Tangles! : Episode VIII

Apologies!
I apologise for taking time with this particular episode of Tangles! You see, for the past two weeks, my life has been in a web of emotional tangles. Rather than leave me with additional inspiration or fodder for
Tangles!, it instead left me a minor wreck and more than completely blocked. But repeat after me, “there is nothing..there is nothing that ogbolo soup cannot fix!” I am back now, and we’ll resume where we left off.
Uhm..yes, if today is your first time fellowshipping with us on a Monday like this, you would do well to indicate with a wave of hand or comment and someone would be with you shortly. Or just search the blog for
‘Tangles!: the Premiere’ so as to begin. Bless you.

First, a sort of Pro-view..

The car zoomed down the dusty street, going at top speed. Behind the wheel, the driver hunches over, his face in a deep frown as he reminisces over messages he just received. The tires squeal as they spin and grind the dust, and in the near distance less than a kilometre away, a pothole looms.
The shards of glass catch the light from the bedside lamp giving the girl the illusion of a bathroom floor made out of diamonds. She is too distraught to pay any attention. Her tears blind her eyes and she pricks a finger on a piece of glass as she struggles to pick them up. Her body heaves in retching spasms. Pregnancy lurks..
In the camp, he walks to the mammy market. His bag slung across his shoulder, every step deliberate and in tune with the vocals from Jace Everett – Bad things, which stream from his earphones. Sitting at his usual table is a pretty girl. He smiles.
She is in for another lazy day at home. Her fingers rest on the remote and she idly flicks through the channels. A scene from the movie ‘The Avengers’ flashes on screen and she smiles, her mind being transported to a certain day when she met a certain man. A man far away in camp.

Interview

“Hello, my name is *insert name* and I play the role of Tony in Janusaneni’s Tangles!. My character is a young Engineer, Youth Corper and supposedly the lead character in this story. Tony’s tangle is between his ex-girlfriend Rebecca who is now pregnant for someone else and his present girlfriend Sharon who it seems is now after that same someone else. There is also a hint of a budding romance between him and a certain pretty girl. Keep reading Tangles! and may you lovelives rem..*backstage voice* “CUT!!!”

Tangles! – a tale of twisted emotions

CHAPTER 8

There is something about how Fate works. One moment, your thoughts are intent on a particular course of action, and in the next, due to a series of consequences, your entire outlook on life changes completely.
When Sharon left the house that morning, her thoughts were singularly on Paul. He would be allowed to have visitors that day. Soon he’ll be discharged too. So she was happy and in high spirits. But you see, as she stepped into the cab that morning, the Fates played their first note and the entire scenario for this story, evolved.

Camp Twa, Bonny.
7:28am

It was the Closing ceremony parade for the inmates.
Usually, according to Camp traditions, on the day of passing out of the Camp, one is woken early in the morning, commanded to pack up and clean the hostels, then herded out to the field in full regalia for the parade. But Camp graduation days don’t always fall on Independence day. On this particular day, they had been herded out in the wee hours, while the wind still howled and bats began to yawn, to listen to a long lecture and admonishment by the Camp Commandant. Obey your country; love her; follow her; preserve unity; you’re tomorrow’s leaders etc all had been drummed in. Then, they were released, to pack up and to get out.
All these thoughts went through Tony’s mind as he stuffed his shoe into the duffel bag and zipped it shut.
Clamping his cap on his head, he strode out the hostel his jungle boots crunching up the gravel as he marched. In his ear, his earphone drummed out Green Day’s 21 Guns and his feet kept time.
“You don dey move already?” yelled Alaska, the querulous voice cutting through the pitched notes of Green Day’s lead vocalist. “Yes oh!” replied Tony. “You nko?”
Abeg,” waved off the half naked man, still in his boxers. “Make dem go fuck!”
Tony grinned and kept walking. By this time tomorrow, he’ll be lying down in his bed in his uncle’s house in Ikeja. He had made up his mind yesterday and confirmed it later in the morning. He wasn’t going to the pretty girl’s house. There was no sense to it. But the reason went much deeper than that. He wanted to see Rebecca.

