I love jazz, I think it's the music of the gods, the only genre of music that can express any emotion fully. Soul is the only other genre that comes close but there's no way Soul can make you feel the heights and depths, plains and tangled paths that jazz guides you through. The people sitting, dancing or just lounging in the quadrangle seemed to agree with me, the look of bliss on their faces as they listened to the live band play Earl Klugh's "Tropical legs".
I was still clearing tables when the band segued into "Calypso getaway", Bassey the bartender whistled and Jaiye the other waiter nodded at me. I ignored their blatant attempts to see my famous reaction to the song, I've been known to bawl like a baby on hearing the song. Unfortunately for them, I was in a hurry to get home to my man, my shift had ended and the pesky tables were only delaying me.
The bus ride home was uneventful but the driver kept singing 'Careless Whispers' at the top of his lungs, thankfully he was singing the original version by George Michael. I wouldn't have been responsible for my actions if he'd been singing the jazz version by David Koz. It brought up unpleasant memories and I hated those memories. It had one redeeming feature, without it I wouldn't have met the love of my life, the same young man I was rushing home to see.
I open the door stealthily, trying to make as little noise as possible. Tochukwu is a light sleeper and I hated to have him wake up when I'd come home, he wouldn't go back to bed for the next two or so hours. He'd ask endless questions about my day, tell me everything that happened in his class and at Kachi's- the neighbour who took care of him during the day. I didn't get my wish, he wasn't even asleep.
He runs to hug me, his legs thumping on the cement floor and his words tumbling together in garbled order as he trys to tell me twenty things at once. I finally get him settled on the only sofa we have while I put away the food I brought from the hotel into our fridge- another thing I got from the hotel. The main perk of my job is the fact that I'm allowed to take food home, that way I get to save a bigger chunk of my salary for Tochukwu's education.
"Mummy play 'together again' on your phone" he says as he flashes the smile that reminded me of the charm with which his father dissolved my defences before he disappeared like dew on a hot morning. Tochukwu loves David Koz's classic song, although I'm pretty sure he developed that love as a defence mechanism due to my excessive binging on the song when he was a toddler.
"Mummy, we have to dance to this song at your wedding" he says as we dance. I smiled at the thought of my wedding, a beautiful pipe dream that could only be imagined by my beautiful five year old son. He has no idea how slim the pickings were for a single mother of a male child whose income put her just above the poverty line.
I lift my son and our eyes are on the same level as his dangling feet betray his glee at being carried. I rub his forehead with mine, we'd done it since he was a baby. He believes it allows him listen to my thoughts.
"I know what you're thinking, Mommy" he says as he claps his little hands. "You're the happiest mommy in the world" he pipes.
My man is right, he's always right.