Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The Day The World Ended Episode 7

My room is my private world. It is my lair, where I retreat to when I want to be alone and muse over what has happened that day. It was formerly the store-room, but mom converted it to my room after my ‘coming of age’. It contains a simple averagely sized bed at the extreme left hand corner mounted on a thick wooden frame. The bed is rarely made, usually has my clothes strewn all over it. My dad thinks I’m lazy and untidy. Mum says it’s a phase I’ll get over. Me? I think I’ll pray to marry a man who can afford a maid.
Beside the bed is my reading table complete with books and a reading lamp. The reading table is directly below the singular window which is large enough to allow adequate ventilation. I sit there when I want to please dad or if I want to do some drawing, but I mostly read on my bed. On this particular day I simply shoved all my clothes to the brown rug on the floor and jumped on the bed with my books, after I had securely shut my door with the key. I didn't want dad bursting in and seeing me not reading on the reading table that he carved out personally with his military knife. He would say I wasn't serious with my studies.
I sat down and pondered over all that had happened today. And by what had happened I meant Arnold and Dare. Why was Arnold constantly fawning over me? Didn't he see that I didn't like him, not even a little? He had attempted to declare something for me on the field only last week but I had hurried off to class, pretending that I was late for lessons. He wasn't my type in the least and I detested him further for his ‘never give up’ attitude. It was more than annoying already that Sola and Bimpe seemed to get a kick out of calling him my boyfriend.
Then there was Dare, the Headboy. That fella was too handsome for his own good. He seemed to be able to make any girl go weak at the knees by just smiling at her, and he knew it too. There was a fierce battle going on among the SS2 and SS3 girls about who was going to finally go out with him, although now it seemed he favoured Sheila, an obese light skinned female in SS2. No one could understand the attractiveness there. Sheila was obese! Fat would have been the word but I don’t think it would be apt enough to describe her with it. She was more or less a moving cylinder and yet he always took out time during break and after school to chat with her and walk her home. It was perplexing! The SS3 girls had heard a rumour that she was his half sister from his father’s affair with another woman many years ago and that was the real reason for their relationship, others said this was a rumour started by the girl to throw the SS3 she-hawks off her scent, but either way I wasn’t interested. Not me! I didn’t think he was that attractive. The fact that he made me stutter or my heart skip a beat and my knee joints go all watery anytime I saw him was beside the point.
But it would have been nice if he was the one showing me the attention instead of the gorilla Arnold.
Night time finally arrived. There was no more funny news on the TV. Dad had retired to bed and mom had decided to follow him in for a ‘private’ discussion, whatever that meant. My brothers were giggling up and down and refused to tell me the reason for their mirth but I didn’t care. I was just glad they left the TV for me. At least I can watch ‘The Queen of the South’ today, I thought. I looked at the wall clock, it was9pm.
That cold weather we had been experiencing all day had mellowed out and now the night air was quite warm. As I watched the movie I heard a noise outside, like thunder rumbling in the distance. I waited, and soon enough I heard it again.
Rain? In this hot weather? Surely not.
A thought passed through my mind; maybe the hail would fall again! This time I was determined to get some proof of its size. As the rumble in the sky grew closer and more frequent, I ran into the kitchen and found a water cooler. I grabbed it and rushed outside to see how the sky was looking. It was actually cloudy, with a strange purple haze, a colour I hadn’t seen in the night sky before. I opened the cooler and dropped it outside in a strategic spot where it was sure to catch some hail. I then went back in and continued to watch television.
