1004 or Trapped In The Toilet.
I’m in a toilet; in one of the one thousand and four flats in 1004 as I type this.
No; this is not some R. Kelly Trapped-In-The-Closet type shit. I am not hiding from some disgruntled husband or boyfriend.
I locked myself in here to avoid stories that touch.
What happened is this; my day started late because of a number of false starts (to whom it may concern, abeg catch your sub) but eventually I was able to put in approximately two hours of work. I was happy. Driving home on the Third Mainland and whistling along to Coldplay I was o, jejely when my phone started to ring.
It was 10:12pm. I know because I was just past the first LED screen billboard and I had checked the time.
Who could be calling? It was a number I didn’t know.
I sha picked the call and it was a woman sounding frantic. “Seun…Seun I’m in trouble. I need your help.”
Who could this be? I started to comb through my memories – but she helped. “It’s me Maureen – Shile’s girlfriend. He’s…Shile’s hurt. Please come quick.”
“Shile hurt ke? How?”
Apparently they had been having a domestic squabble and it had turned violent somehow. She hit him over the head with his dinner – a plate filled with freshly microwaved beans.
“Seun…he’s not moving. Oh God. What will I tell his mum…?”
My throat closed around my suddenly-relocated heart. I swallowed a yell; I realized it wasn’t going to help my friend.
The girl’s near-hysterics helped calm me.
“Calm down, woman!” I snapped. “Check. Is he bleeding?”
There was a moment of silence – and then; “A little…”
“Is he still breathing?”
“I don’t…I don’t…”
“Place your finger underneath his nose and check jo!”
Another moment of silence. And then –
“He’s alive! Seun…he’s – ”
“Make sure he’s comfortable. I’m on my way.”
I accelerated and headed to the Adekunle exit, did a one-way stunt and sped back towards the Island. In less than ten minutes I was banging on her door in 1004.
She opened the door and I pushed past her and into the living room. No Shile.
“Where is he?” I asked impatiently.
She pointed towards a short corridor that led into the bedroom and restroom area. I dashed down the corridor and stood between the doors. Quickly, she reached past me and opened the door on my right – it opened into a dark room.
“In there,” she said.
I took a step forward – and my nose started to itch.
“Shile?” I called into the dark and still room. Nothing stirred in there, only the hum of the AC gave it a semblance of life. I hesitated.
“Turn the lights on, please,” I said over my shoulder, realizing she was standing behind me. I started to feel like a character in a Stephen King novel – aware at the same time of the sudden tension in that small space. But it dawned on me as I looked at her that I didn’t need to be scared.
I have been with too many women not to recognize the look in her eyes.
And then, her hand closed on my wrist and, sounding like Potiphar’s wife must have sounded when she tried to ‘coug’ Joseph; Maureen, my guy Shile’s girl said; “Come and lie with me.”
Pulling my wrist from her grip earned me scratches from her nails but I got free. I charged towards the living room, realizing she wasn’t running after me and when I got to the main door I knew why.
It was locked.
Come and see me playing ‘you cannot catch me’, ducking around tables and chairs. I knocked a flower vase off its perch and it hurt me to see it shatter into several pieces on the black-and-white-tiled floor. She nearly caught me then – but I staggered away and into the toilet.
Sharply, I locked myself in.
And so here I am o, stuck in a toilet far away from home. My one consolation is the toilet is clean and smells of crushed berries – or something just as fancy. I won’t choke to death if I stay in here.
She stopped banging on the door a while ago but I hear her pacing back and forth. I have been calling Shile since – network has chosen to show itself so I’m not getting through.
I’m sorely hungry – I forgot to eat all day. I want to ask if she actually cooked beans – but I refrain. I don’t even want to talk to her.
Fortunately I have a sachet of Pectol in my hip pocket. I pop one in my mouth and finish this tale with my other, freer hand. I intend to post it and then settle into a corner on the rubber mat before the bathtub, and make myself comfortable.
It’s going to be a long night.