Pamoja Milele (Together Forever). pt 2

 
image

Throughout the rest of the journey I slept and by the time I woke we were already in Abuja. It was the voice of the pilot that woke me up. As soon as we got off the airplane, we went to the luggage carousel to pick up our bags and I was stylishly searching the area for the mysterious man on the plane but he was nowhere to be found. When we saw our bags, we picked them up from the belt and I saw my boss checking the name tags to avoid collecting the wrong luggage.

Outside the airport as we were waiting for an airport taxi to pull up to our side my boss said “I notice you were for your new boyfriend”

“I wasn’t searching for anybody and I don’t have a boyfriend” I replied trying to sound serious but failed.

“Okay o madam but incase you were, there he goes” she said laughing and directing my eyes with her head.

He was entering a black Toyota Camry. He has already changed his shirt to a black Long Sleeve Branded V-neck T Shirt with a matching jean trouser. Someone was putting his bag into the boot of the car while another was opening the back door for him. He looks important or maybe he is one of those spoilt brat that spend their parents money without thinking of making theirs.

By the time I finished analyzing him our taxi has pulled up and the driver helped us to put our luggage into the car.

It was on a Friday so the road was busy, those coming from mosque and those returning to or closing from work. Our driver was a cheerful little Igbo guy. You would know from his accent. My boss guy the driver our hotel address and he was on his way.

“Am sure you do have friends Abuja?” my boss asked

“Yes I have but didn’t tell them I’ll be coming to Abuja”

“Why? Do you want to spend your Friday night at the capital locked indoors like old women like me do? She asked removing her pairs of medicated glasses and continues “you better get your groove on dear” she said laughing.

“But ma’ we do have a serious meeting tomorrow”, I replied

“Are you the one presenting?

“No, but…” I was trying to explain but she cut me short

“Then its settle, call up your friends and take the night off, I brought you here to enjoy yourself and not to work”

“okay, thanks you ma”

The rest of the drive to the hotel was done in silence, everyone with her taught. Mine was back to incident on the plane. I was wondering how a guy can be that cool and calm, he didn’t even bother that people were watching him, all he was interested in was how I felt and to make sure I won’t feel bad. Even while I was in the rest room he has asked the airhostess to get me some water and panadol.

We got to the hotel and everybody went straight to their rooms even though it was opposite each other, we lodged in at the Weavers Hotel. After resting for and freshened up and I called up Tinu (Tinuke), Deborah and Pat (Patience), these were my only friends present in Abuja but only Tinu and Pat could meet for the hangout because Debby as we usually call her is having a dinner with her future in-laws, so we schedule to go to the movies. The arraignments were made and Pat was to pick Tinu then me up because I was closer to the cinema.

This wasn’t my first time in Abuja, while still an undergraduate I use to visit my aunt and her husband who works with NNPC as a consultant in Abuja. He later died and my aunt has to relocate to Lagos where most of her family members were.

Pat and Tinu came up to my room when they came to pick me up. We went to tell my boss that we are going out and chatted with my friends for a while and when we were going she gave us some extra cash in her words “Just in case you break a glass, this will take care of it”. We thanked her left not before warning me to try and return before midnight.

All the way from the hotel to the cinema it was talk nonstop. I have forgotten how well Tinu can talk, asking questions and answering them before anyone of us have an opportunity to respond or reply. While Patience was the laughing one, and her laugh is contagious. With her smiles and laughter she can make the angriest man forget about his problem even if it was for some minutes. We got there a bit early and decide to go through the Shoprite. We bought some drinks and snack and pulled up chairs and sat to chat.

We chatted for about two hours not knowing that time has gone. We talked about everything asking where this one or that one was, who has gotten married and who has not, who is working and who is not, who has travelled aboard and even told them of the story of the mysterious guy from the plane.

As we were standing up to go to the cinema, I half turned not knowing someone was coming behind me and I pour my drinks on him…..

MY FIRST HOSTEL EXPERIENCE IN FGC UGWOLAWO.

image

After clearing myself with the school authority and I was confirmed as a student white Ogecha house as my house (yellow house). My guardian Mr. Itopa sent someone to call a senior student for him and when he arrived, Mr. Itopa told him I’ll be under his care and protection since he is an ebira student and one of the respected student for that matter. They introduced us(me and my uncles) to him. His name was Mamman Salami (aka Tiwee).

