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|Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 11:23am On Dec 11, 2017|
I here, have a short story. I hope you would squeeze out time out of your tight schedules to read. I had written a story before and posted here- Akwubundu. Amazingly, I had got 76 reads so far and no posts, and that was interesting, you know.
Please make comments, offer constructive criticisms and corrections as well as encouragements. I am kind of new to the Literature section and to be most sincere, it has become my most favorite section. I am also learning to write, so bear with me.
I must confess that I have read some good- very good writers here and I have felt real good. My story of course is not a threat to theirs. I sincerely salute their ingenuity and will sit as their students as I have already started doing without their permission (uh oh...sorry about that please). I will just mention them- Safarigirl,Shewrites,Centino,Fiyah,TheBlessedMan,PamelB,...Kudos Sirs and Mas...you guys are really exciting
Please read my work o, abeg...
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 11:31am On Dec 11, 2017|
A crises led to a change in his life- a major change. Will he be able to put up with it? Will he find himself prepared to face it.
He was excited but more than that he was ready to grow- to experience different shades of emotions and more...
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 11:47am On Dec 11, 2017|
Daddy said we needed to move to Abuja. It was not a suggestion, it was a necessity and so he spoke instructively. The crises in Kaduna had led to this. There was a clash- a deadly clash and many lives were lost as a result.
It started on a Friday, but the arrangements for the crises, I believe as I look back were made many weeks before then. It looked so bad to be a random work, it must have been the craft of men who had developed their minds in plotting evil and had perfected themselves in the very art of evil. Not just normal kind of evil, but one that would spill much blood, break up families, reduce people down to the poverty level and anything below it and produce widows, widowers as well as orphans.
They said it had to do with differences in religious ideologies. Back then, that was a big word for me- ideology. I didn't know what it meant, so I consulted a book that knew- a dictionary. Daddy had just bought for me, the new small sized Oxford Dictionary. I ran my eyes through the pages, and got to the alphabet 'I' section, then 'Id', and finally got to the word: ideology.
"Hmmm, interesting" I said to myself as I saw the meaning. To make it easier for me, I needed to define it for myself with words that I could easily remember.
Our Introductory Technology's teacher then had taught us on magnets. The magnet, he said, has two poles- the north pole and the south pole. Different poles, he said, but they attracted each other- the north pole of a magnet only attracts the south pole of another.
"Different poles attracts, similar poles repel" he summarized.
But the case in where we were planning to leave was different, our different religious ideologies had made us enemies. It had made us develop a dislike, a hatred, a disgust for each other. It had become a repellent within us towards each other.
We were not better, our differences had done us more harm than good. We had given much attention to preserving our religion than preserving fellow humans. We had gotten swallowed up in protecting doctrines and endangering each others. We have used our doctrines to wield weapons against each other. We had killed for doctrine's sake, for religion's sake. But will religion exist apart from humans? Will it be complete without the human element involved, without human membership? I doubt it. It cannot.
But that was what made us move out. People were been killed for what they believed in, religiously. People killed other humans because of what they(the killers) believed in. It was a nightmare. It was hatred clothed in robes of religion.
We had to leave. Dad was at a time, thinking of us moving down to the East, he had built a house at our home town- a six bedroom apartment. It would be better, he wouldn't have to pay house rent again. He wouldn't have to travel down across long distances repeatedly to see our relatives in the village. He wouldn't have to spend a lot on food. We had farm lands, Mum would just get some people paid to till the land and plant cassava for garri, grow okra, harvest palm fruit to make palm oil from and more.
But above all, we would be safe. Safe from religious crises and onslaught. Save from hate and all the disgusting things, safe from fear. We were afraid. No one trusted any, the ones we had trusted as neighbors turned against us, to our very surprise when the crises began.
Finally, after making considerations, and inquiries with Mum and some of his close friends, be dropped the East's idea, and opted for Abuja.
"It has a very developing town and the nation's capital. It would be a good place to start up. New buildings were been put up. Things would be cheap, life would be fairer there and since its the nation's capital, though it is in the Northern part of the country, it would be massively protected from such kind of Strife's and crises. The Federal government will do that....", his friends had advised him.
My Dad agreed and we got our things ready. We were careful, we didn't tell our neighbors that we were about to leave. We were making arrangements on a low key, smiling at them as when the conditions required. It was not a real and deep smile, it was our way of hiding what we had in mind- that they are evil folks and betrayers and all the ugly things we could think of but would not say verbally to them. And that we were getting ready to leave them behind since they had made their place a threat to us.
And the day suddenly came. We had made the final arrangements at night, Dad had contacted a truck driver. He came in around 4am in the morning and we started packing our things into the truck and finished up few minutes before 6am. We were ready.
The day had just really started to get bright. Our neighbors emerged out of their houses, only to see a huge truck filled with loads parked in the compound and we were dressed ready to leave. They were surprised, but we were not. That was what we wanted. We said good byes and took off.
I was just wondering as we journeyed about the next stage of my life. How things were going to turn out for us, for me at Abuja. I had left my previous school and friends and all I knew and I was now heading to a new place- a place I had never known.
Amazingly, I was excited. I wanted a new life, a new environment and now I was walking into it. I wanted it to come fast. I wanted the driver to drive fast. I was ready. Ready for what, if you would ask me. I didn't know all. I barely knew a thing, but in my mind, it was better than the place and life I was leaving behind.
