The Nightmare

He woke up for the second night in a row with his eyes wide, as if he was struggling against the darkness to take in the details of the room. Sweat dripped from every pore in his body chased out by the terror he had just seen and his mouth was wide open like it should if he were screaming but no sounds came out. His chest felt heavy, weighed down by the screams that wouldn’t leave his lungs.

The night before, he had the same nightmare and had screamed. Mr Richard Ogundele whom he called Oga and his wife whom he called Madam were the first to arrive his room. Richard carried an antique sword that probably couldn’t cut through butter, his face showed bravery that was doing everything to mask the fear beneath. When he saw there was no intruder, it was replaced by relief and scorn so quickly the relief was barely noticeable.

‘Why did you scream like that?’ Richard had asked, after switching on the light.

‘I had a bad dream sir.’

‘Is that why you shouted like that? You woke everybody up, look at the children.’

Three of the Ogundele children had joined their parents at this time; Jumoke, the youngest, Richard Junior and Sola. The only child not present was Solomon. Solomon wouldn’t stir if a sawed-off shotgun went off in his room.

continue reading here http://thirdchief.com/2014/06/06/the-nightmare/

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Forgive Me Please.

I braced myself for the scream I knew was coming. I heard the gate squeak when the maid came in, as she did every morning. My immediate concern now was how to act surprised, pretend the reason for her scream was novel to me, to lie that the redness in my eyes was from sleep and not a reaction to the dirge that disturbed my mind.

My room was where she came next; I got my act together. I tossed the pillow aside; it’s dampness a fortress of tears, the liquid emotions of a man who had committed a grave sin. I heard her approaching the door and put up a quasi surprised face. Acting is hard; it’s harder if you have poisoned your mother.

***

I am not mentally disturbed. I shall not attempt to justify what I have done. But I will try to rationalize it.

My mother

Who sat and watched my infant head…

My mother was the best person I had ever known. She gave me everything a mother could ever give a son. If she could afford it and it caused no harm to her child, she would give it.

She fills my childhood memories. I remember in primary one, when we sang poems in class; my favourite was and still is that one by Ann Taylor. While the other children probably recited it because it had a beautiful tune and they loved the rhythm, I did because it meant something to me. Even at that age, I understood the importance of my mother in my life. I recited because I believed it, every word. I recited it because my mother was that woman and I had her best intentions at heart. “I’m sorry.”

When pain and sickness made me cry…

My father left us when I was young. He didn’t run away, he died. Cancer. I was ten, Afam was thirteen and Chiboy, fifteen when he asked to be taken to the hospital. It was unusual because my father never went to the hospital; he took a shot of local concoction every morning. “It keeps the doctor away.”

The doctor diagnosed malaria, my father was adamant it wasn’t but he accepted the drugs anyway. When he didn’t get better, we went back to the doctor who said there was also some typhoid in his system, more drugs were reluctantly accepted and swallowed by my father. When he still didn’t get better, he was taken to another hospital. The doctor came up with a diagnosis of poorly treated malaria and typhoid. We were incredulous, we argued but the doctor was very convincing. It also helped that is voice was a deep baritone, and his white coat was pristine, like the hair on his head. He had been doing this a long time. Surely, he couldn’t be wrong; he was. My father got worse, and we took him to the government hospital, where the doctors ordered a barrage of tests.

We were in his room when the results came in. The doctor wore a smile that made a futile effort to hide his sombre mood. We were asked to step outside but monitored proceedings from the window. We watched as my mother’s mouth widened in horror, and tears began to streak down her face. My father tightened the grip on her left hand which he held in his right. His message, albeit unspoken, was clear. “Be strong for the children.”

For the next two months, mother went alone and we watched as she came back every day, cheery of spirit and acted like nothing was amiss. Then one night she came back, her face puffy and eyes red. She came to us, where we always sat and waited for her every night for the past month. She managed to wrap three of us in her arms at once, her petite frame magically shielding us from the ills of the word, temporarily. And then the tears flowed; I was young but not too young to understand, I would never see my father again. His kidney had not survived the tyranny of cancer. He was only forty-four.

Who taught my infant lips to pray…

My mother put all his moneys to good use so that we never missed him financially. We still went to the best schools, had the best tutors and ate good meals. In the evenings, she would gather us for bible lessons. She never failed to show us the way of the Lord. We grew in spirit and became even stronger as family. She taught us to believe God has a purpose for everything. She never failed to remind us that we would eventually unite with my father – who made his peace in his last days – in heaven. We all looked forward to this prospect and never deviated from the teachings of the holy book. My mother would have been the quintessential single mum but for Chiboy. He walked into the shoes my father left behind and after a few wobbly steps, strutted in those boots like he owned them. He became the father we knew. He was my mother’s husband and she never took any decision without consulting him. He was wise beyond his years. God blessed her with a wise son to bear the pain of her husband’s passing.

Five years after my father died was the first time I saw my mother’s faith waiver. It was the night Chiboy died, cancer again, the brain this time. He was twenty years old.  I heard her question God for the first time ever. “Why?”

Who could blame her?

Afam joined Chiboy and my father in heaven when he turned twenty-four. He went to bed complaining of a headache, took some aspirin and was supposed to get better by morning. He didn’t. That was when mother gave up on God.

And can I ever cease to be…

I am forty years old now and unmarried. I’m single because I live everyday in fear, fear that one day the angel of death will come down in the form of a mysterious illness and swoop me up to heaven to be with my father and brothers. My mother thought I was being ridiculous, she said that God had a reason for taking the ones he took. She began to believe again after I turned thirty and routine investigations had yet to reveal anything wrong with me. I, however remained apprehensive, but my faith never wavered. I had grown up believing there was a reason for everything and God knows best, and even though my teacher had stumbled, I had attained the spiritual maturity to decide for myself. Turns out my fears were not entirely unfounded and the illness, the one that killed my father and brothers isn’t so mysterious anymore.

“Von Hippel Lindau.”

