Monday, July 1, 2013
The 400-Word Story: The Beach Man #10
When I wake up, I find myself still sitting on the chair in my room. I grab the towel beside me and wipe my face, trying to recall the dream I just had. Few feet away from me, Chika folds the last of my clothing and slips it into my backpack. She zips up it and looks at me. “I’m done. Emeka’s waiting for us at the motor park.”
I shake my head. “I told you I’m going nowhere.”
She frowns. “See, our lives are better than this NYSC. Two corpers left this morning. Everybody knows this place isn’t safe anymore. Please brush your teeth and let’s leave, okay?”
I look away, and then she walks over to me after a moment of silence. She begins to say something, but I cut her off.
“Leave me alone! Why do you even care now? Go away. I’m not coming with you.”
I expect her to walk away, but she just looks at me and wipes the tears flowing down my cheeks. Then she gently pulls me up and hugs me. “I’m very sorry. I wish I’d listened to you when you first told me about the dreams. Please let’s—”
Everything comes back to me and my body stiffens against hers.
She steps backward. “What’s wrong?”
“Call Emeka. Tell him to come back. We’re not leaving.”
“We’ll die if we try to leave.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The dream I just had. The beach man was the bus driver. He plunged the vehicle into a river, and we all drowned.”
Chika opens her mouth to say something, but then thinks better of it and closes it.
“You’re thinking, what if you leave alone with Emeka?” I say. “Not a good idea.”
She stares guiltily at the floor for a while, then looks up at me. “So what do we do now?”
“I’ll go to the spiritualist place and check around. I need to know who Shola is.”
“I’ll go with you.”
“No, you’ll stay here with—”
Someone knocks on the door, and Chika crosses the room to open it before I can stop her. My stomach drops when I see the woman by the door: heavyset, dark chocolate skin, piercing eyes—a replica of the spiritualist.
“Hello, I’m Shola Adeniyi,” she says, looking at me, and then as if noticing my shock, she adds, “Folakemi’s twin sister.”
Footnote: This is the tenth episode of The Beach Man, a 400-Word Blog Series.
*Click HERE for the next episode.
NYSC: National Youth Service Corps. A one-year national service in Nigeria for graduates, aimed to bring about unity in the country and to help youths appreciate other ethnic groups
Corpers: Popular name for graduates working under the National Service scheme, although an appropriate term is “Youth Corps member.”
Thanks for reading! And stay tuned for the eleventh episode next Monday.