By Mr Ben Misi leaned over the sink and washed the dishes. Her parents were fast asleep, but, sleep had evaded her. She couldn’t remember the last time they had a decent meal and bathed with clean water. She had thought she would work in her father’s company as an accountant when she graduated from the university, but her dreams ended when his friend hijacked the firm. The thought of how her siblings died one after the other consumed her. Everyone turned their backs on them, even those who had benefited from her father’s wealth. It was exactly a year since they had been living on the street, jumping from one uncompleted building to the other. She didn’t want to think of what would have happened to them if the doctor had not rescued them from the angry crowd. God I cannot thank you enough. E se baba. “E se o o o, baba oluwa, e se, e se, baba oluwa, e se baba, baba wa, baba e se…” she started to sing and dance. Bassey strode into the kitchen and found her washing the dishes, singing and dancing. He leaned over the refrigerator and watched her with a smile on his face. Her voice sounded nice to his ears. He knew the song she was singing, although he doesn’t know the meaning. He had heard it in church a number of times. She appeared graceful as she moved left, then right, swirling her hips, lost to the world. Instinctively, Misi sensed that she wasn’t alone. She turned around and found the doctor in the kitchen watching her. She stood still and heard the throbbing of her heart. The loud thuds echoed in her ears. He walked over to the cabinet beside the sink and opened one of the drawers. He brought out a tin of Milo and a tin of Dano milk. He set it on the table and reached out for one of the mugs she had just washed. She returned her attention to the sink. She wanted to finish washing the dishes, but, her hands refused to respond to the message her brain had passed. I have made a fool of myself. What does he think of me now? He found a crazy girl dancing in his kitchen. Misi, Misi, Misi oooo! She exhaled loudly when he left after making himself a hot mug of chocolate drink. She bit at her lower lip and started to rinse the bowls she had washed. His face flashed through her mind’s eyes. She recollected that he was actually smiling when he caught her dancing. She made a sign of relief. He definitely didn’t think she was crazy. ************************** Bassey emptied the mug and placed it on the bedside drawer. He changed into his boxers and returned to the bed. Misi’s dancing figure flashed through his mind’s eye. He smiled and closed his eyes. He liked it when people knew how to praise their God. A heart full of thanksgiving was much more valuable than gold. He drifted off to sleep and dreamt about a woman singing and dancing. She called his name and asked him to join her. Tomisin and Tofunmi sat at the dining with their daughter. They were having breakfast at twelve noon. They woke up late that morning and realized that they were alone in the house. It had been a long time since they had slept that well. “Do you know if the doctor is still around?” Tofunmi glanced at her daughter. She met her mother’s gaze and shook her head. “I think he has gone to work,” Tomisin munched at the toast in his hand. Misi sipped at her chocolate drink. She could still remember when he caught her singing and dancing in the kitchen. She hoped he had forgotten. The door bell rang. They looked towards the front door and wondered who it was. She placed her mug on the table and pushed back the chair. She got to her feet and strode to the front door. She unlocked and opened it slightly. A tall young girl stood at the doorway. She looked a bit familiar, but, couldn’t place where she had seen her. “What are you still doing here?” the girl asked her. Misi was taken aback by her attitude. Recognition hit her. She had seen the girl talking to the doctor the day he took them home. She probably lived in the building too. “Can I help you?” “No!” the girl eyed her. Misi looked up at her and shook her head. She could discern that the teenager was a trouble maker, “Doctor Bassey is not home. Come back when he returns.” “I know that he isn’t home,” she snarled. Misi folded her arms, “So, what are you doing here?” “You and your family should go back to wherever you came from. You are not wanted here.” She was beginning to feel provoked, “Shouldn’t you be in school or something?” Chinyere hissed and pointed a finger at her, “I know your type. Your charms won’t work on him. He is mine.” “Oh… I see…” Misi started to laugh. Now she understood the girl. She probably felt threatened by her presence. She definitely had a crush on the doctor. “What is so funny?” “You… little girl.” Chinyere’s nose flared. “You are too young for the dating game. You better face your books. In five or six years, you might be ready. Right now, you will only get hurt.” She backed away, “I don’t need advice from people like you,” she turned away and ran down the stairs. Misi stepped back into the flat and closed the door. *********************** Misi lay on the three-settee and dozed off while watching movies on African Magic Urban channel on the television. She opened her eyes and heard the door bell ringing. She blinked and stretched out. A loud yawn escaped her. She sat up and felt worn-out all of a sudden. She yawned again and pushed her weight up. She dragged her lazy self towards the front door and hoped it wasn’t the nosy infatuated teenager again. She peeped through the hole at the center of the wooden door and saw the doctor and someone else standing beside him. She turned the key and pulled the doorknob. “Welcome doctor, good afternoon ma,” she smiled at the creamy brown skinned lady beside him. If she wasn’t mistaken, she was unquestionably her age mate. “Hi, Misi, right?” the lady smiled at her. “Yes.” “I am Enobong Etim.” She threw a glance at him, then back at her. Were they related? Come to think of it, there was a slight resemblance between them. “Please help us with these bags,” Bassey motioned at the Ghana-must-go bags by the door way. “Okay,” Misi reached out for one of the bags and pulled. It was very heavy. What was in it? Bassey and Eno pulled the two other bags into the flat. “Where are your parents?” he asked. “In the guest room, sleeping,” she responded. “Okay…” he regarded her, “The clothes, shoes, jewelry, everything in these bags are for you and your parents.” Misi looked at the big bags, and then stared at him in bewilderment. Eno observed her. She was delighted that they were able to help the Phillips family. “Thank you,” she whispered. Her throat tightened and her eyes smarted with tears. “My sister and my parents donated everything,” he directed his gaze at his younger sister. “Thank you,” Misi turned towards her, “Please thank your parents for me.” Eno let out a chortle, “I will.” “Great, I am going back to work,” Bassey turned around and walked out of the apartment. “See you later,” Eno shut the door and turned to met Misi’s uncertain stare, “Let’s get these bags to the guest rooms, then, make something to eat. I am famished.” “O-kay.” “I think these bags have s----d every iota of the food I ate this morning,” Eno rubbed her tummy. Misi started to laugh. “I am serious; I think I have also lost weight.” She laughed harder and reached out for one of the bags. ********************************* Sikemi hurried after her boss the moment he walked into his office. “Please let Dr. Sylvester know that I am back. He must be exhausted by now,” Bassey instructed her. “Yes sir, all right sir,” she stood adjacent to the desk. “You can go,” he took a seat. Sikemi nodded and turned around. Her high heeled shoes made click sounds on the tiled floor. Bassey watched her leave the room and leaned against the chair. A relaxed smile lit his face. He felt fulfilled after dropping the bags for Misi and her parents. it was a good thing that his family had helped out. They had also donated furniture and electronics for the two bedrooms flat he paid for down the street. They would be able to move into the place the next day. He was at peace. Her dancing figure flashed through his mind’s eye. He had not been able to delete the image from his memory. Whether he was asleep or awake, she seemed to linger in his thoughts. It was the first time in two years that he had thought of someone else other than his ex, Lovejoy. His chest tightened with pains. Although he had gotten over her, her lack of trust and his friend’s betrayal gnawed at him like an old wound. He doubted if he was ready to trust another. Maybe in another year or two, he would be able to give his heart away again. He was already thirty-five and his parents were not pleased with his single status. It wasn’t his fault. He would have been married if not that his ex called off the wedding. He pushed the unpleasant thoughts away and scanned through the files on his table. He got out of his car and saw Chinyere and the ladies living opposite his flat standing a few feet away. Were they waiting for him? What do they want now? He was exhausted and peckish. He trusted his sister to have prepared something. She doesn’t play with her tummy. He locked the car and headed for the one storey building. “Good evening doctor,” they followed him. “Evening ladies,” he tried to smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “Doctor, Chinyere told us that you are accommodating those riff raffs who used to live in that uncompleted building down the street,” Halima snorted. He sighed and moved his head from side to side. This girl needs to be spanked with a very long, thick, and… and… “You don’t know what they are capable of, it is very risky,” Simisola chimed in. He remained mum and climbed the stairs. They scrambled after him, trying to get noticed. “Some of these people use charms on men and enslave them.” *********************************************** So now, what happens next? Stay connected to find out in the next episode. Do click on our ads too.
