It was a cool evening in one of the most
serene neighborhoods in jos city. On weathers
like this, at this time, people want to take walks
with their headphones on or just cycle to cool off
after a busy day or in most cases, after a long
dour day. But the streets were rather empty and
deserted which wasn’t so much of a surprise
based on the frequency of kidnaps these days.
The car rode at a normal speed as it turned left
off the major road and into the government
residential area (G.R.A). From the towering
duplexes and exquisite mansions, one need not
be told that this was a settlement reserved for
the elites of the city. It all screamed of opulence
Sally shifted her mind back to the lecture hall, as
the image of the dark-skinned man came
flooding back. How could she have been
oblivious of his evilness? As if his sinister eyes
and his smoked charred lips weren’t enough
evidence. I have never been so naive! She almost
echoed out loud.
She brought her gaze back to the car. Then eased
back to a more relaxed position as the events of
the last week played itself in her head.
* * * * *
“Let it slide. It’s not your business.”
“How is it not? He’s my course mate.”
“And mine too. He’s also a total stranger!” Paula
exclaimed. A little irritated.
“I shouldn’t have even told you. Should’ve just
gone ahead with my plan.”
“None of your business.” I retorted.
“Oh really?!” She scoffed.
“Look, Sally, (she began) I’m only concerned
about you. And as your friend, I can’t watch you
walking into danger and do nothing.”
“Ugh! Could you stop making a mountain out of a
mole hill. And if he was actually dangerous, then
that makes it the more interesting. Dangerous is
romantic you know.” She smirked.
“Hehn! I’m warning you, I’m…
“We continue talking like this and we’ll be late for
Mr Yusufs’ class.” She cuts her…
“Ah! We better run.” She zips her bag.
Sally ate her lunch quietly. While Paula kept rambling on and on about this new guy to a disinterested Michael.
” Your food is getting cold” he said; obviously tired of her whining.
“That’s not the issue Michael, you better talk to your friend” she said, pointing to Sally (who kept rolling her eyes); cos she has deliberately refused to listen to me.
Somewhere at the corner of the cafe
He yawned and closed the magazine he was holding. He had been sitting for hours and he could see from where he sat, far right from his object of interest, that it was impossible to meet one her alone; not with that talkative of a girl and that clingy boy next to her.
Also, he was tired of waiting as the music playing on the background now made him drowsy. He needed to go home. But first, he must accomplish his mission.
“Speak of the devil!” Paula remarked looking over her shoulders at the figure approaching, now some inches away.
He pretended not to notice the two pairs of raised eyebrows, staring at him, but focused on the smiling eyes of the girl in the middle.
“Hi ladies” he said with his best smile.
Hi, one responded.
“Chairman, well done” he extended his hand as the other guy shook him firmly but casually.
“Well done” he replied.
He pulled back the fourth chair and sat down. He was sitting next to Paula (on the left) and Michael (on the right) but was facing sally directly.
Ignoring the malicious eyes glaring at him (to his left);
“I’m Charles” he went on to say. “And you art?”
“Me?” Asked Sally.
“Yes, you all”.
” I’m Salome, but my friends call me…
“Gosh!” Paula interrupted, then stood up noisily, murmured something before hissing loudly as she left the cafe.
..Sally, you can call me Sally ” she continued, unperturbed.
“And this is Michael.” She continued, completely ignoring the stony look Michael threw at her.
“So, if I’m not mistaken, we are course mates right?” Charles asked, making it sound more like a statement.
“Yeah sure, we’re course mates”.
” hm hm” Michael cleared his throat before
standing up. “If you’ll both excuse me, I need to use the rest room”.
” OK ” Sally responded. She knew he won’t be back but was rather glad.
They continued discussing, with Sally laughing and smiling so sheepishly that one might conclude she was flirting with him.
From the window he stood watching them, he saw Sally collect the strangers’ phone, punched something like figures and handed it back to him smiling. He frozed.
“No Michael, she didn’t just do that. Did she?” He spoke to himself.
Paula was putting some clothes in the closet when she heard the door open. She immediately knew it was her friend, Sally who is also her roommate… She saw that her was having a call as she kept giggling over the phone.
“Yeah, I’ve just gotten home…..(pauses)
Yeah, she’s around”…
” OK…. I will…. Bye ” she chuckles.
“Charles says hi”
“Paula, I’m talking…
” He can keep his greetings to himself! ” she retorted.
Sally looked up..
“I don’t like him.” Paula said, more slowly now.
“But you don’t even know him!” She dropped her Gucci bag and sat on bed, she sighed and began.
“Look, I know your cause of concern and your ability to discern good and bad people…
.. Trust me, I’m aware of all that..
But you’ve got to stop acting like my Mom and let me make my own mistakes.”
