MATTERS ARISING- A Short Story By Avatarmode

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This is a short work that I wrote. I hope you enjoy it. I shall make regular posts. GOD bless you…

I  salute the following generals. You work have been lovely ones and you guys are hell of superb writers.

Larrysun,Divepen,Safarigirl,Shewrites,Misswrites,Just2day,Fiyah,Oyinprince,Audreytimms,Repogirl…and more…


This was one of those days I would wish I had a chance to rehearse on first before living it. There are days like that. Days I wished it was just a movie and not real.

For starts, I slept off the night before on an empty stomach. I was damn hungry. The hunger that was at work in my life would have knocked down five grown men down to the floor. Maybe two of the five would probably be praying that death would just come and claim them.

That would be an easy job for death especially in these days that people are busy praying against death with all zeal, knowledge or no knowledge. Praying death to come would make him feel needed and wanted and he might just rush in with something close to the speed of light, and with a grip that would make one say ‘the sweaty and warm’ hands of death instead of ‘the cold’ hands of death.

I woke up to a yawn, an angry yawn. I didn’t plan to yawn. I had even yawned before I realized that I had just yawned. Why was I angry? I had slept on for several hours without any dream about food until when the morning came and then the management of dream planning and sending committee sent me a sweet dream. In fact, a delicious dream. With rich delicacies of food. I was ready to devour them without even thinking of praying, then I woke up.

I just got up so angry that I yawn with full force. And rose up with a folded face to go and do the usual morning clean up. Brushing nylon teeth. Cleaning up my room. Bathing. I did bother to look at my face in the mirror. There was nothing fine about my face that I would see. I knew I might even get more angry at seeing a reflection of my angry face at the mirror.

After getting ready, I zoomed out of the house. I needed to get to the nearest ATM to withdraw cash. I had gotten a credit alert of five thousand naira the previous night around 11:15PM. And because it was late, I couldn’t make any withdrawals to at least buy food and eat. Moreover, the nearest ATM to my place was a about twenty minutes walk.

Apart from that, there have been recent fears due to recent trends of crimes about some really bad guys hanging around ATM pretending to come and make withdrawals only to brand some weapons like knives and daggers and even guns to dispossess customers of their money.

I was not ready for that. I knew how long it took for this five thousand to land in my account. I knew how much calls and text messages involved. Plus my many lie lie sympathetic tales to pull out the five thousand from my ever stingy and super-glue palmed uncle.

Let me better let the hunger have its way than the robbbers abi na thieves to. And to be candid, it was as if the spirit of hunger heard me and then dared to have its way all through.

I took off and thought it was best to take a bike since I already had the 5K breathing in my account. Moreover, I was already weakened by the severe floggings I had received from the hunger. The plan was to bike it and pay the bike guy after withdrawal but what I met at the ATM center scattered my plans.


They say, “Man proposes and God disposes”. What I met on arrival at the ATM center looked like something that could be best explained away by this above quote, but I knew better. It was not God that disposed my plans. It wasn’t Him. It couldn’t have been Him. I knew who it was or what it was.

In case you are thinking that I would say it was the devil, well I won’t. You just bursted F9 straight. Because i ain’t saying that. I would lie if I do. It was not the devil anything.

It was this bank people and their gross incompetence and their ‘temperamental’ ATMs. And I will just tell you something about this very bank. Elephant. Yes. Elephant. Elephant bank. Since eighteen something. You get it? Last bank. Yes, that’s an irony.

Personally, I have had my share of trials of faith regarding ATM centers but the ones have encountered with the elephants have been really epic. I don’t have any personal dislike for this Elephant bank but I don’t know why their ATMs always treat me bad. I can’t recall ever offending them or regarding their ATMs as my enemies but they have made sure to put me in their enemies list.

As soon as I landed with my aboki bike man, I saw the longest queue that ever liveth. It must be the queue for the people trying to withdrawal everlasting life or something like immortality. It couldn’t have been money. Such queue must be for something far more than money. But you already know. It was for money.

Out of all their so called six abi na seven ATMs, only one was ‘slowly’ and ‘sickly’ working. She or should I say he (which gender is appropriate for an ATM please? But for this matter, I go use she. No vex o all dem she- people) was acting like the youngest wife of a rich, polygamous husband who already had ‘hard’ and bossy older wives before the youngest came. You know that kind of family abi? Where all the older wives be forming seniority, and be asking questions like, ‘who she even think say she be? She dey form sisi abi na iyawo? Abegi’

If your were there you would have easily agreed with me. Judging by their looks, you would notice that the so called working one was the newest looking one. So, na youngest wife status she get. All the madams (old looking ATMs) must have told her something like, ‘we have been here long before you came and we have been working. In fact, for you to even come to meet this family (or bank, in this case) working, it was because we had been working. Oya, make your own contribution. Now na ya turn. We need rest. Make you continue dey work’

She must have grudgingly and fearfully yielded because she was just dragging out the money slowly and making lots of people hiss at her sluggishness.

