Someone once told Jei that God didn’t make men like him anymore, that he was an endangered. But he often wondered, if men like him weren’t made by God anymore, did that mean that Amee was the last of the djinn?
All his life, his family, his mother had taught him, that because everybody did a thing, didn’t make it right. He grew up with it at every stage. But Jei was afraid too, like a man should be at certain stages of his life, especially as a Nigerian man. One had to survive. Room for wrong and right didn’t really hold precedence anymore. But his faith held him on the opposite side where fear choked him. He had plans to become one of the men that would shape the destiny of his country, to lead Nigeria to a pure Wazobia. A culmination of all the ethnic groups, like the world when Cyrus was king of all the four corners of the world. He made it work, and so could Jei. But after she came along, he almost decided that he just wanted kids and a life where she was the first sun ray he saw(because she was as fair as they came, sunflowers) when he woke up, and his last moon light before he slept. That was all, simple and sweet. The big in his small. But as usual, fate had other plans, and Amee was the diversion it needed to strike him full in the face too hard to come up with a contingency plan.
But when a dream becomes too sweet, one must not forget that there’s a sleep one must awaken from first, before the dream can awaken too.
On this day, he was going to ask her to be the half of himself that he couldn’t. For her to be his, and so on as it went. And while he waited on the second of three bridges that connected Kaduna north to its southern counterpart, the call came. They had to move, and if this operation failed, everything and everyone he loved could be annihilated. Jei didn’t think he was being serious, but as he held the cell to his ear, the voice, the breaths, the urgency with which the man talked about it, he knew that if he didn’t leave her now, there might be no more dawns and moon beams in his world.
He was in between tears and mumbling by the time she arrived. She looked beautiful in brown, almost like the sun was wearing a tree gown and it was the most beautiful thing the stars beheld. When she asked why he had tears in his eyes, he managed to squeeze to her that they were a lie, that what they had was a fuss. But even that was a lie, and she knew that. Sad attempt, really. She hissed, and asked him to stop this iskanci, mischief. Jei clenched his fist so hard on the little box in his pocket that it split and the cold feel of the round metal in the box made his hands tremble.
“Don’t try to reach me, it’s over. I’m serious. Move on with your life, you deserve better. That seer was right, I’m not what you need.” He was looking down, tapping his feet. He was anxious.
“Wetin dis one dey talk? Dey serious now, abeg. Wetin you wan show me.”
“This is all damned, M.”
She still had a smile on her face, and she was trying to search his body now, peeking and poking. It was her energy that crushed him. It was all too sudden. And Jei didn’t do well with things that one didn’t anticipate. He wanted to speak, but he knew that in doing so, it would all fall apart, this plan of his, of theirs. So he turned and he began running, away from her. She called after him, but he never turned back. He felt his feet wanting to, all of him wanted to, but he decided to play martyr the very day he signed up to be Dante, in this limbo of a country. He could but hope that she’d not hate him for this. Because if she knew, it would c***k her, she might shatter.
It had been 5 short years.