Immediately he asking some wandering students to help me carry my locker, and bags to junior dormitory. My uncle and guardian followed us some few meters behind as they too were trying to catch up, while me and my new school-father (only school father I had) were also trying to know each other or rather he was trying to know me. He was asking all the questions while I was providing all the answers as fast as the questions were asked. We got to the junction leading to junior dorm (as its fondly called), and we took the right narrow road leading to both Ogecha and Uredo houses with grasses on either side of the road.
Student were passing us as they were going for their afternoon lunch. Student with different colours of check (yellow, red, blue and green) and some in White and Maroon, they passed us along the road and most of them greeted my new school father they way you greet a Don.

We got to the steps or slab as they call it. I was not the tallest and the slab was very high for me to climb so Tiwee has to carry/assist me up. The first thing I noticed was the smell coming from the bathroom/laundry area. It was so bad that it made tears welled up in my small eyes. The second thing I notice was the I don’t care attitude of the students, some moving about with ordinary pants, others in their school shorts and other simple naked taking their bath on the pavement. My uncle was laughing when he saw my face and spook to me in ebira “you better get use to it, this is how hostel people behave”.

The hostel consist of two rolls of of straight  building with the laundry at the end connecting the two buildings together. One of the building is for Uredo (Red) house and the other Ogecha  (Yellow) house. Each building is divided into four rooms. Room A which houses virtually Jss2 students, Room B which house the big boys, the House perfect/captain and some of his friends and some selected Jss1 student. Room C houses Jss3 students, while Room D is were the remaining Jss1, Jss3 and some seniors who prefer junior dorm than senior dorm.

I was put in room B due to my connection to one of the big boys. I was giving a corner to put my locker. The room has 16 bunks which will take up to 32 people.  Tiwee informed my party that the house captain was not around since its almost time for close of class and he’ll be moving straight to the dinning area from class but promise to make sure I stay close to him and nobody will disturb me.  I saw some small boys just like me, they were looking at me and I could here them ask each other ” who is this boys?”. I think from Room A I heard someone said “kia this boy short o!” Or was it small he said?? Hmm can’t remember again.

Tiwee called the Jss1 students in the room to introduce me to them but asked them why they are in the hostel, which they replied that they came to carry their plate/cooler before heading for dinning.
I told them my name which they in turn told me theirs. They were Ojo Jr, Joseph and Edesiri, although I have to be corrected twice before getting Edesiri’s name correct after calling it Esiri. They took off after the introduction and after I have stock my locker with my provisions consisting of cabin biscuit, butter, garri (yellow garri), sugar,notebooks, Biro, soaps, cream, toothpaste and brush. My uniform and my bucket…. After locking my locker and putting the key inside the pocket of my short knicker I realised that the next phase of my life has started…..

Pamoja Milele (Together Forever). pt 1

“Together Forever”

As I flustered my eye lids opened I notice the room was too bright. It took me some few seconds to get focused on any object. The ceiling was all white with florescent tubes shinning everywhere. Tubes all around me, some going in and others coming out, a woman’s voice was coming from a small TV hanged at the corner of the room and I noticed that the room looks familiar. Yes, it looks almost like a scene from my favorite TV program Greys Anatomy. I tried moving my head sideways and noticed I couldn’t move it, there was something holding it in place. I could hear noises from within and outside the room, some I recognized and others I didn’t.

A rather fat woman came around my bed, she must be the matron judging from her white uniform and the way other nurses stayed behind her taking and smiling. she look to be in her early sixties, you would have imagine for a medical practitioner and a nurse at that she would take proper care of her body just standing there looking at me as if she just discovered the care to Ebola. This must be their own version of Dr. Bailey, although she doesn’t look too confident rather she looked  astounded that I opened my eyes, the nurses where whispering until finally the Dr. Bailey told someone to get the doctor.

I have always fantasized that if I ever landed in a hospital, I should be treated by Dr. Derek (Mc Dreamy) or Dr. Sloan (Mc steamy) but if none of them were available I would settle for Dr. Yang. I could hear footsteps but couldn’t turn to see who it was, then she came within my line of sight. It was my mum, I could see the tears streaming down her face as she looked at me, and choked with emotions she said my name softly as if saying it loud will hurt me. Then other faces came into view my sister, my brother and lovely sister in-law.

