80 years after 1886, the math yields 1966, this was the year I turned 16. Karl Benz created the first in 1886, my Dad bought his first from the dealer, Lorenz in 1966.
This was different from any new stuff we had ever gotten. Somehow, everyone worshipped her. We called her Lara and she was one of the few things that would make my Dad para.
Twice a week, my Dad took Lara out and my elder brother and I always accompanied him. Seeing how Dad drove Lara drove us crazy. With every wheeling, turn, kilometre, we watched with emotions bursting between shock, jealousy, joy, and gusto. After four fortnights of the same routine, we knew how to move all fours.
Lara was beautiful and we could fully control her in our heads alone. How hard could it be to do it in reality? One fateful morning, Dad faithfully performed his rituals with Lara. He cleaned her wheels, filled her tanks, warmed her from low reactions to loud ones usually followed with a mix of white and black releases. She would literally be SMOKING hot. We stood by the balcony and watched him fire as he always did.
He wasn’t going to take Lara out for his date today and Banku, my brother and I decided to bring to life all our thoughts with Lara. It shouldn’t be too hard we thought, and if it was, we were sure as to which pedal brought her to a halt.
Ten minutes after Dad left, we were the only ones in the house as the women had gone to the market. We beamed with confidence, soaked in fear and stood face to face with her. Dad always parked her close to the wall, I’m sure he didn’t intend to but the compound was quite “big”. In seconds, we were living our dreams. We drove a few metres forward and backward and she equally drove us crazy. It was almost magical but we were wise enough to let her be after a few rounds. We smiled like goats in hot water as we walked briskly back to the house. We were heroes! Controlling Lara made us feel like we had superpowers.
We got into the house and started to play a game of chess but Banku was losing again and thought sleeping off was a smarter way of saying “I quit”. Ten minutes into his sleep, Lara was all over my mind. I would have resisted the temptation but as one of our neighbours, Tye used to say, “If he did it before, he can do it again….” I ran out and jumped right into Lara. Unknown to me, the last time we drove Lara few minutes ago, we left her ready to go, she was still in gear! Immediately I said “Hi Lara” this time, she jerked forward and hit my Mumu button. I became a big Mumu and put both hands on my head. I had destroyed the family god. I brought Lara to the position I met her from her the last person who entered and ran upstairs to lie beside Banku.
Dad came late that night and slept off almost immediately. The next morning, Dad went out to perform his ritual but today, the ritual was going to get a living sacrifice! Dad was going to kill me. I went outside and saw my Dad behaving as though he were mentally disturbed. He was trying to use his spit to fix a broken bumper. I was definitely the living sacrifice for that morning’s ritual. Immediately he asked me “What happened to Lara?” I saw Banku coming out and pointed to him. Banku looked at the car and immediately knew that I went to play away match but he was an Arsenal fan and decided to collect asina (we still beat him) for me. He didn’t say a word in denial and collected all the slaps, and insults from Dad.
You know that feeling when you copy an assignment from a friend and the teacher calls you to the staff room praising you for being too intelligent in front of all the other teachers but you know that you and your generation are Muslims. (You can Lai Lai i La Lai) That is exactly how I felt but I said nothing.
After Dad ministered to Banku for about thirty minutes, I waited for him to come share the instant testimony in our room. I asked him why he didn’t say anything and he said, it doesn’t matter now, you’re free. Banku loves me like no other, I always knew this, but nothing proved it like this sacrifice.
Till next year’s family reunion, Dad still thinks Banku is the one who defiled Lara and has never had any reason to blame me. As long as Banku had taken the beating, insults and blames, his sacrifice of love made me free forever.
Michael Akinrogunde (AMA Psalmist) is an empowering creative individual who seeks to improve and add values to lives via his range of proficiencies; which span across writing, design, singing and creative directing. He is a Christian and lover at heart. He runs a personal blog, makes music, and works professionally as a graphic/motion graphics designer.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Covenant University. He has two song credits – “Bolutife”and “Gentleman Cover”, and is poised to create more great sounds. He has participated and won a number of competitions themed around film-making and writing nationally and internationally.
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