No Place Like Home (Finale).

No Place Like Home (Finale).

It was Giwa, my friend.

It was as though he had waited for my father to leave the room before he entered. I hadn’t seen Giwa in two months and all my attempts to find out his whereabouts had been futile; that was why I was surprised when I saw him standing at my door.

Giwa had always been slim that I often wonder if he’d ever add weight. He was dark complexioned with a funny looking nose. But he was friendly. Though I’m not used to having lots of friends; he was someone I couldn’t do without and I had no idea why.

I got off my bed, pushed past him without saying a word and headed straight to the bathroom to brush my teeth.

When I returned, I noticed the bewildered look on Giwa’s face. I guess he had observed the changes in my room: I’d changed the position of my book shelve; replaced my plastic reading table and chairs with wooden ones; covered my transparent silk cotton with a wine color flowery curtain; something that kept the room cooler, something that could delay the penetration of the morning light till about 8a.m; hung somewhere on my wine color painted wall are the framed-pictures of Prof. Wole Soyinka, Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, and Dan Brown –   my heroes.

“Nice room,” he muttered.

“Thanks.” I murmured and sat on the bed.

“What’s the problem?” Giwa inquired, “Why are you frowning?”

“Nothing,” I replied bluntly.

“Nothing,” he mimicked with a wide grin.

“Yeah, nothing,” I snarled.

He sat on the chair and placed his hand on my shoulder. “What is wrong with you, young man? I’ve never seen you in this mood. Tell me, what is it?”

I knew somehow that Giwa was not going to give up on asking me what the problem was so I shifted from his irksome hand and pointed to the brown envelope.

He got up almost reluctantly to pick up the envelope, tore the lid and peered into it before checking the contents: my passport, a ticket, and a Thomas cook money order. He opened the passport and studied it with rapt attention. “It’s a visa to the states!”He exclaimed with enthusiasm.

He jumped at me on the bed and gave me a hug. “I am so happy for you…”

“Happy about what,” I interrupted. I am a cynic; I don’t believe that people will do something for you or like you without a reason. But somehow, I have reserved my cynicism towards Giwa and I don’t know why. “Why are you happy about…”

“You are going to the states!” He cut in.

I scowled, “But I am not happy. It’s not even a student VISA, it’s a visiting VISA.”

I could see he was so happy; his eyes glazed over with a film tears. “You have to be happy. At least many people don’t have this kind of opportunity be it student or visiting VISA”

“You don’t understand, Giwa.”

“I do or you should let me understand.” He replied.

“There is no place like home.” I said.

I think I heard him muttered something like there is no place like home. Yes! I saw his lips move. I could see that he was confused, that he couldn’t comprehend the phrase I’d uttered. I guess he was probably wondering how someone could reject a Visa to the states.

“Pardon me?” he said.

“Yes, you heard me.” I stressed.

“But I don’t understand you; it doesn’t make sense”

“Let me make you understand.”I adjusted. I could see the bewildered look on his face; the curiosity buried somewhere in his eyes.

He relaxed on his seat and folded his hands across his chest; I could tell that he had given me his attention. “For real, there is no place like home.”

He stared, bewildered.

I began, “In my home, I can eat whatever I like in my car and litter the road with dirt and nobody will harass me. It is only in my home that you don’t need a radio to dance in your car and where the road is good; you can kill yourself with over speeding. No law against that. No law against anything. But in the states, everything is unlawful.” I said all these as though I was reciting a memory verse.

Giwa refolded his hands while I continued, “In my home, we have the best education system. The one that puts pressure on one and helps one to think of a way out of a situation; think of it, sometimes pain is good because it brings out the best in us. If not for university strikes, ASA would not have discovered herself.” I nudged him. “Look at me, I wrote my first novel during a short-spell strike. But in the states, the education system is uninterrupted that I think it make things prosaic.”

He looked at me with disgust and said, “Can you hear yourself?”

