By Chisom Ugwu
Jude Ayodele woke up to the harsh glare of the sun through his bedroom window and groaned like an exhausted boar. Slowly – and quite grumpily – he climbed out of bed and drew the curtains over the window. Without bothering to take his bath – as usual – he picked up a pair of jeans from the floor and tugged them on, coupled with a T-shirt he had forgotten to wash which hung from his bedroom door.
Fully dressed, with unbrushed teeth, he found his way downstairs to the kitchen where he found his mother busy with breakfast preparations; she was standing over a pan of boiling oil with about ten akara balls frying in said pan.
Mrs Ayodele was a short, stout woman who had a permanent scowl on her face, and although Jude was her only child, she never made him feel like it. For example, “Good morning, Mum”
Her scowl deepened, “Are you mad?”
Jude frowned, “How?”
“So, you don’t know how to greet your elders properly again? What is ‘Mum’? You can’t call me Mama? Eh?! And just imagine the time you’re waking up… when your mates are…” she embarked on her routine scolding/nagging.
Jude sighed and reached for one of her already fried akara balls, the enchanting bronze beauty beckoned him; coupled with the irresistible aroma and life-threatening hunger he felt at that particular moment. But just as his hand was within reach of the akara ball, a big wooden cooking spoon smacked his knuckles very loudly.
“JESUS!!!” he cried out and retracted his aching hand… then got hit on the head with the same spoon.
“Don’t touch my akara and don’t call our savior’s name in vain,” the old harpy hissed at him.
“But what am I supposed to eat?!” her son whined.
Mrs Ayodele didn’t miss a beat, “You’re a 26 year old man who still lives with his mother. Have some shame! Go and look for a job like your mates you unnecessary expense!” she paused and scrutinized him. “Jude, I’m sure you’ve not had your bath shebi?”
Grumbling almost as loud as his empty stomach, Jude left the house. His first stop was Yemisi’s roadside restaurant where he could always order a plate of food in exchange for doing some odd jobs for Yemisi later. He ordered a plate of beans. Once he was done, he headed for Rose’s house.
Rose was his 17 year old girlfriend who lived with her aunt; It was a known thing that she loved hanging out with older men. He made his way to their usual meeting spot – a dead mango tree behind her house – and began whistling to get her attentionAfter about two minutes, he spotted Rose sneaking out the back door and running to him, He spread his arms and caught her in a bear hug.
“Baby, what took you so long?” he asked.
“My aunt was in the way, but at least I’m here now.”
“I want us to go somewhere”
“Where?” She blinked up at him.
“That abandoned house at 4th Avenue”
Rose frowned at that, “That place is off limits and you know it. This is Nigeria oh, they might mistake us for thieves or something”
Jude chuckled, “Yes, this is Nigeria, that’s why no one would particularly care if they see two young people sneaking into an abandoned house. They’ll know what’s up na”
Rose sighed in defeat as Jude started leading the way, “Besides,” he added, “what could possibly go wrong?”
Of course, four hours later, Jude found out all that could possibly go wrong. He definitely hadn’t expected to be sitting in a cell with a very hysterical Rose who refused to be comforted
“I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M IN JAIL!” she wailed.
“Eh, technically we’re being detained till our…” he was cut off by another of her wails.
“This is all your fault. ‘What could possibly go wrong’ indeed!”
Jude tried tickling her but she was as unresponsive as dry concrete, “Get your grimy hands off me!” she slapped his hand away.
Curious about what happened?
You see, Jude and Rose arrived at the abandoned house – which was still quite filled with valuable property – only to run into a security guard who – as per the Nigerian mentality – accused them of coming to steal. They tried explaining that they were only coming to fornicate (LOL) but the security guard only gathered people to restrain them while he called the police.
Fortunately for the unlucky couple, the police had nothing to pin on them, so they were being held till their parents came to get them since they still lived with their parents.
Of course, we haven’t forgotten the fiery Mrs. Ayodele.
Twenty minutes later, Jude wished the earth would open up and swallow him. “Where is he?!” came Mrs. Ayodele’s voice. “Where is that good for nothing boy who can’t even take his bath and wash his clothes?”. On hearing this, Rose shrank away from Jude. “Oh God, could this day possibly get any worse?” he groaned.
Yes. Yes, it could.
A pot-bellied officer came to retrieve Jude from the cell; he had expected the further deepened scowl on her face, but what he hadn’t expected was the huge wooden spoon his mother dug out of her handbag the moment she set eyes on him, nostrils flaring in rage.Knowing the extent Mrs. Ayodele could go to, Jude tried scrambling back into the cell but Mrs. Ayodele was faster; she pounced on him and began landing blows all over his body with the huge spoon.
Mama, please! Mama, I’m sorry!” he cried while shielding his body with his arms.
“I sent you to look for work, and instead you landed in police custody. You and I will die here today,” she declared.
The pot-bellied officer chuckled as he placed Jude’s earlier confiscated sandals and belt on the counter for him to collect. “Mama please let me put on my belt at least,” Jude cried out.
A blow to the head was enough to silence him, “Belt for what? Eh?! What do you know you’re hiding? I’ll tell you that I bathed you when it was the size of a peanut and remind you that it has not changed in size since then.”
The officer roared with laughter and even Rose whose people hadn’t yet come for her began laughing behind bars.
Jude was thankful when the spoon finally broke, but cursed his luck when Mrs. Ayodele, tyrant that she was, plucked her left slipper in classic Nigerian mother fashion and continued the beating as they walked home.
Maybe next time poor Jude Ayodele will reason right just to avoid the wrath of Mrs. Ayodele…