Monday, September 14

15

Something Bigger Than Love 2 - 3

THREE



Adaku and Felix arrived Ibadan at early evening.

The city was what it has always been—ancient and significant.

To Adaku, it was the Enugu State of Western Nigeria.

Felix laughed out loud when she’d said this, and also when she’d mentioned all the women looked like they have all patronized the same tailor.


In fact, there were many times he laughed when she said something.

He found her a refreshing company, while in the bus, on the road and inside the University.

When they got to UI main entrance, Felix spread out his arms in the air in a dramatic gesture and said, ‘Welcome to the most prestigious university in Nigeria.’

Adaku smiled. ‘It had better be,’ she said, walking past the gate.

Inside, as they walked down to the quarters, Felix said to her, ‘Impressed yet?’

‘I love the flowers,’ Ada replied.

Felix shook his head in concession.

But she truly was impressed. The lawns outside most of the buildings were well tended and she truly likely the abundance of greenery.

And the air smelt fresh.

After they’d settled down in their separate rooms, she went over to Felix’s room and knocked.

No response came at first.

She knocked again.

He opened the door and Ada gasped, ‘Oh wow!’

He was shirtless, just in his boxers.

‘What?’ Felix asked, feigning surprise.

She shook her head and walked in. ‘Nothing, just didn’t know you were so…’

‘Endowed?’ he supplied.

She flicked him a smile. ‘I was meaning to say hairy, but thanks.’

Felix bolted the door. ‘So you don’t like hairy men?’

She gave a small shrug. ‘I’m indifferent.’ She ran her palm over his chest. ‘They are very soft.’

‘I treat them.’

‘Lovely.’ She went to sit on the bed.

‘So, is there anything else you’d like me to show you?’

‘Like what?’

He drew the elastic strap of his boxers and released it. ‘The hairs in there are softer, aromatic, redolent only of the best masculinity has to offer.’

She laughed and picked his shirt on the bed and threw to him.

He wore it and came to join her on the bed.

‘So, any childhood memories?’ she asked.

He scrunched up the skin around his eyes in thought, then shook his head. ‘Bodija leaves not much impression.’

‘I see.’

‘Tell me about your husband.’

‘What?’

‘You claim to be married yet you rarely mention him. No calls, no pictures, why do I smell deceit.’

She steadied her eyes into the air, the hint of a smile embellishing her plump face now. ‘It doesn’t need to be talked about all the time if it is so real,’ she said.

Felix stared, and then he shifted closer to her. ‘So it is real?’

She turned to him and nodded, the smile enlarging. ‘It is.’

Felix let out a sigh, almost as though out of regret. ‘He must be very lucky.’

Now Adaku’s lips burst open and her dentition showed and the beauty of her face came fully alive. ‘Why do you say that?’

He took one of her hands and covered it in his.

His palms felt surprisingly warm, smooth and soft.

‘You are a special girl, Ada,’ he said.

She was staring, and then she pulled a face and gave a nod that has nothing to do with agreement. ‘So what happened to badass Marxist and annoyingly obstinate.’

Felix smiled. ‘Of course, those are still there,’ he said. His voice appeared to deepen. ‘But they have only contributed to what’s made you awesomely unique.’

She laughed and stood. ‘You should live here.’

‘What? Why?’

‘You are nicer here.’

He laughed.

There was silence.

It dragged.

‘So you still intend to travel to Lagos from here?’ Felix came through first.

‘Yes.’

He nodded—a nod that meant more than agreement. ‘I wish you two luck.’

‘Thank you.’

He stood and extended a hand.

Adaku pressed herself into him instead.

***

The conference was peaceful.

The hall appeared as if it had been taken over by the god of silence whenever a speaker was on the podium.

The professors spoke first, throwing out scientific jargons in quiet, confusing packages.

Adaku could have sworn there was some sort of competition going on among them.

Finally, it was time for the introduction of all representatives.

‘Now, we call on all the amazing students representing all the amazing institutions round the country to come up,’ the MC announced.

He was a tall, slim man in a native attire. He used the word amazing too often.

When UNIZIK was called, Felix and Ada walked out, waved and bowed and left the stage.

The crowd gave out a calculated round of applause each time a school was mentioned.

But when ABU Zaria was called and two very tall and thin boys came out, laughter was added.

Felix escorted Ada to the park.

He’d told her the journey from Ibadan to Lagos would only take an hour and some minutes, but she spent nearly three hours on the road.

