Coincidental?

Wale sat in Mama Sikira’s buka as he awaited his order- bitter leaf soup and two wraps of amala, a bottle of cold stout stood open on his table. He had come straight to Mama Sikira’s when he started feeling dizzy, and remembered that he hadn’t eaten before he smoked ‘igbo’ with his guys. He checked his pocket to make sure he had enough money to pay and smiled at its content. He was living the life; made money by hustling hard on the streets, came down to mama Sikira’s for a full stomach, smoked some joint every once in a while and slept till the next day. He wanted nothing more…Well, except for the occasional ‘piece of ass’. He had been living the life for as long as he could remember.

Once upon a time, he had been Adewale Ogunsaya, an Ilesha boy who had come with a relative to Portharcourt, to work as a houseboy. It hadn’t worked out right as his Madam was unbelievably cruel, more so, after her husband left with some other woman. Having endured enough, he left her to her ‘man-less’ life a little after the husband. He had gone back to his relative’s house only to discover that she had relocated and left to an address unknown. That marked the beginning of his street life; moving from hawker, to conductor and then to a respected tout .

He was interrupted as Ronke, one of Mama Sikira’s girls placed the steaming plate of food in front of him.

“Ronke baby, U don dey form for me abi?” he said, as he reached out and tapped her buttocks.

“Ahn Ahn… Wale no be like dat na” Ronke giggled as she moved out of his reach.

“Na like how na? I don dey tell U make U come visit me so I go do U well but U no gree.” Wale replied as he repositioned his food, placing the plate of amala to his right.

“No vex na, na bizness cause am. Oya I go show for ya area dis even…” Her reply was cut short by Mama Sikira’s call from the inner room that served as the kitchen. She made a motion with her fingers to show that they would continue the gist later, he smiled as he dug into his food. When like today, he was able to get a willing girl, he was more than satisfied. Tonight he would have Ronke singing in her mother tongue beneath him…that much he could swear to.

* * * * *

Wale looked up from his meal to see ‘Prophdet’ lower himself onto the seat opposite him.

“Prophdet! Prophdet!” Wale hailed him despite his full mouth. Prophdet was a lanky guy with a skin turned coarse and swarthy by the hours spent hustling under the scorching sun. He had been dubbed ‘Proph-det’ (coined from the words Prophet and Edet, which was his name) after he had – with startling clarity, foretold the goals to be scored by The Dolphins football club some years back, (that had been the beginning of his fame). Football always had a way of fostering friendships, especially among males.

“Prophdet how tings na? Your side clear?” Wale asked, as he watched Prophdet attack his meal – egusi soup and four wraps of fufu , this amazed him because he ate with Prophdet occasionally and knew the limit of the latter – two wraps of fufu which Prophdet claimed was more than satisfying. Seeing his friend attack with gusto, a meal he wouldn’t be able to finish even in his ravenous state, prompted him to ask;

” O boy, Wetin dey happen now?” At which Prophdet stared at him bemused.

“U jus dey upload dis food anyhow, U no sabi chop pass two na. Which kain hunger hook U like dis?”

Prophdet struggled with a piece of meat, tore it into strips and put it into his mouth, chewed on it with concentration and swallowed before he replied.

“Wals Baba, if U see de kain drim wen I drim dis aftunoon ehn, U go undastan.” He replied and gulped noisily from his ‘Orobo’ Pepsi. He swore that ‘Orobo’ sent the balls of fufu down smoothly than beer ever could.

“Which kain drim be dat?” Wale asked as he washed his hands, ready to understand how the dream connected with his friend’s eating habit.

“I bin drim say I die wen I dey go Shaki place for general meeting, na im make I wan chop wella incase I kpeme, food go dey my belle.” Prophdet said candidly as he cut off a ball of fufu and chewed on it.

Wale let out a howl of laughter that had other customers turning in their direction.
“Wait o! na drim make you wan overfill your belle so?” He asked, still laughing.

“E be like say You don forget say na tommorrow morning de meetin go hold? I wan make de belle full well well, incase of incasity.” Prophdet reiterated and dipped his determined fingers into the plate of soup.

Wale’s howl reduced to a chuckle and a constant shake of his head. He didn’t believe in dreams; not since the day he dreamt that his sick mother was hale and hearty, but woke and found her cold hands entwined with his on the bed they shared. Not after he had dreamt that he won a lottery and woke up to find his carton of gala for sale gone.

“Tah! To believe drim na for fools!” he concluded, and looked at Prophdet with a knowing smile on his face.

“Wals Baba, Wetin you go wan do if God tell you say na today you go kpeme?” asked Prophdet as he rinsed his hands.

Wale shook his head, he had known that his friend wouldn’t finish the meal despite his best intentions. Not when he drank the ‘Orobo’ – it had its way of filling the stomach, and this was Prophet who couldn’t eat more than two wraps of fufu. What remained on the plate would make two wraps. “What a waste!” he thought bitterly as he considered an answer to Prophdet’s question.

