“Chimanemeka Ehhhh! !”
“Yes mama?” He sighs coming out of his room and going to meet her in the living room, he isn’t pleased. she had been calling his name and he had ignored her but he knew if he didn’t answer her she wouldn’t stop.
He had heard her praying earlier , she wakes up by 5am and prays till 7am.
A habit she had since she joined the religious wagon.
He didn’t share in it though, he also didn’t like to be pulled into it either.
“Mama, call me Emeka please. I don’t like that you call my name like that”
“Aba Chimanemeka, is that not your name?”
“It is mama but I prefer Emeka , Emeka for short. but that is not what you called me for is it? ” he folds his hands and stares at her.
“No my son, it is not” she looks up at him. Despite living in a big mansion and enjoying her son’s wealth, she still preferred to tie wrapper and wear less expensive cloths.
The phrase comes to mind “You can take a man out of the gutter but you can’t take the gutter out of the person” he shakes his head.
“Then what is it? ”
“I had a dream last night and I wanted to share it with you, it has been bothering me and this is the 6th time I am having this same dream and I don’t like it”
Emeka sighs “Dream ke? ehen if you don’t like the dream that you dreamed off you should have prayed against it na, why coming to worry me?”
“My son, you don’t understand, in the dream, I saw you lying on the floor, you were bleeding and coughing out blood and no matter how much I tried to save you… you died in my arms, . For the past 6 days it’s the same dream,and it is here..in this palour on the floor that I hold on to you Chimanemeka. . and I have prayed and even spoken to my Pastor about it and he has also prayed. but I want you to follow me to church so that we can cancel this spirit of death hovering over your life.”
“Mtcheww!! Mama you and this church thing. superstitious nonsense. it is nothing but a bad dream. look I don’t have time to go and do prayers and be singing and dancing like a happy grasshopper. , I have to get ready for work and you are delaying me. Besides I cannot die, nothing can harm me. ”
“Godforbid!!! yes my son you cannot die and nothing will harm you in Jesus name but Chimanemeka, my son-”
“Emeka mama Emeka, infact do and come and go back to the village, you said you wanted to see me and spend some days now it is two weeks already, you are dulling me” he snaps
‘Okay Emeka, if I am disturbing you in your house -”
“You are !!”
Deep sigh “Okay I will go but at least follow me to church just this once abeg , today is the last day for the special deliverance service and atleast both of us will join hands together with the man of God and pray against the spirit of death, because this feeling is not normal…and I want you to be protected ”
“Oohhhh mama mama!!” he frowns pointing at her
“but Chimanemeka will I have any thoughts against you that is bad? I am only concerned about you, I am worried, this dream is ..is frightening and I don’t want anything to happen to you. And it is only God that can protect us son, if we put our trust in him and commit our ways to him, it is only God that can safe us” She sobs
I am already protected. I don’t need this religious sheninghans.
if only you knew mama that I cannot be harmed. Maybe you would worry less
“Infact sef, sitting here and listening to you is getting me even angry. mama , am going to get ready for work, if you like keep dreaming stupid dreams you hear? I will drop money for your transport back to the village, safe trip you hear?” he gets up and leaves
She stares at him sadly , clutching her chest, her eyes sparkled with tears, she wipes it and turns away
“Lord, I don’t know the kind of dream this is but please protect my son” she prays
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Emeka gets dressed and leaves for work in his car.
His mother had been happy for him that after five years staying at home without a job, he finally lands one, and within two years he bought himself a house, a few cars and she comes to visit him in the city from the village.
He goes to work in the mornings dressed in his suit and carrying his bag, and he comes back from work still dressed and bringing back more than a bag which he disappears into the room with and then a few friends come over from work and they sit and discuss inside his room for hours and then they leave with bags.
Emeka was a banker and he liked his job, his mother was proud of him and never lost chance to tell people “Oh Chimanemeka my son works in the bank as an operation officer, so hard working that is why God has been blessing him “she would smile from ear to ear.
Well, that is partly true, he is in the operations unit, and they like to rob banks.
And today , just like every other day..they were on a mission..
And before they go for every Robbery operation, they like to cloak themselves, in what they call in “Odeshi
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It was about three years ago when he got introduced into this operation unit. Ever since he realised that the country sucked and that the only way one can achieve something was if you knew someone who knew someone or you had some godfather or you were a son to someone in the political sector. other than that, you were literally…Fxxked up!!.
He graduated with good grades, he should have gotten a good job by all standards ..he wrote tests and exams but somehow those who knew someone and knew someone always got the job with little to no sweats.
He was tired, he was frustrated and ended up drinking and drinking some more. His mother was in the village , she had sold fish in the market to get him through school and despite it all…no decent job to even give her a smile on his face. He was so tired he had even given up.
Even ‘Giving up ” had even given up on him. He had resigned himself to fate .That whatever will be will be , until he met Chizendu at the pub bar one day…
“Guy you don tire for life?” the man comes beside him , he didn’t know who he was and he never liked talking to any one . he liked to drink in peace and then go back to the thatch house he shared with a dozen other homeless people where a pays #50 naira to sleep for the night.
Today he would sleep outside , he wouldn’t have a dime when he goes back, his last cash was used for this beer .
“No. life don tire for me. even if I were to die, this life ..would sprout me out of the earth because it would not have use of my dead body..not my bones or my dust when I turn to it”
“Hmmm. what if I tell you I know a means to change all of this?”
Chimanemeka eyes him from the corner of his eyes, the man suddenly looks farmilar, sort off. He had seen him a couple of times over the last couple of months…And he had figured that just like him,this man had a sad story..but today,he wasn’t wearing a torn shirt and his shoes didn’t have holes. .he even smelt good.
“Trust me, nothing can change my situation. I am just going to continue drinking till I die of too much booze. I don’t even have what to eat for tonight or even tomorrow.. I am a dead man walking. Go away man. .let me feel depressed in peace and maybe choke from the liquor down my throat” Emeka says taking half the contents of his beer and belching.
“Well, if you remember me , you would realise that I used to look like you, wretched and given up on life ..but now you would see that I look different …..can’t you notice? Change is the only constant thing and I am here to tell you that…there is light for you to reach towards. look, we have an opening at my team, one of us suffered an unfortunate loss and we need a replacement. I have been noticing you and I checked up on you. You have no family here or even love attachments, you seem like the best candidate, plus your look fit and once you lose this drinking habit I bet you would look and sound lucid too ”
“What the fxxk you talking about?”
“if you are willing to change your present situation, follow me. And I promise you , by this time next month, you can buy your own drink and more for others here too and maybe in a year you would be pulling your own ride and spraying money like rain on misguided souls…so you decide Chimanemeka ”
“How did you know my name?”
“I told you, I checked you out. I would be waiting outside , after five minutes you don’t show…I’ll leave . And then you have no one but yourself to blame about your predicament. Do the right thing…” The man says and leaves