Virus, p.1

Virus, page 1



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  Akintomide Ifedayo Adigwe

  Copyright 2014 – Smashwords Edition

  The right of Akintomide Ifedayo Adigwe to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted with the Copyright right Patents and Designs Act

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author and the publishers

  This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not be by way of trade or otherwise be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that which it is published.

  A Holy Ghost inspired idea. Thanks be to the Lord God Almighty

  Chapter One


  The dream was the same as always. He was flying. It always began by flying, soaring through the thick somewhat dark cummnilonibus clouds racing for the prize.

  What prize? I can hear you ask. Even he did not know. In some ways, he did not think it was important. All he knew was that the prize lay beyond the purplish, orange light at the opposite horizon. His invisible wings carried him towards it at breathtaking speeds.

  Like the million and one times he’d dreamt this dream, he started to slow down; losing speed. It took another couple of seconds and he was plummeting to the ground like a stone dropped from high altitudes. He fell through the smoky grey clouds beneath him so fast that a void, so wide and vast formed in his bowels that he knew no substance could fill.

  The green covered earth came into view and he streaked like a meteor towards it. Just as he closed his eyes to brace for impact_______

  “Huh!!!!” Wole gasped sitting up. His room was gloomy shrouded with black shadows. The large window to his right, covered by thick grey cotton curtains caught his attention almost immediately. He could see the faint light of dawn streaming through the half a dozen tiny holes in the threadbare curtain.

  A sigh burst from his lips at the sight and he rose off the bed stepping on the cold terrazzo floor. His bed was nothing more than a large vita form mattress covered by sky blue cotton sheets.

  As he raised his right hand to stifle a yawn the faint sounds of pots and pans rattling reached his ears. His mum was already up. He knew it was just a matter of time before she started heading his way to bang on his door as she did every morning. The cycle never changed and he did not see it changing anytime soon, especially today of all days.

  As if she knew what he was thinking, he heard her heavy footfalls striding towards his door. Stifling another yawn, he strode for the door pulling it open before she even reached it. Their gazes locked and held for several moments as mother and son appraised one another.

  His mother was five feet five inches tall. Though she stood and behaved in a way that made most people think she was much taller. She was not too plump. Teddy bear round was how he liked to think of her; the way all mothers should be.

  Her face like her body was round, with full red lips, jet black eyes and skin which was a milky brown color. In his opinion, her skin was her greatest asset. At five feet three inches, he was almost as tall as she was. He had a slim athletic build; his face was lean and angular with eyes that were bright; too bright in his opinion, shining with a gleam that seemed almost maniacal.

  His mum said he was handsome but he did not really think so. The best thing he had going for him was his height, which was not bad for a fourteen year old.

  “Aaaah so you are up?” his mum’s stern voice interrupted that train of thought.

  “Yes mummy__” He got out in a glum voice.

  “What’s wrong with you?” She asked noticing the glum look on his face.

  “Nothing mummy.”

  She gave him a long hard look, shrugging a few seconds later as she started back to the kitchen.

  “You better get your act together and go sweep the sitting room and the verandah.”

  “Mummy naaa___.”He protested angrily. “Shey emi lo da be ru?” *Am I the one who disarranged the sweeping room?

  She froze turning around slowly with her eyes glittering with fury. He grimaced, his body growing tense as he braced himself for the beating he knew might likely follow. Surprisingly however the beating never came.

  A relieved sigh burst from his lips. His mother was and had always been a disciplinarian. She had whipped his hide for less.

  “You are very lucky I am in a good mood otherwise___” She let her words hang in the air for a bit before she continued.

  “___ you best get the broom out of the kitchen and go sweep. I will not wash the plates, cook breakfast for you and your father and still sweep while you are here. Is that clear??”

  “Yes mummy__.” He replied in a subdued tone of voice.

  “Get to it__.” She barked.

  What else was there to say? She had said it all. He sighed and got to it. His ears cocked as he heard movement coming from his parent’s bedroom. It appeared daddy dear was up. The sarcasm in his thoughts puzzled him. Quickly dismissing it, he hurried along with his chores.

  Chapter Two


  There was no light as usual. Only God knew when NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) or was it PHCN (Power Holding Company Nigeria) would give them light. Two weeks had passed since the light bulbs had come on.

  A deep sigh burst from her lips. This was great, just great. The most annoying part of the whole thing was her mother knew someone who worked there. If memory served her well, he was a manager.

  Mother however was being stubborn. She refused to call him to find out what exactly was going on with the electricity. The look on Tunrayo’s face grew grimmer as she remembered her mother’s words.

  “I don’t want to be a bother Tunrayo so stop disturbing me about it. I am not going to call him and that’s final.”

  When her mother used the words final, it really was final. Her frown deepened as she bent low and continued sweeping the concrete path in front of their three bedroom red brick house.

