threesixtyGh writer, Kossi Akplah, continues the story of Mr. and Mrs. Balogun and the pillars of love and happiness that support their marriage. Click here to view the first episode of ‘Dirty Blessings’ if you missed it.

Mr. Balogun said a short prayer before his wife drove them off onto the macadamized road that led to the Kingsway International School.

A mysterious rotten humid scent lingered with them in the air-conditioned car for a few minutes before they realised they could not go further without dealing with it.

“Asieduah, can you smell what I smell?”

“Smell? You can only smell it? I CAN TASTE THE DAMN THING!”

He laughed hard.

“So what could it be?” he asked as if she were God.

“Ah, how will I know? Am I God?” she quipped.

Mr. Balogun bent down to look under the seat, to investigate. The mouldy odour that torrentially wafted into his nose almost made him choke. He coughed thrice, like the old people in Nigerian movies did before they died.

“Uche left his football socks under the seat,” he announced.

She pulled over and they threw the demonic pair of socks into the boot before they continued the drive.

“Femi, there was something I wanted to discuss with you.” Silence. She knew what it meant so she spoke on.

“I spoke with my sister on the phone this morning. They are in dire need of help, darling.”

“What kind of help?” he asked.

“Financial. You know Atuba lost his job six months ago and since then they’ve been struggling. She called to tell me that Akwasi had just been admitted to the hospital and his health insurance expired just last month. Femi, please let us do this for them, okay? They will get through this too, they only need time.”

“I thought we sent them a thousand cedis just last month?” he enquired.

“Yes, baby. But you know my sister does not really make much money from the vegetables she sells. Her husband was their sole breadwinner before the unfortunate happened.”

“Asieduah, I understand that. But you must also understand that we cannot keep supporting them, especially with such huge sums of money. Thousand cedis is about twenty percent of our collective salary as a couple and we also have things to take care of. Atuba can find something small to do while he goes on the hunt for something bigger, a better job. Besides, there is something about that man I don’t really like. He keeps appearing in my dreams; not in the good ones too, only the bad ones.”

“Anyway… let’s send them another thousand when we get back home.”

She expressed her gratitude and kept her eyes on the road.

They were on the highway, five minutes away from the school. They were getting close to 140 kilometers per hour.

From nowhere, a hooded man ran into their lane from the bushes. In a wild attempt to avoid a fatal crash, Asieduah veered sharply to the left. The speeding car hit a bump. Asieduah lost control of the vehicle and it hit another bulging bump. The left front tyre suddenly detached from its position. In an awkward state of imbalance, the vehicle somersaulted four times and finally landed on its back. The three black tires, finally happy to be off the hard ground, spun angrily in the air until they grudgingly slowed down to a stop a minute later.

There was no sound or activity from inside the vehicle.

A serial story by Kossi Akplah, threesixtyGh Writer


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