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Bad Market – Episode 4

“There has to be a mistake somewhere- call it a case of mistaken identity. This Alhaji has no idea of my personality. His mind must really be playing deadly tricks on him. I can be accused of many things but definitely not sleeping with another man’s wife.”

I couldn’t even woo a girl successfully, how much more taking her to bed. So whatever was behind Alhaji’s accusation had to be the work of my detractors

To make matters worse, the lady in question couldn’t even mutter a word. Her lips moved but they couldn’t make out words. Everyone present could tell from Hajia’s inactions that I was probably guilty of the crime I had been accused of by Alhaji Kazeem.”

“Say something Hajia!” I bellowed in desperation tingled with fear of what may happen next if the devil decides that Alhaji Kazeem would now be his mercenary on earth.

Hajia Fadiga stole a quick glance at me from her position on the ground just behind my Dad. She appeared lost and helpless. The innocence that adorned her pretty face broke my heart into several pieces and at that moment I wished the allegations were true. The stunningly beautiful young Fulani lady was a worthy course to be beheaded for. That was my foolish alter ego speaking.

In sha Allah I will behead someone if that male prostitute doesn’t come out now and answer for his crimes,” Alhaji menacing frame coupled with the cutlass he wouldn’t stop brandishing in mid-air sent jitters down my spine for the umpteenth time.

“What’s wrong with this overgrown teblik wearing baby?” I asked under my breath. Though I was outside our flat, the Alhaji still spoke like the person he was after was still hiding somewhere indoors

“Ehn! Ehn! Alhaji please don’t commit murder in my compound. I’m sure there is an explanation to this,” my dad was getting more apprehensive as the seconds ticked away.

“Young man you had better have an explanation to this o! When I said go get yourself a girlfriend I didn’t mean someone else’s wife” my mum’s comment as usual didn’t even make my situation any better.

“What is his business in this matter?” Alhaji Kazeem turned his attention to my mum.

“But you just accused him of sleeping with your yarinya,” mum responded.

“Who accused who? What’s my business with this one?” Alhaji Kazeem retorted.

The Alhaji’s admission confused everyone who had been following the drama aside Hajia Fadiga.

“Who are we really talking about here?” It was Mr. Lasetta’s turn to lend his voice to the unfolding drama

“I said Dele! Baba landlord’s other son”

“But his name is not Dele. Alhaji, you are referring to Timi” Mr. Lasetta added.

“That useless one!”

“Alhaji my son is not useless o!” My mum protested.

“Woman do you think I’m playing here or you don’t know the gravity of what your son did with my wife – the wife of an Alhaji” Alhaji charged forward in my mum’s direction

“Baba Landlord, have I not paid my rent in full? And even if I didn’t pay in full, was there any part in the lease agreement where it was stated that I will be paying my rent with my wife?” Alhaji spoke painstakingly

“Haba Alhaji don’t jump into conclusions naa. I’m sure it is only a misunderstanding because I’m not sure your wife will stoop that low to hang out with my son not to talk of sleeping with the misfit…” my dad tried to pacify him yet again.

My Dad had not even completed his speech when we heard the gate bang severally. I focused my attention towards the entrance to our compound since I was standing almost adjacent our gate

Talk of the devil! Timi walked into the compound whilst raining abuses on the gate man for opening the gate later than expected. The way he walked in briskly, I was certain he had no inkling of the danger that lay in wait for him.

Though I felt relief after being left off the hook and reassured I wasn’t the accused Alhaji spoke of, I couldn’t imagine it that Timii could possibly be having an affair with the pretty Fulani wife of Alhaji Kazeem. It just didn’t click. But then, the mysteries of this world are endless. If an illiterate houseboy can be caught sleeping with his boss’s elegant wife then Timi and Hajia Fadiga’s unholy alliance could really have been true.

Come to think of it, I once overheard Timi’s ex-girlfriend accuse him of being a Yoruba demon, so what is there to even dispute. Over the years, Timi’s prowess with ladies had been indomitable. Sometimes I wondered what the ladies saw in him.

Handsomeness was not akin to Timi like it was with me and to make matters worse, he was not so far away from the ground, though he was well built. Albeit the dude had too much sauce in him with his ways and a track record that lived with him many years after graduating from secondary school

I remember those days in secondary school, whilst I was winning laurels in academics, my brother was making our family proud in sports. Timi was my alma mater’s sprints champion in the 100 metres and 200 metres races for three consecutive years and to think he first became a champion while just a 14 year old in Junior secondary school three….