” Hmmm… If Baba God tell me say na today Im go off me, the thing wey dey my mind na to straff …” He nodded at Ronke who had materialized to take the plates away.

Prophdet looked appreciatively at Ronke’s swinging backside and gave Wale the thumbs up sign. They paid the money to Ronke who had returned to make sure the appointment with Wale still held. She winked at him and walked back to the kitchen, making extra effort to swing her backside provocatively in the tight red skirt she wore.

“Wals B, U sabi beta thing jare!” This was from Prophdet who slapped Wale on his shoulder, high-fived him as they walked out of the canteen and headed to the bustop.

“Trust me before death jam me, I go mus do dat last one!” Wale concluded.

* * * * *

Pa Laz walked out of the construction site where he had just finished his bricklaying job for the day. He hadn’t recieved his wages for the two days past and this annoyed him badly. The Chief for whom they were building had asked that his house be ready by December- four months from now. That kind of order bespoke money; lots of it and the willingness to spend it. The foreman had told them that the money for the month wasn’t in his account yet.

”Tah! Maybe im don use am.” Pa Laz spat out, as he searched his pockets and came up with two hundred and fifty naira. Fifty naira would take him home and the remainder would tide him over till the next day. He shrewdly calculated how he would spend the money as he headed to the bus stop.

* * * * *

Minutes later, a BRT bus ( popularly called Amaechi bus) pulled to a stop and there was a mad rush. People who hadn’t seemed to be in need of a ride rushed for the bus.
This being an art they had mastered in the course of their job, Wale and Prophdet jumped into the bus at the last minute, just as it pulled away from the curb.

“Oga abeg shake body small make we enter.” Wale asked, tapping an elderly man that stood hanging onto the rails in front.
The man moved some steps back, and some minutes later the heel of a boot came crushing down on his big toe.

“Yeh!” he let out a pain-filled yelp and pushed the owner of the offending shoe. It was Wale.

“Oga shuo! Wetin dem dey call U sef? U don dey madt abi? Why U dey push me lie dat?” he asked obviously annoyed.

“My name na Pa Laz and U bin dey match-match my leg.” the man pointed out angrily.

If Wale had apologized, things perhaps wouldn’t have gone the way they did. Insults were hurled from one end of the bus to the other, as the squabble between Wale and Pa Laz caused an entertaining diversion, with passengers screaming among themselves.

“Bustop dey?” Wale heard the female conductor cry out, this brought a stop to the exchange as some passengers alighted, creating space for some standees to sit down.

Wale was furious as he took a seat, he turned to Prophdet;

” Why dat old man go jus push me lie dat? Cause of say I enter Amaechi bus? After all plenty people wey I sabi get bus and taxi. Na me cause am but I go treat im fuck up!” Prophdet tried to calm him down as they approached their bustop- the busy MTN road.

* * * * *

“Bustop dey?” the conductor called out again, as Wale and Prophdet proceeded to the front. When they got close to Pa Laz who still stood in his former position, Wale lifted his boot and brought it down hard on the slightly sore toe. This time Pa Laz pushed him out of the bus, much to the surprise and annoyance of some passengers who shouted and demanded to know if Pa Laz wanted to kill the ‘innocent’ boy.

Fuelled by the passengers reactions, Wale bent to the ground, packed sand in his hand and flung it at Pa Laz, he could hear the laughter from the passengers.

He watched as the man got out of the now stationary bus, bent down, touched the tip of his second finger to his tongue, the sand and then pointed it skywards.

“Oh na me U wan swear for?”
Just before he could throw the sand at the old man, Wale saw a pained look run across his face as he heard the words:

“True to God ehn! If you no die before the end of today make I kno why!” The man pronounced and climbed back into the bus.

Infuriated by this, Wale followed the proclamation with a volley of sand before he walked away from the bus, cursing and shaking like a drug addict as he wiped his hands on his faded jeans.

He could see Prophdet waiting for him at the other side of the road. They were heading to Greenlight to watch the 5.45pm match between Arsenal and Portsmouth, he bet against Arsenal and wanted to watch the match for himself. As he made to cross the road, a lorry zoomed past him, miraculously missing him by the startled steps he had taken back. He threw open his palms at the back of the lorry and shouted: “Waka!” He made out the words painted on its tailgate: ‘Honor thy Fada and Moda.’ and as he crossed the road, he felt an impact from behind that sent him flying across the tarmac.



48 thoughts on “Coincidental?” by Bubbllinna (@sibbylwhyte)

  1. Look at this sentence: “Wale sat in Mama Sikira’s buka as he awaited his order- bitter leaf soup and two wraps of amala, a bottle of cold stout stood open on his table”

    Better if it had been “Wale sat in Mama Sikira’s buka as he awaited his order; bitter leaf soup and two wraps of amala, a bottle of cold stout open on his table”

    See the difference?

