Hi peeps, chapter 1 of ‘ A letter to Mr WiSc by Gru ‘ is here!
Happy reading and don’t forget to leave comments and follow @gru_on_u !
Even a Nollywood scriptwriter couldn’t have thought up a less romantic meeting, and THAT, is saying a lot.
It was a dismally ordinary day, humid as was usual for Lagos, the Rush hour go-slow drowning out nature’s myriad voices. If any birds valued their sanity, they’d quit larking and crawl back into their nests and perches to wait for dusk and probably not contract an audience even then.
All this he thought of as he thrust and jostled his way through the daily madness that engulfs Ojuelegba, as close to a million people attempted to get to work before their rotund-belly bosses, sheep-herds of 13 year olds lead 4 year olds to school and Danfo buses snarled at each other for right of way on a thoroughfare already crowded out.
Truth is, every morning he envied those birds their wings and even more, their simple existence. No obligations, no bills to pay, no unremitting rat-race to eke out a living that made New York’s project residents seem like over-pampered rabbits at a tea-party in comparison and best of all, the ability to fly from their problems at will, like the wind ,free to go and come on a whim. Just peck at grub, coast around looking pretty and shit blithely, a theory that a light drip on his shoulder confirmed almost instantly.
‘Of all the 1 THOUSAND people to …’ , he thought at the unconcerned culprit on its electrical wire perch . ‘Just perfect, I hope you get fried up there! I’d eat you, you bloo…’ OOF !!!
‘ Watch where you’re going ! Se oju e fo ni !? ’
Thinking what new devil-ordained misfortune had befallen him this cursed morning of mornings, he whirled to meet the retort with one of his and froze solid. Words marooned on the edge of his lips, bird shit drying on his shoulder, and he stood and gawked like a 13 year old at his first viewing of Rambo single-handedly slaughtering an army platoon. Time decelerated to a movie effect crawl, his surroundings faded into dreamy wisps, up became down and down became any bloody direction it chose to be!
Kneeling before him as she gathered the books and knick-knacks he’d knocked out of her hands, was possibly the most mind-shattering face he’d ever laid his young eyes on. A face contorted by the anger that gave birth to the muttered insults flying from her mouth like apache missiles, a face he concluded in those few seconds belonged on the front cover of a foreign magazine or at the very least on a Glo advert billboard .
‘ …ing like a fool ! Ehn , can’t u hear me !? ’
He was snapped back to reality by the vehemence of her last words, his reverie exploding like an over-amped light bulb.
‘I…, sorry, what’s your name? ’
‘What!?’ , her confusion written clearly on her face .
‘Wait, sorry, that came out wrong! I meant to say…’
But it was an exercise in futility. With a derisive hiss and a parting ‘ Mad man !’ ,she spun on her heels, ( ‘Are those Gucci or Prada?,’ he wondered ,’ WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME !?’) and stalked off , much like Satan after losing a chess game to a guffawing angel Gabriel .
He wasn’t aware that he’d moved because he wasn’t aware that such compulsion resided within him, but reside it did and movement became essential to his survival. Or so it felt.
‘Wait, excuse me … sorry, abeg make I pass … EXCUSE ME PLEASE! ’
He had to move faster, he was losing her! For a fleeting moment, his mind wondered why that would be such a bad thing. It made no sense!!! Chasing a total stranger through the packed streets of Lagos when he should be on his way to … WORK!!!
Damn, he’d totally forgotten that! How was that even possible!!?
Standing still as the world moved on around him, he debated his next move more critically than any battlefield general. Resume his pursuit of the mystery harpy like a crazed caveman out of a sci-fi movie, or turn back to the direction of work and what was sure to be a boring, uneventful day?
No time, no time!!!
Deciding on the former option, he headed in the direction of her receding figure, his mind strangely at rest once he’d chosen a course of action. Alas, too late! She was boarding a cab!
Why? With a stillness that rivaled Lady Liberty’s, he pondered the question. Why should I pursue her?
I don’t know her from Adam. OR Eve!
And finally, he let it go. He would come to rue that.
‘Oh well, at least that settles it, Work ahoy! ‘ .
In a dim, unheeded recess of his mind, a singular bird still sang its cheerful dittany to its sad, lonely host. He would come to wish he’d listened.