12.3.10

New Book Series 3: The Beginning of the End.

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by.
This is BBs 2, your weekly teleblog. Last week, I introduced Adunni, the girl who's father died...in her face, and Babatunde.....the man with secrets and..more secrets.
The story continues.....
Adunni.
Somewhere bewteen Ilu epo and Ilu Abe, South West Nigeria.





The truth... what truth? The question kept ricocheting on my mind, tearing, ravaging my soul as I ran for my life. What had Iya told Papa that had made him kill her? I ran until I could no longer feel the blades of grass slicing the back of my legs. I moved like a mad woman, darting between trees and shrubs of angry bushes at dizzying speed... pushing forward and not looking back. When my legs lost all feeling, except for a numbing tingle at the base of my ankles, I finally forced myself to stumble to a stop as I collapsed into the first heap of dew soaked leaves I saw at the foot of a large tree. My heart threatened to spill out of my chest. I gasped and coughed, spitting out saliva and sand from my mouth. I let a few minutes pass for my breathing to steady before I started to crawl towards what I hoped was light. I knew I was at the mouth of rain forest, and if I did not get out of there before dark, I could lose my life to the night creatures.
The sun was red and gradually sliding behind the clouds to usher the moon.
I could faintly hear the crickets chirping and the persistent pecking of a bird as it gnawed away at the bark of a tree.


I had to survive... even though my feet felt like they were on fire and I could hardly see. And for a moment, I was tempted to forget my worries and lie there at the foot of the tree and close my eyes in sleep...I pressed on.


I knew I had to be hours away from our village and if I stopped now, Papa could catch up with me. And so, like a wounded soldier, with raw knees scrapping against small rocks and thorny stems, I crawled on...until my nose began to tweak. I sniffed the air, certain that I could smell yam puff being fried somewhere in the distance. It may have been a figment of my starving imagination, I don’t know, but it did something to me. I picked myself up from the crawling position and resumed walking, allowing my nose to lead me to a wide acreage of land, dotted with well lit houses.


I figured I was in a neighbouring village called Ilu Abe, if my geography was anything to go by. My mouth watered at the now strong smell of the frying yam puff...then my eyes. Iya had sold ojojo for a living for a number of years before Papa asked her to stop.
Papa. His name forced bile up my throat.


‘Who goes there?'


I swallowed, edging closer into the compound, towards the raspy voice. An elderly woman sat under a fruit tree, holding a long cane. Her wrapper was tied around her flat chest. I assumed that the woman lived in one of the houses.


‘Little one, come closer,’ the woman beckoned with her cane. I smiled, strangely comforted by the woman’s kind expression. I walked towards her and knelt down.
‘Good evening ma,’ I said, clutching the shredded edges of my torn dress.
‘A child’s voice. From here?’ she asked, looking straight through me, and I, suddenly realising she was blind, ventured nearer. Her English was broken, and hard to understand.
‘I am from Ilu Epo, the land of Oil.’ I hesitated. ‘I need help...please.’
‘What is your name?’ The woman thankfully reverted to Yoruba.
I told her. The woman rubbed her nose hard, cleared her throat, and shot a bead of saliva my way. I shifted away just in time.


‘Come with me,’ she said.
I don’t know where I got the strength from, but I helped her to her feet and grabbed her calloused elbow in my hand, as she navigated her way around the compound and into a small, rounded house.


She jerked her head at me. ‘Go in and make yourself comfortable. A lamp burns in the corner. You will find a mat. Rest your tired feet and I have some ojojo. Do you want some?’
I nodded. The woman’s house surprised me.
From outside, it looked like ours- sparse, and empty, but as soon as I stepped in, I realised that the woman had to be at least comfortable. She had a thinly cushioned wooden sofa, a kerosene lamp, and a transistor radio. A bed, just wide enough to accommodate a malnourished body, divided the room into two equal cubes. There was a rolled mat underneath. I sat on the sofa and waited, mat on my lap. She returned soon enough and offered me some food. I don’t know how quickly I wolfed down the food. The woman just stood there, tapping her cane on the bare floor, making guttural noises in her throat and watching me. I would usually be weary, but my eyes had just witnessed the most gruesome attack on another human being....If anything, I felt safe under the woman’s intense scrutiny.


‘how old are you?’ she asked as I grabbed the bowl of water from the floor and poured it down my parched throat.
‘Nineteen ma,’ I replied, in between gulps.
‘Very good. Sleep now. For tomorrow, we have an early start.’
I nodded, although unsure of what she was talking about. I found out soon enough. A few hours into a frightful sleep plagued by nightmares, I woke up, trembling and drenched in my own sweat. I was about to scamper to my feet when I heard hushed voices filtering from outside. I threw myself back down and laid still.


A huge man strolled in. He was either wearing a fila, or his long head was shaped like one. The woman collected a bag of what I assumed was money from the man, and then she pointed at me. The man immediately tapped me twice. I yawned and sat up, knuckling my eyes and stretching at the same time. It was all I could do to disguise my fear.