By Larry Sun ...knew him implored of him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o'clock, no man or woman in the village ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Pa Jimoh. Even the blind men appeared to recognize him; for when they sensed him coming ahead, would tap their canes and make their ways to their doorways. It almost seemed as though whenever it came to situations pertaining Jimoh, they revelled in their affliction. Some of them would console themselves by saying, 'No eye at all is better than an evil eye!' But even Jimoh himself did not give a trifle care to this obvious neglect; it was the very thing he liked, and he always defended himself by preaching about how he was the oldest inhabitant of the village at seventy-five, and that every other villager should always accord him the respect for an elder. Although he always emphasized how he was a year older than any other old man in the village, everybody knew that he was never an hour richer. And to have such an evil-embodiment die in the village without the benefit of a burial might spell misfortune for the growing generation of the village. Saka worked round the clock to make a presentable coffin for Pa Jimoh, and when the work was ready the next day, Saka was impressed at his own achievement; because he'd never, until now, completed a casket in a single day. It was as though the spirit of the dead palm-wine tapper urged him to hasten up. He knew quite well that his client would likewise be duly impressed at the rapidity with which he completed the work. He also knew that the villagers could not wait to inter Jimoh and get it done with. But in the modern world, there was always Murphy's Law that could not be avoided. And in this case at hand, everything worked together to make sure that the coffin built for Jimoh did not arrive Ogbomosho in time. Pa Jimoh had chosen the wrong time to die; he kicked the bucket when fuel scarcity was rampant in the city yonder. With his faithful work of art beside him, Saka waited impatiently at the bus-stop, but the road was practically devoid of vehicles. The very few that plied the quiet road didn't give the carpenter a second glance, and even those who gave were shied away at the sight of the corpse apartment. Most motorists believed that the presence of a coffin in their vehicles could cause doom to their journey, with or without corpse. Sometimes though, some braver ones would adorn their automobiles with leaves of unknown botanical nomenclatures, believing therefore that this action was enough to ward off both potential evils and evil potentials. Besides, everything in life has always boiled down to faith; but faith itself is limited. Would you believe so much in faith that you'd take a bold step to the middle of a rail track with the firm belief that the speeding locomotive would bounce off you at impact? And it is not unusual to find that it is only readers who'd not misplaced their mental gadgets would find the mission an extremely ludicrous one. And if you trust otherwise, then the writer can only shrug his shoulders and urge you to prove him wrong. Saka was already at the verge of giving up and returning home when he sighted an approaching lorry. There, he decided within himself that this one vehicle would not pass him by, no matter what it took. This was the perfect six-wheeler to transport him, coffin inclusive. He was determined to make the driver stop, and hand-flagging might not achieve that. When the vehicle was closer, Saka suddenly leaped to the middle of the road. There was no one at the bus-stop to stop him from engaging in this suicidal mission. Everywhere was silent, as if the situation was not only inflation in fuel price but also an imposition of curfew. Although this feat was not unlike that of the demented incipient already mentioned in the former paragraph, Saka was one of the sanest people in all of humanity; because it takes a large degree of sanity and ingenuity to build such a remarkable coffin. Fortunately, Saka was not flattened by the wheels of the truck, though almost. The driver had managed to repair the brakes the day before. The vehicle stopped at only a few inches from the carpenter. 'Are you crazy?' Screamed the driver in a thick Yoruba language. As he poked his head out through the window Saka could not help noticing the brutal tribal marks on the man's cheeks. Whoever had carved this tally on his face had no intention of bestowing pulchritude. The lines were not even symmetrical; the driver's ugliness was classic. 'No, I am not crazy, just desperate. There's a difference between insanity and desperation.' answered Saka in like language. 'What do you want?' The facially-challenged man asked impatiently. 'My name is Saka and I urgently need to get to the town of Ogbomosho.' 'How does that concern me?' 'You are going to drive me there.' 'And a dozen beauty queens would fight over me.' Spat the driver, whose name was Dawodu; an ugly name among ugly names. 'Listen carefully to me, Prince Charming; I'm not leaving here unless you agree to transport me.' Dawodu scoffed amusedly, 'And you think your rigid presence here is a threat to my tipper? I can just run you over.' Maybe Saka's sanity had reached such a boiling point that a regular prefix had been added to his 'sanity', or the spirit of the deceased client was influencing him negatively, because the coffin-maker's reply was sensationally inane. 'I've memorized your plate number.' The truck-driver stared at Saka for a long moment; what was running through his mind could be explained by only him, because he quietly but firmly replied, 'My fee is ten naira.' Of course, the amount charged during this prehistoric time was a direct equivalent five hundred times its value fifty years aft. 'What!' screamed the wide-eyed Saka. 'That's a fortune! I can only afford five naira.' 'Deal.' 'Come and let's hoist that to the back of the lorry.' Saka pointed at the coffin he'd left at the site of the road prior his maniacal bound before a moving engine. It was at this moment that Dawodu noticed the wooden object. 'What's that?' he asked incredulously. 'It's a spaceship.' Saka replied absent-mindedly. 'It looks like a coffin.' 'Wow, that's very brilliant of you. You're right, it's a coffin,' Saka said impatiently, 'Now come and assist in lifting it.' 'You are not planning to put that in my lorry, are you?' The coffin-maker looked at the driver as if he had just said something incredibly silly. 'No,' he answered in anger, 'I'm planning to string it on my waist like a bead.' 'I'm not putting a corpse in my car!' 'The coffin is empty, genius!' 'Prove me wrong.' It was only after Saka had opened the coffin to show that it was truly empty that Dawodu assisted in lifting.
By Mr Ben Damilare Peters arranged the pay-slips on the desk. The end of every month felt like a jackpot for him. He had a lot of debts to settle and a few things to purchase. He hoped he would have enough left to get him by before he received another paycheck. He considered himself lucky to have gotten employment in Hopewell Dental Clinic as an Accountant. His paycheck was the double of what his peers earned. The nurses strode into his office without knocking, followed by the receptionist. “Don’t you girls ever knock?” “The Accountant,” Adanne sat on his desk. “Accountant, accountant, how you dey now?” Ibinabo settled on a chair in front of the table while Sikemi took the other seat. “Where is our pay slip?” He searched her face. The receptionist never wasted time. She was always direct and straight to the point. He liked her, but his height might be a problem. She was at least three inches taller. He knew several girls who didn’t like dating men shorter than they were. He had seen her ogle at the CEO on more than one occasion. He was shorter than her too. If she liked their boss, maybe she might give him a chance. Sikemi stared back at him puzzled. His intent gaze made her uneasy. Was he interested in her? He wasn’t that bad. He had a good physique, but too short for her liking. He was from her tribe and that was a plus. She was interested in their boss. If only he would notice her. The man had been acting beside himself lately. She had a feeling that he was sort of depressed. She wished he would confide in her. Who was she anyway? His employee, she wasn’t even his friend. “Have you noticed Oga’s mood swings?” Adanne tapped her on the shoulder. She looked up at her and nodded. “That’s true. He is being kind of cold and unapproachable lately,” Ibinabo chimed in. “May be he is stressed up,” Adanne reasoned. “Abeg, abeg, take your pay-slips. Don’t turn my office into a gossip center,” he distributed their slips. The nurses chuckled, collected their slips and headed out. “Oga has turned to stone cold Steve Austin,” Damilare said casually. Her confused look made him to laugh, “Who is Steve Austin?” “Steve Austin now, Wrestle Mania…” Her clueless gaze remained on his face, “I don’t watch wrestling matches.” “Like seriously?” She eyed him and got to her feet. “Steve Austin is mean, cold, powerful, six feet, broad shouldered, fair, six pack, steel-like stance, emotionless and strong.” “So, our boss is Stone cold Bassey Etim?” “Exactly, without the height, muscles and you know.” She started to laugh. “I was there when he lashed out at Doctor Sylvester.” “What happened?” she sat back on the chair, eager for news. “If words were swords, Dr. Slyvester would have had severe cuts all over him.” “Ouch!” She placed a hand on her chest. “A broken heart does nasty things to a man’s mind.” “But, I thought he was over his ex-girlfriend,” she raised an eye-brow. He shrugged, “Maybe something or someone re-opened his old wounds.” “Ouch!” “I guess we are in for a repeat episode of what happened when they just broke up a year ago.” “God help us,” she