That’s what the doctor called it and then said it was a rare genetic condition; my doctor is a funny man. He tried to explain some scientific mumbo-jumbo but his words just hovered without any real penetration. The funny man said it was a rare condition. How rare could it be if it had taken three men from one family and put the fourth on death row? Malaria was rare to me, this Von whatever wasn’t.

Ah, no! The thought I cannot bear…

The reason I never started a family was because I never wanted to leave a family to go through what we went through. The idea of my mother outliving me never occurred to me. There had even been rumours in some quarters that she was a witch who gave up her husband and children for sacrifice. It is the reason we never visit my father’s kinsmen anymore. Those people don’t know my mother, but that’s irrelevant. If I die, they may stone her to death, but that’s also irrelevant.

When thou art feeble, old and grey…

My healthy arm shall be thy stay…

And I will soothe thy pains away…

This is what is relevant; I currently have three months to live, my life expectancy cut short by tumours I carry in my kidneys and brain. I couldn’t tell her about them. She might have lost all faith, she might have cursed God, and she might have committed suicide. Although all these might also not have happened, she had stumbled before. There was only one way to ensure she spent eternity in heaven, to ensure we all get reunited again; kill her while she still believed.

That’s why I played God.

I have made my peace already.

I know where I am going.

That is my story.

My Neighbour’s Food

I can’t bear this hunger anymore. Will this night just come already so I can go and have some of whatever my neighbour has been cooking? I saw him earlier, in our kitchen. I call it our kitchen even though nothing in it belongs to me. I know he would rather not have me there but he has no choice, the house was built that way. I greeted him but he didn’t answer me, he barely noticed that I was even in the kitchen with him; he was nodding his head away to some kind of music. Other times, whenever he acknowledged my presence, it was with a frown, making it clear I wasn’t wanted. He must know I’ve been stealing his food, but if he keeps putting it out there, I will keep eating it.

I am not a thief, far from it. I just don’t have the means to make my own food. I have no money…indeed I am worse than a church-rat. Okay maybe not a church-rat, they only have church benches to eat while I, at least have access to my neighbour’s food and more importantly, I am not a rat.

He is done cooking now. The hunger I currently feel nudges me to go after the food but the fear of discovery pulls me back, a tug-of-war that fear ultimately wins. I will wait; hunger has never killed anyone in my family. My mother was poor, her mother was poor and so was her mother’s mother. Yes, what I do has been passed down from generation side-by-side poverty. You can only hope you move into an apartment where your neighbour loves to cook. My brother moved into an apartment once, his neighbour was a broke, proud man who neither begged nor stole even though he had nothing. Funny story, I’ll tell you after I eat.

Oh crap! He is back, he is with someone…I see him through the peep hole. So this is why he spent all that time in the kitchen. They are laughing excitedly; they don’t look like they would be eating anytime soon. What kind of nonsense is this?

Should I forget all I’ve been taught and make a dash for the food anyways? No, that would only make him more wary and probably mean the end of all future meals.

Ah! Finally, he is in the kitchen… I can hear him. He is leaving the kitchen… I can hear him… my stomach grumbles, it hears him too.

It is time.

I make my way towards the kitchen, under the perfect cover of darkness. My day and night vision are almost at par, years and generations of pilfering has made it so. A few more steps…Yes! Something’s different though. My neighbour seems to have kept food for me, on a shiny yellow plate. He has finally accepted me or maybe he just in a cheery mood, must be that other person I saw him with. I pray it isn’t a one-off though; I want my stealing days to be over. I make a leap for the food and… shit! It’s the same old shit, I mean you perceive that entire aroma and you expect a delicacy. I know beggars can’t be choosers so I’m not trying to dictate but my neighbour’s food always tastes the same. It is boring to be quite honest. I know I don’t have any other meal to compare it to, but I figure this can’t be the best out there. Andrew moved in with a baker and it was easy to see the stars sparkle in his eyes when he spoke of the food. I should move in with him but I don’t want to crowd the apartment.

Wait…

In my state of near comatose I didn’t notice. This is not a shiny yellow plate, it’s a trap. A sticky trap.

Oh shit, I can hear him coming towards the kitchen; I can’t get out of this gum. This is terrible…terrible.

He has seen me, he is going to kill me, I can tell by the look on his face he is going to kill me. Oh great! Now he is calling the other one. He is telling her…wait a minute… I am not a rat!

***

“Look at it squeal, almost like it’s trying to tell me something. Didn’t know the rat gums were this effective, would have bought it a long time ago.

***

I AM NOT A RAT GADDEMIT!

I am a mouse! We stay down here thinking humans are the smart ones. Look and my nose and tail, look at my size. Don’t kill my identity before taking my life, show some respect.

He is leaving, what sort of game is… Hey! Finish the fucking job! What are you playing at? Hey! Finish the job pussy! What am I saying? a pussy would have the balls to kill me instantly. This coward is just going to allow me get killed by hunger, the same desire that drove me here. Fucking poetic justice.

***

“It’s squealing so loud, why don’t you kill it?”

“Haha, like it’s threatening me. Don’t wanna make a mess, need to re-use the gum.”

St. Andrews

Nwike had taken a shot at goal, but his bowleg was always going to produce a wayward shot that was always going to miss the target. The ball found its way past the post, over the fence, and into the bushes that bordered the school. He set his stocky five foot frame after the ball, while the other boys kept watch. Whoever went after the ball had to be over and back before True Colour, the sports master and geography teacher, was any wiser. Nwike located the ball, camouflaged poorly among dried shrubs canopied by a tree. On the tree, were strange words marked in red paint.

He made it back just in time to see the sports master drift his lanky frame languidly towards the parched football field, as if propelled by the wind. Nwike went to him against his better judgment and told him what he had seen. The other boys watched as True Colour’s face seemed to do the impossible and wrinkle some more. He stretched out his left hand and with it, a cane – and an extension of that appendage. He landed eighteen strokes on Nwike’s back, ending with “Anybody who goes over that fence again will see my true colour.”

The high pitched shriek of agony that tore through the school in the wee hours of dawn shouldn’t have come from a man.

****

Usman, the son of the cloth merchant and probably the only Muslim to ever attend a mission school, walked round the fence. He stopped occasionally to peep through the cracks in the wall, were the lizards lived, into the school compound. His entrance had to coincide with when the boys went back in from recreation. Earlier, he blended with the day students and snuck out of school to buy contraband, things that weren’t allowed in the dormitory, which would be resold to fellow students for profit.

He saw the words but couldn’t make any sense of them. It was strange because in all the time he made his business trips, he had never come across the strange words written in red paint that he currently beheld. He tried to dismiss it but the thought of who would come all the way into this bush to paint the school fence bothered him.

He told no one.

A scream cut through the night. It was brief but painful and no one heard it. If they had, they would have felt the pain behind it.

****

He turned around after taking a piss and saw the strange words sprawled, with red paint, on the toilet door. An unsure laugh escaped Chike’s lungs. It was an obvious prank he thought. Definitely because of the stories he thought. Almost every night, after lights out, they would all listen; backs to bed with eyes closed and open ears as Akpan, the oldest boy in school, and unfortunately, his classmate, told them the story of the boys that disappeared.

The first, Nwike, the stocky bow-legged Abatete boy who looked years older than his age and could never kick a football straight had been found three days after he disappeared. The popular gist was that he had ‘jumped fence’ to go smoke igbo by the bank of the River Adija. After smoking, as if that wasn’t enough disrespect to the river goddess, he had dived full stretch with the intention of creating a splash. The river goddess who was in no mood for any extra disturbance swallowed him seamlessly, like a beautifully rolled lump of fufu bathed in ogbono soup and vomited him three days later when he began to upset her stomach.

The second was Usman, the radical Hausa boy who’s only business in school was business. No one understood why his father continued to not only pay school fees but made significant contributions to the school’s purse. He didn’t care much for what was thought in class and it reflected appropriately in his grades. He, like Nwike before him had disappeared and had been found by the principal, lying lifeless by the road side, covered in dirt and attempting fruitlessly to blend with the earth. He looked like he had tried to dig his way into the ground but had faced resistance and ultimately lost as the earth spat him back to the surface. No story was given for his strange disappearance and reappearance. Akpan was yet to think up any.

Everyone who has been at St. Andrews Mission School Idemili for at least two years knew the story, but it never stopped Akpan from iterating it to his mates any night he refused to succumb to nature’s night-time poison. With time, the stories served as berceuse for many of the boys, but not Chike, he was always interested, like he expected a new detail to pop up.

“It’s a prank,” he thought to himself again. He would make no mention of it and it would pass. But he couldn’t. The similarities were uncanny. Both boys disappeared a week after their twelfth birthdays, their parents were big contributors and they had both seen the strange words in red paint, just like him. He tried to not panic, thankful that his bladder was empty. He tried to make out the words, hoping also to tell who may have written it.

“What are you doing here?” True Colour’s voice was deep and guttural, in direct contrast with the appearance of the man. “This is time for recreation, why are you in the dormitory?” he asked. Chike tried to enunciate, but the words in his head; pee, red, door, paint…were not quick to find their way to his lips. True colour’s cane was. Seventeen strokes – interspersed between words that were finally spoken – later, he was ordered to rejoin his mates at the field.

To Chike, the sun set quicker than it usually did. No, it didn’t set; it ran, away from the sky, chased by the owners of night.

The first step to staying alive was not leaving the school like the two boys did. As long as he survived the night, he should be safe. “Safe from what?” he asked himself. He didn’t know what was out there, if there was anything.

The krrr…krrr…krrr sound jolted him from his repose. A man could only fend off sleep for so long. What was it? Crickets? No, these weren’t crickets; they were high-pitched and disrupted the normal orchestra that entertained the spirits of night. His eyes still refused to adjust to the darkness. The sound continued, strongly calling out to him. He put his feet down and swept the floor with his legs looking for his slippers. He didn’t need light to go out of the dorm, he knew where Okey usually left his bucket and where Chidi had the temporary line he used to dry his uniform overnight. The sounds became louder as he stepped out of the door krrr…krrr…krrr; they seemed to be coming from the football field. He made his way down the corridor. In his panic induced trancelike state, he didn’t feel the rivulets that trickled down his back and plastered his shirt to his skin, he didn’t notice that his feet never actually found his slippers and he certainly didn’t notice the form that trailed him, silhouetted. He went down the two flights of stairs that separated him from the ground floor, mechanically. A crescent ruled the skies and made monsters of the Aku trees that bordered the school. The sound was louder now, clearer, kere…kere…kere.

Then he saw him, or what should have been him. He stood, with the form of a man, illuminated but refusing to radiate any light, like a dirty kerosene lamp.

“Akpan,” it was more of a question than a statement.

“Kere, it is time.”

“Time?” A definite question.

“Stay away from him!” A voice behind him resonated; it was the silhouette.

“Teacher True Colour?”

“You stay away!” Akpan roared and made his way towards Chike with inhuman speed. Chike noticed that True colour came at him with the same speed, his left arm outstretched, but instead of a cane, it held a sword, firmly between gnarled fingers, arm slightly inclined backwards, prepared for a strike. His face was a hodgepodge of emotions, strings of neck veins threatening to rip his skin apart. They came at him together.

A silent bedlam made by three bodies coming together.

A shriek.

Silence.

Chike now stood in the middle of the field, alone. Something was different; he felt lighter, nay, weightless. Then he saw the ground distancing itself from him. He could see clearly in the dark, not just clearly, he could see more vastly, he could see whatever he wanted to see. He could see his body, dangling from the tree where it would be discovered in three days. That was when it all came back to him.

Kere… His spirit name.

