Fine Bouy Rich Pimples: Episode two.
Written by: Ogu chinedu
By the time njide came out, it was already a few minutes to eight. The wind was blowing wildly and there was nothing left of the once vibrant fire that had kept tolu warm some few minutes earlier.
“wetin keep you na?” Tolu asked.
“nothing o, just decided to have a little shower”.
“for this weather?”.
“yes na, i used warm water”.
Njide sat down on the bench beside tolu once again and watched as she rocked herself side by side with her hands between her thighs.
“cold dey catch you?”.
“come rest on my body”.
Tolu shifted towards him, resting her head on his shoulder.
“how was the day?”. He asked.
“today was ok. Market no good sha”.
“why you dey laugh?”.
“nothing”. He answered. “i just dey wonder when you go ever ‘gree say market good.”
Tolu smiled and playfully hit him on the head.
As both of them sat there in the dark cold night with their eyes fixed at the evening stars, tolu’s thoughts wandered into the world of ‘what would have been’. It was never her plan to be a broke and single lady at twenty-six, or to live in a ‘face to face’ apartment without electricity and with a constant fear of mosquitoes every night. She had thought that at twenty-six, she would be comfortable; living in a moderate apartment fit for a lady with a ‘first class lower’ higher national diploma certificate in banking and finance, engaged to the man of her dreams and planning their future together. Yet, here she was, sat outside one of the lowest buildings in her street, broke to the last kobo and running from those devilish mosquitoes. Worse still, she was still single. Tolu shifted her head to look at njide who was now sleeping like a brand new toyota with his head against the wall. Njide himself was no better. Unlike tolu, he did not venture into tertiary education; he did not have the brains. Instead, he had gone into the generator repair business. Within two years of enrollment, he had served his supervisor as agreed in a written contract and was settled with the sum of eighty-thousand naira to start-up his own business. Njide would often talk about his oga and the words he told him before sending him off. They were great words he would say, the kind that you use to send off a child into manhood.
“Take this money”. Njide would say, raising his shoulders as if mimicking oga theo himself.
” make sure you use it to better yourself. I have treated you like my own son, and as you leave, it pains me to see you go. But, i understand why you must go. No man is worth the title if he does not take his own path. However, ” at this point, njide would sit down.
“i have just one piece of advice to give. Never mix business with pleasure.” Tolu had gotten used to njide’s precious little advice. He usually doled it out to her whenever she asked him for money or anything related to it. His favourite phrase at such times was “….never mix business with pleasure”. Tolu would then proceed to tell him that there was no business between them, neither was there any pleasure and then feign anger, like a trick, njide would grant her request.
Tonight however, she was not asking for money, infact, she knew he was broke. People like njide were created to flaunt their wealth. When the vault becomes empty though, the drought is as evident as the pot belly of an average politician.
“wake up joor”.
Njide slowly opened his eyes as if he was trying to get used to the darkness.
“make we enter inside.”
Later that night, before the policemen changed shifts one of the men who had arrested johnson came to tell him that he was to be released in the morning. One of the cult boys who had disturbed his street had been arrested and from all indication johnson was not one of them he said. As he went to sleep, he could not help but imagine what would have been his fate had the police not caught the boys. He shoke off the thought and quietly squeezed himself between the two huge bodies where he could find space and prayed for sleep to come.
Fifteen minutes had passed by since he drifted off when johnson felt a sharp pinch on his left earlobe and opened his eyes to see a young man laughing and pointing at him. The room had become very cold and dark with a great silence apart from the discordant snores of the inmates and ofcourse the young man laughing.
“wetin be your own na?” Johnson asked as he sprang up angrily. The inmate by his right hand side shifted his weight, covering the space johnson had created.
“young man calm down”. The man replied and continued laughing. At this point johnson was reeling with anger.
“oga just respect yourself park your lane. If you no wan sleep, me i wan sleep”. He said. His voice was now obviously high.
” wetin dey do you na?”. One of the big-sized inmates whom he had come to know as okara asked, visibly angry at the disturbance.
” na this idiot wey no wan sleep dey disturb me”. Johnson answered whilst pointing in the direction of the young man.
“this guy na. The guy wey dey my front”.
“Buoy i no get time for nonsense”. Okara hissed. And then added “no disturb my sleep again”. Before withdrawing back to his shell.
Johnson was as angry as he was frustrated. How is it that okara could not see the tall young bastard standing in front of him laughing like a lunatic? He wondered. He threw a stern look in the man’s direction once again and decided that whoever he was, the laughter was not worth the trouble of staying up all night complaining and possibly getting beaten. Afterall, tomorrow morning, he would be free.
He moved over to the iron protectors and sat down, resting his back on its bars.
“if you sleep, i go pinch you again”.
It was the young man again. He moved further towards johnson and squated, allowing johnson to see his face. He had a face as pale as brown talc, eyes with a gaze as cold as an empty thatched house. Hollow. The hairs on his head though short and thick formed around each other like dreadlocks, and as he bent to squat, a thick cold air bent with him. Johnson’s mood immediately switched from anger to fear.
“who are you?” He asked. The words were almost in whispers.
“a ghost”. Was the simple answer.
“you are not an inmate?”.
“who are you na?”. Johnson’s voice was by now coarse, as though he needed a drink.
he could see the shadow on the wall as the stranger waved his hand impatiently.
“i thought i told you before, i am a ghost”.
“what are you doing here?”.
“nothing, i just came to introduce myself…”
As he talked, johnson slowly stretched his leg, gently pushing it against that of the stranger. He felt nothing but a cold thick air as his leg went past that of his tormentor.
“Jesus christ!”. He shouted shaking the frame of the protector.
” wetin be that?”. It was okara who first woke up. Seconds later, two other inmates awoke.
“wetin be that?” Okara asked again.
“i see ghost just now-now”.
The beating johnson recieved that night, was unlike any he had recieved in all his twenty-eight years of sad sojourn on earth.
All rights reserved. ©This work is protected by local and international copyright laws. No part of this publication is to be copied through any means without express permission from the writer or chinekubiz™