Finally, she was in Lagos.

The white bus with double blue lines at the centre stopped at Oshodi.

That was its last stop.

She was happy that she was in Oshodi, the same name that was in the address she’d written down on the piece of paper she has, and need not to ask a lot questions.

She was not so surprised by the huge crowd of people; she had read about Lagos in a torn novel she found in her father’s cupboard.

Flora Nwapa’s This Is Lagos.

She walked down to where the okada men clustered together as though in preparation for a race and gave one of them the piece of paper.

She had chosen the young man in front hoping he would most likely know how to read, but the dark young man passed the rumpled sheet of paper to an elderly man beside him.

The man peered into the paper. ‘Raimi, hundred naira, ma.’

‘Let’s go,’ Ada said.

For addressing her as ma, even in his age, she suddenly felt the need to increase his money, or buy him a new shirt, anything to show she was pleased with his humility.

The motorcycle whistled and came to a halt in front of a kiosk. ‘Madam, this is number 16.’

‘Thank you,’ she said.

She came down and gave him a N200 note.

She had opened her mouth to say ‘You can keep the change’ when the man said, ‘Madam, your money is torn o.’

He was extending the note back to her.

‘Oh.’ She took back the note and looked; a small line had been taped over with transparent tape.

‘Ok, let me look for another for you,’ she said.

She opened her purse and began searching through her wad of notes: she saw N50, N20, N500 and N1000, but no N200.

She considered giving him the N500 note and leaving the change with him.

‘Madam, please don’t waste my time,’ the man said.

Her eyes ran up to him. She quickly dropped back the N500 note and gave him two notes of N50 instead.

The Ma and Madam were merely a language, she realized, not at all any sign of respect.

Her heart beat faster as she entered the compound.

She could not perceive his smell— that faint and unusual awareness of someone that came in form of a smell, or something close, that subconsciously reveal the presence of the person.

She saw a middle-aged woman washing by the side of the wall and shouting at her naked child. ‘Saheed, step away!’ she would scream.

The child ignored her and continued playing with mass of soap bubbles on the ground, turning his foot round it.

‘Good afternoon, ma,’ Ada greeted.

The woman looked up. ‘Afternoon, bawo ni?’

Ada took in a deep breath. ‘Ma, my name is Ada. Please, can you show me to Ahanna’s room?’

The woman stared at her as if she hadn’t understood.

‘Ahanna, ma,’ she said again.

‘Ahanna? Papilo?’

Adaku nodded, even though she wasn’t entirely sure. ‘Yes.’

The woman smiled and said, ‘Aah!’ She shook her head. ‘He not stay here again.’

‘Ma?’

‘Ahanna and him brother not stay here again.’ She moved her hand through the air in demonstration. ‘E done tey when they move.’

‘I don’t understand.’

‘They no stay here again.’

‘Please, do you know where they stay now?’

The woman looked thoughtful for a second and then shook her head. ‘No.’ She shook her head again. ‘You come from village?’

Ada nodded.

‘Ah! They no stay here again.’ She bent back to her clothes.

Ada stood there staring.

After long minutes and the woman didn’t turn to say anything else to her, she turned and walked out of the compound.

As she walked down the road, several thoughts raced around in her head.

She looked up and realized the sun was setting and she has nowhere to sleep.

15 comments:

  1. Hmmm, Ada is stranded...somebody to the rescue o.

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  2. See wahala, Dan pls stop punishing these love birds na, its unfair o

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  3. What a world! Obinna looking for her at the campus,while she is looking for him in Lagos. Communication brake down!

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  4. Nawa o, let her not be raped o. I dont want such.

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  5. Hmmmm, pls let nothing bad happen to Ada o!

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  6. Hmmmm. Pls oo nothing should happen to her abeg.

    Pamscrib.blogspot.com

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  7. oh God send ur Angel to come and guide Ada o. Amen

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  8. God please keep Ada safe

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  9. hahahahaha Daniel na wa o it's too short...nice one...destiny plays a part in all dis...they shud jus meet jare

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  10. y e be say na ABU u come mock for here. do u have something against that school. hiss

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  11. Ghen! Ghen. Adaku dey Lagos, her bobo de Awka. Me siddon here de wait una to see how this story will unfold. And Dan thanks for reminding me it's fiction. Very important.

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  12. good story, thanks for sharing this with us, please god help ada to be safe furnace repair denver

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