Abuja- actually, an outskirts of Abuja and Nasarawa state turned out differently. It was a different life and I was to discover love, and success and myself(in a manner I had never known before)
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 1:42pm On Dec 11, 2017|
Number 22 Chrismos Street was where our house was located. They said it was Chismos Estate. Before they said that, I already saw it boldly written on the wall in big red-painted letters as if the landlord was trying to pass a message: 'Don't even think of stealing this house and writing your name on it. I have already written mine on the only available space for writing names'
It was indeed an estate or should I say a barrack. Not that we had military personels that made me call it a barrack, even though we had a few police officers, it was because it had almost eighty apartments. Now don't get me wrong, it was not apartments as you know 'apartments', it was just eighty unit- each unit made up of a room and palour, estate. It was a 'face me- I face you' building, although the space in between was not that small, a car might easily fit in. But there was no plans for a car to fit in. I don't even know why. What was the landlord really thinking? Was he not expecting his tenants to own cars? Or what was he really thinking with the architect of the house?
I will tell you why I said that there was no plans for a car. The entrance into each lodge of the compound with through two mini-doors, same size that shop owners put on their shops. So, practically speaking, no car could drive in, except for a bike or wheel barrow.
But the inside, as I had earlier said could contain a car, the space was enough for that. Why am I emphasizing this space thing? Because my idea of 'face me- I face you' compounds was different. I had seen one. So, I used that one as a standard of reference. They were that close that you could perceive your opposite neighbor's unbrushed mouth from your room.
And boy, the people in this new compound of ours have one funny habit, they use took sticks- that's chewing sticks for cleaning their teeth. I wondered why. It was as if they had some kind of meeting and placed an order for tooth sticks from the global suppliers of chewing sticks. It seemed to me that every tooth sticks, by destiny, wanted to end in our new compound. It probably gave them chewing sticks, a sense of fulfilled destiny.
It all started, at least from the story I heard, from one of our neighbors who claimed to be a retired doctor.
"Retired Doctor?", some neighbors echoed. "Ah han...he must have treated so many patients in his life, therefore he must know what he is talking about"
Nobody asked what kind of doctor he was. Was he a medical doctor, or a doctor of books or a native doctor or even a witch doctor. Everyone assumed he must have been a medical doctor since he always had his glasses suspended on his nose with a rope on both side, and newspaper, almost always before his face. It was from these newspapers that he would often extract matters for public discussion and illumination.
"Tooth sticks or chewing sticks, as you would call them are healthy. Why, they are from natural sources- plants. They are not synthesized in laboratories(by the way, one of our neighbors used this word: laboratory to insult another that offended him. "You are nothing but a laboratory. Idiot!" he barked. Ever since then, we the youngsters nicknamed him Oga Laboratory, that is away from the hearing of adults) and therefore lack harmful and foreign chemicals and preservative.... "
Everyone nodded, "he is right. I agree with him. You know since I started buying Flash tooth paste from mama Akin, I have been having painful gums." This one didn't know that he was busy buying expired tooth paste. He never checked on expiry dates. Since, it was far cheaper than others, even others of its model and size, he went for it, not asking why.
Mama Akin was the neighborhood trader until mama Fina and others started their own small businesses. She was fond of selling everything in her shop including even things whose dates have expired.
"Na money I use buy am. I no go trow way am. If you no want am, just buy another one. No come spoil market for me o" she would say when someone cared to check up on the expiry date of a product in her shop and comment. And she had one big board at the front of her shop with the writing: "No Credit Today. Come Back Tomorrow"
"I wonder when this tomorrow of hers will come"
"She doesn't just want to give anybody credit"
"She should kukuma say it na, than to be doing this 'come back tomorrow' thing"
"I don't blame her. Many people are owing her credit"
"You must be speaking from experience"
"Stop insulting me o. Stop it. Look at you that is barely surviving in Abuja..."
"Abeg, waka go. I no get time for this your wahala jare, mtcheew..."
I didn't know everyone in the compound, they were too much for me to know. I knew majorly people in our lodge or phase, and those who were in other phases that were my school mates. Dad and Mum instructed me and my younger ones not step a foot in anybody's house not even to watch film or football match. Our television was wahala....it was a black and white television then, everything looked black and white.and we had no video player.
So, I resorted to playing football after I had finished my domestic duties. Dad would go to work and come back late around 8pm and Mum had a shop at the nearest market. She was selling food stuffs- garri, maize, stock fish, palm oil, groundnut oil, Maggi, pepper and more. She was also sewing- she was a tailor first. Since people don't sow new clothes every day, she added selling of food stuffs. At least, people eat everyday. So, I was left to take care of my younger ones cook food, especially dinner, and sometimes lunch; wash clothes- Dad's, Mum's, my siblings and mine, and clean up the house, and do other stuffs, after which I would play football with some of our neighbors.
The football was fine, and I was feeling like Kanu Nwankwo in my head. I was not that tall, but I was playing as he was- I was not hasty to rush one for the ball and was not hasty to beat one with the ball, I was calculative, and that made my every move count. But that feeling didn't last after some guys decided that if they couldn't get the ball, they would get my leg. Before I knew it, I was on injury before the world cup kicked off. That affected my football career for a time.
