“Big Tiny?” I repeated, with my eyes wide open. My landlord simply nodded.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “Is anything the matter?”
“No, not at all Oga landlord. Thank you very much,” I lied, trying to shield the shock and surprise I had.
“Are you sure, Fifi Ghana? What is in that nylon?”
“Nothing sir, just a piece of clothing,” I lied.
“It is because of cloth that you are now squeezing face like that abi? Oya bring it let me see, whether it is Ankara or Buba.”
“Oga landlord leave me joor,” I said and quickly took up the gallon with me, together with the nylon and ran inside.
I shut the door from behind and stood there, staring at the nylon like a plague. A part of me wanted to just take it outside and burn it up, but initially, on the contrary, doing that could mean certain implications and consequences, so I just dropped it instead and waited for Mimiʼs return to see her opinion about it.
I set the nylon aside and set off to prepare breakfast. I was cutting the onions in the kitchen when a knock came from the door. Out of the rush to quickly wash my hands and answer the door, I mistakenly got a slight cut from the knife. It tore open and started dripping blood, slowly.
In my angered state, I went to the door and opened it, using a finger to rub the cut, only to see a man with bald head, a suitcase, an umbrella and a Bible clutched to his hand.
“Good day brethren,” he greeted. I looked at him from head to toe.
“What do you want?”
“I want to share the word of the Lord with you, if you don’t mi…” I shut the door to his face before he could even complete it.
Almost immediately, he knocked again. I opened up with all the anger vested in me.
“What is it again now.”
“Brethren please, I won’t take your time,” he said.
“I am not interested. You can leave.”
“Brethren please, just…”
“I said I’m not interested. Is it by force?”
I shut the door back and went in. I had barely stepped into the kitchen when another knock came. It seemed like he wanted trouble, and I was more than ready to give it to him.
I picked my frying pan and broom along with me as I went to open up.
“It seems you…” I was about saying when I opened, when I noticed the figure had changed. Instead of a bald-headed man with a suitcase and an umbrella with him, a fine young, sophisticated guy stood there.
I hadn’t seen Boma dressed in a suit before. He looked classic. His smile was radiant. All my anger vanished at his sight.
After that, it was like we both didn’t know what to say again, so I just opened up and led him in. He made himself comfortable on my bed while I returned to the kitchen to continue where I stopped.
Contrary to my expectation that I would find him watching TV when I returned, I met him reading Mimi’s Bible instead. He seemed so engrossed to it that he wasn’t even aware I was there, until I called him.
He turned to face me, looking perplexed.
“How long have you been there?”
“Long enough to see you reading a Bible. You of all people,” I said, walking back towards him. I then sat close to him on the bed.
“You have a nice place, Fifi.”
“Thank you. I like your suit too.”
“Yeah, it’s nice.”
“Thanks. I didn’t really expect to meet you at home. I was just passing by and decided to stroll here.”
“Where did you go to?”
I almost laughed.
“You mean you, Boma, you went to church?” I couldn’t contain myself anymore. “Where’s your proof?”
“I don’t have a Bible but God understands. What of you, didn’t you go?”
“Go where? I’m not brainwashed like you people abeg.”
“How do you mean”
“Do you truly believe there is a God?”
“Yes, I believe and I know that He exists, even if I rarely attend church. He is alive.”
“So where was this God when my mother died, upon how I served Him?”
“Do you know what you’re doing now is blasphemy, regardless of any situation you find yourself, you must not blasphem God.”
“I said where was He when my mother died? You havenʼt answered me yet.”
“Fifi, calm down.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down, where was He when I lost her!”
I suddenly had watery eyes. Memories of my motherʼs face and image began flooding my head.
“Where was He?” I repeated finally, before breaking into tears.
TO BE CONTINUED…