I faced the music after watching a musician

in The Ink Well2 months ago

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While growing up, I had a flair for watching live performances by musicians. Though it did not happen often, whenever there was information about a musician coming to the town to perform for a burial or other events, I found my way to go and watch the public performance.

My mum had no problem with it because many kids of my age did the same. The problem arose whenever I went out without doing my chores at home.

Every Saturday, I followed my parents to the farm unless I was sick.

I woke up on a Saturday morning feverish. My parents decided to leave my sister, who was too tender to trek to the farm, and I behind. Before leaving home, my mother prepared our lunch and encouraged me to eat so that the drugs that I was taken could be effective.

"I will spread the millet under the sun, please try and monitor it. If it is about to rain, pack it in quickly," she told my sister and I before leaving.

In the previous week, I was given a newsletter by my school to deliver to my parents. The school authority gave two weeks for my school fees to be paid, otherwise I wouldn't be allowed to write the terminal examination that was approaching. The hope to pay the fees was placed on the sales of the millet.

"The millet requires three more days of sun-drying," my dad had predicted the previous day.

A few hours after she left, my friend, Tosin, from the neighborhood came to visit. Tosin was a very close friend. Whatever adventure that we want to try out whether good or bad, both of us do it in unison and also bear the consequences in unison. At that time, my health had improved. My temperature wasn't as high as it was a few hours earlier. My body weakness has also improved.

I sat beside the millet spread in an open space beside the house when Tosin arrived.

"Are you aware that Elemure is coming to perform at Balemo compound by 3pm? Tosin asked me to know my level of readiness even before remembering to greet me.

"Not at all, I am not aware," I responded to him.

Elemure was a traditional musician that commanded a lot of followership that period. The way he mixed different local instruments like talking drum, bata and shekere and blended it with a sonorous voice made his music highly sought after.

"Get ready and let's go and watch him live by 3 pm"

"What of this millet that I am looking after? My mum warned me against leaving it to the custody of my sister alone. What if I leave and my sister decides to play with her friends outside this area?

"Domestic animals, rain; the risk factors are many."

"Your sister loves biscuits, let's get her favorite brand for her and warn her never to leave here till we come back. We will spend just 30 minutes so that your parents don't arrive home before us."

My sister loved cabin biscuits. I had used the biscuit to bribe her and close her mouth against revealing many misbehaviours of mine in the past. It was a sure code to get her to do my biddings.
I bought into the suggestion and we patiently awaited the arrival of 3 pm.

I called my sister and let her know what was on the ground. Tosin brought 30 naira and I added 20 naira. I used the money to buy five packs of biscuit. I had used only two of such packs to manipulate her in the past. With five packs this time around, I was sure that she would agree to whatever I asked her to do.

I gave her the biscuits and mixed pleas with warnings for her to help secure the millet against domestic animals or rain.

"We will not spend more than 30 minutes," I told her. "I will be back before mum's arrival by 4 pm."

We left for the open field where the performance was happening. Elemure was a celebrity that didn't joke with time. He sang many songs to encourage people to be punctual in whatever they do.

We arrived a few minutes past 3 pm and everywhere was bubbling to his heartwarming songs. We took position among the spectators in order to feed our eyes with the lovely dancing steps of the dancers.

We barely spent 20 minutes when the weather started to change and become cloudy. The change was rapid to the extent that five minutes later, it was obvious that the rain was coming from the east.

"Tosin, millet, mum," I screamed incoherently.

I dragged him and started running west. My prayer was for the rain not to catch up with us. The two kilometer journey was too much for us to cover before the rain caught up with us. The rain came with full force. We took cover at a shop along the way.

From the shop, I was watching the fall of ice and a body of water moving in the gutter, almost overflowing. My heart was in my mouth throughout my stay in the shop.

Immediately the rain stoped, I dragged Tosin by his hand and we continued our running. We were careful and slower this time around to avoid falling by the wet and slippery ground.

I arrived home and met my mother trying to salvage the remaining millet from the rain. Some of the grains had been washed away before her arrival. My sister was nowhere to be found.

"Where are you coming from?" She asked me with a smile.

Whenever my mother smiles in such a situation, I am in the biggest form of trouble.

"Where are you coming from?" She asked again after my silence.

"I went to collect an assignment from Jide and the ..."

"The what?" She cuts in. She knew that I was lying.

