Tag Archives: african fiction

A woman’s dream – Part 2

Adetutu pondered over her daughter’s conversation over and over. How had they missed this conversation? Omowunmi had been excited when she got invited for a written test with the unnamed organization. She had received a congratulatory email and had moved on to the next stage; the interview sessions. Adetutu had been aware of each interview session and she had prayed for her daughter but not once had she thought about asking which organization she had been visiting. Probably because she was also engrossed in her own search for employment, it had never occurred to her to ask.

Omowunmi had said she was denied the post of a human resources officer because another candidate was more qualified. With two professional certifications in her kitty, the organization was right. Omowunmi had studied Human Resource Management in a private university and had graduated with a Second Class upper. Chief and Adetutu had been overjoyed and he had rewarded his daughter with a brand new car as a graduation gift.

She got posted to a consulting firm for her National Youth Service where she worked as a customer relations officer. She had just concluded the service program when she told her mother she had been invited to write a test for an organization. Omowunmi had refused her father’s offer to work in his plastic manufacturing company. He could not understand her refusal. Every attempt to convince his daughter had been rejected and he concluded that she took after her mother’s strong will.

******

As the driver drove into the expansive compound of Chief Ara’s residence, Adetutu’s eagerness to talk to her husband grew. She eased out of the car and walked briskly into the house. At this time of the day, she knew exactly where to find her husband and she made a beeline for the study. She opened the door gently and peeped in. Chief was engrossed on his laptop and did not hear her walk in. She hugged him from behind and kissed his cheek.

“My darling.” Chief said; his eyes twinkling.

“How has your day been?” Adetutu asked smiling.

“It just got better.”

“Chief, we need to talk.”

Chief noticed Adetutu’s seriousness and stood up from his study table. He walked towards the couch and tapped the seat beside him.

“What is this about?”

Adetutu took a deep breath. “I got the offer.” She said sitting down.

“Wow!!! That calls for a celebration.” Chief said standing up. “You almost scared me. I thought there was…”

“Chief, please sit down.” Adetutu said interrupting her husband.

Chief stood still and looked at his wife. “There is more to this offer, right?”

Adetutu nodded.

“I hope they are not posting you out of Lagos. You know I won’t allow you go. Our agreement was that any job you get must be in Lagos and…”

“Chief!!!”  Adetutu stressed. “This is about Omowunmi.”

Chief sat down gently. “And what about my daughter?”

“She was denied the position she applied for and was offered the post of a customer relations officer.”

Chief looked confused. “Okay? Isn’t that the job she was doing as a youth corper?”

Adetutu nodded.

“So, how is that a problem? The company obviously sees that she is experienced in that terrain and decided to offer her employment in that department. I don’t see any wrong there.”

“Chief, I just signed my employment letter for the job she was applying for.”

Chief’s jaw dropped. “I don’t understand.”

“We both applied to the same organization without knowing.”

“But how? And how and when did you find out?”

“Sincerely, I also don’t understand. I found out on my way home when she called me and mentioned that the organization told her someone else was better qualified and offered her the customer relations role. She refused the offer. She said because that was not what she applied for.”

Chief burst out laughing and Adetutu looked at him in annoyance.

“Chief, this is not funny. You know how your daughter is when she wants something.”

Chief grinned. “I’m sure you know she got that from you. Do you know how you are when you want something? She didn’t pick this dogged attitude from the streets, my darling wife.” Chief said stroking her chin.

“What do we do? I’m confused and she is on her way home as we speak.”

“My advice is that if the company has no policy against family members working in the same organization, she should go ahead and take the offer. She is already experienced in customer relations, I don’t see why she should refuse the offer simply because she studied human resources.

Adetutu sighed as she heard the honk of her daughter’s car. She stood up and walked to the window.

“But I’m surprised the organization did not notice your surnames.”

Adetutu pulled the window blinds apart. “Your daughter uses your first name as her surname. Have you forgotten?”

“Oh true.” Chief said as he walked up to her. “I remember she is Omowunmi Olatunde and my darling wife is Adetutu Tunde-Ara.” He said as he planted a kiss on her lips.

***

Omowunmi walked in and saw her parents in an embrace with locked lips. “Erm…I can come back.” She said when they both looked at her.

“It’s fine Mowunmi. We were actually waiting for you.” Chief responded as he held his wife by the waist and led her to the couch.

“Mummy actually got me scared when I talked to her about an hour ago. What is the problem?”

“Come here darling.” Chief stretched his hand and his daughter walked over and took it. Chief pulled her to sit beside him; his wife on his right and his daughter on his left. “You both know how precious you are to me.” He said looking to his left and to his right.

The two women nodded.

“And you both know I want the best for you and the boys.”

The two women nodded.

Chief looked at his daughter. “Your mum told me about your offer. You are experienced in that department, I think you should accept the offer.”

“But daddy that was not what I applied for.”

“Your mother was offered the position you applied for.” Chief said looking straight into his daughter’s eyes.

“What?” Omowunmi exclaimed as she stood up. “Mum?” She looked at her mother with unbelieving eyes.

Her mother nodded.

“Why mum? Why didn’t you tell me you were applying for a job? And even if you wanted one, why Energy Communications and not daddy’s company? And to top it all, you went for my position?” Omowunmi asked in annoyance.

“Mowunmi, I discussed my job applications with your father. I never knew we both applied to the same organization. Yes, you told me about your tests and interviews but I was so engrossed in my own job search, I never asked for the organization you were applying to.”

“This is so unfair. What do you need a job for? Daddy has always provided for you. It is not like you need the extra money. Does the company even realize they gave a rich man’s wife a job?”

