By Gabriel Bamgbose
Wednesday, December 25, 2013.
The day had just stepped out of his cubicle with the
yellow sun looking down upon the earth from the sky with a blurred sight.
Everywhere was hazy and cold; one could hardly see what was ahead.
Akin was driving on the Igboro
Road leading to the campus, University of
Ile, where he was studying Law. He was
moving the car at a very slow speed. All of a sudden, he caught the sight of a barrier
on the road. Since it was very early in the morning, the road was not busy; he
had been the only one driving on the road; he had left his home because he had
a 6:00am lecture. As the class representative, he had to be in class before the
lecture commenced. He matched the brake suddenly, the tyres hissed and the car came to a halt. A young fellow
emerged amidst the thick mist dressed in black overcoat and a black hat stood
atop his head. Akin could not make out the face of the fellow neither could he
decipher if the fellow was a male or a female. The black-attired fellow pointed
a pistol at him and gestured with that crazy metal that knows not his maker that he should get off his much adored and
adorned Toyota Corolla. Akin was so shocked that no rescue measures came to his
empty mind, blanked by fear. He sprang up in his smart black pencil jeans and
anorak as fast as he could. The follow ordered him to the bush edging the
roadside. Still pointing the pistol at him, the fellow roared, ‘Kneel down and
close your eyes…abi you wan make I …’
The fellow clicked its tongue with a gesture interpreted as ‘kill you!’ in
The tall, fair-complexioned, machoed, Afro-haired Akin knelt down
on the dusty filthy ground eyes shut, shaking violently with fear, facing the
thick bush like Moses facing the burning bush on the holy ground. He heard his
metallic mate zoom off behind him. After some seconds, he turned his head slightly
to that direction and opened his eyes slightly only to find his sight
momentarily dazed by the rays of the mild sun piercing through the chink in the
window blind. He sprang up as if he wanted to run after the stolen car, when he
discovered that he was on the bed. He erected himself on the bed brooding and
wondering. Chuks, Akin’s roommate, who
had been studying at the reading table, saw his sudden reaction; he asked,
‘Akin, what’s wrong with you?’
‘I… just had a dream’
‘Sooo are you fighting again this
time...? I’ve been watching you since; you are just turning you head and moving
yourself on the bed in a very strange manner.’
‘Do you -’
‘Ok! What does the dreamer have for us
this time?’ Chuks asked sarcastically grinning like a strangled fish.
‘Are you trying to -?’
‘Hmmm! You know say na so you dream last
week say thieves come rob City Bank. Enh? You talk say you dey hear gunshots as
the police dey pursue the thieves. Dem fire you gun hundred times but na so you
dey dudge dem. As dem enter car say make dem dey go, na him you turn Jet Li
begin fight champanchun with dem, but
… na me you dey blow for bed!’
’Enh enh? Shey the thieves no come as I
‘Dem come…but you no wait fight dem like
Jet Li! Na you first come hide under bed begin call JESUS de sweat like
Christmas goat.’ Chuks burst into laughter.
Akin apparently unscathed by Chuks
sarcasms replied, ‘You know dreams can be foolish at times, but -’
‘Akinnn …what do you see this time?’
‘I dreamt I’m robbed of my car by an
unidentified young fellow.’
Chuks burst into roaring laughter and
said, ‘Akin! … You! … Car! Ooo, you really make me laugh?’
‘Is this one funny again?’
‘You wey be say na by force you take come
school come study Law! You never buy bicycle, not even the tyre of car, you dey
dream of car. No be say you even buy am, dem steal am from you! Guy, forget
that thing. Wetin we go chop?’
‘I no say Onitsha boys no know which kind
talk dem no dey talk. You no see my head? Come chop am. Bumbaclark!’
Akin got out of the bed. As he made his
way to the door to get himself eased at the backyard, where their toilet was
located, he heard a great noise rushing in from the street.
‘Chuks, can you hear that?’
‘What’s wrong out there?’
Both of them rushed out of the room only
to see a crowd of people flood the street. A naked man was running at the
fore-front and two heavy men were chasing after him. Suddenly the naked man
paused. He held his man-rod as If he wanted to urinate. He began to shout:
‘Bone…skull…skeleton, please leave me alone ooooo!’ As he made his way into the
crowd still holding his ‘nozzle’ as if he wanted to fuel a car, all the women
took their flight out of fright; they feared he might pounce on them.
