Mariam: ( runs to hug her brother) Jady you’re back! Welcome home!
Jadison: Thanks, sis. Where is mum and dad?
Mariam: She just went for a walk with friends…She had waited too long for you. Dad’s at work, you know that…and…Where are the goodies? Don’t tell me you left Abuja’s airport to Lagos with nothing!
Jadison: Hahaha…Silly, they are in the car. Go get them! Take the maids along with you ! (She dashes off with two maids) Hmmm…Oh what a journey! My parents could not come to the airport…Hmmm…This is unlike the parents I know. No one could even await the much expected arrival of their only son…The smartest lawyer in town!….and…
Mariam: Hey! Jady are you okay? Why have you turned yourself to a listening audience?
Jadison: Oh dear…Never mind. I just had a long day. See you later in the evening. Off to my room!
Mariam: But…but…You haven’t even discussed your journey or…or your stay in the United States…or…even anything. ( She sees his back even before she completes the statement. These days, no one seems to be in a good mood, she thought. She starts to eat the quiche that Jadison bought…And in no time, Madam Edem enters.)
Madam Edem: Hmmm… I thought my son just arrived. Why isn’t he here? Where is he? This is very unlike him…
Mariam: And you likewise… It’s also very unlike you to have stayed back at home while your son was at the airport. You couldn’t just spice up his trip by awaiting his presence at the airport!
Madam Edem: Shut your stupid mouth! What do you know? You want to piggy back on my failure to wait for him at the airport as an excuse for your nonchalance! Why didn’t you call your father too? Were we not supposed to go together? Huh?
Mariam: If he wasn’t going to work from his pled-a-terre everyday, perhaps I would have seen him this morning!
Madam Edem: Mtcheew…I am not surprised. I thought you were his ally, huh? Isn’t it time to leave already? Why are you still in this house? Won’t you go and start living with him? Huh? Like father, like daughter!
( Jadison, a young man in his early twenties, fully accomplished and of course…was a well fed and spoilt child. He had just arrived from a short trip to the United States of America. His presence in the sitting room disrupts the “conversation” or rather the “verbal fight” , between his mother and his younger sister. They both stop for a minute…to stare at a tall, handsome young man. The short curls on his head made him look like a white foreigner, his light skin as well…)
Jadison: Uhhh…What’s going on here?
Madam Edem: ( She wears a poker face and runs to hug her son) Oh my child! Welcome! I missed you so much…How was the journey? How was the States? When did you arrive? …uhh…Have you called your father? And how is Nkem?
Jadison: Too many questions… Too many! Well, I am fine. I think I would have been better If you and dad came to the airport!
Madam Edem: I am so sorry, son. Things beyond my control came up. I am profoundly repentant of my actions. I actually had a sprain. But I am doing just fine…now. And your dad…Well, he hardly visits!
Jadison: Hardly? What is really going on? This is my father’s house!
Madam Edem: Well…Your dad and I are not…not really in the best of terms now…I could see he was getting narked with me…for no just reason…and I really could not comprehend his actions. Well..He thought it wise to leave… As a gnomic, he could not but find a better house…and…and a better mistress!
Jadison: Outrageous! And no one thought it wise to tell me? You all gloved this hideous situation in your smiles? Huh?
Madam Edem: It was beyond me…(He rises up to leave) Wait up! Where are you going all of a sudden? You just got back!
Jadison: Mariam, come with me now! Take me to dad’s “pled-a-terre”! ( She gladly joins him and they exit immediately)
Time : 4:36pm
Mrs Ajayi: Banjo! Banjo! What is chasing you?
Uncle Banjo: I saw some thugs on my way here! They chased my car till i got to the junction. When they saw the police patrol vehicle, they retreated…(breathes heavily) Those thugs of Chief Benson are still at large in this town. They spotted me at the airport! Oh my God! I had no idea that they are also in this town…I could recognise Raba, the hitman. He smiled when he captured my face as his blood shut eyes glared at me. And before I knew it, they started chasing my car! Oh my life is but a running clock!
Mrs Ajayi: Now, you want to make this town unsafe for us again! I told you to lay low!
Banjo: Well, I thought this town was safe!…And now, calling the police into this will totally screw everything. I would be putting your lives at stake. And I can’t risk my sister and her son’s life all because of me!
Mrs Ajayi: You know your life is at threat here and you still come around? Have you signed your death sentence again?
Tosin: It’s okay, mum. Uncle Banjo, good evening. Who were really after you?
Uncle Banjo: Don’t ponder on this, nephew. You have no idea of who they are. I got this!
Mrs Ajayi: No…You are wrong. He is aware now. I just told him all our secrets…and…
Tosin: And how your mistakes killed my brother!
