In the year 2006………………………
We were at work arranging scrap metals, when we noticed a car drove in.
Chidi: twelve years work for here no fit buy that ride
Me: Trust me bro, I ain’t spending twelve months here. I hope you do the same
Chidi: Abegi! no be everybody dem do school for. Na by force I take finish JS 3 sef
Me: Na you talk so
Chidi: Me wan gather money go open my shop.
Me: Na now you dey talk. Ibo boy.
A woman stepped out of the car, walking towards the admin office
Chidi: Na oga wife be that o.
Me: which of the ogas?
Chidi: Chief Rotimi, na him get this factory.
Me: The same Chief Rotimi the polit…
‘’Tattoo and Chidi, e be like say this work don tire una abi?’’
Our supervisor snorted from behind.‘’If I catch una dey talk instead of working, I go show una’’ We continued arranging the scrap metals.
I clocked out at five as usual. I was walking home when I saw an elderly woman, which I guessed would be in her sixties looking lost. The woman was in iro and buba, so I guessed she should be from the west. I approached her.
”Good evening ma.” I greeted her in Yoruba with a little bow.
Woman: Good evening, my son. Do you live around here?
Me: yes, ma.
Woman: I’m going to my daughter’s house, but this area is confusing. The street was supposed to be behind this bank, but I don’t seem to understand it anymore.
Me: The bank here is new. There’s another one over there.
Woman: Please take me there. God bless you, my son.
Me: Amen ma.
She easily recognized the street just the behind the other bank. She knocked when we got to the front gate. The gate-man opened. Just before she entered a car horned behind. A woman alighted and i could swear I have seen that face before.
The younger woman: Mummy welcome. I have been worried.
The older woman: My phone battery went flat, I’m sorry.
The younger woman: It’s okay ma. Bless God you’re here. But, you didn’t tell me you would be coming with somebody?
The older woman: I almost got lost, but thanks to this my son.
The younger woman: oh! What’s your name, young man?
Me: Galacious, ma
The younger woman: Thank you so much
Me: You’re welcome, ma
The younger woman: Alright let’s all go inside. Galacious please come in.
Me: hmm, I’m sorry ma I have to head back home
The younger woman: oh! Not even a drink?
Me: It’s getting late ma, thanks.
The younger woman:: ok. I understand.
She reached into her purse and brought out some notes.
The younger woman: please buy recharge card with this
She stretched her right hand towards me.
Me: don’t bother ma
The younger woman:: oh! I insist
Me: I’m sorry ma
The younger woman: Really?
She withdrew her hand.
The older woman: He is well brought up. You shall not die young.
Me: Amen ma. Good night.
‘’ Good night, my son,’’ ‘’Alright. Take care dear’’ They said in unison.
The next day was a Sunday—–our match day. The evening football match came up every Sunday evening. The street had a mini stadium where kids played every day, but Sunday evening was reserved for the older ones.
The game started as usual. Everything seemed normal till a shot was deflected and the ball bounced into the street to hit one of the young ladies walking along. One was Chinenye who lived on the street, but the other lady, whom the ball hit, doesn’t look familiar.
Other lady: Jeez!
Chinenye: sorry dear
Other lady: look at my gown!
I ran towards the ball, picked it up and tossed it to the field before turning to the ladies.
Me: sorry about that ma’am
Chinenye: Thanks jawe, Galacious.
Other lady: thanks? Seriously, Chinenye? So you’re sorry comment is going to remove this stain, right?
She snorted, starring at me.
Chinenye: C’mon Princess let’s get back Inside.
Chinenye placed her arm around her shoulder and they headed home.
I couldn’t utter a word after the apology. Not that I didn’t know what to say, but I was dumbfounded by her beauty. Ne-yo’s ‘When You’re Mad’ was playing in my head. I could swear I had never seen such beauty in my life. I stood there like a statute and watched them walk back to Chinenye ‘s house. I was brought back to reality when I heard a voice coming from the pitch ‘’Galacious, our set!’’.
Throughout the game there was only one name ringing in my head——-Princess.
Heading back home after the game I met Tunji who was coming out of my building.
‘’Galacious, how far?’’
‘’ i dey . This one way I see you for our house. Abeg o, my sister still young o.’’ I accused him.
‘’Kai! I no be Pedophile na.’’ He protested and continued, ‘’na the new girl I come shadow.’’
‘’Which new girl be that?’’ i asked.
‘’Oh! You don’t know? Good. Her name na Udenme and an me dey do her parole.’’ He explained.
‘’Udenme? For this house?’’
‘’Yes na. Na Grace’s cousin. But guy, like i said earlier na me dey do her parole. No go use home advantage for me.’’
‘’TJ, you? Where you keep Kemi, Angela, Chinelo. Rita…..’’
‘’Guy bone dat thing. I don’t tell you be that. I dey go my house.’’
‘’Alright bro, later.’’
To Be Continued…