Chukwuma walked into the room to see his brother dazed on their bed, he knew he had taken the green pills again; he took off his shirt and got into his side of the bed. He was just 10 years old but he knew those drugs were bad. They made his brother more complacent than he usually was.
“Brother Ebuka, shift to the wall, I need to spread well to sleep.” He said, nudging his brother, and without a struggle his brother obliged, moving as far into the wall as he could. On a normal day, asking his brother to move would have earned him a slap but this version of his brother was a dunce.
With his senior brother now hugging the wall, he spread his hands and legs and went to sleep.
Shortly after falling asleep, Chukwuma found himself in a brand new car, driving down the road with every body hailing him. His friends all wanted a ride and turns behind the wheel, he was the king of the streets. Then his car hit a fence, but the impact was felt on his head.
He jumped up from sleep holding his head. “What did I do?” He cried.
“What did I do?” His brother mimicked. “How many times have I told you to stop pushing me into the wall and spreading body?”
“But I did not push you now!” Chukwuma protested. “You are the one that took your green medicine and was now act–“
–Ebuka covered his brother’s mouth. “Shut up, what medicine, before you will go and koba somebody. I’ve told you to stop saying what you did not see. The next time you mention any green medicine again enh, it is inside tank that you will find yourself.” He whispered, then let go of his mouth.
“Eh, then stop beating me every time, you take something and do mumu something.”
“I did not take anything. Now go back to sleep.” Ebuka laid down willing to move-on from the conversation.
Chukwuma followed suit, but now he was wide awake, and couldn’t fall back to sleep.
“If I ask mummy and daddy to buy me a car, will they buy it?”
“What nonsense are you talking about? Yes hey will buy you a toy car”
“No, not a toy car, a big car like Daddy Ikenga’s own.”
“See ehn, Chuwuma, let me tell you now. Mummy and daddy don’t have money; before you will go and meet them and be asking for stupid things. They are owing the land lord rent and are looking for our school fees. And Daddy is a professional debtor. So no money for any Christmas present, shabi that is what you are finding. Christmas present.”
Chukwuma was a child but he could understand everything his jerk of a brother had told him, he stayed quiet for a moment thinking, before he spoke again, “So what can I do to help mummy and daddy?”
“I don’t know, What do you think you can do to help?” Ebuka shrugged.
“Father Christmas is coming to my school next week, I can tell him to give daddy plenty money.”
Ebuka almost laughed out his stomach then went into a fit coughing.
“I’m serious” Chukwuma said.
“I know.” Ebuka replied, then stopped laughing. “See normally eh, if you write a letter to Father Christmas and you’ve been a good boy since the beginning of the year, he will give you what you asked for. But me and you know that you have not been a goof boy, so before Father Christmas will give daddy that kind of money, you’ll have to kidnap him.”
“How do I kidnap Father Christmas?” Chukuma asked dead serious.
Ebuka knew he should have ended the play there, but he could not help messing with his little brother. He sat up, and his brother eagerly mimicked him.
“Look, I don’t know how you can kidnap Father Christmas, but what I know is this. When you kidnap him you have to take him downstairs to that backyard store, nobody goes there because they can’t find the keys, but don’t tell anybody oh, the key is here.” He dug into the corner of the bed and handed Chukwuma the key. “See ehn, that is where you should keep Father Christmas, nobody will find him there, even me self I hardly go there and I have the two keys. Then you will tie him up very well so that he does not escape and beat you, you will now take his phone and call Mother Christmas, and tell her what you want. In order to get Father Christmas back before Christmas, Mother Christmas will give you anything you want.”
“How will I know which one is mother Christmas’ number?”
“He will save it on his phone as ‘mama’ or ‘mother’, any one.”
“Thank you.” Chukwuma said and he laid back down, hatching a plan, and for a split second Ebuka wondered if he had gone too far.
“What if I fail?”
“Then you get plenty charcoal for Christmas.”
To be continued…