“hold it there!” I heard.
“you know that is stealing, you are a thief” I thought God was speaking to me.
“Bill! Skill! Trill! Get him!”
“Get who?” I thought I was dreaming.
Bill, Trill and Skill are skillful in biting off the cap. I remember Skill almost biting off Debo’s cap – the cap of his p’enis leaving only the b’alls, and we nicknamed Debo “Debo! where your pencil?”
“SB where your pencil?” I imagined Kpobo drawing a cartoon animation of me in the blackboard with a broken p’enis so I ran faster; I ran like there was no tomorrow, or like my tomorrow was dead.
“SB! Where are you running to?” I ran pass Tolani my crush, my babe rather.
“Nowhere! I am just exercising! I need to lose weight!”
“Aaaah!” I turned and saw that I had a running-partner already.
Didn’t they say “what a man can do a woman can do better”?
“Wait for me SB!” Women can be funny sha! I am running for my dear life and you are telling me to wait for you, is it a heavenly race? Even heavenly race is personal.
Then from nowhere, Tolani overtook me. She was running bare footed.
“Tolani!” I called. She was soon two metres ahead.
Yemi had told me severally that Tolani was always coming first in their school’s inter-house sport competition but I never believed, seeing her ran so fast in the inter-house sport of life and death, I believed.
Soon my legs were failing me.
“SB! Seyi bobo! So naso you go take die?” I was already imagined what will be said of me when I rest in peace, in pieces rather; because I was very sure the three dogs would surely pieces my bones.
“And here lies the body of a vibrant soldier, a dogged sailor that sailed through life’s turbulence and was victorious, he fought for love, like Romeo he died for the love of his life, may his gentle soul rest in peace!”
That would be in the event of my demise.
Wherever Tolani ran to I followed knowing women made better decisions in emergencies. Or so I thought.
Holly s’hit! She was running towards her compound, and I could see Bill was so close to me.
I had watched in a movie that a guy was chased by a dog, and once he put off his slippers and continued running bare footed, the dog stopped and was chewing the slippers.
Taking off my slippers shortened the distance from Bill, and I was so tired.
“Lord pls take my hands!” I wept.
I looked forward and saw Tolani was in her compound already, and guess what? She shut the gate. After girls go say men are wicked. Who wicked now?
“Tolani open the gate!” I cried with a loud voice.
I had ten seconds to decide what my next line or action would be lest I died and made hell.
“Jump that fence!” Was a suggestion.
But my mind flashed back to the last time I tried jumping a fence. That was when our ball was fired to Igboh kwenu the igboh dealer’s compound. The same Tolani caused me woo that afternoon. I had decided that since I wasn’t fit in the pitch meaning I was playing rubbish – kind of my-stomach-show-me-where-to-play-to style of football; the kind they play in Swaziland league, I needed to prove to Tolani that I was superman albeit not in the pitch but in fence climbing.
With so much dexterity, I jumped holding the top of the fence with my both hands, then blood rained on me – there were tiny bottles affixed to the top of the fence.
“SB climb enter na” My in-law to be Yemi said; more like he said: “prove to me that you will take good care of my sister when you marry her!”
“aaaaah! Bottle dey the fence! I have died!” Grammar matters not in such situation.
I tried to pull myself up and the bottles pierced deeper reaching my skeletal structure.
“Abeg comot here jor! You no know say that side bottle dey, na here bottle no dey!” Yellow swiftly entered the compound.
“Sorry oh!” Tolani said, “Did it wound you?”
“S’tupid question! No e no wound me, e kiss my hand, you see blood full my hand you dey ask me nonsense question!”
“See that tree for there, jump catch one of the branch!” Another suggestion.
Monkeys climbs tree, but SB climb better is a know fact.
I jumped more than an Olympic high jumper; like I was asked to grab the skies. I held one of the branches and just when I thought at last I had found succor, the branch I held broke and I fell to the ground.
And guess where I fell?
Inside a very deep gutter.
I mean a very very deep gutter.
I was fully clad with pottor-pottor, kelebe, nyama, spit, s’hit, piss, all combined.
The Dogs were up there staring at their prey in another cloth; they wished they could jump in and devour me.
