Thursday, 15 December 2016 0 comments


There I was rummaging through the dustbin as usual looking for scraps of metal to sell to Baba Ajah, probably I would get enough money today to buy a little morsel for me and mama to eat.
Mama would have done it but she is now too old and she cannot see anymore. I can do anything for Mama she took me in when everyone turned their backs when my parents died. At a tender age of ten, I have had experiences worth a lifetime.
Mama and I lived in an old dilapidated house in a crowded area, she used to farm and sell to pay for my school fees until a cobra spat into her eyes in the farm and no family member came to help we were on our own. 
The farm was sold to pay for Mama's treatment and what does a child know about selling lands, I sold it for peanuts because I didn't want my Mama to die.
We managed for years and Mama always told me one thing " Ope don't ever steal " she made me promise her and I tried to live by it. I became a destitute searching for scraps in the trash and selling it, I saved hoping to buy a wheelbarrow so I could make some money from transporting goods in the market, presently I had saved four hundred naira.
Sometimes the hunger was so real, I would want to steal, I would see heaps of swollen cakes and would dream of sinking my teeth into the dough satisfying my hunger. I would hear a voice telling me to grab one and run, but Mama's instructions were clear in my head like a jingling bell in a graveyard so I complied with her.

I had this friend Yola, he was from Niger , we would move together searching for scraps and sell it, the difference between Yola and I was he saw nothing wrong in stealing, he was poor,homeless and he was like the Robinhood of street children, stealing from the women selling snacks and food and sharing it with other homeless kids, they adored him. He was our leader and big brother, his works were admirable but wrong I always tried to tell him but he would wave it off, a street kid has got to eat he would tell me.

One horrible day, a day I would never forget. I woke up that day with the usual rumble in my tummy, I went to greet mama and after a meal of soaked garri, I left the house to hustle.
I met Yola at the usual spot where we picked up scraps, we chatted away as we rummaged as usual through the rumble.
Two men approached us, we made to run but the men assured us that they were friends not foes and we believed. They offered us a job, very simple job. They would offer us five thousand naira each if we broke into a store, before we could object they claimed it was their store that they wanted to know if the store was burglary proof.
It was too good to be true , I immediately refused but Yola believed them, he said he would do it, I pulled him aside and told him not to, It didn't seem right , but Yola was adamant , " Do you know how much bread and garri we can buy for the street kids, we would have something better to eat for once " He said with his hazel coloured eyes bright with hope.
Yola wouldn't see reason so I left him, I wish I didn't.
The next day, I was up bright and early, I went to the market hoping to make little money from carrying the loads of market women to their shops. Two hours later the cries of thief thief filled the air, I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me to the direction of the cries. The thief was sprawling on the muddy ground with different men throwing blows at him.
I asked a bystander what had happened, she told me a young boy was caught breaking into a shop, stole thousands of naira from the shop of a goldsmiths and has refused to say where he had hidden the money.
Then I heard his voice,  it was laboured and filled with pain " I didn't do it " i didn't want to believe without seeing it with my own eyes, I crawled through the crowd and just as I feared the supposed thief was Yola and amongst the men lynching him were the two men who offered us a job. Confess they shouted at him where is the money you stole they hit him with sticks and my friend, Yola, was a bleeding messy pulp, he had been beaten morose he could barely speak anymore.
The owner of the goldsmiths shop arrived and was told by the two men that, Yola had broken in and stolen money and had refused to say were he had hidden the money. The man tried to talk to Yola but he wasn't responsive, He started shouting at the two men asking why they had beaten him so badly, they claimed they were trying to torture the truth from him. The man, Mr Sunday was a really nice man and tried to get Yola to a hospital despite chants from the crowd to burn him. Yola didn't make it to the hospital, he died on the dirty, muddy market floor in the pool of his own blood.
When they realized he was dead all the bystanders one after the other walked away.
We,  the children of the streets we came out of our hiding places and we carried our friend to our hide out there we cleaned his broken body and wore him the best clothes we could find,  it took us a long time but finally we were able to dig a grave deep enough for our friend,  we didn't have a coffin so we wrapped him with a clothe Mama gave to me.
For days the cries of the children of the street were heard , we had lost a brother, a friend and a hero........

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BF in the library

Greg has this expression on his face, the cat that ate the canary expression. He beckoned me to a corner and asked me to come see something. I wondered what he was up to but I knew I would find out if I walked to him.
" Leki look at  what I found online " He was smiling from ear to ear urging me to look at his phone . First and foremost, we were in our third year in secondary school and our school law was very strict about the use of cell phones in school, if a senior even caught us with phone we may never see it again. But then again Greg was a sly fox, he could sell ice to an Eskimo.
I looked at what Greg was so excited about and I wish I didn't look , Immediately I took my eyes away from the phone screen and squeezed them shut.
Greg was laughing at me
" What eee haven't you seen BF before, jew man "
" Where did you get this"  I said trying my best not to look at the videos.
" Jew man, Internet now, it's so easy to find , Look eeee no form joor "
I looked at the video one more time and I was hooked. Greg handed me the phone and I had a glimpse of the first twenty seconds of the video , I was feeling so many things at once. The footsteps of "Cobra" the nastiest teacher was heard and Greg grabbed the phone, shoved it in his trousers and started shouting
" Leki my eye ooh, something entered my eyes, blow it blow it "
I was confused but I complied, Cobra passed us and didn't even question was we were doing in the corner.

