Tag Archives: death

Two Hearts

“Eko Idumota, Eko Idumota!!! Mi ò ní change o, wölé pèlú change ë. I no get change, I dey talk my own now oh.”

Adeola froze when she heard the voice. She was on her way to the market to buy black clothes for her mother. Her mother had never liked the colour black as she associated it with death.

Growing up, Adeola had been warned many times by her mother against wearing black. Her mother was of the belief that the colour was a bad omen and attracted evil. She and her mum always had a running battle over this, as Adeola loved the colour black. She sometimes dressed in all black while she was in the university and was unbothered by the strange looks she sometimes got.

Her mother who never wore black was now forced to wear it. Her husband’s body was lying cold in the mortuary and tradition expected that she was garbed in the colour black.

******

“Aunty, comot for road if you no dey go make another person enter my moto jo. Eko Idumota!!!” The voice boomed above the other voices shouting their various destinations. A passenger trying to get into the bus shoved Adeola to the side and she turned.

Their eyes met. Shock registered boldly on their faces and they stared at each other.

“Eko….” He stopped mid-sentence; his eyes locked on hers. The bus was about moving and she flagged it to stop.

“O n wölé.” The conductor shouted and the bus halted.

Adeola entered the bus as she continued to stare at the conductor.

The conductor was speechless as he also couldn’t take his eyes off Adeola.

“Bèrè sí gba owó mí o.” The driver shouted at the conductor.

The conductor began to collect the fares from the passengers. Adeola stretched a two hundred note to him but he refused to collect it.

“Collect your money, Deolu.” Adeola said.

Deolu ignored her as he turned his back to her.

“Deolu!” Adeola called out again.

Deolu burst out into tears. He began to wipe off his tears with his hands, embarrassed by his sudden breakdown in the presence of strangers.

“Ahn…ahn, wetin happen?” One of the passengers sitting beside Adeola asked.

“Wetin you tell am wey he dey cry?” Another asked.

Another passenger looked at Adeola and looked at the conductor. She opened her mouth wide and exclaimed. “Olúwa ò.”

“Wetin dey happen for dia? Kí ló dé?” The driver shouted. He took his eyes off the road briefly. “S’ó ò lè sòrò ni? Mo ní kí n ló sëlè níbè yën?”

“Driver, take am easy oh. You no look the face of your conductor and this girl.” Another passenger said.

“Wetin do dia face wey I go dey look am?”

“E be like dem be family?”

“So how that one take consine me?” The driver snorted. “Me I no get family too?”

“Driver, ó wà o.” Adeola said. She turned to Deolu. “Daddy is dead, you can come home now. The burial is next Thursday.”

Deolu shook his head as his tears flowed freely down his cheeks.

Adeola touched her twin brother’s shoulders as she made an attempt to alight from the bus. “Please come home. Maami’s heart has been broken since you left. Don’t let her die without knowing you are still alive. Please!” Adeola pleaded.

Deolu nodded as his sister alighted and watched the bus zoom off  to its destination.

——
Photo Credit: https://www.vectorstock.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

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

Blood on his hands

Ikenna ran after his elder brother and pulled the trigger. “Pa pa pa.” He shouted as he pumped the bullets into him.

Blood gushed out as the bullets hit Chidi in the head. Chidi slumped and the sight of blood shocked Ikenna.
He looked at the pistol in his hand and immediately flung it away. Even though he had seen blood gush out in the movies, he hadn’t expected to see the same happen right before him.

They had played this same game many times and blood had never gushed out of his elder brother. The gun they had played with was exactly the same as the one he held a moment ago but it had never caused a flow of blood.

Confused at what was going on, he began to cry. “Mummy, mummy.” He screamed.

******

Adaeze was jolted out of her sleep. She had taken a brief afternoon nap and had just had a bad dream. For some reasons, she felt something was amiss. She had no idea what it was but she knew she needed to get up and attend to her sons. She was heavily pregnant for her third child and the scan had shown that she was carrying a girl. She was happy as she had decided that after this, she was done with child bearing.

