Wishes & Horses (Part 3)

Thank God for a somewhat elderly man and his driver who carried me out the hall and into their car, after I fainted! The bumpy road helped me regain consciousness quickly. The old man asked me a lot of personal questions and told me a little about his family. Apparently he was from Abeokuta but had grown up in Benin. He spoke some rusty Benin to me and laughed as he did. He kept insisting on taking me to a hospital to ensure that I was okay. My grief and guilt got the better part of me. All I wanted to do was to get home and weep. He seemed very sympathetic and deep in thought. After thanking the elderly man, I got out of the car. He insisted that his driver must walk me to my door. At my door, the driver quickly put his hands in his shirt pocket and said “Oga said, I should give you” I asked the driver to Thank his Boss. I hadn’t rendered any service, I didn’t see what the money was for.

The next day, I went to visit a friend of mine to see if she could lend me some money. She couldn’t help so, I walked back home. The money I had left was just enough to get me to the Benin and give my brother chop money for a few days. I knew that my predicament was a punishment from my late Mother, and my bad financial decisions. As I walked into my compound I saw someone standing by my door, but I couldn’t make out the face. When I got closer I saw the face. It was the Elder man’s driver. He introduced himself as Mr. Fatai. I said. “Mr. Fatai Good afternoon. What brings you to my compound?” My Boss said i should be on standby to take you to the village, he said. That’s very nice of him. Please tell your Boss that I have already made arrangements for my transport – I lied.

Mr. Fatai looked as if he was about to say something but , changed his mind and left. Stupid pride! The lift would have saved me some money! I cried some more about Mama. At dawn I was standing in front of my gate waiting for a bike to get me to the Motor Park, when a black Toyota Corolla pulled up in front of me and asked me to get in. I was about to hiss, when I noticed that the man inside the car was Mr. Fatai and quickly got in.

The drive was smooth. He seemed to know the road well. He dodged pot holes on the road expertly. We talked a little and before long, we got to the Benin. He spoke well like someone that was educated and seemed nice, I saw him look me over a couple of times and I did too, though I was struggling with keeping my mind focused on my departed Mother. I hurriedly thanked him as I alighted from the car in front of the house. He said that his Boss -the old Man had been in Benin for 2 days and that he had said that they might check on me the next day if they had some free time. 

I half ran and half walked to the house. I saw a few neighbors and said hello. I wasn’t sure, but they seemed to stare at me disapprovingly. The main door to the corridor, that was usually left open was shut. I pushed it open and called out Lucky’s name and two other siblings. I was surprised that none of our cousins, Step-Mothers or Aunts were around. There seemed to be no one in the house. Fear gripped me as I approached my Mother’s room. I opened the door slowly hoping her spirit was not lurking around waiting to flog me with koboko. To my utter shock, sitting on a chair in her towel, was my Mother’s ghost. I fainted!!

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