Feranmi makes a sharp turn back to the house after walking down the street to kill boredom. Unexpectedly, she sighted five young men sitting and chatting away, quite close to the last bend before their apartment.
Abruptly, her movement halted like a car in Oshodi hold-up saga.
“But they weren’t here when I passed few minutes ago” she thought aloud
Nevertheless, she continued. But then again, she wouldn’t understand her steps anymore. It felt like one leg had grown shorter than the other and wouldn’t aid her movement as she wanted, but she struggled to walk past them.
“Why am I not with an earpiece today of all days” she murmured
Then the young men stopped talking as if orchestrated to do so. Next! They all turned their heads to look at her. They said nothing and did nothing but admired a beautiful princess that she is.
However, all she could hear and see was the DJ Remix of Stephan F’s Astronomia 2k19 (Radio edit) and the faces of those undertakers in the viral tiktok memes.
“Kwame! Bring the coffin”
Feranmi managed to walk past them, keeping a straight face, one of the young men stood up and tiptoed behind her, signaling to the rest to keep shut.
As soon as she made the curve at the end of the road, without looking back, she began to walk very fast, and the young man went after her.
The worst has happened. Feranmi was frozen. She stopped but didn’t turn.
“Damn! Look at you. Body goals.” He said catching up with her.
“Ehen? okay” she replied with a feigned smile
“My name is Leke”
“Yeh! Love me. Of course! You’re lovable”.
“Can I have your number, please? Don’t say no Ife mi”
“It’s same thing”
“Feranmi” She asserted and made to leave
“oh. Okay! Feranmi. Please your number”
Feranmi called out her number and started walking towards their building.
“I’ll call you” Leke assured her and ran off.
“NO! No! No!” she said to herself.
She looked back and Leke was gone. She made to go after him. Then stopped. She turned back and started running home.
After the fire disaster, Feranmi and her aunt share one cell phone. Although the latter mostly receives calls and SMS alone, Feranmi uses the phone all the time. She had left the phone behind when she went for the walk. The fear that Leke might call before she gets home made her run some more.
“Where have you been?” her aunt asked
“Strolled down the street ma”
“You eventually went for it. just be careful”
“It’s just around the corner really”
“Once you get arrested, don’t bring them home. That’s mine”
The phone rang from the table upon which it was placed. Feranmi could swear it was Leke, but aunt stood right over her and it became impossible to go for the phone.
“Is the call yours or mine?”
“I don’t know ma”
“Why not pick and confirm” she said and walked out
“Love me. Home now I guess”
“Yes. I am”
Her aunt returned to the sitting room, and Feranmi felt like she has been beaten by mere looks from her aunt. So, she ended the call and was about to drop the phone when she decided to go through the chats on a Whatsapp group she belonged to.
Apparently, the group just concluded an anonymous message challenge which didn’t go down well with many people. This is same reason Feranmi has been avoiding several social media challenges. She prefers to watch her friends partake and laugh along.
Then, a message popped from Leke.
“Hi” she replied and checked out his profile picture.
“…Handsome!” she quickly added
Feranmi played a voice note from a Whatsapp group.
“Whose voice note is that?” her aunt asked
“A girl in my secondary school group ma”
Feranmi went ahead to explain the issue behind the VN. Moments like these are rare and it seemed like Feranmi and her aunt are bonding. The discussion went deeper when her aunt asked Feranmi about her opinion concerning the ongoing Covid-19 conspiracy theories.
“Well, our neighbours said that its 5G network installation that’s causing the mess in the world right now.”
A Whatsapp message dropped from Leke.
“Can we talk?”
Feranmi started typing a reply and struggled to hold a meaningful conversation with her aunt. Meanwhile, she has been ignoring Ben’s messages and kept typing. Ben is her boyfriend of 18months. At some point, she copied the message off Leke’s chat to avoid losing it, then replied Ben.
“Total lockdown. Haven’t seen the sun in 2days. Sup?”
“What do you think?” Feranmi’s Aunt asked again
“Well, I’ve heard about the Deep state, Big phamar, Bill Gates and the economic power tussle between China and USA” she said without looking up from the phone
“In all of these what have you deducted?”
“Nothing o. It’s confusing. I keep getting new ones daily. So, I’m simply waiting for the pandemic to be over”
“That’s so mediocre of you. All you do is chat. You mean you can’t make a simple research and take a stand, by seeing through the arguments?
Feranmi was stupefied for 5 seconds. The bonding experience she thought she will enjoy have just been aborted within its first trimester.
“Well, I’m still processing them. But a lot has been said about 5G and I think they are convincing. The whole thing is overwhelming.”
“No! it is not. Your problem is an African problem. We swallow information, hook line and sinker. No bit of research done at all. Many do not think, majority who do, think in ‘English’.
“Wow!” Feranmi said, unable to make any other statement.
“Well, maybe you should read some more. How many Nigerians have access to 4G? Are we not still using 3G on our own phone? Check why 5G exists in Lesotho but haven’t recorded any case of Covid-I9”.
“And who are you chatting that you’re so engrossed?”
“Nobody! It’s the group chat ma,” She said and sent the message. Only for it to get delivered to the wrong box. She didn’t notice this until Ben Replied.