A smile curved his lips, he was going back home to the spirit world. He would stay there until another woman came to beg Ezinma for a child. Most of the women knew whatever child they got would not live past the age of twelve but they begged anyway. Some hoped that the birth of a child would open the way for others, some wanted to know what it felt like to have a baby grow in them, and some only sought to shut the mouths that whispered ‘barren’ behind their backs. Some mothers became too attached, and hoped to keep them along with the ones the gate had opened for, like his last earth mother. But they all failed, because Ezinma loved her children more than any human ever could. That’s why she sent collectors like Akpan whenever necessary, to rescue them from shamans like True Colour.

The road To Enlightenment

Image

Now I’m sure you are all waiting to hear me rant about something really annoying, like idiots. No, this post is not about idiots, that’s not why we are here, their affliction is suffering enough. I bet many of you didn’t know they are dumber than imbeciles on the IQ scale. Did you? No? Thank me with your votes. Talking about idiots; it’s not about NEPA neither. It’s not even about political or national leadership issues. Those issues that have been flogged so much but still manage to stir something or someone. Every week there’s a new trouble. Nigeria is almost like Wilson Tagbo in that regard. If you want a daily dose of national rant, join twitter and follow the activists. Do one better and become an activist and you might even take a tablet for the headache, literally.

I’m drifting so far it may soon be hard to catch my drift. Let me commence with why I am actually here. So I’m in my room, listening to Fela and doing absolutely nothing else when I begin to wonder about the new lightening obsession amongst our women (For the purpose of this discussion and any other purpose really, men that fall under this category shall be referred to as women)

If you still haven’t caught my drift, that’s enough exertion on your brain. Just go to the polls and vote if you know how.

So here’s what happened.

Someone, a well meaning motivational speaker gathered a group of girls in a hall to give them a pep talk of some sort. He started well, said a lot of brilliant things. But because these babes had nothing between their heads, they couldn’t retain any information. So this ‘life coach’ ends with “You women should be the shining light of this generation!” And that was how he innocuously birthed an epidemic.

You dey bleach oh you dey bleach

That’s exactly how it started; a different take on events is highly unwelcome. That exactly is why there’s a sudden need by all these dark – mostly not so beautiful to be honest – girls to become Nigyptians (that’s a portmanteau of Nigerians and Egyptians for those who refused to stop reading). So what aided it? Why is it so popular again? I’m sure we all know one or more persons that have signed up for…

Yellow fever.

The problems are deeply rooted and the reasons are shallow. It’s hard to explain really.

One fair girl asked me who I would ogle between a fair and a dark chic if they both walked past me.

First of all, you’re free to assume her complexion is fake. I’m sure

Your yansh go black like coal

So you’re telling me that a girl will take her hard earned money to buy cream that changes her ‘race’ just so brothers can ogle. This point honestly got me more confused than seeing Cossy in a convent. Let me just say this one time, if guys are ogling, it’s definitely, definitely not your skin colour.

Then I also heard some bleach so that they will be accepted by the society. What society? Un-Coloured girls? Is it a society where girls who have donated their melanin to nature come to see who has the greenest veins? I mean…

Your skin go scatter

Yes they have green veins; we know this. That is why they started applying foundation all over the body and they come out looking like it’s ‘Rise Of The Manikins’. On a related note, Ontot Hekid is yellow, naturally, I think, but the music society still hasn’t accepted her, no matter how many times she says hi.

Personally, I think it is slave mentality. In  the era of slavery – well slavery as is widely defined – the lighter skinned Negros were picked to work as in-house slaves (disregard what you saw on Django) while the darker-skinned Negros were picking cotton on the plantation. It’s just sad to know that after all the great Abe did for you, this is how you repay him, a desire to be an in-house slave?

Then all those hairy girls that bleach. You, I can’t get angry at, I just feel pity for you. Your dark skin used to hide the hair and then you went and bleached it away.

You go catch moustache for face

So you go ahead to shave the moustache and it leaves your face red, this make you upset so you forget to cover yourself in foundation and then come out looking like Dolly Parton’s coat, and you think you’re pretty.

Look, I know you want to be treated fairer (see what I did there), because finer people get better treatment. But please, if you were not fine as a Negro, changing your race won’t help. You’d just be a bleached out ugly girl, doublewahala.

You know these things contain chemicals that not only cause skin cancer but also kidney failure but you use it anyway, to be ‘fine’. You’re sacrificing ‘beauty’ today for a painful death tomorrow? People that bleach won’t think twice before doing blood money, this is also true, don’t argue.

Then to people that say things like “white people get tan too.” Where do I start answering you from? Your case is obviously beyond redemption.

This epidemic is not confined to any particular social strata. The rich and the poor are all in on it which makes it all the more shocking. I thought crime was the only thing every economic class had in common. For those who doubt me, a walk into one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions would clear your doubt. The smell would make you think you were standing smack in the middle of the production room of Fair and White.

I think I’ll just stop here and continue listening to Fela.

Ugly thing
Yellow fever
You dey bleach, O you dey bleach.

This post is this week’s entry in the TheNakedConvos organised First Bank sponsored competition, The Writer 2013. Please go here to vote for Joseph. Thank You

 

THE EPIC BET

So I’m at work, bored as hell because there’s no work to do (don’t tell my employers) and my mind is drifting  to memories from my days in school. There’s one particular one I’d like to share.

So this my guy, lets call him Beelo, comes back from school quite late and seemingly famished because he went straight to the woman selling gala in front of the hostel and asked for 3 gala (rolls? wraps? iono),  paying my other guy who we shall call Ooopi no heed. Did Ooopi consider it an affront? I don’t know. That’s not why we are here.

Ooopi: ah ah, you want chop 3 gala at once you be animal?

Beelo: Ooo abeg leave me i dey hungry

Ooopi: which kain hunger be dat, you for chop 10 now (trouble)

Beelo: Na because i no get money now, you go buy am for me?

Ooopi: 10 GALA!!! okay, you know wetin, make we bet, if you fit chop 10, I go pay

At this point Beelo’s face lit up for the first time that evening as he inquired with all the seriousness of a guy who had just been given an offer to lose his virginity “you mean am?“. Me, I would have backed out at this point, not because eating 10 gala at a go was conceivable but because I knew Beelo, and his eating prowess was spoken of in whispers. Ooopi was a direct entry student who spent most of his time in church, all those church runz boys dem dem, so he probably didn’t know what went down in the streets.

