My bail was refused and I spent two days in the dingy cell. They said I am a suspect of a capital crime. My mother broke down in tears when she saw me, it was like a movie. The officer shouts “time is up” and pushes me roughly into the cell.
That hell hole.
Strong urine smell hit my nose as I crawled to my side of the cell. Three of the girls in the same cell with me were fast asleep. They were oblivious to the “buuuzz buzz” of the gigantic mosquitoes in the cell, even the strong urine smell doesn’t get to them. They are used to the place already. I wasn’t.
Only one girl was awake, she was the nice one and she refused to partake in “my induction”. She only watched as they beat and made me a human horse, the Madam of the cell made sure I carried her around the dirty nooks and crannies of the small filthy cell. One of the girls said she wanted my trouser to the amusement of the Madam.
” wetin brin you con here” the madam asked, she is huge and has muscles like a guy, the girl who asked for my top was caressing her neck.
I didn’t feel like talking but I have no choice, I told them what happened and they began to cackle.
“shuooo, butty fit kpain people?” they cackled louder, they had their go at me until they fell asleep.
I waged unseen wars with mosquitoes that night till the next morning while trying to effortlessly cover my nose with one hand.
The girl that refused to partake in my induction moved close and spoke in a small voice
” I was arrested for wandering ” she looked like she was about to cry ” my friends and I went out to go have fun with some guys from our department, when we left the party around 3:00am,the guys said they would not drop us at our lodge as they had earlier promised that they are going to their house instead. I refused to follow them because I do not trust them, I got down from the car but my friends won’t follow me, I decided to trek since our lodge is not too far, it was when I was trekking that the police arrested me. I thought they’d drop me at home after explaining what happened but they called me a wandering prostitute and brought me here instead” she began to sob, I was bemused, one of her friends might come to bail her or she get released eventually. None of their offenses is as grievous as mine, the other girls were arrested for fighting. At least none of them is a murder suspect.
The girl asked if what I told the other girls was true, I only sighed deeply and began swatting mosquitoes. She moved close to me and I wrapped one mosquito bitten arm around her, she is small, age wise and stature. A 15 years old girl in the Uni. In this tough world. She fell asleep, I couldn’t.
The urine smell wasn’t as strong as it was when I first got locked up, it doesn’t repulse me anymore.
I thought of school, will I get expelled? Will I go to jail? I thought of Natasha, Farida and Fajuyi. Did I kill them all when I was hallucinating? Was I unconscious when I was doing it? Perhaps I killed them without knowing. But I don’t have friends, did I go with the Amazons to Fajuyi’s house? Maybe I did but I have forgotten. Maybe I am the murderer.
There was argument the next morning but we couldn’t hear the exchange of words from where we sat. The cell I was in was opened and I was asked to come out, I stood up and swayed before following the policeman that came, the little girl clung to me as I stepped out but the other girls inside the cell pulled her back and descended on “smallie” that was the nick they gave her.
The female detective was furious, the policewoman behind the counter only shrugged to all she was saying from time to time that she knows nothing about it. The female detective looked me up and down when she saw me and asked them to return my belongings to me. They only gave me my phone which is dead already, they denied collecting my wristwatch and wallet, even I believed that, I can’t remember things again.
I told the female detective about the girl in the cell with us and she went back, few minutes later she came out with “smallie” who was too excited for words.
The female detective dropped off “smallie” at her Lodge, “smallie” collected my number and hugged me before going into the house.
The detective began to fill me in into some events that had happened since I was arrested, saying she learnt of my arrest from my mother who had been inconsolable. She said she had been busy trying to find out who might have stolen Natasha’s body from the mortuary.
I screamed, she was expecting me to because she went on and said Natasha’s family said they are no longer interested in investigations, that they have left everything to God. The female detective said she won’t back off even though her partner has.
I was surprised, she drove me to her house where my mother is, my mother has been crying since she returned from the police station and she told the detective she won’t leave her side until she sees her daughter, she had no choice but to take my mum home besides “she might not be safe” she added, “whoever is doing this would get to you soon, maybe not directly but soon enough” she said.
My mum jumped on my neck when she saw me, she burst into fresh tears when she saw my skin. I had my bath and for the first time in three days, I slept in a warm room without mosquitoes.
We left the next morning, the female detective promised to call me when anything pops up, I wanted to remind her of the cultists hide out, but I decided against it she is the detective maybe she doesn’t need to go there anymore. My mum wanted us to travel back home but I refused, exams start the following week, I have to prepare for exams and there is no way I would miss it.
