Dear Brother Wale, I know say I be bad boy, I know say I piss in the bed fourteen times this year, forgive me I drink too much of water every night, I don lied to you reach three million times, forgive me I go reduce the lie to ten for one day. I have not been frying delishus Akara, forgive me I no dey patient to allow it done. I have reduce to forty five position out of sixty wey we dey for class; e be like say Mr. Audu the maths teacher hate me; he say my head too big.
Brother Wale I know say heaven dey, I no say God sef dey; i go dey go church every sunday, I swear!
Brother Wale pls all I want for Christmas is “Timbolo”
God bless you in anticipashun for positive responses.
Your fine Brother, SB.
I posted the letter in his shoe and I left for school that morning.
“Guy if you see my new red Timbolo ehnnnn!” Kpobo said.
“Me my own na Blue!” Kolawole added.
“Me my own don old, my senior brother say him go buy white one for me before Christmas!” Yellow said.
“What of you Yemi?” Kpobo asked.
“My father say him go buy for me next week”
“And what of you SB?” Kpobo asked.
“Me I never know whether my brother go buy for me oh! I will discuss it with him this evening”
“Seyi! Come here!” Brother called from the sitting room that evening.
“I am here sir” I had already rehearsed what all my responses to his questions would be.
This was what I rehearsed and mastered:
Brother Wale: Seyi! Who wrote that letter?
SB: It was me sir! Good afternoon sir!
Brother Wale: And what is good about the afternoon?
SB: Nothing sir.
Brother Wale: Was the letter meant for me?
SB: Yes sir
Brother Wale: And what is Timbolo?
SB: Timbolo is a shoe that my friends are wearing now, I like the shoe.
Brother Wale: I see! So how much is this Timbolo?
SB: 5k, I mean five thousand naira for the fake one, and ten thousand naira for the original one, but I want the fake one.
Brother Wale: Haahahahahahaha! And why do you prefer the fake?
SB: Because I know you cannot afford the original.
Brother Wale: Hahahahahahaha! You are funny! I will buy it for you next week.
That was my imagination of what the conversation would be, but that wasn’t how it was in reality.
“Who wrote that letter?” He asked facing the TV.
“It was me sir!” I answered.
“It is me, not it was me! Correct yourself!”
“It is me!”
“Are you the one that wrote it yourself or someone helped you write it?” I thought he wanted to give me an award for my excellent letter writing skills.
“Helped? Nobody help me oh!”
“Come closer” He smiled, “you can write oh, come and shake me!”
“Brother I told you I can now write letter!” I shook his hand smiling.
“aaaaah! My hand!” I cried.
Brother Wale was mangling my right hand.
“Brother it is paining me!” I cried.
As if that was all, he gave me a sledge hammer knock on my head.
“oooaaah! My head”
As if that was all……………… He farted.
“Brother!” His fart smelled like rotten egg.
Yet he still held my right hand and I felt one finger dislocated.
“Brother my hand have break!” I cried.
“hnnnnn!” His fart smelled “better”; like corpse.
“braaaa!” He farted again, and at that point I think the stench affected my eardrum; I heard echoes.
“kpooopokom!” Another knock on my head cleared my eardrum; I was hearing a loud alarm.
Brother Wale’s judgment was that I learned three news words everyday and that I would tell him the meaning of the words every night before we went to bed.
“So tell me the three words you learned today?”
“Okay! I learned Eloquent!” I told him.
“Good! and what does it mean?” He asked.
“Speaking readily, clearly, and effectively sir!” I said.
“That’s right! The second word?”
“The second word is Fantastic!”
“And what does it mean?” He asked.
“It means extraordinarily good or great; used especially as an intensifier” I had crammed the meaning of these words.
“Thats good! The last word?”
“The last word is C’litoris sir!”
“what? Who told you that word?”
“Nobody, I saw it in the dictionary, Brother wait n
Nobody, I saw it in the dictionary, Brother wait na let me tell you the meaning of the word!” I couldn’t wait.
