Tag Archives: woman

ALONE?

Remi has a simple, easily predictable lifestyle. 

As a working class woman, the  official closing time from work is 5pm. So once it’s 5 on the dot, she’s done for the day, and thats it.

  With about 15 minutes needed to pack her things together and get to the parking lot, she’s always out of the company building by 5:15pm.

She immediately turns right, and driving at a constant speed of 50kph, it takes her 20 minutes to get home. Exactly 20 minutes.

Everyday.

And then she pulls into the driveway, gets her house keys and walks up to the porch, house keys in her left hand. By 5:37pm on workdays, she’s to be found in front of her house, unlocking the door and slipping inside.

She doesn’t go anywhere on weekends, except when she has to replenish her store of foodstuff and that occurs every third weekend, during the market days.

You see, Remi’s life is quite nice and cozy, comforting in it’s consistency. So today, like every other workday, she’s at the door by 5:37pm, just turning the lock when she hears a rustle. She doesn’t pay it much attention, infact she doesn’t pay it any attention. She knows the neighbours have a pet of some sort, and it’s most likely the animal was slinking about in the decorative shrubbery. Nothing to bother about. How much damage could it do?

It’s at that precise moment that she feels the touch of something cold and heavy in her side. Involuntarily, she is rooted to the spot, quaking with fear. Her eyes travel slowly downwards and she finds a gun pressed nicely to her waist. Like it wants to give her a big hug. Muzzle-first.

Shielded between her lithe frame and the stranger holding it, the gun isn’t obvious to anyone nearby, and besides, she hadn’t gone to any trouble trying to establish any level of camaraderie with her neighbors.

They wouldn’t even notice if she went missing. The thought hits her like a brick between the eyes. Unbidden, a hot tear makes it’s way out and trickles down her cheek.

The stranger holding a gun to her side orders her with a rough voice:

“Lock the door and come with me, no funny business now. I don’t want to have to do anything stupid.”

Docile, fearful, she obeys, twisting the key in the lock and hearing the sharp ‘click’ as the tumblers slip back into place, the door once again, locked.

With that sound, all hope abandons her.

She’s walking quietly towards her car, destination unknown when she sees her new neighbor wave to her. He’s a handsome, muscular young man, about the same grade with her. Sometimes he waved to her when he saw her over the shrubbery. Often he’d shout a greeting. But she’s​ never replied a greeting before, and not replying one now wouldn’t be anything new. She prays fervently in her heart that he notices something out of the ordinary. That he calls her back. Anything.

But nothing happens. She’s in front of her car now. When suddenly she hears

“Hello sir, do I know you?” She turns quickly. It’s her neighbor and he’s talking to the stranger.

“No sir, you don’t. I’m Remi’s brother, and I need to take her back home.”

“Back home? She lives here.”

“I mean ‘home’ home. Our mum is sick and she’s been wanting to see Remi for so long. It’s been a while since they’ve spoken. So I’m taking her home to see mummy.”

Time passes as her neighbor considers this tale. Meanwhile Remi is firmly chanting in her head- Please don’t believe him, please don’t believe him, please don’t believe him, please don’t believe-

The neighbor nods, apparently satisfied. So the stranger steers her away from safety. Her eyes widen.

Suddenly, like a cat, he pounces at the stranger and knocks him down, slamming his hand once, twice to the ground. He loses his hold of the weapon. Then his head follows, with one heavy hit against the pavement, the stranger is unconscious.

“Call 911. Do it quick woman, before he comes around.” Even as he talks, he’s producing something shiny from his pocket. It’s a pair of handcuffs. He snaps them around the strangers wrist.

Task complete, he turns to give Remi a long hard look. 

“I’m Chibuzor by the way, your new neighbor. It would do you a fair bit of good to be more friendly to people in the future.”

Soon the police men arrive and bundle the suspect. Chibuzor exchanges a few words with the officers, they salute him and come for her. A few questions and then it’s all over.

Later that week, she gets the details. The stranger was interrogated and the police are able to get his house address. They get a warrant and go in for a search. His house is covered with photos. Photos of Remi. Leaving her car. Entering her car. Eating at a restaurant. Talking to a guy. The guy’s face is peppered with holes, holes made by something being jabbed into the picture repeatedly. There’s a pencil nearby. The photos are all tagged with time slots. 4pm. 3:13pm. 12pm.

When she sees the picture evidence, she confirms that yes, at that precise time, she was doing just that.

But that’s not even the most disturbing thing. Far from it.

In the bedroom, there’s a full wardrobe of clothes, all her exact size. Shoes too. And underwear. Fancy, lace stuff. The windows are  covered with thick red drapes. There’s scented candles at every point in the room. Small heart-shaped pillows litter the place.

There’s a sheer nightgown laid on the thick king-size bed in the center of the room. It’s almost transparent, doesn’t really cover anything.

In one of the locked drawers, they​ find a wrap of cocaine and several packs of condoms and lubricant. Several ‘toys’ are there too. Things would have gone real bad for her if she had been taken back there. But she got lucky.

Thanks to a neighbor who just wouldn’t mind his own business.

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PAID IN FULL part 1

AKIN

Everyone calls me the village rascal. Me? I’m not bothered. I can’t care less what anyone thinks about me. Okay. Perhaps that statement isn’t completely true. There is one person whose opinion actually matters to me. That one person is my brother, Oluwadamilola.

It’s funny, seeing us together, you wouldn’t know he’s my brother. He’s a direct opposite of everything I am. While I’m short and muscular, he’s tall and lanky. I’m as black as the bottom of a clay pot used to the searing heat of a charcoal fire, he’s fair complexioned. I’m loud and aggressive. He’s quiet and peaceful. I can start an argument in an empty room, he detests raised voices.

Kpom! Kpom!!

Someone’s at the door. I lift my head up, listening to make sure it’s my door. The sound comes again, and this time, I’m sure. I move to open it. Standing there is Okon, childhood friend and fellow riff-raff.

“Akin, let’s go to madam Smooth’s bar.” His face splits in a wide grin. The thought of alcohol is the only thing that makes Okon smile. The only thing. I swear the boy is even more useless than I am. And that’s a terrible thing. But then, I also happen to have a deep seated respect for a cold, sweating bottle of ’33’ export lager and so I fetch my shirt and pull it on. Snagging the flip-flops from the backyard, I’m ready to go.

We make our merry way to madam Smooth’s, for a bottle or two and a pinch of trouble and excitement.

An hour and a half later…

Things are a bit blurry. Bottles litter the top of the table where I’m seated. Some of them are rolling about, spilling drops of alcohol on the dusty floor. There’s a small plate containing catfish bones which are all that’s remaining of the peppersoup we ordered a while back. At this point,I’ve had enough of stuffing myself. A bit of trouble would be nice, you know, I can use the exercise.

Something tickles my nostrils and I turn to see a lady swish her way past. She’s wearing a shimmering black gown that just calls me. And calls me. And calls me.

I take a deep breath, inhaling and enjoying the heady feminine perfume that follows her passage like froth in the wake of a fast ship. 

Suddenly someone steps in, rudely blocking my view of that nice-

“Keep your eyes in your head, filthy cow.”

What? Who is this one?

“Infact, I think you should apologise to my girl for staring at her like that.” The bar goes quiet, drunk and half-drunk patrons twisting and turning to get a view of the unfolding drama. But I want no part in it, so I ignore him and grab another bottle from the pile before me. I touch the cold, slender neck to my lips and suck-

WHAM!

The fool slapped me! He slapped me?! That’s unacceptable. Before I even know what I’m doing, my hand shoots​ out, grabs an empty bottle of lager and my fingers wrap around the neck. Then from there, it travels with its prize to the floor. It’s a hard cement floor, underneath all that dust, and the impact shatters the lower half of the bottle, leaving me with jagged, sharp edges. A weapon. I swing around to face the man, this idiot that dared to slap me.

I see the daring in his eyes, he’s daring me to go ahead. Despite trembling with rage, I finally get ahold of myself and start to turn, to settle so I can continue to drink the precious lager, and then the fool has the effontery to smile.

Without thought, I swing the broken bottle into an arc, one that ends in the soft flesh of his belly.

In some sort of demented slow motion, I watch the broken bottle tear through cloth and flesh, a wide crimson gap opening in it’s wake.

