Wednesday, August 23, 2017

From the novel entitled, "Beyond Imagination" by Oladele Dada.

Oladele Dada.
It was dawn. The chilly dust-laden wind formed dense fog on the road. The rocky hills and the tall trees made Ajewole a beautiful town. The birds sang aloud, and clanging of stainless dishes in the neighbourhood suggested human activity was at its peak. Humans had begun to move to their various destinations.

Adunni had trouble with child bearing and her husband was worried. Then she booked an appointment with her doctor. After several tests, the doctor suggested the couple be patient and that she will surely get pregnant. Not long after, Adunni was pregnant.

After several months, Adunni was delivered of a boy. The women in her neighbourhood, alongside the children, sang and danced to her home to celebrate with her. Her husband, Fredrick Olagbade, thanked the Lord and named the boy Juwon.   

As Juwon grew, his mother had another child whose name was Olakitan. Juwon was intelligent and his parents were struggling to make ends meet. As poverty stared them in the face, his mother who was a public school teacher engaged in menial jobs to support the family. Juwon attended public school. But he was withdrawn to a private school because he was struggling with his studies. The change worked wonders as Juwon began to do well. He improved tremendously. Everyone, including his parents, was amazed.

Juwon’s father sold his piece of land. He bought a car and began to use it for transport business. One day, Juwon and his brother Olakitan were returning from school, and then they decided to visit the motor park to see if their father could take them home. As they approached the park, there was a commotion. Juwon wondered what might have caused the disturbance.

 When they got nearer, the boys met their father and some passengers arguing over money. Before they could blink, their father and one of the passengers began to exchange blows from one end of the park to the other. Were it not for the other passengers that pounced on Fredrick, Juwon’s father, his blows would have brought the man to his knees. They overwhelmed Juwon’s father. A blow landed on his neck and swept him off his feet. Juwon and his brother tried to stop the fight, but their effort was like a tiny fly on the back of a horse. As they continued to pummel him, Mutere, the Chairman of the taxi drivers at the park intervened. Mutere was an imposing figure. He could work a body to hell by the mere wave of the hand.

Mutere resolved the matter and instructed Juwon’s father to give the passenger his money. Fredrick made the refund. Causing further disturbance at the park could get into trouble with Mutere. After the dust had settled, he noticed his children by the corner looking pale and drawn at him. Fredrick adjusted his shirt and signaled them to get in the car. Quietly, they opened the door and entered. Fredrick ignited his engine and drove off.

When they got home, everyone alighted from the car and quietly walked into the house. His wife, Adunni, came to welcome them. Her husband had been bruised and wore a long face.

“What happened?” she asked him, staring at his swollen face.

Fredrick hissed and explained, “I had a brawl with a passenger. We agreed on a price. And then he boarded my car. When we got to the park, he alighted and gave me money. When I gave him his balance, he said it was not correct. I tried to explain. But before I could blink, he sank a blow into my face and then we began to exchange blows. As we shared blows from one end of the park to the other, some passengers joined the fight and they overwhelmed me!”

“WHAT?!” she exclaimed. “That’s unfair!”

“No need to shout. It is over. Give me food. I am hungry and I have a headache!”

She ran to the kitchen to prepare hot water. She massaged her husband’s body and treated the wound with mentholated spirit. It was a long night. They have never had it rough. After everyone had eaten dinner, the family prayed together and put the day behind them.

        Months later, Fredrick was tired of using his car. He felt it was not his destiny to drive people around. He wanted a new challenge. Finally, he sold the car to Mr Okowdi, a renowned driver in the town who had been in the transport business for ages. And then he invested the money into the sales of motor spare parts. The business flourished because many drivers who used to go very far to the next town to buy parts, now buy from Fredrick.

Juwon’s education had been going on uninterruptedly. Now he was in High School. He had also become famous as the son of the only spare part dealer in the town.