I was quite excited. I was going to the comedy show with Kayode later. I had to get my hair done and still shop for what to wear, it was going to be hectic and I didn’t simply have the time.
“Stop yelling at me!”
My younger sister screamed at her twin brother. Those twins were the most incompatible set I had ever known or met.
“Stop shouting like a girl,” Tano hollered back at his sister.
I swear those two got on my nerves too much. I mean my mum could trade these kids for better ones, couldn’t she?
“Hey!” I yelled at them both, “I am sure you both don’t want some of my red hot anger this afternoon, it’s simply too hot for all this noise.”
Peace at last! I could focus on why I was not seeing my favourite tank top in my wardrobe. Mary was the last person to come to my place; she must have taken it without my consent. The girl was simply mad, she knew how I hated sharing my stuff but still that did not deter her from taking my stuff. Picking my phone, I quickly dialed her number and tapped my feet impatiently as I waited for her to pick.
“Efe, I was just about to call you.” Whispering into the phone that I had to strain to hear, “My period is late!”
“What, have you been having sex?!” It came out before I could hold it back in. Gosh! I shouldn’t have asked that, it sounded too judgmental.
“Yes, I know I have been bad but what do I do now? I mean I hear of drugs and …”
“Don’t even go there…are you…” I looked round to make sure my siblings were nowhere close “are you thinking of …you know…”
“Yes! What else can I do?”
“But you could die!”
“And I would still die when my parents find out!”
“I don’t know, can I ask someone for an opinion?”
“Someone like who?”
“Kay, he is coming in and we are going for a comedy show, the reason why I called in the first place.”
“Oh? Okay I guess but listen I also need some money from you, I am broke and will repay you next week.”
“I am sorry I sound so callous but can I call you back on that?”
Sounding confused, she muttered an ‘okay’ before disconnecting the call. I knew I should have answered about the money but I had my soul to think of…wouldn’t I burn in eternal hell for allowing Mary carry out the unthinkable?
“Hey, babe hello” Kay’s voice always made me tingle all over but we had agreed to wait. Gosh! I couldn’t wait to find out if what made me tingle was going to be worth it.
“Hi” I replied shyly into the phone.
“So, I was thinking about something and wanted your opinion.”
“I also have something to ask you…”
“Okay, I think you should go first.”
“No, mine isn’t too important, so shoot!”
“Okay, I have joined an activist organization.”
“What do you mean by ‘an activist organization’, like all those violent groups?”
“No…Babe…No. You know how I am always concerned about the affairs of the nation, with the bombings everywhere and all.”
“Well, I decided to take the bull by the horn and actually do…join something. I don’t want to sit by passively anymore, I am sorry for not running this by you first but I badly want your support on this.”
“Why? So you could get killed? So, that I become a young widow if we eventually get married?”
“It’s ‘when’ and not ‘if’ babe. People don’t just get killed, look at Odumakin, Bakare and co…have they been killed?”
“Oh? You want to be in the papers, right? That’s why you want to become an activist so that you can have your name in the headlines…”
“Hey, we can talk about this when I come over. Please, I am sorry I didn’t seek your permission but I will make it up…”
“Save it! I guess it doesn’t matter.” I was being unreasonable but I didn’t care. Men! Silly creatures that plunged into silly projects to soothe their silly egos.
“What do you mean by it doesn’t matter, Efe I am sorry!”
“Kay, it doesn’t matter, I am pregnant!” I blurted out and immediately wished I hadn’t.
The silence was awkward and the deep sigh at the end of the line confirmed just how deep I had stabbed him.
His voice when he spoke was gentle, too gentle. “Do I know who owns it, since we have definitely not had sex?”
“Yes…No…It’s not like that?”
“Can I still see you when I come? I just want to understand where I went wrong and perhaps see you for the last time. Oh Efe! How could you? We have come this far, it was till death do us part…”
I was about to respond and tell him I was joking around when my phone’s battery died on me. God! Blackberries and their short battery life span!
I hated when I wanted to call and apologize and the line wasn’t going through. It made one more fidgety. Kay should have been here or called me by now. I loved him too much for the childish game I was playing. Just as I was about to call again, Mary’s call came in.
“Oh my God! Efe…Efe…what are you going to do?! I have been trying your line, since I heard.”
Really, Mary could be overdramatic…she wasn’t the first to get pregnant out of wedlock. If she knew she couldn’t handle it, why did she have unprotected sex in the first place?
“Mary, I will call you back. Please I am trying to get Kay”
Really, she was getting annoying! Couldn’t she stay pregnant for a few more hours? Making a mental note to scold her later, I was finally happy when Kay picked his line.
“Hello babe, I have been trying your line” I said happily falling back down on my bed.
The background was quite noisy – sounded like wails- as I struggled to hear him.
“Hello, I can’t hear you. Where are you?”
“I say who be this?!”
“But who are you? Is that your phone?”
“Sorry…wait…wait…talk to this person…im go answer you well well, oma se o. Akoba adaba, olorun oonije ari!”
What was going on for heaven’s sake? Yes, I had been silly but Kay didn’t need to pull my legs this much, haba, my own shakara go pass this one oh! I vowed to myself as I waited for Kay to answer his phone. Imagine handing his phone over to a tout! Or perhaps he had joined his activist friends in protesting over something. Wait! I hope he wasn’t protesting over the University name change? This would really be pushing things too far, I thought he said he was concerned about the nation; did it include particular groups too? Perhaps, I should switch on the television and see the latest protest.
The television was on CNN which meant Daddy was back. How would I get the latest news? Squinting at the television, I saw a crowd gathered round a building and a downed plane. Hmm…some poor country had just witnessed a crash. What a pity! At least we last heard of this disaster many years back, thank God it was becoming safe to fly in Nigeria.
It was then I realized that someone had been talking to me…my phone was still on.
“Sorry…I ask again, please are you a relative to the owner of this phone?”
“Yes…his wife.” That should tickle him a bit but I didn’t care, life was too short abeg! The crashed airplane in whatever country probably had those who had departed with lovers’ quarrel. What a pity they didn’t have the chance to make things right.
“I am sorry but did your husband fly Dana?”
“My husband?… Oh yes! He flew Dana…any problem?”
“Well…Madam, I am sorry, your husband’s plane…crashed around Iju…”
Jesus Christ! I turned and looked at the television again. I had been hovering at the edge of the parlour but now I glided in – I don’t think I walked, I definitely glided – I was short-sighted so I hadn’t seen the news that scrolled across the screen. The news that said the crash happened in Nigeria, in Lagos.
I don’t know what happened afterwards, I cannot claim to remember. I was told later that I screamed at Mary when she came around, blaming her for what happened. I shouldn’t have, Kay was not coming because of Mary, he was coming because of me!
What saddens and depresses me most is the last thing that would have been on his mind when the plane went down; the fact that he had betrayers round him in that I had betrayed our trust and that his country whom he loved and was willing to stake so much on had betrayed his trust!
Sun re o my love, it’s not till death do us part because death has just brought me one step closer to you.