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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - First Bank branch in Ikoyi, a bag full of money, car, Matthew, quivering like an epileptic patient, He brandished a pistol, London, daughter, father, mother, not to play in the rain, University College London, Love covers all things, love, Nigeria, military.

“I see him coming towards us,” Folashade said. “I am in the car madam. Just bring him over and we’ll drive towards the highway,” her hired killer, Ayodele replied. Matthew walked confidently into the banking hall at a First Bank branch in Ikorodu. Folashade had been careful to ask him to come all the way to Ikorodu rather than use a First Bank branch in Ikoyi or Victoria Island. She did not want to be spotted by any of Azubuike’s friends. “Mat, you are finally here,” Folashade said with a smile on her face. “Do you have the money?” He asked her. “Yes, it is in the car.” “Let’s get into your car then.” “Sure, my driver is in the parking lot.” They both walked to the parking lot. Matthew was salivating. They both hopped into the back of Folashade’s jeep and the driver rocked the heavy engine to life. Folashade handed Matthew a bag full of money. His eyes got bigger. A glowing smile rapidly walked the length of his face. He did not bother to count the money. He opened up a few packs to make sure it was all money, and indeed, it was all money.

“Relax, let me treat you to a mind-blowing satisfaction,” Folashade offered. She touched him gently and began to stroke his neck. Soon, his eyes were closed as he sat back, savoring every bit of her touch. Her sleek fingers worked their way from his neck to his trousers, loosening them up with uncanny precision. He began to moan pleasurably as every strand of hair on his skin stood up in sheer excitement. Folashade looked at Ayodele who looked back at him. Their eyes met briefly and he nodded. His foot slammed on the accelerator and the jeep jolted forward, thrusting into the space in front like a jet fighter heading for enemy zone.

Soon, Mathew’s trousers were hanging lazily around his feet, as his eyes remained firmly shut. He sang all the songs in his head, moaning with every sensual touch that she delivered on his skin. Ayodele meandered through thick traffic and headed for the remote forest outside Lagos. A shallow grave waited for Matthew’s body. Ayodele could feel the weight of his old pistol in his pocket as he jammed on the accelerator. He was eager to lay Matthew to rest. The sound of fifty thousand naira had his heart quivering like an epileptic patient. It had been long he handled a decent amount of money. This was his chance to bounce back. A friend of his, Oyegun was at the kill site waiting. He too had a loaded pistol dangling in the pocket of his baggy trousers.

There were close now. Matthew opened his eyes and asked, “Where are we?” “We are just on the outskirts of town. I don’t want anyone who knows my husband to see us. Not to worry, I know a place where we can go lie down and have more fun,” Folashade answered. “Take me there,” Matthew replied like a goat heading for the abattoir at Christmas. Soon, the car bounced heavily to a halt. Ayodele remained quiet, acting perfectly like an unimportant driver. They had veered off the road and into the forest. “Where is this?” Matthew asked again. Your grave, Folashade thought in her sadistic mind, but she dared not say that to him…not yet. “Come out dear. There is a place under the tree there. I will blow your mind away right there,” she persuaded him. “He pulled up his trousers, buckled up his belt and hopped eagerly out of the car.

Folashade walked hastily and Matthew followed. Suddenly, a scraggy looking man jumped out the bush. He brandished a pistol which was aimed at Matthew. “Lie down,” he shouted. His voice was croaky, revealing the load of Indian hemp that had been deposited on it over the years. Matthew was gripped with fear. His heart began to pound loudly. His hands shook and his legs were not any different. “Don’t look at me,” the gun-wielding man ordered. He had a handkerchief across his mouth, masking his true identity. “Waka go over there! (go over there!),” he ordered Matthew who obliged frighteningly. He managed to take a look at Folashade. She was as cool as cucumber. She watched the entire proceeding with frightening calmness. “Wetin be this now, Fola? “What is going on, Fola?” Matthew asked.

“She said nothing. Her eyes were as red as an eagle scanning the forest from up above for the faintest sign of prey. Ayodele joined them at this point. He too revealed his pistol. It dawned on Matthew that he had walked into a death trap. “Enter the hole jare! (Jump into the grave!)” Oyegun ordered Matthew. Matthew looked at Ayodele. His eyes were wet and fear-ridden. Slowly, he hobbled into the shallow grave. Ayodele and Oyegun pointed their guns at him. “Next time, don’t mess with someone like me,” Folashade said. She had her hands to her waist, watching pleasurably as Matthew shook like a feeble tree under the power of a feisty tornado. Then, gunshots rang out, “Kakakakaka!!!!”

“I am very sorry, mom and dad,” Oluchi pleaded with her parents. “I feel like I had let you down. I wish I could take back all the mistakes I made. I wish I could push back the hands of time. I’d walk a different road if that were possible. Please forgive me. You sent me to London to obtain a degree, but here I am with two sons, Edward and Bernard. And they are mixed race. Their father disappeared, leaving me to raise them alone. I am doing my best to be a good mother…a better mother than I was a daughter,” she explained. Her parents had just arrived in London for a visit. Her mother was carrying Edward while Bernard kicked and clapped in her father’s arms. “It is okay my daughter. We read your emails…we read them with great care,” her father began.

