The Death of a Hungry man

Indeed, he was a retired newspaperman and a stubborn man. The first time I knew him was when he performed his public nuisance. He was Yoruba man who loved to party with tattered cloth to occasion. It was that disgrace that made me to know him. It was on a Sunday when everybody was back from church. He was irritated by one of his neighbour’s character. And suddenly the words that came out from his mouth were disgusting. I knew him as one of the literate man in the community who read the newspaper most often. He was an intelligent man. And what a shame! — This intelligent had brought him disgrace and famished.

Happiness is the home of enjoyment. When the heart lingers and everything will seem to be scarlet. In every action there must be a consequence of pain and remorse. It was this case to Mr. Aniyi. Afterwards, this was his reaction when he pursued those who came to rent his house. The house is a four bedroom apartment with a very archaic style of construction. It has facade paint; and grass grows in the compound frequently.
Even in the rooms, there are sections of cobweb and wall gecko playing hide and seek game. That faithful day, it was his wife who introduced the vacant rooms to house agents in the community.

And when those agents brought their clients; he sat outside on a torn cushion. He crossed his legs when those men approached him. They approached with astonishment on their faces; thinking he would accept their offer. They discussed the issue with him and the so to be tenants introduced themselves in a recondite way. They muttered. He frowned and he began to speak his old English in the presence of those who brought the tenants

‘’ I don’t want to rent out my house’’ he replied in an aggressive manner
‘’ Please, don’t come here again. And I never tell you I want to rent the house and moreover, you don’t see signpost in the front of the house that says house to let is available’’ he retorted
One of the man looked at him in a disrespectful way. He was even rueful at him from the way he approached them. He too was an aggressive man. He uttered a provocative statement to him that was about to cause pandemonium in community.
‘’Go and eat your house, old man’’ the man said
As the man made the sentence, it was as if there was grudge between two of them. The owner of the house ran inside his house and brought local charms. He placed the charms in this mouth and he began to pour silence incantation. Everybody looked at him with a scary eye. The entirety was disillusioned with his reaction to thing that had not got to the level. As far as everybody may be concerned, what he had done is horrific. He began to chase those people with the charm in his percolated brick home. And they both began to exchange words of abuse.

‘’ Never come to my house again. The only way I can derive comfort to my happiness is to be peaceful in my house. I don’t want an intruder. I don’t want somebody who will poke nose in other business which is not part of his/ her business’’ he said annoyingly.

His wife began to show empathy to what he had caused in the neighbourhood. She looked at him with a lustful eye; awesomely, he ignored the eye and embarked on his action; by pouring filthy water at those men who stood across his house. They stood at Mum Gabriel’s shop. Mum Gabriel was the woman that introduced night music in the neighbourhood. She was the only woman in the neighbourhood that had married men as friends. She cooked variety foods. The blaring sounds from her shop were awkward sometimes. She is fair in complexion with a small pointed breast and large waist with a tooth pick thighs.

‘’ Keep silent, don’t talk to him again’’ Mum Gabriel told one of those men.
‘’ Next time, you will know how to relate with an old man whose age has belittled his thinking. Seriously, I don’t expect him to react this way because his recognition in the community is prowess.’’ A guest at her shop spoke in concordance to what she had said.
‘’ You know, age sometime affects human mentality and it brings misfortune to how those who are being affected react to things. This is what exactly causes dementia. Everybody that believes he or she is old enough to make decision will die like prey’’ Mum Gabriel spoke aloud to the extent that the man heard her.

‘’ I can’t blame you since your husband has no right to check your womanhood anymore. You have turned your matrimonial bed to an avenue format visitors. You this shameful woman; who has no respect among her peers’’ he replied quietly.
Life seemed to have turned the table around where there seems to be nothing. The life of this man began to have another re-identification when his wife began to act tortuously at him. She began to act like a woman whom as no prejudice on issue that is presumably affecting her or her husband. When, Mr. Aniyi finished his mess which had caused the entire neighbourhood to know the kind of person he was; the face of his pride began to bemoan to the level whereby he felt reluctant to come outside his house again. Nobody saw him anymore. He hid inside his house with an empty stomach. Insistently, the reaction to his stubbornness had made his wife not to give him food. Even his children disrupted him from his action to those men.