I couldn't sleep that night flashes of the movie kept sleep at bay, the lady walks in the room half naked and the white guy completely naked reaches for her, bends her over a table and.......... Cobra interrupts , I needed to watch more of the video .
The next day after assembly, I asked Greg for his phone, he told me he would answer me during break time.
Classes were a blur I wasn't concentrating one bit, I was fantasising about the video, I even had to place a bag on my laps because I felt my guy growing a bit and the feeling was overwhelming.

Break time came and Greg took me to the library. It was empty at that point in time, students barely used it anyway. He instructed me to be careful and discrete, he handed me an earpiece and asked me if I wanted vaseline. I asked what I would use vaseline for , he laughed and told me to enjoy myself.
Alone at last , I chose a very secluded part of the library, It smelt of old books and dust but it was a bit private. The librarian was a snoozing old man so I knew I won't be disturbed. I brought out the phone and tried to connect the earpiece but I had a premonition of Mr Ghost our physical health education teacher creeping up on me, it was nearly impossible to hear his footsteps, he could sit by you for ten minutes and you won't realise until his cane touches your skin.
So I put Greg's phone on mute and started to watch the video. It felt sinfully good, But I felt I would enjoy it more with the sounds, she opened her mouth a lot and I wanted to know the sounds she made. I connected the earpiece, increased the volume to the highest and click on play. The cool and calm atmosphere of the library was distorted by the cries and moans of " Yes, Yes, Harder, harder " I tried to switch it off but I panicked and  got confused, It continued and I nearly tore the phone apart before the video stopped playing , when the noise stopped, I picked up my books and ran out of the library .
The library wasn't  as empty as I thought it was , apparently a class had a library day and they were watching me run out like a man with his pants on fire.
Immediately I got to class, I returned Greg's phone telling him what had happened in the library. 
" You didn't fix the ear piece well " he cried but the damage was done. We prayed no one paid attention to me.

The rest of break time was uneventful and when it was over , Mrs Johnson our social studies teacher walked in . About ten minutes into the class , a second year student walked in and spoke to the teacher in low tunes , my heart was in my throat and I couldn't breathe .When they had finished speaking. She pointed at me and told me to follow the boy that my attention was needed in the staff room. I nearly wet myself, I looked at Greg and he put the index finger of his left hand to his lips and I didn't need to shout Ehhhhhhnnnnnn to get the message.

As I followed the boy to the staff room my feet felt like tree stumps, I wanted to poo and pee at the same time, I could feel my bowels and bladder fighting with their contents. The fear was so raw I could taste it in my mouth.

When I got to the staff room, Cobra, the snoozing librarian and a teacher we called baby King Kong were there sitting in a semicircle
Cobra told the boy who brought me to leave.
" Epa Odion is this the boy "
" Yes oh, it's him "
Cobra assessed me with bloodshot eyes and brought out his famous eight foot long cane.
I was definitely going to pee my pants.
" What's your name son "
" Leki " I almost choked
" Leki, I have some questions for you, If you answer correctly, I would be merciful , are you ready? "
I nodded, it was the weakest nod in the history of nods
" Did you come to the library today "
I thought carefully then answered
" Yes sir "
" Ok, next question were you watching illicit movies in the library "
I started stammering, the cane landed on my back with full force.
I had to bite my lips to hold back the tears .
He repeated the question and I said no, more lashes landed on me.
They never got to the second question because I kept saying no and the more I said no the more lashes I received.
My parents were called  to school that evening by the Principal. The librarian recollected how he was doing some paper works when he heard a video sound and he even described it to the disgust of my parents, ending with the fact that he saw me running out of the library a few seconds after the video sounds were heard. My Dad was breathing fire and brimstones and my mom as usual burst into tears asking me where she had gone wrong in training me.
When we got home, my father locked the both of us in his study, my mom had to call the neighbours to help break the door so my Father won't kill me that night, good thing they did my thirteen year old body wouldn't have been able to take my father's anger.
I went to school the next day a changed man and it wasn't because I was wearing an inner layer of bruises but my psychology that changed , now I can't look at anything illicit be it bikini models or whatever, Greg tried to show me another video, I almost beat him up reminding him that I almost died trying to cover up his black behind.
I had learnt my lesson, never again will I watch porn ever in my life.

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