I’m sure that somewhere in the world, I’d have probably been brought up on charges of arson.
This are the stories of Fire 1 and 2.
It's a thread, needle and...
It was my 2nd year in the university. That day, the sun competed with Hell. I’d just stepped into the building I lived in, away from the blistering heat.
All I could think of was a date with my faithful lover.
As soon as I entered my studio apartment, I grabbed a plastic food flask, filled it with water, inserted my boiling ring and turned it on. Next, I checked the container for garri.
There was no garri. What kind of temptation is this, I thought. Fortunately,...
Our building was a 4-storey; all the rooms were self-contained and it was for ladies only.
That day, Derailed, a Van Damme movie, was showing. I’d watched that movie before, and it wasn’t a fantastic movie.
Just then, I remembered the water I’d set to boil.
The first thing that struck me was the door handle. It was hot! As I inserted my key in the lock, I could spot wisps of smoke crawling out from the sliver of space underneath the door.
Faintly, I heard sounds of doors banging being ripped open and banging shut by the other occupants of the building. With nary a thought to my safety, I dashed inside the room. My only concern were...
Inside, the cane cupboard which housed my foodstuff was ablaze, the fire's greedy flames egged on by palm oil; so was the TV, DVD player and book rack.
Uche returned with buckets of water. Through the smoky haze, I saw him douse the TV and food cupboard.
Somebody was screaming repeatedly, “God, I’m finished! God help me…I’m finished. My parents will kill me.”
Later, I was told I was the one.
Then another voice cut in.
“Somebody remove her from the room!
Here’s what happened. The water in the food flask had dried. The boiling ring burned through. Somehow, it caught fire. I walked in, barefoot. Uche had poured water. I was standing on the wet floor..
To this day, I don’t know who saved me. I just remember seeing a pair of rubber boots, being covered with a towel and bodily lifted out.
I was so scared worse would happen, that I haven’t owned a TV since then. That decision is overdue for a review; ourteen years is a long time.
So, that's it for Fire 1.
Now, let me tell you about the first fire. It began with my love for books.
But obsessed as I am with books, there was no stopping me.
The next thing, I woke up to a cacophony of sounds and smells. Burning wood, plastic and something like….goat meat?
“Pour more water!” my father roared.
“I’m pouring!” Mama replied. It sounded like she was crying.
It took a few seconds for me to get my bearings. I was coughing, hard.
“Nko ayem iwod idem?” Mama shrieked. “You want to kill yourself enh? How many times have you been told not to read with a candle, in bed?"
She lunged for me, her hand open and stretched out to deliver a destiny-readjusting slap.
“Don’t beat her, it’s late,” he cried, still holding on to Mum, who was still trying to get at me. Dad really hates when children cry after dark.
My love of food will not kill me. Because for reasons unbeknownst to me, in that serious...
“Anie isifuh unnah ebuh? Who is roasting goat meat?”
Both parents stared at me, stunned. I must have cut quite a sight standing there wet, dishevelled. Dad's hold must have slackened because he let got and Mum dove straight for me.
That open-palm slap connected straight to the mains of my medulla oblongata.
“Goat meat?” she screeched.
“You must be very silly! Kpaaaa!
“How won’t you think of food first! Slap!
“Your hair is burning and you’re thinking of goat meat!”
Kpaaaa! Kpaaaa! Kpaaaa!
But my people, talk true. Does burning hair not smell like roasting goat meat?
If you've gotten this far, thank you for taking the time to read this story. No, it's not fiction.
If you liked it, feel free to like, laugh and follow...in that easy order.
See you again on Friday.