The naked man was a famous butcher in Ifake, the students’ residential area,
where Akin and Chuks lived. The night before, he had given a sweet young lady a
lift. The man being a flirt chatted the lady up whispering his lustful desires
into her ears incessantly, while on the wheel. The lady gave in. They drove
down to his house after rocking the bars. They did the act and slept off nude.
When the cock crowed the butcher rolled over to his whore for a romantic
morning duty. As he landed his palm on the point he calculated to have been the
lady’s breast, he discovered his hand hit a hard substance instead of that soft
fatty thing. He opened his eyes with a flash and what he saw was a skeleton
lying romantically by his side. Too shocked by the sight of that dreadful frame
beside him, he flew out of the bed. He attempted to shout, but he felt some
phalanges holding his larynx. He could not shout. He tried hard to make his way
out of the room and run out madly, naked.
As the butcher burst into the crowd, the
men after him ceased him. One of the men shouted, ‘Please help us hold him; we
don’t want him to go this way into the market square!’ With all efforts and
with the hands given them by other men at the scene, they tied him up and
carted him away.
‘Hey! God have mercy o,’ Akin said with
heavy a heave.
‘Why dat man talk say him no wan make him
‘In this part of the world, we believe that
once a mad man enters the market square, he would never
recover from his insanity no matter the treatment given him’, Akin
‘God have mercy!’
few minutes, the street restored its normalcy. Immediately Akin and Chuks
returned to their room, a voice rang in Akin’s brain: “You know I admire you…I promise I’d pay you a visit on
Saturday; trust me for love is built on trust!”
it was the voice Akin had heard on Wednesday evening, the voice came to him at
that moment with freshness, fancies and fantasies. Sake had told him that.
Three days before, Akin met this black beauty in the Faculty
of Sciences, when he went to see one of his friends there.
The beauty of the lady was worth Akin’s
freak. She was tall and ‘spaghettiously’ slim. She did braid hair style. She
was dressed in slim fitted wears that structurally and aesthetically exposed
the fine frame of her ‘dangerous curve’ and ‘mighty guts’. She had a beautiful
spotless smiling face and her smile was usually graced with the diastema in her
sparkling set of teeth.
Akin saw Sake’s back-view, while she was
standing beside the mango tree in front of the Science Complex. He was on the
third floor; with the speed of a thunder flash, he descended the flight of
stairs and approached her. When he gazed at her face, she was weeping. Akin
felt sorry. He calmed her down and inquired what the matter was. As she opened
her mouth to speak, Akin re-cast his gaze on the face of this Angel. ‘She looks
very familiar,’ he thought. He thought hard: ‘She really looks like…is she the
girl? She? Secondarr...my classmate in secondary school?’
Sake still sobbing like a child denied of
its food, had begun to operate on Akin’s inquiry: ‘One of my lecturers wants to
get down with me…he has always troubled me that he wants a bite of my beauty
but -’ she burst into cry again, apparently uncontrollable for her now. Akin
‘Please, I don’t want to see you cry,
Okay? Jussst calm down, okay?’
‘Since I was in 100 level I’d been having a carry-over
in his course just for this reason. Now that I’m in my final year he promised
to make me have a spill-over if I don’t
She sobbed even more and more. Akin emotionally moved came close to her and
‘It’s okay. Now tell me the name of that
‘Dr Avovo. Biology -’
‘Oook, I’ve heard so much about that man.
You just wait here and promise me you’d stop crying. Everything would be taken
Akin stormed into the complex and came
out after five minutes. Sake saw him coming out heroically as if he were a
Daniel from the lion’s den and wondered what the young man had gone in there to
do on her behalf.
‘Young lady, everything has been taken
care of, okay? He will release your result this time. You know law students are
feared in this Unile. So don’t worry,
‘Oh, you’re a law student?
‘Yeah,’ Akin answered with the pride of a
‘Oh, a Daniel has come to my case!’ Sake
said with the tone of happiness sharply replacing her gloomy state. ‘I’m very
grateful. Thank you very much!’