The rumbling increased and soon there were flashes of lightning as the thunder rumbled above. The DSTV started to get blurry and soon the signal was lost. I cursed angrily and before I could get up from the sofa and storm to my room, the power went out. Immediately after that there was a loud crash of thunder and I almost jumped out of my skin in shock. I listened intently for the rain but didn’t hear the familiar patter of raindrops on the rooftop. I waited patiently for any of my brothers to come and turn on the generator , and after waiting for a few minutes, I decided to go and turn it on myself. I fumbled around the foot of the television stand, looking for the rechargeable lights in the darkness, slowly getting upset as my hands couldn't find it. There was another intense flash of lightening followed by thunder so loud I could feel the foundation of the house shake as it struck. I was beginning to get frightened but dared not call out for any of my brothers else they start teasing me about being afraid of the dark. I made a last desperate sweeping movement of my hand and it connected with the rechargeable, knocking it over. I grabbed it and turned it on and its fluorescent light drove the darkness out of the parlour. I sighed in relief just as another loud crash made me jump and drop the rechargeable.
The thunder was getting more frequent and more violent. What was going on? I slowly made my way outside, not really to put on the generator but to carry the water cooler inside and call it a day, afterall it was almost 10pm now. As I reached for the cooler, another flash revealed a figure sitting down on the concrete steps beside it. I jumped again and a scream almost escaped my lips, but the figure simply turned towards me and turned back, his gaze fixed at the night sky. I raised the rechargeable towards him and recognized Ayo my brother, sitting outside quietly, watching the night sky.
“Don’t be frightened,” he whispered. “Look.”
I looked upward in the direction he had been gazing at. The purple clouds had gathered in huge pockets across the night sky. They were heavy and looked like they would release rain anytime from now, but instead bright flashes of lightening kept emanating from them and as I opened my mouth to say something, a thin jagged line of bright light was flung downwards towards the earth and the thunder that followed was so loud I grabbed on to Ayo without shame, I was so frightened. He stood up and held on to me, still looking at the clouds. I heard him wince in pain as I brushed against his abdomen and I remembered his wound.
“What happened to your belly, Ayo?” I asked.
“Nothing.” He said, his gaze still on the clouds.
“Its obviously not nothing.” I replied quietly. “You used to be fun before you entered the university. What’s going on with you?”
He looked at me then and laughed. His laugh was gentle and yet menacing and the fact that another clash of thunder struck as he continued to laugh didn’t do much to alleviate the trepidation that I felt.
“Ayo,” I breathed. “ Are you…”
“Let’s go inside.” Ayo said, picking up the water cooler and handing it over to me. “I don’t like these thunder clouds. They don’t look normal.”
For the first time it occurred to me that a lot of abnormal things had happened today. The hailstones, the snakes on the highway, the news of the huge sheets of ice falling halfway across the world and the grinning hunter with his traps overflowing with animals. Even Ayo’s wounds had a sort of evil foreboding to it.
“Too many strange things have happened today Ayo.” I said, shivering slightly. “It’s as if…”
“Yeah, I’ve thought of it too.” Ayo said. “It’s like these are warning signs. Something big is about to happen.
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Re: The Day The World Ended by Royver ( m ): 10:12pm On
Jul 04 , 2014
I woke up the next day feeling tense and irritable. The night had been unbearably hot as opposed to the previous night. Mosquitoes had had a field day or is it night, working their way through my mosquito net and biting at my hands and legs. I had gotten up twice to spray insecticide which eventually worked but which also had the effect of making my small room stuffy and itchy. All in all I couldn't wait to have my bath.
I went to the bathroom and barged in on Deji and Ayo. Deji was trying to use the toilet and Ayo was brushing his teeth. Deji promptly screamed and I averted my eyes and took a step outside but didn’t completely close the door.
“You two should hurry up and come out abeg, I need my private time!”
“Will you shut that door before I descend on you this morning!” Deji shouted. Ayo mumbled something and came out with his toothbrush in his mouth and headed for the kitchen. I grumbled and shut the bathroom door but maintained my position, knocking every once in a while to remind Deji I was still outside. He yelled and complained until mum came outside.
“Now dear, leave your brother alone,” she said.
Her hair was a bit ruffled and she looked kind of unkempt but her tone of voice was like someone in a good mood. She must have slept well, I reasoned.
