‘MICHAEL!’ was all what Sandra could say before she turned and ran out of the room crying.
‘its not what you think Sandy!’ I said while running after her
‘just leave me alone asshole, just let me be!’ she screamed at me when I finally caught up with her after chasing her literally half of the whole street.
Nigerians being their usual selves were already coming outta their shops and houses, while others where looking through their windows in other to have a ‘first person view’ of the Steven Spielberg movie that was showing life in their presence.
‘Sandra am so sorry, its not what you think’ I replied holding her hands really tight.
‘ok, whats not what I think Michael?! You were kissing a half naked girl in your room and you telling me its not what I think?’ she said
‘I can explain if you let me’ I replied
‘ok then, start explaining, I’m all ears!.. I’m kinda curious of what lie you gonna tell me this time’
‘ok, well, I was just…I was just…just’ I stammered. At this point I quickly turned on my thinking faculty to think of a suitable lie and excuse but I was all fruitless. I couldn’t think of any reasonable explanation.
‘Tell her its your sister,…no don’t be stupid, tell her she is just a friend who you were teaching… Teaching with her naked? Yea right! Daft you’ I thought
‘well, you were just what Michael?’ she asked, bringing me back to reality.
‘I was just…’ I sighed then ‘I really dunno, I’m so sorry’ I finally said, giving up.
‘I thought as much, you can’t always be sorry, you know?’ she said I walked out on me.
I considered chasing her again but I decided giving her time would be better and besides I had nothing to say to her, so I just headed home.
I thought you said you had no girlfriend? So you lied?’ Ify, who had already dressed up, packed her things and was waiting at the gate for me asked.
The urge to give her a slap crossed my mind but I thought ignoring her would be less dramatic and I wasn’t ready to give the whole street a part two of another steven spielberg movie. So I just ignored her and walked to the house
she said somethings at me but I wasn’t really interested anymore so I still ignored her, she just walked away too.
On getting home I had another drama waiting for me, Urch and Tayo were ready and had prepared very well to tease me;
‘oboi you no sabi oh, how you go let them catch you?’ Tayo asked rhetorically
‘the guy na learner oh,’ Urch replied, playing along
‘I dey open school wey I go teach boys wey no sabi like you how to run package, better enroll because form go soon finish o’ Tayo said again.
I couldn’t take anymore so I stormed out of the house in frustration before Urch made his own statement. I could hear them laugh a laugh of victory in the background.
I walked aimlessly for a while before I saw a bar somewhere around the house.
‘SENIOR MEN BAR…..NO CREDIT TODAY, COME TOMORROW’ was written on a board at the front of the bar… I thought it was weird and funny tho.
I ordered for a my first bottle of Heineken with the intention of getting drunk in other to forget the whole Sandra incidence.
Moments later I was on my 7th bottle but strangely I was still sober and my thoughts were really eating deep.
‘Michael you are a fool o, how could you do this to yourself, what are you going to do now, infact you are a moron…’ I kept judging my self mentally
After my 9th bottle and still no effect on me, I decided going home to sleep was a bright idea.
So I stood up and headed for the door when suddenly a voice said;
‘oga, you no go pay, abi na charity you think say I dey do for here?’ it was the barman talking
‘oh, chairman no vex jhur, my mind no dey here’ I replied , remembering I hadn’t paid for the bottles.
But then something happened, I dipped my hand into my pocket to bring out my wallet but it wasn’t there, so I checked other pockets and literally searched my whole body down to my boxers but still no wallet found.
I checked the table I sat on and the surroundings hoping i t had fallen and sharp boys haven’t seen it but no show.
‘err…err..bros abeg I no fit find my wallet’ I replied the barman who was staring impatiently at me.
The barman laughed for a long while then came closer to me, I could now see his arms muscles which made my hand look like a skeleton. He had two scars on his face that I assumed is evidence of a broken bottle fight that he obviously won. In summary, this guy was like ‘the rock’ and I was like Osita Iheme of Aki and Paw Paw to him.
After cracking all his fingers and his neck which made really loud sounds, he looked down on me and asked;
‘wetin you talk now now?’
