It’s Good Friday people, nice to have the opportunity to witness another holiday. Make it count…
Here’s the second part of Kaygeegal’s MY STORY AND MORE. Please read, enjoy and comment. Blessings
Bones walked down the street wondering how best to convince Lola that the job is not that bad. She knew what he had been facing since he got to Lagos. There were very limited job opportunities for semi-literates like him. PHCN, slow market, Lagos State Government. Lagos worked for those who could afford to rent lock-up shops that government kept building instead of affordable low cost shops. Lagos needs to work for him too nah!
With this thought, he approached Mama Alaje’s kiosk. It was an illegal ugly structure built with wood on the road side. Many times the Task Force had damaged and strictly warned Mama Alaje not to put up the kiosk again but due to her influence, the kiosk would still find its way back to the spot with the same set of woods almost immediately.
She pimped ladies for some of the top officials which made her arrest difficult and there were rumors that she also sells weed but not caught yet. Her kiosk suffers for her sins.
“Mama Alaje! Mama toh sure” Bones hailed.
“Bones! Bones!! Okunrin meta (one man with the strength of three)” she hailed back. “How now? Ki lon shele? (whats happening?)”
“I dey where you keep me put. Mama abeg gimme my usual mix”, he sat down on the once upon a time lovely couch in front of the kiosk.
Mama Alaje started mixing her herbs in a small plastic cup, she paused a second and looked at Bones strangely. Consciously, Bones looked down at his canvas, he could feel the eyes burning through his head down his spine. He shivered inside. If anybody should know his secret, definitely not Mama Alaje, she was the local radio station, the newspaper station and the town crier. Pay her a visit in the morning and you will know who did what the previous day with several others. That was why Bones preferred going to her kiosk in the afternoon when all her customers have gone to hustle.
Mama Alaje finished mixing the herbs and gave it to Bones who wished he had gone somewhere else to drink his paraga. His drink shot down his throat with a great speed that made him cough.
“O je ma para e. shior (don’t kill yourself)” Mama Alaje hissed.
Bones held his burning throat and a bad thought ran through his mind…how best to kill the parrot before it talks, which won’t take long anyways.
As if Mama Alaje was on cue, she broke into a dance and started singing“ero tin r’oko, ero tin r’odo, ojo ti yawo ba na omo oko, oro ni o so ra re” (people going to farm, crowd going to stream, when wife beats her stepchild, words will pass round.)
Bones had heard enough, he threw the remaining content of the cup away and stood up. Nobody knows his story, nobody should blame him. He has mentors, great mentors. He can’t die now. He took out a 100 naira note and placed it on the wet table before strolling down the street. He knew Mama Alaje was still on his case. If only she or Lola knew what he went through just three weeks ago….
THREE WEEKS AGO
He was with some of his friends on the street arguing over football. Bones is a strong supporter of Liverpool and the early part of the season had not been in their favor which made his friends tease him about being a loser.
“You no suppose sell Suarez at all”, one of the friends quipped.
“Abeg bone that one, even if Suarez dey there, dem go still dey chop am steady”, another added.
“Una dey craze!”, Bones fumed
“No dey talk say person dey craze bcos of that your yeye club. E don tey wey una don dey walk alone”, they all burst into laughter.
Just then, somebody ran past them. They looked from the runner to the men chasing him. Bones was still wondering what the guy did to deserve the hot chase when one of his friends shout. “Everybody, run. Na Police” before he could think, the other guys had already scattered running away from the spot. He regained his sense and made to run but one policeman had caught up with him already. He held Bones midriff and beckoned on others to come and help him. Bones looked at the other policemen who were like three, they had arrested another guy who they were already beating mercilessly with their batons and guns, the guy was bloodied all over. What he saw made him shiver and he needed to think fast. He struggled with the policeman who was still finding a way to hold him down with his pot belly, struggling with his heavy gun and also trying to get his colleagues’ attention. Bones used this opportunity to hit the policeman with his elbow. The blow hit him so hard and he squealed painfully, releasing Bones immediately.