leaned against the chair and folded her arms across her chest. ********************************* He drove homewards, despite the storm; he navigated his way into the Government Residential Area. He thought of eating catfish pepper soup for dinner after taking a hot bath. A hot milky beverage would make him to relax and send him off to Slumber land. He had not been sleeping well and it was affecting him physically and mentally. Two houses away from his place, he saw a group of people gathered at a corner and shouting at a man, a woman and a young lady. They stayed closed together, drenched and shivering. What was going on? Should he find out or head home? He didn’t like getting wet in the rain. He drove off and stopped in front of the white house. He changed his mind and got out of the car. He approached the crowd and recognized many of them. Most of them lived on that particular street. Most of them lived on that particular street. “Uncle Bassey,” she tapped him on the shoulder. “What are you doing out here? Don’t you know you can catch a cold?” he eyed his neighbour’s daughter. She pouted her lips. “What is going on here?” She moved closer to him, “This man, his wife and daughter, have been living in that uncompleted building down the street. The people in the area want them to live.” His brows creased in a frown. What was their business? “Nobody has a say in this matter except the owner of the building.” “The sister of the land owner is the one leading the protest.” “Witchcraft,” he said under his breath. “They said they don’t have anywhere else to go, but, no one is listening.” He sighed and approached the stranded family. “Doctor Bassey…” someone called him from the crowd, “Please tell them to leave or else I will call the police.” He ignored the person and addressed the family, “Good evening.” They stared back at him blankly and cringed. “I live in that house over there,” he pointed at the white house, they followed his gaze, “It is raining, let’s go in… least you catch a cold or something worse, then, we can talk.” They exchanged glances and looked back at him. “Please come with me,” he beckoned at them. They followed him immediately, but, with caution. The crowd watched them and dispersed, but, Chinyere followed the doctor and the strange family. He led them into the building and returned to get his car. He parked the car inside the compound and hurried into the building. He met Chinyere by the stairway. “Uncle…” “Not now, not now,” he dashed off. She stamped her feet on the ground and watched him leave. She wanted to know why he took the family home. What he did was very risky. He didn’t know them from Adam and they were inside his house. She decided to confront him in the morning. She dragged her feet and returned to her flat. ******************* Bassey led the family into one of the guest rooms. “Do you have anything to change into?” They shook their heads. “Okay, I will be right back,” he hurried away and returned with a pile of clothes. He dumped them on the large bed, “This…” he picked up a tee-shirt and a pair of black trousers, “It belongs to me…” he sized up the man who looked like he was in his fifties, “I think this will suit you,” he gave it to the man, “The blouses and skirts are for my younger sister, she spends her weekends here sometimes,” he looked at the woman in her forties and the young lady in her mid-twenties. “Thank you,” they chorused. “When you have all taken a hot bath, please join me at the dining,” he retreated and found his way out. The man held hands with his wife and daughter. They were grateful to God for rescuing them from the angry crowd. They had been terrified because they had nowhere else to go that night. The uncompleted building had been their abode for several months. God had sent them an angel and they were grateful. ********************* He dished the hot steaming catfish pepper soup into four different bowls. He placed the bowls on a big stainless steel tray and carried it out of the kitchen, a step at a time. He navigated his way to the dining and placed the tray on the wooden table. He looked sideways. Where were they? He returned to the kitchen and poured hot milky chocolate beverage into four large mugs. He placed the mugs on a plastic tray and carried it to the dining. He arranged each mug beside each bowl and took a seat. Should he go and call them or wait? He raised his head and glanced at the wall clock. It was past eight. He heard footsteps and turned his head. The dark chocolate skin slim elderly man, about five feet seven inches, approached him. He looked better now that he had freshened up. The red tee-shirt and black trousers was a little bit big for him, but, it wasn’t that noticeable. His wife followed. She was darker, shorter, slimmer and the clothes she was putting on made her look like a clown. He averted his eyes and tried not to laugh. Their daughter walked behind them. Her chocolate brown skin was complimented by the brown fitted blouse and white ‘A’ shaped skirt. She was taller than her parents, probably his height. He lifted his eyes and met her watchful brown gaze. She was pretty. Her straight dark brown hair graced her shoulders. Was it her real hair or a hair-extension? Women and their weave-on were like inseparable twins. He tore his gaze away and leaned against the wooden chair. They all took their place at the dining and started to eat. The hot soup warmed his body and chased the biting cold away. “My name is Bassey Etim; I am a Christian and a Dentist by profession. Welcome to my home,” he sipped at the hot liquid. The elderly man cleared his throat twice, “Oluwatomisin Philips is the name. Thank you for…” he coughed and met Bassey’s encouraging gaze, “Em… we are grateful.” He nodded with understanding, “You are welcome sir.” “Jesutofunmi is my name.” He turned to look at the man’s wife. “We are strangers, yet… you accommodated us. God will bless you,” her eyes smarted with tears. Her husband reached out for her hand and gave it a light squeeze. “I am Oluwagbemisola.” He directed his eyes at the young woman. “I am the only surviving child of my parents. Thank you for helping us.” “Thank God.” They ate in silence for a while, each lost in his and her own thoughts. “I… I was a business man,” Tomisin finished eating and pushed the empty bowl away, “I dealt in the import and sales of exotic cars here in Lagos. I brought my best friend into the business and…” Bassey snorted at the sound of the word ‘best friend’. It seemed best friends all over the world were dealing with their friends mercilessly. Tofunmi noticed the young man’s angry expression. It was truly a wicked world if his best friend had also hurt him too. “He took over my business in less than a year. He stole all my customers, manipulated my investors and rendered me penniless…” Tomisin had a lost look on his face. Bassey pushed his plate away and picked up his half-empty mug of milky chocolate drink. He was beginning to feel very irritated. Why were people so wicked? “I couldn’t pay the loans I took at the bank. They claimed my houses, cars, properties, everything was taken from me,” Tomisin’s voice shook. Misi stopped eating. She could still remember everything that happened to her family like yesterday. “We… no one… not even family… relatives… friends… no one helped, no one came to our rescue,” tears spilled all over Tomisin’s face. Bassey’s stomach tightened with pain. He placed the empty mug on the table and swallowed hard. “I… I lost my children. One after the other, to sickness and hunger…” Tomisin began to weep. His wife started to cry too, “Here we are… no way forward…” he sobbed. His daughter covered her face with her hands and cried. Bassey pressed his lips together. He breathed out loudly and held back the tears threatening to burst out of his eyes. “ “Sir…” Tomisin looked up at the young man through blurred eyes. “It is going to be all right. God has not forgotten you,” Bassey’s voice turned hoarse. Tomisin nodded in agreement. He had not lost his faith in God. “You can all stay in my house for now. We will put our heads together and think of a way forward.” “Thank you,” Tomisin whispered. His heart swelled with gratitude. “Thank you sir,” both women chorused. God had sent them help when they least expected it. Bassey pushed the chair backwards and got up, “Have a goodnight,” he smiled at them and left the room. Tomisin held his wife and daughter’s hands. They bowed their heads and said a prayer of thanksgiving. ***************************** Bassey could hardly sleep that night. The Philips family situation lingered on his mind. He called his parents and told them about the Philips. They decided to donate their old clothes. They promised to send it through his younger sister the next day. He called his sister the moment they hung up and asked her to sort her wardrobe and bring everything she wasn’t wearing or using to his place the next day. He also called his brother and asked him to start looking for any vacancy in his place of work. He hoped to get Misi somewhere to work before the end of the week. He would also discuss with his parents about employing Tomisin and Tofunmi. They would be able to start afresh and move on with their lives. He had seen the sign board of a two bedroom flat for rent along the street where his clinic was located. He would check out the place on his way back from work the next day. He had learnt early in life that it was good to be good. One never knew when one would also need help. No man was an island. He felt a bit relieved and at peace with all the plans he had made. He turned on his side and closed his eyes. *********************************************** So, in this special Valentine's series, what happens next between Bassey, the Philips and his seducing neighbours? Find out in the next...
