Tag Archives: Short story

A hair’s breadth

Emeka woke up with a start. He pulled the blinds in his room apart and looked outside. The day was bright. He cursed under his breath as he sat up. He picked up his phone which lay on the headboard and looked at it. The time read 6.45a.m. He hissed. It was too late to try rushing to meet up. Even if he could fly to the airport right now, he would not make it. He thought about the amount he had to pay for a no-show and he hissed again. He stood up from his bed and cursed.

He remembered setting his phone alarm to 5.00a.m last night. His luggage was already packed and he had put it beside the door. He could not fathom how sleep had decided to play a fast one on him.

He walked to the bathroom. As he plastered toothpaste on his brush, he picked up the remote control on the bathroom shelf and switched on the TV in the living room. A newscaster was reading the news and Emeka noticed “Breaking news” in caps scrolling behind her. He increased the volume of the TV as he continued to brush.

“…… the Enugu bound plane carrying about 93 passengers crashed a few minutes after take off and…..” Emeka spat out the paste in his mouth as he moved closer to the TV with his brush in his hand. His vision blurred and the images on the TV danced before him. He felt something wet on his left foot and he looked down and realized his mouth had been agape. He ignored the paste on his foot and put his two hands on his head.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God!” He cried out.

Image result for near death images man shutterstock

——
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The blame game

Toyin opened the door of her room and the sight before her shocked her. She felt like she had been hit by a thunderbolt. Her eyes grew big and she opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out. Chike held his little member with one hand and stroke it like a pro while he caressed Chinwe’s bust with the other. He parted Chinwe’s legs and moved closer to her. A sharp pain spread across Toyin’s chest and she found her voice. She screamed and collapsed on the floor.

Chike and Chinwe were startled by the scream and looked towards the door. They had been so engrossed in their act that they had forgotten to lock the door. Chinwe stood up and got dressed in a hurry while Chike pulled up his boxers. They ran towards Toyin who was still unconscious and began to shake her.

“Bring water quick.” Chinwe commanded.

Chike ran to the bathroom and came back with a bowl of water. He stood before the two ladies as he put his hand on his head in lamentation. He ran to get a piece of paper and began to fan Toyin with it.

Chinwe rubbed Toyin’s face with water and she opened her eyes. Toyin looked at them and burst into tears.

********

“It’s important to discuss sex education with your kids.” Omolade said.

“Abeg, I don’t want to introduce my kids to what they shouldn’t know.” Toyin replied.

“Would you prefer they learn about it from outsiders. You need to let them hear it from you.”

“My mother never taught me anything on sex education and I turned out well. I don’t believe in exposing them. Chike is nine and Chinwe is twelve and you want me to start telling them what adults do.”

“I didn’t say you should tell them. I said educate them on what they need to know about their bodies; you know things like puberty and how to be conscious of sex predators.”

Wo o, Omolade, change the topic. Sex education is not happening in my house. If my mum had taught me, I would have been curious and eager to experiment. My kids are still too young to start putting ideas in their heads. So let sleeping dogs lie, abeg.”

Omolade shrugged.

 

As tears streamed down Toyin’s cheeks, she remembered the discussion with Omolade like it had happened yesterday. Two months ago, Omolade’s maid had told her six year old son, Jola to caress her bust. Jola had refused and told the maid that his mother asked him never to touch any lady there. Jola reported to his mother immediately she came back from work and that had ended the maid’s stay in Omolade’s house. Omolade had praised Jola and told him she was proud of him for speaking up and encouraged him to never keep quiet on sexual issues.

Omolade and Toyin had discussed about it the next day at work and Toyin had been adamant on not educating her kids.

********

 

“Where did you learn about….ermm…about…” Toyin stammered unable to complete her sentence as she wiped her cheeks.

Chike and Chinwe bowed their heads as they stood before their mother.

“About sex?” Chike asked without looking up.

Toyin took a deep breath. Her nine year old son wasn’t even ashamed to talk about it.

“Ehn…yes, about that.” She asked.

“From daddy’s phone.” Chinwe answered.

“What?” Toyin shouted.

“We saw the videos on daddy’s phone.” Chike said.

