By Khalid Shafi’i
“Officer, please accept this small change make we kuku japa for here. We dey in a hurry abeg,” I said, mustering all the courage I could. “Oga, open dis booth before I slap you now. You’re wasting my time,” he asked angrily.
“Officer, my mother taught me to respect my elders, so I’m not going to say what I’m thinking,” I lamented. I didn’t even know where I summoned the courage from.
“I’m sure she’d be proud to know you still remember those lessons, but I heard what you’re thinking.”
“Then I’m sorry you had to hear that,” I joked.
“You’re funny, but fifty naira is too small. Add something sharp sharp and go.”
I instantly went for my wallet and gave him all its content. I didn’t want to have any more malarkey with him. ₦1,000 was all I had left after the spending spree at SFC. I would have offered it in the first place if I knew things would get serious. I was, I mean, we were lucky. I was prepared never to take such a chance again.
Immediately, I drove to a remote location around the Naraguta axis to dump the body. Leila insisted we search the body for valuables. She took his debit card, phone, wallet and handed them all to me.
“But how is the debit card useful? I don’t want to land in trouble, Leila,” I asked.
“Think about it, Omar. You can use some of the money in his account to start a business. Don’t you want to marry me? You could pay my bride price, you know? Don’t worry; I know the debit card pin and the phone password,” she assured.
It was like Leila worked some magic on me. I found myself doing as she bade. I had a tenuous grasp of reality. “I definitely won’t mind marrying her. I mean, who wouldn’t? I was sure the body we just dumped was an accident. “Leila is no Killer”, I assured myself again. I’d scout the world for a wife like her.” I thought.
Three hours ago, If someone had told me I would be aiding and abetting murder, I’d probably sue him. Those three hours were like a movie. They weren’t idyllic for me.
I never envisioned my life committing a crime. Why would I? I was raised right. I went to a local but decent primary school. Immediately after, I was enrolled in an Islamic secondary school. Eleven years after, I was a degree holder. I had no ties with criminals. It was like foraying into an unknown world. Nevertheless, I was determined to make the voyage if it leads to me having Leila for myself.
“What are you thinking, Omar? Let’s go!” exclaimed Leila.
“Where to? It’s late. I can’t take you home with me, Leila. So go home, we’ll meet tomorrow.”
“No, I can’t go home. Find us a place to stay the night together, Omar. I’m scared. And don’t you want to know my story?”
“I do, Leila, I really do. But I can’t spend the night outside my home. My dad would kill me.” I answered almost immediately.
However, a part of me wanted to spend the night with Leila. I wanted to know everything. And all of a sudden, she pulled my hand and started dragging me. “Don’t be silly; we’re spending the night together.” She giggled. “C’mon, let’s go”.
I couldn’t help but follow her. It was glorious. My hand still tingled where she grabbed it.
“So, Omar….” She began again. I knew that tone of voice. It was dangerous.
“How would you like to spend the night? We can book a hotel using Auwal’s debit card. We could have fun tonight.” She whispered. She looked at me with a cautious smile. Her smile was infectious. I couldn’t answer her. I only shrugged my shoulders and looked down.
“Do you Like me?” She asked.
“I do, but…..”
“No but’s, you’re going with me tonight,” she continued.
“Okay, let’s go”, I agreed.
It felt like a dream at first, I heard the door bang. I saw grisly images of the police coming through the door. After some seconds, it dawned on me that it wasn’t a dream. I mustered some strength and overcame the inertia I was going through to check if Leila was lying beside me. To my greatest surprise, she wasn’t.
I tried to recall the previous night. I remember lying with her on the bed. After that, everything went blank. What happened? Was I drugged?
“Hol’it there, young man. You’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent.”
I was struggling to get up when all of a sudden, strong hands grabbed and cuffed my hands. Almost immediately, billows of tears started gushing out of my eyes. I knew it was over for me, but what baffled me most was Leila. Where is she? How did the police know our… no, my whereabouts? Did Leila frame me, or was she also arrested?
TBC. Keep a date with me to know the answers to these and many more questions.
About the Author: Khalid Shafi’I is a graduate of Law from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Also, he’s currently undergoing a one-year study at the Kano campus of the Nigerian Law School for the license to practice law. He loves reading and writing.