The birth of her sons; Ikenna and Chidi who were four and six respectively had been traumatizing for her. She had both of them through a caesarean operation and the doctor had advised her after the birth of Ikenna to give child bearing a wide berth. When she confided in the doctor that she wanted to have one more child and try for a girl, the doctor had wondered why. But she had been adamant and told the doctor; just one last time.

Her son’s scream echoed round the house and she immediately jumped up and ran up the stairs to see what was going on. As she entered into the room, the sight before her made her knees buckle and she went down.

“Mummy.” Ikenna ran to meet his mother and fell into her arms.

Adaeze looked at her younger son and burst into tears. She crawled to where Chidi lay in a pool of blood and pulled him close. She gave a cry of anguish as she hugged her son who lay still in her arms.

How many times had she warned Nnanna about keeping a loaded gun in his room? How many times had she pleaded with him to get rid of the gun? How many times had she told him to get a safe and lock up the deadly weapon if he had to keep it in his room? How many times? How many times?

As she cried out and held her first son’s still body, the only thing on her mind was hurt, regret and sorrow.

——
Photo Credit: http://www.veteranstoday.com

 

Fatal call

Tunde was driving at 60km per hour on the third mainland bridge. He bobbed his head to the music blaring from his radio speakers. As he descended at the Onikan end of the bridge and was about to circle the roundabout to face Awolowo road, his mobile phone began to ring.  He put the earpiece attached to his Bluetooth into his ears as he tapped the receive button.

“Hello.”

“Bròdá mi, Bàámi ti kú o.” (My brother, father is dead). The person on the other end cried into the phone.

Tunde took his eyes off the road for a few seconds and in those seconds; everything seemed to happen swiftly. He failed to notice the truck coming from his right at top speed and by the time he looked up, the sound of metal on metal was the only thing he heard. The impact of the hit threw Tunde’s car onto the opposite side of the road and it settled on its head with its tyres in the air. Cries rent the air as onlookers rushed to his rescue.

“Bròdá mi, bròdá mi.” Sewa called.

*****

Mama Tunde walked out of the room she shared with her husband. Her eyes had bags under them and they were red and swollen. She looked at her daughter and called out to her.

“Sé ègbón ë lò n pè? Bèrè ibi tó wà ko tó sö fun.” (Are you calling your elder brother? Ask for his location before you tell him). She asked her daughter who still had her mobile phone placed by her right ear but looked like she had just seen a ghost.

Immediately, Sewa realized she had made a grave mistake. She had heard the impact of the hit and the cries before the call suddenly dropped. Her body shook as fear engulfed her. The vibration from her phone startled her and she looked at it. Her brother was calling back. She took quick steps out of the house and picked the call when she was out of earshot.

“Bròdá mi, kí ló sëlè?” (My brother, what happened). She asked.

“Hello, hello.”

Sewa realized the voice on the phone wasn’t her brother’s. “Hello, please can I talk to my brother?” She asked.

“Hello madam, good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon, give the phone to my brother. I want to talk to him.” Sewa said impatiently.

“You will talk to your brother, madam but you need to calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down.” Sewa shouted. She took a deep breath before speaking again. “Please, I beg you I want to speak to my brother.” She pleaded as she spoke quietly.

The man on the other end of the phone sighed and Sewa’s heart skipped a beat. “Your brother was just involved in an accident. An ambulance was around the corner, so he was picked and rushed to the hospital. Your number was the last received call, so I decided to call you.”

Sewa asked for the details of the hospital and thanked the caller. As she dropped the call, her knees suddenly became weak and she sat on the floor. Fresh tears ran down her cheeks and she ground her teeth to stop herself from screaming and drawing her mother’s attention.

She looked up to heaven and cried. “Oh Lord, please save my brother. What am I going to tell my mother? Ha! Her first child and only son.” She lamented as she placed her hands on her head. She stood up and bit her finger in regret. “Oh Lord, help me.” She prayed as she walked back into the living room where her mother was seated with her head bowed.

—–

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

The Hospital Visit

Tosin looked at his wristwatch. It read 9.45pm. He stood up and stretched. “Good night.” He said to his colleague sitting in the cubicle next to him.

