I managed to let go of her hold, and as I walked out the door, I wondered how she’d followed me all the way here despite my attempts to avoid even a glimpse of her. She was just too difficult and wouldn’t let me have my way, always intruding. She thought she knew and had seen it all to caution always. I wasn’t going to hinge to that, no way…not again!
For once in my life, I wanted to feel life, wanted to grow under my own care, wanted to be independent, not the half- baked life but raw…raw! And yes…I was an adult now, I didn’t give a flying foot about what the world would think or what the lashing tongues would blurt out, I just wanted to be free. They said I was doing harm than good to myself but….I wanted to take that risk, a risk that was fun, a risk that made the pain of living sweet, a risk I found solace in. I wasn’t scared of nothing, I’d explore risks …. I had taken that bold step before and I could take a thousand more if that’s what it entails…”freedom”.
“Stevo my man! Wetin dey happen?”, Luke hailed with a grin as I approached them in one of our usual spots. I could tell they were having a great time, with empty bottles of gin, cigarette packs, littering the floor, I wanted to speak out, hail in return as always but my lips couldn’t move, I was too vexed to feast on words. ” Ma guy why your face dey like this?” He questioned, I ignored him. “Guy chillax, na wetin dey work you…cool your head make you yarn me” , Wole added handing me a pack of cigarette as I sat next to him on the bench. I reached for the lighter, lit the cigarette and started smoking. “My man yarn me sharp sharp!” Luke said, eager to hear my ordeal as I puffed out smoke from my nostril and mouth in the cold, misty air. “Na that woman o. Maale just dey…….. For my matter anyhow. The woman just dey spoil my show, you sef check am na. Me na pikin?” I voiced out, angrily yet relieved I’d poured out my heart. They stared at me at first, then…a pause like I’d spoken in strange tongues.
What followed after was a roar of laughter from the two of them. “Mtchew! What’s funny?” I questioned with a hiss. They laughed again, harder this time. “So guy you mean say as you dey like this your maale still dey run things for you….that one no pure na” said Wole who was still trying to control himself from laughing more. ” Stevo! My man!! Come dey go house before your maale begin find you, night don show” Luke mocked. “We don’t roll with kids” he added, as they cracked up in series of laughter that stung me. I gave them an angry look, hissed again, grabbed one of the gin bottle and gulped. I felt humiliated by their laughter, for a moment I thought about her, she was the reason for this humiliation, mockery, my mum.
“Kid”, I hate to hear that word being used on me, I stopped being a kid the day I dared to taste substance, something for men of strength and valour, and I was going to prove to them I wasn’t one, in many ways, many many ways… I’d prove them all wrong, dare them again.
To be continued…
Written by Martha
Directed by Godwin Alechenu
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