Oh?! So It’s About The Arms Now

Brethren, people of the world lack respect o. I’m not even sure if I’m supposed to be pissed or confused right now.

See me o. Yesterday afternoon; I went to cafeteria 1 to get something to eat. It was about 2pm so café was almost empty if not for a bunch of couples, a wannabe couple and people that just felt like being in café. As always, when I’m out alone, I had a straight face on and made my way to the counter to get a meal ticket. Then out of nowhere, I heard someone shout my name. I looked around and guess who was calling my name; one silly ‘friend’ of mine. Well, I’m his friend but I’m not entirely sure he’s mine. You know those kinds of people.

Anyway, this particular guy had the habit of ALWAYS asking for money, or food. He has to ask for something every single time he sees me. It’s unbearable to possess food when he’s around. Chairman makes sure I don’t enjoy my food. If I buy 1000 grains of rice, this guy makes sure he consumes at least 600 grains. Seriously, disgusting and annoying habit. It’s hard to complain since he has this issue of getting emotional too fast. I have a feeling he’s gay. I’m cool with it as long as he doesn’t attempt ‘pumping’ me.

Anyway, I walked up to him regardless and gave him a handshake. He was with this really standard babe. He was saying something about something when I cut him off and asked who his lady friend was. He said she was a friend after which he introduced us to one another. I was enjoying a conversation involving all three of us and wondering why this guy would just call me just to talk when the idiot changed it for me and asked me for money. Said he wanted to get a drink. I was feeling buoyant and so I pulled out a 500 naira note out of my pocket and handed it to him. I won’t lie; it hurt a little because that 500 naira note was one of three that miraculously came my way. Miraculously because my wretched, careless, and tiring ATM card isn’t working at any of the machines here in school.

Well, as expected, this girl requested for a drink too. Naturally, I’d turn that kind of thing into a joke and tell her to use her money or something out of the ordinary; so the girl would think I’m a different kind of guy who doesn’t exactly give a goat. But this time, I wasn’t in the mood to be Mr. Funny Guy and so I sent my ‘friend’ to go get drinks for us. He left and I was alone with the girl. Trust my ‘man’ brain to turn up na. I began to build light rapport with her. My ‘friend’ got back with the drinks not too long after. I was pained me since his arrival was probably going to bring my conversation with this girl to an early end.

Fortunately, he said he had to see someone else and so he bade us goodbye. Man I was happy. My, or our conversation went on; that’s me and the girl. Not that I had any intent of getting serious with the girl, although I won’t mind, but she seemed to be feeling me. I wasn’t exactly trying so I felt like a bad-ass.

Our conversation was about hitting the 30-minute mark (Yes, I was checking) and the rapport was getting quite deep when one ugly, buff, Yoruba twat walked up to us. He smiled at her, pulled her into his arms and hugged her. He had a tank top on. The proud, obnoxious moron clearly wanted the whole world to notice his large arms. I hissed under my breath because his arms weren’t all that compared to mine. (Okay I’m lying. If one of my arms is an ant, then his is an elephant). This guy was huge. He was tall and I could tell he was athletic; like all sports in the world athletic. I was waiting for him to be done with his ‘greeting’ and get the cow out of my sight so I’d continue my conversation.

He didn’t.

He didn’t say much. He’d just say about 6 words and the girl would reply with 6000. From the way she sounded, I could tell she was ‘thirsting’. I wasn’t ready to be a fool and so I got up and left when it became obvious my entire existence had faded. As I trudged back to my room, I began to think. This chairman wasn’t attractive fam; his face sha. He was, actually he is ug-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. So because he’s big and stuff, he’s allowed to oppress skinny, young men like myself. I made a promise to myself at that moment to eat lots and lots of protein, gym and get buff. That way, I’ll come back to school next session to oppress, suppress and depress all the skinny, young men in the world. Oh yeah, I’d have to work on the facial hair too.

Today’s a new day. Hopefully, something great happens. One day, I shall possess intimidating large arms too.

Have a good day Earthlings. Till next time.

Follow @SeyiSoneye

 

January 27th 2002 – Part II

“Did you feel that?” I asked the whole room. “Whoa! What’s happening? The house is….”

