Sunday, July 3, 2016


“Johny!”“Johny!!!” Papa’s voice came from outside, his footsteps getting closer and closer.I was seated inside the sitting room my phone in my hands and was chatting with Princess on whatsapp, Ugo sat on the floor legs crossed like a
native doctor, Miracle sat beside ugo on the floor and their eyes were glued to the T.v where NTA was showing Spongebob square pants which was miraculously surprising cus they rarely showed anything more than boring news and extra-boring discussions.Papa’s voice blared through the twilight, his footsteps approaching faster and faster.“Sky papa is calling you” Ugo said looking back at me.“Yes i know lets wait for him to come inside” I said still typing a message to Princess.Papa walked in almost immediately with mama trailing behind, he must have passed her stall and she followed him inside.His face lost that blank after work face this time it was a mixture of excitement and curiosity and a little bit of fear and a pinch of happiness.He went straight to his chair and sat down without the usual sigh of exhaustion after work.“Papa Nnoo” I greeted, Miracle already ran and jumped into his body seating on his laps and expecting her biscuit or cheeseballs as her traditiondemands.Papa slipped his hands inside his b----t pocket andgave her two biscuits which she took and ran out happily out of the sitting room with Ugo chasing after her immediately wearing a grin.Mama stood just after the door looking from Papa to me.“Please get me water nne” Papa said to mama who went into the room to get a cup of water for papa in his usual large stainless cup, in one attempt papa downed contents of the cup as one who has been thirsty for years.“How did you do it Johny?” He asked in the same breathe as the cup going off from his lips and little trails of water running down the side which he wiped out.“Do what papa?” I asked looking into his face..“Eeeeeh Dim what did he do?” Mama followed grabbing a plastic chair beside the door.Papa looked at her, ” Nne you won’t believe what happened today” He said letting out a frightening smile.“Gwam okwu (tell me something)”Mama replied looking into papa’s face impatiently.“Agbo came to my shop again today” Papa said“Agbo again!!! Dim did he take your workshop?” Mama asked in a frightened tone still impatient and pale.“No he didn’t, he came to my workshop like a frightened dog. Told me to thank my son that he saved me by paying him and warned me never to come to him again to borrow” Papa said to mama then turned his face towards me.“Gini (what)?” Mama blurted out.“Yes oo, i have never seen Agbo as scared as he was today, Johny what did you do, i hope you didn’tgo to threaten the man, i hope my son has not beenfollowing cult groups” Papa intoned gazing straight into my face, mama now was throwing a confused question stare at me.“No papa i have not and i didn’t go to threaten anybody to leave the money” I said calmly, greater part of me very happy the over confident Agbo could even entertain fears.“Then tell me what you did, how did you get the money?” Papa retorted, he was scared and i could tell.“Papa after what happened yesterday i called two ofmy best friends and told them of my the problems, they came here this morning, Mama knows” i said pointing at mama.“Eheee what then happened?” Mama asked, Papa nodded and i continued.“They insisted on going to pay the money with me to the man personally, mama you remember the time i told you we were going to buy something?”Mama nodded.“We went to Agbo’s place and they paid him in full, we didn’t threaten him we only asked him not to ever step foot on your workshop” i looked from mama to papa.Papa’s face was lost, he was looking but am not sure he was seeing anything.“Dim” Mama called out to papa excitedly. “Can you imagine these small boys, God really works in mysterious ways” She sang out smiling.“Johny i can’t really thank you and your friends enough, God bless you my children” Papa said joining mama in wearing a smile.I got up from the seat and went inside, opened the little pack at the side of my back pack and fetched abundle of notes #50,000 to be exact.“Papa, here they both contributed and asked me to give you this” I said handing papa the cash.Papa’s face lit up, mama started dancing and praising God singing a song in Igbo dialect.“Johny how did small boys like that get such huge amount?” Papa still asked.“Haaa papa i told you they are from rich families, Myschool is mostly for the rich, one of them is even the son of a senator. Mama saw them na she can confirm” i laid out bluntly throwing in dramatic seriousness to demonstrate the truthfulness in my words.“Haaa God will bless them for me and bless their family” Papa said.