Saturday, 11 August 2018

Bring Him Back (Concluding Part)

Click Here for Part 7

I woke up, shaking, from a bad dream. I was back in Abdul’s SUV that fateful Friday night, watching as Tuoyo and Abdul dragged Letty into the backseat. She was alive all right, but her head was that of a goat. And she kept knocking that head on the roof of the car.

I looked around, relieved to find myself in the hotel room, with my wife’s sleeping form beside me. But I could still hear the sound of Letty’s goat head butting the car roof, just like I had heard it in my nightmare.

For a moment, I was filled with wild disorientation. Then I realized the sound of knocking was coming from the door. Someone was knocking on the door.

I went to the door to find the receptionist that had checked us in the day before standing there. Surprisingly, he had Bosun beside him, and was holding him forcefully at the collar as the little boy struggled to get free. Was I dreaming?

I looked back at the bed, the space that was supposed to be occupied by Bosun was empty. How had he…?

The receptionist pulled my son into the room, railing off endlessly in French, while I struggled to read his gesticulations, trying to understand what he was communicating. Folake woke up with a start and jumped to her feet.

Le garçon run… money,” the Beninese young man spurted, mixing the few words of English he knew into his French tirade in order to get his point across.

Run? Money?

Speechless, we watched as he dipped his hand into the pockets of Bosun’s shorts and pulled out rolls of naira bills, and a few Mars bars. “Run… money.”

The next tirade of French words, peppered with animated gesticulations did not fail in carrying across the message that he had found Bosun trying to run away with all that money in his pockets.

Folake gasped and clasped her hands over her mouth. I was just as shocked. Why would Bosun want to run away and how had he gotten the idea of stealing so much money? It was unbelievable. He must have woken up while Folake and I slept, stuffed his pockets with the money and chocolate, and let himself out of the room.

“Thank you. Merci,” I said to the receptionist and he pushed Bosun to us with a disgusted shake of his head. Our son who had been crying since, turned to the departing Beninese and for the first time since…since his return, I heard him talk. It was just one phrase, a phrase of insult that was shocking to the ears of Folake and I that my wife screamed, “Oh my God!”

It was a Yoruba phrase, which translated to English, roughly meant unfortunate fellow. We were shocked both by hearing such an ugly insult come out of our little boy’s mouth, and also by the fact that Bosun, who neither understood nor spoke Yoruba, had just spoken Yoruba.

I recovered quickly, called the receptionist back, gave him a handsome tip and thanked him for his help, while Folake remained standing stiffly, staring at Bosun like she was looking at a complete stranger.

“Folake, ours is an extraordinary situation; it’s not everyday day someone is brought back from the dead, so you have to expect extraordinary things from him,” I reasoned, trying to make her feel better.

“But why would he want to run away from us? And how could have said such a thing to that man…”

With a few more soothing words, I was able to get her to relax. We went back into the room with the still crying Bosun and locked the door.

After breakfast the next morning, I left Bosun and Folake in the hotel to withdraw some money to change to CFA Francs for our trip to Ghana. Also, I needed to talk to my folks.
After withdrawing as much money as I could from all our ATM cards and changing some to CFA Francs, I purchased a new SIM card at a store not far from the hotel and slotted it into my phone. Then I proceeded to send a very lengthy text message to my father, explaining that Folake and I had gone away because she could not stand being in that house any longer. I assured him that we were fine and Bosun had been given a befitting burial. I apologized for all the trouble I must have put them through and promised that we would be back soon, once Folake had healed properly. I also hinted at the possibility of us adopting a child in the meantime.

Almost as soon as I sent the message off, my phone rang. I knew it had to be my father. I picked up the call reluctantly, deciding it would do him good to hear my voice so he would not start thinking I had been kidnapped and forced to send that message under duress.

“Jide, Jide, where exactly are you?” he questioned in Yoruba; half-shouting.

“Daddy, am fine. And so is Folake, we just needed to get away for some time. Greet Maami for me.” And without giving him the opportunity to press me further, I cut off the line. I would have to destroy the SIM Card now. But before then, I had one more call to make; this time to Abdul.

His line rang and rang, but no response. I tried again, still no response, so I decided to call Tuoyo. I scrolled through my contacts, found Tuoyo’s number and dialed it.

He picked on the first ring.

“Tuoyo, it’s me, Jide. I have been trying to reach Abdul, but no luck.”

A shout was the first response I got. “Jyyyydo! Haba! You just abandoned your guys like that. Why now? No be so o. No be so life be. We tried to reach you many times, you no dey gree pick call, even your wife dey always talk say you no dey anytime we show for your side. E no good as you do o. E no good at all. I no believe say you fit do like that. Even when Abdul get all those problems, you no show. It’s not fair o…”

“Problems?” I cut into his tirade of quick-fire Pidgin. “What problems did he have?”

