Posted in Cave Tales, Uncategorized

THE BATHROOM STAR – Iniobong Leroi Umoh

You wish you can sing. You believe you have the music talent. You believe you can sing better than the top music stars in your country, but whenever you try to sing out loud your voice scares you. Your voice is a huge disappointment. So you tell yourself that you can’t sing. But the moment you step into the bathroom to take your bath,
you turn into another person. You become a music superstar. Your voice becomes angelic and divine. As you lather your body with soap you start hitting the high notes.

Your voice would make Whitney Houston turn green with envy in her grave. If Adele hears your voice, she would be jealous and afraid that you would take the Grammy awards from her next year.
“Cause I am your lady and you are my man, whenever you reach for me, I am gonna do all that I can” You sing like you are Celine Dion, performing in a sold-out concert at the Apollo theatre in New York.

Your high pitched voice can be heard in your compound and around the neighbourhood.
“When a man loves a woman, deep down in his soul she can bring him so much misery” Your tenor voice is just like Michael Bolton singing.

For the entire duration, that you are in the bathroom, you effortlessly sing up to five songs from different music genres. But immediately you leave the bathroom, the music flow ceases. You revert to your normal self. Your voice gets back to being cracked and ugly. You welcome the change from temporal music stardom to real life mediocrity with indifference. You had since concluded that you would never be a great singer. You would never be able to perform to thousands of adoring fans. You had nicknamed yourself; The Bathroom Star, destined to perform only in the bathroom stage.

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Your neighbours have been hearing you sing every day of the week. They have been complimenting your voice. They have been encouraging you to take up singing as a career. You only wish they could stop pestering you.
Last week, one of them told you about a music talent hunt show in town. The Prize for the top winner is N10 million plus a new exotic car. She said you must go for the auditioning. When the others heard it, they agreed with her. They insisted that you must go. They said you stand a good chance of making the shortlist and winning.

So today you are in the venue for the auditioning. The hall is filled with contestants, all of them struggling for just ten spots. You have done the registration. You have been given a tag which you have pinned to your gown. You are number 74. Number 73 has just gotten out from the auditioning room. A sullen look is on his face. You quickly realize that he hasn’t fared well with the judges. Your heart skips a beat as you hear your number being called to face the panel.

You walk into the auditioning room.
The panel of judges is seated around a polished mahogany table. They all stare quizzically at you. They are three ladies and two men. You recognise one of the faces. He is a rapper who has hit stardom with a hit single last year. You feel intimidated standing before him.
The judges welcome you and ask you for your name. You tell them you are The Bathroom Star. They exchange quick looks and giggle.
“What song are you doing for us?” The head of the panel asks you.
“Unbreak my heart by Toni Braxton” You reply.
“Great song! Go ahead and show us what you can do. You have three minutes to convince all of us to shortlist you for this life changing competition”

Your memory has suddenly gone blank. You have forgotten the lyrics of the song you had taken many hours to practice in the bathroom.
“We are still waiting for you!”
“Unbreak my heartttttt! Say you love me again” The lyrics burst out in a disorderly manner. Your voice is totally flat. You are singing off-key.
The judges are frowning at you. One of them laughs and the rest follow suit.
You are embarrassed. You know that you have ruined your chances.

“It’s a No from me!”
“Me too, it’s a No! Awful voice!”
“No! I don’t think you can sing”
“Sorry dear, better luck next time”
You walk out with your head bowed in shame. You are crushed and defeated in your spirit. You would never become a music star. Music stardom would always be a tall dream for you. You would always be The Bathroom Star for the rest of your life.

Iniobong Leroi Umoh


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