Irunna’s Regret

Irunna promptly turned off the cooking gas before rushing into the toilet to ease herself. The plumber was supposed to come yesterday and fix the clogged toilet pipe but he did not show up. So, she had to manage the floating debris in the water closet.

She had just finished wiping herself when she heard someone call her name. It was the unmistakable voice of Priscilla, her neighbour. She washed her hands quickly and dried them on her shorts and answered the door.

The moment she opened the door and the brightness of the sun hit her eyes, she shielded them with the back of her palm. She searched for Priscilla and even called her name but there was no sign of her. She then sighed and went in.

She had just returned from the market and needed to finish cooking her soup before going for a birthday party. It was a party that she did not want to miss. The Mayor of the city where she lived was hosting a party for his seven-year old son and although she wasn’t invited, she planned to attend. In fact, she had gotten a black school bag as a present for the little boy. She wanted a favour from the Mayor and this was a little price to pay for it.

“Irunna, come to the window,” Priscilla whispered as soon as Irunna opened her pot. The cover of the pot dropped from her hands and she stepped back.

“You scared me,” she whispered back.

“I’m sorry. Have you heard?” Priscilla asked, still keeping her voice low.

”Heard what?”

“If this is a joke, stop it. Irunna, you’re supposed to be the one telling me about this.” Karen was disappointed by her friend’s apparent lack of information.

“Talk quickly. I have a party to attend,” Irunna said aloud, unable to keep up with the whispering.

“Hey. Keep it low. They’re already here.” Priscilla looked around carefully before continuing, “you won a giveaway package. Hurry and have a shower. Or wash your face. You look ugly.”

“What giveaway?” Irunna was surprised by the turn of events. She did not remember participating in any giveaway. She hated seeing social media users beg ‘Anon’ to buy them this or buy them that. She was certain that whoever it was that organized the giveaway had the wrong address and was definitely looking for the wrong Irunna.

“They’re already coming. I can hear their footsteps. I tried to help you, Irunna,” Priscilla said and zoomed off. “Change into a blouse,” Irunna heard her neighbour yell from her flat.

She tried to make a sense of what Priscilla had just told her but nothing came out of it. It was not long before she heard a soft knock on her door. Ah! She peeped through the key hole and saw people dressed in all-black attire standing in front of her door.

She rushed into her bedroom and wore a long gown and tied a scarf around her hair and ran back to the sitting room. She took a long breath before slowly opening the door and was greeted with camera clicks.

“Hi beautiful,” a man in sky blue agbada said, smiling. She couldn’t make out his face which was hidden behind his sunglasses. Although the heat of the sun burnt her toes because she had gone out barefooted, she was more excited to be caught on camera to worry about her naked feet.

“Hello. Who are you, please?” Irunna asked, shyly. She took a swift glance around the people gathered in front of her self-contained apartment and sighted her neighbour, Priscilla, giving her a thumbs up.

“Oh… my bad,” the man said and took off his sunglasses. She embraced him in a tight hug and the paparazzi took several shots. Standing before her was Basketmouth, the foremost Nigerian comedian who had gone on to make magic with his jokes.

It suddenly started coming back. Yes, she remembered. He had tweeted about a certain woman in his alma mater who used to prepare the best ewa agoyin and promised to buy a car for whoever provided her name and contact details.

Since the woman, Iya Bodija, was her customer and she fitted into Basketmouth’s description, she decided to try her luck. But that was about a year ago. She had graduated and was currently serving. How did he find her? Oh, her last tweet. She had shared her location when she posted about the weather being 40 degrees Celsius.

Basketmouth led her to the black Prado Jeep and handed her the keys, which Priscilla grabbed from her hands and raised for others to see. They clapped as Irunna shook hands with Basketmouth and thanked him for the gift.

Irunna’s eyes were wet with tears when the cameramen and the celebrity comedian left the compound. Her phone was already buzzing with phone calls and messages. Notifications from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were streaming in and she tried to reply all the calls and messages.

She did not notice Priscilla start the engine and drive it into the wall until she shouted for help. 😭 She was torn between crying and laughing. The sight of Priscilla waving her arm around and the bashed car sent her into a fit of anger.

It wasn’t up to ten minutes since her visitors left and the car has already been damaged. She shook her head ar the sight and walked into her apartment while Priscilla’s voice continued to ring in her ears.