Mine is not a story about sadness, in fact, it is hilarious and hopefully short.
I don’t want to tell you long tales.
Ok, so my friend, Timmy and I lived together in a three-bedroom apartment in Ikeja off Toyin street.
In those days, that area was once notorious for armed robbery attacks; you could almost bet that on a weekly basis, one or two houses would be robbed and usually at gunpoint.
In fact, there was a lady, who lived with her younger siblings not too far from our street, she was robbed consecutively three times, after the third robbery, she just packed her load and relocated to another part of town.
Anyway back to my story.
So, my friend and I, being bachelors, had rented this three-bedroom, flat and opposite us was a young married couple, about our age as well. We got on well with the husband and many evenings, especially Friday nights, we would either go clubbing, all three of us or we could just hang around the neighbourhood on Allen Avenue, just to chill.
Now, of the three of us, my roomie, Timmy was a terrible drinker. Timmy could drink his own piss if you allowed him and what’s worse, when he got drunk, he would do all kinds of things like strip himself naked and begin to talk rubbish.
So, there was this weekend; we had gone out again. I think we hung around Allen, we bought suya, sat with other guys at a joint and were generally having a good time and yes, we smoked a few ‘joints’, too…yes. We did.
Now, like I said before, Timmy could drink like a whole carton of beer but that day, he took just about four bottles, maybe five and smoked two joints. I think that is where the problem was. So, when I and our neighbour, Chris began to notice that Timmy had begun his usual drunk talk…ser when he is drunk, he would be chanting things, speaking in strange tongues, not like the Christians, o. I think the bagger grew up with a grandfather who was a herbalist…yes o, Timmy was something else.
So, when we noticed our friend was no longer coordinated, we grabbed him, each on one side and dragged him to the house.
Now, the time must have been say few minutes past midnight or maybe 1am…I am not too sure now but, we got home, and dropped Timmy in his room. I locked up and said good night to Chris, our neighbor.
Some 30 minutes or less or maybe a little more, I heard gun shots…’boys’ were in the neighbourhood again. I just crept to bed. No matter how macho you are, once you hear gunshots and you know it isn’t the police but armed robbers, you just become gentle.
So I just crept under my duvet and was saying a silent prayer, biko don’t let these robbers come to our house o.
But that is exactly what happened; they came to our house that night!
They broke through our gate and got into Chris’s flat downstairs…Chris’s flat was directly beneath ours. I heard our neighbor Chris saying, ‘…please, I beg you, take everything but please don’t kill us…’
I knew their next stop would be our flat; my room faced the back but Timmy’s was in front, so I crept to his room to see our gate, to gauge like how many robbers had broken into the house, where there more outside…you know, at this time, you would be thinking of an escape route, you don’t want to wait for the ‘boys’ to come and meet you in the house.
i managed to creep silently to Timmy’s room, …lo and behold, Timmy was not in his room!
I heard him talking to himself at the balcony, which by the way overlooked the front gate. Timmy had opened the balcony door and stood naked, talking his usual nonsense!
I almost died from fear!
My head scattered, I thought, this guy is going to get us killed. Even if the robbers had no intention of coming to our flat, now they would because they would think we saw them or were challenging them.
Timmy then began to shout like a mad man; he was reciting some serious incantations which I at that time judged to be the joints he smoked messing up with his brain.
Stark naked in all his glory and changing incantations…the robbers must have thought he was some serious herbalist with serious powers to come out naked and chanting things with his willy swinging both sides!
Me, I stood flat against the door peeping; I saw two of the robbers look up at Timmy, like, what is wrong with this one?
I think they too were scared because they just backed out of our compound.
I didn’t know that robbers too don’t want to die o, wo they left everything and took off! Ha, Timmy was still there, talking rubbish and pacing naked on the balcony.
It was Chris who later came to knock on our door to tell us what had happened. When the robbers sighted Timmy, one of them said, ‘They didn’t say they have a babalawo in the house.’
Yes, Timmy was thought to be a babalawo, also meaning they came prepared, the robbery wasn’t random; they had been told about us. Anyway, that’s how they disappeared that night and we were spared.
The following day, me and Chris had a good laugh over it but we were still scared that they could return if they found out Timmy was no herbalist o. We began to scout around for new places…Chris moved two weeks after, Timmy and I moved a month after.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)