Written by Chibuzor Iwobi
Another set of loud bangs followed and the room went silent. We all turned our attention to the front door as the bangs coming would not stop. We waited for a few more seconds, hoping the person at the door would desist from knocking the door. Ahmed got restless and gave me a stern look. I attempted to get on my feet but he wouldn’t allow it, pointing the gun at my face with a clear intention to blow my head off. My daughters were shaking in my arms, terribly frightened and he did not care at all. I gave Angie a look and she understood what it meant; she took the kids away from me. The bangs continued and this time followed by a voice.
“Angela? Alfred?” The voice called. “I know you are in there, I saw you outside minutes ago.”
I turned to Ahmed. “I have to answer him,” I said.
He hesitated a bit then instructed me to get up.
“Do not try anything funny,” He said. “You know what I am capable of doing.”
My walk to the door felt like an eternity. I came up with so many possible ways of trying to over power Ahmed but all ended with a bullet in my head. I knew I had to do something. Abisola was still sobbing and shaking, mumbling some words to herself while I could hear Angie saying comforting words to the kids.
Finally, I reached the door and opened it when Jeff was just about to bang it again. His arm was up with his fists clenched.
“What do you want, Jeff?” I asked.
He dropped his arm and smiled awkwardly. “Good evening, Fredo,” He replied, extending his arm for a handshake. Then he gasped. “What happened to your leg?” Redirecting his hand to my bullet wound.
“You do know I am a police officer, right?” I replied him, with an uninterested face.
“Well…” He replied.
“What do you want, Jeff?” I interrupted him. “I am busy.”
“Err…I…I saw Abisola walk in here hours ago and I…you know…”
“Go away, Jeff. Please, not now,” I begged.
“But I miss her,” He replied.
“Alright! That’s enough of this sappy shit!” Ahmed shouted, coming out from behind door with the gun pointed at us. “Get inside and if I hear a word from you.”
“Oh my God!” Jeff cried. “Please, don’t shoot me.”
“I told you to leave, didn’t I?” I whispered to him.
One can only do so much…
Ahmed dragged him by his collar, pushed him and marshaled us to our seats. Jeff took his seat close to Abisola while I took mine close to my family.
Jeff was Abisola’s ex boyfriend. He was what you called a nice guy who seemed too good to be true, but his true colours came out eventually. He was still the nice guy that he was but he became overbearing as he always seemed to hang around her neck and that, she found so annoying. Jeff was the jealous and insecure type. At first, Abisola thought it was cute till he gave her no breathing space so she called it off. I was the one who introduced her to him feeling that he was a decent guy who would do right by her.
Sympathy was written all over Jeff’s face as he saw her in agony.
“Abisola,” He called her, moving his hand in slow motion to hold hers.
She didn’t hear him not even if she wanted to. Her mind was elsewhere, still sobbing. He held her hand and moved closer pulling her into his embrace.
“Abisola,” He called her, again.
She responded by falling on his shoulders and crying harder. He stroked her hair and whispered into her ear. I was gutted. I couldn’t stomach it anymore.
“What do you want, Ahmed?” I asked, angrily.
“Atone for your sins,” He replied.
“I will, me alone and not them,” I said. “Let them go, please. They have nothing to do with this. Let my girls go.”
“Do not annoy me. You already made me move too fast with my plans. Putting a bullet in your head earlier than planned won’t do me much harm.”
“Ahmed. Please!” I continued begging. “I am sorry.”
“I miss her all the time,” He replied, sadly. ”Constantly dreaming of the beautiful woman she would have grown up to be.”
“I was young…young and stupid. It was a mistake.” I pleaded.
“Stop making excuses!” He screamed. “Stop it. Just stop. How about I pull the trigger on her head? That will be a mistake too!” He said this with the gun in my daughter, Ayo’s direction.
“JESUS!” Angie shouted, shielding her. “Ahmed…Ahmed…please…biko.”
“Do you know the amount of pain you caused me? Caused my family? Do you know how much I miss my big sister? Do you? How do you live with yourself?” Ahmed shouted.
His eyes were tearing up.
“I looked up to Halima so much. She was my role model, my sister, my everything! You just…you just snatched her away from me. The first daughter and child of the family.”
He laughed darkly, pacing the room. “We didn’t have much growing up so my father put almost everything he had into Halima’s education hoping she would get a good job and take the weight off my father’s shoulders and everything was going according to plan because she was so brilliant,” He paused to catch his breath and stood still. “She was so brilliant.”
Talking about Halima took me back to the good times I had with her. Indeed, she was brilliant. I had the best discussions of my life with her. She was aspiring to be a doctor. She would have been the best because she had a good heart and had purest of souls. She was 5’8 with dark, beautiful, glowing skin. I honestly thought I did not stand a chance because her beauty intimidated me. I had heard Hausa girls were beautiful but beauty of that magnitude was beyond my imagination. We talked a lot about her family back in the north, and her extended family members in Lagos.
“She always talked about you,” I said, in shame. “How she loved and missed you. How she was going to make sure you had everything she never did.”
“Shut up! Shut the hell up!” He screamed at me.
“She loved you, Ahmed,” I continued.
“I said shut up!” He screamed again, hitting the butt of his gun on my head.
“Daddy!” Ayo screamed.
“Jesus Christ!” Angie shouted. “Please, I beg of you, Ahmed. Do not hurt him.”
“Blood must have blood,” He replied, cold.
“Do you think she would want this? Do you think she would be proud to see you do this?” I asked him. “She talked so highly of you-”
“Do not dishonor her by talking about her like you knew her,” He replied me, angrily, with the muzzle of the gun sleeping on my head. “Click and your head goes… Splat!”
“Pull the trigger, Ahmed.”
“What?” Ahmed asked, puzzled.
“If it will end this madness, pull the trigger.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Angie blurts out. “Are you mad?”
“He cares for nobody but himself,” Ahmed laughed. Pulling away from me.
“Alfred, what are you doing?” Abisola spoke up, pulling away from Jeff.
“I have to pay for my sins.”
“What about me? The kids? Are you just going to leave us?” Angie asked.
I couldn’t reply and bowed my head in shame.
“Answer me, Alfred!” She shouted. “Answer me.”
She began crying.
“I am sorry.”
“Don’t you get tired of saying that?” Ahmed asked.
Jeff watched in silence and fear. He was trembling and I didn’t feel bad for him. I took a quick look at him and smiled.
“Can we get this over with already?” I asked.
“Are you calling my bluff?” Ahmed asked.
“Wait, let’s…let’s th-th-th-think about this,” Abiola begged while still trembling.
“There really isn’t anything to think about,” I replied.
“And what of your family?” She asked.
I looked at them as they looked back.
“I am doing this for them.”
“You are a coward,” Angie said and spat on me.
“Alflred, please no,” Abisola begged.
“Let the man be, please,” Jeff finally found his voice. “He has made up his mind.”
Abisola, who was shocked, gave Jeff a very hot slap that took us by surprise. For a couple of seconds, Ahmed lost concentration and turned his attention to them. A window of opportunity opened up for me. I leapt from my seat and pounced on Ahmed.
Edited by; Gbadebo (@Oaa148 ) / Angel (@angelokwuosa ) / Olamide (@Miss_Ola_D)
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