Tangles: Premiere!

When I first thought to write this, I was halfway between my bunk at Camp and the nearest uhm..toilet. It took me a while, but I finally put pen to paper, and here we are. It is a bit out of my style to write something like this, but I hope we would love it, as usual. If not, okpe na-khin, that’s all that matters!

So, uhm..welcome to the first episode of ‘Tangles – a tale of twisted emotions’



Camp Twa, Bonny.

The sound of the bugle tore through the eearly morning air like the howling of a hungry banshee, and in the next three seconds the entire hostel erupted in a new brand of a chaos.

Tony got up lazily from his bunk. He had been catching a short nap and the sound of the bugle piercing through his subconscious just as he was about to kiss Kelly Rowland was nothing short of untimely. Basically, he wasn’t too pleased.

Swinging his legs over the bunk, he slipped stockinged feet into white tennis shoes and began to lace. He was already dressed in whites; white t-shirt and shorts and around his waist was a black fanny pack. Through with the lacing, he reached up and tapped his bunkmate in the bed above him.

“Hey Alaska! They don blow beagul oh!” he said.

“Make dem go fuck,” the man known as Alaska murmured, going back to sleep.

Tony just smiled. Walking out of his room, which he shared with five other men, the young man slipped a tag over his head and checked the luminous dial of his G-shock. The time was 5:00am.

All through the hostel, men were rushing about in various forms of undress. Some were already on their way out, haven woken and dressed earlier, like Tony. Making his way through two men arguing over a bucket, while another man held his penis and watched, Tony walked out the hostel and started making his way to the parade ground.

It was going to be a wonderful day.

Akoka, Lagos.

The glass shattered violently, spilling all the contents on the floor.

“Oh damn,” cried Rebecca through teary eyes.

Bending over as she tried to find her contacts in the goop and glass mess on the floor, she cut her finger on a piece of broken glass. Cursing in disgust, Rebecca sat down against the bathroom wall and wept. Sometimes, someone needs a good cry right? And then everything would be alright, right? The walls remained silent, echoing only the muffled sounds of her sobs.

She had woken up feeling nauseous, again. After retching half her guts into the toilet bowl, she still felt weird, so she had decided against going back to sleep. The spasms had started again as she tried to retrieve her contact lenses from the cleansing solution in the bathroom, and that was when she knocked it over.

“I’m just so clumsy…and stupid” she sobbed.

Drying her eyes, she got up and placed her finger under the cold tap, watching her reflection as the blood and water coursed into the sink. She wasn’t bad to look at, even now. Her hair was plastered to her face and stringy, but one could see that it was long and full, and though her face was puffed and her eyes swollen, the oval face, sensual lips and big wide eyes that always seemed to drew people to her were obvious.

Drying her hands, Rebecca picked up the shards of glass and retrieved her contacts. Throwing the glass in a bin, she placed the contacts in a wad of soft tissue. Suddenly, a wave of nausea tore over her and she ran into the bathroom again.

As she bent over the toilet bowl retching and crying, she wondered when she could tell him.

Oh God, today is gonna be so terrible.

Opebi, Lagos.

And they say bankers live boring lives, thought Paul as he swerved past one danfo bus, almost nicking the side mirror of a small Golf and hitting a wristwatch hawker. He sped down the road ignoring the insults. Paul loved his car, a 2006 Toyota Corolla, and he loved to drive her, and drive fast. Slowing down at a traffic light, he bent over to change the song on the stereo. Somehow, the morning didn’t seem right to be listening to “Azonto – Wizkid”.

Twenty-seven and a half, as he liked to say, almost six feet and built like a weight-lifter, which he was, Paul looked like a bear, but a friendly one. With his ever present smile and the clean-shaven head, he would have passed for gay but for his bushy moustache and beard, which gave him a I’m-fun-but-don’t-mess-with-me look.

Finally selecting a Trey Songz playlist, which he only played when alone in the car so as not to damage his macho rep, Paul leaned back and shoved into first gear as the line started moving.

Then his phone rang, and the world took on a new colour.

Festac, Lagos.

“The number you’re calling is unreachable at the mo…”came the voice of the operator.

“Bloody…” A trailer suddenly horned loudly “…network! Everywhere you go ko!” she hissed.

Her name was Sharon, and she was a bit of a celebrity designer and photographer, and she was twenty-one years old, and she was in love.

Love was not something you would normally put in the same sentence with Sharon, or Shae like she preferred, except you wanted to say ‘Shae doesn’t believe in Love’. In fact, some of her closest friends had sworn, more than once, and to her hearing, that she would never know the emotion. And she hadn’t cared, till now.

