“Fine boy!” the skinny half-naked ashewo called out to Abdul as he drove slowly past her, his window wound halfway down. Abdul cursed as he tried his dealer’s number once more; he had circled the crescent twice, trying to call Caesar the whole time but he’d been getting the busy tone. Mercifully, this time it went through. Caesar confirmed that he would be out in five minutes, Abdul got there in three. The transaction was swift and in no time, the precious white powder was stashed in his pigeon hole. He drove past the prostitutes standing in groups of twos and threes by the roadside. He didn’t need any of them. He had all he wanted … one more hit, he thought to himself, this last one, and that would be it.

Caesar was the sleekest dealer around. Abdul had been using him for years. He remembered when he was first introduced to him by Comfort, his ex-girlfriend. Comfort had been a revelation. She was a model and they had met in the most unlikely circumstances.

*black out* … *lights on*

They had both gone to Matilda Greene’s Funeral Home set on the outskirts of Abuja to inquire about their services. She had just lost her dad and he, his sister. He was sitting in the waiting area when she came in wearing a chic black dress. She’d walked by him, leaving a floral scent in her wake.

Mr. Wilson, the friendly customer service agent had asked if they would like to come into his office together to make their enquiries, to which they’d both agreed. They had been listening intently till Comfort had gotten emotional. Mr. Wilson turned out to be one of those men that didn’t know what to do in the face of a crying woman. He haltingly pushed a tissue box in Comfort’s direction, and left it at that.

Abdul turned to Comfort, he felt like he understood her grief having just lost his sister to cancer.

“We could go out for some air” he said quietly as she sobbed. Comfort nodded through her tears.

He walked with her to an Avensis in the parking area. She had given Abdul her number, and he’d said he would call her later in the day. He did, they’d met for drinks that weekend and they both felt a connection.

“Were you and your sister close?” she’d asked him one sunny day when they were lying in twin hammocks by a pool in a hotel down the road from her condo, talking.

“We were twins,” he responded, his voice thickening with pain.  “We were orphaned early.”

“Oh,” she said quietly. She ran a blue-stained tongue over her glossy lower lip, she never wore lipstick. She turned and flicked his nipple with her red talons. “Let me make you feel good,” she said.

Back at her place, Caesar had joined them. He took out a debit card and formed three lines of the good stuff, one for each of them. Abdul inhaled a line like he saw Comfort and Caesar do before him. The powder was finely cut, glossy even. It glided up his nostril smoothly. Soon, his nose became numb, as did the back of his throat.

“Here, drag on this.” Comfort sniffled and passed him a lit joint. “It’ll feel twice as nice.”

He put the joint between his lips and puffed on it. Comfort had kept her word. He felt euphoric.

*black out* … *lights on*

Comforts’ career had bloomed, along with their love affair and his coke addiction. Her face sprang up on billboards all over East and West Africa and she began bagging great modelling jobs which meant more travel time. Abdul wasn’t pleased. He needed to be able to keep an eye on her at all times. His jealousy grew daily. He would call her, and if she couldn’t answer, he would suspect she was with another man. His continued coke use wasn’t helping any. He lost weight and was constantly in a state of paranoia. Even Comfort admitted he was snorting more than any one she knew; she feared for him.

She had just got a modelling job for Cognoscenti Clothiers and this meant she had to travel to Zanzibar for two weeks. The night before her trip, Abdul snorted so much coke that she was scared he would overdose. He hadn’t, he’d had a bout of anger instead. They argued about something and he had slapped her twice in quick succession. With an ice pack pressed to her hurting face, Comfort had made a quick decision. She gathered her stuff into her bright pink skylight boxes. Abdul had snatched his car keys and left the house angry. If only he had known that she was not just packing for Zanzibar, she was leaving for good …

*black out* … *lights on*

The camera closed in on the pretty female talk show host smiling and informing the viewers that they were about to go on a short break. It was a TV show about relationships his sister never missed when she was alive. A popular Nigerian musician was today’s guest on the show. He had had a drug stint a while back and his career had almost crashed headlong. Then according to the media, he’d met the woman he had eventually married, and she’d cleaned up his act.

