I have started more stories than I have relationships. And hardly have I ever gotten halfway with any. Not my relationships, the stories. It's always the same pattern; magical first date with the idea. Hot romp throughout the weekend. And three weeks later, I'd forgotten we ever met.
Anyway, here's the preface of a story that's stayed with me for years, despite my best efforts to forget about it. We call it Broke Boys.
Broke Boys began as a joke, and in many ways, it still is one. Easter was by the corner. Sister was on her way over. Babe had to make over-procrastinated market runs. Car was one drive away from breaking down. And my Xbox game-pad, the real bae for the holiday, had broken down beyond repair.
I needed cash more than oxygen. The one I got from my employer 18 days ago, finished 17 days ago. That may seem like cliché, but I’ve got the excel sheets. Sandwiched between loan repayments (to bank and friends) and statutory transfers (to family and friends), as well as a spread of household bills, my last month pay had been chopped down to about 25k left. I needed at least 100k to make the Easter right.
I looked to turn to Niyi, but quickly remembered that there was no way I could ask him for till month end. His wife had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl 6 days ago. As a matter of fact, I was owing them something for the baby, especially after fighting off Ehis to be the baby’s godfather. Yes, Ehis! I call him, “bro, abeg help me with 100k, once them pay…”
“You’re one day late bro,” he cuts in. “Ebenezer borrowed 150k from me yesterday. He’s been on my neck since December, when he got married."
“I’ll murder Ebenezer,” I swear. We laugh. “Call Jude na,” Ehis tells me.
“Murdafucker is getting married next month,” I respond.
“Shit!” he screams. “I never pay for their material.”
“You don drop your 50k contribution?”
“For wia!” he retorts.
“Oboi.” I chip in. “Thank God say I don drop that one. Ehen, na wetin finish my moni be that!” I add. “Make I call Ladipo see whether him fit help my life.”
“Don’t think he has though,” Ehis informs me. “He just asked me for 20k this morning.”
“Shit mehn,” I sigh. “We’re broke boys.”
Ehis concurs. We laugh about it.
“We should totally write a book with that title,” I joke.
We laugh more. And the rest, you can say, is still a joke.