THE HUSTLER DIARIES #3: Homecoming.

THE HUSTLER DIARIES #3: Homecoming.

After a terrible disturbance which has upset the peace of Abule in very recent times, the shining Sun could definitely be seen as symbolic of the return of peace to the community. The scene is perfect for the reinstatement of the peace and quiet that everyone knows and loves. The scene for a homecoming.

It is a particularly sunny day in Ilegbegbe– many residents have attributed this to the restoration of serenity that has occurred in recent times. Sunny as it is, there is barely any heat around; it is as if the Sun is here today for the sole purpose of providing light, and nothing more.

It has been roughly four months since the incident that led to the breakout of a Turf war between hoodlums from the joint communities of Ishegun and Alasan communities and Ilegbegbe. The battle, which was already a potential course of action for the Baale at the time, was immediately escalated by another attack- this time on the residence of the Baale.

The attack, though of minimal effect in terms of structural damage, or injury to persons, was all the trigger that was needed to spark a response from the vengeful Baale. The Abule Police Chief, Inspector Jide Afolabi, who had initially made attempts to handle the matter civilly, had received threats from the hoodlums followed by an attack on his car with him and his family in it; thereby making this whole crisis personal for him.

After several attacks on the communities from which the assailants allegedly came, by the well equipped and fortified vigilante or “Olode” groups from Ilegbegbe as well as Police officers, courtesy of Inspector Afolabi of course, the fight began to have more of a Genghis Khan style annihilation than a fair battle.

It was later agreed that all parties to the turf war reach a truce especially seeing as Oyewale, the Baale’s son, had eventually survived the shooting which was the basis for the inter-community clash in the first place.

Throughout the period of fighting, only one death was recorded, and it was of one of the hoodlums who had caught a bullet while trying to outrun his attackers. Besides that death, there were many injuries as well as a significant percentage of destroyed property, mostly shops. However, this seemed like a small price to pay for a group of people who had incited unnecessary violence in a relatively peaceful community.

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It is very early on Saturday morning when a buzz wakes Timmy from his sleep. He slowly gets up- his consciousness gradually returning to him- and looks around, as if trying to find something. He then looks beside his pillow, which is in fact a bundle of clothes rolled up to support his head at night.

To the side of his pillow, is a phone, an Infinix phone with a bit of a crack across the screen. That is the source of the buzz that woke him from sleep. He picks up the phone and looks at the screen, squinting, to see a saved but unfamiliar contact appearing on the screen as the phone rings. It then occurs to him after a second, that the phone in his hand is in fact, not his, but Mike-O’s.

Timmy taps Mike-O, who is deeply asleep beside him, calling out his name as he does so. Mike-O does not budge, and so Timmy resorts to tapping him with a bit of more aggression. Mike-O eventually wakes up, jolted out of his sleep by Timmy’s repeated calling of his name.

“Wetin happen?? Why you dey shout my name guy??”, Mike-O demands, with a bit of a frown on his face. Timmy looks at him and with a bit of a smile, says “Your mama been dey call your phone guy. Just dey sleep like wood, now she don cut call”. Mike-O then grumbles and takes the phone from Timmy, who is handing it to him. He mumbles under his breath “Seven missed calls. What’s happening? What’s the emergency??”

Mike-O goes out the door to call his mother back. She picks up and says “Hello? Michael, my son! How are you? I’ve been calling you!”. Mike-O answers that he was asleep and is okay. His mother says a short prayer in Yoruba, to which Mike says an “Amen”. Mike-O, sensing something is not right, asks his mother “Kiloshele mummy? Is anything the matter?”

His mother sighs, pausing briefly thereafter, before saying “Your father is sick”. A heavy silence follows for what seems like a lifetime. Michael then asks “When you say ‘sick’, do you mean like a fever, or…?”. Now. both mother and son knew that the initial statement was clear enough and well understood. However his mother obliged him and answered “Michael, your father is sick “.

At this point, Mike-O is terribly confused and is unsure about the seriousness of his father’s illness and what exactly his mother required of him when she called to inform him. He asks his mother “So, what now?” and his mother promptly replies “You come home. I know you have started a life for yourself in Lagos city but I don’t know if this is the end for your dad. I hope not, but if it is, you must come home. Please”.

The picture becomes a bit clearer as Mike-O’s mind immediately travels back to the circumstances and exact incident which necessitated his leaving home in the first place. His father had since never called, and Mike-O himself had sworn to never call the man. He felt that getting successful and returning home to show it to his father would be the ultimate comeback.

In light of recent developments however, it did not seem like his vision was coming together exactly as he had wanted it. He would of course return home someday, but he had wanted to do it in style, and not compulsorily under such circumstances as this.

As Mike-O’s mind wandered all over, his subconscious had decided that he would return home to see his sick father, there was no question of it. He had had other things lined up for this period of his life, but this was his family, his home, his origin. This for him, was a very important homecoming.

By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.

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