Suddenly like they were called to come eat bones, the Dogs left faster than I imagined.
Then I heard the gate opened and I heard Tolani said “I saw him running behind me towards the compound”
“Then where is he?” That was Yemi’s voice.
“I don’t know!”
Brother Wale located SB the gutter man, carried me home like a baby, bathe me with warm water and laid me to bed. What love for a brother?
Or was he high?
Yes he was high.
“Smoke small na” He offered as I tried catch sleep.
“I don’t want to smoke”
“One day you will have to learn how to smoke, weed is good for the health; it makes a man to be able to perform his duties”
“I don see you wey dey perform duties na?”
The first day I tasted weed, that day I saw why they said the sun rotates round the earth.
I was twelve and four foot tall, brother Wale gave me two wraps of weed to take home for him and as I got home I assured myself I would kill my curiosity that afternoon since no one was at home – Brother Wale had before then told me weed tasted like Vitamin C. And ooh my, I so loved Vitamin C the red one; I still love it.
Since there was no wrapping paper to wrap the weed with, I assured myself paper was paper so I tore a carton I saw in the kitchen.
I painstakingly wrapped the weed and said the Lord’s Prayer as I light the end. How dare you ask me what for? Didn’t your momma teach you to pray before meal?
I crossed my leg as I took the first drag, I coughed. I was feeling like the boss Rick Ross with a cigar; yes the carton was rolled perfectly like I was working in a cigar production company.
“This thing no sweet na!” I said, “e no sweet like Vitamin C na!”
I coughed so hard as I dragged more.
“yeeeh! Mogbe oh! My eye! My eye dey turn me” I tried standing up.
My eyes spun and I was seeing everything in twos, then later on in threes, but what I couldn’t comprehend was why I had five legs – where did the extra three come from?
“Get behind me Satan!” Our Sunday school teacher had told us that whenever we were in tough times we should quote that verse.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil” I tried walking.
“……………………… He maketh me lie down in green pastures” I was lying on the floor.
Then I freed the weed in my hand.
Within a minute or so I saw fire.
“Moses and the burning bush” I said.
“Fire oooh! Fire ooh!” I heard my mum shouted from outside.
“which fire?” I struggled to stand up.
I stood up, took three steps away from the Kerosene container that was on fire, stared at it for a while and said; “The sun is beautiful! Where is the moon?”
“The moon should be in your room” Someone told me.
“You be correct! How you take know?”
“I know na, I do literature, you don forget that book – The moon is above your bed?”
So I staggered to my room.
Standing close to the bed I looked at the ceiling to see the moon.
“But the moon is not here na?” I spoke.
“see it na! Can’t you see it?” My friend told me.
“who are you sef? I said I am not seeing it and you are telling me rubbish, shey na you get the room?”
“No vex na, as you no dey see am, sleep your head don full, just sleep”
And I slept.
I came back to reality from dreamland when water was sprinkled on me by brother Wale.
“ahaaan! What did I do?”
“Will you not go to school today?”
“Me? School? I will not go oh!”
“Why?” He asked.
“No reason sir!” The reason was that Kpobo was my new sit-partner according to Friday’s sit reshuffle.
“That reminds me? Where is the weed I gave you to keep for me?”
“Weed? Me? What is weed?”
“My friend where is the thing I gave to you?” He tapped my head and my brain reset.
“Okay! As I was coming to the house…………………… As I was coming to the house……………”
“eeeeheeen! As you was coming to the house what happened?”
“As I was coming to the house, one of the them fall from my leaking pocket, I still have one here” I dipped my hand into my pocket.
As he collected it, I positioned my head for a great knock but I was surprised seconds later there was none that landed on it.
“The kitchen was on fire yesterday, I would have been glad if you were burnt in the inferno!” He smiled.
“Really? How did you put off the fire?” I asked.
“I peed on it, and it went off” He answered.
Okay! You should be working in the fire service then!” I said.
“And I should be working in the boys scout for making fire” I almost said.
“Hahahahahaha!” He laughed.
“Brother Wale! Brother Wale!” I hailed.
“that reminds me, you have a letter; a love letter”