Akoka
7:30am

You see yourse’f! Rebecca cursed as she dropped her keys. The keys jangled down the stairs leading her on a half-bent over chase. Finally she caught up with the errant bunch on the landing. Shaking it in an unnecessary attempt to remove the dust, she looked up at an old poster on the wall. It advertised the Spirit of David concert. A wave of nostalgia suddenly tore through her. She had attended this particular concert, with Tony. They had had so much fun that day. Towards the end, Tony had run to the stage and grabbing a mic, ordered the DJ to play any tune, and before any bouncer could reach him, he had performed a couple of cartwheels and crazy air-flares then raced away. It was one of the few times Tony ever did something crazy, and he had done it to make her feel better. She had loved him so much that day.
She was going to see him today. Rebecca stared at a mirror at the ground floor of her hostel. She looked good. Her curves were filling out very nicely, and pregnancy or no, her boobs were bigger and her hips were very Kim K and that was cool! What it would be like if Tony was the father of her child.

Festac
7:30am

Abdul flagged down the taxi. It was today. Nothing would stop it. The satchel he carried bumped against the side of the taxi as he entered and his heart jumped. But nothing untoward happened. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a polo shirt, the shirt was ironed and he looked quite neat asides the untidy full beard. A small prayer cap was perched on his head and Islamic prayer beads adorned his wrist.
“Those who fight would die. Those who quarrel would be vanquished. What is right would be, what is wrong would be exposed.” The words he heard yesterday. Also:
“Violence is not our way. It is a mode. It is a method to achieving a result. A blacksmith is not violent, but to create his works, he must hammer at the metal. A nurse helps to heal, but she must pierce the skin to achieve this. Life is brought to the world by violence. The cries of a mother as she births her babe, are not of pleasure but of pain, yet by that method is life and joy brought to the world.”
These words repeated themselves in his head, going again and again. He needed them. Sweat broke against his brow and he wiped them with the back of his hand. At that moment the taxi stopped and a lady got in beside him.
Abdul’s heart stopped for an instant and the words of the Prophet and the Imam who spoke for him where forgotten. She was the most beautiful lady he had ever seen. His heart sank as he thought, he might never see her again. Then she said “Silver Cross Hospital..” and all his resolve shook.

Bonny
7:45am

“So, you really wouldn’t be coming with me?”
Tony couldn’t say a word. The pretty girl looked so much prettier today. A slight wind was blowing and it played with her hair tousling it teasingly across her face. If she had any idea what effect it had on him, she showed no sign; though she refused to tie the hair and her cap remained firmly in her hand. In the centre of the field, the Parade commander screamed”PLAaaaaaaaaATOOOON!” “I’m sorry,” he said finally.
She just stared at him. “She must be very lucky. Rebecca that is.” Tony started suddenly. “Wha..?” He started.
“Do not bother denying it. I can see it in your eyes. It’s really Rebecca, not Sharon. She is the one isn’t she?”
She kept staring at him. Her eyes brimmed over. Pretty girls are not used to rejection.

Festac.
7:34am

The muslim man kept glancing at her and muttering Arabic phrases under his breath. Crazy dude this one, she thought. “Oya, make una brin’ moni,” called the driver.
She paid him. Then the muslim man paid too.
Where you dey go?” asked the driver as he stared at the muslim man’s money. “Silver Cross hospital,” came the reply in a surprisingly soft and clear voice. Sharon stared at him this time.
He wore normal clothes, but his beard and prayer cap gave him a slightly dangerous look. All these people sef! Then she saw his satchel.
Oh Lord!

Alakahia
The writer sat crosslegged staring at the floor. Before him, some pebbles lay arranged in some form of pentagram. Laughing maniacally suddenly, he swept the stones away and picked up a pen.

To be continued quite soon..

Disclaimer
*Like she would say, “All typos are definitely intentional..” and probably intended as an insult to the English Language.
*Do not forget the twist in the tales. This episode continues from Chapter 6 rather than 7. *Ogbolo soup didn’t really do the trick, but it worked just fine.
*Appreciations to @harkinfash and @mii2prwiti for certain insights and info and to a certain ibo girl for the pebbles.

Ff on twitter @janus_aneni

Peace.

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Tangles! : Episode VII

We are coming to the end of Tangles!. You would remember at the beginning of this when I warned that Tangles! “..is written in a sorta weird sequence, with the events occuring in real time but not necessarily in sequence.” Ok, good. The point of Tangles! is really to test out an idea and to totally confuse all but the most seasoned reader. So, no matter the twists, follow the thread, keep to the right and we’ll find our way out this labyrinth.

