Freedom Fridays

Freedom Friday on a Monday – A Costly Glance

Today’s Freedom Friday is on a Monday…that’s what FREEDOM is all about, but my sincere apologies for being too busy to gather my thoughts together. But I’m here now. Mercy asked, forgiveness received 🙂

Lost in thoughts, oblivious of the wind or the sand that danced around his feet; caught up in the vicious cycle of melancholic thoughts that bombarded his space. A shiver ran down his spine and he realised that the winds were strong and it had actually lifted his *wrapper. “Hmmm, I better get in before it starts to rain”, he soliloquises. From a distance, he watches as the two dots he had focused on earlier whilst in thought, become men walking towards him. “Strangers definitely! I wonder what they are doing in these parts”.

“Welcome”, Adu says to the two men, “you are new around here, your dressing gives you away”.
“You have a keen sense of observation and you seem nice. Actually, we have come because of you!”
Adu’s eyebrow rose in surprise and a questioning look passed swiftly across his face. But before he could voice his questions, they continued. Thinking about it now, after all these years, it was the senior one that spoke on.

“Your crops die, your livestock and source of livelihood diminish because of the many atrocities and abomination done in this land and we have come to cleanse it”.
“Cleanse?” Adu queries, “How do you intend to achieve that? Yes, yields have been bad, but we thought it will pass soon. After all, I had chosen the best part of the land and it was green all through the year. I’m not sure when or where it became bad” He answered truthfully, filled with sadness. “Our exchange rate was good, when compared with other leading currencies of the world. Now, I’m not sure what to make of it. That is why you met me here, actually this is my thinking spot.”
“Not a problem Adu, we will work on all that”
“But how did you know my name? I haven’t introduced myself to you yet. Forgive my manners. I am Adu, Son of Aban, and Cousin to Luckie who lives on the other side of the Sahara. And who are you?”
“Servants of the King, His fixers”
“I’m not sure I understand you, but you are welcome to stay in my house tonight and eat the little we have with my wife and two daughters. Come let us go in for the winds are getting stronger. Perhaps, the gods will send rain and have mercy on our land yet again.”

**“Bros Adu, make you open door bring those bros them come outside. Dem get to drop today today”.
***“Una no dey carry eye see person? Abeg make all man return to him house” If una dey find were to tief or commit, no be for here!”
He remembers how in a split second he was almost mugged and by some stroke of luck he was dragged back into the house. Hmmm, what a night that would have been.

“Woman, hurry up let’s go! Beauty and Peace, please leave all those skimpy jeans and carry something that you can wear anywhere. We are running behind schedule. After last night, you shouldn’t desire to take anything from this place. Hurry up let’s go before it is destroyed!”
Mama Peace interjects “but Papa Beauty, I won’t leave all these my expensive wrappers behind o! ****Which kain thing be this? Where we dey run go?”
“Woman, don’t question my authority. If you are not ready I will leave you behind.”
“But I’m expecting Mama Nkechi to bring the Asoebi for Nnenna’s wedding and now this?” She complained bitterly. “She was to call me back with updates since morning, I wonder what is keeping her”, she mutters as she carries yet another bundle of wrapper and blouse and adds to her already heavy load. Thinking aloud, “at least, I can re-sew some of these into gowns or something else when we get to where we are going”.

As they hurry pass the city gate trying not to make their exit obvious to by-passers, Adu reiterates the ‘Fixers’ warning for the umpteenth time – DO NOT LOOK BACK, as we step out of here no matter what. Our lives here are over and we are going to build a new one out there.

From one street to the next, ducking from prying eyes. Mama Peace tries to catch up. Intermittently repositions the load on her head. Smiling at her achievements of being wise enough to carry a handful of her gold trinkets. Those she can sell and use the money for something else before Adu finds another job to sustain them. “I don’t even know why we allowed those men into our home, now our lives are changed forever. My prospective son-in-laws refused to follow. I can’t blame them. By the way, good riddance to bad rubbish I never really liked them anyway!” She huffs and puffs on.

“Excuse me boss, you have a message!” Mama Peace gasped, she could never miss that ring tone. I’m sure it’s Mama Nkechi and she reaches for her mobile phone that she had put in between the wrapper on her waist and it was nowhere to be found. “Excuse me boss, you have a message!” it cried on and it occurred to her it was a short distance behind her. “DON’T LOOK BACK!” Adu’s earlier warning sounded in her ears at the same time. And she thought to herself, he is in front of me and won’t even notice I blinked.

In that instant, the bundles of wrapper on her head, the blouse on her body, the wrapper on her waist, the slippers on her feet became crystallised and before she could beckon to Adu, her voice ceased and there she stood her things and all and the phone kept ringing, “EXCUSE ME BOSS, YOU HAVE A MESSAGE!”
Genesis 19:1-26

Please read up on Seasoned Sistah 2 vacation. It is full of life and memories

*Wrapper: A piece of material, usually wrapped (probably where we got the name) around the chest or waist area of the body, in a way that it allows free movement. It is a traditional wear in some parts of Nigeria but general everyone or home has a wrapper. Useful as a cover cloth or to carry stuff on the head.

Words in pidgin English:
**Brother Adu, please open the door and bring your guests outside and let us ‘meet, take valuables etc’ from them
***Is this how to receive guests? Everyone should return to his house, there is no room for robbery or vandals here!
****What kind of situation is this? Where are we running to?

© 2015.Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved