Life is all about outcomes we usually don't even intend them to be, or for what purpose we do them. How and why we do them is the question we normally ask, and for Jojo and others, they cannot find the answer to them, but they do them anyway. Let's find purpose as we question our actions sometimes.
COULD THIS BE … 26/04/2006
Could this be –
your true color that shines
through the ups and downs of lives?
The true light that glares beyond shrines
and beneath the status of humanity?
Could this be a beauty?
Could this be simplicity?
Could this be –
your true color shows
the inner spectrum of you?
The true image of your heart with passion flows,
and a distinct act pouring out honey pure?
Could this be a spectacular nature?
Could this be a peculiar treasure?
Could this be –
your true color of hope
your true words of pleasure?
The true prestige of fine scope
that glitters outer composure?
Could this be livelihood?
Could this be womanhood?
Could this be –
your true color of love
or your hate, being you?
The true color of your skin
or creed invoking your inner beast?
Your wordless conversation within
Once cold but may not last long to burst.
Could this be survival of the fittest?
Could this be manhood?
BY: S. D. RAPSON.
Jojo just came to Tin City a few days ago and forgot to visit his aunt as he promised. What had possibly taken his thoughts away to have forgotten that important visit to one of the most feared aunts ever had in the family? Whatever the cause was most worth the risk, he practically ignored it.
Aunty Tina is popularly called among her peers, but no one dares call that name whenever she is around. Aunty T most young people knew her and called her. They also find it difficult to pronounce the two consonant sounds with a corresponding vowel sound at the end of it; they are just inseparable, like conjoined twins. So, it became a tug of war with those young people, especially her nieces and nephews – Jojo, in particular, calls her Tee. She is aging, clocking her menopause in a few months, a black beauty and a good height to her credit. Big men and politicians flood her door to woo her hand, but she replies, “I am not ready yet” or “I am still searching for the right man.” What the heck!
Jojo’s major concern for Tee is her high lifestyle, and is not showing any hope for a stable and happy home. He wants an aunt who will be dependable and one that can really be a mother figure when he needs one. He lost his mother at age two; his father had found a greener pasture elsewhere with another woman. Aunty Tina remains his only hope and mother figure. She is highly temperate, maybe because she had acquired unpleasant names from neighbors and names like ‘husband snatcher,’ ‘sugar-bitter mummy,’ and ‘buduruwan kowa,’ meaning everyone’s lady. She hates those names, but she has no choice but to live with them. Jojo, on the other hand, used to fight her snitchers and even vehemently advised her to vacate the neighborhood. But she insisted the neighborhood was okay.
Jojo went straight to Jane’s apartment on campus as soon as he arrived in town. He was particular about Jane and their relationship, which has survived six years of torment. Aunty Tina was practically against his relationship with Jane for what reason? He could not fathom one. He wondered if it was possible or could be possible that Jane was taller, darker, or more attractive than she was. However, Jojo quite understood his aunt’s temperament when it came to beauty and fashion. So that did not bother him much, but for Jane, it was war. Who can stand such a beastly character of an aunt?
Jojo stands facing the door and stares at it as if in doubt to knock first or push the door as he used to. But for the long period they have not met, he feared that she might be a guest having a good time with her. A lot of thoughts roam his mind and flashing back to when before he leaves for Worri, she was against it, and probably he may not come to her. She also feared that he might take longer time than imagined because, as she had clamored, “Worri…Worri….mmmm, Jojo, I am not comfortable you going to Worri o. I heard their girls mesmerize men and lure them to their traps. Must you go there; are there no such opportunities here?”
“Do not allow fear and uncertainties to occupy your heart right now because you will be having negative thoughts about me. Three years is not much or too long. I will come back as a successful Marine Engineer. I promise you no one will ensnare me in her traps. I am fortified by your love. What I want from you now is a nice kiss, and you should wish me success.” Jane is a three-hundred-level law student. She met Jojo at the JAMB office four years ago when he came to check his JAMB admission, while Jane also came to confirm her admission. Jojo was already a Remedial student. He was lucky to have secured admission to a University in the South, but Jane was successful. Her admission had to delay for another year or so.
