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When The Center Could Not Hold - Literature - Nairaland

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When The Center Could Not Hold by Peniel4pre: 6:17pm On Dec 16, 2020
Our family had just parked in the area newly, so I did not know people around the neighborhood, and my friends had to come from our former compound to play FIFA with me.

The area was a developing area as houses there were sparsely built, many uncompleted buildings around, and many empty lands, although most of the lands were cultivated.

We had light, so I invited some friends over to play soccer on my laptop. We were just three games in when I heard my mother’s call. “Chimaaaaa” “Chimankpamuuuuu”… Chai, I know exactly how my mother’s voice sounds when she wants to send you on an errand you would not like, so I came after the fifth call, “mummy biko ogini?” (mummy please what?).

“Take that N200 on the dining table, go to the mini-market at the junction and buy me fresh pepper”. “no, oh… I am not going anywhere, Chidimma should go Biko”. She just paused what she was doing and, in Hollywood slow motion, gave me that I-will-slap-you look, then said, “if I stand up from here, I will seize that laptop for two months this time, just try me”.

The last time the laptop was seized, it was locked up for a good one month, 27th July to 27th August, no pity. I didn’t want to take that risk, so I quietly folded all the muscles in my face, especially my mouth, mumbled some gibberish which only I could hear, approached the table with a robust military gait and angrily snatched the money from the table, then walked out of the house angrily.

On coming out of the gate, I saw a miracle in human form, a Sunday creation walking towards the junction. My angry and enraged face didn’t want to smile, but then she was stunning, so I started thinking of smiling.

I wanted to say hi, but I couldn’t, so we just walked to the junction together at meters apart. That day, I took my time to mark her face to launch my attack later when I am prepared.

That was how I first met Gloria…

One faithful day, My mum sent me to our former house to check something, on my way there I saw a woman selling Moi-moi (beans cake), the aroma coming from a passenger who bought it was wonderful, so I got mine. I didn’t care about anyone or anything; I just devoured the thing inside the bus while on transit. Wow, it was so sumptuous, ‘who sells this Sheraton Hotel class Moi-Moi for just N50’ I said in my mind.

On reaching my destination, I did what I was asked to do, stayed a while with my friends before I started coming back home.

In the bus, my stomach started giving me clues of heavy rain, thick dark clouds had started closing up in my stomach, and the thunders were beginning to come into the show. ‘chai, it must be that Moi-moi ooo’ so, I placed my right hand on my stomach and said a short prayer “Father Lord, biko let Peace be still.”
I hoped it would reduce, but it didn’t, it kept increasing in geometric progression, and when I got to my bus stop, I was literally on fire.

It felt like the two world wars were being fought in my stomach. I wish words could explain the royal rumble happening inside me that day and something kept running up and down my stomach that day.

My house was still like 12 or 15 poles away, and there was no Okada. So, I hurried home on foot; at some point, I was tempted to check if this whole disturbance was just gas, but I didn’t want to gamble it at allllll before a grown man like me colors his jeans.

When things like this happen, I don’t know why; I will open my eyes to the fullest. I noticed that just walking wasn’t helping, so I started added salsa dancing to steps.

I sent my stomach region in, and my waist region protruded out as if I was doing waist out… then I contracted every single muscle in my leg and buttocks area and tiptoed.

This whole method helped me but not for long. When I knew things would fall apart since the center wasn’t holding, I swerved into a nearby bush. Well, I felt it was a bush because I could no longer see with my eyes.

On entering the bush, I chose a random hidden spot, and with the speed of light, I started undressing. I don’t know why the devil is always punctual in my case. Can you imagine that my belt decided not to open? I got angry, used all the little strength in me, yet! It refused. Then I decided to calm down, then slowly pampered it, then it opened. Mtcheww!! Wicked belt.

Thank God it opened when it did, because milliseconds after my boxers came down, all hell was let loose, and the sounds started going up. Even Hiroshima atomic bomb didn’t produce the kind of thunderbolt blasting sound I heard that day.

Seconds into the whole process of taking a resounding crap, I started hearing voices. Chineke mee… the person was coming towards me and saying, “who is shitting inside my farm?” For the first time in my life, I didn’t know which lie to tell. Should I run? Should I hide? I was confused… Then, I just said to myself, “Chima, stay and face the person, abi who no dey shit?
She was an older adult, a normal Nigerian mother who came to the farm. Bia, who are you, and why are you shitting inside my farm? Didn’t you see other places to go and shit? So, you are the one who has been shitting all over this farm?

While talking to me, my stomach problem did not even decide to respect itself and stop. The sound kept trying to interrupt every question the woman asked me as if it wanted to speak for me.

With a good-boy-face, I said, “Mummy biko am sorry, afo n’asam biko, I didn’t even know this was a farm.” She just hissed and said. “Biko make sure you pack that your shit or you bury it there before you go ooo, Oya Gloria throw for him that hoe so that he will use it.”

Ewooooo!!! It was that fine girl oooo…

Oya na, common to throw hoe for somebody, she started doing as if there was shit on the hoe. She didn’t even throw it far. As if the woman knew, she said, “Gloria, also throw one sachet of water for him in case he needs it.”

Devil was just using the Gloria that day, common to throw pure water she was doing nyanga… and putting her hands on her nose. Then when she threw it, she threw it a little far from me; thank God it didn’t burst. I just stood up a little bit and sneaked to the pick the sachet water while covering my bumbum.

Since that day, I have not dared to say hi to Gloria, well maybe its because anytime she sees me, if her face was normal, she starts smiling, if she was smiling, she starts laughing. Even though I don’t want to believe it is because they caught me poo pooing in their farm, I still hope I will say hi to her one day.

© Peniel Samson

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