Posted in Drama, Literature, Prose, Stories

ASUNDER!

ACT 3 SCENE 1

Family meeting at Ogiri’s house, Ogiri’s Uncle and the Wife are present. Tombra’s Father a.k.a Old Soja and his Wife are also present. They are all dressed in traditional Kalabari attires save for Ogiri that is putting on a Jean trouser and Polo Shirt. Hot drinks have been served everywhere on the table, male and female all have a bottle and a glass of spirit, brandy and whisky, anytime Old Soja sips from his glass, he gaggles noisily before swallowing with squeezed face.

Ogiri: One again, I welcome you all to our house! This is our house because we are all one family!

Old Soja: (Cuts in) Na today? E don tey ! (Pours himself some drink and drinks up, he gaggles and squeezes his face as he swallows) Ahgh! This ogogoro na correct o! Go on! Go on my Son! I dey with you!

Tombra’s Mother: Papa Tombra! Why you dey like to fall you self hand like this nah?

Old Soja: Wetin I do nah!

Ogiri: (Cuts in) Thank you sir! As I was saying, I have a problem with Tombra, I have been trying to settle it on my own for sometime now to no avail. As you all are aware, I have been out of job for sometime now, I am still not able to secure one as I speak but..(Old Soja Interrupts)

Old Soja: go straight to the point! wetin be the problem? Why you summon us come here from the Village? Tell us! Abi! (Looks at his wife for support)  Mama Tombra no be so? (He gulps some whisky and gaggles noisily, squeezing his face as he swallows:  his wife cuts in)

Mama Tombra: (Angrily) Papa Tombra! Na wetin dey worry you? Na only you dey here? You no get shame? If you no get shame, me I get o! You dey embarrass me I beg!

Old Soja: (Surprised and with more drink still in his mouth, he tries to speak thereby spilling the content of his mouth on his dress, he wipes his mouth with his hands, searches his pocket and brings out a white handkerchief to wipe his mouth and his dress) you dey craze? Ehn Mama Tombra? Why you dey shout for me like that? I be your mate? Na your mouth I dey take talk? Na your mouth I dey take drink? Abi na your belle I dey drink am put? See as you don make me to waste this foreign Ogogoro now! (Points at his stained dress)

Mama Tombra: Why you dey drink like animal? (Mimics how Old Soja gaggles his drink) you think say na Village you dey with your drunkard friends? You no see our in-laws here? Why you too dey like to fall hand sef?

Old Soja: (Exclaims) Tamuno eh! Why I go shame for my in-laws? Dem be strangers? If to say you sabi the worth of the Ogogoro wey I dey drink so, you go understand why I dey drink am with impact! (Emphasises the word ‘Impact’)

Mama Tombra: Impact? Wetin dey bring that one now?

Old Soja: Yes! (Stands up, sways to and fro, obviously tipsy) yes Impact! Push me, I push you! If you sabi wetin this Ogogoro dey do me as e enter my body, then you go understand why I dey charge like that! Before I swallow am, I need to shake am well- well for my mouth so that the drink go don confuse before e enter my belle! If you think say I dey lie, drink am nah! This one wey una dey drink so na woman ogogoro, na only twelve percent alcohol e get! This one wey I dey drink get forty five percent! We be mate? Oya take small from my own drink! (he lifts up his bottle and approaches the Wife, picks up her glass and empties the content in his mouth without ‘impact’ then he pours some drink from his bottle into his wife’s glass and hands the glass back to her) Oya drink am if you strong! Drink it and see Impact! (Mama Tombra drinks from the glass and swallows, she attempts to take another sips but suddenly clutches her chest)

Mama Tombra: (Screams) Fire! Fire! Water! Water! I don die o! (She runs into the room coughing as husband jumps about excited)

Old Soja: (Pointing at her direction) Impact! Impact! You see what I mean? (Asks the others) That is the ‘Impact’! (He continues to laugh as Ogiri’s Uncle looks at him with scorn shaking his head sadly with disapproval, Tombra notices this)

Tombra: Papa! Sit down! When you go back to the village, you can continue with your drama!

(Old Soja apologizes and sits down stifling laughter by covering his mouth)

Old Soja: (Jumps up swaying to and fro) ehen! Where were we? He drinks some more whisky and gaggles again)Ahgh!(Shakes his head vigorously, shuts his eyes tight and opens them very wide, he shakes his head again and close and opens his eyes) Yes! We are good to go! Go on my Boy!  Did you say you now have a job! That is good! Very good!

Ogiri: (Cuts in) No sir! I am yet to get a job! The problem why I called you here is that my Wife has been so uncooperative since I lost my Job. Even after loosing my job, I still carried the family with my savings. Now the Kids are going back to school and I begged my Wife to help in paying their School fees but she declined! She swore she will not pay their fees! (Mama Tombra walks back into the forum with a hand kerchief cleaning her eyes with her mouth wide open; she goes to sit down while Old Soja begins to mock her) Mama Sorry o! Hope you are better now? (Mama nods her head) My wife has a thriving business, I am out of Job! And she refuses to help out at a time like this! I have called this family because I do not want to take some actions that I would later regret! I can take some drastic action! (Old Soja interrupts)

Old Soja: (Flares up, stands up swaying) Drastic what? Hic, you be Obasanjo? Hic, what drastic actions can a jobless man take other that to go and get a job sharp! Sharp! Hic. (He grabs his bottle to pour some drink but the Wife rushes and collects the bottle from him, there is a struggle and he let go of the bottle) ehen! Mr. Drastic! Hic, you say wetin? (Staggers to and fro)

Tombra: Papa! E do! Sit down! (He sits down)

Mama Tombra: (To Ogiri) My brother! No vex I beg! This drink you gave my husband is too strong for him nah! The alcohol is 45 percent!

Tombra: it is Old Soja that choose the drink himself o! Nobody gave it to him; he went to the shelf himself and selected that particular brand.

Old Soja: (Stands up swaying) hic, all these other ones na woman drink! Hic, na dat one be the correct drink! Hic. I remember when I was in 103 Battalion! Hic, dem sabi me for the mammy Market! Those days we dey drink raw Ogogoro from fire! We dey, hic.

Tombra: Papa! (Old Soja sits down)

Uncle Joe: (Stands up and clears his throat) my in-laws, una welcome once again! Please what we are here for today is a serious issue and I think we should tackle it seriously.

Old Soja: (Jumps up staggering) tackle? Who are you? (Points at Uncle Joe) are you Austin Eguavon? You want to tackle me seriously? I will shoot you seriously! Hic, in fact I don’t need to waste my bullet on a bloody civilian like you! I will flog you, flog your Wife and wait for your Children! Are you mad? When I was in the Army, during the civil war, a man tried to tackle me at, hic, Umunede, we were advancing towards Onitsha then, hic, and I killed him with only one bullet!

Uncle Joe: My wife Tombra, I think you should calm your father down, it seems he listens to you alone. What kind of attitude is he displaying here? In fact I am highly disappointed to say the least!

Old Soja: (Flares up) hic, you are mad! You are a, hic, goat! Are you feeding me? You say I disappoint you! Who the hell are you? (Advances dangerously towards Uncle Joe but is restrained by Tombra) Are you the one that bought the Ogogoro? You People want to cage my Daughter! Lazy family all of you! (Points and staggers towards Ogiri) you! Hic, you are a jealous fellow! Hic. My Daughter is drastically building me a duplex in the village! Hic.

Tombra: Papa!

Old Soja: yes! That is why he is jealous! Hic. What do you have here? (Looks the sitting room over) a common Bungalow! Hic. My daughter is building something twice this Bungalow! That is why you want her money! You want her to start paying School fees! From there she will start buying clothes for you and your family! See dem! See dem! See their heads like Coconuts! You people are not ashamed of your selves. Hic. You want to turn my Daughter to a man!

Ogiri: Oh Tombra! So you are building a hose with out my knowledge? Is that why you couldn’t assist to pay your Kid’s fees? Is the house more important than the future of our Children? I can’t believe this! That means you have been a pretender all this while! And you go to Church regularly o! Even house fellowships you do not miss! So you are building a house behind my back?

Old Soja: Yes it is remaining roofing! Hic. And you want her to use the money to pay School fees? When we have already fixed a date for the house warming ceremony? Hic. Old boy no body can stop that ceremony o! Hic. Mama Tombra! Where is my drink? He goes for Uncle Joe’s drink and gulps down the content of the glass cup that was half filled. (Faces Uncle Joe) bloody Civilian! Who are you to drink when I am not drinking? Coconut head! All of una for this una family, una heads be like Coconut! (Points at Uncle Joes head, then Mama Joes head and then Ogiri’s head) Family of Coconut! (He gulps down the content of Mama Joe’s glass too, Uncle Joe wants to intervene but is stopped by Ogiri) wetin you want to do? You wan fight me? (He staggers to his seat)

 

Mama Tombra:  (To Ogiri) my Brother, I beg you in the name of God (She kneels down) I am at a loss here, kindly ignore Papa Tombra’s attitude and utterances; he is drunk as you can see! He was not like this until lately when Tombra started sending money home for the building Project. Are you not aware that Tombra is building a House for us in the Village?

Ogiri: (Shakes his head and pulls her up) no ma! I am just hearing of it today!

MamaTombra: yee! (Faces Tombra) Tombra eh! Tombra is it true? Your husband is not aware of the house you are building?

Tombra: (Shrugs indifferently) it is my money! I can do what ever pleases me with it!

Mama Tombra: You are building a duplex for us in the Village, yet you cannot assist your husband in paying your Children’s School fees! I am not a party to this! I will not step my foot into that house unless you change your ways and start supporting your husband!

Tombra: They are his Children! They bear his name!

Mama Tombra: what about you? Don’t you bear his name? Are you no longer his wife?

Old Soja rushes from his sitting position to the centre of the sitting room and begins to vomit. There is pandemonium in the house.

 

Exit

 

 

 

 

 

ACT 4 SCENE 1

(Ogiri’s sitting room, the two Kids are busy at the dinning table with their home works. Ogiri enters)

Joshua: Daddy welcome! Good evening!

Ogiri: Good evening Josh! How are you?

Daniella; (Comes to hug Daddy) welcome Daddy!

Ogiri: How are you my pretty Angel? Where is your Mother?

Joshua: She has gone to Church for fellowship! Daddy, they say we should not come to School tomorrow!

Ogiri: why? Because of your School fees abi?

Daniella: Yes Daddy! We were called out today at the assembly ground for non payment of School fees! It was so embarrassing!

Ogiri: did you tell your Mother?

Joshua: mummy came to pick us from School and our Bursar saw her and told her personally.

Ogiri: and what did she say?

Daniella: she said we should tell you! She said you have the money to pay our fees but you do not want to pay it.

Ogiri: My God! Is that what she said?

Joshua: yes Daddy! We reminded her that you are jobless but she threatened to slap any one of us that says so again!

Ogiri: how much is the total fees?

Joshua: mine is seventy two thousand naira and Danny’s own is sixty four thousand naira. The total is em, em, one hundred and thirty six thousand naira!

Ogiri: Okay! I will give you the money tomorrow, but don’t tell your mother about it yet!

Daniella: Daddy but you said you do not have money! So mummy was right after all?

Ogiri: I can raise the money for your fees my dear, but after paying the fees, things will get worse for us, especially me!

Daniella: how daddy?

Ogiri: I will become penniless! I will have no dime left to feed on! I am sure your mother will not allow you Guys to go hungry, but for me, the Lord is my Shepherd!

Joshua: but Daddy, why is mummy behaving like this to you? Was it not you that opened the Shop for her when I was ten years old? I remember nah!

Daniella: mummy must be wicked!

Ogiri: no! No Danny! Do not say that about your mother, she is only going through a process called metamorphosis! When jungle mature, who no know go know!

Joshua: Mummy has a lot of money Daddy! Every day at the Shop she counts a lot of money! Why can’t she help you out?

Ogiri: my Son, women are like Children, give a Child a piece of Cake and try to collect part or all of it, you will see drama!

Daniella: ahan! How will you give a Kid cake and you want to collect it back! Is it fair?

Ogiri: good! Joshua, you heard your Sister abi?

Joshua: yes sir!

Ogiri: that is a woman for you! Don’t you know that the Person that gave you Cake and wants to collect part or all of it has a good reason for doing so? Well, no wahala! (Walks towards the room and looks at the lights) this light! Is it NEPA or Generator?

Joshua: it is generator sir!

Ogiri: ha! Why not wait until seven o’clock before putting it on?

Joshua: we need it to do our assignments and home works!

Ogiri: you can still do your home work at night nah! It is just past four o’clock and you have already put on the generator! Do we still have fuel in the fifty litre jerry can?

