”Hia!” ”Is this not where I hung the shirt?” Ikem queries the silent night. His brand new blue second-hand T shirt with the Chelsea logo was gone! Could it have been carried by the breeze? ”Ah! Ah!” ”I just washed and put it out here not too long ago to dry in the light harmattan breeze!”
His other frayed shirt is hanging and flapping in the wind as if in mockery of his thoughts. He knows in his heart that one of those crooked eyed boys in the neighbourhood has pilfered the new one! ”Maybe it is Jude that took it o.” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” ”Jude!” he bangs on the Jude’s door, to no response.
This reaffirms his decision to go home to the village for Christmas in a couple of weeks and proceed to Onitsha with his cousin Chuks. “From the look of things Chuks seems to be doing well at Onitsha.” ”I will join him and start afresh from there.” ”I am tired of this place!”
”So what am I going to wear for tomorrow’s event now?”
He had just walked out of the dingy common bathroom of their quarters bare-bottomed feet; the sling of his worn-out slippers had finally died a natural death on his trek back home after a hectic days hustle.
It was dark in the neighbourhood. ”O boy, these NEPA boys have dismantled and collected the wires o”, says his neighbour Jude, seated on a heap of cement blocks outside, enjoying the nights fresh air. Their light connections are haphazardly and illegally done, coupled with their inability to settle the NEPA officials with something for the weekend.
Ikem chooses not to let such things bother him right now. He is moving to higher grounds in a few weeks time, besides he had purchased quite an assortment of apparels including two new sandals and sneakers that he will launch over Christmas in the village.
As a matter of fact, if fate continues smiling the way it has been these last couple of weeks, ”I might even consider buying a G.S.M torch light phone and a few items to take to Mama and Nwanneka.’‘ ”It is almost my turn to collect the accumulated funds from ‘Isusu’.”
He felt happier than he had in a long while as he quickly washes and hangs his shirt to drain before he retires for the night. Tomorrow will be a good day, he whistles as he goes along. Papa Emma’s is having the child dedication of his twins, and surely the celebration will be followed by several plates of rice and meat coupled with free drinks to go around.
He plans to join them to go to church. He has not been to church for so many months. It was tiring attending church services that were fast turning into fashion parades, whilst he had nothing fashionable to wear. It always made him feel ashamed.
Now! The new Tshirt he planned to showcase tomorrow has disappeared. “Thank God I didn’t wash the Chinos jeans as well.” ”I will just have to wear something else!” He muses to himself.
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
Links to the earlier series are at the top of the page. Thank you
Quick Glossary for words that you might not know:
Child dedication: Child dedication is a symbolic ceremony undertaken by Christian parents soon after the birth of a child. This rite is intended to be a public statement by the parents that they will train their children in the Christian faith.
Chuks: A shortened form of an Igbo name given to boys which could be derived from Chukwuka, God is greater, Chukwuemeka, God has done so well, Chukwudi, God lives, Chukwuebuka, God is very big etc
Isusu: An informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings for the enablement of kith and kin ventures.
Harmattan: Harmattan is a cold-dry and dusty trade wind, that blows over the West African subcontinent, from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March (winter).
Hia! Just an exclamation like Oh dear!
Moi-Moi: Nigerian steamed bean cakes made from a mixture of washed, peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground peppers (usually a combination of bell peppers and chili or scotch bonnet). A very protein-rich food that is a staple in Nigeria
NEPA: National Electric Power Authority was an organization formerly governing the use of electricity in Nigeria now replaced by PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria).
Nwanneka: An indigenous Igbo name given to a girl and it means: ”my siblings are supreme or very important.”
Onitsha: A city with one of the largest commercial markets in West Africa. It is situated on the river port on the eastern bank of the Niger river in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria.
To settle: The act of adjusting or determining disputes between persons without pursuing the matter through the formal process. In this case, it is giving something under the table to the officials.
I found a lot of treasures in the neighbours backyards this past week. Will share just a few. Do take a peek.
Ten anxiety antidotes from Chris the Story reading Ape: a lot of people do suffer anxiety attacks and it is not something to pooh-pooh at.
When silence is a virtue from Oba’s blog: we all need to keep quiet sometime and listen from within
International friendship blogging forum: You might be interested in joining.
The right way to grieve by Debbie Carroll Is there a right or wrong way to grieve?
A lovely quote found at Haddon Musings Do take a peek 🙂
Why a watched pot never boils from Blabberwockying. You need to read it to find out why.
Italian vegetable soup: Another warm platter for cold nights from What’s for dinner Moms.
Yes my voice will be heard: I fell in love with this poem found on Kay Morris blog.
Raging Joy Crusher: This thought-filled post from PamWitzemann speaks in very loud volumes.
Breast cancer awareness month: Early detection is key, have you done it!
It’s a weekend folks! Enjoy! Be happy and kind regards.