“Yes I can. So now you listen to me.” I continued. “Though in my home, you can be scared of being kidnapped – which on the other hand it is a source of income to some folks – but at least it’s better than serial killing. Imagine a serial killer; someone who just kills for fun. What if I am a victim?” He wanted to say something but I did not give him a chance. “Imagine me touching and kissing you, Giwa. They’re called homosexuals right? That’s absurd!”

He nodded as though he agreed with me on that and I continued “Though in my home, a man of 50 years old can marry a 12 year old. But at least it is better; some folks want to catch them young…”

“Listen, Michael and shut up! Shut up! What is wrong with you!” he shouted at me “Are you dumb?” touching his head.

“No I am not! Because if I am, I will pick up that ticket and travel; but I won’t.” I shook my head. “Imagine a place with 24hrs electricity. That’s irrational. In my home, we’re fair and rational. Everyone gets his share: the generator seller, the candle seller, and the petrol and kerosene seller. Which to me it’s fair compared to the states where everything is run accordingly.”

“Now I am sure that you are crazy,” said Giwa with a wry smile.

“No I’m not,” I rebuffed. I stood up, walked to the front of my mirror and stretched out my arm.

“No I’m not crazy,” I reassured myself. “In my home, we do not disrespect our elders. Remember the musician that disrespected his elders because he thought we’re in the democracy era, he was taught the lesson of his life. So you want me to go there too and return home to start talking to my parents as my mate? Another thing, prison is part of a black man’s life over there because it is [a]luxury facility not correctional facility as they say. The real correctional facility is here in our home. Now who is crazy; you or I?”

Giwa took a deep breath as though he had just heard the most terrifying thing of his life.

He shook his head and said, “It’s true.”

What was true? I wondered: Was I crazy or was he? Had all I’d said about my home been bias or real? I saw the look on his face and I could relate with it. With the half smile buried somewhere on his face, I knew he understood I had been sarcastic about all I’d said.

I wanted to tell him; that in my sarcasm lay an iota of truth, that indeed there is no place like home so rather than run to the states, we should just work together for a better future. I wanted to tell him that in our home we’re kings but in someone else’s home, we’re slaves. I wanted to say all these and more to Giwa but he was already on his way out.

When he got to the door; he stood for a while and without looking at me, he said, “Grow up buddy.”

He shut the door carefully behind him as he left. I was thankful, at least, that he didn’t bang my door like my dad had.

The phrase grow up buddy resounded in my head a million times. But who really needs to grow up; Giwa or I?

 



17 thoughts on “No Place Like Home (Finale).” by Fadehan (@Fadehan)

  1. @topazo and @hymar
    I dey wait… abeg criticize this work harshly abeg… na beg i dey beg pls….
    i think criticism is making me stronger lately…

  2. Finally after a long wait…. It comes out.

    Oops *I didn’t get what I expected*

    I have not come across any Nigerian who would reject an American VISA for the reasons your MC stated. See, am currently in my final year with semester shy of being a graduate, but I would easily abandon my degree should I see a chance your MC saw.

    I expected a concrete reason… But what I read was flaccid.

    I would leave topazo n hymar to do the grammar and technicality, but I will say this. It is not compulsory you add a dialogue tag to every dialogue. Too much tags slow up the reading and makes it boring. You don’t always have to describe every sentence.

    See this

    “ASUU don craze o,” Ada shouted, standing up from her seat.

    “Na wetin dem do?” Tunde asked

    “Dem ask for additional money + four months salary,” Ada replied.

    “Oga o. So na till next year tins be that,” Tunde suggested with a frown on his face.

    You see what I mean. Why not cut those dialogue tags off.

    “ASUU don craze o,” Ada shouted, standing up from her seat

    “Na wetin dem do?” Tunde asked.

    “Dem ask for additional money + four months salary.”

    “Oga o, na next year tins be that o.”

    Though that is not an elaborate example, but I suppose you digg.

    And good work on this piece…. Keep writing.

