38 Ono Shuaib close……she looked at the address post again and smiled.
“Romoke, romoke, you’re day dreaming again abi”?
She smiled and looked at Lola, her best friend of 3years.
‘Have you ever noticed how smooth the address sounds?’ Romoke asked. ‘Address ke?!’ Lola asked incredulously. ‘Rom, are you ok?I cannot understand your obsession for your house address number’ Lola asked.
‘Aunno, I mean, Ono shuaib…..very smooth name. Imagine Lola Ono-Shuaib or Romoke Ono-Shuaib. Doesn’t that sound cool?”
‘Rom, your creepy neighbor is out again’
They both look across the street and watched as a young man got out of the house tagged 48. He walks towards the car and pauses for a moment, glancing at the two girls. Romoke’s eyes meets his and she feels a shudder run through her. She quickly looks away and he gets into the car and drives away.
‘Was it me or did you guys just share some strange connection?’ Lola asks.
Romoke is quiet for a while and she whispers, “I felt like someone just walked over my grave.” The two girls turn to watch as the black jeep drives off.
* * *
She had stood at the busstop for almost three hours and there was still no bus. The crowd was getting more and it seemed like she would have to take a bike, which she absolutely detested. A black jeep slowed down and the crowd rushed to the car.
“Oshodi, iyana iworo, costain….”They screamed their various destinations to the driver who shook his head and motioned to romoke. She squinted, wondering who might possible know her. The car reversed and when it got to her, wound the window down. She jerked back as she noticed Mr. Creepy, as she and lola had started to refer to him.
“Oh’, was all she could manage.
“Are you going home?’ He asked as he opened the door, leaving her no choice but to get in. As the cool air of the A/C enveloped her, she was grateful for the ride.
Three hours later, she felt more at ease. His name was Adebayo and he was an engineer. Quiet and reserved, hardly ever going out. Maybe he wasn’t so creepy, she thought.
At the sound of her name, she turned, a slight smile on her face. He had on his creepy smile again and suddenly romoke felt a frission fear run through her.
‘Romoke’, he called again. She looked at him and felt the darkness slowly overtake her.
‘No’….she said, sinking into oblivion.
* * *
Three years later….
She smiled slightly as he kissed her forehead. He always did that before he went to work. She watched him as he walked out of the house and wished desperately she could get out too. She wasn’t allowed to work. He said princesses don’t work which is why he worked so hard for her. For her, he always says, everything is for her. Her beautiful twins girls were his gift to her. This big beautiful house was his gift to her. The tinted cars, the maids, beautiful clothes and jewelry, all gifts to her. She supposed she should be grateful but she didn’t feel so. She didn’t remember much before her three years of marriage but all she knew was that she should be thankful for him in her life. He told her that every night. But she badly wanted to go out just to feel the sun, to see people walking around attending to their daily chores.
She sighed deeply and waited for about 30mins. When she was sure that he had gone and that the maid was about her chores, she sneaked towards the door. Anticipation thrummed in her veins as she made her way to the door. She walked out tentatively, moving towards the address plate. It called her and she was powerless to resist. She couldn’t understand why and address plate would attract her so but she went anyways, longing for the feel of the plate on her hands, for the moment her gaze would land on the plate. She closed her eyes and reached out to touch the address plate. She smiled when she felt it and opened her eyes. She loved the name, the way it rolled off her tongue. Just to feel the sensation, she whispered it to herself….’48, Ono – Shuaib close , Ono – Shuaib’…….