Weeks went by and dragged into months. Jaye waited but got nothing in the form of a contact from Hadiza. He got no call from her neither was there any news about her. He sought reasons or at least a singular reason why he should be positive but failed in the search. There was no way he could be sane if he didn’t see her. He considered going to Yobe but where in Yobe would he search. Damaturu, Potiskum or Chibok? If he couldn’t go looking for her, he hoped one day she would come looking.
At the completion of his NYSC service, he stayed back in Akwanga, with the hope that she would one day, come calling or perhaps he would someday meet someone with some useful information that he could use to find her.
He met his new landlord to ask for an extension of his tenancy. If he stayed in the same place, he believed it would be easier for Hadiza to find him. The landlord had another idea though. He wanted him out as soon as possible to give space for his house help. So there was really nothing Jaye could do to change his mind. That he could not get him to change his mind did not break his resolve, he only got more determined. He searched more and more and finally got a place in town.
Though he could not retain the apartment, he was able to retain his job. He was going to apply to be retained when the school principal, the then vice principal called him to her office.
“Mr Subair, how are you doing?” she started not really sure of how he was going to receive the proposal.
He was really so good at his assignment that the school wanted to retain him. But he was not the first example of such. Corpers, especially ones as brilliant as Mr. Subair here hardly accepted a teaching job.
“I am doing fine ma.” He replied knowing he had lied. He was not doing any fine.
“I want to inform you that this school is really pleased by your efforts and we are willing to extend your service if you so wish.” She said as briefly as she could.
“Well…” he started not knowing what exact words with which he should reply.
This was something he wanted (not really- if everything was fine) but as it stood it was about the best thing to have happened to him in ages.
“I will think about it” he said trying all his best not to sound excited.
“I will get back to you.” He added so that the woman would not think he was throwing an attitude.
“Ok. Please do so very soon so that we can make decisions on our other options” she said in an attempt to show him the school was in control and in control.
_ _ _
About the same time when he was finally settling down, pressure grew from home. His mother wanted him to return to Lagos. They had had a lot of disagreement over his decision to settle in Ede. She had never wanted him to be far from her if not for husband’s decision to send the boy away. Even now, she would take the Ede option. She begged and cried but Jaye stuck to his decision. He had his reasons too.
She got a good chance to reach him when she ran into his son’s friends at a function in Ede. Actually, the meeting was not an accident. Adams intentionally went to her. He heard about the funeral function of one grand uncle of Jaye’s and was almost certain that his mother would be there. He decided not to take chances. If she came, he would meet her.
He believed the best way to reach Jaye would be through his mum. Though they were not really the best of friends, Jaye wouldn’t subject his mother to total neglect as he did his friends.
He scouted through sea of heads he swerved through the crowd of people. David followed closely behind trying not to get lost in the thick of people. Everyone minded their business carrying plates, yelling greetings, calling for more food, asking if someone’s daddy had been served. It was a chaos- an organized one.
The more they looked, the harder it got for them to figure out Jaye’s mum. Everyone looked alike in their uniformed attire- asses were identically heavy and huge boobs had huge tummies with them. It seemed everyone here was family and had striking resemblance. Perhaps, the women’s endowment was not to be entirely blamed, one could question why Adams and David scouted for boobs and asses instead of faces.
They thought they had lost it when they bumped into a woman. She was different. Ok. Not so different. She had huge ass and boobs too. That was where the similarity ended- she wasn’t carrying a swollen tummy. She wore different attire and one would be forgiven for think she gate crashed.
Adams was kind of delighted by the sight that beheld him not because she was Jaye’s mum but because she was very beautiful for her age. David was pleasured too but his own pleasure derived from seeing Jaye’s mum.
“We are very sorry ma.” David apologized for the bump and Adams followed his apology with an introduction.
“My name is Adams and this is David. We are Jaye’s friends.” Adams said like he was yelling but the noise of the party people drown much of his pitch.
“Ah! eyin omo mi (my children), how are you doing?” She asked, showing her delight with a huge smiled. The best she managed since her son had rebelled.
“We’re fine ma” Adams replied scanning the crowd for Jaye, it was his grand uncle’s funeral he should be there.
“Mummy, where is Jaye?” Adams finally used his mouth as his eyes failed him.
“Eh… Ore yin ma ti taku s’ile awusa. (your friend has refused to leave Hausa land) There is nothing I’ve not begged him with. He’s just too stubborn. He took one stupid teaching job” she replied.
“He stopped talking to us all, we can’t even call him” David moaned.
“Shey you don’t have his number ni? We still talked this morning” She said wondering if the boys were even really her son’s friends.
“The one we have has not been ringing almost since he went for service. I would have gone over to Nassarawa to find him but I don’t know where exactly to go” Adams said dropping his shoulders.
“Well, he said he was posted to one Boulevard High School in Akwanga….” “ehn! mo n bo o! (I’m coming)” she said over her shoulder responding to calls from some loud old woman, even Adams was startled by her pitch as she yelled “Iya Eko! (Lagos woman!)” She dropped Jaye’s new number and hurried off.