Anyway the bet was on and a little crowd had formed, about to witness a legend being born. Beelo carefully selected 10 of the freshest gala from the stock and the seller was only happy to help, she was about to clear a cool 500 bucks. (gala’s regular price was 40naira then but sold for 50naira in the hostel, before you smarty pants start pointing out unnecessary irregularities….mschew).

Beelo burst open the first one with a smile wider than the Congo river basin and took his first bite amidst cheers …..16 chews and a further 16 chews later, the first one was down. (I didn’t really count the amount of chews, just trying to ,make the story longer). That’s right folks…one gala. one bite, two halves and the first one was done. This should have rung a bell, but Ooopi was a serious doubter (which is ironic because he was very reli… never mind), because nothing else could explain the smile he still had on. Beelo on the other hand was already on to the next one and it went the way of the first.

By the 4th one he began to slow down considerably, requiring 3 bites and a couple more chews. not until he reached the 9th one did he eat the first gala of the day like a mortal. Ooopi at this point must have realised he had entered one chance because the smile faded and he was fidgeting like a penniless fat kid in a candy store that was about to close.

Beelo put the last piece of the last gala in his mouth to a cacophony of whistles, claps, woos, cheers and monkey chants (because quite frankly, no human could do that).

Ooopi sensing he had been defeated moved to salvage some honour by presenting Beelo with a bottle of coke to wash down the gala (it is worthy of note that he never took a drop of liquid throughout the ordeal). Beelo simply asked Ooopi  in that calm Abe Lincoln voice if he was footing the bill for that too and as soon as Ooopi replied in the affirmative, he gulped the liquid content, never once coming up for air. Ooopi relentlessly presented him with two sachets of pure water, the crowd tried to voice their displeasure at the underhand tactics being employed, but Bee calmed us down, reminding us he needed the liquid…and 2 sachets of pure water followed 10 gala and a bottle of coke down this man’s creature’s gullet.

Ooopi, now having accepted defeat paid the woman and left, all the while shaking his head in disbelief.

It was done! I stood there in awe, i had just witnessed live magic, or so I thought. The part you are about to read now ladies and gentlemen is how Beelo became a true legend etching his name in M-Block and indeed school folklore forever.

After Ooopi had left and everyone looked on, waiting for Beelo to puke or do something to show that he was actually human, he calmly walked up to the woman, laughed a hearty contended laugh and said “madam atink you see as I just get luck?” and without waiting for her to reply added “abeg give me one cold Fanta to celebrate my victory”.

:O

TNC’s TWO

A while back, I was scrolling through my timeline when I saw a link to an incomplete story. Turned out to be a writing competition. I would usually sit back and watch this sort of things unfold but the universe knows I could do with $1000 at any time and my wardrobe is in dire need of a new T-shirt. You guys should try it too and don’t forget to cite me as a reference.

My words come after the bold letters.

Here goes nothing

Now

Aigbe smiled callously as he watched Esosa tumble backwards onto the floor. He thought to himself that she quite looked like a fish out of water – flailing about, reaching for support that would not be forthcoming. His smile very quickly evolved into a cruel laugh as he watched the back of her head crash onto the cold, tiled floor with a sickening, wet sound. Leaping astride her semi-conscious body, he rained three solid blows onto her torso, working his way from her lower ribcage to her sternum. She yelped, shook and choked with each blow, unable to fight back.

“You are the one that will die, not me, Stupid Harlot!”

He spat into her face as the last blow landed and she choked violently, jerking with the impact of the blow and recoiling from the glob of projectile spittle that had hit her face.

“You!  Are! A! Mad! Dirty! Prostitute!”

Each word was punctuated by a slap that sent waves of pain coursing through Esosa’s head. She could barely speak or shout or scream in protest, much less move. She felt herself start to slip into a numb blackness but she tried to hold on.  Aigbe wrapped his hands around her neck and muttered.

“Witch! Harlot! Your plan has failed!”

Esosa closed her eyes and let the numbing darkness take her as her husband choked the remaining life from her, his wedding ring pressing against her carotid artery.

2 hours earlier

Esosa smiled to herself as she poured the brown powder into the bottle of Merlot. She re-corked it and shook it violently until the powder began to dissolve. She knew Aigbe was already on his way home.

He had called her earlier and told her to prepare banga. She was at it in the kitchen and didn’t hear him come in. About two minutes later, she heard him approach the kitchen.

“Welcome dear, you’re back. How was your trip?”

“My trip was awesome, came home with someone, come and say hello.”

“Someone?” She thought. This couldn’t be good.

Aigbe halted abruptly. She leaned over to see the reason for this weird behaviour and her eyes beheld her worst fears, writhing on the floor in obvious agony was Mrs Iyobosa Bello, Aigbe’s mother.  Aigbe rushed to his mother aid, the shattered wine glass explaining all.

Aigbe looked up at Esosa, his body asked and her’s answered even before a word was spoken

Did you do this?” He asked anyway.

Aigbe, I didn’t know Iyé was coming with you” her words faster than her thoughts

“So it was just me you planned to kill then?” He countered as he approached her, swaying gently from side to side

She knew that gait, that gait was the reason all this was happening. She had to say something fast, although words never stopped him. “Aigbe let me explain…”

But Aigbe had heard all he needed to hear and her last words were lost to a left hander that sent her sprawling.

2 days earlier

“I’ll be back the day after tomorrow” he announced unceremoniously.

Aigbe was travelling to Benin City to attend the concluding parts of the Igue Festival, his father was a Chief and he had a role to play as the first son.

“Do something about that eye”  he concluded as he stormed out.

It was the latest in a series of black eyes she had come to receive from the man she loved and whom she thought loved her.

Esosa picked up her phone and made the call she had been waiting to make for a while

“Ronke, He just left.”