“Good night.” Bayo replied.

 

As Tosin drove home, he touched the right side of his head. He had a pounding headache. He knew he needed to go to the hospital as the headache had been persistent for the past three days.

I will go tomorrow; he thought.

He got to his estate in about thirty minutes and honked for the security guard to open the gate.

He hardly acknowledged the greeting of the security guard. It was his usual way.

He took out his keys and opened the door to his flat. He dropped his laptop bag on the centre table and slumped into the couch.

He put on the TV and watched the moving images; his mind shutting down slowly.

 

********

Bayo resumed at his desk at 8.00am the next morning. Tosin was not at his desk and he wondered why as he always came in very early. Maybe he was running late; he thought.

By 11.00am, Tosin hadn’t arrived in the office but Bayo was so engrossed in his job that he hardly noticed. Their Head of department was on vacation and apart from Bayo, no one noticed Tosin’s absence.

At 10.00pm, Bayo looked at his wrist watch and noticed Tosin’s desk was empty. He realized he hadn’t put a call to Tosin all day to find out why he wasn’t at work. He picked up his phone to call Tosin, but the number was switched off. Hmmm….strange; he thought as he packed up his laptop and prepared to go home.

 

The next morning, Bayo resumed at work and met Tosin’s desk empty again. Something is wrong; he thought. He tried to call Tosin’s number  again but it was still switched off. He decided to close early so he could stop by at his house on his way home. He tried to remember the direction to Tosin’s house as he had been there just once. He was sure no other person in the organization knew Tosin’s house as Tosin hardly made friends. He couldn’t call himself Tosin’s friend, he was also just a colleague.

 

Bayo closed from the office at 6.00p.m. After a number of missed turns, he arrived at Tosin’s estate in an hour. The security guard queried him on his mission and he mentioned Tosin’s name. A call was placed to Tosin’s line but the response was still the same; the number was switched off.

Had anyone seen Tosin? Did he come out of his flat the previous day? Bayo began to ask questions but the security guard could not provide an answer. Tosin lived alone and hardly interacted with the other neighbours; the security guard told him.

Bayo asked the security guard to go with him to Tosin’s flat so they could see what the problem was. They banged on the door and pressed the door bell but there was no answer. They eventually got a carpenter to break open the door.

 

********

Tosin was lying down in the couch and was in his work clothes from two days ago. The TV was still showing images. Bayo called his colleague but there was no answer. He touched him and realized he was cold and stiff. Bayo noticed his mobile phone beside him and picked it up. It had been switched off.

No one had made an effort to check on him to find out why he had not gone out early to work as he usually did. No one had made an effort to find out why his car was parked for two days on a weekday. No one had an idea of what had taken place two nights ago when he came home.

 

As Tosin’s body was moved out of his flat, Bayo remembered Tosin had mentioned having a persistent headache which had refused to abate. Bayo had also been feeling tired of recent but had kept postponing his visit to the hospital. He left Tosin’s flat immediately and drove down to the hospital.

As the nurse checked his blood pressure, she had a grim expression on her face as she looked at him. “Hello sir, you need to slow down if you want to stay alive.”

——–

Photo Credit: http://www.mycity-web.com

The Wait – Chapter 2

Ajoke and Kokumo remained friends all through their senior secondary class. They studied in class and walked the long journey home together. Even though, Kokumo could afford to take a public bus home, Ajoke couldn’t. Her parents were struggling to survive and told her that transportation fare to and from school in the next village was a luxury. Therefore, she had to make do with long walks every day. Ajoke was however, not deterred. She loved to go to school and education was a priority for her.

Kokumo’s parents could afford to transport their son to and from school but he preferred to walk the long trek home with Ajoke. Kokumo used his transport fare back home to buy snacks and water which he shared with Ajoke as they chatted, sang and sometimes danced on the road. He knew most times, she was hungry but she never once complained about her parents not being able to give her money to buy lunch at school.

