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Swing Episode 1: Crazy Twenty Four Hours

The daylight is still so shy. I can barely make out the leaves beside me. I don’t know their names but they look like bitter leaves, only softer to the touch. My clothes are damp from the dew.

I smell fresh grass and earth. Arrgh, moving hurts, my joints are stiff. But I’ve got to find my way back. I don’t know where I am but I know… I know I am not supposed to be here.

The fact that I am here assures me that something has gone very wrong. I look around; my eyes are searching although the morning light is not helping matters.

See, something of mine is missing, something important. Ah, there it is, my right arm, lying in a tangle of shrubs. With great difficulty, I manage to heave myself up.

Even as I bend down towards the shrubs, I can hear snapping sounds. My joints are fiercely revolting.

It’s almost laughable, you’ll think I am a feeble old bone but in truth I am just barely sixteen, still yet to grow my first beard.  But I persevere and pick up the arm from the thicket where it lies abandoned like an unwanted baby.

It is so stiff and cold and heavy. I wander what my left hand feels when it holds its brother so. I place the dead limb on my shoulder socket just to see how it looks.

To my surprise, it snaps like a clamp and becomes joined to my torso like it was never severed. There is this warm feeling that flows through the arm.

I slowly flex my fingers, intrigued to find the arm fully responsive. If all this is strange to you, then I am pleased to inform you that we are lost in the same forest.

As a matter of fact I cannot remember going to bed tonight because I never did. The last thing I recall doing today was….oh, wow. Okay I think it is best to just narrate the events of my day from the moment I woke up.

----Early this Morning----

Okay I was really grumpy when I got out of bed this morning. I am always grumpy in the mornings. Who isn’t? Freaks maybe.

But it wasn’t just the usual ‘great, yet another stressful day’ grumpiness. No, see this morning I had a paper and guess what subject awaited me in that hall?

The absolutely evil monstrosity called mathematics. And it wasn’t just a normal exam; it was my school certificate examination, the great WAEC.

It’s no wonder I woke up pissed. If someone had given me a grenade then, well I’d have asked for a time machine so that I can take the grenade and dump it in the delivery ward of the wicked soul that invented examinations.

Guess you can call that an explosive abortion, save a disgruntled generation. I bet my peers would have crowned me a hero.

Alright enough of that, you get the point by now. I woke up on the moody side of the bed. My mother did not help matters either.

“Slade Akintola! What are you busy drawing like Okro soup for? I thought you’d be fully dressed by now.”

I rolled my eyes, trust me you can’t not roll your eyes when my mom gets on your case. Especially when she starts to ditch the point like

“And that’s how you went to dye your hair and shave this hairstyle that makes you look like a hungry Aztec. In fact once you come back from school make sure you shave this thing on your head.”

See what I’m saying? What does waking up early and my hairstyle have in common? But that’s my mom for you. I just stared at the floor, patiently waiting for her attention to drift elsewhere.

“Eh, that water must be boiling.” She said in mid rant and rushed off to the kitchen.

After taking my bath I rushed out of my room with a comb in my hair and my half closed bag in hand. I couldn’t find one of my socks.

I would have put on a pair of slip-ons but Mrs Ehimah, one of my teachers at school had a kind of thing for me---a really sadistic kind of thing. She’d always found a reason to make my life a living hell.

Putting on slip-ons would be equal to yelling out ‘here I am Mrs Ehimah, I need your evil attention’. Trust me; the woman is Satan’s grand mom. Even her forehead looks like horns could protrude out from it at any moment.

“Your sock is on the washing machine in the corridor. I saw it outside on the veranda.” My mom said to me while she placed my food on the table.

I smiled “thanks mom. That socks keeps trying to run away.”

So that’s how my early morning went. Soon I was off to school. Despite all my mother’s efforts, I still managed to leave the house around eight thirty and the exam was to start by nine.

Don’t judge okay, some of us just have the latecomer gene or the ‘Tinate’ gene as I love to call it. Now all my nerves were on red alert.

I wasn’t breathing, I was heaving and although the sunlight was still very mild, I had begun to sweat profusely. My heart beat the rhythm of impending doom as I marched down the long Nova street, headed for the back gate of Uniben where I would find a keke to take me down to school.

Finally I got to the small crowd of keke bikes, parked at the back gate. One of the riders obsequiously held my hand, “fine boy come enter this one. E be like say you don late well well.”

I glanced at his bike and wrinkled my nose. The keke was empty, there were no waiting passengers. I was in too much of a hurry to sit around waiting.

“I need to leave now,” I said briskly, pulling my hand from his grip.

“Nor worry, I go drop you. I no say you dey hurry. Just enter. No need to wait for passengers.” He entreated and took a napkin to wipe the backseat.

I wanted to refuse but he was so meek. Everyone was hustling for their daily bread; the least I could do was be nice.

I reluctantly got in, all the while thinking that if this man dared increase my T-fare I would show him my nasty colour. He switched on the bike and then turned to me.

“I dey sell perfume oo. You like?” he asked.

Like I gave two craps about perfumes right now but I obliged “let me see them.” I said.

He took two perfumes bottles and handed them to me. Eager to make a sale, he sprayed some perfume on a napkin “very nice. Smell am make you see.”

I did and that’s how my morning ended.

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I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.

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