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Ade's Journal Part 6

Ade's Journal Part 6
My Valentine & The Elegance Of A Clean Breakup

Ade's Journal Part 5

Ade's Journal Part 5
My Scrumptious Valentine Kiss

Ade's Journal Part 4

Ade's Journal Part 4
A Scorpion is not a Lobster

Ade's Journal Part 3

Ade's Journal Part 3
My Insane Week Before Valentine

Ade's Journal Part 2

Ade's Journal Part 2
He Had The Guts To Come Back

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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Corn Curb Fresh And Lush


 Like a humming bird rotating it's shoulders and elbows and staying precisely at one exact point. I stare around at the mess and order that I am now in. The juice is sweet and I can almost taste it, that's why I am here. I hold on to my spot and sweet delight as I flap and suck on all the nectar I can get. The sound of hope startles and then grabs my curiosity. I am afraid, the women on this inflatable boat have reduced. Did the sea suck them out or were they pushed? Holding on is harder with the crowd and we all want to be that success story in the news. Not me, as in I don't want to be publicly seen. But if I am caught, I will be. People are not that sympathetic to me because my country is partially in disarray. Not like other war torn countries. But the reality is that my family is in abject poverty and I'm tired. I know I lost a lot of opportunities but I didn't loose this one. A radio broadcast reveals that my cousin was one of those left to die in the desert. Her journey was through the Niger, through the desert, she lost her baby and barely survived. Now she owes the smugglers back home and it is on my burdened shoulders to pay back what we both owe. I'm tired and I have tied my hands to the side of the boat, so tight that only deflating it can separate me from the boat. I see their knives and their eyes watching me. I feel the wandering hands attempt to assault me and I scream. Yes, I may be an illegal immigrant but my body and right to live is still mine. The idiot doesn't try anymore, whomever the pervert was. But I am still afraid to sleep. A hand taps me and I stab at it and miss, I am paranoid like that, Sleep she tells me and I'll sleep tomorrow. Not in words but by signalling to me. I have no clue what language she speaks but she looks East African. I feel calm and the slaps from the icy waters feel like a blanket and then I finally fall asleep.
  I wake up rocking and confused. I am helped to my feet and hear some Spanish. I made it from Morocco to Spain and the onlookers in bikinis and Speedo's watch us. I cut the rope and stare at the woman that let me sleep. Now we run.... I didn't know I had it in me and as we run, I pray hard and follow her, I hope she is going to work and not sell her body.
  In the bush, a bus waits and we are handed hot coffee and a sandwich. I taste the trees and pasture in the beef and swim with the fish as the tuna eases my taste buds. The bread is fresh, how I did not die from eating stale bread, I do not know.
 I have a week to start paying back, before my mother's home is seized by the trafficking cartel. I must free my family from this evil trap called poverty in Nigeria.
      The letter brought tears to my eyes but Nnoye was crying and so Celine finished reading it out loud.
It was like I was her, a Corn Curb Fresh And Lush. Lied to and cajoled into been smuggled out of the country.
'I warned her', Nnoye said between tears.
'Why would anyone take on such a horrible journey?' Ajoke asked.

 I think that my dear friend realized she asked the question with Celine very much around. She didn't answer, it felt like every time the topic of illegal immigrants come up.  Celine had to justify and defend them, it was a burden her mother inflicted on her and she did not look like someone in the mood to answer.
 I could see Ajoke's mouth curling up to call her name and I stepped in just in time.

'Its a suicide mission, one that promises heaven and seldom delivers..'
'But... ', Nnoye started to say wiping away tears.
'Her cousin, my neice is dead because her mother went to the desert.. Pretended she was alright'
'That's is sad, but what about what they owe?'
'That's why I was with Idibia.. I told him to help me pay off their debts'

 I heard her but was in too much shock to believe my ears.

'You what?', Ajoke clapped her hands three times.
'Noooo', I protest and shake my head.

 Celine looked at me with I told you so eyes and turned to our scandalous friend.

'Why didn't you tell Daniel?'

 The question made Nnoye look at me and I said nothing, what was I supposed to say?

'Abeg Nnoye, don't annoy me. You are engaged to him, answer the question'

 It's true now, any small thing..  They will point at me, I only went on a few dates. I don't even think it's up to three and they all expect me to answer all things Daniel Ojora.