“Omowunmi!” Chief said calling his daughter to order. “You realize your statement to your mother is unfair. She stopped working to take care of you and your brothers. I gave her my blessings when she started writing her professional exams. I believe she deserves the job.”

“And what about me, daddy? Is it that my feelings don’t matter? You don’t think I deserve the job?” Omowunmi cried.

“Mowunmi, if you were a perfect fit for the job, do you think the organization would have denied you? Do you realize that the organization was probably impressed with your performance and decided to give you an alternative offer in a department where you have experience. My dear, I own a company and I can tell you authoritatively that most organizations would not do that. Once a slot is filled, that is the end. Every other candidate is let go.”

“So you just expect me to go and accept the other position?”

“You don’t have to. The position I offered you in my company still stands.” Chief said matter-of-factly.

Omowunmi harrumphed. “I will call the organization and accept the offer.”

Chief looked at his wife who had been quiet all along. “I think you also need to inform the organization about the family ties. This will help them decide on what to do.”

Adetutu nodded.

“I believe your mother deserves to be congratulated.” Chief said as he looked at his daughter.

Omowunmi took a deep breath as she walked towards her mother. She bent down and hugged her. “Congratulations mum. I’m sorry about what I said.”

Adetutu took her daughter’s face in her hands as she smiled with tears in her eyes. “I love you Omowunmi. Don’t ever forget that.”

***

Energy Communications had a policy against family members working in the same department and branch. Omowunmi was posted to manage the Ikeja branch of the office while Adetutu was retained at the head office in Victoria Island.

The End!

——
Photo Credit: https://www.financialfreedominspiration.com

A woman’s dream – Part 1

This story was inspired by a colleague. We had a discussion and she imagined that it would make a good story. This two-part story is dedicated to her.

————

Adetutu walked out of Energy Communications with her employment letter. She smiled and heaved a sigh of relief. Who would have thought at her age and little experience, she would be considered for employment as a Human Resources Officer? She walked to the car park and eased into the owner’s corner of her car.

“Where are we going ma?” Monday, her driver asked.

“Home.”

She wanted to share the good news with Chief face to face. She believed that a phone call will not suffice. She knew he would be proud of her; even though he had initially kicked against her search for employment.

—–

Adetutu had a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and was serving as a Youth Corp member in a law firm when she met Chief Olatunde Ara. He had come to see her boss who was a partner in the law firm. It was love at first sight for Chief as he spotted her manning the reception desk. He wasted no time in making his intentions known after three visits to her office. Adetutu had initially turned down Chief’s advances until the day she was summoned by her boss into his office.

“Tutu, I will go straight to the point and not mince words. I understand if you want to keep things very professional but Chief has asked me to help him talk to you. Sincerely, since Chief lost his wife three years ago, I have never seen his face light up at the sight of another woman. I think you should reconsider your stance and give him a chance.”

Adetutu took a deep breath.

“You don’t have to give me an answer. This is Chief’s card.” Her boss said handing over a complimentary card to her. “Give him a call once you make up your mind. I only hope your response will be favourable for Chief’s sake.”

Adetutu thanked her boss and left his office. She pondered over their discussion for the rest of the day. She reckoned Chief would be in his forties while she was just twenty-two. Was she ready to have a relationship with a man old enough to be her father?

——

Two days later, Adetutu called Chief and agreed to his proposition but with a condition that she did not want to be rushed. She wanted them to take the relationship at her own pace. Chief had been so excited. The next day, Adetutu met a bouquet of red roses and a box of chocolates on her desk.

Chief sent his driver daily to pick her up for lunch dates with him. She however, made sure she was back in the office before her lunch break was over as she did not want to take her boss or her job for granted. Chief told her about his late wife and how she had died after an ectopic pregnancy. It had been the first time she had been pregnant in their seven years of marriage; she had therefore refused to see a doctor even though she kept having pains. Both mother and child were lost.

 

Less than two years later, Adetutu became Chief’s wife. Exactly nine months after, Omowunmi was born. Less than eighteen months after, Adetutu gave birth to a set of twin boys. Chief convinced Adetutu that there was no point going back to work. She had her hands full already with three young kids and after much persuasion, Adetutu agreed. Chief opened a boutique for his wife and also paid her a monthly salary.

——

One evening, as Adetutu retired to bed in her husband’s arms, she propped herself up and looked at him. “Chief, I want to go back to school.”

Chief looked at her and laughed.

“I’m serious Chief.”

Chief’s countenance changed as he looked at his wife of seventeen years.  “What do you need the certificate for?”

“I want to go back to work.”

“Ahn…ahn, go back to work ke? At what age?”

“I am not yet forty-five. I can still get a job.”

Chief sat up straight. “What exactly do you need the job for?”

Adetutu smiled as she scooted closer to her husband. “The kids are grown and in the University already. I want to do something for myself. I feel unfulfilled.”

“I don’t understand. Your boutique is doing well. You have even expanded your business and have a spa and a salon, so what other fulfillment could you be looking for?” Chief asked in confusion.

“Please Chief, I just need your approval.”

Chief sighed as he nodded his head.

——

The next day, Adetutu registered as a professional student with a Human Resource Institute and began taking lectures almost immediately. In two years, she passed the exams in all the stages and Chief was proud of her as he stood beside her like a rock of Gibraltar during her induction. Adetutu went ahead to register as a professional student of a Management Institute and Chief thought she had lost it.

“You just finished one and you are starting another, Tutu.” Chief looked at her with unbelief.

Adetutu smiled. “Well Chief, I have the time. I can as well make the best use of it.”

“Does your daughter know you are doing all these courses?”

Adetutu shrugged. “Omowunmi is living her life, mummy too can live hers.” She responded.

