Published on February 9th, 2012 | by thetoolsman11
43 Fafunwa: Episode 12: Valentine’s Day Blues
No two weekends at 43 Fafunwa were ever the same. There was always more than enough drama to go round the eight rooms in the building. Today being the first Saturday of the month and consequently, a sanitation Saturday wasn’t going to be any different.
Mr. Andrew’s eyes fluttered and he finally opened them to see his wife in one corner of their over-crowded room, dressing up and getting ready to leave. He quietly checked his classic Seiko wristwatch, a war gift he had gotten from a man whose life he saved, during the civil war. It was just a few minutes after six in the morning, he would soon have to go round all the rooms to wake up everyone for sanitation and today was even going to be a special sanitation so he wondered where his wife was rushing out to.
“Wetini be this one now? Where are you going to?”
Madam Wangerr was not startled. She was probably expecting her husband to wake up while she tried to maneuver herself through the sea of flesh that was made up of her children, sleeping on the floor of their mildly laminated room.
“I have a meeting.”
Her response was not only short; it had that tone of finality to it and being the man he was, Mr. Andrew would probably not have pushed further if today wasn’t a ‘special’ day. His remembered his secret conversation with Ifiok and the Landlord the night before. The man had pleaded with them (Yes, he pleaded) to ensure everyone was in and that everyone participated in the cleaning of the compound for he had some ‘special’ visitors coming to take a look at the house.
“We geti meeting with Landlord today. Your meeting musti wait till after environmental.”
Madam Wangerr’s response was a short sarcastic laugh. After which she picked up her bag, opened the door and walked out of the room. Mr. Andrew shook his head and made to pick his transistor radio. Neither her nor his wife had realized their battle ship was short of one soldier.
Somewhere close to a battlefield not so far away…
‘I…You…You know I love you… and I can’t wait for our Valentines date… ‘
No, let me not be too forward, Doshima thought to herself as she deleted the words she had been typing out in a text message on her fathers phone. She was hiding away by the toilet at the back of the compound and she knew she had to be faster for her father would soon go around waking up all the other tenants for sanitation. She reread what she had typed once again:
Baby, It has happened o. I missed my period. I warned you about this but you said I should trust you. Now that Ifeanyi is not around, what will I do? Anyway, I trust you and you know I love you and I cant wait for our Valentines date. I’m sure you will handle everything.
She scrolled through the scanty names on her father’s phone book. It was almost as if he only knew one person per alphabet. The first time she had stolen his phone and realized he had her baby’s number saved on it, she was scared. Not that it was strange, afterall, they were co-tenants but for some reason she just—
“Na who be that?”
Sparrow’s question startled Doshima so much, she dropped the phone.
“Omo soja, you no go go wake your fada make we come do wetin we wan do. Abeg some of us get appointment o.”
With that Sparrow walked into the toilet, shut the door and lit his super-sized jumbo. Doshima picked up the phone and didn’t know how to react to the message that welcomed her…
Message sent to Ifiok.
Ibiyemi rolled around restlessly on the bed. She hadn’t had a lot of sleep. She was up most of the night wondering what had taken over Eddy’s mind. Three times now, he had rejected her offer to come and sleep over in her room. Ifeanyi’s mishap had been both a blessing and curse. Blessing because he was still on admission at the hospital but curse because her lover had so far passed on their God-given opportunity. She knew. She just knew it had something to do with that Sister Laide but she just didn’t know what or how. One thing was for sure, she wasn’t going to give up so easily.
The text message tone woke Ifiok. He had set an alarm for 6:30 so could at least tidy himself up before conducting the sanitation with Mr. Andrew but this message just had to wake him before then.
Eddy let out a sound that was a cross between snoring and sniffing. Stupid phone, he thought to himself, as he prayed his brother hadn’t noticed him diving onto his mat on the floor. He slowly turned away from his brother’s bed and squeezed the money in his hands into his pocket. He did a mental calculation. That’s almost 12k. Three thousand more and he would have more than enough to spoil Laide beyond her wildest imagination on Valentines Day. As for Ibiyemi, if she is expecting anything from him, she’s definitely sitting on a loooong thing.
Ifiok’s exclamation rang through the walls of the building and met with the worried expression on Mr. Alabi’s face as he watched his wife sitting at a corner of their room looking into space. She had been like this since the day they almost lost Kunle. Nothing seemed to be able to console her. Not even the news of his promotion at work. He was worried and knew he had to do something urgently. Maybe Valentines day would make up a good excuse for him to treat her. They had not celebrated their love in a very long time, not since things got really bad for them. But with his new promotion, he could afford to pay their rent, the children’s school fees and still have a little to spoil his wife with. He knew what to do. He would seek advice from Mr. Andrew; after all he had somehow managed to keep his wife and marriage happy for so many years.
And in room one…
It was 7am, time for sanitation. Sister Laide had been awake since six cleaning her room and doing her devotion. There was a noticeable vivaciousness about her nowadays and she smiled to herself as thoughts of her angel, Eddy flashed through her mind. Her mood got dampened almost immediately as she realized she still didn’t know what to get him for Valentines Day. She had been so out of touch with love and life that she didn’t realize she hadn’t celebrated the day with anyone since Morufu.
Morufu. Theirs was true love. She knew this because her heart still skipped when she saw him the other day. He had grown in a handsome young man just like she thought he would but he was different. It was as if he was ashamed of himself or something. She couldn’t figure it out during their short conversation. If only things had worked out as they had planned – if only. She hoped someday, what she has with Eddy would also become true love.
*Gbagaun *Gbagaun *Gbagaun !!!
“Wake upi! Wake upi! Time for enviro…time for enviro…!!!”
The loud ringing noise from Mr. Andrew vibrated through the house. One by one, the doors began to open. As Mr. Andrew got to the front of Ifiok’s room, he was completely shocked as Ifiok grabbed him and shoved him into his room.
“Old soldier, it has happened o. You have killed me.”
At the entrance to the building, Sister Laide also got an early shock when she was almost knocked down by Mozilla who had been running into the building.