Daniella: Joshua poured the last one into the Gen!

Ogiri: hmm, you Children don’t know what you are up against! Look! I don’t have money, I am broke! After paying this School fees of your, I will be left on nothing! I will become a beggar until I get a job. You Children are used to a life of surplus but my dear, levels don change o! Your mother that I know would rather buy fuel for her Generator at the Shop instead of the one at home. Go and put off that Gen until night!

(Joshua reluctantly leaves the room grumbling)

Daniella: daddy, did you buy anything for me?

Ogiri: how? Anything from where nah? Did I go to work? Don’t you understand all that I have been going through in this house? I am a jobless man! I am getting desperate now! (Storms out of the house, Daniella feels embarrassed and begins to sob as she enters the room)

 

Fade

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Posted in Burning Platform, Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Prose, Stories

The Abandoned Child…Season 6

CHAPTER 9

 

Welcome to the real world Bolaji! I saw this coming when that woman started giving you lame excuses about your money. I knew something was amiss! My dear, no one gives a damn if you are an orphan or if you are somehow incapacitated, whether you are duped or swindled, no one cares! You are even lucky you could still raise some money from your grandmas’ properties! Even with the little money with you, you are still better off than millions of people in this country! Some people will still rob you off that money with you after listening to your pathetic story. My boy, this world is a battle field!

 

I was expecting to hear consolatory words from Mr. Adegoke but these words of his were strange and it left me confused.

My boy! He continued; it is all left to you to make a difference! To change your story and your situation! Life is like a relay race competition, grab your baton and bolt! Don’t look back! You may stumble and fall! Don’t look back! The facial construction and determination of the other mans’ face may scare you and you loose hope in your own ability! Even if you fall, even if your baton drops, pick it up and continue the race! Remain focused, gun for the finish line tape and ensure you complete the race!

 

He paused in his pace to and fro the office, and then he looked at me with an expression I could not interpret

 

Bolaji! He called

Sir!

Do you know you can make a difference in this world?

No sir!

Get an education! Never back down! With education, you can make a difference in today’s world!

But sir, how can I get an education with what has happened to me! I have narrated my ordeal in the village to you; I have lost all hopes of survival financially. The scholarship granted to me only covers tuition fees alone.

 

Hmm, Bolaji! Do not focus on the problem any longer, it will build up negative energy in you and that can destroy you. Don’t allow what happened too confuse and throw you back to the dirt’s Modupe said you always fall back to! You will never be able to forge ahead when you wallow too long in the wilderness of negativity and impossibility, in the abyss of sorrow and disappointments! Then you will be stuck down there!

Free your self my boy! They may have stolen your money but not your brains! They may have cheated you but you still have a chance at life! You are alive my man! Use your brains! Sometime ago you could barely speak English! Sometime ago you could barely solve a simple mathematical equation! Sometime ago you could not eat with a set of cutlery except your bare hands! But look at you today! You are refined; you are one of the best students in the school! My boy! Show the world that you are born to succeed! Get an education at all cost! If you must slave to get an education, then slave it! If you have to hunger and thirst to get an education, then so be it! My boy! You have got potentials and I do not want you to blow it! If you have to be humiliated, abused and trodden upon to get an education, face it! As long as it does not kill you, you shall overcome.

Bolaji stand up! He snapped.

I stood up! I was charged. I felt goose pimples all over me.

Say after me Bolaji; I will succeed!

I will succeed! I replied

Say it like you mean it! I can’t hear you!

I will succeed sir!

No! No! No! You are not talking to me! Say it to Bolaji Afolabi! Say it to yourself, you will succeed!

I will succeed! I will succeed! I said repeatedly beating my chest and meaning every word of it and that instant, I made up my mind to let go of the past and move on with my life taking each day as it comes but with a determination to be the best.

 

I moved into Mr. Adegoke’s boy’s quarters during the holidays and I attended extra tutorial lessons. I was a science student. My friend Kazeem opted for the social sciences because he wanted to be an accountant like his farther. I wanted to be an engineer so I stuck to the pure sciences.

 

My senior secondary school years were very engaging as I buried myself in my books. I continued to be the class captain and in SS3 I was made the school’s senior prefect. I represented the school in all academic competitions and we excelled. My spoken English improved tremendously and I lost a lot of my Ekiti accent, though not totally.

 

Mr. Adegoke combined farming with his teaching profession, so during my holidays, I assisted him in the farm. He had a daughter and a son who were still very young and were in primary school. I was like a younger brother to him and he offered me shelter, food and protection. He was not super rich, but he was comfortable, he was also studying on part time at the University of Ibadan for his post graduate degree.

 

I continued to top my class, I was an overall ‘A’ student and when I wrote my senior secondary certificate examination (SSCE) in 1990 (The first set to write SSCE) I was very hopeful of a good result. After my SSCE I was living with Mr. Adegoke helping out in the farm and working part time as a teacher at the Tutorial School I attended. I was teaching junior classes and SS1 students.

 

My joy was full the day Mr. Goke came back from work and brought out a sheet of paper from his bag, he stretched the paper at me grinning from ear to ear. See your result! He said; my heart beat skipped an instant as I held my breath and clasped my hand over my mouth in shock. I was scared but for the smiles on his face, then he said congratulations my boy! You made me proud. I quickly glanced at the paper and all I could see was ‘A’ parallel! Even in yoruba language.

You are the overall best he told me as I leapt into his opened arms. I know you could do it! I know you could do it! He said patting my back as I cried for joy.

His wife came out and saw us; she collected the sheet of paper from me and glanced at it.

Jesu Christi o! She screamed; ‘A’ parallel! How come? Come! Come! Come! She hugged me and congratulated me. Wow! Congratulations BJ! You are indeed a genius! She said. My joy was indescribable. What remained then was my JAMB result. I had opted to study electrical and electronics engineering at the federal university of technology Owerri (FUTO). Mr. Adegoke said that FUTO was one of the best universities to study electrical engineering in Nigeria. I was optimistic that I would also do well.

 

Two months later, the result of the JAMB examination came out and I scored far above the cut off point for electrical and electronics engineering department.

 

The day that Mr. Goke brought home my admission letter from his mail box was the day some banks in Nigeria were announced to have gone distressed and it included the bank that granted me scholarship from secondary to university level, and even promised me a job upon graduation.

All the branches of the bank in Ibadan were sealed up. Security men were detailed at the banks to prevent people that have converged at the banks from having access to the few staff available at the bank. Mr. Goke took two days off work and together we travelled to the head office of the bank at Akure city. We met some officials at the bank and when we presented my case, we were told that the bank had seized to exist as a corporate entity, in other words, the bank is dead! The bank has no obligation to anything or anybody until the courts say otherwise. We returned to Ibadan exhausted and disappointed. Even Mr. Goke for the first time since I met him lacked words to use and encourage me as I cried. He allowed me to cry.

 

It was hard to imagine how my hope that was raised so high was squashed and my life was turning into a quagmire of sadness and confusion. Where do I go next? What do I do? Mr. Adegoke was just managing with his nuclear family and still sponsoring himself at school. I could not afford to be an additional burden to him, he cannot sponsor me in school for he does not have the resources.

 

I fell sick; I was hospitalized and discharged after five days at the hospital. I lost hope, I lost appetite and I lost the zeal to move on. After struggling and burning my candles at both ends in order to gain admission into the university, here I am with no means to survive in the university.

 

I was fully recovered two months going when Mr. Goke woke me up from sleep in the middle of the night and told me to prepare to leave for Owerri in the morning.

He said I should take my destiny in my hands and move on to face the world. He brought out some money and gave to me. It was the money I realized four years ago when I sold of grandma’s properties. I had given it to him for safe keeping but I assumed he must have spent it all these years while taking care of me in his house.

 

Take this money and go to Owerri to claim your destiny! Do not allow any obstacle or force on earth to stop you from being the man God has made you to be. Just go and get your self registered first! Then look around you and find a means of survival. You could survive by teaching your fellow students and helping them in assignments and projects! Write to me regularly and let me know how you are doing, my wife and I will always pray for you. I do not have money to give to you but take my advice seriously and dare to succeed.

“Dare to succeed” that was why I left Ibadan the next day and travelled all the way down to the eastern part of Nigeria on my own. To dare to succeed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 10

 

1991-University environment was so different from any environment I have been in my twenty two years of existence. It was a case of multi socio-cultural mix up.

 

No one gave a damn about my age! In fact I was not the oldest in my class of seventy students at 100 levels. I had married men and women as class mates! I had my age mates and younger ones too, no one cared about age and that feeling was soothing to me unlike what I passed through in my secondary school where my class mates and the whole school tagged me an uncle.

 

The social life was something else though. I had to adapt. For instance, I needed to stop bowing too low or try to prostrate while greeting someone that is older than me. I needed to curtail the excessive use of “yes sir” while discussing with an older one, be it student or lecturer, I could start a sentence with “yes sir” and end it with “sir” it was strange to the eastern people when I discuss with and older person and show so much respect. They laugh at me, they say I am local.

 

Another thing I observed here was the public show of affection between male and female students. I was always carried away when I see a boy and a girl taking a walk hand in hand or worse still when a girl seats on the lap of a boy discussing in public. I would forget myself and mope at them until they either shout at me or they shy away from my presence. It was not easy for me to stop looking at skimpily dressed ladies exposing their luscious cleavages and thighs in public, people were so free. No class prefect or school prefect to bully you.  The class captains here were mere stooges for the lecturers.

 

There were joints where we go to buy snacks and soft drinks. One could also go to town in the evening to drink alcohol or whatever pleases you. The evenings were my favourite moments as I would go out and sit close the school gate to watch the array of visitors trooping in and out of the school to pick up our girls. I saw exotic cars in their numbers; cars I had thought only existed in foreign movies, porch cars with convertible roof blaring out loud music and occupants dressed like movies Stars.

I would watch girls dressed for the night walk out of the school gate to board taxis to town. My favourite sit out was at Mallam Musa’s Kiosk close to the gate, I normally buy groundnut or biscuit and a bottle of Fanta as I sit and feed my eyes.

 

In my first year, I rarely went to the school joint. It was not meant for my type. I had no money to spare, the two times I went there was on invitation by a friend called Maduka. He had insisted I accompanied him there for a snack. When we got there, it was a beehive of activities. Every table was occupied with students’ spending money, eating and drinking. We had to wait for some students to finish eating and leave before we took over the chairs they sat on. I saw a student commanding the waitress to serve about seven other students seated around him with whatever they want.

I also saw wastage of food and drinks. Many of the girls that ate at the joint did not eat up their snacks, they barely drank half of the soft drink and bite off half of the snacks, the only item I know they ate up was meat. I hardly saw any left over stick meat. I wished I could pack up all the left over’s and take to my room. It would do me for a couple of days.

 

Year one was like an extension of secondary school. I did so well in my courses because I was already good in physics and other science subjects before entering the university.

 

The school was quite affordable because it is a federal government school. I was in the dormitory and we ate at the refectory while some of us cooked. I did both.

 

Mr. Adegoke and I were still in touch through letter writing and I always looked forward to reading from him.

Yes! Lest I forget, I had problems pronouncing the names of Igbo friends, names that starts with “Chi” I would pronounce as “she” it was practically impossible for me to change that tone, even when I tried to pronounce it right and it sounds right to my hearing, they still laugh at me and said I couldn’t get it right. I would call Ikesukwu instead of Ikechukwu. It irritated some of them and they would rather I called their English names while it amused others. All in all, it earned me the name “Omo Yoruba” in my first year. I am Yoruba by tribe and my accent stood out.

In the hostel I was quiet and reserved. I do not exceed my boundary, I do not mingle. I simply coil up in my bunk and dig into my books. Mr. Adegoke had told me that I needed to start working on my grades from my first day in school so I do no miss classes, I do not miss assignments and tests and when the second semester result was published, the name “Omo” became a force to be reckoned with. I cleared all “A”s and my CGP was 5.0.

 

I stayed back in the hostel during the holiday. I had no where to go to. Few students stayed back also. My money had run down and I was wondering how I would cope in my second year when school resumes. I could still pay my school and departmental fees, but then I would be left with very little to feed.

 

I went into town; I walked the length of Okigwe road to World Bank area looking for anything until I saw a vacancy advert posted on a gate. It read “Holiday Tutors wanted “. I knocked at the gate; it was a private school that needed Science teachers for students on holiday as well as preparatory classes for SSCE and JAMB examinations. I got the offer to teach Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics to SS1 and SS2 students. I started work immediately. It was fun and engaging but the pay was good. I solved every question the students threw at me to test my capability because I looked young and inexperienced.