Mama Mustapha was one of our neighbors, she was one lanky woman with a Fulani look. She was the master trouble maker in the compound. She had quarreled with almost everyone and everything in the compound- adults, children, animals- like dogs(she would curse Bingo, "wawa"- meaning fool in Hause), inanimate objects- like when a plastic cup falls from her well arranged plates and cup, she would curse that one. She even quarreled people's ancestors- " your father father father dey madt" she would curse as if she was alive then and saw then mad.
She was intimidating everyone with everything she could find including food. To cook, she would leave the public kitchen and position her kerosene stove almost close to the middle of the compound(their house was one of the middle units), bring out the bag of rice her husband had bought, a gallon of groundnut oil, cartoon of Derica tin tomato and more, all to the seeing or view of anyone that cares to see or look.
You would wonder that she wanted to cook the whole bag of rice and all that and maybe, you would be preparing your stomach for the party, if your were a first timer. But your discouragement would start when you notice a small pot emerge, and get placed on the lighted stove and an empty liquid Peak milk container used to measure few cups of rice into the pot and later every other thing would be carried back into the room. She would fry the oil and onions and fish(she always buys that one) till people's nose just would want to act in rebellion and jump out of their faces to enter the pot and start eating even before the food is done.
One day, on a Saturday, there was a compound fight or war. I am sure it is war. It was between her and mama Akin.
"You wan break my door abi? For wetin na? Craze don enter ya head..?
"Na you craze enter im head. Na you and your whole family craze enter them head. Shebi, you dey dodge me, abi? You don forget say I know ya house. Oya pay me my money sharp sharp?"
"You dey curse my family? Thunder fire you. Fire ya papa and mama and ...." and to complete what she was saying, slapped mama Akin, and a fight broke out.
It was mama Mustapha versus mama Akin. Mustapha verus Akin, Halima versus Bidemi...the fight abi na war was on. Later, people came to separate them. But mama Mustapha would not agree. Mama Akin had sat on her with her heavy body on her slim one and was pounding her with blows. She rose up after the separation, went into her room and emerged with an empty bottle of Star and broke it in sight of everyone. She threatened to use it on mama Akin, who took off with Akin. The way she ran made us wonder how her body suddenly seemed light. But she was running for her life abi? She ran like Usain Bolt.
Later on, two police officers arrived to take both of them to the police station. It was papa Akin that called them. As soon as papa Mustapha came in and heard the story, he shouted "Na my brother wey be soldier go show these people pepper" as he stormed out of the compound.
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 1:44pm On Dec 11, 2017|
Please folks, I need comments- commendations as well as constrictive criticisms...
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by Divepen1(m): 12:43am On Dec 12, 2017|
Well done. I'm loving the tales. Except from for some few punctuations and constructions mistakes, you're really doing good here. Meanwhile, there was a place you wrote out a conversation between some neighbours as regarding Mama Akin's call for 'no credit'. Although I guessed you were referring to her neighbours, an average reader might conclude that the brawl was between you and another character in the story.
Also, you are beginning to turn the story into a first person reporter. The story had suddenly moved from the character, to that of his neighbours'. Suddenly, we're beginning to see more of Mama Akin's story than that of anyone's. Except the story is all about her, it is advisable you start compelling the readers with things the character was forced to do. Probably, you open us to how the character exploited Mama Akin's behaviour or Mama Mustapha's own. You can also make the character a victim. But if the character would continually assume the position of the 1st person reporter, then let the focus remain on one character. If you're doing this, put this at the back of your mind: here, you're like Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes stories, you only know what you see. Nice one.
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 1:26am On Dec 12, 2017|
Divepen1:Thanks man...will work on that.
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 1:33pm On Dec 13, 2017|
My previous school where we used to live was considered one of the best among second class schools. Meaning, there were schools which we regarded as first class schools. For starters, the school fees for such schools are usually unaffordable for an average income earner, the school environments are usually so beautified, most of the students and pupils- almost 85% gets driven in private cars to school and maybe finally (I can't remember more now), they always go for school outings once in a term to very choice places.
My previous school could afford a beautiful environment, at least, it was the best in the area where it was located. It was a single storey building, with a large compound, flowers planted around, a laboratory, an art studio and a students canteen. I was an irregular visitor to the canteen, usually to buy fried sweet potatoes and stew poured on it. It was, as I thought in my mind then, a place for the rich kids- kids that use to come with school with at least N30 for break time. I was often given N5 then by my parents and I would stop by on my walk to school, to buy sugar canes- a well looking cut out one for N1, and I would stuck my bag with N5's worth of sugar cane. And the woman would give me 'jara'- that is an extra or a bonus stick of sugar cane for patronizing her.
My new school was different. It was not a first class type, not second class, I wonder if it was based on my criteria, a third class school but it had something which I did not see in my previous school. It had a desire to push the students to academic excellence. But it had more. It had one guy- our Agricultural Science teacher- a man we nicknamed Poltergeist.
What is this word- poltergeist? What does it mean? I will tell you. It means An unseen ghost(he is not a ghost- we were seeing him- live and direct) which makes noises(he wasn't making noise. Sometimes, we would not even hear his foot steps whenever he was approaching our class) and causes disruption(this one? He does it always), especially by causing physical objects to move or fly about(this? Sure, when he flogs or is about to flog, students move and even seats: just to avoid the painful impact his sway of the cane makes)
Poltergeist was not his real name, I told you it was his nickname. In case, you were thinking, I was not the one who nicknamed him thus. I only met people calling him that- always behind his back, no student would call him that before his face. He was a Tiv man, from Benue state of course. I needed to tell you that, in case you were about to ask: Tivs are even from where? They are not from Congo, they are from Benue state in Nigeria. He was a well built man with broad shoulders, a stingy smile, well above 6ft tall and a semi fair complexion.
