As I ran to towards the sitting room, something in me told me to halt, I obeyed. That same thing told me to walk and not run. Meanwhile one of my hands was inside my bush harvesting the “unwanted” weed. I caught it, crushed it and thanked my stars I did in time.
The click sound was louder and the entire house became darker as I walked towards the living room. My gracious God! I saw my spirit left me.
“now you can run” My mind commanded.
“run to where?”
“just run! Run!”
I took to my heels for seconds and stopped abruptly as I saw something that made me fell on my knees and cried.
It was a statue of someone wearing a crown and smiling.
“I dey sorry angel! I dey sorry!” I was on my knees.
“I no go ever thief meat for pot again” I confessed my sins. Stealing meat from the pot was trendy that period in my life; I thought I had mastered the art not until one night. That night I stole meat from the pot without torchlight in hand, this was what transpired the next morning:
“Seyi go and warm that soup in the pot! I think we will have to share that one piece of meat that is remaining in the pot” Brother Wale’s stingy self said.
It instantly dawned on me that I needed to see a butcher instantly.
“w€tin I go do now?” I asked myself.
As I warmed the soup, I cried deep down wishing Brother Wale would forget about the meat. Something within me told me to play this trick,that it might work; worse case scenario I will be flogged and that’s all.
The trick was that I should add a small stone to the soup – I mean a stone shaped like the piece of meat I stole.
“food is ready sir!” I announced.
“Seyi bobo! This one you are calling me sir? Is everything alright?” Brother Wale asked.
“Nothing ooh! I am just happy my birthday is around the corner” I replied.
“really! But you just celebrated your birthday last month na!”
“Ok! Its true oh!….. I am happy because of the success of my birthday, i am thanking God for it”
As we ate together, I swiftly picked the piece of meat, piece of stone rather along with my Eba and put it in my mouth.
“Where is the meat?” A knock landed on my head.
Brother Wale’s knuckles had overtime created a valley in between the two mountains my head is made up of and with time I got used to his hard knocks – they made my head thick.
“the meat?” I was mouthful.
“no the bone! My friend where is the meat?”
“I………. What?” He beamed the torchlight on my face and of course he saw the obvious bulge.
“So you want to eat the piece of meat abi?” Yet another knock on my head, this time around I heard Rock music played in my head.
“no oh, I just wanted to help you cut it!”
“and did I tell you to help me cut it? Bring it out!”
I brought out the stone and after he confirmed it was a stone he commanded that I put it back in my mouth, chewed and swallowed.
“But brother it is a stone na!” I cried.
Still on my knees the angel was still smiling on me and I had made up my mind like Jacob in the Bible to wrestle with the angel.
“I will never lie again!” I promised. But I noticed the angel wasn’t saying anything but just smiling.
“which kin angel be this?” I asked myself, and then without thinking, I pushed the “weightless” angel and in the process I fell the way a fifteen storey building would collapse.
It was when I was on ground that I realized what I thought was an angel was actually our curtain, and the smiles on the angel’s face was a reflection the standing mirror in the sitting room made on the curtain.
Face down, blood gushed out of my mouth like I was a bank of blood withdrawing like a river. Common sense told me to shut my mouth with my right hand since the muscles in my mouth had failed me, little did I know that Common sense was wrong.
With my mouth wide open and my right hand covering it all in the bid of obeying the injunction of Common sense I tasted something like rotten egg, then I withdrew my hand to know why my blood suddenly changed taste albeit it wasn’t tasting good ab ini
Wale Ajibade is the first son of the Ajibade farming Dynasty, he is 90 percent late Moses Ajibade and 9 percent late Stella Ajibade, the rest one percent attributes of what makes up the man Brother Wale is gotten from I Seyi Ajibade his younger brother – his only brother. He copied the way I walked, the way I talked, and of course my slangs; slangs like “Wadup” I always say that to my friends when we shake hands.
Most days Brother Wale puts on a gloomy face that made his face looked like the face carried by a frog, he rarely smiles, except when it rained the previous night, then in such days, he would smile all day. When it rains at night and I saw him smiling the next morning, I wouldn’t blame it on the w€t bed we slept on that resulted from our leaking roof but on the fact that maybe he dreamt of Christiana Adibe his love.
Aunty Christy! Oh Aunty Christy! See what you have done to Brother Wale.
Brother Wale could go hungry all day and at night he would send me with a food flask to go give Christy and her elder sister Njideka some food to eat. I was not left out in the love story, I would go hungry or eat small rations just to make sure the always-hungry Christy is fed.
I remember Brother Wale giving a very hungry Seyi bobo (SB) food to deliver to his love Christy one afternoon.
“give this food to Christy” He ordered.
“but brother what of me, what will I eat?” I swallowed saliva.
“will you shut up and give her the food first! When you return the rice on fire will be done and we can eat. This one is for Christy my love”
“F’oolish love! You never chop na another person food you first put” I cursed within.
“what did you say?” I thought she heard me. “She” because Brother Wale had since Maami’s death became the proverbial “Woman wrapper”, always wrapping beans cakes every night to give to his love at home.
“say? I did not say anything oh!” I said the food is hot oh!” I spoke out.
“the food is hot, if you troway am for road troway yourself join with am” That was the first day I heard Brother Wale spoke Pidgin since he graduated from the university.
On my way to Aunty Christy’s house, I saw some of my friends playing football and I stopped to watch.
“SB come play for me I don tayah!” Bunmi said.
“but my brother send me na” I said.
“shey na only you get brother?” Imo said, “abeg come play ball jor!”
I left the food I was supposed to deliver by the side of the goal post and I was in the monkey post pitch in no time.
The most striking force in the monkey post football match that afternoon was no other but me. I had scored two goals and I had forgotten that I was famished.
“SB pass me the ball!” Yellow longed.
I wanted to pass the ball to Yellow God knows but Imo’s big head wasn’t giving me the clear view I needed, so I headed for the goal post.
I moved the ball to my left leg for a killer shot and “baaaa!” I fired the ball to the post. As my culture have it in such occasions, i shut my eyes to open only when the ball arrive its destination point.
As I opened my eyes, I saw nightmare.
Aunty Christy’s food was gone.
“SB you don troway your food” Yellow announced, and everyone burst into laughter.
“who tell you say na my food?” I denied.
“SB! Lie-Lie! Linus! No be you keep this food here?” Yemi said.
“Yeaaeeh! See big meat oh! I go chop am oh!” The gluttonous Debo proposed.
“Debo if you try am eenh!” I yelled.
“oohoooh! I think say you say no be you keep the food there?” Yellow said.
“I don die! Brother Wale go kill me eeeh!” I came close and saw the rice was all round sand infested.
“try make you see whether you go fit pack am na?” Yemi suggested
“pack w€tin? You no see as san-san do full am?”
“abeg you fit still pack am jor! Make I help you pack am put for the food flask?” Debo offered, I guessed he meant putting it in his mouth not food flask.
Before I winked my eyes to chase away the tears that gathered lest my friends laughed at me should it fall, Debo had picked one piece of meat,
then he was putting rice in his pocket.
“Debo!” I yelled.
“What? What I do?” He returned.
“I dey talk say I don die for Brother Wale hand, you dey here dey eat the food” I was sitting on the floor crying already.
“Hahaha! Him hey cry!” My friends laughed so hard.
I had just cried two rivers when Yemi said “see Brother Wale dey come!!”
“I thought he was pulling my dirty legs, but when I saw that they all fled one after the other, I looked up, lo and behold I saw Brother Wale and his lover walking towards me.
“eeeh! Don’t you run!” Brother Wale commanded.