Naija Detectives

NAIJA DETECTIVES – Episode Four, Part B

The chief stands up in protest.

‘You can not just come and search my shop like that! Biko, this is violation. Laptop, kwa? You want to spoil business for me! What is this nonsense?’

‘We just want to have a little look around and we would be out of your hair in no time’, Fiona explains gently.

I mentally roll my eyes. Fiona is being too nice, legit. We have a warrant, I don’t think we need his permission, honestly. But I’m just the rookie so I take the back seat here and watch it all unfold.

‘Oya, take phone!’, the man gives his phone to Fiona to speak to someone at the other end of the line. 

Fiona sighs but takes it anyway.

‘We have a warrant. With all due respect, it is within our power and in fact duty to do so…. What do you mean?’.

—————–

Fiona

It’s so absolutely annoying! I don’t understand these people or this country. So bloody confusing, to be honest. I’m weak. Before we were able to search the store, bloody problem. After searching, no relevant information or leads! 

And the man had the damn audacity to actually report us, especially ‘the girl with the dada hair’ being me, for our brash conduct. What the hell! I was so nice and super agreeable.

JK literally bashed me. The irony. I want him to hold me in his arms, not scold me like a baby. 

I chuckle.

Talking about arms, he certainly looked as fine as hell today. And his toned arms, in that sleeveless jumper made my day!

Fiona, stop acting like a school girl with a crush!

Hold that thought. 

But damn crushes.

Someone clears their throat behind me.

It’s Remi. Uggh. 

‘Mama Fiona, who is the unfortunate person you are crushing on o? Let me tell them sorry’, he bursts into laughter.

I mentally face-palm, I had no idea I was thinking aloud.

‘Remi, are you really messing with innocent, seer me this sweet afternoon?’, I smile sweetly, subtly threatening.

‘Don’t do what you’re thinking. Don’t even try it!’. 

‘Good boy, now bye!’, I blow him a kiss. 

You, watching it all unfold burst into laughter, much to Remi’s chagrin.

Rookie, he barked.

————-
The internet is still bustling with tweets, posts and more, #BringBackOurGirlsPartTwo’s campaign is never ending, at more than two thousand tweets per minute. Many organisations have pledged support for Nigeria in cracking this, also the international community continues to support the cause as more and more influencers show their support. 
—————
Oba
I’m so uncomfortable with this #BringBackOurGirlsPartTwo saga and us, not being on this case. It has become such a national issue, I would rather be doing that than Laptop gate. 

I type the hashtag into my search engine. Oh wow! This is officially an international crisis, I mutter. 

—————
 You

Fiona stops me as I walk into the office. ‘So how did you do?’, she asks. ‘How did I do what?’, I ask her in turn. ‘ Don’t play stupid, silly. You know what I mean, your progress assessment’. 

‘Oh that’, I scratch my head, finally understanding. Lord knows how she knows these things.

‘I got my e-mail this morning and I actually have been doing not bad. I’ve made really good progress on most of my categories except self defence’. ‘Martial arts?’, she asks. ‘Martial arts, to be exact. You guessed right’.

And my first sole assignment is coming up. I explain all this to Fiona. She is definitely much more excited about it than I am. Typical Fiona! 

‘About martial arts, the instructors are pigs so its always hard at first. Don’t beat yourself up. My first sole assignment was a bomb though. It was so awesome. I got to go undercover in a drugs mission, find out where the drugs were coming from and going to. Basically an information mole for them to bust the whole operation. Do you want me to read JK or Gregory to find out your sole assignment?’

‘Yes, yes, please’, I plead.

‘Dreams haha’.

—————–
Oba

So they are protesting about this in the capital already. I scroll down my Twitter feeds. But no, Laptop flipping gate is our problem. And we wonder how Trump became president? I tried to talk to Gregory to at least give us, me an angle to this. He didn’t listen. Told me we weren’t done fixing Laptop gate so I should ‘deal with that’. 

Fiona knocks.

‘Check Channel 55, I think we may have a lead on Laptop Gate’. 

————–

Fiona

And I knocked the smug face off his stupid face. It’s funny how the last time we were here, he didn’t want to shut up but now, he’s as meek as a mouse. Ha ha. Telling me how sorry he was and uncooperative, because he knows very well that an action would be brought and he could be an added party. I’m sure you’re wondering how we got here. A certain part of the country has been trying to secede for a while and has been causing trouble. Apparently, one thing led to another and led to Laptop Gate because a ‘fighter’ decided to take it upon himself to our explosive devices in the laptops to show them ‘how serious we are’. I would say the heart of man is desperately wicked but that should be Rookie’s choice of words because I’ve seen worse. Way worse.

‘See you in court, Chief’.

————

The whole nation is still shocked from the recent kidnapping scandal of three daughters of prominent business men in the country. Aimed to become another Bring Back Our Girls Saga, everyone flew into action, with the international community tailing behind. However, more scandalous was the news that it was all a joke. Apparently, the three daughters of the leading business men were just joking and didn’t think it would escalate quickly. In an apology letter issued openly to the whole nation. They admitted being ‘careless, callous, irresponsible, childish and didn’t stop to think once of what outcome their actions might bring’. There have been no further comments.

My name is Kolade Johnson. Reporting, Ocean Tv.

(Lol. I was in a super hurry to be done with this episode so its not the best. It was dragging on for so long and I just had to just deal with it! We are officially two episodes away from the end of Naija Detectives Season One. It’s a bitter-sweet thing for me tbh. I can’t wait to start Season Two and bring new characters, more crime and more and more action)

The Stories I Wrote, Words I Spun

Oh Happy Day 

A fan-fiction flash fiction by Titilope Adedokun, The Semi Writer.

Rita, propped on her bed, was using Instagram, nothing unusual. From few doors away, she could hear her mother, Funke telling her father, Glen how ‘this social media nonsense’ was ‘eating their only child alive’. She sighed. Everyone thinks being an only child is fun. As if! 

She clicked on her notifications button. Almost thirty new follow requests. The upside yet downside of having a private account. You just have to verify everything! With only a thousand, seven hundred followers, and following just six hundred and something, she was hardly an Instagram queen but low-key, she knew she slayed and slayed like Goliath, with features popping up every now and then, from slay pages, beauty appreciation accounts to the biracial appreciation pages. Being interracial had really done her well. Her grey eyes, contrasting full lips, red freckles, cheek bones and light caramel skin tone made her look very ‘exotic’ according to many comments.

A few photographers had even sent her direct messages, wanting to ‘work’ with her or ‘shoot’ her. As if! None of them looked worth her damn time.

As she scrolled down, she saw her crush and liked his picture. Oh damn, he got a tattoo! That’s so hot.

Brooklyn Beckham was always on her damn mind. Hell, she stalked him everytime, followed his father, his bestfriends; The Ramsays and even his dog’s account. But a verified account with followers running into millions, there was no way she could compete with that, no matter how ‘exotic’ she looked. She smiled sadly and scrolled away. But not before commenting, You are so adorable!

                        —————

Her phone blinked, notifying that she had another new follower. @brooklynbeckham just followed you. She checked her Following‘s notifications to be sure she wasn’t dreaming. 

@brooklynbeckham just followed @ritasayshi 

She screamed! 

Her mum and dad came into her room. Funke asked her, visibly agitated. ‘Rita, what’s going on? Why did you scream like that?’. ‘Brooklyn Beckham followed me back on Instagram’. 

                     —————–

She summoned courage and texted him, just testing the waters. 

Hey. Thanks for following back. So cool.

One second, two seconds, five seconds, thirty seconds.

Hey. No problem. 

She screamed again but muffled it with her teddy bear. She thought, should I reply again? I don’t want to seem desperate. She chanted to herself. ‘I am not desperate. I am cool, calm and collected. Brooklyn Beckham just followed me back and replied my text, its not a big deal’.

After a while of crazy self deliberation, she decides to text him back. ‘If he thinks I am a crazy desperado, then, so be it! I don’t care… Well I do care’ 

So umm. I’m a huge fan of your photography. It’s really great. 

He replied almost immediately.

Thanks. I went through your page. You’re gorgeous. Are you in England though? I would love to put my lens on you.