By the time they were in their final year in the senior class, they had become inseparable in school. They were teased by some of their classmates that they should get married immediately after school but Kokumo wanted more than that. He mentioned to Ajoke that his dream was to become an accountant. Ajoke had smiled and wished him well. She knew her education terminated after the secondary school level and there was no point having dreams that were not going to come to fruition.

“So you won’t even bother to make any attempt at the university by writing Jamb exams?” Kokumo once asked her. They had gotten to the forked junction before their villages but decided to sit down under a palm tree off the road.

Ajoke shrugged. “What is the point of writing an exam when the result of the exams would be useless?”

“At least, make an attempt.”

“Kokumo, both of us know my parents cannot afford a secondary education much less a University. We eat from hand to mouth at the moment and my father is waiting for my brothers to start fending for the family so the burden on him can be reduced.”

Kokumo sighed. “I wish there was something we could do.”

“There is nothing that can be done. Don’t bother about me.”

Kokumo looked at her as he cradled her face in his hands. “Don’t say that. I love you and I want us to get married someday. But I want to go to the university, so that both of us can leave our villages and have a better life in the city.”

“I know.” Ajoke said smiling. “I love you too and I look forward to the day you will make me your wife.”

 

They sat for their school certificate exams three weeks later and their results had been impressive. Kokumo had straight As in all the nine subjects he had written while Ajoke had As in six subjects and credits in the other three. Kokumo sat for his Jamb examinations and also passed with very good grades. He was offered admission into the University of Lagos to read accountancy just as he had dreamed of. Kokumo was overjoyed when he received his admission letter from the University. He couldn’t wait to get home to tell Ajoke and his parents the good news.

He took a public bus from the University gate as he danced and sang. A few passengers in the bus looked at him strangely but he cared not. On getting to his village, he ran towards his house but noticed a strange calm in the environment. He looked left and right and noticed that the traders who lined the road to his house all avoided his eyes or refused to acknowledge his greeting. This was unusual; he thought. They all seemed to be in a hurry to pack up their wares. He looked at his wrist watch. The time read 5.30pm. The traders usually sold their wares till 7.00pm. He wondered why they were all packing up at this time. He scanned through the market looking out for his mother’s stall but noticed that she wasn’t there. Her stall looked untouched; the same way she left it every evening. He stopped in his tracks. Why did my mother not come to the market today? He had left home as early as 5.00am to make the journey to the University. His mother was already up as she had insisted that he ate a small meal before leaving. She had prepared a bowl of eba and egusi soup for him and his father. He hadn’t been able to eat much as he had been anxious to leave.

The airs on his neck rose as he inched closer towards his house. There was an eerie feeling in the environment which he couldn’t shake off or place his finger on. He got to his house and saw his mother seated on a low stool on the front pavement. She had her arms across her chest as tears streamed down her eyes. She was lost in thought and did not see her son walking towards her. Kokumo noticed that she did not acknowledge his presence.

“Màámi.” (My mother). Kokumo said shaking his mother by the shoulders.

She shook all of a sudden as she saw her son. She burst into tears as she stood up and hugged him.

“Màámi, kílódé?” (My mother, what is wrong?) Kokumo said tearing himself away from his mother.

“Bàba Kòkúmó ti kú.” (Kokumo’s father is dead). She said as she put her hands on her head in lamentation.

Kokumo stood still unable to grasp what his mother had just told him. His father? Dead? He looked around him for an explanation. How could his father who was hale and hearty when he went to bed yesterday night be dead? The traders who had ignored him at the market started trooping into their compound to commiserate with his mother. Some walked in crying and lamenting while others shook their heads in pity. Was this a dream? He had been happy a few hours ago about his admission into the University. His admission letter still sat untouched in the knapsack slung across his shoulders. He had brought good news home to his parents; only to be welcomed with the opposite. No, his father could not be dead. He started walking away from his mother and everyone around him.

“Kokumo! Kokumo!” His mother called. He looked back at her strangely before turning back to walk away.

“Ë má jè kó lö o.” (Don’t let him go). Someone shouted amongst the now teeming crowd.

