in Short stories

Before the Goal

Igbeyinladun had the regular childhood of a Male child in Nigeria. Introduced to dry humping at age 5 by his cousin. Constantly sexually abused by adult female relatives until he was of age. Such news never got out of his mouth because like in other cases where the kids had summoned the courage to relate, they get hushed.

“You are not a girl, it won’t affect anything in you. Maa binu, I will tell your aunt to stop it” was what Deji next door got from his mother when he reported his aunt for sexually abusing him so Igbeyinladun didn’t bother to tell his own mother about his. Worse is Igbeyin couldn’t tell Deji that Deji’s mother had often invited him in for sex.

Growing up wasn’t all rosy. Igbeyin has had to sell cold soft drinks and water in traffic. That period of his life was so busy. Selling in the hot sun in the afternoon and going to pour some chemical substances on new roads to create more selling points at night. “If roads are good and smooth, there would be no traffic jams. No traffic jam brings ruin to the business”.

Igbeyin wasn’t going to be involved in such ruin to social amenities until some passengers made away with his money after buying cold soft drinks. Then he thought to himself, if the road had potholes, he would have been able to catch up with the bus.

From the street to the market, all was hustling. Moving to the Yaba market was an upgrade from the roadside runs. Igbeyin had no store, but he was one of those guys that stay at the entrance of the market, screaming “fine girl,ki lo fe’ while dragging the supposed customers. Sometimes, it could be more than two of his boys dragging. “Check here”, “na Jean you want, look at me now” while professionally groping the breasts of the unsuspecting customers. Only professionals do this well without getting slapped or embarrassed. Igbeyin was one of the experts at this, either it is the front side or backside, he could press at will without getting caught.

The market was fun, he made little amount to keep up with daily needs from taking customers to stores to buy goods at inflated prices, enjoyed the gist of the sexual assault they carried out on customers in the boys’ circle and the way they insult and body shame unassuming customers who protest such harassment.

Such was Igbeyin’s life until he miraculously got lucky and found his way to Malaysia. It wasn’t an easy ride. Challenges came but like a sharp guy, he went through the waters and came out victorious. The cult clashes could have been the end of Igbeyin but God was kind enough to him. “I don’t know why we will leave our country for her terrible economy, get through to a place with a better structure, an economic powerhouse and all we could think of doing is transferring the curse of our land to the new land by engaging in cultism” he has told a friend.

In it and through it all, Igbeyin struggled day and night, worked as a horse just the way his Malaysian bosses loved it. It didn’t take long before he rose to abundance. Igbeyin knew too well that it was foolish to be sending money home to own an asset,” the number 1 thing is, cement will be ร—5 of the actual price. What of sand and every other thing? Worse is you get to Nigeria and noticed you have no land talkless of a house. Well, if your own relatives are kind, you could get land out of millions of money sent home for a house” his point. Igbeyin instead invested in Malaysia and got citizenship by investment.

Two weeks ago, Igbeyinladun had returned home with his kid. He couldn’t have a successful marriage because he still despises sex as he constantly has flashbacks on those abuse from his early years and wouldn’t be the one to have it often. So his wife had divorced him shortly after the birth of his son. He stayed single after. He was back home for good. He has a goal and he was going to achieve it. He was ready to build a legacy in his country of birth. Create wealth opportunities for children like him who hawk on the streets of Lagos.

The first thing he made to do was watch a football match at the viewing center two days after he got back. While his mother queried why he couldn’t do that at home, Igbeyin explained that “the atmosphere in the viewing is what I miss so much. The emotion of soccer can only be felt in that centre; the songs, the banter, and noise. That’s why I’m going out to watch, it won’t take time”

Igbeyin got in the viewing center just before the match started. Someone had just mistakenly unplugged the Television while struggling to charge his phone. He was lucky the match hadn’t started, he would have been dead meat. Igbeyin smiled and got a good view. The match started. Liverpool versus Tottenham, Champions League final.

Just at the 87th minute, a minute before Liverpool scored the second goal that sealed the club’s glory, there was a bang that shook the viewing center. In a flash, everyone was running and trying to make sense of what had happened. Igbeyin was in a pool of blood. “Stray bullet, stray bullet!!! “He is dying, carrying him”.

Igbeyin’s veins were gushing out blood like a burst pipeline. Nothing could be done to control the flow of blood and in a few minutes, Igbeyin was gone just before the goal, just before his goal.

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30 Comments

  1. This is deep … I can feel a deep hole through my heart, maybe itโ€™s the bullet ๐Ÿ˜ฅ. I love the way you got my attention about a boy who came from the dirt and rose to the top irrespective of his background and how his childhood has been stolen psychologically. Itโ€™s so sad he left the world at the point where he wanted to make a difference. I believe he was shot by one of the Cult members he thought was past tense. Iโ€™ve learnt a lot from this, thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ

  2. Oh my. Such a good read, my heart broke into a thousand pieces at the end. Sad thing is thatโ€™s the reality of our society and our country. Itโ€™s just a vicious cycle of decayed values .๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฉ. I would definitely visit your blog from time to time . Well done!

  3. Ohh such a good read and very relatable, same reason why people who live outside home dread going back.
    So many dreams and goals perished in a flash, welldone my love ๐Ÿ’›

  4. Hmmmm Muna…. This one never disappoints. He couldn’t see the goal and reached his goal!๐Ÿ˜ข……๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

  5. This is a beautiful piece. The sad truth about Nigeria and everything wrong with the system.
    Well done babes. More power to you.

  6. As usual, it is another beautiful piece from you Muna. I didn’t have the slight idea the story would end in a sad way like that ๐Ÿ˜ข ๐Ÿ˜ข, Muna with the tragic reality stories ๐Ÿ‘ . You creatively revisited the sad story of Kolade Johnson who got hit by stray bullet,may God continue to be pleased with him and help the family. Thanks for forcing the lazy me read anytime you post. Another great one, well done ๐Ÿ‘

  7. Gosh!!! What a tragic story! This story, like others you’ve written, captures the unfortunate state of the society we live in. We are victims of the many problems we create for ourselves. As for the protagonist, I thought Providence would have allowed him to make the difference he has determined to implement. Yet, we should not forget the English axiom that ” The evil that men do, lives after them.” Tragic!

  8. Dang!

    What a sad ending, “He left, just before the goal, just before his goal”
    Life is can be unfair to the people who doesn’t deserve it but nature always win, at the end.
    A good read, full of reflective lines.

    Well done Muna!

  9. It is a good story. The writer weaves the plot via the combination of the aesthetics of African naming system (Igbeyinladun) and cross national literature.

    The writer probes into societal issues like poverty, poor standard of living, survival, cultism and other post-independence disillusionments in the 21st century Nigerian society. She also weaves her plot with imageries (especially sexual) that depict youthful exuberance in the postmodern era.

    Generally, the short story expresses themes that a novel would express.

    However, the brilliant writer should develop further– the plot and give more details on the character, and setting.

    #Thumbs– it made my night!

  10. Amazing piece… It is quite sad how society thinks that sexual abuse will/does not affect a male child, i have heard this several times, and i often marvel at our obvious ignorance… If only we knew how adverse psychological effect can be.

  11. Oh wow!
    I actually thought this was one of those happy ending pieces, but this story captured the reality of life itself…how brutal and merciless life and karma – or just life – can be.

  12. First, I thought the story was about cooperative because of the name “igbeyinladun” but ahh! Well, what goes around comes around…….such is life. He had the opportunity to choose a better life when he got there. So many people had gone through this and many people will still fall victim. Hmmm

    You killed it again sis