I was just tired. With such queue, how would I get to pay this aboki bike man? Would I have to keep him waiting? Was he not out to hunt for money by picking up more passengers? Would he spend his whole day with me and was I ready to pay for his full day service?

I was wondering on what to do when I suddenly noticed a lady who had been waiting for a bike with me. I was at the waiting spot before her but when I waved a bike, I noticed that she was acting hasty, though in a very polite manner. I was expecting her to just misbehave. You know that kind of expectation and feeling. I was hungry and kinda angry, and I needed to make transfer on someone even if the person is not the cause. I just needed one with a slight mistake thrown in my direction and I would burst at him or her.

She seemed to sense my feeling and pleaded with me to help her take the bike. I was not prepared for that. I was not prepared to just be dashing someone an early morning help like that. But what would I have done? She was polite, and she pleaded in such a way that made me feel, it was up to me to decide if she would take the bike or not.

I felt good. You know that feeling- respect. Respect. And men have a thing with respect. Moreover, that girl make sense die. She was really beautiful. Even in my hungry condition and with the state of the affliction that my stomach was going through, I could not help but notice her beauty. She sparkled.

I let her have it- the bike. Not because she was beautiful o. Before you starting thinking off key now.

“Hey”, I said as I tapped her

“Hi”, she responded with a smile. That smile made me lost sense of my hunger for as long as it lasted. I just hung. Paused. Froze. She must have noticed that- my condition because of her smile, and I was sure she must have always known that she had such effect on men.

“Hey”, she said and that woke me back.

Guy, you just messed up, I mentally told myself. Real mess up. How could you? How? How would you let yourself hang while staring at a lady?

“Good morning”, I said. “I need your help”, I added pointing to the bike man. “I will refund you the cash as soon as I make my withdrawal”

“No problem”, she said and gave me fifty naira to pay the bike man.

It was now waiting time. Time to wait for my turn to withdraw my hard earned abi na hard pleaded for 5k. The line was moving slowly. I just had to console myself with a quote by Charlse Spurgeon, a famous Baptist preacher who said, “By perseverance, the snail reached the ark” (referring to Noah’s ark before the flood).

This was snail not slow motion but I was edging close. The lady I told you about was in front of me. She found a way to squeeze me behind her. How she convinced the other guy was shocking. I was looking at the guy. I am sure he didn’t hear anything she said. All he did was just nod and I squeezed in. Job well done.

When I was the sixth person to withdraw, something tough happened and that just weakened me further.


Dramas everywhere. Strange dramas. Everything be acting. Humans would act. Animals would act. Last time I remember, they shoot a ‘movie’ in the south eastern part of the country called ‘python dance'(I know it was a code name for a military operation). Python dance. Pythons dancing? Which kin dance dem go dey dance? Skelewu abi na shoki..?

JAMB office did its own set of dramas. And they featured a snake in it. A snake who was given the role of swallowing about thirty something million naira. All these happened here.

Animals are not the only ones acting. Even machines. ATM acting. Acting annoyingly bad. Acting wickedly and bad. How could this ATM just notice I was getting close to making my own withdrawal and suddenly act dead and barren? Say the thing no fit born money again. I tire o.

These bank guys could be plainly and professionally annoying. You would have money in the bank and come into the bank to collect some A/C since you might not even have one in your house. For some people, the only place they collect A/C is in the bank, at church or when traveling in an A/C bus. End of discussion. And its not their fault. Its money issue.

You would walk into the banking hall, join a queue and stylishly enjoy the A/C and then as you stand before the cashier, he or she would smile at you(that thing na 419 o. No be say dem like you. Na ya money dey pay them to smile), and ask, “Do you have an ATM card?”. Sho, na by force to get ATM card? The thing na national ID card abi na green card or what? You might say you don’t and they would ‘insist’ you get one or if you say you do have one, then you would be advised to use the ATM to transact. Then when you decide that its high time you stop listening to this advice of using your ATM card to transact ATM outside and respectfully deny yourself the A/C and stand outside the bank to withdraw from the ATM, the ATM suddenly ‘gets tired’ of paying money. You own money o?

As usual, people began to complain about the ATM- the only functioning ATM that has stopped paying. Some were busy insulting the machine. Some, the bank. Some, the staff inside enjoying the A/C and locked up inside one prison called suit and tie. Others were insulting the security guys. Some were insulting other people who had withdrawn before. They said that they over withdrew money and left nothing for them. Ah! Is it not their money? Would you blame them? Do you know how sluggish that ATM center operates? You can’t get yourself guaranteed that you would always be able to withdraw your money every time you come and has need of it. Others? This last group was insulting my dear country Nigeria, saying of how messed up things are here.

I am sure you want to know the group I belonged to. I didn’t state the group. So, I will just do that right away.

I, Desmond Okira was in the silent but terribly angry (and just for me, hungry) group. I didn’t even know the singular particular reason why I didn’t talk. Maybe it was anger. Or maybe it was hunger. No, it couldn’t have been either of them. None was as powerful on its own to produce the kind of effect I was feeling. I was a very talking person but I became dumb. It must have been the combined operations of hunger and anger.

Some went in to log complains after speaking to the security- uniformed men who kept telling them, ‘they are working on the machine’. This was the line we had been told when we had complained about the other five or so that had stopped working before now. We knew that if that statement was to be applied to this present situation as it was to the past one regarding the other five that had stopped working, it meant we were done for the day.

So, I decided to look for another ATM center. Evelyn (that was the name of the lady with me) and I decided to leave. We took bikes to another. She footed the bills. I told her I was going to make refunds after I had made my withdrawal. She just smiled.

As soon as we landed, we joined the queue. She was in front of me as usual. My eyes were trying to look ahead because I was repeatedly tempted to look at her beautiful body- her backside and her finely shaped hips. This girl na sweet wahala o, I thought to myself.

I asked her if I could transfer the fund I intended to withdraw into her account so that she would make withdrawal for both of us, she agreed. I quickly used my *426# and did the transfer. She confirmed reception. The three thousand naira I had transferred had arrived. I needed to get food stuffs and settle a few debts. I knew the money wasn’t going to be enough but I didn’t want to leave my bank account empty. So, I left two thousand naira there.

We pulled close to the machine and I was trying to be optimistic and not pessimistic. I was hoping we wouldn’t have a repeat of what happened at the previous ATM center we went to.

Two steps to Evelyn, was a guy who as soon as he got to the machine, decided to pull out all the monies in the machine. Some guys were shouting, ‘chairman, no finish the money o’. Me? I was beginning to dislike the guy. It was as if he was feeling that the people were at his mercy, and as if he was on top of the world, and as if he was just giving the power to decide if they would have any money to withdraw or not. He just sprayed his legs and hung his big head staring at the machine with one hand in his pocket.

“Oga, tell this man to leave o. We don’t know what he has been doing with the ATM. He should not finish the money o”, one angry looking fellow told one of the security guys.

Finally, the fellow turned to leave and everyone was like, ‘thank God o’. Then another guy moved and did his fast. Followed by Evelyn. The money came out well and then, the system froze. Something was not right. What was the issue? I stared at Evelyn as she turned her beautiful face in confusion towards me. I walked up to her and discovered the issue. Her ATM card had been held back by the machine.

Oh boy, can anything get better today?, I asked. We had to move into the bank hall to log in a complaint about her card the was ‘swallowed’ by the machine. Thank God we had gotten the cash.


It was almost 2pm. I had practically spent almost the whole day trying to withdraw money. Just three thousand naira to survive. The delays were all the results of poorly functioning and inadequately functioning systems- ATM.

I would not really blame the machines fully. I would also package some blames and send through DHL to the bank management staff. After all, no ATM fixed itself. It was humans that fixed them- the bank people, and it was their duty to ensure that the machines function properly. But they failed there.

That has always been one of our key challenges as a people- poor management culture. We could easily start up something but to manage and maintain what we started properly was another thing. That is where our failure lies. Failure in proper management and maintenance.

I bet you that if you move those machines outside the country, not necessarily outside the country but under good management hands, they would serve well and better and give less problems.

We finally left the bank hall- Evelyn (who I now got to be calling Eve. She seemed to like that.) and I around past 3pm. Oh, what a day! The bank guys just sat us down. We discovered that we were not the only ones. It seems that their ATMs have a habit of ‘swallowing’ ATM cards. It might as well become the whale that swallowed Jonah in the Bible. I cannot say if that whale was always swallowing men. I do not know. I just knew it swallowed Jonah. But, I can bet that these guys ATMs were habitual ‘swallowers’ of ATM cards. I needed no one to tell me. The queue of people who had come to retrieve their cards was sufficient proof.