Kokumo continued to walk away without looking back. A man ran after him and grabbed him by the hand. Kokumo flung the man’s hand away as he continued walking.

Iya Kokumo stood up and started shouting. “Ë gbà mí. Ë má jè kí ömö mi lö.” (Please help me. Don’t let my son go.)

Two men ran after Kokumo and held him firmly. Kokumo tried to struggle with them but was overpowered. They dragged him towards his mother and made him sit at her feet.

Kokumo was not allowed to step out of his house that evening. His mission at the University was also not discussed. For three days, Kokumo looked at his mother as she wept. He was unable to console her as he was also yet to come to terms with his father’s death. His mother told him that after he left for school, she had gone to wake up his father. It was unusual for him to sleep for so long and she had been worried. He had woken up and complained about a headache. She gave him the meal of eba and egusi to eat and asked that he stay home and not go to the farm. He had nodded as he ate. She also decided to stay home and take care of her husband. He took some herbs to ease the headache after his meal and he went back to sleep. He never woke up.

The burial rites began in earnest as Kokumo’s paternal uncles took over the responsibility. A week later, Kokumo’s father was buried in his house. Two days after his father’s burial, Kokumo took out his admission letter and looked at it. Was this the end of his dream? He still had the letter in his hands when Iya Kokumo walked into his room.

“Kínì yën?” (What is that?) She asked him.

“Ìwé tí mo lo gbà ní school ní öjó tí bàámi lö?” (The letter I went to collect in school the day my father died).

Iya Kokumo sat down gently on the low mattress in his room. “Kí ló wà nínú è.” (What is written inside?)

Kokumo sighed. “Wón ti fún mi ní admission sí University.” (I have been offered admission into the University).

“Hmm….Yunifásítì t’èwo? (Which University?)

“University ti Èkó.” (The University of Lagos).

Iya Kokumo took a deep breath and bowed her head.

“Màámi, èmi náà mò pé University ò sé lö mó. Màá ló wá isé ki n lè rí owó rán ara mi lö sí ilé ìwé.” (My mother, I know going to the University is no longer possible. I will go look for a job so that I can sponsor myself to school).

Iya Kokumo looked up at her son as tears spilled down her cheeks.

“Màámi, ë jò ó,  ë má sunkun mó.” (My mother, please stop crying). Kokumo consoled his mother.

“Ah, Bàba Kòkúmó, n kan ta jö sö kó nì yíi. Àdéhùn ta jö ní kó le léyìi o.” (Baba Kokumo, this is not what we talked about. This was not our agreement). Iya Kokumo lamented as she bit her forefinger in tears.

Kokumo pulled his mother into a hug and rocked her like a baby. “Ó ti tó Màámi.” (It is okay, my mother). He said repeatedly.

When Iya Kokumo was spent from her tears, she removed the end of her wrapper and untied the knot. She took out all the cash she had in the knot and gave it to Kokumo.

Kokumo shook his head as he looked at his mother. He held her hand and said; “A ma jëun, Màámi.” (We will eat, my mother).

Iya Kokumo looked at her son as her body shook with sobs. Kokumo wrapped his arms around his mother again as he looked heavenwards. Baba Kokumo had left but he was going to make sure his mother did not suffer.

 

The story continues…….

———–

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

 

The journey ahead

Adigun looked at the baby girl cradled in his arms. She was sleeping peacefully oblivious to what her entrance into the world had brought upon him. A tear slipped down his cheeks and he quickly wiped it with the back of his palm. At 21, he should not be seen crying like a baby. He was meant to take charge. But the turn of events in his life the past three months was too much for him to handle emotionally.

The baby girl whined as she turned her head towards his body aiming to suckle. He looked up at the nurse standing by his side. She gave a sad smile and walked towards the baby bag on the table. Her hands worked deftly pouring and mixing the contents of the bag. She strolled towards Adigun and stretched her hands to receive the baby but Adigun held tightly to the little tot.

The nurse handed over the bottle to him and helped put a pillow behind his back and another under the baby to raise her to a comfortable height for her feed. Adigun smiled his thanks and proceeded to feed the baby.

