PLAYING THE PLAYER - Episode 12

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - gun, shoot, money, kill that devil, kill, bullet, attached by robbers, they had stripped me naked, robbers, phone, car, Chicken Republic on Oregun Street, First Bank Tower, naira.


“Shoot her!!!” Aliyu shouted. “No, don’t shoot her yet,” Matthew said to him. Oyegun was lying flat on his face with his gun tossed to the side. Ayodele was still writhing in pain on the floor. Jimoh quickly took his gun and Oyegun’s. “Please don’t shoot me,” Folashade pleaded for her life. Matthew quickly dashed to the jeep and took the bag of money. “We’ll leave you here. You,” he said pointing to Oyegun. “Get up. Remove your shirt!” Oyegun rose to his feet quickly and yanked his shirt off. Then, Jimoh and Mathew ordered Folashade to strip naked. “If you waste my time, I swear, I will put a bullet in your head now!!!” Aliyu threatened. She quickly jumped out of her clothes, shaking in fear. Her bulging pregnancy lay bare. “And those too!” Jimoh instructed, pointing at her bra and underwear. “Please now!” Folashade begged. “Plea what? A few minutes ago you were going to watch as my friend got shot to death. Remove those before I shoot that your protruding belly,” Aliyu shouted pointing his gun menacingly at her.

She bent over and removed her underwear. Afterwards, she undid her bra and handed them both to Jimoh. She placed her hands between her legs in an effort to cover up. Oyegun was shaking, expecting a bullet to rip through him any minute. “I won’t kill you,” Matthew said to Folashade. “I am taking the money, but this is just the beginning. I will be back for more,” he explained as he took pictures of her. Jimoh too took out his phone and took some shots. They made sure to place her beside the bleeding Ayodele and Oyegun as they took multiple shots. “If you like find your way home if you like stay here. We are leaving, but I will be back for more money. If you dare come after me, these pictures will be going viral across Nigeria and then, your husband will get to know who you really are,” Matthew threatened. “You, take him into the car and make sure you drive him to a hospital. Fola, you will have to find your way home by yourself in your birthday suit,” Matthew ordered.

They lifted Ayodele into Fola’s jeep and ordered Oyegun to drive. He had barely driven a car on the highway before. His hands shook as he steered the big engine onto the road and drove off. Matthew and his friends entered Jimoh’s car and left swiftly. They took a different route. Folashade stood alone in the bush in tears. The heat of the sun began to ‘pepper’ her skin. She walked towards the highway in raw shame. Soon, she stood on the edge of the bush afraid and ashamed to step into the open. She watched as cars swept by. After over an hour, she walked out into the open with her hands firmly between her legs. “Somebody help!!!” She screamed at the passing vehicles. Some people thought she was a mad woman. For nearly ten minutes, no one stopped for her. Finally, a couple stopped. “Are you okay?” The man asked. “I was robbed by thieves and they took my car, phone and clothes away,” she lied. “Come into the car quickly,” the man’s wife suggested, waving at her.

As soon as she entered, they sped off for fear of being attacked by robbers. The man drove as fast as he could before stopping near a gas station. He removed his shirt and offered to it Folashade to cover up a bit. His wife offered Fola her scarf as well. She covered what she could and then, they began to drive into Lagos. “That is my jeep!” She shouted. Her jeep had rammed into an electric pole. They stopped and ran towards the jeep. Folashade remained in the car. Oyegun was trying to pull Ayodele out. “The robbers are still there!” The man shouted running back to his car. “We are not robbers! A man is dying here. Please help!” Oyegun pleaded. “Those are not the robbers. They wanted to help me earlier and the robbers took them away in my vehicle,” Folashade rolled out another lie. The man returned and helped pull out Ayodele. Folashade’s phone had been in the jeep, so she had Oyegun retrieve it for her. They all crammed into the man’s car and he sped towards the hospital. Then, Folashade began to moan in pain. “My water broke,” she said grabbing her belly. “She is about to have a baby. Drive fast honey,” the woman urged her husband.

A few hours later, Folashade lay in bed with a baby boy in hand and Azubuike beside her. Ayodele was a few doors down the hallway. “I am sorry you had to go through all this in one day,” Azubuike said thoughtfully. “I am happy to still be alive,” Folashade replied. Azubuike sent for Folashade’s mother who arrived swiftly. He did all he could to make sure she and the baby were fine. He was thrilled to be a father. At the slightest opportunity he took their son from Fola and rocked him. The doctor decided to keep her in hospital for a few days because of the shock she had gone through just before delivery.

The next morning, Azubuike went to the house with Fola’s mother to prepare lunch for her. Oyegun walked up the hallway, opened the door to Folashade’s room and sat on the bed opposite from her. “How you dey today?” He asked her. “I am fine. How is Ayo?” “He is fine. The doctor said he will be fine. The bullet did not affect his organs.” “Thank God!” “Madam, Ayo sent me here to discuss something with oh!” “Wetin be that? (What is that?)” “You know he took a bullet for you. We need more money from you madam,” Oyegun added. “For what? After everything that happened? Are you blind or daft?” Fola yelled at him. “But madam, we fit tell your husband the true story oh! (We could tell your husband the true story!)” “So you are threatening me now? You idiots were supposed to kill that devil and you did not. Yet, you want more money from me?” “We’ll still kill him if you want, but for taking a bullet for you, we need some money. Like two hundred thousand naira.” “What?” “You gave that guy more after all.”

