As soon as dad’s car faded from view, I was thrilled and felt like a child that was handed a pack of chocolate. I quickly called Dotun, “My parents just left for Abuja,” I said while panting out of excitement.
“That means you will be here for the party, right?” An excited Dotun inquired.
“Trust me; I won’t miss it for anything.”
“Okay, then. See you at 9 PM,” Dotun said as he ended the call.
Dad and mum never wanted to leave me alone, but it was an emergency and I convinced them that at 20 years, I was no longer a baby and could stay in the house before they returned the next day which was a Monday. They promised to come back very early so that Dad won’t miss work.
I kept fidgeting and going about the house looking for what to wear so that I would “kill them” with my looks. I had to borrow one of mum’s stilettos because it matched the blouse I had planned to use.
By 8:30 PM, I was fully dressed and couldn’t stop admiring my reflection in the mirror. I wore my immaculate makeup, a flowered blouse, a pair of blue jeans trousers, and finished the looks with my mum’s blue-coloured stilettos. I was almost at the door when a phantom voice whispered to me to use my mum’s Brazilian hair. I quickly went for it since I was all out to impress everyone at the party with my looks.
Dotun, a spoiled brat whose parents were medical doctors lived at the outskirt of town in an attractive duplex that made one wish to be adopted by Dotun’s parents. His parents were hardly around, so he was always alone with domestic staff members that couldn’t stop him whenever he chose to have his way–the reason for the party.
Other guests trickled in as the hands on the clock moved. A lot of Food, rum, red wine, and beer flowed mercilessly at the party. Thankfully, I was a teetotaller. I revel in the excitement so much that I got carried away and didn’t know that time had flown until it was 11:45 PM. It struck me like a tidal wave that I was in big trouble. All the guests who had cars had left and those who were around were those who had planned on spending the night at Dotun’s Place. I was on my own.
Asking Dotun to drop me off at home was out of the question. He had apparently drunk more than he could take and could hardly recognize me. I was completely at a loss of what to do. My parents would be home in the next few hours and I wouldn’t want them to find out that I was at a party and that I had stolen mum’s wig and shoes.
I decided to take the risk and prayed that I would get a cab that would take me home. I set out with my heart in my mouth to see if I could get home before my parents return. The street was eerily quiet and I swore to myself that one could hear a pin drop. Not too far from Dotun’s house, I thought I spotted some men ahead. I suspect they might be kidnappers, and decided to take a detour into the bush trail hoping it will lead me to a tarred road and probably a cab. I was already sweating even though the weather was a bit cold.
The path I took kept stretching and I didn’t see the end in sight. My heart rate increased and I could hear my heart beating in my ears. Thankfully, I got a pair of flip-flops from Dotun and was holding my mother’s precious stilettos. I clung to them as if my life depended on them. I know that I would have a lot of questions to answer if I misplaced them. I stubbed my left big toe on what appeared to be a slab and one of the shoes fell on the ground. I winced as I stooped to pick the shoe when I discovered that it wasn’t a slab, but a grave. Blood drained from my face and I almost passed out. I put myself together and picked the shoe that fell on the grave. I now realized that that was not the only grave, my fright had made me oblivious of my environment as I had passed some graves already. It then dawned on me that was in a graveyard.
At this point, I was certain that my next breath would be my last; the tears started before I could stop them. “God will punish Dotun,” I kept muttering under my breath. I took few more steps when mum’s wig was yanked from my head. Fear sent chills down my arms and legs and suddenly everything froze for a split second. “Jesus!” I screeched impulsively. I turned round to see if I could grab it from whoever had taken it from my head when I discovered that I had passed by a tree that had a jagged branch that pulled my wig from my head. “Thank you, Jesus,” I said as I retrieved the wig and had neither the strength nor courage to put it back on my head.
I saw a small pathway and was hoping it will lead to a tarred road so that I could hail a cab if I could even get one at the small hours. I walk and walked and it was as though I was walking circles since I was still in the graveyard. I was almost giving up when I started to hear voices. I didn’t know where they were coming from but decided to tread carefully. I was afraid to take further steps neither did I want to go back from where I was coming from. I couldn’t feel my legs again and wondered if I could walk at all. I decided to still try; I trudged on. I moved for a while and to my terrified astonishment found the source of the sound I was hearing.
I saw a man half-naked with a piece of red cloth tied around his waist while others were dressed similarly, but their cloth was black. I quickly dropped to the ground in a crouch, eased behind a tree, and peeked to watch the scene playing out before me.
The one who appeared to be the leader said, “You are now a full member of this brotherhood. The blood of the little girl you brought was accepted by Akikaba.”
The other ten men started singing a bizarre song, which sounded sickening while they danced around the man in red. They all took turns as to shake his hand vigorously and touched his back, a welcoming gesture. His red cloth was replaced with a black one just like theirs. They danced for a while and stopped.
The leader continued, “You are required to sacrifice two females between the age of 20 and 25.”
I couldn’t exhale anymore. I opened my mouth so much that I drooled. My eyes were filled with fear, shock and horror.
“You can only win the election if you sacrifice the two females. Remember, the more blood you shed, the more powerful you will become.”
The man who was initiated was given a calabash with something that I couldn’t see from my hiding place. I knew the taste was awful because of how he grimaced as soon as he drank it.
“The election is barely a month away and you must comply with Akikaba’s directives as soon as possible if you must win the election.” The leader said matter-of-factly.
Just then, my phone rang. I had completely forgotten about it in my bag since the brilliant moon gave me enough light to navigate through the night. I quickly removed it from my back and tried to silence it or do whatever to stop the loud ring. It was too late.
All 24 eyes turned in my direction. I darted from behind the tree and broke into a canter. It was obvious I was not fast enough as I felt strong hands grabbed me from behind. My head started reeling and I was sure that nothing was going to save me from the daredevils. I did the only thing I could think of at that moment, I started to cry and was shouting, “Please, sir, don’t kill me!” I said it over and over again as I tried to wriggle myself free from the grasp of the man who held me. I knew my efforts were futile, but I just couldn’t stop.
Rita, wake up! My sister said while she slapped me on my face. I spurted up and discovered that I was drenched in sweat.
“Thank God it was a nightmare!” I said in a shaky voice.
Roselyn Sho – Olajide works with an Audit Firm in Jos, Plateau State. She loves reading and writing and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org