    *KG*

  3. Why did he refuse to use the visa when he went through the process of obtaining it?

  4. @Kay griens thanx so much for the dialogue issue thing, i appreciate it but……

    And about my MC. first, i am sorry for not giving you a concrete reason. second, I am disappointed, as my oga at the top, that you don’t get the idea in the story>>>>> it is the opposite of what is in mind.

    is nigeria education system really good?
    is our roads good?
    is our prison good?
    is our electricity issue good??
    is that governors idea of marrying a 12year old good?
    is the rampant kidnapping issue of delta state good??

    my MC is saying that they are not all good, but indirectly(sarcastically)……. u want make i talk am directly make them shoot my head???
    thanx for stopping bye sir…. I love it and i appreciate you KG… waiting for tale of reality 5

  5. Ahnahn! me I read only the first and finale of the story.
    How many did I miss?

  6. Well, less errors in this one…
    Keep improving

  7. Good work but let’s just say it didn’t do it for me. I get that you want a satire but really, who would reject a ‘visiting’ visa for those reasons?

    Also, I noted some errors. The semi-colon in “…though I’m used to having lots of friends;…” should have been a comma. The sentence where you mentioned the changes in your room seemed too long. You could have made several sentences out of it and it would have turned out even better. Could just be me though. “with a film tears” rather than film of tears. And “young man”? You made Giwa sound old, except if he’s old or was joking.

    You did a good job o. Don’t let my comment weigh you down abeg.

  8. @bunmril, you missed none and thnx for reading
    @ ehiabah, i really appreciate your epistle and corrections…. thnx so so much!!!

  9. Not so bad.
    Tighten up your dialogue

  10. @kaycee i really appreciate ur comment but pls pls pls and pls give me a sample of how u want me to tigthen up mu dialogue….
    pls, dont mean to disturb u….. pls

    1. It is a disturbance, especially as you are not paying.
      But, i’m a good fella, so am gonna try…

      First, try to make your dialogue, sound real. Read it out aloud to see if it sounds like something people will say.
      Try not to use too many ‘he said’, ‘she said’.

      The story and the structure of the dialogue should be able to tell who is speaking without you adding, ‘said Giwa’, or said that person.
      Since its more than one person talking, they should not sound the same. People talk differently, so let the characters speak differently on your dialogue. A ready should be able to tell who is speaking just from the mood,manner of the speech.
      Try not to ever use ‘she snarled’, ‘i stressed’, ‘i replied gleefully’ etc. Just use ‘he said’ or ‘she said’.

      “What’s the problem?” Giwa inquired, “Why are you frowning?”

      “Nothing,” I replied bluntly.

      “Nothing,” he mimicked with a wide grin.

      “Yeah, nothing,” I snarled.

      If i rewrite this it would go something like :

      “What’s the problem?” said Giwa, “Why are you frowning?”

      “Nothing,”

      “Nothing?”

      “Yeah, nothing.”

      More practice, would help. Listen to people talking and see how they talk.

      Now, pay up!

  11. @Kaycee
    Thanx sooooooooooooooooo much…..
    Sorry for the disturbance too…….
    i will have to study what you just tot me all over again…

    And i will pay up soon! in points….. How about a 100 for the service??? I know thats a drop in the ocean but i bet u’ll appreciate it….
    I appreciate this contribution Kaycee and i like ur tie too..

  12. Haha, Fadehan you dey crase, you dey madt. You dey call my name make I critique for you but na Kaycee u want pay. Abeg free me Jare.

    I hate stories where things just seem to happen for no reason. Try to make use of the cause and effect theory. There must be a motivation behind every action. This is better, less typos.

  13. @Fadehan, bros na visiting visa, no be student visa, I very much understand your point exactly, but guess what been a student in the USA, helps you have plans and goals you know when you will graduate if you fulfill your part in studying hard.

  14. @ Fadehan, truth be told, No place like home my brother

  15. @ Kaycee, “pay up” reminds of my aunt, her children when she is driving and one person or persons in the car doesnt have their seat belt on, the first person to say pay up gets a quarter (.25 cents) from whoever didnt use the belt.

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