We left tired and exhausted. I was practically dying. Hunger was really doing a project in my life. I turned to Evelyn and smiled.

“I need to eat and I am so famished. Would you be chanced to join me, please?”

She looked at me, “Well, I have almost used up my day and wasted it trying to withdraw money. I don’t really have much to do for the rest of the day. So, let’s go”

I smiled at her.

I knew I had to manage this little 3k that I had withdrawn. It was supposed to last for a week plus. It means I had to work with a closed budget. Or really, I guess its a zero budget. But I needed to get a relaxed place to chat with Evelyn. The whole stress of the day had hindered us from really chatting into some areas. An eatery would afford us such a place.

Moreover, I never even get her number. Guy, I need that girl number die. I no fit dull at all. But I had to be careful and do it in a gentlemanly way, so as not to make her feel that I was desperate. And so, I needed to check my acts. I needed to act as if I didn’t need her, as if I was not drawn by her beauty and person, as if she had no effect on me.

I didn’t want her to feel I was loosing my mind and composure around her after just meeting her few hours ago. So, I decided to play my game. Care less and still care. I had to mix them both. And the easier way was for me to stop starting all the lines of conversation that we were having. Let her initiate some. Let her show interest.

I located an eatery and I opened the door for her to step in before me. She smiled a thank you. I knew she was liking me somehow and it was making some sense. I went over to the counter and got two plates of fried rice and beef and two bottle waters.

I intentionally prayed over the meals before we began to eat. I prayed cleanly, as if I had cramed the prayer from a prayer book. I felt her eyes boring holes at me while I prayed. she was not expecting that I am sure. Because, I didn’t look like a guy that would pray in such a public place and in front of such a beautiful lady that I was trying to woo.

But I prayed anyway. And we began to eat. I ate in silence with my eyes thoroughly focused on my food. Man, na my first food for the day be that o. I knew that it would not be enough to quench my hunger but it would tame it, and I would get bread at Mama Nkechi’s shop close to my place on my way home. But I needed to deal with what was before me first. So, I ate with all determination as if I was in a competition for who to finish eating first. I didn’t look up to her. I didn’t talk to her. I acted as if she was not there. As if I didn’t care about a thing in the world except the plate of rice before me.

I noticed that she was stealing glances at me. And her face was saying something about her need for me to look at her. To acknowledge her. To act as if I cared, as if she mattered more than the food. But me? I was just acting. It was as a game. It was as not typical of me. I had been talking and playing the talkative with her since. But I needed to do this.

Soon I finished and I drank my bottle of water and finished it straight and then, I gave one majestic belch and sent my right hand straight to the tooth pick close by to work on my teeth.

I straightened up and look ahead of her as if I was checking out something behind her and still said nothing. I noticed her face struggle. She felt neglected. Not given attention. Women and attention. Attention from someone they are beginning to like.

After some time she spoke, “I saw the way you attacked your food. Do you always eat that way?”

“I am naturally a fast eater. I don’t usually waste time with food. But I don’t usually eat as fast as I did few minutes ago”

“What could be the reason?”

“This is my first meal for today”

“What? Why?”

Then I decided to use another tool in my box of games- sincerity and jokes. I told her of how I slept hungry, and had a dream about food and all that. She was just laughing and almost loud. Some times, people would turn to look at us. I made her laugh so much and so hard to the point that tears were filling her eyes and some dropped.

When I finished, we had to leave. We talked a little before getting a keke Napep to the junction close to her house. She insisted that I let her pay the transport fare which I did.

After standing for some minutes, I stared at my watch (another scheme of mine), and said, “Ah, its late. I need to let you go and rest and I need to go home. I have some reading to do”. She sudden looked disappointed (it was just 8pm), but quickly dismissed the look.

“Alright, thank you. I enjoyed myself and your jokes”

“Oh..I see. Is that your way of saying you would like more jokes from me?”, I teased.

“Those dry jokes of yours. I was just trying to make you feel good”

“Really? Says the lady that was laughing her heart out to my jokes. But you know what?”


“I have more jokes. Maybe, better ones. You might want to hear them”

“Really? I think I would”

“Will tomorrow evening, 6pm be alright for Eve to hear them?”

“Are you asking me out?”

“Am I?”