“oya speak!” I saw the disgust in his face.
“It means a female sexual organ homologous to the p’enis” I said, “And brother lemme make a sentence with it; Aunty Christy have a big c’litoris while Brother Wale have a small p’enis”
Blackout on me that night.
“Brother there is no firewood in the house oh!” I returned from searching for firewood at home.
“so what do we do?”
“I suggest we close for the day!” I wished.
“how can we close when we have all this plenty customers?” Brother Wale said, “can’t you see they are enjoying the music I am playing?”
“m’umu, Your mate dey play better music you dey play Michael Jackson song!” I wondered what Michael Jackson’s songs had to do with Akara.
“yes brother they are enjoying it I can see!” I said, “so what do we do?”
“go to the bush!” He said.
“go to the bush? Who?”
“You of course”
“Me? But it is late na!” I complained.
“you will use torch light, or are you scared?”
“Me? Scared? Why I go fear? I get mind die!” I said that because Tolani Yemi’s younger sister just walked pass.
“Ehheeen! That’s my brother, Okunri meta!” Brother Wale handed over the torchlight to me, “don’t come back unless you are coming back with firewood oh!”
“see your mouth! why you no go by yourself!”
“Yemi come follow me go find firewood for bush na, abeg!” I pleaded.
“Guy I wan go chop!” What a friend.
“No money, no friends!” I encouraged myself with the words of the notorious Big as I walked the meandering part to the bush.
“Bruuuuuu! Broooar! Bruuuuu!” I turned.
“who be that?”
Mehn! The bush was so dark that the torchlight I held was like a mare fire ant.
Legend has it that in the bushes in Anifowoshe lives babies, Bush babies – they are dwarfs with one leg and with gray hair carrying a walking stick.
“mewww!” I heard and the hair in the back of my head stood.
As I bent down I heard, “mew mew mew mew mew!” I concluded two bush babies were fighting.
“SB if this bush baby meet you here na die you don die oh!”
Rumour had it that Kuti died of two slaps from two bush babies that slapped him after having sex with him. Little wonder the cliché “I go slap you like Kuti!” reigned in the neighbourhood while Kuti was sick for two weeks and after his death.
“I go like make bush baby f’uck me like Kuti oh! E go make sense” I told Yemi when we heard of Kuti’s death.
“who is there!”
“guy carry one of that firewood and run!” I advised myself.
Soon I heard footsteps towards me.
And like a robot, I grabbed a huge firewood, placed it on my head and like a moving train I ran.
I turned for a while when I was about six metres from the street and saw that about three bush babies ran after me.
If two bush babies could have sex with Kuti and killed him with two slaps, three would sure kill SB.
I was glad I made it to the street seeing people walked and I was sure the bush babies feared the light. But something was missing, my firewood!
“Don’t come back unless you are coming back with firewood oh!” I remembered Brother Wale’s warning.
“I think say I carry the firewood for my head?” I asked myself.
“okay! I troway am that time so I go fit run fast oh!” I remembered.
“wetin I go do now? I no dey go back to that bush oh! God forbid!”
“Okay! I know wetin I go do!”
I had remembered that by Brother Luku’s fence lied two bunches of firewood, and I reached a conclusion – I was gonna steal.
Forgetting Brother Luku had three dogs, plus him, making it four.
“hold it there!” I heard.
“you know that is stealing, you are a thief” I thought God was speaking to me.
“Bill! Skill! Trill! Get him!”
“Get who?” I thought I was dreaming.
Bill, Trill and Skill are skillful in biting off the cap. I remember Skill almost biting off Debo’s cap – the cap of his p’enis leaving only the b’alls, and we nicknamed Debo “Debo! where your pencil?”
“SB where your pencil?” I imagined Kpobo drawing a cartoon animation of me in the blackboard with a broken p’enis so I ran faster; I ran like there was no tomorrow, or like my tomorrow was dead.
