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Sleeping With Yesterday (Episode 31)

Posted by on September 23, 2016.

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As Dayo and Nnafuka are about to take that jump, Abdul is home trying to figure out what has caused the long absence of his employer and his wife. He has not been told whatever happened. He is only aware that Nnafuka had gone out and was taking too much time to come back, and in the heat of anxiety Dayo had walked the lengths and breadths of the house, had driven to the end of Bida until that man with a huge beard appeared that evening. For days he has not seen Nnafuka. The day he planned to ask Dayo where madam is was the same day Malik entered and he and Dayo hastily left the house as if someone was about to die.
Sitting on the steps that lead to his quarters he tries to endure the rumbling of his stomach. He has not eaten anything worth talking about ever since Nnafuka left the house. His nose is always in the air trying to catch the sweet air that rises from their neighbors’ sides and glides over the fence to him. The neighborhood lacks the little kiosks he often sees in others whenever he finds the time to go out (which is whenever Dayo sends him to buy petrol for his car). They are kiosks that seem to have all the vitals to keep a man happy and serve as support for patience when the main food is not ready. Someone can get biscuits, bread, milk and so on and keep a smile on with them until the announcement comes from the kitchen.

Abdul considers leaving the house now. He considers locking up the gate, to go out there and scan for a place where he can douse this burning hunger. He yawns and goes inside his room. He heads for the drawer where he keeps his money and pulls it out. What he sees there are fifty kobo coins that amount to four naira. With the coins are three one naira coins. Doing his mathematics he discovers that what he has is only seven naira. Though that is more than enough to get him whatever he needs at the moment, it is the last money on him. He stands at akimbo trying to understand what is happening. His mind runs back to the last time Dayo paid him. He tries to recall it. When it seems he is finding it hard he heads directly to the newspapers that delivered for Dayo that morning.
Looking at the newspapers Abdul can hardly read anything. All he recognizes is the number 4 and the letters DECEMBER. He walks to the other wall and looks at the calendar hanging there. He tries to match the letters with what he is seeing on the calendar. All he sees is NOVEMBER. He flips the calendar and nods his head as DECEMBER stares at him there. Then he traces 4 on the month and puts his hands on his head.

“Ih-ih,” he exclaims. “Month e don finish and oga never settle me? Haba!” He throws his shoulders in the air three times. Just then he hears a vehicle pull up close to the gate outside. The engine of the vehicle is still on when voices begin to surround the house. He tries to strain his ears to overhear them. The only thing he hears is “Na dis house?”
Another voice comes close to his hearing, replying the former one with “Tor. Na dis house.”
A voice different from the ones that have come before rings out, “Where my gun? Hassan, where my gun dey?”
Abdul is almost on his toes, ears pressed against his door when he hears this. At the mention of gun he withdraws his ears as though something has stung him. He prances round the room in confusion, trying to remember something. Then a hand begins to pound the gate outside – hard and determined – a voice interrupting the pounding saying, “Who dey here? Open this gate!”

Abdul remembers what he is prancing around the room for. He remembers that he had left it in his toilet, somewhere in the ceiling in the toilet. The pounding on the gate is like the pumping of blood in Abdul’s body because as they come a force within Abdul grows, a force as fierce as a jinni that has returned after many years. Abdul throws the toilet door open and climbs on the toilet seat, his legs trembling slightly. He reaches up and easily removes the ceiling. Then he reaches into the roof and touches dust. He moves his hand round blindly until it rests on the object. When he is about to bring the object out he hears clearly as a voice outside commands, “Kick this gate open! Kick am!”

To Be Continue

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2 Responses

  1. Choi!

    by Kenny on Sep 23, 2016 at 10:48 am

  2. cool!!!!

    by anomalous on Sep 23, 2016 at 11:17 am

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