Staring at the blood-stricken rug, reminiscing my first moment and moments with Amaka, I couldn’t help but pray earnestly in my mind that she stays hale and hearty. I love the fun she gives me; to hell with the stress that comes with it.
Even though a part of me wanted to think it was all a prank, life doesn’t pull pranks, so does Amaka and even if she was up to something, it was never gonna be something threatening as this but woe-betide her if this is all for nothing cos I could swear I had already lost a pound in the process of worrying about her
The compound was still very much silent, nobody around still; didn’t know who to call or whose opinion to seek. Jide would have been my first go-to counseling centre if things hadn’t gone sour and dramatic earlier on and I knew he would have taken Amaka’s issue so seriously than I would have, but I really did not have even 1 percent gut to call or text him even though I knew I was still gonna face him later to explain myself whether he interested or not.
Amaka and I had decided to get a place together after my 5th year of my law course and I was preparing for Law School and Amaka was about going for her service year. She studied Creative Writing and I was borrowing two courses from her department in my 2nd year when we met. We had become inseparable and compatible and she thought why not? And we got the house which she virtually paid for. I was gonna pick up a job at a law firm in three months time and she was gonna launch her design line and publish her supposedly secret novel she has been working on. . . I really couldn’t wait to read it.
The almighty sexy voice of “Patoranking in No Kissing” broke the solitary silence in the room. I picked my phone to check who the hell was calling me at that unpleasant hour except if it was Jide but unfortunately it was Sola.
“What does he want again?” I screamed as if Amaka was in front of me telling me Sola was at the door to see me. It was almost 7 months after the issue na. . . him pepper suppose don dry na! Shoo!
I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t gonna pick even if he called ten times. Whatever business I had with him ended the day Amaka pulled that restaurant stunt. He continued calling that even my ringtone was becoming annoying.
I stood up, got off my heels, went to bathroom, took a cloth-mop soaked in a soapy water, went back to the living room and I began to clean up the blood. My brain wasn’t coordinating, even though the soapy water was cleaning it; it still wasn’t a wise idea to clean up the rug with water. My phone vibrated and screamed “Message”, I knew it was Sola and I was definitely not wrong about that.
I presumed you won’t pick my call, so I decided to send you a text. Although, I regretted almost everyday what I did to you, I was out of line, I can only hope you’d forgive and don’t break up our long term ties, stash knowing me and everything because of my mistake. I am really sorry but I can’t be dwelling on this matter everyday. . . That I wanted to tell you and I also wanted to tell you that Amaka was arrested earlier today and she is at the police station opposite the school gate. You should go see her.
I hurriedly stood up. The first part of the message never mattered like the last part. How come Sola knew Amaka was arrested? And for what reason was she arrested? What’s going on here?
I really wanted to call Sola back and asked him some necessary questions but I was so filled with anger and pride; “I will never be caught calling Sola, texting him or talking to him at that.” At least, I know Amaka is alright. If she was injured, she is supposed to be at the hospital and not locked up.
Sola already helped with providing the police station in which Amaka was being held, I would fill in the missing gaps myself but I still can’t help but wonder whose blood was lying on my rug. I was really confused.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
“Hi. Good evening Officer.”
“Please, I am looking for a friend of mine who was said to be in your custody here.”
“Amaka?” he said disdainfully
“Wetin happen oga?”
“Who she be to you?”
“Na my friend.” I fired back.
“You be friend with that kind girl? That girl wey no get respect ehn! She don dey frustrate everybody for here since morning. That girl na murderer! If no be say she get powerful people behind her, I go don torture her so tey, you no go even recognize am; especially that her heavy backside! Chai, the girl carry!”
“Gbam! Gaps are on their way to being filled” I murmured to myself and I shook my head for the officer.
“Why you dey shake your head? Wetin happen?”
“Nothing officer. Can I still see her?”
“Sure why not! As per say you sef carry. I can see why una be friends”
The officer looked like Mr. Ibu in Police Uniform; crazy people are in the police force these days.
Amaka was lying down on a flat slab in a room not necessarily locked up. But seriously this girl is a fool. Who lies down to sleep in a police station?
“Hey! You, you get visitor o!” the Police Officer screamed.
Amaka rose to sit and face the Police Officer who refused to leave.
“Can you leave us alone now at least I’m not charged yet. I don’t know why una never lock me up sef cos you’re already treating me like one.”
“No worry opeke, we go lock you up soon!” he said hissing and leaving.
“Sola told me you were here and I didn’t seem to understand, Sola, you! What’s up?”
