“Okay, back to what we were saying. Of all the girls for Katakata Street, na Iniquity sister you go carry. Number one, no shape. Number two, hin broda dey crase. Number three, she be after one! Who dey fuck geh wey don born pikin? The place go wide like borehole na!”
“You know nothing. You are only a small boy.”
“Okay so how e be?”
Lukman thought about it, and then then said “E tight like mouth of whistle.”
“Choi!!!!” Irikefe exclaimed and the three of them burst into delirious laugher.
“I no know how God do am. But when woman born pikin finish the thing go just retutn to status quo!”
“Jesus of Nazareth eeh! See as toto come make Lukman dey blow grammar. Which one be status quo for there again?”
“Guy, leave, na money yab man. If to say my papa no die na lawyer I for be.”
“No be lie.”
“But wait o my guys, no be sell Iniquity sell Ndifreke keke so?”
“Looks like. Hin no give Iniquity permission to touch am.”
“Wetin dey do dat boy?”
“Na igbo wey him dey smoke.”
“Na only him dey smoke igbo?”
“Make we wait make Ndifreke come back. Explanation fit dey. I can’t imagine the effrontery.”
“That guy fears nothing. Make him no catch you with hin sister o!”
“Hin no go catch me.”
“But you go still barb my hair?”
“This is blackmain Irikefe.”
“Okay, abeg na.”
“Your last haircut was last week. If you no get money, you no fit dey wan barb weekly.”
“But Tibliz dey barb twice a week according to Tiwa Savage. She say hin dey use her money barb him hair twice a week when dem been marry.”
“Precisely wetin I talk. If you get money, you can barb everyday if you like.”
“No. I dey try tell you say twice in two weeks no dey too much.”
“Guys, I am sad.”
“Wetin dey make you sad Castro?”
“I need a girlfriend.”
“Mtcheeeew,” Irikefe hissed.
“Everybody just dey shag anyhow, and I dey here. Na only wank I dey wank every day.”
“Thank God say you even get hand to use wank.”
“You hear of Timi Dakolo and the COZA pastor? Bros say the guy wan kill him members with fuck.”
“Na new thing? Pastors must shag because according to Femi Kuti ‘will Jesus ever come? I don’t know, you don’t know.’ Fine boys like the COZA pastor no wan wake up one day discover say the whole Jesus thing na scam, and den been don allow all those heavenly pussies pass dem by. Sharp guys!”
“Haa! Irikefe. Blasphemy. Mr Cosmas must hear this.”
“Mr. Cosmas said we can shag. And him condition better pass church own.”
“Okay I go tell Sister Esther.”
“If I hear! That one wey Undertaker don turn hin toto to him place of worship.”
“Okay I go tell your Papa.”
“Wetin concern Papa Efe?”
“Speaking of which, you no dey look dat your papa? E be like say joy don comot for hin life. Papa Efe too dull nowadays.”
“Abeg I like am like dat. When joy full hin life the only thing wey hin know na make I go open shop. I don tire.”
“E pain me say Agbonyankee do us like dat I swear.”
Irikefe elbowed Castro in the ribs when he said that.
“I heard him and I saw what you did Efe,” Lukman said. “I saw when you left with Iniquity that morning and did not return. I saw how you people came back and were running your mouths. I have been seeing Iniquity going to Agbonyibo’s room like he should not be going. My shop is here and I see the things that man does. What I will say to you is that if you like your lives, stay away from him.”
“I did not come here for you to preach to me Lukman. Wetin dey worry una for this compound sef?”
“Alright, suit yourselves. But don’t say I did not warn you.”
“Mind your business, ogbeni.”
“About what we witnessed with Iniquity and Ndifreke’s keke…”
“Point of correction. I did not witness anything,” Lukman said.
“I already told Bros Freke.”
“That is your business. No one should call my name.”
Mama Tobi walked into Mama Akunna’s room. the two women regarded each other icily. Then Mama Akunna said, “Siddon if you wan siddon.”
“You thief my money” Mama Tobi said.
“Abeg talk another thing.” Mama Akunna said.
“Give me anything wey remain, I take god beg you. 1 million naira. No be small money!”
“Na wetin carry you come here be dat?”
“Okay talk wetin carry you come.”
Mama Tobi looked around and then said “the whole thing be like dream. Sometimes for afternoon I no dey believe wetin dey happen for night.”
“Na because you dey new.”
“But de life sweet.”
