Short Story

SCARS AND HEROES By Rebecca Ogungbure

Written by Editor

I’d like to admit that I have the uncanny habit of examining my physical body features. I just like to know. My observation can be from as obvious as the shape of my nose to as inconspicuous as the sparsely growth of hair on my fingers. Did you know that my pinky has only three curly, almost unnoticeable strands of hair? What’s more is how my friends’ bodies are not spared from my scrutiny. It’s torture for the guys and pure disgust for the girls. But I still go ahead to tell Rhoda that her seemingly non-useful eyebrows function to prevent the beads of sweat coming from her forehead from falling into her eyes and that they are shaped and arranged in the manner they are for the same very reason, at least that’s what Google says. On one of these my bodily adventure, I discovered there was one particular physical feature I was yet to fully explore, so that brings me to my next question: innie or outtie?

Did you know? Your navel is nothing but a scar. One day, as my fingers wandered to my navel, which will not be a first by the way, it suddenly hit me that I’ve never really given my belly button much thought or even done what you’d call navel-gazing. I was almost forgetting that this is a constant reminder that at a point, my life depended totally on a tube, I was connected to a body in the most delicate way possible but this scar is proof that I survived and that that body provided all I needed to survive. Does your navel remind you of your Mother? You know, your umbilical cord, of blessed memory, had these blood vessels that worked to transport nutrients (food, I mean) from your mother’s body to yours and when you’d fed and done your business, these vessels also worked to transport your waste back to her body for excretion. But when you were birthed and took in your first lungful of air, there was internal sealing up and restructuring that led to a shriveling of the stump of your umbilical cord and finally, to your beautiful scar.

Now that you’re reminded of your belly button and it’s connection to your mom, I’ll have to ask another question. Does your belly button remind you of your dad? Odd question, I know. Watching my Brother in-law play with his 6months old daughter, all the while making her flash her heartwarming toothless grin, made me begin to wonder how a father forms a bond with his child, how is he able to feel entitled and feel part of his children’s life? It’s so easy to feel connected and attached to your mom. I mean, there’s the grueling 9 months pregnancy period to consider, there’s also the breastfeeding and the extra care for those first few delicate months. Trust me, the list goes on. But for a dad? How much physical connection can he feel to his child? Save for when the child is a striking resemblance of him. Maybe that will be something.

So here’s to Fathers! Here’s to fathers that are responsible for their little girls’ awesome memories. Here’s to dads that became their sons’ role models right from an early stage. Here’s to my Brother in-law that has made my niece smile over and again in this six months of her life. For every father that has loved and built a bond with their children, without waiting for a scar to serve as the only connection, You’re the real Heroes! This is just my line of thought. Most times, we attach feelings to physical things, things we can actually lay hold of and other times, these feelings are just innate, with it just pouring out of you. Thinking about my navel made me realize that even though I’m considered my dad’s look alike by most people, it still isn’t able to bridge the gap of physical connection that I don’t feel with him yet I remember some 10 years back how he’d always introduce me as his ‘baby pet’, being the last of 5 children. So again, Kudos to Fathers!

By the way, did I already mention that your belly button is home to over 2000 different species of bacteria? So, be you an innie or an outtie (i.e with a protruded belly button), try to be as neat as a pin and take care of that business.

About the author

Editor

Bada Yusuf Amoo holds B.A in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, he is the publisher of thespeakingheart.com. He started the website in 2015, he has published both his works and other budding writers and poets on the website. He is a public commentators and his articles are on different websites.