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Teenage Memories – Episode 2 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

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Teenage Memories – Episode 2 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

Number 21 was a theatre for drama and discovery. Everyday something new happens. At times, people from other compounds would rush to our building like there was a party going on, just to watch free drama. The drama was endless. If husbands weren’t beating up their wives, it was bachelors pounding their girlfriends. As the big boys and girls in the building, ours was to gather the information and discuss them whenever we gathered together.

It was a very strong harmattan morning; Mr. Okolo and his wife were at it again. These days when people hear Mrs. Okolo shouting for help no one goes to save her anymore. That woman had a very sharp and bad tongue. When you hear her insult her husband in public, you would pray for her soul during your morning devotions. In their room, things were falling and cracking. Everyone stayed in their rooms and prayed Mr. Okolo won’t kill her.

“God will punish you and your family,” she screamed.

“God punish your father,” Mr. Okolo replied.

“Yeeee, you insult my father. You this goat,” she screamed louder.

The next sound that followed could only have been a heavy punch because later that day when Mrs. Okolo stepped out to bathe and cook, the black patch under her right eye said it all. Immediately Cecilia sighted her, she signaled Alfred and I. you dare not laugh. So, as confirmed bad girls and boy, we moved away from the kitchen and arranged ourselves where she couldn’t hear or see us.

“Abeg, na only blow do that woman face like that?” Cecilia asked.

“Na cement the man dey carry?” Alfred asked.

By this time, I was already on the ground laughing so hard and loud.

“The man dey use him wife practice boxing” I answered after I gathered myself together.

Mr. Okolo must have been a professional boxer in his village because this kind of punch was perfect. Everyone who saw Mrs. Okolo didn’t bother to ask what had happened. If you try that, all you will get is insult. The last time Kelvin asked the result was horrible.

“You are asking me now, where were you when he was beating me?”

“I was in Ugo’s room downstairs,” Kelvin said.

“So, my voice didn’t reach there abi?”

“I no hear anything jor.”

“Tomorrow put your ear for ground, you go hear,” Mrs. Okolo answered sarcastically.

This woman no dey learn, she has a very bad attitude. No one actually cares if she gets beaten every morning. We only worry about her kids. She had two little kids, a boy of 7years and a girl of 5years. Mr. Okolo, worked with a local construction firm, he was only home at weekends. Mrs. Okolo was a typical full house wife. She had all the time in the world to play FBI. Nothing happens in number 21 that she doesn’t know about. She probably be telling your mother to check your pants when you got back from school.

Teenage Memories – Episode 2 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

“Mama Lovett, this girl is not a baby anymore o,” she would tell my mum. Each time she said this, I would coil inside and curse that her ugly shaped lips. Inside my head, I would pray my mum won’t take her next lines serious.

Teenage Memories - Episode 2 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

“When they come back from school, always check them o.”

“Check them how?”

“All those boys for school fit don dey put hand inside their pant o.”

Eish!!! This woman is evil o, I’d say. My mum would just laugh and say “Haba, my daughter knows better.”

On one particular evening, as I passed by Mr. Okolo’s door, I heard Mrs. Okolo asking her 5years old daughter. Who touched you today? Did they touch you here? Common open your mouth this stupid girl. We all know that number 21 wasn’t a perfect place to raise kids but these questions were so wrong. The little girl didn’t answer and I walked away. I was hoping Mrs. Okolo and her big mouth would stop all these rubbish. One day, she stumbled on Alfred and I sneaking out from under the staircase.

That evening as we were sneaking out from under the staircase, there she was. She had this look of “what the hell” in her eyes. Immediately, Alfred acted with wisdom and saved himself.

“Lovett, that bag is heavy and we can’t carry it alone. Wait make I go call Cecilia,” he said as he left me to face this amebo woman alone.

“Which bag una dey carry under staircase this evening?”

“Em, na Mama Ada say make we carry the bag come.”

“Make I see the bag.” As she entered under the staircase, she couldn’t see clearly. It was really dark and I bet she was afraid to go further.

Teenage Memories – Episode 2 (Author: Otunyo Maryann Ifeoma)

“Under this kind dark staircase?”

“The bag dey inside, I dey wait for Cecilia to join Alfred.” I intentionally ignored the “dark” in her question. This woman better leave before my mum meets me here. Reluctantly, she walked away. It was the best miracle I had received. I ran off to find Alfred and Cecilia.

“I hear say dem almost catch una?” Cecilia said.

“So, why una no come help me?”

“Help you?” asked Alfred.

“The woman enter under the staircase o,” I added.

“Chai, laugh don kill me o,” Cecilia said laughing like a cow.

“She fit tell your mama o.” Alfred added. This part wasn’t funny and I didn’t want to talk about it. Everything was going to fall apart and I wouldn’t be allowed to stay out till 8pm anymore. To my amazement she didn’t mention it to my mum and I guess somewhere inside my heart, it made me like Mrs. Okolo just a little.

Sofa – Kiss Daniel by Kiss Daniel soothes this episode well.

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Anna Abu

I am many things. A Writer, Producer, Publicity Manager, Blogger, Entrepreneur. I will be more as the year passes. I am a blunt realist coated with imperfection.
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