CHAPTER 4: BAMPE THE NURSE
At 10:30pm, Bampe was dragging Boza back into the house. He had unlocked the door first before returning to the car to pick his mate. He struggled to carry him inside the house. He held his arm around his neck and allowed his feet to help him with the extra weight he couldn’t lift. They successfully made it to the door and inside the house. He laid him down on the couch in the sitting room and went back to properly park the car. He came back soon, locked the door and he looked hard at his friend sleeping comatose in the sofa and wondered, “Why does he ever drink at all?” For a moment he thought of leaving him to sleep in the couch. Then he thought it best to help him to his room. He tried to lift him up and he awoke, more like a quarter awake. He looked up at Bampe and stammered,
“Man, you look handsome tonight.” He raised his hands and cupped Bampe’s face in them and caressed it slowly feeling his beards. He then moved his right hand to feel the top and back of Bampe’s head to which he said,
“Damn, it’s like mirror surface, very smooth.” Bampe let him caress him only for a short time and then he asked him to get on his feet so he could help him to his bedroom. Boza asked,
“Wait, isn’t this my bedroom?” Bampe nodded at the question and started to lift him up. Boza wrapped his arms around Bampe’s neck as he was being helped up. He stood up tightly hugging Bampe’s head into his manly chest. With these friends too close to each other, one could easily see that Boza was slightly taller than Bampe. Bampe tried to move one of his arms off his neck so he could tilt him to the side in order to walk with him easily. Boza was hanging on as if he wanted to be fully lifted up. He was wasted. Too wasted. When Bampe finally succeeded to put one of his arms off his neck, he started leading him to the bedroom. They got into the bedroom and right before Bampe could put him on the bed, Boza stammered,
“Is this the bathroom? I want to pee.” Bampe pulled a tired and disgusting face but he knew Boza was going to pee right there if he didn’t help him to the bathroom. He turned and led him to the bedroom bathroom without saying a word. He got him inside and as soon as he turned to get out and leave him to do his business, Boza begged in a stammer,
“Please help me. I can’t get it out. I can’t get the zipper down.” Bampe hated this part. Boza had done it to him way back at the university when he had drank so hard. He hated that he had asked without any shame. Bampe had refused to help but Boza had insisted and looked very vulnerable. Bampe had thought his friend was bullying him and that he was going to use it against him, but afterwards when Boza had regained his soberness, he had completely forgotten all about it.
Bampe got back in front of him, squatted down and helped him with his zipper. Boza was able to continue from there. But he hadn’t let go of Bampe. He still held onto him for support. By the time he was done peeing, he was already asleep again. Bampe helped him again to get his zipper back up. He led him to the bed, pulled the duvet with one hand and laid him down softly. Bampe slowly removed Boza’s shoes and socks and helped him out of his coat and tie, which had already been loosened before they got into the house. He left him in his trousers and a shirt. He covered him. He looked at him hard as he slept. He then turned and walked to go to his bedroom. As he got right in the middle of the door. Boza called.
“Hey Bampe. Don’t leave me alone.” Bampe looked back at him and said softly, as if he was talking to himself,
“Calm on Boza, I am tired. I gotta go to rest too.” Boza’s eyes were half closed and he said,
Bampe knew that he was going to sleep soon immediately and he shut the door slowly and quietly. He went to his bedroom, changed and walked to the bathroom at the end of the hallway to take a shower. When he returned, he opened Boza’s bedroom door and saw he was dead asleep. He closed the door again quietly and walked to his bedroom to sleep.
Boza woke up in the middle of the night. He wasn’t feeling very comfortable sleeping in trousers and a shirt. He stripped naked, threw his clothes on the ground and went back to sleep.
Sunday morning came and as usual, the birds chirped outside, and a few distant radios playing faint gospel songs in stereo could be heard from the neigbourhood. Everyone was used to this. Bampe was already in the kitchen preparing breakfast and a remedy for his friend’s hangover. He had thought why he was trying to care so much for someone who never wanted to control his drinking. He had decided not to make the usual hangover smoothie. But he never ever liked to see his friend in such a bad form. He hated seeing him so sad, sick or in any way hurt. He cared so deeply for him. He had taken care of him when he had been involved in a bar fight. That was so hard on him. He had asked for a few days off to care for him. Boza had been hit so badly. He had been admitted in a clinic for a day and night, but the two had completely kept the bad news from Boza’s parents and some of the friends that could have easily transferred it to them.
Just as Bampe was still enjoying the beautiful sounds of the birds as he prepared breakfast, a very loud bang of sound covered the whole lane like a storm cloud. It was loud music.
There was a new Pentecostal church in the neighbourhood and it was debuting its services to the community on that Sunday.
“Oh My God.” Said Bampe. He looked through the kitchen window glass to see where the sound was coming from. He couldn’t see anything as the tall fence wall blocked his view. The church was on the other side of the wall, on a different lane.
Boza had almost jumped out of the bed as soon as the loud music got on. He was very oblivious to what was happening. He never knew where the sound was coming from. He looked at the window but he couldn’t see anything outside as the curtains blocked his view beyond them. He fell back into his bed and covered his head with a pillow. The sound was still too much that even if he had put a whole mattress on his ears, he could still hear the music loudly. He started cursing while shouting,
“Who the hell is that? Go to hell.” This time he jumped out of the bed, walked to the window naked, drew the curtains to see who was playing the loud music. Now he was welcomed by something else he didn’t like. The light from the outside was too bright. He first closed his eyes, looked back inside the room and turned slowly and looked out. He also couldn’t see where the music was from as he was blocked by the tall wall fence behind his house. He got back to his bed side, picked up his underwear, put it on, and picked a pair of casual shorts that was hanging on a bedpost and slipped into it. He quickly picked a T-shirt from his dresser top and then walked outside the room. He entered the living room and found Bampe standing at the door with a neighbour. She was telling Bampe of when the new church owners had bought the plot and built a makeshift church.