——

In less than two years, she was done and inducted into the Institute. Omowunmi, who had just graduated from the university, attended her mother’s induction. Both father and daughter beamed with smiles at Adetutu’s achievements.

Adetutu, immediately began her search for a job.  She looked up job websites and purchased the daily newspapers looking out for vacancies. She knew it was not going to be a walk in the park considering her age but she kept her hopes high.

Her prayers were eventually answered with Energy Communications. As the driver took her home, she threw her head back and smiled. She heard the familiar ring tone she used for her daughter and rummaged her bag for her phone.

“Mummy.” Omowunmi spoke on the other end.

“Yes darling. How was your interview?”

Omowunmi sighed.

“What is the problem dear?”

“I wasn’t given the position I wanted. I was told someone else was better qualified.” Omowunmi hissed.

“Oh my! I’m so sorry darling, but you were offered another position?” Adetutu asked.

“Yes, mummy. I was offered the position of a customer relations officer.”

“I think you should take it.”

“But mummy that is not what I applied for?”

“What position did you apply for?” Adetutu asked as she adjusted herself.

“I applied for the position of a human resources officer. That is what I studied in school, mum. Why should I be given the position of a customer relations officer? I refused to accept the offer. They asked me to get back to them if I decided to change my mind but sincerely mum, I doubt I would.”

“Hmm…” Adetutu hummed. “Which organization is this?”

“Energy Communications.”

“What?” Adetutu screamed.

“Mum, are you okay?” Omowunmi panicked.

“Erm…erm…I’m fine. Are you on your way home?”

“Mum? What is wrong?”

“Nothing….nothing. Are you on your way home?” Adetutu stammered.

“Yes, I am just about driving out of the company premises.”

“Okay. Come home, we would talk about it when you get home.”

“Mummy, what is wrong?” Omowunmi asked; unconvinced with her mother’s responses.

“Just come home.” Adetutu said with a tone of finality.

….To be continued.

——–

Photo Credit: https://www.financialfreedominspiration.com

Identity Disaster

Mr. Olaiya’s jaw dropped as he looked at the lady standing before him. She was dressed in a skimpy dress that barely covered her thighs. The man holding her by the waist was wearing a white jalabia and the expression on his face was irritation.

“Moriamo, you deny me your father?”

Chief looked at Stella and also at the strange man. “Mr. man, she say she no know you. What is your problem? You are constituting a nuisance and I fit call the police.”

Ah! Moriamo, èmi bàbá ë. Ayé mi!” (Moriamo, I am your father). The man exclaimed.

“Chief, let’s go. I don’t know this man and he is embarrassing me.” Stella said.

Ah! Ah! Sèbí, mo sín gbéré sí ë láyà ní ìkókó. Jë ki n ri? (I made an incision on your chest as a baby. Let me see it).

“What is he saying?” Chief asked as he looked at Stella.

“I don’t know Chief. I don’t understand what he is saying. Please, let’s go.” Stella said as she pulled Chief away from the scene. The strange man was beginning to garner a few stares.

Chief and Stella left Mr. Olaiya whose hand was on his head in lamentation.

********

The next day, Chief and Stella flew back into Nigeria. Stella convinced Chief that she wanted to cut short her vacation as her encounter with the strange man had made her homesick. She wanted to go home to see her mother and also visit her dead father’s grave; she told him.

 

Immediately they arrived into the country, Stella took a cab to see her mother in Akute. As the cab took her to her destination, she kept thinking about the encounter she had in the United States. She shook her head to dispel her thoughts as she approached her house.

Stella eased out of the cab, paid the driver and took out her hand luggage from the boot. A woman stood outside an unpainted bungalow throwing corn grains at some chickens. She stopped when she saw Stella walking towards her.

“Ëkáàsán màámi.” (Good afternoon my mother). Stella said as she knelt down.

Moriamo, ökö mi. Káàbò.” (Welcome, my husband).

Báwo ni ilé-ìwé?” (How is school?)

Adúpé mà.” (Thank God).

Bàámi nkó?” (What about my father?)

Jë ka wö inú ilé náá, ògiri l’étí.” (Let us go inside. The walls have ears).

Moriamo dragged her hand luggage into the small living room and put it by the side. As she sat down on the single couch, she looked eagerly at her mother.

Bàbá ë ti lö fa gbùrù ní ilú òyinbó.” (Your father has travelled abroad to hustle).

Moriamo bent her head as she thought of her encounter with her father. She knew he was her father. A man knew his children but how was she supposed to explain her business in the U.S? How was she supposed to explain that she had told Chief she was bored in school and wanted to go on vacation? She had had no choice but to deny knowing him. He was right that she had been given an incision on her chest as a child. When she kept falling ill, her father had taken her to visit a herbalist who had give her the incision and her bout of sicknesses had ceased immediately.

As she went to bed that night, she decided the United States was no longer a country to visit.

——–

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Stages of Life

Lara saw her best friend on TV and smiled. Yemi was anchoring a game show and she was good at it. Lara remembered how close they were in secondary school. They had been best friends and other students had envied their relationship. A few friends had even tried to come in-between them by telling tales but they had seen beyond the envy and jealousy and stuck together.

Lara went on to study Chemistry at the University of Lagos while Yemi had studied Mass Communication in a University in South Africa. They had tried to keep up their friendship through phone calls and text messages but after a while, Yemi became unreachable. All efforts made by Lara ended fruitlessly and she concluded that Yemi must have changed her number. She had also tried to search for Yemi through Facebook but that had also been unsuccessful.

 

*****

Ten years after graduation from secondary school, Lara watched her friend on TV and was proud of her. Watching her now, she realized the reason why she hadn’t been able to find her on Facebook. Yemi had dropped her first name and was now identified by her second name, Joyce. She did a quick search on Facebook with the new name and found her. She immediately sent her a friend request.