As she suckled, different thoughts ran through his mind. How was he going to take care of the baby? He was only a student in his final year in the Secondary school and up till a few hours ago depended solely on his mother for support. Did the arrival of the baby girl mean an end to his schooling? He was preparing to write his final exams in a few weeks. How was he going to read with a new born baby in his care? He had no one to go to for financial support; how was he going to feed and take care of her?

————-

Aduke had been both happy and surprised when the doctor confirmed she was pregnant. She had already given up on child-bearing. After having Adigun 21 years ago, she and Ajagbe had tried in futility to have more kids. Each time she took in, she miscarried. She wondered why; as Adigun’s conception and birth had been an easy ride.

After six miscarriages over a period of ten years, she decided to heed Ajagbe’s advice to give up on trying. It had been difficult to accept. She wanted another child. She longed to have a daughter. But Ajagbe constantly reminded her that God had given them a son and it was enough reason to be grateful.

Ajagbe had been overwhelmed with joy when Aduke told him she was pregnant. He pampered her silly and made her feel like a first-time mother. Even Adigun had shared in the joy of having a baby sister. The few friends he told had teased him that he was not having a baby sister but a daughter; as he was old enough to father the new baby.

Three months ago, Ajagbe had gone to his farm as usual. He had tilled from morning till night and harvested a few tomatoes that he intended to blend with his grinding stone for the day’s supper. He flagged down an okada and was about crossing the road to board it. All of a sudden, another speeding okada emerged from the bend. The rider saw Ajagbe too late. The impact of the collision flung Ajagbe across the road with tomatoes littered all over.

The pain had been too much for Aduke to bear. She struggled with her pregnancy in the last trimester. The doctor at the primary health care centre had admonished her to get enough sleep as her blood pressure had risen. But Aduke stayed up many nights crying and willing Ajagbe to come back home.

She had fallen into labour last night and Adigun had rushed her in the dead of the night to the health care centre. Hours later, the doctor informed Adigun that his mother would have to be induced as labour was no longer progressing. He looked at the doctor with tears in his eyes. He had no idea what the doctor meant. All he wanted was a safe delivery for his mother.

Aduke put to bed in the early hours of the day after a difficult delivery. She smiled as she looked at her daughter. The daughter she had waited so many years for. She took a deep breath and she was gone.

———

Adigun looked at his baby sister. She had fallen asleep again and had released her mouth from the teat of the feeding bottle. Drops of milk dripped out of the sides of her little mouth. Adigun wiped it carefully with his tee-shirt. The nurse was back and this time, Adigun handed over the little tot. He watched as the nurse took her away.

the-journey-ahead

What did the future hold for them? The journey ahead was definitely going to be a long one.

——–

Photo credit: http://www.truelovedates.com

Blind Pact – Chapter 2

Hi,

Apologies for the radio silence.

The website went through a technical glitch but we are glad to be back.

Thanks for reading and following my stories.

—————–

The Davies’ residence stands alone on a close which ends in a cul-de-sac. Houses dot the close situated a few metres apart from each other. The house is a modest bungalow with a pent-house. After putting in over twenty years of service in the banking industry, Femi Davies could boast of a house of his own. Building the house had not come cheap as he had taken a ten-year mortgage loan from the bank he worked for; but it had been worth the pain. In two years, the house was built and he had gladly moved his young family in. It lacked beauty on the outside as he had left a few finishing undone. He had not been bothered as his family had an abundance of beauty on the inside and made it a home. Few years later, one step at a time, he beautified the surroundings and made it his dream home.

As the principal’s car drives into the close, Bola notices a number of people going in and out of her house. This is unusual and she becomes more worried. Her parents lived quietly and tried as much as possible to keep few friends. The driver parks in front of her house. She steps out of the car and says thank you to the principal who nods his response back. The atmosphere carries an impending doom. Bola tries to look for an answer to the situation in the principal’s face but he only signals towards her house with his head. She looks at the house and her environment with people thronging in and out. She wonders if this is the same house she has lived all her life.