“I’ll be in your house in 30 minutes” No pleasantries, no mushy stuff…just 2 friends who understood.

Her bell rang, it was Ronke.

“He did that to you abi? Never mind we’ll talk on the way. Put on anything please, we’re going to see a native doctor not the oil minister” Ronke rattled off, never pausing to give her chance to respond nor to catch her breath.

2 minutes later they were set for their 40 minute drive to Epe.

“My daughter”  Baba started. “this is not a movie oh, your husband won’t just take this and it will happen suddenly, no. There is a process, and it would be frightful at some point”

“What kind of process Baba?” she asked, scared.

“There will be pain oh, serious stomach pain. You would take him to the hospital but he will not die.  When he wakes up… that is when he will see you as nothing but a treasure to be cherished. You husband will love you wholesomely again”

Thank you Baba…how much is your money?” Esosa asked

HAHAHA!” Baba bellowed surprising her “you didn’t think I started the work without money did you? You don’t owe me”

Esosa looked towards Ronke who was already on her feet and ready to go, no words could express the amount of gratitude she felt, so she let her eyes do the talking.

“One more thing” it was baba “I prepared that medicine with your husband’s name, it would only work on him. Don’t go and do álaanu and give it to a friend who has same troubles”

“Okay sir” she said as she left, already looking forward to the love that the powder in her hand promised.

2 months earlier

Esosa looked up from her hospital bed to see Ronke looking down at her.

“I came as soon as I heard, what happened?” Ronke inquired

“my baby, my baby, my baby” Esosa drooled continuously

“what baby, what is she talking about?” Ronke looked from Esosa to the nurse, who stood there unsure of how to proceed.

“erm…madam maybe you should wait outside first” the nurse finally spoke to Ronke as she proceeded to administer some demulcent  to her patient.

“No please, let her stay” Esosa called out, seemingly calm now

“what baby is she talking about?” Ronke insisted

“she had a miscarriage madam” nurse finally volunteered

oh my! What exactly happened?” Ronke sat now by the edge of her bed, Esosa’s left hand sandwiched between her hands.

Esosa looked at the nurse, letting her know it was okay to leave them alone and as she sat with her friend in the room, her mind skirred over many details seeking a pilot. She wanted to tell her how she had waited to break the good news of her pregnancy to her husband, she waited for a second missed period to be sure, they had already waited 4 years. How her husband had looked up at her with bloodshot eyes and shouted “what?” with alcohol tinted breath. She wanted to tell her how her erstwhile docile and loveable husband had become piceous since his excessive romance with the bottle started a couple of years back. How he had called the baby in her tummy a bastard as he hit her for the first time in their union. In the end she did tell, she told Ronke who shared all her secrets. She told it all and ended with the question “do you think he knows?”

Ronke knew what she was referring to and she was quick to dispel the thought. “The only way he’ll know is if Jimmy told him”

She met jimmy about 2 months back, Aigbe was out of town and they had gotten a little too friendly. The baby was Jimmy’s, she knew that but she wasn’t going to abort a child in her present predicament and after what happened two years ago, she had no reason to worry.

2 years earlier

“This place is too far now Aigbe” Esosa complained.

They had been married for 2years now without children. The pressure mounted and Aigbe decided they had to see a fertility doctor. She was up for the idea but why he had decided to drive all the way to Egbeda to see a doctor was beyond her. His explanation was vague but she wasn’t in the mood to argue. He was driving afterall.

They waited in the doctor’s office as he went to retrieve the result of the test they did a few days back

“Mr and Mrs Bello” Doctor Bayo called their names as if they were lost in a crowd and not right in front of him. “It is my pleasure to inform you that you are both fertile, and only thing keeping you from making babies is God’s time”

Oh thank you doctor” Aigbe beamed, the relief palpable..

As they left the doctor’s office, Aigbe looked over at Esosa, she smiled at him but he was thinking of 3 weeks ago when he had seen Dr Awo.

Unlike Dr Bayo, Dr Awo didn’t fake results and Dr Awo had delivered the words that would change his life forever

“I’m sorry Mr Bello; you will not be able to biologically father a child”

Doctor you’re a liar

I’m going to write about this now before I forget and dump it in that part of my brain where I dump things that I planned to blog about but never got around to.

A brief heads up before I go on, I work in a diagnostic company, not a hospital. So what I do basically is diagnosis….Ultrasound scan mainly. I could order investigations for you to do but that where the bulk stops, you have to go to a hospital to get treatment. Except of course its something minor and your persuasion/begging power is out of this world, then I may prescribe drugs for you to get at a pharmacy, though I’m not obliged to.
So in the course of the job, I see all sorts. Because the people here believe hospitals are money sucking institutions, they would rather go for investigations on their own and go to a pharmacy for drugs. So I see weirdos like the patient who wanted an abdominal ultrasound scan because he had a terrible headache and the aged man whose children brought him in for an abdominal scan because he had tremors….smh. I digress though.

Now my story……..

I had just settled at work when this woman walked in pushing her young daughter in front her. The girl was on her school uniform, a pink sleeveless top on a blue plaid skirt. I was going to act all friendly and ask her the name of the school and all that nonsense chitchat doctors do to seem interested, but the look on their faces told me it was a grave situation. “She must be very ill I thought to myself”

“Doctor help me check wetin they do am, she dey sick since” the mother announced unceremoniously.

“Crap” I thought to myself, another one of those patients who just didn’t like hospitals. Why didn’t she go to a hospital, now she’s going to waste money on a needless scan. I couldn’t complain anyways, more money for the company, I get to earn my wage.

So I proceed to do what I thought was going to be a routine normal scan and (((((GBOA)))))!!! There it was, it hit me! I’m usually prepared for sights like this but the size of my patient more than the age had clouded my sense of judgment. A baby was growing inside this little girl. I instantly fell sad, thinking of how I was going to break it to the mother.