  The gloom around her was becoming lighter. Dawn was almost here. To her far right she could see that the black skies were slowly turning to navy blue. Turning her attention back to her task she switched on the torch she held in her hand. The white light it emitted illuminated the concrete in front of her.

  On her extreme left, just a couple of feet in front of some thick bushes lay the battered carcass of her dad’s 1996 Toyota corolla. Another sigh left her lips as she looked at it. She could not remember the last time that the damn thing had worked. Looking at the car made her think of her father and her face grew grimmer.

  It was impossible to describe to anyone what she felt about her father. Love was not close to it. She did not hate him, that much was certain, but she could not say she was that fond of him.

  A light came on in the sitting room behind her. She turned looking at it with a wan somewhat sad expression on her face. Her mother was up. The look on her face softened. Dear mummy, sweet mummy; the woman could be annoying__ her thoughts briefly drifted back to the electricity problem. There was no doubt, however what her feelings for the now forty eight year old woman was.

  She loved her to bits. Her mum was always there for her. She always ensured that the bills were paid, helped her with her homework when it was necessary and put food on the table.

  In the silence of the early morning, she heard a creak as the bedroom door opened. A few seconds later, a second form joined her mother in the sitting room. The gruff tone told her that her father had awakened. The expression on her face grew hard. She could not hear what he was saying but she doubted he was saying anything pleasant. He hardly ever did.

  It was sort of a routine with him. He woke up
very early in the morning, got out of bed and started castigating anyone he met. She did not know why exactly he did this, but the look in his eyes made her feel he derived some sort of perverse pleasure from it.

  After he was done, putting everyone down, he would head back into their bedroom and fall asleep. He usually slept until ten or eleven in the morning. Luckily, for everyone he remained in the room after he woke; only coming out for meals. Recently however, her mother had taken to carrying his meals to him in the room so no one had to see him much. The only snag with that arrangement was sometimes her mother made her take food to him.

  It was painfully obvious to her mother that she did not really like her father. This made her always try to explain away his bad behavior. She would go on a long tirade about things not being easy for him and he being unhappy because he lost his job three years ago.

  He had worked in a bank, Cadmick Chartered Bank if she remembered correctly. He was fired. Laid off was the term her mother used. He had been unemployed since then. Her mum always said he was seriously looking for work, but somehow she doubted it. In her opinion, he seemed content to lie back and let his wife take care of him.


  The sound of her mother’s voice snapped her out of her angry thoughts.

  “Yes mummy.” She called out as she quickly continued sweeping.

  “Have you finished sweeping?”

  “Almost finished__.”

  “You better hurry up. You don’t want to be late for school do you?”

  A smile lifted the sides of her lips ever so slightly. At sixteen, her mother still thought she was a child. In two more years, she would be eighteen and an adult. If all went well she would be on her way to the university. She could not wait to leave the house. Two years seemed so far away but she knew the time would pass quickly and then she would be free. That thought made a thrill of excitement to race through her insides.

  She finished sweeping with that thought and headed back into the house. Her mum was right. It would not do to be late.

  Chapter Three


  The sleep was sweet. Chai!* *local expression usually used as an exclamation to show enjoyment. It had been a while since he enjoyed sleep the way he was doing now. No dream sef. Just satisfying blackness, yes na so things suppose be. He could feel a smile lifting the corners of his lips as his thoughts switched to Pidgin English.

  Something inside told him that such bliss was not meant to last. His thought was confirmed a moment later as something began to intrude on his bliss. What it was he did not know. It was a noise; a shaking that refused to go away no matter how hard he tried to ignore it. The damn thing was gonna be very sorry if it woke him up, but the noise and shaking continued. Though he did all to fight it his eyes fluttered open.

  “CHIKE!!!!!” His mother roared.

  He sat up with a jolt shocked to see the light streaming through his window.

  “Don’t you realize that school starts in about forty minutes? Not to mention the fact that you have to walk; I no know wetin sleep use enslave you__ go bathroom immediately.”

  He leapt out of bed and edged away from mother's furious gaze. She was a five foot eleven inch, two hundred pound angry woman. Her bright hazel eyes flashed in their sockets and her large mouth curved in a disapproving frown.

  He reached the door of the bathroom in seconds. A quick glance down the narrow corridor and into the next room whose door was wide open told him that his younger brothers were already dressed and ready. They looked smart in white cotton shirts tucked into brown shorts. Their short legs wrapped in knee length white stockings, while brown leather sandals encased their tiny feet.

  With a deep sigh, he ducked into the bathroom. It took him less than five minutes to bath. Dressing took even less time. His mother ever efficient had laid out his clothes. His uniform was starched and ironed. On the verge of rushing into the sitting room, he quickly remembered that he had not brushed his teeth. He briefly considered not brushing his teeth but discarded that thought almost as soon as it came. His mouth always felt terrible if he did not brush.