“Jesus! Emeka has killed me.” Toyin put her hands on her head as she burst into fresh tears.

“Is this your first time?”

Chinwe and Chike shook their heads.

“Ah…ah, mogbe! How many times have you done this?”

Toyin looked at her son as he counted six on his fingers. Toyin hit her hand on the bed and screamed in anguish.

What was she supposed to do? She was confused. She couldn’t talk to Omolade. She would say “but I told you”. She was also wary of exposing her irresponsible husband.

Her kids needed to see a doctor but right now, she wasn’t sure if she could bear to take them to a therapist. How much damage had been done to their minds? As she thought about it, her heart broke.

As she dismissed her kids to their rooms, she refused to take the blame. As far as she was concerned, Emeka was the culprit.

Who is to blame? Emeka or Toyin?

Please share your thoughts below.

——–

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Death wish

The aroma of Tolu’s food wafted out of her kitchen into the nostrils of the other students in the block. It was a block of six flats occupied by students of the University of Lagos. While some students stayed on campus, some preferred to have a home away from home. They rented apartments outside which were close to the school campus.

Tolu heard the knock on her door as she prepared to settle down to consume the bowl of semovita and ilá àsèpò that she had just cooked. She knew who was at the door. There was no need asking. She ignored the knocks.

As she put each chunk of semo into her mouth, the intensity of the knocks increased. She got upset and walked to the kitchen to wash her hands. The persistent knocking continued as she strolled towards the door and opened it.

“Haba Tolu, why didn’t you open the door on time nau?” Feyi asked as her eyes searched round the room like a thief looking for something to steal.

“Ahn…ahn, so you are eating without me now? No wonder.” Feyi continued as she walked to the kitchen, washed her hands and settled down before the bowl of food. She dipped her hand in and began to cut the semo in large chunks, swallowing them in quick succession.

Tolu looked at her without a word.

 

The next day, Tolu walked into Feyi’s flat without knocking. She knew the door was always open during the day.  It was locked only at night. Tolu cleared her throat to announce her presence. Feyi, who was lying down on the floor reading a novel looked up.

“Wassup?” Feyi asked as she dropped her novel on the floor.

“Nothing much. I came to pick up a few things.” Tolu said as she walked towards the kitchen.

“Ehen! You did not keep anything here.” Feyi replied as she stood up and followed Tolu.

Tolu had come with three big polythene bags. She opened the kitchen cabinet and started to empty everything she saw into the polythene bags. Garri, rice, beans, spaghetti, curry, thyme, maggi etc.

“Ahn…ahn…what are you doing nau?” Feyi shouted.

“I am packing the foodstuff we would need for the month.”

“What is the meaning of this?”

Tolu stopped and looked at her. “Pick one. I pack the foodstuffs we would need and you can continue coming to eat your lunch in my place or I poison the meal, so you can die and leave me in peace.”

Feyi’s jaw dropped. “Haba! It hasn’t come to this nau. You should have just told me that you don’t need my company during lunch.”

Tolu burst out into hysterical laughter.

“What is funny? Please just drop my foodstuffs. I won’t come to your flat again.”

“No ma. This is to replace everything you have eaten in the last one month. You can decide not to come again from today.” Tolu said as she began to walk towards the door.

Feyi stood in front of the door and tried to stop her from going out.

“Feyi, don’t try me. You know me from way back in secondary school and you know that I can redesign your face if I get upset.”

Feyi frowned as she moved away from the door. Tolu was known as “mama fighter” in secondary school. Feyi watched helplessly as Tolu strolled out of her apartment with all the foodstuff in her kitchen cabinet in the polythene bags.

As Feyi locked the door to her flat, she decided she did not want to die yet. It was better to stay away than get poisoned.

——

Photo Credit: http://www.familydoctor.org

The Choice of Freedom

Bisola looked at her husband of thirteen years with confusion clearly written on her face. “Was he serious about what he just said?” She thought. “Where had she missed it?” “Was this a result of something going on that she had been blind to?” So many questions that begged for answers.

