My brother Gbade and I are the closest siblings ever. He is older than me with just 10months and when I was growing up, he told me that we were actually twins.
He had a number of theories for why we were not born on the same day though:
- I was a cry baby and I wanted to enjoy our mom’s womb longer than necessary, so I stayed.
- I pushed him out when he was not ready and I laughed while I recoiled into the innermost part of our mom’s womb (almost getting into her heart) such that it took me 10months to find my way back out (plus he was always the one with the brain so I had to do trial and error before getting the opening out)
- I fell asleep for 10 months
…and so on.
I never believed any of those explanations because they always changed everytime we argued about the subject matter.
Gbade and I were in the same class because my mom thought it was just more convenient for the family. So he had to wait for me to be ready to start school before he also started as well (although mom was home schooling him already)
My family is a very close knit one particularly because we’ve been through a lot. My dad is a business man. That’s all we’ve known about him. He always tells us, ‘Entrepreneurship is not for chickens. It’s for Lions’ And yes, I believed him, because sometimes it felt like the chicken kingdom was angry at us for discriminating against them and so we wouldn’t have chicken to eat for a long time. In fact, no meat. Gbade called those times the. ‘Sofa times’. He said that ‘because when poverty comes to the family and we are suffering, that’s when Daddy lies down on the red sofa in the parlor and looks at the ceiling as if he’s talking to the boxes’
But sometimes, the Lion kingdom was happy with us because we associated ourself with it so we’d eat like lions. Plenty plenty meat.
I like going out with Gbade because he has a very adventurous aura. Whenever I go somewhere on my own, nothing special ever happens. But I can trust that I’ll encounter an adventure whenever Gbade and I are together. According to him, ‘Follow me, come onboard and you will never be bored’
Today was no different. On our way back from school, we entered a bus. Gbade sat beside the window and I sat in between him and a young man with just one hand. The man was using that one hand to support the green sachet of ogogoro he was sipping.
When we got to our bus stop – Anthony Bus Stop, I stood up and Gbade followed behind me to descend. I got down and as I turned to face the bus to see Gbade coming down, I caught him pushing the one hand alcoholic that sat beside me.
Still crouched in the bus, Gbade held the man’s shirt roughly and said, ‘Give me the money you took from my sister’s pocket’
Ehn! I quickly put my hand in my pocket. Truly, my N100 was gone. I looked at Gbade in fear.
‘I said give me the money you took from my sister’s pocket. Abi you think I didn’t see you ni. Give me joor. Thief’ Gbade said. He was shouting in a way I had never seen before.
The man’s eyes were red and it looked as if he was going to kill Gbade by just looking at him. I was afraid but everyone in the bus had started shouting at him to return the money, ‘ologogoro oshi. Agbaya, oniranu Ole’ (that’s what they were saying)
He finally returned the money after much harassment and drama from Gbade and the passengers. As Gbade alighted from the bus, he was laughing and shouting ‘Brother of Satan! See his eyes like Satan’s eyes sef. Why won’t you have one hand when the only thing you can do with your hand is to drink and steal. If you had two arms, you’ll be an armed robber sef. Ole! They will steal from you. You will die.‘ Then he nudged me to shout my own. I shouted on top of my voice, ‘Give your life to Christ. Jesus forgave the thief on the cross beside him. Don’t be stealing . Jesus is coming’
Gbade and I ran and laughed all the way home. We could not wait to tell our parents.
When we got home, we could hear my mom shouting over the phone and sounding very distressed and alarmed and agitated and worried. She was saying ‘-beeni! Yes! Awon EFCC and police o. They came here and carried my husband sir. They said he was part of the people that stole from that government contract. That he promised and failed. That what he even supplied was expired o. And it was not even up to the amount they gave him. Ah! My husband is not a thief.’ She paused and said, ‘No. The children are not at home. They should be on their way; almost here’
Gbade looked at me as we walked out of the compound. We walked in silence for a while and then he asked me, ‘Do you think God is punishing us?’
‘No’ I said. ‘Maybe the ogogoro man did juju for our family’
Gbade nodded and we walked on in silence.