I started school and kept my ears and eyes open to know what's up. Gists about him filtered into my ears and I decided that I would behave well so that our paths would not close. I was not ready for flogging. I had gotten some flogging while growing up and now I had told myself: enough- both at home and in school. I was escaping 'jejely' and achieving my dream of staying out of his way until I started feeling that I should not tuck in my school shirt.
Ah han? Which kind feeling be this na? I didn't argue long with myself. Why? Flying my shirt gave me a peculiar feeling of freedom that I had not tasted, and mehn, I wanted it. But I had seen how he had flogged, mercilessly, those who did not tuck in their shirts. In fact, at that time, it seemed like it was the common new crime among the senior secondary school guys eyeing some babes. So, I felt I could dare it since others were. We were increasing in number. One man cannot just keep flogging all of us. Ah han, im hand no dey tire? Even if Na electric hand, NEPA dey take light na. So, when dem take light, im go park for one corner.
But I needed to be smart and not act like most of those guys were. Many were acting like 'olodo', as if na gas full their brain, abi na smoke ni? Moreover, I was now making sense in my studies. I even took the third position after the previous term. If you were there, I would have insisted you clap for me, because I was acting like a pure breed dullard(my parents were intelligent o) in my previous school and my Dad felt that the only deliverance for me then was flogging- intense flogging. But, with this new school, I was getting smarter and more.
Back to my idea, how to escape tucking in my shirt smartly without being detected. I began to research in my brain, I opened up the thinking office there and after some time, I got an idea. I was going to buy this white rubber that we used to attach to children's shorts or trousers when they were being sown, since they don't often use trouser hooks, or buttons or ropes(some use these o, but it was common and easier using this white elastic- 'roppy' rubber instead. It makes the waist of the short or trouser elastic hence it can be stretched wide and can as well stuck well on the waist so that the short doesn't fall down from the waist).
That was my genius. I gave myself a mental hi- five, and got to business. You remember, I told you that Mom was primarily a tailor, but you know na, I couldn't give her such job. It would burst my plan. So, I took my white school shirt to a tailor, who did the job and I tested it- it made real sense- 100% sense. So, I took off and prepared.
I had been dressing this way to school for close to a month and guess what? Nobody knew what's up. None. Not even the 'ghostly' Poltergeist- who we felt had an 'all knowing kind of mind', especially in knowing evils done against the school rules and regulations and the evil doers. I was feeling 'Einstein-ish' until yawa gas one morning.
This bros wey im name Na Poltergeist abi na wetin come see me o. Him jus use im eyes do me one kind scanning up and down, come nod im and smile that im boss smile abi na Dracula smile. My mind com do fiam. I come dey wonder wetin the matter be, anyway, I no wonder long because I hear my ears dey blow siren. Person don die abi police dey enter our school today, I ask give myself. But the answer wey I get na more siren. Oh boy, where dem siren dey blow from? Ah han...na my ears o. Bros don slap me. But I shock o. Why my brain come take reach almost two minutes before im come tell me say na me dem slap?
You?, he growled quietly. You think you are wise? You think you can fool me? You think you can play games with me? Wait, wait, wait. This is bad. What kind of accusations were these? Who said I was thinking all these? When did I even think of all these? Ah han..this is unfair.
What did I do sir?, I heard myself say. I said that? I was having a bigger issue now. It seemed my brain and mouth were now working separately. Maybe, dem dey beef. That is internal crises. Was I new? Had I forgotten? Nobody asks Poltergeist a question, not even 'are you happy sir?', when he is laughing loudly.
He answered me with another slap and I found myself on the floor. How did I end down here? My brain was acting slow again as if it wanted to shut down. Oh boy, not now, "Process fast na", I must have barked to my brain, "he kicked you down" , came the reply. Oh boy, I think I am getting sick now and my fear is about to burst my chest. What should I do? Should I still act innocent as if I did not know what he was talking about? I tried that, and where did it lead me to? Two ears blowing sirens- like an everlasting siren, and me kneeling on the flow. How about I confront him? Confront? Me, confront Poltergeist? No way, that one is a step to a death sentence. Should I run off- back home? No way, Dad would get to hear the true story soon and it would be worst- getting disgraced in school and at home. I thought to myself, I better face this school wahala here.
I am sorry sir, I pleaded. Then again and again. I knew what I did. I am sure you already knew my crime- my customized non- tuck in shirt. He gave me no attention, he was flogging other students. I knew what he was doing, he was using these extra and side floggings to load up his anger. Anger loading... 10%,...15%..
36%....45%....60%....75%....he turned to me and kicked me again violently and I fell off from my knees and rolled on the floor. Anger still loading... 80%....84%...
89%.... All eyes were now on me. I looked up, I could see the numerous eyes of students all peeping their heads through their classroom windows to walk this tragic show. Anger loading 90%...92%...94%.... Oh GOD help me, I whispered. He turned to me. His face was now red. What? What did I even do to deserve this level of wrath and fury that he was about to unleash on me? Red face?