She finished packing the millet and she beckon on me to follow her.

"Follow me now and tell me where you are coming from."

I knew that after watching the live performance of Elemure at the field, it was time for me to face the music at home.

It was at this point that my sister entered with her drenched clothes.

"Where are you coming from?" She turned to both of us and asked again.

Sensing the mess that we were in, I knew that my sister would spill the beans in such a situation. I winked at her several times. I tap her foot with mine, all in an effort to make her say anything but the truth about what transpired.

"Zainab," she called my sister. "Don't mind all the gimmicks of your brother. Tell me the truth now before I investigate and find out by myself. If it gets to that point, both of you will be in equal trouble."

"Mummy, I will tell you the truth," Zainab with her teary eyes and shaky voice started to spill the beans. "He went to watch Elemure and he gave me five packs of biscuit so that I would help him look after the millet." She explained in detail with her body shaking. My mouth was wide open when I saw her brought out all the wraps of the biscuit.

"Both of you should get inside the room and go on your knees."

I already expected the worse. We were on our knees for two hours before she came and forgave my sister after some scolding.

"Why are you so adamant to simple instructions?" She turned to me and started lampooning me. My head was bowed with tears rolling down. "You will drop out of school since at your age you refuse to help us in any way you can so that we can help you too. The millet that we want to sell to pay your school fees, where is it?

"For the next two months you will be washing dishes and cleaning the house. That's your punishment. Get out of my sight."

My mum strategically gave me the chores that I hated doing. Though my school fee was later paid, I was made to do the house chores alone for the two months.

I faced the music of my misbehavior.


while reading your story one though popped up in my mind. I have done my share of stuff to be punished. As have my friends, some even more dramatic than me. However all of us in some ways could do such silly stuff because our parents were strict likes your was. The pranks and punishments are the fun stuff we all share when we meet, but as an adult I shudder if my parents were not strict and had not punished me. I might have been completely corrupted.

So the thought was that this is life. Young blood has to make mistakes, have to make their stories to remember to laugh and cry. And parents as custodians of potential have to keep a sharp eye and punish in the right way that the child learns a lesson but his/her spirit is not broken.

My salute to your younger self, and to you lovely mother. And a hello to your cheeky sister too, poor girl got caught in your whirlwind :)

Childhood adventure is almost universal. I can't remember how many times I put myself into problem by either trying to attend to my curiosity or just being adventurous.

Like you said, those mistakes can't be taken away from the lives of children. I appreciate the fact that people were around with better experience to correct the mistakes. In their absence, a child may grow into something else.

My sister was a quiet kind of girl but my desires got her into trouble many times. Those days are really memorable.

You are fortunate that your mother cares about your future. Despite her anger she did not let you suffer long-term consequences because of your immature behavior. She paid your school fees.

The story you tell is very relatable. Children will give in to temptation, without realizing how serious that can be.

You describe your love of the music well and also the scene where the rain starts and you panic.

This is an enjoyable piece, well constructed. Thank you for sharing this with us, @lightpen.

Thank you @theinkwell, I am highly motivated with your review. Thank you.

I can imagine the fear in you when your mum smiled. You could only imagine what was going through her mind.

I knew clearly that I was in soup, 😂. I was even surprised that the punishment wasn't more than that.

What an engaging story @lightpen. You clearly portrayed family dynamics, friendship and consequences of our actions. I love how you capture the innocence of Zainab and the consequences of not heeding to an instruction.

I am glad you found the story engaging. Those days remain evergreen in my memory.

Hah! @lightpen you were an extraordinarily troublesome son 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

I was just laughing as I read through your misadventures. It is not your fault, no one could have predicted that watching Elemure could lead to such a whirlwind of events.

You know the way you paint a picture with words, it's like I was right there beside you, frantically running from the rain and trying to salvage that millet. And the part about your sister and the biscuits? Classic! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

This story brought smiles to my face and a few hearty laughs. My neighbors will think I am going crazy because of how hard I laughed.😅😅😅😅😅

My mum tried a lot in condoning some of my troubles. Getting myself into trouble was a recurring experience those days.

My sister? That's another person that made my childhood fun. Many times I would bribe her not to talk. She identified that as a weapon of negotiation to do her biddings and she used it maximally.

I am glad that you love the story. Thank you for visiting @iskawrites