I had just returned home from visiting a friend that stayed a street away. Toke could not hide her excitement at the sight of me. She didn’t expect to see me that early plus I chose not to give her any notice of my visit. I was somewhat glad that no one else was at home. At least I am going to have a couple of hours respite to myself, I mused. You can’t imagine the kind of drama that unfolds when it’s a full house. Mum would be busy screaming the name of my younger siblings every now and then in order to get them run errands. Tola, my elder sister will never stop bumping into my room to share a random gist with me. Her energy for rumour mongering was so much that I gave her the name have you heard. However, all these distractions could not be compared to the noise pollution that my dad calls music.

My dad is about the only ancient one that has a record player in the whole of Ibadan. Nothing you say to make him get rid of the junk box ever filters through his ears. You children of nowadays never appreciate the value of antiquity, he would preach. When he finally inserts his Yussuf Olatunji collections into the box, you’ll feel like breaking it into pieces; draggy and almost melancholic tunes permeates the airways. How a man of with his level of education and exposure can seem to appreciate depression-inducing songs never cease to amaze me.

Since the god of respite chose to smile on me by chasing my peeps out of the house, I decided to make the best out of their absence. The rate at which the worms in my belly devoured my breakfast was epic. As at 12 noon, I was already having hunger pangs. Although Toke pleaded with me to eat rice at her place, I was too shy to do so. Therefore, my first point of call upon getting home was the kitchen- man must wack. I went straight to the pot on the cooker and opened it. The aroma that unleashed itself on me was irresistible.  It was a sumptuous meal of jollof rice- not concoction. God knows I had had more than a fair share of that stuff on campus: a sachet of onga seasoner, half a pint of groundnut oil or palm oil as the case may be, a sprinkle of salt, some cups of unwashed rice and food is ready.

I dished myself a sizeable quantity of the delicacy and sat on one of the kitchen stools to devour it. I was too hungry to behave urbanely by using the dining room. In a matter of five minutes, there was no single grain of rice left in the plate. Having appeased the deity of my belly, I made for my room to get some rest. Just as I was about to exit the kitchen, my eyes fell on a cute bottle sitting on the top of the deep freezer. It was a bottle of lacasera with its content almost intact. Whoever left it there must have been in a hurry and taken a sip or two before leaving abandoning it.  All that mattered now was that a bottle of nice liquid was searching for a belly that would relieve it of its aquatic burden. That belly happens to be mine, I said aloud. The hunger that dealt with me as I stepped into the kitchen must have blinded me from seeing it in the first place. Better late than never.

I moved towards the freezer with delight. Mine or not, I was going to down the content and then face the consequence of my action later. However, I sincerely wished it wasn’t my sister’s or all hell would be let loosed on me. Opening the bottle cap, I grabbed the bottle and took a huge gulp. I felt something was not right the moment the liquid began its journey down my oral cavity. What I poured into my mouth didn’t taste anything like lacasera. Rather, it was the repulsive taste of groundnut oil. I raced towards the washing zinc and spewed out what was left of the liquid in my mouth.

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