‘You’re welcome. Anyway, I’m Akin Olowo
‘Sake? Yes, I knew it! Did you attend
Idera High School?’
She then inspected the face very well;
she knew it was an old friend. She recollected without much effort. Immediately
she hugged him passionately. Akin clutched her to his chest like an award
gained in public. She is a bosom friend he had always admired in school. After
the exchange of pleasantries, Akin inquired:
did you just disappear in school when we were in S.S. 2 without noting me?’
‘Hmm, that’s a long story. So many things
happened. I lost my parents then. So I decided to go back to the village since
I have no one to sponsor my education. But I thank God; He has restored balance
now,’ she said smiling coyly.
‘Oh! I’m very sorry for that. How is your
‘My sister,’ she sighed heavily wearing a
piteous look, ‘was kidnapped a year after we lost our parents…. Please don’t
let me recall that again; I’m just getting out of those horrible experiences.’
‘I’m very sorry.’ he said apparently
immersed in emotion.
‘So…in what level are you now?’ She asked
in an attempt to change the subject matter.
‘I’m a finalist too.’
Lawyer!’ she pronounced humorously. Both parties burst into laughter.
As they stood, a man ran through them
madly. He headed for the wall of the fence behind the Science Complex.
Hurriedly, he zipped down his trouser, brought out his ‘hose’ and began to wet
the inscription on the wall:
NOT URINATE ON THIS WALL
IS HIGHLY PROHIBITED!
sighting the man, went straight for him and challenged him.
‘Hey, young man, can’t you see the
inscription on the wall?’
‘Bros, forget dat insikirip…or wetin you call am? Abeg no commot my teeth. No so dem
dey write am everywhere and na so we dey do our thing. This is Igboro; who
Akin was repulsed by the man’s act but
before he could say another word, the man had already zipped up and taken his
flight in the like manner he came. Akin was apparently hurt but what could he
do to that ‘anarchious’ beast! Sake moved closer to him and patted him on the
shoulder, curing his irritation with her angelic smile.
‘Just let go that fool, lawyer boy?’ Akin
was involuntarily beaming then; the smile was so pleasing that Akin lost his
foothold in its therapeutic torrent. He let himself flow freely, unobstructed
to the heart of the damsel.
‘Do you still have a class today?’
‘Aaannd…do you mind knowing my place?’
‘Apparently no,’ Akin replied without
hesitation, with the coolest voice accompanied with a smile. ‘Oh, what a lucky
day!’ he whispered softly in his mind and off they went!
Akin came home that day a different
person. Everything about him seemed to have turned around. Perhaps he had had a
glorious encounter he had long been waiting for. He came in whispering the
song, ‘All my life I pray for someone like you,’ smiling and looking up as if
remembering the experience that activated the nerves of cheers in his system.
Chuks was taken aback; It had been long he had seen his friend in this kind of
state. Chuks broke his song-whispering merriment with a question.
‘My friend, you’re lively today. You win
‘Chuks, this one pass lottery o; na visa
direct to the city of the Angels,’
Akin recounted everything that happened
that day, his amorous and glamorous adventure with Miss Ebony, to his roommate.
They talked lousily singing different Kegit
songs of gyration, picking one after the other. ‘Yeah, this really calls for
celebration,’ Chuks said bringing out a keg of palm-wine he bought, while
coming from school. They drank, merried, gyrated until they were lulled to bed
by the soothing hands of sleep.
In the middle of the night, Akin rose
from the bed. He is apparently in the coma of love; the enchantment was so
strong that he still found himself dulcified in the ring of the thought of that
heroic moment of his life. ‘Yeah, I’m a real man,’ he thought. He let himself
free in that memory. After a while, some
poetic lines began to roam in his brain. He made conscious efforts to trap them
down in ink and paper. There is the end-product of the roaming aesthetic
thoughts he was able to catch on paper.