She screamed again, muffled with the teddy bear and daydreaming of their wedding day. Do you Rita Phillips take Brooklyn Beckham to be your lawfully wedded husband…? I do! 

Yes. I am. I’m part African but I live in London. That would be amazing.

Oh God. She was rambling again. Who told her to say anything about Africa?

Okay, great. Let’s work something out. What days are you free this week? And Africa? What part are you from? I did some charity work in Kenya last year. Fantastic place.

In her head, she replied. I know baby, I know. And free all the days of my life! 

I’m from Nigeria. Lagos, exactly. Really beautiful place. Friday and Saturday, both are free days for me. E-mail is ritaamokephillips@hotmail.com

He replied her.

Okay, that’s perfect. I would send you an e-mail to confirm the location but honestly, it’s nothing so serious. We could do random shots and then, we could do a few Polaroids.

As she replied him, her phone rang.

đŸŽ”đŸŽ¶ It was just a dream, just a moment ago…

Uggh. Don’t do this to me!

She feels a tap on her shoulder. 

‘Wake up, Rita, it’s time to go to school!’

She rubbed her eyes and tapped the ‘Join Instagram’ button.

Naija Detectives

NAIJA DETECTIVES – Episode Four, Part A

You 

It’s 4am in the morning, we’ve just been called into work. As I enter the office, I see that Remi, Oba and Fiona are seated already.

Jk begins, ‘I want to commend your efforts in the Batuwa-Damochie case. I am highly impressed’.

‘Thanks boss’, Fiona answered happily.

———-

‘Hi, I just called to request a cab’, she spoke into her phone.

‘Um, um. Just at Mokola, Waterfall estates, just say you’re going to Akintola’s House. It’s a green building, yes. Please call me as soon as you get here’.

She applies her Mac lipstick, red as her nails. Fully dressed in designer, Hauwa is ready to party and turn up all night. What more did she want? A bank account filled with cash, a wardrobe full of this season’s clothes and parents who would do anything, anything for her.

Bisi, her friend walks in, wearing a custom Balmain frock. 

‘Olivier literally wows me everytime’, Hauwa comments.

‘I absolutely agree. I saw this in one of his 2016 Collections, the one he had Maria Borges and Christian Ronaldo in and I couldn’t get over it’.

‘True, major couture envy’.

Their friend, Michella is on the bed, skyping with her parents.

‘Yes mum, I swear, I will call you once we get there. No, dad, you don’t have to send Sule to drive us. We are getting a cab and he’s almost here. We’ll be fine, Hauwa’s mum is seeing us off’.

Hauwa and Bisi exchange glances and burst into laughter. Michella, visibly irritated hangs up.

‘They are so clingy’, she grumbles.

‘You know you enjoy it’, Bisi tells her. She shrugs. Hauwa gets a notification that the cab’s arrived.

‘Time to roll, girls’.

————–

In National Health Care Centre, Abuja, the secretary is happy with his new laptop. He bought it as a long due gift to himself. ‘That stupid Irene will be one-upped’, he thought. She just got an iPad the week before and wouldn’t stop showing off. ‘These young girls, so rude! They will just be feeling on top of the world with their gadgets and boyfriends’, he exclaimed. 

‘But that one na her own’.

He turned it on and got to work, typing the brief for that day. His colleague, Adam walks in.

‘Oga Belo, this your new laptop na die’.

He grins, ‘Thank you oh’.

‘Asus abi?’.

‘No, oh, BXM’.

‘Let me see’.

He goes over to his side and peeps into the screen of the laptop. Belo clicks on the Start button and a weird sound emits from the laptop. Suddenly, a loud and large explosion occurs. 

———-

Oba 

Scrolling through my Twitter feeds, I can’t help but notice the latest hashtag. What’s this #BringBackOurGirlsPartTwo about anyway? Nigerians though, we are always trending. It’s not easy. I chuckle. Some of these tweets though.

@tiwarockssssss 

Retweet until they do something about it. #BringBackOurGirlsPartTwo #WhereAreThey 

@infamousnigerian__

It’s crazy that three beautiful girls would just disappear and it’s crazier that no one is doing anything about it. #WhereAreThey 

@red_fishK

Apparently, the new death penalty for kidnappers doesn’t mean shit. Nigerians, stay woke. #WhereAreThey 

Wait, is that a tweet from Zena Black, popular American actress?

