The Superhero

The first time I saw the weakness in a man was the day I saw my father cry about me. I’d seen several men cry; about women, money and even when they were beat up by other men or women even.But my dad crying was just different, he had just witnessed the first episode of my partial seizure, he’d been told stories of what happened by my mom and elder brother but never saw it.

It was on a Saturday in his office; Afribank, in Marina; 7th floor. I remember vividly. He had initially resisted that I followed him to work as my mom had debated and insisted I did; no one was going to be home and I couldn’t go with her to the market and couldn’t stay alone either. We arrived at the office after using the flight of stairs to go up because the elevators weren’t working on the day. As we walked up with me carrying his laptop bag, he groaned and complained about the elevator operators. “Oga sit down here, I’ll connect you to the internet do not disturb me, we’ll leave at three” he said to me as we entered his office with the label “Treasury” on his door. But I being who I am, went to the office across; it had no label. I just wanted to be alone. After he had connected me, my dad settled down and started typing and using his mouse to maneuver his computer and suddenly there’s was a bang on the floor and my ass was on the floor with his laptop. I had gotten bored in the other office and decided to cross to his and stay with him. “Ebu! Are you alright?” I’m bother about the laptop he’s bothered about me, he rushes up from his chair to see his son on the floor.

“Chineke nna!What is all this? How did it happen Ebu?” And I’m there staring at him blank “I don’t know” he helps me up to my feet and I jerk again in his arms losing consciousness for a split second but brought back by a loud “Ebu!stop this! Chineke! Mother Mary” he puts me on one of the swivel chairs in the office and he stands and watches me, my heart was beating at the speed of a hamster running on its wheel and tears well up my eyes. “Don’t cry, the devil is a liar” he says walking back to his work station.

He stands back up, walks up to where I was seated and stares at me. “Daddy tell me, how did it happen” and I’m staring blankly. “I was carrying your laptop and I tripped and fell” he sighs and walks solemnly to his seat, sensing the lie I’d told to not get him worried, takes off his glasses and I see a tear roll down his face as he tries to use his computer but tears cloud his eyes.

And there’s another succeeding it in the same order which the previous one fell. And then it’s a moment of tears, the tears factory was let open. He stares at me, turns his seat around to back me and wipes his face trying to make me not see he was crying then I tell him “Daddy I’ll be fine” and he replies “I know you will.”

And he packs up everything he was doing and says we should go home, we had gotten to the office at 9am and he planned to leave at 3pm but after the incident at 11am he just packs up and says we should leave and go home.

That was when I realized men are actually weak. Underneath that hard shell, there’s a soft layer of tissue.

Happy Father’s Day!

The Adventure

“Ding Dong! Ding Dong!!” Favour flew from the sitting room couch towards the door with record speed. She’d been at the edge of her seat all day waiting for him. Finally! She thought to herself as she hurried to open the door; breathless, a wide smile plastered on her face. She took one last glance at herself in the mirrors adjacent to the door as the bell went off again. “Ding Dong!”

“Coming baby! Just a minute!” Favour replied as she smoothened her denim skirt and smeared on pink lip gloss.

“Good aptanoon small madam, sanu” Ali, the gateman, greeted her.

Favour’s smile morphed into a look of utter disappointment, and disdain. The gateman smelled like he hadn’t had a bath in days.

“Yes? What is it?” Favor replied, in a hurry to discharge Ali and continue with her preparations for the coming of her August visitor.

“Ehn madam!” replied Ali, scratching his head; his struggle to form his reply evident in his sheepish expression. He had only just moved to Lagos from the North of Nigeria and he knew only a few English words. Still he managed to get by.

He continued. “E getti e za dustvin fefo e dey fine you po outside fa.” (“The trash collectors are asking for payment”).

Favour, after having managed to deduce what he meant, reached into her pocked and brought out some naira bills.

“Alright err, take, count it. How much be that?”

“Guda, ukwu, bukwai…madam na handred naira”.

“ Give them that. Tell them daddy will pay the monthly bill at the bank today but that they should carry the one of today with this.”

Ali’s was the face of concentration as Favour spoke. He paid close attention to every word as though if he blinked or turned his head the words would fly past his head.

“ And if they need more money, ” Favour continued,” please settle it with your money, Mommy will give it back to you”. Favor instructed him.

“No wahala madam”, Ali replied, smiling, and nodding like an Agama lizard. ” No frable, bakwomi.”

He thanked her and hurried to do her bidding.

