boomerangWritten by Ayokunle Olagoke


LARA (35) is seating at the receptionist’s cubicle with a tag on her table that reads “kindly make all your inquiries here”. She is conversing with someone over the phone. Her food pack is on the right side of the table. She has the TV remote control in her hand, a Nigerian movie is being shown on the television. She is chewing a piece of meat in her mouth as she is also engrossed in the conversation.

I already told her, until she leaves that church I don’t see an end coming to her pro… You married a husband who has no job as if that is not enough you are now attending a church where your pastor who is 68 years old has no child, how do you think he will pray for you to have a child?

She pauses to get a response from the other end of the phone. Femi, a young man walks in, looking exhausted with a small sheet of paper in his hand. He wipes off the sweat from his face with his sleeves. He takes a glance at the sheet of paper then takes a looks at the name of the company boldly written on the insignia hung on the wall, he walks towards Lara, taking a bow with his head as a form of greeting. Lara stares at him from head to toe, his appearance does not look impressive or choice.
She signals to him with her left hand to hold on while she continues with her conversation. Femi attempts to speak but Lara repeats the signal again. Femi waits right there standing in front of Lara’s desk, hoping that Lara’s conversation will end soon. Lara continues to chew on her meat.

Since we all left school, no progress in her life. There is so much of bad luck following that so-called husband of hers… really? Is that his new lie? He can never get a job. Until I see him working with my two eyes and paying bills at home, I will never believe he… ah you know you believe things so easily.So, have you heard from Leye? Is he still dating that Nike girl?

She makes a long hiss to depict hopelessness on the matter.

Nike has cast a spell on him, how can a lady tell you her two siblings died of sickle cell and she is AS, and you still want to go ahead and marry her… ehen? Even if he is AA nko? AS and AA, there is still “S” there so they can have SS child o… ehen? So they can’t have SS child that way? Are you sure? Anyway, you work in the hospital… me I sha don’t like Nike, she’s even slim like an ogbanje… her tiny legs like that of Miss Pepeye

She bursts out into laughter,

Yes now, she wears skinny trouser like a prostitute

She hisses in disgust. At this point, Femi walks to where the seats are to take a seat, he seems  restless as he checks the time on his phone which is bonded with a rubber band. Lara glances at him as he goes to take his seat and quickly takes her eyes off him.

All I know is whatever we all sow we will… Muyiwa leave me jare, all you men are the same, show me a man who does not cheat and I will show you a first class liar. I lived with Lanre for fourteen years yet he went about chasing after tiny legged girls and me I don’t have patience, before he  could say “Jack” I’ve packed my… So you are saying your wife left just because she doesn’t want to relocate to Nigeria with you? I don’t believe that Femi’s phone rings, he goes out to receive the call.

Lara stretches her neck to peep at him and see what he is up to, pulling the land line closer so she can see him clearly.

I have a visitor jare, he resembles all this aboki selling suya, he has been so impatient, ah I told him to wait, I will attend to him, nobody can even do any shakara for me in this office. They never pay me my three months salary so I will work at my own pace… my battery is flat, we’ve been talking for more than an hour… She is fine o, she is back from school so I sent her to the market, she should even be back any moment from now. Amen ooo, all of them will give us great delight. Her brother is writing his WAEC next month, I am getting relieved gradually…

Femi walks in and approaches Lara’s desk impatiently, looking worried


So we will talk later jare

Turns her revolving chair towards Femi, staring at him rudely

So how may I help you?

My name is Femi, an accident occurred close to Azizat Market some hours ago involving a young girl and a taxi, the taxi did not wait after the collision so I took the girl who was lying there helplessly, to the hospital, there was no way we could recognize her, she
wasn’t speaking. On my way home to go change my shirt because it was stained with blood, I saw this piece of paper in my back seat with this company’s letterhead so I thought someone here might know her

He dips his hand into his pocket to bring out the sheet of paper. Written on it is the list of things to buy from the market. Lara quickly snatches it from his hand trembling as she recognizes her own handwriting on the paper, she is shaking uncontrollably.

Yeh! Yeh! She’s my daughter

We need to hurry now, I just got a call from the hospital that my attention is needed

Ah! You should have told me… you should have… yeh


Ogbanje – a child believed to repeatedly die and then return to its mother to be reborn
Miss Pepeye – a character in the Wale Adenuga’s Papa Ajasco comedy who tries to create the impression that she is classic but is truly not. She is simply plastic