Ikechukwu walked out of the house and slammed the door behind him. Bisola looked on unable to stop him. Her husband’s statements had torn her and she wondered what she was supposed to do.

******

Ten years ago, Ikechukwu and Bisola had a registry wedding followed by a small reception for close family and friends. It was an agreement between both of them to cut out the unnecessary expenses associated with large weddings and save for their future and that of their kids. They had both prevailed on both families to agree to their decision. It had been difficult for Ikechukwu’s family to accept as he was the first son of the family but he had been adamant. His family insinuated that Bisola was the one manipulating  him do a small wedding. He however explained to them that Bisola’s father also wanted a large wedding but after consultations, her father had agreed to what he proposed. He therefore, told them if his proposed father-in-law could agree; they had no choice but to consent as well.

Ikechukwu worked as a top executive in a commercial bank while Bisola was a sales executive in a pharmaceutical company. In four years, Bisola gave birth to three boys in quick succession. Ikechukwu asked her to take a break from work so that she could give their kids undivided attention. He said he did not like the idea of maids taking care of his kids. Bisola agreed and resigned her job to take care of the home.

However, Bisola knew that she couldn’t sit at home and do nothing while tending to her kids. She therefore, wrote professional exams and acquired entrepreneurial skills. She started bead-making from the money she had saved over time and soon, she became sought after by all and sundry because of her penchant for durable products.

 

Everything was going well for the family of five until last year when Ikechukwu lost his job at the bank as a result of a mass restructuring programme. Ikechukwu became depressed. Bisola tried to cheer her husband up by asking him to invest their joint savings in a business. Bisola advised that they invest in a poultry business which would bring steady income but Ikechukwu wanted more. He couldn’t wait for a gradual increase in their profits. This caused a friction between them as Bisola was skeptical about the business he wanted to invest in.

 

After many weeks of friction in their marriage, Bisola agreed reluctantly and signed the cheque authorizing Ikechukwu to withdraw eighty percent of their savings. In four weeks, Ikechukwu realized he had been scammed and their whole savings of about ten years went down the drain. Bisola was devastated. Their last son had just gained admission into the secondary school. Their upkeep at home had been solely from her bead-making business which had expanded over time.

 

Just when everything seemed to be going downhill, Bisola received a call from an old friend. Her friend told her that a marketing manager was needed in her organization. The company was a pharmaceutical company of repute and she asked Bisola to forward her CV to her. Bisola immediately brushed up her CV and sent it to her friend by email. She hoped and prayed for the much needed break.

Two weeks later, Bisola was invited for an interview and in a month, she received a letter of appointment with a decent salary and an official car. She got home to share the good news with her husband. She had intimated him about the call and had carried him along but she noticed he had been indifferent.

 

Bisola looked at the letter of appointment opened on her laptop. Ikechukwu couldn’t be serious about her having to choose between the job and him. She had listened to him when he asked her to resign her job years ago to take care of the kids. The kids were in boarding house and the last one was going to join them in September. “Why was he being selfish?” She thought. She understood that his inability to provide for them like he used to was depressing for him but now that she had an opportunity to assist financially, why was he giving her an option of choosing between him and a job.

Bisola put her hand on her head as she contemplated on what to do. No, she wasn’t going to reject the offer. She would plead with her husband when he returned to listen to the voice of reason. She prayed in her heart that his ego would not stand in the way.

——

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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

THE BARREN WOMAN

Nkechi looked at her husband’s family members comprising her husband’s mother, his sister and his first cousin. His sister, Ujunwa spat in her direction.  

“Tufia. You must leave this house today.”  

“Pack your load, barren woman.” Ejike’s mother shouted. 

Nkechi stood like one in a trance. She looked at Ejike but he refused to meet her eyes. His new wife sat beside him grinning from ear to ear. She was old enough to be her daughter if she wasn’t barren like her husband’s mother had called her. She took a deep breath and looked to the heavens. No words were muttered but her heart cried out to God in anguish. 

 ********

Nkechi had met Ejike in the Aba market. She had run an errand for her mother and was about leaving the market when she saw one of her classmates talking to Ejike. Her classmate had introduced Ejike to her as his cousin who just arrived from Port-Harcourt for the festive season. Immediately Ejike saw her, he smiled and said; “You will be my wife.”  