See, with older patients, its easier, I even catch trips with them.
I ask “are u married?”
She answers ‘NO’ and my brain does this little laugh. Then I ask for the date of last menses, now the girl feels smart and gives me a date, say 3wks ago.
I just go “Are u sure?”
She invariably says “Yes”.
That’s when I say something in the line of “that’s odd, the baby in your uterus is way older than 3wks, what I’m seeing is about 12wks.” I, of course say that last part with a chuckle because the reaction when I say baby is priceless. (That’s how I get my small fun at work, don’t hate).

So here I am looking at this 16yr olds uterus and knowing any attempt at humour would be cruel and at best, ill-advised. I just ask her directly for her last menstrual period and that’s when it must have dawned on her mother for the first time that her baby might be carrying a baby. She gave me a date, it didn’t fit. The mother didn’t seem convinced and she looked at me waiting for the inevitable pronouncement. For the first time in my not so young career, announcing the beginning of life was just as hard as announcing the end of one.

“Madam” I looked up with a straight face “Your daughter is about 11weeks pregnant”

“That na 3months” the mother did a quick (albeit inaccurate) math and announced

“Yes, almost 3months” I reinforced.

And then the girl spoke for the first time, it wasn’t to apologise to her mother, neither was it a plea for mercy, it was an accusation directed straight at me. I believe her words were “Mba oh! Doctor you’re a liar” spoken with so much conviction, I would have doubted myself if the frozen image of the baby wasn’t in front of me in all its glory.

I get mad when people call me a liar, especially as I’ve tried in recent years to curb my lying to a significant minimum and most especially when I’m telling the truth. But I wasn’t mad at this 16yr old, couldn’t bring myself to be. Maybe it was because I have a 12yr old sister, or maybe it was because I knew she would be adequately punished for both ‘crimes’ by her mother, either way, what I felt was sadness.

The mother sought my advice. Her hands I noticed, had not left her head since I made the pronouncement. Maybe it was the thought of the extra mouth to feed, maybe it was that of her daughter going through labour, or maybe, just maybe she wasn’t psychologically ready to be a grandmother, Joey would never know. Either ways, and I gave none, it was not my place to give. It was her decision to make. And as they left my consulting room, the mother close to tears and the daughter still defiant, I could only help but wonder who the father was….a fellow juvenile student, one muscular trader neighbour who wouldn’t be prosecuted for statutory rape or even her father (God forbid).

THE END

ACTUAL TEAM OF THE SEASON

I was going to wait until the end of the final game of the season to publish my team of the season but I don’t think what happens over the last round of matches would overshadow the previous 37. It’s a 4-3-3 formation or a 4-0-3-3 (I really don’t care, these are my best players and if a defender needs to attack then so be it) so here’s my team of the season ladies and gentlemen

GOALKEEPER


Paul Robinson (Blackburn) – In a Blackburn team that waxed and waned all season, with way more waning than waxing, it’s hard to single one player out as a major culprit, but if I had to it would be Paul Robinson. Not only did this former England number one concede a goal every 43minutes of play, he posted the lowest shots to save ratio in the EPL this season, largely due to the fact that he more often than not waited for the ball to go past him before diving. Robinson was guilty of jitteriness many times and even Richard Kingston watching from his home in *inserts whatever location you think he is here* would have green with envy.

DEFENDERS


Tony Hibbert (Everton): a guy that makes mockery of everything sensible. How this guy is still a regular for Everton (a top 10 EPL club) challenges common sense. He is a skilless and paceless right-back with negligible pass accuracy. His tackling is woeful and his only means of stopping a player is to…well…stop the player (the ball is secondary). How he’s had only one yellow card to his name this season is a mystery for Scooby-doo. And I shouldn’t hold this against him but he has not scored once in 252 premier league appearances for Everton. Just think about that for a second.


Richard Dunne (Aston Villa): Dude has been horrible for some years now but this was his worst season ever and that’s saying a lot. One of the players Mancini couldn’t wait to get rid of. Has no real football ability and scores own goals like they were going out of fashion……what’s that? He scored just one this season? Don’t care, I still don’t like him.

Roger Johnson (Wolves): HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Armand Traore (Arsenal & QPR) : After watching his excellent display for Arsenal against Man U, Neil Warnock couldn’t wait to cough up 7million pounds for this marauding left back. That is if excellence is trailing the clean pair of heels of Nani, Young and Rooney whenever they asked him to. He reciprocated that excellence at QPR leading to acquisition of Taye Taiwo (Hardly the calvary) in the winter.


MIDFIELDERS
Gervinho (Arsenal): Got a red card in his first game, but that was the fault of that world renowned c**t. Came back and showed us his impressive ability to take on 1 and maybe 2 players as he made a seemingly potent move towards the attack that only proves to be pointless because the pass, cross or shot that follows is only guaranteed to be HORRIBLE! Came back from the AFCON a different player, this time he couldn’t beat players anymore and his favourite move of giving the ball away either to an opposing player or the ball boys relegated him to the subs bench. His first touch? Aaaaaaaaargh!!!! Show me a more infuriating player than Gervinho this season?


Stuart Downing (Liverpool): I’m sure I would have been lynched if I didn’t include this super duppa King Kenny buy. Bought to provide the much needed service for Andy Carroll, the former Aston Villa man has failed to deliver. He has no EPL goals this season and 2 assists (the 2 of them against QPR in a game they eventually lost). That’s four assists less than Jermaine Pennant. A missed Penalty against a broken Chelsea in midweek only helped to cement his place in this team.


Adel Taraabt (QPR): Disco Taraabt as he is fondly called masterminded QPR’s promotion to the 1st tier of English football with a handsome 19 goals in 44 games from the midfield position. Heavily linked with PSG in the summer in a deal that never materialised, he was then left to produce one more season of magic at QPR and we’ve all seen how that turned out. 2 goals against former club Spurs and their north London rivals and a paltry assist return of 4 assist in 2003 minutes of football.