“But mum, I really need to use the toilet. Or can I use yours?”
“Hold on, let me check first.” She knocked on the door. “Dear? Temi is coming in; she wants to use the bathroom.”
There was a muffled grunt from inside and something fell heavily on the floor. Mum giggled.
“Hold on a minute oh!” Dad said and finally he came out, tying a towel round his waist and wearing a camouflage T-shirt. I greeted him good
morning and he answered.
“Don’t waste time there o.”
“Okay, I won’t” I said happily and jumped into the room. My parents’ bathroom was twice the size of the bathroom in the corridor and smelled exotic. I preferred going in there anytime I had the chance. I saw that Dad’s uniform and mom’s work clothes had already been pressed and laid out neatly on the ironing board. Still, they were running a bit late. They would have been dressed and getting ready to eat breakfast by now.
I hurriedly had my bath and tried to enjoy every minute of it. I stayed a little longer, enjoying the air-conditioner, then when I heard father’s footsteps approaching I rushed out of the room.
“Thanks daddy,” I said and rushed past him before he could open his mouth to say anything else. I got dressed and prepared for school and was glad to see that mum was still eating by the time I got to the dining table. This time she would definitely drop me off at school and I wouldn’t have to face the humiliation of being among the latecomers again. She saw the smile on my face and shook her head.
“You should be able to go to school on time by yourself by now.” She said.
“But mom, the school is far.” I whined.
“You call 20mins walk far?” Deji said with a smirk as he passed.
“Do you trek anywhere?” I countered angrily. “Isnt it to enter bus at the junction and go to your satellite village?”
“Satellite campus.” He corrected with that same annoying grin.
“Whatever!” I said and mum shoved him away and shook her head at me.
“Don’t let him get on your nerves so easily my dear.” She said. “Come, let’s go to school.
At that moment the power came up.
“Up NEPA!” Deji said and ran to put on the television. I got up from my finished meal and stood in front of the standing fan which was now blowing away fiercely. I seriously needed to cool off. I waited as mom got her things and watched as my brother tuned to CNN.
“---greatest achievement ever as we await the listings for the world cup. Still on the breaking news, Airfrance still has no clue as to the whereabouts of the missing flight AF197 that was scheduled to land in Paris 3hours ago. Information gathered that the pilot was trying to contact the control tower, saying he saw something on the horizon.”
A voice like from a radio crackled on the TV as the news reporter replayed the tape. The pilot had a slight French accent.
“Tower this is flight 197, repeat AF197, do you copy?”
“Go ahead captain”
“There seems to be an unidentified object located due north of our position, request clearance on that area.”
“Affirmative flight 197, that area is clear,we repeat, that area is clear and free, over”
“Tower, the object seems to be getting closer, appears unsteady, belligerent, requesting action be taken.”
“What do you mean belligerent, captain?”
“Well, not belligerent per se, just…”
And then the voice of someone else came on air.
“Captain that thing isn’t coming closer, it’s increasing in size!”
“Oh my God. What is that?”
“Flight 197 come in, come in 197, what’s going on?”
“It’s increasing in size!”
“Does it appear aggressive? Is it airbourne? 197 please respond!”
Then muffled voices and static, and then the radio went dead.
The screen faded back to the CNN reporter who put on a stern look as she faced the camera. “Sources have revealed that local and international authorities are keenly searching for the plane or at least signs of wreckage but none have been found. Our viewers would recall that only a few months ago, another plane went missing in that same area, the Malaysian plane MH370…”
“What are you people still doing here?” Dad’s voice cut through our thoughts like a gunshot. “You’ll be late!”
Mom and I scrambled for the door and Deji tuned to another channel but dad grabbed the remote from him and tuned it back to CNN. Ayo saw us leaving and waved as he jogged round the house.
As mom started the car, I ran to open the gate. She drove out and I closed the gate and jumped into the passenger seat. She put on the air conditioning and we zoomed off.


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