So there I stood hopelessly at the front of this gigantic figure who was ready to beat ‘MIC’ out of my name and leave me with ‘HEAL’. I was really confused and scared, then I started weighing my options in my head;
‘guy turn and just runaway’ I thought
‘Ode, you no do speed and distance for physics in secondary school? If you try run, the guy go catch you before you reach door’ I concluded that running wasn’t an option.. So I thought deeper and finally said;
‘errm, chairman, you fit take my slippers and belt , infact take my shirt too, so I go run go house go bring money’ I was shaking.
‘so you wan make I hold this your flat slippers and you fake ‘reebok’ shirt wey den write ‘rccbok’ instead?!’. I was about wondering how he could spot the difference between an original reebok shirt and a fake one when he then gave me one punch out of annoyance, I was in mid-air falling when he caught me and jacked me up, I swear, my feet weren’t touching the ground at this moment.
‘bros no vex, na play I dey play with you oh’ I replied with that kinda fake smile Mr president had on when he was eating that cassava bread on NTA (shey una remember?).
‘So you dey use me play abi?’ he asked with his voice raised, he then gave me another punch, on receiving the second punch my brain started working twice as hard as before and then I got an idea just when he was about giving me a 3rd punch!
‘Ermm.. You fit borrow me your phone make I call my people for house so them go bring money come?’ I asked hoping I hadn’t made a wrong statement.
‘So you drink my 9 bottles and you wan chop my credit too abi?’ he asked
‘No oh, no be so, I go add money for credit too’ I replied quickly.
He dropped me and released me of his grip then went to bring the phone while I coughed and tried to catch my breath after the near death experience.
‘Oya, take am’ he gave me a Nokia torch light phone that had no back cover but instead he used a rubber band to hold the battery in place.
‘So na this palasa phone this guy they use show himself?’ I thought and took the phone anyway. But then I was face with another problem! The only number I knew off hand belongs to someone who won’t want to talk to me right now, but I had no option so I dialed the number.
‘hello’ I said when the person picked
‘yea, hi, please who is this?’ the receiver asked
I thought saying ‘its Michael’ but I knew the receiver would hung up so I tried another approach.
‘baby, its me, don’t hang up please, I’m in trouble’, I said
‘Michael? Is that you?’, she asked, Sandra asked recognizing my voice.
‘yes, please don’t hang up’ I replied
‘hmm, ok, whats the problem’ she asked getting worried
‘when you walked out from me, I went…’ I told her the whole story down to my present situation
‘hmm, ok, so how much I we talking about here’ I quickly did a rough calculation and said;
‘about 3k sha’
‘that’s much oh, but lemme see what I can do, where exactly is the bar?’she asked, I told her the whole description, I even told her the colour of the bar self, then I hung up and returned the phone to the barman who was already attending to other customers.
All I had to do was to sit and wait for someone who I broke her heart barely a week after she gave it to me to save me from death.
Thoughts of her not coming just to get back at me crossed my mind but my doubt was cleared when in my deep thoughts…
‘that’s the money’ she said dropping the money on the table and turned to leave without saying another word.
I quickly grabbed it settled the bills and ran after Sandra, I didn’t even wait for the barman to say anything, but I could hear something like…
‘if them born you well come here again’ in the background, maybe from the barman but I couldn’t care any lesser because I had a more important thing on my mind.
I finally caught up with Sandra who was about boarding a bike home, or so I thought
‘All this lazy girls wey no no wetin to use money do sha, see short distance wey this girl no fit waka’ I thought.
‘what is it this time Michael?!’ she asked when I tapped her from behind.
‘ermm, just wanted to say thanks for helping me’ , I said
‘No problem,is that all?’ she asked
I actually wanted to apologize again but seeing her slightly wet eyes and the way she asked the question, I guessed it wasn’t the right time.
‘yea that’s all’ I said and watched her go, for the first time in years, I felt my eyes getting watery.
I finally walked back home, it was pretty late already and wasn’t really in the mood to talk to anyone so I just went straight to the room and cried more till I slept off.
I had little hope of things getting any better the following day, but I just had to wait for day to break to see what fate has in stock for me.
After the whole Sandra, Ify, Mr muscular barman and Urch + Tayo whining day, days and a couple of weeks passed without me really being myself, I did almost everything absentmindedly.
How else do you guys expect me to feel nah? After I hadn’t seen Sandra for months, I wasn’t really sure if she was just avoiding me or just wasn’t available.
