angry man listening to a playlist

With no more questions and answers from either of them, Sandra had to leave. The burden had been shared and halved. Sandra walked sadly to the church to join her parents with a lot of questions on her mind. She now had a reason to go to church.

Bimbo sat in the same position till she remembered that her saviour was sitting on the table. Memory card 3 would be a good antidote for the day’s emotional breakdown. On pressing play, and setting it to the lowest volume, she lay on the bed. The playlist promised deep sleep and that was what it did.

Femi was surprised that, after an entire week of unsatisfying quiet time, he was undisturbed. Even before he had time to reschedule it, the quiet time peace was restored. It wasn’t until he walked down the stairs leading to the ground floor that he remembered that Bimbo’s fast-paced, bass-y and overwhelmingly loud songs hadn’t been on play.

“It’s a good thing she’s realized what selfishness it is to keep playing those songs loudly,” he thought.

“Okada!” Femi flagged down a motorcycle as soon as he sighted one without a passenger.

“Junction,” he told the rider who nodded. He climbed the Okada and the rider rode off.

While on the Okada, he felt troubled but he dismissed it immediately. On getting down at the junction, he checked his pocket for his wallet. He looked in his suitcase, perhaps, he had dropped it there but there was no sign of it. Alas, his wallet was at home. He easily convinced the okada man to take him back to the house, with the promise of paying him for every trip. His monthly budget would be affected.

Femi ran upstairs quickly to get his wallet. He looked everywhere but didn’t find the brown wallet. With arms akimbo, he thought of where the wallet could be. He wasn’t more worried about getting late to work than he was at delaying the innocent okada man downstairs.

“Oh, Jesus, please, where did I drop this wallet?” he thought and sat on the already made bed. It was then he sighted the bag hung on a nail at the back of the door.

“He sighed with relief when he saw it, reasoning that that could be the only place the wallet would be. And there in the bag, was the wallet.

Before he stepped out of the room, he heard a long hiss.

“What is it again?” he wondered.

“We shouldn’t have allowed that Bimbo girl in this house,” Mummy Bridget said to herself in low tones after hissing. “Always crying, as if she owns the whole place,” she said in disgust.

“Mummy Bridget!” Femi called after locking his room.

“Ah ah, Deacon should always screen his tenants. Those agents don’t know their job at all. I’m glad we’re not on the same floor, or I’d have treated her rubbish,” she continued to muse without answering him.

Femi decided to see for himself what was going on downstairs. He didn’t have to be told that the problem was about Bimbo again.

Walking down the stairs this time, he heard clear wails of anguish, instead of the muffled cries.

The okada man had entered the compound while waiting for him. He paid the okada man who left immediately.

Femi looked around. Other than mummy Bridget who knew that something was up with Bimbo, no one else knew. None of the ground floor tenants was at home. And if there was someone who was home, the person was not in a bit, concerned.

Femi became peaceful when it dawned on him that God might have planned the wallet saga to get him to be around. As he went to Bimbo’s door, several thoughts went through his mind.

All the tales of people who got into trouble while helping out came rushing to his head.

“Ok, God, should I do this?” he asked and waited. No response. He worried that he might be doing too much. Besides, he was a man. He would have preferred that God send a woman to help Bimbo.

“Pleeeeeeease!” He heard Bimbo cry from inside. Her voice was now masked with catarrh.

Femi hesitated again. He was just a new convert, it would be wiser if he called his pastor. As he retrieved his phone, a Bible verse popped up in his mind.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” he mused briefly on the verse. He didn’t know if Bimbo was a Christian or not. If something should happen, there must be a valid reason why he was going to help her.

Another Bible dropped in his heart, “…especially unto them who are of the household of faith”. He paced around in front of the wailing Bimbo’s door, thinking seriously about the step he was to take. It did not make sense that he go check the well-being of a total stranger. Yet, this was not the time to check the Bible for the complete Bible verses. Neither was it the time to think of work; although, he was already late.

“Pleeeease come quickly, I think I’m dying. Come and help me!” Bimbo said amidst her crying. Femi had to make out the words because, even though no song masked her wailing, the wailing masked her words.

Concern overtook Femi who knocked quickly on the door.

“May I come in?” he asked quietly.

“Come in please, my friend.” Femi raised his eyebrows. Her friend? He entered anyway after making a mental note to still contact his pastor. He found her lying on the floor, her eyes fixed on the ground.

“Thanks, Sandra for coming so quickly. I want to tell you the whole story before he gets here.”

“I’m not Sandra” Femi wanted to say.

“I remember telling you that he was a good stepfather to us,” she started calmly. “But,” she continued, “he turned out to be a ritualist. I was the only one who knew. He couldn’t just let me be after that. He knew that a promise could not keep me from telling the others, especially, our mum.” She sniffed.

Femi did not understand what she was saying, but her story was giving him an insight into what her wailing was about. Before things got out of hand, he wanted her to know that he was not who he thought him to be.

“Bimbo, this is not Sandra. I can call your friend if that’s what you want,” He interrupted her.

Bimbo looked up abruptly.

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