  When he was done, he headed to the sitting room. A thrill of fear stole into his heart when his eyes settled on the tall imposing figure of his father seated at the dinning table.

  A frown quickly replaced his troubled look. He thought his father ought to have left. He usually left before he was up in the mornings. ‘Well he is still here as you can see.’ A sardonic voice in his subconscious growled.

  His father’s disapproving stare was fixed on his face. Not one word left his lips as Chike sauntered over to the dinning table. His silence was not surprising. He never said much. His father was someone who preferred to act rather than speak. Oftentimes that acting usually involved a spanking. He didn’t seem that keen on giving him a spanking now or was he merely clutching at straws? With his father, it was usually hard to tell.

  A half second after he thought this his father spoke. His voice came so suddenly that he jumped startled only just realizing that he had been standing beside his chair without attempting to sit down.

  “You no go sit down?” His father barked out in Pidgin English. He shuddered. Whenever his father spoke in Pidgin, it usually spelt trouble. He slid onto his chair staring at the food on his plate as if he entranced by it. The rich delicious scent of Jollof rice and chicken wafted into his nostrils making his mouth water. By the gods, his mother sure knew how to cook. His father provided the means for her to exploit and explore that talent.

  His father was a big car spare parts dealer. Maybe even the biggest in Oraromi (town where they reside). His mother most certainly seemed to think so. He however was not so sure, neither did he want to analyze his thoughts on the subject too deeply.

  He darted a glance at his father and saw his hard disapproving stare still fixed on him. He took a deep breath and began eating. Only then, did his father’s hard gaze leave his face and return to his food. The silence that enshrouded the table was cold and unnerving.

  Alaba and Joke (Pronounced Jor-ke)

  He was still, watching her chest rise and fall as she slept. She looked breathtakingly beautiful as she slept. She always did. He liked watching her sleep, which was one of the few things he did with every fiber of his being. He spent many a night watching her, just as he was doing now. He doubted she knew he did it. If she did, she would probably have chastised him, saying she was robbing him of his beauty sleep.

  Secretly though, he knew she would be pleased. A small smile lifted the corners of his lips making his early morning stubble covered jaw seem less hard. He studied her face. He knew every inch of its exquisite and near perfect surface. Every line, every curve, the soft fullness of her lips was as familiar to him as his own face. Her eyes were closed but he knew the grayish brown pupils that lurked beneath those gorgeous lids.

  She had eyes that mesmerized. That drew you in. Eyes of perfection, pleasantness and understanding; eyes that made you feel you were no longer alone and even if you were you would no longer be.

  She was everything to him and more. His gaze traveled down her sleek sensual body, covered in a pink nightgown that reached only halfway down her thighs. His roaming gaze came to rest on the bulge in her belly. His left arm moved, slow, suddenly as if it moved of its own volition. His open palm came to rest on top of the bulge. Immediately, as if on cue he felt the baby kick.

  His breath caught in his throat. That singular thing never ceased to amaze him, no matter how many times he felt and experienced it. The wonder of it almost, always blew him away; the miracle that was growing every second, every minute in his soul mate’s body.

  His child! Their child!! It was their first. As these thoughts flashed through his mind, a sense of unworthiness and incapability filled him. He was not sure he had what it took to be a good father and better husband.

  ‘You’ve managed just fine thus far and Joke sure hadn’t been complaining.’ A soft voice in his head reminded him. A frown roughened his
brow at that. The voice in his subconscious or was it his head always had a sardonic/sarcastic quality about it. Almost as if, it was permanently mocking him.

  He shook his head to clear it of his errant thoughts. As usual, sadness flooded his insides as he did this. He could not help wishing he could do more for her. His gaze flitted across the walls of the tiny room they were in. It’s stained faded blue walls never ceased to infuriate him.

  The apartment was what they called a self-contained unit. It had a sitting room, a bedroom, a toilet and a bath. The kitchen was a communal kind of thing. The six of such apartments that were in this building used the same kitchen. He wished more than anything on earth that he could move them to a bigger place, especially with the baby coming.

  If he could get a two-bedroom apartment, one room for them and the other for guests, until the baby was old enough to stay on its own. However, he could not afford it. Being a geography teacher in a second rate secondary school in a town as small and insignificant as Oraromi did not offer you that many high paying job options.

  He realized that he had been extremely lucky to get the job he had. There were literally thousands of jobless graduates roaming around on the Nigerian streets. He did not have to look that far to find an example.

  Joke was one of the unlucky jobless ones. With a degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Economics, she was no pushover. Not that he was resting on his oars either. He had a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a Masters degree in Educational Administration and Planning. He was also planning to go even further and get a PHD. That was in whatever century their finances grew stable enough. With a baby on the way, he did not see it happening anytime soon.

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