Nkechi had looked at him like one who had lost his senses. How do you meet someone and immediately call the person your wife? She was about to write her final exams and marriage was definitely the last thing on her mind. She intended to go to the University to study Nursing as she had long admired the sparkling white uniform of the village nurses.

A week later, Ejike and his father came to her house to discuss with her parents. Their discussion was not shared with her and she wondered what it was about. After her final exams, her father called her and informed her that Ejike and his family had asked for her hand in marriage. She told her father she wasn’t ready to get married but her father said he understood her fears. Ejike had promised to ensure she went to the University to study the course of her choice. Even though, Nkechi was not comfortable with her parents arrangements, she had had no choice but to accept. 

 

Twenty-one years after, she had two degrees, a loving husband but no child. Ejike had stood by her all through but after the death of his father two years ago, Nkechi’s world came crashing. The death of her father-in-law opened her eyes to reveal her husband’s family. Her husband’s father was the only covering she had and she became exposed to the wiles of her husband’s mother and sister. 

 ********

“Are you now deaf?” Her husband’s cousin yelled. She was yet to be married at forty-five and she really did not care about breaking her cousin’s family. She stood up and looked at her cousin. “Ejike, if you are not man enough, we will help you.” She said as she stormed towards the bedrooms. 

Thirty minutes later, her husband’s sister and cousin dragged a box to the living room. “Carry your load and go oh. We don’t want a cursed woman in our family.” Her sister-in-law said. 

“Ejike, Ejike!” Nkechi called as she took a deep breath. “What have I done to deserve this?” 

Ejike kept mum refusing to look at the face of his wife of twenty-one years. 

“No problem. I will go but I leave you in the hands of your maker.” Nkechi said as she shrugged. 

“Witch, leave. Leave! She has eaten all the children in her womb.” Ejike’s mother shouted as she clapped her hands. 

 ********

Nkechi went back to her mother’s house. Her dad was late and her mum now lived alone. Each day, Nkechi cried out to God and at a point, her mother had to tell her to leave God alone. “You have cried enough, my daughter. God is not deaf.” 

One year later, Nkechi came back from work one evening and met one of her course mates from school talking to her mother. 

“Uche!” She screamed when she saw him. “What are you doing here?” 

Uche laughed. “I came to see you.” 

“Me? How did you know I live here?” 

“It is a small world and information flies around.” Uche said grinning. 

Nkechi’s mother stood up and left the friends to catch up on old times.  

“So I guess you heard?” Nkechi asked. 

“I did and that’s why I came immediately.” Uche replied. 

“I don’t understand.” 

“Nkechi, I always wanted you but you were married.” 

Nkechi stood up abruptly as she looked at Uche. “Which kain joke be dis? Abeg, stop am.” Nkechi said; her face getting serious. 

“Do I look like one that is joking, Nkechi? 

“Uche, abeg, come go your house.” Nkechi said. 

“Please think about it, Nkechi. I mean every word.” 

“Don’t you understand?” Nkechi asked; giving him a confused look. “I spent twenty-one years of my youthful life with a man and could not give him a child. I have been labelled a witch and a barren woman. I want to live the rest of my life in peace. Biko!” 

Uche smiled. “I did not come to you because I wanted a child. I came to you for companionship.” 

Nkechi got angry and walked Uche out of her mother’s house. Her mother who had listened to the whole conversation chided her. “I thought you had been praying to God.” 

“Yes mama. What has my prayer got to do with this?” 

“Open your heart, my daughter. God wants to change your story.” 

Nkechi sighed deeply as she looked at her mother. 

 

Two weeks later, Uche paid another visit to Nkechi house and decided to discuss with her mother. Nkechi’s mother gave her blessings and asked him to give her time. Soon, Nkechi’s heart softened towards Uche and she accepted his proposal. In two months, marriage preparations for a low key wedding began.  

Six months after their wedding, Nkechi began to feel sick. She went to the hospital and she was confirmed three months pregnant. Nkechi could not believe the news. She went to two other hospitals to do a test and the results all came out positive. Uche was overjoyed and he began to take extra care of his wife.  