‘Adunni, Mr Kola will take care of you. Follow him.’


The man had now fully stepped into the hut and I saw his face a bit clearly.
‘She is educated? No?’ he asked.


Although he spoke in English, his accent was heavily laced in a strange intonation. His voice was rough, his features ragged. He had two, very deep tribal marks incised on each cheek. I imagined that an angry person had stuck a semi-blunt knife under each eye, and had carved the marks right down to his chin, rubbing charcoal in the incisions to ensure that they remained a souvenir of his handiwork - two black, bottomless holes. The man touched his face gingerly as if reading my thoughts. Then he smiled. He had lost most of his front teeth, probably to excessive tobacco. Only four brave survivors remained in his mouth.


‘Yes’ he nodded. ‘We are going to Lagos’.
Apart from the accent, his English was not bad. In fact, it was the best I’d heard after Teacher Lola’s. I decided to trust him. And I had heard wonderful things about Lagos from the lips of my friends who were allowed to leave the village.
‘When do we go?’ I asked. I suddenly had on overwhelming desire to leave. The man, who seemed quite good at reading my thoughts, rubbed both palms together. ‘What are we waiting for?’
The man walked out of the house and I followed; eager to sit in a motor car for the first time in my life. I wasn’t worried that I was leaving ilu epo behind. The village held nothing but terrible memories.


It was still dark outside, and uncomfortably tranquil. His car was parked under a palm tree, shielded away from prying eyes. The man walked briskly ahead of me and opened the door for me to enter. The old woman lagged behind. I climbed into the car and sat down. The back rest was very soft. Like the one in the Owoade compound, I thought, remembering the huge cloth chairs that the village head could be seen in as he sipped his palm wine on full moon nights.
He got in beside me and inserted a key somewhere. The car suddenly screeched to life and I stiffened. With interest, I watched as he grabbed a round object with one hand; pulled another long metal object with another and pressed his foot into the floor of the car. His actions made the car vibrate violently and jerk forward. I closed my eyes and shivered.
‘Never ridden in one?’ he asked, in his strange Yoruba dialect.


‘A motor car? Never sir, but I have seen plenty.’


‘Just car. You don’t have to add motor.’ He chided. ‘ It’s a Volkswagen beetle.’
‘Votzwa..? No sir,’ I muttered, staring at him. I wished he would stop frowning. He already resembled an Ife terracotta statue. The car kept on moving forwards at a slow, steady pace. Two bright lights from the front of the car shone on the dusty red earth and fire flies tried to survive the devouring brightness.


‘Your name again?’ he asked. I reminded him.
‘You are very beautiful.’
‘Thank you, sir.’
He suddenly looked weary. ‘Sleep Adunni, we shall arrive in Lagos soon.’
‘What are you going to do with me?’ I asked.
He didn’t reply me. He wore the stubborn expression on his face till I felt my body relax from fatigue.

***


Aberdeen, Scotland
Babatunde.


‘You are kidding right. Tell me you are kidding?’ Deolu rubbed his eyes, and then bent his neck to an angle, studying him with increasing concern. ‘What you just said makes no sense. Let’s imagine we are watching a major block buster... and say we miss a scene. This is where we press stop, rewind and replay. Please... do that for me, so I can comprehend your jargons.’

‘Give me time, Deolu.’ Babs wrested his gaze away from Deolu’s face and looked past his shoulder. Deolu was right. Nothing was making sense. It hadn’t been for the last three hours. After he’d staggered out of the room in an almost blind, but silent rage, he’d sent Deolu a text to meet him in the bar, somewhere on the ground floor of the hotel. The bar, dimly lit with soft hues of blue and red was playing slow, Brazillian music. A Scottish couple clung to each other in the corner, shifting their feet around the wooden dance floor in an almost comical fashion, singing along to the song in slurred, off tune voices. For a split second, he wished he could do just that. Shove glass after glass of champagne down his throat until he was too piss drunk to see, too stoned to speak. All of life’s problems, reduced to a fairytale so that the truth and the lie are meshed into one. And you are just living in the moment... sailing.


He took a deep breath, and picked his words with care. ‘I said Fola is pregnant.’
He could hear the faint hum of a siren in the distance, and wondered what lucky soul had just lost his battle to survive in a cruel world.
Deolu banged his fist on the table. ‘You’ve said that enough times. What I want to know is why you are sitting here with me...’ he checked his watch,’ at four in the morning, when you should be celebrating with your wife. And I should be in my bed. Asleep.’


‘Where did I go wrong? Have I not been a good husband?’ Babs whispered the question into his champagne glass. The ice dancing in the glass cup might as well have been inside his spine. He could hardly feel a thing.


‘What on earth are you on about? You’ve been great. You and Fola have a model marriage.’


‘Then why did she do it?’


‘Do what?’ Deolu threw his arms up in the air in exasperation. ‘Look man, speak now or get out of my way. I have a meeting with Shell BP at nine fifteen. In London.’


‘Why did she cheat on me? And with whom?’


