You hate yourself. You hate your name – Jamiu. You hate everything about you. Nobody loves you but nobody hates you.
You are seated on a bench in a park. Like your life, the evening is bland. You stare into the park as students in twos or threes walk pass, probably from classes. You see some of your coursemates too. They remind you of a class you deliberately missed.
Your heart stops and restarts painfully as you remember your first semester result. Everything about it proves your father’s words:
“You are good for nothing.”
He once hated you. He used to call you his biggest mistake… that if he wasn’t thinking with his manhood, you wouldn’t have happened. His eyes told you how much he loathed you – the way he stared at you as you missed a word or two while reciting the hadith. Yusuf never missed a word.
He is proud of Yusuf – your younger step-brother. Well, he is everything you are not; born in wedlock and brilliant.
You miss your step-mother. She would smile at you, tell you you have your father’s eyes and make you crack a smile. You remember how much her smile had waned on her deathbed. Cancer had eaten up the only source of love you knew. She died and so did your father’s hatred for you. You became almost non-existent to him.
The sound of a fallen almond fruit jolts you back to the present. You check the time on your wrist-watch.
5:37pm. It is nearly time.
You remember your meeting with Mallam Usman. Your father who hasn’t called you in ages called you today.
“Bring Allah’s judgement on this world of infidels, at least you’ll be good for something.”
His words ring in your head. You look towards the shuttle park at the crowd of students. You stare at the detonator in your hand. You want to be good for something.
You walk out of the park, down the road into a building in construction.
You push the button on the detonator.
At least, you were good at disappointing your father.