INTERVIEW

“Okay, I wouldn’t tell you my name, but I play Sharon in Janusaneni’s Tangles! I’m the stylish one! School drop-out, designer, half-tomboy, sexy, fair etc. Do not confuse me with Rebecca oh! Ehen..peeps be confusing us, she’s pregnant I’m NOT! And yeah, the Tangle, I love my boyfriend Tony okay, but you see..I have to be there for Paul now. Always..uhm..later. Keep reading Tangles!”

Tangles! – a tale of twisted emotions

*theme song of Papa Ajasco plays briefly..stops…..no music*

CHAPTER VII

The Silver Cross hospital was always quiet this time of the day. It was 11:30am and somehow nobody gets sick at this time on Sundays. As usual, the air was thick with the acrid tang of antiseptic and disinfectant, the gagging smell of sickness and the bitter taste of fear. No place has more fear than a hospital. The fear of death, the fear of life, the fear of needles. Paul had begun to recover, the doctors said. The next day was Independence day and if Dr. Akpan could be believed, he would be allowed visitors for 30mins.
In the private room, the windows were closed with the curtains drawn back to let in the sunlight. In a corner, the split air-conditioning unit whirred in a steady rhythm keeping time with the beeping of the EKG. On TV, a man in a dark suit sat and smiled at the screen. His hair was permed and combed back neatly with a parting on the right side. “The Word is your safest bet..” He said, tapping a black Bible. In a corner near the TV, Sharon stood, whispering agitatedly into a phone. “…be inconsiderate. I can’t explain the reason to you…”
On the other end of the line, Tony fumed. Since that night almost two weeks ago when he performed at the Talent show, things had gone from bad to worse between him and his girlfriend. On the other hand, his Camp popularity had increased and he couldn’t take a step anywhere without hearing ‘T-Lion’. For his girlfriend though, her brother/cousin had been involved in an accident, the same accident he had heard on Twitter, and somehow the hurt was directed at him. Unable to reach her that night, he had tried and reached her in the early morning when she came home. Asking her what happened had led to a flare out and things had kept going downhill since then. It had taken a while for him to figure out the ‘cousin’ was probably an old boyfriend who Shae obviously still had deep feelings for. Resentment had set in after that.
“…See, I can’t take this now, I’ll talk to you later,” she said, cutting the call. Tony kept staring at the phone.
“Are you alright?” She asked.
Tony looked across the buka table, as if in a daze, at the pretty girl. It was the phrase that always came to mind whenever he looked at her. That, and a healthy throb in his groin region. She touched his arm. Her fingers were hot, as was her entire body. Hot. They had been friends since the first day of Camp when they had done clearance together. They ate together, saw the shows and events together and generally hung out like a couple. Tony usually tried to be the faithful sort and though the temptation was in her eyes, he had never entertained the thoughts of cheating on Shae. But he and the pretty girl had grown closer, especially in the last week, the more he and Sharon grew apart.
“No, I’m alright,” he replied picking up the fork. Her hands trailed off his arm and somewhere in his nether regions, his pulse quickened. This was wrong. “Is it her again, or Sharon?” the pretty girl asked, shocking him.
He had forgotten how much he told her. But who could be blamed? He had been emotionally distraught and troubled and needed someone to unload on.
In Akoka, the morning was calm also. Most of the students were inside the campus and in the hostels and lodges outside the campus, those absconding were indoors. In the street, a kid struggled with a thin fowl for a piece of bread. The chicken snatched the bread from under the nose of the kid and ran off shrieking and cackling while the goat bleated sadly. Rebecca watched the scene from her window. She was naked. She had taken to dressing in, well, nothing these days. According to her reasoning, she had no shame any more and soon all would be laid bare. Not for one second did she consider an abortion. For the hundredth time that morning, she stared at her stomach. It was growing bigger.
It takes about two months at the very least before the bulge of pregnancy may begin to show. Rebecca was barely up to two months pregnant and as flat as a board. The anxiety of pregnancy had rid her of an appetite and caused her stomach to recede even further, till the mound of her sex was almost a bulge. But in her mind, she was as bloated as a pig.
When she tried calling the father of her child and discovered he had been in an accident, her world had crashed. She had paid a clandestine visit to the hospital and she had seen him. Her Paul, all swathed in bandages with wires leading in and from every point the plaster did not cover, to several machines in the wall. She had recognised the EKG and one glance at the faint pulse it registered had nearly resulted in a miscarriage. But that was then, she was stronger now.
That day, with her hair all mussed and tears in her eyes, she made her way to KFC. Sitting in an alcove, hidden behind an AC unit, she had cried into a bowl of ice cream. Then she had called Tony. One might judge her foolish for calling him, but the truth was, she had always loved Tony, perhaps not as much as she should have, but at that point there had been no one else.
When he answered the call the surprise had been evident in his voice. She didn’t blame him. They hadn’t spoken in months, and this call was as out of the blue as a fart from Smurfette. She had almost ended the call then, but his voice had turned tender and he asked; “What is it hon?” She had burst into tears afresh. Then she told him she was pregnant.
When men have sex they expect the girls to become beholden to them. So when Tony heard those words, his first thought had been hurt and jealousy. Somewhere deep within him, he had probably hoped she would never know another man. “How did it happen?” he had blurted foolishly.
The same way elephants do it! a voice in his head mocked. But that day she had been too distraught to talk and he had spent six minutes telling her to “Calm down” and “Take it easy”. She had called later in the evening to apologise, to which he had replied, “It’s alright” and “Are you okay?”
Courtesy had made him call again the next morning and later at night. By the next night he had the full story, and he was heartsick.
As Tony and the pretty girl left the mammy market, he reconsidered his plans. The next day was the passing out ceremony and before the afternoon was done, if his original plans held, he would be on a flight back to Ikeja. If he changed his mind though, on leaving camp he’ll head into town and join the pretty girl in her apartment for at least a night. It couldn’t be called cheating, after all, for all he knew his girlfriend was spending nights with her ex-boyfriend/brother or cousin. On the other hand though, he did promise to check in on Rebecca. Look at me, knight in shining armour, he thought scornfully, one tearful Rebecca and I’m drawn back into the web.
The spider crept past her fingers, stopping briefly to glance at the book she was reading. At least, she assumed it was glancing. Spiders have a series of compound eyes after all, so it should be able to glance if nothing else.
She had been at his bedside since morning. It was past noon now and the nurses had been in to check him. He was sleeping though. He slept all the time these days. The doctors kept him heavily sedated. According to Dr. Akpan, he needed a lot of rest to recover. Yesterday, he had been awake for an hour, but talking tired him, so she just held his hands and spoke to him. Right now, he was awake but he wouldn’t let her know. The thought excited him and on the EKG, the monitor showed a slightly raised bump. Sharon didn’t notice, she was engrossed in her book.
Her bedside table was covered with get-well cards and some flowers from female colleagues at the bank. Beautiful flowers, but none as pretty as the girl who sat in the chair reading. The wounded man looked at her from under heavy lids; long hair tied in a knot behind her head, a masculine longsleeved shirt over dark jeans and a pair of boots. Not exactly the typical female look, but then again it was Shae. She adjusted and for a second, some boob flashed. The EKG gave a beep.
He thought of Rebecca. Why hadn’t she come to see him? He had tried to as Sharon earlier – when he first came out the coma, but the smiling doctor had told him to rest, that questions could come later. He hated doctors who smiled, those were the ones who got you to kill yourself.
“Oh, young man, an accident? We may have to amputate your head sir.” Bloody bastards! The EKG gave a couple of beeps. Sharon looked up. “Paul?”

