Published on December 1st, 2011 | by thetoolsman13
43 Fafunwa: Episode 7: The Cooking Pot
Hey people, Toolsman here and I’m crazy excited because December is finally here and boy, are you guys going to be blown away when you see all that we have lined up for you. For starters, today on #43F, I and @Cikko welcome our first guest writer (yup, we’re going to be having them here). She’s the awesome @Ms_Dania and you can check out her amazing blog here. Please leave your comments below and if you haven’t subscribed to the site or you’re not following us on Twitter or you haven’t ‘liked’ us on Facebook, this will be a good time to do so because you will not want to miss any of our surprise posts. Cheers.
An uneasy calm rested on Fafunwa Street that Friday evening. It wasn’t the calm of sighs of relief after a long work week but the calm that preceded a brewing storm…
Ayanfe was bored. He had spent the day laboring at a building site with people who weren’t interested in any of his gist (the ungrateful bastards) and so he had not been able to offload. His ears and eyes were full and he needed to decongest them by engaging his mouth. He closed the door behind him, listened for any interesting sounds in his own compound and then set off at a leisurely pace at his discovery of none.
Meanwhile at No. 43…
Laide searched and searched but she could not find it. She was not crazy, she knew where she kept it: in between the pages of an old magazine she had taken from the salon. The magazine was still there but the money was gone. All 11,000 naira of it.
“Ha, oti o!” she put both hands on her head in exasperation, “It is not possible. Ye! I am finished.”
She proceeded to tear down every inch of her room. She just had to find it. At the end of each month since January, she had put aside one thousand naira so that she could buy gifts for her family at Christmas. December was finally here and now she couldn’t find it. Ah, I must find it.
“Laide ke?” Sparrow could not believe what he was hearing. Mozilla and Laide? “Sister Laide?”
Mozilla smiled and continued picking out imaginary food particles from his teeth. They were sitting on a bench outside the compound, enjoying the cool evening breeze. “Sister bawo? Omo forget oh, those days she was not a sister oh. She was…”
Their discussion was interrupted by the sound of the Landlord driving in with his rickety car. That car was a testimony to the ‘it’s all in the engine and not aesthetics theory’ because by looks alone, the car was a heap of scrap. He quickly stepped out of the car, marched straight to room eight and started banging on the door. This scene wasn’t entirely unfamiliar to Sparrow so he was eager to get back to hearing about the former Laide but Mozilla was curious.
“Mr Alabi! Mr Alabi! Come out here oh before I break down this door!” The Landlord’s growling had its usual effect and other occupants’ doors and windows began to crack open.
“I know say you dey house oh, so no tink say you go pretend like say you no dey!”
In the room, Mr. Alabi sighed heavily from his white plastic chair. He took one look at his wife who was helping Kunle with his nebulizer, her now almost permanent frown in place on her face. Anxiety sometimes brought on Kunle’s attacks and the second the Landlord started knocking, as if on cue, he started wheezing. Adetayo Alabi stood up and shuffled slowly to his clothes. He didn’t mean to be backward with his rent but Kunle’s medication was really taking its toll on their finances. He rifled through the pockets of his only ‘coat’ and extracted some money, their last, from it. He went past Mrs. Alabi who said nothing but looked at him with an even more worried expression. He took a deep breath and opened the door.
Laide could not believe this was happening to her. She had never lost anything in her life. Well, except her virginity; and Jesus had already forgiven her for it. Somebody must have broken into her house while she was away and stolen it. Was it Ibiyemi? But how could she have known where it was kept? Hmmm. There was only one way to find out. She took out her bible, got on her knees and began praying.
“Oh Jehovah! God of Elijah! The God that answereth by fire! Come down in your fire today oh Lord! Father Lord God! Whoever stole my money Father! Father expose them by your fire Father! Expose them! Expose them! Expose them!” She paused her vigorous head shaking when she heard the ruckus outside. She decided to go have a look; perhaps her God had sent down His fire early.
