The morning air is fresh as usual. It is yet to get to that part of the day when it is distorted by all the pollutants you can possibly think of. Even the birds understand this and they sing gaily, if only for a few hours before other sounds wake up to drown out their joyous songs.
It is a cool morning, the breeze gently caressing and not too chilly; the kind of morning pregnant with the promise of rain sometime later in the day. It is one of those glorious morning atmosphere which should be protectively nurtured and allowed to fully express itself to all of mankind. Giving them the full benefit of basking in it’s cool, clear and crisp sweetness; before giving way to other unpleasantness the day has got to offer.
But ironically, it is man who is the greatest enemy to such mornings as this.
Tunde took a deep whiff at the fresh morning air, he allowed himself a lung-full before stepping out of his gates. He locked the gate and starts his routine morning jog. He likes it when it is this peaceful in the morning. Before the madness of the early morning rush. He mentally times himself – thirty minutes before he joins in the mad rush himself.
For now, most of mankind is still asleep. At least, it is in this small settlement called Oreta; a small outlying suburb of a sub-urban town of Ikorodu in Lagos. It is one of those places that is just beginning to witness a semblance of development – infrastructural and social wise. It is a town where the people, the original inhabitants have refused to let go of old and mundane ways. They still place sacrifices at T-junctions, they announce curfews for traditional festivals and other fetish purposes – even the only road that serves as entry and exit route to the settlement seem specifically designed to discourage strangers and new settlers. It is torture for cars to ply the road; much worse during rainy seasons.
Despite all these, the settlement is fast losing its arcane outlook. It is fast growing and even the archaic practices of the original settlers have not dissuaded people to penetrate Oreta, with the hope of settling down and making it the foundation of their family roots. It can no longer be referred to as a settlement, at least not in the real sense of the word. In recent years, it has become flooded with newcomers who have discovered its lands were far cheaper alternatives to landed assets in other parts of the state.
And amongst the newcomers are those who own cars, generators, those who set up saw mills, block making industries and even small road side canteens. These people were the ones who have brought strange noises and other industrial pollutants which makes enjoying such glorious morning, as the one which Tunde had woken up to, flitting and soon forgotten.
Tunde is also a new comer, but prides himself as a lover of nature. He took pains to minimize his intrusion on his natural surroundings. It is this new found love of nature that drove him to instal solar panels, generating his alternative source of power from the sun rather than a noisy, smoky generating set.
Moving down here has given him a better sense of appreciation for nature. Delighting in little things he took for granted in the past. At least, he can take morning jogs now.
His thoughts were filled with these musings as he turned at the far end of the long, jagged road into another that takes him on a circuitous route that flanks the town at its outermost periphery.
He is thirty three, single and moved into the town about three months ago. The decision to move had been borne out of necessity. The owner of the house he rented in Ikeja had threatened him with eviction on two previous occasions. But last year had been the last straw for Tunde Badmos.
Even though his financial situation had been a bit rough, considering he just started his own law firm and clientele was still low he had gotten help from his buddy, Lamurin who had helped him get two plots of land here and through Baker, another buddy was able to source a mortgage.
Now things are looking up and he is always busy. His clients demanding, the hours crazy.
Tunde Badmos smiled. Things are not bad at all.
His flat-soled running shoes continues to pound the uneven asphalt. His heartbeat in rhythmic sequence with the soft, thudding noise made by his shoes.
Everything was fine, the fact he lived so far away from the usual hustle and bustle of central Lagos had been more of a blessing. He had drastically cut down on his late night-outs, the debauchery he and his friends engaged in on weekends have become a thing of the past.
”Well, not entirely.” He muttered as he looked at the luminous dials of his quartz sports runner watch.
5.12 a.m it read.
He swung his arms as he initiated another sequence in his running exercises.
All those late night escapades with the boys have reduced to the extent that Chike was sent to his office to frontally accuse him of deserting the brotherhood.
Tunde smiled to himself. The brotherhood.
His own personal safety net against the world and its troubles….