“Flip to Channels”, Dad said as he interrupted me. I wasn’t ready to stop watching KND but Dad sounded really serious and so I obeyed. The lady on the news was reporting a bomb blast. None of us believed. I thought she was talking about a bomb blast in another continent but another house shaking tremor cleared all our doubts.
“There’s been a bomb blast in the Maryland Cantonment. Chaos and a lot of destruction have been reported in places like Alausa, Ikeja…..” the newscaster reported. I, Dad and Ruby froze when we heard Ikeja.

One thing came to our minds……….. MUM…….and the baby.
Dad immediately reached for his phone on the center table and dialed mum’s number. She picked after the first ring.

“Honey, what’s happening? Are you okay? The baby? What’s happening?” Dad asked clearly sounding extremely worried.

“The house has been shaking. Outside, cables are burning and the roads are filled with confused people. What should I do? My car’s bad. I told you to take it to the mechanics that time, I told you. But no, you didn’t list…..” Dad sensed a long rant coming and so he cut her off when he said, “Were coming to get you”.
My sister and I were scared. Dad’s conversation with mum was in Yoruba and our knowledge of the language was still shaky at that time.
As he grabbed his keys, my sister and I began to run to the car. We knew there was no time to waste. Dad simply threw a casual uninterested wave of the hand at his friend. There was no time for any explanations.

It wasn’t long before we were out K Estate and on the road that ran straight to Ikeja. The car was quiet. None of us said a word. Midway through the ride home, we encountered a great crowd on Allen. Dad’s car didn’t have an air conditioner so we could hear the cries of people as they ran about obviously aimlessly through the window on Dad’s side. Most 0f them banged on the windows of cars that passed hoping to get a ride out of the chaos zone. Dad didn’t seem fazed. Obviously, the only thing on his mind was the rest of his family at home. Ruby began to cry because she was scared. I hugged her tight and told her everything would be fine.

Not too long after the crowd on Allen, we were home. Dad told us to stay put before he rushed out of the car and ran into the house. Few minutes later, he came out with Mum and the baby. Mum looked funny because she had a wrapper round her waist and a camisole on. When they were all in the car, Dad began to drive. Just drive. Mum was extremely nervous and scared. She began to dial friends and family to know if they were alright. A bunch of them didn’t pick up and that left all of us imagining all sorts.

Mum and Dad were still contemplating regarding where to drive to. Dad suggested we go to Magodo since his friends there said it was peaceful and safe at the time. After Mum agreed, Dad made a sharp turn that took all of us by surprise. He apologized and our drive to Magodo began.

Surprisingly, the roads leading to Magodo were free. One would expect every road to be jammed considering the mass movement of human and vehicle evacuating every place where the tremors were felt.  Soon enough, we encountered another crowd. This one was way larger than the previous one. There was no alternate route so we have to keep moving, slowly though, but progress is progress.

We were in Magodo finally. Our destination was practically in sight already when Mum got a call from one of her sisters. Dad pushed hard on the brakes when Mum grabbed his thigh as she shouted. He asked her what the problem was. She told him her sister was stuck somewhere and we had to go get her.

I’m sure she wasn’t ready to take no for an answer because Dad immediately turned around and we found ourselves returning to the scenes of pandemonium we had just left.

We finally got to where Aunty Pelumi was. Mum called her when we seconds away and told her we were there but on the other side of the road. Aunty Pelumi answered and told Mum to ‘flash’ her when we were ready.

Suddenly, a loud noise came from the front of the car. My baby sister began to cry. It was understandable so no one complained. None of us was sure what the problem was and since Dad was the techy guy in the arena, we all turned to him. He returned an exhausted look at us before he stepped out to check what was wrong. Traffic was heavy so his stepping out of the car in the middle of the road affected nothing. He came back into the car and told us the problem was a huge one, blah, blah, blah, stuff I didn’t really understand.

Mum began to panic. She called Aunty Pelumi and explained what had just happened. Aunty calmed Mum down and told her we could take her car but we would have to cross over to the other side of the road. The other side of the road was free so it seemed like a wise idea. I guess it was because of the fear, no one actually felt it was awkward to abandon our own car.

When Dad and Mum were done speaking about Aunty Pelumi’s idea, they told us to step out of the car. Ruby was asleep now so it took a while to wake her up. Girl’s a really deep sleeper. Soon enough, we were all out of the car. Mum was vibrating furiously. That was the first time I’d seen her so agitated. She handed her baby to me as she adjusted her wrapper.