By Mr Ben Stephen gave the child a pack of chocolate. He had developed a habit of giving candy and chocolates to every child that visited his dental clinic. It made the child’s experience endurable, regardless of the procedure he or she was brought in for. Most times, it was usually the removal of a bad tooth. It didn’t matter if he was available or not, he had instructed his staff to follow suit. He had been running the clinic since he completed his internship at Lagos University Teaching Hospital. He inherited a ten bedroom duplex amongst other things from his late father and had converted the ground floor into a clinic and the upper floor into his living quarters. His patients loved the fact that he was accessible. He had two other dentists working with him, three nurses and a few non-medical staff. He hoped to set up branches of the clinic in different parts of the country at the end of the year and at least three other branches in the West African region. The mother and child waved goodbye and walked out of his office. His personal assistant came in immediately. “Sir, there is someone here to see you.” “Who?” he returned to his seat behind the oval glass desk. “Doctor Bassey.” His gaze flew back to her smiling face. He had not seen his childhood friend in a while. It was intentional. He had come up with one excuse or the other over the past few months. He knew he would have to face him one day, but, was he ready? “Let him in.” “Okay sir,” she retreated and closed the door behind her. Stephene rose the moment the door opened and Bassey walked in, “To what do I owe this impromptu visit?” “You are the busy one,” Bassey approached the desk. “Business has been very good,” he circled the table and shook hands with his friend. He towered over him. His six foot figure made him look like a Greek god. “At least you have a large staff,” he released his hands. “Yes, em… what can I offer you?” Stephen placed both hands on his hips. “Why don’t you explain this?” he brought out the invitation card from his pocket. “Oh…” he recognized his wedding invitation card. He took a step back and leaned on one of the leather chairs in front of the desk. “Is this why you have been avoiding me?” Bassey threw the card on the glass desk. He grinned, “What do you want me to tell you?” An angry expression took over his fair face, “You stole my fiancée.” Stephen started to laugh, “Come on man mi. Darn it, she called off the damned wedding.” “After you brain-washed her.” He scratched a spot on his eyebrow, “I am going to marry Lovejoy, nothing and no one can stop that from happening.” Bassey took a closer look at the man he used to call his friend. There was something off about him. “You have had it good all these years; it is my turn to feast.” “Feast? On what doesn’t belong to you? What rubbishing are you spouting?” “Do you think you are the only one that will make it?” his tone raised a pitch. Bassey watched him with keen interest. “I am taller than you, much more handsome, broad shouldered and all, compared to your skinny self.” His friend’s disdainful look astounded him. He was beginning to think that Stephen was jealous of him. He folded his arms across his chest and paid attention. “I don’t know what babes see in you. They melt at your mere presence and flock around you like bees. Every girl I ever liked was in love with you,” he pointed an accusing finger at him. He swallowed hard. His friend had been envious of him all along. How come he didn’t detect it? “We set up dental clinics around the same time, but, yours picked up faster than mine.” “What are you talking about? Look at this place, you are more successful,” he looked around him. “I have always loved Lovejoy. You were going to marry her and I decided to do something about it.” Bassey shook his head in disbelief. “I convinced her that you were sterile and eureka! She became mine.” His eyes became red. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fist. “At long last, I have something you can never possess in a million years, lucky me,” he winked at him and laughed. Suddenly his friend attacked him. Both men swerved from one spot to the other, pushing, kicking and hitting each another. They landed on the tiled floor with a thud. Stephen pushed him off and sat on the floor, “You are crazy!” his breath came fast and hard. “You allowed jealousy and envy to ruin our friendship,” he lashed back at him. “What friendship?” he eyed him. Bassey shook his head and got up. “You are invited to the wedding.” His personal assistant came in, in a hurry. She looked at both men, and then backed out. “You can have her,” he adjusted his blue checkered long sleeve shirt. He chuckled, “She is already mine.” “I don’t want someone who didn’t trust me enough to confront me, regardless of how convincing the evidence against me was.” “Whatever, your loss, my gain,” he got on his knees and rose. Bassey took his eyes off him and marched out of the large office. *************************** The moment she saw the silver car coming through the gate, she sneaked out of the flat and ran to meet him. He staggered out of the car and locked it. He straightened himself and noticed his neighbour’s daughter heading his way. He hissed. He was in no mood for her charade. “Uncle Bassey, welcome. You are late today. Did you attend to a lot of people? You must be tired,” she tried to pat him on the back, but, he slapped her hand off. Her shocked gaze lingered on his emotionless face. He strode towards the one storey building and left her standing by the car, wondering what had come over him. He climbed the stairs and met Halima and Simisola at his doorstep. “Doctor welcome,” they chorused. He ignored them, unlocked the door and went in. They exchanged glances, wondering what was wrong with him. Bassey went straight to his room, got out of his clothes and locked himself in the bathroom. He came out an hour later, clad in his boxers, and went straight to bed. He had no appetite. Food was the farthest thing from his turmoil mind. His encounter with Lovejoy and Stephen had been a bad experience. He turned on his side and reached out for his phone. He went through his phone book list and placed his younger brother and sister on a conference call. “Hello…” “Hello… Bros you no dey sleep at all?” he heard his younger brother’s voice. “It is almost midnight for heaven’s sake,” his younger sister complained. “Shut up, shut up, see this children wey they born yesterday.” He heard them laughing. Their voices soothed his aching heart. “When was the last time bros called like this?” Imabong asked. “That time now,” Eno responded. “Oh okay, Lovejoy matter,” Imabong whistled. “Serious matter o,” Eno chimed in. He listened to their chit-chat and sighed, “I met her today.” “What?!” Eno exclaimed. “Who?” Imabong wasn’t sure he heard him clearly. “Lovejoy now,” his sister answered quickly. “Ehn-hen… where?” Imabong’s curiousity accelerated. “She is…” her face flashed through his mind’s eye, “She is getting married to Stephen next month.” “Wow! She didn’t waste time,” Eno sounded disappointed. “Which Stephen?” Imabong asked. “Stephen Edet,” Bassey replied. There was a moment’s silence. “Stephen Akpos Edet!” his siblings chorused. He could discern their surprised state in their voices, “Yes, my childhood friend.” “This is unbelievable!” Imabong hissed. “He planned it. He told her something false about me and she called off the wedding.” “This girl is dumber than I thought,” Eno hissed. “Why didn’t she ask you?” Imabong felt angered. “She just believed your friend like that,” Eno hissed again. “Na so I see am o,” Bassey sighed heavily. “I can still remember how her parents rained insult on us and called us unprintable names the day we went to their place,” Eno sounded sad. “What did he tell her sef?” Imabong’s voice was laced with gloom. “He convinced her with a fake doctor’s report that I was sterile.” “Eh! See gbege,” Eno cried out. “Sharp guy. That your friend messed up. See lie,” Imabong felt distressed. “Lie from the pit of hell,” his sister added. “I will let dad and mum know.” “Thanks Eno.” “Come to think of it, bros you dey sterile?” his younger brother asked. “Imabong!” they chorused. “What? I supposed ask now.” “Where did Stephen get a fake doctor’s report?” Eno wanted to know. “Beats me,” Bassey couldn’t imagine the length at which his friend went to deceive his ex. “Bros sorry o.” “Hang in there.” “Thanks.” “Should I come over after work tomorrow?” his sister asked quickly. He frowned, “No, no, no, Eno thanks. I am fine.” “Are you sure?” “I said I am fine.” Imabong’s laughter rang in their ears, “Eno won go clear bros kitchen. Ah… Eno, na wa for you o.” “Shaarap there.” “Have a blessed night you two.” “Goodnight bros,” they chorused. He hung up and lay on his back. He felt relieved after talking with them. It was therapeutic. His parents would be so disappointed at Stephen. At least, they would know why Lovejoy called off the wedding He closed his eyes and said a prayer. He lay all that concerned him at God’s feet. *********************************************** Thanks for reading and please, click on our ads. Stay connected for the another episode tomorrow.
