Saturday, 10 August 2013

I learnt My Lesson!

My lesson teacher.....lols
I love books ehn... I have burnt food because of them sef  but that's even small compared to the other wahala(s) I got myself into. While my mates were reading mushy stuff in Mills and Boon, I was busy reading about crimes, detectives and spies in James Hadley Chase novels ... lols. I can't even begin to tell you the stunts I pulled to get these novels on a regular basis. One time, during my early teenage years, I had gone on an errand to Mama Amina's shop to buy something (I can't even remember what), I met this guy who was obviously a supplier, offloading some things into her shop. I don't know how it happened but my eyes caught this new book sitting pretty on the dashboard of his pickup van. I used to be terribly shy but not when it came to books. So, I summoned courage and asked if I could read the book. He went on to remind me of how that he didn't know me and that he had not even read the book....blah blah blah. I reassured him that I lived just adjacent Mama Amina's shop, that I would take good care of the book and that he could get it on his next round which was two days away. Imagine my joy when I found out it was What's Better Than Money? - a JHC novel!

I'm a fast reader and I can read all night if a book is particularly interesting. By the next day, I was through with the novel. That same day, Mama Amina called me while I was going out on an errand somewhere else. She asked if I remembered a particular guy who had come to her shop to supply things the previous day, I nodded yes. She then said "he don die o". "Die?" I asked. "Yes o, dem say him die yesterday for accident after him leave my shop" she answered (by the way, why would you tell a child such a thing?). I rushed home and quickly removed the novel from where I had hidden it in my school bag. I placed it on a small desk at a corner of the bedroom I shared with my sisters. For days I wouldn't go near the desk or even look at the novel - I was scared!  Prior to that time, I had heard and read so many ghost stories.What if the guy's ghost came for his book? The book had to leave that house! 

Though I secretly hoped the whole thing was just a lie or rumour and that the guy would come and get his book but when it became obvious that it was true, I became more afraid. I remember telling my mum casually about the incident. I made sure it sounded like I wasn't affected by it because I didn't want her to ask me to bring the book - I wasn't going to touch it for anything! She expressed how sorry she was for the guy but that was where the discussion ended. At that point, I knew it was my job to singlehandedly plan the movement of the book to an unknown location! I had become like one of those smart guys in the books I read. For days, I strategised but came to no conclusion. I didn't want to give any of my friends I exchanged novels with, I knew they would return it and I didn't want it back.

Fortunately for me, one of my mum's friends came to visit with her daughter, who was about my age. The girl must have noticed I was always reading. On the day they were leaving, she asked if I could lend her one of my novels. That was my clue! I could barely hide my excitement. I gave her and told her not to bother returning it. The logic was that if the ghost came, I would refer it to her. I congratulated myself on being very smart. Ofcourse she thanked me - if only she knew I was the one who needed to thank her! Who said it was easy playing the role of a smart criminal? That was the end to collecting books or anything from random people. I was done! Abeg.


  1. ...a big lesson indeed. but this one is very scary!!!

    1. Yeah, it was really scary back then.