To be continued…

Disclaimer
*Once again, I state that I have no issues against any ambassadorial-style churches, nor with any form of hairstyling. I like Denrele after all.
*Big time appreciations to @juneberrrry for staying up and providing the second crazy head, you’re not well!
*And uhm..this post contains resemblance to people alive and dead and it was purely intentional and yes, you can sue me. I need the popularity..(._.)

Ff me on twitter @janus_aneni

P.S: And I got zoned to the Help-me-form-lesson-note Zone, and here I thought the Fellow Corper zone was bad enough.

Peace.

Tangles!: Episode VI

*coughs* “Is it working? Okay..my name is..*Nokia phone rings*..and I play Rebecca in Janusaneni’s Tangles! Uhm..my character is ultra-emotional, clumsy and a bit of a confused being. But I guess that’s why it’s Tangles! *backstage voice..’Who asked you?’..* Anyway, my character is a Banking and Finance student in MAU..I mean, the Federal University of Lagos. She is pregnant, about 20 years and has suicidal tendencies. Stay tuned, and keep reading Tangles! Bye ya!”

Tangles! – a tale of twisted emotions.

CHAPTER IV

Festac
5:29am

She ran into his big wide arms. “He hurt me, Paul,” she sobbed, her tears running down her cheeks to soak his grey sweatshirt.
“It’s alright,” he drawled in his deep voice. “I’m here now. I’m always here for you okay?” Then he wiped away the tears and pecked her forehead.
Sharon woke with a start. She was in her room, in her apartment. The alarm clock by her bed shrilled. It was 5:30am. She had been asleep for close to six hours.
The girl stepped out of bed and walked towards the window. Outside, the streets were stirring, hawkers were packaging their wares and in a nearby mosque the muezzin wailed the call to prayer. The sensation of the kiss lingered on her forehead and the memory of the dream hung in the air like a scent of a long forgotten fragrance.
Paul had been her big brother. The one to whom she had always run to whenever anyone hurt her. He had always taken care of her. Her big bear, with his easy smile and fierce hugs. It was as she grew older that she realised, he too relied on her. An only child, orphaned at an early age, Sharon’s had proven to be the closest thing to family that he had. The Bishop, Sharon’s father, had adopted Paul when she was born and he was still a kid. Both had grown together as sibling, but with the knowledge that they were not related. No one could come between them. No one. Until last year… Sharon shut the curtains.

Bonny
5:31am

The bugle rang, shrill and loud.
On the parade ground, the cadets stood in white shorts, shivering as the cold wind whipped about exposed ankles and up the flaps of baggy shorts. Men shrivelled and the ladies broke out in goosebumps, and all the while, the breeze blew through the ranks as unrelenting as a cold blade in the hands of an expert labourer.
The flag was stiff in the breeze, the green, white, green colours rippling with a certain intensity as the Camp Commandant gave a short speech. It was Independence morning, and the weather seemed to know that.
Tony glanced at the flag again, there was something about the way she twisted and turned in the breeze that seemed to ignite some form of national pride in him.
Last year, on Independence day, he and his ex-girlfriend had worn matching green and white outfits and joined a carnival painting the country in green and white. It had been fun and warm. Today was just cold. He shivered involuntarily. That night last year had been cold though. They had cuddled beneath a heavy quilt, her fingers tracing his nipples while he kissed her hair.
Tony smiled. Funny that he should be thinking about his ex-girlfriend right now, in the middle of a parade, with… “What are u smiling about?” She asked.
Tony smiled at the pretty girl. “Nothing.”

Akoka
5:33am

She shook her hair out of the shower cap and looked at her reflection again. Her eyes were dark-rimmed and sunken, but then she had not slept well last night. Her dreams had been dark and full of blood and smoke. In each one, Paul died. In the last one, as he died, his face turned into Tony’s and he looked at her with such contempt. “It’s all your fault,” he hissed.
Tony had been the love of her life. But aren’t they all? She had told her friends that Tony was different. He was unlike anyone else. When she was with him, she actually, literally, did feel butterflies in his stomach. She was jittery, jumpy and all smiles whenever he was around. And then, he was her first.
The MAULAG student pulled on a pair of jergins and buckled on a tiny belt. Outside the window, a stiff breeze blew, rustling the leaves of the avocado tree. On the bedside, a piece of paper blew to the floor. On it was written simply; ‘Silver Cross Hospital’.

Somewhere in Lagos…

Abdul was up very early, before the muezzins and the call to prayer. Snatching up his prayer cap, he grabbed a plastic kettle and walked out into the compound. The yard was still empty, most of the other tenants at the face-me-I-face-you were still indoors. It was the will of Allah, better he went about unseen. Filling the kettle from a tap, he crossed the road to the small mosque.
As he performed his ablutions, the wind blew, the cold breeze cooling his wet hands and feet and sending a chill across his body and up his spine. Allahu akhbar! It will be done.

Disclaimer
*No pun was intended in the phrase; “The flag was stiff in the breeze..”
*I mean no offense to anyone either of Islamic disposition or belonging to ambassadorial-style churches *And uhm..’Jergins’ is the right spelling right?

Lol..

Ff on Twitter @janus_aneni

Peace…and Happy Independence!