“We will always love you my daughter,” her mother interjected. “Yes, we’ll always love you. Of course as humans, a part of us was disappointed when we heard of your pregnancy and how the father vanished. I am old enough to know that if God does not want something to happen, He makes sure it does not happen even if it entails making things difficult for a while. We did not come to chastise you. We came to see how you are coping. We are here for you. We’ll always be here for you my child. Relax…all is good,” he father explained calmly. He was a wise old man who rarely showed any anger. He had mastered his emotions over the years.

“It is quite interesting, London you know,” he added. “It has hardly changed from all those years,” he added to digress a bit. “You mean you are not mad at me?” Oluchi asked ignoring his last sentence. “Of course we are not my daughter,” her mother replied quickly. Her father got up, carrying Bernard carefully. He placed his right hand on Oluchi’s shoulder. “Once I was told by my father not to play in the rain. He said I could catch cold, but I ignored his warning. I was a strong-willed child…somewhat stubborn back then. After my parents had gone to the farm, it began to rain, and of course, I went out with my friends to play in the rain. Eventually, I took ill. I caught cold, just like my father had warned me. Did he beat me? No, he did not. He told me that the cold and fever was enough punishment and lesson for me already. There was no need to spank me, he explained. My daughter, you have been through enough already. I can see that you lost weight. You have paid the price. We are here now to forge a way forward,” he said with fatherly love which left Oluchi in tears.

“God bless you papa. God bless you mama,” she bellowed through teary eyes. “We have all made mistakes in our time my child. It is okay now,” her mother answered. They talked all through the night. She had a lot to catch up on. Her parents told her everything that was going on in their neighborhood in Lagos as well as events in the village. She told them about Bernard. To her surprise, they were eager to meet him. “You have become wiser my daughter. The things you have been through are the things that instill maturity in people ahead of time. I am sure that you have your reason for trusting this guy. If you say he is good, then we trust your judgement,” Oluchi’s mother explained.

The next day they met with Bernard. They all went to the London Eye together and rode on the popular wheel. They had dinner together and by the next day, they met Bernard’s parents. Interestingly, Bernard’s father and Oluchi’s father had both been at University College London at the same time in the 1970s. They found that that they had common friends back then. Both families spent time talking from afternoon to evening, thoroughly delighting in their company. At the end of the day, Bernard informed them that he and Oluchi had decided to get married in a year’s time. “You are a rare breed,” Oluchi’s mother said to him. “You are truly one of a kind,” added Oluchi’s father. “No, your daughter is a rare breed and I love her beyond words,” Bernard retorted. “Our son has told us all about you. Love is a strange thing,” Bernard’s father began. “At first, we were worried that he was making a mistake, but our own daughter, his older sister made a few mistakes. She got pregnant when she was meant to be in school and the man responsible vanished into the thin air.

“We rallied around my daughter and she too resolved to get her life back on track. Her son is grown now and she is happily married, and has three other children. If you two truly love each other, that is all that matters. Love covers all things and heals all wounds. You have our blessing my child; my wife and I,” Bernard’s father explained. “God bless you,” Oluchi said. “And you too my daughter,” said Bernard’s mother. “I guess you will be coming to Nigeria soon?” Oluchi’s father asked Bernard’s father. ‘You will have to come to Ghana first. Afterwards, we will be on our way to Nigeria,” he replied with a smile. They shook hands ebulliently.

Ayodele fell to ground clutching the left side of his stomach. Blood oozed out like a running tap. Oyegun was gripped with fear. He did not know what to do. The gunshot had erupted from nowhere in particular. Matthew bent down in the shallow grave expecting to draw his last breath any moment. His eyes were firmly shut. He wondered what he’d say to God. He hadn’t planned on dying like this. His body was rocked to the marrow with crippling fear. Oyegun attempted to make a run for it. Folashade was on her knees. The sound of the gunshot had not been part of the plan. “Don’t move!!!” A voice shouted from behind the thicket. Oyegun attempted to run, but another gunshot froze him. He went down on his knees. Folashade wanted to run too, but the fear of a bullet in her back quietened her.

A man in military uniform appeared. “Drop your guns!” He ordered. Ayodele was lying on the floor in pain as blood plastered the ground beside him. Another man in military uniform appeared. “Are you alright Matthew?” He asked. “What took you so long?” the shaken Matthew asked. “They wanted to shoot us,” Folashade shouted in a feeble attempt to tell a different story. “Shut up!!” Yelled one of the military men. He offered Matthew a hand and dragged him out of the hole. Matthew had suspected that Folashade might be planning to kill him all along, so he made backup plans. All the while, he knew that his military friends, Aliyu and Jimoh where following them from the bank. For a moment after he was ordered into the grave, he lost hope. He had thought that Aliyu and Jimoh may have been lost by Ayodele.


Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - First Bank branch in Ikoyi, a bag full of money, car, Matthew, quivering like an epileptic patient, He brandished a pistol, London, daughter, father, mother, not to play in the rain, University College London, Love covers all things, love, Nigeria, military. An African Literary Blog
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