More Than A Friend – Episode 4

� Olasunkanmi Opeyemi Ajibola

The brief hug I had with Deborah blew away all the F9-burden in my heart, I felt like something great just happened to me, I could not stop thinking about her and I’d smile anytime I did.

I got home, showed the result to my mom and explained to her how the English failure happened, the same thing to my sister on phone, they were not totally satisfied but they believed me… the 4th day which was Monday, I went to David’s house, without letting his parents see me because they’ll ask about my result and start using it to abuse him, we got eachother, we talked, laughed and even quarrelled, I told him I’d be travelling to my dad’s place in Lagos the following week, he was a bit sad on hearing that, I later talked on his result, how disappointed I was, and I advised him to start lesson with me and my other friend who was in SS3 in another school (Hammed) we nicknamed him (SOH CAH TOA), David responded well to my advice and thanked me for my concern, we hugged and departed, I went to PS2 shop, I was a wizard at playing the game then, I played three matches which was N50, I beat the owner of the PS2 shop twice (5:0 and 4:0), one guy paid and collected the game pad and I ‘raped’ him also (4:2) as he first-scored two goals. I went back home and Deborah’s thoughts entered my heart again, I took my mom’s phone, smuggled it into my room, opened my school bag and checked the back of my computer note, that was where I wrote the numbers of my friends that had phone, I dialed Deborah’s number (visafone) (…ringing…)

Deb: Hello, who am I speaking with?

I: Hi, It’s me, Henry.

Deb: Wow… Opeyemi… (I could feel her smile even on phone), you now own a phone right?

I: Wrong. This is my mom’s phone, I stole her phone to call you. How are you doing?

Deb: I’m very fine thank you. What about you?

I: I’m doing well, I just called to tell you that I will be travelling day after tomorrow (Wednesday) to my dad’s place.

Deb: Owww…why naw… OK let’s see tomorrow before you leave then.

I: No, we can’t, I have many things to do and many places to go tomorrow. I’ll be back on Sunday or Monday morning latest, we shall see on Monday, I’ll come to your mom’s shop.

Deb: Can I later ca…

(She has not said “call” when the automated robot from the network provider suspended us with “one minute remaining” . I quickly ended the call so as not to finish my mom’s airtime, I knew what Deborah was about to say, “I pray she does not later call my mom o” I said, not too loud as I returned mom’s phone.

I began to prepare for my journey little by little, I was missing my lovely mom already… later in the night, dad called to confirm if I was still coming, I told him I would be arriving like Jesus the next day,

“I would have said your mother should follow you, but you’re no more a kid, a fool at 10 this computer age, is a fool till Jesus comes, besides ,you are more than ten, so, don’t let your small stature deceive you. Leave home early o, Lagos is not like Ogun state,” my dad said to me on phone and I responded

“Am a big boy sir, I’ll leave home early.”

“Give the phone to your mom” he said while laughing to the big boy I mentioned earlier. I excused their conversation and went to the sitting room.

***fast forward***

It was on Wednesday morning, I had woken up earlier than expected so as to leave home early as my dad wanted, house chores was not my problems again, my sister has trained me with force and troubles, I finished all I had to do, took my bath and dressed up, I was putting on an Arsenal Jersey on a Jeans trousers, with white all-stars and my N200 wristwatch, I backed my bag after my mom ended the prayer, I was so happy, the first time only me would be travelling that far without anybody lapping me on the bus, I brought out my “sakomended” eye glasses that looked like the one Davido used in the video “Gobe”, that got my mom laughing as I was going,

“Alangba kan’go (Lizard on glasses)” she said and still smiling,

“bye bye mom” I uttered and off to the main road, I took bike going to Motor Park as I would wave hand to anybody I knew beside the road, just to let them know that (na me! Only me dey travel! Big boy don come, level changed!), I entered the bus going to Atan (Iyana Agbara) as the bus conductor was just staring at me like “this boy dey run comot for house”,

“Chai! It’s a bad thing to be short o! See how this mumu dey look me like say poo dey my body” I was saying in my mind and looking at him too, I seriously felt like slapping him or dupe him to prove to him that I was only short and not dull. From Agbara to Ketu, then straight to Iyana-Era… off to Benjamin street.

“Lagos! Here I come!” I said out when I knew that nobody was hearing me,… I got home, relaxed, and ******fast forward****** my dad came from work later in the evening,

“The Henry” he hailed me, when I was approaching to greet and carry his bag, he dropped the bag on something and wanted to carry me up, in my mind I was like “for where?! I don chop up tey tey!” he later applied enough force and was able to lift me up to like (15-18) cm from the floor, I was just laughing when he dropped me and felt weak, I carried his bag in and the gist began. My dad could talk for hours and he was very funny,

“your age is now…. ” he has not concluded before I interrupted, “…27years old sir” I said and was laughing.

“Hahahahaha…, that means you’ll soon be older than your mom and not me,” he said and continued laughing, his phone started ringing, he picked it and was on phone,

“PHCN, una no wan release light tonight?” I said, not too loud and went to take my brick-game.

On Sunday morning,

“so early! You’ve even dressed up and ready to go, so you have started missing your mom right?” My Dad said while he was still in bed, he looked up to check time,

“oh! To-eight, time has gone o, I will be late to church today if care is not taken, won’t you wait to attend my church here before you travel?” He asked,

“No sir, I have an appointment with someone at home by 12noon” I said with serious face,

“Hahahahaha… appointment with the white men I guess” he asked indirectly and I smiled.