“You never even see anything.”
“I know. Na so dem talk for coven. Ehen…this Papa Efe. Wetin dey worry am sef?”
“Hin wan control us.”
“Una go gree?”
“If na only me, maybe. Because I don old and I know say I go soon die. But de master nor go gree.”
“Call am with respect. Fear dat man.”
“So how we go come do? I wan enjoy de life. No be now wey I come start dem go place embargo.”
“Make we kill am.”
“Na face-me-I-face-you be dis. If we wan finish am, we go finish am.”
Mama Tobi thought about it. It did not sound like a bad idea.
“How we go do am?”
“We fit put otapiapia for him soup. I fit go home come back with something wey I go put for ground for am to cross and him blokos go big like kerosene tank. You sef fit put something for ya fufu for am.”
“Him don stop to chop my fufu since.”
“Okay, you and me go hold something dey monitor him pot for kitchen.”
“When him come back for another life, him go know say busybody nor good. If you no dey chop frog, leave de people wey dey chop frog to chop dia frog.”
The council of elders convened. The Alfa was not there as he was celebrating Eid-el-Fitr with his family. Someone commented that they hoped that when the actual Sallah they were waiting for came that the Alfa would shake body.
“Apart from Akunna, no one has killed ram before in this compound. I just hope he will not disappoint.”
“Even if he does, how much of it do you think you will get? Has he finished feeding his battalion that you are here talking about a ram that is several months away!”
“Anyway, Barka de Sallah to him. If nothing, I am celebrating the end of the clanking of plates during their early morning cheat meals when somebody is putting finishing touches to better sleep.”
“Whatever. Did you guys see that Abacha sent us more money from the grave? What a dead man! Any time Nigeria is broke, bang, another Abacha money arrives. Man is a Legend.”
“The money was discovered in a Jersey account. They said it would be shared by Jersey, the US and Nigerian governments so don’t get your hopes up. 211 million pounds!”
“Even if it gets here, how will it affect my life? All the other money that have been coming, do they get to you?”
“No be lie.”
“Meanwhile, the Kano anti-graft commission has indicted Emir Sanusi of 3.4 billion naira fraud and recommended his suspension. Ganduje is not resting until Sanusi is thoroughly humiliated.”
“I am still saying it. It is nemesis. Goodluck Jonathan has to be smiling wherever he is. Sanusi own been too much. He has met his match in Ganduje. Next time he would steer clear of politics and career politicians.”
Everyone noticed that Achike was not contributing to the discussion which was unusual. So Mr. Zubi pointedly asked him what was wrong.
“Council of elders. I am troubled.”
“What is it Achike?”
“It is Mr. Agbonyibo.”
Someone said “Again?” Then Agbonhyibo said “I no be Mr! Just call me Agbonyibo. Now sef una fit also call me Agbonyankee or Agbofineboy.”
“What happened Achike?”
“His daughter is pregnant for me. I went to meet him respectfully to find out how I will go about doing the proper thing and Agbonyibo told me to pay him 1.2 million naira. My elders, tell me, is that fair?”
The men murmured and shook their heads. Mr Zubi pointed asked, “Agbonyibo is that so?”
“My elders, I salute una. Na so o. Na epp I dey epp am! If you wan go Togo go marry now, you go pay transport, you go reach there you go buy food, you go buy drink, you go do everything. How much you think say you go spend?”
“If it is that, there is always a way to cut cost. And besides, does he have to go to Togo when the girl’s family is here? think about it Agbonyibo. 1.2 million in these hard times!”
“Okay, I don hear. Shebi as I tell you and you say you no go pay and I tell you say make you no worry? So no worry.”
“I don’t like the way he is saying it. Besides, I am a man of integrity. I want to do the right thing. I want to marry the girl as I should.”
“Agbonyibo, can’t we do a small marriage here in this compound? We are a family. We can make it easy for ourselves.”
“I don say make him no worry. My pikin don already pack hin load go hin house. Hin don give am belle. So wetin remain? Oga Achike, make you enjoy ya wife. I dash you.”
“You see what I am saying my elders. How does that sound?”
“Okay Agbonyibo, go and think about it. Truly it sounds somehow to demand for money like that. At least if there is a marriage ceremony, no matter how small, people will get to celebrate with you and that is always memorable. And he will still pay a bride price.”
“Okay I don hear,” Agbonyibo said and stood up. “Make I enter house go begin dey think.”