He kept processing thoughts in his head as he ran in escape. They can’t find me now. God, what have I done?
A loud gun shot reminded him that he was still within reach. The wounded policeman’s scream had obviously caught the attention he had been seeking since he held onto Bones and they made wild chase after him. Everything was happening so fast, no time to think, no time to think at all.
“Stop there! Stop there now” a policeman bellowed. “I will shoot you if you don’t stop” pointing the gun at his back.
The threat got to Bones as his legs automatically obeyed the last order. “I no do anything”, he said half protesting, half appealing. Few minutes ago, the worst that could have happened with his friends was a hot argument between he and his friends not blood clotted fight, not mad chase and definitely not gunshot.
The policemen kicked, hit, ‘nodded’, beat, in fact bit him. He had committed the greatest offence – injure a policeman. He was handcuffed and dragged to the yellow van they parked at the entrance of the street. Bones couldn’t believe his luck. It would be worse if he gets to the station, hence started pleading. “Oga, abeg I no know anything. I no know say na police hold me” his pleas attracted more blows and kicks. He refused to enter the bus which resulted in more beatings, his body was covered with blood and sweat, and now urine.
“Oga, abeg no make me enter. How much you wan collect make I give you. Abeg, no carry me go station.”, he pleaded
One of the officers paused for a second. “Where is your money” he demanded.
“I go go collect am for house” Bones said with the remaining bit of his shattered confidence, thinking he had hooked them like monkey to banana.
“You dey craze!”-kick-“Shey the money go disappear come here?”-slaps and blows-“Or you think say we be suffer head like your family ni ”. The kicks and blows intensified.
It took three nights in a disease ridden cell and intervention of a mentor/local champion to get Bones out of the station.
“See dude, you nor suppose dey suffer like this for these yeye people hand o. We dey wake you up, yet you dey slumber. Jara e man yi, wake up!!!”, the mentor/local champion advised on the way home after Bones was released.
“Police shouldn’t be harassing you like this if you know your way. Look at me, who born that policeman well wey go say him wan arrest me? Who born am? All this shakara na because say I get people behind me now.”, he bragged. “You dey strong, you get the right stature, I no just know why you dey hide your talent. Since you dey Lagos, how much you don save?”
Bones was too sour to reply, his body was aching seriously and wished he could just lie somewhere far away from the station and the tormentor called mentor.
“Answer me now, how much you get for account? Shey you get account sef?” Tormentor/Mentor/Local champion continued as they walked out of the station to the car park. “Do something! I dey yarn you this because we come from the same village. Do something asap.”
Bones was tired of waiting for the initiation that was supposed to come after exhibiting skills, his tiredness took him to Mama Alaje’s kiosk which was worse than his wait and Lola had been sulking over her boyfriend or the politics issue. He shrugged and crossed the road to his compound. The compound as usual was noisy with full housewives talking competing on whose voice was loudest or who has the latest gist. He hissed and entered his room unnoticed.
He emptied his pockets on the bed to know if he could afford to buy lunch or skip it and wait for dinner. He would have spent his money on lunch if he and Lola were on good term but she was still pissed, so it was better to let her be for the time being. He counted his money and realized he had two hundred and fifty naira. Better to wait till evening before eating, he concluded. A paper was lying on his almost flat mattress and it drew his attention. He wondered if it was from his pocket or he left it there on his way out. Either way, he spread the paper and read.
GET AKINDELE AREMU!
“What?” he screamed. He had been initiated? How? When? Where? He asked the room. “Wow!” he screamed and attracted one of the full housewives who slipped her head in the room to ask whats up. Bones dismissed her with a wave that nothing was wrong and quickly destroyed the paper when the woman left. He calmed down a little. “if I’m to get Akindele Aremu, then which party initiated me?”, he mused. “the opposition party, right? If yes, how would they pay me? And GET AKINDELE AREMU didn’t give details, what was there to be done? Kill him?”
“Whatever!” he said as he paced his dingy room, “let the world know that I have arrived, Lagos must work for me too!” he laughed.
“Election is in two weeks, let’s do this!”