It was evening by the time the ashen-faced delivery man came to Kelechi’s doorstep holding a package. He gave Kelechi the customary greeting of a sideways smile and a nod, and held out the clipboard for him to sign.
“You’ve never come this late before,” Kelechi said, glancing at his watch. It was 6p.m. He took the rota and scanned it for his details.
“I know,” the delivery man said. “I had a lot of deliveries. Yours came last-minute.”
Kelechi knew better than to draw out the matter. “Yeah,” he said, “your oga is the devil, you’ve told me.”
“Bros, you don’t know the half of it,” came the exasperated reply.
Kelechi returned the clipboard.
“Have a nice day, sir,” the man said.
“Sure, you too.”
Kelechi stood at the door, and watched as the delivery man began to drive off. He waved, and the man tooted his horn in reply. The truck turned a bend and was soon gone from sight.
Kelechi stood for a bit, and looked around. Satisfied that he was alone, he went inside. He locked the door, turning the key in it twice, and then he padlocked the burglar-proof gate.
Gingerly, he stepped into his living room. He sat down on a couch and placed the box on the table. It took up almost all the space. Kelechi didn’t open it. Instead, he went to the fridge and poured himself a glass of water. He sipped from it and stood, looking at the parcel on the dining table.
He took a large gulp, finishing the contents of the glass. He shifted his gaze from the table to the door. Then he began to count under his breath.
“One, two, three, four, five, six…”
There was a knock on the door.
Kelechi went to sit down. He looked at the door, then at the package, then at the door again.
“One, two, three, four, five, six…” he counted again.
There was another knock.
Kelechi’s teeth clenched involuntarily, and he brought his hands together; his palms wrapped tightly over his keys. He could get the scent of their metal; caused by his sweat.
“One, two, three, four, five, six…” he counted once more, this time in his mind, and very slowly.
There came a third knock. Kelechi gasped.
A white envelope slipped under the door, and then there was silence.
Kelechi cleared his throat and went towards the door. He picked up the envelope. Nothing was written on the side. He opened it. Inside was a small, white, well designed, rectangular-shaped card.
“You are cordially invited” the card read. ♦
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