By Mr Ben She powdered her face and stared at her reflection in the hand mirror. Her dark skin looked flawless. Her big dark eyes were similar to that of the ancient Egyptian women, darkened above and below the eyelashes. Her full luscious lips were coated in red. She flashed herself a smile. Her eyes twinkled with pleasure. She liked what she saw. “Make-up guru,” one of the nurses approached her. She kept the mirror in one of the drawers attached to the desk. “One needs to look good,” she looked up at the brown skin, tall and plump lady. “Hmm… I hear you,” the nurse leaned on the high semi-circle desk. “You know I am the face of this clinic.” “Face of clinic ko, face of Africa ni,” the newly employed nurse walked up to them. “I am the one every customer sees before both of you attend to them and transfer them to the doctors.” Adanne clapped her hands and began to laugh. “Is Oga around?” Ibinabo stood beside the semi-circle desk. Sikemi shook her head. Her curly shoulder length braids danced around her face. “The first time I came here, I thought Doctor Sylvester was the owner of the clinic,” Ibinabo glanced at her colleague. Adanne shook her head, “He is not. He assists Oga to run the clinic.” “He is like the second in command,” Sikemi added. Ibinabo smiled to herself, “Oga is so cute. He is short for a man though.” “He is not short! I am five feet seven and he is exactly my height,” Adanne eyed her. “Ehn… okay, fine, he is not short,” Ibinabo looked back at the nurse, wondering while she was upset. “I am five feet nine inches, I am taller than you,” she pointed at Ibinabo, “But, I don’t mind dating someone like Oga,” her big dark eyes had a dreamy look. The nurses turned to look at the receptionist. “He is too slim for my liking,” Ibinabo blinked and turned her head towards the flat screen television on the wall. Sikemi chuckled, “I like him that way, at least, he has six packs and his cropped curly brown hair makes him look sexy.” Ibinabo frowned, “You are not his type. You are too tall for him.” Sikemi eyed her, “Who are you to determine what his type is?” Adanne grinned, “I am more like his type. I am his height and I am almost as fair as he is.” They glared at her. “Doctor Bassey is oyinbo, you are not even close,” Ibinabo hissed. “Presently, he is single and available,” Sikemi played with a strand of her hair. Adanne leaned closer to the desk, “I thought he was dating that oyinbo babe, what’s her name now?” “Lovejoy,” Sikemi chuckled. “Yes, Lovejoy,” she nodded. Ibinabo glanced from one to the other. “The mumu babe called off the wedding,” Sikemi hissed. “Ah!” Adanne placed a hand over her opened mouth. “Do you remember those six months that oga didn’t show up at work?” Sikemi tilted her head. “Yes, doctor Sylvester almost died of frustration,” Adanne looked towards the doctor’s office. “Exactly! Oga was nursing a broken heart that period,” she hissed again. “Aww… I wish I knew,” Adanne rubbed her jaw with her fingers. “I just found out. Anyways, he is back in the market and I am definitely for sale,” Sikemi batted her eyes. Adanne sighed; she had a lost look on her creamy brown face. Ibinabo absorbed all the information she had gathered. She drummed her fingers on the desk. “Good morning nurses,” Bassey walked past them, “Sikemi…” he beckoned at the receptionist. They froze with shock. The nurses exchanged glances. They didn’t notice when he walked. They hurried to their office and hoped he wouldn’t query them for gossiping during office hours. Sikemi sprang to her feet and ran after him.... Sikemi sprang to her feet and ran after him. Her high heels made click sounds on the tiled floor. “Do I have appointments this morning?” he walked into his office and settled behind the mahogany desk. “No sir,” she followed him in and stood by the large desk, “Doctor Sylvester is attending to the patients that came in this morning.” “Okay,” he leaned against the chair and pressed his knuckles. “Can I get you anything sir, tea, coffee, beverage?” He closed his honey coloured eyes and opened it, “No, thank you.” She nodded, turned around and walked out. She closed the door behind her and sighed with relief. She had thought he would scold her. She noticed that the nurses were peeping through the slightly opened office door. “How far?” Adanne whispered. “We live to see another day,” she winked at them and cat-walked back to the reception area. ****************** Bassey shut his eyes and opened it. Was he dreamy? Did he just drive past his ex-fiancée? Was that Lovejoy? It had been almost a year, eleven months to be precise, since she called off the wedding. He could still remember the day he went with his family to see her parents and find out why the wedding preparations were stopped. They received the embarrassment of their lives that day. They were driven out with no explanations. He checked the in-coming traffic and reversed the car. He stopped at the bus-stop and looked out of the window. A fair lady in her late twenties stood among the crowd. He was right. She was the one. He smiled and honked several times. Someone standing beside her tapped her on the shoulder and pointed at his car. She looked in his direction and a surprised look took over her face. She approached him with steady steps. Her jeans clung to her like a second skin, show-casing a round eye-bulging backside. The white and blue stripe fitted short-sleeve blouse complimented her fair skin and revealed a considerable amount of cleavage. He swallowed hard, she had not changed one bit. “Hi,” she leaned towards the window. “Hi… where are you headed?” “Home.” “Can I drop you?” “Yes,” she had been standing at the bus-stop for over thirty minutes. She was on the verge of calling her fiancé and asking him to come and pick her up. She opened the door and climbed in. He joined the traffic and changed the direction in which he was headed. She stole a glance at him. He looked cute as always. She missed playing with his short curly brown hair. She remembered why she broke up with him and frowned. He turned his head when he sensed that she was staring at him. Why was she frowning? He returned his attention to the road and noticed the stand-still ahead. His facial expression indicated anger. He hated been stuck in traffic. She opened her bag and brought out an invitation card. She threw it on his laps and looked out of the window. He picked it up and glanced at her. He opened it and saw her full name, Lovejoy Idiongho Akpan. He directed his gaze at her again. She was getting married? She had the right to move on, he reasoned. “Congratulations.” “Thank you.” “Who is the lucky man?” he scanned the invitation card again. His heart stopped beating when he saw the man’s name. Stephen Akpos Edet, his childhood friend, his best friend. She caught a glimpse of him and smiled, “We hooked up months after we… we broke up.” He glared at her, “You called off our wedding and went after my best friend.” “It wasn’t like that,” she eyed him up and down. “Or have you two been… were you cheating on me with him?” “No!” she felt infuriated by his accusation. He clicked on the air-conditioner button. The temperature in the car had gone up all of a sudden. “Stephen and I started dating three months after we broke up,” she tried to clarify his misconception. “How convenient,” he wished the car in front of him would develop wings and fly. She folded her arms across her b---m. He could think whatever he wanted. She wasn’t the one at fault. “Why did you call off our wedding?” the emotion in his voice tugged at her at her heart. She darted her gaze towards him and noticed the way his eyes glistered with tears. Hasn’t he gotten over her yet? “Why didn’t you tell me that you couldn’t father a child?” she confronted him. He blinked. What was she talking about? “I don’t understand.” “Your sperms are weak and there is a ninety percent chance that you might not be able to father a child.” He stared back at her, open-mouthed. For the love of God, this girl is driving me nuts. This is a plot. This is a plan hatched out from an evil mind. This is wickedness of the highest order. “You know what I am talking about. You were going to marry me in deceit.” He shook his head, “Brilliant, this is just brilliant. Is this what you told your parents? So this is what you told everybody…” “Stephen confirmed it!” she erupted. “What?!” a million thoughts ran through his mind. What rubbish did his best friend fill her up with? “He showed me a medical doctor’s report. He spared me a life time of pain and shame,” she eyed him. She was glad that she found out the truth before he ruined her life. She thought he loved her. If he had confided in her in the first place, they might have worked things out. “And you believed him?” he stared at her in disbelief. She took her eyes off him and faced the window. She wasn’t in the mood for an argument. She wished she had not gotten into his car. “You didn’t even bother to ask me… why… why didn’t you ask me first before cancelling our wedding?” She didn’t respond. He placed a hand on his forehead. He was beginning to feel a headache. It was impossible. His best friend wouldn’t do such a thing. It was a lie. A doctor’s report? Where did he get that from? Did he really? Could he really? He had known the guy most of his life. What would have been the motive for such an outrageous act? “You can come to the wedding if you like. I will take a bike home,” she opened the door and got down from the car before he could say another word. His heart rate quickened. If what she said was true, his best friend had a lot of explanations to give. ********************************************** Thanks for reading and please, click on our ads. Stay connected for the another episode tomorrow.
