1st Friday of December, 15 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria.
“This Lagos nawa o. It is 12:03am and traffic is still at a standstill.”
Kola looked up from his phone and said, “Musa, get off this bridge at that intersection. Let’s go take Yaba, it can’t be that bad down there.”
Yes na, And we can link Ikorodu Express, Oshodi and the Ikeja Air Force base in good time.”
“Okay, if you say so.”
“Yes, I say so because I know so. After all, even if I no senior you for rank, I senior you for age.”
They both laughed.
Musa and Kola were part of the special forces drawn from the Air Force. They were on a 2 weeks official leave and had come to Lekki, Lagos for the annual get together of their secondary school old boys association.
Musa got off the 3rd mainland bridge and headed off towards Hebert Macaulay way. Just as they got on Herbert Macualay way, they ran into another traffic congestion.
“Kai Kola, this one too look bad o.”
“No worry, I sabi short cuts for here. Take the next left turn, we go go through Makoko, Iwaya and burst out at Unilag road.”
Musa turned left and drove down the road. The whole area was pitch black. There was no power supply in the area. He took another left turn at the prompt of Kola and then he suddenly stepped on the brake. The car screeched to a halt.
Kola looked up from his phone and glanced at Musa, “wetin happen, why you brake like that?”
Musa said nothing but kept looking ahead.
Kola followed his gaze and saw why.
The head was facing them, eyes still open. It had been severed off the body, and blood was still gushing out of the torso. It looked like a woman.
“Reverse now,” Kola whispered with urgency as he drew a pistol from under his jacket.
“Wait,” Musa replied, “there is a small child besides the body.”
“Are you mad? The killers are still there waiting for us to leave.”
“I know. But the child is still alive.”
“Guy, reverse this car now.”
Musa drew his pistol and switched off the interior light of the car so it won’t come on when the car doors open. He watched for a few seconds, said a silent prayer and then got out of the car swiftly. He walked briskly to the body, his gun held down by his right thigh.
Kola silently got out of the car with his weapon drawn. He moved swiftly to the left into the shadows, to cover his friend and have a clear line of sight.
The child sat on the ground, crying and shaking as he held on to his mother’s lifeless hand. As Musa bent to pick the child, three men came out of the shadows with raised machetes. He saw the glint of the sharp and bloodied machetes as they rushed towards him.
Two shots rang out and two of the men dropped down dead before they reached him. The third man stopped, startled by the sound of the shots and the sight of his now dead colleagues. Musa shot him between the eyes. He picked up the child and ran back to the car. He opened the back seat door and put the child there. Then he opened the driver side door and got in. Seconds later, Kola got in and they slammed the car doors shut at the same time. Musa reversed all the way to Herbert Macaulay way.
Olumide Holloway (King Olulu)
Twitter @olulu4ever, Instagram @olulutheking, email@example.com, +2348025070892