In the thirty-seventh week, Nkechi put to bed a set of twin boys wiping away her shame of twenty-one years. 

——–
Photo Credit: http://www.canstock.com

The Party

The grey Lexus jeep drove out of the expansive compound. The driver looked to the left and to the right before turning towards the express way. Just as the car was about to hit the express, a man on a power bike parked at the end of the street whipped out his mobile phone from the pocket of his pants and placed a call. He adjusted the ear piece in his left ear as he spoke. He nodded as he put the phone back into his pocket and kicked the engine. He put on his helmet and followed after the car keeping a safe distance.

The driver kept his speed limit at forty kilometres even though the road was free. The car turned into a hospital off the expressway and the driver parked the car. He got out and rushed to open the boot. He brought out a motorized wheel chair, shut the boot and rolled the chair towards the back door on the right hand side of the car. He opened the door to reveal a bulky handsome man. His eyes were tired even though he masked it with a smile. He was greying at the temple and his hair looked like a comb had just passed through it. He was wearing a blue collared T-shirt on brown corduroy pants. The pair of canvas on his feet spoke volumes about his taste.

The driver held on to the wheel chair while the bulky man hoisted himself into it. Once he was settled in, he placed his hand on the joystick and powered the chair while his driver tagged behind him.

The biker stopped a few metres away from the hospital and placed another call. “Yes, he is in.” He waited to get a response before replying. “Okay, I am waiting.” He put his right hand under his jacket, felt for what he had kept in there and smiled to himself.

 

The bulky man drove himself into the reception of Rainbow Physio centre. The receptionist seated facing the glass doors immediately looked up from the laptop in front of her when the door chimed. “Good afternoon, Mr. Giwa. How are you doing today, sir?” She asked cheerily.

“I’m fine, thank you Atinuke. I have an appointment with Dr. Okechukwu for 1.00p.m”

Atinuke’s fingers hit the keyboard of her laptop as they moved quickly. She paused as she looked up at Mr. Giwa. “1.00pm today?”

“Yes today.” Mr. Giwa replied.

“I’m sorry sir. There must have been a mistake. Your appointment is not for today. It is scheduled for 1.00pm tomorrow.”

“Oh my! Really? I thought…..” Mr. Giwa was saying before he paused. He put his right hand on his chin. “I am sure the appointment is for today.”

“It is right here sir.” Atinuke said; tapping her forefinger on the screen of her laptop. “Dr. Okechukwu’s calendar is blocked for you tomorrow, Thursday at 1.00pm.” She continued.

“Okay dear. I hope I’m not beginning to……”

Atinuke looked up from her laptop. “Sir?”

“Never mind dear. I was talking to myself. I’ll be here tomorrow then.” He said as he turned his wheel chair towards the door.

“Have a good day, sir.” Atinuke called out as the automatic doors opened.

Mr. Giwa replied with a wave of his hand.

 

The driver rushed to open the door of the car while Mr. Giwa helped himself in. The wheel chair was rolled back and lifted into the back of the SUV.

“We are going back home, Leke.” Mr. Giwa said when his driver eased into the car.

“Okay sir.”

********

“He’s leaving the hospital. Are you ready?” The biker spoke into his phone. He waited for a response.

“Yes, there is a bit of traffic. Maybe twenty minutes.” He continued.

“Okay, that is fine.” He concluded as he rubbed his gloved palms together and put his helmet back on.

 

The trip back home took longer than twenty minutes. About hundred metres away from Mr. Giwa’s residence, the biker trailing him sped up and blocked the way just as the driver was about to get to the gate.

“What is going on?” Mr. Giwa said; his voice shaky.

“I don’t know, sir.” Leke responded and tried to maneuver his way but the biker was already walking towards them.

Mr. Giwa checked the doors to see if they were locked. The biker knocked on the driver’s window. Leke shakily put his hand on the window button and rolled it down. He lifted up his hands immediately. “Please don’t kill me. I will give you whatever you want.” He shouted; his voice unsteady.

