A Story written by Durodola OLAWALE YUSUPH (Durodolad9ty7@gmail.com +2348166920449, www.penprimus.com Info@penprimus.com)
She returned a minute later, all set. “Oyar lets go.” Serena said and t ogether, the two friends walked out of the compound. “Do you have your scratch card?” she asked. “No.” Serena replied “We’ll have to go to the JAMB office first then.” Taiwo said as she took a left turn towards the JAMB headquarters in Oyo state, which wa s about five to ten minutes walk away “l don’t have a dime, except the three hundred naira in my purse.” “And I don’t have much here, maybe we should quickly go to my house to get more money L” Taiwo offered. “Don’t bother. Dad will give me once he return s on Sunday. I appreciate.” And with this, the two friends strolled from one cyber cafe to another without any success likely. The number of candidates waiting to printout their result was just too much “l don’t believe all these people live in this area o. I mean, there are more shops than houses in this area. ” Serena said as they located a cybe cafe which was less rowdy with about ten people on the line. “Dey there. Not all these people live in Agodi gate na. Most of them are from Old Ife road.” “And ar e you saying, there are no cyber cafe in Old Ife road?” Serena asked “That place is like and expressway. Maybe one or two cafe is what they have, you’ll get to Alakia, Ajibode before you see cyber cafes aplenty and they’ll have to take a cab while they’ll trek to this place.” Taiwo explained. “Since when have you been living in Ibadan?” Serena asked. “l schooled around that side, don’t blame me.” Taiwo replied with a laugh as they both crossed the road, and just then a black coloured golf 3 pulled up by th e side of the road. “Any problem?” Taiwo asked once she noticed the tensed look on Serena’s face. Such that she had to look at the volkswagen twice to know why Serena became tensed at the mere sight of it. Then she saw the reason for the change in countena nce. “Lazy girl. I am here for you, no one dare tries rubbish.” Taiwo assured as they joined the line, even though Serena has nothing to print out. Ten minutes after their arrival, the computer operator or the owner of the cyber cafe came out to address th e customers in waiting. “Am sorry to announce to you that comething just went wrong with our printer and an engineer is fixing it already. Bear with us and in the next twenty minutes, all your print outs will be done.” He said. “That’s one of the reasons w hy I don’t like coming to low classed Cyber cafes. Imagine you having five computers out of which only two are working and you make use of just one printer and a scanner, one photocopying machine. Even Bella in lwo road uses two shops with more than ten co mputers. Am leaving jor.” A little girl ranted on and on. Serena considered her a little girl, because in height, she locked cheated, in body shape, she was not considered to at least be average, in the natural places where curves and other womanly feature s ought to be, she was not only cheated, she was skimmed out, probably because there was a mix up when she was being created in heaven and someone packed her among the males, and by the time it came to the notice of those in charge, there were less clays l eft in heaven. But what she lacked in height, shape and bodily features, she packed everything in her looks. To say this girl was beautiful would be termed a sin, she was out of this world. Even Serena felt intimidated by her glowing skin which looked whi ter than normal, she probably was an half caste. “Aunty please, don’t be angry. We’ll fix the problem in no time and you going to other cafes around means you’ll still wait on the line. Imagine yourself being number fifty somewhere and in the next one hour s, you are yet to do your print out and here, you are number three, and in the next twenty minutes, you are done.” The man pleaded. Serena smiled. It is only in Ibadan that a man old enough to be your father will accord you more than enough respect, just b ecause you wanted to buy one thing or the other from him. “Please, be quick.” The girl said confidently, and immediately the man dashed into his shop and returned with a plastic chair. “Please sit” This singular act angered the other customers waiting to b e attended to. Serena thought, it is only in Ibadan that a service man will go overboard just to satisfy a customer, an act that will make several other customers angry. “You must give us plastic chairs too,” The others protested, even though they knew the re will never be enough chairs for them, The computer man ignored them and returned to his shop. He knew none of them would leave. (Ibadan, God bless