Osas stared at the small plastic cup of almost all the pills he had
found in the house and closed his eyes in fear.
“Dear God! Don’t let me die please…don’t…I am still
eighteen and I have my life ahead of me.” Osas cried.
He remembered what his friends had told him, that they wouldn’t be friends with him anymore once he got married and he couldn’t risk
losing their friendship.

Right from their childhood days, Emeka and Dayo had
been his clique even against his parents will. He was the good guy in the trio
and even as they got admission into the University and the boys were ready to
plunge into the unserious life which some students ploughed, Osas had proven
himself the geek and the different one.

“This is not fair to me God! I have been good, you know I
have. I have never had sex with any woman till Miyebi and I don’t even know
whether we did it. Emeka and Dayo has had about ten girls between them and none
of the girls has ever fallen pregnant. Why me? After all my service? After trying so
hard to be good and a model son….oh God! How else can I escape this? How?
Please give me other options. What if I die? What if no one comes to my rescue
early enough?”
The pills stood there on his table, immobile and staring at
him as though taunting him and daring him to touch it. It happened in less than
a minute, Osas took the plastic cup, took off the lid and swallowed the whole
content of the cup.
Then he waited…
*****
Isiuwa was so worried about her birthday party which was
supposed to take place the next day. Her mother did not buy her a
dress as she was supposed to and she was left with no other option but to get
something off her closet. She stood infront of her wardrobe and stared at the
clothes for a long time, contemplating on what to wear when her door burst open
and a young girl ran into the room to give her a hug.
“Whaaaa…” Isiuwa shouted.
“Yes Dummy, it’s me! Surprised?” The teenage girl laughed
naughtily.
“Mense! My Gosh! This is such a pleasant surprise! When did
you come?” Isiuwa asked aloud.
Mense was Isiuwa’s maternal cousin, her mother was Isiuwa’s
mother’s younger sister who was by the way, a single mom. Mense was everything
Isiuwa wanted to be and many more. She was seventeen and already in the
university. She had everything that Isiuwa didn’t have. A phone, a wild number
of friends, access to the the internet, a facebook page, twitter, instagram with over three thousand followers and a life.
“Aren’t you happy to see me? I heard that your birthday bash
is tomorrow! Yay! So glad I came on time.” Mense laughed, blowing air into the
bubble gum in her mouth and letting it pop.
“You look so nice…is that an extra ear piercing?” Isiuwa
asked, staring at her cousin’s earlobe.
“Duh! I had an ear piercing and shhh….” Mense looked
around to make sure that there was no one else in the room with them. “I got a
tatoo too…”
“What? A what? You’re crazy!” Isiuwa shouted.
“I know right? But I haven’t shown my mom yet…she’s not
been around…infact I returned from school to an empty house. That’s why I am
here, apparently, she told your mom to come and pick me so that I can spend the
holiday in your house.”
“Wow! That’s good news.” Isiuwa exclaimed.
“Good news for you but bad news for me!” Mense said.
It wasn’t a strange fact that Mense hated Isiuwa’s household
which she nicknamed the ‘prayer house.’ At Isiuwa’s house, there was play, no
fun and Mense’s maternal aunt and her husband were very strict with her and always blamed
her mother’s upbringing for every mistake she made.
“Your house is cage and I would do everything possible to get out
and have fun!” Mense said matter-of-factly.
“Really?” Isiuwa asked.
“So what are you up to, I see your closet is open…what’s
up?”
“Mom didn’t get me anything new for my birthday tomorrow and
I’m trying to see if I have something that I could wear for the party tomorrow.
I was thinking of this one…”  Isiuwa
brought out a white dress.
“What are you? A nurse? Abeg joo…let me tweak your style a
bit. How about errr…channelling the boyish look? Do you have a denim sklirt? I’d dress you in a denim skirt, a white shirt and top it off with a bow tie. I have
some kind of sneakers that you could pair it with too.”
“What? Who dresses like that?” Isiuwa laughed.
“You need to stand out at the party you know…”
“Looking like a freak? No thank you.”
“C’mon let’s try it out…” Mense pleaded.
“Okay but I don’t have a bow tie, but Osas does….it’s just
that he’s in really big trouble and I don’t think he’ll have my time at all…”
“In trouble? The perfect Osas? In trouble? You are kidding!”
“No kidding!” Isiuwa said.
“Let’s go and see him, I’m sure that no matter how big the
trouble is, he’ll give us his bow tie.” Mense said.
The two girls hurried out of Isiuwa’s room giggling about a
joke Mense shared, they headed to Osa’s room and knocked at the door. When he
didn’t open up, they pushed open the door and saw him lying face-foward on the
ground.
“Osas! Are you alright?” Isiuwa asked as she walked up to
tap him on the leg. “Osas! Osasuwa!”
“Did he drink some kind of drug? There’s a medicine cup on
the stool…” Mense said with eyes wide.
“What’s that for?” Isiuwa looked at Mense and asked in a shaky voice as she
shook her brother again.
The two girls turned him around so that his face could face
upward, Osas’s face was pale and his mouth was slightly parted.
“Mom! Mom! Help!” Isiuwa screamed as she ran out of her
brother’s room.
Mense knelt beside her cousin and stared, she was in shock,
she was about to stand up when she caught a note on the side of his bed and she
picked it up and read.
‘Dear
Dad & Mom, I know you might shudder when you read this but I am sorry that
I failed you as a son. I’d rather die than get married at this age to a girl
who I’m sure that I never got pregnant. I wish you trusted me more. Your son,
Osas.’
Isiuwa rushed back into the room with her parents at her
heels, alongside Miyebi. As soon as they stepped into the room, Mense silently
handed them the note and said.
“It’s like he took a drug overdose!”
Osas and Isiuwa’s mother let out a piercing scream while her
husband rushed towards his son, felt his pulse and shouted.
“I can feel a pulse, Isiuwa tell my driver to start the car,
now!”

Isiuwa scampered off to do her dad’s bidding, while Osas’s
father lifted his son in his arms and carried him out of the room with his
wife, Miyebi and Mense in tow.
To be continued next week Monday….

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