Uncle Bad Eyes

— storytime —

In this country, a boss should always be bald and have a very big belly. My uncle isn’t bald, he hasn’t got a big belly, and you don’t realize, the first time you see him, that he’s the actual boss of a big office in the center of town, where everything is brown like the husk of dry season’s groundnut. My uncle will sit on his big chair and shout at the boys who work for him. His mouth will be opened so wide, and I imagine him swallowing the boys who work for him. His shouts make me afraid, and whenever I visit him, the chair in his office will be pinching my buttocks.

He always visits us in our house. He’ll sit on the biggest chair, and place his leg on top of the other. His eyes will be looking at everything. When his eyes meet the picture of Mummy and Daddy on the wall in their wedding clothes, he’ll frown so much that he’ll look like chimpanzee. Mummy doesn’t know he does that. Mummy will be happy bringing food for him. I wish Mummy will catch him one day looking at their picture like that. I’ll also like Daddy to catch him, but Daddy might not do anything, because every time he nods and nods when uncle speaks.

— storytime —

My uncle is a very big man, but he doesn’t look like a big man. He looks simple like the truck driver that live in front of our house in Nsukka. He will wear old clothes and old cap and slippers every time. I like him simple like that, but I don’t like his character. He’ll shout very well at people, and look at people with very bad eyes. The eyes will become eye eight and make him look like a wizard. Any time I am with him, he’ll be looking at me with that kind of eyes.

I want to grow up. I want to be like James at the back of our house. James isn’t old like Daddy, Mummy and uncle, but he has big muscles. James is a small man, Mummy said that. Every time, James will be shouting at his parents for making him do what he doesn’t like. The other day, he throws their TV at their father, and the TV break into pieces on the ground. He’s stubborn and foolish, Mummy said that, and people like him will end up bad. I don’t like him very well.

— storytime —

I dream that I’ll grow fast like the white big chickens, and tomorrow, I’ll be twenty. I’ll become a small man like James. I’ll not be lazy like James, and I’ll not sit around every day at home. Mummy and Daddy will not have to quarrel with me every time. I’ll be a strong and good small man, but I’ll first not let Mummy and Daddy send me to uncle’s office again, and I’ll ask uncle to stop visiting us.

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