Archive for January, 2012
She wound the window of the back seat up, to keep the wind from making the hair rough while the cab drove her to where she would meet him. Boyo at that moment stepped onto the balcony of his first floor apartment in a three storey building some two kilometres ahead with no clue what the clock said… and he couldn’t be bothered to know.
It was the second day of the long weekend; the government had declared holidays from Thursday for the sake of mourning the deceased President, not that the people cared about him. A lot of cars were still parked in their respective owners’ compound just as a small crowd gathered round a table where a table tennis competition among the youth of the area was going on just down the road lined by trees on both sides.
A green cab striped along the middle by white slowed on approaching the onlooking crowd. Also caught Boyo’s attention and he went in to get his iPhone. He was expecting his girlfriend today, her first time at the apartment he moved into a fortnight ago.
Time was half past ten as he glanced at the living room’s wall clock on his way back to the balcony. No call incoming, no missed call either as he leaned on the railings while watching the cab park in front of his apartment’s compound. “Interesting” he muttered as she alighted from the cab.
She was light skinned with designer shades on, dressed in a customised purple polo top with collar up on black pant trousers and sandals to match the polo shirt. “hmmm… ” he went when she bent over to pay the cab man.
He cussed under his breath for not having his reading glasses at hand, a tattoo on her back just above her bum had been revealed when she’d bent to pay the cab man, her underwear remained out of view however, “not the sagging type” he said in admiration.
The cab man had lingered in giving her her balance and when she turned to the compound and swept her braids off her face with a hand, he figured why. His mind’s focus didn’t linger however, moving to her hand movements.
She’d put the balance in her black purse and fumbled out her BlackBerry. “She no sabi the guy house” he muttered as he watched her movement just inside the compound’s gate. She was making to call, not type a message… his opportunity.
“Hey I’m here.” Boyo called out to her, making her to end the call and look up with a smile. “Where’s the stairway to you?” she asked. Hausa or Fulani he assumed from her accent as he pointed her to the stairway.
“Gbemi better not be on her way soon” he said, sounding half prayerful as he made to the door. She was at the start of the stairs to his floor when he opened the door in, more than enough time to admire her coming up.
“How’s it going err… ” Boyo broke mid-sentence, on purpose. “Hazana'” she helped out, “I’m Hazana’ mister man”. He let the mister man bit slide as he let her in and asked she “feel at home, I’ll be back asap”.
He rushed down to think things over, that was after getting his conscience to stop going ‘damn, she’s fine!!!’ over and again. “Alright…” he caught her roaming attention, she’d been looking around the living room, “what’s it gonna be? Juice? Wine? Horlicks?”… “what?” she chuckled, “I’ll have water, thanks”.
“You don’t take horlicks?” he asked while getting her a chilled bottle of water from the kitchen where the refridgerator was. “Sorry… ” Hazana’ replied as she received a call. Her countenance shifted from perplexed to sly admiration. All Boyo could see coming back with the bottle and a tall glass cup was a smirk on her face, her eyes on him while she listened to the caller.
“Busted” he thought and truly, he was. “That was the guy I came to see… ” she began after ending the call, “and you, mister man, are just a smart ass abi?”
Boyo chuckled, then scratched his head. He made to retort, nothing came. “Alright, kinda dumb but I couldn’t help meeting your beautiful self.”
She remained quiet for a moment, then got up and made to leave. He made to follow when his phone rang, it was Gbemi calling. “I’ll be down now” he said, ending the call. Hazana’ was gone when he got to the door. Made him look down and shake his head… he stopped just then. A card was on his door mat. And on it was her number and e-mail, “I’ll never forget this baba God” he said as he made to bring Gbemi up. He broke up with her a fortnight after…
Toba looked to his side at Bolu but held his inquiry on seeing his partner looking out the driver’s seat window, nodding his head lightly to the music those black Klipsch buds fed his ears. I’ll just schedule it anyway Toba thought while bringing out a mobile phone from his left pocket to type a message.