Within two weeks of my working at the school, the number of students doubled. I have my ways of teaching that it made the student to want to be in my class, I told them that if a Village man like me with the least support in life could clear all “A”s in my SSCE then it should be an easy ride for them that are in the City and have every family support they need. I made the students to solve equations themselves. I gave them home works and the next day we solve it together. The students looked forward to my jokes and my accent too, but in all, they got to love the subjects that I taught.

 

The most important aspect of teaching was that it also opened an avenue for me to research and improves on myself. I had to read wider to prepare for those naughty students who liked to disgrace lecturers by bringing problems that are out of the curriculum for the lecturer to solve. Some will ask irrelevant question just to embarrass the Teacher. These were children of the elites in Owerri. Spoilt Kids.

 

I made more money during the November General Certificate Examination GCE. The private school where I taught during the holidays was an examination centre for the GCE. The proprietor hired me to assist the students that were writing the examination at his centre. I was kept in a secured room and question papers from the examination hall were brought to me to solve and provide answers for the students. I went on different days to provide answers for Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics questions. I was sure the Students would clear those subjects with “A”s. except the student that refuse to pay up. I was rewarded handsomely for my effort and on resumption for school in 1992 at the age of twenty three, I was ready for school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Burning Platform, Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Poems, POLITICS, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The Abandoned Child Season 4

CHAPTER 7

 

We resumed school in October 1986 for the transitional term in preparation for the new 6334 academic system promulgated by the federal ministry of education. This implied that we would be staying 6 years in secondary school instead of the former 5 years but those students already in forms 4 and 5 would graduate after five years. Modupe would graduate this session.

 

Modupe was appointed the Girls senior prefect of the school and my friends were congratulating because of my supposed affiliation with her. I could not really tell what I did to Modupe that made her change towards me, I have thought it over without any clue so I decided to keep my distance from her to avoid further embarrassment.

 

There was a day Modupe was going from classroom to classroom with her cane in hand looking for noise makers or any non conformer. She entered my class, I was discussing an assignment with Kazeem but we all stood up and greeted her. She waved the class to sit down and she pointed the cane at Kazeem and me.

 

You two! Stand up! Come out here! She commanded

 

We went to the front of the class

 

Why were you two disturbing the class? She asked

Senior, we were not disturbing, we were working on an assignment! Kazeem replied.

Shut up! Big head! She barked. Do you do assignments with hands or your mouth? Oya, the two of you, go and kneel in the sun kia! Kia! (Quickly) she commanded.

 

There was a soft wave of murmuring in the class room.

What is it? She asked the class; or do you all want to go outside and kneel with them? She asked

 

Yes! Yes! The class chorused. Uncle is our Class Monitor and he does not make noise! Someone dare to say amongst the students.

Who is talking? Come outside this minute! Modupe commanded angrily.

 

It was Joseph that came out, the boy I slapped sometime ago.

 

Oh! You have the guts to talk any how to me abi? Modupe queried.

 

But senior, the class was quiet when you came in, and even if uncle B was talking, it was on a low tone and moreover, he is our class captain! Joseph explained.

 

By the way, who is uncle B? Modupe asked him, though she knew he was referring to me.

 

Uncle B! Uncle! The class chorused, pointing at me.

 

Modupe turned to face me; she poked my chest with her cane.

Hey! They say you are uncle B! Are you not ashamed of your self? Your age mates are in the university and here you are with the age mates of your children! And you are happy that they call you uncle! Agbaya lasan lasan! (Old fool) my friend, go out! Go out and kneel in the sun with your hands up in the sky! She screamed as she flogged every part of my body with the cane. We ran out of the class onto the open field and quickly knelt down. Hands up! Hand up! She was upon us flogging frantically. We obeyed even as we tried to block the canes with our outstretched arms.

Where is that other foolish one that has a big mouth to talk to me any how? She screamed as she charged back into out class room. She flogged Joseph out of the class to out kneeling position.

Common kneel down! Kneel down! You know how to talk abi?

Joseph joined us weeping and writhing in pain.

 

She did not come back to release us until the close of school when students were rushing to the assembly ground that my English language teacher saw us and told us to stand up and proceed to the assembly ground.

 

There was another instance when some of us came to class in the morning. The school’s time regulator was the duty prefect and she told us to kneel down as punishment for coming late. Modupe came around and saw that I was amongst the kneeling students: she immediately summoned the Labour prefect and instructed him to take us to the school football field with our Langalanga (long flexible cutlass) to cut grass through out the day. We missed classes that day.

 

Severally I contemplated confronting Modupe to ask her to forgive me in whatever form I have wronged her but anytime I see her, my heart beat skips and I scurry away before she sees me. My social life in class 2 was very poor and bitter because of my fear for Modupe.

I also recall the day she disgraced me in the presence of the whole school during our monthly “social night” gathering that holds in the school hall every last Saturday of the month. I was representing class 2 in the “Mr. Macho” competition and have scaled two rounds of screening already.

 

It was my third and last round of flexing muscles and posing amidst cheers and cat cries from the students. I was sure of victory as my shiny body glistered under the florescent bulbs that laminate the hall. We had rubbed our bodies with Vaseline jelly. After my act, I got a resounding ovation and I was all smiles until it was time for the oral interview. The judges of course were a selection of school prefects. I was given a wireless micro phone to answer questions directed at me.

It was the social prefect that asked me the first and only question that shattered my night.

 

Bolaji! Aka uncle B! He called and the hall went agog again chanting uncle B!

Uncle B!

 

He gestured for the students to calm down and he continued; if you win the 1000 naira prize for this competition and you are told to give it to any girl of your choice in this school, who would be?

 

It was a simple question and I answered quickly;

Of course I would give it to my sister the SP girls!

 

Modupe got up from her seat and walked briskly to snatch the microphone from the social prefect.

 

Who is your sister? She asked me: are you okay?

 

SP! I said calmly, are you no longer my sister? Are we not from the same village?

 

Look! Look! Look! She countered, pointing at me; I know where I am from o! I know my village very well.  My father told me everything about my lineage before he died and you or your family was not mention by my father! Look! I know my father and I know my mother! Do you know yours? Answer me! She challenged, do you know your father or your mother?

 

I was answering her but the words did not come out as I took the microphone to my mouth to speak. My tongue felt glued to roof of my mouth. I desperately struggled to say something but the words weren’t coming out.

 

Oh you can’t talk abi? She continued; please for your information and to set the records straight, I am not from the same town with you! You were brought from Lagos at birth by your prostitute mother and dumped with your retired prostitute grand mother before your mother ran back to Lagos to continue her profession! Is it true or false!?

 

The whole hall went wild with laughter. She handed the microphone back to the stunned social prefect. I wished for the earth to open up and swallow me as I stood there in shame wearing only a boxer and crying with my glistering face. It was Kazeem that came from the crowd and pulled me back stage. Once back stage I broke down and wept like a hungry baby

 

You brought this upon your self uncle B! Kazeem said.

How? I asked crying

You know this girl does not like you! Couldn’t you have called any other girl in the school or any of our class girls? Why someone whom you and I know hates your guts? Kazeem asked

 

Kazeem, how am I to know she resents me that much? I did not do anything to Modupe that would make her humiliate me so badly. Do you know that the fortune my retired prostitute grand mother left for me is with Modupe’s mother? She invested it in her business. I gave her my everything so she could be a mother to her children and me. Her mother and mine were child hood friends.

I also gave Modupe’s mother the reward our state government gave me for helping to recover some stolen bank money. During the last holiday, I asked her mother for some money but she told me my money was put in a fixed deposit and was not mature for withdrawal. She said she put my two hundred thousand naira in a fixed deposit account! What about the raw cash my granny left for me that she invested into her business? Couldn’t she spare me some pocket money while I was on holiday? I did not pry further because I felt she may not have physical cash with her. I had to word as a hired labourer in other people’s farms in other to have some pocket money while on holiday. I wailed as I explained all these to Kazeem. Ha! See how Modupe finished me publicly in my nakedness!

 

I did not return to the stage, I wiped my body dry with a towel and went into my class room to think about certain facts about my life. Like, who is my real father? What is my real surname? Where is my mother? What does she even look like? Why did she not look back and come for me after all these years even after being told that her mother had died? What does she think had become of me? Does she have other children? Who really am I?

 

Those were the questions I asked Mr. Adegoke my English language teacher when I narrated my experience on the social night to him in his office on Monday morning during recess.

 

He felt so sad and expressed his disappointment at modupe’s attitude towards me. However, he gave me some words of encouragement. He told me not to focus on all the negative issues in my life, he mentioned some notable citizens of the world and Nigeria in particle who had very terrible childhood. He encouraged me to try and re-write my story so that my children will not go through what I have gone through in life. He said to me “Bolaji, you do not have any one in this world except your self” the only way you can change your story is to be the best in all that you do! “Failure is a bastard but success has many relatives” you must succeed! You must pass your WAEC in flying colours! You must go to the university! You must graduate with first class honours! With these, you will get a good job! When you get a good job and you are comfortable then you will see another face of the human specie! Once you are successful, you will realize how important you will be! Every one that has mocked you will swallow their words shamelessly! Even the so called Modupe will worship you and she will apologize for all she has done to you. She will try to justify all the wrong she did you. That is human being for you. But do not allow Modupe to shatter your dream rather let it challenge you. I bet you Bolaji, when you become someone in life, your elusive mother will go through the desert to reach you! Bet with me! He gave me his right little finger, I gave him mine and we betted. He gave me a pat on the back as he stood up and walked out of his office. I have a class to teach after the recess, he said.

Mr. Adegoke’s words were like the balm I needed to heal up. I made up my mind then to be more close to Kazeem so he could help me to improve in my academics.

By the end of class 2, I passed with an overall average of 88%. I got an A in English language and a B in mathematics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Poems, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The Abandoned Child. Season 3

CHAPTER 5

 

 

At the age of fourteen, most of my age mates were in secondary school while some where learning various trades and skills. I was still living with Pharaoh without a future ambition. I get up daily and go hunting, perhaps I was a hunter, I do sell some of my spoils some times: I was not allowed to use a Dane gun by the hunters association because of my age so I use my snares and my dog as weapons supported by my machete.

 

The money I saw in mama’s box was still there, I do not really know what to do with it and because we were not friends before she died, I felt her spirit could haunt me if I misuse the money.

 

Five months after the incident at the house on the hill top, the children of Baba Oloro came to my house and killed Pharaoh. Pharaoh was sleeping peacefully under the cashew tree beside my house when the eldest son of Baba Oloro beheaded him with one swift; he put Pharaoh’s head in a bag and said it will be used to appease “Ogun” the god of iron. They accused Pharaoh of biting their father on his way to his farm and infected him with rabbis and tetanus; they threatened to kill me if I make further trouble.

 

It was like a dream, why is everyone close to me leaving me alone in this world?, my mum, my grandma and now my dog!, I was just tired. I could not do anything. I was an Orphan and a desolate one at that. I mourned the death of my dog the way I never mourned the death of anyone I ever knew, I felt so lonely in the house without Pharaoh.

 

I began to wonder why Baba Oloro had lied about the venue of his encounter with Pharaoh. Baba Oloro died two days after Pharaoh was killed, it was Modupe’s mother that ran to my house and dragged me to her house so that I could escape the wrath of Baba Oloro’s children, and she said the children were on their way to my house.

 

They went to my house but did not meet me so they left after destroying some part of my house. I was with Modupe’s mother in her late father’s house for fourteen days before I came back to my house. Modupe’s mother happened to be a childhood friend of my mother, her husband was killed during an inter community wrestling competition, his opponent killed him with bare hands by dealing repeated punches to his stomach, he was left gasping for breath till he died  on the pitch at the village square. Modupe’s mother did not remarry; she focused on her business and on training her three children. She took me in as a son and advised me on the way to go about my life, she was shocked to realize that I had no future ambition and I was shocked at her attitude because no one ever showed such care towards me.

 

Modupe was already in form three in a secondary school at Ibadan, she comes home during the holidays, she told me a lot about school and encouraged me to endeavor to go to school, it was while she was encouraging me to go to school that her mother interjected and reminded her that there was no money for anyone to send me to school. I remembered grandma’s money and I told her that I have a lot of money left by my grandma.

 

After spending two weeks with Modupe, I went home with her to see the extent of damages done by Baba Oloro’s children, it was superficial, we went straight to mama’s cash box, it was intact, I upturned it’s content so as to count the money, beneath the money was my picture as a child and a note written by my grandma that the money in the box was for my education. In case she passes on before I entered secondary school. That was the day I mourned my grandma, I cried like a baby, how could I have known grandma had such love and plans for me? In the midst of her sufferings and sickness she still had plans for me, in the midst of the hunger and wretchedness she kept her window’s mite for a better future for me.

