As her weight hit the bed, Alaba became conscious of his environment. He knew Bimbo was sitting beside him with her intense stare, watching him pretend to still be asleep.
“Okay. We both know you’re pretending. My sitting on the bed was enough to wake a light sleeper like you” she started.
“Good morning to you too.”
“Thank God you know it’s morning. Wake up.”
“Ooohhhhh. Five more minutes” He pleaded, turning. Then, with a wince, he stopped suddenly.
“What’s this?” she asked with her gaze on his right arm.
“Kai. Don’t touch it. It hurts”
“My God! What happened to you?”
“Easy. You’re shouting. It was just a minor accident. I’ll be fine”
“Alaba, you call this minor?” She asked with tears rolling down her cheeks “What will a major one look like? Is it when your head is dangling from your neck we’ll know it’s serious?”
“Calm down, please. See, you’re already crying. And that’s what I do not like.”
He reached for her face to wipe the tears when severe pangs hit his arm again. “Ouch!” he exclaimed.
“Sorry. But what really happened? Did hoodlums beat you?” the concern in her voice was heartrending.
“It’s the bike. I ran into the open door of a Micra.
“Oluwa o!” she placed both her hands on her head.
“Apparently, the driver did not check for oncoming vehicles before he opened the door. It was terrible o. My helmet is in a bad shape”
“Will you still go back to riding the bike?” she asked after a period of silence.
“What other work is there?”
They both fell silent as each person remembered bits of the past as it came to them. They had lost both parents and a sibling to a bus accident. Their parents had gone with Boluwatife for Alaba’s graduation ceremony at the Olabisi Onabanjo University. Bimbo did not go with them because she had an exam to write that day.
The news had been a big blow to them. With time, uncle Ade, his father’s brother who had promised heaven and earth, started avoiding their calls. And when the house rent expired, they had to move into one of the rooms that had been provided by their church for indigent members.
Alaba had worked in a pure water factory for six months. He had to stop when because he never got a full month’s pay. He had once fallen off a moving truck on his way to catch an appointment with a rug and carpet dealer who needed a personal assistant. That was another sad story. He finally had to start riding a bike commercially. It paid off more than the other jobs he had done in terms of the daily income but it had been very challenging.
“Sis, don’t worry. Everything will be okay. We’ll keep hustling. One day, Heaven will smile on us again.”
She wrapped her arms around him and cried all the more. “Are you sure this will ever end?”
“One day it will.” He said with a note of certainty.
“I’ll rest today and resume work tomorrow. Did the boutique owner get back to you?”
“Yes. She asked me to resume work today.”
“Okay. Please get me any pain killer before you go.”