He stared down, looking at the still waters, which were the only ‘animated’ still objects. People, animals, pieces of nylon and paper flew around the bridge. No one noticed what he was doing and where he stood. This was Lagos, where you mind your business, after all.
He then stared at the skies, who knew his bitterness towards life and people, while he muttered some words, sorrow on full display on his face. After his words went towards the thin air, He faced the water.
and with all the wonderful clothes on him, he fell. Fell into the bridge, away from the people and moving objects. He fell to his death.
Watching his mother, a 70 year old woman, shed tears and blood( if that was possible) at his grave, I wondered if i could have saved Tejumade Akanni from death. What brought our paths together? It is a story of two months back.
I met Made( Or Maddy as I called him) when he was walking on my street. His destination, I did not know. His previous location, unknown. What struck me about him was his dressing. He wore the tightest pair of trousers possible, He sagged( which irritated me)and his posture and movement were queer.
Like that of a girl.
I had heard of this set of weirdos, but my guts told me that i just saw one of them. So, I changed direction and went after him, much to the chagrin of my legs. For all his girly movements, he was quite fast and it took a bit of jogging to catch up to him. I managed to tap his shoulder.
‘What can I do for you?’ the voice was more feminine than Bose, my ex-girlfriend. This, to my limited understanding, meant one thing.This guy is gay!
I stood, stupefied for a second, before gathering some wits upstairs and saying silently, ‘So you are gay’.
Oops! That was my mouth.
Life can be so cruel. i was known to be loud, literally speaking, but it was louder this time, attracting the wrong set of people.
‘Where im dey?’ A wild looking man asked the thin air, as the ever busy and gossiping Lagosians prepared mentally to lynch the person. The clothes he wore exposed him and before anyone could say Stop,he was stoned with sachets of ‘pure water’, stones, sticks and more dangerous objects before he was beaten by the set of young ruffians better known as ‘agberos’.
The Police came just as they planned to burn him alive and dragged him away to their station. How they did it I don’t know, but his face said it all. The damage was done, His face, covered in tears and shame, like a girl brutally raped in the full glare of the public.His psyche was damaged, his dignity smeared. I left without saying a word. Without consoling him. Without a word.
Now I see his corpse, it begs the question, could I have saved him? If I was reasonable enough and listened to what he had to say( he borrowed those clothes because someone soiled his own clothes)about his clothes, i may have acted better. He may not be gay from what I hear but had been stigmatized previously for a posture he could not have corrected on his own. Maybe I should have just shut up at the right moment, and Maddy could have been saved.