“Check that end, you’ll see a school bag there fill with books, those are the textbooks your sister texted to me that you’ll need for the session”, he said, pointing to one corner in the room, I rushed there and saw a new school bag full of textbooks, I opened to check and discovered I already had two out of the nine textbooks, I thanked him and he gave me some amount of money, I was about to leave when he called me back,

“Wait let me drop you at the junction” he offered,

“No, don’t go late to church, I can trek it, thanks sir,” I declined politely,

“My regards to your mom, and give the other envelop to her” he said while I replied

“Definitely sir”. “Oh! I forgot to pray!… Lord, as am going, go with me, let your Mercy follow me, in Jesus name I pray, amen” I prayed silently and said the amen out without closing my eyes, off to Ketu Junction.

I was already missing Deborah, my mom and David, I got to the junction, crossed to the other side… ******fast forward******

Plus Lagos traffic, plus bus conductors’ problems and some other delays on the road, I got home around to-one, my mom was still in church, I relaxed for a while and slept off ******fast forward******. The day ended.


Around 8:47pm on Sunday, I was about going to bed,

“Mummy, I will help you to activate something on your SIM tonight so that they wont be deducting your airtime too much, your phone may be in my room overnight” I told my mom,

“Yes, exactly the way you activated it on Monday to Deborah’s number right?” She asked, with straight face, I was shocked,

“Jesu!!! this girl has called my mom For God’s Sake!” I exclaimed in my mind while my mouth was a bit opened, my mom responded as if she heard my mind,

“No, she didn’t call me, I did. You were not smart enough to delete her Number and reset call duration so that I won’t know, I checked my balance and noticed change, that’s why I traced the cause” my mouth was opened wider in an amazement, she continued,

“You called your friend on my phone without telling me and you almost finished my airtime. You try that again, you win a serious punishment!” She concluded strictly. I was dumb and could not utter a word as she checked something on the phone and threw it on the chair I was sitting on;

“‘E activate nkan ti efe activate’ )Active what you want to activate sir)” she said and went into the room. I took the phone and went to my room, initially I wanted to call Deborah with her phone to inform her I was around, but I dared not try that because she was serious saying I could win punishment. I threw myself on the bed and checked balance, she had enough airtime to call, I was tempted to call but I flashed Deborah instead, in the next three minutes, a strange number called, I wanted to go and give the phone to my mom but I decided to pick it, on picking,

Caller: Hello Ope… (Deborah’s voice)

I: (smiles) wow… Debby County… but why new Number?

Deb: Stop that name, I don’t know the meaning of Debby County. This is my mom’s number joo, am happy to know that you’re back, how are you doing, how is dad?

I: He’s fine, he said I should greet you (smiles)

Deb: If I hear that he knows me (smiles), are you still coming to our shop tomorrow?

I: Tell me the time your mom won’t be around and I’ll come by then.

Deb: Opeyemi!!!… Is my mom a ghost or are you coming to rub me ni? (She asked jokingly). I have told you several times that you have no problem with my mom, she understands that you’re my fiend and nothing more, or are you more than my friend ni?

I: Is just that I won’t like a situation whereby, she’ll be mistaking me for the boyfriends (clear throat), and to your last question, I’m more than your friend, I’m your elder brother in the Lord. (We both laughed). So, I will come around tomorrow by 11am remember that your brother likes amala and ewedu soup, (smiles), so, prepare it for him.

Deb: (laughs) Alright sir, you shall eat it and wake up from your dream. (Laughs) Don’t forget to bring the plantain you bought from Lag o, else, “gongo aso” troubles will take place.

I: OK, ten baskets of plantain as dowry (clears throat)

Deb: (laughs) don’t bother, our female dogs are engaged already, maybe when we buy new female dog, you’ll come with dowry. (we both laughed, she later told me that my mom called her and was nice to her).

“Goodnight dear” she said.

“Alright, sweet dreams” I responded and hanged up. I was still smiling heavily when my mom entered slowly,

“Sebi you’re through with the activation, ehn, give me my phone I want to call my customer (Iya-Bisi)” she said and stretched her hand to collect the phone, I handed it over to her and she walked out. I rested my head on the pillow.

“Gosh! I could not delete Deborah’s mom’s Number before my mom collected the phone! I pray she does not call the number back; besides, since when has she been at the entrance before she entered? This my mom ehn, over-vigilant dey worry her, anyway, thank God I didn’t say anything bad during the conversation.” I said, not too loud and started thinking about Deborah and our recent laughs together on phone… my mom walked in again holding a carton,

Mom: Ope, have this, it is a Nokia phone, in it is a registered GLO SIM card and N200 recharge card, you can be using it to call Deborah your girlfriend, I know you love eachother, so don’t use your love-life to disturb my phone and business again. Number two, you travelled to Lagos, you could not buy even a sachet of gala for your friend, shame, take this N200, buy her anything you like tomorrow when you’re going to her shop by 11am, goodnight.

I was just looking with my mouth wide opened,

“This my mom ehn!” I exclaimed not too audible, I began to ask myself different-different questions to the extent that I forgot to say even ‘thank you ma’ to my mom as she went out.

I opened the carton, lo and behold; it was a Nokia 2690,

“Wow!!! A browsing phone!!!” I screamed aloud and woke up from my sweet dream, I checked time immediately and it was 9:45pm, my mom rushed in and asked,

“What happened to you? Where is the browsing phone?”

I responded, “nothing ma, it was a dream, no problem ma”, she looked at me, shook her head sideways and said “pray before you sleep o”,

“Alright ma” I responded as she closed my door slightly and went out.

“So, I have been dreaming after I finished speaking with Deborah? (I checked around if I could see any Nokia 2690, but I found nothing like that), but why this sweet thing con be dream naw? Nawa o, I even screamed out self, Mshhhw” I said then hissed, closed my eyes and slept off without praying.

…to be continued

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