Pere made his way through the market with nothing but a
nylon bag folded meticulously and stuffed into the back of his pocket. He
walked with sure steps as though one on a mission and indeed, he was on a
mission. He needed to get food or he’ll starve. He made his way through the
very bubbly market on the outskirts of Warri town and stopped at a garri stall.
“Good morning…” He greeted.

“Customer buy ooo…” The seller greeted, flashing him a
smile.
The seller was a young girl, of about eighteen years, she
had a gap-front tooth and from her position behind the large garri bowls, he
could tell that she had a lovely figure to booth.
“I want two cups.” He said taking his mind away from the
girl and focusing on the garri before him and his growling stomach.
“Two cups? Okay…” She said with a wider smile and began to
measure the garri into two cups and transfer it into a small black nylon bag.
As she measured the garri, she threw flirtatious glances at
him from time to time. Pere wasn’t flattered in the least, he was used to being
admired by women. At twenty eight years of age, Pere stood at six feet four
inches, he wasn’t so muscular in build and he was dark skinned with the most
beautiful eyes, he also had a winning smile.
“See, I add more garri for inside your bag.” She said with a
small smile.
Pere nodded and took the garri, he pulled out the nylon he’d
stuffed into his pocket and pushed the already packed nylon of garri into it.
“Your money is five hundred.” The girl said with a smile.
Pere nodded and lifted up his shirt to show the waistband of
his jean trousers, the girl gasped when she saw the hard metal peeking out from
the waist band of his jeans. Pere didn’t need to say anything more, he’d made
himself clear. As he walked away with the nylon of garri in his hand, he
wondered if it was really necessary to have shown a defenceless young girl, a
gun.
*****
Christiana was very upset, her grandfather was all alone and
of all the thirty two grandchildren the man had, she was the only one who had
to visit him and spend some time with him at the family house.  After her grandmother passed on a year ago,
everyone had thought that her grandfather would follow suit immediately but he
didn’t seem to want to leave the world as soon as his children expected..
Christiana’s parents had pressed her to leave Lagos and
spend some time with her grandfather since she was done with her university
education and still waiting for youth service.
She got off the plane and walked out into the terminal of
the Osubi airport glancing at her watch and hissing at the time.
“Miss Christiana!” A voice called.
Christiana looked up to the sound of the voice and smiled,
it was her grandfather’s old and trusted driver, Edmund. Uncle Edmund as
everyone loved to call him had worked for her grandfather for forty years, the
man could hardly see the roads as properly as before but still insisted on
driving her grandfather around. She remembered last Christmas holiday, after
he’d taken her and her cousins out for outing, it had gotten quite late and
uncle Edmund had missed his way back to their house twice.
“Good afternoon Uncle Edmund. It’s so good to see you.” She
said with a smile.
“You are the most beautiful lily in the desert.” Uncle
Edmund said, reaching out to take her bag.
“Oh c’mon, Uncle…you know that’s not true.” She said,
holding on to her bag firmly as she didn’t want to burden the old man with her
luggage.
“Let me handle that…I want to help you take the bag.” He
said.
“Oh c’mon…uncle…” She protested.
“Give me the bag! It’s necessary that a true gentleman takes
the bag of a lady and let her strut in style.” He insisted.
Christiana burst out laughing that it drew the attention of
some people at the airport.
“You’re like a father to me uncle, I will not let my father
carry my luggage.” She said with a wider smile.
Uncle Edmund didn’t look too pleased, he obliged her and
they both walked out of the airport and headed towards the car park. When she
got into the car and he was about placing the key into the ignition, she asked.
“How is my grandpa?”
“He’s fine…he’s just getting grumpier.” Uncle Edmund said.
Christiana laughed as she created a mental image of her
grumpy ninety- something year old grandfather.
“Grandma’s death hit him hard right? He doesn’t want to
admit it but he was the hardest hit.” She said.
“Yes…it did. Those two bickered at each other at all
times, now, he has no one to bicker at.” Uncle Edmund said.
“I guess he’ll have to bicker at me.” Christiana said with a
smile.
“No, he won’t, you are his grand-daughter.” Uncle Edmund
said.
“Yes I am…” Christiana said, sighing deeply and marvelling
at how she’d found herself born into the great Idogho family.
Christiana’s father had met her mother twenty three years
ago at the Ambrose Ali university Ekpoma. They didn’t love each other as their
affair had been a one night stand at the back of one of the small photo-shops
one night after a party. Her mother worked in a salon in the school and even
though she wasn’t educated, she was enthralled by the male students of the
campus. She was clearly older than her father who was still a naive one hundred
level student back then and who was willing to satisfy his sexual urge on any
woman who gave him the chance. When her mother fell pregnant, she decided to
have the child and eventually when Christiana was born, she took the baby to
Christiana’s father’s off-campus hostel room and left her there. Her father had
been enraged and had denied all claims to the pregnancy but news filtered like
the breeze and soon enough, his father heard of it and insisted that the child
be brought home and raised as part of the family. Christiana’s father had tried