FORWARDS
Franco Di Santo (Wigan): He has a name that would send shivers down the spine of any defender yet to see him play. That’s all he has, a fearful name. 8 goals in 86 career EPL games (6 of those this season) says a lot about the player. Actually it says just one word, WASTE! The primary job of a striker is to score and Di Santo can’t do it without the aid of a deflection. If he played against a team with 0 outfield players and 1 goalkeeper, he wouldn’t score. Frankly because there would be no one to deflect his wayward shots into the net.


Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland): For a player who is the self acclaimed best striker in the world, he did nothing while the like of RVP, Rooney and Kun ran riot in the EPL and Messi, CR7 and Gomez abroad. To be fair, he shouldn’t be on this list but I just don’t like the little brat!


Emile Heskey (Aston Villa): This inclusion probably speaks for itself. I don’t need to justify it.


MANAGER


Alex McLeish (Aston Villa) – it takes a manager of impeccable quality to take a team that finished 9th place in the league playing eye catching football (after 3 consecutive 6th place finishes) and leave them with a mathematical chance of ‘qualifying’ for the Championship entering the last day of the EPL. I don’t know what Randy Lerner was thinking (who am I kidding, no one knows) when he hired a manager that successfully oversaw their biggest rival’s relegation, playing the worst football in the league. Carling cup triumph? Panic appointment following Martinez’s refusal? We’ll never know

That ladies and gentlemen is the actual team of the year. Don’t call me on it. Comment if u want but don’t side with the FA. Thanks for reading.

Sex and the Prude

Our elders say (I’m not certain, but it sure makes sense to give them credit) “he who does not know, and knows that he does not know is a wise man, teach him; he who knows, and does not know that he knows is a foolish man, leave him; but he who does not know, and thinks that he knows is useless, KILL HIM!!!” the last 2 words as you have suspected are mine and are inspired by the movie 300

Why do I bore you with the longest proverb, that really isn’t a proverb? I’ll tell you.

It was a quiet day at work, as it usually is most of the time. It was a good thing it was quiet too because if it had been busy, the patient I’m about to talk about would have had me facing the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council on charges of gross misconduct, maybe get me suspended for a year too.

Anyways, to the story, it was quiet and I was jejely enjoying my browsing when this man walked in. He was between 35 – 40yrs in my estimation and he wore a black suit (or coat, I don’t know mehn) and carried one of those messenger type bags that quickly gave him away as the religious type. I relaxed and produced a false smile as I usually did whenever anyone interrupted me and my PC (only at work though, at home I just ignore you), and sat back to hear his complaint.

“I have just one problem” he announced in a tone I’ve heard many times. It was a tone that made me wish they had rushed in an unconscious octogenarian instead. Maybe it was the universe paying me back for misusing all that free time (should have been studying really). He then launched into a rather unpredictable albeit pathetic story that made me wish I wore a hooded gear with beats headphones under bumping to any rap song….even Raz-B’s. I would have recounted the whole story but I really wasn’t listening, he already lost me when he said “anytime I sleep with my wife, I have bruises on my penis, what do you think is the problem doc?”. I had to check my calendar to make sure I hadn’t mistakenly stepped into a time machine and warped all the way back to the Stone Age.

I’m not going to bore (or excite, depends on your poison) you with the details of the story, I’ll rather give a quick run-down of how I got bewildered.

So dude is uber religious, I’ll try again…he’s practises the beta version of christianity (intuitive me shey?), got married a while back, has a kid, never had sexual relationships prior to marriage (his wife neither according to him) and like he opened with, anytime he slept with his wife, he had bruises. My heart, at the end of the story, went out to his wife who must think it perfectly normal to have all those bruises and heat on her ‘beaver’. Shebi they said sex was painful, with her only period of respite and healing being her conception period and maybe the 3-5days she bleeds monthly.

So my annoyance here is why a man as old as he is doesn’t know that a woman is supposed to get wet before plunging. Here are two people who have never had sex (presumably – I’m cynical like that), and whose only knowledge of sex was that the wood goes into the beaver. It was shaming to say the least, more shaming was the fact that he probably isn’t the only one out there punishing some poor woman and himself inadvertently.

I decided to send a mini-appeal to all you ‘proud prudes’ out there, learn about sex, it’s a requirement. Everyone should know about sex. A man who knows he’s destined to be a carpenter does not just buy wood and nails and hope to manufacture perfect furniture. He starts by watching others, maybe practicing on other wood and reading about furniture. Same thing goes for sex, if you haven’t decided to sign-up for life-long celibacy and plan to have sex one day, u should learn to fuck and do it right.

We live in a liberal society (a bit too liberal sometimes), you can chose to

  1. Watch porn. The society we live in now is liberal (a bit too liberal I might add), pornography (all forms) is not only available but accessible…endeavour to avail yourselves the opportunity provided instead on going on to be a one (wo)man bruise making machine.
  2. Read about sex. I’m sure there are books out there that teach about sex. These are the types of porn disguised as educational, read them and imbibe and you may be actually close to the real thing when it happens.
  3. DO IT!!! I saved the best for the last. If you are going to fumble around and manufacture bruises, do it when you’re a teen. I’m not advising promiscuity, just find a middle ground between promiscuity and chastity, with a slight tilt towards the former, call me when you do, (females only).

I guess all I’m saying in essence is, sex isn’t Nike, and you don’t ‘just do it’ regardless of all you’ve heard. I make no pretences, I’m not a bad guy, I don’t know bad guys like whiz-kid, I don’t even know 90% of what I attempt to teach. It just doesn’t make sense for you to bother a chap who’s leisurely typing away on his pc with issues your mates would naturally have helped you solved in secondary school. It’s just a pity the people who really need this won’t be reading it. If you get around to reading this (yes you! You’re the only one who ever visits) help me get the message out, because if I have one more patient who surfs on sand………..you know, doesn’t grease the engine (i’m horrible with metaphors)……..it could probably signal the end of my romance with the council.

I believe I have done enough to make sure on your wedding night (or in the case of this man, years into your marriage), you are not more useless than a Paul Scholes tackle. A word is enough for the wise they say.

Ciao.