@zenablack

#Nigeria needs to wake up! Three beautiful girls have been taken away from their families. What are they doing about it? Stay woke! #WhereAreThey?

@zenablack

The international community needs to speak up. Will this be another #BringBackOurGirls? #Nigeria #StayWokeNoSleep 

Retweeted by @rihanna, @steveharvey, @katyperry, @zendaya and 15, 906 others.

 Nawa oh. What is going on in this country? It seems like something that has really gained ground. I quickly send a text to Fiona about it. I’m sure she would have the accurate or almost accurate 411. Right away, she replies. Fiona, always the current one, I think, laughing. Apparently, the daughters of three prominent business men in Nigeria were kidnapped, together, in the same night, in the same situation, in Ibadan. Ibadan is usually a quiet, gistless city so this is super surprising. It escalated to that extent, as a result of a video released on the Instagram through the account of one of the girls. A video of them begging for help and all. Everyone is so concerned about them. She sends the video. It’s so heart-breaking. It’s obvious that these girls are wealthy, high class kids. I can’t imagine how their parents must be feeling. They look terrible, I hope they haven’t been raped.

I tweet, ‘What’s going on in this society? Isn’t this a replay of 2013? Will we watch them never return home? #WhereAreThey?’

———– 

‘Welcome home, dear’, Fatima hugs her husband and takes his bag. He hugs her back. 

‘I have made your favourite soup and Eba. Should I serve you?’.

‘Not yet’, he replies, ‘I have a surprise for you’. 

He brings out a parcel, wrapped in red paper. ‘You know how you always complained of how outdated your laptop is, so I decided to get you a new one’. 

Fatima takes the parcel and hugs him. ‘My husband, thank you. The one and only love of my life. May God continue to provide for you. Amin’.

She opens it up in excitement. The last thing she heard before it went off was, ‘It’s even your favourite colour, rose gold’.

———-

‘There have been several reports of bombing in this past week, about seven or so incidents. It’s alarming’, Gregory states.

‘I know right, I was wondering if it was of our concern though’, Fiona says.

‘Of course, it is, smallie. Why else are we here?’, sarcastically, Remi asks.

Fiona groans, irritated.

‘You four, have been placed on this case, on instruction from very high quarters. Do not fail me, verbatim from JK’, Gregory continues.

‘Yes,boss’, Remi mock-salutes.

Oba speaks, ‘Myself and Fiona were discussing the recent kidnap the other day. It’s been literally a revolution. I think you would know something, Greg. Why isn’t anyone up talking about this? And why aren’t doing something’.

‘I know right’.

Gregory sighs. ‘Well, it’s not really ours to handle. Besides, the parents brought in experts from America and Saudi Arabia to deal with it. Plus, we can’t even interfere. One of them, the non-nigerian has the Spanish embassy running around on its behalf. They really don’t want our help. Let’s concern ourselves with the case at hand, please’.

———- 

You 

‘Wait, oh’, I cut in as Fiona explains. ‘The long and short of all the story is that, all the laptops exploding have the same source’. 

‘Yes, genius’, she replies. 

‘Rookie, you never learn, listen to the whole thing before you interrupt’, interrupts Remi. I roll my eyes. Pot calling kettle black. 

Remi is a pig, honestly. The hazing has stopped, thank God but he is still a huge asshole. 

‘So, I hope you’re ready, boys. Time for some major interrogation’,she says.

I don’t mean to deviate from the matter at hand but you need to see the way Oba is staring at Fiona like she’s gold. I think he really likes her. She doesn’t read him or Remi so I doubt she knows. I know right, yet she reads me, a lot. I asked Oba about it and he said she will stop reading me when she can, it’s a will power thing. Trust and a lot of work, self control has to go into it. It might sound easy but it’s not. I guess she hasn’t reached that point yet.

Fiona 

Haha. You are so cute. Of course, I know, Oba has a crush on me. It’s cute but firstly, in the agency, inter-work relationships are not encouraged. Secondly, Oba is like my brother, you know. They both are but while Remi is the bully, Oba is the one that pampers you and stands up for you. 

