Bee tapped him. “The girl say the boy na her twin.” “Jesus.” Sofiri whispered. “You don ask them why them come here or where them come from.” “No!” “No. You no even know anything. You
Bee tapped him.
“The girl say the boy na her twin.”
“Jesus.” Sofiri whispered.
“You don ask them why them come here or where them come from.”
“No. You no even know anything. You go kill the guy.”
“Abu! See, I go vex for you o. I no kill anybody.”
“So why you come go beat am like that.”
“Ah non know. Ah non know. Na just one kick! Ah non know. God which kind devil be this?”
“Make we carry them comot for here.”
“Cos person already know. My secondary school girl, na she carry them come.”
“So how una do wey you no ask her anything.”
“Ah non know abeg no dey ask me and me and that girl no dey ever gree.”
“Cigar Man you mumu o. You mumu well well. Now see how person wey resemble me wan die. God no go gree. Me sef I no gree.”
Sofiri left them and went into the house.
Charity has promised them that if they move them from that house to anywhere else that she would scream. The uncanny part of it was that Sofiri had refused them from taping her mouth or laying a hand on her. He said if the secondary school girl informs the police about it that they will all face the blame. Despite Sofiri’s plea at night, Charity refused to eat. Her eyes were fixed on her brother.
“Let us untie her na!”
“Nooo!” The guys chorused.
“If you see the punch she give Cigar Man. As in, stainless. Stainless Steel punch. E enter! You no see say Cigar Man neck shift? ”
Everyone muffled a laughed. Bee and Charity did not squeeze a face.
Later, Bee began to cry.
“See o. Lady see o. See who I draw. Na my friend Sofiri I draw. Which kind story you dey tell us say you come find artiste. Na me be artiste and na my friend I draw.”
“I don’t care who you painted. What I assure you is that if my brother wakes up unhealthy or do not wake up. You, your entire family will vanish from earth!”
The nurse had come to attend to Marshall twice the next day before 12pm. Everyone still hanged around. No one left Bee’s house, even Abu that loved his father’s house more than a woman’s panty refused to go. He was known for his promise to himself that as worthless as he had become, the only important thing for him was to inherit his father’s house.
Sofiri slept close to Marshall at night and wept silently one time in the night. He knew eating, sleeping, his family and hustling. He didn’t know this mystery that lay beside him in form of him. He thought that that was the first time he cried since he was born. He still sat close to Marshall and refused to leave like others.
Charity’s phone rang again for the millionth time.
“I must take this call.”
“No! Let your brother wake up first!”
“I say I must take this call you bull headed animal!”
Bee shifted from her.
“OK. Abu bring her phone. Lady… OK please wetin be… What is your name?” Asked Sofiri politely.
“Shut up!” She roared at him.
“But Aunty abeg we no wan trouble. We go bring back your brother. Just no put us for trouble as you dey answer the call.” Abu pleaded before answering the call. He placed the phone carefully across her ear. Bee exited the room.
“Uncle…. He must be out somewhere……yes……Maybe. He will call you right away……I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
She finished and shook her head for Abu to remove the phone. A cigarette was in between Bee’s fingers when he walked in again, once he came to the middle of the room. Charity bellowed.
“You have no sense of responsibility nor consequence. I see. Will you get out of this premises with that smoke. Can you not see my brother’s condition.”
“My house is not a hospital.” Came Bee’s stinging reply. Charity boiled. It was like sparks of fire shot out of her eyes.
“You! You!” She directed at Sofiri. “Untie me. Untie me now!”
“Sofiri don’t untie her.”
“I dare you to. Let me show you how easily your teeth can fall off your decaying mouth.”
“Na mouth. Na mouth you get.”
“Cigar Man keep quiet.”
“You no go rest now. You dey find trouble up and down. I no go tell you sorry if she punch you again o aswear.”
Abu warned and still went to Bee. Silently he said, “E go better make we go outside go smoke am.”
The nurse calmly came in. Touched Marshall here and there. Hung another drip and injected it. Charity thought that she has been too quiet for everything that had happened. She felt power slipping away, through her able fingers, directly in front of her dying brother. She must rise up. Suddenly, there came an urge to touch his brother’s face. Her parents countenance began to fill her lungs. She must fight or break something. Then, she knew how her charge can come up. Energy!
Charity’s voice replaced the nurse presence. She won’t dare to bribe Sofiri to untie her now they were alone. She must not. She had climbed better ladders.
“You. Hey. You. Untie me! Untie me now!”
Sofiri looked up from his position at the head of the bed beside Marshall.
“I said untie me now!”
Sofiri came to her and squatted before her. “My name is Sofiri”
Before she could let out another nag, Sofiri’s palm covered her mouth.
“Ask like you mean it.” Slowly, he set her mouth free and untied her. The Detective’s anger still needed a direction. With her right leg, she gave Sofiri a hard pushing kick that landed him on the wardrobe. Charity used the clock, shoes and little stool in the bedroom to break the others bones when they rushed in after they heard Sofiri’s groan. The swiftness of her hands revealed training, it paralysed their attempt to even fight back. The wooden stool had hit Abu hard on the head. He was bundled at a corner, rubbing and squeezing.
The stool was still in Charity’s hand. She held it like the only undefeatable weapon at the moment. She went to her brother, felt his pulse first, took his phone that was beside him and began to go through it.
All six men were on surrender before Charity’s. Abu was beginning to think she was a soldier. David’s right ear was still burning from the slap she had given him when he got up to fight back.
Charity noticed that the neighbourhood was nothing but a mixture of people who fear and are feared. Little wonder the nurse only treated her brother and went away with dead curiosity. The bad guys subdued the area.
Sofiri was now eased to the chair she had been tied to. She went to him and sat on the chair’s arm.
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