Suddenly I came to my senses. Why am I here? Where is my husband? Why aren’t we on our honeymoon? Where is he? I tired saying something but my voice refuses to cooperate. They could all see me struggling, my eyes popping, my body jerking then I heard the doctor ordering everybody out of the room. One of the nurses led my family members out of the room while another one was reading my chart and stat. I could see the doctor giving instructions to everybody and before I know it the matron stabbed me with a very full injection and slowly I began to drift into darkness, the last thing I saw was the face of the doctor and he wasn’t my McDreamy.

That was six month two weeks ago today. Standing in front of my husband’s grave, feeling shivery even though I was dressed for the weather. Staring at the headstone tears slowly dropped from my eyes as I fell on my knees and start reading the inscription on it,

“Oh Lord we put him in thy hands.

His mission on earth fulfilled.

No man is indispensable but some are irreplaceable.

Fond memories linger everyday. Remembrance keeps you near.

The world’s loss is Heaven’s gain.

A wonderful Son and a loving Husband.

Good night dear heart, good night”

“Good night dear” I said silently as I dabbed the tears from my eyes. Who told them his mission here on earth is complete? Although he would really have been a great husband if not for the accident that took him away from me just two days after our wedding.

Remembering that wet afternoon has been something I’ve been running from but for long? I tried blocking it out of my memory but it wouldn’t go. I tried replacing it with some other memory but it just wouldn’t leave.

We met by fate. I was traveling to Abuja for a project defense with my then boss. On the flight I became unwell and nauseous, as I was rushing to the rest room to throw up I bump into this man and due to the impact of the contact I threw up on him. I was totally ashamed of myself and couldn’t bring myself to look at him. The incident brought more than a few gaze and comment towards us as if they were excepting the man to slap me or insult me which in that moment I’ll gladly receive without fickle. My boss came to my rescue as she immediately start begging the man and promise to buy him a new pair of shirt and trousers to replace the one I’ve soiled. To everybody’s surprise the man merely wave away my boss request instead he knelt down in front of me and raise my chin to look directly into my eyes and simply said “My dear it’s okay, I don’t even like the shirt in the first place”. I couldn’t say anything instead I just opened my mouth like ‘Demba Ba’. His comment drew laughter and applause from the rest passenger.

My boss and I excused ourselves as my boss helped me to the rest room. I started crying immediately the door was closed shut..

“Why are you crying Kate?”

“I have embarrassed you and disgrace myself not to talk of the gentleman I just threw up on”

“Come on dear don’t beat yourself up, it could happen to anyone of us” my boss said helping me clan my face with water. “and moreover I think he likes you”, she said laughing after finally helping me out.

That’s my boss Dr. (Mrs.) Jemila Johnsons. She might be 61years old and some 30 something years older than me but she treats me like her daughter. People even assume we are related because of the way we relate. We eat together in office, infact whenever she goes to buy cloth or something for her daughter she will get mine too.

ANNIVERSARY GIFT- FROM HER TO ME part 3

busted

The caller ID shows the name of my eldest daughter ‘Kemi’. I bought them one phone to always call me anytime they need anything or to talk to me whenever they feel like and vice versa. So I cut the call and called her back

‘Hello darling’, I said when I picked the call
‘Daddy, mummy said you are back. When are you coming to see us’ she asked with that voice that sounds just like her mums’. God this is painful, how am I supposed to face them tomorrow and tell them everything is fine.
‘Dear I’ll come over tomorrow and we came all go out and have fun, how those that sound?’,
‘Yeeeee that would be great dad’ she said and immediately asked ‘will mummy be joining us?’
‘I don’t know sweetheart, let’s wait and see’ I replied and asked her ‘where is my princess Lola?’
‘She is sleeping dad’
‘And why are you not sleeping by this time?’
‘Cos its weekend and granny said I can stay up till 11 o’ clock’ she replied categorically. I can picture her standing and putting her small hands on her waist the way her mum use to. I laughed and ask her to give the phone to her grandma.

