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JAIYEOLA - By Prudence Onaah

Ayo and Jaiyeola were just stepping out of the hot water stream when the tour guide mentioned that Arinta waterfall was close by; lying beautifully in Arinta village. The two were exploring Ekiti for the last time after their passing out parade and Ikogosi quickly came to mind. They had heard a lot about Arinta waterfall but did not know that it was within reach of Ikogosi. They quickly took the chance to visit both resort areas in one day.

‘How do we get there?’ Jaiyeola asked the tour guide.

‘I’ll take you but it will cost you three kay (3k),’ the guide responded simply.

The two boys stepped aside a little to discuss funds before agreeing to go with the guide. They did not seem to have a choice though because Ikogosi was far from the city and there were no commercial vehicles here talk more of ones going to Arinta village.

They had heard a lot of things about the waterfall from Gorillas falling off when Governor Fayemi tried to make the place a little accessible, to spirits residing in the water that made it respond to the volume of human voice. The more you shouted, the tale went, the higher the intensity with which the water fell.

Both boys were elated by the time they arrived the fall. The entrance fee was negligible and it was an actual mountain. The water seemed to live halfway on the mountain.

They soon settled into the water and began to swim. Jaiyeola felt the urge to ease himself. He began to go for his boxer when Ayo called him out on it.

‘You want to ease yourself in the water we are bathing abi? Better look for a corner to ease yourself.’

‘Do you know what might have been done here? No matter where I ease myself, it is water that is everywhere. Maybe someone has already shit inside this water sef. You are bathing and laughing inside and even drinking some of the water.’ Jaiyeola said as he climbed out of the water.

He walked off towards a rocky enclosure to answer nature’s call but was still at it when he saw something black. It was lying innocently beneath a tree that had roots shaped like a snake. Jaiyeola was scared but his curiosity got the better of him and he moved closer. He picked a stick and used it to pull out whatever it was. It was a bag.

‘Who would have kept their bag here,’ he thought and nudged the bag with the stick before picking it up. As he opened it, the rest of his urine poured generously down his legs.

The bag fell off his hands when he discovered the contents. It was mint notes of one thousand naira each. He had just stumbled on a fortune. But who is to say it was real money? With all the tales of Arinta waterfall, he had heard.

He did not get to the corpers’ lodge before he alighted. He told the driver to stop when he got to Wema Bank and he stepped out, ignoring a perplexed Ayo. He hurried in and soon got the money deposited in his new Alat account.

 

When he blinked, however, he was still standing over the bag. He spat on it and nothing happened.  He then picked it up. He checked the contents again and hugged the bag in euphoria.

‘What will he do with it now?’ He thought.    

‘Leave it Jaiyeola,’ he turned to see a second him walking over from behind him.

‘Take it,’ he heard his voice again but this time from across the tree.

He did not know who these were. Maybe the spirits have worn his body but whatever he was seeing, he was not yet ready to let the money go. He hugged the bag tighter.

‘Drop the money,’ the first version of himself said. ‘You know it’s election period. What if it is sacrificial money? You better drop the money if not you will die.’

 

Jaiyeola dropped the money in obedience and ran off to meet Ayo who was calling him.

 

‘This may be all the blessing you need that Ekiti is giving you,’ the second version of himself brought him the bag. ‘Remember where you are coming from. Have you ever seen this kind of money in your life? Carry this money o. Don’t miss this opportunity.’

‘What will I tell Ayo and the tour guide? I was not with any bag,’ he asked this version of himself.

‘Wrap it around your cloth and wear only your boxer. You will be in the car. No one will see you,’ the third Jaiyeola responded.

‘How will you travel with this kind of evil money even if you succeed in taking it out of this place?’ The first version of himself asked.

‘You will not travel with it,’ the second version of himself said. ‘You will simply go and open a WEMA Bank account and deposit the money.’

‘This money is about five hundred thousand naira. Which account do you want to open with this kind of money as a corper?’ The first version of himself asked.

‘Corper is not written on the face,’ the second version of himself said. ‘Take the money and open Wema Alat as a businessman; importer, exporter.’

Jaiyeola collected the bag just when he heard Ayo shouting his name again. The bag fell off his hand into the stream and began to float away. The money spilled into the water and Jaiyeola jumped into the water chasing the swimming notes and screaming as he picked them up.

‘You people should help me pick it now,’ he said to the two versions of himself. ‘They will leave me here o and we will trek to Ado today. Aye yin.’

‘Jaiyeola,’ Ayo called again and began approaching him. ‘What are you doing there?’ Ayo asked in surprise.

‘Mò n jayé olá nâ nî’ he screamed and continued chasing the scattered notes.


ABOUT THE WRITER:

Prudence Onaah is a writer by passion and has diversified interests and experience in fiction and nonfiction writing. She is fun loving, adventurous and is a born tourist.

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