‘’ I don’t hate you but I hate whenever you disrespect me as your wife’’ she said to him in the presence of their children.
After what she had said, he was dumb and he began to become remorse of his action. He was relentlessly disgorged with what the wife had said.
‘’ Please, Madam, I am the owner of my house. I didn’t collect any penny from you to build this house. I have the right and the audacity to determine what I want to do with my house. ‘’ He replied his wife in a cohesive manner.
The wife left him alone. She went into her petty trade shop where she sold different kind of groceries. She sat there, with her daughter, and they began to deliberate on what Mr. Aniyi had done. The daughter who ought to have been in the university is still there at home after she had a trained experience as make-up artist.
‘’ I don’t know what is wrong with my father? ‘’ she asked herself in such way she felt maybe there was a discrepancy between her mother and her father.
‘’ I think my father should have done the best thing to rent out this apartment’’ she told her mother in a compelling way.
‘’Don’t mind your father. He has pride. And that is really affecting his growth. In this life, they are thing you don’t need to compromise with, no matter the outcome or the consequences of those things. He is pompous. That is exasperated to his well being. ‘’ She recounted to her daughter

‘’ I just have sympathy for him. He has lost his psychic because he has not eaten since morning. The best thing for him is to have lived and worked assiduously. I will have appreciated him more if he has considered himself to be more convenient to things that happen to him emotionally’’ the daughter said
‘’ Please, don’t pity anybody who feels not to pity you. In this life, we have a choice to wicked ourselves and to discreet our thought inasmuch we discover that everybody has a roomed body to exploit any cases’’ the mother said.

He was inside his room yelling for hunger. And nobody seemed to look at him. He sat on the cushion in his cobwebbed living room in the darkness and his stomach had folded to that of a man with leprosy. Notwithstanding, he came outside to his wife’s shop, beckoned at his daughter. When the daughter appeared to him, he brought out old scrapped hundred naira note that looked like skewered meat. The money, he gave to her daughter, to help him cook noodles. She felt sympathy for him. Her heart bleed from the way he was acting.
‘’ Please, father, do rent out this apartment and you can be collecting money yearly so that you can use to fend for yourselves. ‘’ She told him in a polite way
He looked at him with a terrific eye. And he gave her smouldering slap. ‘’ Face your business, and leave me with my property. I have the choice to do anything with my house. It is my house and I determine whenever I want to rent out the apartment’’
With aphorism, the daughter looked at him, and she began to murmur. She was bitter. And she left his presence with the money. She eventual hissed at him and some minute later; she came into the living room where mosquitoes were enchanting their night praises, and she became preparatory to know what was going to become her father decision for long.

‘’ I hope he rents out this apartment before hunger kills him solemnly. Nobody is proud of hunger. Even the rich man obeys hunger that is the reason why nobody wants to become poor. ‘’ the wife told the children
‘’ we know that he is hungry and he is too stubborn. ‘’ the children responded back to their mother sartorial statement. This was condescending to the level that she had wanted the children to become rebuttal to their father.
‘’ Even the prophecy for death is not to die in dearth. And to look for better opportunity to uplift whatever comes in such direction. Life is filled with misfortune and whosever forgot to know what makes persistent is love and it is necessarily predominated to make cchoic. For this, what is considered to be a failure, is when you fail to let people’s opinion to disinterest your personal interest. The relationship we have with people is the kind of relationship we all have with ourselves when we die to hold the evening sun to a certainly crimson colour that will enable us to remember that hunger is also a weapon for anybody to die without his or her choice and action’’

‘’ I don’t believe in this parlance that love is like hunger. We have what to eat when we respect people’s opinion. He has made himself to convene high temperament as his priority’’ the first child said

The End.

© Anikulapo Macmillan

Published by Adekunle Writes

Adekunle is the author of a poetry collection, 'Arise Nigeria'. A young writer, Adekunle is a correspondent at Church Times Newspaper and Contributing Editor for Interviews at OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters. He's the recipient of Daily Trust Newspaper's Poet of the week, January 2019. Follow me on Instagram on https://instagram.com/adekunlewrites https://platform.linkedin.com/badges/js/profile.jsAdekunle Adewunmi

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