'I am not in the mood jare', GBA be.

Nonsense and ingredients, orisirisi.

'Daniel will involve the police', Nnoye adds.
'Is that not the right thing to do?', Ajoke tables the question.
'Eeemmn, logically. But smugglers are cruel' Celine adds.
'So, we should let them get away with it?', I asked.
'Idibia knows an underground operation that's investigating the criminal gangs that traffic humans'
'And that helps how?', Ajoke folds her hands across her chest.
'Idibia we pay up and then they are arrested. Who do you think they will suspect? My family still lives in the east in the outskirts where people hardly go to. How fast will the law get to them? To my aunt when they need protection?'

 The silence that ensued made us all sober and I reflected on every word she said.
 Life is hard for many and justice a far away dream for others.

'So what happens now?', I asked refusing to believe that they have won. That criminals are winning in this hardened Nigerian life.

'They will be caught and my cousin will be free, there is a joint task force. Idibia helped me trace her'

 The smile on her face made me believe her and feel she was safe.

'I am happy for her but are you not playing with fire?' Ajoke's question made sense.

'For the life of my family, yes'
'Why don't you just marry Idibia and save us all the drama coming our way?'

 Ajoke was not mincing words and both women knew that they would always be this crude with one another.

'Because, I am like you', Nnoye adds and I chuckled.

'I doubt that'
'But I am, I know Idibia will never marry me. He has kids you know'

This was news to me because the impression Nnoye gave with all the media attention was that he wanted her.

'Idibia lives attention and lives his freedom, he didn't say it. But u know and the kids...  I found out by mistake. He doesn't know I know'

' I still don't get why he will hide his children'
'He has not claimed them but....'

 Ajoke starts laughing and I shove her to shake off the madness.

'I know now we are different, did you get DNA? Compare and confirm the story?'

 At this junction, I am lost.
'What is going on?'
'Nnoye met an old girlfriend that claims the children she has are his'

 Celine and I look at Nnoye.

'I have his hair, I just need theirs'
 Ajoke laughs and Nnoye looks down and I slap her back.

'Aaww ouch, we are all grown women'
'Yes but let this grown woman do her own thing', I say smiling.

'See her, tell everyone why you are so happy'
'Ajoke knows something I don't', Celine grumbled.

'We are finally relocating in first week of February'

 Celine shrieks and lifts me up, while Nnoye looks disappointed.

'Wait, how did Ajoke find out before me?'
'You dey there, after all you are going back to France next week'

 This was news to me.

'That's how it feels to be the last to know', Celine says pulling Ajoke into the group hug.

 In one corner just in front of us Nnoye stared at us.

'So, I have four mint to marry before the gang breaks up'

 Her tone was sad and she looked stunned as I beckon her to join us. Ajoke exaggerates her eye roll and I squeeze Nnoye into Ajoke's embrace.

'One day, you will like me. Especially since Celine and Ade are leaving US'
'My dear it's not that I don't like you, you just act like a twenty year old. Still confused about men and what you want'
'I know what I want, remove the drama and I won't be getting any of it'

 That made Ajoke laugh and add, 'true'

'Now, me I want to know how Henrik handled Mr. H crashing your birthday party'
 Ajoke's question was legit and all eyes on me made me laugh.

'Like he should, it was a none event. Abeg, let's have some of my home made coconut cloud cake'

 I announced and unwrap the foil paper hiding the goodies.
 Life was getting more and more complicated but so was I. Nothing was going to shock or surprise me, I'm taking it one day as a time...

 I hope....

**Season 2, Episode 52**
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Adebusola Ukayat Elegbede is a Playwright and Content creator with a passion for real life challenges. Born in Kaduna state and lives in Lagos Nigeria, she has a passion for story telling from the perspectives of characters in conflicting situations. I started out on the New Writing Project in Nigeria with the British Council Lagos Nigeria and The Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square U.K. My passion for creating stories led to comic books, television drama's and an online journal on my website (busolaelegbede.com). As part of the WPIC in Stockholm Sweden 2012, the experience has forged life long friends and ignited my passion as a volunteer and advocate for human rights and the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow @Busola Elegbede