 

Modupe tried to console me, she cried with me too as we counted the money. We counted until we got confused at the total amount. I went to Mama’s grave and begged for her forgiveness for all the pains I had dealt her in her life time, I begged her for everyday she had hungered and thirsted for my sake, I beg her to forgive all my pranks and wickedness I had meted on her. If grandma had not died, I would be in my third year in the secondary school. The money in the box could see me through five years in a standard boarding school!

 

Together with Modupe, we took the money to her mother and explained the note and the picture found beneath the box. She contributed her own portion of tears as she blessed the old soul of grandma five years after her death!

 

We decided that I go to my former school and collect my first school leaving certificate and testimonial. I went there at the resumption of school and some teachers were laughing at me when I told them I needed my credentials to further my education. Mr. Makinde even joked about my wanting to sell the certificate to a more ambitious person. I simply told him that it was my property and I needed it for keeps.

 

In my quiet time, I ruminated over the house on the hill top and the mystery surrounding it, most especially why Baba Oloro was there that night, a place dreaded by all, and why anything didn’t happen to me and Pharaoh having been that close to the house.

Alabi and his gang had all vanished into thin air mysteriously after a heist that they carried out at national Bank in Akure. The operation had brought armed police men and soldiers to our small village looking for Alabi and the gang. For six months the gang was living in the farm house of Baba Oloro deep in the forest, it was known to the villagers but no one could tell the police.

After six months, we started noticing Alabi’s presence in his house only at nights. On a fateful night, there were sporadic gun shots and screams coming from the house on the hill top, we thought the police had finally caught up with the gang. People that went to the scene the next day said there were shallow graves freshly dug and the motor bikes coupled with blood stains littering the compound. That was the last we heard of Alabi and his gang followed by the strange attacks on anyone that ventured into the house. We also noticed that the Motor bikes disappeared over the years and grasses took over the compound.

 

What most of the villagers did not notice was that Baba Oloro suddenly came into wealth over the years; he withdrew his children from the village school and sent them to school in the city. Even his first two sons were rumoured to be schooling in the white man’s country.

I now understand that only a juju man like Baba Oloro could manipulate malevolent spirits to attack people as had been happening in the house on the hill top so as to scare people from getting access to whatever was hidden therein.

Pharaoh attacked Baba Oloro because dogs could identify evil spirits.

That morning I told Modupe and her mother about my thoughts and we took my story to the police station at Ado Ekiti. After listening to my story, the police accompanied us with an escort pick up van to the house of late Alabi. After the search, huge sum of money in crisp naira notes were discovered locked up in one of the rooms, it ran into millions of naira bearing the band of the national bank Akure.

 

The bank rewarded me with a scholarship throughout my education and an awaiting job upon graduation from the university. The Ondo state government gave me a reward of two hundred thousand naira and promised to rebuild grandma’s house using cement block. I was also given two plots of land out of the reserved portion of the community land.

Suddenly I became a celebrity, I was loved by young and old and I had many friends.

 

I was almost sixteen years old when I left the village for the first time. I left for Ibadan to start from form one in the same boarding school Modupe attends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

I handed the cheque given to me to Modupe’s mother as I have taken her to be my Guardian, she would put the money into her business and train me and her children with it.

 

It was in 1985 that I was admitted into Apata Grammar School in Ibadan as a boarding student. I was sixteen years old and in form one, Modupe was fifteen years and in form four, she would graduate the next year. It was not easy trying to cope at school, my age mates were in form three and above, I had already sprouted a moustache, and my legs were hairy, this made me become a subject of discussion in the school, I clearly stood out amongst my classmates, and sometimes they mischievously refer to me as uncle Bolaji.

 

I was made the class prefect on the first day at school, it was on the assembly ground that the school principal spotted me lined up with form one students, he shouted on top of his voice at me, he said I should leave the line and go to join my mates, he was pointing at the senior students line. The whole assembly rocked with laughter until a teacher went and whispered something to the principal, he then waved the students to a silence and apologized to me publicly, he then asked me the alphabet of my class. Class one B sir I replied. Good! From today, you are the class monitor! He announced and there were shouts of uncle ‘B’ everywhere.

 

Life in boarding school was totally different for me. I had being a free bird all my life, I had lived without bounds or rules and regulations, it was a different ball game here as I was made to wake up at 5.30pm every morning. I was forced to observe afternoon rest daily at 3pm; I was to go to Sunday church service at the school chapel. I had never attended a church or mosque in my sixteen years of existence. We were given portions of food without caring if the ration will satisfy you or not and you cannot ask for more food if you are not satisfied else they tag you ‘Oliver twist’

 

Another challenge I had was that I was too crude and uncivilized, my ways were strange to my fellow students, I was a raw village boy who not speak good English and when I try to speak English my accent made it sound as if I was speaking Jamaican ‘patua’, people laugh whenever I open my mouth to speak and I always had reasons to speak because I was the class monitor.

 

Mr. Adegoke was my English teacher and he took special interest in my reformation, he does not laugh when I commit blunders while speaking, he was quick to correct my errors and made me to correct my self by repeating the words correctly, he personally gave me a book titled”Common errors in English” and gave me home work on it daily. Once he called me into his office and encouraged me to be focused and positive, he said I was catching up fast and I should not take any of the aspersions being cast on me seriously. He said he believed in me. He was the first human being to challenge me and dared me to succeed if I can, he told me that age was just a number and that once I am out of secondary school I will realized that age means nothing at the university or the larger world, he asked after my parent and I told him my story. He then told me that I could rewrite my story if I try, he said he was an orphan too. His words of encouragement moved me and I secretly vowed to succeed in life by becoming more serious and determined

 

Kareem was nine years old and in the same class with me, he calls me ‘egbon’ meaning ‘elder one’. I told him severally to stop calling egbon but he refused. He said he could not bring himself to calling me by my first name because I happen to be the same age with his eldest brother, his father’s first born who was a first year student at the University of Ife, his brother is older than three other persons before him and he reveres his eldest brother. He finally agreed to be calling me ‘Uncle B’ since that has been like a nick name.

 

He was the smallest and smartest in the class and he helped me a lot and in return I protected him from bullies. Every potential bully in the school left him alone the day I slapped Joseph for beating up Kareem at the school farm during Agric practical.

Joseph returned to school the next day with a swollen face and people thought it was because of the slap I had used to send him out of the school farm the previous day. The students had formed a circle with Joseph and Kareem at the centre while they cheered the duo to fight. Kareem was never a match for Joseph or anyone in the class. Kareem was lanky and feeble by stature while Joseph was an Igbo boy that eats fufu three times daily without drinking much water! He was very stout with a barrel like chest. He was sitting on Kareem’s stomach and stuffing dried grass into the poor boys mouth when I came into the farm. I broke the chain formed by the students, lifted Joseph off Kareem and dealt him a blinding slap over his eyes, it was someone else that shouted in pain instead of Joseph himself for he ran blindly out of the farm stumbling and shouting ‘anya m o! (My eyes)

The Joseph incident increased my fame in the school and another ‘alias’ was added to my name ‘Ifoti to gbona’ (hot slap) so the senior students called me ‘ifoti’ while my mates called me ‘Uncle B’ and all these happened in the first term of my first year in school.

At the end of the second term in form one my grade was better than the first term. My total average score went up from 53 to 76 percent. I got a ‘C’ in English language and an ‘A’ in mathematics.

 

Kareem was a wiz kid! His average was 98 percent; he got an A in all subjects but Yoruba language where he got a ‘B’. I got a ‘C’; in Yoruba language even though I spoke the thickest Yoruba in class and knew every adage in the language even more than my teacher.

 

We went for the long vacation of 1986. Modupe and I rarely saw at school because I did not like to be in her company due to inferiority complex. I could not bring myself to call Modupe ‘senior Dupe’ as every junior does. We were from the same Village and I was older than her.

The few times we encountered at the school sports arena, she had tormented me by speaking to me in good English instead of using the ekiti dialect that we were both brought up with, of course she got the good laugh she wanted when I attempted to speak with her in good English also. She even had the audacity to refer to me as her school son once. I warned her in a language only the two of us understood and walked out on her.

 

Our relationship at school affected our closeness when we went home on holiday. I did not return to her house. I went to my grandma’s house and cleaned it up. I went and met Modupe’s mother to give me some of my money for my upkeep, she refused, and she said I should e coming to her house to eat daily. I was about seventeen years old and a boy of my age needs some change in his pocket. She said she had put all of my money in a fixed deposit account at the bank and was not due for withdrawal. I was happy.

 

Modupe has a boy friend. The boy was already in the university, he is from our village and my age mate. He is the son of the ‘Balogun’ a high chief of our village.

Akindele drives his father’s Peugeot 504 Salon Car whenever he is at home and he comes to take Modupe out daily.

I used the holiday period to develop the two plots of land given to me by the community. I planted maize. I was on my way home from the farm one evening when Akindele drove by and stopped to give me a lift home as the farm was about one hour trekking distance from the Village. Modupe was in the car with him and she prevented me from entering the car, she said I was sweating and smelling. She said I was half way home already and would be better I continued trekking. She told Akindele to drive on. I saw the look of confusion on the face of Akindele but I thanked him for his gesture and I continue to walk home with my hoe on the shoulder and my Cutlass swinging in my hands. She was right! I was sweating and smelling, and I was actually half way home.

 

 

 

Posted in Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Poems, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The Abandoned Child (season 2) By Dominic Awoleye

CHAPTER 3

 

Aduke and Larape became the bane in the life of Alabi, the one time best friends became sworn enemies, Larape will not forgive Aduke for her betrayal while Aduke hated Larape for her selfishness. She asks ‘which woman will see the opportunity of marrying a well to do young man like Alabi and not fall for it’? After all, polygamy is not taboo.

 

Competition started among the women. Larape indicated interest in selling “Adire” local fabric, she travels to Abeokuta to make her purchases and she hawks her wares around the city and she had a shop where she displayed her wares on market days, she also visit other villages on their market days.

 

Before long, Aduke also started the same trade, making Larape to be mad. First it was marring her husband and now she had ventured into her trade. Why not choose another trade Larape had challenged her when she first saw Aduke displaying clothes in a new shop at the market square.

Selfish woman! Selfish woman! Was all Aduke kept shouting.

Larape sold off all her clothes and in two weeks, she stopped selling clothes. She left the business for Aduke.

 

The both had three sons each and were ready to have more it not for Alabi that stated running from his wives, he had not planned to have six children in such quick succession but for the women in his life that were trying to out wit each other.

 

Larape started to go round the village collecting money from traders daily for savings and paying them their money upon request or at end of the month after deducting her commission. She uses a bicycle for her trade; she was called ‘Iya alajo’ the mother of thrift.

no sooner had she started the business than her fame went viral throughout the neighboring villages. She had to extend her coverage area to as far as four communities that share boundaries with us. She employed two other women as her assistants she was also a money lender, like her husband, she was notably very rich as could be seen from the glow of her skin and the expensive ‘Aso oke’ jewelries, shoes and bags that she wears.

Aduke’s clothes business did not thrive. It collapsed after six months as the rate of debtors doubled and she did not have any money to continue the trade.

If was when she eventually ventured into the thrift business that everyone known she was really a trouble brewer.

But Larape was far gone into the business, to feel the impact of Aduke’s entry.

Aduke could only muster a handful of clients and after one year in the thrift business, she began to spread malicious rumour about her mate using diabolic means to support her business.

An old woman once asked Aduke to explain how Larape is being diabolic when she collects your money daily and pays it back when due without failing, she advised Aduke to stay off the scandalous path she was taking and mind her own business.

 

Things took a drastic turn when robbers stormed the house on the hill on a fateful night, that night Aduke took her children to sleep in her father house, the thieves’ carted away bags of money belonging to Larape and Alabi. Alabi was supposed to travel into the inter-lands to purchase cocoa seeds by the next day, Larape was supposed to start paying off her clients their dues the next day being the last day of the month, a lot of money was in the house, and as if taking all of money was not enough, the thieves stabbed Larape to death and carried her three children out of their beds and dumped them inside the well full of water Alabi was beaten to stupor but his life was spared.

 

Our people have a saying that “when the witch cried at night and the next day, a baby is dead, every one would know it is the witch that killed the baby” so it was obvious that Aduke had a hand in the tragedy that took place in Alabi’s house.

 

That was how Alabi became a dare devil that tortured the village for two years before he met his own end too.

 

After he recovered from the hospital, Alabi went to his house and strangled Aduke to death, he then took Aduke’s three children and dumped then in the well when they were asleep. He disappeared for two month, only to resurface with his gang, and they began to terrorize the village and other communities.

