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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 1

It's Day 1 of the challenge and, as of this point; I do not know what I would be writing about. I'm just going to let the spirit take over....... SO here goes NOTHING!

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Mama was always the most gracious one. She would sit us down at nights, under the beautiful moonlights and tell us ancient stories about our beginnings. The Wars, the Victories, the Heroic expenditures of our ancestors. But Papa, calling him a Man would be the gravest insult anyone could ever throw at humanity. I've seen pictures of him in his earlier years, and no doubt, he was handsome. His teeth were the prettiest I've ever seen; they were whiter than snow. This was no longer the story!

For most of our lives, we lived in the most rural parts of Lagos; a city listed among the ten most populous cities of the world, and at one point was the capital of the country Nigeria. However, it still remains the economic capital of this great nation. It is also noteworthy to say that this city attracts people from all over the country just because of the many diverse opportunities it offers in creating jobs and expanding businesses. The city is also interesting due to the fact that it is a city of extremes. One part of Lagos houses the most favourable spots any man can ever behold, well-paved roads, good and respectable hospitals/health services and schools and so many other things. On the other hand, some parts are filthy, to say the least. These are the parts where the gutters are the most grandiose structure that has ever been erected, insomuch that they are being used as Jacuzzis. Indeed a sight to behold, or maybe not.

Papa was one of those people that had come from the village in the hopes of a better life, but sadly he had found himself in the section of Lagos where people have to hustle daily for daily bread, literally. As a child, I did not grow up with the pleasures of anything. My most precious item was a pair of socks that an Aunt had given to my brother as a Christmas present; and he had passed it down to me. Papa was a lazy man, and he will forever remain so to me. When all the other fathers woke up in the early morning, even before the cock crowed, Papa was still in bed. He never cared about us or anything else for that matter.

Worse, he believed in luck. He believed if any person was going to be successful, he is going to, regardless of if he did anything to achieve the success or not. So, he would sit down and watch, and it was only when Mama shouted at him or most times cursed him that he would pick up his machete and head to the forest to cut down trees that could be sold as firewood to the wives in the neighbouring villages around us. He never cared about insults too, and he would actually not have listened to Mama either if he did not fear her. Mama had descended from a lineage of Priests, so he was careful since she could possess that same powers too that her ancestors had. There had been stories!

As you would easily assume, he gave in to alcohol and he snuffed a lot of tobacco. His teeth had turned brown, that the little children in the vicinity had made fun of him several times. His pants; the only two he had was always torn, even though they had been sewn a lot of times. His face was no longer handsome, he now walked with a cane, and all these were not due to old age, Papa was still thirty two at the time. But did he care? Not a bit. Mama was still her beautiful self, lovely as she was when she was 19. Ten years had passed and she was still her beautiful self.

A turning point came for me when Papa died! Everyone was sad, except me. I felt like he had gotten every bit of what he deserved. He believed in luck and this was the first time I agreed with him, he was indeed lucky!

After about two years, my life changed for the better, but my brother was not pleased about the change. In opposition, he had killed himself, and written a note that haunted everyone for years. It still haunts me! What had happened was this Rich young man had come to our area in search of 'greener pastures' according to him. He strongly believed the folks in the rural areas are the ones who are really enjoying. He felt that if he introduced his business to these communities, he would be extremely successful since he wouldn't have much competition, and it would also create a lot of opportunities for the local residents. Fortunate for him, in his attempt to expand his business empire, he also fell in love. I was 9 at the time!

It was a beautiful experience, since I now had access to money and clothes and food; things I never knew existed when my good-for-nothing father was alive, and this was what my brother was so agree about! How could he be? In his suicide note, he had cursed Mama and lamented on how she could have let something like that happen.

He called his own mother a fool, and said his blood will be upon Mama's head. He also said Papa would never forgive Mama, and he promised not to either. He felt Papa's love and trust and sacrifice, which I believed never existed, had been betrayed since Mama had decided to marry this rich young man. Now tell me, what she to blame?

Auf Wiedersehen,



Ayokunle Falomo.

(Serwus)

5 comments:

RemiRoy said...

Hey, i don't blame mum o. but aint you kinda harsh on dad? yeah,he was a bozo but he still ur dad, no?

well done here bro.

I'll take the time to read the older posts.

feel free to check out Royspace at www.royremi.blogspot.com

ciao

Jaycee said...

This is really good. And you wrote all of this in one day? Beautifully written.

Fellow Writer (Ayokunle Falomo) said...

Thank you Ladies.

And Remi, you have to understand where the character is coming from. I'm pretty sure there is more he/she isn't saying (the short format couldn't allow that, I guess. lol). But that is why fiction is awesome. It allows everyone to draw their own conclusions. Thanks.

@Jaycee. That is what happens when the spirit takes over. lol. Thanks.

Myne Whitman said...

My only problem here is in the voice. How old, male or female, present or past,etc. Otherwise this is well written. The angst against the father seeps through beautifully.

Fellow Writer (Ayokunle Falomo) said...

@Myne, thank you. Actually I intentionally did not want to put any constraints on how relatable the story might be to anyone: old/young, male/female, Jew/Greek, etc. lol, but yeah that sort of thing.