“You’re sure he’s coming?” asked Bolu, still staring out the window with a countenance implying he was deep in thought. “Like I said” Toba began half attentive to his partner while typing on the phone, “every other day… he buys suya from there every other day so it’s… ” “… seventy – thirty he’ll come.” Bolu cut in, “I’d prefer it was hundred he’d come but… your call boss.”
Toba brought his left wrist into view, half past eight he muttered before returning to the phone. “He’ll be here in fifteen minutes, give or take five minutes.” he said as he put the phone back in his left pocket and stared out the front passenger window into the night life of New Yidi where the PHCN induced darkness was broken by pockets of lights from passing vehicle headlamps and a few bulbs from shops still open in the neighbourhood, including Farouk’s suya stand.
The stand had been there almost 20 years with Farouk now selling from there with his two grown sons. Strangely, a daughter of his, rather than a son, oversaw the rearing of the cattle he owned. Salamat read some Agriculture related course at university so logically was the choice to oversee the cattle rearing for Farouk at the family farm found at the outskirt of the city.
“Here we go” said Toba, breaking a ten minute silence that had ensued. A black BMW sedan drove past their car. Bolu alighted from it right after the BMW turned the intersection and began to slow down on approaching Farouk’s stand.
Toba moved to the driver’s seat without alighting from the brown Peugeot hatchback. The BMW, driven by the President of the State’s senate, parked in front of the suya stand and honked once. Farouk went to meet his friend; both approaching the sixty year age, to share some banter while waiting for one of his sons to deliver the senator’s usual package.
Bolu increased his walk’s pace a bit soon as Farouk got into the BMW. Now was the window he and Toba timed it to happen, a second’s lapse would see the job shelved for another night or altogether.
The front passenger side’s window where Farouk sat was down, the suya man was not such a fan of airconditioners. Besides, he loved the scent of his suya. So did the senator, who never complained of the habit.
Bolu was seven steps from the BMW’s open window. Just then Farouk’s son collected the first of two wrapped newspaper papers with suya in it, turned to signal ‘one more’ at the near sextugerians before turning clockwise back to the suya, missing Bolu’s approach to the luxury car.
Toba started the hatchback and began moving towards the BMW. Bolu glanced to the stand with three steps left, no one was really looking the BMW’s way. He brought out the gun with a silencer at the nuzzle with two steps to go.
Toba reached the back of the BMW with Bolu releasing his gun’s safety with a step to go. The senator turned his gaze to the passing hatchback just as Farouk made a snuffed sound.
The senator hadn’t turned to see the reason for Farouk’s strange, short sound when the bullet bashed into his face through the side of his right eye’s socket. Both men had been assasinated with Bolu not breaking his stride.
The hatchback was parked just up front, its lights off. Bolu got in four seconds after, buds still feeding his ears music while Toba drove to the roundabout.
Farouk’s son took the second wrap of suya just then and began to move towards the BMW. Toba switched the hatchback’s lights on at the roundabout and began approaching the suya stand.
Bolu, back to his thoughts, stared out the back passenger seat window while Toba drove past the luxury car with the dead duo. He knew they were soon as he saw Farouk’s son run back to the stand hysterical.
Without being noticed thought Toba as he drove on. His phone came alive at the front passenger seat with a delivery report, a scheduled message had expired and been sent, “Killed in Swift Silence” it read to its recipient.
“Why do you… ” Toba stopped midway through the enquiry he wanted to make earlier on realising Bolu still had the buds on. He flicked the security lights in the hatchback on and off to get Bolu’s attention.
“Why do you always have the music up?” he asked. This was their ninth operation together, and they each would be N20m richer. “I don’t fancy hearing the bullet go or their last whimp before dying” Bolu replied. Toba raised his eyebrow, weird partner he thought.
The following morning the network broke the news, Mallam Waheed was found dead yesterday night. The suya seller as well.. There was more, Professor Bashir would likely replace the deceased as senate president, being the popular choice among his peers.
Toba mute the television and checked his e-mail, ‘Credit notification: your account 254-768-335-9150 has been credited with N20,000,000. From Yinusa Bashir’. He bothered not to read the other details as he shut the laptop down and made for the bathroom, he had a flight to the Gambia to catch.