"Lord", I groaned
"Mr. Julius" I heard, "Its enough". I knew that voice. What? Oh Lord. That voice was my saving voice. It sounded like His voice. It was a man's voice, my principal's voice. GOD spoke through him that day, not in long sentences, just: "Mr. Julius,...its enough"
I breathed in relief. I was now dirty. I rose up. The voice was now close, "Go and clean yourself up and go back to your class". I did as I was instructed. While in the rest room cleaning myself, I was feeling so ashamed. How would I walk to the class with everyone's eyes on me? All the junior students who used to respect would now make fun of me. And what of the girls in our class? And one particular girl? I didn't tell you? Oh, my body was now acting some how. Hormones things, you know. Not sex o. Ah, no come carry matter put for my head. My mind too was acting somehow. I was now seeing girls differently. And one girl in particular was making my head game on me.
"Sorry" I heard. I liked that voice. I knew her but I did not expect her to come to me. I was avoiding her, I had no guts to talk to her. She knew I had been glancing at her sometimes and would turn away my gaze as soon as she turned to see me.
It was Mandy. Her eyes were wet as she looked at me. Was she crying for me? Oh...I thinks someone is getting into me. One part of my brain said: "cool down bros, this kind fine girl no get time for you. No be you she dey cry for". I turned to it and replied "you dey blind, abi Na jealousy dey worry you?"
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 12:03am On Dec 16, 2017|
Holiday and Travel
The term had come to an end- with the examinations concluded, results compiled and given to students, Dad reminded us of our nearby journey.
It had been long, close to seven years if not a little above that since we traveled together as a family to our village. There was a reason for that. We were not that kind of 'city people' in case you are thinking of that. We loved our village. We were village patriots but my parents stopped taking us to the village since every visit led to something bad for us the children. This one gets sick, that one gets sick. Somebody just died. I think they used juju on him or her kind of stories was common.
If you needed a place to die of by hearing bad news, it was my village. In fact, if they wanted to set up a bad news churning factory, my village would be considered a good practical site. The bad news killed the people even before their time and they always found a way to sneak the news into the ears of the people in the city. At least, in between, while we the children were still in the city, Dad in most cases would travel to the village for a funeral. And that was why we were about to travel again- funeral.
Did a new person die? No? So why were we traveling? Dad needed to do a second funeral for his dad that died while he was eight year old or so. Imagine. They tried a little to convince him of the necessity, since the idea had always been in his mind. They needed to give him a befitting funeral ceremony so that he would rest in peace in deed, they had told him, and let his father's blessings rest upon his life.
I didn't want to travel but it was not in my place to decide. I had a reason- I had registered for the end of the year October/ November session WASSCE. Then we called it GCE, some called it external WAEC. They said it had the same power like the usual May/ June WAEC exams and was been set and marked by the same body. The only difference were it was written at a different time, and the students could afford to dress in mufti and the regular science practicals were be replaced with Alternative to Practicals.
I had taken the fourth position in my class that term and was in my SS 2. Dad was not that pleased but he did not get himself worked up about it. I also, didn't. My mind was busied with my preparations for the WAEC exams and given little attention to the usual terminal exams. I needed to study ahead and go ahead. I had to read beyond the SS 2 topics, I needed to travel back to SS 1 and read up to SS 3.
To make that happen I needed to buy new textbooks- Comprehensive Math textbook by D. B. Adu( by the way, that was the best secondary school math textbook I had encountered), Comprehensive Economics, Comprehensive Geography. I already had 'Ababio' Chemistry textbook, 'P. N. Okeke' Physics textbook, Biology and I also bought WAEC'S past questions and answers books, you remember those, I suppose. After the usual school lessons, I would stay back for a while and read and then go through the past questions and answers books. And on getting home after attending to some domestic duties- washing, making dinner, I would have to read again. With time, I became so equipped with these knowledge that I could answers almost any questions related to them and I could answer the most difficult and advanced questions in my class. Yet, I was taking the fourth position and that seemed a bit strange to some.
In between time, I had to stay away from Mandy. After the flogging which I referred to in the previous chapter, we were about to get close, but she seemed to be playing hide and seek. And bros, son of man didn't understand that. I used the method I knew which some guys also use in such setting- looking for her trouble, and she seemed to have lots. If I was to write names of noise makers, I would always put her name, not necessarily to look for her trouble, she was a noise maker sha and she would increase her noise making when she noticed I was the one writing the list- her own way of daring me. She did likewise and things turned kind of sour.
With time, I developed interest preparing for my future through intense personal studying and dealing with all the related stuffs especially the impending exams, I logged out. I was unavailable emotionally and more. I stayed away, but she would come to ask me to help explain some things to her, assist her in solving some hard questions, I would oblige, but my mind was neutral- no strings attached. But my friend B-face( that is his nickname. I don't intend telling you his real name in case you are expecting that) started telling me that he would want to keep her as his girl, that he had developed feelings for her and that I should help him talk to her since she was drawing close to me.
But I won't gist you about that. It is a story for another day. I was supposed to tell you of the journey we embarked to the village, I had already traveled some distance away from that gist. Maybe, some one would say, he is trying to make the chapter longer. Bros, that one na your tory. Just hold am dea!
