“It’s not a good idea” Etekamba said shaking his head.
“But what is mine is yours also isn’t it” Edima suggested.
“I know, but, it’s not a good idea” Etekamba stood his ground.
“Ok, what’s not good about the idea?” Edima probed.
“Well you see, it would be nice for me to have a structure to my life first. The way my life is now, is neither here nor there. I am still trying to navigate my way around life” Etekamba tried to explain.
“I do understand that, that is why I am making this offer to sort of ease things out for you till you stabilize” Edima spoke in a softer tone.
“I am grateful for that, but I still don’t think it’s a good idea. I would suggest that we tarry a bit, when once I stabilize we can conclude arrangements” Etekamba stated.
In that J5 public transport bus that was travelling from Zamfara State in northern Nigeria to Lagos State in western Nigeria, Etekamba’s mind, played back the last meeting with Edima. Every single detail was recollected. The one that struck him the most were the words “In that case I will have to move on”.
“So this is how fickle life can be. When you think you are secure about a project, the carpet is swept off your feet and you crash land, Etekamba said aloud to himself.”
“Guy you dey alright” the passenger sitting next to Etekamba asked.
“Dude I am alright” He muttered. “Just that I have been swept off my feet.”
“Never mind, we have all been swept off. But hey listen life goes on buddy.”
“I know, I have to make it work for me.”
In his wildest dream, he never imagined that that part of his life will end in such a dramatic and eventful way. After travelling for several hundreds of kilometres to visit Edima, the love of his life, this was the outcome of his trip. Did he make a mistake to reject the offer? He thought so hard. Sleep took a flight from his body and bags grew overnight under his eyeballs.
“No, no , no, it’s not a good idea. I did the right thing” he tried to convince himself.
“Are you okay?” the gentleman sitting next to him asked again.
“Why, don’t I look okay?” he queried the guy.
“Well for the past twenty minutes you have been talking to yourself and I was just wondering if you were okay.”
He didn’t realize that he had been conversing with himself all along and all those who sat in the J5 bus near him overheard the conversation and kept wondering if they were safe with him inside the bus.
Eidma and Etekamba met at uni. They became close buddies and over time the relationship metamorphosed into something special. Their attachment towards each other grew in weight and volume. They wanted to cement it further by making commitments to themselves in the presence of witnesses. After graduation, they went to do their national service in different states. After the national service they reconvened at Zamfara State. The idea was to explore how to take things further in their relationship. Etekamba was making a few trips to Monrovia and Abidjan, making some new contacts and developing a business plan. Nothing had materialized yet. He didn’t have a house, he was perching with friends here and there. He didn’t have a stable source of income. What the future held in store for him, he did not know, but he was courageous enough to face it squarely. What the future held in store for them, none of them knew. They did not have any crystal glass to peer into the future. Would Etekamba be like the proverbial young man who went to visit the local fortune teller and the cowries were cast with the tortoise. If the tortoise went right, it meant bright future and if the tortoise went left, it meant bleak future. All eyes were fastened on the tortoise. As slow as ever the tortoise crawled as if to go right then turned and started heading left and the young man grabbed the tortoise and turned it around to head right. The fortune teller was shocked. He said in over his fifteen years of being a diviner, he has never seen such a scenario play out. Would Etekamba do the same, take his own destiny into his own hands now?
Edima on the other hand was a successful business lady. She had made quite a fortune from her dealings in the past. She was willing to lend Etekamba some money to enable him marry her but not money for Etekamba to invest in his business that would generate income to make Etekamba take care of their new home that they intended to build.
“No, no, no, no it’s not a good idea” Etekamba yelled in the J5 bus and the driver slowed the car to a halt.
Uwem Mbot Umana©2017