She walks towards her house like one in a trance. She sees different faces; some known, some unknown. Her entrance is greeted by pitiful faces and mournful looks. One nudges the other and the faces all begin to pave way for her to go in. She enters the living room and sees her mother sitting on the floor. She is surrounded by two women; her best friend and her only sister. Bola takes in the environment as she looks round her as if looking for someone. Banke sees her daughter and is instinctively aware that her daughter already knows. She stands up to embrace her and they both burst into tears.

“What…what happened to Daddy?”

“I…we…your…your…daddy”. Banke struggles to mumble before the tears start flowing freely again.

“It’s okay, mum. It’s okay”. Bola says as she hugs her mum tightly. She knows whatever it is, they will pull through it.

*******

“No, please don’t do it. Please, please. No, no, noooooo….” Banke screams and is jolted out of her sleep. She is sweating profusely.

Bola, who is lying on the bed beside her mother also wakes up with a start. She had been awakened by Banke’s scream. She sits up and looks at her mum in confusion. “Mum, what’s wrong?”

“I’m sorry I woke you up. I had a nightmare. Please go back to sleep”. She says to her daughter. She is still panting like someone who had been in a run.

“No mum. I need to know what happened to daddy”.

“Not this night, Bola. We both need to rest”. Banke pleaded.

“Mum, I have a right to know what happened to my father. And I want to know right now”. Bola asks stubbornly.

Banke sighs as the event of two nights ago flash back. “We arrived the country at about 5.00pm. We chartered a taxi at the airport. Since we had promised to check on you on our way home, the taxi was to take us first to your school, then take us home. The taxi had a flat tyre on the way and the driver asked that we get down so he could change the tyre to a spare one. As we got down, he suddenly brought out a gun and asked that we lie flat on the ground”. Tears roll down Banke’s cheeks.

blind-pact-2

Bola’s jaw drops.

“The driver spoke good English and we guessed he was learned. We begged him to take everything he wanted but spare our lives. He said he would do exactly that provided we co-operated with him. Meanwhile, we had not taken note of a car that was parked some metres ahead of us. The taxi driver whistled and the person in the other car reversed towards us. Both of them started offloading our luggage from the taxi into the other car. As they were about driving off, your father raised his head probably to get the plate number of the car they were driving away in”.

“Ah, why?” Bola exclaimed.

“I heard the driver’s voice asking in anger why your father had to raise his head and then……Banke holds her head. “A gun shot and your father screamed”. The tears are coming down in streams now and Banke struggles to continue her story. “The…the taxi and the other person drove off. They drove off and left me alone. I had no one to turn to. The…the road was deserted. I…I told your daddy to allow me call my sister to pick us from the airport. He…he…he refused. You know how your daddy would always say he does not want to inconvenience anyone. If…if…if…I had known”. Banke breaks down uncontrollably.

Bola moves closer to her mum and embraces her as they sob on each other’s shoulders.

*********

The burial of Femi Davies is done quickly. Banke is not willing to prolong closure for herself and her daughter. She is supported by her sister and her best friend and a few of her colleagues at work. Her neighbours also make themselves available and Femi Davies is laid to earth. A few of his colleagues promise heaven and earth. Bola’s education will not suffer. They would ensure she is well taken care of. Her university education will be outside the country; because that is what Femi would have wanted. Her education would be sponsored to Master’s level. A job awaits her once she is through with her university education. Promises! Promises! Promises! But Banke knew better. Promises were easy to make; talk is cheap. Fulfilling them came with responsibilities.

Twenty years ago, she had met Femi Davies when she went to drop her resume at the bank he worked for. He had just been retained at the bank after his National Youth Service. He was sitting behind the customer service counter when she walked up to him. It had not been love at first sight and nothing had struck to give them lasting impressions. She had also just finished her Youth Service as a secondary school teacher. She had enjoyed the job but it was not financially rewarding. She had therefore dusted her Economics certificate and headed to various banks dropping them at their customer service desks. She also checked the dailies for job openings and applied for them with an expectant heart.