The biker looked at him. “I’m not hurting you. I want to see Mr. Giwa.”

The driver looked at the rear-view mirror to look at Mr. Giwa’s face. “Sir?”

“I have a message for him.” The biker said.

Mr. Giwa looked at the driver’s eyes which were still on the rear-view mirror. He raised his hand to signal to the driver. The driver took the cue and nodded to the back.

The biker walked to the other side of the car and Mr. Giwa wound down his window with a button. The biker put his right hand under his jacket and Mr. Giwa froze. The biker’s gloved hand revealed a tablet and he pressed on a button before he handed it over to Mr. Giwa.

Mr. Giwa hesitated but the biker pushed the tablet into his hands.

As Mr. Giwa took the tablet, he saw the faces of his grandchildren smiling at him. Someone was recording them and they all chorused “Happy 70th birthday grandpa. We love you.”

Mr. Giwa’s countenance changed instantly as a smile spread across his face and he looked at the man who had delivered the tablet.

“Happy birthday sir.” The biker said as he nodded and took a step backward. He turned to walk towards his power bike which still blocked the entrance to Mr. Giwa’s residence. He picked up the power bike, climbed on it and zoomed off while Mr. Giwa and Leke watched in amazement.

 

Leke put his hand on his chest as he took a deep breath. He put the gear in drive and moved closer to the Giwa’s residence. He honked and the gateman rolled the gate open. As the car drove in, Mr. Giwa looked around him in shock. There was a huge canopy erected inside his compound. A flurry of activities lay to the left and to the right. A band was playing at the far end of his compound singing solemn praises to God. Rows of chafing dishes lined every corner and waiters stood behind them. A different set of waiters were serving cocktails to guests; some were seated while some were standing and exchanging pleasantries. Mr. Giwa could not believe what was happening around him.

Leke parked the car and retrieved the chair from the boot as he assisted Mr. Giwa in getting settled into it.

“Hello, Mr. Giwa.” Dr. Okechukwu said as he walked towards his patient who had powered the chair and was already moving towards the activities.

“Doc? You were part of this?” Mr. Giwa asked astonished.

“Of course. I wouldn’t allow my patient miss his 70th birthday party because of an appointment, would I? The doctor said as he smiled.

The band noticed Mr. Giwa and started singing a happy birthday song for the celebrant. All the guests who were seated stood up and joined the birthday chorus.

As the chorus ended, Mr. Giwa’s grandchildren and children all hugged him one by one as they wished him a happy birthday. Mrs. Giwa stood behind her last child and as her husband got his last hug, he smiled at his wife. She looked beautifully wrinkled and her eyes twinkled with love. She walked up to her husband and bent down to plant a passionate kiss on his lips.

“I love you darling.” Mr. Giwa whispered.

“I hope I didn’t give you a scare.” Mrs. Giwa asked.

“Oh, you definitely did.” Mr. Giwa said taking a deep breath.

“I’m sorry darling. Please relax and be calm, it’s your party.”

Mr. Giwa looked at his wife as he held on to her hand and smiled.

“You deserve the best. Happy birthday, my love.” Mrs. Giwa said.

——-

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

The Visit

“Crack”. The sound of shattering glass rent the air. The kids all stood still like they had been paused by a remote control and looked at each other’s faces. Different emotions washed over their little faces; fear, shock and regret.

“You caused it.” Eze, the oldest among them shouted as he pointed accusing fingers at Bode.

“It wasn’t me.” Bode screamed. “It was Ngozi’s turn to catch the ball.” He continued.

“How can it be my turn? Tola was supposed to catch the ball after you. He should have caught the ball.” Ngozi retorted.

“Why are you saying I should have caught the ball? Didn’t you ask me to leave the circle because I could not catch? Now, you want to blame it on me.” Tola cried.

“Let us run away. Mr. Alakori will not know who did it.” Eze said.

“But that will be unfair. My mummy said I should never be scared to own up if I commit a wrong.” Ngozi replied.

“Yes. I think we should go and apologize to him. We would tell him we are very sorry.” Bode said.

“Okay, Tola stay in front. You are the youngest. If he sees you, he may not be so angry.” Eze said as he dragged Tola by the shirt.

