Monday, June 3, 2019

Banke's Insignificant Problem

Gboyega wakes up with a start. Kofo is still asleep sprawled over his bare body. He shuts his eyes and the event of the night flashes in his mind. His heart cries out to God for forgiveness. Once again, he had allowed himself to be used to fulfill Kofo’s desires. The cry of his heart is deep and intense and it consumes his whole being.
He lifts his head and looks at Kofo’s face. Her jaw is set even in her sleep. He lifts her gently off his body. He stands up from the bed to pick up his underwear and clothes which are strewn all over the room from the night’s encounter. He dresses up quickly and quietly. The keys to his room lie on the floor beside the chaise lounge. It had been released from Kofo’s b---m when he tore her underwear away. He picks up both keys, slings the travel bag he had packed the night before over his shoulders and opens the door quietly. He walks briskly into the early morning dew. His wrist watch tells him that it is a quarter to 5.00am. He has nowhere to go as he has not figured it out yet. But what he is sure of, is that he wants to be far away from Kofo.
He walks to the bus-stop as the early risers make their preparations for the day’s business. He begins to weigh his options of a temporary abode. A colleague of his and also a youth corper lived alone with her younger sister. Their parents were hardly at home as they travelled constantly. She had once invited him over to her house but he had taken a rain check. Her home would have been a comfortable option for him but right now, he was finding it difficult to trust any other woman besides Bola.
Another friend of his comes to mind. He lived in a self-contained apartment just like his on the other side of town. They had both graduated from the same university but from different departments. They had met at the orientation camp and had hooked up immediately. He thought of putting a call to him as he looked at his wrist watch. It was 5.30a.m. He knew it was quite early to ring someone on a Sunday morning but there were no other options.
His friend picks up the call after the fourth ring. “Hello.” He answers half-awake.
“Good morning Tosan. I’m sorry I woke you up.”
“What’s up, Gboyega?”
“I need a favour.” Gboyega prays in his heart that his request will not be denied.
“Can I bunk up with you for a few days?” He really had no idea how long it will take before Kofo got tired and left his room. He hoped it will be sooner than later.
“It’s fine but is there a problem at your end?”
“Yeah, something of the sort.”
“Okay. I’m home. You can come over.” Tosan concludes.
“Thanks a lot, Tosan. I should be there in less than an hour.”
His well thought out plan gives him renewed energy. He would stay with Tosan and go to work from there. It will cost him more in transportation but right now, he really did not care. If it meant taking rough and cheaper buses to work, he would. He knew there was no way Kofo would find him where he was. He only hoped she would tire out of the search for him quickly and return to Lagos.****************
Kofo yawns as she stretches on the bed to feel Gboyega. She lifts her head a little when she realizes he is not on the bed. She checks the time on the wall clock in the room. It is 10.00a.m. She smiles broadly as she remembers the pleasurable night. Gboyega never failed to disappoint her and last night, he had possessed her with great force and renewed vigour. She knew it would only be a matter of time before he came lapping up to her because they belonged to each other. She runs her tongue over her lips as her body desires more of him. He had denied her for too long and she wanted to have him to her fill.
She stands up to check on him in the bathroom when she notices that his clothes are no longer on the floor. She looks towards the reading table where his travel bag had been last night; it is no longer there. She hits her right hand on the bed in anger. Gboyega had left her again. Anger begins to boil within her chest.He couldn’t have gone back to Akure. He has to go to work. She makes a futile effort to calm down. She shakes her head.No, he is coming back. He won’t dare leave me alone again. She picks up her phone and rings her informant. She gives him details of what she needs. She steps into the bathroom and decides to fill up the bath tub with hot water. What she needs right now is to soak in a hot bath and be relaxed.Gbosgaga belonged to her. He will definitely be back.
For a whole week, Kofo waits patiently for Gboyega’s return. She shops for new clothing in town and also familiarizes herself with the city. She leaves his room every day returning late at night. She makes a few business contacts with politicians in the city and slowly begins to build a small cartel.
One of Gboyega’s neighbours notice her as she is about to drive out of the compound one late morning. He walks up to her. “Hi, you must be Gboyega’s girlfriend. My name is Zolch.” He says stretching forth his hand to take hers which were already on the wheel.
Kofo looks at him over the rim of the shades on her face. “Zolch?” She questions as she gives him her hand.
