So in honour of Short Story Day, I decided to scribble something that had been clawing at my brain down. The story is actually imperfect, wrote it on the bus, but I’d appreciate comments on the quality and maybe a little discussion around some of the issues raised.
Your alarm rings. 3:30 am. It is time. You have effectively planned this surprise such that it would be fresh enough for your parents. Their flight from New York is scheduled to land Lagos at 4am. It would take them an hour to get to your family’s Lekki mansion. By 5, the surprise would be perfect. Audu, the maiguard is definitely still asleep and the neighbours are still clinging to whatever precious hours of sleep they have left.
You turn to your right, pick your towel. Everything had been properly laid out yesterday. You learnt how to prepare for the next day from those 4 weeks of counselling you took at uni. It was your first and only girlfriend- Jane who had recommended you see a counsellor. Your erratic behaviour was worrying her. After four weeks of counselling, the counsellor told you you were depressed and showing signs of anxiety disorder. She recommended that you see a better qualified therapist. You laughed.
3:45, you get up and walk somberly to the bathroom. The same manner in which you walked to your parent’s room the night you went to ask them for money, as you could not afford to pay for a specialist. Your father laughed and said:
“I’m a trained medical professional, Bobby; you can’t swindle me out of my money. If you’re depressed, I’d see the signs and tell you myself. You have nothing, absolutely nothing to be depressed about. Your family’s amazing, we support you, we provide for you. What of those orphans under the bridge. As for your claims of anxiety, you’ve always been very shy. Don’t worry, as soon as you get out of uni, I would personally work on that. Bobby, I was once a rascal like you oh. You can’t cheat a cheat.”
Your mum just looked at you and said “I’m going for Power must change hands tomorrow, come with me, you’ll be delivered”
Its not like you hadn’t expected it but it had hit you with so much venom, you never recovered from that blow.
4:10, that was a long shower. You have to ensure that every part of your body is clean and sparkling for the surprise. Jane had once told you she couldn’t hug you because you smelled after you gave her a gift on a birthday. None of that would be happening today.
4:15. You massage your skin with your mum’s strawberry body butter, the one she guarded like a hawk. *shrug* today is special. You wear the specially selected outfit for today- crisp white shirt, black trousers and the black skinny tie Jane bought you years ago that you simply couldn’t let go of. Baba Bobby would be proud, you were going to become a lawyer anyways.
4:30. Time is flying, but you are on schedule. You sit and write the note that would accompany the surprise. You explain to everyone why you are getting them this surprise, especially your friends who have played therapist one too many times; and Jane. Jane who had drawn your eyes to the problem, Jane who you had broken up with because she truly, truly deserved better.
4:42. Three minutes more. You place the stool in the appropriate place, step on it and put your neck through the loop in the rope. Yeah, none of that overdosing or bleeding for you. You can not take chances.
4:45. Your alarm rings. Game time. You kick the stool.
5:00am. You hear the cock crow. You smile through the pain. You breathe one last heavy breath.
5:35. Mr. and Mrs. Odufale find their surprise.