to make his father see reason and had told him that Christiana’s mother, Eseosa
was in the habit of falling pregnant for various men and giving birth to
fatherless children only to pin them on her unsuspecting victims. He also
mentioned that she was a gold-digger who knew how rich his family was and
wanted a share of the wealth but her grandfather had paid him no heed.
Christiana’s father was the last child of eight children and
he was pampered and spoiled silly, he had been born twelve years after aunty
Kewve was born. Aunty Kewve was her grandparent’s last child till Christiana’s
father came along when no one expected. Christiana was raised by her grandparents
for a brief time while her father was studying before joining her father who
later got married to Jade, a woman she now called mother. Her parents were
basically the normal parents in every African home and she had younger siblings
who shared the same father with her. She didn’t know her biological mother and
had never seen her, neither was she eager to know the woman who handed her over
to her father without so much as a backward glance.
Christiana had graduated a few months ago and was awaiting
her youth service when her parents had suggested that she spend some time with
her grandfather in Warri, seeing that she was the only grandchild who wasn’t
occupied at the moment.  Her parents
plans clashed with her personal life as Christiana had planned a surprise
birthday party for her long time boyfriend, Vuoke, who she suspected was
falling out of love with her for some strange reason and she was bummed to
realize that her surprise party won’t be holding as her father had other plans
for her.
She sat at the front seat of the car and sighed, bringing
out her phone, she dialled Vuoke’s number. He answered.
“Hey babe…” She greeted.
“Christy…” He said.
“How are you?” She asked.
“I’m at work.” He replied.
“Oh…okay…I just wanted to let you know that I’ve arrived
Warri.”
“Oh good. My regards to your granddad.” He said.
“Sure…” She said.
“I have to go now.” He said and without waiting for her
response, he hung up.
Christiana stared at her phone for a long time. Her heart
was sunken and she felt so sad. She had loved Vuoke since she was eighteen and
fresh out of secondary school. Now, it seemed as though the love was ebbing
away and she was the only one fighting to keep it alive.
“Your special someone?” Uncle Edmund asked with a smile.
“Well…yea…but…” She trailed off.
“But what?” He asked.
“I dunno…he’s so distant nowadays…it’s like he’s lost
interest.” She said.
“Have you asked him why he’s lost interest in you?”
“No…maybe I’m just imagining things …maybe he’s just too
busy with work.” She defended.
“There’s nothing like a busy man when love is involved.” He
said to her.
Christiana nodded.
“You know what? Why don’t you drop all those worries you had
when you were in Lagos and focus on enjoying yourself here in Warri. After all,
you are free till you get your Call Up letter for service right?” He asked.
“Yes…” She said with a smile.
Pere walked into the small bungalow he shared with three of
his gang members. He kicked the door open with his leg and walked in. Tuoyo,
Boma and Sege stared at him in anticipation.
“Ol boy…you tey ooo…” Boma said staring at him with
hunger in his eyes.
Pere shrugged and walked up to the small table at the corner
to take a bowl and tearing open the nylon of garri, he poured it into the bowl
and filled it with water.
The guys rushed up to take the garri and also did the same,
picking up already used bowls that hadn’t been washed and pouring some garri into
them to soak.
“Why you bring yellow garri come?” Tuoyo asked.
“You for go bring am na.” Pere said.
“Calm down…you know say, I dey arrange better chop for us
when I get de chance.” Tuoyo said.
“I dey argue with you?” Pere asked.
The guys kept silent and quickly sieved the particles from
the garri and soon began to drink. They hadn’t eaten all day and they needed
their strength. Half-way into the meal, Boma said.
“Michael get job for us ooo…”
“Mtchewww…” Pere hissed. “Michael nor dey pay pesin for job.”
“He promise to pay dis time as he nor wan enter our trap.”
Boma said.
“De last time wey we help am catch that fool for gate, wetin
he give us? Nor be common two thousand? Abeg, I nor dey for dat kain suffer
head work.” Tuoyo said.
Boma shrugged and continued taking large scoops of the garri
from his bowl and shoving it into his mouth with a large iron spoon.
“If we nor see work any timesoon, we go die from hunger ooo.”
Pere said. “Dis garri nor go fit carry pesin till tomorrow ooo…”
“Nor worry, we go find work…” Tuoyo assured.
“I nor even get enough bullets…Bosco suppose supply bullet
but he wan see money first.” Pere said. “De gun wey I flash for de gial wey dey
sell garri nor even get common bullet.”
“Na how we go take waka na? We need money for chop ooo…”
Boma said.
“If you still dey suggest Michael, abeg leave dat thing.”
Tuoyo hissed.
“We need money and we need am fast.” Pere said licking the
last drop of the garri in water.
“What if we go from house to house like de way we do last season.
Shebi you know say we make plenty money from that operation.”
“Ha! Dat one nor go work well now…as people don dey carry
atm. Cash nor dey stay for house anymore.” Pere said.
“Anyhow sha, we go think of something.” Tuoyo said.

 

The men nodded their heads in agreement.
Read more here>>>http://okadabooks.com/book/about/kith_and_kin_by_adaeze_ibechukwu/12479

The teasers for ‘Deception’ and ‘Kith & Kin’ are just sneak peeks to the eBooks on Okadabooks and they are available now! Just click the links to purchase.

A new Teenage Series comes up next week (God Willing)

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