Your Brief Bio:
Matthews Chukwuma happens to be what I'm called. I am a graduate of Biochemistry but I happen to have a passion for the Arts. I love to read, I love to write mostly fiction and I love to speak as well.
Tweet-Style Story Summary:
MISFORTUNE is a fictional tragicomic story about a series of unfortunate happenstances which occur in the life of a guy on a fateful morning.
I woke up with a start. I’d had a nightmare. A number of humanoid creatures had been chasing me with knives, machetes, and cutlasses. I thanked my stars it was only a dream and retrieved my phone from the bed stand to check the time. It was 4:13 am. I could still get about two hours of sleep if I decided to hit the sack once more. I decided against it when I remembered the nightmare. I did not want to risk having another one or that one continuing from where it stopped. I then decided to watch a couple of flicks before having to go to the bathroom.
I checked the time again. It was 6:20 am now; time to use the bathroom. Ouch. I felt a little cramp in my stomach as I got up. The contractions came next. No, no, no, this could not be happening. I recalled one of my neighbours warning me not to eat the porridge yam and beans I said I was going to Mama B’s restaurant to eat at about 9:30 the previous night. It had been quite long since I had eaten porridge yam and beans and Mama B had promised me she would cook it that evening. I wished I had heeded my neighbour’s warning.
I rushed to the toilet and plastered the toilet bowl with flying liquid faeces. I felt a little better when I got up. I then wiped my anus clean with some tissue papers. I then got the water I was going to bathe with and started to use it to flush the toilet. As I flushed it with speed so I would not have to get a second bucket, some water from inside the toilet bowl happened to touch my feet. I shook my head. Luckily, there was a little water left in the bucket so after washing my hands inside the bucket with the water left in the bucket I poured it on the part of my feet the water from inside the toilet bowl had splashed on.
As I rose, I felt my stomach tremble a little. I paused and waited to find out if there would be another contraction. There was not. Thank you, God. I sighed. I then made fun of my stomach for ‘forming’ die-hard. It was time to pour out water from the from the 20-litre jerrycan I was wise to fill the previous night. I lifted it and poured a little water into the bucket to rinse it. As I lifted it again and started to pour out water I would bathe with into the bucket, I slipped and fell with my right knee grazing the rough bathroom tiles. Ouch! I got up and set the jerrycan upright. It had fallen sideways and some water had escaped it. I cursed the witches in my village who had decided to remember my ‘matter’ that morning.
I noticed a little injury on the knee. There was no point cleaning it since I was about to bathe. I then resumed pouring water into the bucket which somehow didn’t fall. I had my bath, towelled my body and put on my boxer briefs. As I stepped out of the bathroom, I tripped and fell hitting my head against a wall. “Ouch! What in God’s name was this?!” I yelled. I got up, felt the affected part of my head and looked at my fingers. There was no blood. I sighed and thanked my stars as I went back into my room. I picked out a white BYC singlet, a black Ralph Lauren polo, and a pair of light blue jeans. Just after putting on the singlet, I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. The contractions were back. I yelled as I ran to the toilet. After releasing the liquid missiles, I got up, wiped clean my anus and proceeded to flush the toilet. I hissed when I discovered the water was not enough to completely send the faeces to the soak-away. My mysophobic roommate would have a fit when he got back.
I shook my head as I got back into my room. I then checked the time. It was 7:30! Time was no longer on my side. I just sprayed my bodyspray. I didn’t bother creaming my body. I didn’t cream my hair too. I put on the jeans and the polo, and powdered my face. When I checked out my face in the mirror, I saw that the part of my head that had hit the wall – somewhere between my temple and my front hairline was visibly swollen. I threw on a cap. It covered it. Cool. I then wore my perfume and that of my roommate knowing full well that there would be the devil to pay if he found out. He was not big on sharing. I put on my tims, got my wallet and stuck it in the right back pocket of the jeans. It was time to head out. As soon as I stepped outside, I tripped over a stone and tumbled to the ground. It had rained a little the night before so the red soil was somewhat moist. When I got up, I noticed my beautiful pair of jeans had been badly stained. My tims also. I swore loudly. What series of unfortunate events was I experiencing that morning?
