Let There Be Light

I stand in front of the mirror, observing my aging face. Face, aged by disappointments, failures, drug addiction. My hit single “Take Me on a Long Ride” (1982) plays at the background, as I rehearse my written speech to myself. The music fades away in a long distance just as those years have become a distant memory. My music no longer plays in their memories, but my crime they never forgot.

At age 17, I broke into the industry. I paid my dues, I made the money. But fame got into my head, and it led to a scandal. Running from a rape scene I had committed, drunk, I killed a kid. It was a-hit-and-run scenario. She was just 17.

At 25, I was locked up…I lost everything, my name, my fame, my past and future.

Now, I’m back after 25 years, and I want the forgiveness of my fans.

I need to concentrate, there’s no way I can go in there with a paper in my hands, I need to speak from my heart, I need to commit the message to heart. I put off the music, its getting into my head…I need to face the future and let go of my past. I rip off the paper.

“You are up in 2 minutes”

That is Wole, my new manager, or say a fresh graduate I just picked up to represent me.

“Is there a lot of people out there?”

“The place is…crow-ded.”

He stammers in reply.
Poor lad, he’s tensed, he hopes to kick off a career starting with a junky like me.

I stand up, look in the mirror the last time, adjust my tux and black tie. I open the door of the Islanders Theater backroom, where we rent to host my fans, to welcome me back home- into their lives, their homes, their audio systems- actually, its more of an apology speech. There will be tearful moments, no doubt, I only hope the crowd empathize with me. I will say I’m sorry, I hope they see its true. I will say I regret what I did, I hope they believe I do. These thoughts ring through my head causing it to ache as I walk the long passage that leads to the stage. My heart beating in between my steps.

They clap as I step on the stage, a scattered clap it is. How many of those in the crowd are actually happy to see me? Ten? Twenty? I’m grateful the lights are off, at least I’m oblivious of their preying gaze. The only lights on the stage are those directed at me. I freeze for a moment. Then I start to speak with a broken voice.
The nonsense I had written, the nonsense that will not bring back the teenager, the nonsense that will not raise the esteem of the raped girl.

I stop reading.

I can see fury flames moving out of my nostrils.

I want to see the faces of those critics who had caused this in the first place. Those who made me go into crisis because they said I never lived up to how I started. I want to see the faces of the hypocrites who think their lives are cleaner than mine. Right now, I don’t give a damn about music! Why are the lights directed at me anyway? Like the crowd wants to X-ray my life and point out more flaws.

“Who da fuck put off da lights!”

“Let there be light morons!”

Then, the lights flicker on, one by one.
And I see their faces.

‘The crowd’

Just seven of them!

My mother; whose face have lines drilled in by tears.
My wife, Opeyemi; who endured the bashings I gave to her, day and night, saying dead or alive, I own her.
My son, Israel; whom I never gave the home he deserved, his childhood I denied, because I was never there.

My brother, Tunde; whom I sent my guys to deal with after taking my wife in, one of those times I threw her things out. I was responsible for his nickname “Ojutunde” for he lost an eye to it.
My sister, Itunu, who was the age of the girl that I knocked down with my car that year.
Even three-legged granny is present.

And there is uncle Sam, the one the youths, that riot after the accident, had burnt his home in Idinmu.

There is silence.

“After all this years, I thought you’d have learnt a thing or two.”

Uncle Sam raises his voice.

“You want the light son? Now you have it. And that’s what the light does, it reveals the truth. These ones have stood by you all along.”

He begins to point at each one sitting on the table one by one.

” Your real fans are not the faceless crowds who cheer when you are up and boo you when you are down, nor are they the critics who underestimate your worth. Your real fans have faces, in your wife, your son, your mother, sister, brother, granny and your uncle, yea…me!”

“Why don’t you come and join us for dinner and save your boring speech till you get to heaven. Because its only God, your creator, who can judge you. Nobody can.”

They are sitting on a long dinner table, there’s an empty sit for me, there’s a place for me.

23 thoughts on “Let There Be Light” by Oluwaseun Ojegoke (@ojestar)

  1. Wow!! Highly philosophical and endearing and beautifully knitted in a whole

    1. @eminefoh thank you for your kind review.

  2. This is happening in the entertainment industry,the desire to live up to the expectations of your fans,critics,manager..
    @ojestar,you have the magic touch,keep writing dear, nice one..

    1. @happiness You get the gist dear, sooo much pressure they face. Thanks a lot for your kind comment.

  3. His world was without form and void. And there was darkness all around him. He called forth light . . . and there was light.

    Let There Be Light: A revelation of the pain behind the fame; the glory of a loving family.

    1. Thanks @ namdi for you DEEP review,I love it.

  4. Wow.. This story was awesome.. Dude you’re a beta writer.. Your creative touch on this story was sublime.. The end sef was unexpected.. I was thinking he would really beTalking to a crowd.. Only for you to turn everything around.. That right there was just dope. All i can say is keep writing.. Your piece left me speechless.

    1. Hmmmm that’s d best advise for a writer “keep writing” Thanks dear, you sure know how to keep ones ink flowing. …You know I’m waiting n eager to SCREAM n then whisper on your next piece.

  5. Lovely piece… nice interwoven. In the end, family is everything.

  6. Nicely interwoven***

    1. @dominique thank you for your kind comment. Let’s keep our family closer.

  7. Wow…beautiful, beautiful piece. Quite touching and with an unexpected twist.

    1. @maggiesmart You are beautiful n so is your comment. Thanks for reading dear.

  8. D.R.A (@damilolarapheal)

    Ojestar, ur writings always inspire me, please can you screenplay? Would love to shoot a quiet short one later after BVV.
    Keep writing bro. Vision Inc, Filmworks.

  9. This was really good. That line doesn’t do justice…but it is.
    Very nicely done. Thank you for sharing.

    1. @kwiksie So so kind of you. Thank you for the kind reception.

  10. Very good. A loving family is all the fans you need. Enjoyed this

    1. Ah @folakemi I feel honored having you make this comment. Since I joined NS a few months ago, I’m yet to see a new piece from you. Nevertheless, I’ve read most of your works here. You’ve been missed. Pls, keep keeping that your lovely family together. Thank you.

  11. I rate this as my best read today. I commend how the writer showed- sublimely- the struggles of humanity with flaws and conscience. I appreciate the lessons about family as the first true respite we have. Thanks for bringing this story to our hearts.

    But, your twists are… should I say dope?
    Your are really good.

    Keep writing.

    1. @poetrazon I feel honored sir. I’m happy it finds its way into people’s hearts; why else do we write?

      I will take your advise to heart “keep writing” I can only get better. Thanks.

  12. Real and relatable. Subtle delivery of a salient message. Totally worth the time that’s taken to read it. A piece everyone in this country needs to see, given our prevalent craze of “hammer young and start balling”

    Now, don’t you be any bit surprised @ojestar, if perhaps one day you have a family gathering, and see me seated as well when you turn the lights on, because I’m a real fan.

    1. Thanks for your deep thought and believe in the story.

      @anakadrian such a gathering will be a celebration of glory unto glory, and having you, a truly respected artist, as part of the family is a dream I hope comes to pass. I adore you. Thank you.

  13. @damilolarapheal Film Producer of life…no wahala, thinking my stories are worth screen time is flattering. @”Behind the Velvety Veil”: film shoot starts today. Kudos to Vision Inc. Filmworks.

    Welcome to NS sir, here, we have many stories and writers that can win your heart n inspire movies, short or feature.


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