‘Good evening ma’ I greeted when she took the phone from Kemi
‘My son, good evening’ she replied in our native tongue
‘How is work, I hope this good for nothing people did not disturb you and your work’ she asked

‘Why didn’t u come to the house to stay?’ she continued in her usual way of shelling you with questions and giving you little or no time to answer them, and I remember what my father use to say about it. He said ‘when your mother start asking her questions, just relax let her finish and then you can start answering them and anyone you forgot she’ll remind you’

‘Mama am fine and work is great, actual we are very safe and as for not coming to the house, I wanted to surprise you all’ I answered all her questions.
‘So where are you staying now, because I know it’s not in your house? She asked
‘Staying at a friend’s, we have something to do this evening’, I lied and I don’t like lying to my parents ‘but tomorrow morning you will see me’ I concluded.

I asked after my dad and was told he travelled and was informed that my elder sister was around.
Ijeoma was the closest to me in the family apart from James. She was a good 12 years older than me. After my parent gave birth to their second child (Kate), it took them ten good years to give birth to me, in between there were miscarriages (3). So by the time I came and God decide to let me stay, everybody was mothering me.

I have to hang up now or else if I keep talking something will slip out and am not ready to tell them anything yet and from the look of things Shade hasn’t said anything also. I wished them goodnight and dropped the call.

As I dropped the call and hit the hotel bed as tears roll down my cheek and again the crime scene in my house, on my bed came back to my mind. I have stopped drinking six years ago when my first daughter was born but this night the urge was so strong. I called up the receptionist and demanded for drinks, by the time the girl came up with my drink I was already drifting off. I paid her for her troubles and ask her to return the drinks. I went to bed this time thinking of my daughters.

The next day I skipped church service and went straight to the house. I know my mum and kids will still be at the church but I know Ijeoma will be at home. She likes the early morning service so that she can return home early and do all the house work and also prepare food for the family.

I knocked at the door and was shocked and surprise to see my wife opening the door for me. She might have skipped church also knowing that am coming to the house this morning. From her face you can detect that she has been crying since last night, she looks tired and exhausted. We stood there looking at each other, anger from one and anguish from the other.
Ij perceived there was trouble but she doesn’t want to get involve so she called me from behind Shade where she was standing. Shade gave way for me to pass but not before she said in a very low voice ‘Please we need to talk’. I just nodded and walked pass her.

‘I hope am not intruding on anything?’ Ijeoma said as she saw me giving Shade the code treatment.
‘haba sister Ij, you are not intruding o!’ Shade replied.
I went straight to the parlor and sat down pretending to be watching the Tele-Evangelism going on. Ijeoma came into the sitting room and sat close to me and asked ‘Hope no problem?’
‘no problem, we just had little misunderstanding that all’. I said and quickly change the topic if not she will interrogate me till I spill everything.

‘how are you doing? And the family and work’. I asked.
‘we thank God; He has been wonderful. Work is going well and my family is really great’
All the while we were talking, Shade just sat at a corner chair and was looking at me. Ijeoma stood up and went to check on her food that she was preparing. Shade used to opportunity and knelt down before me and started crying and begging although her voice was low but I can see and feel the visible shaking of her body.
‘please stand up this is not the place nor time for this’ I said lifting her up
‘will you come home with me then?’ she asked.
‘which home? That house doesn’t represent home to me again’
‘Am sorry, jowo dariji mi’ she said. But before I could answer her, we started hearing children shout at the door. My mum and the kids are back from church.

Posted by Attadescendantforum

ANNIVERSARY GIFT- FROM HER TO ME. pt. 2

busted

I ran downstairs taking the steps four at a time. The air was choking me, I couldn’t breathe. All I wanted to do was to get enough distance between myself and the crime scene. I opened the door and by now it has started raining lightly but I didn’t feel anything. Luckily I saw a tricycle (keke-napep) man who just dropped someone off at the next block and I practically ran into it before he could even ask me any questions.
‘where to oga’ he finally asked in that thick yoruba accent of his.
‘just drive out of this place’ I repliied panting as if i’m been chased by Boko Haram boys.
‘oga na drop u dey take ba?’ He asked again after starting the keke and I replied ‘yes’.

I looked back at my house and saw her standing at the door crying and calling my name, while he was standing at the bedroom window looking down at me, and at that point tears that I have been holding in since came flooding down my eyes as his name slips from my mouth “James….”

What irritated me the most in the entire situation was the fact that I wasn’t feeling humiliated or annoyed or even fooled. Betrayal was what I felt, my heart broken not only by the woman I was in love with, but also by as I once believed a true friend and a brother.