Sighing, she dropped the phone and got up from her bed where she had been sitting crosslegged in just her panties. Walking out of the bedroom into the kitchen of the two bedroom flat she had rented when she dropped out of school last year, she took off her hairnet and let the 11-inch Brazilian weavon stream down to her shoulders. She was slim with a swimmer’s physique; C-cup boobs, a narrow waist, semi-wide hips and long smooth legs. And according to her manager, “You’re a really beautiful babe”

After grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge, she sipped at it while she padded back to the warm bedroom. He was still on her mind. Still on her mind since he left days ago. Just a few days ago and both of them had been here sipping Andre, while she made promises and he tickled her. She smiled at the memory and decided to try that number again.

Akoka, Lagos

Pregnancy is not a word that one uses often, especially when one is less than twenty and still in school.

“You don submit that Deposit assignment?” asked a voice, breaking into her thoughts./

“Which course?” she asked absentmindedly.

“Agricultural science!…” Rebecca looked blank “…Financial accounting na! which course before?” replied her friend Sandra with more than just a hint of sarcasm. “What is wrong with you today?”

If only she knew, thought Rebecca. Begging Sandra to help with the assignment as her tummy was aching badly, Rebecca picked up her books and left the faculty.

She should smile, she knew. When she had called him, the reaction he had given had been different from what she had expected, and for a second there, she had been relieved and almost happy. But she was still alone and he could not be here for some time yet so her foreboding had come back and with it, a sense of guilt.

Camp Twa, Bonny.

“They would soon blow the bugle for parade oh!”

Tony didn’t even look up at the sound of the self-righteous tone. Quickly taping the spliced wires together with some black tape, he plugged in the speaker to the mixer and gave the thumbs-up to the another engineer to test it. Satisfied that the speakers were in perfect working order ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, he swung his ‘waist-bag’ onto his shoulder and declared he was going to the mammy market.

Tony made quite the figure as he strode through the paths to the mammy market. At 5ft 10in, he was slender but broad shouldered. His light-skin, deep thoughtful eyes and the sarcastic twist to his lips served to give him a look that belied his friendly nature, but attracted the female folk. Or so he hoped.

He took his accustomed seat at the back of the buka and smiled at the serving girl. She blushed. He had been eating here since he came to camp, choosing to avoid the food offered on camp as much as he could. After placing his order: rice, stew, moin-moin, dodo, fish, beef and pomo, he took out his phone and continued tweeting:

“So that was how an NYSC official chyked me, who says my P can’t be set…by a 50-yr old chic”

Then he saw the messages.

Festac, Lagos.
At about the same time…

Paul drove down 5th avenue, like a man possessed.

“Mad man!” “Ori o gbe!

He wouldn’t have paid them any attention, but as it was, he couldn’t even hear them as his windows were all wound up and Eminem was screaming “No love” on the car stereo.

If he had glanced at the rearview mirror, perhaps the sight of how his face looked would have amused him enough to slow down and abandon his quest. The usual grinning face had been replaced with a set jaw and a hard line. The man was in a foul mood and his thoughts were definitely up to no good.

How could everything just go wrong in how many hours?

The song on the stereo suddenly skipped and Paul looked down.

Some people say it was Fate, other’s say it was God’s design, but the details of the next few seconds are etched in stone of all who saw it…or lived it.

A huge pothole suddenly loomed in front of the car as Paul looked back up. Going at 140km/h he swerved too hard around the pothole and almost ran into the street on his right hand side where a trailer carrying about 500bags of cement was pulling out. If Paul had kept turning into the street as his instinct warned, he would have been safe, but the events of the day were telling on him and his instincts were dulled, and so, his mind rebelled. So, instead, he tried to swerve back to his left, but the car was going too fast and the turn was a fraction of a second too late. Tires screaming, the front bumper of the Corolla hit the trailer and there was a case of speeding object meets immovable force. The Corolla spun around in a dizzying circle as her driver fought to regain control. Slamming with the passenger side into a fence, the car came to a stop with the engine still revving.

The acrid smell of blood and burning tires filled his nostrils, isn’t your life supposed to flash before you at a time like this?

The Shire.

The writer labors furiously under a dim light, scribbling his thoughts in leather-bound orange diary. The day has been long and uneventful, and it shows. His hair is mussed up and untidy, and the green shirt he wears over a pair of dirty white shorts has all the buttons askew. Beside him is a glass of Hollandia and Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor plays from a laptop in the background, but he doesn’t hear it. He doesn’t really love classical music, but the soothing sounds and oft clashing notes help with his process, and he is writing a tale, a story he hopes will make him famous.

He keeps writing.

To be continued next week…


  • I have no idea where I am going with this story
  • Written by my hand, but with initial inspiration from she-who-must-not-be-named
  • The Shire exists for those who know it
  • I have nothing against gay people
  • This is a work of fiction, any similarities to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental or highly dependant on this writers outerworldly skill

Nuff said, leave your comment in the box below

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