Tony stood up for the umpteenth time, paced up and down his room, then slumped on his bed. The weak furniture creaks. He noticed for the first time that his ceiling fan is dusty and he intuitively look at the window, it is dusty too.
“Finally! Something to use the time for” he said with a sigh.
The government announced yesterday that partial lockdown will ensue as from today, due to the novel COVID-19 case discovered in town the previous week. It has long been expected, and according to reports, the government were already prepared for it. Prior to this time, the virus has rampaged all around the world but yet to be discovered in Tony’s state. Probably due to its relatively small population. The densely populated state, Lagos, has the highest number of cases.
Tony, despite turning 20 years by 20th of the month, has never experienced lockdown in a whole state. Infact, the one time he, individually, has been lockdown was when prophecy was given in his mother’s white garment church that evil was coming for him. They made him stayed indoor for 15 days back then, while giving him food without palm oil. He thought his world was coming to an end. Now, he thinks evil has sure come for his state so it should be lockdown.
He had forgotten about the news when he woke up this morning, freshen up, picked up his jacket to go and visit his friend, Kay, when his mother stopped him at the door.
“Oga where to?” she asked looking at him over her glasses, which was already shifted down to her nose. He wonder at times why she use the glasses when she knows she can see people with her naked eyes.
“To Kay” he replied with a grin.
“This morning?” she inquired. Tony knew his mom is not a fan of Kayode and will always try to stop him from visiting his friend. Not recalling the news broadcasted yesterday, he thought that was what she was trying to do again.
“Mom, there’s something important I and Kayode are working on.” he lied, except they are always working on something and nothing. “And I really need to go see him today”
“Were you sleeping when the news was read yesterday?” she asked rhetorically “Or which part of there is total lockdown for today is it you don’t understand?”
His head unlocked. He became speechless. He didn’t bother to answer his mother’s questions and just dragged his body back to his room. He wasn’t the type that spend much time in his room and now that he is here, he doesn’t know what to do. He would have paced for about an hour before he discovered the dirty ceiling fan.
He rushed out of his room to get the mop and dusters. Let’s clean this place up, he thought.
“Hey jerk! Watch it” He wasn’t looking when he bumped into his younger sister.
” I’m sorry” he apologized.
“Where are you rushing too? ” she asked with her hands akimbo.
It amuses him the way his sister always seems to be the replica of their mother in terms of character. He couldn’t help smiling at how commanding she stood, asking question as though she is the eldest between them. He was about replying her when he heard his phone beeped inside his room.
“Like I said, I’m sorry Hope.” He pulled her cheek and smiled at her. He didn’t wait to hear her naggings when he entered his room, closed the door and lunged for his phone. The Whatsapp beep is a good omen.
Kayode’s message popped up. “Hey man! aws lockdown over dere?”
“It’s self suffocating bro” he beeped back.
Kayode’s message became the interference that changed Tony’s day. He narrated how he was already on his way to Kayode’s place before his Mom, in her own way, reminded her of the news and how he now plans to clean up his room. Kayode, in return, told him how his family has been reacting to the lockdown.
” Baba K wont stp complaining abt hw cn d government lckdwn witout giving us sumtin to carry on. Mother make do wit wat we have in the house nd prepare pap and akara for us. She retired 2 her bed awhile ago. D nepa wont even give us light. Dele and tayo are compensating eachother wit a nyc game of ludo. Me no knw wat to do but whatsapp”
They chatted for long hours and decided to meet at the rendezvous tomorrow since tomorrow is lockdown free. By the time Tony checked his wall clock, it’s too late to clean the room.
- At the end of the day,when everyone gather to eat dinner, his father asked him, “Tony, how was staying indoor today?” he looked down at the lap of chicken on top of his food and couldn’t believe he stayed indoor all through the day