Thursday, 15 December 2016
PAINS OF A GROWN MAN
I walked down with mixed feelings. On my way to Senior baritone's, I could hear "this isn't my knicker. Mine isn't as new like this". Should I stop and check or just continue. I recorded their bed space in my head and if I forget, I would just playback.
"Where's my balance?" Senior baritone asked.
"Your balance?" I stood trembling like a wet chicken.
I explained to him I had used it to buy sachet water.
"How much is now a sachet and going by your claims, why am I seeing just two sachet here?".
Under the cold and heavy downpour, I was sweating. What got me very scared was the manner and way he rose from his bed. I knew I was doomed. Matrix slow motions were nothing compared to his and my mind raced to my dad. The same thing he would do when he's angry.
"How do I explain now? How many explanations will I give before it will get sunk into his head? What can I do to calm him down?"
Different thoughts in my head. Probably I would give him my own money. But he would think I was lying. That wouldn't have been possible in the first place because I don't keep monies with me. They are always with my guardian. He finished his slow motion and sat right across me. I knew he was looking at me but my head was bent firmly.
He cleared his throat and I fretted again.
"He is about to talk. Listen carefully" one guy in my head said.
"You see ehn, that two hundred naira is my last change and I don't know how you're going to go about the remaining balance. All I want is my" he paused.
"In short ehn, I no need the balance." He pushed forward the cassava flour and sugar and asked me to bring the two hundred naira to him. Failure to do so attracts me to serve him for days. There I was still kneeling after he's dismissed me.
Three years later I left the school and went to reside with my parents outside the country. I couldn't cope any longer with the animal treatment we the juniors were inflicted with. It was as though a continuous trend that I would do that to my younger ones but that trait wasn't imbibed in me.
I heaved a very heavy sigh as I walked through the store. Gave me memories of times I ran through looking for nothing in particular. The old big black discs, boots and the scents that emanated from the books stacked like it was meant for generations afterwards. Slowly I paced about the store and I saw another surprising thing.
A brownish envelope sealed tightly and as I picked it to check, it obviously showed it hadn't been open ever. Slowly and gently as I wondered, I saw a cupboard opened. A huge black crawling thing moved out quickly. That was a mice. I adjusted myself and prepared the enveloped folded out like I was a minister addressing the Nation on Power.
I read through and I never imagined that I could shed tears. I couldn't believe what I read neither could I phantom if it were true or not. And he never said anything about it. He played his tricks well and what was in my hands clear fact of what seems like a trend almost passing unto me too. That makes my suspicions right. I braced myself and went into the living room where everyone was merrymaking and celebrating.
We had come together as we do annually. Thanksgiving.
It was on a Friday and we would be leaving for the States on Monday. I walked in to the living room and headed straight for the dining table.
"Hey Marcus, where have you been? We've looked everywhere for you. What happened? You looked stressed". My dad joyfully said and before I walked in, they had enough jokes to go round.
Balls of sweats formed on my face and I quickly wiped it off. But they kept coming and I excused myself to change into a more lighter dress. I returned back to the dining and right on time the turkey was about to be served.
"Tell me brother Marcus, how has the promotion been? I am sorry I haven't really had time to extend greetings formally". Joe my younger brother said as he cuts.
"I know right? We are in different states and I am very much aware how hectic work has been for you too. Let's just say the promotion has sweet and enticing also has it own headaches". I munched a carrot.
"You see I was just like you son" dad pointed his fork towards me. "I worked my whole life here in New York. Maybe not my whole life but I spent my reputable years of service here before I was transferred out." He laughed.
"I was taken out of this coast to the African continent. I was told to go and head a newly opened branch in Ghana. Tema to be precised."
"Wasn't that where you met momma? I remember she made mention of that one time she told me a story of where love can be found" Joe said with a side chuckle.
"Love indeed" I uttered with seriousness on my face.
"You're right my boy. I am very certain she did justice to that story your mother told you. The good thing is she came into my life at a point where I had lost everything except the breathe of life"
"Whoa!" Joe's son, David who had been quiet suddenly exclaimed. I had even forgotten he was right there at the table with us. His wife Rebecca had to attend to an urgent and private meeting so she couldn't come along with him to the thanksgiving. Excuse well justified. She even called while we we and she made sure she greeted everyone and expressed her apologies again. Coming next thanksgiving would be more like an ignorant attitude so she promised to come visit Dad and Mom by the following Saturday.
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