By Mr Ben Prologue His world became frozen when his fiancée called off the wedding without giving any explanation. An act of kindness introduced him to another who got stuck in his dream world. Will she be able to melt the ice-wall around his heart? Enjoy !!! ***************** The blue sky was clear, cloudless, not entirely, an after effect of the rainstorm early that morning. Cool icy wind blew, hitting the skin with a firm grip. The street was empty. Different colours of houses lined both sides of the road. Some were decorated with palm trees, variety of flowers, plants, while others stood out with artworks on the walls and sculptures. He stopped the car outside the white house with a big black gate and honked thrice. He heard the sound of metal. The security guard in green and white uniform poked his head out. He was a short man in his mid-forties. He retreated into the compound and opened the gate. “Good morning sir,” the man stood aside and waved. He waved back in acknowledgement and drove in. He parked the silver Prado jeep alongside three other cars and killed the engine. He picked the black polythene bag on the front seat and alighted from the vehicle. He closed the door and locked it. He sneezed thrice and thought of a hot bath. It would chase the cold away he reasoned. He turned around and headed for the one storey building. A tall slim figure raced out of the ground floor flat towards him. “Uncle Bassey, Uncle Bassey, welcome…” she tried to collect the bag in his hand, but he wouldn’t let go. “You can’t carry it. It is heavy. Thank you,” he tried to smile. “Where did you go this morning? You left while it was raining.” He kept on walking. Was she monitoring him? “Did you go to work? I thought you hardly go to work on Saturdays, except when there is an emergency.” He glanced at her. When did she start to keep tabs on him? Wasn’t she too young to be nosy? The dark skinned eighteen year old girl towered over him with an inch. Her slim frame looked athletic in the blue jeans and red short-sleeve blouse. “Uncle Bassey, I think I will study Dentistry like you. You make a lot of money. You drive a very expensive car, you are living in a three bedroom posh apartment in Ikeja G.R.A, and you run your own dental clinic. How old are you? You are a rich young man.” What in the world! He halted and looked at her closely. Was that how she saw him, a rich young dentist with an expensive car and a posh apartment? It had not always been that way. One doesn’t become successful in a day. “Young woman, you should really think about what you want to study. Do not use anybody’s success or failure as a yardstick.” She beamed at him, white teeth, rosy cheek, dove eyes. Was she even listening to him at all? “Chinyere!” “Hmmm…” she blinked, all her thoughts cleared. He shook his head. She had not heard a thing. He walked past her and stepped into the building. She ran after him. “Uncle Bassey, how old are you?” He grunted, “None of your business.” She walked beside him, marching his speed with quick steps of her own, “Come on, we are neighbours. I am… I am like your sister.” “You are not my sister,” he eyed her and went up the stairway. “I know. How old are you?” she followed him. “You are eighteen years old, add seventeen to that.” She stopped and pondered. Her eyes widened with realization. Her hand flew to her mouth and her eyes turned pale. She bit at her lower lip and climbed the stairs to the first floor. “You are like, almost… twice my age.” He placed the bag on the floor and fished out the door key from the bunch of keys attached to the key-holder, “I am old enough to be your father.” “You are not my father!” her dark eyes flashed with anger. He caught a glimpse of her and opened the door. He lifted the bag and walked in, “Have a superb weekend.” “Wait…” He turned around. “Can I come in?” her pleading eyes held his expressionless ones. “No.” She folded her arms across her b---m. “Go home. You mama needs you.” She eyed him, “My mama is sleeping.” “Bye Chinyere,” he shut the door and locked it. He carried the bag into the kitchen and dropped it in the sink. It was a good thing that he had gone to the abattoir early that morning. He had been able to purchase different parts of cow, goat and ram meat. He would be able to make enough soup and stew that would last him for a week or more. His work at the dental clinic had taken a demanding turn due to the number of people that patronized the place. He was able to hire a doctor, a dentist by profession, who had been like a pillar of support for him in the past three months. He had also employed another nurse. The work load had taken a bad toll on the only nurse in the clinic. Now, she wasn’t alone again. While working at Lagos University Teaching Hospital a few years back, he had never thought he would set up his own clinic, although it had always been his dream. It was when his parents’ Calabar restaurant boomed and became a household name that the idea really came to life within him. He believed that before the year ran out, he would be able to set up another clinic in Abuja. If Jesus tarries, by the time he was forty; his dental clinics should be all over the country. The door-bell rang. His thoughts faded. He turned off the tap at the sink and wiped his wet hands with a napkin hanging on the kitchen window. He hoped it wasn’t Chinyere. She could be a pain in the neck at times. He wasn’t expecting anyone that day. The only person that showed up at his place unannounced was his younger sister. If she was the one at the door, he would drive her away. He cannot stress and cook while someone else would devour the whole thing. She loved spending her weekends with him. It had become a routine after his fiancée broke up with him. His sister had taken care of him until he was emotionally ready to return to work. Those six months had been unbearable. If not for her, his apartment would have turned into a pigsty. Nevertheless, it didn’t give her the right to raid his kitchen whenever she visited. He strode out of the kitchen and walked towards the front door. He peeped through the door hole and saw his neighbour’s daughter. His brows came together in a frown. He unlocked the door and opened it. “What are you still doing here?” his stern voice didn’t dissuade her. “I want to stay with you.” “Go home,” he glared at her. “Uncle, please now,” her eyes became misty. He hissed, took her by the hand and dragged her towards the stairway. “Wait!” He raced down the stairs, pulling her along. She tried to break free from his grip, but he tightened his hold on her. He halted outside her flat and pressed the door bell. “Let me go!” He released her and pressed the bell again. The door flew open and a woman in her early forties stepped out. “Chinyere, where have you been?” The girl pouted, stamped her feet and went in. “I have been looking for this girl…” the woman hissed and looked at him, “Good morning doctor.” “Morning Madam,” he turned around and returned to his flat. He met two of his neighbours at his door. They lived directly opposite his flat. He groaned and looked heavenwards. Oh God… not today. “Good morning doctor,” they chorused. “Morning,” he feigned a smile. “Do you have salt?” the darker and taller one grinned. “Me I need sugar,” the other squeaked. He had left his door wide open. His neighbour’s daughter was responsible.That girl. He walked into his flat with gritted teeth and the ladies scurried after him. “Men, I like coming to your flat. It is so organized,” she looked around her. “Organized with class,” the darker one settled on a leather chair facing the 40’ flat screen LG television. “Anyone that marries you is lucky…” the other danced around the room, touching and sniffing everything. “Doctor Bassey, you live like a king,” she winked at him and parted her dark long legs. The purple mini skirt she was wearing barely covered her lumpy thighs. The matching lilac blouse barely covered her chest. He looked away in disgust. He had no interest in women who lay all their cards out in the open like wares for sale. “This is my dream house men,” the other sat beside her friend and flashed him a smile. Her shorts which could hardly be called shorts was similar to a granny pantie, but tighter. Her red blouse could hardly carry her heavy chest. Everything was hanging out like over-ripe plantain. Did he make a mistake by renting the flat? Since the day he moved in, his female neighbours had been after him like flies hovering over faeces. His neighbour’s daughter wouldn’t give him a breathing space and these ones wanted his attention at all cost. He could never date the likes of them. Heaven forbid! If his fiancée had not called off the wedding, he would have been happily married by now. “Halima, Simisola, I am kind of busy right now.” “Doctor…” Halima cooed, adjusted her blouse and ran her hands over her thighs in a slow motion. Irritation crawled all over him. He turned away and clenched his teeth. “Doctor Bassey…” Simisola got up, walked up to him and squeezed her heavy b---m. She smiled and blinked her fake long lashes. He coughed and held the door knob. The girls exchanged glances and chuckled. They walked sluggishly and blew him kisses before stepping out of the apartment. He kicked the door shut with his leg and returned to the kitchen. I should have been married by now. All this kind of nonsense would have been avoided. This is torture. He turned on the tap at the sink and continued to clean the red meat. He switched his thoughts to the kind of soup he wanted to prepare that morning. **************************************** Watch out for episode 2 tomorrow and don't forget to click on our ads.