 

A week passed and Lara was yet to get an acceptance from her friend. She decided to send her a message. She was however shocked when she got a rejection to her friend request and a response to her message. The message read; “I have moved on from teenage friendships. Get a life.”

Lara must have read the message a thousand times. She wondered what could have come over her friend. Had she written something that resulted in such a response? She went back to read her message to Yemi again. She had congratulated her friend on the TV programme and told her she was doing a good job. She had also mentioned how she had searched for her for so long; not realizing she had dropped her first name. She had asked her to keep in touch.

As Lara deleted the message, she made a mental note to move on and forget she ever had a friend named Yemi.

—–

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A chance to live

“Mummy, let us run away.” Chiamaka cried as she held on to her mother’s legs.

Even though she was just six years old, she was tired of the situation she and her mother found themselves in. The past twelve months had been traumatic for both of them. “Mummy.” Chiamaka said as she shook her mother.

*****

Kelechi rang the doorbell. Tope rushed to open the door and smiled. “Welcome darling.” She said as she hugged him. Kelechi refused to hug her back and she stepped back to look at him. “Is something wrong?”

Kelechi ignored her as he walked into the living room of their two bedroom flat and slumped into the couch. Tope looked on as she wondered what the problem could be. She walked into the living room and sat beside her husband. “Kelechi, what is the problem?” She asked.

“Please just leave me alone.”

“Ah…ah, Kelechi. How can I leave you alone when you are looking this way? Tell me please. Did something happen in the office?”

“Woman, I said leave me alone.” Kelechi snapped.

“Okay, okay.” Tope said standing up. “Are you ready to eat now?”

Kelechi nodded a response.

Tope dished the food and put it on the table. She called her husband to have his meal and left to clean up the kitchen.

*****

The next day, Tope woke up at 6:00a.m as usual. She had her bath, woke her daughter, Chiamaka and got her prepared for school. At 7:00a.m, Chiamaka asked her mum. “Where is daddy? He hasn’t come out of the room. Isn’t he taking me to school today?”

Tope looked at the clock on the wall. Kelechi should have been out of the room by now, dressed for work and ready to drop their daughter off at school on the way to his office.

She went back into the bedroom and saw Kelechi still sleeping. She sat on the bed and tapped him. “Darling, you are late for work and Chiamaka is almost ready for school.”

“I am not going to work today.” Kelechi said as he turned his back to her.

“But you did not tell me you are going on leave. We always planned for it together for Chiamaka’s school vacation period.”

Kelechi turned to look at Tope. “Look Tope, can you please leave me alone?”

Tope’s jaw dropped as she looked at her husband. “What is going on?” She thought. She took a deep breath. “Your daughter is ready for school.”

“I am not taking her to school today.”

“Kelechi, what is the meaning of all this? I have been asking you since yesterday what the problem is and you have refused to say anything?”

Kelechi stood up from the bed all of a sudden. “You want to know, abi? I have been sacked. Sacked, do you hear me? Sacked?”

*****

The next twelve months, Tope had done her best to take care of the family. She paid their daughter’s school fees, provided for the home and made sure they lacked nothing. She was a school teacher in a private secondary school. Her salary was not fantastic but she managed whatever she received and prayed that Kelechi would get another job to relieve her of the financial strain.

Kelechi went out every evening and came back home drunk. Initially, Tope complained and each time she did, she got beaten. She was reminded that the fact that she took care of the home did not make her the head of the house. When Tope got tired of being beaten, she stopped complaining. She left the door unlocked every evening for Kelechi to come in whenever he decided to.

*****

Tope had been so tired when she got back from work that she forgot to leave the door unlocked. Kelechi rang the bell so many times before Tope opened it. As she did, dozens of slaps landed on her face.

“So you have the guts to lock me outside now, ehn?” Kelechi shouted breathlessly as he continued to pummel her face.

Tope screamed but the more she struggled, the more kicks and slaps she got. When Kelechi was done, he walked into their bedroom breathing hard and slumped on the bed. In a few minutes, he began to snore loudly.

Tope sat on the floor as she cried. She was tired of getting beaten every time. Everything she did or said was used against her. She thought of leaving but what would people say. What would her friends say? What would her family say? What would her church members say? All these questions bothered her.

She crawled into her daughter’s bed and folded into a foetal position as she cried to sleep. Chiamaka woke up at about 6:00am and saw her mother lying beside her. There were bruises all over her face and body. Chiamaka burst into tears.

“Mummy, wake up and let us run away.” Chiamaka said as she tapped her mother. “Mummy, wake up.” She cried.

Chiamaka stood up from her bed and opened the door of her room. She could hear her father snoring loudly from the bedroom opposite hers. She walked to the main door and opened it. She stepped out and banged on the door of the flat opposite theirs.

 

Kola walked to the door groggily. He opened the door and was shocked to see Chiamaka standing before him. She was still in her “Dora the explorer” pyjamas. Kola bent down and looked at her. “Chiamaka, what are you doing outside at this time of the morning? Where is your mummy and why are you crying?”

Chiamaka wiped her cheeks with her hands. “I have been waking my mummy up so that we can run away but she is not answering me.”

Kola took a deep breath. He understood what Chiamaka was talking about. He had talked to Kelechi once about it but Kelechi had told him to mind his business. He even told him that his inability to mind his business was the reason why he was still single.

“Let us go and see your mummy.” Kola said as he held Chiamaka’s hands.

Chiamaka led him into the house and into her room. Kola was shocked when he saw Tope. He lifted her up and carried her out of the house. He placed her gently in the backseat of his car while Chiamaka eased in and sat beside her mother.