Favour returned to the living room to continue her preparation for her boyfriend’s arrival. She had turned off all the lights and drawn the curtains close. The rays from the TV beamed from its mounted spot towards the green leather couch opposite it. On the screen of the was a man having a heart to heart with his lover while lying on a hospital bed. The man seemed about to breathe his last.

The television mounted on the wall was a curved Hisense O-LED TV, one of the modern day types that might someday take over the world with their artificial intelligence. Beneath the TV stood a rectangular mahogany cabinet with different compartments housing the DSTV explorer decoder and the Home Theatre system. Below this was a drawer which saved the house from being littered with blu-Ray discs. The speakers of the home theatre stood like sentinels guarding treasure, one at each corner of the sitting room and the subwoofer positioned at the center.

The speakers sang “How many drinks would it take you to leave with me?

Yeah you look good, and I got money

But I don’t wanna waste my time.. ”

It was a Miguel classic. The TV didn’t speak however, there was no need for her to.

Just as she went in to bear her face into beauty, the sky’s belly rumbled loud and fierce. Favour looked through her curtain and saw that day had suddenly become night, the clouds had come together as though a conference and at that moment they began to spill their water on the earth.

“Ding Dong!” Went the bell again. “Ding Dong!Ding Dong Ding Dong!” It continued angrily.

“Oh my goodness! who wants to spoil my father’s bell. Why’s it today that Ali chose to disturb-”

“Hey baby!” Tega’s voice interrupted Favour’s tirade. She opened the door and there stood Tega, utterly drenched.

“Did the rain touch you?” Favor asks rather redundantly, touching him all over.

“No o I kept dodging the rain till I started sweating” he replies with his eyes rolling and a grin on his face.

“Go away jor. How are you?” She holds him by the waist, kissing him drags she him inside.

“Well…now I feel warmed up” he replies with a smile after they had disentangled their lips.

“Ooouu How many drinks? Kendrick and Miguel.” Tega grabs her again by the waist and they start to dance.

“Noooo It’s Miguel featuring Kendrick” she corrects him.

“What’s the difference now this girl?”

She twirls and he grabs her from behind. In the middle of their dance he leaves her and a look of worry is cast on his face.

“What is the problem?” Favor looks into his eyes.

“You know your brother could walk in through that door right?” He says with a serious look.

“He won’t. At least not soon, he’s with one of his girlfriends in her house and he won’t be home soon cos he’ll go and see his lecturer’s daughter from there. ”

She moves close to him and grabs him by the waist once again. Just then the clouds rumble and the lightening is like the flash of cameras.

He kisses her forehead and they sit down on the couch watching the soundless TV.

“What is it again now? ” Favour asks, almost petulantly.

“Would you ever let me go? Would this ever come to an end?” He asks, holding her hands in his own.

“Does the sea ever run dry?” Favor asks him

“No it doesn’t” Tega replies

“Then our love like the sea shall never end and will forever be renewed like the rains replenish the sea even when it’s not empty. ” She assures him and gives him a kiss.

Then she gets up and goes into her room. She comes out moments later wearing blue lace lingerie. As soon Tega sees her the corner of his fly begins to move awkwardly.

“Come, follow me” she calls him into her bedroom. Scented candles stood on each side of the entrance, their light bathing the room in a soft glow. Rose petals lay strewn on the floor. And a packet of condoms lay in the center of the rose coloured bed.

“Take my virginity away, I give it to you today” Favour begged Tega, pulling on his shirt.

They begin to kiss, he pulls off her lingerie and beneath it are her breasts and her nipples hard as boiled eggs. On her waist she has a pair of red lace G-strings on, Tega takes it off and begins to suck on Favors breasts, she gives a little moan. He takes his shirt off and Favor rubs his chest, she removes his trousers and boxers and begins to play with his penis. He begins to kiss her again and puts one hand on her nipples.

In the background Bruno Mars piped “so let’s just turn down the lights and close the door, ooouu I leave that dress but you won’t need it anymore, no you won’t need it no more. Let’s just kiss till we’re naked then versace on the floor. ”

Tega tears open the condom and at first penetration she winces in pain. Tega leans over her body and gives her a kiss. And begins to make love to her. There’s both a moan of pleasure and pain from Favour.

“Favour! Why’d you leave the door open?! I keep telling you to lock whenever we’re out cos of security reasons!”

“Oh my God! Tega someone is home!” Favour’s heart began to race, she couldn’t tell if it was her brother or someone else.

“Anyways”, the owner of the voice went on. “If they kidnap you, we’ll not even look for you. Elizabeth says hi sha, where are you sef? Favor!”

“Jesus! My brother! If he finds us here, it’ll be the story of OJ Simpson in 2019”.

