When It Hits Home

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CHAPTER 5: NEEDY BOZA

At around 4pm, Boza got really ill and Bampe rushed him to the nearest clinic. Before long, they were back inside the house with a few prescribed drugs. Bampe didn’t want to sleep. He just sat on the couch like a mannequin. He never wanted to watch TV. He never wanted to listen to the radio and he had switched his phone off so no one could bother him. He just sat there, thinking he could have died stupidly. Before long, he gave in and rested his head down on the sofa again and started listening to his own heartbeat and thoughts. By this time, the silence in the room was deafening, you could hear a rat tiptop across the room. The occasional beeps of the neighbours’ cars returning home that evening was assurance for Boza that he was still alive. Bampe had left him in the room to go to the nearest supermarket to shop for groceries. His arrival back at the house made Boza seem like a little child whose mother had abandoned him and came back. He wanted to get off the couch and hug him. He wanted to always have him in sight. He wanted him there. He had been there for him for long. They had cared for each other, but what he saw that day was that he didn’t deserve having Bampe as a friend. He was sure if the tables had turned, if it had been Bampe, he would have ran away and hidden in his room until he had finished cleaning up.

Bampe rested the shopping bags on the kitchen counter and started picking out item by item loading them in the fridge. That’s when Boza straightened himself up like a lazy frail old woman. He had a blanket on his shoulders, he came to Bampe and said,

“I am really sorry Bampe. I have put you through hell with my drinking. But you are always here to.. “ he looked around the room while doing a cleaning gesture.

“I know I never cook a lot but you never complain. I am sorry man.” Bampe looked at him and put a very satisfied but sly smile and said,

“It’s alright Boza. Just promise me one thing. That you will never drink again.” Boza rushed to swear that he would never drink again to which Bampe pointed out,

“I have heard you sing this song to me several times and still drink again. I also know you had cut back on drinking but all the same you drank, and that led us to this. So please promise me this is the end of it.” Boza confirmed that it was really the end.

“I never even like the taste of most liquor, but my friends always convince me and I flow.” Bampe quickly added,

“Well, you better mean it because next time you drink you could end up flowing into your grave sooner than expected.”

Boza walked to Bampe and gave him a long tight hug. Bampe seemed uneasy with the hug. He didn’t even have a chance to hug him back because Boza had held both his arms on him, one of them with some carrots in the hands. He cleared his throat to indicate to his friend that that was enough. Boza let him go and he walked back to the couch. Bampe made dinner and served Boza, who barely ate a thing and he was done. Bampe went back to the kitchen after their dinner and cleaned the utensils. When he was done, he asked Boza if he wanted to still hang around in the living room or wanted to sleep early. But Boza didn’t want to go to bed yet, he had been sleeping almost the whole day. Bampe was exhausted and wanted to retire soon. It was just 8:30pm but he wanted to sleep. He asked Boza to call him if he needed anything, and off to his bedroom he went, to sleep. Boza turned on the TV to help him beat off the boredom. He still didn’t turn his phone on for a few minutes, but later did. The TV didn’t seem to be entertaining enough. As soon as his phone was on, it started buzzing with calls, missed call notifications, messages and all other social media notifications. He didn’t rush to reply or return any calls. He kept ignoring all calls and went straight to his emails. He just wanted to read new mails. He didn’t reply any of the emails. As he was laying the phone down again, it rang again. It was Kangye calling. He stood up straight in the couch and answered the call. He got lost in a phone call that he even forgot about the TV in front of him. The two talked for a while before Kangye excused herself,

“It’s been nice talking to you. I am sorry I have to go and sleep early. I have work in the morning.” Boza cleared his voice and replied,

“Yeah, it’s been really nice. Thanks for calling. See you again soon.” He put his phone down. Kangye had called to set up a dinner date as she had earlier promised. Then they had talked about meeting at Boza’s cousin’s party the previous night by coincidence. He didn’t even tell her he had drunk so much and got sick from it. He felt it was stupid and embarrassing. He thought it would kill any chances of being with her.

The 10pm news was coming to an end. Boza hadn’t watched the news. He loved watching the news but that night he missed it. He scanned through the channels and landed on Nat-Geo Wild, he watched for about 30 minutes and he started dozing off. He turned off the TV with a remote. He slowly got up and switched off the lights. He walked to his bedroom, opened the door, switched on the light and looked at the interior of the room. He switched off the lights again, stepped back outside and closed the door. He turned and went to Bampe’s bedroom, opened the door slowly and without turning on the lights walked inside, got his clothes off and dumped them on the floor. He only remained in his underwear. He slowly slid into Bampe’s bed and pulled a blanked to cover himself

Bampe was awakened by the movement of his soft mattress and the pulling of his blanket. He quickly turned and saw someone in his bed. He turned on the bedside light and saw Boza trying to sleep. He pulled himself up and sat next to his pillows. He slowly and condescendingly asked,

“Boza, what are you doing?” Boza replied,

“I can’t sleep alone tonight. Please let me sleep here with you tonight. It’s only going to be tonight.” This was the second time Boza wanted to share a bed with his friend after drinking. He was always needy when drunk, and always feared he would die at night. Bampe asked him,

“How are you feeling now?” Boza said the fever was gone and he was starting to feel better. Bampe then switched off the lights and went back to sleep, but without forgetting to warn Boza,

“Stay on your side or I will literary kick you to the floor. And don’t snore.” Boza was already starting to snore to which Bampe said,

“Oh My God. You couldn’t even wait until I fell asleep again.” Boza laughed under the blanket and Bampe got angry. He pulled the blanket off him and two soon started a pillow fight. Well who said pillow fights were for only children or girls, even adult males sometimes fight with pillows. The fight didn’t last long. A truce was reached and they both covered themselves and went to sleep.

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