By Larry Sun The old and bad-tempered Pa Jimoh was dead, to begin with, but he did not go to his grave. And this deprivation of proper interment prevented among mourners any thought of planting over his head a mango tree. The real cause of his demise, however, if brought to focus, would result in an esteem more mirth-inducing to any spectator at the sight of the incident than to the actual victim on whom such tragedy befell. Pa Jimoh had already hoisted himself to the apex of a rather lofty palm tree before he met his end. His intention behind this ascent was merely to tap in the early wine, but instead, he found his own hand tapping on the delicate nest of snoozing hornets. Not many mortals, if placed behind a judgemental desk, would put too much blame on the piqued wasps for their collective efforts in the attack on the feeble curmudgeon. And it would be unfair if this little but fatal brawl between insect and man was not elucidated in full detail. The kind of irritation this swarm fostered could only be imagined after putting oneself in their thorax. Just imagine yourself a wasp making passionate insect love to your spouse in your apartment erected feet high on the branch of a palm, then suddenly poof!, your castle was demolished by the single stroke of a hand. And this destruction came not just from any hand but from the hand of Man; that specie with whom you have never been (and possibly will never be) of benign companionship. In this instance, the last thing a patriotic wasp would care about was decency; no male wasp would scramble to a wardrobe searching for a pair of trousers to cover its privates, and neither would a female scream for her pants and bra. What would they do? They'd call on immediate neighbours whose mansions had also been reduced to rubble and launch immediate attack on the human intruder. Initiating the divide-and-conquer techniques, some wasps made their own attack on the human's skull; thereby, in the process, reshaping the dimension of the tapper's occiput into that which was totally different from the Creator's initial design. But this was not what resulted to the old man's demise; of course, something more brutal sufficed. While some wasps’ families were busy assaulting the old man's skull, others lodged themselves into the dark comfort of his rather oversized pair of trousers. The poor man wouldn't have launched into that extraordinary wail even people far away had sworn hearing if those bees had shown kindness on their intruder. The offensive had found it incubent to sting him on the delicate tissue of the sac dangling between his thighs, while some were satisfied by only sticking their proboscis on the flesh of that tender rope that always comes with the sac. The agony can only be best described by someone who'd experienced a nearly equal attack. So, it can be deduced that the latter attack was more brutal than the former, for it was at this moment that the old man forgot about the precarious position he was in; he'd disremembered that he was still perched against the stem of a tall tree. And because the pain was getting unbearable, Pa Jimoh let go. Witnessing the brutal event could cause one to see only figuratively the morals behind the anecdote that 'the higher you fall the higher you bounce', and the old man literally bounced when his slim body came in contact with the earth. And these mean insects returned to build another nest only after accompanying their victim to his final destination. A rather eccentric writer may be inspired to coin a catchy title from this tragedy: 'Death by Sting' would go the title. Pa Jimoh was really dead. There was no doubt whatsoever about that, for he truly and undeniably died from half a thousand stings and a broken vertebra. He knew about his own death? Of course he did. How could it ever be otherwise? Because Pa Jimoh died a virgin, there was really not a wet eye for his funeral. The reason behind his decided celibacy would forever remain a mystery even to the most seasoned of all detectives alive today. Now, the mention of Pa Jimoh's funeral brings the magic of the pen back to the first line of the immediate paragraph before this. Pa Jimoh was really dead. This must be distinctly assimilated or there would be nothing of consequence to fathom from the extraordinary sequence of events that succeeded his demise. And when a man dies and is still refused the peacefulness of a grave, then most people will agree that there is something still amiss with the world, as it has always been. Jimoh, being the last of his race, was of no known family member to claim his corpse, let alone rewarding him with a befitting burial. It was only the kind indigenes of Ogbomosho that took it upon themselves to plant the loner, but they refused to do it without a coffin available. It was part of their culture in the remotest part of the village not to bury any corpse in the soil without first locking it in a casket. But the only coffin-maker they knew had his shop in the city, which was many kilometres away from the village. Having no other known builder of coffins, the village elders gathered together their resources and employed the service of Saka, a gifted coffin-maker. These elders exhibited their generosity over the tapper's corpse to a commendable degree. If they'd allowed themselves the pleasure of considering Pa Jimoh's manners in his life they wouldn't have made any step at burying him; they'd rather have watched the corpse rot and become meat for fowls of both air and land, for Pa Jimoh was known to be tight-fisted in his life; a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old man. He was a well from which no bucket had ever fetched any generous water. No beggar who... ******************************************* Thanks for reading. Watch out for episode 2 and do click on our ads.
By Gideon Odiase watched you since the very first day you came into this church. I know you’re 18 and I’m 27, age is just a number, see, I like you, I really like you a lot and I wish to date you.” Kola said, in-between coherent words and incongruous mumblings, after being able to get the words out, even though he spat them out like hot yam in the mouth. She replied with a salient smile, one which in all tenderness weaved hope in his quest. “I know, I know. I see how you look at me. I like you too and yes, I will like to date you but I need time. Wait for me for another two years and I’ll be ready by then. Let’s just be friends for now.” The words she spoke were like falling snow flakes in summer – difficult to believe. He wondered where such maturity came from but he was ready to wait for her and from that moment on, he had a new hobby; counting days. Evening services weren’t the most exciting for Elizabeth. They held on Wednesdays and the stress of going to church almost immediately after returning from school to attend the service was really stressful and sometimes overbearing but she had the encouragement of her Father, who was an elder in the church, telling her to give her youthful days in service to the church – she didn’t want to disappoint him. It was on one of such evening she met with the devil she never knew. ******************************************************* The vibration of her phone in her brown leather bag which was strapped to her left side, tickled her and she reached for it. It was Dad, “hello Sir, I’m on my way home already, the service was quite long, I’ll be home in few minutes time, please.” she spoke very audibly, doing all she could to topple the surrounding noise of blaring horns and lousy conductors, while walking as fast as her legs could take her. She didn’t have transport fare that day, so she decided to go with the natural ferry. She was yet on her heels when a male voice called out to her, “Sister Elizabeth… Heey.. Sister Lizzy!” She could hear the voice clearly and noticed it was from a car which parked few distance from her. While she waited to make a decision on whether to approach the car, a hand signalled to her from the driver’s door-window, bidding her to come. She approached the car, though cautiously but her fears were allayed when she saw who it was. “Pastor, good evening Sir” She greeted on seeing it was Pastor Dash in the driver’s seat. “Good evening, hop in, let me take you home” “okay sir”. She got into the car and somehow thanked her stars for being lucky enough to save her legs from covering more grounds of the muddy road. The car was a latest of its brand, with alloyed wheel and fully air-conditioned. Elizabeth sat on the edge of the leather cushion with care, not wanting to further stain any part of the interior, with the foot rug already plastered with mud from her shoes. Things started to look wrong when the car took an unexpected turn; she thought he’d forgotten the road to her house but how could he? “Sir, this road doesn’t lead to my house, my street is still about three junctions away.” She said, with her voice cracking between every word, her throat had suddenly gone dry. “Yes, I know, please, I need to deliver some documents to your father and I need you to help me with it. Let’s get to my house first to pick it up, and then I will drop you at home.” His words sounded innocuous and she saw reasons to dispel any form of sceptic, after all, he was a pastor, her pastor. She leaned her back and rested it well on the chair. She became more relaxed and cared less about the neatness of the car’s interiors. On getting to the front of the gate, he parked the car and alighted from it. “Aren’t you going to come down?” he asked her, after noticing her reluctance to go with him into the house. “It’s not safe here, come in at least, it wouldn’t take long, and we’d be on our way before you even know it”. It took a while before the door knob turned and she alighted. “What can I offer you?” “Nothing sir, I am okay, thank you” she said, with both her palms closed together between her knees. She wondered how a bachelor would live alone in such a huge house, decorated with beautiful lights. He went upstairs and was there for a while, at this time she was beginning to feel unease and her phone had gone off after the battery got exhausted. She stood up and paced around the large living-room. There was a large picture frame on the wall, it was of a woman. It must be his mother, she thought. She was still looking at the picture when she felt a hand on her back, it was Pastor Dash, he was half naked, putting on only a white singlet with a red shorts which revealed his hairy thighs. She turned to look at him, her eyes were reddened and wide open, it was like she stood face to face with a deadly mamba, her legs shook vigorously and her heart paced just as fast. “Sir, what are you doing? Please let me go… please” she begged, as she ran behind the chair, begging and evading, it bought her some time but there was no escaping, the shape of his erected manhood was seen through his shorts, she knew what was coming and not even her shouting could help her. She got home very late that night to worried parents who thanked the pastor for bringing her safely, if only they knew. She bled through the night and soaked her bed sheets red and in tears. Her parents saw nothing wrong with her behaviour that night, even her silence didn’t mean anything to them. Eight weeks after, she was found to be pregnant by the doctor her mother made her visit when she noticed some unusual health issues she suffered from – symptoms of pregnancy. Her parents were left devastated by the news of her pregnancy and when she pointed out Pastor Dash as the man responsible for the pregnancy, they rebuked her with great ferocity, saying she was possessed and wanted to bring down the ‘man of God’, while dragging the church’s name to the muddy waters. No one believed her claim of being raped by him, not even her parents. From being the most sought-after young lady in the church, she became a scorn, rejected by all that esteemed her; she lost favour in all eyes. Now, sitting among the congregation, watching the man that... ****************************************** Thanks for reading, stay connected for another fresh episode and click on our ads.