But thanks to the gods, he is back now, though a year and a half late. He hesitates, drops his luggage, rubs his head and face, pulls out his cell phone, and starts dialing but stops. He felt as if he could hear some voices speaking from the inner room, and imaginations of infidelity began to find their way into his thoughts. Fear of the unknown grasp his chest, he is scared to knock on the door, fears being disappointed or pushed away for another man. But he managed to reflect on the pressures his aunty used to put on them. How she always discourages him and torments him. “I will never give in to my aunt and her tormenting influences on my relationship. I will make it work for me, for Jane. Just because of her hate for us, I will not give up. Whoever is in there or anything must leave,” he thought.
Finally, Jojo pulls all courage and might and knocks on the door. There seems to be no response from within. He wondered what must be happening or is it that she has gone to a lecture. He tried the second time, and this time a bit harder. There is a movement now. The human being in the room is dragging their feet and taking time to open the door. Another thought flashed; maybe they were trying to clear the entire crime scene and set everything in its place. He could not wait; he became impatient and hit the door the third time with both hands. The voice responded harshly: “I have heard you knock since. You want to hit the door down, eh? I am coming, jo.”
Jane takes the longer time necessary to open a simple luck door. This is crazy. She must be guilty of a crime against her man or humanity. He was anxious but scared at the same time. The door is finally opened, in fact, wide enough for two large people to walk through. Jane, in her pajamas, carelessly swings the curtain over the door as if she just decided to open the door for good. Lo and behold, Jojo stares at her face, perplexing, angry, hungry, and tired, anticipating a crime of substance to pin her down, and finally confirms his aunt’s claims about Jane. But to his greatest surprise, Jane dives into his broad chest and screams at the top of her voice, ignoring her surroundings.
Jojo is a bit relieved. But not completely so. He inhales a breath of assurance from her warm welcome. He walks in, throwing his neck from one corner to another, peeping for an exhibit, someone he has been imagining or hallucinating for a while. There seemed to be nothing as such as he paraded the room for almost two minutes. Jane marvels at his patrolling extravaganza. She could contain that even though that is not her problem; her business now is that Jojo is back in her arms. Jojo again is not in her shoes, rather feeling more worried and flabbergasted by Jane’s nonchalant behavior towards his unusual attitude.
“Stop this looking here and there. Pay attention to me here. I am fine, as you can see; I am very happy to see you. Jojo, my love, I missed you….” “I heard you speaking to someone in this room. Who is that man?” he enquires. “Jojo, what? Did you hear a voice from this room? Are you sure what you are saying? Because I have been alone in this room since morning, I think, over five hours now. Maybe it is from the other room” “No. It is here. Do not lie now. I have been out there since….” “Since? Jojo, so you have been out there for a long time and policing me? What has gone over you, Jojo?”
“So you have turned me into a stalker, abi? So this is how you cover up your heinous crimes and cheating schemes. I heard a voice, a male voice, in this room. Jane, when did my absence cause a fracture in our relationship? Why Jane?” “Jojo, what are you talking about? See, I know nothing of such as you claim. I cannot be with another man if that is what you are insinuating. I loved you, and I still you. Please stop this nonsense.” “What nonsense. It is you who have been doing the nonsense. I now believe what Tee told me about you.” “Your aunt? Oh my God! Are you drunk or what? You have spoiled my day…please leave…leave me alone.” She sobs. “Oh, my God! How dare you accuse me of cheating? Go…go…”
Jojo packs his luggage and heads to the door. Jane still sobs. She is heartbroken. The day of her greatest joy is thrown into the mud. Jojo feels somehow fulfilled because his suspicion seems to prove true. But why the sudden change of heart? Why the callous behavior he just displayed? This unfortunate moment will ever linger in my mind of Jane. This is the young man she waited and patiently waited for, even more so rejecting other men’s approaches. For Jojo, you can wonder, is he just looking for a loophole for escape?
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