Hello Literature Lovers,
Welcome to the month of June, this month we will begin a new series called ‘A Little Bird Said’ by writer Tunde Leye popularly known for his famous series ‘Finding Hubby’.
As the weeks go by, we will share episode by episode of the series every Tuesday. Below is episode one.
A Little Bird Said – Episode 1
A month had passed since Charles Obaro ended his engagement to Sumbo. A year before that time, they had met at some overlord event. Yes, he was what they called an overlord in Nigerian twitter lingo. He had a teeming army of seventy thousand followers and many of them swallowed whatever he tweeted hook, line and sinker. He was now a certified ruffler of feathers, ran a successful blog and had travelled the world. If anyone had told him how twitter would transform the shy boy from a university in Oyo State into a world renowned personality, he would not have believed it. But that’s just what his handle @obaro had made him become.
If there was one thing he loved about being an overlord even more than the respect and fame, it was the p-setting. God bless the person who greenlighted the DM feature to be included in twitter. Babes who were feminists and men-bashers on their timelines were transformed once they entered the DM of an overlord like him. Why, he had even bedded a few simply with the promise of getting them into the sacred world of the overlords. It was what twitter was, and in that world, he was a “bawse” as Rick Ross would say.
He rolled off his king-sized bed which had been the slaughter ground of many a female and padded to the bathroom. The first thing he did every morning was to brush his teeth and down a bowl of cereal. He looked at his reflection in the mirror above the wash-hand basin. Nothing spectacular, he admitted to himself in a rare moment of honest self assessment. He was average in everything – height, build, even academic prowess. It had to be his twitter power that had gotten him the female conquests.
So twitter overlordship and serial p-setting had been his life until he met Sumbo. Cold as ice but pretty as Aphrodite, she was an overlord herself with whom he had sparred a couple of times. However, she never used her own picture as her AVI and he had not been able to see what she looked like until that day. In one of their quarrels, she had labeled him as having the alpha male syndrome and because she might have been right, he seethed. After seeing her that day however, he made up his mind to add her to his list of conquests.
He had started confident that she would be like all the others once they entered DM. But it had taken him all of six months and a wedding proposal plus a very public whirlwind relationship on twitter, facebook, instagram and all the blogs to get between her legs. By that time, it was too late to back out and he had gone along with the wedding plans.
Then one day, they had taken opposite sides on some twitter issue and he had seized the opportunity. He deliberately escalated the quarrel publicly on twitter and then in real life. Not thinking much of it, she had maintained her position against his own. Afterall, she reminded him, he was the one that always advocated independent thought. “The fact that you hold a different opinion from mine doesn’t make you a bad person” he had often said. But he would have none of that. Eventually he had called off the engagement. She had begged and everyone had pleaded with him, but he did not budge. Shebi the good Lord had provided an escape route for him from the trap his p-setting and her desire to marry had sent him to. He grabbed it with both hands. He had lost some followers, but the loyal ones had stayed. He had gladly taken that loss as the prize for his freedom and gone on a p-setting spree. Ah, the fresh air of freedom, he thought to himself. He quickly brushed his teeth and fixed himself his cereal before diving into the online world to see what was interesting and what he would tweet, thinking ruefully about the good meals he had enjoyed while he had been with Sumbo.
Sumbo had just finished quarrelling with her mum. It seemed to be the way all their phone calls ended these days and it was placing a strain on their once super close mother and daughter relationship. Her friend, Sandra looked up from her phone and asked “the conversation ended in man again abi?”
“Yeah. As if I will make a man myself. Maybe we should disguise you as a man and present you to them,” Sumbo responded with a twinkle in her eye. “Oh, and I got the lecture about making sure I’m not headstrong with the next man that comes like I was with Charles. Sumbo, you must learn to be submissive,” she mimicked her mum’s voice as she said the last few words.
“Speaking of Charles, the idiotic anumpam is tweeting o, he is looking for who will bring him pizza this morning,” Sandra said with bile in her voice.
“Me I don block am, so I no dey see him yeye tweets,” Sumbo responded, scoffing. Even as she tried to be mature and get over her heartbreak at the breakup, seeing Charles’ tweets had been very hard for her. They brought back painful memories and she ended up blocking him eventually to retain her sanity. The way he had carried on as if he had been freed from a heavy burden after ending their engagement had hurt her even more than the breakup. By God she wanted to strangle him each time she saw his goody two shoes crusading tweets, when she knew the kind of perverted self-centered person he really was. She had overlooked everything to keep that relationship – the DMs she stumbled on, the BB conversations and the twofaced life he was living that was hidden from his adoring public. Yet, in the end, he had ended it like he was cutting off a vestigial organ.
“The bastard, when he was eating your better cooking for free, he did not know. Now, na pizza and cereal be him food,” Sandra said, showing Sumbo the picture of a bowl of cereal that he had instagramed.
She hissed. Charles could not cook a thing and while they were together she had ensured he had healthy meals. Now, he had obviously reverted to his pre-Sumbo eating habits.
“Wo, me I’m going to the office to do what puts food on my table. If you like be living on twitter. When hunger nab you, you will come and join me,” Sumbo said as she gathered herself together. The office was the ante room of their three bedroom apartment and it was there they received all their clients. They ran an animation company and most of the big advert agencies used their services plus they got outsourced work from South Africa and UK so they were pretty comfortable.
Sumbo powered up the laptop and got into the day’s work.
