REDEEMED (A SERIES) – EPISODE 1
(WRITTEN BY JOY A. ADEWUMI)
‘Oshey! Baddest!’ The crowd in my living-room-turned-party-den hollered as I filled six small glasses halfway with the chilled content from a cocktail shaker.
‘Go, Skinny! Go, Skinny! Go, Skinny!’ They chanted as I gulped down glass after glass with only a deep breath between each. The delicious flavour of the daring cocktail burst on my taste buds, but that pleasure was soon followed with an intense burning sensation as my insides caught fire, but the chants kept me going as I had a reputation to keep up.
I had many nicknames, depending on the crowd or the show I was pulling off. Today, it’s Skinny, because here with me are the closest guys I roll with in this hood. A bunch of them have known me since Uni and since I’ve always been skinny and lanky, they’d dubbed me that name.
Tomorrow, it might be CJ, short for Cullen Jones, one of the best black swimmers of all time. That’s if I was pulling this off in a club where they all knew me as the guy who could swim in alcohol and not drown under the influence.
As I downed the last cup, I could barely pry open my tightly shut eyes. I felt the room turn upside down and then downside up, over and over, despite the fact that my eyes were shut and all of my insides protested. My head swam in a sea of oblivion and felt as though it would split into two.
Before I could say Jack Robinson, I got a regurgitative feeling and I knew I was about to lose the alcohol, every meal I’ve had that day alongside my intestines in a heave of vomit.
The fish had outdone himself this time! What was it that I’d mixed again?
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I pushed my protesting body in the general direction of the bathroom, and hit way too many bodies, objects and walls on the short trip there.
I heard a couple of chuckles. Maybe from those who were not too drunk and wasted to discover that the guy they’d just been hailing was on his way to regurgitative hell.
I had barely gotten to the toilet than my body gave in, and I heaved out the first stream of vomit!
‘What the-‘ A hard baritone bellowed! But my stomach heaved again, and my heave drowned out the curse word he must have let out.
‘Eew! What on earth!’ A female voice followed with a very pissed groan.
My eyes were yet to cooperate, so I couldn’t understand the reason the stupid bloke and his girl had to scream my splitting head off. Because of their outburst, my already-banging head felt like a bomb that just went off. I wanted to die!
It was after all not my fault that they were playing “seven minutes in heaven” when my body reacted to the abominable cocktail that had visited it. Besides, last I checked; this was my flipping house!
Just as my body was about to give way and collapse on the slippery and foul-smelling floor, I heaved again and I wretched out another stream of vomit, feeling worse than before, if that was even possible.
Rough hands pushed me off as I heard the door shut noisily, but this time my head simply couldn’t withstand the assault of the noise. Even with my eyes shut, I felt a thick fogginess take over and I gladly welcomed it.
I would take it any day over this feeling of near-death!
My eyes pried open, and I shut them immediately with a groan. Why did I have to pass out facing the window of all places?!
Between my hangover and the impossible brightness streaming through the window, my head felt like it would combust into smithereens! Hangover was a ruthless jerk!
I tried turning my body away from the direction of the brightness, but the crick in my neck made it impossible. I let out a croak that didn’t sound anything like my voice at the sensation of the pain and wondered how on earth I was supposed to get up and out of the stinky bathroom if I couldn’t move my neck or feel any of my limbs for that matter!
Suddenly, I heard the door creak open, grating on my sensitive nerves and threatening to blow up my hung-over head. I made a mental note to tell the maintenance guy to lubricate it soon. The sound of the creaking door was closely followed by a squeal and a shocked shout of, ‘Holy Tobias!’
Mrs Ike, my cleaning lady! Just what time was it? She never came in till well into the afternoon. Did that mean it was afternoon already? It probably meant I had passed out in this uncomfortable position for almost half of the day. Little wonder I couldn’t feel my body! But by the way, was Tobias supposed to be a holy somebody?
‘Morning, Mrs Ike!’ I croaked with my eyes still tightly shut as I tried to crack a smile to ease the woman’s apparent shock. I didn’t get a reply for some seconds, and I wondered if she’d bolted on seeing me. I didn’t hear any footsteps though and I could tell the door was still open.
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Wait! How did I drink myself into this temporary blindness?! Look at me trying to figure out my surroundings like a man who had lost the use of his sight organs!
‘Mrs Ike!’ I called out more forcefully, my voice half-cleared now and considered firing the woman for putting me through the trouble as the muscles in my head and nerves protested at the effort.
Yet, no reply.
What the heck?! How long did she need to get out of her stupor? It wasn’t like I was indecent or anything like that! Or was I?!
Heck! Was I stripped?! I tried to recollect the events of the night that led to me passing out on the bathroom floor and gave up on the effort, as it threatened to split my head in two.
Oh, dear! I hoped I wasn’t indecent. I hoped I did not scar the poor woman. I just hoped she could at least imagine it was her son, who I knew was just a couple of years my junior.
As I wondered what next to do that wouldn’t actually make me pass out again out of pain, two pairs of footsteps ran towards me and before I could figure out which was whose, a voice that belonged to my gateman exclaimed, ‘Ah, Oga! I no know say na here you dey since oo. I for don come inside tey tey.‘
Could the human being be any louder?! My head protested so hard that I was determined to fire the crazy guy the moment I regained full use of my faculties and muscles.
‘Hamid!’ I croaked.
‘Sir?’ He shouted.
‘Stop the noise! I’m about to die here!’
‘Eh oga, sorry o.‘ His voice was considerably lower. With a small sigh, I let myself get helped up, as Hamid annoyingly made sounds that announced that his senses were being assaulted by my smelly bathroom, and probably, also a smelly me. I however couldn’t blame him or even find it in me to scold him. Not when the whole place smelled that bad.
I could tell the dried substance I felt stuck to my skin as I stood up was part of what made the whole place smell that bad! What on earth was it?
That however was the less important question. The more important one was, how did I manage to go from the coolest guy in the hood to the guy who passed out in his guest bathroom for probably over twelve hours and had to get the help of his gateman and cleaning lady to get out of it?!
Roland Oluwatomiwa Kalejaiye, I thought to myself, you need self-reflection.
Episode 2 coming right along tomorrow! Subscribe to the blog to get updates and a free copy of my new ebook- Dare to Hope. See you here tomorrow.
The Girl with the Winning Smile,
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