Tulip in hands for my heart
Utterances sweetened and jellied follow
with a flight
Let love leap on our red lips
Intimacy and warmth bearing our witness
Professing the oath that will hold us
bound till night
When he finished and re-examined what he
had written, he alarmed, ‘Me! In the ‘mesh’ Kwesi Brew was talking about? So…is
this how it comes? If it is, let me not and never recover from this state
forever!’ He clenched his teeth and banged the reading table with his clenched
fist inadvertently. He had migrated from the bed to the table, when he wanted
to capture his thoughts. Chuks raised his head slightly sleepily and let out a
long fricative hiss. He reposed his head on the pillow and continued his snore
like a pig, whose respiratory system was blocked with fats.
‘What shall I do with this?’ he thought
for a while. ‘She must see it…Tulip! I guess, I can get one… with this I’d make
a love card and send both to her. I know she’d be coming on Saturday but … I’d
get this to her in the morning.’ He was very pleased with that thought.
At 9:00am Akin was already at Sake’s
hostel. Her door was locked; a placard on the door showed that she had gone for
lectures. Akin was glad it happened that way; he never wanted her to see him with
those items anyway. He wanted it to be a surprise package. He hung the
‘surprise bag’ on the door using the nail holding the placard. Off course, the
source of the package is already inscribed on the self-designed love card. Sake
would instantly know where it came from. Akin set out for school immediately he
left the shrine of his heart. As he was passing through the Jambites queuing at the admission
office, a young lady covered his eyes from behind in a bojuboju manner; she had not forgotten that child’s play. When Akin
eventually managed to wring free, the face before his was Lara’s, Sake’s
‘kidnapped’ sister! He was surprised she could still recognise him easily. He
hid his awe and reciprocated the greeting heartily.
‘Hey Lara, you’re now a big girl; I guess
you a fresher on this campus.’
‘Yes o, I’d soon be a staylite, an Economist!’
‘It’s just a matter of time; you’d soon
become a finalist like me and a
graduate some day. Do you know your sister is here too? I’m sure you’d be glad
to meet her again after these long years of separation.’
‘My sister? No…no…no! Did I just hear you
say my sister? Where! How?’
Lara was just too shocked to say anything
further; she opened her mouth as if the muscles in her lips are too weak to
control it. The ‘surprise packager’ was then thinking of another surprise
package. ‘It’d be good if they meet each other; I don’t need to say everything
here to maintain the suspense,’ he thought chuckling. Lara too was immersed in
her thought: ‘Does he really know what he’s saying? My Sisss…haa!’ she sighed.
Akin told her that he would like Lara to meet her sister at his place on
Saturday for their re-union. He gave her the description of his place. ‘When
you get to Bishop’s Court, just call me or ask anyone you’re asking for “Akin
de Law”; that’s me,’ he said. Lara shrugged and promised she’d be there.
was Saturday morning; the day was laced with series of weird incidents. But
mirth encroached into Akin’s heart again, when he remembered that day was
really a ‘Saturn Day’.
He could hear the illusionary voice of
Sake whispering to his hear to be prepared for the romantic reception. The
flood of ecstasy overflowed his face giving way to the pressure of haste, when
he discovered that their bachelor’s court was not yet prepared for this august
‘Chuks, abeg let’s clean up this room
sharp sharp. Today is Saturday, you remember?’
‘Oh yes yes! Your parole day,’ Chuks responded chuckling.
oya oya! Hope the air-freshener still dey?’
‘Yeah. Here is the new bed sheet.’
‘Your head dey there! Now back to that
Wetin we go cook?’ He checked his
pocket. ‘I get N1000.00 here; just add anything make we cook vegetable soup and
get some fufu or what do you think?’
he asked persuasively.
‘Nothing do you Mr Lover,’ Chuks replied
The whole assignments had been
successfully completed; their room wore its courtly physiognomy and the
radiance of love had already filled that place. Chuks would have to vapourise
himself for that day and leave the perfect sets for the love-intoxicated duo.
Akin sat anxiously gazing at the wall clock like the serpent hung on the rod in
the wilderness. Those who looked it then were saved and rid of their anxiety
but the reverse were Akins’s case - the more he gazed, the more anxious he
became. He could not withstand the sight of the clock any more. So he decided
to go outside the veranda waiting for his Angel.
The Angel finally came covering him in
the wings of love in appreciation for the ‘surprise bag’. With an expression of
love clearly written on her fine face, she said, ‘Thank you for those gifts.