we) “What are you looking at?” Serena asked when she saw Taiwo staring at the girl seated on the c hair. “The girl looks good facially.” The dark complexioned Taiwo replied. “Seriously, if no be sau it is a sin, I fit turn lesbo cos of this girl.” Taiwo whispered and the two friends bursted into laughter. Even the huge guy behind them couldn’t help but laugh. “You dare not. Not with handsome guys like us alive.” He said with a smile. “Keep giving yourself hope. Handsome?” Taiwo replied him. Serena nudged her to keep quiet to avoid getting slapped. “l am Obi.” He said. “l am Adaobi.” She replied and they little all bursted into laughter. Five minutes later, Taiwo suggested that they all go on stroll, so that by the time they returned, the time would have been far spent And together, Taiwo, Serena and the handsome Obi left. Immediately after they had left, Steph anie alighted from the Volkswagen Golf 3 with Jake and two other friends, and immediately, they occupied the space where Taiwo and Serena just left. Anita walked into Uncle Patrick’s house elegantly dressed in a sky blue voil lace and a head gear to matc h and an italian shoe as well as the bag. “Good afternoon sir” She greeted her husband’s brother before taking her seat. Five minutes later, Collins came in with Jane while during the course of their exchanging pleasantries, Pa James walked in with Barris ter Olu following closely behind “Time to spill the secret.” OIL] thought as he sat down. Anita was seated on the only three seater couch in Uncle Patrick’s mansion located around Orita meta or better still Total garden in the suburb part of Ibadan and on e of the most civillised area in Ibadan. She looked from Patrick to Jane, then to Collins, her greatest enemy, her eyes fell on Pa James (Patrick’s friend) and involuntarily, her eyes fell on Olu, her greatest nightmare who had an indifferent look on his f was staring at her muderously ace as he She quickly looked away and that moment, she couldn’t feel her heartbeat for the next five seconds, she couldn’t breathe in for the next five seconds, and it took her a total of a minute and a halfto calmdown. “The day where secrets will be let out.” Oul muttered. “You said what?” Uncle Patrick asked. “Nothing.” Olu replied. Regardless of the fact that both men were agemates, it was no new thing that everyone in the fåmily feared Uncle Patrick, despite the fact that he was the eldest in the family, and despite he old age, they still feared him, even the wives and husbands of the other member of the very big Thomas family, they feared him, afterall,when you are in Rome, you behave like the Romance, the same way when yo u are in the Thomas family, you behave like every other member of the family. From the stories relayed to Fathers, mothers to their children, they said Pa Patrick was one of the young boys forcefully recruited into the Army during the civil war, and during the war, he rose to the position of a Major, but after the war, the recruits were sent packing and dismissed from the army. On his return to the family house, he became temperamental, and he instilled fear in every member of the fàmily, even his parents. It was said that on a normal day when Pa Patrick is stable and in a happy mood, anywhere he was, no other person should be there or walk past him. Which means anytime he was in the living room, every other member of the family must vacate the room for him alone, but on the days that he was in a very bad mood, he would be restless and at the same time mad with everybody and the expected is that, everyone leaves the house for him. If he would be mad for two hours, everyone including their parents will have to sit under the scorching sun for those two hours. Cousins and other members of the extended family were the ones who suffered most, since they had no idea of how he behaved, an anytime they came visiting and he became angry, they’ll remain in the house and the few unlucky ones would recieve the beating of their lives. According to the story said, he stopped going to church after he commanded the who congragation of then Catholic church the family attended to get out and continue their service outside the ch urch auditorium, that was when it dawned on them that he had lost his mind, probably from the harmful things he had smoked, sniffed during the war. He was taken to the United states and on his return a decade later, he had a son and a beautiful black Ameri can woman. “James, give us the opening prayer.” Patrick said calmly Pa James rose up confidently. “Our father in heaven. Teach us what to say and see us through in thy name. Amen.” He said and sat down. Patrick looked from one person to the other.