Dear Olokpa Chapman,
I must tell you this on time because I fear that what I witnessed may cost my life. I saw Baba Soji burn down Mr Tanko’s warehouse. I am very certain it was him. I know you must be thinking I am mistaken but I am not. This fila is an evidence.
He looked over the letter again to ensure everything was correctly written. He then cocked the ink his missionary friend left him before returning to Britain and dropped the fountain pen on the bed. As he heard his wife calling his name, he folded the paper neatly with the fila inside and kept it under the mattress he and Mama Mide shared. He would give it to Olokpa Chapman when he arrives from Britain.
The strong but pleasant wind made him open his eyes and then he noticed the shadows of the palm tree his father had planted was cast to the west. With haste he stood and ran to the back of the house and picked a jar. Lifting its lid to check its content the stench of locust beans greeted his nose. In irritation he slammed it and picked the smaller jar, relieved it was lighter he sighed. He shouted his exit to anyone who cared to listen.
Opening his mouth a little he tried singing but the sound that came out has not yet been discovered. Defeated he accepted music was not his calling. Adjusting the jar to balance properly on his head, he heard a feminine voice cry out for help. Unsure of what he heard he stopped in his tracks to listen carefully to where it came from and heard nothing again. He remembered his mother telling him to clean his ears with the wool she tied to the match sticks but he refused, now he was hearing strange things. He continued walking but was careful in case he really heard someone shout.
From rock to rock he jumped, carrying the jar steadily.
“The sore won’t hurt too much if you just comply. You are so stubborn.” A masculine voice shouted then a sob followed.
Now he was sure he heard something. Mide dropped the jar quietly on a smooth flat rock and crouched in tall grasses. He crept slowly and lowly so as not to be seen.
“Baba Soji I can’t do this….it’s against our culture and my personal principles. I can’t and if you do what you just did again I would shout louder than before.” Tinuke said in between sobs.
‘I am not scared of your shouts or screams because no one can hear you. I have talked with you and pleaded with you but you show yourself as too big. I could have given you everything.” Then there was a long silence as if the old man was thinking of the next thing to say.
“I am going to the village square to announce that this path to the stream is unsafe, that way you won’t be rescued. You are very well informed that I am an influential man, the village listens to me.” He turned around and looked directly at where Mide was hiding. Fear gripped Mide but it disappeared as Baba Soji’s focus shifted to the sound of two birds trying to mate. Baba Soji laughed hysterically. He looked at the helpless child and laughed the more.
“My beautiful Tinuke,” he said with a fake smile while removing a handkerchief from his pocket. He tied it around her mouth. “This way you can shout and no one at all will hear you.” With his left hand he wiped her tears and began tracing the hem of the wrapper tied on her chest. Frantically, she hit his thigh with her feet making the old man fall. In anger he stood and struck her across the face causing her to moan in pain. Mide closed his eyes in pain, he had admired Tinuke and was still planning to tell her about his teenage love for her not until he heard she was missing. Everyone loved ‘Tinu’ as she was mostly called. He knew he was not the only one who wanted Tinu but he didn’t know his rival was Baba Soji. Tears welled up in his eyes as he watched his Tinu moan and cry. If he ran to the village square announcing Tinu was kidnapped by Baba Soji no one will believe him, no one.
End of Part One.
Favour Olasupo is a part of our Teens Book club and has incredible writing skills with very vivid imagination. She and many of our members will be sharing stories and poetry on this page. Watch this space for the continuation of this story. Please post a comment to share your thoughts and questions.