Nightfall in Ibadan

‘Eleyele’ By Taves

11 pm at Jericho. Well, it’s not quite Eleyele but close enough. “EVERYBODY SAY AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A BROWN ROOF PARTY!” This isn’t what you came here for, not really. But then, nights out in Ibadan are funny that way, utterly unpredictable. For instance, one moment you’re on a date, laughing, taking in the sights, waiting for her favourite artiste to come on stage. The next moment, her mother is screaming on the phone, demanding she return. 

You’ve grown tired of slouching around like some nonchalant loner, pretending you weren’t stood up and discomfited. Cool is exhausting anyway. The hypeman is still at it, and by now, the crowd has grown restless. You tune it all out, and ponder like only a marooned man can— on your luck, your ticket money, and insensitive Nigerian musicians. Plus, why are people so feeble, did the rest of us who rebelled have two heads? Her mother wouldn’t have this much cheek if she showed her proper shege as a teen, why you could remember when—

This damn hypeman, how could he get any louder. Wait, why are they all shouting now? Finally, you amble to the stage, phone in hand. Should get some decent streaks if anything. Maybe she’d feel better when she saw the videos. Or worse? Surely not, right?

And then it happened, you saw God out of the corner of your eye. The God you’d worshipped for the past year on Instagram was a Lady Donli fan as well. And she liked burly six-foot-four men. A silent tear trickled down as you steadied your camera to catch the chorus of ‘Comme ci, Comme ça’.

‘Serotonin’ By chi

4 am at Bodija. They had warned you to take just a few, but it had taken so long to kick in anyways, you were nonplussed. Now it’s all you can do to stay awake, the haze is so thick. The wall is vibrating, your fingers are melting, and everything seems more interesting than the woman in front of you. But you can’t go to sleep now, not when she’s on top.

You glance up again, and she’s got her eyes rolled back. You grip her waist tighter, digging in with your nails. This can never end, it should never end. 

You’ve stirred once more, sliding down from the sofa. The cold tiles meet your embrace, and for a fleeting moment, you regain your bearings.

 Damn edibles.

‘Omoge Mi’ By P-Square

12 am at Sango. Your lower lip trembled again as you willed the tears to flow. Nothing. You picked at your shoes mindlessly, slav squatted in the corner of the bathroom. She’d bought them for your birthday three weeks ago, Corteiz x Nike. Thoughts of destroying them raced through your mind but you sighed. You knew that’d never happen, you were too material for that.

“You good, boss?” He’d been posing for mirror selfies for a while, flaunting a half-empty Jameson for Snapchat. “Yeah, I dey. Can I borrow that?” He laughed, “Sure thing my bro. Hope say babe neva break your heart.”

You take two long swigs, and peer through the glass doors again. They weren’t kissing anymore, she was sitting on his lap and laughing at something, throwing her head back like she always did.

You didn’t know how it happened, you were never an athlete. But you bounded across the lounge in three long strides, and in one fell motion, brought the bottle down on his head before he could turn. 

Silence. Nobody said a word, you could almost hear the blood as it pooled around your now-ruined sneakers. She only stared, and the terror in her eyes hurt the more.

Author’s Note

That heading is so bloody pretentious. Anyway, I did have a different picture moving to Ibadan, an old slow city with old slow people. Coming from Port Harcourt, you expect to be underwhelmed by the nightlife anywhere. But it hasn’t (entirely) been so. Short stories based on songs, inspired by Chimeka Garricks, Port Harcourt’s second son.

Okojie Osakwe Simeon


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