“Are you taking us far away from this house?” Chiamaka asked Kola as he eased into the car.

“Chi, your mother needs to see a doctor first.”

“Okay sir. But we don’t want to come back here and I don’t want my daddy to know where we are.”

Kola sighed. “Okay Chi.”

 

A week later, Tope was discharged from the hospital. Kola took her straight to her parents house. Her parents welcomed her back with open arms. They hugged Chiamaka with tears in their eyes. They were grateful to her for saving their daughter’s life.

——-
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One Last Chance

Lekan took one last look round his room. The room had one window opening. A tattered wrapper which was torn in so many places was used as a cover from the prying eyes of neighbours. A kerosene stove stood on the left side of the room but it was obvious that it had not been in use for a long time. A pair of trousers, four shirts and two ties hung on the wall above a flat mattress which looked more like a pieces of foam cut together. He should have returned the ties to Wale by now; he thought. He was sure Wale would come get it later; that is if he decided to. He shrugged.

A brown bucket with a broken handle was placed beside the door. A bar soap lay inside a native sponge in the bucket. The green soap was both a bathing and a washing soap.

He sighed as he looked at the small ziploc bag for medication in his hands. Ten white tablets sat in it, waiting to be consumed. He had borrowed some money from his neighbour and told him he would return it at the end of the month. With the look his neighbour gave him, he knew the man did not believe him; but he did not care because he knew everything was ending today.

 

He had told the man at the chemist that he could not sleep well. He avoided the pharmacy. They would ask too many questions. The chemist gave him the ten tablets and told him to take one every day for the next two weeks.  He opened the medical bag and poured all the  ten tablets into his hand. If only the man knew his intention, he thought as he took a deep breath.

He took out the sachet of whiskey he had kept under his mattress and looked at it. He had never taken alcohol before and he wondered how this would taste. He used his teeth to tear it open, threw all the tablets into his mouth and poured the drink down his throat. He grimaced as he swallowed. He downed a cup of water to help push the contents down.

Now, he only needed to lie down and wait.

******

Wale had this sudden urge to open Lekan’s email account. Lekan had opened it at a business centre after their graduation from the university seven years ago. He used it to send his resume to various organizations but none had called him for a test or an interview. Lekan had given him the email and password to help him check his emails from time to time in case a job offer came up. He had told him he could not afford to waste money that could be used for food at a business centre.

Wale wondered why Lekan was so unlucky. He was one of the best graduating students in the Business Administration department but life had been unfair to him. He was an orphan without siblings. He had lost his mother at birth. An aunt who had decided to take care of him after the loss of his father at the age of twelve had treated him like a slave. He had to hawk everyday to be able to eat. His aunt refused to send him to school; so he used the proceeds from his hawking to get a secondary education.

He secured admission into the University and the struggle continued. Most times, he worked through the nights at various times as a security guard, a bartender and a washman just to get a University education. He had hoped to get a good job immediately after graduation with his good grades but that eluded him as well. He had to continue doing odd jobs just to keep body and soul together. He had asked to borrow a tie from Wale whenever he wanted to write bank tests or attend interviews but Wale had decided to give him two.

Wale felt pity for him. He wasn’t one of the best in the department and he remembered meeting Lekan on so many occasions for tutorials. He had however secured a job with one of the top banks in the country immediately after they completed their National Youth Service. He had also assisted in submitting Lekan’s resume to the bank but he never got called for a test.

He knew his bank was in need of customer service agents and tellers from time to time and he had discussed the opportunity with his boss numerous times. His boss had however, refused to give Lekan a chance. He told Wale that he needed experienced hands. He felt unhappy because he knew his friend was already tending towards depression. He had paid him a visit last weekend and he could see dejection written boldly on his face.

 

He logged into Lekan’s yahoo account and the first email that stared at him was an invitation from a recruitment company asking him to visit Wale’s bank to sign a letter for a contract job as a teller. His monthly package was also stated and he was given a month to either accept or reject the offer. Wale could not believe his eyes. He did not even know that the customer service and teller jobs in his bank had been contracted out. He was so happy that he immediately put a call to Lekan. The phone rang out a number of times without response. He wondered why Lekan wasn’t picking up his calls. He looked at his wrist watch. It read 4:30p.m. In thirty minutes, he should be done for the day.

At 5:15p.m, Wale walked out of the bank. He contemplated whether to go home and change before going to Lekan’s house. He was famished and he needed to rest. He had prepared some jollof rice for himself last night and he was already dreaming about eating it with a cold bottle of coke. He put a call to Lekan again and the phone kept ringing. He eased into his blue Toyota Corolla and drove out of his office. In an hour, he was seated in front of his TV with a plate of jollof rice, chicken and a bottle of coke. He called Lekan’s phone again without success.

At 8:30p.m, Wale woke up with a start. He hadn’t realized that he had dozed off after the meal. He picked up the remote beside him and switched off the TV. He remembered he had been trying to reach Lekan and he put a call to him again. Lekan’s phone was switched off. He hissed as he thought about going to bed. He was about to go to his room when he had a strange feeling. He stopped suddenly in his tracks. He picked up his wallet and car keys, locked his door in a hurry and ran out of the house. He drove for the next forty-five minutes like a mad man as other drivers spewed expletives at him. “Oh God, oh God, let it not be what I am thinking.” He prayed as he drove.

******

Lekan had seen the first call from Wale. He wondered why Wale was calling him and he had ignored the call. When the calls became persistent, he tried to pick it up but he was already dizzy. He decided to let it ring. He didn’t need anyone’s pity right now. He wanted to go peacefully.

