Hello Folks, first of all this is to say a big thank you to you guys for taking time out week after week to read the stories here. Let me state a few things at this point. For those of you following the blog, you will be recieving some posts introducing the new passion chronicles that will be finally unveiled in January, 2014. Be on the look out. If you are not yet following the blog, please scroll to the bottom of the blog on your phone and fill your email address. You’ll definitely love the experience. I’ll stop here for now. Please read. learn and share. GENERATIONS. Your comments always go a long way.
The rickety bus from Iseyin trudged through the convoluted paths of the Old Oyo Road. Old soldier maneuvered his bus skillfully, around the dangerous bends and corners; it was easy for him since he had journeyed on this road everyday as a public transporter for twenty five years. The man looked into the mirror and for the umpteenth time, the daughter of the woman from whose burial everyone in the bus had just left was staring at him. The mirror vibrated with the vehicle and the girl’s face blurred every now and then. He shook his head in pity for omo oloku. He was told by his friend through whom he attended Madam Alice’s burial that the young lady was the only child of her mother, who had gone through gruesome hardship since she gave birth to her. A trailer approached from the opposite direction at a very narrow bend. Avoiding a near onward collision, he swerved the 1982 Toyota Hiace bus to the right side of the road grinding the tyres against gravel and brushing the windows of the car against leaves and branches from the bush nearby. It was a close shave; he was used to such encounters on this road, but this experience seemed unusual. Everyone in the bus was asleep except for omo oloku who was unperturbed by the averted crash even though she saw all that was happening. Did she think she could kill him the same way she killed her mother? Baba Dele, Madam Alice’s brother had told him that the family hated her even though she was the only child throughout her extended family that managed to get into the university. She must be a witch. He made a few incantations and spat on the road through his window. May the road never swallow me! Ignoring the roaring sound of his bus, he depressed the unwilling accelerator, and hissed at her through his mirror.
Kike sat on the last row behind the fourteen-seater bus in a black gown she had purchased with the last sum of money in her account. It was the least she could do to honour her loving mother Alice on the day of her final burial rites. The agony that raged in her heart was so heavy, she could only weep inside. Her tear ducts were apparently now shut down as a consequence of the torrential tears that bathed her mother’s casket earlier in the day as she said dust to dust. Her mind wandered from the image of the casket and her mother’s mangled body to the tribal marks of the man that drove the vehicle. Alice had described her daughter’s father as a dark skinned man with tribal marks of four fingers slicing across his face from his ears all stretching towards his mouth, and a birth mark at the tip of his nose. She studied the man carefully searching for the birthmark at the tip of his nose. Having stared for long, she could see that the driver did not have any birth mark; however his tribal marks looked exactly like what Alice told her.
She looked at the dry leaves on the trees that marked out the road as they rustled and dangled from tiny stems latching hopelessly to the branches. It gave her a sense of the season of her life. Life lost meaning the moment she got news of her mother’s death. She had died in a ghastly motor accident along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on her way to the Redemption Camp. When she saw Alice’s body at the morgue in University College Hospital, Ibadan it was barely recognizable but for the two dead nails on her feet and the familiar spots on her legs. She missed her mother. There were things she wanted to tell her since the last time they spoke on the phone. She wanted to tell her many things; that she had stopped attending fellowship in school, and the last time she prayed was the day she lost her virginity to Emeka. She wanted to tell her that she was afraid Emeka will impregnate her and run away like her father did many years ago. She wanted to tell her that her grades were falling below the departmental average and a few lecturers had cautioned her on several occasions. She wanted to tell her that she was living her mother’s life all over again…….
The noise in the room had risen to an unbearable level. James Akano looked at all the boys jeering at him in his room in Kuti Hall. Everyone shouted Balogun,Balogun,the only hunter with the marks of a lion! A final year undergraduate student of psychology, James was known as a serial heartbreaker. He represented the spirit of manhood, as defined by the boys on campus, because he had an unusual ability to sleep with the finest of ladies, and this was inspite of his characteristic tribal marks which would, otherwise, make him a pariah in the circles of the crème de la crème on campus. His amiable and jocular personality made him a favourite of the boys and many ladies. The son of a former minister of the first republic, he had loads of money from hefty sums received in royalties from his father’s investments to splurge around. It was an unusual first Saturday in December. News reaching him was that his girlfriend, Alice and her mother were in the common room with Professor Jibola, the hall warden who had summoned him to join in the discussion.
