By Olu Olutosin
“Babatunji? , who is Babatunji, what does Babatunji want from me” he inquired and waited for the voice to reply but all he got was an indefinite silence. He waited and waited until he slept off.
He hadn’t heard the voice again since then until the voice called out his name again just now.
“Babatunji is that you” he asked in order to ascertain if it was truly him.
“Yes it’s me, I’ve come to warn you” the voice said
“Warn me about what”
“You will see everything in the morning, just be very careful and watchful” said the voice.
“I don’t understand, please explain it to me” he tried to probe further but the voice had gone mute again. He tarried a little longer than usual before finally sleeping off hoping the voice would speak again but nothing happened.
Dawn came as fast as it could, the sun came out early and shone brightly through the window into Isaac’s eyes, he was still struggling to sleep since it was Saturday and he didn’t have any special reason to wake up early. Just when he was starting to enjoy the sleep again, he started hearing noises from the compound. He tried to not get distracted hence he won’t be able to sleep again but the noise kept on pounding.
“Who tha F is making such noises so early in the morning” he cussed and stood up to check what was going on outside. Just as he opened the door, he saw a very beautiful girl standing with some guys who were unpacking loads from a truck, if he hadn’t learnt a lot about coloureds and half-cast, he would have concluded that the girl was an oyinbo (a white).
“Hello there, i’m gon be your new neighbour henceforth, sorry I had to disturb you guys this morning by packing in this early but I had to move in because the diploma course I registered for has already commenced and I don’t want to miss too much” she said with a very sweet and smooth British accent.
Isaac could barely hear any of the thing she said due to her accent and also due to him being lust in her beauty, he kept on staring at her keenly and when he realised the girl was expecting him to say something he tried to do so but he was just speechless.
“Auch sorry people say I talk too much and am really trying to work on that” she said as she approached him with an outstretched hand. Isaac reciprocated and they shook hands, her hand felt so cold and soft so much that he didn’t realise he was still holding unto the hand.
“My name is Beatrice, am a mixed race from a british mother and a nigerian father which practically makes me a Nigerian” she paused and smiled.
Isaac smiled back so as to show her that he’s following what she is saying.
“So won’t you introduce yourself to me” she asked
“Ohh pardon my manners, my name is Isaac” he managed to say and tried to shake hands with her again, that was when he realised he was still clinging unto her hands. “Oopz sorry about that” he said shyly and let go of her hand. They both smiled.
“Okay Isaac nice to meet you but I have to go and supervise the unpacking of my loads, as soon as am done arranging my room. I will come meet you so you can show me around”
“It will be my pleasure ” Isaac replied and then she left for her room.
Babatunji’s returning home from the market where he’d gone to sell his farm produce. He really harvested a lot and was very happy that the gods were smiling on him and his sister, he just passed by the chief priest’s shrine, he thought about going to pay his homage to the priest and then he turned back, heading to the shrine.
The chief priest was so happy to see him, the little boy that he helped to deliver has grown into a man and he was so excited about it. The priest has grown very very old which makes some villagers wonder if he will ever die again. Some even concluded that he has done the ritual of immortality for himself.
“Babatunji Omo Ajadi Igo, quite a long time, how are you and your sister, hope you guys are coping after your father and mother’s death” he asked
“Baba we are coping, the gods are really smiling on us” he replied excitedly
“My son am really happy about the kind of man you have grown into but their is something about you that I don’t seem to understand ” the old man said with a very concerned tone
“Baba what is that, am I not doing something right, are the gods angry with me” he asked
“I really can’t explain, it’s like there’s a strange Aura around you, come and speak with ifa” the man replied him pointing to the white piece of cloth laid infront of him.
Babatunji who seemed to be conversant with the way it is done quickly brought some cowries out, said some words to it and dropped them on the white piece of clothes. The old priest performed some incantations, it took him a lot of time because he wasn’t as fast and agile as he used to be due to his old age.
“Why is death looming around you” the old priest asked him after he was done with his incantations.
“Death? ” he exclaimed
“Yes my son, something is not right. Run home and come back to tell me what’s happening” the priest instructed.
Just as he was about to exit the shrine the priest called him back
“Babatunji, no matter what you see at home, run back here immediately without any hesitation” he said
Babatunji who has now gotten used to running anytime something bad is about to befall him ran like a mad man, he ran like his whole destiny depended on it. When he entered his house, he found both Ashake and Abeni lying on the ground lifelessly, he wanted to feel their pulse and check if they’re still alive but he remembered the chief priest’s instructions. He immediately rushed back to the shrine.
“Baba my sister and my intended bride is lying on the ground lifelessly” he said as he was panting.
“Calm down my son” the man replied him and started reciting the incantations again.
“My son, they are at the point of death” the priest spoke softly
“Baba they can’t die, please help me, what can we do” he pleaded
“There’s nothing we can do, one of them have to die, all you can do is to save one and allow one to die” he replied
“Baba I love the both of them, I can’t save one and let another die” he started crying.
“Would you rather watch the two of them die”
“Noo baba please, they can’t die”
“My son, we have limited time else the both of them will die if you don’t reach a decision right now” priest
Babatunji closed his eyes and thought about it, he loved his sister Ashake so much, they have been together their whole lives, she would have sacrificed her life for him without a second thought. Abeni on the other hand has been a pillar of support for him all through his life, he loves her and she loves him too, she would gladly give her life for him also but he could only save one of them.