“Leave me alone.” Tola screamed. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“Please Tola, follow us. Mr. Alakori may not be so upset if he sees you in front.” Ngozi pleaded.

“Pleaseeeeee.” Bode stresses; also lending his voice.

“Okay.” Tola agreed as he led the way to Mr. Alakori’s flat.

******

Mr. Alakori stared down at the boys before him. He wasn’t only angry that they broke the windscreen of his car, he was mad because they had the guts to come to his house to inform him about their offence.

He smiled as he asked them to come in. “We are okay here, sir. We just wanted to tell you we are very sorry.” Ngozi said as he held on to Tola, who was about stepping forward.

“Apology accepted but I still insist that you come in.”

“Let’s go in.” Eze said nudging the others.

“I want to go home.” Tola said as he held on to Ngozi’s hand.

“You are just a sissy. Leave!” Eze said shouting at him.

Tola burst into tears as Ngozi gives Eze an angry look.

Mr. Alakori walked back into his flat, leaving the door ajar.

Eze peeps inside then signals to Bode, who shakes his head and turns back to follow Ngozi and Tola.

Mr. Alakori is seated in front of the TV set watching a football match. Eze stands inside the living room taking the whole environment. He had never seen a house this beautiful. His parents lived in the slums on the other side of the street.

Mr. Alakori signals to him to sit down and as he does, he is passed a saucer with groundnuts in them.

Eze smiles as he collects the saucer. He scoops up some of the groundnuts and he is on the verge of throwing them into his mouth when they all turn into little maggots. He instinctively drops the saucer in his hands and shakes his right hand to throw away the groundnuts/maggots. Unfortunately, they have started burrowing into his skin.

He screams as he sees Mr. Alakori putting the maggots in his own saucer into his mouth. Mr. Alakori walks up to him and stretches his maggot-infested hand to touch his face. Another scream escapes his lips………”Eze, Eze, what’s wrong?” His mother asks as she places her hand on his face.

———

Photo Credit: http://www.trigger.photoshelter.com

The grass cutter

The clock in Chinaza’s room struck midnight. Chinaza stood up and moved slowly along the wall of his room. He picked up the cutlass lying by his stove carefully. The intruder on the other side of his door was going to visit his ancestors today; he thought.

Every morning, he woke up to meet trash dumped in front of his door. He had accused the neighbours a number of times and each time, every one of them denied the allegations against them. This night, he was going to catch whoever was dumping trash in front of his door red-handed.

The moon was full and it illuminated the corridor of the face-to-face rooms where Chinaza had moved in six months ago. He was grateful for the full moon because that would enable him see the intruder clearly and unmistakably.

He held the door knob gently and opened the door carefully trying not to startle the intruder. Just a swipe of the cutlass and the intruder would forever regret making his abode his dustbin.

As the door creaked open, Chinaza came face to face with a large grass cutter. He lifted up his cutlass as the grass cutter made a frightened attempt to run away. The cutlass landed squarely on the tail of the grass cutter, cutting it off totally. Suddenly, there was a loud scream from the room opposite Chinaza’s.

the-grass-cutter

The scream continued to rise in crescendo waking up the sleeping neighbours who all came out of their rooms groggily to meet Chinaza with a blood-stained cutlass. “Wetin dey happen for hia?” The landlord barked as he walked out of his room with a wrapper tied around his lower body.

“I am also wondering.” Chinaza said still holding his cutlass.

“Wetin you dey do with cutlass for this time of the night?”

“I wanted to catch the intruder dropping trash in front of my door every night. I caught a large grass cutter and hit it on the tail; only to hear screaming from Baba Jojo’s room.”

The scream continued to emanate from Baba Jojo’s room and the neighbours all agreed to find out what the problem was. They knocked the door but got no response. They banged on the door but no one opened. After about ten minutes, the screaming died down. The landlord ordered that the door be broken down.

The door was broken down to reveal Baba Jojo lying down on the floor of his room with a deep cut on his leg. Blood streamed out of the cut. He had bled to death.

——-

Photo Credit: http://www.nairaland.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