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THE BEAMERS by Chris Tilewa

from the diary of a rural boy.

The sun could fry a stray fingerling. We felt the burning soil under
our bare feet but that can't stop us now, no, not this 'one' time. We
had gone through a lot together; through wet and dry, cold and hot,
thick and thin.


Days which, after a brief rain, we take trips into any
of the close-by bushes we choose, hunting for snails. Babatunde,
clutching the hunted unfortunate snails that fall on our path in a
black polythene bag with a certain pride that makes being a custodian
endearing to the rest of the boys. And though we trust him to make
sure our harvest did not elope into a haze, as Tolulope and I make
deeper search, we steal quick, frequent glance at Babatunde and
ofcourse, the polythene. Yet this will be only a fraction of our
numerous adventures, only a fleeting episode. And we wouldn't trade
them, not even for video games at Chika's father's lush living room
nor Korede's new leather ball which he wouldn't allow you play until
you give a solemn promise you would not kick the ball too hard. If you
do, it may damage too quickly, he says. Tolulope, Babatunde and I had
non of these rubber toys, and convincing ourselves we are too big to
punch all day at plastic game pads and run about chasing oval leather,
we created our own activity.


This afternoon however, we are not out searching for snails neither
are we picking fights nor crown corks. We had a new company; a bicycle
which riding we shared among us. The others walk behind while you
enjoy your ride till it's someone else's turn. We shared many more
things afterwards that gave us bigger problems to fall into, new
things to fight about and stronger hays to knit our bond with.

Chris Tilewa is a young Nigerian who writes, and still dreams about
his first book. Presently lives within the boarders between Lagos and
Ogun state.

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