SILENT CRIES - Episode 16

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - involved in armed robbery for over five years, another member of the gang, blood seeping through his jeans, , there was a gunshot, prisoners began to chant at the guards, had no great loyalty to the gang, Her svelte figure bore a body fitting red dress, coference organized by the CBN.


It was the evening of what had been a dull and rainy day. Nnamdi was waiting in a room with two other men; he had been asked to 'report for duty', as an operation was scheduled for this night. He was nervous, because unlike the past few operations, he had not been given any details. While he waited, he tried to pry information from the other two men.

Serubawon, tough and surly, ignored him altogether; Chancer, quiet and tense, told him to wait for their leader, Dabaru, to come - he would tell him everything. Nnamdi was edgy because the people he was more familiar with, Gbenro and a few others, were not there. About an hour later, the door opened, and Dabaru entered, followed by Okey, another member of the gang. Dabaru was a tall, rangy man who had the air of someone scenting for danger around him. He had been involved in armed robbery for over five years; more than once, his sharp instincts had helped him evade capture. He called them all to gather round so that he could explain the night's operation.


“We are going to this address in Lekki tonight. I hear that someone there is keeping some money there this night.” He stared fiercely at one of the other boys, “Okey, you know the place, right? The place I showed you when we were driving in the area the other day.”

Nnamdi was puzzled. “Is Okey driving tonight?” he asked.

Dabaru turned to him and smiled. “Yes, Okey is driving instead of you. I think it's time that you took part in an actual operation.” He turned back to the others and continued explaining details of the operation, but Nnamdi's mind was elsewhere. He knew that this day would come one day, but he hadn't thought that it would come so soon. His heart beat faster as he thought of what would happen. He had gone on shooting practice sessions with the gang before, but practice was one thing; real life was something else.

Eventually, Dabaru finished with the explanations and told them all to get into the car waiting outside; the guns they needed were already in the boot. As Nnamdi passed him, he put his hand on his shoulder and said.

“We will make six million naira from this operation; I know you will not disappoint. Just be strong like you were in the last operation.” Then he followed them out and entered the car, which promptly revved and sped off towards Lekki. Nnamdi shook his head as he recalled how horribly wrong the operation had gone. His role had been to climb over the wall of the compound at the address, then threaten to shoot the compound guard if he did not open the gate for the rest of his colleagues. Unfortunately, the guard had panicked and run towards the house, raising the alarm. Nnamdi had him in his sights; but he found that he could not bring himself to pull the trigger. He stood there, sweating and trembling, as the rest of the gang shouted at him to let them in. Suddenly, there was a gunshot, and he felt a sharp pain in his leg. The robbers heard the shot, and that was their cue to flee. Nnamdi collapsed and as he lay on the ground, blood seeping through his jeans, he heard the wail of sirens in the distance growing louder.

He woke up the next day at Apongbon. Five days later, the police doctor had bandaged the flesh wound on his leg, inflicted by the house owner's pistol but the pain in his heart went deeper. While his answers to the interrogations had saved him some beating, he had been charged for armed robbery. His mother had visited once but there was nothing she or anyone could do. He was not up for bail and the police were almost ready to transfer him to Kirikiri. He was sitting quietly while the other inmates raved and ranted, when a couple of prison guards approached his cell and unlocked it. The prisoners began to chant at the guards, but they glared fiercely back and pointed to Nnamdi.

“You... come with us. Oga wants to see you.”

Which oga, and why does he want to see me? Nnamdi wondered, as they walked down the dark corridors that led to the prison’s chief superintendent’s office. The guards knocked and entered. Two men were sitting at the table; one was dressed in uniform - Nnamdi guessed that he was the superintendent - and the other was tall, dark and wore an expensive babanriga.

“Is that the boy?” the tall man asked, pointing at Nnamdi.

“Yes, sah,” one of the guards replied.

“Hmm...” The man stroked his chin for a while, and then he spoke. “You... you were brought in for armed robbery, right?”

Nnamdi, staring in astonishment could only nod his head. “I am Alhaji Galadima,” the man continued. “I am here to talk about the gang that you were part of...”

