The last time I published this series was some six weeks ago. In case you missed the last episode, you can read it here. But here’s a refresher for you who didn’t miss it but have lost track.
In episode 29, Aunty Peace is crying because the gateman confessed his affection for her. The teaching staff are consoling her and expecting Nwa Teacher to apologize. Nwa Teacher stamps out of the staff room after some tongue-lashing.
On my way home, I was hungry, tired, and suffering under the scorching sun. In the campus, one of my hostel mate in describing an unbearable sun would say, “The sun brought his chair out alongside his children to burn us.” Today, the sun brought his chair and desk alongside his children and grandchildren to roast us – me.
For the first time since I ran away from Pa Mansion’s cook, I missed his house – his food. It could have been oha soup and eba or white rice and stew or yam with sauce. Anything from Pa Mansion’s kitchen would have served. Anything from his kitchen would best anything a miserable note from my wallet could buy.
But I couldn’t dream of going up there. My nose still burned a little from thinking about what they did to me. If there was a shortcut I would have used it, but as the house was in the same street as mine, I had no choice more than holding a righteous breath as I passed by.
Bismarck was seated in a bench in the block industry swallowing akpu with egusi. My legs at this point decided I must have a rest just a block from the mansion I stayed in. I decided to rest.
“Von Bismarck,” I hailed Von Bismarck.
“That is me,” he replied, his chin bulging.
“The father of modern Germany.”
“The convener of the Berlin Conference for the scramble and partition of Africa.”
“It is me,” he said. We chopped knuckles.
“Join me,” he said.
“Ride on,” I said and smiled when the idea hit me. No, it wasn’t an idea. It was an epiphany.
“How old are you?” I asked him.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. 36 or 41.”
I didn’t quite get this. “You’re 36 years?”
“Yes. Or 41.”
“Or 57,” I said.
“No. It’s 36 or 41.”
I shrugged. “I think I have found a woman for you. A beautiful woman you can marry.”
He stopped eating and looked at me. He put his plate aside to the other side of the bench and shifted closer to me.
“Talk to me brother.”
“She’s one of the teachers in my school and her name is Oge. She’s 23 years or or 29.”
“That’s my spec,” he said.
“Wait until you see her.” And I showed him her WhatsApp display picture. He took one look at the image and he began to wash his hands with the half-drunk pure water on his feet.
“You’re done eating?”
“Yes, I’m satisfied. Onyi has satisfied my stomach.”
“Her name is Oge,” I corrected. “Get your phone like me type in her number.”
I’m a romantic and nothing would make me happy than having Bismarck connect with Aunty Oge, fall madly in love with each other and get married. I saved her number on his phone as Oge Sweetest.
“Call her and chat her up. She will fall for you.”
He said I was a true brother.
I rose to my feet. “I don’t think you should tell her I was the one who gave you her number,” I said.
“No wahala,” he said.
I began to walk away. On a second thought, I stopped. “You know what,” I said, “tell her I am the one who gave you her number. There’s nothing to hide. I’m doing her a favour.”
I don’t think that she will see my giving a 36 or 41 year old man who works in a block industry her phone number as a favour, I thought. But I didn’t care. I was not a man of peace, remember.
To be continued…