 

Wale burst into Lekan’s room at 9:20p.m. Lekan had not made an attempt to lock the door. Wale saw his friend lying on the mattress with a satchet of whiskey beside him. He instantly knew there was trouble as he was aware that Lekan never drank.

“Lekan, Lekan, Lekan.” He shouted shaking his friend. Lekan was still and Wale began to panic. He put his thumb under his friend’s nostrils to check if he was still breathing. He felt a faint wisp of air. He ran out of the room to seek help and bumped into the man that Lekan had borrowed money from.

“Oga, take it easy nau, haba!” The man said.

“Please help me, please.” Wale pleaded.

“Wetin?” The man sneered.

“Help me carry my friend to the car.”

“Your friend? Who be your friend? Wetin do am wey he no fit waka by himself?”

“Please just help me.” Wale begged.

“Abeg comot.” The man said pushing Wale away.

“Oh God, oh God, Lekan, please don’t die.” Wale said almost at the point of tears.

The man turned back and looked at Wale. “That jobless Lekan nah your friend? He borrow money from my hand. I go make sure say I collect my money at the end of the month.”

“He is about to die, please help me.”

“Die ke? Abeg, I need my money oh. Make e no die yet. Where he dey?”

Wale pointed towards Lekan’s room and the man rushed towards the room with Wale at his heels. The man helped Wale drag Lekan into the car. Wale sped to the nearest hospital with prayers on his lips.

******

The doctor came out of Lekan’s room an hour later with a grim face. Wale rushed towards the doctor as he asked about his friend.

“Doctor, how is he? What is wrong?”

The doctor took a deep breath. “The blood sample taken shows a high dose of a sleeping drug. There was also alcohol in his blood which is a deadly combination.”

“What does that mean doctor? Will he be fine?”

“Let’s take it one day at a time.” The doctor replied.

“I don’t understand, doctor. He is alive, right?”

“For now, but he is in a coma. Let us hope he survives it.”

Wale put his hands on his head in lamentation. “Oh God, why didn’t I get there earlier?”

“Don’t punish yourself unnecessarily.” The doctor said as he patted Wale on the back.

“Ah doctor, you won’t understand.”

The doctor gave Wale a sad smile as he walked to his office.

******

Wale kept going to the hospital every day after work. About eight days later, Lekan came out of the coma. He was a bit disoriented and had no idea of where he was or what happened to him. The doctor ran some more tests on him and referred him to see a psychologist.

“Your friend is fine and can go home now.” The doctor told Wale some days later. “He is definitely lucky. Some cases like this don’t end well. Please ensure he sees the psychologist.”

Wale nodded his answer.

 

As Wale drove Lekan to his apartment, he said a silent thanks to God for keeping his friend alive. He was going to keep an eye on him going forward. He had prepared the guest room in his apartment for his friend. Life had given both of them a second chance and he was going to try his best to make sure he did not fail this time.

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.shuttershock.com

Pregnant Imaginations

The pregnant lady sitting in the swivel chair at the salon section shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

The manicurist attending to my nails looked at her. “Aunty, you want water?”

“No, thank you.” The lady replied.

“Are you okay?” The manicurist asked; concern written on her face.

The pregnant lady smiled and shifted again; probably trying to find a comfortable position. “Yes, I am fine. Thank you.”

I looked at the pregnant lady and weird ideas for a story just flew into my head. I grinned as my imagination went on overdrive.

I imagined the lady drove to the salon herself.

I imagined this being her first pregnancy and being a little anxious and naive.

I imagined her water breaking while she sat there and going into panic mode immediately.

I imagined me telling her to calm down while I asked for her car keys.

I imagined the whole salon suddenly going abuzz with the salon attendants running helter-skelter wondering what to do and how to help.

I imagined the lady puffing and panting as tears streamed down her cheeks.

I imagined myself driving with crazy speed to the hospital where she was registered (after getting the information from her).

I imagined one of the salon attendants calling her husband through her phone and explaining the situation to him.

I imagined us (myself and one of the salon attendants) waiting patiently in the hospital (after she had been taken into the labour ward) till the arrival of her husband.

I imagined her husband arriving at the hospital with worry lines deeply etched on his forehead.

I imagined her husband calling me hours later that his wife had been delivered of a baby.

I smiled and shook my head as my mind ran different thoughts.

I guess this is one of the reasons I call my mind a creative machine 😄

——

Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

Sidi’s first dance

Late post….Apologies.  Wordpress issues still unresolved.

******
The honk of a taxi blared outside their room. “It’s time.” Rukayat clapped like an excited child. They walked out of their room and waved to the taxi driver who nodded to acknowledge them. Rukayat walked briskly to the waiting taxi while Sidikat took one step at a time. “C’mon Rukkie, wait for me.” She said to her friend. Ruka walked back and held her friend by the hand.

They arrived the venue of the party in about forty-five minutes. Music was already blasting from speakers stationed on the porch. Rukayat looked at her friend and both of them shared a smile. Four guys in their class were standing outside; each holding a glass of wine. “Oh my goodness, Musari is here already.” Sidi said feeling giddy.

Ruka paid the taxi driver and eased out of the car carefully. Musari noticed her and smiled. As Sidi eased out of the car, Musari saw her. Sidi raised her head high and flicked her hair. She locked eyes with Musari as she smiled at him. The air was cool and a light breeze blew her flowing gown. Sidi loved the way her dress danced to the tune of the wind until she stepped on it mistakenly. Before she knew it, she hit the ground as Musari and his friends rushed to help her up.

As they tried to, she realized she had twisted her ankle and she screamed as pain shot through her body. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she bit her lip.

“Sorry.” Ruka said as she turned round to attend to her friend. She removed her friend’s shoes from her feet. “Should we take you to a hospital? It looks like your ankle has been sprained.”