“Sam! I’m in my room jor.” she replied amidst the fear in her mind hoping he wouldn’t come to her room. She began to sweat and it wasn’t from their activity of pleasure but fear.

“Yo!” He barged into her room enthusiastically like he had just found his manhood that was taken from him by a ritualist.

“Ahan! Is that how you barge into someone’s room? What if I were naked or having sex?”

She tried to hold a conversation with to mask her fear.

“I washed your nyash as a baby and you wouldn’t dare have sex in this house. I’ll shoot both you and the guy.”

Tega who is now lying flat in the bathtub covered by the shower curtains and was butt naked heard the threat and his heart skips a beat. “Ahan whose shoes are these? They are nice o” her brother sees Tega’s shoes and admires them. “A friend of mine said I should give her brother” the lie was prepared for by Favor but is believed by her brother.

“Ahan! Why’s there blood on your? Anyways, Elizabeth and I had sex. It was great man, she put me on cloud 9” her brother begins to narrate his after to his sister but her mind isn’t in it but the blood he had just seen on her blue bed sheet on her bed. “Fuck! What do I tell him now” she begins to get sweaty palms and panics “ I saw my period. So you can have sex but I can’t abi?” Favor asks in bewilderment.

“ You can, I did say you can’t. But you won’t live to know what’ll happen to you and the guy. Daddy told me your story sef. If I catch that boy ehn, I’ll use his penis to do suya.” He tells her. Tega in the bathtub with an erected penis hears this and takes a look at his baby making machine. “And I had a bad feeling about this” he thinks to himself.

“ I’m going to your bathroom” her brother says and makes for the bathroom. “Ehn! Why? You have your own bathroom” Favor runs to the door of the bathroom and blocks the door. “Ogbeni go away jor. You think I don’t know where you are hiding him?” Her brother shoves her aside and heads for the bathroom and heads towards the bathtub, bends down and picks up Max their dog. “How’d that get in here? Oh I brought him here, silly dog” Favor shows perplexity at first but decides to lie. “ stop this trick it’s getting old you’re terrible at hiding things”

Meanwhile as her brother got close to the bathtub, Tega in fear had pissed in the tub. “Anyway, I’ll get out of your room abeg, it’s smelling like dick and pussy sef”

“Ehn go away from my smelling room” Favor ushers him out and heads to the bathtub to bring Tega out. “Get dressed real quick abeg I don’t want to enter trouble” she hands him shirt and trousers, he puts in on and heads out into the room as he wears his shoes the door handle begins to move down slowly “Favor!” And it opens slightly but is closed immediately. Her brother had wanted to show her something but went to the kitchen to check his burning water. He had put water on fire to boil spaghetti and forgotten so his pot began to boil nothing.

“Quick! Pass the front door he’s in the kitchen, I’ll stall him” Favor heads to the kitchen and engages her brother. Meanwhile Tega had made his way to the gate and gone out with a trouser in hand and half worn shoes.

“Favor! Whose belt is this on the floor” her brother discovers Tega’s belt on the floor, “on the side it says Tega” he calls out to her.

*sanu :Hausa greeting

 

 

 

The Plan

Sometimes people referred to Tega as an “ajebutter” (a pampered child),

but after he had poured out his mind to Sherlock Holmes (Favour‘s father), he had felt like a fullgrown man even though he was barely twenty years of age. 

 

Rrring ring!” Tega’s phone shrilled, it was Favor calling. He had saved her name on his phone as ‘peanut butter’ because of his love for peanut butter. That was why his girlfriend’s detective father hadn’tbeen able to find his daughters contact in his phone book. He hadn’t expected her to call him that same night.

 

Hello”, she spoke in a low voice like a 007 agent on a spy mission.

 

“Hey baby,he responded, worry colouring his voice. 

“How are you? Oh my God I was so scared. I kept praying for you. Did your father flog you?” He replied, his heart full of relief that his baby girl was talking to him. 

 

“No no, Favour replied rather nonchalantly. “He only kept yapping and called me a prostitute, blah blah blah. 

 

Tega was frankly taken aback that a father wouldrefer to his daughter in such a way. 

He called you that?! That‘s unheard of!

 

He couldn’t fathom such a level of insult. He was used to the regular stupid, idiot, stupid-idiot, ewu(goat), maalu (cow) even though he had never mooed or bleated before in his life. “Prostitute” was taking things too far in his book. 

 

LOL, Favour replied, amused. it’s not the first time he’s called me that you know. Favor still spoke in hushed tones. 

 

Tega felt bad about the situation however. 

