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Posts Tagged With: OAU

When a Dark Soul starts falling: An excerpt from omo mummy

Warning: Contains language that could be considered offensive.

OMO MUMMY FINAL COVER

Rotimi (1995)

I’m laughing at Tito’s last comments, and also thinking of my strange reaction to her quiet, older sister when I walk up to the car. Sam is waiting for me beside the vehicle.  Restrained annoyance is etched on his dark-skinned face.

“My guy, where you go now?” he asks in pidgin.

I get inside the car, turn on the ignition, and motion with my finger that he should get in.  He’s not fully seated when I turn the AC knob clockwise. True, the car is running low on petrol, but if cool air doesn’t blow on me,  like right now, I’ll combust from my own bewildering thoughts. Hot air from the vent initially blasts across my face.  Sam says “Yeh!”  In seconds, the air turns cool. Sam stares at me, a perplexed frown furrowing the bridge of his nose.

“Don’t ask,” I say.

From the corner of my eyes, I see him shrug. He sticks a fat envelope in the cup-holder.  “Twenty grand,” he says. “For two bed spaces.”

I nod, pretending hard to concentrate on my driving.

“You’re not counting?” He sounds baffled.

“I trust you,” I reply. No, I don’t trust Sam; I’ve never trusted Sam, just as I’ve never trusted anybody when it comes to my cash. But right now, my brain is too wired up to even think about money.

“My guy, you see ghost?”Sam asks.

Something more than ghost, I reply wordlessly. Kofo, in her snug princess t-shirt- looked so girly-woman…and in all of the right places.  I don’t believe I’ve ever had this kind of reaction before to any female. Who knew – looking at her from afar and dismissively labeling her as a Jambito – that I’d be struck by her witchy brown eyes covered by her glasses once I came closer? Dammit, but it’s good to be rich because then, one could look pretty like Kofo. She’s not exactly what I’d call beautiful. Yes, pretty is the word alright.  But then, something tells me rich or not, Kofo is naturally pretty. To think that she’s only 18!  I scratch my head with one hand.

I really shouldn’t be thinking along these lines, especially when Kofo’s mom was just as pleased to see me as I was to see her.  And the woman had hugged me too, really warm and nice, like a good parent who’s happy to see her child., even though I’m not her child; even though it had taken a lot of self effort on my part not to grimace  when she’d said she remembered me as a baby,  confusing me for Dayo.

Chief Oyetunde’s wife hasn’t changed much though, I reflect. Still very petite, with dimples in her cheeks when she smiles, and a glowing dark skin that reminds me of that model in the Joy soap commercial.  Kofo seems to have taken well after her mom. When I was a child, I used to fantasize that Mrs. Oyetunde and her husband were my parents. They were always so poised, so rich, and appeared devoted to their two girls. But of course, those were the whimsical thoughts of a child. No more. I’m a man now, a man whose only fantasy – if one can even call it that – is to make enough money so he can transition efficiently to the new life that’s calling for him in Chicago.  That’s right! The US oA!

Besides, the woman has enlisted me to protect her daughter from Ife boys, and I can tell that Kofo is going to need some serious protection the moment some unassuming guy walks up to her and gets struck by her sweet-faced look. She’s an unconventional beauty, that Kofo. And her prettiness is more in her eyes…and her pert nose…and her cute lips that contrasts nicely against her  skin. God!  So flawlessly dark-complexioned. For one blasted second, I’d stared at her lips like an idiot when her mom did introductions.

Speaking of introductions,  I snicker,  remembering  how Kofo squirmed when her mother introduced her to me.

 We brought your younger sister, Kofo to school…Remember her? She was about eight when your mummy passed.

Yes, I do remember her, even though she’s no longer eight; even though she isn’t my younger sister.; even though she sure as hell isn’t my type…with those big, trusting eyes of hers hiding behind her glasses.

I’m the last person Mrs. Oyetunde needs to protect her daughter from the so- called yeye boys of Ife she talked about. Me and my depraved soul isn’t what any sane-thinking parent would want around their daughter., not that I have any plans to do anything about my attraction to Kofo. But a deal is a deal; I’ve promised Mrs. Oyetunde that I’ll come check on Kofo tonight, and against my better judgment, I’m going to stick to the plan.