I went back inside and got into my room. As I sat in the mattress and started to pull of the right shoe off my right leg, the sole came off. My God! I gently pulled off the left shoe. I looked at the right shoe and the separated sole and shook my head sadly. When I got up and began removing my left leg from the jeans, I lost my balance and fell grazing my left elbow on the floor. Ouch! The floor was rugged but somehow my elbow managed to graze the only hollow concrete patch in the floor. I looked at my elbow, it was bleeding a little. I closed my eyes and wondered who I may have unwittingly offended. I removed my right leg from the jeans and threw it to a corner. I didn’t care what my roommate would think or do.
I got up, opened my cupboard, took a sachet of ‘pure’ water and went into the bathroom. I tore open the upper right corner of the sachet and emptied the water into a small plastic bowl I use as my ‘bailer’. I then poured a little of my roommate’s Dettol into the water. There was love in sharing even if the other party didn’t exactly share that belief. I cut out some tissue, folded it and dipped it into the water+dettol liquid mixture in the bowl. I started cleaning the wound. Ouch. The bleeding finally stopped. A few moments later, I was back in my room. I found a pair of black chinos trousers and decided to go with it so I put it on. I looked around for my black leather slippers and when I found it, I discovered that the leather surface of both legs had been seriously defaced. Oh boy! I was both amazed and disappointed. While thinking of what to do next, I spied my roommate's pair of black Versace rubber slippers. I dusted them (no time to wash) and put them on. There would definitely be trouble when I get back. I checked the time. 8:30! That was when I had planned to get to the Bank. I hissed.
As I stepped out of the room, I felt a little cramp in my stomach and then I heard a contraction. No. Not again. What fresh hell was this? Ping! A bell rang in my brain. I remembered one of my neighbours in the opposite room, Prisca worked in a drugstore. I thought maybe she would have some anti-diarrhoea tablets. I knocked on her door. She opened it and beamed upon seeing me. “Patrick. Good morning. You look good this morning o!” She kept smiling at me. “Good morning and you look really good yourself. Your fresh-outta-sleep face is amazing. Why do you even bother with makeup?” She smiled shyly. I continued,
“I’m sorry for waking you if I did.”
“No. You didn’t.”
“Okay, um, do you have lectures this morning?”
“No. My first class today should be by 1pm.”
“Okay, cool. Anyway, I just wanted to find out if you have any anti-diarrhoea tablets. If you do, I’d very much like to purchase some.”
“Ah. Patrick! You and this your big grammar. Ehn, I think I do. Let me go and check.” She left the door open and went inside. She then opened her cupboard and took out a handbag. When she came back to the door, she brought out two separate drug cards. She pressed out two tablets from both and handed them (the tablets) to me free of charge. She then went back inside, got a sachet of 'pure' water and a plastic cup. She tore open an end of the sachet, filled the cup and gave it to me. I drank the tablets while she watched with a lovely smile. I gave her the cup after I had emptied its contents and asked for some more water. I should not have. She went back in and got me a sachet. I proceeded to tear open an end and I started drinking facing elsewhere. She then said something I didn't hear. Immediately I turned to face her, I lost my balance and some water escaped the sachet and spilled on my face, polo, trousers, and the floor including her room's. She managed to step back in time if not some probably would've gotten her too.
