"Two Bags Of Weed" A Short Story By Anthony Madukwe
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August 12, 2017 at 8:17 am #1057882
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The first bag of weed is not really a bag in the true sense of it. It is made of thin black nylon, dirty, scratched at different spots, and, as at the time this story begins, resting on a wooden table at the center of the room. The room I speak of smells of badly smoked fish and stale human sweat. If you will be patient with me, I will come round to telling you about the second bag in a minute.
The room is on the third floor of a run-down apartment building that is so run-down that it does not have a landlord. This is primarily because no landlord is bold enough to demand rent from the kind of people that live there. Some years ago, the building was the subject of a legal battle between two entitled relatives who week after week covered the outer walls with white papers of conflicting court injunctions. Time and again, police vans pulled up to whisk dozens of ‘illegal’ occupants away. Only for the place to be filled up the very next week with even more aggressive and just as equally entitled tenants who sold local gin in front of the building and brought in their pregnant girlfriends. At some point, the police vans stopped coming and the papers covering the walls faded into grimy dirt.
Nobody is paying attention to the bag on the table at first because bags of weed are normal in this room and in this building. Beside the bag is a box of matches, an unused condom, a silver ring and a crumpled #50 note which has dark oil stains on it. There is a bed in the room too – just a mattress actually – even though most of the time the people who live there are found sprawled on the room’s floor which has no carpet. A long time ago, there used to be a carpet in the room, but it became so tattered from fingernail scratches inflicted when the room’s owners were ‘high’ that one morning, surprised that they were sober enough to even do what you may call thinking, they made the decision to simply rip it off. Now, blunt and blackened fingernails told the stories of the journeys their writhing bodies made when the marijuana hit the right spot. From outside a small window which is missing three louvre slats the sound of street music can be heard. The music is hip hop – local rap I think.
A man walks into the room from the room’s toilet pulling lightly at the belt on his waist and approaches the table. He is tall and dark-skinned and has on a white t-shirt that says I LOVE NY with a large red heart shape representing the LOVE. His face has this pedestrian kind of handsomeness. You know, the kind of face that looks good when, walking past, you see it for the first time, but becomes less aesthetic when that first glance becomes a second and – more scrutinizing this time – a third. I mean, the more you focus on it, the less convinced you are that the crunched up lips, slightly drooping eyes and hooked nose should pass as handsomeness. But, that’s by the way. He pauses in front of the table and finishes fumbling with his belt. Then he picks up the silver ring and slips it into a finger on his left hand, grabs the bag of weed firmly in his right and leaves the room. He does not bother to lock the door.
When he exits the building from a back entrance onto a dirty side street, he sees a boy with a soccer ball in his hand crossing the road to his side of the street. He seems to know the boy because as he crosses the street too and passes the boy, he pauses to rub the kid’s head gently with his left hand, the one that has the silver ring on it. The bag of weed is still held tightly in his right. On the side of the street where the boy has crossed to, there is a man carrying a young crocodile on his head. The mouth of the reptile is wound shut with a blue rope, but it still makes little wriggles on the man’s head. Most likely he intends to sell the crocodile to a local ritualist or cook it for dinner. Neither the other man nor the little boy with a ball bother to look at the man carrying the crocodile. This is because, just like weed and buildings without landlords, things like this are normal around here.
The other man walks past several blocks of buildings and enters a restaurant called Toothies. There are only about 10 persons in the restaurant scattered across several tables. Ignoring everyone, he finds a table at a dark corner of the room and sits down. Two tables from him, a woman is trying unsuccessfully to stop her baby from crying and another woman in the table next to hers is turning and doing this cooing sound to help calm the little demon but which only makes the baby wail louder. The man sits in silence for several minutes until the door swings open and he is joined by a woman who is wearing dark shades and scratching at her arm. The woman is obviously jittery even though she tries to hide it by pulling down gently on the expensive jacket she has on. She casts several glances at the door making sure no one has followed her in before sliding into a seat opposite the man.
“That’s a nice jacket you have on there, Angela”, the man says. “Really nice”
“I said your jacket is nice”
“Yeah….or don’t you think so?”
“I don’t know Ola. If you expect me to say thank you”, she says, “I won’t” . Her eyes are still focused on the door and she is trying hard not to scratch her itching arm
“Of course I wasn’t expecting”, he says. “It’s not like you tell me many nice things”
“Don’t worry” he continues. “You have my money?”
“Of course I do, why would you even ask me that?” she replies
She pulls out a thin wad of cash from a black purse which has been under her arm and pushes it towards Ola. He looks at it briefly in the dim light coming from above the service counter behind them, picks it up without counting it and shoves it into his pocket. Then he uses his right leg to shuffle the bag of weed from underneath his chair and silently nudges it with his foot until it touches her leather shoe. Then he stands up and walks out of the restaurant.
The woman waits for 20 minutes before she pulls out a larger bag which was folded into her purse. This bag is white and has many fancy designs on it. She reaches down between her legs and picks the bag of weed and drops it into the other bag. Then she stands up, smoothens down her jacket and leaves the restaurant with the bag in her hand. She walks several blocks, occasionally glancing behind her to make sure she is not being followed until she reaches a street where she has packed her car. She drives to her home, a two-storeyed mansion with a gate that has huge regal spikes. A security man rushes to open the gate and let her in. She drives in, parks and walks into the house and up the stairs into a room with a large bed in a corner. On a bedside table is a framed photo of the woman and a man both wrapped in their arms and sharing a laugh. She walks to the table and gently holds the top of the picture frame with her thumb and forefinger slowly bending it towards the table until it is lying face down on the mahogany surface.
Then she locks the door and goes to sit on the bed. She takes off her jacket, her shoe and then lies down on the bed looking towards the ceiling and grinning stupidly at nothing that appears funny on the white painted ceiling. After a while, she stands up and pulls out the bag of weed. Then she begins to wrap them in the way Ola taught her the first time they met, pulling out thin streeks of weed and rolling them up in small sheets of paper. She finds a lighter in one of the bedside drawers and lights the first wrap. Two minutes later, the room is almost fully covered in smoke and the woman is beginning to have realistic hallucinations of flying. The flower designs on the ceiling and the slowly turning fan have become unrecognizable blurry images and she resumes her foolish grinning. After smoking for two hours nonstop, she reaches into her purse, pulls out a tiny silver gun and presses it against her temple. Taking one last pull from the wrap of weed in her hand, she squeezes the trigger.
Several miles away, the second bag of weed – the one I told you about earlier – is dumped on a dirty table by a hand with a silver ring on it.
.August 12, 2017 at 10:40 am #1057932August 12, 2017 at 10:48 am #1057935August 12, 2017 at 11:58 am #1057960August 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm #1057996August 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm #1058025
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the end ke??? abeg continueAugust 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm #1057970
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just like thatAugust 12, 2017 at 5:45 pm #1058082