“Na that Lati girl now. The day after we dropped her off at her people’s place, they started causing problems for Abdul o. Said he had done something to their daughter; that she was acting abnormal. They said she no dey gree talk again, just dey make strange sounds and dey behave like possessed person. They even alleged that he had used her for money rituals and started making a lot of noise o. He had to settle them with a huge sum of money to hush the whole thing up, millions o. But it caused a lot of problems between him and his wife and almost led to their separation. We tried to reach you all through this period for help but you just stiffed our side. Is it fair?”

“What about the girl, how is she now?”

“I don’t know. After Abdul settled her folks, we heard nothing from her end again. But who cares? Wetin person wan use am do again, she no normal again na.”

I had heard enough. Quickly, I told him I would call him back soon and that he should try to get Abdul to call me, and cut off. Then I switched off the phone and took out the SIM Card, breaking it in two before tossing it away.

Letty would never be normal again.

Well, I should have expected that. After all the Priest had said she would ‘be like a goat’. But this thought had me wondering if my Bosun would ever be completely normal too, despite the fact that we had used a human sacrifice for him.
Well, it was still better than not having him back at all. At least Folake was happy now, and that was the most important thing in the world to me. Her happiness.

As I walked back into the hotel, I felt my positivity begin to return slowly.

“All will be well,” I told myself. We would be on our way to Ghana first thing tomorrow morning and we would start a new life there. Whatever abnormalities we noticed in Bosun, we would fix with love and care. We would be one happy, content family again.

On letting myself into the hotel room, however, the jaunt in my steps disappeared, stolen away by the atmosphere that greeted me in the room. It was the same atmosphere I had sensed when I came back from work two days ago to learn of my son’s demise. It was an atmosphere of death.

“Folake!” I screamed. The hotel room was empty. No response.

I was about rushing out of the room when I noticed that the bathroom door was open and water seeping out of it. I dashed in there.

Folake was in the tub, fully dressed, with the water full to the brim and slushing out. The water was a strange pinkish colour. Bosun was in there too, but while Folake’s was above the water and resting on the top of the tub, he was completely beneath the water. Unmoving. My heart stopped beating.

“Fola…” I tried to speak but my tongue had suddenly taken up all the space in my mouth, choking off the words I tried to form.

Folake turned to me, her gaze unfocused.

“He isn’t my son,” I heard her whisper. “My son was never brought back.”

“What are you talking about?” I had managed to regain words and mobility in my muscles and rushed over to the tub to pull out my son.

“He’d dead. I killed him; drowned him. He’s not my son. I can't have him anymore, not when I know he's not my son.”
Shock is an understatement for what I felt as my hand came in contact with Bosun’s cold motionless body in the water, with those words coming out of Folake’s mouth at the same time.

Drowned him? Folake, my wife, telling me she had drowned her own son? What madness was this?

The water. That pink colour is blood, my dulled brain figured out. And at the same instance of that realization, I noticed the head portion of a shaving stick bobbing in the water. I looked at my wife in confusion; I didn’t want to believe what my brain was telling me

“Folake, come out of the water.”

She smiled and shook her head weakly. “I can’t do that. Not even if I wanted to…” Bloodless lips trembled. “I… I slashed my wrists after drowning him. Don’t you see the blood?”

With a shout, I lifted her bodily out of the tub unto the tiled floor of the bathroom. Blood streamed out in rivulets from the arteries of her cut wrists.

“Folake, why! Why would you do such a thing!”

I picked her up again and rushed to the bedroom, set her on the bed and went about trying to stop the blood flow by tying items of clothing I could find around her wrists.

“It was all for nothing. All we did… that boy…. It was all for nothing. Bosun was never brought back. It was that boy all along, it was that boy’s soul in my son’s body all along.”


“How can you not see? With the way he has been behaving, doing things Bosun doesn’t do, speaking a language Bosun doesn’t understand. After you left, still puzzled by what he said to that receptionist guy and the fact that he tried to run away, I decided to have a talk with him. I – I asked him what his name is…” Choking sobs, very weak in intensity, interrupted her words. I knew I should rush for help, but I also knew it was already too late. I just knelt there beside her, petrified with a ton-load of shock at the horror of it all. “…He didn’t respond. So I repeated the question in Yoruba. And you know what?” her voice gets fainter still. “He told me his name is Ayo.”

“Oh, Folake…” I burst uncontrollably into tears then.

“Do you see now, do you see my son was never brought back? It… it was just a transfer of souls. So, I had to kill him. I can't keep that boy, knowing he's not mine. There was no other option. Now… now I’m left with nothing, Jide, nothing. What is there to live for? Nothing. If I can't have my baby back on this earth, then in heaven…”

Her voice faded off at once. As though the last reserve of strength, that she had been pulling on to speak, had suddenly dried off. I looked into her face and saw that the life had slipped out of her.

I remained kneeling beside her, staring, just staring at her face. No, she couldn’t be dead. No, she couldn’t be gone from me forever.

No, no.

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  1. what a waste!!! You're so talented Sabigirl. I forgot i was reading felt like i could see them as i read every line. really sad story tho...

  2. Wow! Wow!! Wow!!! Nice story Sabigirl