. Most of the time I visit her shop, we’d spend some time chatting about her memories, life experience, and her 3 beloved kids.
She is known around as the “colonel wife” because she is married to a high ranking military officer. She is a beautiful woman with a smiling face and petillant eyes.
She found in me a pleasant listener she obviously doesn’t have often.
“I don’t have friends” she once told me. “Money is my friend. People are fickle, unreliable, liars, self-interested and deceptive. I have seen them all. I prefer not to have a friend, than dealing with stress and uncertainty. Money doesn’t lie, you know” she continued in a very serious tone.
She has two sons living abroad. Her youngest is a 25+ daughter who helps her with the business and manages the numerous premium real estates the family owns in the city.
The daughter is as beautiful as her mom. She often sits quiet behind the cashier, sealed behind a glass, and watch tv while waiting for clients.
I asked the mom why won’t she let her daughter spent some time outside to meet people, maybe find a mate. But, She doesn’t like the idea.
“She is young. Once she would build her own house, then she would get married. I don’t want her to depend on a man”
My trips, and numerous life adventures kept me far away from that area of the city for over 6 months.
Last month, when I returned to the shop, I’ve spent over an hour chatting with the colonel wife. It was a lively reunion. She loves to talk to me. Before leaving I asked about her daughter. She pointed her finger to a lady who was over there all the time we were chatting.
“Is it her?” I wondered
“Yes” she replied smiling
“Wow she is a new person” I exclaimed
The daughter got up, brushed the hair with her left hand while smiling at me, obviously looking happy I did NOT recognize her.
Indeed, her skin color has changed. Like millions of girls in Togo, she had certainly used one of the numerous skin whitening or bleaching products which are daily and overwhelming advertised here on tv, radio, magazine.
Regardless of the health issues, she was very happy I did not recognize her.