​… Couldn’t go out to pick up my son so I sent  one of my workers to go fetch him from school. Seeing my son in the most strange form with eyes blood shot, apparently from hours of crying, I was impatient and I left the pineapple I was cutting to go attend to him.

That was when I noticed his walking steps were really disfigured. He could barely walk so I just carried him inside. After failed attempts to stop him from crying, I decided to give him a bath if that would soothe him a little. Then I engaged him in a conversation after he took a break from crying. All he said was uncle Seyi and then he gasped for breath, obviously resuming his tears game. 

I couldn’t place it so my mind kept wandering from everywhere to nowhere.

I noticed he had scars and bruises on his laps and I asked if he fell down in school and he shook his head. I became scared. When I turned him to wash his butt and he gave a loud cry as if he was pierced with a syringe. I grew impatient when he stopped me from washing his underside with the shout of “uncle seyi” on his lips. I didn’t get the message immediately and when I finally placed the piece side by side, I solved the puzzle and… What the fuck happened?

I called a friend of mine who has got 7nuts missing from his head to meet me up in my Son’s school. I picked up the knife I was using to cut my pineapple ‘jejely’*, placed it in my cross bag and stepped out of the house. My workers asked if I wasn’t going out in my car and I replied “no, I’m just going down the street. I won’t be long”. If only they know that I chose to go in ‘okada’* because I’ve lost my mind and its risky to drive in such manner.

I got to his school and happily requested to see uncle seyi. I was told to sit while I wait for him but because I mean business, I remained standing while I paced down the waiting hall.

“Good Afternoon madam” was the voice that jolted me back to reality.

“I was told you…” I didn’t wait for him to finish his statement before responding to his  greeting with series of slaps.

“You bastard! How dare you”? I asked rhetorically.

He tried to answer and I slapped him again.

At this point, I couldn’t tell why I was slapping him… Maybe it’s because he’s ugly or because of what he did to my son. I couldn’t tell.

“I’m sorry ma, it’s the work of the devil” he finally pleaded. By this time, crowd had already gathered. Some to know why, others to separate while majority was to get another topic to gossip about. Me, I cared less as I brought out my knife and stabbed him severally in his arm.

With the blood gushing out of his arm splashing all over my white tee, I felt more anger and pain and continued till he became unconscious…

*Jejely… A Nigerian slang from the Yoruba tribe. Meaning gently/quietly.

*Okada… A Nigerian alternative word for Motor bikes used for public transportation.

Twist

Age 3, I had zero worries about a career or what life is all about. All that mattered most to me was my biscuits, sweets, chocolates and sleep. I wasn’t allowed to play outside so I had little or no experience of what mud tasted like.
Then came age 6, when I became interested in knowing all my parts of speech, reciting my poems by heart, perfecting my reading abilities and skills. I was beginning to like school.

Age 9 came and I was being asked that ultimate question… “What would you like to become in the future?” And really, I was clueless. Tossed about by the choice of others. As it was generally believed, “all brilliant folks (‘efikos’) would end up being doctors” so I just flowed with the tide. Still undecided. 

Age 10, still interested in “knowing my book”, I wasn’t so bothered about a career but as a student, you just have to have one in mind. Most of my friends wanted to be doctors so; I just decided to become a doctor too. When some group of friends chose engineering as their career, I flowed with them (but it was short term though). Most times, to impress our English teacher, when told to write a composition about what we want to be in the future, I wrote “I want to be a teacher when I grow up…” My first debate competition came and the topic was overwhelming “flogging should be abolished in primary schools”. It was fun all the way but…

Age 11, my second debate came and the topic “a teacher is better than a doctor” teachers (my group) won and I was beginning to consider being a teacher… Another debate came and “a doctor is better than a farmer” and of course, doctors won and I drifted to being a doctor once again. The shift continued till…

Age 14, yet another debate topic “a lawyer is better than a doctor” it was really hot. The debaters were really prepared and the panel couldn’t decide so they kept giving the chief speakers yet another chance to convince them. I got tired of standing up to speak I passed the baton to another colleague. I was already convinced beyond reasonable doubts. Being a lawyer is better. Of course, they won and we (doctors) lost. I considered becoming a lawyer but then I realized the bar was too high for me, so I stepped down.

Age 18, stuck with becoming a doctor, I go on with the process involved in getting into a university to study medicine. But then, NUC said no! Medicine is not for me. Unarguably, I accepted the new change of career.

Age 20, burdened with the load of accepting my supposed career, saddled with the responsibility of becoming an agricultural economist (which never crossed my mind for once). I tried my best to love the new found career. Providence helped me, I scaled through but then, I’m agriculturally lazy. The thought of farming makes me sick. I can talk about agriculture from here to mars and back but… No! My heart is far from it. It lies just on my lips.