 

The first operation they carried out was to Baba elemu’s palm wine shop and killed Aremu and his three friends who had suddenly come into mysterious wealth, Aremu was a relation of Aduke and he was a small scale farmer but had suddenly bought a motor cycle and started wearing new and expensive clothes, he also started to drink and throw money around. In a small village like ours, we know everything about everybody.

 

He was drinking with three of his friends one evening at Baba elemu’s when Alabi went there unmasked and shot them at close range on their heads. They died instantly spilling the gray matter in their heads all over the palm wine parlour.

 

That was the night Alabi the Cocoa merchant changed his name to Alabi the Terror! Alabi became the law in the village, he killed without thinking twice, if someone owed you money and refuses to pay, tell it to Alabi and he will get your money for you while your debtor will either be hospitalized or dead.

 

Alabi’s only friend was a wicked native Doctor called Oloro, he was very popular with his evil charms, he lived alone with his wife at the end of the village before entering the sacred forest, there has never been light inside his house even at night. rumour also had it that he had sent his children away to school abroad. Alabi’s relationship with Oloro made people to fear him the more as it was rumored that Alabi was capable of vanishing in the face of danger and that bullets cannot penetrate his body, he was mostly feared because of the fact that he had nothing to loose, A man that could kill his wife with bare hands and drown his own children is a man with steel for heart and poison as blood.

 

Alabi did not stop at killing Aremu and his friends, he went on to wipe off Aremu’s wife and children, he killed them all in one single night and burnt down the house, about thirteen people were killed is the inferno that gutted the Aremu’s house.

 

Aduke’s family ran away from the village, every of her relation left the village for fear of being killed by Alabi. Alabi was like a raving mad lion looking for a kill, it is only the children that do not run when we see him because he gives us gifts of cash and sweets or chewing gun, he moves around with his gang all on motor Bike’s  and he was our hero!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 4

 

After the death of grandma, I was left alone in the world. No one really cared if I existed and my elusive mother was yet to come home. Uncle Ladi a bus driver that shuttles between Ekiti and Lagos told me when he saw me scavenging at the motor park that he saw my mother at ‘eko Idumota’ and told her that her mother was dead and buried, he said my mother had screamed and feigned to be touched and she vowed to be in the village the next day. That was four years ago, she is yet to come home. Uncle Ladi says he still sees her in different parts of Lagos city but she avoids him as much as she could so he now pretends not to see her whenever their paths crossed. No one knows what she does in Lagos, but we know she is alive.

 

I continued schooling, I continued hunting and I continued to scavenge to survive until I finished my primary education. There was no plan for furthering my education, I was contented with the fact that I could read and write at least.

 

My only friend was Pharaoh the dog! We became friends the day we were both involved in a brawl at the butchers end in the market. Our prayer was answered when a butcher carelessly threw away a chunk of red meat instead of the bone in his hands, I had beaten Pharaoh to pick up the meat and tucked inside my pouch but the dog would not accept defeat as he grabbed my khaki pouch with his teeth and we began to struggle for possession. The dog was snarling revealing dirty brown incisors dripping with sticky saliva. I held unto the pouch with both hands as I used my legs to kick at the dog, I was shouting at him to let go and accept defeat because I beat him to it. As if the dog understood, he let go and I took to my heels homeward.

 

I had run for about four minutes and I stopped to trek when I heard the sound of panting Pharaoh by me side wagging his tail and jumping to reach my pouch, I took to my heels again and Pharaoh followed me home. We ate together that evening after I had cooked egusi soup with eba. I dished his portion into an old plastic plate I found in the kitchen. He ate up, lapped up some water from the bucket full of rain water outside the house then he lay down and slept at my door.

That was how Pharaoh became my friend and companion and together we went hunting and scavenging. We were a formidable team when we got the butchers stand, whatever Pharaoh picks, he brings to me and we put our spoils together and go home to enjoy a sumptuous meal. We also went hunting at nights and early mornings as well as check on my snares and traps, we sold our catch to the Villagers operating local restaurants called ‘Buka’. We buy food stuff with the proceeds. I had no future ambition so I took each day as it came.

 

On a Sunday, I decided to turn the house inside out and upside down, it was my house and I needed to know all the contents. The rubbish in the house was more than the valuables therein; I was gradually turning into a mad man without realizing it. It was a three room apartment without a toilet or bathroom. I grew up taking my bath at the back yard and I do my toilet straight in the bush where the villagers dump their refuse. That is where the pigs of the village get their break fast and maintained their robust stature. As early as 6.AM it was common to see many youths and adults positioned at different angles of the bush doing their thing, the pigs are grunting and patiently waiting for us to stand up so they could lick up the pebbled we have dropped. Some impatient pigs would actually eat up the pebbles from the butt of a little boy before it dropped to the ground. It is from these pigs that we all contact Chiggers that eat up the skin beneath our toes or between the toes. When ever one is scratching between toes furiously, it was common knowledge that that one has contacted chigger. The parasite burrow deep into the skin and live on our blood, growing bigger by the day.

 

I enjoyed and actually looked forward to being pressed in the mornings so I could go to the bush and hope some girls my age could come to the bush at same hour so I could catch a glimpse of their round bum. I used to marvel at the roundness and smoothness of their bum and wondered why that of the boys seems so hard and battered with craw-craw and scabies. Woe betides any girl that her bum was discovered to be like that of the boys, her reputation in the village would be ruined.

 

At a stage in our lives, the girls stopped coming to the bush. They resorted to using the ‘short put’ method. They defecate into nylon bags or newspaper and throw into the bush in the morning or at night. So it was common to wake up in the morning and see nylon bag at your back yard or news paper that has been scattered by pigs while eating up its content leaving the green fleas to mop up the rest and deposit maggots on the paper. Such discovery is followed by loud raining of curses on the perpetrator and his lineage born and unborn. It was mostly girls that dropped these parcels in front of peoples house’s probably because they cannot go close to the bush at such unholy hour or because they saw a male who has been wooing them, they quickly dropped the parcel wherever to avoid embarrassment.

 

You could also be unfortunate in the early hours of the day while doing your thing in the bush; a flying wrapped newspaper of nylon bag could land on your head spilling its content all over you! Your day is ruined as there was no way you could leave the bush without meeting one or two persons.

 

I remember the night I heard an unusual sound in front of my house. A twelve year old girl Modupe had squatted in front of my house to do her thing, unfortunately she did not expect to meet Pharaoh. Pharaoh had sneaked up to her and yawned, waiting for her to finish so he could clean up the mess. She was frightened and she screamed and stood up holding up her gown with her pants still down and the pebbles on the ground. She stood rooted at the spot for fear of being attacked by Pharaoh.

 

I came out with my palm oil lamp and beheld a half unclad girl shitting in front of my house; I looked her over with the lamp: Modupe! What are you doing? I asked.

I am sorry! She said shaking amidst tears and staring at Pharaoh who was agitated with anxiety to mop up the ground before another dog or a pig comes around.

 

I took the lamp downwards and beheld her nakedness, I went further to see the shit she had already dropped on the floor and I laughed. I laughed out loud enjoying my catch. This is a girl that acts as if she is from the city simply because she sometimes follows her mother to Ibadan to buy wares for her shop. Some evil thoughts crossed my mind that night because she was at my mercy, but I was like an orphan in the village, I knew my limits. I let her go. I told her to clean up her self and leave and never repeat such again. She did not clean up even though she had paper in her hand for that purpose. She hastily pulled up her pants, stepped over her shit and as Pharaoh took charge of the pebbles, she fled crying more out of shame of indignity.

 

 

 

Grandma had a lot of junk in her room, I did not know what she really owned because we were not best of friends, I always saw myself as a burden to her. Another strange fact was that grandma never cursed me; she would rather curse my mother.

I brought out five heavy metal boxes from her room. The room had been closed for four years and had become very stuffy with dust and cob webs. I opened the boxes and beheld beautiful clothes I never saw her wear, one box contained twenty bundles of unsown fabrics. These would definitely worth some good money so I kept them back.

The fifth and smallest of the boxes was locked with a key so I had to use my cutlass to hack it open. I held my breath when I opened the box. It was full to the brim with crispy naira notes, in a trinket box embedded between the notes is assortment of gold jewelries. I closed the box and ran out to bolt the front door from within, even though I hardly entertained visitors or friends, my instinct just made me to close the door.

I went back into grandma’s room again and opened the box, the money and jewelries were still there. At that instance, I lost every desire to proceed with the clean up exercise I had embarked on. I simply pushed back every box into place and went out for a stroll with my dog

 

 

We strolled aimlessly for about forty minutes before we came to the track road opposite the house of Alabi, the house on the hill top, the sacred house. I stood there staring at the hunted house and the desire to wander into the house overwhelmed me. I was with Pharaoh my only friend in the world. The feeling to reach to the lone building was so palpable that I imagined I was in there already so I started to advance towards the house a step at a time like a Zombie. Under the cover of the night I bent down and crawled towards the house. Pharaoh did like wise and together we approached the house a step at a time.

 

My Heart beat was pounding furiously that I felt sharp pains in my chest, I was breathing with difficulty while Pharaoh seemed excited panting and wagging his tail as we crawl stealthily forward.

 

After about fifteen minutes of crawling in the bush, I got to ten yards from the front door. The door seemed close. The door had always seemed opened and inviting from afar. It was rumoured that the door was always open and inviting to preys. I waited. The wind blew and rustled dried leaves all around me, I was scared, I was sweating in the cold night. Something moved fast in front of the house, it was an animal and before I could stop him, Pharaoh was in pursuit. He ran out of my sight as he chased the animal into the night barking.

 

I buried my face into the ground as the stupidity of the mission dawned on me. I have just discovered some money and jewelries in my house and here I am on a suicide mission! What if I die this night? Well no one would really miss me, I thought. And Pharaoh can always get another master.

 

Pharaoh dashed past the front of the house again barking at snarling at the Animal just within his grasp, they ran out of sight then something happened.

The door to the house opened it opened slowly that I almost did not notice it until I saw a ray of light from a burning lamp inside the house. The door closed before I could decipher if what I saw was a figment of my imagination or reality. It was time for me to bolt, but I stood rooted at the spot where I laid. I closed my eyes tight and opened it again squinting so I could focus properly at the door. Someone was there! He or she stood silhouetted against the wall but I could figure out the human form from the clothes he or she wore.

 

I could hear the sound of myself breathing, I wanted to stand up and run but my legs became vegetables, it was like without bones, I could not move a muscle. I simply laid there and waited of death.

 

Pharaoh was coming back to me with his kill in his jaws, he was half way between me and the house when he dropped the animal in his mouth and started moving towards the house snarling, his mane raised and tail tucked between his hind legs. Pharaoh charged and leapt into the air upon the person in the shadows, there were movements and screams. Pharaoh was biting and tearing, his victim was screaming in pains, swearing and chanting incantations. The man in the shadow got up and ran in two circles pulling Pharaoh along with him before he ran back into the open door of the house closing the door and Pharaoh behind him.

 

I saw him, it was Baba Oloro! The famous native Doctor and friend of Alabi.

I picked up the warm Antelope Pharaoh had killed and together we ran madly out of the bush that night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The abandoned child. By Dominic Awoleye.

All rights reserved.

This story is entirely fiction. The names, characters and Incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s Imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental. The author asserts the moral right to be identified as the Author of this work.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Curiosity got the better of me as I stood about three poles distance from the obscure house that stood in solitude from every other building in the town, the mystery about the house needed to be unraveled, but by whom?

many that have dared into the heart of the house did not come back to tell the story, those that managed to get inside and come out alive cannot talk about it because they lost their vocal cords, they can only point their fingers at the building and shake their heads sadly.

 

Two years ago, some kids had wandered into the house while hunting for rodents in the surrounding bush, a Rabbit ran into the house and one of the lads in his quest not to let go of the kill, chased the Rabbit into the house, and he was immediately followed by a second child, the third child stopped in the heat of the chase as he remembered his elder brother that entered the house a year before was yet to come out of it. He shouted at his friends to come out of the house but was too late.

 

He heard sharp and piercing screams coming out from inside to house, he did not wait to see the cause of their pain as he fled the scene stumbling in the bushes, running into ant hills and tree stomps. He charged out of the bush screaming, he was visibly scared and shaken, when he was held down by some adults, he was only able to tell them what the heard from inside the house when his friends ran into it before he was choked. As he was trying to narrate his experience his tongue kept coming out from his mouth until he could speak no more. He was abandoned there as everyone fled fearing that whatever had befallen the boy could affect them also. The boy died on the spot where he was abandoned with eyes wide opened and his mouth covered with the biggest tongue size anyone could imagine the little boy possessed.