Sidi nodded unable to utter a word.

********

Two hours earlier

Sidikat put her feet carefully into the shoes and stood up to take a step. She wobbled a bit but regained her composure. “Are you sure you can walk in those heels?” Rukayat asked her.

“Of course, what do you mean? I’m a chic.” Sidi replied.

“Okay oh. If you say so.”

They got dressed with excitement. They had less than thirty minutes before the taxi they booked was due to arrive. They had refused to attend their last lecture in school which was slated for 5.30pm. They wanted to get back to the hostel early enough to freshen up for the night party.

Considering the distance from school to the venue, they decided to book a taxi for 7.00pm. Ten minutes after the scheduled pick up time, the taxi’s timer would start to surcharge them. It was their first party outside campus and they were both thrilled and anxious. They were both 100 level students of the Law department.

Rukayat had chosen a red floor length straight dress and wore a pair of kitten heels black pumps. She told Sidikat that since it was an all-night party, she wanted to be comfortable. Sidi, however had chosen a black flowing dress with a red 6 inch stiletto sandals.

She catwalked to and fro the room trying to maintain her balance.

******

The doctor examined Sidi’s ankle and put an ice pack on it. He bound her ankle in a stirrup splint and asked her to stay off heels for the next three months.

Sidi looked at her friend with tears in her eyes. “I should have listened to you. I was really looking forward to dancing with Musari. I guess that won’t happen any longer.”

Ruka gave her friend a sad smile. “It may happen sometime later.”

“Yeah, sometime later.” She sighed regretfully.

——

Photo Credit: http://www.dhgate.com

Tears, Blood and Death – Part 2

He closed his eyes as tears streamed down his cheeks. It seemed like it had happened just a day ago as the memories came flooding back.

The face he saw yesterday had been so familiar. He had juggled his memory since he met him. As he stood inside the ruins of the old house, it all came back to him. He recognized the face that had haunted him the past twenty-one years. It wasn’t a dream. It was the face that had been etched in his memory. A face he wished he had forgotten. A face he wished he never met again.

********

He had brought his car to his workshop for repairs. The man had mentioned that he had been referred by other people who had been impressed with his job.

He was unable to sleep last night. He tossed and turned as he kept thinking about the face that had come to his workshop in the morning. He eventually dozed off in the early hours of the morning and had a fitful sleep. He woke up at 5a.m and said his prayers. He had a quick bath and instead of setting out to work, he took a trip to father’s house. His mind raced back to the last time he was there.

********

After the men left, he burst into fresh tears as he banged on the door of the toilet. There was eerie silence. He continued to bang on the door until he heard mother’s whisper. She was calling him. He put his ears close to the door to listen. She called him again and he said a silent thank you to God. She was alive.

Mother dragged herself on the floor to the toilet door.

“Màámi.” (My mother). He called when he noticed movements outside the toilet door.

“Ökö mi.” (My husband). She cried.

“Màámi, open the door.”

“The key is not on the door.” She replied.

“Check daddy’s pocket.”

He heard mother grunting as she dragged herself to where her husband lay still. He heard her burst into fresh tears and his heart broke. He wanted to know what was happening outside the darkened toilet.

Mother opened the door of the toilet and he took a while for his eyes to adjust to the bright light. He had no idea how long he had been locked in. When his eyes became accustomed to the environment, he saw mother on the floor. She was bleeding from her leg. He immediately removed his tee-shirt and tied it around her leg. He had seen it done so many times in movies when people were shot.

He got a pillow from the couch and placed it under mother’s head. He then walked over to grandma. There was a bullet hole in her head. He shivered as his lips trembled. He walked over to father. He was bleeding from the neck.

He ran outside the house and went to the neighbour’s house. He banged on the gate continuously until someone came out shouting. “Who is banging my gate like that at this time of the night?”

“It is me, sir.” He said crying. “Please help me sir.”

The man had been their neighbour in the last two years but kept to himself most of the time. He worked in the bank; leaving home very early and arriving very late at night. He lived alone.

“What is wrong? Why are you crying?” The man asked as he got to the gate.

“Please help my mother. Please help me.”

“Your mother?” The man asked.

He dragged the man by the hand towards his house.

********

Mother was rushed to the hospital. The doctors battled to save her life. Father’s brothers came to the hospital and accused mother of killing their brother and their mother. They asked why she wasn’t also killed. According to them, it meant she planned the attack. Mother became miserable as she cried every day and hoped for death. He became a wretched child as none of father’s family was ready to have anything to do with him. He was labelled the son of a witch and a murderer.

Three weeks later, mother died. She told him she had no reason to live any more. He begged her to stay with him but she said her spirit had left her. She felt betrayed that father’s brothers could think the worst of her. She said life had lost meaning to her. He sat by her side all through the night pleading with her but she died in her sleep.

Mother’s younger sister decided to take him in but she had four kids of her own and was just a petty trader. Her husband was a mechanic and he told him that he could not afford to send him to school. He asked him to join him in his workshop and start learning the trade so that he could make money on time to fend for himself.

“You need to grow up.” His uncle had told him. “There is no time for spoon feeding.”

He took his uncle’s advice and became diligent in his work.

********

He walked out of father’s house and drove back to his workshop. He wanted to know this man. He arrived at his workshop at 10:30am. The man was already waiting for him. Even though, he had aged, the features he saw that night were too evident for him to ignore. The man chatted with him as he got to work.

“Sir, did you ever live around Festac?” He asked him as he got his scanner to diagnose the car.

“Yes, I did but that was in the 90s. My son even attended a primary school there before we moved out of the area.”

“Oh right. What is your son’s name?”

“Adeleke Adegbami….”

