- Vol. 06
- Chapter 01
We didn't always live here.
We came in ones, in threes and in fives, until we didn't see the point in counting anymore.
Every evening, as the sky turned, we gathered at the wall.
It was an ordinary thing, the wall. Stark and grey and pathetic - if we do say so ourselves. But it had an odd way of drawing you in, so we made it into something grand, something worth being drawn into.
We sprayed our names on the wall: Dalvin II, King K, Obinna Da OG.
We confessed our secrets to the wall: I love Lipe, I like Lanre.
Sometimes, we shot hoops. Other times, we hung around and gossiped. Who was sleeping with who, whose mother-in-law came to visit and refused to leave, which of our daughters had gotten her first period. Oh, the things we talked about. Oh, the breath of our stupidity.
Now that we think of it, we should have seen it coming. And by 'it', we mean everything.
First came the bulldozers. Ugly, rampaging beasts that tore down the handsome buildings surrounding the wall.
Who did this? We asked.
Instead of answers, we got questions. Who are you to ask? Do you know who I am? Who is your father?
We shut up and watched the new buildings go up. They were like science fiction. They were unlike anything we had ever seen. One was an unsettling shade of pink, its roof shaped like a queen's crown. Another, an orange cardboard cutout, a lone black window across its middle.
And just when we thought we'd seen it all, a lighthouse appeared in the heart of our neighbourhood. A lighthouse of all things.
And so we left.
We left in ones, in threes and in fives, until those we left behind didn't see the point in counting anymore.
We left in a rush, our boxes unlocked and our flies unzipped, because we wanted to forget we had ever lived here.
We ran to the edge of the city, to the point where the tar thinned into earth. We set up camp and went about the business of forgetting.
But this evening, we remembered. This evening, we climbed into our makeshift cars and drove past the wall. This evening, we saw those we left behind standing on our spots and gossiping about things they know nothing about. Oh, the breath of their stupidity.