When It Hits Home

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Boza and Bampe had met in high school. They had quickly become best of friends. They had done most things together. Even their parents had met each other on several visiting days. Their friendship had grown stronger to even make the two live together at the university, and even after university. But things had changed for these bros, or had they?

One Monday evening, the first day at work since his separation from Boza, when Bampe got out of the office, he wasn’t sure what to do. He had most times ridden home with Boza. He would drop him at the office in the mornings and pick him in the evenings. They both paid for fuel, maintenance and cleaning for the car they co-owned. Some of their friends from work had joked about them, calling them a perfect couple. Boza hadn’t minded about it at all, but Bampe didn’t like it.

Bampe thought of calling Boza to drop him home, but then realized his new home was a little off Boza’s way home, plus Mrs. Baru had advised them to be independent. So he thought it better not to bother him. He walked out to the road and used a taxi back home. Right after he had left, Boza pulled in the driveway at his office. He called Bampe on his phone and Bampe answered and informed him he had already left. The look on Boza’s face was filled with loss. It felt to him like Bampe was gone and he would never get him back. He asked why Bampe hadn’t called to inform him. Every time Bampe had wanted to go home before Boza, he had called. If he never called to let Boza know he had already gone home, Boza always came and called him from the parking lot.

“I thought you wouldn’t come. We now live in different areas. It would be an inconvenience to drive me home every day.” Bampe answered

“Come on man. It’s not that far away from my home. Plus, I am still running on the fuel you bought and you also co-own this car” Boza said.

“This is not about the fuel or the car Boza. We just didn’t talk about the changes.” Bampe reasoned.

“Okay man. Just let me know anytime you need the car, plus let’s keep the same arrangement. I will always pick you from work.” Boza said.

“And how is that going to work? Remember my house is farther from town than yours.” Bampe reminded his friend.

“How about you pick me from home every morning, when we reach at your office I take the car to my office, in the evenings I pick you at the office and when we reach home, you can continue with the car to your home.” Boza offered.

“Well, that’s great.” said Bampe.

This arrangement sounded great for both of them, but the fact that they were no longer staying together, it was going to be an inconvenience for Boza who rarely stayed home after work. He never thought of that. Boza reminded him,

“So what happens when you wanna meet your friends, or go out?”

“They can find me home. And I don’t wanna go out again. Remember I don’t wanna drink again.” answered Boza.

“How about your dates with Wangye” asked Bampe

“It’s Kangye. I will let you know.” said Boza.

“Hey, I am getting off the taxi. Talk later.” said Bampe.

“Okay Bampe, talk later.” finished Boza.

Boza’s heart was filled with a little satisfaction. He drove back home.

Inside the house, everything looked almost the same as usual. Bampe hadn’t been gone for long. The house was still pretty much clean and well organized. Boza closed the door, went straight to the couch. He sat down and dropped his keys on the table, next to the remotes.

Nothing felt the same. Bampe had been the joy of the house. He had cleaned and arranged the house. He had given company whenever Boza had needed it. But now there was this boredom that loomed the whole house.

Boza sat there for a few minutes completely lost in thought. He then, without delay left the house, jumped in his car and drove off.

At Bampe’s, the silence in the neighborhood and the house was unbearably haunting. Darkness was starting to set in like a faint dark smoke. Bampe had sat in his couch in the living room, deeply lost in thought. He had not gone to his bedroom or to the adjoining kitchen. He looked around himself. The house was small, his friend Boza had called it a bachelor’s pad, the day Bampe entered. Boza had insisted on coming with him. But he had not spent a lot of time. He had left Bampe on the same spot he was sitting, all alone.

Bampe didn’t feel the need to cook dinner. He wasn’t feeling hungry, he only felt lonely. He had felt this before with Boza, but he was always sure he would come back from his hangouts. So for that reason, he didn’t worry much. But this time Bampe got scared. Boza wasn’t always going to come home. But boy, was he wrong? A knock came on the door. He turned his head and looked at the door. The knock sounded really familiar, but he didn’t expect it in that location at that time. He didn’t bother to even open for anyone. He knew for sure that no one knew him in that place. And even if he himself had loved welcoming new people on Bachelors Lane, he wasn’t in the mood to be welcomed yet by anyone. The knocker must have realized that maybe there was no one at home. Bampe then heard a key enter and twist in his door. He looked at the door. Was he being robbed? He sat up straight in the couch in which he had slouched. His eyes were set on the door that even if a rat had crossed the room he wouldn’t withdraw his attention from the door. His heart thumped and raced and throbbed. He felt as though it was going to come out through his throat and mouth. He was scared, expecting the worst, but he behaved like a sheep, couldn’t at least hide and identify the danger while in hiding, but stayed there waiting for danger. The door was pushed open and Boza stepped in. Bampe recognized him before he could even switch on the light. But Boza had not seen him as he had slouched back into the couch on seeing Boza. It was the big sigh of relief that invited Boza to see him. Boza turned the lights on and came into the room.

“Hey, why is the place so gloomy?” he asked

Bampe didn’t answer the question. He picked up his phone and started swiping on it. Boza continued to the couch and sat opposite Bampe.

“Why did you come?” asked Bampe

“Well, I didn’t have anywhere else to go.” answered Boza.

“You could have started with your home.” remarked Bampe

“Yeah, that I did. But it didn’t feel alright. The house looks different now.” said Boza

This statement made Bampe smile, and laugh. He looked at Boza who was also now smiling and said,

“You can’t be serious. The house is exactly the same as usual. I didn’t take anything from there apart from my clothes, shoes and bags. So how can it be different?” Asked Bampe.

Boza then joked, “Well, maybe your missing clothes and shoes made it look different. But seriously, it’s the same but boring.”

Bampe then got up, turned on the TV and the two watched TV. They also ordered dinner on the phone as they caught up about the weekend. Dinner came at around 8:30pm. They ate as they watched TV. The two talked and laughed for long. They even couldn’t keep track of time. The only drinks available in this hangout, or should I call it a hanging, was only water and juice from Bampe’s mini fridge.

At 2am, Boza started dozing off. Sleep was causing his eyelids to get heavier, closing his eyes. Bampe realized that his friend was fast falling asleep. He offered him his bed and Boza didn’t hesitate to take up the offer. He rushed to bed without even taking a shower. It was easy for him to find the bedroom as it was the only bedroom in the house. Boza took a quick shower and then returned to the living room where he slept in the couch till morning.

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