That was all he heard as his hand stopped moving. He kept looking at the screen of the scanner but he no longer saw the prints on the screen. He saw his best friend’s face smiling at him as they sat down together.

“My daddy is coming tomorrow.”

Will you bring something for me?”

“Of course. You are my best friend. My daddy will bring goodies from abroad.”

The old man kept talking…. “He is in the states now. He is doing very well with a wife and two kids”….. but he no longer heard him. His mind was faraway locked up in the darkened toilet in father’s house.

He got his slide and rolled under the car. He opened the brake valves and began to flush it.

He rolled out. “Your car is okay now, sir.” He said.

“Thank you, my son.” The man said as he paid for his services and entered into his vehicle.

——-

The End

Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com

Tears, Blood and Death – Part 1

He stood before the ruins of the old house. The house was a complete shadow of itself. It was a white duplex but the paint on the outside had totally peeled off. He pushed back the low gate and walked in. The compound had become overgrown with weeds and a big rat scurried away as he stepped forward. He looked up at the louvres on the right and his mind raced back to when he sat on the railings of the balcony turning it into a swing. This action always got him a scolding from mother.

The door was broken down. He walked into the house. The interior looked like a hurricane had happened in there. The cream leather settee that always sat on the right of the living room was no longer there. A cool breeze blew into the room and he began to hear the sound of the wooden rocking chair. He smiled in spite of the situation. He closed his eyes and saw grandma seated on the chair. As it rocked gently, she knitted and hummed a song. She looked up at him and smiled.

“Come here darling.” She said as she patted her laps.

He walked forward and stood before the rocking chair. She would lift him up as she dropped the knitting accessories on the side stool beside her on the right. He looked there and noticed the stool had been upturned. He bent down to lift it up. He placed his hands on it gingerly as if it was an egg that could break. He closed his eyes and a tear slid down his cheeks. The stool was grandma’s favourite.

He heard the sound of clinking glasses and looked towards the kitchen to the left of the living room. As he walked down, he passed by a blue teddy bear lying on the floor. It had become dirty and the colour was hardly recognizable. It looked more brown than blue. It had been his tenth birthday gift from father. He held the teddy bear by the hand and headed towards the kitchen.

“Food is ready.” Mother sang as she held his two hands and danced to an imaginary tune. It had become her signature. “Get seated.” She would say and he would run to set the table ready. Grandma always said the prayers at dinner.

********

“My daddy is coming back tomorrow.” He told his best friend. They were both ten and sat together in class. They were in Primary five.

“Will you bring something for me?” His friend asked.

“Of course. You are my best friend. My daddy will bring goodies from abroad.”

********

Mother was restless as she jumped every time she heard the sound of a car. She had asked him to go to bed as there was school the next day but he refused. He wanted to see father before going to bed. They heard the honk of a car and mother ran to open the curtains. Light from the headlamps reflected into the living room and mother began to dance. Her husband had arrived home from Spain.

Grandma dropped her knitting pins and lifted her glasses from the rope around her neck. She placed the glasses gingerly on her nose as she awaited her son.

Father paid off the taxi driver that brought him home and trudged in as he rolled his travel luggages. Mother ran to give father a hug and a kiss.

“Káàbò, olówó orí mi.” (Welcome, my crown).

“O sé. Sé àláfíà ni gbogbo yín wà?” (Thank you. Are you all well?)

“Adúpé l’ówó Ölórun.” (We thank God).

Father prostrated to greet grandma as he came in and she began to pray for him. After grandma’s long prayers, father hugged him and asked him why he was still awake.

“Don’t mind him. He refused to go to bed because he was waiting for you.” Mother said as she laughed heartily.

They heard the sound of a car parking outside.

“You should go to bed now.” Father told him.

“I want to see what you bought for me.” He told father.

He had promised to bring something to school for his friend and he wanted to fulfill his promise.

The gates outside opened slowly and father looked towards the door. He looked at mother and grandma. “Are you expecting anyone?” He asked.

They both shook their heads.

All of a sudden, the front door was kicked with so much force that it broke into splinters.

Father’s movement was very swift that he hardly understood what had happened until he saw himself in the toilet and he heard the door lock behind him. He knelt down by the door and peeped through the key hole. What was going on?

“Where is the money?” A male voice asked.

“Which money?” Father responded.

“Give me the money before I blow off your head.”

Father looked at mother and grandma with a hard stare. They were the only people who were aware that he was coming home. He had never seen father look at them that way and he wondered what mother and grandma could have done wrong.

“Please my son, don’t do this. He doesn’t have any money.” Grandma pleaded.

“Shut up mama. Tell your son to bring the money he brought back.”

He strained his eyes through the key hole to see what was going on. Grandma looked at father with tears in her eyes. “Which money is he asking for?”

He noticed there was another man in the room. The man pointed the gun at grandma and pulled the trigger. The shot was silent. Grandma fell back like a sack of potatoes hitting her head on the stool. He heard mother’s scream and saw father struggle with the man who had pulled the trigger. He heard three more muffled shots and then silence.

Tears streamed down his cheeks as he peeped through the key hole. He touched his lower body. It was wet. It dawned on him that he had peed on himself.

“Why did you kill them?” The first man shouted at his partner.

“Can’t you see that he wasn’t co-operating and he was even trying to collect my gun?” The man replied as he pulled off the black mask on his face.

“Just carry the boxes and let’s get out of here fast. This was not the plan.”

As the men walked out of the house with the same travel luggages that father had brought in some minutes ago, a black car reversed from the beginning of the street to the front of the house. As the car got to the men, the boot had already been opened. They dumped the luggages into the boot and and the car sped away with lightning speed leaving sorrow, tears and blood behind.

….To be continued

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