He would however lose the 100 metres title to his class mate and best friend – Jelili in his final year in school, not because he was rightfully beaten on the tracks but because he was bribed to lose the race as we would later find out. And as fate will have it, Jelili went on to win the 200 metres senior boys final after Timi was disqualified for two false starts.

That meant my brother ended his secondary school without a medal as he couldn’t even compete in the 4 x 100 metres final in his position as the team’s anchor having fallen out with his housemaster minutes before the race.

My Brother was not the only popular one in school, as head boy of Ojota Comprehensive High School during my SS3 days, I was also popular albeit I was not a favourite among the students, not even the girls. I was a spineless head-boy who was often referred to as a nerd. Timi once said Ojota High School lost its prestige and fame the moment I was made head boy. I couldn’t agree less.

Anyway, till date Timi remains the fastest runner to come out of Ojota Comprehensive High School. Yet, athletics was not the the only sports Timi took part in, he was also in our school’s football team. In fact he was the most skillful player back then and arguably the most popular student in Ojota Comprehensive High School during his reign. The only reason my brother wasn’t made sport’s prefect was his unscrupulous behavior and bad academic record. Also, the school Principal never really liked him.

So I would say, if that’s all it takes to be a ladies man then my brother was definitely one.

As my brother’s life flashed before me momentarily, so did Alhaji’s sharp cutlass he wouldn’t stop brandishing flash before my very eyes. He had advanced towards me while my mind raced to places that had no relationship with the ugly situation on ground but attempted to give answers to the puzzle of Timi’s suspected relationship with Alhaji’s pretty Fulani wife.

If I was in good terms with Timi I would have warned him of the danger lurking in the corner. I still had scores to settle with him.

“What is this one doing outside looking like the statue of liberty the French gifted the Americans” Wetin happen?” He spoke in his usual idiosyncratic manner on sighting me.

“Is that the bastard?” Alhaji Kazeem thundered immediately he heard my brother’s voice

“Timi if you like yourself just return to where you are coming from o!” Mum warned on sighting his son.

“Mummy for what now? What have I done?” Timi who was still oblivious of what was really going on advanced forward.

“What haven’t you done? Omo komo (useless child),” dad interjected. By this time, Alhaji was moving menacingly towards his unsuspecting victim with his cutlass firmly in his right hand. He is immediately pursued by Ekene while Mr. Lasetta followed closely.

Timi ran like a deer being chased by a pack of wolves. He didn’t even know why he was running. The only information his brain processed at the time was his father’s tenant chasing him with a cutlass like a badoo member. Dad and mum continued screaming at the top of their voice in our local dialect

“Alhaji take it easy o! Don’t commit murder o! At least wait to confirm first naa. Stop acting erratic,” mum had become helpless. Alhaji was now hot on Timi’s heels as they both ran through the compound like two playful kids

“Alhaji what is even your proof that such happened abi Hajia did you tell him anything?” I asked my crush. I had to act like I was bothered too, at least we are brothers

“No sir! I haven’t known any other man asides my husband,” Alhaji stopped running for a moment. He was panting heavily as he gave his wife a very mean look from where he was at the centre of the compound

“And you are still lying. Walai! May Allah envelope your body with incurable madness” Alhaji cursed furiously

“Ahh!” My parents exclaimed. He charged towards his wife who had lost her human shield. The young woman took flight immediately. She ran towards Mr. Lasetta’s house as Ekene tried to hold Alhaji down.

On the other hand, Timi had to run out of his hiding place which coincidentally was the same direction Hajia Fadiga was headed. The die was cast!

“You are the imbecile that has been sleeping with my wife” Alhaji  bloodshot eyes glanced at Timi, stopping him on his tracks. Alhaji immediately stopped chasing his wife to renew his hot chase of Timi

“Which wife?” Timi still had time to answer his assailant as he made for the gate. I could swear my brother ran faster than Usain Bolt because I couldn’t even spot him anymore. He raced past the gate man who had left his duty post to get first-hand insight into the drama that had ensued in the compound

Before Alhaji could get to Timi and even before every other person that ran after them could hold Alhaji down, Timi had leaped over the fence.

He was out safe and sound.

 

Bad Market continues next week…

 

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