Anyway, with all these my 'serious boy in school' stuffs, I also had a way of having fun. I would talk, make fun, joke and make jest of my classmates. I was funny in a way and I was exaggerating too. You know, that is another kind of lying. Well, I was good in those stuffs and I traveled to the villa with my 'mouth'. I was talking. I felt I always had something to say and mehn, people's- my age mates ears were wide open to whatever I had to say. I was the gist master. I felt I was supposed to be able to claim that I could do almost everything, claim to have watched almost any movie (remember, we still had our black and white television and no video cassette player and NEPA was showing us pepper then).
I can swim very well, I told them. In fact I was the best swimmer in my school (of course, my school had no swimming pool). I was also the best footballer, I added. I said that Rambo and Commando were blood brothers. I said I had seen Okocha, face to face. I said it was true that India played match with Nigeria and scored us close to 100 goals, that the ball was indeed turning to a lion, and the keeper alone could see that and would run away from the post because of fear. And that he begged the Nigerian coach to replace him with another goal keeper but he refused. That Kenneth Okonkwo(a.k.a Andy) was indeed a secret cult member. That this, that that....blah blah blah....., they all stared with admiration and nodded. I was the boss in lying and painting stories.
But dem organize set up for me, and I no even know.
They asked me to go down with them to our village river abi na stream as we often did. I followed. It had rained the previous day. The river was swollen. I was scared but I was going to man up and show no fear. I got in after they did. I ensured I stayed at the edge but they were traveling farther. "Let's go" they beckoned on me. Me? Nah. I ain't, my brain told me. But my pride said, "move it boy. What's there?" I followed my pride and went after them. My brain was still advising me but my pride pressed further, "there is nothing to be scared of". I kept following till we got to a part of the river. I had heard stories about that place. Ah! They said water spirits stay there and the spirits of people that died in the river usually come there to bath. I went limb.
Oh boy, I thought. My fear increased. Something was going on. I didn't know what it was, I had already gotten lost in thought. I felt alone. The hand that was guiding me had left. What?, I almost screamed. These little devils had played me. Scam! They took advantage of my occupation with my thoughts and disengaged and took off. They were now far behind me. How could I be so foolish? I thought I was the brain guy, the guy who could win any argument, the guy who could talk up a sea wave in a desert and still be believed. How could get so lost in my thoughts and become oblivious to my surrounding?
I became scared. All the stories of the great swimmers from my village that died in that river began to flood my mind. Even Mango Park came to my mind. Did he die in my village's river? Oh! No, he didn't. So, why did he come up in my mind? They said it was in river Niger. So, is this my own river Niger? I must have drank about three cups of water now after my first plug into the depths of the river. I emerged and screamed, waving my hands to my 'betrayers', they seemed to be watching with some rare kind of interest as if it was a Barca- Real Madrid match.
I was taken down again into the depths, it was a second missionary journey. My brain was thinking death, and was planning on my ghost visiting and tormenting each of my 'betrayers' if I died. My pride went limb, it was as if it never existed. Another sets of cups. I was dying and yet I was not ready.
Oh Lord. Who did I steal money from? Who did I lie to? That? Lie? Almost everyone. Ah han...na die be this? I began to confess my sins to God and ask Him to forgive me. I even confessed adultery. That one na im weak me pass. Adultery? How? When? Where? Well, I had looked at some ladies lustfully, so I acknowledged that I was wrong and told myself: its better I 'over- confess' than 'under- confess', at least when I get to Heaven, the angel with the records will just say that I left no sin unconfessed, it was better that leaving sins unconfessed.
I didn't know how long I was under the water. Now, I was being lifted. I was about to go up again and I decided to shout with all the strength in mind. I was not going to be an easy case. I was not going to die silently. I was not going to die without a fight. Death must see my rage, and my 'betrayers' too. Well, they better be ready because I just would get my 'ghost mode activated'.
As I emerged, hands bore me. It was my 'betrayers'. They had come to their senses, I thought. My ghost must have done some adverts to them, some nightmares adverts. Ah! Bad ghost man. But that was my pride talking. What? Where was this guy when I was under the water? Shey, he was the one that told me, "move it boy". He had now started talking. But my brain was thankful. My heart was thankful- to God first, then my 'betrayers'. They were now my friends, at least for now, until they pull me out of the water. I was not going to beef anyone, make dem no come vex leave me again. So, I piped low. Let me survive first.
It was now two days after the incident, I was now an indoor guy and a quiet one. Ah! Experience was indeed a teacher, for me it may be the best teacher or the worst, depending on how you look at it. Na so I blow the holiday- all indoors jacking my books till we left for Abuja. As for those guys, we just dey do two lane abi na two way drive. As dem dey go front, I dey go back; as dem dey go back, I dey go front. I dey my lane jare. Make everybody dey im lane o.
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 3:36pm On Dec 21, 2017|
Men and brethren, your bros ink don finish and my phone screen dey purge and my laptop buttons dey run temperature. Dem doctors say na one medicine wey the name be "Comments- to motivate, encourage and criticize constructively" go cure all these them sicknesses.
Oh boy, I was feeling it- guilt, though it was junior guilt sha. Had I been commenting on other people's stories that I had read?...ehn, just above a few. I had to go back and be dropping them comments left, right and center, anywhere and anyhow.
Please, biko, dan Allah, I beseech thee, please comment o...please. I owe you all Christmas vacation to Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya...? Uh oh, did I just say Libya...Ah! No vex o, Na ma screen o..abeg drop comments.
GOD bless ya'all
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by MrHistorian: 7:25am On Dec 22, 2017|
AvatarMode:Mynd44 has helped your career.
