Sitting under the mango tree was Bob Willington. A fair skin young man. He was my brother's best friend. Unlike him, today was different. He walked straight to the mango tree sat on the three-legged stool and gazed at the scorching sun. I sat on the corridor looking at him like a lost sheep. What could be the problem?
Not even a hi!
Not even the name he calls me, Ju*
Not even my usual pack of chocolates
This is more to what meets the eyes*
Finally, he called...
Call me your brother
At first, I thought I was getting my pack of chocolates as usual but 'reverse' was the case.
I reluctantly walked inside dragging my feet.
I called out my brother.
Brother Chukwuma! In a hoarse voice, he replied and like a dusty wind, rushed out from the back door with his pants halfway down.
Am sorry my friend has it been long you came? My brother enquired. Out of curiosity, I went back to know why the sudden change of uncle B as I fondly call him.
This time, I sat behind the window peeing from the open space.
I heard all he said to my brother.
Some I find hard to say
I saw him cry like a baby.
He said so many things.
"The stream has denied me of water when l am thirty, the land,barren and has refused to grow food when am hungry. The sky has done nothing order than send down the scorching sun that burns my fragile skin. These and more were his Lamentations".
The tears from his eyes I could feel how hot they could be, burning his cold and tender chins as they pour down uncomfortably. I will go far away where no one knows me. To me, my father land has forsaken me. At that point, he flopped and continued with more tears down his chins. My brother consoled him and gave him words of encouragement.
Few weeks later, Bob Willington traveled to 'Canada' it was a surprise but a good decision.
Days into week, weeks into months, months into years.
Nobody heard from uncle B* not his relatives nor my brother, his best friend.
I only but wonder, hope all was well with him.
Could it be that he had been in some difficulties?
I have read a book
About "racism" color discrimination.
I hope the white has not turned him into a slave? That could be, from frying pan to fire *
The story of his departure fade out and everyone continued his/her normal life. I may never see him again, the pack of chocolates, I have to forget about them and leave them to be in the past.
In drama, they would say "light fade dark*
A new scene will commerce. So was the case.
Like a wildfire, the news of uncle B's death spread round the community of Amokwe. It was indeed a "black Friday"
People in their numbers gathered in the Wellington's compound.
The wired thing was, his corpse was not brought back. Some said he sloped and died. Maybe his corpse was buried there as none could identify him.
On the entrance door, his picture🖼️ was hung. Yes! Him, uncle B. He was on a black suit, a white shirt with a bowtie. His face was covered with a smile that radiates from the reflection of his white gap teeth.
I stood there with no one talking to me or I talking to anyone.
I saw him smiling at me.
Yes, he was. I turned to see if anyone could see him staring at me, right there in front of me but it seems I was hallucinating.
As the sun began to hide its face inside the thick cloud, people began to dispatch.
I couldn't eat for days. I missed him, I missed his funny stories most importantly, my pack of chocolates.
But like they will say, "life moves on
The death of uncle B* was gradually kissing the earth goodbye?
#June 12th, 2019#
Exactly three years after his alleged death and burial also, ten years of uncle B's departure to Canada*
Wedding bell rang in the community.
It's Nkechiyere Ojibwe. One of the most decent ladies in Alulu. She is from Alulu, my maternal hometown.
Though, she had lived all her life outside the country. But the good news is that she is returning home to be married to a son of the soil.
Cards of invitation started going round.
Could this be a dream?
A supper story?
Or could this be one of the fantasies
Or comic stories?
Same name, same surname and same hometown?
I kept my mouth shut what do a little and innocent girl like me know?
He is dead it can't be him
I saw his picture laid to rest on behalf of his corpse.
Poor innocent child.
Like a child that builds a pet with snowballs thinking it will last for long.
I thought it him, that was dead.
The news went viral, from my findings, good number of people were invited.
Tongues were busy like the bees
Who is the man that has found Nkechiyere Ojibwe, the daughter of Ichie Ojibwe of Alulu. The best palm wine tapper in Alulu worthy of a wife?
I heard the voice... He screamed!
Oh what a world!
Life is a twist!
I heard the voice it's my father's
The man with a loud voice.
I hurried out of the room with my footwear wrongly wore; the left wore on right and right on the left.
Father, what could that be? The news, is it true?
At that point, I expected a No! For an answer but a reverse* was it!
I graped the card from my father
It reads *
*Bob Willington wedds Nkechiyere* Ojibwe.
Is not real
It not him, yes! It not him
Could it be true ghost exist?
Could it be he is a ghost and Nkechiyere Ojibwe is getting married to a ghost?
These and more where thoughts that occupied my head like rain that has taken the cloud and ready to pour.
I sheepishly walked out of my father's sight uttering no more words.
I sat under the coconut tree
Could this be a coincidence?
A moonlight tale?
I ponder as I play with my legs on the white sand.
This mystery was about to unfold...
Two days to the D-day,
On that afternoon, the sun was at it best
The fleet of cars on convoy attracted many people who ran out to know what was going on.
I love to be an eye witness I don't like to be told what happened. I want to know and see how it happened.
I have always been the inquisitive type.
At school, I was called * bookworm*
It's fine. I hurried out of the kitchen. Ichie Iloba and his Lolo Adanna ( my parents) they don't joke with food. Their stomach first before anything.
But, for that day, the story had to change.
I want to see want was happening.
It's him! It's him!
I heard the crowd say in their loud voices!
I doubled my steps. I wouldn't want to miss out.
The convoy head straight to the Willington's compound. A seven- rooms bungalow. Uncle B's relatives occupied the house after his departure. As I went further, I saw her, yes! She, the bride to be.
Like someone who something fell into her eyes, I tried to wipe my eyes very well with the back of my left palm to be sure if it was truly Nkechiyere Ojibwe that I was seeing heading my direction too; to the Willington's compound.
That can't be uncle B.
To my amazement, I saw him.
Yes! Him, uncle B! A reverse was it now"
This time, not on the picture, he was standing right on the street, in front of me...
Smiling at me.
The radiation this time, was brighter than that on the picture.
My lips caught cold
My feet lost balance on the ground
My hands wished to hold him
I opened my mouth
All that could come out was...
I thought you were gone!