He recalled how he stood at gun point pleading innocence to allegations from Ezigi, the Capone of his cult, the Bulls, that he had been found frolicking around Alice. Ezigi had made several unsuccessful passes at Alice. She was that special reserve and belonged to nobody else until he decided he did not want her anymore. Alice, a three hundred level psychology student was the cynosure of all eyes. Her full lips, heavy bosom, and slim model –like stature could hardly be resisted by many boys on campus except that Ezigi’s interest in her was public knowledge. James sold a gripping pitch to Alice early August, during the school break when he invited her to his house in Ikoyi. Alice fell in love with the smooth talker in no time. She had promised him to keep the relationship on the down low but that was now an obvious myth. Realizing that his life may be cut shot by Ezigi as many before him, James opened the door to the porch behind his room and jumped one storey down. Hitting the ground with a thud, he ran into the bush, pushing his way through an uncharted path to the fence. His legs moved with the swiftness of an antelope as he galloped through the bush until he got to the barbed wire. He scaled the wire without difficulty, and continued his escape journey towards the main school gate.
Hailing a taxi in front of the school gate, he looked at the bold inscriptions of his alma mater again on the sprawling wall that lined the main road. He knew a chapter of his life was closing. As long as I have life, I have hope. He made the sign of the cross as the taxi driver pulled into the evening traffic that was building slowly. He thought of Alice, but her image could not hold his fear. It was the fear of death. Ezigi knew his houses in Lagos, and The Bulls were known to strike at enemies with cold precision. Having deflowered and impregnated a girl reserved for the conquest of Ezigi, he was now an enemy.
“How dare you accuse me of cheating on you?” Kike shouted at Emeka who stood bare- chested before her.
“I will not blame you. It is because I opened my legs for you in the first place. When I was a virgin, you would never accuse me of any such. You piece of slimy shit!” She roared in anger and bitterness.
Emeka’s hands flayed before her eyes and landed as a slap on her face.
“You will close that foul mouth of yours, or I give you another dirty slap. Bloody bastard!” He fumed.
The crickets creaked outside the door, and the silence of the night crept slowly into the boys quarters apartment where Kike had joined Emeka as a live-in lover. She stared at her boyfriend through a squint in her eyes wondering at the next line of action to take. This was a good time to prove she was no cheap ride. Stretching her hand to the table behind her, she grabbed the shining kitchen knife she had brought from her mother’s house.
“I swear it will not cost me a thing to stab you right here and now!” With the swing of her hands, she surged forward towards Emeka. He docked to the left and grabbed her hand from behind, squeezing her wrist until she lost grip of the knife and it dropped to the ground. Without a word, he grabbed her hair from behind, and forced her to the mattress on the floor. She struggled and wept as he removed her clothes forcefully. Pinning her down with the weight of his body, he violated her while she wept.
She loved Emeka, and she wanted their relationship badly. He was the only man in her life and she was not ready to lose him; the problem was the only thing he ever wanted from her was sex. That night was one of the many nights that he forced himself inside her. His latest strategy was to accuse her of not accepting his overtures for sex because she was seeing another guy on campus. Weeping on the bed, she swore to leave his apartment in the morning. Where was she going? Already, she had brought a few things her uncles and aunties had allowed her take from her mother’s belongings and had arranged them in his room. Financially, he was taking care of her, but she wanted to serve God. She wanted to go back to fellowship. Something inside of her told her every day that she will end up the way her mother ended up. Emeka would impregnate you and disappear into thin air just like your father did to Alice. It seemed her heritage was doomed as she saw herself getting entangled in the maze of a treacherous destiny.