Yeni, a 27 year old post graduate student of Lautech was walking to Doyin guesthouse after the little disappointment she met at the salon. She had sat at the salon for over an hour reading mindlessly all the magazines on customer’s stool while waiting for the arrival of her hair dresser. The hairdresser kept saying she was near the salon, but Yeni got tired of the lies, and left in annoyance.
“Bloody Africans,” she muttered, as she turned from the asphalt tarred road of Under G to the unnamed dusty crescent where Doyin guesthouse is situated.
It was a little past midday, and the big round ball that turns night into day was at its zenith.
“This sun is too hot o,” Yeni complained, “Abi the angel in charge of the sun has turned the knob to super-hot, and went to play chess with his fellow angels?” She asked herself rhetorically.
Sweats streamed down her oval, powdered face. They moved slowly, and some of them glued to her face forming droplets like crystals in an Aladdin cave. She opened her bag and tore a small tissue paper from the bundle she had in her bag, then she used it to clean her face. She was careful because she didn’t want to smear the makeup she wore on her face, she would have otherwise swiped the sweats with her right forefinger.
The crescent was silent, as everyone took cover from the heat the sun was radiating. Yeni’s movements were brisk, and her mind was pegged on how she would get to the guesthouse in order to escape the heat. There was a stone that was partly buried into the ground along the crescent; Yeni didn’t see it and she hit it with her right leg.
“Ouch,” she moaned, as she bent down to rub her manicured toe nails. “It is broken. What was I thinking?”
She continued her walk, only to hear a faint footstep behind her. She ignored it and continued her walk, but the footstep persisted. She stopped, and to her amazement, the footstep stopped too! She looked back quickly, but saw no-one.
“Mtchew,” she hissed, “what is wrong with me this afternoon?”
She resumed walking once more. Doyin guest house was in sight, some 200 meters from where she was. She noticed that the faint footstep had resumed. Her brains amplified them, and in her chest, it was like a Goliath marching in the land of David. She didn’t stop walking, but instead she looked back without stopping, that was how she saw him.
He was about three feet tall. He had an oval face, and he had no hairs on his head like Michael Jordan. His nose was big and flat and was in contrast with his mouth which was small. He was dressed in a blue and white stripped polo T-shirt, and he wore an oversized wrangler jeans that was rolled at the base. He wore a brown sandal, but Yeni couldn’t see them as the rolled jeans hid most of it.
Even though Yeni had not seen the little boy before, he looked familiar. She felt sort of a latent thread pulling her to him. She stared at the boy for a few minutes before she resumed her walk.
She reached Doyin guesthouse and entered it. She went to her room, showered and took a nap under the full blast of the two air-conditioners her room had. She woke up four hours later and made for the fridge.
“I have finished my reserved food, I better eat out, and later check on my hairdresser,” she advised herself, as she moved away from the fridge towards the sink. She rinsed the tartar that had gathered in her mouth during the sleep. She then dressed up and moved out of the room.
As she moved out, she met the Hausa security guard- Adamu, whom she greeted as she stepped out of the gate. She had barely turned right when she noticed something odd.
The little boy she saw earlier on that afternoon was sitting at the front of the guesthouse, near the big black gate through which vehicles enter the guesthouse. As soon as he saw her, he stood up and dusted the back pockets of his jeans like an adult.
Yeni neglected him, and hid her astonishment as she walked towards Alata milk n honey restaurant. She periodically looked back, only to see the little boy following her.
When she got to Facebook junction in street of Under-G, she quicken her footsteps, and she kept looking back till she made sure she eluded the little boy.
Yeni got to Alata milk n honey restaurant, and ordered a plate of fried rice, moi moi and beef. She also ordered bottled water as against the soft drinks most customers at the restaurant ordered for. As a Food scientist, she knew water is the appropriate solvent for digestion, and those that take soft drinks as food solvents are engendering future problems for their body.
Fifteen minutes was enough, and she was through with her meal. She took out her white bold 2 Blackberry and called her hairdresser. Confirming she was on sit, she sprang from her seat and exited the restaurant.
Hardly had she moved from the door, when the security guard called her.
“Madam, you wan forget your son?” the security guard asked.
“My son,” Yeni replied, confused.
The little boy ran from the back of the security guard towards Yeni. Not wanting to create a scene, Yeni replied
“Thank you, oga security. I have been looking for him since. Here, have this,” Yeni stretched a N500 note towards the security man, “don’t be annoyed it is too small.”
“Na you I go thank Madam o. God go bless you and your pikin. God go —”
Yeni carried the little boy in her arms, and then she moved out of the Alata milk n honey’s compound amidst the prayers the security man poured on her.
Yeni looked at the little boy’s eyes sternly.
“Where are you from?” she barked at him.
The little boy looked still and didn’t reply.
“I don’t have time for this kind of yeye wahala, am taking you to the police station”
Yeni stopped a motorcycle and took the little boy to Sabo police station. She reported him as a lost but found boy. Having signed the necessary documents, she left the police station as relief seeped into her buggy mind.
Back in the guesthouse with a relieved mind, she opened her Acer laptop and continued her project work that involved studying the nutritional contents of the leaves of African walnuts.
The following morning, she woke up joyfully as the sun rose in the eastern skies reflecting its lights on the horizons. She cleaned up, dressed and picked her hand bag containing her lecture note. There was no time to prepare a meal as she was already late for the 8:00am lecture that was scheduled to hold at 250 LT.
Yeni sped outside the guesthouse, and could barely return the greeting the security man posted to her. As soon as she got outside, she almost as she stopped dead like someone who had seen a ghost.
Sure it was more than a ghost. It was the little boy!
To be continued…