You will get comments soon.
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by lovelylad: 7:46am On Dec 22, 2017|
I'll read later
Too busy for now
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by Peterpanny: 8:51am On Dec 22, 2017|
latter I will read.
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by mrsuccessful(m): 2:34pm On Dec 22, 2017|
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 10:06am On Dec 27, 2017|
Merry Christmas all...
|Re: Something New- A Short Story By Avatarmode by AvatarMode(m): 10:07am On Dec 27, 2017|
Love things and More
This is supposed to be a short story. Is that not what you told us? Yes, it is, this is my last chapter. We can just get ourselves ready to wave goodbyes. And you must have read the title, if not abeg, backslide like Michael Jackson go read am.
Love? What love? Who cares about that these days? I don't believe in love? What does he want to say about love?
OK...cool down. Whatever it is that you believe in is your own business. This is not a romance work, so it lacks the classic love tales or lines you might expect. No be Romeo and Juliet kind of stuff. But love dey inside the gist sha and also 'more'. If you have a problem with the 'love things' part, don't jump it please, the gulf is wide. Just keep reading till you get to the 'more' part and read to 'the END'. Having said that and settled all the civil wars, permit me to pilot the story and please fasten your seat belt because harmattan wind fit blow you comot.
I was writing my GCE at Government Secondary School, close to Airport in Abuja. It was a big school, much bigger than my private school. The exam was to last for almost three weeks. My first paper was on the subject, Geography. I wrote fast and as accurately as I could and finished soon enough (amazingly, I got A1 in this subject). I had to wait outside afterwards, I had arrived there that morning and knew no one neither had my parents made any initial arrangements for where I would stay. Dad said he would come. Time was going, the sun had began her journey towards the west, the day was getting darker, yet Dad was not there.
I was not bothered. It was my first time alone away from home. I felt it was an adventure. I had been so respectful to the security man of the school- he and his colleague. I told them afterwards of of my situation, they agreed to help, that I should sleep in the security lodge with them. I did a little reading, I had already done lots of reading. I woke up early, took my bath, got cleaned up and left for the exams hall. But Dad went home and gave Mum another gist. He told her that he had seen me, that I was fine and that he had secured a place for me to stay.
But Mum later got the true gist via sleep- talking. Dad was sleep- talking. What? Yes. I am sure you know what sleep- talking is. Most Nigerian parents, especially the male folks practice this. But no mind me o, my blood dey hot me and I wan flash my intelligent brain give you definition on sleep- talking. Dictionary and definition apps in my brain, loading!! So, are you ready? Grab your pen and notepad and write. Sleep- talking is the art or science abi na practice of talking while sleeping. Should I give more definitions, my brain asked. This is enough, lets give an example of a person that does that, was my reply. Dad was a practitioner of sleep- talking. Boy, he confessed all. Mum smiled at him in the morning, "I heard everything". He told her he needed to fix the issue. He got me to stay with a young teacher, who was a graduate- a biochemistry graduate of University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
My return after the exams got me back into the normal school activities. My principal had known about the exams. And had 'proudly' told almost everyone about it as if he was the one that bought me the form and did all the necessities. Soon, I became a mini- celebrity in school. But I was a closed kind of person, a 'mind my business' sort of a fellow and shy in a way.
I told you about Mandy a little. My friend B- face was really hustling the babe. But the gal no dey give am the kind green light wey him want. I think na orange light abi na brown light, she dey give the guy.
"She will come around" the Romeo wanna be told me, "she just needs time". I nodded. It was easier for him to say that, even though he was hiding his fear that she might not be with him. He was a good looking guy, you know and he was 'cashy'- he was one of the big boys in school with money. He was a great dresser, with multiple school uniforms and seemed to wear them based on some timetable he had drawn. He would pour himself perfume, your nose could send a SMS to your brain swiftly of his presence. Then, I never even know how far with perfumes. He was also intelligent. With all these in his CV, he sure was the man to land the job of 'boyfriending' Mandy.
I minded my business and once in a while looked her way, and she would response. Then she became a regular visitor, often visiting my seat, which I was sharing with B-face, to request me to help her solve a problem- a question on Physics, or Chemistry or Mathematics. Or to explain some stuffs she had read and not understood. Soon, she began sitting with me, even after the explanations and would even stay back after school to read, asking me to wait around for her. My friend got sour. He began acting strange towards me. I was now loosing him. He began to avoid 'cool' conversations with me and would respond to me in monosyllables.
What was it? I knew what was going on, he was getting envious. I was the guy he had asked a year ago or so to help him 'close the deal' on Mandy and get her to like him and accept him as a good guy and a 'boyfriend material'. I was still working. I was telling her of all the good stuffs about B-face. The true ones and the fabricated ones. I needed to paint him good before her. But she would converse along that like one who had a fish bone stuck on his throat would talk till he gets it out of his throat. As soon as she saw a way out of the lane of conversation, be it a turn to a side street, a U-turn, she would take it with all of her and drive the conversation on talking about me. Well, there wasn't much to talk about me. I was just one simple guy.
But I must confess, I began to like it. The smile that lights up on her face when she talks about me could light a whole city and put NEPA out of town. I liked it. Moreover, I was that guy that nobody really wanted to talk about 'him', to know what's up with him or what. I felt wanted. I felt needed. I felt someone interested in me not my knowledge or intelligence but me. She made me feel needed. It felt good and my heart began to crave for her.