She smiled and extended her hand, “you are one crafty fellow you know. Tomorrow evening then. 6pm”

“You just got yourself a deal, young lady”, I said.

She smiled and we exchanged numbers and bade each other good night.


I dug my hands into my pocket as I approached Mama Nkechi’s shop and got disappointed at what I say. I thought I had lost some money. But when I pulled out the calculator from my brain and did the math, I discovered that I had spent N1,650 (two plates of fried rice, each N700 making it N1,400, two bottled waters, each N100 making it N200, and my transport fare from the junction where Evelyn and I parted, N50).

What?, I screamed mentally. I had just spent N1,650 in one night. In fact, it was not even a complete night. It was just some hours. How would I survive the remaining days of my one week- plus target with N1,350? Would that money get my tooth paste that had gone down, and even my bathing soap, and other stuffs aside from food, transport fares to move around and submit my CVs? What about the N400 I was owing Mama Nkechi(I had been promising her and failing her but told her that today was the day that I would finally pay)

I had some debate about paying the debt. I began wishing to not meet her at the shop when I get there to but bread. I hoped I met her daughter Ngozi. That one was my favorite. She was gentle and kind and has no ‘eye’ for money like her Mom and her elder sister Nkechi. Her eyes no dey chuuk for money.

At the other part of my mind, I felt it would be better I pay whether I met Ngozi or her Mom or Nkechi. If I pay the debt, I thought, it would make me ‘debt worthy’. Now, that’s is it. I’m sure that my fellow debtors in the house know what that means. To simply put it, it means that feeling of worthiness you have when you come to ask for something with the intention of paying later since you always pay your debts. Its different for those who don’t pay their debts. In fact, not paying your debts kind of closes the door for you to get another. To crown it all, the good Book with the title: Holy Bible inscribed on it says, “A wicked man borrows and pays not”.

I began to analyze my life not long ago with that statement. I knew lots of people I borrowed from and never paid. Because I was desperate to have my need met, I would sweet talk them into helping me with some fancy promises close to the ones our politicians make.

I would say things like: ” I’m expecting some money this afternoon. As soon as it comes, I will just make withdrawal and pay you”, “I just got an alert now(whether it is a debit or credit alert, no one dares to ask), but I need to get this now. As soon as I go out I would make withdrawal and pay you when I come in”. And all other such stories.

And the next step would be dodging. I would discovered new routes to my house and walk sneakingly to the point that the streets would swear that I didn’t walk on them and even the sandy parts would have no print of my shoes.

As soon as I got to Mama Nkechi’s shop I felt something was wrong. It was unusual. There were no customers. Her shop was usually full of customers especially at night, but it was different today.

I noticed a police Hilux parked close by. As soon as I wanted to ask Ngozi what the matter was, I felt someone close to me, and I saw Ngozi’s countenance change. She looked scared.

Before I could turn, a hand gripped the waist of my trouser and with my face turning slightly to see, a slap landed on my face. The next few seconds was lost. I am sure that would be the only lost part of my life. I am sure that even if I lived up to one hundred years old, I would not be able to explain what happened in those few seconds even if I get medicated to revive my memory and CNN or Aljazera gets to ask me about it.

I saw flashes of light. Oh, boy, I thought. Was it lightening? Does lightening happen when its not raining? Wonders! Oh wonders! New wonders! I just made a discovery. Lightening without rain. Then my ears began to blow siren. Oh my! How was it that I had just developed super hearing ability in just a moment? But it must be super because the police Hilux near by was not on. It must be another from a very far distance. I suddenly felt like Clark Kent. I began to think that I would be able to hear even people’s thoughts.

I guess my life just got ‘super humanized’ in few seconds but I was wrong. Na one MoPol ‘lay hand’ upon me. I don enter.


More slaps followed. And kicks. I was dragged out. More slaps. I wanted to retaliate but I knew the implications. I wished it was not a police officer. I wished it was not an uniformed personnel. I would have fought back.

Ngozi was shouting, “He is our neighbor sir”. I was surprised how she got such boldness. Usually, when these MoPol guys begin to ‘massage’ anybody, people usually stay away. They would say nothing. They would do nothing. The attitude would be the ‘it is not my business’ kind of attitude. But Ngozi was not doing that. She was shouting more and more and crying, “Stop it. He is our neighbor”

I thought my cheeks would finally leave my face and I would be cheek less given the many slaps landing on them despite my efforts to stop them. How they still find their ways to my cheeks was shocking to me. This man must have taken some professional courses on slapping. It could be Slappology.

