Welcome to the fourth installment of #BOJT. The first three can be found by going to the homepage and scrolling down. For returning devotees, let’s go!
He was back to the moment, he broke the silence.
“Bodunrin, are you really dead? What killed you?”
“I don’t know… I had this excruciating pain in my chest. It seemed to go on forever, and then I felt a gradual slipping into unconsciousness. I welcomed it, I would have welcomed anything but the pain at that moment.”
“Just like that?” Jason probed.
“It baffles me too.”
“How come I can see you?”
“Is it my eyes?”
A smile crept into Jason’s face, wanting to spread, but he caught it midway.
“Still funny, I see.”
Bodunrin shrugged and walked over to him, glancing occasionally at his cadaver. He placed his hands on his shoulders to console his friend and felt the murkiness that was Jason’s blood, veins and bones and took his hands back.
It had been hours, still too short a while to get used to the fact that people couldn’t feel him. He knew that a few people could see him, infact, a lot more than he could have imagined when he were alive. But they said nothing, either because they didn’t know he were dead, or because they knew and were used somewhat to seeing beyond the world they were in and couldn’t be bothered with another spirit in transit.
“I don’t know how to explain this, dying. All I know is that I kept walking, I have walked very far from here. Even though it seems to me like this is not final, it would take me a long time to journey back, and most importantly, nobody who has seen what I have seen would return to this place. Jason, I have nothing to come back to.”
“What can you see?”
“In truth, nothing. I feel like a photograph divided into two, with a colored part and a monochrome part. I strongly feel like I could choose to remain one side fully.”
“Choose color, Bodunrin! Enter back into your body.”
Bodunrin snapped his fingers.
“That is the thing. The world of colors is not in my body. This world is not as beautiful, Wane. This choice you want me to make is that black and white one, the monochrome.”
“We need you, you were different. You were the best friend anyone could ask for, the best brother, best son…”
“How many of these were the best to me? A lot of them took me for granted. An extra reason would have been a family of mine, but you are the one with the wife and two kids. Jason, I really do not have compelling reasons to return here.”
“It has merely been hours, how far away could you possibly have journeyed?”
Bodunrin shook his head.
“It’s of no use, brother, the Coroner’s van will be here in no time”
“What about me? What about the dreams we shared? The plans for success we brainstormed on? You cannot do this, Bodunrin, you held so much promise. What human being thinks it is cool to die at thirty three?”
“Jesus!” Bodunrin continued joking.
“What if I tried to give you all the reasons? Let me be your memory, let me remind you of the things we shared and your destiny unfulfilled”
Jason began to pace the room, he was oblivious to the sounds of wailing outside the door. He went and sat in front of the playstation, switched it on and offered his friend a game console. Bodunrin had come to his side in seconds.
“Take.” Jason offered
“Things of the flesh.” Bodunrin smirked
“You be idiot o. Don’t be silly, take, let’s play.”
They both laughed, even though Bodunrin’s sounded like a clap of cymbals coming from a distance.
The ghost took the keypad and settled into his favorite position.
Jason struggled with the tears through the game, he would not let them fall.
Maybe if couldn’t get Bodunrin to return just yet, he would attempt to convince the morgue attendants to delay on the body preservation process while he kept trying. He had heard of people waking up cold and sneezing in cold rooms.
The body was still on the bed, and the spirit, beside him. In truth, he was afraid to touch him, and he half believed what lay in front of him. The light in the room bulbs dipped and steadied again, and the candle with the caramel fragrance began to flicker as though it would go out.
Malvy, Bodunrin’s dog began to bark ferociously. Bodunrin lept and was at his window in a flash. Jason paused the game.
“I wonder who is disturbing Malvy and her new puppies” He said to himself.
The French bulldog had been very touchy since she had her new litter. Bodunrin had spent his evenings rubbing her underbelly. Now he wondered what would become of her. A slight pain tugged at him, she had been bred with Derin’s dog and he was supposed to come and pick up two of the litter. He decided to make use of the strange opportunity of his friend being able to see him.
“Jason, can you help me tell my mother that two of the new puppies are for Derin?”
“Maybe, a dog can convince where a human struggles. Will you do it for Malvy?”
Bodunrin looked away, Jason dropped his console and walked the full length of the room to join his friend at the window.
“Bodunrin, don’t leave me. I won’t be able to breathe. Do you remember how Muna teased and nicknamed us the day you brought that tailor to make Agbadas for us?”
Bodunrin roared in laughter, it was still soft and distant, but it was there. He remembered it as one of his most hilarious evenings. Agbadas had begun to trend, he had found a new tailor and convinced his friend to join him in making a custom white Agbada.
He had driven straight to the Ikemes’ from work as usual, with the tailor riding shotgun. They arrived and Muna had got the door, with her cheery smile and her usual greeting of -you again.
It was their usual teasy salutation, to which he would reply -yes o, no retreat no surrender.
As the tailor took their measurement, she had waltzed across their living room with her dangerously ‘close to the due date’ pregnancy bump leading the way and pretended to double close the brown blinds or needlessly adjust the potted plant by the television stand, vainly searching for an opening to inject her concerns. Finally, she found fodder.
“Jason, you want to join those Yoruba demons?”
“It is just an Agbada, woman.” Jason had explained.
“This your Bodunrin friend ehn, he will tell you to put hand in fire one day and you will.”
Bodunrin had made a mock sad face before he spoke. “Me? Have I ever put Jason in any trouble?”
“Well, only with me.”
“That one is not trouble na!”
Muna had retreated for a few seconds, and came for them again.
“Tailor, why are you stopping at their ankle, is that the new trouser length in town or these men don’t have money to buy the number of yards for the fabric?”
All three of them had chorused.
Muna had covered her mouth, feigning horror.
To be continued