 

The mysterious disappearance of the two and the eventual death of the third boy led the village hunters to venture on an expedition to uncover the mystery of the house, they went at night with the hunters touch light, Dane guns and various Charms prepared by the Village Chief priest, “Baba nla”.

 

Five great hunters fortified with charms and dangerous War armament went into the house and till today they are yet to return. Their families are left desolate and heartbroken even as some still think their father would return someday, but the villagers know better than being hopeful.

 

The gruesome stories about the Alabi’s house is unending and every family had to warn their children from straying close to the house, whenever we went to stream to swim or fetch water, we watch the lone house from afar and take to our heels before anything happens to us. We had this eerie feeling that some imaginary force could pull a child from the track road to the house and the next thing will be the piercing scream from the child.

 

Alabi used to be a very notorious thief that ravaged the whole town and neighboring village, he led a gang that set up road blocks along the high way that tore through our town and rob unsuspecting travelers of their valuables. They were murders and kidnappers, there was no police station in the village except for local vigilante team made up of our local hunters, but they were in awe of the dreaded Alabi gang.

It was later agreed between the gang and the hunters that the gang would not torment the Villagers and the villagers should also let them be.

 

Alabi, the leader of the gang had come to our village as a cocoa merchant buying dried cocoa seeds from house to house with his measuring scale. At the end of every week he took bags of cocoa seeds to the big city for sale, he was rich, and he was well respected by all. He also lends out money to people on interest, he married two women from our village, he married two friends who bore him six children within four years, we were told he was actually courting one of the girls, and was planning to marry her, having met with the girl’s family for marriage proposal, but somehow, the girl’s friend who followed her about as the two girls seemed inseparable like Siamese twin, became pregnant, we were expecting to hear of her marriage to the owner of the pregnancy but we did not,

 

Alabi married his fiancée traditionally by paying her bride prize; she also became pregnant for him.

The wife’s friend eventually put to bed and she gave birth to a split image of Alabi! There was confusion in the small town as the news spread like a wild fire that Aduke has had a baby boy for the husband of her best friend Larape. That was how Alabi married Aduke also and they lived together in his newly built house on top of the hill, the fame of Alabi spread round the village, and surrounding environs as the young rich cocoa Merchant that has his house close to heaven and married two close friends.

Within four years, Alabi had six sons from in two wives; he had about five Bicycles with which he and his assistants go about buying cocoa seeds from farmers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

I happen to be one of the village’s little urchins, I lost my grandma four years ago at the age of nine, I had returned from school to see her still sleeping in her mat just the way I had left her before going to school in the morning.

I went into the hut we used as kitchen and saw the mess was still as it was since last night, no food waiting for me, I did not eat to school and I did not eat at school so I was starving, I changed my clothes into my worn out Buba and sokoto and left the house to look to food, I did not bother to wake grandma, she might have eaten some food before going to bed, it is all man to himself in the house. I did not know my real mother, and I did not care to know her because grandma uses everyday of her remaining life to curse her, especially when I have been up to my mischief, grandma would swear and curse my mother wherever she was, so I definitely knew that it could not be well with her where ever she was, for no living human being can succeed in any endeavor having his or her mother wake up every day and send curses to her instead of prayers and blessings.

I heard my mother had returned from the big city some thirteen years ago with me as a baby and a week later she had abandoned me with her Mother and disappeared.

 

Her mother, my grandma was blind in one eye and arthritis has seized her left leg so she stoops and walks about with a stick, she does not farm, she does not trade, so she had to survive on charity and my mother came to add me to the old woman’s burden.

People say my grandma bore only my mother when she was serving a big man’s family in the big city years ago. She was never married and had led a rough and careless life in the city before she lost an eye while fighting with a fellow woman over a man, the bad eye had left her unattractive to men and consequently she had to return home to the village when she became broke in the city, she returned with her ten years old daughter, my Mother, and before long, she became the mistress of all the widowers and randy men that want to satisfy their lust, her daughter joined in the trade eventually and when she came of age she had to leave for the big city to do what she knew best, she never came home to see her mother, until after eight years when she came and dropped me in the village.

 

On this faithful day, four years ago, after I changed into my Buba and Sokoto, I went into the nearby bush to check the snares I had set the previous day. Seven of my twelve snares caught bush rats, I collected the catch and went to mama Mulikat’s Buka to sell five of them, she paid me in cash and I bought some cups of Garri out of the money, I bought vegetable and palm oil and headed home to prepare some food and soup.

 

The food and soup was set, the aroma from the rat meat in the soup was supposed to wake grandma from her sleep as usual but it did not. Even when I finished eating and cleaning the kitchen grandma did not wake up.

It was time for me to hit town and play with my friend and I told sleeping mama that I would be back.

 

I went straight to the market square with my nylon bag and as I had expected, I met Ajanaku and Sola already there with their bags too, these boys do not go to school like me so they beat me to market square today. The market is set every three days, people from surrounding villages and ours bring their wares to sell at our village market, the next day they all move to another village’s market, I greeted my fellow scavengers and I left them as I saw their bags were already bulging with goodies.

 

Goodies? Yes! We pick up anything edible that the traders throw away, ranging from fruits to food stuff. Rotten tomatoes,withered vegetables and infested mangoes or pawpaw. We move towards the butchers stand and pick bones from beneath their tables. It used to be competition between us and the local dogs at the butcher’s end, once a butcher is cutting up a bony piece of meat, the dogs and us stand in readiness to dive for the bone once it is thrown away, I had been bitten a number of times by Pharaoh the most notorious and strongest dog in the village. Pharaoh is easily the father of eighty percent of the dogs in the village.

We always pray for the Butcher, to mistakenly throw away the actual meat instead of the bone. Sometimes our payers are answered.

At the close of market on the fateful day I went back home at 7:00 pm with a full nylon bag, mama had not moved from the sleeping position, I emptied my nylon and boiled my collection of bones and meat fat, I turned this into my vegetable soup and the pot was full. I was happy, I was happy because when mama wakes up and sees what I have prepared in the kitchen, she will be happy too and say nice words to me at the least for a while before I commit another offence that would make her curse and swear at my elusive mother.

 

I washed up the fruits I gathered and I cut off the bad portion from the pawpaw as I ate it up for dinner, the rotten tomatoes and withered vegetable will be taken care of by mama before I return from school the next day, at least we will have food to eat until the next market day in thee days time.

I went to sleep with a full stomach. It rained that night and I dreamed of bathing and playing in the rain, I dreamed that I was urinating in the rain as I was bathing, when I woke up in the morning my mat and cover cloth was soaked with urine. At thirteen I still wet bed once in a while. I packed up the mat and cover cloth and spread them on the line behind the house as I dressed up and dashed for school, mama had not changed for her sleeping position, she did not even snore as usual and I wondered why.

 

I returned from school later in the day to see a crowd gathered in front of my house, I was not allowed in to see mama immediately, they said she had died and maggots were already in her mouth and eyes, the women were cursing and scolding me for not realizing that my grandma had been dead for over two days and I have been sleeping under the same roof with her corpse. Every one present had an unkind word to say to me. I later went into the house to see mama as she laid in state. The youths had dug a grave by the side of the house and she was unceremoniously buried at mid night, I did not cry, I was simply indifferent. It was when I went into the Kitchen after everyone had left that I realized that my pot of soup was empty and washed clean. The fruits and vegetables were all gone! That was when I ran outside and started screaming and shouting. Some people came to hold me and sympathize with me but I ran from them, they did not know why I was screaming. This was some years back

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The Abandoned Child

CHAPTER 19

JANUARY 1997; I met a very complicated situation on my return to Owerri, strange things had happened while I was away.
I entered the Hotel premises at 4.PM with my luggage strapped on my back. I was expecting a warm welcome from my colleagues and a subtle reprimand from Oga Dan for staying away longer that I was permitted. I met people wearing long faces as they went about their duties. No one paid me any attention rather they were starring at me as if I was a stranger.

I walked to the bar and brought out a chilled bottle of Gulder from the Gulder branded Chiller to calm me down after a long journey. The DJ Cubicle was closed; it was unusual for Slam’s office to be close at such hour when the business of the day was gearing up. He normally plays blues or roots reggae at such hour. Emeka walked into the bar to collect some drinks so I greeted him and asked after DJ Slam but he pretended not to hear my question.
Emeka! Is it not you that I am talking to? I asked
I should be asking you! He snapped
Asking me? As how? I asked
You no know? He asked
Know wetin? I asked
Okay! Dey there dey pretend, when Police come carry you go, you go confess! He said and walked out to attend to Customers.
Something was amiss, so I gulped down all of my beer and carried my luggage to go to my room upstairs, I entered the reception and asked the receptionist for the key to my room.
Go and ask Oga Dan! The receptionist told me.
Oga Dan? Why? I asked.
He has to authorize the release of the key to you! She snapped.
Haba Chinwe! It is me o! Bolaji! Am I a stranger here? I asked
Please go and ask Oga Dan nah! I am busy please! She snapped and started tapping the key board of her desk top computer all of a sudden.
I dropped my luggage behind the door and made to go up to Oga Dan’s office.
Hey Oga! Chinwe called out.
I looked back at her not sure who she was referring to. She pointed at my bag
Carry am go I beg! She said
You mean my luggage? I asked
You heard me! She snapped
I quietly walked back and carried my bag.

I knocked and entered Oga Dan’s Office; he was surprised to see me.
Omo! He called out
Oga Sir! I remain loyal sir! I saluted him
Where the hell have you been to all this while? I expected you to be back after one week but you have been away for three months or there about!
I am very sorry sir! I had a lot of family issues to sort out sir! And since my NYSC programme is still far away, I decided to take out time and sort certain things out. I explained.
You are welcome! But there are problems here o! I don’t think you are welcomed here any longer o; he told me as calmly as he could.
What happened sir? No wonder every one I have met had been some how cold towards me. I said.
Excuse me for a minute! He said and left the office to return after five minutes.
Yes BJ! Welcome back! He said with an enthusiasm that was not there few minutes ago. Are you a member of a secret cult? He asked.
Ha! What? Me? No o! How can? I was confused.
Are you sure? He asked suspiciously.
Haba Oga Dan! You no trust me? I asked him.
Hmm, trust you? I used to trust you but from what I have heard about you so far I don’t know if I can trust you any more.
Oga Dan, please talk to me! What is all these about? And where is Slam? At least he will tell me what happened if none of you what to tell me. His Office is closed at this hour and I asked Emeka about Slam but he said I should know better, me that have been away for some time now! Biko dede, ogini n’aeme ebe a? I asked in igbo language.
You and Slam disappeared about the same time last year; he said he was going for political runs while you said you were going for family visit. Is that not so? He asked
You are right sir! I replied.
Slam has been dead and buried! His headless body was dropped outside our gate. This happened the second day you left, and since then you have not come back here! What have you come back here to do now when you are a wanted criminal?
Jesu Christi! Jesu Christi! Headless corpse? I asked.
Yes! That was what his people buried. He said
Oh my God! Slam is dead? Goose pimples came all over me and I began to cry.
There was a loud knock at the door of the office as I asked him
So what are the Police doing about it?
Oh! The Police? He asked; come inside please! He shouted for the person knocking to come inside.
The door opened and three armed uniformed Police men entered the Office.
Good day Officers! Oga Dan stood up: this is the man we have all been looking for; he is one of the suspected Cultists!
My bladder gave out its content immediately and a feverish feeling over came me. I was feeling burning sensation from inside me as I felt the cold hands of raw fear. I looked from Oga Dan to the Police. I felt like a Dog whose owner is selling it to a Calabar or Ondo man.
Are you Mr. Bolaji? The one with the pistol asked.
I nodded my head.

You are under arrest for involvement in cult activities which has led to the death of one Nnana Ogbuike popularly called DJ Slam, Onyekachi Chukwuma popularly called Major and Onyema Iloh popularly called Lusaka! You have the right to remain silent as anything you do or say here shall be used against you in the court of law.