Urch and Tayo noticed the changes and became strangely nice to me, doing weird stuffs like cooking and giving me the bigger ration, inviting me to parties and clubbing which I hardly accepted, but when I did accept, I just sit on a spot and drink away my sorrows.
I was really devastated. I just couldn’t forgive myself for breaking Sandra’s heart, so asking her for forgiveness wasn’t really an option.
Then something happened, I had an August visitor.
I had just gotten home after a very hectic day in school, I had like four C.A tests in one day, exams were getting really close and I couldn’t focus on anything apart from thoughts of Sandra.
Urch who doesn’t knock on a normal day knocked on this fateful day before entering the room. I had thrown my pouch and shirt under the bed, and was lying like a dead man on the bed, trying to rest, but I still told him to come in.
‘Some people are here to see you’ Urch said with just his head beyond the door.
‘Some people ke? Which people ?’ I asked not remembering inviting anybody over.
‘I dunno, see them yourself’ he said and opened the door wide enough for me to see four unexpected people.
Wizzy my course rep, Amaka who is Sandra’s roommate, Ify the whore and Chisom who was Urch girlfriend (note the use of ‘was’, Urch finally broke up with Chisom for reasons I didn’t care to know).
As I saw them I quickly stood up and invited them in then offered them seats, I wasn’t quite sure what they were here for, but I was to find out in due time.
‘Michael how far nah?’ wizzy was the first to speak
‘I’m fine o, how about you?’ I replied
‘Me just dey oh’ he then said
‘This one all of una come visit me, hope say I dey safe oh?’ I finally asked hoping they would state their reason for the august visit and save me from having a curiosity attack.
‘You are safe oh, its just that you know we are one family nah’ by saying ‘we’ , Wizzy was referring to my whole department, since he was elected as the course rep, he usually uses the ‘we are one family’ to start all his course rep speeches.
‘Yes nah, that one is sure, but I didn’t really expect you and all this people here, or am I sick?’ I asked trying to joke and reduce the tension that was rising in the atmosphere.
It worked because everyone in the room laughed, even Urch and Tayo who had join the gang in the room, I also suspected they are the ones who organized the ‘get together’.
‘hmm, you are not sick oh, its just that your roommate Tayo came and told me of your weird behavior, which I and the whole department had observed during lectures too’ he cleared his throat and continued… ‘we don’t mean to intrude in your privacy but we can’t see one of our own go through certain things and do nothing, so we did some research and it somehow linked us to Ify, who told us her part of the story…’ at this point I gave Ify the ‘did you tell them EVERTHING’ look, and she looked away which confirmed my question…
‘So we are aware of the whole Sandra thing and we tried getting to her through her roommate, Amaka, who told us Sandra too has been acting really weird and avoiding you so…’
‘wait wait wait!!! What exactly are you trying to do here?’ I couldn’t take it anymore nor understand what was really happening here so I interrupted wizzy.
‘See, we just want our super active, intelligent Michael back, that’s all, we are trying to help’ he replied
‘Sandra doesn’t want me no more and I understand, infact if I were in her shoes, I won’t take me back!’ I said with mixed feelings, no sure if I should be angry or sad.
‘you sabi jump into conclusion oh’ Tayo said
‘hmm, what do you mean? Isn’t it obvious? I f you can’t see the plain fact here, I’ll show you’ I brought out my phone and opened my messages showing him the sixty two messages I had sent Sandra and the one reply I got from her which said;
‘LEAVE ME ALONE’,
Wizzy took the phone read about three and passed the phone to silly Tayo who was like;
‘oboi do fast read make I read my own jhur abi na only you like love message?’ everybody laughed a little, even I.
‘so you see, in as much as I don’t want to accept it, I and Sandra are just over’ I said
‘you can’t be too sure Mikey’ Amaka who had been quite all along said.
‘hmm, don’t you guys understand English? Anyway, they say ‘na person wey dey wear the shoe know where hin dey pain am’ I said and stood up to leave the room for them.
Someone walked in and blocked the door.
Before looking at the face, I could perceive the fragrance of the perfume the person had on and I knew only person who smelt that way… but didn’t want to believe it so I looked up at the face to confirm the fifth august visitor
TO BE CONTINUED