Tara sat beside her
grandmother’s hospital bed and sighed, granny grans lay still on the bed, she
had been diagnosed with partial stroke and the doctor’s had adviced that she
stay in the hospital till she’s fit to go home.
“Oni…Gbenga…” Granny grans
muttered.
Tara jumped from the chair and
hurried towards her grandmother, it was the first time she was speaking since
she was brought to the hospital.
“Granny…” Tara whispered as she
touched her slightly.
Granny grans eyes were moist
with tears and the clench in her jaw showed that she was experiencing
difficulty in speaking.
“O…Oni… Gbengaaa…” Granny grans
whispered again.
“They are not here ma, Oni has
not returned and uncle Gbenga, his father is still in the UK.”
“O…ni…Gbbeee…” Granny forced
the names out of her mouth but stopped when she couldn’t continue, tears flowed
down her eyes which were partially open.
A knock sounded at the door and
without waiting to be ushered in, Yemisi and her father entered the room.
“Tara…thank you for staying…you
can go home now. I bet you haven’t rested since you came back from school. Go
home okay, I will take care of her.” Yemisi’s father told Tara quietly.
“She spoke…she kept calling Oni
and Uncle Gbenga…” Tara supplied.
“Really? Did she really speak?”
Yemisi’s uncle asked as he walked up to stand beside his mother’s bed. Touching
her face with his hands, he called out to her. “Maami”
“She has been crying…I saw
tears flow from her eyes…” Tara said with tears in her eyes.
“Okay…wait here for a bit, let
me go and call the doctor.”
As soon as Yemisi’s father
left, the two girls stared closely at their grandmother.
“Life is one big puzzle, today
you’re here and tomorrow, you’re somewhere else. I remember how agile granny
grans used to be. And look at her now…it’s mysterious how one grows old, right?”
Asked Yemisi.
“What sort of conversation are
you trying to make? I’m not in the mood.” Snapped Tara.
“Tara I am really sorry…I know that
I acted badly towards you but I really want to make it up. Let’s go back to the
old times…please…”
“No we can’t go back! Look at
the time Yemisi…what’s today’s date? We are in 2014 and the other years were
just but memories. Where do you actually want us to go back to? The days when
Temi was with us? The days we were a trio? The days granny grans bickered all
day long at Oni and showered him with love and affection? Those days your mom wouldn’t let me use your computer for fear
that I might become more intelligent that you? What days do you want us to go
back to because honestly, I don’t know what you are talking about. Oni hasn’t been
around for months now, granny grans is here stuck to this bed…I don’t live with
my family anymore and I can’t sleep at night because I worry about my sister Temi’s
whereabouts. What you’re saying makes no sense.” Said Tara as she turned away
from the bed and walked to the window.
The door opened and the doctor
came into the room with Yemisi’s father, Tara gave her grandma a peck, promised
her that she’ll be back and left the room.
*****
Shade crouched inside the empty
gutter, it was almost one am and the neighbourhood was fast asleep. She heard
the low whistle and knew it was time to move.
“When I whistle, I want three
of you, Shade, Ngozi and Thelma to proceed to round the back of the hostel and
scale the fence. There’s a ladder inside the compound…act quick.” Were Ada’s
instructions as they had prepared to leave the place of meeting.
“I do not want to get hurt.”
Shade had said.
“Are you stupid? Do you think
we are joking? One of us was dealt with and we have to retaliate and we do not
care if we get hurt or not. Human beings get sick and heal, they sustain
injuries and get back on their feet. No excuses!” Ada had barked at her.
Slowly pocket knives were
passed on to every girl in the room, they were about thirteen in number. Ada
and Kate didn’t hold knives, they held short pistols. Shade’s eyes widened at
the sight of the guns in their hands, this wasn’t what she bargained for.
Now, still crouched in the
smelly gutter, she could feel the pocket knife at her side, the command was ‘attack’
and she wasn’t sure she had the courage to do that. The whistle came again and
she heard footsteps jump out of the gutters behind her and she knew it was
time. Shivering, she whispered to herself in the dark. “Surely God’s goodness
and mercies shall follow me all the days of my life…”
“What are you still doing in
there? Get out and let’s go now!” Ordered a raspy voice which Shade recognized as
Thelma’s.