Na so. Err… I mean, yes. After all he’s the omnipotent abi. *snicker snicker*
Out in the yard, a crowd had gathered to watch the unfolding scene. Sparrow and Mozilla, Ifiok, Ifeanyi and Ibiyemi, Laide, Mr. Andrew, Doshima and oddly enough, Kevwe sporting his trademark dark shades…
“What is this? Ten thousand naira?! How many months rent are you owing that you’re giving me ten thousand naira ehn?!” With that, he threw the well worn notes on the floor; the erstwhile quiet landlord was really in his element this evening.
Laide looked at the 1000 naira notes scattered on the floor and something clicked in her head. “Heeee! Mr Alabi! So it is you that stole my money ehn?! I knew it! I knew my God would not fail to answer me!” Everyone’s attention shifted to Laide as she stepped forward. Mr Alabi’s face was wreathed in confusion. “Ehn sister Laide, what money? What are you talking about?!”
“Ah you cannot deny it oh! Don’t even try it”, Laide squealed. She was loving all the attention now. “I came back from work this evening and all the money I had been saving since January was gone just like that! I was just praying to my God to expose the thief now now! Haba Mr. Alabi!”
“But…but…” Mr Alabi’s sputtering reply was interrupted by Ayanfe’s laughter. He had seen a stage and the gods forbid he let it pass him by.
Everyone’s attention shifted to him.
“Ah Sister Laide, e ni suru. I know who took your money. Yes Mr. Alabi is owing rent and needs money to buy medicine for that his sick child but have you considered the others?”
They had formed a circle of sorts around him now and he pranced round that circle, always the performer. He stopped directly in front of Ifeanyi and gave him a piercing look, “Like this one? Is the cost of doing wedding too much for you? Or are you paying someone to keep quiet about you and Sp…” Ibiyemi cut him short before he could finish.
“Shut up dia, you foolish man, what do you know? You’re calling my husband and me thieves? Useless man!” If Ifeanyi wasn’t confused, he’d have noticed how Ibiyemi had turned ashen. And if she wasn’t so scared and jumpy she’d have realized that Ayanfe had been about to say Sparrow and not Eddy. Ayanfe laughed and moved on. That’s what you call killing two birds with one stone. This time, he stopped in front of Ifiok without saying a word.
“Wetin?” Ifiok was on the offensive.
“Ah, uncle Ifiok, I bin hear when that your aunty frien dey ask you for money for brazillian hair and Christmas shopping oh”, Doshima piped up.
“My friend will you sharrap ya mouth there! And so what? Una no go look Sparrow or that him new friend wey just come. Na honest person like me you wan call tif?!”
Sparrow squirmed as everyone’s attention shifted to his face. Instinctively, he tried to distract: “Una hear say Ifiok don dey fuck?” The laughing response from most of the crowd wasn’t enough to take the attention of him though.
However, his mind went back to the conversation he’d had with Mozilla just that morning. “Mehn, Mozilla baba, I no fit raise the money oh.”
“Ah? That one mean say you never ready na. Why you com dey waste my time? Oya padi mi, you be my main man so make I just help you. Raise half, I go raise you the other half then you go pay me back when the maga drop. You fit raise half?”
Mozilla’s sharp jab into his side brought him back to the present. “E be like say all of una don dey mad for this yard abi? How you go call a whole chiaman like me tif? Which time I dey smoke my igbo finish come get time tiff? Abeg commot for my front joo. Why you no suspect Kevwe ehn? Hin dey always move around for night sef, na so I see am the other night…” Once again, everyone’s attention shifted to Kevwe…or rather the spot where he was standing earlier. Kevwe had somehow disappeared.
We need to get Kevwe a cape yo! More class for the getaway…
Laide let out a piercing scream that matched the wailing of sirens approaching. She began threatening to call down fire and brimstone on Kevwe or whoever stole her money but she was cut short as the police van screeched to a halt right in front of the yard and the mobile police men jumped out toting guns.
“This na number 43 Fafunwa? Who be…”