Across town, not too far from Charles’ house, Senayon Lulu let himself into his dingy office. He often wondered if there had been any improvements made on this police station since the colonial days. The stone was the same. The cells were the same. The counter was the same. Sometimes he even swore to himself that the men were the same. For all he cared, they were the same anyway, at least in character and outlook. The police seemed to deliberately send the most garrulous and educated ones to his station. And these ones were usually the most frustrated and worst drunks. Their frustration stemmed understandably from the fact that they thought they should have advanced in the police force further than they had managed considering their erudite learning. There was one who even claimed to have been the IG’s course mate in Police College. Fools, he thought to himself.
A couple of years ago, his wife had left him for one councilor, after that one had promised to give her his old car when the government gave the councilors brand new Hyundai Elantra salon cars. He couldn’t blame the woman, hard as he tried. The man had given her all the things that Senayon had been unable to in all their years together and after a quarrel where he had finally confronted her with her infidelity, she simply looked at him and said “useless man, I was even managing you before.” And then she left him with their seven year old daughter. Now, he had sent the little girl to the village to live with his mother and had poured himself into this police work. Finally, with dedication, he had risen and been made DPO, even if it was of this station. He wished for something more though, something better. In spite of what many outsiders liked to think, his life as a police officer, a DPO, was boring. He wanted to get out from behind this pile of papers and crumpled Naira notes brought to him as returns from the street work of his officers. Senayon had clearly not heard the maxim – be careful what you wish for… he was about to go for a ride he would wish he never had.
Another person who would have benefitted from the same maxim Senayon didn’t know was our dear Charles. In between taking on some government reps, promoting a product he was being paid to tweet about and setting up P-setting for the next three days with three different ladies in his DM, Charles had tweeted repeatedly about craving pizza. Some people had tweeted back at him to call the pizza delivery company and stop disturbing them and he had retweeted their tweets. His voltrons had gone all in and attacked those who dared to accost their overlord. He watched their twitfights, amused.
Two hours later, he had totally forgotten about the whole saga on twitter. He had been working on a blogpost now around the issue he had been arguing with the government man about, pounding away furiously on the keyboard while mentally marshalling the strategies he would use for sharing this his latest creation as it took shape on his computer screen. He heard the doorbell ring, its shrill sound tearing into his consciousness. He didn’t react at first, but the ringer was persistent and he had no choice but to press Ctrl + S and then get up to go and see who it was, cursing under his breath.
When he opened the door however, all his vexation was dispelled in an instant. This happened for two reasons. First, the beautiful aroma of fresh and piping hot pizza wafted into his nostrils. He hadn’t ordered himself, so someone must have read his tweets and decided to surprise him. He wondered who it was but didn’t dwell on it for too long. The pizza delivery personnel was the reason why, the second reason he smiled now. She was pretty, this one, with firm and full breasts peeking out from the two open buttons of her red polo t-shirt. Her complexion was fair, but not annoying fair like some of those ladies that bleached, making the cleavage she was showing even more sumptuous. Her hair was packed firmly under a face cap that made it difficult to see her face well when she looked down. He wasn’t interested in her face anyway. Her body had his full attention. He felt himself stir and realized that he was beginning to have an erection, embarrassed now that he was bare-chested with nothing but boxers on. When she smiled and asked if he was Mr. Charles, she revealed an even set of teeth. His mind raced to some porn movie he had watched long ago when the obviously porn actress supposedly innocent pizza delivery girl was lured into the house and then banged silly by the man. He knew he wouldn’t try such a stunt though, except she gave him super bright green lights.
“Do you know the person that ordered this pizza on my behalf because I did not order it myself?” Charles asked.
“I don’t know sir, I’m just here to make the delivery. Maybe you can call the number on the pack to find out,” she responded.
“Of course you don’t,” Charles responded, nearly slapping himself. They didn’t tell delivery personnel who ordered pizza, stupid, he said to himself. “Charles, breast don make you foolish,” he muttered to himself.
“What did you say sir?” she asked.
“Nothing dear. Now, if you don’t mind, let me have my pizza,” he said.
“Sir, you will have to sign here,” she said, producing a sheet of her company’s paper.
“Okay,” Charles said, waiting.
“Sir, I don’t have a pen here,” she said.
“Ohhhh,” Charles responded. That was strange, for a delivery girl not to have a pen on her. He thought his mind was playing tricks on him but it seemed she had winked at him. The light flashed yellow.
“Yes sir, let me come in and use your pen,” she said.
She definitely winked this time and the light flashed a bright green. It was all he needed. He whistled audibly. Today just might be his lucky day after all. “By all means, I’ll give it to you,” he responded with meaning even if she wouldn’t understand his innuendo and gave way for her to go in.
Korie parked in front of the house. Since he was squatting with his elder brother, he didn’t have the luxury of parking his car inside the compound. It was late evening and he was glad to have escaped from the office on time today. Banking was not easy, especially in this traffic infested Lagos, he thought to himself as he turned the ignition off and tumbled out of the car. He was a big man, quite unlike his average all over brother, Charles. They looked so different no one would have guessed he was Charles’ immediate younger brother. Gathering his things, he locked the car and dragged himself into the house.
He tried the front door and it wasn’t locked. Charles was at home. He wondered what mischief his brother had been up to and which girl he would meet today with the customary introduction “meet Korie, my brother with the non-English name. Don’t let his size fool you though, he my kid brother” Charles would say, emphasizing the ‘kid’. Korie would smile politely and then retire to his room, away from Charles and all his wahala. He braced himself for this and stepped into the house. Silence. “Charlie, I’m home,” he called out in a loud voice. Still silence. He went further into the house, but there was no one there. That was strange. Why would Charles leave the house unlocked while he was out? Korie went to his brother’s room to go and see if he was there. He wished he hadn’t. There, propped against the white wall was his elder brother. His head had been hacked off and placed carefully on his laps. Korie raced out of the house to his car.