Lightning flashed across the sky. The clouds drifted close to each other, turning dusk into thick darkness, the air was chilly with the wind blowing dust around. The street was busy with everyone rushing home to escape the approaching rain. The road was congested as motorists, bike riders and pedestrians were all in a rush.
I was bone tired. I had had a busy day at the office. I quickened my step and clutched my bag tighter. I was on my way home, trekking the short distance between my home and the office. My face was crunched tight and there were stress lines visible on my face.I gingerly picked my way across the street, carefully watching out for the reckless motor-bike riders.
I was about turning into my neighbourhood when I perceived a sweet aroma. I remembered that I had nothing to eat as I had run out of foodstuffs earlier in the week. I had been sustaining myself with indomie, bread and garri and I seriously needed a change of food. I had made up my mind to go and get some foodstuffs this weekend but weekend is still about two days away.
Moi-moi will not be bad idea as it will give a change of taste. I moved closer to the shop where the aroma was coming from and the aroma was quite tantalizing.
The fire was hungrily licking brightly at the huge pot of moi-moi. My face carved into a grin as I imagined how I will curl up on my sofa enjoying a hot and delicious moi-moi on this cold evening and afterwards enjoy a nice and rewarding sleep.
I could not wait to get home.
The woman selling the moi-moi was frail, thin and her face was designed with marks. I guessed the woman must be new to the area because the woman was not there when I passed this area yesterday.
I moved closer to her and told her to sell me #80 worth of moi-moi. As she was about removing the cover of the pot, the rain started so, I went into her stall to seek refuge from the rain.
The woman stood back in the rain trying to adjust the pot of moi-moi and shield the fire from the onslaught of the rain.
I watched as she adjusted the hot pot with her bare hands, Her hands were thin and dry with the veins sticking out probably due to poverty or burns from cooking. While rearranging the position of the moi-moi, she looked into the drainage, and saw the way the heavy current was sweeping away the refuse dumped into the drainage. She smiled and said “O ti e da, ki o maa wo gbogbo idoti yen lo,ki o maa wo lo. (It is good; it should wash away all the dirt. Yes! It should wash it away).
The next thing I saw as I watched her made me blink my eyes twice. I used my hand to clear my face to be sure that my eyes are not deceiving me. I picked my eye-glasses from my bag and put them on so as to see clearly.
The huge pot of moi-moi had fallen inside the drainage and the heavy current had rapidly washed it away.
“Yee, mo Gbe, mo je gbese, owo jona, owo olowo, tani mose” (yee, am in trouble, I have incurred a debt, money has burnt, someone else’s money, who did I offend) were her cries.
Tears gathered in my eyes for the woman who was trying to make ends meet but faced such a setback and for the dinner I won’t be eating that night.
I felt pity for the woman and anger at her for neglecting the fact that power lies in the tongue.
After some attempts at consoling the woman, and at the same time consoling myself, I picked up my bag and walked home in the rain.
P.S Please read and drop your comments. I will like to hear your opinion of the story. Thanks.