“Wo o, forget! How was your date na? And don’t tell me you left your date to come here o!”
“You don craze shey you know? Which is more important? A date or you? My date was over almost 2 hours ago. . . Even though the date sucked0p0; I swear, you don’t wanna know what happened.”
“Hey, look at me. It’s gonna be fine. Whatever happened, I’m gonna hear it at home.” She said holding my hand like a fairy godmother.
“Awwww! Hey look at me too! You gonna rot here if you don’t start talking and leave my date alone.”
“You are a fool!” she said looking for something to throw.
“Eh ya! You see what I am saying. There is no pillow here to throw and I wish I’m sorry about that. . . You wanna start telling me what happened?” I said with so much fun bullying her.
“Okay. . . “
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The taxi I boarded home was exactly the kind I needed. The driver had dropped off all other passengers and I was the only one left at the back seat of the car. My knees were too weak to walk that I had no option but to opt for a taxi. I would have ‘flied’ a motorbike but I wasn’t ready for the jagging movements due to potholes. . . You know, there is really a difference between the potholes effect of a car and that of a motorbike. Amaka would always say “it’s a lie. It depends on the rider and the driver.” I quite agree with her; at times though.
Amaka couldn’t tell me what really went wrong before a Police Officer bumped in to tell me my time with her was over. I never even spend even 15 minutes. Police Station is just a ridiculous place to go. The thought of her spending another night in that cell turns my stomach and she doesn’t even care. Even the response I got from the Police Officer about Amaka’s bail wasn’t even encouraging. Hmmmm. It is well.
The driver increased the volume of the music player and somehow somewhere, my mind found solace and strength in the Jim Reeves “This World is not my Home” blasting from the stereo. It felt so warm and enchanting that all I wanted to do was spend the whole night in that car with the song on a repeat but unfortunately, I was soon to drop off from the car.
The walk down my house felt so short and sweet, all thanks to the breeze and the silence of the street and the chattering of the moi-moi, eko and akara sellers. I wasn’t sure whether to buy some as I really couldn’t figure out what to have for dinner. Maybe it was me, my appetite or both at work. What if I buy and it go to waste? “I’ll pass” I said.
Unfortunately for me, the compound was silent but a shinning image of someone a little plump, sitting on a wooden stool and reflecting so much oil even in darkness was staring at me from afar. That definitely could be no one other than Mama Seun. She’s white in the morning and like a shining light for the children of Israelites in the evening; all thanks to ‘ori’ and ‘adi-agbon’. She was a sorry case. How would someone leave her home in the morning without moisturizing her body only to return in the evening to a moisturizing effect of shea butter and coconut oil without even taking a shower. I wonder how her husband has managed to stay with her for that long; 15 years or something. Maybe it was because she’s the breadwinner and the husband is the bread-eater.
Their marriage is like ‘one’s demise is the end of the other’. If Mama Seun dies today, Papa Seun is doomed and if Papa Seun suddenly woke up one day to a non-coordinating brain waves of his telling him Mama Seun isn’t really good for him again or he wants to try something else; pauper like him, Mama Seun go just collapse. . . because in her case, there are two things involved in Basketmouth’s voice. It’s either she bullies him to stay because she’s never gonna find a man who is gonna ‘just the way you are’ like Bruno Mars or who’s gonna give her great sex considering her lassitude towards her body.
Sitting in darkness at odd hours when almost everybody are in their room chasing away mosquitoes, watching a movie, patiently waiting for sleep, gisting, gossiping, ‘straffing’ or strategizing for the next day has become a sort of daily rituals for her. Her boys quarters couldn’t contain her anymore. God knows say I no get time for her wahala this night not even a pinch of ‘gbeborun.’
“Hey, welcome o! You look so tired, se ko si? (hope no problem)”
“I’m fine Mama Seun. Just a little bit worn out from today’s stress.”
“Eh ya. Pele o. Try take a bath before you sleep o and take paracetamol if you have headache.”
You go fear adviser. She can’t even remember the last day she had a morning bath not to talk of a night bath. If only people can take the advice they give others. . .
“I will Mama Seun. Thanks.”
“O o ti e bere awon aburo e? (you no even ask of your siblings)”
“No vex. How dem dey o?” *like say na my mama born dem, she sha no wan sound like say na aproko she wan do.*
“Ehn ehn. Dem dey fine. Thank you.”
I made for my door; that’s the only thing I wanted do now. Open it and crash wherever I found fit.
“Abeg, e don tey o wey I see Amaka for house. Hope say she dey alright? Abi she travel ni or she dey sick?”
Bad belle human being. No be only sick, na die she die.