Age 21 happened and here I am, with a passion for nothing else other than having my pen in one hand and a paper in the other… On which I scribble down my thoughts and feelings. Never a doctor, never grew to be a teacher, never a lawyer, so much hatred for econometrics. 

None of that but… A writer.

A piece of me

Its been two months now and I haven’t heard from him…

​Our meeting was exceptional. Unlike others, it was divine. I mean what else could be perfect than meeting a ‘light’ in my darkest times?

… I had narrowly escaped being knocked down by a careful driver on a sunny afternoon. Didn’t know how and when I drifted off the pedestrian lane onto the express way. All I remember was thousands of voices trying to pass on a message at the same time through diverse means; it was deafening and all I could pick from their chaos was “next time, remember you do not own the road”. 

Totally oblivious of all that happened, I sought to continue my journey but was restrained by another stranger who pleaded with me to wait. He said what I couldn’t phantom after which he ushered me into a clean black-coloured SUV that depicts ‘class’ and style.

For reasons best known to him, he stopped by a restaurant and requested for a little time out with me. Back to my senses, I wondered how and why I got dust all over my dress and he explained what happened. Suddenly, the “next time, remember you do not own the road” instruction made sense to me. (Exhales) I must have been thinking again. “I’m sorry” I said to him. 

“So what exactly were you thinking of that made you lose consciousness?” he asked. 

It is nothing to worry about, I’ll be fine. I answered.

“Well, it’s okay. But please, be more careful” he concluded after which we left the restaurant.

He volunteered to drop me off at home but I declined. Unlike other guys, he didn’t push. He only dropped me off at a safe place and requested for my contact which I gave to him reluctantly. “Please, be safe” he said again like I didn’t hear the first time. Thank you very much, I will.

 My journey back home was a five minutes’ walk from where he stopped me. I got home and never called him. I returned to my current state once more.

Two nights later, I saw a beep on my phone and I realized it was a WhatsApp message from an unknown number. I viewed the profile picture before replying and I discovered it was my ‘good Samaritan’ and I had not saved his number because I did not even (chuckles) know his name. Arrghhh what kind of person are you? I asked myself.

I replied his chat and went on to thank him for the other day; this time, sincerely. That night marked the beginning of our frequent chats which later graduated to phone calls and ‘gist’.

My job is at stake. I said to him one evening during our ‘hang outs’.

“How do you mean”? He questioned. Well, I have this project I’m working on and a lot of money is involved. I have been given a deadline to meet up with the required plan else, I lose my job. That explains why I was almost knocked down by you the other day. I concluded laughing as it was really funny now.

“Hmmmm… Let me see what you’ve got. I just may be of help you never can tell” 

Are you serious? I asked him.

“Just let me see your plan first” he replied.

Oh! right away. I hurried down to my bedroom where I brought out the files and every other necessary document.

He became a regular face in my house as we had to work on it together. He was such a brilliant chap. Over time, I’d dosed off while working and I woke up on my bed wondering how I got there.

We talked more about stuffs other than work and business. I could feel something for him but I had to put it off. Two weeks later, the plan was ready and we got the contract. It was so much joy and celebration as I was also promoted at my place of work. I called him to tell him the good news and thanked him for making it possible.

We had dinner at a five-star hotel and got home quite late that evening. We had talked about too many things already and there was nothing to hide anymore. He had dropped me off at home that night and had asked for a simple hug which I had given to him; that was the best I could do to show appreciation. 

But no, we were both burning with passion and it was too late to stop. Hormones had gathered and when our lips touched each other, I realized it’s been eternity since this happened – after I had lost my husband to a fire incidence that razed our home, killing my husband and our ten months old baby. I had gone out to pick some stuff from the supermarket that evening and I had returned only to find the house on fire. I remember waking up after one week at the hospital and I was told two weeks later that my husband and son were gone. It was a tough time for me as I practically saw my world crash at that spot. I wished and prayed for death but it didn’t come. I had moved on six years later and I had not given love a chance.

We had fun together till dawn. I woke up much later in the morning and I realized he was gone. I looked at the time and it was 8:00AM. As usual, I tried making excuses for him and finally stopped making excuses saying at least, should have woken me up or something. 

I expected his call all through the day but he didn’t call so I called. It rang severally but he didn’t pick up. I sent a message but he didn’t reply. His whatsapp message delivered and showed he had read it but he didn’t reply. I became worried and scared. Two weeks gone and he hadn’t showed up at my doorstep. He blocked me on his whatsapp. Does not pick up my calls; I sent series of text messages and yet, no response.

It’s been two months now and I haven’t heard from him. I’m deeply hurt and broken but it’s all okay.

Now I understand better; that all he’s ever wanted was a piece of me!