“So my guy,  how much have you saved up?” Sam cuts into my thoughts as  I drive past the gates of OAU.

I shake my head ruefully, thoughts of Kofo still shadowing my mind. “Not enough,” I reply, and it’s the honest truth. How much is enough to help one relocate and settle down in the United States, a country where the cost of a semester’s tuition is more than the cost of building a house  in Nigeria?

“You know, why don’t you just swallow your pride and ask your father for help?”

I can feel my pupils narrow, and I can’t help the sudden clench to my hands at Sam’s suggestion.

“Sam,” my voice is deliberately soft.

He shrugs.

I give him my best knifelike stare. “Shut the fuck up.”

“Okay.” Sam holds up his hands in surrender. “My guy, just trying to help o. You need the money and your father can -”

I don’t let him finish. I stop the car suddenly, and hold him up by the collar. Sam looks stunned. “Don’t. Ever. Ever…”  I’m bristling with so much anger and hate , it’s difficult  to finish my sentence.

“Okay, okay, okay,” Sam splutters, completely taken aback by my sudden rage. “Put me down. Put me down now.”

I release him and he slumps back, quite shaken, into the worn leather seat of my ’88 Honda civic.  I take a long deep breath, collect myself and resume driving.

“I won’t suggest that again,” Sam says after a long while.

You better never.

“I need to get some fuel inside this car.” I say, and just like that, I forget Sam’s errant mention of my equally errant father and settle my thoughts on a pretty girl in a pink t-shirt, staring at me with big, brown eyes.

Read about Kofo’s take on Rotimi : fastfowarded excerpt 🙂

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Categories: My Stories | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

A New Best Friend: An Excerpt from Omo Mummy

Hello….gosh! Feels like ages I’ve been here. Anyway, I’m out, just briefly from my hibernating shell of real Life and all its demands and obligations  🙂 to come share with you an excerpt from my upcoming work. I hope you like. Happy reading.

As there is guilt in innocence, there is innocence in guilt~ African Proverb

OMO MUMMY FINAL COVER

Kofo Oyetunde, OAU, Ile-Ife, 1995

My joy is short lived. Trouble is already brewing.

“Jambites. They get worse every year.”

These are the first words I hear when I enter my room. Two women, they look to be in their mid-twenties in spite of their very petite stature, sit on one bunk. They stare disapprovingly at me. Their condemnation is so blatant that I mentally shrink back

“This one, she just arrived today and she’s already out with boys,” one of them says. She has a black silk scarf wound rather too tightly on her head; it’s a miracle the fabric hasn’t cut off the blood circulation to her brain. Her face is devoid of makeup and she is wearing a flowery print blouse, which is several sizes bigger than her. Her long and billowy black skirt reminds me of catholic nuns.

“My dear sister,” the second woman says to me. Her tone drips with ingenious sweetness so that I know that I’m anything but a dear or a sister to her. “You need to give your life to Jesus before your life becomes destroyed by boys in Ife.”

“Leave her alone jor,” Another voice suddenly speaks up. “ You people have come again with your wahala.”

All three of us turn at the same time to view the woman lying on a bunk across from us. At first sight, she looks matronly, but when she jumps out of her bed, I can only gape. She is barely five feet tall. It seems to me that she compensated her lack of height for a strong assertive temperament – like the one she is displaying now.

“Don’t mind them jor,” my savior says to me.

The two girls hiss in response.

She ignores them. “They say they want you to give your life to their  Jesus and they think the way to go about it is by starting a fight. Abeg jor.”

“Anire, she will go to hell if she continues like that,” one of my judges replies.

Anire, I think to myself, liking the uniqueness of my rescuer’s name.

“Like how?” Anire replies. I can tell that she is getting quite irritated. “You guys are an embarrassment for preaching the gospel with your judgmental attitude. Where do you know that the girl has been? How do you know she’s not coming from a church service or something?”

