There was no noise anywhere for the first time in a long time as I moved to urinate in the toilet. The silence was extremely unbearable.
Did I sleep till the next day? I rushed to the parlour and went outside. The sky was dark and there were light in the different houses of our street. There was an unusual silence.
Oh I lie! There was the regular noise of Tunde and Segun, my playful four-year-old friends (they were actually twins); there was the noise of our neighbour Mr. George and Aunty Grace, another neighbour whose moan and cry of ‘oh more!’ never ceased to filter to my ear. Mum had told me to always leave that side of the house whenever I hear that noise that it would corrupt my heart, and I believed her.
But I still searched for that humming, buzzing, head-pounding noise which was not there again. I hurriedly ran inside, to the kitchen and tugged my mum’s wrapper, not minding that she was still shouting instructions to my elder siblings- Segun and Tofunmi- to put water in the fridge and to dust the pepper-blender we had never had cause to use in a long time.
‘Mummy, everybody have buy big generator.
They have off their generator and we also have light’, I said half delighted, half surprised that we who couldn’t afford generator (whose father still returned home with his dusty, tattered shoes, distraughted after searching for jobs, whose mother was the bread winner )would be able to afford a generator.
She smiled brightly at me and shook my head playfully, ‘no honey. PHCN has restored our
I nodded and the light went off and returned again then I learnt a new phrase, ‘ Up NEPA’. Then, the light went off again. And the generators resumed their duties.
Seeing the need to take count, I began to watch out for the day people would cry the phrase again, but it came only twice in November- once on a Sunday and the second time on Friday for five minutes.
It came again last month, but nobody put off their generator for two hours. But the light remained, till 5 a.m and went off. This was February.
We are still expecting the shout of ‘Up Nepa’.