“I’m very sorry for the embarrassment” He said contritely. “I’m bad luck. I shouldn’t have to make you go through all these-“nonsense talk. That’s why We’re a unit. We fight to the last, ride or die, together, Tega assured Favor after he had apologized for the run-in with her father. 

 

Tega had met Favor on the fourteenth of Februaryearlier that year at Julius Berger hall on their campus when he had gone to see his friends who were rehearsing for a concert. They rehearsed one of Mozart’s and a Beethoven, and Tega was transcended into another realm by their celestial voices. It was in this state that Favor met him. 

 

Hi! She said. Did you by any chance see a girl wearing a red top on a blue high waist jeans and a pair of vans walk by this way? She asked Tega who wasinstantly jolted out of the musical realm and back to reality by the angel standing before him. With braided hair, neatly carved lips in the shape of a wave, spotless face, melanin skin tone had the nose of a Caucasian, small ears and eyes that could make a man cheat on his wife and a pair of recommended Dior glasses which had round lenses; Favour was Tega’s definition of perfect. He had a thing for pretty bespectacled girls. 

 

“Yes I can see her” Tega replied, lovestruck. 

 

“Ah great!” Favour exclaimed joyfully. Do you know which way she went?

 

“Yes”, Tega said dreamily, his eyes transfixed on her face. She’s standing right in front of me”.

 

Tega’s reply made Favor wonder why she had come to speak to him in the first place; maybe because he was a fine boy, neatly cut hair with pink lips.

 

Urrgghh! Idiot. Fine boys are idiots!, she thought in her mind as left him to go and sit down on a pavementseven feet away, bringing out her phone to dial her friend‘s number. 

 

Tega, not about to let this angel fly away devised a means to continue the conversation. 

“Oh my God!” He exclaimed. I’m looking for my dog. Have you seen my dog?” Tega walks up to Favor and asks. There was no dog of course. 

 

“What breed is it? Cos I can see one.” Favor replied sassily. She was ticked off now. 

 

“Ehn!? ” Tega replied, confused because he knew he never went to JB with a dog

 

You can? Wher-where is it?” Tega asked looking confused.

 

Right before me”, replied Favor sarcastically. 

 

“Touché mademoiselle” Tega acknowledged.

 

He pressed on. “My name is Tega but I’d rather you call me-” 

 

Tega licked his two pinkie fingers, smoothened his eye brows and said,

“Tega. SSCE, GCE, NECO and now an Undergraduate” then he gave Favor a wink.

 

“Hi I’m Favor.” a simple reply does it for her, not being moved by all his acting. 

 

“What department are you in?” He inquired.

 

“Geosciences. How about you? Let me guess Creative Arts?” Favor replied seeming to pick an interest in the handsome young man before her.

 

“No, I’m in English. So your department deals with a sciences of Geography?” He asked in innocent ignorance. She burst out laughing. 

 

Hei! I don talk rubbish ooo”. Tega thought to himself,moving his eye balls left and right continuously while Favour laughed.

 

No silly, it’s the study of rocks and other elements” she told him.

 

“Pfft! I knew that” Tega claimed. 

 

Favor eventually is able to reach her friend on the phone. 

“Hello! Where are you jor? You kept me waiting at JB, you sha know you’re an idiot girl. Alright I’ll meet you soon”.

 

“Hey I’ll see you some other time, it was nice talking to you. Bye” Favor says to Tega.

 

“Alright bye!” He says. 

 

Favor gets up, carries her bag and begins to walk away when she hears someone call after her.

 

“Hey! Hey!” It’s Tega.

 

Oh my Jesus not this dude again” she says under her breath. 

 

“Can I get your number?” He brings out his phone to type it while she calls it out but she’d rather type the number into his phone.

 

“I’ll text you on WhatsApp” he tells her.

 

A few days later he texts her and they hit it off from there and start to go on dates and eventually they become an item, then he meets the detective fatherthat night. Tega had always hoped to meet her father but not like that.

 

“Hey my parents will be traveling for a week. You can come to my house then.” Favor still whispering like agent 007 on a spy mission. 

 

“Err yea sure but what about your brother? Wouldn’t he be around?” Tega is happy at the news but there’s an obstacle to their proposed couple moment. 

 

“He won’t be around, he’ll go and see one of his babes jare.” she tells Tega like she’s the one who planned her brother’s schedule.

 

“Alright that’s cool then, I love you babe, I’ll text you on WhatsApp”. Tega tells his girlfriend.

 

“Alright baby, I love you too.” Favor whispers these sweet words to him. His heart soars. 

