Am dead broke. Too broke rather. I can’t get things which normally I would and I am down on credit with the lady that sells card. So I change route whenever I go home to avoid her. I avoid also the little boys along the road, dust clogging their face, Their head twisted in a very odd fashion; by sun, by scratching their head in an attempt to fashion out new ways to beg for money. From asking for money to buy pure water, to asking for money to by soap -that, they last bathed since two years ago. This, they don’t need to explain, it is obvious, clearly written on their broken lips. Lastly I avoid my self. I run from being alone. I run from the voices in my head. Always, the whisper, gently cooing. “you have run a good grace, no one can say you didn’t try, join your brothers, join the street. You have run a good race” My stomach tighten like someone who takes alcohol without eating. I run out, I run out from myself.
See, I have been single for as long as I can remember. I can’t think of having a girl-friend now, is like choosing a more painful way to commit suicide -this is not because; girls demand a lot, nor was I unfortunate to end up with an expensive kinda girl. This is me unable to make the person I truly love, happy. Because after the steady calling -which you may not keep up after two weeks, because the little 200Naira recharge cards you would send, the dates you would go, after well searched out cheap restaurants would wane and there are just guys, good enough and rich enough already knocking at her door. And if you were her, you would leave you.
Am in a Passat now. Squeezed between five people. My phone rings, they passengers look my way. I know there’s no way I can answer the call without elbowing someone. So I let it ring on, perhaps is no other person than “5549” an MTN automated ring back service. I ignore it and listen to the underbelly of the car scraping the tarmac -like a human tapping out, giving up under the weight of living. The driver speeds on, unconcerned. The sun floods through the window highlighting my face -a golden hue soft on my face, as if urging me, silently whispering; “if you don’t break today, you won’t break tomorrow”