We proceeded to run across the road since the cars that were approaching looked far away. I still don’t understand how but something really unbelievable happened.

 

The baby slipped out of my grip. It was like a joke. I immediately turned around and bent down to grab my sister. There was no time to check if she was okay since a brown Mercedes Benz V-boot was really speeding towards me. It was tough to get her up because the wrapper she was wrapped in was all over the place and I was tiny so it was inevitably going to be tough for me to get it all arranged in a short time. The V-boot was dangerously close at the time. I grabbed her along with the part of the wrapper in my hand, closed my eyes and jumped out of the way. I felt sharp pains of the asphalt bruise my shoulder and my hands felt somewhat lighter. I got up when the sound of the car was gone and heard my mum and sister really crying profusely. Aunty Pelumi had Ruby in her arms. Dad stared at me like he wanted to kill me. I was confused as to what I’d done to warrant the soul-piercing look.

It was then it hit me, the baby I was holding, or I thought I was holding was nowhere to be found. I looked around and saw the white wrapper she was in many steps away. Mum was next to the wrapper in a kneeling position, crying hard. I ran towards her and I saw what I never thought I’d see.

Different thoughts filled my mind. What I imagined was definitely what happened but I forced myself to believe it was a lie. As I got closer, I saw that the white wrapper was red in some places. Blood? No. It couldn’t be possible. None of us were bleeding.

OH NO!

It has to be a lie.

Could it be her?

No, just no.

It’s sad how we can’t the past. How if something happens, we can’t change it.

Well, it’s quite obvious what happened, isn’t it? The blood was my baby sister’s. Apparently, when I thought I jumped out of the way of the Mercedes, the wrapper got caught and the car dragged it along with it until it tore off.

There she lay, her remains of course. My sister, now a tiny bag of blood and ‘not fully developed’ bones

I don’t want to talk about it anymore. That night was BAD. I’d never felt so much pain.

The longer I spend recalling the experience, the more real the pain feels.

God bless my family for never making me feel I killed my sister even though I did, kind of.

Dad and Mum didn’t make any m0re babies after her. So now, there are just two of us, that’s me, and Ruby.

To be honest, nobody saw the events of that evening/night coming. The day was going fine. I mean, church was great, we had eaten good food, there was light at home (Before we left at least). We were happy, all five of us. And now, the now of then, January 27th 2002, we were four. Just like that.

And now, the now of now, April 23rd 2014, twelve years later, we are still four. I thank God.

It hurts that I never knew her name. There’s nothing to remember her with. The guilt tries to eat me up when I remember but that’s a battle I know I can never lose. The past can’t hold me back. She might be gone, but she will forever be in my heart.

Forgive me sister. I’ll always love you.

 

APRIL

I’m not even going to lie, I’m not happy. I’m not entirely sad either. Halfway into April and I’ve been through so much. This is without a doubt my worst month this year. It’s been just three weeks and it feels like three months. That’s how lousy the month has been. Naturally, I shouldn’t be bothered much because life is not a bed of roses. Everything that has happened would have been easier to stomach if only the bad and the ugly were all to it. Unfortunately, life deceived me by tossing some glimmers of happiness.

I came into April hoping for an awesome month. It’s examination month and so I didn’t want anything that could get me irritated or angry in any way.

April 1st, I got up from bed early. It was a Tuesday and since it was the week before exams kicked off, most lecturers had wrapped up with their courses so I was in a sense free. The day went well. I spent it preparing for my bulkiest courses. It was a normal day.

April 2nd, another good day, well until I went to the ATM machine and discovered after one try that one of my cards wasn’t working.  I laughed cos it had to be a funny joke. I tried many more times but no positives resulted from my efforts. I wiped the ‘chip’ looking thing on the card and tried again and still, nothing happened. No one was around me so trust your Yoruba boy to spit on the ‘chip’ thing and ‘polish’ it. Well, nothing happened. I couldn’t even vex. My body wasn’t in the mood to get stressed and so I went back to my room and consoled myself with Milo. I decided I’d go to the bank the next day to complain.

