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Bala went home distraught with Diana for being the serpent and himself for giving in into deceit that the forbidden apple was better; for it made him feel naked. Was that how he was going to lose the only girl he has ever loved? He thought. Clement was almost dozing off when he entered- it was the chirring of the door that woke him,
Clement: “You’re back?” he wiped his eyes with the back of his hands and yawned.
Bala bolted the door and flung himself on the bed. He sighed, “How did it go?” Clement added.
Bala shook his head,
Bala: “Noo! Awful is the word!”he heaved again.
Clement: “what exactly happened, man?” he sat up.
Bala swallowed gulp of spit made a grinding noise as he clear his throat, phlegm dropped in his tongue he stood up, opened the window, pouted his mouth and flung the phlegm out- it made a spewing noise. The window screeched as he dragged it close, he sat up on the bed,
Bala: “I don’t even know where to start from,” he gulped in spit again, “on my way to her place I was nervy but determined to tell the truth as you advised me to. So, uhm, I had rehearsed everything I needed to tell her,” Clement giggled, he smiled too and continued, “but when I saw her I couldn’t say a word…”
Clement: “… then how did it end up awful or terrible!” he interrupted.
Bala: “You’re faster then why shadow, Clay,” they laughed.
Clement: “well when God was giving patience I don’t know where I went to.”
Bala: “I know! You were in that stench of your home!” they giggled.
Bala: “The pit toilet in Teachers Training College, Sambisa!”
The cackling continued.
Clement: “You mean by place of inspiration?”
Bala shook his head,
Bala: “You need help!”
Clement: “I’m listening!”
Bala: “my original plan was to see her and tell her the truth immediately so as to get the burden off my chest but I didn’t know what held my mouth. Instead, I just sat down with her under the tree at the front of the house and we were talking about other things. She commended me that I did really well during the welcome ceremony…”
Clement: “Of a truth, I should give you kudos for that. You were sublime and poetic in your handling of things!”
You know? Women are kinda difficult to make happy. Do something she likes and you get points, the moment you do something she dislikes, your points are instantly subtracted. You don’t get any points for doing something she expects. Take for instance,
SIMPLE DUTIES – You make the bed. You get (+1) , You make the bed, but forget the decorative pillows. She gives (-3), You throw the bedspread over rumpled sheets, na (-5) be that. You go out to buy her what she wants (+5) in the rain. (+8) But return with beer. She knack you (-10)
FOR SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS – You stay by her side for the entire party, you get (+1), You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with an old school friend, she knack you(-2), You mention another bae name, she gives you -10, or you talk say another bae is a good dancer, she knack you -20.
FOR HER BIRTHDAY – You take her out to dinner. (+2), You take her out to dinner, and it’s not a sports bar. (+3), It’s a sports bar, it’s all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colors of your favorite team. (-10)
FOR A NIGHT OUT – You take her to a movie. (+1) , You take her to a movie she likes. (+5), You take her to a movie you hate. (+6), You take her to a movie you like. (-2),
DURING COMMUNICATION – When she wants to talk about a problem, you listen, displaying what looks like a concerned expression, you get (+2), You listen, for over 30 minutes. (+50), You listen for more than 30 minutes without looking at the TV. (+500) but She realizes this is because you have fallen asleep. She knack you (-4000)
Bala: “You’re just a case study!”
Clement: “I assume that’s how Diko people say thank you right?”
Bala: “You’re mocking your district headquarters by the time we stop you and your people from entering this village, attending our school and been attended to at the hospital you’d learn to respect your elders!”
They laughed again,
Clement: “Really? See if we are to go by history Knayigbana is way older than Diko!”
Bala: “And I suppose it is the district headquarters?”
Clement: “why are you talking as if you don’t know this story, eh?” Bala shrugged laughing.
Of a truth, Knayigbana was supposed to be the headquarters of Gurara district but Maigari of Diko knew was friends with some of the military officers and through that influence Diko was made the district head.
Bala: “Can I continue or you want to continue with your history classes?” Clement raised his hands up and smiled, “so we continued talking…”
Clement: “… did she tell if the captain administrator made advances towards her?”
Bala gaped at him,
Bala: “I swear one more interruption and I won’t say a word again!” he raised his hands up again and smiled, “ noo we didn’t. I felt stupid when she talked about how she can’t wait to become my wife and have two kids. I felt the coal burning me and I was about to leave I had to man up and tell her. All told her all that happened between Diana and I. I tried not to make any excuses or justifications for my stupidity.”
Clement nodded and sighed,
Clement: “So, what did she say?”
Bala shook his head,
Bala: “Nothing! She just left. I’ve just lost the love of my life for just one stupid mistake!” he bite his lower lips.
Clement heaved aloud,
Clement: “You have done the right thing. You don’t need to beat yourself. If she is truly for you, she’ll come around! When it comes to love it seems we are both unlucky.”
Bala: “Patience right?”
Clement: “she came to my house yesterday crying. You know I told you I have been avoiding her.”
Bala: “Yes she you did. What’s her problem? Isn’t she somebody’s wife?”
