Touch and Follow
It was just a regular morning in the suburbs of Agege. The sun was out, and the sky was clear. There were no signs indicating that anything out of the ordinary was going to happen.
My eyes wandered to the clock across the sitting room and I exclaimed, “Ah! It’s almost 12. Mummy will soon be back and we’ve not gone to collect the cloth from aunty Basirat!”. My younger brother who was just 7 years old jumped up from the cards he was playing with, fully understanding the gravity of the current situation.
I quickly checked the old banged up and cello-taped Nokia Zoom phone she usually calls us on — no missed calls yet. I put it in my pocket and we headed straight to complete our mission and get back home before mummy gets back.
It was about a 10 minute walk from our house to aunty Basirat’s shop and we had to go through a number of streets to get there. We had just turned into a tarred street when this young boy of no more than 12 or 13 — pretty much my age — jumped out and put his arms around me.
“Wait, what!?” I thought.
He smiled at my brother, and said jokingly, “I will not leave him o, I will not leave him o!”. My brother too was smiling back sheepishly.
In what felt like a lifetime but was probably no more than 5 seconds, he let me go and walked away. I asked my brother,
“Where do you know him from?” and he replied “I don’t know him!”.
Shocked, I said “Why didn’t you say anything and he was holding me like that?”. “I thought you knew him too”, my brother responded in his own defense. I looked back and I did not see this person again. “Its okay”, I thought to myself.
A minute later my brother motioned that he wanted stick sweet and we branched to a shop just by the road to get one for him.
On coming out of this shop, our mutual friend was outside waiting for us. He handed me the cello-taped phone. I touched my pocket to confirm if I was seeing right, lo and behold, there was no phone in my pocket.
“How?” I muttered. “I see am for floor for that side, and as per say you be sure guy I say make I return am for you” he said as he started walking away.
This is my phone, how did he get it and I didn’t notice. The cello tape was still right on it and everything was intact. ‘When did it fall?” I looked up and he was gone.