April 3rd! Dad’s day! I actually woke up excited. It was my Dad’s birthday. That meant he’d be in a great mood all day. My plan was to take advantage and ask him to forward ‘something’ to my account.  As I decided the previous day, I went with a friend to the bank to complain. The people there asked me if I tried using spirit on the card. I became weak on the spot. Spirit? How? I concluded they didn’t get me and so left the bank and got into a supermarket to buy ice-cream for the pain. I got my ice-cream and got in a shuttle bus back to school. In the bus, I looked down and realized my iPad wasn’t with me. For some weird reason, I wasn’t really bothered. I felt really confident I left it on the counter in the supermarket and the cashier had kept it for me. It looked like a good ‘film-trick’ when I got back to the supermarket and everyone there said they didn’t see anything like an iPad. I’m not sure how I felt at that moment but I know it wasn’t a good feeling. Well, as the saying among some of my course mates goes, ‘Wetin don loss don loss’ I ‘man’d’ up and went back to school. Life had to go on. Unfortunate for me, I had to call my Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday. I called him and tried to sound excited as I wished him an awesome day and asked what the plan for the day was. Well he’s my dad and he knows me well so it was easy for him to sense the weird difference in how I sounded. I tried to lie but I ended up telling him what happened. He sounded calm and that was a sign I really didn’t have to be worried. The rest of the day was mostly filled with my course mates making jokes about the missing thing.

April 4th felt like I went back in time. Normally, the alarm on the iPad would have make noise but that morning, nothing sounded. It was then I remembered I had lost it. I went to the ATM to withdraw. It worked. I felt like a complete idiot because all the times I tried before, I picked ‘savings’ where I should have picked ‘current’. It was then I concluded that the devil is a mad person. The idiot clearly needed me to go to the bank so I’d get my iPad lost. I wanted to kill myself.  My plan was to buy lots and lots of ice-cream, biscuits, and Twix to eat and forget my sorrows.

The remaining days of the week were supposed to be okay. Life went on as expected until that Tata Martino idiot conveniently led Barcelona out of every single trophy chase. Man I was pissed. That Bale’s goal made me weak. I decided to give up on football because through-out that week, all it did was bring me pain. Thank God for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool who made me smile as they flattened every team they faced. YNWA. That was the only positive that week.

The next week came and it was time for exams. I had papers on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The paper on Friday was my supposed toughest, most evil exam. The papers on Monday and Tuesday were great. I spent the whole of Wednesday and Thursday preparing for Friday. Friday came and the stupid exam was just toooo cheap. I was pained. I felt like I had just wasted my whole life. For some weird reason, right after the paper, my brain seemed to shut down. I began to feel like I was done with all my exams for the semester. I still had many papers to write but it was difficult to get any motivation to prepare for my remaining papers. I didn’t have a choice though, failure is never an option.

Anyway, the next week came and this was where everything got worse. For some unknown reason, my ATM card didn’t work anywhere. It was a general problem for people with cards from the same bank as me. This caused me to live without cash. I don’t eat much (here sha) so it wasn’t much of a problem initially. But when the thing went on for the whole week, everything got real. The dearth of cash slowly got depressing. It got way more depressing when I got a message from my mum about money she transferred into my account. I wasn’t sure what else to expect from April.

And then, what do you know? It was time for this Easter programme that held every year in my school. Normally, we’ll have to walk a long distance, four times a day for four days but this year; the arrangements for the programme were extremely convenient. I had a good time. It was an okay run of days. Although, from nowhere, I developed this anguishing pain in my neck.

Now, it’s Tuesday and life goes on. I’m here; still cashless and I just heard the POS machines are not working so I’m in deep trouble. Neck’s hurting like I’m watching Mufasa die over and over again. Exams continue and I just don’t feel like working up my brain. I had a paper today and it was okay. A brother came back smiling until I remembered I had two papers on Friday. You know those kinds of courses where you need to know so many formulas. Those two courses are that kind. Now, I have to fill my head with countless derivations I honestly don’t care about, multiple formulas that can’t change Manchester United’s season, and silly values that won’t help find that missing plane and still convince myself I can kill both exams. The illiterate that constructed the time table casually put a one hour space between the two papers so there won’t be any time to brush through. Oh well, that’s the life of a Physics student after all. I won’t say I didn’t hexperrit.

I have to get back to studying now. I didn’t choose this life, it chose me. I hope you lot have an awesome ‘remaining days of the month’. Follow @SeyiSoneye