By Caleb Canaan
“Maaami ..Maami Maaami ooo” Pelumi shouted on a full scud faster than that of Usain Bolt, sweat dripping heavily from his burrow while holding a white sheet of paper tightly but thrifty enough to prevent it from going rough. He knew definitely well his mother should be the first to hear the good news.
“Ma’aami maami ni bo le wa ?” (Mom where are you) He called again as he reached their home. His home was an uncompleted building where Pelumi and his crude looking indigent mother shared together.
After the death of his father some years, their poverty life had accrued to grade 1 almost making them top the Forbes list of poorest people in the world. Pelumi and his mum had been saunterers who sauntered about the slummy in search of anything that has shelter to call a home.
“Oluwapelumi mo wa ni bi” (Oluwapelumi i’m here) came the reply he got from his mom as he scudded to where his mother was.
“Mami won ti fun mi ni scholarship lati lo university lo ka Medicine kin ba le di doctor” (Have been awarded a scholarship to study medicine in the university ) Pelumi broke the good news to his mum while his sallow mother bristled to uncontrollably tears of joy. So his son would eventually go the university to become a doctor? Pelumi mother was extremely happy and gave thanks to God for giving such a sublime opportunity to ciphers like them.
On the set day for resumption in school, Pelumi and his mother had long lusty talk between each other. While his mother advised him to stay away from bad gangs as it is widely known that spate of mobsters and scamps dominate every school premises. His mother asked him to face his studies and never for once give their sponsorer any reason to withdraw the scholarship. Pelumi nodded flagrantly as he promised his mother to hold on, that after seven years he is returning as a full-fledged doctor to eradicate their mendicancy.
Few weeks in school, Pelumi had become popular due to the fact he is super brilliant and intelligent. His brilliancy c-m his passably handsome nature had spumed fleet of girls to flock after him hankering to be his girlfriend. But Pelumi had always tried to stave them off him and sometimes converted the stubborn ones among them to his platonic friends.
However, as Pelumi managed to cope with his female admirers, he found himself getting more attached to a particular girl called Oluwateniola. Teniola was a beauty to behold and one thing that got Pelumi enchanted was her debonair nature and reservedness. Pelumi found himself loving her so much that he braved himself up to ask her out in which she accepted.
Thus Pelumi first relationship started with Teniola while Pelumi was oblivious of the fact that Teniola was just a pawn to lure him to the Sagutarys confraternity. A very lethal cult group that specialized in initiating the brilliant student in school. Pelumi didn’t know Teniola was a pundit of a deadly group and also the girlfriend of O.J- the capo of the cult group.
Months into their chancy relationship, while Pelumi was busy playing the good boyfriend part, while Teniola on her own had successfully played her own faux girlfriend part and fed O.J the needed information to initiate him. Pelumi and Teniola were on their way to school one morning when O.J and some of his crook accosted them.
Later they were kidnapped to their lair while Pelumi was tied to a tree.
O.J made Pelumi know that Teniola was his girlfriend and the punishment for snatching away his girlfriend was death. Because according to their mantra that says
“Forgiveness is a sin. Mercy is a taboo” there was no way of escaping the death unless he paved way for his redemption by joining the group. At that moment Pelumi remembered the warning his mother gave and the promise he made to her, but right now he just couldn’t afford to loose his life over a flimsy warning. Pelumi accepted to become a member of the Sagutarys confraternity much to his consternation.
However, Pelumi’s life became more cranky after sometime in the group. Not sooner he began to smoke, drink and partied. He became a full-time philanderer and a top notorious r@pists in school. Pelumi was in his last year in school when the school authority decided to wipe away all the cultist in the school premises, and unfortunately, Pelumi and O.J and Teniola was among the student that was expelled.
Now after their expulsion, Pelumi was left alone to carry on in his cold-bitter world. He couldn’t locate O.J and Teniola, moreso, he couldn’t also muster enough courage to go and face his sallow indigent mother, then Pelumi opted to be a full time thief to make a living.