Nigerian Police don’t read you your rights before arresting you! For these People to read me my rights means they meant business and were not the every day Nigerian Police.
Oga Dan! I called out.
Please follow them! Murderer! Your Parents sent you to school but you came here and turned to a dare devil! Wolf in sheep’s clothing! Onye oshi! Oga Dan said.
Oga Dan! I called again as my hands were cuffed and I was whisked out of his office.
A small crowd had gathered downstairs as the Police escorted me into the Peugeot 504 station wagon they came with. I was crying as the Police men were hitting my joints with their batons even though I offered no resistance at my arrest.
We got to the Police station at a quarter past six o’clock as indicated on the wall clock at the police counter. The DPO was not on seat when the inspector that led the team asked the constable at the counter.
I was given a sheet of paper to write my statement. I asked the Corporal in the team to tell me how to write the statement as I had never had any reason to write a statement in a Police station before. The corporal relayed my request to the inspector who then called the sergeant that came with him to arrest me to take charge of my case.
The sergeant said I should write everything I know about the death of DJ Slam and other dead Cultists and about my involvement in the secret cult.
I told him that I know nothing of both. This annoyed the Police officer when all efforts to make me indict myself failed.
By 9.45PM, they dragged me to a room inside the station. The stench from the room was awful, the door was closed, and the room was sound proof. They told me to pull off all my clothes, and then my hands were cuffed.
On a wooden table close to the wall were pressing Iron, needled syringe, pliers, hammer, koboko, cable wire, a pack of Tiger head razor blade, and some other strange instruments of torture.
I was lifted up and hung on the ceiling fan anchor, the hand cuffs bit into my wrist and I screamed, my legs were tied together with a hard wire. In two minutes it felt like my hands would pull off my body. Words cannot describe what these men did to me. I went to hell.
The Police flogged me with cable wires and koboko for over forty minutes; they flogged every part of my body with emphasis on my private part. At a time one of them grabbed my legs to prevent me from struggling while another inserted a long and thin iron into my penis to and fro causing me the most painful agony man could endure. They plugged the electric Iron into the socket and when it smelled hot, they unplugged it and pressed my buttocks and my thighs with it, the room smelled of burnt flesh, my flesh. I screamed and screamed, I begged them and told them the story of my life but it fell on deaf hears as they were threatening to kill me unless I tell them the truth.
They also used the razor blade to cut randomly on my buttocks and my legs, then they rubbed a substance which I think was dried pepper, I screamed, the pliers on their table was used on my toes, my bones were cracked, my ankles and my knees were knocked out with a hammer. That was when I stopped feeling any more pain.

Are you ready to cooperate now? I heard the question from afar.
Pour am more water! I head some said.
I woke up with a pounding pain in my head as water was poured on me. I was on the floor of the torture room; I was lying on slimy substance on the floor that smelled like death.
Get up criminal! Someone snarled.
I tried to sit up but I could not. I could not feel my hands as they just lay limp by my side.
You no dey hear word? Some one barked. I say get up!
I can’t! I said. I can’t feel my hands.
You never see anything yet! He said. Look up! I say turn your back and look up!
I turned to lie on my back; every movement sent excruciating pains all over me.
You see this guy wey hang there so? The voice asked me.
I looked up to where I was hung and saw the lifeless body of a young man dangling from the ceiling with blood dripping from his body.
He don die! The voice said to me. Na the same treatment wey we give to you we give am but he no survive am! For you to survive am mean say you be hardened criminal! A confirmed cultist! But what we did to you is just step one! By the time you still refuse to cooperate with us, we shall proceed to step two! You hear me?
Yes sir! But wetin una want me to do nah? I asked. Make I lie upon my self? Una no even bother to investigate wetin I tell una, the very day wey I leave this town, I was at Ibadan! i..
Sharrap! Someone shouted and kicked me in the groin. I saw flashes of light as I screamed my guts out.
I will cooperate! Anything you want I will do it! I said as I cried. I could not bear to take any more of the torture.
Oya, sign this statement! He dropped an already written statement on the table and pulled me onto a chair. He dropped a pen by the paper and told me to sign the paper. I tried to move my hands but I could not. I was reading the content when the man shouted.
Oh! You dey read am abi! There was an explosion, something tore through me. I felt myself falling.
CHAPTER 20

Posted in Drama, Literature, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The Abandoned child

 

CHAPTER 18

All rights reserved.

Dominic Awoleye

 

It was a drop dead beautiful svelte that opened the door for me when I reached Mr. Adogoke’s house at Ibadan. I had branched at the shop to greet madam and her girls before entering the main gate into the main compound through the pedestrian gate. The entrance door to the house opened from the inside just as I was about to open it from the outside.

Jesu Christi o! I hissed

Uncle Bolaji? She asked

Yes? I asked as I peered very well into those eyes; do not tell me you are ouwayemisi! I said

Of course I am! She exclaimed in laughter; you can not recognize me again? She asked

Jesu o! jesu o! Are you a model at school or some thing? Jeez! Look at you! You have grown into a beautiful woman! Like a super model! I exclaimed; how old are you now? I asked

Uncle BJ, I am just above eighteen now! She said

Look at you! I don’t know if I should lift you up or hug you or even kiss you! I said

Any one uncle! She said

Come here! Come here! I gave her a close hug that affected my crouch once again, I remembered the first day I met Chioma.

Please take my bag to the guest room! I said as I discharged from the hug and went straight into the convenience room at the sitting room to caution my emotion, I stayed in there for about ten minutes. I did not come out when I heard her calling my name from the sitting room.

This is not any other girl; this is Mr. Adegoke’s daughter! My mentor’s daughter! What was wrong with me? I am almost nine years older than her! She is like a sister to me!

Suddenly I heard DJ Slam’s voice in my head.

Shattap ya Yoruba mgati, mgbati mouth there! Na ya mama born am?

But the Papa na my mentor nah!

Ehen? Na her father go marry her? Biko wire the girl! Slam echoed

Chai! But the girl is innocent nah!

Oh no! Oh no! Jew man! Is she not above fifteen years of age?

She is eighteen I said

Then she don ripe be dat! Wire am! Wire am! Slam said.

Dem take wire swear for you? I asked.

If you no wire am! Another guy go wire am o! That’s all! Slam said as he fizzled out of my head.

 

I returned to reality as someone banged hard at the door to the convenience

Ta ni yen? Who is that? I asked.

Bolaji! It was madam

Mummy! I called back

I came out to meet Mummy already dressed to go out.

Thank God that you are around, please look after the house, she said; have you seen Yemisi?

No ma! Yes ma! Yemisi abi? I was confused

Kilode? What is wrong? She asked

Kosi nkankan ma! Nothing ma! I replied. I saw her as I came in, I did not know it was her! I managed to explain.

Okay! She has grown abi?

Yes ma! I replied.

Please take care of the house and the shop! You are the man in the house now. I will be back at night, tell Yemisi to prepare dinner before Daddy returns from work

 

Yes mam! I said

 

Immediately she left the house, I went to my room to loosen up and relax from the stress of the journey.

It was the aroma of the food she brought into my room that woke me up. I was so famished that I jumped out of bed and grabbed the plate of steaming Jollof rice from her

Thank you my dear! I said: how did you know that I was very hungry?

She laughed and said: I don’t know o! You have been sleeping since morning nah, I was knocking at your door but you did not answer so I decided to burst in with your food.

Thank you for bursting in! I said; you just saved a soul! I would have died of hunger from my sleep! I said as I ate up the steaming food in a hurry.

Uncle, take it easy nah! She said

 

Did you cook this food? I asked an obviously stupid question

Yes nah! She said

Who taught you how to cook? Another stupid question.

Who else but mummy! She asked

Oh, yes! Mummy! I forgot, I said; so how is school life? I asked the first sane question.

Uncle wait let me go and get you drinking water. She left and came back with a cold glass of water.

Thank you very much! I said and gulp down some water; so, school life! How is it? I continued.

School life is fine! She said as she sat on the edge of the bed.

I heard you are studying Agric economics! I lied.

No o! I am studying Med- sug! She said

As in, Medicine and surgery? I asked.

Yes sir! She said.

Wow! That’s cool, I am not surprised though, I am just impressed, I said. I wish you the best, Doctor Yemisi.

I heard you came out with first class in engineering, she said.

That’s true! I said.

I am not surprised though, I am just impressed. She said.

Ahan! I said.

Ahan what? She asked.

You are mimicking me, I said.

She laughed; but it is the truth nah! You have been our inspiration in this house, there is no day my dad does not mention your name while advising us to be the best! You are my role model, my hero!

I wished she could say “my husband”. I was loving every moment with her until one of the sales girls from the shop came to call her out of my room for an urgent errand.

 

I could not take my mind off the thought of Yemisi. I was already jealous of the possibility of her having a boy friend already. A beauty like her would have been hooked by some stupid campus boys that have made it their birth right to sample every beautiful female Jambite. She was already in her second year and as such would have been devoured by those scoundrels! Yemisi is mine! Imagine the way she served me food in bed, she even knew I had to drink water while eating! What other sign am I looking for? I wish we were alone in the house so we could just be talking. DJ Slam tried to get into my head again and I shook my head vigorously and shouted” Get behind me Satan”! He ran away echoing the words “ wire” wire! Wire her”

This is not a girl for wiring but for keeps, a girl to treasure and nurture, a girl that gives one good dreams when she sleeps by my side. A wife material! Her laughter was so inviting and soothing; I wanted to think of her innocence, I did not like to think of those Campus boys and their capabilities. I just wanted to think of Yemisi as mine, untouched, waiting for me.

Waiting for you for wetin? Na you God create her for? Slam interrupted

Yes na me! I shouted. Slam! Leave me I beg! Make I think!

Think well o! But remember that no girl is innocent o! He fizzled out of my head again.

Get thee behind me Slam! I commanded.

I was possessed by the thought of Yemisi. I was thinking of her as a future partner, my wife! I deserve her.

Only you deserve her? Just wire her and go your way! Slam spoke again.

I pretended to ignore him.

If her papa catch you! Your own don finish be that! Slam said.

Mr. Goke had advised me that I get into a serious relationship with a girl that would love me for who I am and not for what I will become. I don’t need to look further! Oluwayemisi knows my story, even though she was very young when I stayed briefly with their family during my secondary school days, I am no stranger to her.

 

The opportunity came on my second night at Ibadan. Uncle Goke and Madam had retired indoors for the night. Gbadebo was reading at the Library, he was preparing for his senior secondary certificate examination.

 

Come and sit here Yemisi, I said; we need to talk.

Okay! She said as she left the seat close to the Television and sat on the two- seater couch I was occupying. She smelled good. The faint scent of perfume came with her. This girl is clean. Her skin is light and smooth without blemish. Her legs, tapering from the bum short she wore were straight and fresh like vanilla ice cream. My heart beat was racing as she sat by my side and focused on the Television. She does not look me in the eyes. I really felt like having a bottle of Gulder at that moment but I have never drunk alcohol in their house. Even when uncle Goke bought beer for me, we were seated outside the house discussing behind the shop.

I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly so that she would not know that uncle BJ is a Jew man. How old are you now? I asked

You have asked me that before and I said eighteen plus! She said still watching the TV.

Have I? I am so sorry, I said; in other words, you are not a baby! I said.

I am not a baby, she said, still focusing on the TV.

I want to ask you some questions; I hope you will not be offended? I asked

I don’t know o! I hope there is no problem? She asked looking at me and removing her face to focus on the TV.

There is problem o! I said

What happened? Did I do something wrong? She asked

You are doing many things to me my dear! I said.

Ha! Uncle BJ! What have I been doing to you that is wrong?

You have been scattering my head since I came around two days ago! I can’t concentrate! I talk and argue with myself like a mad man! I have not been able to take my mind off the thought of you! I think I am in love with you already! I said.

Ha! Uncle BJ! She exclaimed

What?

You are like a big brother to me! She said.

But I am not your brother and you know that! I said. Do you have a boy fiend at school or at any other place?

No o! She said shyly

Are you sure? I asked.

I don’t have the time for that yet! She said.

And why is that? I asked. You are a very pretty girl; does it mean you don’t have toasters?

Of course I have toasters daily but I am not ready for another relationship now. She said.

What happened to your previous relationship? I asked.

Hmm, it’s a long story, we were secondary school friends, he was a sickle cell anemia patient, and he is dead! She said.

Oh no! I am so sorry I said. I heaved a sigh of relieve and a silent prayer of gratitude.

How long was this?

After our SSCE. Over two years ago.

Do you miss him? I asked.

Yes, sometimes! He was a very good boy, he deflowered me!

The laughter of Slam started to echo in my head; hahahahahahah! See your innocent girl o!

I shook my head vigorously to send Slam away.

I love you! I said. I don’t care weather he deflowered you or not! I am not a saint myself. I am glad there is no one in your life now, I would have committed suicide if you had told me you love some one else but me!

I don’t love any one o!

Except me abi? I teased

You?

Yes me! I said

I don’t know o! But I love and respect you like a big brother! She said.

Thank you! But don’t love me like a brother any more! Love me like your boyfriend! Like your husband to be! I said

Ha Uncle BJ! She exclaimed meeting my gaze with surprise.

Kilode? I asked

Husband to be? Like my boy friend? She asked.