    “‘Honor thy Fada and Moda.’ and as he crossed the road, he felt an impact from behind that sent him flying across the tarmac.”

    No need for the full stop after ‘Moda’, and if it had to be there, it should have been followed with a capital letter.

    Wale was just a confused young man who thought he had it all figured out; that he could do no wrong.

    His character really stands out in the story – I feel like I connect with him.

    I like the title and how you hold it up subtly and openly through the story. You can write, really. But this could have been better. Feel like it’s ‘just there’. Understand?

    Good job.

    1. chief @Seun-Odukoya correction still. The comma after “Amala” makes it look like the opened bottle of stout on the table is part of the order he’s waiting for.
      IMHO, “…two wraps of Amala. A bottle of cold…” reads beta.

  2. I enjoyed reading your story. Your portrayal of the life of the underdog is perfect in this story. I could picture the scenes – your descriptions were very vivid. You should consider this sentence: “… that she had relocated and left to an address unknown*” – the adjective ‘unknown’ is misplaced because it’s supposed to qualify ‘address’. So, you could have something like “…left to an address unknown to him” or “…left to an unknown address”.
    Well done.

  3. I have read this somewhere before O°˚˚˚!
    Anyway, that tense issue we talked about…
    I think its wrong here. But am not sure.
    Would have written “makes”… “comes” … “smokes”
    But am not too sure now…

    1. @kaycee. Oh! Have you?..Well *shrugs*

      Still learning bout ’em tenses…Hope to God that I get the hang of it soon..
      Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Poor Wale.
    Enjoyable read

  5. Bubbles. Hmmm looks like u posted this from ur phone again… But that’s not an excuse, I post from my phone too.
    I noticed some inconsistencies in ur abbrevs, eg, “U” and “You” were used interchangeably. U did that wit some other words too.
    Anyways, u do have good stories, but more important than what u tell is how u tell it.
    Calm, don’t type and post in a hurry. Read thru line by line more than once, each time like you’re reading it for the first time…and listen to the pros of prose.
    Welldone ma.

  6. I like you prose, you know how to string a story.

  7. Interesting dialogue.

  8. Thumbs up babe…i really enjoyed reading ds,just be careful with d errors nxt time

  9. @Sibbylwhyte, this story was engaging and entertaining up to the point that Pa Laz met Wale on the bus… and then it just fizzled out, and the ending felt like you were just fed up of the story and wanted it to end.

    I’m trying to figure out why I felt unsatisfied. Maybe it was because I couldn’t understand how the situation between him and Pa Laz generated into a quarrel; after all, when you press your foot down and someone shouts, it’s fairly obvious what has happened. I also didn’t understand why the quarrel should have been “from one end of the bus to the other” if they were next to each other.

    Then, the ending felt very ‘preachy’, as though you wanted to say that Wale was being punished because he was disrespectful to his elders.

    But I liked the banter you showed between Wale and Prophdet, and the scene you painted in the bukateria. Good writing – well done.

    1. I had a more detailed ending…but I changed it to this. Perhaps that would have been more satisfying. So sorry that it left you unsatisfied. Will try harder next time.

      The truth about this piece is that; the scene in the bus, the sand throwing, all happened in real life. Yes, with the shouting from one end to the other too.(I was in the bus) Real life can be absurd.

      Preachy? Well, we should try to respect our elders…that’s the moral of the piece.

      Glad you took the time to read this. Happy that you liked some parts too…Thanks @tolaO

  10. The dialogue was fantastic, both the one Wale had with Ronke and the one he had with Prophdet. However, the scene inside the bus could have been much better. I think the title of the story sort of compelled you to want to string the latter part of the story the way you did.
    However overall, I enjoyed this story. Well done.

  11. I enjoyed the story. It was really entertaining.

    Well done.

  12. I love the end!

  13. GOOD STORY WILL GET BETTER LIKE OLD WINE

  14. i thot it was really good but u should note the corrections pointed out, they make ur story better.

    well done

  15. @seun-odukoya.

    I see a semi-colonial difference.
    Still learning how to get ’em punctuations right…

    Thanks for the corrections. I did send this to my ‘editor’ but i got no reply. So…here we are..
    Thanks 4 dropping by…$ß.

  16. Thanks a lot, @petunia007. I’m glad that you enjoyed the story…Will keep ’em corrections in mind, when I clean up the story…$ß.

  17. @osakwe..

    Thanks for reading…$ß.

  18. @literati..

    Yea, it’s no excuse..

    The inconcistences happened with the pidgin mostly. Changed the ‘you’ to U, guess I didn’t see them all.

    Will definitely try to read the story lotsa times b4 posting..
    Wrote dis a coupla months ago…I got bored of reading it every time..

