“Why are you running?”
To answer this question, let’s go back a little before an hour ago. There I was, drenched in sweat and plastered in dust, a testimony of an afternoon well spent fully subjecting myself to any and every vigorous fun-rewarding activity mustered by the children of Oron-nla. This day has been great indeed however, its eve held something even more promising.
Surrounded by dozens of kids my age, I stood as another joyous spectator, my eyeballs fixated on the completely one-sided but still intense Ayo game between Ade, my dear friend, and Dare, the village notorious bully. Ade was on the verge of consummating his 7th consecutive victory and he didn’t bother masking his delight as he carelessly flashed a good number of his teeth to form a maleficent grin; a gesture he had previously perfected solely to taunt his opponents. Dare’s face was red with anger, his sparse eyebrows were forced into 45-degree-adjacent lines, you don’t have to be a psychic to sense the hostility he was nursing inside against the almost victorious.
“Haba!” Dare shrieked, simultaneously planting a heavy punch on the bench as Ade completed his finishing move.
“You dey cheat!” He yelled, his eyes burning with fury like a widow face-to-face with her spouse’s murderer. Ade wasn’t strange to his opponent’s vexatious reaction to defeat, If sore losers were pyramidally sorted Dare would stand comfortably undisputed at its apex, but my dear friend didn’t mind, he had rather grown a nasty appetite for it, he wouldn’t feel satisfied if his opponent doesn’t throw a tantrum after his victory, no matter how small, and Dare was displaying a hell of a show worthy of a thousand defeats.
“Boss! Na wetin u talk for the third match be dat, Oga fine beta excuse,” Ade said following with a satisfied smile.
His witty jab at Dare caused an eruption among the crowd of onlookers, many ran off in a crazed zigzag motion screaming “E choke!” Some hugged the trunk of the trees they could find around, staring at the loser in awe with their mouths opened in shock. A few rolled on the bare floor laughing hysterically in an exaggerated display of mockery. While others including myself, knowing fully well the threat Dare posed, maintained their cool but still had a facial expression that was between a concealed laughter and a smile. As expected, all these were only fanning the flames fiercely burning inside of Dare and his cohorts.
In a sheer display of what he is renowned for, Dare threw the game’s board down and in a flash flung his punch towards Ade who luckily jerked back quick enough to dodge Dare’s hand by just a hair. Everyone knew immediately we had just woken the beast and anyone so unfortunate to get caught by him is in for the beating of his or her life. So we ran, we all ran like bats escaping from the deepest part of hell, we ran with our hearts gripped with fear but with faces housing the happiest of grimaces.