Yes! I said. We are not strangers to each other and I will wait for you until you are through with your studies. I just want you to promise me that you will be there for me!

She was silent; you are not saying anything, I said

I don’t know what to say nah! I am confused, she said. How can I bring myself to be calling you by your first name without putting the word Uncle or brother?

Forget uncle I beg! I am not your uncle! Your uncle is the village! Forget brother, your brother is reading in the Library! I said. Call me BJ like all my friends do!

She laughed. My Parents would skin me alive.

Don’t worry, when the time comes, they will support us! I said.

My mother loves you, she will be happy about this if I tell her. But for my father, I cannot tell.

Leave your father! Your mother will get him for us! So am I getting a yes? I asked

Yes! She laughed.

Wow! I suppressed my scream by jumping around the sitting room. I pulled her up and hugged her quickly and left her before an intruder bumped in on us.

I love you! I love you! I was saying.

I love you too, she said shyly.

 

I could not sleep that night, I waited for Slam to talk into my head but he did not come, Satan shame unto you! I said to him. The next morning after Uncle Goke had gone to work and mummy went out, Gbadebo went to school, Yemisi and I were indoors playing and talking, and she could not bring herself to call me Bolaji and I forbade her from calling me Uncle. She will find a name for me in due course.

I left Ibadan two days after. I gave my new found love all the gifts I had bought for Katty and Tessy, Perfumes, wrist watches, hand bags and T shirts. I will buy their gifts when I get to Onitsha. I gave Yemisi some cash but she refused it. I asked her how she will conceal the gift items from her parents; she said she will tell her mother what transpired between us once I am safely on my way to the east. I did not know what to say but to hope for the best.

As she came into my room to help carry my travelling bag to her Mothers Car, I quickly closed the door and pulled her close, the scent of her perfume charged my senses as I planted my mouth on her luscious lips, she responded, she held my head, I almost cried.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 18

 

It was a drop dead beautiful svelte that opened the door for me when I reached Mr. Adogoke’s house at Ibadan. I had branched at the shop to greet madam and her girls before entering the main gate into the main compound through the pedestrian gate. The entrance door to the house opened from the inside just as I was about to open it from the outside.

Jesu Christi o! I hissed

Uncle Bolaji? She asked

Yes? I asked as I peered very well into those eyes; do not tell me you are ouwayemisi! I said

Of course I am! She exclaimed in laughter; you can not recognize me again? She asked

Jesu o! jesu o! Are you a model at school or some thing? Jeez! Look at you! You have grown into a beautiful woman! Like a super model! I exclaimed; how old are you now? I asked

Uncle BJ, I am just above eighteen now! She said

Look at you! I don’t know if I should lift you up or hug you or even kiss you! I said

Any one uncle! She said

Come here! Come here! I gave her a close hug that affected my crouch once again, I remembered the first day I met Chioma.

Please take my bag to the guest room! I said as I discharged from the hug and went straight into the convenience room at the sitting room to caution my emotion, I stayed in there for about ten minutes. I did not come out when I heard her calling my name from the sitting room.

This is not any other girl; this is Mr. Adegoke’s daughter! My mentor’s daughter! What was wrong with me? I am almost nine years older than her! She is like a sister to me!

Suddenly I heard DJ Slam’s voice in my head.

Shattap ya Yoruba mgati, mgbati mouth there! Na ya mama born am?

But the Papa na my mentor nah!

Ehen? Na her father go marry her? Biko wire the girl! Slam echoed

Chai! But the girl is innocent nah!

Oh no! Oh no! Jew man! Is she not above fifteen years of age?

She is eighteen I said

Then she don ripe be dat! Wire am! Wire am! Slam said.

Dem take wire swear for you? I asked.

If you no wire am! Another guy go wire am o! That’s all! Slam said as he fizzled out of my head.

 

I returned to reality as someone banged hard at the door to the convenience

Ta ni yen? Who is that? I asked.

Bolaji! It was madam

Mummy! I called back

I came out to meet Mummy already dressed to go out.

Thank God that you are around, please look after the house, she said; have you seen Yemisi?

No ma! Yes ma! Yemisi abi? I was confused

Kilode? What is wrong? She asked

Kosi nkankan ma! Nothing ma! I replied. I saw her as I came in, I did not know it was her! I managed to explain.

Okay! She has grown abi?

Yes ma! I replied.

Please take care of the house and the shop! You are the man in the house now. I will be back at night, tell Yemisi to prepare dinner before Daddy returns from work

 

Yes mam! I said

 

Immediately she left the house, I went to my room to loosen up and relax from the stress of the journey.

It was the aroma of the food she brought into my room that woke me up. I was so famished that I jumped out of bed and grabbed the plate of steaming Jollof rice from her

Thank you my dear! I said: how did you know that I was very hungry?

She laughed and said: I don’t know o! You have been sleeping since morning nah, I was knocking at your door but you did not answer so I decided to burst in with your food.

Thank you for bursting in! I said; you just saved a soul! I would have died of hunger from my sleep! I said as I ate up the steaming food in a hurry.

Uncle, take it easy nah! She said

 

Did you cook this food? I asked an obviously stupid question

Yes nah! She said

Who taught you how to cook? Another stupid question.

Who else but mummy! She asked

Oh, yes! Mummy! I forgot, I said; so how is school life? I asked the first sane question.

Uncle wait let me go and get you drinking water. She left and came back with a cold glass of water.

Thank you very much! I said and gulp down some water; so, school life! How is it? I continued.

School life is fine! She said as she sat on the edge of the bed.

I heard you are studying Agric economics! I lied.

No o! I am studying Med- sug! She said

As in, Medicine and surgery? I asked.

Yes sir! She said.

Wow! That’s cool, I am not surprised though, I am just impressed, I said. I wish you the best, Doctor Yemisi.

I heard you came out with first class in engineering, she said.

That’s true! I said.

I am not surprised though, I am just impressed. She said.

Ahan! I said.

Ahan what? She asked.

You are mimicking me, I said.

She laughed; but it is the truth nah! You have been our inspiration in this house, there is no day my dad does not mention your name while advising us to be the best! You are my role model, my hero!

I wished she could say “my husband”. I was loving every moment with her until one of the sales girls from the shop came to call her out of my room for an urgent errand.

 

I could not take my mind off the thought of Yemisi. I was already jealous of the possibility of her having a boy friend already. A beauty like her would have been hooked by some stupid campus boys that have made it their birth right to sample every beautiful female Jambite. She was already in her second year and as such would have been devoured by those scoundrels! Yemisi is mine! Imagine the way she served me food in bed, she even knew I had to drink water while eating! What other sign am I looking for? I wish we were alone in the house so we could just be talking. DJ Slam tried to get into my head again and I shook my head vigorously and shouted” Get behind me Satan”! He ran away echoing the words “ wire” wire! Wire her”

This is not a girl for wiring but for keeps, a girl to treasure and nurture, a girl that gives one good dreams when she sleeps by my side. A wife material! Her laughter was so inviting and soothing; I wanted to think of her innocence, I did not like to think of those Campus boys and their capabilities. I just wanted to think of Yemisi as mine, untouched, waiting for me.

Waiting for you for wetin? Na you God create her for? Slam interrupted

Yes na me! I shouted. Slam! Leave me I beg! Make I think!

Think well o! But remember that no girl is innocent o! He fizzled out of my head again.

Get thee behind me Slam! I commanded.

I was possessed by the thought of Yemisi. I was thinking of her as a future partner, my wife! I deserve her.

Only you deserve her? Just wire her and go your way! Slam spoke again.

I pretended to ignore him.

If her papa catch you! Your own don finish be that! Slam said.

Mr. Goke had advised me that I get into a serious relationship with a girl that would love me for who I am and not for what I will become. I don’t need to look further! Oluwayemisi knows my story, even though she was very young when I stayed briefly with their family during my secondary school days, I am no stranger to her.

 

The opportunity came on my second night at Ibadan. Uncle Goke and Madam had retired indoors for the night. Gbadebo was reading at the Library, he was preparing for his senior secondary certificate examination.

 

Come and sit here Yemisi, I said; we need to talk.

Okay! She said as she left the seat close to the Television and sat on the two- seater couch I was occupying. She smelled good. The faint scent of perfume came with her. This girl is clean. Her skin is light and smooth without blemish. Her legs, tapering from the bum short she wore were straight and fresh like vanilla ice cream. My heart beat was racing as she sat by my side and focused on the Television. She does not look me in the eyes. I really felt like having a bottle of Gulder at that moment but I have never drunk alcohol in their house. Even when uncle Goke bought beer for me, we were seated outside the house discussing behind the shop.

I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly so that she would not know that uncle BJ is a Jew man. How old are you now? I asked

You have asked me that before and I said eighteen plus! She said still watching the TV.

Have I? I am so sorry, I said; in other words, you are not a baby! I said.

I am not a baby, she said, still focusing on the TV.

I want to ask you some questions; I hope you will not be offended? I asked

I don’t know o! I hope there is no problem? She asked looking at me and removing her face to focus on the TV.

There is problem o! I said

What happened? Did I do something wrong? She asked

You are doing many things to me my dear! I said.

Ha! Uncle BJ! What have I been doing to you that is wrong?

You have been scattering my head since I came around two days ago! I can’t concentrate! I talk and argue with myself like a mad man! I have not been able to take my mind off the thought of you! I think I am in love with you already! I said.

Ha! Uncle BJ! She exclaimed

What?

You are like a big brother to me! She said.

But I am not your brother and you know that! I said. Do you have a boy fiend at school or at any other place?

No o! She said shyly

Are you sure? I asked.

I don’t have the time for that yet! She said.

And why is that? I asked. You are a very pretty girl; does it mean you don’t have toasters?

Of course I have toasters daily but I am not ready for another relationship now. She said.

What happened to your previous relationship? I asked.

Hmm, it’s a long story, we were secondary school friends, he was a sickle cell anemia patient, and he is dead! She said.

Oh no! I am so sorry I said. I heaved a sigh of relieve and a silent prayer of gratitude.

How long was this?

After our SSCE. Over two years ago.

Do you miss him? I asked.

Yes, sometimes! He was a very good boy, he deflowered me!

The laughter of Slam started to echo in my head; hahahahahahah! See your innocent girl o!

I shook my head vigorously to send Slam away.

I love you! I said. I don’t care weather he deflowered you or not! I am not a saint myself. I am glad there is no one in your life now, I would have committed suicide if you had told me you love some one else but me!

I don’t love any one o!

Except me abi? I teased

You?

Yes me! I said

I don’t know o! But I love and respect you like a big brother! She said.

Thank you! But don’t love me like a brother any more! Love me like your boyfriend! Like your husband to be! I said

Ha Uncle BJ! She exclaimed meeting my gaze with surprise.

Kilode? I asked

Husband to be? Like my boy friend? She asked.

Yes! I said. We are not strangers to each other and I will wait for you until you are through with your studies. I just want you to promise me that you will be there for me!

She was silent; you are not saying anything, I said

I don’t know what to say nah! I am confused, she said. How can I bring myself to be calling you by your first name without putting the word Uncle or brother?

Forget uncle I beg! I am not your uncle! Your uncle is the village! Forget brother, your brother is reading in the Library! I said. Call me BJ like all my friends do!

She laughed. My Parents would skin me alive.

Don’t worry, when the time comes, they will support us! I said.

My mother loves you, she will be happy about this if I tell her. But for my father, I cannot tell.

Leave your father! Your mother will get him for us! So am I getting a yes? I asked

Yes! She laughed.

Wow! I suppressed my scream by jumping around the sitting room. I pulled her up and hugged her quickly and left her before an intruder bumped in on us.

I love you! I love you! I was saying.

I love you too, she said shyly.

 

I could not sleep that night, I waited for Slam to talk into my head but he did not come, Satan shame unto you! I said to him. The next morning after Uncle Goke had gone to work and mummy went out, Gbadebo went to school, Yemisi and I were indoors playing and talking, and she could not bring herself to call me Bolaji and I forbade her from calling me Uncle. She will find a name for me in due course.

I left Ibadan two days after. I gave my new found love all the gifts I had bought for Katty and Tessy, Perfumes, wrist watches, hand bags and T shirts. I will buy their gifts when I get to Onitsha. I gave Yemisi some cash but she refused it. I asked her how she will conceal the gift items from her parents; she said she will tell her mother what transpired between us once I am safely on my way to the east. I did not know what to say but to hope for the best.

As she came into my room to help carry my travelling bag to her Mothers Car, I quickly closed the door and pulled her close, the scent of her perfume charged my senses as I planted my mouth on her luscious lips, she responded, she held my head, I almost cried.