Blood spurts from his torn belly, all over me. All over my hands, my shirt. Marking me as his murderer.

While the heat of anger rapidly cooling, I hear Okon’s voice as though from far away…

“A-A-Akin. What have you done?”

The broken bottle, now soaked and dripping with blood falls from my limp fingers to fall to the ground…
To be continued…

FORTITUDE

Cynthia is not your average girl. Abused by foster parents at 8, molested continuously by a series of “uncles” from the onset of puberty, and eventually raped in her last year in a quiet little university, she has suffered through a lot.

The afternoon the rape occurred, she attempted to report the rapist. But the sergeant’s harsh bark of “Wetin you dey find for here?” reduced her enthusiasm to seek redress somewhat.
After timidly explaining what happened to her, the sergeant looked her up and down, not even bothering to hide his leer. Then he cleared his throat and pointed to her skirt, which was a bit tight and form fitting.

Why you sef dress like that?”
That was not what she was expecting. She knew she wouldn’t get any help there so she turned on her heel and left the police station. Roommates at home on hearing of her plight quickly ran a bath and got some food into her. Then they gave her postinor two to take and the incident was never mentioned again.

Now she had finally gotten out of that institution, head held high with a near-perfect result and prepared for a somewhat brighter future. One thing she knew, and this from experience, was just how easy it was to fall into the trap of letting go.

She had a few friends, girls she grew up with, who had similar backgrounds. Among her friends, she knew two girls who had given in to the continuous pressure for looseness and sexual perversion. They had given up and opened their legs. Now gifts poured in like water from open floodgates. Connections were easily made. Everything was at the snap of a finger. For them, they had learnt the fundamental truth.

Use what you have to get what you want.”

And so life was good to them. Or was it? Cynthia was a voracious reader and thanks to informative pamphlets and novels knew of the possibilities of STDs, ritual killings, and all other risks associated with the fast lifestyle. She then made her choice. She would not sell her body for anything.

Arriving at the office, she knocked and waited till she heard the softly uttered reply. “Come in.”

So in she goes, to submit her file to Mr. Adeyanju who sent her a message for a private interview yesterday.
“Miss Cynthia Adams?”
“Yes sir.” He smiles and leans back to study her files, and Cynthia steals the opportunity to study her possible employer.

Mr Adeyanju, a slim soft-spoken fellow wears a pair of tortoise shell glasses with a demure blue dress shirt covered up with a stylishly tailored midnight black suit. He grunts and sniffs as his eyes rove all over the page, marking off items in a mental checklist. Finally he shuffles the papers and clears his throat.
“Cynthia, may I call you Cynthia?” A quick nod of assent “Your credentials are quite good. Personally I approve. Work experience is a little bit low, but then, you did finish school recently.
So I guess it’s all well and good except for one thing.” He closes the file and removes his glasses. Pockets them and produces a handkerchief in one fluid movement. With this, he cleans his brow and steeples his fingers, considering something.

“If you want this job, you have to give something. Is there any particular hotel you prefer?”

“Sir?”

“You know what I mean. Sex. Intercourse. You’re brilliant, I can see that. But you have no money.” A sigh
“Your hand bag has a few years on it. Same with your shoes. The suit is nice. But it’s not really expensive. I know the work of designers when I see them.
I believe you know of the starting salary here. 300,000 naira. More to come with the bonuses and allowances your performance here would attract. An official car after two years. This can change your life. And I decide whether or not you are hired. I have a lot of offers left and right and I’m giving you a chance. But don’t waste my time. Make your decisions and leave my office.”

Cynthia just cannot believe it. After all these years, thinking she had finally gotten a chance at freedom, she is confronted with it again. Her bag drops to the clean tiled floor and objects spill out of it. But Cynthia doesn’t notice it. Her mind is in a turmoil and she seems to not exist in the same world as we do. Eventually a little cough brings her back to reality. Mr Adeyanju is looking at her squarely.

“What will it be? Ball or no ball?”
With tears in her eyes, she gathers herself together, stands a bit straighter and looks her tormentor in the eye.

“No sir. I won’t do this.”

“Good. You’re hired. Resume tomorrow by 8 in the morning.”