I knocked on the door of apartment twenty-four for the third time. The smell of iru (locust beans) filled the hallway. If I do not get this food in soon, occupants of the second floor will call Mr Theodore, the building manager, about the odd smell in the building. I shook my head and knocked louder. Footsteps approached the door. Tamuno opened it, his towel wrapped around his waist; dark hair covered his broad chest. When he looked down at me, his shaved head glistened. He looked well-groomed with a goatee.
“Bros, good evening,” I said, handing him the plastic bag of food.
“You try for me, Ade. I swear! Ever since you introduced me to this restaurant I’ve been hooked! They put something for the food?” Tamuno joked. I chuckled.
He invited me into the living room. I walked in as he grabbed his wallet on the arm of the recliner. He pulled out a wad of dollar bills and began to count them. I looked away. The living room was furnished with expensive furniture – the dark brown recliner complemented the seven-seater leather sectional and ottoman. He pressed the dollar bills into my hand and walked me to the door.
“That’s for your transportation and for tomorrow’s lunch. Please buy me the stew with cow feet and ponmo next time.” I chuckled and teased him about the weight he would start gaining. When we got to the door, I reminded him of the IT position I applied for at his workplace. “Did you have a chance to talk to the HR. manager yet? You’re one of my references, bros.”
“I haven’t had a chance. You know I just got back from this business trip, and I’m in the middle of bringing my wife over.”
“Oh yes! Congrats! When does she arrive?”
He smiled.“She’ll be here in less than a month!”
“You said she’s a minister’s daughter, right? Which one?” I asked.
“Not that it matters, but she’s the daughter of the Minister of Works and Housing.”
His phone rang somewhere in the apartment. He said he had to go. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He closed the door in my face before I could answer.
In this short story collection, Nike Campbell-Fatoki filters the lives of contemporary Nigerians through a colorful and vivid prism, where past sins come to upset settled lives, where lost lives fuel a campaign for a better future and nothing is as it seems. She explores well-known themes but delves a little deeper, questioning our ideas about people, our impressions and prejudices.
Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon depicts the struggles of a young ambitious and hardworking Nigerian abroad with the same insightful candor as it does the tale of a brilliant but broken woman struggling with mental illness.