Pride can be a good ally to keep, only with your eyes open. What you don’t see coming would definitely hit you. I had my eyes closed and round my neck was pride and family sitting comfortably. I would run, stop, run and brag about how I could get away with whatever consequence that comes with living recklessly and without caution. I found pleasure making things bend to my will as I predominantly thought life as boring. Man for the occasion, man in every moment, nothing happens around me without passing through my eyes. I was the first to talk to every new girl that walks pass my block, I was your main man, the ultimate plug.
At age 10, Uncle Jojo would sit me down and tell me stories of his escapades with different females in school, tricks and how to get away with them, he would say, “why cheat on your girlfriend when you can just get another? ” Double dating was never a thing for me, if I got tired of one girl, I helped myself to another without breaking a sweat. This earned me popularity among female folks in and out of campus, a Casanova with a big heart and a tongue that spews nothing short of honest remarks. I was one that makes comments such as “I’m too good for you” sounds like a compliment or so I always thought. Former lovers always found an excuse to hang around me.
Dreams are stupid says a popular Yoruba adage, my day started with a weird dream of something funny about Uncle Jojo. It wasn’t common for men in my family to dream or key into religious presumptions. I tried to go back to sleep, but my heart was already too busy filing thoughts from the previous day and planning who I was going to invite over for the Friday party at my neighbor’s house. Breakfast that morning was a mess, I had tea and blood for breakfast. While trying to open a tin of milk, the first strike went straight through my before hitting the tin’s lid, a call followed from a strange number and a voice that identified as “Sile my Father’s relative” telling me not to pick any other call after his, and stay indoors he barked before dropping the call without giving me a chance to ask questions.
Tears were all the questions my strength could muster, my smooth talking abilities failed me. I meant to cry myself out of the world after Dad’s call left my phone. “Your Uncle Jojo died before day break,” he said. “He begged to see you before his life left him.” He was more than a Father’s brother, he was my hero, mentor and the architect of the life I live now. I spent the whole day crying, and not believing the tears that ran through my face, Uncle Jojo was fond of telling me “Men don’t cry, leave that for the women you break their hearts.”
Life took a different turn few days after the news of Uncle Jojo’s death reached me, I became a different person for those moments. I was mourning a father figure. I had to travel all the way to Ikirun for his burial, he died a thread and it was a culture to bury bachelor’s within seven days after their death. I learnt he died from Aids and more sexually transmitted disease than I knew existed. I made up my mind then to die a better death.