The door opened and Azubuike walked in with Fola’s mother. Folashade had told Azubuike that Ayodele and Oyegun tried to help her when she was attacked by robbers only to be taken away at gunpoint by the robbers. Azubuike had offered to pay Ayodele’s hospital bill. “How are you doing sweetheart?” Azubuike asked. Their son began cry. He had been sleeping in his cot. Fola’s mother picked him up and rubbed his back gently. “I am fine darling. Welcome back,” she answered. “I can see that Ayo is doing better,” Azubuike said to Oyegun. “We stopped by to check in on him.” “Yes, he is doing better. I am really grateful to God.” “Yes, I am. That is great.” Oyegun returned to Ayodele’s room shortly afterwards.

Azubuike’s phone beeped. He looked at it. He had received a text. It was a picture. A frown formed on his face. It was a picture of Folashade. She was stark naked, with her hands between her legs as a cover. Beside her were Oyegun and Ayodele. “I don’t understand this text,” he said showing Folashade the picture. Her heart sank into her stomach. “The robber…” she began to stammer. “They took pictures of me, Ayo and Oyegun after they had stripped me naked,” she explained faking tears around her eyes. “Why did they do that?” “I don’t know.” ‘After taking your car before they smashed it and the money you had in the car, they still stripped you naked and took pictures of you?” “Yes love. They are devoid of conscience.” “So, why are they sending the picture to me? How did they get my number?” “They got your number from my phone before they left.” “They specifically took my number from your phone?” “They took a lot of numbers from my phone. They asked me for my husband’s number though. Maybe they want to ask you for money else, they’d release the picture. I am so embarrassed!” “It is okay love. I will find them….and I will make them pay!”

Two days later, Folashade returned home with her baby. Ayodele remained in hospital. Folashade had asked him and Oyegun to give her time to find some money for them. Azubuike called a friend of his in the State CID (Criminal Investigation Department) and gave him the phone number from which the picture was sent to him. He had received another text from the number stating;

I will be in touch with you later!

When he tried to reach the number, the phone number was off. Folashade could hardly breathe. Her heart was pounding non-stop. She wondered when Matthew was going to talk to Azubuike. She tried to reach him on phone, but his phone was switched off. She sent him a text message but he would not respond. The first Monday after returning home, she went to UNILAG to look for Matthew. “Don’t do this to me Matthew,” he pleaded when he found him. “What do you mean?” He asked. “You cannot tell my husband anything. Why do you want to break my family?” “I heard that you stole your husband from under the noses of your best friend. What difference does it make if I break your phony marriage?” “I will give you anything you ask for.” “How about half a million naira?” “I can raise three hundred. Please Matthew, give me a week or two. I will have that amount ready for you.” “I will take three hundred and fifty for now.” “Okay, I will make that available in two weeks.” “No, one week.” “Please, a week and half.” “Okay.” She left thinking of how to extract that amount from Azubuike. She still had Ayodele and Oyegun to deal with.

“I am afraid honey,” Fola said to Azubuike. “I am worried that these criminals who keep texting you know where we live. What if they come to the house when I am home alone?” “I don’t think they’d do that. Besides, Aliyu is at the gate all the time.” “But he does not have a gun!” “We need a gun honey. Let’s buy a pistol and keep at home. I am worried…please honey!!!” She pleaded fervently with him. “Okay, I will talk to my friends in the police about getting a licensed gun.” “Thanks sweetheart. I love you so much. Please can you do that quickly? And, don’t you think we should keep a huge sum of money at home? In case we are attacked by robbers?” “I already have a stash at home,” Azubuike explained. She took her to the bedroom and showed her a secret compartment in one of the cupboards in their bedroom where he had nearly six hundred thousand naira stashed. “I would never have known there was anything there,” she said. “Yes, it is carefully concealed.”

A week later, Azubuike brought a licensed pistol home. He had greased some palms to get the license quickly. Folashade quickly called Matthew to set up an appointment. She had taken a portion of the money that Azubuike kept at home. In her purse was the pistol too. She was going to take matters into her own hands. “I will meet you at Chicken Republic on Oregun Street,” she said to Matthew over the phone. “No, I will tell you where to meet me. The last time you told me where to meet you, I nearly lost my life.” “So, where do you want me to come?” “Just drive to Marina and wait in front of First Bank Tower. Keep your phone with you. I will call you to give you further directions,” Matthew explained. Folashade drove the Honda Civic she had been driving while her jeep was being fixed to the location Matthew had described. She peeked in her purse to make certain that the money and pistol were there.

About the same time, Matthew sent a text to Azubuike using the new number he had used to send messages to him earlier. The text message read;

Azubuike, here is another picture of your wife. She is not who she has led you to believe she is. The son that you think is yours is probably not yours. If you want to find out who your wife truly is, you must come to Marina in the next half an hour. Be sure to park around GT bank. I will tell you where to go from there so I can reveal your wife’s true identity to you. If you come with the police, you won’t see me and you will never really know who you are married to or who your son’s father is!!!

Azubuike stared intently at his phone with a frown on his face. The text came with another nude picture of Fola, this time by herself. Curiosity won him over. He got into his car and drove towards Marina. When he got there, he parked near GT bank as he was directed and waited. Just around the corner, Folashade was sitting in her car waiting for a phone call with her phone in hand. Matthew had set the stage as he wanted. From his vantage point, he could see them both…right where he wanted them!

STORY CONTINUES...      CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 13

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: PLAYING THE PLAYER - Episode 12
PLAYING THE PLAYER - Episode 12
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - gun, shoot, money, kill that devil, kill, bullet, attached by robbers, they had stripped me naked, robbers, phone, car, Chicken Republic on Oregun Street, First Bank Tower, naira.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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