I noticed the change in her facial expression. I apologized while she got a mop. I offered to help clean up but she declined my offer. She then told me to step outside her doorway so she could close the door. When I did, she closed the door and locked it. I shook my head angrily and threw the near-empty sachet somewhere. Cursed be whatever entity or entities orchestrating the calamities befalling me all morning. As I turned around to leave, I slipped yet again and fell grazing my right elbow on the wall. Somebody somewhere laughed at you. I ignored them of course. I took a look at the elbow. Luckily there was no wound. I sighed and got up. I remembered I hadn't taken my wallet out of the jeans. Thank you, Jesus. I got back into my room, picked up the jeans from where I tossed it, transferred the wallet from the right back pocket of the jeans to that of the chinos trousers and then I dropped the jeans on the floor and stepped out. I locked the door and walked out conscious of my environment. Once beaten, twice shy, right? I walked past a couple of people without greeting them or replying those who did. Why the hell should I have? The morning was far from good. As I kept heading to the gate I started thinking about Prisca. I had always thought of her as very beautiful and so sort of out of my league even though the both of us had always been friendly with each other. Some of the guys kept telling me she liked me but I never had the boldness to make a move. Well, I had certainly blown whatever chance I may have had. When I got to the gate and pulled, I slipped but manage to catch myself. The devil was a liar. When I looked down while getting outside the gate, I noticed the flap of my trousers had torn a little. I shook my head and checked the time. 8:49. My God!
No time to change the trousers so you walk out the gate. I put my right hand over the tear. Great. I looked like an agbero wannabe. I looked left, right, and then left again before crossing the road. I was not taking any chances. Five minutes later, a lot of people had also come out waiting for buses going to Town. Wow. All of a sudden, Town was the place to be that morning. What, they couldn't wait thirty minutes or an hour? After all I had gone through trying to get out there, I would still have to struggle to get in a bus? I hissed. A bus suddenly pulled over a few steps away from me. Just as I predicted, there was a mad rush for it. I couldn't get to it in time. Apparently, everyone there besides me shared Usain Bolt's DNA. I checked the time. 9:15. I shook my head in frustration. Okay. They wanted me uncivilized? They got it! I determined to get on the next bus no matter what. Some minutes later, a bus started to slow down. I dashed for it with a load of people behind me. As I tried to get in it when the conductor opened the door, my cap flew off. What was life without sacrifice? I got into the second row. There was an old woman putting on a red blouse and a black wrapper by the window. As soon as I sat beside her I felt a chill run down my spine. I remembered I had always fancied myself a respectful boy with a good home-training so I turned to the woman and greeted her. She did not say word. She didn’t even look at me. Wow. Okay. Maybe her morning had not exactly been good too I thought.
Moments later, the conductor began collecting the transport fare from the passengers. When it got to her turn, the woman brought out a ₦ 1000 note from her wrapper and handed it to the conductor. Oh boy. Here we go. As was expected, the conductor got angry and started grumbling. The fare was supposed to be ₦ 70. Where did she expect him to get her balance from? That was he and the driver's first journey that day. The woman did not utter a word. It suddenly occurred to me that she hadn't opened her mouth since I got into the bus. Something didn't feel quite right. The conductor started to talk about old men and women who took advantage of their senior citizenship. That was a mistake. I then noticed her expression change. She then opened her mouth and blurted out an insult. The conductor already angry didn’t even pause to think. He should have paused. He just released a verbal missile that made almost every passenger exclaim. He continued insulting the woman. Oh boy. Everyone in the bus excluding me and the woman tried to get the conductor to stop but he did not. When he finally stopped, the woman looked at him with eyes full of malice (which made me shiver) and told him, "we shall see" and snapped her fingers. Immediately she snapped her fingers, she vanished from the bus. Like, she vanished into thin air. “Jesus! Jesus!! Jesus!!!” Everybody including me started to scream. The conductor looked like he wanted to die. Some kept calling the name of God's son. Some wanted the driver to stop the vehicle. The driver asked what the problem was. When he looked back and saw the woman was no longer in the bus he started asking where she went. As though the commotion going on was not enough, something started to hit the roof over the spot where the conductor was seated. The conductor fainted. The driver alarmed started to scream. He lost control of the wheels and the brakes as he veered off the road. When the bus was about to get on its side, I just kept asking myself one question, "why did I leave my room today?"