“The corona virus turns people to ten-headed lizard like monsters that feeds on human flesh” I told Obi. We were walking down Adeniyi street to ‘dry shop’ as we called it to eat fufu and egusi soup. “you have come again oh, Chinaza Ikeji” he replied. “The worse is you’ll not know you’re infected until after two days then you’ll go rogue” I gesticulated looking certain. “Okay, I believe you, can we eat now?” He said. We had entered the shop,taken our seats and ticked on the digital menu what we wanted. Obi and I were in our 5th year of marriage when the pandemic hit China. He believed the virus could not affect Nigerians because CHI our guide built a barrier that prevented any infected person from entering. The whole place would look like a dark scary cave, so dark the person would run back. So traditional! I thought. I didn’t believe it anyway. “Obi we need to get tested oh” I said. A dark look crossed his face, he shook it as quickly as it came and said yes.
We were halfway through our food when I realised that we did not buy water to drink. Dry shop, remember? I washed my hand, dried it and left to buy two bottles of water. I hated having to leave my food halfway,I just didn’t understand how a food shop will not serve water to customers. I scowled at the ‘no water here’ sign below the name of the shop, kicked the door open and was greeted by chaos. The waiter was slung over our table, his mouth hung open as though he screamed ‘ahhh’ when he died and his heart was missing.I shuddered. Others were lying in one awkward position or the other. Obi was no where in sight. I ran.
The sun slapped my bare head ferociously and I wished it would slap the memory of the waiter away. I decided to check shop 24 where he goes to watch football. I entered through the back door. Shop 24 was a decrepit 3-bedroom flat with lopsided doors, one had to lift it to open or close. All the doors were open except one. My heart thumped in my chest. What was I going to find?.The thumping grew louder as the doors groaned shut.
A crack in the roof provided the only light in the room. I heard a faint gurgling from the corner of the room. His foot hadn’t changed yet. He had five heads already, the sixth one was growing, morphing. It was crouched over a body whose gut was open and he ate from it as he ate the fufu just minutes ago. My blood curled. “Obi” I squeaked. It stopped feeding. “Obim” I squeaked again.