She tried talking me into following her but I was adamant, I asked if my dad knows and she replied in the negative. We chartered a taxi and I dropped in front of my hostel, the Porter looked away when she saw me. My mum asked if she was the one that called the police and I said “no”. I don’t want another shouting match after all I went through today.
She prayed for me and reluctantly entered the taxi. I went straight to my room. I cleaned and put things in order, I would sleep in my room alone whatever that is coming should come. I did no one wrong.
I woke up around 5:17pm, cleaning the dusty room was exhausting. I decided to go to the Suya spot in school, and if the mallam refuses to sell his meat, I would offer to buy the whole tray. I called my mum and she told me she had gotten home, my brothers were eager to speak to me, they do not know what is going on but they heard from my mum I was in trouble. Kids.
The mallam sold Suya to me but he wouldn’t look at me, he was extra polite and smiled as he cut the cabbage and onion. Other people who wanted to buy Suya left when they saw me. Good, my new celebrity status means I get attended to on time.
I was on my way to the hostel when a black Venza pulled up beside me, an angel was behind the wheel, flawless skin that looked like chocolate sprinkled with milk. Her locs plaited into four long ropes were shinning. She removed her shades and I gasped, it was Farhan’s girlfriend or ex-girlfriend Amina she looks prettier than she did the last time I saw her. She smiled at me and asked me to hop in.
She was playing a soothing Indian song, dressed in a white tee and black Jeans, she looked like she was about to contest for Miss World. I have never been this close to her before, I was awed. Natasha was right when she said Farida was no match for Amina. She could pass for Aishwarya Rai if she was fair.
Remembering Natasha made me sober and I looked away.
” How are you Lanre dear” she asked even her voice sounded like it was dipped in honey. I stammered a reply
” I am really sorry about what happened to your friends ” I nodded and looked at my fingers, the skin around my nails was peeling. I concentrate on the peeling skin. I can’t cry in her presence.
” Why not let go out to a cool place? You need to let things off your chest” she looked really concerned and I raised up the black nylon on my laps
” I bought suya”
She scoffed and squared her shoulders,
“let’s go to Funbar, I will bring you back to school, after all you were Farida’s friend” she smiled
I nodded and began to cry while she cooed gently as she drive,
” Tell me, when was the last time you heard from Farhan?” she asked as she maneuvered through cars and motorcycles.
” few days ago, he called to tell me about Farida” I mumbled.
” he didn’t call me” she said “he hasn’t been calling me” she added
I kept quiet.
” men are so unpredictable, to think we have our wedding slated for November” she continued.
I swallowed, so Farhan was getting married.
” He doesn’t like the idea but who gets engaged for more than a year nowadays? People would start calling me Lord of the Rings”she laughed at her own joke.
” So Lanre, did you crush on Farhan at a point” we were stuck in traffic so she was able to look at me.
“maybe, then I knew he was with someone and that was it” I said.
” wow, you mean you stopped crushing on him and you guys don’t see eye to eye again?” she prodded
The cars were moving now.
” yeah, kinda”
” why are you lying” she said without looking at me ” why?”
” What do you mean” the conversation is getting to me, I feel like wolfing down my Suya before another person is reported dead.
” Exactly what I mean slut” she gripped the steering tightly and continued ” You still ran after him when you knew he had me” she shook her head
” can you drop me here please” I wasn’t having any of this, she can’t just insult me just because I am in her car I have enough troubles and Farhan is the least of them all.
The look she gave me showed she won’t, and I can’t jump out, that’d be too dramatic.
” I wonder if you have been told, though I doubt it. I don’t share, nobody competes with me and nobody cross my path!” she banged her hand on the steering and the car horn blared
I was lost and I stared at her for few minutes before finding my voice
“look, I have no business with whatever you and Farhan have going on and I wish you a happy married life in advance but really girl this is no big deal, guys should not be a cause of fight between us girls, they don’t fight their pals over us. Farhan is just a guy…” I didn’t know how she managed to but she punched me right in the nose, I was bleeding.
” He is not just a guy!”
” What the heck, now you have to drop me or I will open the door and try to jump out!” I said.
” Bitch open the door if you can, it will make your death quicker!” she screamed and laughed loudly, she applied more force on the accelerator and the car speed increased.
“you stupid fucking slut” she hit me in the neck again before I could recover from the punch on the nose. I was weak from my ordeal at the station, I could not fight back. I screamed but she laughed louder
” We are on a highway cunt! No soul can hear you, tada!”
I was still holding my neck and nose when she pulled over suddenly and banged my head against the glove compartment multiple times. I heard her swearing to see the end of me before I lost my consciousness.