Deolu’s arms fell back down in an awkward limp. He sagged in the chair, a blank expression on his face. ‘Don’t be ridiculous, Babatunde. Fola would never...’


‘She did. I know it.’ He sliced in. The hole in his heart was expanding in chords.
‘how do you know ?’ Deolu snipped. 'Do you realise what you are talking about?'


‘I do. And when I tell you--.’


His words died on his lips. Two women, clad in matching wine and gold trouser suits- hotel uniforms, bolted in through the revolving doors.
One of them scanned the bar quickly and pointed at him. He stood up at once, and pushed the table aside. Something was wrong. Deolu sprang to his feet. ‘What’s going on?’


‘Are you Mr Vaughn? Room 715?’ The woman asked in a deep Scottish drawl.


‘What’s going on?’ Deolu yelled this time, impatient. Babs nodded slowly, afraid. ‘Can you tell us what is going on please?’


‘You have to come quickly sir. There has been an emergency.’ The other woman spoke now. She attempted to smoothen invisible wrinkles off her waist coat, a fruitless gesture to avoid the eye contact necessary to deliver her message.
‘The lady in room 715, we believe is your wife...?’
‘Yes,’ Deolu snapped.
Babs remained silent, watching, waiting. There was enough tension to crack a window.
The woman took a deep breath, and then finally, she spoke. ‘I am very sorry sir, but your wife was found unconscious ten minutes ago. In a pool of her own blood.’
The blood drained from Babs face. His legs buckled, and Deolu bolted acrross, grabbing him just in time.
He remembered the siren....Fola? Fola. Fola.


And from then on, everything else became a blur.

14 comments:

Justjoxy said...

Hurrah! Off to read it now :)

BiMbyLaDs** said...

This post is long o. Abeg manage am till 14 days time.

Titi said...

Ehn? And I was just about to complain that it felt short. 2 weeks is punishment o.

Titi said...

Ehn? And I was just about to complain that it felt short. 2 weeks is punishment o.

YankeeNaija said...

all i can say is cruel and unusual punishment. you give a taste, leave us on the edge of our seats then say two weeks? woman! how can you be so cruel? Bimmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

DarLyn said...

Hmm, nice suspense and story line. But isnt the Adunni bit kinda disconected. I thought in the first chapter, she ran from the house in the morning so how come its at night she's getting to the next village. Ok maybe it's so far apart.

"Little one come closer" then suprise "a child's voice" but she is blind so how did she know it was a little one before Adunni spoke.
Do people actually take anyone in especially a child in the village.
The morning bit too is kinda strange.
Adds to the suspense, I guess.

BiMbyLaDs** said...

@ Darlyn: thanks for comment. appreciate it.
Just to point out: I think I said, 'the sun was red, about to usher in the moon?' not suggesting it was dark yet, but about to be..

the blind woman.. she wasnt suprised, she knew it was a child and was just reiterating.. but then, u do make sense cos i was probably repeating myself. could have saved some space.

All in all, this is not work that has been edited properly. I just type and paste. I rely on people like u to help fish out the inconsistencies!!

so thanks...


but yeah, ur last comment...adds to suspense! trust me.

@yankee N and titi: no vex. its too hard to commit weekly but ill try!

Anonymous said...

come Bims I dint want to comment yet but u have left me with no choice. 2 wks ke? so ara o! Howz mini and china?

Engee

Myne Whitman said...

This is a long one, I'll be back to finish but I love the first part, DarLyn has pointed out some of the inconsistencies I noted too.

Ghanaija said...

Bim me sef i be editor so when will you finish so i can just kuku edit everything once and for all.

Make quick you hear i dont like what you are doing i checked sotay i forgot to stop checking i gave up...you sha just helped me release small tension the week hasnt been fantastic so far.

love you lots xoxo

sexyChef said...

More more moreeeee Adunni, okay she's gonna be a sex slave rite rite rite?! [meekly] sawri dats wot u get 4 making us wait! no patience.

hey sweeeri it is 'I' he he new 2 sis bloggin malarky hence d essay...

toodoloos

dScR?Be said...

what d frik?! why did she harm herself!??!!!! arghhhh!! this is two friking stories in one bruv! u messin with our heads!!!!

Miss Natural said...

I loved this...i read the third story before the second hmm nd i have my suspicions about the pregnancy. Bimbylads i cant access your other blog posts, like there is no timeline by the side to access all your posts in a click :(

Jaycee said...

Oh my goodness! What happened to Folu? Bimbylads you're back for real...I remember when you wrote the Enitan series. *Gulp*

In the beginning, Adunni sniffing the air and smelling frying yam puff reminded of the story of Rahlia (a Nigerian book I enjoyed when I was younger, can't quite remember the name).

This phrase cracked me up "only four brave survivors remained in his mouth."

I was so scared for poor Adunni when she decided to follow a stranger. My heart was in my mouth.

Things I wanted to know: what kinds of night creatures were in the forest (surely Adunni must have heard scary stories of specific animals, so it might be nice to include their actual names).