Suddenly, he stopped. What? Stopped? With the way he was slapping me, it was certain that he was enjoying it and speedily getting addicted to it. He stopped and turned to Ngozi, who looked at him fearlessly. Sho, which kind girl be this na? She wan make this guy slap her to death? Abeg, I no fit help her o. Make the guy just resume the slap on top me.

I turned to the officer as I saw how he was looking at Ngozi, and said, “Sir, please leave her. It was a mistake”

To my surprise, the MoPol officer spoke for the first time, and to me(in his Hausa accent): “Mistake? Por weya. Whalayi, I no do am por mistake pa.”

Hausa and uniform work? Hmm. I don’t understand o. But before the man could get to Ngozi, her mother came out from no where and stood between them with her headtie tied around her waist and her hands one her waist, “Oga, you no go touch my pikin at all”

Seeing what was going on and that it seemed as if everybody was suddenly getting bold except me, I also did something. I needed to. It is the guy that ought to save the lady and not the other way round. It is the knight in shinning armour that saves the damsel in distress and not the other way. So, I would not let the episode end with Ngozi trying to save me. I went out and gripped the officer’s hand. My male ego was at work. I didn’t want to be seen as the guy that went under a MoPol officer’s beatings only to be saved by Ngozi’s daring confrontation. I needed to man up.

But the other part of my brain was telling me cool down. Easy man, it texted me. Don’t get irrational it further advised. The consequence might cost you. But I was already late. My hand was already gripping the officer’s hand and he turned and sent a slap. This time, I felt I must have to faint to survive. Sometimes, a near death experience can further life. A close encounter with death can prolong life. It is those who have seen death dare its worst and survived that fears not death. I didn’t want to die. Fainting would do. It would be an escape. Because I won’t be able to fight this guy. The man would kill me if I dared fight him. I needed to faint. I needed to…faint as soon as his slap landed.

But I was betrayed. I didn’t understand. How did the slap not land? Why did I dodge it? What was happening? My body was betraying me. What kind of reflex was that? Why can’t it just not put up any reflex and act as if it was not expecting the slap and then get slapped and faint? But it dodged skillfully, and then my adrenaline shoot up. Adrenaline tap was turned on and I did the unthinkable.

My right hand went out with its clenched fist and straight without diversion or road block to Oga MoPol’s face. Oh boy, I thought, few microseconds later, I don enter gbege. Na yawa jus gas so. Na die I dey. The man staggered. He wasn’t expecting it. Not in his wildest dream. Not expecting that a civilian would retaliate. That a civilian would fight back. He was used to beating up civilians. It was his way. It was their way. Harassing the very people they ought to protect and never getting questioned for that.

In my country, it seems that uniform makes gods out of men.

It was as a shock to him. He liked horrified.

As soon as I saw what happened (funny enough it was like two sides of me. One was the fighter and the other was the observer), he went back and with rage he was aiming at me, to rush me and deal with me so severely but a voice stopped him. A voice of command. A superior voice. One with a superior authority.

“Officer Adamu, stop!”, he commanded coldly.

That was how I was saved from the instant judgment from officer Adamu. I would have been hospitalized afterwards if he had had his way.

“You dare touch a police officer? You dare assault him? You don’t know what you’ve got yourself into. Let’s get to the station”, the man with the voice said and walked away to the front seat of the Hilux.

As soon as he said that, mam Nkechi began to scream, ” You people are trying to enslave us. It will not work. This constant embarrassment will end”, and turning to Ngozi, she said, “Go and call all the neighbors”

As if everyone was waiting to be called, all of them landed. Like a boss that she is (she is our landlord’s wife. Her husband is late. So, he is both a father and a mother to her children and the story was that she fought her in laws who came to take her husband’s properties and throw her and their children out of her husband’s house. She is an, she spoke as if she is leading a movement, “we are all going to the police station with them. They are arresting Des (that’s was she calls me- her shortened version of my name, Desmond). What they don’t know is that they are arresting all of us. Enough is enough of these their regular harassment”

Everyone moved to the side of the Hilux where the man with authority sat, “we are ready”, they said.

The man nodded his head. He was evidently angry that I hit back one of his men. He would not let that go unpunished. Yet, he knew that his men were not civil in dealing with us.

He made a call and another Hilux came and we all got in. All the way to Kwalo Police Station. Everyone was going including the pregnant wives and their children and even sucklings. Everyone.

The thing just got the man tired but he would not show it or say it. He needed to maintain and give us the impression that he and his men were prepared for us even if we went and gathered the whole community.


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