She got responses from some inviting her for tests. She had passed each one of them. Her joy was however short-lived during her interview sessions. They were either looking for experienced hands or someone with a second degree. How am I supposed to be experienced if I am not given a chance? How can I afford a second degree if I do not have a job? Her parents had done enough by sending her to the university. They were traders in palm oil and foodstuffs and she was not ready to impose additional responsibilities on them. Her younger sister who was ten years younger was about securing admission into the secondary school. They had enough on their plate already.

She had waited quietly in queue until it was her turn to go to the customer service desk. She smiled as Femi asked, “Good afternoon madam, how may I be of help to you today?”

“Good afternoon, I just wanted to drop my CV here”. She said as she leaned forward on the desk and spoke in a whisper.

Femi smiled. He was lucky to have been retained by the bank. A lot of his friends still roamed the streets with their CVs just like the lady sitting before him. Some of them had handed their CVs to him as well, while a few people still walked in just liked she was doing. He knew he had every reason to be thankful to God. “Okay, madam”. He said stretching out his hand to collect the single piece of paper from her.

“Thank you”. Banke said as she handed the CV to him.

Three months later, she received letters from two different banks asking her to write an employment test. One of the banks had been the bank Femi worked for. The interview sessions had also gone smoothly and both banks were willing to offer her a placement as a bank teller. She became confused on which to pick.

One day, on her way to the market, as she alighted at the bus-stop, she found herself standing face to face with Femi. “Hi. How are you doing?” Femi asked smiling.

Banke was at a loss. “I’m sorry. Have we met before?” She asked confused.

“Of course. Ain’t you Banke? You dropped your CV with me at Alájeséku bank a while ago”.

“Oh, I am so sorry. I am not good at faces”.

“It’s fine”. Femi says smiling. “Have you heard from them yet?”

“Oh yes. I have even been given an offer but I am yet to accept”.

Femi is surprised. “Why? I thought you really needed a job”.

“Yes, I do. I have offers from two banks”.

“Right! So you are confused, I guess”.

“Exactly. The take-home for both banks are about the same. Also I was offered the same position in both banks. So I am trying to look at other benefits and pick the one with better options. I am meant to get back to both banks with my acceptance or rejection next week”.

Femi smiles as he looks at her. “A brilliant idea”. He says.

Banke nods.

“So have you checked out all those benefits now and considered them?”

“I just did earlier on today”.

“And your final answer is….?” Femi asks raising a brow.

Banke laughs as she sees his expression. “I picked your bank”.

“Nice. So I get to see you every day”.

“Yes stranger”.

“My bad. My name is Femi Davies”. He stretches his hand.

She takes it and responds. “It’s a pleasure meeting you again”.

——-

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

If Only

She looked into the doctor’s eyes and saw the answer to her question. He did not need to say a word.

Her eyes pooled with tears. Regret and pain was all she could feel. Her husband tried to console her but she slapped his hand away.

“No touch me, wicked man”. She shouted.

“Ah ah, why you come dey do like this? You tink say e no pain me too?”

She ignored him and bit her fore finger. There were numerous “If onlys” running through her mind. She cast her mind back to the events of the previous day.

If Only

“If only she had taken time off work to go pick up her son from school”. “If only she hadn’t called her husband and passed the responsibility to him”. “If only she hadn’t decided to stay back to braid the hair of just one customer so she could make extra cash in addition to her husband’s meagre income”. “If only she had refused to listen to her husband who told her that their son’s high temperature was just because he was tired”. “If only she had brought him early enough to the hospital even though it was already midnight”. Her son wouldn’t be lying cold in the mortuary.

She was too busy to leave her salon. Her husband, the electrical handyman had more time to spare and could pick up their son; she had thought.

By 6p.m, when none of them had picked up the boy, the proprietor of the school got her home address and took him home. He was handed over to her neighbour. He developed a temperature over the night which defied the paracetamol she administered to him.

He was rushed to the hospital 5a.m the next morning. In an hour, he was gone. She sat on the floor with her hands on her head. “If only, if only”. But it was too late to regret.

Will they stay together after just a year in marriage or will this be the end? Only time will tell.