I finally told the driver to take me to one of the hotels along independence way, it’s not really far from my parents place, I couldn’t call anybody because the only person I could stay with in the kind of situation was in my house with my wife on my bed.

While we were going my mind went back to the scene I just witness in my own home. James wasn’t just a friend but a brother. We grew up together, the same neighbourhood, primary school, secondary and university. The only difference was that he studied Electrical engineering but we stayed in the same house because our parent won’t have it any other way. He is the only boy in the family of seven, while I had two elder sisters, so we became the brother we never had. We were partners in crime.

While at the university he was the outgoing type while I was contented at been in the shadow. Even though I was the better looking of the two of us, he was the ladies man. I can’t even count the number of night I was locked outside just because my guy was busy. I cook while he eats; I fetch water while he uses them. Don’t get me wrong, James was not all bad, infact he is one of those people that hates cheating, bullying and injustice so much that he became a politician/activist on campus. From our second year in school he started running for different posts, state post, department post, SUG post until he finally became the SUG president during our final year but he has to stay behind a year for mobilisation for NYSC due to his unionism wahala.

After finishing his service in Calabar, he was lucky to run into an old friend of ours who works with one of the telecommunication outfit and one thing led to another and he got a job. He was posted to Lagos where he stayed for like three years befor returning to the north and finally to kaduna. He was my bestman nd the godfather of my daughters.

I was jolted back to reality when the keke-napep driver announced our arrival and from his stare it seems as if he has been talking to me for quiet awhile and I didn’t respond. I asked him how much and he told me and I paid and he zoomed off.

I got to the security pist and was scanned with their metal detector machine and was directed towards the reception. Due to the fact that Mr. President was in kaduna for campaign hotels around kaduna metropolis were booked, so I took was was available and paid for two nights.

I got to the room, dropped my bags and headed straight for the bathroom, stripped naked and enter the shower. Water is my only friend now and its the only one that can cool me down. As water runs down my body I remembered the day I introduced Shade to James.

It was two days to our wedding, James couldn’t come earlier because of his service, Dayo too was in town. We all went out Shade and I, Dayo and his fiancee Kemi while James came with ifeoma – his girlfriend as at the time. There was enough laughter and drinks. Gist of our past escapades were shared, the good, the bad, and the not so good. James and Shade got along well and were even poking fun at me.

When I stood up to go get us more pepper soup and drinks, James said he was coming along. While waiting for our drinks he said to me ‘O’boy u lucky o… That babe fine and she is lively too”
‘thanks bro, am happy u approve. Of her..’ I replied sheepishly and add ‘when you go bring your woman come for introduction na’,
‘Guy allow me see land before I go build house na, shoooo’ he replied with one of those his usual proverbs as he called them.
‘Hahaha guy you no well at all o’ I said and we both laughed and collect our drinks while the waitresses carried the pepper soup back to our table. It was in the early hours of the morning we left the joint, even though I have quit drinking and smoke back in school, I couldn’t resist their plead to join in the fun and moreover it was going to be my last day as a bachelor so I joined in.

Up to the wedding, James and I were always together planning anf if he is not with me he is with Shade filling her up on the rest of things she doesn’t know about me. James did everything possible to make the wedding a success. The bachelor’s eve was the talk of the town, it was full of women and booze courtesy my one and only bad friend, James. After the wedding he stayed for one more week before returning to Lagos. We kept in touch all the time nd during the naming of our first daughter he came around and with yet another lovely girl by his side. Shade asked him if he would love to be the godfather of our child and he was very happy and since then he has never stop spoiling them (including our second daughter).

I was once again brought back to reality for the second time that night. But this time it was my phone that has been ringing since. It could be work or it could be HER. After some hesitation, I came out of the shower with towel round my waist, water dripping from my body as I search for the phone. As I picked up the phone and looked at the caller ID it was as if my entire problem was halved…………..

(watch out for Part 3)

ANNIVERSARY GIFT- FROM HER TO ME. pt. 1

busted

It was on a Saturday night, the weather was chilly after the heavy rain that fell earlier in the day. The moon and stars were slowly reclaiming their spots after being imprisoned by the dark cloud that accompanied the rain.