I was not going to betray my friend. I needed to 'brake' my emotions. I was not going to loose my friend by acting Judas, betraying him. He wanted her, at least he made it known to me first that he wanted her. At this time of writing, a song just got playing in my mind. If There is Any Justice by Lemar.....
"If there's any justice in the world
I will be your man, and you will be my girl
If I met your first, you know it's true
He will be alone, and I will be with you..."
I began to stay away from her. I went to my friend and apologize for offending him in any way he felt I was. I did not mention any sha. He was glad I did, and I asked him to go after her. I would excuse myself when she comes to sit with us atas soon as I turn the conversation between her and B- face on. She noticed that I was avoiding her,meanwhile my heart was hungry for her. She was like a flame in me. She began to avoid my friend too and he got so frustrated and needed to blame someone. Guess who he picked to blame? Me! Yes! Innocent me.
"May I borrow you Ababio Chemistry text book?" Mandy asked me. Her eyes were filled with desire for me. It was mutual and I was not planning to do a thing about it. I was going to starve that desire and let it die.
"Sure" was my reply.
She got it back to me as soon as school closed. She knew I read my books daily especially the sciences. "Escort me" she pleaded. I looked at my friend since he was standing close, she grabbed my hand and dragged me off, leaving him standing. And I saw the 'war time declaration' written on his face.
Mandy!!! She was one of those rare beauties among women. A very fair skinned girl whose skin shorn as though she was bearing the sun within her. She has those white eyes with light brown balls in them. Her skin was smooth and polished and 'warm' to the eyes. Her smile could make the moon smile back and make the spirit of frowning giggle. Her legs were straight, her thighs too and her bosom was an art work and her backside was a delightful sight. She was a beauty to behold. And she was damn intelligent.
"B-face...." I started
"Stop it!" She quietly barked with anger flames in her eyes, looking at me. "Stop it please" the tone of her voice had changed. "I don't like him. I don't want him. Please stop talking about him around me" I was quiet. Wow! This is now scary, I thought.
I got home, did some domestic works as usual and sat down to read later at night. Something in me wanted me to start with Chemistry. I obliged and turned the pages,only to see a letter in Mandy's writing.
"....I am always different when I am around you. You are a nice person and you bring out the best in me. I know we have a connection. I know you feel it, the way to look at me, the way you 'carry' me delicately. You can tell me how you feel about me, I will like to hear it from you, please...."
Oh boy...na love letter be that o. See show o. See groove! Meanwhile, those of you that have not reached the 'romantic age' should better skip that side of this chapter, because if I catch you reading that letter it ehn....yawa go gas o, plus other things wey go gas. After reading my heart got warm and skipped. This experience was becoming a common experience for me...this increase in the temperature of my heart, and it happens whenever I thought about her. I couldn't wait for the next day to come.
I landed late as usual. I was not the 'boss student'. She was sitting on her seat, I and B-face was sitting on ours. His face had been looking as if it was made with stones, sand, iron rods and Dangote cement. It was like German floor. No smile, no laughter...just frown. Even the spirit of frowning felt threatened by looking at his face, and might have feared that someone was about to render him(the spirit of frowning) jobless. I maintained my cool and saw her stare at me from the corners of her eyes.
I avoided her all through. It was the plan. I needed to be sure 'again' of my heart and feelings. B- face was getting high and first class rejection from her. She was not even sparing him a stare, not a look, not a conversation, not even staying around him or letting him stay around her. After school, I asked her to wait. We meet and talked and I flooded her with my heart and all that is within it. I told her of the effect she had on me the first time I met her and all along. She was in tears,and would laugh in between. It was a strange kind of laughter, it made my soul rise within me. I won't tell you the rest of the gist of that day. It was a memorable day. It began our journey in love and it was like some heavens on earth. Days turned to weeks and weeks, slowly grew up to months. And all through we loved deeper and in greater measure and in case you are thinking, we had no sex. Yes, no sex. Premarital sex was not it.
But I lost my friend when love found me. I lost B-face. He felt I had betrayed him, that why should I have to go after Mandy even though I knew he was interested in her, that I should have gone for another girl. We had a breakout. It was bad.
"Judas. Bloody Judas. That's what you are. How could you? How? Selfish person. Kill joy..."
"You don't understand..."
"Tell that to the wind, betrayer. I trusted you and you betrayed me..."
"Stop saying shit" I barked. And discovered my jaws having a different sensation from other parts of my body. Pain. He had struck me a blow on my right jaw. He was so angry and got physical. I backed out. "Boy! I won't fight you"
"Weakling. Fight me na. Fight na lover boy. And you will see what I will do to you..."
I walked away. My jaw was painful and was getting swollen. Mandy had been waiting for me. I had asked her to wait for me, that B-face wanted to see me and that I would be back. She looked at my face and gasped, "he hit you"
"It was not his fault. He was angry"
"I hate him more for doing this to you"
"Don't do that. You are a Christian..."
"Stop it Darling. Not everyone is as good as you are. Most people are just wicked. Your good heart is your greatest weakness"
She looked downcast, tears began to drop. I drew her close, "its OK. I am fine and I am here with you. We both knew that this would happen. Its the least I can do to be with you. And I ain't leaving you. You are my home dear"
She looked up into my eyes, "I love you" she whispered.
"I love you too, Sweetheart"
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