I swung my hand across the air in a desperate bid to kill the annoying insect but the slap mistakenly fell on my face. I didn’t even know which factor was contributing more to my sleeplessness; the mosquitoes, my wife’s noisy snoring, my wandering thoughts or the heat.
“NEPA noeven gree give person light for this kin Christmas period”
I angrily left the room. As I walked across the sitting room to the veranda, I was careful not to step on the children scattered on the floor in different amusing sleeping postures. I sat tiredly on the bench outside and switched on the radio set on the window pavement. A melodious Christmas tune blasted through the air waves.
Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant, tender and calm
Sleep in heavenly peace
“Which kin nonsense be this?” I hissed angrily switching off the radio. Who said the night was silent with all these wearying thoughts screaming in my ears.
“No be because of this yeye Christmas palaver make person no find sleep to crash”
This year’s festive season was threatening to be disastrous. Kai! With no money both home and abroad. Recession don kee person. MMM? No be person wey get money dey do that one? These children were already lamenting about their Christmas clothes. Mtchewwww! That one no be problem at all. I have already judiciously divided it amongst them.
“Helen and Chioma go share one blouse. Nneka and Nikiru go manage the skirt wey dey wear last year. I go buy one shirt for Ifeanyi. Nnanna go fit manage slippers nah. Ebuka? Chai! The trouser wey I been dey save for am since February don turn jump up. Hmmmm he go wear am like that ohhhhhh. In fact worse comes to worst we no go commot house that day. No bi person wey get where him dey go dey find clothe to wear?”
These children don’t even behave themselves at all. They no dey hear word. The other day, Ebuka stole 100 naira from the trouser I hung on the door. He used it to buy that stupid ‘knockout’ he used in bursting the tyre of our neighbor’s ‘Keke’. Now, the man has been disturbing me to replace his tyre. I said it that this woman did not train them well.
“That one self. Her own wahala full ground”
She is saying that we must eat chicken this year instead of our usual ice-fish. She even wants to prepare salad. What difference will that thing ‘raw vegetable’ for that matter make to the food? Abi are we now herbivorous animals. “Person dey talk say money no dey she come dey yan apata”
The most annoying of it all is this nonsense story I’ve been hearing. This yeye people that call themselves armed robbers abi na thief don give us quick notice for my area. They said they are coming to collect their Christmas dues. Abeg, when that one start?
“Imagine! Money wet I no see na em person wan make I dash am for free. I resemble federal government? They no see all this big men house for G.R.A, Independence Layout and Transekulu na this my small area they wan terrorize. Which kin wickedness be this? Which kin money ordinary gateman like me go keep for house self?”
Our street people have decided to hold a meeting with respect to this anticipated August visitation. Some are suggesting we should call the police while others are saying that each compound will contribute money for the visitors. Whatever they conclude… that one consign them. I have checked the date . Thank God I’ll be on night duty that day so they no go even see my face at all. My wife can take care of herself and the children. After all is it not just for one night? I was lost in thoughts when a gunshot went off at a distance. It was the second shot that jerked me to reality. I was still trying to decipher where the sound was coming from when a heard a deep hoarse voice
“Who dey there?” the voice thundered “Chinekem! Dey don come ohhhhh!” I screamed as I hastily ran into the house.
By Isiwu Oluchi
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