“SB! Where are you running to?” I ran pass Tolani my crush, my babe rather.
“Nowhere! I am just exercising! I need to lose weight!”
“Aaaah!” I turned and saw that I had a running-partner already.
Didn’t they say “what a man can do a woman can do better”?
“Wait for me SB!” Women can be funny sha! I am running for my dear life and you are telling me to wait for you, is it a heavenly race? Even heavenly race is personal.
Then from nowhere, Tolani overtook me. She was running bare footed.
“Tolani!” I called. She was soon two metres ahead.
Yemi had told me severally that Tolani was always coming first in their school’s inter-house sport competition but I never believed, seeing her ran so fast in the inter-house sport of life and death, I believed.
Soon my legs were failing me.
“SB! Seyi bobo! So naso you go take die?” I was already imagined what will be said of me when I rest in peace, in pieces rather; because I was very sure the three dogs would surely pieces my bones.
“And here lies the body of a vibrant soldier, a dogged sailor that sailed through life’s turbulence and was victorious, he fought for love, like Romeo he died for the love of his life, may his gentle soul rest in peace!”
That would be in the event of my demise.
Wherever Tolani ran to I followed knowing women made better decisions in emergencies. Or so I thought.
Holly s’hit! She was running towards her compound, and I could see Bill was so close to me.
I had watched in a movie that a guy was chased by a dog, and once he put off his slippers and continued running bare footed, the dog stopped and was chewing the slippers.
Taking off my slippers shortened the distance from Bill, and I was so tired.
“Lord pls take my hands!” I wept.
I looked forward and saw Tolani was in her compound already, and guess what? She shut the gate. After girls go say men are wicked. Who wicked now?
“Tolani open the gate!” I cried with a loud voice.
I had ten seconds to decide what my next line or action would be lest I died and made hell.
“Jump that fence!” Was a suggestion.
But my mind flashed back to the last time I tried jumping a fence. That was when our ball was fired to Igboh kwenu the igboh dealer’s compound. The same Tolani caused me woo that afternoon. I had decided that since I wasn’t fit in the pitch meaning I was playing rubbish – kind of my-stomach-show-me-where-to-play-to style of football; the kind they play in Swaziland league, I needed to prove to Tolani that I was superman albeit not in the pitch but in fence climbing.
With so much dexterity, I jumped holding the top of the fence with my both hands, then blood rained on me – there were tiny bottles affixed to the top of the fence.
“SB climb enter na” My in-law to be Yemi said; more like he said: “prove to me that you will take good care of my sister when you marry her!”
“aaaaah! Bottle dey the fence! I have died!” Grammar matters not in such situation.
I tried to pull myself up and the bottles pierced deeper reaching my skeletal structure.
“Abeg comot here jor! You no know say that side bottle dey, na here bottle no dey!” Yellow swiftly entered the compound.
“Sorry oh!” Tolani said, “Did it wound you?”
“S’tupid question! No e no wound me, e kiss my hand, you see blood full my hand you dey ask me nonsense question!”
“See that tree for there, jump catch one of the branch!” Another suggestion.
Monkeys climbs tree.
Monkeys climbs tree, but SB climb better is a know fact.
I jumped more than an Olympic high jumper; like I was asked to grab the skies. I held one of the branches and just when I thought at last I had found succor, the branch I held broke and I fell to the ground.
And guess where I fell?
Inside a very deep gutter.
I mean a very very deep gutter.
I was fully clad with pottor-pottor, kelebe, nyama, spit, s’hit, piss, all combined.
The Dogs were up there staring at their prey in another cloth; they wished they could jump in and devour me.
Suddenly like they were called to come eat bones, the Dogs left faster than I imagined.
Then I heard the gate opened and I heard Tolani said “I saw him running behind me towards the compound”
“Then where is he?” That was Yemi’s voice.
“I don’t know!”