    Glad I put it up(mistakes n all) so U could point out its flaws…Thanks 4 reading…$ß.

  19. @johnnysnow..
    Thanks a lot Johnny, glad U liked it.

  20. @obionyinye… Thanks Onyi..I sure will be, next time.

  21. @igweaj..

    Thanks a lot Kind Sir… Glad you enjoyed it.

    Actually the story gave rise to the title…$ß.

  22. @babyada

    Thanks a lot baby! Glad u enjoyed it…$ß.

  23. @chemokopi
    Whatever happened to the end?..
    Hehehe…U be picking sides huh?
    I love the begenning!…Thanks, you are Far too kind…$ß.

  24. I swear sey na de best story wey i don read 4 dis week b dis. O gal u killed it.

  25. @mikeefa… Thanks, I really hope it does…I appreciate…$ß.

  26. @funpen…Thanks dear for liking the story. Trust me, all the changes are being effected…Bless ya…$ß.

  27. @louis..

    Louis shey na bursting, U dey burst my head abi?…hehe… Thanks. Glad U enjoyed it.

  28. Now this is something…my fave gal and fave food all in one piece? this is what am talking about!
    You painted a crystal clear picture Bubb and your two fellas are true to the core; STREET LIFE.

    Fluid and engaging,particularly liked Pa laz, I swear I know him,lol. @sibbbyl, really enjoyed this.

  29. Oh Dotta! Your comments always make me smile….I feel the honesty…Yes o Swallow dey for the post…howz dat oat thingy coming along? Enjoying it lyk d original?..
    There was a real life Pa Laz n Wale,..I met them on a bus…hehe…
    Thanks dearie..God bless…$ß.

  30. @sibbylwhite…this had me laughing all through…except at the end when our guy died, i think..
    And ur pidgin sweet no be small…
    Very enjoyable read…

  31. @queennobo…Ah! Sorry about that, I gatz to add dat one cos doctor talk say over sweet thing dey worry belle. I hapi say de tori bin mek u laff…Thanks for reading…$ß.

  32. You write very well

  33. A very nice one.On a very bad day this piece can squeeze smiles even laughter from a wrinkled face…keep it up where all eyes will see it

    1. @himalone… Your comment is very heartwarming.. Glad it made you smile.

  34. Laurence (@Laurence-Chidindu)

    Again-i’ve got to say amazing work,I’m a big fan of mixing a bit of pidgin in stories,gives it a different feel…was a bit taken aback by the somewhat abrupt end,but still an enjoyable piece…thumbs up

    1. True, pidgin gives a work such as this a better feel. Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading and commenting, @laurence-chidindu.

  35. @sibbylwhyte; This piece reminds me of Toni Kan’s Brother Sonnie. Didn’t know ladies too can kill their characters in cold blood like this. Hey, Romeo and Juliet was another one, but Shakespeare was also a man. Life is too full of tragedies. There is already too much reminder of it by the press without writers adding to it. Ah! I am too soft hearted even for my own good. The piece is very interesting and entertaining then sad. Welldone SB.

    1. Lol @peverx. I kill for fun. *evil laugh* Haven’t read Toni yet. We gotta write what we have to write na. Softie like you.
      Thanks for reading and commenting

  36. Apart from the little oversights I noticed, it made for a nice read, and is funny too.

    ‘He was living the life…’ is a short lived statement, although you went ahead and explained, making use of a semi-colon.

    ‘smoked (in)
    some joint (s) every once in a while…’

    And towards the end of the narration: ‘Prophdet’ instead of ‘Prophet’. Also where you said, ‘he bet against Arsenal’ when you are narrating in the past tense. Could have been ‘betted’ (intransitive verb).

    Well done.

  37. Apart from the little oversights I noticed, it makes for a nice read, and is funny too.

    ‘He was living the life…’ is a short lived statement, although you went ahead and explained, making use of a semi-colon.

    ‘smoked (in)
    some joint (s) every once in a while…’

    And towards the end of the narration: ‘Prophdet’ instead of ‘Prophet’. Also, where you said, ‘he bet against Arsenal’ when you are narrating in the past tense. Could have been ‘betted’ (intransitive verb).

    Well done Bubb.

  38. @chime221. Thanks for dropping by.
    I have no idea what you mean by ‘short-lived statement’ unless ’twas meant to be a pun.
    What you pointed out is not an error. Joint is just another slang for weed, so there is no need for the *in* . Bet could also be used as past tense, and since the match hadn’t been seen, I went with that. Betted would do just fine too.
    Thanks for reading and pointing out the seeming errors. Appreciate.

    1. Hmmm! Collins Dictionary gave me two slangs for the word, ‘joint’. And †ђξ one you mentioned above is just one. Thanks for making me go and read it up. Just learnt a thing now.

      It was all worth it.

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