“Amen ooooo” Mama chipped in.I looked on as mama and papa went into an excitingdiscussion on how to use the money, Papa gave me6,000 from it after some nod and whisper deliberation with his wife which i decline assuring them i have mine.The twilight passed faster than a blinking eyes, the chilly cold drew nearer. I stepped out and left papa and mama to finished their conversations in private,went to mama’s shop and sat to attend to her customers Ugo was no where to be found.I was particularly happy that papa and mama had something to smile over, wish i could do more but that may brew suspicion.The local home made hand lamp mama keeps in her shop at night flickered and danced, little yellow amber flame twisting and bending to the tune of thebreeze.“Who is here ooo?” A voice came from the side of the shop and the figure appeared fully in front of me.Tall and large, chubby face and arms and a deep voice that almost sounded masculine.“Good evening mama Vin” I blurted standing up.“Good evening Johny, where is your mummy?” She asked peering into the shop.“I am the one in the shop today” I replied looking like a cornered rat.“Oh good Vincent told me you now have a girl friendis it true?” She said opening mama’s bucket of Buns, took 3 and took a wild bite out of one of them.Poor buns.“Why not ask the person who told you” I replied.“Hmm you children of nawa days, having girl friendsanyhow. Oya wrap 3more buns for me and come and take your money in my house later” She said still stuffing the half eaten buns into her mouth.“Mama Vin i can’t sell anything on credit, this is mama’s shop not mine” I said glaring at her like some kind of unwanted virus, which she was not farfrom.“You think you are wise abi, oya nu i don’t have money here you have to come and take the money for the three i already took later” She said and went on her way still munching the buns in total abandonment.I sighed hard, brought out #60 naira from my pocketand threw into mama’s money box. God knows am not ready of either Vincent or his mother, i’d rather pay for the buns.I sat down again mopping at the amber light, checking my phone every now then for Princess’ message.“Sky”I turned and saw Ada walking slowly towards mama’s shop, she was wearing a red bum short, a white tank top.“So sky this is what you do?” She asked placing both her hands on her waist looking down at me with a kind of “Explain yourself look”“I don’t understand what you mean Ada” I said casually“So you don’t understand that you have a girl friend in school who visited you here okwaya?” she blurted out squeezing her face a bit more.“I think next time you should listen more to me thanVincent, you know Vin is a run mouth idiot” i said still maintaining a casual tone.“so what are you saying?” She asked“I am saying i have nothing with her, she is just my classmate and my friend ”“But Vincent said…..”“Yes Vincent said, you have forgotten how Vincent once said the Barber down the road touched your b----t but you said it was a lie” I chipped in without giving her time to gather ground.“But that was a lie” she retorted.“Exactly, but you think he is telling the truth when he said am dating my classmate” I knew i had her pinned down now and there was no escape.“Ok sky am sorry for getting angry” she said reluctantly, seating next to me.“Am sorry naaaa” she said again touching my ear and lending a perk on my cheek.I slowly worked my face into a smile and my hands travelled to her open thighs running them through the exposed piece of soft skin.Just before i could kiss Ada Vincent walked to mama’s shop seeking to buy buns.“Ada you are here and your mum is looking for you” He threw at Ada immediately on arrival “And sky please wrap #50 buns for me.“Like mother like son” i cursed under my breathe getting up to wrap the buns in a black nylon.“Ada didn’t you hear your mum was calling you?” Hesaid again in that usual oblivic effect the sight of anything eatable has on him, he was mopping at the buns i was wrapping at the same time addressing Ada whose squeezed disappointed facecould kill a baby.“I have heard Vincent aah aaah” Ada blurted out angrily..“Ok oo if she asks i will tell her you are here with sky” Vincent threw back.Ada got up, hissed hard and walked out of mama’s shop in a hurry.“Eheee sky so how are we going back to school” Vincent asked me as he collected the buns from meone already journeying towards his mouth, handed me a dirty #100 naira note wrapped into a ball.This guy just don’t always know when to appear.“Vincent i am not going back to school with you, better find a means” I said bluntly betraying my anger at the sweet anticipation he just turned sour by coming out of no where.“Why na?” he asked.“Nothing abeg Vin goodnight, Ugo come and stay inthis shop” I yelled at Ugo who have re-appear playing night game with his friends.Ugo reluctantly left his play and came to stay in the shop while i left Vincent standing there with his buns stuffed mouth and headed out towards the house....continues
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