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Thursday, December 17, 2015

STORY: SWEET SOUND [EPISODE 9]


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SWEET SOUND:  EPISODE 9


what’s your own?” I angrily barked at the guy who punched me, closing my fists as i bravely faced him. He breathed angrily, charging at me. I stood my ground, displaying no fear. His right fist soon caught my jaw, sending me backwards. I lost balance and staggered, my jaw furiously burning.

He threw out another punch which i managed to dodge before launching at him from the mid-section. I was no boxer nor fighter, and truly had no chance with him, if not for my instinct which pushed me into diving at him with a quick reflex. Together we fell on the other cellmates who were enjoying the show. Surprisingly they all joined in the fight, kicking, punching and spitting at me, while i struggled like a wild animal to get up. Yea i was turned into an animal. A very wild one.

So pathetic fighting with low-lives. A high class graduate like me. The uproar the fight generated quickly drew the attention of the cops on duty, who earlier had ignored the noise. Two cops showed up, shouting and cursing. Seconds later, the fight was over. I was simply a mess, battered and dirty. I can’t recollect if i actually slept that night. Very early the next day. I was called out of the cell by a tall fulani corporal and dragged to a very small bush at the back of the police station where a half bucket of water and a new set of underwear was waiting for me. I was surprised. “your woman brought it this morning and paid us to treat you fine. She dropped a message” he said, giving me a piece of paper. “hurry you have five minutes. Oga is waiting for you” he said and moved back to give me a little privacy. I quickly opened the folded paper, reading the note from Chioma. “they said you nearly killed a girl but i don’t believe them. I gave them money to treat you well. I have to inform our colleagues at the office this morning. I Love you” she wrote. I fought hard to hid my tears as i read the note over and over. . Fifteen minutes later, A.S.P Tunde’s office The middle aged officer was busy with a file as i was brought into his office. He quickly dropped the file he was reading, stared at me for some seconds, drew back on his chair and folded his hands. “MR Ken you are in real deep trouble. I hope you know you arn’t getting out of this place in a long time?” he slowly asked. Picking his words like a high court judge delivering a verdict. I instantly knew i was dead meat. I couldn’t talk. I simply stared at him like a zombie. So many things were going through my mind that moment.

I just was overwhelmed by the situation i found myself. “I hope you are ready to tell me the whole truth. Tell me about the girl you drugged to remove her pregnancy. Start from the very beginning. You have an interesting case” The officer demanded with a calm smile on his face. I stared at him murderously. “how could he be having so much fun over my dilemna?” i wondered miserably. I felt like smacking him but could do nothing than to swallow my anger speechlessly. Surprisingly my silence quickly provoked him. “I don’t have all day boy. We already have enough evidence to nail you. I only wanted to hear your side of the story but it seems my good intention is being rebuffed. Your silence is a big insult to my uniform” he suddenly barked, hitting his table with his right fist. I panicked and drew back. I just couldn’t take control of the situation. “you better start preparing yourself. I’ll personally make sure you hang. Vagabond. You will be heading to court in few hours” he threatened vehemently. My mind flew. “oga it hasn’t come to that. I’m just confused over everything. I’m yet to get myself nor understand my crime. Your boys hijacked me from my home yesterday evening without any explanation” i begged quietly, but the officer wasn’t moved. All he did was to ask the corporal to take me away, but just that moment a female sergent brought Mary and another young Lady into the room, giving me another chance to plead my case. This time to Mary.

“Mary! Dear me, what are you doing to me?” I cried passionately. She was my only hope. Yea she was behind my detention but I also was intelligent enough to know she had the power to stop the police from taking the case further. There wasn’t any need lying nor pretending anymore. All i wanted was just to be set free. Only a night at the police cell was an experience more deadly than hell. I couldn’t imagine surviving another night in there. “Mary i Beg of you, let’s settle this at home” I cried hopefully. But Unfortunately the look on her face was like that of a vampire, keen on sucking “Mary dear, don’t listen to him. He has to pay for what he did to you” the young lady with her broke in, messing up my pleas. “send him back to his cell, will you” the officer quickly barked at the corporal who stared at us with confusion before dragging me out of the office. I sat inside my cell, hopeless and extremely uncomfortable. I couldn’t breathe properly in the stinking cell nor even think clearly. “what do i do know?, how did i get myself into this mess?” I wondered miserably. I thought of my job, thought of Chioma, thought about my life and the embarrassment awaiting me if Mary was to take the matter to court. Tears fell from my eyes. I prayed for a miracle.

I prayed for forgiveness. I just didn’t know what else to do. Few hours later, i was dragged out of the cell and taken to the back of the police station where the officer handling my case was waiting for me. A stick of cigarette in his mouth. “so are you now ready to co-operate?” he asked, studying me. “i don’t understand sir. Is there a way you can help me?” i asked meekly. “your case is a very interesting one. The evidence against you is pretty tight. Even a blind judge will convict you with it in few days. I hope you know it’s a murder case. Abortion is illegal in Nigeria” he summarized, sending my blood pressure very high with his words. “I need help sir. Just make this case go away. I can’t start fighting a legal battle or anything. I just want everything to go away” i pleaded anxiously.

He smiled with deep excitement. He finally had me where he wanted. “tough man. You arn’t acting tough anymore. I see” he nodded. “do you know why i brought you here?” he asked. I shook my head. “because i want to help you. Anything we discuss here is unofficial. So can you provide a million Naira?” he asked quietly. I couldn’t believe my ears. “one million Naira?, where on earth can i get such money?” i asked with disbelief. “i don’t know. You have all day to think about it in your cell” he replied and walked away. “where and how do i raise such money?” i wondered as i was led back to the cell. For unknown reasons, the officer instead of leading me through the back door, led me through the front where we had to pass through the reception desk, but i really paid no notice because i was busy thinking over my predicament. I only had four hundred and twenty five thousand naira in my bank account. “you devil, did you actually do it? Gosh you are so disgusting” i suddenly heard Chioma’s voice scream {as i was led through the reception}. Looking up, i saw the visibly shaken girl with Jboy who tried so hard to compose himself. I felt very bad. The little trust the poor girl had for me was gone.

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