“Come on, shut up there!!”
That was about the 20th time I was hearing that sentence. I was wearing out and my strength was beginning to fail me. I looked past the two strong-faced guys in front of me in the dingy room and sighed. All I wanted to do was get home.
Just that morning, I was walking down my street kicking a stone and thinking about what happened in my house the night before. At first, I was thinking about how my mom still lives with my dad even though he comes home every other night and beats the hell out of her. Then I started thinking of how I watched my dad pushed my mom down last night. I pictured how her red scarf fell just before her head hit the floor. Then before I knew it, I was picturing the red scarf become blood flowing from her head (even though that did not happen). Then I pictured that it was me who stabbed my father with green broken pieces of glass from his beer bottles. It was while these bad thoughts enveloped my 14 year old mind, that I walked into trouble… literally.
Bull is big. Everyone calls him Bull, but his parents actually named him John. The only reason why I know that is because I have sat and listened to my mother pant and warn me as she scrubbed the metal-daylight out of our pots, ‘If I see you near those touts. John, abi what is his name? Johnbull? You won’t understand what will fall upon both you and I. I will beat you with all the muscles I have gathered while suffering to put you through school and feed you and your sisters.’ So that’s how I know his name is John.
I walked right into him and his body odor as I, as usual, contemplated killing my dad that morning. As I was trying to recover from hitting this stumbling block, I heard him say, ‘So na you they send?’ Then he laughed lavishly; like laughter was one of those other things he could afford and spend anyhow. Then without expecting it, he slapped me and signaled to some boys (dressed like riff-raffs) to ‘carry this one away.’ I was still trying to figure out what was happening when two of the boys came, slapped me on my head and bundled me into the house right in front of where I was.
They directed me to enter a room which read, ‘Torchure Ruum’. It was there they started asking me weird questions like, ‘So na who send you?’ ‘Talk now or go explain yourself to angel Michael in heaven within 5 minutes’, ‘Shey na Voltrons wey send you here?’ ‘No no. E no fit be voltrons. Them get more sense than that. I suspect those new boys wey dey call demsef Cappuccino. Na swegbe full there’
To each of their postulations, I replied in the negative and kept telling them that I had only been taking a walk. Then they would said, ‘Come on, shut up there’ and puff some cigarette smoke in my face. One time, one of them said, ‘Where is your assistant?’. I frowned and said, ‘What assistant?’ He replied, ‘the one wey suppose hold your hand as you walk na. Since you blind.’
It’s five days after this ‘arrest’ and I’m still in this house. I have been moved from the ‘Torchure ruum’ to the ‘Strategy room’. For the first two days, whenever they asked me to submit the strategies of the street cult I work for, I would stand my ground and say that I do not belong to any street cult and they would beat me silly. On the third day, when I realized that in order for a man to live, he must have a measure of food, water and blood in his body, I began to ‘confess’ our strategies.
Now it’s the fifth day and I’m sitting on a soft couch addressing a group of comrades who think that they are being told top-notch rival secrets. I am enjoying watching them nod and look serious. Indeed, they do not know that I am only revealing to them the several ways I have thought of killing my dad.