By Gideon Odiase “Does this blue jeans go with my red t-shirt?” Etim asked Jaji, spreading the shirt with both hands in front of him. “Uhmm… not really. I’ll prefer you wear something black, just like me. We’re friends, remember?” he said rhetorically, giving Etim a slight knock on the head. After few minutes, they were set and ready to go! Hall 2 was one of the many event centres within the school. It came alive that evening, with the sound of loud boiling music, accompanied with vibrations, which practically shook the louvers of surrounding houses. Etim and Jaji walked in, holding on to every strand of masculinity they had in them, trying to blend with the guys and not blow their cover as amateurs in the aspect of drinking alcohol and relating with ladies. It was almost the sight you would see at a club; the near absence of light but for the disco ball and the lighted bar, the half nude ladies, free flow of alcohol and near sexual activities. Jimmy and his gang of Vipers sat at a corner in the hall with their table almost covered with foreign brandys, wines and spirits. “Are you just going to stand and watch while others have fun?” asked, a young lady, who later introduced herself as Margret. She was very pretty and had a pair of long legs. “Come and dance with me” she said, pulling on to Etim’s left hand. He’d never danced with a lady before, so he refused her, not because he didn’t want to, but because he didn’t know how to. Jaji was very disappointed with Etim for throwing away an opportunity he would’ve gladly embraced. They remained stuck together, seated at the bar and had their first shot at alcohol. The presumed sight of two young men in black, drinking and not being swayed by pleasures of partying impressed Jimmy and he sent for them. On approaching his table they were terrified. They’ve heard stories about the Vipers and from their colour and crest; it was a no brainer deciphering who sat before them. “Hello guys, my name is Jimmy. Don’t be scared, can I know your names?” Jimmy said, wearing his trademark smile. “I am Jaji and this is Etim, It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Jaji answered, looking strangely excited. Jimmy offered them a seat and it took some pep talk from Jaji to get Etim to accept the offer. They talked for long, Jimmy and Jaji, with Jaji speaking for himself and Etim most of the time, branding him a simpleton. Jimmy finally let the cat out, “we’re members of the brotherhood of the Vipers. I like both of you very much and I’d want you to join us.” At this time Etim’s trouser was wet, he couldn’t tell whether he’d peed himself or it was from excessive sweating. “We’ve already welcomed no less than fifteen new members, freshmen like the both of you. We’ll give you protection, wealth and lots of women, if you like.” Jimmy continued, sounding more and more convincing. It didn’t take much to sway Jaji into joining the cult, but Etim refused to join, pleading in tears that they should let him go. Jimmy did just as he wished and from that day, made Jaji his right hand man. He saw something in Jaji and he quickly became his favourite. ******************* It was the end of the first semester and the result was already pasted on the notice board. Etim had his heart in one hand while scrolling for this matric number in the result sheet with the other. It is indeed a unique place to be in times like this, the notice board; a swift avalanche of mixed feelings. It brings with it, a fine display of happiness and sadness. There was a calm soothing feeling when he finally saw his result. It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t bad either, many people would do anything to have a 4.30 grade point. He’d worked hard and deservedly earned such a good result. He checked Jaji’s result and wasn’t surprised to see him perform so badly. He’d failed six of the nine courses offered and asked to retake them. Since Jaji became ‘Black J junior’, the first thing he did was to pack out of the hostel to live with Black J. He partied almost every night and was rumoured to have shot a man. He stopped talking with Etim and Tayo and anyone that wasn’t a Viper. That evening, in one of their many visits to the bar, Jimmy was sober in countenance. He held up a glass containing a foamy beer, instead of drinking, he watched through the beer mug, as the bubbles and foam disappear. He was troubled but no one could talk to him, not even Jaji. He had earlier received a call from Dera who was sobbing heavily, telling him how he’d ruined her life before breaking to him the news of her pregnancy and infection with the deadly HIV virus. He didn’t utter a word to her. She hung up after raining heavy curses and abuses on him. His mind flashed back to the time he deflowered her and how he couldn’t tell her why he regretted not using protection, but he did truly love her. It only took a phone call to rescue him from the inevitable thought of having destroyed the future of a promising young girl. It was the grand master, the only thing Jimmy heard was “war!!!” being echoed angrily by the grand master over the phone. He got up, tumbling the table before him and the bottles were left shattered on the ground. He gathered his gang of Vipers, heavily armed and they set out to battle! War only meant one thing; the Red Army’s invasion. The Red Army are a rival cult to the Vipers and they have always been in the battle of supremacy which has claimed many lives of both members and innocent people who unfortunately found themselves between the devil and the red sea. The vipers, led by Jimmy went out to battle the Red Army in the field which was almost always deserted; a perfect place to spill blood. Jaji sat at the front of the bus with Jimmy. His hands trembled heavily. This was war, something he’d never experienced before. Fifty vipers went to battle with sixty five men of the Red Army. And for 45 minutes, the sound of gunshots tore through the thin air. Some people said it was a fight till death while others said the Vipers chickened out, but part-truth will be revealed with the morning eventually. As for the total truth, it dies with the night. The news of Dera’s death dealt more devastating blows to an already broken Jimmy. He was among the many cultists that were arrested and locked up in the dark cell of the division’s Police station. This was their seventh month there after being handed a life sentence for several charges ranging from cultism, violence, theft, to murder. Unfortunately, Jaji died during the battle through a deep gash in his head, sustained from the edge of a battle axe. Etim went on to finish his university program with honours. He’d definitely had an experience to share with young people for years to come on the dangers of joining cult in school, home or anywhere else. As for Dera, she died of complications in childbirth. She was too young to bear a child. The doctor in whose arms she died started a foundation to enlighten young girls on the dangers of teenage pregnancy. THE END ********************************************* Pls click on our ads.
By Gideon Odiase She’d prepared Akpu and Egusi soup, garnished with assorted meat and stock fish, which she learnt was Mama’s favorite dish. She served it when mama had already settled in and was more relaxed. “Don’t bother yourself, I am not hungry and when I am, I will go into the kitchen and prepare it myself”. She was stunned by her comments and just left the food by her bedside. She thought of her behavior hitherto and she felt the need to talk to Ugo about it. It was in the middle of the night and the light was dim, they were both on lying on the bed, she had her head rested on his chest. “Dear, I don’t like how Mama is treating me. Since she arrived, she’s not eaten my food or reply my greeting” Amaka said, in a low tone, as though a third person could hear them, “I can’t believe you are worried about that, give her some time, and besides, she’ll be here only for a couple of weeks”. “I have something to tell you, I will be travelling to Canada in two weeks. My company is taking us on an 8 weeks training.” Ugo said, and he studied her reaction; She unwrapped herself from him and went under the blanket. She wasn’t sure of what to feel, whether to be happy, sad or angry, coupled with the fact that she’d be staying alone in the large house with her annoying Mother-in-law. A quick screech of the tires from the sudden application of brakes followed by insults and angry gestures as Amaka, who was driving back home on her way from the airport, where she’d dropped Ugo off. He’d been her only reason to stay in that house and was already lost in thought of how she’s going to survive without him around her when she almost hit a school girl crossing the road. She parked at the road side for a moment, cried out her heart and after a while, she headed home. On getting home she was greeted with a familiar drama; a nagging and annoying mother-in-law, practically impossible to please. She was already getting used to all her charade and was about turning the knob to the door of her bedroom when Madam Chika spoke about her marriage, calling her barren and a ‘thing’. Those words shook her lungs and she turned with tears rolling freely from her eyes, as she took painful strides towards Madam Chika. ***************************** The knocks on the door in quick succession ejected her knees from the soft rug where it had sunk deep, surrounded by patches of tears which soaked it forming a map-like pattern. Her facial iridescence had been eclipsed totally by pouring lines of the eye salty liquid. She hurriedly opened the door and hugged Officer Joe, so tightly that her breasts flattened on his chest. “I called you as soon as I saw her” she said in between throaty sobs, making faint grunts as she tried forcing back free flowing mucus into her nose, she was emotionally broken. “It’s going to be okay, let my men begin their investigation”. Three junior officers went into the house which was a very spacious apartment, well cushioned and furnished, even up to the ceiling. The officers took down Amaka’s statement which said she arrived home from the airport only to meet her laying dead on the ground of the spacious sitting room. Officer Joe took his time to comb the scene and try to demystify the reason behind the deep gash in her head along with other sharp cuts on her body… The window was protected; there were shrapnel of glass on the ground just in front of the now destroyed standing mirror. His mind immediately geared back to that moment he was almost sold out by Amaka’s embrace, the image of her plastered arm surfaced and when he approached her about the injury, she said it was sustained few days ago in an office accident. As she was being questioned further, one of the officers brought a handful of freshly blood stained cotton wools with a medical scissors. On seeing this, Amaka’s heart gave a Samba-like rhythm! “Who used these?” Officer Joe asked, showing her the exhibits found at the scene of the crime. She cooked and brewed words in her mouth and when she spoke, it was all mumbled up. She was cuffed and then arrested for further questioning. She later confessed - after being threatened to be tortured in ways she would never have imagined, to the murder of Madam Chika, stating that she’d been provoked to anger by her comments which resulted in a fight and she died in the process, after being deeply wounded by the glass weapon wielded by her. The news spread all over town like wild fire. She was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. She had allowed herself to be tapped up to anger in an intense moment when she should have taken the dirt in the face and then take a cleansing shower, before figuring out her next course of action. The truth is; mirrors reveal things, it's their job, even when they are broken. *********************************************** Thanks for reading our story. Please, click on our ads.