Following the hectic and gloomy-like day, intense darkness swallowed vastly the western part of the state leaving the habitats clove hastily to the various homes. Silence was seemingly unending like that of the hades.
Nearly 42 minutes back, there was a strong quake in the small cottage behind Edunjobi’s Compound. Sounds of birds troubled the atmosphere as their Nests were shattered by the agonizing whirlwind.
Our house sat in the midst of Baba Edunjobi’s and Agboola’s Compounds. They had been inseparable friends from childhood-apparently their self intimacy was considered when planning their “Agboole” building style.
The love between these three companions spread amongst their
In those days when Cocoa used to be ‘sweet’, I was born into the family of Arowolo with what I called “Wooden-spoon” [we were neither poor nor rich]. Baba was a craftman. We had never worried anytime he travelled as a lot of victuals was always in store.
But that lonely Night, there was a lot of vicious rumblings. Fear gripped my heart as I wobbled past Mama Alagbo’s hut. I held tight unto the neck of the undiluted ‘Palmy’ vessel I had been savouring as if to asphyxiate it would downcast the state of that current blood pressure. Though I had consumed a lot, I wasn’t really drunk but in actual fact, being tiddly was an understatement.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t terrified by that sudden climatic changes or the deserted-looking vicinity. But I was lost and scared in my own state of hallucination. “I knew it! Darkness cannot comprehend the thoughts that caressed my mind. Not a flash, not even a single star to guide me home. Something is about to happen. Something unannounced by any town-criers, I guessed it caught them unaware.”
I narrowly battled my paths to avoid any unexpected knock on my dear pate. Spread my arms sparingly like a blind man forced to move. I almost stepped my foot on the tail of a fierce-looking mouse which muttered some words I couldn’t deciphered and scurried away in the blink of an eye.
At last, I made it home. The whole structure of a compound that somewhat looked like a market with the lousiness of its dwellers, ‘fearfully’ gape my gob as I deadly stared in revulsion to the wretched remains of my father’s house. Not even the least gatherings of children and the story tellers I loved 21 years ago. I had expected a remarkable welcome party like a ‘Prodigal son’ that decided to come home willingly.
“Baami! (My father!). Baami!! Baami!!! – my voice quavered as I shouted at the peak of my voice, expectant.
The memories of the past ‘sweatened’ my white ‘TM fitted shirt’. I felt uneasy as if someone was pounding some tubers of yam for dinner on my head. The rhythmic beat of my heart was more danceable and audible than that of ‘Raggae-blues’.
I was fifteen when Baba finally told me I was a product of a ‘One-night stand’. I never grew to know who my mother was. They’d probably met in one of his business trips in the out skirt of a town I knew not. I had quarreled with Baami some many times concerning my mom but he’d refuse profusely and that enraged my angers towards him. It was with the mixed feelings of not knowing my mother and the betrayal I felt when I quested to know her tore my love for home. I had disappeared at an early age leaving a painful wound in the heart of Baami. All efforts to find his lost son proved abortive. He nurtured the pains for years.
“And now, am back home, to ask for your forgiveness. Where are you now Baami?” I continued as I dashed into the inner-most room which served as my father’s beloved living room. There lied a structure on something that looked like a bed. In the centre of the dark, cold room was a table filled with different potions and remedies. It looked more like a convalescent home. Baami had been tortured by diabetes for years I spent in exile.
Accompanied by some neighbours who had been looking after him, I couldn’t retrain the Hot ‘Bloody-tears’ that dropped sarcastically down my cheeks as I felt the coldness of his forehead. By shades of the groups of people that had trashed the room on my arrival with shock plain fully painted on their faces , I saw him vividly. The same man that was once a ‘popular-gingo’ in the whole kingdom of Owu. “Oh, what a misery”…
…I never had that last moment; to tell him how sorry I was. How happily married with beautiful kids I had been. I wanted to tell him how succesful I had been and how I had proudly popularized the family name. I wanted to talk to him more…more than I could explain…but, it…was too late.
“Had I arrived earlier…had I known, ah…I would have…may be it would have been a different story” –I wept woefully, uncontrollably. Baami, the Strong man was dead!…
…I never woke up the next day, to continue the sad story…Sun really gone Down!
By Solomon Almagental.