Uncle Banjo: I am so sorry, nephew. You don’t understand. I didn’t come here for family reunion! I came here to let you know that…that…
Tosin: What? Huh? That they are after your life? Well…I am not surprised… Blood must have blood.
Mrs Ajayi: Listen to your uncle, please…please hear him out. It wasn’t really his fault. It was my fault. I was the one who delivered my son into the shores of death. Please listen to him…If you want to blame anyone…please put all the blame on me…
Tosin: Well, I am not ready to talk to anyone! No one! I have heard enough of this crap already. Let the terrible ghoul of your pasts chase you all. I’m roaming!
Mrs Ajayi: Where are you going? Tosin! Tosin!
Uncle Banjo: Let him be…Let him be…He would return…He may not be ready today…But he will, another day…another day.
(Another day? Unfortunately, he didn’t live to see the other day. He had come for a purpose… And that purpose, he didn’t achieve… At 7:34pm, he was shot by some unknown gunmen in Mrs Ajayi’s…And Tosin…oblivious and clueless he was, was in the midst of the unspeakable splendours of the company of Mirabel.)
Jay Hay’s town.
Tosin: Hmmm…Why is your cellphone switched off?
Mirabel: You complained about my phone ringing when we…Anyways, It’s better that way! It disturbs and you know…the calls and everything…We don’t need any disturbances, do we?
Tosin: (smiles) You know I love you, right?…And I didn’t come here empty handed!
Mirabel: Oh of course! I always like the sound of that. It is indeed your own dexterity…And I am your humble devotee…
Tosin: I would have given a maniacal laughter to that. You loyal? Hahahaha…Girls aren’t loyal these days.
Mirabel: Urghh! Hoey talk! I bet you on that on a bottle of hooch. (She drags his short curly hair) I think that I have been too loyal to a Don Juan like you! Don’t you think so?
Tosin: Hmmm…I don’t have to be diffident about that. (Smiles) But I am indeed glad that I met you. My day was ruined by my mother and her brother. But I am glad that I can boldly say that you have made my day again!
Mirabel: I am glad to hear that too…Now get up, for it would be safer to be on the sofa when my mother comes back.
Tosin: Okey dokey!
Zed: Dude! It’s me, Zed.
Tosin: Speak up, bro!
Zed: Boss just called up an impromptu meeting. We have to be there at 7pm on the dot. Failure to attend will attract grave sanctions.
Tosin: Oh man! How can I make it to the Skulls today?
Zed: I don’t know…Just run along and be here in no time. The guys are here now. Thaza’s gang is laying up threats against us. To be safe, you’d better bring the gun with you. We never know when it would be time to defend ourselves…and ravage those dogs; Thaza’s gang.
Tosin: Man, I just had the biggest discovery of my life. Chief Benson, the convict in jail, Mr Olisa Ruba’s elder brother was the ex leader of Thaza’s gang!
Zed: I knew that a long time ago, man. Don’t tell me you never knew! That beast, Ruba Olisa is the new leader…I guess you know that! Anyway, run along! See you there at 7!
Mirabel: What’s wrong? Who called?
Mirabel: And that changed your mood? Why are you so much in a hurry to leave?
Tosin: I am sorry…But I have to leave…It’s quite an emergency!
Mirabel: Oh really? Why would you be so much in a hurry to see Zed,huh? Wow! You think you are smart? You wanna hook up with another girl! I know you want to! A girl called you right? (Checks his last received call and sees that the number was not saved) I guessed it and I was right!
Tosin: Oh will you just shut your mouth? If I do hook up with other girls, then what does that make you? A courtesan? Oh yes! Even God knows I spend my hard earned money on you! I try my best to please you at all times and still not cheat on you…and all I get are unpleasant statements from you? (She brayed with laughter.)
Mirabel: Oh what a bravura performance! You should be an actor! Well, If i took a jaunt down your history of flirtation, perhaps I would have become a nun! Oh I guess you have forgotten Kiki, Debby, Freda among others! Hmmm…are you surprised? Well, I am sorry to burst your bubble! The braggart of our days!
Tosin: …Those girls are old news. You…You…You are the only girl I have been serious with…(When he realises that he has become emotional, he tries to beat down his emotions.) Oh well, I haven’t got much time for this. The money is on the table! (She tries to hide her smile when she hears that…and his phone rings again.)
Tosin: Mum? What? How? …how? (Shocked) Who shot him? Oh my God. What hospital? I will be there in a minute! (Like the speed of light, he zooms off to the door.)
Mirabel: What is wrong? Tosin? Who got shot?
Tosin: (He pauses) Oh yea, one of my girl friends! (And with that he exits)
To be continued…