Set Fire To The Broken Pieces, Start Anew.

A rugged brown timberland steps on an old newspaper on fire
Set fire to the papers. Photograph by Angel MESSI

As a child, oftentimes when we mess things up, and it stares at us beyond repair, we throw it away and pick something else. We never get tired of starting a new thing. I don’t know about your childhood, but mine got me trying my gifted hands at different things -except toys of course. I never had one toy growing up. My father never bought me one that I can remember, only books!

My twin younger brothers were the ones that enjoyed that luxurious ‘toys filled’ life. Myself, my elder sister, and my cousin got to play with these toys while Papa was at work. I’d keep the plaything I like to myself, and bully my younger brothers if they dared showed the slightest interest in collecting it.

One time, my father was at the trade fair, and he bought a wooden clapper, it was like a hand fan with a wooden base that made this weird clapping sound ‘ke ke ke ke’ when you spin it.

I had no idea the purpose of that thing, and its purpose still defeats my sapience as I write this. It was a toy nonetheless, a plaything, so we sometimes played with it whenever my father was not home. Because if he were to be home, he’d scold us, and even plant explosive knocks on our heads should we make noise, just so he could nap in peace.

This clapper just lay there, useless, as we couldn’t play with it in the afternoon when the sun was hot; and at night when down, humans needed to sleep. Why then did he buy this thing?
Perhaps he was coerced by his colleagues, or he was hoodwinked by the vendor into thinking it can do other things than make ke ke ke sounds. It could even be a gift! It must have been a gift.

Whatever the case, the frustration, and desperation of not being able to play with this plaything at will made me break it one day; although, it was not intentional.

I crawled into the wardrobe with the clapper and shut myself in, covering myself with a lot of clothes and wrappers, I had the intention to play with it by muffling its sound. This clapper only spun one way in a clockwise direction, so hopefully, it wouldn't make such a disturbing sound if I spin it the other way round. I was full of wisdom, the more reason I wanted Solomon as my baptismal name! Sense no go kill me.

I tried spinning it but it didn’t spin. I held the wooden base in my left hand, and used my right index finger to move it slowly in a clockwise direction; like the second hand of a wall clock, it moved and made a sound ‘ke’.
I tried moving it anticlockwise — nothing. I moved it clockwise again, ke. Anticlockwise, nothing.
Then I applied a little more force, and I heard ‘ke’. Instinctively, I knew the ‘ke’ sound I heard, was the wrong kind of sound. It’s been broken, and I will ke (cry) tonight.

Silently, I packaged it, mount the aging ligneous bed in our bedroom, and threw it into a corner of the wardrobe where I knew was not frequently checked unless we were looking for something; or it was time for general cleaning, which didn’t happen often. Solomon, I too get sense.

As the good lord will have it, there was to be a funfair in church that very weekend. Sports, games, music, drama, food, and lots more!

On this said Saturday morning, my father got into his brown chinos shorts, wine polo with white stripes, and a brown panama to fit -‘wozup daddy’.

We were all ready to go have some fun when he called to ask where the clapper was.

GhenGhen… Confusion break bone.

What kind of a soul is this man? I thought.

It’s now that this man wants to finally use this clapper, after all these months!

Ọmọ… nobody knew where the clapper was o. That’s how we started looking for clapper, and I joined in the search.

I learned from American crime movies that to cover a crime, one must have an insider, or perhaps be in charge of the investigation. I must be in charge of this search, I vowed.

We searched under the bed, and I quickly moved my hunt to the wardrobe; I climbed the landing in the wardrobe to also check the top of the wardrobe. Nothing.

We had almost given up on the search when my busy body sister brought out the broken clapper!

Chineke me…. Ewooooooooo!!!

I ran… to church.

Perhaps, I will find forgiveness in church. That’s the essence of being Christlike ‘innit’?

It’s a lie o!
The only thing I got in church was the drama.
It was my Mom that beat my life. My Dad didn’t say a word to me when he got to church. He just gave me this cold stare that said: “you had better start living here, coz you’re a dead meat”.

Thank God I didn’t die. I wouldn’t be writing this if I had died you know? lol

Anyways, I digressed from the topic:
Set fire to the broken pieces; start anew!…

Wo, we’ll talk about that one later jare, my head is paining me (orí ńta mí).

© Angel MESSI…