It turned out that the Alhaji, who was a police officer, was looking for information that would help him end the operations of Nnamdi’s former gang, who were still active in the area. On inquiring, he learnt of Nnamdi who had been part of the gang, but was now in custody. Galadima realised after talking at length with Nnamdi that he had no great loyalty to the gang members, as they had abandoned him the moment he had been caught, and had not contacted or been to see him since. Nnamdi said he would co-operate with the police in supplying information. Galadima also saw from the conversation that Nnamdi was quite an intelligent person, and soon teased out the circumstances that led to him joining the gang. His co-operation led to two members of the gang, Serubawon and Okey, being caught. It also meant that the Alhaji was able to arrange for him to be released sooner, and in addition, he volunteered to fund Nnamdi’s education to university level “because it would be a shame for such a fine young mind to go to waste.”
-
Nnamdi’s eyes misted over as he remembered the Alhaji’s benevolence, but he quickly wiped the wetness away, as he slowed down his car to park at his office.
-
He sat behind his mahogany desk staring into space, his chin nestled in his palms. His eyes were wide open but his vision was nil; he was lost in dreamland.

He could see her; young, beautiful and promising. Everything about her enchanted him. Her smile was unique and different from what he’d ever seen on the other women around him. Yet with all the appeal she exuded, she seemed more innocent than a catholic nun. And like the sugar ant, he was trapped by this alluring innocent sweetness.  He was a man imprisoned by the unholy passion that reeked of lust and desire for a woman he had no right to own.

But in his world, the story was different. He had some degree of power and since power could corrupt, he was a very willing candidate.

The Intercom on Ayo’s desk suddenly buzzed sharply startling him out of his reverie. The dreamy image of Ijeoma he had beheld suddenly faded into the obscurity of his subconscious. He tapped at the intercom button, more out of anger than of urgency.

“Yes?”

“Sir, you have a visitor, a Miss Giwa from Abuja.”

Ayo’s mind did a brain check. He couldn’t recollect anybody by that name. His mind raced with suspicion. As a man of many escapades, he had to be careful with visits from females. Not every woman that romped with him should get to visit him at work.

He got up and strolled to his door and peeped through the pigeon hole. There was a gorgeously dressed woman standing at the secretary’s desk but he could only see her back view.

 “Sir? Are you there?” The secretary’s voice came through the intercom again.

He hurried back to the table and tapped the intercom button.

“Let her in.”

He couldn’t tell who she was but from the “good look” of things through his pigeon hole, he was willing to take the risk.  The door swung open and Ayo was awed as he beheld the feminine spectacle that waltzed into his office.  Her svelte figure bore a body fitting red dress with rosy frills at the edges which stopped at her knees, exposing a set of long caramel tanned legs. She wore a long hair that sat gracefully on her shoulders; her face looked spotless and fresher than a baby’s butt. She wore no makeup except lip gloss. From the look of it, she didn’t even need makeup. That would be an overstatement.  She smiled, closed the door, walked up slowly to his desk and peered down at him through her sparkling eyes, well enhanced by contact lenses.

“Hello Ayo.”

“Umm…hello?” he muttered, standing up to receive her hand shake, while trying hard to recollect where on earth he had met her.

“It’s me, Jennifer.”

Jennifer Giwa!

Her name suddenly triggered something in Ayo’s head as memories came flooding his mind like a tsunami; the day he met her through a friend at a conference organized by the CBN two years ago at Abuja, how she had seduced him at the after party only to leave him hanging at the table because of some important call she got that required her to go to the ladies; how he had waited till the party was over and she never came back. The mind update wound up and he came back to the real world.

STORY CONTINUES...

                          CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 16

                          CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 15

Written by:
Ikpo Henry Chigozirim

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: SILENT CRIES - Episode 16
SILENT CRIES - Episode 16
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - involved in armed robbery for over five years, another member of the gang, blood seeping through his jeans, , there was a gunshot, prisoners began to chant at the guards, had no great loyalty to the gang, Her svelte figure bore a body fitting red dress, coference organized by the CBN.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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