“Dressed like that?” My first judge replies with a scoff. “In jeans and that ko-lapa?”

“It’s called halter top,” Anire rolls her eyes. “And you say you’re in English department and you don’t even know the proper name of what she’s wearing. Shame, shame.”

My judge’s lips set in a straight thin line. She looks determined to ignore the jab Anire has just thrown at her.  She fails though. “People that wear that kind of clothing, on top of men’s clothing like that jeans she’s wearing are all going to hell fire.”

“You know what your problem is?” Anire replies after a moment’s pause of studying both women with a bemused stare. “Poverty is a real disease. If you weren’t poor, you’d be able to afford good clothes like this girl here. You wouldn’t be spouting all this nonsense you are saying.”

My two judges look angry enough to commit murder now, but to my surprise, they don’t say a word. They begin conversing with each other in hushed tones. From where I stand, I can very well imagine that they are hoping that Anire will burn just as hot in hell for taking my side – a young woman dressed in a halter-top aka ko-lapa – another Yoruba vocabulary I’ve just learned.

Still taken aback with the girls’ hostility towards me, I proceed to take off my clothes and change into my t-shirt. The one that says princess.   I am just about to get into bed when Anire walks up to me.

“But you have to be careful o,” she starts. Concern fills her voice. “You just came to this school today and already you’re seeing men that are much older than you. What would your parents say if they found out?

“Those Virgin Marys over there,” she continues, nodding her head in the direction of my critics who are occasionally sending murderous looks at Anire, “they say that they saw you on their way from their prayer meeting. They are not too sure, but they are ready to believe that you were the one they saw. They’ve been talking about you since they got to the room. In fact, it was their chatter that woke me up.”

It’s not like it’s any one’s business where I’ve been, but even then, I can’t stop myself from feeling acute mortification. I place my hand on my mouth.

“But you’re a fast girl for a Jambito,” Anire continues. Her eyes fill up with mischievous humor and intuitively, I know I’ve found myself a friend. “Have you always known your kisser or did you meet him here?”

I shake my head. “We’re old family friends,” I explain.

She scoffs, but her eyes are still laughing. “He must be a very good family friend o, because from the way I hear you guys were kissing….”

I cover my face again in embarrassment.

“It’s okay babe,” Anire continues, guffawing loudly. “So long as you say you know him from home, that’s what counts. Ife boys, hmmm, they are very fast o with all their big grammar.  They can turn innocent girls like you to butter, so you have to be very careful.”

I clamber into bed and promptly turn on my side to go to sleep. I’m hoping my new friend will take the hint that I’m done with this conversation and that she will leave me alone to sleep. Unfortunately, Anire isn’t finished talking.

“What’s his name?”

I hesitate briefly. “Rotimi Wright.”

“Oh, now I see,” she says. “I saw him kissing a girl earlier. Tonight. Was that you?”

I’m surprised she knows him. “You know him?”

“Of course I know him,” She sighs dreamily. “Rotimi is a popular guy here on Campus. He’s handsome and he’s going to be a Doctor someday; so yes, every girl who has eyes including me, knows him. How long has he been your boyfriend?”

Her question has me suspended in thought for moment. It occurs to me that I am yet to define my relationship with Rotimi. True, we shared a soul-shattering kiss, but does that make him my boyfriend? I stare at Anire’s expectant face. She wants me to say yes. Well, she’s in luck because I’m too eager not to disappoint.

“Today,” I reply.  “He just became my boyfriend today.”

“Fast girl,” she smiles. Her eyes show her approval.  “It’s your first day in school and already you have the most eligible bachelor as your boyfriend.”

She laughs as she speaks and I feel suddenly very proud of  myself that I’d confided in her. Anire is definitely going to be a girl to keep, I think to myself. .

“Goodnight dear. Sweet dreams,” she says, walking away.

I smile, knowing I am definitely going to have some very pleasant dreams about my handsome Rotimi Wright and of that sweet, passionate kiss we shared at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

(Read the first chapter)

Categories: My Stories | Tags: , , , | 16 Comments

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