Her prayer forgotten, she
jumped out of the gutter and proceeded towards the back of the hostel. The
command was to enter the building, get to the gate, surrender the gateman, tie
him up and open the gate for the rest of the gang.
****
Oni couldn’t sleep, he flicked
on his torch and stared at the time, it was fifteen minutes past one am. Scratching
his head, he walked out of the room and stepped out into the sitting room.
“Stop it…you’re tickling me…”
Laughed a female voice.
“You’re ticklish…that’s why I tickle…”
Came the masculine voice, Oni recognized as Jude’s.
Oni put on the light and the
two love birds turned to look at the intruder.
“Isn’t it late? Shouldn’t you
be at your hostel?” Oni asked the girl.
“What do you mean by that Oni?
So I can’t invite a guest into this house right?” Jude asked in annoyance.
“No you can’t…this is a hideout
and not a harem. We have boxes of merchandise in most rooms in this house and
we can’t risk everyone coming in and out of this place.” Oni snapped.
“Well…she’s not anyone, she
belongs to the girl’s cult, the same one your girlfriend belongs to.”
“What girlfriend? And what don’t
you understand from what I have just said?” Oni asked again.
“Guys…don’t argue please.” Said
the girl who was clad in only a bra and jeans trousers. “I was supposed to be
at the school but there’s a raid tonight and I wasn’t part of the chosen girls.
I was told to look for somewhere safe till coast is clear.”
“What raid? What are you
talking about?” Oni asked with eyes wide open.
“See this mumu ooo…so you haven’t
heard of a raid before…ohh that’s true, you haven’t been to a university.” Jude
chuckled.
“This is not funny Jude” Oni
said to Jude and turning to the girl he aasked, “What raid? Who are those
involved?”
‘Hehehe…he’s asking to know if
his baby girl is part of if.” Jude snickered.
“Oh…Shade is one of them… they
are raiding the Queen’s lodge, the one opposite the new bank that was just
completed.” The girl supplied.
“Oh shit!” Oni cursed and
hurriedly went back to his room, wore a shirt, picked up a gun and left the
house.
****
It was not what they bargained
for. Almost all the rooms were empty and a few others locked. They were however
able to get into one room that was open and had five girls in it. Ada and her
girls, beat the girls into a pulp even though they swore that they knew nothing
about the cult and had never been part of a cult in their entire life. Ada and
the girls left the hostel looking defeated, they had ended up wasting their time.
Suddenly, before they exited the gate of the building, the gate flung open and
ten fully armed girls stood before them. The fight begun in a most confusing
way, the girls pounced on eachother but the other side was outnumbered. Ada and
her girls were very vicious and they fought with all their strength. Shade
looked at the pocket knife in her hands, dropped it and raced to the back of
the hostel where she maneuvered up the ladder and jumped down the other side. Her shirt got caught at the nail at the wall and she spent ten minutes working her shirt out of its snare.
Shade finally freed herself and she scampered away from the wall and raced out into the open. The other
girls on her team had started running outside the hostel and Shade ran to catch
up with them, behind her, she could hear Ada’s warrior-like scream as she too
ran out of the hostel. At that moment, a shot rang out, Shade’s legs leapt into
the air and quickly crashed upon the ground as she felt something hit her from
behind. Weakly, she winced in pain and struggled to get up to no avail.
“One down…” Shouted distant
voices.
Shade could still hear her cult
members run from the scene, as they wasted no time in fleeing. She suddenly felt fear creep in, if the the rival
cult got to her, there was no telling what they could do. She was all alone and
very likely to die alone. Suddenly, strong hand pulled her off the ground and
lifted her onto muscular shoulders, she still heard the voices of the girls as they
threw words back and forth.
Shade recognized the scent of
the person who carried her away but her mind was jumbled as she couldn’t remember
who it was. Slowly like smoke, she felt herself go limp as the blackness of unconsciousness
swallowed her.

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Adaeze loves to travel, write and sleep.

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