Bolaji, a locally brought up Yoruba boy, sat around the same table with his friends, laughing sheepishly although forcefully at the gyrations of his friends. All of whom were high on the varieties of alcohol they had variously ordered. Dotun, however was an exception in the gyrating crew. He, although not that drunk today, does not have to be drunk before he gets high. It is easier to mistake him for a drunkard with his exaggerated displays.
Bolaji is not obviously a fan of the ongoing activities and he is almost regretting that he came around. But he could not afford to miss his golden opportunity of watching his favorite artiste perform that night at the bar. It was dream come true for him when Bayo, his course mate, informed him earlier that “kamilu kompo” was going to be at GQ crib that night to perform. He had always wanted to watch him live ever since he was 10 years old. He immediately forgot every other schedule for that evening and pursue his 12 years dream.
He ordinarily wouldn’t have stepped his foot in any bar in town much less an unusually sophisticated one like “GQ crib”, nah! That’s to frenzy for a decent guy like Bolaji. But tonight he is breaking rules to watch “Kamilu”. He had made sure his phone was fully charged just to avoid story that touch the mind when he wants to get a selfie (photoshoot) with “kamilu”. He is determined to do anything to achieve that, even if that means defying security measures or constituting a nuisance. But here he is, almost cursing himself for taking the mindless decision. Nothing around him is going on fine but he is determined not to leave the bar until “kamilu” shows up.
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It has been announced earlier that “Kamilu” is on his way and would start performing as by 11.00pm. Bolaji sharply glanced at his wrist watch which indicated that he still have to wait at least one more hour to see Kamilu. He quietly regret coming, but nothing is too much a sacrifice if your favorite is on the way. This is a life time opportunity, he thought to himself. He took another look at his drunk friends who appear to be living the moment already even before the star artiste show up, they are already jumping at every music that burst out of the DJ’s speaker.
He is currently dreading the smoke of cannabis, cigarette and shisha that are converging in his head like a confluence, he would choke up on the stinking smoke if nothing is done about it. He was still struggling amidst the smoky atmosphere when his phone buzzed aggressively on his thigh from his pocket. The wicked vibration took him off balance at first while he reached for his phone.
‘who is it that would not allow me curse this moment in peace?’ he muttered as he reached for his phone.
There you go! It is Motara on the line. Motara is Bolaji’s age long girlfriend. Like her boyfriend, she despise austerity too. Decency runs through her veins, and she loves the company of her own. Her penchant for secrecy explains why her love story with Bolaji is unknown to practically no living creature. How they have managed to maintain such secret for 5 years still amazes Bolaji himself. Although he is enjoying and loving every bit of it. Albeit, not unlike every other relationships there have been period of quarrel and disagreement but it has kept the bond much stronger.
The sight of the caller ID sends a distress call to Bolaji who is already cursing himself for it.
“how could I have forgotten?!” , he screamed.
Motara, who does not only school in a different institution but also a different state, was coming to pay her boyfriend a visit for the weekend and has chosen a Friday to embark on the journey. She had, prior to the day, informed Bolaji who was initially not cool with the idea. But after much persuasion and misunderstanding, he grudgingly allowed her to visit. He feared that her presence would terminate the 5 years secret love they have shared because his busybody friends would get to find out one way or the other. He had once joked about travelling out of town before she arrives. A joke she took seriously and almost broke the bond.
She promised to arrive as late as 9pm so as to avoid being noticed. The good thing is: he lives alone. He sent her the direction on how to locate the hostel from the park, should in case he couldn’t fashion a way to come and meet her at the park. But tonight, Bolaji has forgotten about his girlfriend’s visit. When he heard about Kamilu’s coming, he couldn’t plan any other stuff. No wonder Motara’s call is now a distress call.
He quickly looked at his watch, and its half past 10.00pm and his heart shattered immediately. Motara had waited 1hour 30 minutes before calling. If that’s not giving him enough excuse then nothing is, he thought. She must be at his hostel already and can’t find him, his hostel mates won’t allow her in in his absence; that was purely for security measures.
He looked at his friends and none of them appears like they could help. Not even when he is keen on keeping the relationship secret. He was still battling the dilemma as to what to tell the love of his life when the phone stopped ringing. Bolaji finds it hard to think straight as the loud music from the speaker is not helping his blanked head. His phone rang again and it’s the same caller. His heart skipped again, and started beating faster than usual. Again, he looked at his friends who are apparently lost into the atmosphere and totally unaware of their friend’s ordeal. He almost answered the call ignoring all the thoughts suggesting otherwise.
But on the second thought, the environment he finds himself would only complicate things; how can he explain to Motara that he forgot she was coming but he is somewhere in a bar dancing to loud music? No Jupiter would buy that lie at the cheapest rate. He kept on debating silently on his topsy-turvy when his phone stopped ringing again for the second time in a roll.
Motara would usually not call for after a second attempt, except it is an emergency. This thought gave him a temporary relief, while he thought of what to tell Motara when he gets to his hostel. But he was wrong: Motara called again. He immediately lost his cool and can no longer wait to answer the call. Is she in trouble? Oh! The hoodlums; are they harassing her? Or She probably can’t find her way. Did she get robbed?
A million thought in his head but none came with an answer. He ran out of the bar unnoticed to his drunk friends. He went far from where the “Jo Soapy blast” would no longer reflect into his phone conversation. He starred at the phone and clicked to answer. He summoned all courage he could to say: hello! He wasn’t sure he got a response from the other end before he blanked out!
A Jolly Good Fellow is authored by Ola-lawal Mu’az Abolaji. He is a student of Law at the University of Ilorin, Ilorin. He has a good flair for writing. He has series of poems and articles to his name.
Start today, A Jolly Good Fellow becomes a series on the Muzzammilwrites blog. Watch out for the next Episode next Sunday. Do not forget to share your views and criticisms with us in the comment section. You can help us to serve you better.
Written by Ola-lawal Mu’az Abolaji.
Edited and Published on Muzzammilwrites;