I got to town in time to catch the nine o’ clock news. Owing to the nature of my job, news either local or foreign is important. You see, I report for one of the big news outlet in Nigeria and also run a part-time reporting job for two major foreign broadcasting stations and I was stationed in Maiduguri. My families are base in Kaduna, the city where I met and married my wife.

I first met her at the NYSC orientation camp during our service year. She was in 2nd Platoon while I was in 5th platoon. She studied economics and graduated from one of the institutions from the western part of the country, while I studied mass communication from one of the oldest university in the country located in the north. We got acquainted when a mutual friend of ours was admitted at the camp hospital.

Dayo was in my platoon and he was the platoon director of sports/socials. He was a tall slim guy with smile that is always plastered on his face, very lively. There was never a dull moment with him, infact people jostle just to sit close to him during orientation lectures because you will laugh and forget how boring those lectures were.

Dayo and my wife (Folashade) went to the same school and are even from the same state. Shade and I became friends but after camp we were posted to different parts of Kaduna and we lost contact. In our 6th month of service all corpers were asked to report to the NYSC secretariat. That was where we met again and this time we kept close contact with each other. Luckily for me she wasn’t attached to anyone although she and Dayo were at this time closer than before. One thing led to another and a year after service we were married. That would be eight years this Sunday (two days from Friday). We have two wonderful girls age 6 and 4 and everything was fine, or so I thought.

I took a cab from the park and the night life of Kaduna hits me. Kaduna always have the effect on me anytime I return, it’s like new structures are erected just to tell me development is taking place. It’s contrary to what is obtainable in Maiduguri. No more night life and streets are militarized. Shops and stores closes as early as 6pm except those that are located close to military base.

All though the rugged journey from Maiduguri to Kaduna, all I could think of was how surprise Shade will be. We’ve been apart from each other for four months now, the longest we’ve stayed apart. I have missed her kisses, her laughter, flirtatious smiles, her food and constant gossip (which she called chatting).

I got home some few minutes to nine and from outside I could see the dim light in our bedroom. I wasn’t excepting the kids to be at home because they usually spends their weekends with my parents in order to give their mother time to recover from her stressful work and our house help usual have the weekends off to cater for her own family. I and Shade are going to have the whole house to ourselves and seriously my thoughts aren’t worth writing.

Immediately I inserted my key into the keyhole I felt something was wrong. The perfume that greeted me was familiar but it wasn’t my wife’s. Entering inside I found everything look the same, the chairs, the pictures on the wall all look undisturbed. Seeing that everything was okay, I dismiss the feeling as a carryover feeling from my warzone.

I dropped my carryon bag on the couch and call out for my wife. ‘Shasha..’ I called out. That has been her pet name since the day we became lovers. No reply just a mellow sound of music coming from upstairs.

As I walked towards the stairs, I got that feeling again but this time my heart was beating unusually fast. I was wondering what was going on then my eyes caught the sight of a red tie lying loosely on the base of the step leading upstairs. I wanted to stop myself but it looks like I was on auto-drive. The more steps I climbed the more items I found on the floor; a shirt here, singlet there, trouser lying at the top of the staircase with bra hanging freely on the stair handrail but something caught my eyes, it was the belt on the trouser. I remembered it very well because I gave it as a birthday present to him.

The staircase consists of fifteen steps and I think that’s the longest and hardest stairs I have ever climbed. I meant to stop and go back downstairs but then I heard her laughter and my heart did a somersault. I was on my knees holding my breast above the heart while praying to God to wake me up from this bad dream.

The laughter grew louder and I can hear him clearly now. The loving and caring husband in me wanted to go back, ‘See no evil, hear no evil’, but I have seen and heard enough evil to last me a life time. The journalist in me took over, ‘No going back now, we must find out what’s really happening in there’.

As I opened my bedroom door, I saw my wife of eight years, the love of my life and the mother of my beautiful children lying NAKED on my matrimonial bed with smiles on her face (smiles I thought was reserved for me alone) looking at him on top of her NAKED. I stood there for complete two minute without being noticed until my bag drop from my uncooperative hands. Four sets of horrified eyes turn simultaneously towards the door, piercing through my soul and was sucking the life out of me.

As I picked up my bag and fled the crime scene, the last word I heard from the room was, ‘yeeeee Mo gbe… am finished’……….