Elephants Never Forgets (Gecko Episode 2)
‘Uncle Osas, are you not going home today?’
Aunty Elohor’s voice brought me out of my reverie, I was so lost in my own world of thoughts that dwelt on the past that I didn’t hear when the bell rang for closing, neither did I even take note of teachers in the staff room as they began to pack their bags ready to go home, I looked at my wristwatch, it was 2.05pm, the usual closing time, it was a Friday and so it was an evening lectures free day too.
I looked up at Aunty Elohor and smiled as I thanked her for reminding me that it was closing, She looked at me weirdly and began to walk away, she had barely counted five steps when she stopped, turned around and walked back towards me.
‘Uncle Osas is everything okay with you? You have been acting rather strange all day’
I smiled again and looked in her eyes, If any member of staff cared about me, then it was Aunty Elohor, She had come to Lion Heart Academy only two months ago, She was the English teacher for all the classes from Junior secondary to senior secondary school and she was a real beauty, dark in complexion, slim and tall, she had the assets in the right places and when she spoke, you would just want her to continue speaking, she had a very lovely voice and great command of the English language too.
She had shown a huge interest in me when she came to Lion Heart Academy, she had extended her hand of friendship right from the first day and I had dived it with everything I had as I really didn’t have any friend among the staff before she came.
We had bonded and we were really close until I had overstepped my boundaries and asked her for a relationship, she had politely declined but it took a negative turn on our friendship, she suddenly began to keep her distance and wasn’t so close to me anymore, but despite the fact that she chose to keep her distance from me, I couldn’t help but notice that she still cared as she always showed concern and care whenever the need presented itself. This was one of such times.
‘I am alright, I guess I am not feeling too well today’ I replied, she looked at me again from head to toe as if trying to confirm my health status.
‘Have you taken any drugs yet?’ I shook my head in the negative and added ‘don’t worry, I will be just fine, thanks for your concern’
She looked at me again and decided to believe me ‘alright, if you say so, no problem, just take care of yourself’ with that she turned and walked away from me as my eyes trailed behind her beholding the good and the evil and wishing she had said yes to me, just then my phone rang.
I got the phone out and looked at the screen, it was Ifeoma, my eyes suddenly brightened, I had met Ifeoma at the party the previous night and we had exchanged numbers, we had a date for 3pm, I had almost forgotten about that, I quickly picked the call.
She wanted us to reschedule the time for 6pm as an unforeseen situation had developed from her end, I was cool with it and somehow, her call coming through helped me take my mind off the disturbing mail I had received that morning.
I went straight to the house from school and I began to think less and less about the mail, by evening, when I was eventually ready to go out on the date, I had written off the mail as a prank by probably one of my old friends and I was quite sure the friend would show up and own up to the prank sooner or later.
Ifeoma was a very lively person, she had schooled at University of Benin, she was presently waiting for the next batch that would be going to serve her nation in the NYSC scheme as she was slated to serve with the next batch, she couldn’t just stop talking she had so much to say about herself, We practically talked about everything there was to talk about, we stayed at the Eatery till about past 8pm before we decided to go our separate ways, with plans to hang out together again on Sunday.
We both walked out of the fast food together, I waited for her to get a taxi, I played the gentleman and paid her fare, as her taxi drove away, I stopped a bus and got in, heading for our premise at Uwasota.
I looked back and could still sight her red colored taxi as it stopped to pick up another passenger, I didn’t know why but I felt very happy, somehow I was glad I had met Ifeoma, at that point in my life I really needed a new friend and she happened to be just the kind of friend I have always wanted.
I really liked her and this time I was going to take things slow, I didn’t want the same thing that happened with Elohor to happen with Ifeoma. The Bus stopped at my junction and I got off the bus and walked slowly to the house, the house wasn’t far from the junction, as I strolled down, I fumed at NEPA or PHCN or BEDC or whatever they chose to call themselves as it was obvious there was no electricity supply in the area, suddenly, I felt a hand in my back pocket from behind like someone was trying to steal my wallet, I turned swiftly but the pickpocket seemed faster than I was, he was already running and was ahead of me, I immediately started pursuing him, but I had barely begun to run when I stopped, I felt my pocket and my wallet was still there, I brought out the wallet and opened it, all its contents were still intact. I breathed a sigh of relief, obviously I was smarter than the pick pocket, I was faster than he was, I had caught him before he could steal my wallet. I prided myself in that knowledge, although I thought it strange that pickpockets would work in my area at a time like that, I decided to be on the safe side as I increased my footstep and walked briskly to the house, looking right and left to make sure I wasn’t being followed.
When I got to the house, I walked a little past the house and waited for a few minutes, then I looked left and right again and when I was sure I wasn’t being followed I went to the gate, opened it slowly and practically ran to our apartment which was behind the flats in the compound. I knocked on the door and Ighodaro opened the door for me.
‘O boy, where you dey come from for night?’ he enquired, ‘omo, I just say make I stroll small’ I answered as I walked past him as he stood by the door looking at me in a funny manner, David was lying on the tiled floor, ‘welcome o, Mr. Night Rider’ I smiled at him and didn’t bother to say a word to him.
I took off my clothes in a bid to have my bath but as I made to hang my trousers, a folded piece of paper fell from the back pocket, the same pocket I had put my wallet. I stared at the paper in confusion then it suddenly dawned on me. The suspected pick pocket wasn’t a pick pocket after all, he must have dropped the note in my pocket at the time I thought he was trying to steal my wallet.
Now, this was really scary, Ighodaro and David were concentrating on a movie so they didn’t observe the drama I was putting on by staring at the piece of folded paper.
I picked it up and slowly unfolded it, it was a piece of paper that was cut from a very old edition of a newspaper, most probably many years old, the piece of paper itself looked very old and worn out, I opened it to find the broad headline staring boldly at me ‘MISSING BOY FOUND DEAD BY RIVERSIDE’ below the headline was a very faint picture, even though the paper was very old and worn out and the picture was also very old and looking worn out, I didn’t need a fortune teller to tell me that the picture on the newspaper was the picture of the one we had nicknamed Sparrow, underneath the picture were letters in red ink, the ink didn’t look old like the paper looked, certainly it was written recently. In small letters, the words were written ‘the elephant never forgets’
I didn’t know when hot sweat beads began to drop from my forehead.
(To Be Continued)