During one of the lockdown evenings, I sat under a tree; taking the cool breeze of the day–akin to the biblical account of Prophet Elijah. In that secluded position of mine, I was drowned in thought; trying to figure out means of surviving the lockdown. My wild thoughts never yielded to a tangible solution. My permutations were a total fiasco and all strategies I managed to map out were dependent on mobility.

Goooooooooosh! I exclaimed, as the word lockdown–flashed.
The little energy reserve I had, was wasted on a fruitless venture. Within minutes, my stomach started rumbling: heralding hunger. I tried forcing myself to sleep, as my own way of shooing off hunger. The more I tried, the more the hunger pummeled the walls of my stomach, in similitude to the oscillation of an automobile’s piston, enclosed in its cylinder. Hunger was actually saluting me, and asking where my God was. I whispered to myself in pidgin and said: Victor, if you no do something now, something go do you oh. Person wey don faint before, no be stranger to death.

Gradually, I started having sight of the tree revolving on its root. The bright atmosphere turned cloudy to my eyes, while my legs quivered. I staggered down to the kitchen with my last drop of blood in circulation, to devour the stale portion of rice remaining. Though the rice could be carefully numbered; it became my saving grace. Pulling out a squeezed 200 Naira note from my pocket while in the kitchen, became a moment of serendipity for me. Without thinking twice, I headed to a grocery store, for groceries to top up my belly. After regaining full consciousness, it dawned on me that my experience under the tree was illusive, spurred by the torment of hunger. Swiftly, I returned under the tree to device feasible plans to surmount my challenges.

While on my second mission journey, I constructed a comfortable platform to sit using choicest stones; so as to be well composed in thought. At exactly 5:55 P.M, my phone beeped for a message receive. I sluggishly reached out for the phone in that favored pocket of mine, but grimaced on seeing the message sender. It was from NCDC their daily covid-19 safety measures– at that ungodly hour.

I yelled in my pidgin accent: yeye people, una sabi put salt for wound. I cemented my words with a hiss and diverted attention to unread messages. After a while, I walked briskly into my apartment, marrying my phone on my bed.

I smiled as I swiped from one picture to another. It was a feeling of nostalgia when I remembered the events that birthed the pictures. I viewed the whole pictures in the gallery, and decided to catch fun using the entertainment applications I had earlier downloaded. None of the applications sparked my interest that moment. In other to kill time, I succumbed to the temptation of burning my data subscription. As I swiped the data button on, suddenly, message notifications from several social media platforms I had subscribed to, flooded my phone. Each platform had its unique message notification tone. My ears stood erect to the mix of alert tones. WhatsApp messages tickled my fancy. I navigated from one status update to another

Samuel Ajayi’s status caught my attention. Sam, as I often refer to him, is an old time friend of mine, dating back to my national service days in Adamawa State. He is jovial in nature, but lacks the capacity to maintain his demeanor when hungry, broke, or snubbed by ladies. Sam, a gangly tech savvy, had a flat behind and well calculated frontage; having visible line of symmetry, accurately partitioning his chest from his stomach in what he termed as “two packs”. He complemented his dark complexion and slightly bulging eyes with his loquacious tenacity. He speaks in clear terms and does not pander to the confusion of metaphors, in communication with others.

We threw banters at each other while taking retrospection to our well spent service year. I gave Sam the leverage to express himself fully as we chatted. My main intention was obvious: I wanted him to be in a relaxed mode, without suspicions, as I cunningly aimed at extracting details of one of his much flamboyant status update. I was well headed on a mission of betraying Sam, by laying hold of his motormouthed personality
In that alluring status of Sam, he had for the first time, chosen words to shower a lady with encomium; who I guessed, must have jilted him. This singular broken protocol of his, endeared me to his WhatsApp status. For Sam to have gone out of his shells to eulogize a lady into heavens, meant that she is a rare gem. Without reservations, he carelessly gave me details of the girl.

I was most ecstatic when Sam told me that Grace takes blogging and creative writing as her alter ego. Those credentials of hers, meshed with my own drives. Marger don hammer was what I muttered as I chuckled. After about two hours of chat, I noticed that: feedbacks from Sam weren’t as frequent as the onset. It was a clear indication that he was either tired of chatting or attending to other needs. I wished him goodnight and logged off.

That night, I wondered in wild imagination of Grace. I literally was picturing her as a queen, glowing in royalty. Her credentials wowed me. Each attribute of hers, flashing through my mind; presented a scene of phantasmagoria. Puzzled as I was, I asked myself if I had the potentials to match my valorized status of Grace. My consolidation was that: women are leaving as subservient in a man’s world. If only I had supernatural might, that night would have automatically been transformed to daytime because I wanted to begin my envisaged journey with Grace. As I laid to sleep, I remembered that I didn’t request from Sam, Grace’s mobile contact. The thought of how to get started with her was a concern to me, as I gave up to sleep.

I woke up the next morning, full of vigor and optimism about the day. Shortly after doing my prayers and devotion, I stretched out for my phone, placed on the reading table beside the bed. I was surprised to have seen Sam’s message. The content was heartwarming. He tendered Grace’s mobile and social media contacts.

The crème de la crème of the message was that: I should be expectant of a call or message from Grace– later in the day. I basked in euphoria, and gave Sam a phone call. He had gone as far as giving her juicy details about me: my love for creative writing, my expertise in guest posting, my love for sustainable developments, and my drive for youth inclusion in democracy et all. I well affirmed that my selling points, actually attracted Grace towards me.

To be continued…

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