Where are you going to?”
“I will be back, I want to urinate!”
Since brother Wale’s assumption of duty as the chief fryer of bean cake in Maami’s bean cake hangout after her ailment struck, his harshness increased to almost c—-x. I remember him almost frying my left hand along with bean cakes just because I was dozing off while molding the cakes.
“Always urinating! Please I need you to axe this firewood!” That was my second hobby.
I was not only brother Wale’s special assistant; I was also his wood pecker.
Every evening while I axed the firewood in preparation for business, I just couldn’t help but to weep deep down, wishing Maami was hale and hearty, wishing her kidney had not failed.
Brother Wale and I toiled everyday in the farm, and at night we sold bean cakes to gather enough money to give to the doctor for the transplant.
I just wished she wasn’t ill. Like goose pimples, nostalgia surrounds my body whenever I remember how Maami made delicious bean cakes that made customers came back for more. She could bake cakes to feed the whole community and there would still be twelve baskets full of leftovers, yet her bean cakes were second to none in taste. What do we have? Those baked by brother Wale were nothing but culinary failures. At some point, I thought of advising him that we should add a sweetener to our bean cakes to keep customers patronizing us stuck like bee to nectar, if I had advised him, I know stubborn brother Wale wouldn’t had listened.
So I decided to go to the extreme and brought sugar to work one evening.
The chance to carry out my “plan” came when Brother Wale went home to fetch more firewood and told me to watch the bean cakes on fire. I hurriedly sprinkled some of the sugar on the cakes and I noticed Yemi my friend saw me from the corner of his eyes yet he pretended he didn’t see me.
What resulted about twenty minutes later was Okon one of our customers complaining his stomach ached; that it seemed there was a snake moving in his stomach. “Yes there are indeed snakes moving around your stomach; sugar snakes!” I said to myself.
When Brother Wale returned with the firewood, he yelled and yelled asking if I added something to the cake that made almost all the customers complained.
“me? I did not add anything oh” I answered.
“And did you fry it well?” Brother Wale asked.
“I see am dey pour something for inside the Akara!” Yemi my talkative friend said.
“Mumu! na groundnut oil I dey pour that time!” I attacked him.
“yeeeeeh! Seyi you can lie ooh!” Yemi the never-say-die-dragon said.
“drag-drag boy! You be dragon!” I attacked.
“I be dragon abi! Oya make we check your pocket! The thing wey you pour for the frying pan dey your pocket” When Yemi said that I knew I was in soup; Ogbonno soup precisely.
“Okay come here let me search your pocket!” Brother Wale commanded.
As I took the slowest five steps of my life towards where Brother Wale stood I said the Lord’s prayer hurriedly three times; wishing the sugar in my pocket would disappear.
All of a sudden Brother Wale’s phone beeped. The message he read made his face gloomy instantly. “I need to go see the doctor now!” He said.
“Hope there is no problem?” I asked.
“Problem? I think there is!”
When I was told Maami couldn’t make it through surgery I was crippled for two days. I wished so many things.
I wished she was alive to see me celebrate my 15th birthday, yes I wished it was she who prepared the bean cakes I and my friends eat at the birthday “bash” by the fire stand.
I wished she was alive to see me become 17th position in class leaving my usual 20th position.
I wish with tears in my eyes.
I wish with tears in my eyes that Maami was still alive to see Brother Wale beat her handsome Seyi bobo for no just cause; like when he beat me for asking him why he didn’t donate one of his kidneys to save Maami. Hmmmmmmm! Wicked Brother Wale. If a fifteen year old kidney was matured enough to be transplanted into a sick fifty year old, why not? I would have donated?
With tears in my eyes I woke up two days after we returned from the village after Maami’s burial with a question in mind.
“Brother Wale why have we been eating only beans since the burial?” That was the question.
A knock in my head was the response.
“eaaaaah! w€tin I do na?” I yelled as I heard the knock on my head echoed fourteen times and stars shone afterwards.
“Is that your greeting this morning?”
“Sorry brother, good afternoon!” I thought I saw the sun set.
“oooooh! It is afternoon abi?”
“yes………………… I mean No, good morning” I stammered, “I make mistake, I no know!”
“And how many times will I tell you that when speaking to me, you shouldn’t speak pidgin?”
“pegan! But brother I didn’t speak pegan na!”
“will you shut up! Did I say pegan? I said peeegiiin”
“peeegiiiin!” I tongue twisted, “brother what is peeegiin? Is it the language the pigeons in Yemi’s bird nest speak?”
And yet another knock landed on my head.
“aaaaah! Brother I have head ache oh!” I cried.
“oya sorry!” He served me sorry like fresh bitter leaf.
“sorry na, Seyi bobo! Okay pidgin means what you people call Broken” he explained.
“Oooooh! So na broken nahim be pidgin?” I had learned one.
Four the next few weeks we stopped eating beans so the two bags of beans Maami bought before she died wouldn’t finish; we started eating bitter leaf soup and “Iyan” for dinner and Akara and bread for breakfast. As for lunch, our food was tilling the ground to rid the bitter leaf farm off weeds. That was food meant to go through the mouth. For the Nose, the only food readily available between the hours of 1am to 3am is fart.
It wasn’t for my nose alone, but for my kidneys too. I remember a particular “battalion” of Brother Wale’s fart rendering my kidney useless and my stomach, it was running 100 metres. That night it rained and our leaking roof chase away my sleep. The first fart Brother Wale let out struck me like thunder and I faced the other way and covered by nose with my hands.
Then came another fart; what I would term the vibrating fart. At first I thought it was his phone vibrating, but when I put on the torchlight, I saw the truth.
The truth was that I would die if i don’t run for my dear life, and so I fled to the sitting room. As I was sleeping in the cushion in the sitting room, I felt my kidney moving around my solar plexus and so I assured myself I would never sleep in the same room with farting Brother Wale ever again, but again I was scared of sleeping alone in a room save the cockroach experience repeated itself.
The cockroach experience is an experience I will live to remember for the rest of my life and even in my after life. I was to travel with Brother Jimmy to the village the following day for Papa’s burial, Brother Wale and Maami was already in the village a day before.
That night, something happened that made me cursed Brother Jimmy for not coming to pass the night with me before we hit the road the following morning.
I had thought of going to pass the night with Yemi in his house but I feared I might not survive the next morning as his brothers might suffocate me with their pot bellies.
I pleaded with Yemi to come pass the night with me, but he refused sa