The first two minutes were quiet which was broken by him asking how my day had been. I was going to lie but no one had cared to ask me, so I told him the truth about it being my first day and how stressful it was, after which I noticed a smile at the corner of his lips.
“Listen to me: that flab on your stomach has to go! A flab on your stomach says you are lazy, it says you’ve been eating too much, it says you are fat and need to cut down. If you are not pregnant, your stomach has to be flat.
A year has passed since he took the abrupt decision to leave Ososo. The stay with Bosede, running the family business in Benin City when he had the time has presented a welcome challenge.
He was good at planning individual treatments. For many, he insisted on regular check-ups especially for the aged, at much subsidised rate. His constant balancing of medications and the other life-prolonging care…
“Tell your neighbor ‘Give me chance, give me chance!’ Move far so you can really give them the fire”. The congregation moved as necessary. Legs widespread to balance him well, he no longer cared whether he spoke into the mic as he shouted “OH LORD GOD MY FATHER!! CONSUME THEM WITH YOUR HOLYYYYY GHOOOOOSSTT!!”
One rainy evening when we were alone in my room and I knew she could not leave, I decided to act. I moved to kiss her.
I did kiss her. She responded to the kiss, it was a brief kiss; okay, maybe not so brief. She wanted to know how many women I have kissed like that.
Ahh…that’s what I said. I hear it now. That’s why you looked hurt. That’s why you were disappointed. That’s why I apologised. You said you were. You said you were tired of trying. You hugged me and said sorry.
But that’s not all, the grass is indeed greener on his own side of the lawn. I know because I snipped a few clippings and compared it with mine when no one was looking. I think I once saw a rainbow end in front of Demola’s porch one rainy Sunday evening, but I am not sure.
Now standing there all by himself, lost for words and scared to death, not knowing exactly what line of action to take next, he turned and regarded the house one more time. It was then he saw the house proper. Almost dilapidated, dirty cloths, empty sachet water nylon flew about the approach to the house.
His only regret was that the State of Osun was not like Lagos where by this time of night the streets would still be bubbling with life. Lagos, the city that never sleeps he thought as his lips stretched in a smile that brightened his face.
On his way to the living room, the call stopped again for a few seconds. Just as Folu paused to decide what next to do, like some strange pianist who had suddenly found his keys, the voice resumed, but this time from one of the empty rooms in the flat which he had converted into a store where he kept household items which he considered useless but still kept with the hope they might one day again become useful again.
She needed to act along till she knew what the weird woman was up to before she unleashed the power within her. So she sat still. While still contemplating Aunty Funke’s response, Ocheche was distracted by a sound. The sound that assured her the night would go in a direction she had desperately hoped it would not.
But before she left, while she was still at it plaiting Ocheche’s hair, Aunty Funke made a statement that Ocheche missed because she had temporarily removed her concentration from the duo in the kiosk in order shove off a disturbing flea.