“Which one of them have you decided to save” the chief priest asked.
Isaac’s yet to understand how a girl could be so beautiful, ever since he spoke with Beatrice in the morning, he hasn’t been able to think straight. Immediately he got back to the room, he had began arranging his room, when he was done arranging, he cleaned up and got one of his best shirts on.
After making sure he is looking as nice as he could, he decided to engage in watching a movie while he waits for Beatrice to come and call him as she promised. It was a cool Saturday, a perfect weather and day to stroll round the school with a very beautiful girl, he thought.
“If there are gods, why is the world so full of pain and injustice? It’s because of men like you “.
“There are no men like me, Only me”.
That’s Isaac favourite quote in the HBO series Game of thrones, he intentionally decided to watch that particular episode just to hear that quote by Jamie Lannister also known as the King slayer. He was about to rewind that part when he heard a knock on the door. He stood up immediately to open without asking who was knocking because he was expecting Beatrice already.
“Wooow, you look beautiful” he said to Beatrice who was standing at the door.
He had been rehearsing that line over and over since morning. He actually thought it would awkward saying it if she was still putting on the same clothes she had on in the morning but fortunately for him, she had changed clothes. She’s now putting on a jean and a strip top.
“Thanks, you don’t look bad yourself” she replied
He ushered her in and offered her a seat which she took.
“Okay so where do we start your sightseeing, should we start on campus and then go to fun places or you will start with the fun places and end it on campus” said Isaac
“Awwn that will be nice but am really exhausted, let me rest a little and then we might go later, is that okay with you ” she asked, more like pleading.
“Anything the queen wants” Isaac replied and took a bow to indicate the royalty. They both smiled and he sat down beside her.
“So tell me about yourself” she asked excitedly.
“There’s nothing much about me hey, my name is Isaac, am an only child, my dad is a clergyman and my mum is a civil servant, studying economics in this school, I am single and searching l, I have a bestfriend who is also my roommate”
“You have a roommate” Beatrice cuts in
“Yeah I do” he replied.
Where is he then” she asked again
Just as Isaac was thinking about how to explain that he’s now staying with his girlfriend, there was a click at the door, Ben barged in closely followed by Anne.
“Olboi your father no teach you how to knock before you enter person house” Isaac shouted
“Na your father pay my own part of the rent abi, you dey craze. I know say you don miss me well well” Ben replied laughing
“Miss you fire, when I no be gay” he replied, started laughing too and stood up to greet him.
As hard as it is for the jolly friends to admit to it, they had missed each other for real. Their friendship has gone beyond ordinary one, they see each other as blood related brothers. He went ahead to hug Anne and offered her a seat, that was when he remembered he had company before the two of them barged in.
“Please pardon my manners, Beatrice meet my best friend and roommate we were just talking about and that is his girlfriend” he introduced.
“So you guys were gossiping about me shey, everything he told you about me is not true oo” Ben said as he shook hands with Beatrice. Beatrice has been smiling ever since Ben and Anne came into the room. She was so entertained by their discussion.
“Guys this is Beatrice, she is our new neighbour” Isaac
“You mean am just your neighbour right” she asked teasingly after shaking hands with Anne.
“Ohh okay she is my friend too” Isaac replied and the all laughed.
They all sat and gisted for a while, they got to know each other very well.
“I think this place is boring, why don’t we all go out and have fun” Anne suggested and they all concurred.
They drove around in Anne’s car to different places and had lots of fun, It was really a very exciting first day for Beatrice.
“Thanks guys, I really do appreciate everything and it’s nice meeting all of you” Beatrice said as she dropped off from Anne’s car.
“You are welcome” Ben and Anne replied
“Guy you no wan drop abi you wan make we carry you enter your room ni” Ben asked Isaac who was already dozing off in the car. Clearly he had taken too much alcohol.
“You dey mad, I think say una wan enter inside compound na” Isaac tried to cover up for himself so they won’t know he was intoxicated. He dropped down also and staggered inside without even replying Ben and Anne that was saying goodbye.
“Your friend is so drunk you know” Anne
“Yeah he took too much of that wine and it’s very unsual for Isaac to get himself drunk” Ben replied as he reversed the car and drove away.
Isaac went straight to bed with all his clothes and shoes on, he didn’t even lock the door behind. He slept off as soon as he laid on the bed.
Beatrice sat down reminiscing on all the events of the day, from when he saw Isaac in the morning and felt her heart skip to when they were alone and thought about kissing him, to all the fun they had acting like lovers alongside Ben and Anne at the movies they went to and the restaurant and also at the executive bar they went to drink. She kept on thinking about how sweet it will be if Isaac could ask her out the next day, she thought about playing hard to get or just giving in to him straight up.
Suddenly the curtains started blowing like there was whirlwind , she checked through the window to see if it was about to rain but to her surprise the weather outside was nothing like how it was inside her room, it was a normal weather condition outside. She started feeling cold immediately and began to shiver, the little lamp she had on beside her bed began to fluctuate and eventually went off, fear gripped her. She decided to run to Isaac’s room but as she stood up to run, she fell back to the bed and passed out.
… To be continued