We walk into the store, Eze Technologies and Co. , Alaba written boldly on the giant billboard at it’s entrance. We meet the receptionist and ask to see the manager. 

———–

Twitter Nigeria is still bustling and bubbling with the news and development of the kidnapped girls. More and more people are tweeting every hour with the release of two new ransom and plea videos, notably excluding one of the girls named Michella Xavier-Muelino. It is feared that she may be harmed or even worse. Many Nigerian celebrities, international organisations and public figures have released statements or dropped thoughts concerning the kidnapping. Award winning singer, Madonna, 70 expressed her concern and anxiety in a post on Instagram yesterday which she captioned, Bring Back Our Girls Part Two? Amnesty International has urged the federal government to ‘take action or watch Nigeria become a safeless place all over again’. 

Reporting Kayode Adeyemi, Ocean Tv, Ibadan

The Stories I Wrote, Words I Spun

DETACHED 

A Short Story by Adedokun Titilope

Alone, cold and hungry, I see the children coming, clutching their lunch bags. There would be good food in it, no doubt. Even that one with the torn shoes would have good food. I smile, a smile of regret.
Oh, what will I give to go back!

The arguments started when I was fresh out of senior school. I was always a difficult child but it became worse without the restraints of school. Eighteen, with no university aspirations. I tried to learn a trade. Rather, trades but hairdressing, tailoring and pottery were too blue-collar for me. I was going to be a star. 

At least, that was what Baba had said. Even, Oluwo said so. They had predicted that I would own slaves and empires. I would build houses for my parents and all my siblings. They said I would be always on top, never below. And I was treated accordingly. We weren’t the richest yet I had the best things. My sisters did not go to school so that I would go. After all, I was going to be a star. 
Irawoola, they called me. The star of wealth. Their star. I let it get into my head. I didn’t want to go to school, I was going to be a star. I did not want to learn a trade, I was going to be a star. 
Something brushed against my leg and scampered. The children walk faster, almost running past me. They run with bouts of laughter. They think I am senile. They think I have gone off the deep end. I’m not, I am a star. Baba said so. I have my slaves and my empire. 
I pick up a banana peel from the dump I’m sitting on top of and throw it at their retreating backs.

Think of this short story as a gift, from me for New Year’s Eve. Maybe something bigger is coming tomorrow, just maybe. 

The Stories I Wrote

In The Corner Of My Eye 

My entry for the Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize for Literature, 2016. I didn’t get into finals, not enough votes. Enjoy!

It started before I could form words. I was sold like mere cattle. Perhaps, I should be glad. After all, ‘cattle is wealth’, my father who never owned cattle would say. I was even luckier because he was a prince, wealthier than my poor family had ever seen. I was the saviour of the clan, the one who would deliver my people.

Now, dressed in my embroided clothes, laali running through my hands to my arms and feet, adorned with many cowries, my mother tells me she is proud of me for taking this step of bringing honour to my family. She tells me that she is sorry for ‘rebuking that my poor boyfriend who had nothing to offer the family’. What about me?

I laugh out loud. I have become a puppet in the hands of those who claim to love me. The women dressing me up join in, whistling. I smile again but this time, it doesn’t meet my eyes.

My father comes in sporting a new kaftan, beautifully made and the first he ever owned that is brand new. The women send him away, telling him to give us more time. Aunt Aissa runs the pomade on my face one last time and Aunt Amena applies the shea balm for my lips and kohl for my eyelids. I roll my eyes as my mother begins to cry dramatically. Who weeps for sold cattle?

They give their eleventh hour advices as I am veiled. ‘Never mention your husband’s name’, ‘Don’t fight with your co-wives’, ‘Respect the other royals’, ‘The first time is always the hardest’. They tell me that their pride is in my chastity. I smile, feeling the two heartbeats inside of me. At least, I broke one rule.

The Stories I Wrote

Arrangements 

​Can you imagine that, Victor! I’ll actually get dressed over some stupid boy and his family coming to my own home, playing the darn hostess. 

She texted angrily, then threw her phone on her bed.

Seconds later, it buzzed.

