By Sarah Oyedo
Sha yo nah b*st*rd.
The girl in red dress from the party was grinding on him. Hard. Only this time, her gown had morphed into a skimpy bum short and her apple shaped derriere was pressing into his fly, twerking rapidly to the beat of the loud pop song blaring from the speakers. Yinka was in heaven. He tried to hold her waist but could not connect with flesh. She was real and intangible; an ephemeral exquisite being conjured from his most recent fantasies bringing him fevered pleasures.
He felt blood rush from his head to accumulate thickly in his groin causing his shaft to harden almost painfully. The music had become more raucous, taking a dramatic loud clanging sound as of metal angrily clashing together. He began to feel the pressing need to pee but was valiantly fighting it off as he was loathe to extricate himself from this wiggling beauty. Shortly the sound from the music turned different as the metallic banging drowned out sound from the speakers. The room began to tilt dangerously and the girl melted into the night like a whiff of rosy smoke.
Yinka blinked rapidly as the fragments of the dream unfurled its fingers throwing him into unfamiliar surroundings. He tried to lift his body off his bed but his head swooned precariously and threatened to fall off so he lay back down. A few more blinks confirmed he was laying on his bed in his room, dressed in boxer shorts and matted in thick sweat. He could vaguely remember getting home and undressing as everything was done in the blurry haze of inebriation.
Earlier that evening, his friends had dragged him along to a birthday party a few blocks away. The atmosphere there was clogged with dense smoke from blazing blunts and shisha, the girls scantily dressed exposing different shades of skin and the booze ran like water. It was just right. A plastic cup filled with cheap whiskey was pressed into his hands as he mingled, shaking hands and swaying stylishly to the tune blaring from the booming speakers. He’d been there for three hours and must have had over 7 cups of drinks ranging from beer, whiskey, palm wine and homemade chapman spiked with weed when she appeared; the girl in red.
She was sheathed in a leather fabric bodycon gown that announced her every curve; from the narrowing of her thin waist to the flare of hips to her high round buttocks, her blatant beauty screamed volumes at him from across the hall. In his alcohol muddled mind, regardless he couldn’t make out her facial features with the low flickering lighting, he thought her perfect. He tried to get closer but his legs would not cooperate and she was surrounded by several dudes, all vying for a dance. He was darkly nursing his drink, eyeing her as she danced and slowly calculating what to say should he get the chance when his friend grabbed his arm and declared it was time they left.
He remembered refusing as he blubbered on about the girl but his friends were having none of it. They wedged him between them and towed him to the car where they deposited him in the back and dropped him off at his gate. He fumbled with his key for a while and it took him no less than 15 minutes to gain entrance into his room. Undressing was as pathetic as his retching painfully on the toilet floor. He later crawled to his bed and fell into a fitful sleep where the past events of the night were reenacted to his fashion by the dream makers. Awake now, he’d deduced enough that the banging in his head was aggravated by external sounds because he could hear the remnants of scraping metal coming from the window end of his room.
Fighting the headache, churning stomach and full bladder, he listened to make sense of the noise. He was sure now, metal was breaking and people were speaking in muted tones just outside of his window. What was going on? Who could be out there by this dead of the night? He wondered, foreboding creeping up his spine. He slowly swiped his hands over the comforter till his hands connected with the small Nokia phone he used for just calls and peered into its screen. It was 7 minutes past 2am.
Just then he heard legs brace the wall and soon, land softly in his room. The air whooshed from him as he scrambled jerkily off the bed. In split seconds, a thousand thoughts whizzed through his mind. Why have hired assassins come to kill him? Who did he offend? oluwa ran mi lowọ, (God help me) he prayed shakily as he quavered to his feet like a day old goat. Slowly now, the footsteps were advancing. Yinka stood rooted to a spot, sober as a priest giving mass and thinking of his mother. If they killed him tonight, who would tell her first? Then the brocade curtain separating him from the invader lifted and he was staring right into the ugly face of a double barreled shotgun.
His legs buckled underneath him at the sight causing him to fall awkwardly on the bed. Shrouded in the darkness, he could no more see the bearer than he could make out the tip of his nose. All he could gather was the fellow was short and stout with heavy arms that boasted bulging biceps. As blood roared behind his ears and his heart thumped loudly he was sure the sound filled the room, he waited for the assassin to say his name. Then he’d know they’d surely come to take his life.
“Get up” the man intoned quietly, the gun trained on him “fast!” Yinka jumped on his feet but backed hurriedly on the bed away from the man till his bare backed kissed the cold, hard wall.
“Come here,” the assassin beckoned with his free hand, motioning for Yinka to approach the middle of the room. Shivering like leaf in harsh harmattan, he scraped his back on the wall until he was standing by the door of his closet putting as much distance as possible between himself and his killer.
“You dey craze? I say come here!” he rushed at Yinka, grabbed him by the small of his neck and roughly shoved him into the room banging his head on the wall in the process. Yinka yelped and grabbed his forehead. His fear, the assassin’s tension blended into the air making it almost too stiff to breathe in.
“Get up” he said again, this time the gun inches away from his target’s head. Yinka slowly got up.
“Please no kill me sir” he begged tearfully “Na only me my mama born. Only me sah”. The next thing he saw was blinding light shatter before his eyes as red hot pain exploded in his head. The man had dealt him a backhanded slap across the face.
“Shut up! I no won hear you talk again if not I go leave my boots for your kidney” he whispered harshly, fingers digging holes in the nape of Yinka’s neck.
“Now open your door small small.” He placed the gun in the small of his back and with it propelled Yinka forward towards the door. Blinking back hot tears, he unlatched the hook of his door as he was told and opened it whilst lifting it up at the hinges to muffle any creaking sounds.
“Oya waka go open the entrance door to una compound” his assailant instructed again, voice cold and reeking of unspoken threat. This time, it dawned on Yinka what was happening; therey were more of them outside and he was going to let them in. In tottering legs, he approached the main iron door with the thief walking soundlessly beside him.
“The door is locked sir,” Yinka announced. He held the big shining padlock attached to the gate for emphasis.
“You beta find the key If you nor want make I scattar your intestines for this corridor” he locked eyes with him and pointed the gun directly at his torso. Yinka’s breathing turned laborious, wheezing out of him thin puffs. He fell to the ground and began to rummage in rusty toolbox beside the door. The key was left there sometimes by the caretaker if he didn’t want occupants disturbing his sleep when they needed the gate open in the morning.
He prayed feverishly for a miracle as he searched, the gun hovering over his head. The coolness of slim metal grazed his finger tips and he almost wept for joy. Picking up the key, he leapt to his feet and opened the gate as quickly as he could manage. Air, innocent and pure caressed his face as they stepped outside underneath the twinkling night. He’d barely had time to rein in his conflicting fears when the butt of the gun collided with his ribs. The world swam before his eyes as he dropped to the floor like wet sack. The thief put two fingers in his mouth and blew two distinctive sounds into the night and made hand motions. Soon they were surrounded by too many men than Yinka could count all bearing weapons ranging from rifles, shotguns and axes.
“Drag that idiot up carry go inside” commanded one in deep baritone gesturing towards Yinka’s prostrate form. They trooped in, Yinka jostling amidst them. Once inside, his companion from earlier marched him towards his room to harvest his valuables while the rest manned other doors, proceeding to break in. The operation was officially underway.
Comments are visible after approval