They all stopped talking and watched him hobble into the corridor. No one said it out but each wondered if they had done the right thing allowing Agbonyibo back into their compound.
Ndifreke and Maya arrived back to the compound separately. Ndifreke was seething. He was seeing his life crumble before him, and he was not prepared to let that happen. Even though he did not see himself going back to ride the keke for a living, it was his asset, he was still paying the hire purchase for it from his earnings from modeling and only had one more month’s pay to remit to gain full ownership of it. Whatever Iniquity was up to was not something he would entertain. He had told Maya to go and see Jonjo and understand what was happening, while he sorted out himself.
Maya was apprehensive, particularly because she too knew of Iniquity’s reputation and urged Ndifreke to be cautious.
“I will be fine. I am not fighting. I just want to know what he did with my keke.”
“Alright baby. Please be careful.”
“And you be careful with Jonjo. I don’t trust him.”
He got to the side of the building where he parked his keke and the tricycle was not there. He asked everyone but they either shrugged or shook their heads, or wore moronic looks. No one was going to tell him anything. So he marched to the Alfa’s room and asked to see Iniquity.
Iniquity had not been seen at home for two days.
Ndifreke obtained his phone number from his mother and dialed the number but the computer reported ‘switched off.’
He would be on the lookout for the bastard.
Next, he thought of Elizabeth. He did not have her phone number and did not know if she would be at home. It was a holiday so he would go to her place and try his luck.
He waited for Maya to get in her Uber before he took his bath a second time that morning, got in a tracksuit and sneakers and marched to the block of flats where Elizabeth lived. The gate was open and he knew the way to her flat. He pressed the doorbell and the maid he was introduced to the other time answered the door. Yes, madam was at home. Wait.
“Well, well, well. Who do we have here? The rapist interruptus,” Elizabeth said when she came to the door.
“For goodness sake ma’am.”
“Please don’t call me that. Come in.”
She turned and Ndifreke followed her. She had come to the door with only a large white towel covering her breasts down to her thighs. Ndifreke could make out her monster figure, and her straight legs glistened from the after-bath water on her skin.
“You can follow me to the bedroom. I could use a hand to cream my back.”
“I’ll just wait here.”
“It’s a good time to get the sex out of the way beautiful boy. Come.”
“I’ll wait here ma’am.”
“Liz. That’s what you must call me.”
“Where are your soldiers?”
“They are away at their uncle’s. He lives at Ikoyi and came to take them for the long hols. No school this entire week.”
“Well, I’ll go and help myself. You have rejected me twice now. I’m counting.”
Ndifreke sat and found a magazine under the glass centre table and peered into it without really seeing what was inside. Elizabeth returned after fifteen minutes and Ndifreke gasped when he saw her. She wore a mini skirt and a strapless little blouse that exposed her midriff. She let her hair flow over her shoulders and her lips glistened with nude lipstick. She sat in front of him and crossed her legs. Ndifreke swallowed.
“I’m sorry if I distract you. It is deliberate.”
“I am only attracted to extremely good looking men. I don’t know too many.”
“I am back together with my girlfriend.”
“I know a thoroughly fucked man when I see one.”
“Are you always this blunt?”
“With you it is how I want to be.”
“Added to that, I am very pissed.”
“And I am ready to fight the bastard.”
“Welcome to my world.”
“He says he has terminated my contract and wants the money he paid to me back. I know I can’t fight him with a lawyer so I thought of you.”
“And your girlfriend?”
“He asked her to return to work with a subtle threat.”
“This is the true situation of things beautiful boy. He wants to fuck her again. He knows she would come and beg on your behalf. So this is what you will do.”
“If your girlfriend comes back and tells you that she has begged him and he has forgiven you, know that she has fucked him. what you will then do is to come here and fuck me and then I will tell you what we would do next.”
“This is insane.”
“Keep a rein on your emotions. Your girlfriend is already compromised. Stop living in Utopia and play along. Now we are talking about your survival. You will have enough time to fall in love when you are old. One mistake, even a senseless argument with your girlfriend and your life is ruined. Do you want to go back to poverty and suffering?”
“Then do as I say.”
Ndifreke stood up and Elizabeth stood too.
“I won’t coerce you. I want you to want me. Here is my number. When you call, the only words I want to hear from you are Liz, I’m coming to fuck you.”
Ndifreke took her number and left the flat.
TO BE CONTINUED.