Calm down, babe. I’m sure it’s not that bad, it’s the 21st Century, who really match makes?

She could imagine him, carefree with his shaggy brown hair and no shirt, eyes twinkling with laughter as he typed that. Victor! He never took life seriously, yet she loved him so much. Did he take her seriously? Or it was just some basic life passing ritual?

She cussed. Now she was over thinking things. Victor was perfect, she told herself.

She heard from downstairs.

‘Bola!’

She waited till she called again.

‘Bola!’

No, she wouldn’t answer. She was beyond irritated and she wouldn’t let it go!

‘Bola, are you deaf?’, her mother called once more.

This time she answered.

‘Don’t let me come and fetch you myself, they will be here any minute’.

She scoffed. Who were they anyway, that mother had to cook a feast and the house was sparkling white. It irritated her. She had a clue, though but her sister was a pointless gossip so she couldn’t be too sure.

‘They said he wants to marry you’, she recalled Ikepo, her sister saying.

‘That’s bonkers. In the 21st Century, abegg’.

She had shook her head in disbelief.

‘They were saying something like father’s friend’s son sha and you’re getting old, mum is scared that you’re not normal’.

She laughed out as her little sister spoke.

Fair enough, She had never brought Victor home but she was scared, would they like Victor? Victor, with his twinkling eyes and shaggy brown hair, not so serious Victor. He wasn’t your regular man, the things he did wouldn’t interest them. Surely, Her dad would be against a non-Nigerian and my mum would just dislike him, She knew it. She couldn’t deal with that kind of rejection.

‘But trying to fix me up, that’s just crazy on another level’, she thought aloud.

‘Now, Bola, for the last time. *Bo si sale, won to de sin in’

She sighed and took one last look at the mirror.

She heard the doorbell ring and someone get it.

———-
‘Bola, meet Mr and Mrs Earl. We met at the golf club. Their son, Victor has been helping out at your mother’s charity for a few weeks. He’s such a fine young man’.

Victor, with the shaggy brown hair and twinkling eyes winked at her.

Translations
*Come downstairs, they will soon be here’.

Naija Detectives

NAIJA DETECTIVES – Episode 3

The translations are in brackets. ()

‘Oba ! Stop acting silly and pass me that pen!’, Fiona practically screams.
Fiona, crazy Fiona.

She laughs out loud. Sometimes, I forget that she can hear me. 

Now, where is that irritating… 

As if on cue, Remi arrives looking like his usual dandy self.

He starts to say something annoying but I just tune off. 

It’s going to be a long day.

…………………..

I am inside a bus. Not a molue, a danfo. I don’t have a car. Yet. And I couldn’t carpool to Obalende with Oba today. It’s his day off. The intelligence wahala can kill somebody. (The intelligence struggles are enough to kill a person)  Did I tell you I work on all days, back to back? The only free day I have is sunday but I haven’t even had a free sunday in a while. Thankfully, I’m on a well-deserved break. I got a half day today at work for the first time in a while and I’m spending the rest of the day with my family. The intelligence has been super tedious these days, especially with my new martial arts instructor. He is a nightmare, I repeat he is a nightmare. But it’s part of my on the job training so that I can ‘defend’ myself. I wonder why he let me go early today. It’s surprising. But I’ll rest finally.

………………..

‘Long life and prosperity,

Hip Hip Hip! Hooray’.

My mum stands in front with a beautiful cake she baked me. Fiona is at her side with Remi, as well as many of my friends and family. This is so unexpected. I didn’t even tell anyone what today is but I’m sure Fiona must have read it off my mind or something.

‘You got me!’, I raise my hands in mock surrender. They all burst into laughter. Remi says in that cocky stupid voice, ‘That’s the point, rookie!’.

Fiona frowns. ‘Remi, it is his birthday and this is his house. We can kick you out’. There is more laughter.

I hug my mother and my sisters. By the time I greet everyone round, the party is already in full swing. Music blaring from the speakers, assorted food and drinks. They really went all out for me.

‘Umm… umm..’, Somebody clears their throat. ‘Oh, hi Fiona’. She smiles at me. ‘Sorry, Oba couldn’t make it. He had his hospital thing today’. 