Those words I read make me drown in passion for you and wait for this day. I
place that card on my heart every time I miss you; I can see you in it.’ She
followed those kind words with hugs and kisses. Akin could vividly see the
handwriting boldly written on the wall of her face. ‘Oh, this is THE DAY THE
LORD HAS MADE. I will rejoice and be glad in it.’ That was all on Akin’s mind
as he stayed in the warmth of those broad wings.
feeble knock was heard on the door. The duo adjusted swiftly. Akin moved to the
door, he opened it slightly. A boy delivered a message to him. Immediately he
excused himself from the room. After some minutes, he came back. He met Sake
sitting on the reading table feeding her eyes on some pictures in the album.
Akin stood at the centre of the room; like a town-crier he announced, ‘Sake, I
have a surprise for you!’
know you’re always full of surprises. How do you want to awe me this time?’ she
asked with her face lit up with a colourful smile.
‘May the honourable out there step in
please?’ Lara entered as fast as a flash of thunder. It was true her sister was
sitting on the table in blood and flesh. She grew pale with fear and exclaimed,
‘Sake!’ Her hand bag fell out of her arm; she was shaking visibly. Sake lifted
herself up immediately she heard that voice; it was as if she was catapulted
off the table. Akin was astounded at the ‘reuniting’ sisters’ reactions. He
turned his head from the sight of the fear-soaked Lara to the table side, where
Sake was….He saw nothing! Lara was weeping profusely. The revelation came when
she mumble out some incoherent words
blunt by the howling of cry, ‘ Sa-sa-kee d-d-d-i-e-d f-o-u-r
y-e-a-r- s a –g-o -’ When Akin
was able to make a thesis from the scenario, he felt a heavy wind blowing past
pulling his legs and dragging him along with force.
Suddenly, Akin found himself on a valley
by a river. At the other side of the river was a mountain. He heard his name echoed
from the mountain top. He looked up and what greeted his sight was the image of
Sake standing on the peak of the mountain. She waved her hands slowly with
balls of tears rolling down freely, speedily from her eyes as if in a haste to
meet the river below. She continued waving compassionately in a ‘goodbye’
gesture. Akin felt like diving into the river and climbing the mountain to meet
her on the other side of the river but he felt a hand holding his hands firmly.
He turned around to see who that could be…
They have been waiting for him to open
his eyes for the past four days in the hospital. He had collapsed since that
mysterious event occurred. Akin shook his body for the first time since he had
been on the sick bed. He opened his eyes slightly thereafter and what he saw
with his sight dazed by the light of this world was Lara holding his hands
firmly, sitting by his side.
‘What am I doing here,’ he asked in a
‘Ssshh… just have your rest.’ Feeling his
neck with the back of her hand, Lara said calmly, ‘You’re back now….You’re
She patted him on his arm. Akin looked up
and saw his friend, Chuks and his parents gazing at his forehead as if he were
an Abiku on the probation of death.
He turned his head to the left side of the bed and saw a small refrigerator on
which drugs and beverages stood. Amidst these items was a ‘surprise pack’ – a
card and a tulip stood at its middle. He inspected it closely; it looked
exactly like the poetic love card and the tulip he sent to Sake to seal their
love. Tears welled up his dazzling eyes, involuntarily and continuously forming
a stream from the corners of his eyes to the pillow on which his head rested
weakly. He thought and wondered:
‘Perhaps…she returned my gift to me like
propitiation rejected by the gods on the crossroads….Perhaps…she simply wanted
to say, “Good bye my love; I love you still…’
closed his tears-filled eyes again dazedly as if he wanted to re-sleep. Perhaps
he could see her again for the last time to say the ‘Good-bye’ he failed to
reciprocate in his last dream.
Gabriel Bamgbose is a Nigerian writer and critic.
He is currently teaching in the Department of English, Tai Solarin University
of Education, Nigeria. He is the founder and editor of Ijagun Poetry Journal. He is widely published in different academic
journals, local and international. Some of his literary works have appeared in Sankofa Magazine, The Literary Yard, BareBack
Magazine, Online Nigeria and Ijagun.
Also, one of his poems is longlisted for the 2013 Ghana Poetry Prize. His
collection of poetry, Something Happened
after the Rain, is forthcoming.