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The bus was frozen as the torchlight shone on the face of the driver revealing his somewhat tired and wrinkled face; the one with the torch had more fury in the face then the haggard looking driver. The torchlight moved from the driver to the next person as the man continued with his observation in silence. He had a bow and arrow strapped to his back, a gun dangling on the shoulders with a red piece tied around the head like the character of Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his action packed movie. Bala’s face was caged in fear that was exposed by the torchlight.
The man in a coarse voice asked, “wetin be ya name?”
“from” the man asked
The man gave him a stern look Clement was almost dying on his seat as he held with grip Bala’s hand.
The man cleared his voice with his scarlet red eyes, “You are one of dem?”
Bala shook the head like it was going to fall. He didn’t have a clue of the “dem”the man was referring to but he knew it was a case of a predator in search of a prey. And he knew for him not have his head on the stick he needed to deny the “dem”. One of the men standing with a pointed gun to the bus screamed,
The passengers and driver cried out each begging for his or her life. The man with the torchlight smiled and shook his head,
“Passengers” he said in Hausa he turned to the driver, “go!”
The bus driver sped off with trembling hands. Clement was sweating in the cold weather. The group were not thieves but vigilantes from the neighbouring village that tasked themselves with safeguarding that part at night from thieves and Fulani herdsmen who were known for killing and robbing.
Clement: “Bally, I almost fainted ooo!”
Bala: “Little things send jitters down your spine,” laughing.
Clement gaped at him,
Clement: “Bally, are you okay? You call that little?” Bala was laughing, “You aren’t well at all,” Bala couldn’t control himself, “Look at yourself who was almost turning into thin as the torchlight was shone on you!”
Bala catching his breathe ,
Bala: “But it was scary!”
Bala had spent two weeks in Diko already; he was lying on the bed. He couldn’t erase the memorable welcome he was given upon arrival. It was a very big party organized by the village elders and the Esu, the chief. Bala was treated like a king. The party was held in the village square where different groups came and honour him with gifts and dances. It was there he met Kyauta fondly known as “the village beauty”. She was one of the elders’ daughter called Musa. Musa was a very funny man but lost his humour whenever anyone mentioned or went close to his daughter. She was among the last group that danced in the welcome party. The group known as “Maiden”. This group comprised of young girls who had never felt the warmth of a man before.
Bala said to Clement,who was sitting next to him,
Bala: “Did you see her?”
Their eyes were focused on her as she wriggled her waist to the rhythm of the drum. Men cheered her especially.,
Clement: “Is that question? Who wouldn’t notice such a beauty?”
Bala: “Kauna!”he said unconsciously.
Clement: “Is that her name?”
Bala: “ Yes, that’s her name!”
Clement: “Oh my God!” he was looking still looking at it.
Bala’s eyes followed her after the dance until she had gotten to her seat. She caught him staring at her. She admired him too. It was obvious that Bala had fallen in love.
Days after he sent his younger sister to go and call Kyauta as he waited for her miles from her house. When she approached him the beat of his heart could be heard from afar. She had an innocent and shy look but her words were devoid of shyness. Her words made it obvious that she knew what she wanted.
He cleared his voice,
Bala: “ ehm I sent for you!” she dropped her face, he stuttered, “ehm, I haven’t been myself since the day of the party,” she smiled. The place they were had stones and trees. It was cozy and beautiful. There was an aura of romance in that place.
With her still dropped to the ground,
Bala cleared his throat again, he was losing his composure,
Bala: “ehm, I couldn’t get you off my mind. Just like the moon would bring gloom to the face of the earth. Your thought has that same effect on me.”
Kyauta: “Now, you want to make me run!”
Bala: “No don’t. I’m not here to flatter you but tell you that I have fallen for you. I love you and I want you to be mine. Someone I can be with when it rains, someone I can clung unto when life seems to choke me,someone I can share my gains and pains with, someone I can call my world, someone that would give me reasons to be happy in life!”
Kyauta: “That’s enough or would you rather have me disappear with these poetic lines of you?” she smiled.
Two days after, they started dating. They saw each other everyday. Young folks envied them. Musa was proud that the first graduate of the village wanted to marry his daughter.
Kyauta: “I want to go to the nursing school in Bida. I want to be a nurse,” she said to her lover when they were discussing about the future. Bala loved her the more, he had always said,
Bala: “I’d love to have a woman who has ambitions not one who would want to be just a house wife!”
Most of her mates saw Kyauta as being lazy and crazy. For at that time, a woman talking about a career other than being a good and dedicated house wife was seen as one romancing with insanity. But Kyuata was determined. She didn’t want to become a housewife,
Bala: “I promise to support your dreams, my angel, “he told her on the night they consummated their love.
It was cold on that day by the river bank. Bala had taught her how to kiss even though he wasn’t a good kisser himself.
Kyauta: “I want to give myself to you today!” she said as she unbuttoned her gown that was designed with buttons from the neck to the helm.
Bala: “We can wait until we are married!”
Kyuata: “I want to ,please!” she was standing bare before him.
He didn’t know when he drew her to himself. He could feel all the contours of her undefiled body beckoning on him. Aroused, his hands ran down her body. It was a temple; he wanted to worship in. they flung to the ground as she gripped his head and kissed him. Their raw breathe hitting against. It was like the smell of the sand when rain had just fallen. Their moaning was loud as it synchronizes with the rhythm produced by the wavering leaves, creeping insects and chirping birds. Their love making was poetry written by the hands of nature. She cried as he thrust, it was her first. He paused but she pushed his butt as he fell into her and she cried again but the cry had a mixture of sweetness and rawness. Moaned calling his, “Bally!”
From that day, her body had become sanctuary; he treated her with love and respect. She had given him a gift he’d always live to remember. He fell more in love with her.
Diana, her friend was envious of their relationship and vowed to also have Bala.
There was a knock on the door,
Bala sat up,
Bala: “who is that?”
Diana: “It is me, Diana!”
Bala: “Diana?” he was shocked what was she doing at his place, he thought. Turned the knob of the door and opened it, she stood smiling at him,
Diana:”won’t you ask me to come in?”
He flung the door opened. She was too comfortable as she was everywhere around the room. Talking, talking and talking. He wasn’t comfortable with the visit. Throughout the conversation he was absent minded. From afar he heard Kyauta’s voice when she was greeting his father who was resting at the front of the house. He smiled. But when Kyauta was about to open the door Diana jumped on Bala. With mouth opened,Kyauta stood with her legs planted to the ground and her hands glued to the door. She had just caught her love and her best friend about to make out. Tears rolled as she ran out. Bala didn’t know what to do as Diana fell to the bed giggling.
Question: Should Bala go after her? Would she believe him?
To be continued on 26th May
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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