He kisses the back of her hand. “Yes, Zolch.” He laughs. “That is what most people call me”.
Kofo gives him a disdainful look. “Okay”. She replies as she starts the car.
“I was wondering, I have not seen Gboyega for a while.”
Kofo looks at him and fakes a smile. “He travelled out of town. He should be back soon.”
“Okay, say hi to him whenever he calls.”
“I will.” Kofo sneers as she drives off. She hisses as she rolls up her window.Zolch looks at the tail lights of the car till it disappears. “Wow, what a catch?” He says to himself. “Na this kain babe I dey look for.”
Kofo moves out of Gboyega’s room the next week. After one week of waiting, it looked like Gboyega had fallen out of her grasp. She called her informant daily as she waited patiently for news from him. She needed to go back to Lagos as some of her clients had been calling her incessantly. Her job was suffering because of her continued stay in Shagamu and her clients were beginning to get upset with her. They were getting bored of some of the girls she had provided and were asking for fresh girls. She goes back to Lagos to face her business but she insists on her informant continuing his job until he hits gold.
Gboyega rings his neighbour from his hiding place three weeks after his absence. “Uzo, how far now? How you dey?”
“Hey, my guy. You don arrive?” Zolch answers.
“No, I neva come.”
“Where you come dey sins? I see your girlfriend. Chai! This guy, you get eyes for head oh.”
Gboyega is not amused. “Abeg, she still dey dia?”
“Hmm…e be like say I see her when she dey carry plenty bag comot your room last week.”
“You sure?”
“Ahn ahn, you dey run from her?”
“No. I just dey ask. You fit help me check to confirm?”
“Guy, this one wey you dey do confirmation for your girlfriend. She don carry belle for you?”
“No be like that. Abeg, just call me when you don confirm.” Gboyega says impatiently.
A few minutes later, Zolch rings Gboyega back. “I tell you say she don go but she no lock your door. E dey open.”
“No wahala. Thank you.” Gboyega says.
“If na me, I no go let that kain girl go oh. I go just die for the girl lap. Haba! See the kain car wey she dey drive. Her papa go get money. Na the kain thing I dey find be dat make I comot this poverty level.” Zolch rambles on.
Gboyega mumbles a reply and cuts the line. He breathes a sigh of relief. He had avoided telling Tosan his problem. He only told him that he had a visitor who came from Lagos for a programme and that he wanted her to have some privacy. He told him that the programme should not take more than two weeks. He was delighted to have his room back as he thanked Tosan profusely and apologized for the inconvenience.
It was time to go back home.
Bola’s relationship with Gboyega continues to blossom. They talk every morning and night but he refuses to mention the incident with Kofo. Bola had wondered why he hadn’t called the night he left Akure for Shagamu. She had waited all day for his call. When she did not hear from him by a quarter to midnight, she decided to ring him. She wanted to be sure he was home safely.
Gboyega lied to her that he had slept off immediately he got home. He could not bring himself to tell her the truth. His mobile phone had been in his jeans pocket and the trouser lay on the floor where Kofo had pulled it down his thighs; her hands and lips exploring every nook of his body. The phone had rang continuously for a few minutes when the lovers were taking delight in the pleasures of their bodies and their orgies were about hitting a crescendo. None of them had heard the constant ringing and even if they had, the call would have been ignored.
Gboyega had seen the missed calls the next morning as he was about to call Tosan but had decided against calling Bola immediately. After the incident of the previous night, his mind and conscience was in disarray. He needed to calm his spirit before he could call her. When he was safe and settled in Tosan’s apartment, he put a call to her. It took a lot of willpower as the guilt of the night weighed so much on his soul that he felt dirty talking to her. Bola had noticed that he sounded depressed but he had waved it off as his lack of sleep. She was just beginning to trust him and he was not ready to break the fragile trust she had in him.
Gboyega has not seen or heard from Kofo in a while. Even though, he is happy that she is out of his life, he is also skeptical. Kofo was not one to be messed with and he knew that too well. He hoped she was gone for good but at the same time, he reckoned she was probably preparing another arsenal of weapons.
The months pass by quickly and his National Youth Service Programme comes to a close. He is most delighted because he would no longer be far away from Bola. He has saved up some money from the allowance paid to him by the government and he intends to propose to her after his programme. Even though he does not have a job yet, he knows they only needed to take it one day at a time. Besides, Bola had also mentioned that she did not intend to get married as a student. So that gave him ample time to look for a job, secure an apartment and settle down in Akure.
