THORNS IN MY BOOT 26

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26

Aluta continua! I went once again to see my C.O and I was intercepted by the R.S.M as I entered the gate to our Unit. He chased me out of the premises threatening me with his swagger stick. He warned me never to step foot into the premises again else he would declare me a persona non grata in the whole of the Barracks. I was shocked because I was not expecting such reaction from him. Where did I wrong this man? I asked myself.

I walked back to the mammy market to cut my hair. I entered a Barbing salon close to the tarred road that ran behind the market called “Ultimate Barbing Salon” the owner was a young Yoruba boy called Ayo, he was also a student at the institute of management and technology (I.M.T) Enugu, he goes to school in the morning and returned to his shop in the evening, he had a paid Barber that works all day at the Shop.

I was used to shining my head since I left the depot but that day, Ayo gave me a style that made me smile, he capped it all by giving me a slit at the left side of my head like that of Yinka Ayefele the popular Yoruba gospel singer. He then washed my head and applied “Sulphur eight ointments” the menthol from the cream charged some nerves in my head, I was impressed and I paid him twice his fare.

I sat down in the small but cozy shop to flip through the pages of a newspaper as I ruminated over the drama that ensued between me and the R.S.M. Amaka had gone back to Abuja, I have no friends in Enugu to go to, I was just alone. I then asked Ayo how one could see the C.O apart from the Office. He told me that the C.O plays Golf on Thursday evenings and on Saturday mornings at the Enugu Golf course. It was Thursday that day so I waited for Saturday morning. I went to a nearby beer parlour and drank two bottles of Gulder beer before going home to sleep.

I went to the Golf course as early as 7.00AM on Saturday and watched out for the C.O’s arrival. He came around 8.00am and I allowed him to greet his friends before I approached him and introduced myself and my mission. He asked where I had been all this while; he said he had sent my file to the G.O.C through the R.S.M since last year. I shouted ye! And I held my head with my hands. He asked what the problem was and I told him that the R.S.M would not deliver the message. I told him of my experience with the R.S.M.

Well, he said: I cannot imagine that I will send the R.S.M to the G.O.C and he would not deliver my message! Do you know the consequence? He asked me: yes sir! I replied. I told him that the R.S.M hates me and had been stopping from from reaching him all these while. He asked me the reason and I said I do not know but the R.S.M kept calling me names and had sworn to declare me a persona non grata in the barracks!

Well, he said: I do not know where the two of you knew each other from, so go and settle your scores with him, all I know is that I have sent your file too the G.O.C and I am still expecting a feedback from him
Sir! I called him can I say something please?
Go on! Speak! He said.

If it was the R.S.M you gave my file to take to the G.O.C, then I can bet on my life that my file did not get to the G.O.C! it is one whole year since I came to you in company of my Lawyer with my exoneration letter! I was discharged in May last year sir! This is June 1998 sir!
Yes o! You are right, he said. It should not have been this long before the G.O.C replied! Okay I know what to do! I know what to do and with that, he slung his Golf Kit bag over his shoulders and walked towards his friends. I just stood there clueless for a moment before finding my way to a nearby shop to buy Coke and bread for breakfast!.

To Be Continued

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