 

Sherlock Holmes

#fiction

The moon had started to outshine the sun as the day drew to a close and scholarly activities dwindling as students engaged in extra-curricular activities of the campus life. Tega had just finished class and decided to call Favor, she was his solace after a hectic day; his resting place. “Hey baby. What’s up, where are you? Oh! Alright see you at JB then” and Tega ended the call. JB was their regular rendezvous point, after each day they met there. It’s ten minutes past seven in the evening. Favor shows up, they hug and he kisses her on the forehead. “Babe, how was your day? You look stressed out” she says pointing out, “Oh yea, I am very stressed out”. They spend time and the evening strolled by with the wind doing them deeds of good. Ring Ring! It’s her phone, “hello daddy, no sir. I went for a stroll, I left with Joshua. No he’s no longer with me I think he went elsewhere but I left the house with him.” A shadow is cast over her face and she begins to look tensed. “Hmm! Mtcheww! I just want to leave that house and start staying in the hostel. They keep treating me like I’m a child. I’m in my two hundred level for God’s sake. I know my left from my right I deserve some space and not being monitored like a child” she rants to Tega. It’s now eight o’clock and the moon has totally overpowered the sun and now has his army of stars dominating the sky. “Your pops wants you home now?” He asks. “ sigh! Yes let’s leave” They begin to walk out of JB and as it’s their usual custom, Stan walks her home. Ring Ring! “I said I went to my faculty to check my group members” she replied her father who was on the phone. “Please let’s walk fast” she’s scared, agitated. “ I think I should just leave you” Tega says. “No, walk with me but keep your distance” Favor says back to Tega. They walk a little while and she says “I feel he’s lurking around, waiting for me” from the dark corner of the road there’s a call “my friend” she turns and in nervousness says “daddy good evening sir.” Tega quick to observe as he too had been nervous but didn’t show it all along, trying to be the man; continues the journey like he’s been on it all alone from the start and like he doesn’t know Favor. A few meters away he hears someone call out “hey! Hey! Stop there” the voice is deep and baritoned. Two figures emerge from the shadows and just as he had expected, it’s Favor and her dad. “Good evening sir” Tega says trying to show respect he ignores his greeting “do you know her?” The father begins his interrogation; it’s a case of detective and criminal, Jesus and Pilate. “Yes sir I do” Stan replies confidently “from where?” his second question has rats and ants pacing about in Tega’s heart. “From school sir” Tega still composed nervous but doesn’t show it, looks at Favor through his peripheral vision and observes how she’s shaking. “What department are you in?” A third question from him hits Tega in the face. “The department of English sir” he responds his composure beginning to give way to his fear and nervousness. “What now, is he going to ask for my Matric number because I was with his daughter?” Tega thinks to himself and nervousness has set in. “Did you call her this evening?” “Hei God another question from the man, what is he? Sherlock Holmes?” Tega thinks to himself “no sir” he answers. It’s like an oral examination Tega never prepares for. “Let me see your phone” he orders Tega. “This is madness!” Tega thinks to himself and surrenders the device to the father detective. He begins to scroll through Tega’s recent calls hoping to find his daughter’s name in the list, “increase your screen brightness now!” Sherlock Holmes the daddy orders, Tega obliges and increases it, his palms are now shaky and sweaty, one would swear on his life that Tega had dipped his hands in water. All the while, Tega’s heart plays an irregular pattern in his heart. The search is finally over and ‘Sherlock Holmes the Daddy’ finds nothing. “Sir I’d like to ask you a question” Tega braces up. “Go ahead” he replies. “Sir, with all due respect. Will you marry your daughter?” The Father is taken aback not by the question but the courage summoned to ask it. He stares confused and dazed also by both the courage and the question. But before he gets an answer, Tega gets a face warming slap, “you’re in the department of English abi? What’s your matric no?” He fumes at Tega. “You won’t marry her” a spirit has possessed Tega and he begins to rant “you won’t! Did her mother’s father not give you space to do what you wanted to while you two were young?” As Tega rants another slap warms up his face, tears muster at the base of his eyes. “She is in two hundred level for fuck’s sake. She’s eighteen, she’s an adult; capable of going to prison, responsible enough to know what is wrong. You keep chasing her about and tying her freedom up. You won’t always be around you know.” The tears trickle down and he wipes it away with his hand “sometimes you’ll travel and those chains will be loose until you come back and someday you’ll travel forever with no hope of returning and these chains will be set free and burnt. Give her the freedom to think for herself, I’m her boyfriend and you should hear the way the praises you in my presence. But the man she tells me about is not who I see now. She’s an adult give her the space to think like one” Tega speaks his mind and plugs in his earphones, backs his bag well, puts his hand in his pocket and walks away in tears.