It was a new morning, the sun peeped behind the dark clouds. It will rain any time soon. I told myself.
The environment was busy with activities as usual; students, traders, businessmen and women roamed the streets.
“Agege, Agege” a bus conductor barked as he tried to fill in the empty seats of the bus with passengers.
I said a quiet word of prayer as I entered the commercial bus with my goods rested on my laps. The bus zoomed off as soon as the seats were filled up.
When I got to Agege. I bounced out of the bus with care, with my goods. As if they were eggs. As I walked the busy streets of Agege, thoughts of Samuel came to my mind. But I had given up on him.
He had finally made up his mind to continue with the ‘yahoo yahoo’ he was doing. He has got himself fixed. I told myself.
Life moves on, with or without Samuel. I consoled myself. I still had him in mind. I was concerned he would see the light but it may be too late.
I was worried he would be arrested and imprisoned. I wanted to cross the road to the other side but I could not hear the honk of any car. I didn’t look at my left nor the right.
The women at my behind attempted to drag me. They said they called me but I didn’t answer them. I walked along the road and clutched my bucket of cold water and soft drinks in my hand. I do not know what happened but I knew I fell. And I could not see anything. My eyes was opened to the dark in daylight.
I gained consciousness some hours later after being in a state of coma. I tried to sit up from the bed where I was laid but I felt a sharp pain in my head. I laid back.
“Hallelujahhhh.” A woman screamed beside me. I realized someone had been sitting there overtime, seeing to my movements.
“What happened?” my voice muffled. The woman came near me when she realized the movement of my lips. I asked her again.
“It’s a long story dear… you should rest now. Let’s thank God that you’re awake.” The woman responded. “You had an accident. You could not open your eyes when we came to your aide; I and some market women.”
She talked gently and rambled on. I realized I had fell suddenly. I realized I had closed my eye and saw darkness just that morning.
“Where am I?”
“Do not worry.” She laid her palms on my shoulder. “You must have been bothered about something heavy on your mind. You could not take caution because you did not know a car was heading toward you with a great speed.
Thank God I slowed down before I reached you.” She held my hands and rubbed it against hers. ”It would have been worse.” She said, and looked away.
I felt sorry for her. I began to tell my story. My father’s death was when I was eleven. My mother’s death of leukaemia.
How I tended for my siblings before Dr Hassan’s death and how I went to the police cell. ”I have to hawk goods daily so as to provide for my brothers in the Motherless Baby Home and also save for my university education. I am sorry I bumped into your car –“
“So you have plans for the furtherance of your education?”
“Yes ma, I do. I was already in my 100 Level before my mother passed away and I could not further my education since then.
I was advised to withdraw by the university management after being absent in school for 7 months” I said. Drenched in my tears now.
“Ohh, that’s sad. May your parents rest in perfect peace.
Where do you live, boy?”
“I live in an uncompleted building. I squat with motorcyclists till I can sort myself out.”
“That’s serious.” she sighed.” Would you mind coming home with me when you’re eventually discharged? At least, for the night.”
I looked at her eye and I withdrew my hand. “You will be fine, boy. Will you stay with me?”
I knew I would stammer. I was not afraid, but I was worried I will not be accepted. Or I will be made to go through the same thing I passed through at Mrs Hassan’s house.
“Alr…ight, all riiight, ma.” I said those words one after the other.
Later that evening, the Doctor came to check on me. He gave me a few drugs to use and I was discharged afterwards. He added that I must be brought to the hospital after 3 days till my wounds are healed.
We headed out of the hospital while the doctor saw us off the park. The woman drove me to her house. It was quite a long drive but the woman made me feel comfortable. She chatted with me, she asked me about girls and made me laugh to her jokes.
The woman introduced herself as Mrs Adebowale. She was a single parent raising a child. Her husband left her for another woman and she hasn’t remarried afterwards.
We got to her house at around 8:30pm in the night. It was a mansion situated at Lekki Phase Two. I met with her daughter who introduced herself as Ayokanmi.
She was almost the same age as mine. I’m only four months older than her. She is beautiful. I told myself when I saw her.
I found out – after about a month – that she was an aspirant of a university. She wanted to study Plant Biology.
We started attending UTME lessons together…. we spent most of our times studying together. We played video games often too.
Ayokanmi and I sat for the UTME examination and passed in flying colours. Ayokanmi had a composite score of 270% while I scored 272%
Ayokanmi and I were admitted into the university, I was admitted to study Law while she was admitted to study Plant Biology.
Days in the university went quick. When Ayokanmi was in her final year, I was in my penultimate. She wrote her final examinations. And while she graduated, I was in my final year.
On her convocation ceremony day, I proposed to her. I was actually afraid that while she go for her service year, someone would take her from me.
She was before her friends and my friends. A lot of things rushed through my mind. I had always consoled myself that she liked me, not until she introduced me to a guy she referred as her boy lover when she got to her 200 level.
It was at the middle of her penultimate year that they ended things and I became her shoulder to lean on. I remember the first time we kissed. I smiled and wanted to kiss her again.
I eventually brought out the rings. I said the words. She pressed me to her breast and said yes.
I lowered my hands to her waist and pressed her body into mine. Her mother said I wanted to squeeze her to death. The gathering roared with laughter.
We eventually got married 3 years after my Law School year.