Abolonjeku, The Over Eater.

“The Temperature in Nigeria can kill even the gods. “

Those were the thoughts that woke Dare Olatunji up early on a Wednesday morning. Dare was a young man of average stature, in fact, almost everything about him was average except his eyes which glowed with the natural light of intelligence. The question then remains, why would an exceptionally bright young man be where Dare was in his life. He was the middle child of 5 children, an average child of an average family but, there was one thing about Dare that stood out. It was the fact that he was very very average, he strove not to be noticed by anyone and then anyway.

But the reality was he was the farthest thing from being average. Dare had the condition since he was a child, he could see the memories of whatever he ate. Imagine eating rice and meat and as a result of that seeing the memories of the goat as it was slaughtered seeing how the Farmer harvested the rice and that was the least of it. Dare’s ability would fill in the gaps for him, keeping the trauma, everything that the Farmer that the goat felt will be filtered through his senses. As a result of this eating terrified him very much. Since even the smallest meal could take him into the depths of hell.

But his ability was not limited to food only it also expanded its scope to anything that touched his tongue. For instance, when he was in primary one, a teacher who was berating him mistakenly spit into his mouth and at that moment he became aware that the teacher had been molesting pupils in the nursery classes both male and female. This ability was the bane of his life as it made him know things that he had no business knowing. It made him reconcile himself with the deepest and darkest secrets of those around him, secrets he had no way of filtering. 

Growing up with parents who did not believe in education he was taken out of school after primary six. After that he started working in a bus park at the ripe age of 12 now it was three years after. He had adjusted to his life as a bus conductor while holding out hope that life had more for him. But in order to filter out his ability, Dare had taken to wearing a nose mask and a mouthguard in order to ensure that nothing he didn’t intend to go through his mouth or his nose to touch his tongue would go through. Now,  this was not foolproof but it kept him sane. It is noteworthy that Dare never told anyone about what he was dealing with. And, yes,  people around him felt he was strange but no one truly knew what Dare was. Even he had no idea.

This particular morning, Dare had gotten to the bus park very early and he was prepped for the day. As usual, he was wearing his trademark face mask and bus driver, “Brother Waidi” was dead drunk as usual. Now, Brother Waidi was not a bad guy but he had a serious weakness for alcohol which he drank whenever he could. The resultant issue from his persistent drinking was that he drove like a madman which wasn’t different from any other bus driver in Lagos State. The Bus moved erratically making stops at bus stops for the Passengers. Near to the end of their route, he noticed that there were only three passengers left for some reason one of the passengers struck him wrongly. He shrugged it off as there were weird people every now and then.

As they neared their final bus stop, an errant policeman suddenly stepped out of the roadside to stop the Bus for a random check, leading to Brother Waidi suddenly slamming the brakes. This led to a random series of events as Dare, everyone in the bus including the quiet man who sat next to him jerked forward. This unwitting movement snapped the face mask off Dare’s face, as the hand of the quiet man next to him brushed across his mouth at the same time Dare was opening his mouth to curse at the police. Long story short, the quiet man’s hand touched Dare’s tongue.  at the same time. 

At this moment, Dare had the most terrifying vision had ever seen in his life.  Notably, it is important to state that Dare’s ability was not limited to just food and this was the real reason he segregated himself from people, and from tasting anything.  in this case, he saw a vision of a man steeped in blood, and body parts. He tasted the fear of the people dying gruesomely while simultaneously felling the glee of deciding the fate of his victims. After what felt like an eternity of carnage, he saw a young girl cowering, begging and a voice from his point of view stating without emotion “I’ll take care of you tomorrow when I get back from the court”. 

For the first time in Dare’s life, he knew this could not be ignored. The Bus came to a violent stop and all the passengers save the quiet man erupted in curses and jumping out of the bus. The Quiet man gave Dare a long look as Dare shrank into a corner of the bus, He got off the bus and left…

(to be continued if people like it)



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