The Machinery I
I was still a Jambito (university aspirant) then who had recently written his Post UTME and was on a visit to my brother. A visit that exceeded a month.
His school, FUTO, had commenced exams, however, my brother alongside his room mates had not even thought of making plans to peruse their books. They didn’t even have books in their room, typical of most nonchalant students.
Joezy, his room mate had asked me the previous night if I could sit for a carryover examination for him because he, at the same time, had another exam he had to sit for.
“You go become ‘machinery’ my guy!! Na experience. People go day call you very soon day pay you,” he told me. I quickly obliged.
Oh! Did I forget to state that we were all drunk that night?
We woke up very late the next day with a terrible and horrendous hangover. Suddenly, Joezy jumped off the bed like a tadpole who had seen had seen a predator. The terrifying “chineeeeeke” he screamed was the same way Ladipo market boys shouted when they get robbed by pickpockets.
“Guy wetin na!” Boiblaq quarried. “See as you wan take burst my brain,” my brother lamented. I had gotten over the shock and was almost resuming my sleep when Joezy said, “Idiotic mumus, we get exam today.”
“Say God,” they said him in unison.
“Ehen! Satan…” Joezy retorted.
That said, everyone started running to and fro, east and west, falling down and rising up like the people of Israel when they had lost the battle with the Amalekites.
What about me? I just relaxed on the bed even though the sound of their hasty heels against the tiles was shattering my brain. I laughed at them with my inner mouth.
“Joezy, which time be the paper self?” My brother asked.
“Nna, that one na JAMB question o! No be all of us day house since?” Joezy retorted, still busy with whatever it was he was doing.
“Call Ouchmonie na,” Boiblaq said from the bathroom. His voice sounded muffled. He must have been brushing his teeth then.
With the speed of lightening and agility of a tiger, my brother dialed Ouchmonie. A feminine voice from MTN had told my brother over the phone that his airtime was getting low, another funny voice asked him if he would like to copy the callertune Ouchmonie used. He started cursing the telecommunication company under his breath as the receiver’s phone rang. He picked:
“Ehen! Hello! Ouch…” My brother started but was cutshort by the receiver.
“Where una day? Paper wan almost start oo,” Ouchmonie shouted over the phone.
“Ehh!” They all shouted at the same time as if the phone call wasn’t audible enough for everyone in the room to hear.
“Ekpa!” Ouchmonie countered. “E be like say una wan get carryover!” The line went off. That said, the momentum each of them used in rushing for their clothes was admirably.
Joezy and my brother didn’t bother brushing or cleaning up at all. They just randomly picked any cloth. That was when Joezy burst the bubble.
“Kachy, you no wan go dress?” He said.
I just opened one eye and scanned him well.
“You say?” I asked like I didn’t hear him.
“Guy go dress na,” Joezy countered. His face showed he was serious. I was quite surprised. As a matter of fact, I had no business with them.
“Make I dress say wetin happen na?” I asked with a comic look and voice.
“Kachy why you day do like this na? No be you talk say you go help me do machinery today?” Joezy said with a quaver in his voice.
I was taken aback. When did I make such promise? Of all people it had to be me. For Christ sake, what do I know about Computer Science? I am an art student.
It was during my mesmire that I recalled how the past night was spent. With drinks and music and kush ( weed). I had mixed so many alcoholic drinks together. It was unorthodox but it didn’t matter to me. That was when I made that ambiguous promise.
I then remembered what my brother in the hood, Austin, used to tell me. “Be careful of the things you say or do when you are influenced by alchohol.”
Look at how I tangled myself into an infinite web with incomprehensible ways of escape.
“Ahh! Joezy you know say that talk way I talk na Highness inspire am na,” I tried to convince him.
After much pleading and promise by Joezy to settle me with a thousand Naira, I agreed to help out. I termed it, “assisting a nigga in need”. I thought about it, there was nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was not a bona fide student of FUTO hence I can’t get expelled if caught.
The worst thing that could happen was to get arrested my officials and I was not so dumb to allow myself be paraded into a van without trying to escape. At least, not without a fight. But looking at the gain from doing it, I was hopeful. A careless thousand naira in my pocket could do more than enough good for me.
I picked up my dirty self from the dirty bed, put on some clothes without freshening up and followed them all to school.
To be continued…