“Another five minutes, so get some rest while you can, Josh.”
The only other sound in the pitch-blackness came as he folded his arms and nestled his numb fingers into his armpits. He could feel his bones, his entire skeleton, infused with the cold of the concrete, as he lay flattened, taut with anticipation, and eyes staring up at nothingness.
“So, how long have you been fucking?”
It was a question deliberate in its intent, designed to alarm, to beach the coquettish charm he’d in their two weeks of online exchanges grown accustomed to. And yet she sat staring at him across the table, her eyes huge unblinking saucers, a slight twitch on her eyebrows, reined in as quickly as it had appeared, the only betrayal of her curated calm.
We cycled past the farm every day.
We held hands to jump across the side trench, four feet in the air like space-bound objects. We squeezed through gaps in the barbed wire to enter the farm. At the far end, fencing poles had collapsed from termite bites. Trees were heavy with ripe fruits. Older boys sneaked into the farm too where they ate the fruits and later emptied their bowels on the little crisscrossing footpaths and later on, fat blue flies descended on these mounds of fresh excrement like vultures. We hopped and skipped and covered our noses with our palms. A few hours or a day later, only indigestible guava seeds were visible, the grass around burnt by corrosion. When it rained, the seeds sprouted.
The clouds hang low like wet laundry, saggy and pale, with thunder murmurs behind them sending occasional sparks of lightning like match sticks that never get lit. I decide to sit on the median that splits Port Harcourt/Aba expressway into two halves. Lowering myself, I use my buttocks to ascertain there are no sharp objects. My tray sits at my knee’s edge. Last month, Mudiame sat on a nail lying on the median. Viki says the nail drove to his insides, into the real thing. I didn’t witness the accident so I cannot say for sure, but he hasn’t come out for sales since that day. The traffic is a bit jammed so the vehicles move with reluctance. The passengers have enough time to run their hands on our wares and complain.