“Besides Charles is no threat..
Paula raised an eyebrow.
..He’s really a nice guy.” She continued staring straight at Paula.
“OK fine.” Paula nodded.
“But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Yes mother! She mocked back.
Class was full to the brim as usual, since exams were close. It was so quiet that all you could hear were book pages, slashing against each other.
Sally’s phone buzzed, so she went outside to pick the call.
She came back a few seconds later, gathered her stuffs and made to leave..
“You are leaving already?” Paula asked
“Yea, I have a date with Charles”!
Paula simply pulled her out, quietly and began
“Babe, you do realize exams are by the corner right..
“What’s gone into your head? For crying out loud!
“I mean…the Sally I know won’t compromise her studies for anything or anyone.
“Cut me some slack Paula! You are been unnecessarily melodramatic”.
“Am I? Here I am trying to be a friend, and all you can say is I’m been melodramatic? Paula grimaced
“C’mon, it’s only a harmless…
“I’m not finished”. Paula retorted
“First of all, shouldn’t your so called ‘new guy’ be studying as well? Have you even asked yourself that?”
“Oh..after sweeping you off your feet, he prolly swept off your brain as well”.
“You know, I’ve actually been thinking you’re just overreacting, but now, I know better…you’re jealous of me!” Sally barked
“What! Jealous of you?!
“Fine, I’m sorry for being a friend… You’ll never hear a word about this from me again”. Her eyes began to water. She turned quickly and dashed back into the class.
“What happened there?” Asked Michael(with a concerned look)
“She says I’m jealous, Sally actually called ME jealous! Can you imagine?
“Forget her…I just pity her” he said shaking his head..
“Forget her and let’s read”.
On a bright Thursday afternoon, at about 1:00pm, Sally was standing under a tree and fiddling with her phone. They had just rounded up their Mat101 lecture, which turned out to be a revision class.
She looked gorgeous in her blue jumpsuit, black court heels and black Louis Vuitton chain bag. She wore minimal make up, her human hair was packed up into a ponytail and she wore sunshades to complete her stylish look.
Paula and Michael came up behind her and handed some papers to her. With the way their mouths moved, he knew they were talking but couldn’t make out a word they were saying.
Then they both left, leaving her behind. Just what he needed.. He smiled..everything was going as planned.
He started walking towards her; casually but purposefully.
Throughout his years on this job, he could swear he had never dealt with a more beautiful package.
With her chocolate supple skin, a slender but voluptuous figure and elfin face… He knew he must have a taste of this package himself, even though it meant breaking the rules.
Sally smiled at the approaching man. She could feel his eyes all over her and thought he smiled back from the way he twitched the corners of his lips.
Damn! Too much sexiness in one man..she thought.. Not knowing when she bit her lips seductively.
He came and enclosed her in a bear-hug. She felt lost in his huge and massive body. She wished he won’t let go until she caught a whiff of cigarette on him amidst faint traces of his cologne. Her heart raced.
“You look beautiful” he said after releasing her.
“Thank you” she replied a bit shyly.
They both walked down to the black SUV he had been leaning on earlier then he opened the door for her.
“Thanks” she muttered and stepped in.
He closed the door, turned and got into the drivers seat.
Sally felt tensed, she wondered why Charles was acting all gentlemanly
“What about your friends?” He asked, breaking her thought.
“Um…they went to the library to study uh…past questions” she stuttered.
“Exams must be close I guess?” He dragged
“We are starting exams on Monday, that’s four days from now!” She bursted, surprised at his ignorance.
“Oh…is that so?”
She didn’t respond but merely looked at him skeptically.
Beginning to feel her discomfort, he quickly changed the topic.
“So where would you like us to go to?” He asked starting the engine
“Where do you have in mind?” She replied.
She saw him take his hands to his pockets. Then quickly, she didn’t see it coming, she felt a soft white cloth press onto her face.
She tried to push his hands, to scream but couldn’t. He was too strong and she felt weaker.
Suddenly…slowly, she blanked out.
The jeep halted and she climbed down. Her mom and dad held her hands as they led her up the house. She could feel the familiar love and comfort and that was all she needed to wipe away the horrible nightmare of the last three days spent (tied) in an uncompleted building; with a man she once trusted..
While she was forgiven her foolishness, the new guy had been arrested and justice served.
She felt terribly exhausted and drained from the numerous statements and question and answer sessions from the press.
She didn’t even want to think of the next day, her exams or the students whom she was sure have heard about her kidnap.
She could already visualize the ‘we-warned-you’ look Paula and Michael will give her and smiled wryly.
Given her phones had been collected, she knew they would be worried and anxious to hear from her. She didn’t care much about that right now.
What she needed was a hot bath and good sleep..and that was what she did.
~THE END ~