Mrs. Davies drives home alone on a Friday night. She is tired and exhausted from a long day at work. She lets herself into her house and goes to the refrigerator to get herself a bottle of water. Her phone rings from her handbag and she walks back to the settee to get it. She looks at the caller ID. The number is hidden. She wonders who could be calling her at this time of the night with a hidden number.
“Hello. This is Mrs. Davies, right?” The caller asks.
“Yes, Mrs. Davies speaking.”
“I have some information that would be of great interest to you.”
“Information? Sorry, may I know who I am speaking with?” Banke asks.
“A friend.” The caller says.
“A friend? From where please? Have we met before?”
“Mrs. Davies, all these questions are inconsequential at the moment. Your husband was killed some years ago, right?”
“Who are you?” Banke shouts into the phone as she begins to shake.
“I told you I’m a friend. Take this address down.”
Banke rummages through her handbag for a pen and a paper.
The caller reels out an address. “You might find something interesting in that address.”
The mysterious caller drops the call and Banke looks at her phone confused. The caller had not given a name and the ID had also been hidden. She tries to think if it was a man or a woman speaking but the voice had sounded muffled. A door slams and she is startled. She looks around her and she is suddenly afraid. She goes to the main door and locks it. She closes all the window blinds and goes to her room fearfully.Who was playing games with her?
She locks the door of her bedroom behind her as well. She sits on her bed and scrolls through her phone. She hits the dial button on a number. “Hi Tayo.”
“Banke, how are you? It’s been a while.” Inspector Tayo asks cheerfully.
“Tayo, please I need help.”
“Is there a problem?” Tayo asks, his tone getting serious.
“I just received a call from someone who mentioned Femi’s death. The person gave me an address and asked that I go there.”
Tayo laughs. “Banke, I’m sure it’s a crank call. Don’t bother yourself over it.”
“But what if it is not. What if….I don’t know, maybe Femi’s killers live there.”
“Banke, don’t do anything stupid. We tried our best to look for Femi’s killers. They were never found. They disappeared into thin air.”
“What if….?”
Tayo interrupts her. “There are no what ifs Banke. So go to bed and have a good night’s sleep. Okay?”
Banke is quiet.
“Tayo, Femi was your friend.” Banke says as a sob catches in her throat. “Are you saying we would never find his killers?”
Tayo sighs loudly. “Yes, he was my friend. I am not happy that we never found his killers. There is really nothing we can do at the moment. We went to the airport together to see if we could locate the taxi. You could not identify the taxi or the driver. What else could I have done?”Banke is crying and does not utter a word.
“Banke, please let this matter rest.”
“Thank you.” Banke says as she cuts the call.
Oh how she wished she could turn back the hands of time. To have Femi back in her arms. How wicked the world is. To have rendered her a widow and her only daughter fatherless at a young age.
She takes off her clothes and steps into her bathroom to take a bath. She walks out of the bathroom minutes later still in tears. Tears will not bring Femi back but right now, she feels so heartbroken. The strange call had reopened old wounds. She lies on her bed and sobs till she falls asleep.
The next morning, Banke rises up from her bed after a fitful sleep. She has a nagging headache from her lack of sleep. She ponders over last night’s call. She is unsure of what to do but she needs to satisfy her curiosity. She decides to ring a colleague of hers.
“Good morning Lolu.”
“Morning Banke, how are you doing?” Lolu asks.
“Not too good.” Banke says.
“What’s the problem?”
“I need a favour.”
“Can you go somewhere with me today?”
“I’ll tell you when we see. Can I pick you up at home?”
Lolu chuckles. “Yeah, but where exactly are we going?”
“It’s out of town and I don’t want to visit alone.”
“Visiting a boyfriend?” Lolu teases.
“Get serious for once Lolu. It’s nothing of the sort. I’ll give you more details when I pick you up.”
“O-Kay! If you say so ma’am. I’ll be waiting.”
Banke takes a quick bath and heads out of her house without breakfast. It is really important that she checks out this address regardless of Tayo’s warning. The only person she could count on was Lolu. He was single, daring and carefree. He was a few years younger than her but he was yet to settle down and get married. He had the notion that marriage was only for the strong-hearted.
She drives to Lolu’s house to pick him up and the journey to discovery begins.

No comments:

Post a Comment