“Just more noise every day.” She said. Bampe seemed to be listening attentively when he heard Boza behind him asking,
“Who is that moron waking up people this early?” Boza’s voice sounded very irate to which Bampe turned and looked at him. The neighbour who had been a very good enemy of Boza smiled and said,
“I can’t believe you feel offended too. It’s ironic how you love to play loud music at your parties but you hate it when other people play loud music to praise their lord.” Boza slightly pushed Bampe aside so he could pass and go outside the door. He stood next to the neighbour without even saying a simple ‘Good morning’. Bampe smiled at the woman’s remarks and then said,
“You know very well that you don’t want what you do to others to ever be done to you. Everyone has a selfish bone. We like what we like and love it when others like it too but also hate what they like and never want them to let us like them. Yes, it’s ironic.” Boza heard all their remarks and didn’t utter a single word to them. His face looked gloomy, his eyes bloodshot and it was clear he hadn’t washed his face. He walked back inside the house and said,
“Goodbye Mama Sarah.” The neighbour, Mama Sarah, didn’t reply. She just looked at him. She didn’t show hatred on her face or in her eyes. She just didn’t reply and she then looked at Bampe and said,
“Well, now it’s gonna be noise night and day. What happened to the old quiet Bachelor’s Lane?” Bampe didn’t answer the rhetorical question. He just smiled. Then Mama Sarah excused herself to go make breakfast for her daughter, who was probably also up because of the loud music. The neighbors had for some time now got used to Boza and his loud parties, only Mama Sarah was the issue. At first all neighbours had complained against the noise, but Boza had won all of them when he hangout with them one by one at different times and events. He had even invited some of them to his parties some as guests and sometimes to help out with serving guests. Some of the neighbors usually stayed around until around mid-night when they went back home to sleep leaving the rest of the guests partying. Now the new loud church music was going to be something else they would have to get used to if they never talked to the authorities to get it regulated.
Before long, Boza was throwing up all around the house. He had drunk so much, partied so hard the previous evening to a point where Bampe had to rain on his parade. Bampe had pulled him off the dancing floor and dragged him to the car and locked him inside. He had done everything while trying to avoid Mr. and Mrs. Baru. The two had left the party a little bit earlier than most of the guests who had stayed around to catch up with each other as most of them had seen each other for the first time in years.
Bampe hurried back inside the house when he heard a loud spur of vomit hitting the kitchen floor. When he reached inside, Boza had messed up most of the place. He pulled up a five liter tin from under the kitchen sink and put it in front of Boza. Boza picked it and emptied his stomach in it. The smell was too much around the house. Bampe tried to hold his nose for a few minutes but he ran short of breath and released it. Boza noticed that it was too much too. He looked at a big smear he had done on the ground and looked up at Bampe who was standing right in front of him trying to hold his breath so he couldn’t take in the smell of beer, waragi and fermented food. He had drunk almost every drink from champagnes to waragi. Bampe hadn’t been there to limit him. He could have tried to desist from drinking that day, but there had been so many people he needed to share a drink with. One glass had become two and two had become ten and so on to a point that he actually had forgotten that drinking always made him sick.
Boza said to Bampe, “I am sorry man.” Then he looked all around the floor and realized he had just puked where Bampe had just cleaned. He lowered his head in concedence and said,
“Damn, you just cleaned.......” Right before he finished the word “cleaned”, he started vomiting again. He puked every colour on the surface of the earth. There was black, blue, and red and so on. Bampe, looked at him, still standing in front of him. He hated seeing him like that. He didn’t know what to say. Boza paused the puking and begged,
“Please hold me. I am dying.” Before he had finished to speak, he started again. Bampe quickly poured a glass of water and rushed to him. He couldn’t give him water to drink then. He was still busy at it, and seemed to still be going strong. Bampe first rested his glass down, knelt down behind his friend and got his hands around his stomach and held him firmly. Boza stopped vomiting and Bampe still holding him with one hand, picked the glass of water with the second hand and gave him to drink. He gulped the whole glass in instantly and rested the glass hard on the floor. Bampe then released him. He quickly went to the kitchen table, did his final mix of the smoothie and poured it in a glass. He slowly jumped the stain patches of vomit on the floor and brought the smoothie to Boza. He told him,
“Hold your breath and take it all at once.” Boza nodded in the affirmative and poured the smoothie down his throat, all at once. He seemed to catch his breath as soon as he finished.
Bampe waited a minute and then asked,
“How are you feeling now?” Boza replied with a thumbs up. He never wanted to open his mouth. The smell of his own vomit was too much to make him puke again. He was sweating profusely, he looked like he had been in the rain. His eyes had got sunken, his arms looked very feeble. He suddenly looked very different and pale. Bampe came back to him, and checked his temperature with the back of his hand. He was boiling. He helped him up and sat him in the couch in the living room. But he couldn’t sit up. He just fell to catch some sleep. Bampe went and brought more water in a glass and gave it to him. He got up and took the water and laid his head down again. He didn’t utter a single word. Bampe sat at his feet. He picked a couch blanket and covered him with it, and watched him sleep. When he was asleep, Bampe walked back to the kitchen and cleaned the floor. He had sworn never to clean after him multiple times, but he had always done exactly the same. He finished cleaning and quickly fixed a late breakfast, you could call it brunch for these two were never going to have lunch after eating breakfast after 11am. They never did. Despite the constant loud sound from the neighbouring church, Boza slept like a baby as if the music wasn’t there at all, or as if it was a soft lullaby that soothed him to sleep.