Abdul turned down the volume on the television. He hated listening to the adverts. He started arranging his coke into lines. By now, he had accepted he was an addict. Maybe that was what he needed, he thought in his cloggy mind, a woman to help him clean up his act. It would make his family happy, gladden the hearts of his dear aunt and uncle who had taken his sister and himself in when their parents had passed. They had gotten tired of him. He had begun borrowing from his cousins heavily and all it took was one look at him to know what he wanted it for. Yes, he thought as he rolled up a mint hundred naira note to inhale with, he would find a nice girl to marry. She would make everything better. Someone different from Comfort who’d got him hooked and had left him when he’d needed her the most…

*black out* … *lights on*

But things hadn’t gotten better with Miriam his wife. They fought constantly. She was always nagging. In the beginning he had made an effort not to use in front of her, but he soon stopped caring, he railed in her presence. She complained ceaselessly that there was never enough money. He admitted that business hadn’t been good lately and he’d been using a lot, but it was her fault, he had to use in order to stay happy, to like himself in the face of her constant disparagement. Miriam constantly refused to give him children. She said she would stay on the pills till he got a decent job. He wanted babies.

When he told her about the job he had landed, Miriam got off the pill. She had been elated and looked her old self again. She got pregnant in a month. Abdul was overjoyed. He did all he could to keep up the charade of a working man. He left the house every morning for months, leaving no room for doubt. Things went smoothly till that horrible morning when he had gone to Caesars’ and there had been a raid. It was the same day Miriam had come to know the truth. He had no job. He had saved nothing contrary to what she believed. It was the same day she’d begun having premature contractions…

*black out* … *lights on*

They had saved his child, a darling little girl who was now in the newborn intensive care unit. They couldn’t do same for Miriam, she was gone. Tears welled in his eyes. She had left him with the child he’d wanted more than anything. Now he had no idea what to do with the child, not without Miriam.

He walked dejectedly to his car in the hospitals’ parking lot. He knew he was responsible for Miriam’s death. Abdul opened his pigeon hole and retrieved his stash. He laid out the powder and tidied it into lines. One more hit … one last hit. This time he knew he would stop, he had to get his act together for the sake of his daughter. Just one more time and that would be it. This batch gave him a dripping effect he had come to like. He bent down and pressed a nostril closed with his finger. With the other, he skillfully snorted three lines without pausing in between. He rubbed some of the powder on his gum and his tongue. He squeezed his face at the taste of the powder. Then, he waited for that painless feeling …

Taking out his phone, he deleted Caesars’ number. He was going to try hard this time. He started the ignition and his car radio came on, a lady began crooning, almost like she was singing to him

“You’ll find yourself back where you started. No getting’ away, you’re addicted …”


Written by Jumbo Ibigoni Shekinah

Miss Jumbo is a physiotherapist, practicing in National Hospital. She loves to write, travel and experiment.

Words are work … and fun too!

8 replies added

  1. Chisom April 24, 2016 Reply

    What a way to commence your WAW career, Jumbo. This story is just beautiful, tackles facts with just the right amount of style, emotion, spice and everything nice. Keep it up!

  2. Goodness April 25, 2016 Reply

    Good to know you’re still such a good writer. This story is full of subtle lessons. Story flows smoothly and effortlessly. Well done, dear.

  3. itoro michael April 26, 2016 Reply

    Amazingly beautiful Miss Jumbo. Nice flow , got morals too. Kudos

  4. TJ April 27, 2016 Reply

    My smallie, you’ve done a wonderful job here. Simply amazing!

  5. Yemie April 27, 2016 Reply

    At this point, its totally safe to say Abdul’s visit to the Funeral Home sorta spelt his own funeral…literally, especially seeing how much of a trainwreck his life as he knew it had suddenly become since Comfort passed through it! Eerie stuff! LOL

    This is a beautifully conceived tale that perfectly chronicles the journey of one who’s completely hooked on hard drugs! Plus, the lingo sizzles hot…love it! ❤

    ‘One more hit…one last hit’ he assures, and like the singer rightly quipped; he fools none else but himself! He’d be back with Caesar in no time! LOL

    Picking up, learning and mastering certain habits are so much easier than having to unlearn ’em! Hopefully, he wouldn’t end up pawning his precious daughter when he runs out of options as far as getting funds to keep up with this expensive habit and lifestyle he’s chosen to dabble in, for a quick fix! The horror! LOL

    Totally makes for a super-exciting read! Double thumbs up!

  6. Pauline 'Lina' Ife April 30, 2016 Reply

    Beautiful write up Jumbo. This would make a lovely movie script lols. Thumbs up babe!

  7. Ulo June May 4, 2016 Reply

    Every sentence leaves you wanting more…

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