Clement: “Yes and no,” he sighed, “she came to the house crying at first I wanted to chase her away but she pleaded and the truth I’m still in love with her, “Bala sighed, “she said she had some explanations to give…”
Clement: “yes o. So I allowed her in and even gave her water to drink. Then came to bombshell, she told me that riffraff, scallywag, nincompoop, rapscallion that God forsaken dirty article of no commercial value rapped her!”
Bala: “what!?” Clement’s anger was very glaring, just like when he had heard the news, “Oh my God! Why do we have demons living with humans? That’s inhumane!”
Clement: “my point, exactly!”
Bala: “Oh poor girl!”
Clement: “and she told me that the pig beats her every now and then!”
Bala: “He deserves to live in the wild! Ah,ah,nga! Aii wo toh n’banbanchi lo n’ shaitan nu aii. I really don’t see the difference between him and the devil! Wo ba mi wa wu’zanu aii! Yes, he can kill. That’s the mindset of a terrorist!” he hissed.
The both remained silent for a while,
Bala: “what would you do?”
Clement: “I can’t bring her to live with me for it’s against the tradition. So, what I’ll do is that I’ll take her to live in my grandfather’s compound and take care of her then after delivery we would decide what to do.”
Bala: “sounds like an idea but won’t Henry make trouble?”
Clement: “Don’t worry about that one I can handle him!”
They stayed up late that night chatting most of their discussion was surrounded around the arrival of Captain Nwanze,
“I’m not a prophet of doom ooo but I smell bad omen. His coming to this district would be a disaster,” Clement said.
Bala: “Me too!”
Bala sat at the back seat. He was little late. The reverend had started preaching. The first person his eyes saw was Kyauta she sat down the bogus choir gown swallowed her and made her look smaller than she really looked.
His mind was wrapped around her thoughts. He was darting in and out of the sermon. The laughter of the congregation brought him out of his reverie. The reverend continued the joke,
Reverend: “it was a wedding ceremony of two people in love,” Bala pictured himself and Kyauta as the couple in love, “ when they were about to join them together the pastor announced before we proceed with this if you have any reason whatsoever for these people not become husband and wife come out now or forever remain silent. A woman walked towards them with her baby in the hand the church was very quiet. It was as if everyone had died. The bride collapsed as the woman came closer then she said to the pastor, sir, we cannot hear at the back can you speak louder?”
The whole church went into rounds of laughter. Bala giggled too, “that’s why I had to cancel that session in our weddings if there’s any complaint it should be made a week before the wedding and to the pastorate! Let’s be on your feet brethren!”
After the close of church, Bala didn’t leave immediately he waited. At the entrance of the church, he wanted to see Kyauta for she had been avoiding him since that night.
Bala: “Kyuata!” he ran to her she was with her fellow choir members. She wanted to snub him but on a second thought, she stopped, “I’ve been trying to see you for days now but you keep avoiding me. I know I’ve wronged you I am just pleading for a second chance. My life is miserable without you! I can’t sleep nor can I eat and my dedication at work isn’t as it used to be. My angel, I’m sorry!”
Kyauta stood emotionless; she didn’t look sad nor did she look happy; Bala thrown into the mud by her expressionless face. She listened to him as he kept talking and when he was done she asked,
Kyauta: “Are you done?”
He sighed and replied,
Kyauta: “Okay. Thank you!” she left.
What? He thought. She just left like that? He shook his head. Ashamed and broken was exactly how he felt. It was as if dirt had been poured on him in public. There was no one with them but he felt like as if the people were staring and talking about him as he mounted his bicycle and rode off.
Inside his room, he looked devastated. A plate of rice was staring at him and he was staring at it too. He took a spoon but as it was about entering his mouth, he lost appetite and poured it back into the plate. Kyauta had been standing at his door for a bout thirty minutes. She had thought about the whole thing and decided to make up with him,
Kyauta: “I can’t see myself falling in love with another person! I love Bala too much,” she whispered to herself.
Sighed and knocked on the door showing a great amount of impatience. Bala who that could be forit looked like the door was about to be broken. He rushed for the door and opening it shock lurched at him. Holding the door, he seemed to have lost his voice, he opened his mouth but the words refused to come out.
She wasn’t smiling,
Kyauta: “I have forgiven you not because of you but for our sake. We can’t ruin that special thing because of some wicked soul,” he smiled and rushed to hug her, “not yet I’m not asking you to apologize or telling you not cheat on me but just so you know if you ever make me cry I’ll kill you! I promise!”
Bala: “I wouldn’t dare!”
She smiled and hugged him.
Kyauta; “You know I love you right? Please don’t hurt me again!” she said as they were sitting arms in arms.
Bala: “I wouldn’t ever do that!”
They got talking and playing. It was as if they had been away for ages. His appetite came calling and together they feasted on it, feeding each other in turns.
There was a knock on the door. Kyauta who had jumped on her lover ranted,
Kyauta: “who is coming at this time now oo!” Bala laughed and stole a kiss from her sulking face.
Bala: “Leme get the door,please!” she sighed and threw herself on the bed.
He turned the knob of the door and opened it half- he was taken aback by what he heard,
“Bala, I’m pregnant for you!”she said.
He felt his heart in the mouth gave her a stern look and turned looked at Kyauta who was standing right behind him.
What was he to do? Pregnancy, how would Kyauta take it?
To be continued…
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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