Pelumi was enjoying his life as the most popular and dangerous heist in the city. His astute intelligence had earned him the position of being the head of his gang. While he had managed to keep the gang atop and most feared by the police officers and their victims.
But as the locution goes “everyday is always for the thieves, but definitely a day is always set for the owner.” The locution caught up with Pelumi and his gang the day they attacked in one of their operation. The outcome of the maraud had left all of his members dead in the fierce battle living only him alive. Then it dawned on Pelumi that he had reached the terminal of his life.
Some days after his arrest, he was in his cell when he was informed he had a visitor. Pelumi was shocked to meet his mother who was crestfallen immediately she saw his son for the past years. As Pelumi wobbled to meet his mother, he knew he had failed. He had failed his mother.
“Oluwapelumi.. Ki lo de to fi di bayi ?” (Why are you like this ?) The sallow woman asked on sighting the handcuffs on his son wrist, and the big fetter cleaved on his ankle in other to restrain him. His legs was strewed with sores from bullet hole during their last operation.
“Maami. E ma binu” (I’m sorry) was all he could spilled before he demanded to be taking back to his cell.
The next day, Pelumi was to appear in the court for his hearing. Little did he know that a greater shock awaited him. On stepping the dock to await his judgement. Pelumi eyes almost popped out on sighting who the presiding judge over his case was. It was no other person than O.J; his former capo in the Sagutary confraternity back then in school.
It was then Pelumi realised he had sold his destiny.
“O.J!!! You!!!!!!!!!!” He screamed out to Justice Ojoade who by that time as well had started crying. The audience in the court room could feel the tension and the bubbling connection was just to palpable for the Justice Ojoade to keep quiet in explaining what he had to do with a hardened criminal like Pelumi. The audience hummed signals that they deserved an explanation.
It was then O.J with teary eyes and broken voice explained how he coerced Pelumi who was a super brilliant aspiring doctor to joining their confraternity. He explicated further how they were later expelled from school, but being that he had wealthy parents, his parents sent him and his girlfriend Teniola to Harvard University in England to study law while his girlfriend studied medicine. And after they returned to Nigeria, they both got married. So Teniola was now his wife.
“So Teniola is now your wife ?” Pelumi screamed out again.
“Yes Pelumi. And we now have a son too” O.J replied him. “I’m sorry Pelumi. I am so sorry for disrupting your suave ambition with my selfish motives. Trust me, I’m deeply sorry but there is nothing i could do to help you now. Absolutely nothing!”
“Now this is my judgment” O.J announced as the court grew a patent silence to listen to the fate of Pelumi. A drop of pin would sound like raging thunderstorms in the room. They all want to know if there would be bias or blunt judgment on him.
“According to section 47 of the constitution. You are guilty of robbery through the use of unlicensed firearms and the mass murder of all your victims. Law shouldn’t allow a dangerous person like you to walk away freely after all these your vicious acts.
And more so, you need to be a lesson and scapegoat to any one out there trying to emulate a dangerous being like you. So therefore, i sentence you to death by firing squad. I arise!” O.J pronounced his judgement with the gruelling effort he could make albeit it was obvious his judgement totally contradict what emotion and his prickly conscience wanted him to pronounce.
As Pelumi was led to the van taking him back to the cell, his mother called on him.
“I am sorry maami. I failed you” he said but his mother didn’t wait to hear his pleas as she slumped immediately and died right in front of his him.
“Maaaaami maaaaaaaaami” He yelled out as he made to go and carry the cadaver of his mom but he was pulled back by the warders restraining him and hauled into the van to the cell. He watched the dead body of his mother on the floor as the van disappeared from view down to the cell. Awaiting his death.
“I sold my destiny” he muttered to himself.
PLEASE DON’T SELL YOUR DESTINY!