‘No problem’.

Remi walks by and interrupts,’Rookie! Your mum’s cooking is excellent. She even packed some for me to go. Fiona, nice party throwing skills. Gotta go. So I’ll see you both later’. He leaves. 

She gives me a box wrapped in gold paper with a red bow on top.

‘Fiona of life! Thanks so much meen. I really appreciate. I know you put this together with my mum’. She shrugs. As I open the box, a gold ray hits me.

‘Fiona! This is way too much’. 

‘It is yours. Happy birthday!’, she says smiling.

‘Wow!’.

I take out the brand new watch and put it on smiling.

‘This is crazy, seriously. Fiona, thank you. I’ll be right back’.

 I need to look for my mum to come and help me thank her. I look around for her, she is not in the sitting room where the party is being held. I check the kitchen and her room, not there either. 

But she was just there. I can see her phone on the kitchen table. 

‘Mum?’, I call out.

 I walk outside to see her giving Usman, the gateman food for the neighbours.

‘Usman, when you come back. Come collect your own’.

………………

‘Everyone, calm down. It’s going to be alright’, Fiona whispers to the three people crouched down beside her, heads to the ground. Two of the masked men, dressed in head to toe black are stripping people of their jewellery, money and other valuables while one, seemingly the leader looks on.

‘Wetin you dey talk for there. I go shoot you now, blow your brains out’. (What are you saying over there? I will shoot you now, blow your brains out)

The leader of the men continually states at Fiona.

‘Come here!’, he orders. She doesn’t answer or move, instead she gives him a hard look. One of his minions grabs her arm and pulls her to the leader. 

‘You better no form for here. Oga dey call you, you dey carry last. Abi you wan make I…’, he holds the end of the pistol to her nose. (You better not pretend here. The boss is calling you, you’re being a moron. Or you want me to…)

The leader speaks, ‘It’s gonna be an absolute shame for a beautiful girl like you to go to waste because you’re so stubborn’.

‘I could hardly care but you’re already a waste’, she retorted.

One of the minions want to hit her but the leader laughs and raises his palm in objection.

‘So, I’m guessing it is your birthday today. Cake and all plus seeing how pissed you obviously are. I’m sorry for doing this, didn’t mean to ruin your party but I’m not going to hurt anybody. Can I make it up to you?’.

‘Yes’, Fiona smiles sweetly. She continues, ‘Kill yourself because you’re going to die anyway’. The hyper one of the two minions grab her and tries to hit her. She dodges and kicks him in the groin instead. His pistol falls and she catches it right before it hits the floor. She points it at the leader. 

‘Don’t mess with me’. 

‘Impressive’.

‘Good’.

‘Let me have the gun’.

‘Over my dead body’.

‘Be a good girl’.

‘I said no!’.

The other minion returns. ‘Oga, yawa don gass’. ( Boss, there’s trouble)

‘What happened?’.

Sirens start to wail and a speaker booms, ‘This is the police, you are surrounded…’

…………..

‘For some reason,something about him seemed so familiar. Like I had heard his voice or…’

‘Fiona..’.

‘I know that voice’.

‘Fiona..’

‘Let me just think abo..’

‘Dammit! Fiona, that was risky. You could have died!’

‘But I didn’t. Now, that voice. It has a certain tint to it’.

Remi walks in with Oba.

‘Fiona, thank God you called when you did and distracted them for a while. The police said that if they had left even a few minutes early, they would have gone scotfree so well done’.

‘Whoop, whoop!’

‘Bad news though, when we went back to the station, all traces of a third person had been wiped. Right now, there is no record of a third person in the attempted robbery’.

‘Hell why?’, I ask suddenly angry.

Fiona just shakes her head.

‘Let me guess,it wasn’t one of the two minions’. 

‘Nope’, Oba negated.

‘Wow, how convenient!’, I mumble sarcastically.

‘That’s Nigeria for you, maan’.

Gregory walks in.

‘Fiona, seems JK needs you in his office’.

‘Coming right up!’

Fiona smiled, the card she had found at the crime scene after the robbery was in her pocket.

                  Aliyu A. Mahada

        Federal Ministry of Agriculture