Wande switched on the bright led lamp over the man. The light pierced the bloodshot eyes and made him dizzy. He was quivering and crying silently. His hands were tied with a strong cord that cut deep into his hands whenever he tried to clench his fists. Wande took the bottle of ethanol and a knife. He walked to the quivering man tied to the chair.
“ You are not helping yourself at all, you are not”
Wande walked closer, the man flinched and tried to speak, but the brown rag in his mouth tightened and made his mouth bleed.
Wande frowned and his eyebrows curved inward.
“ l would ask you for the last time, why did you guys send her?”
The man was silent. He shook his head and quivered again. Wande took the knife and thrust it into the man’s thigh. The blade tore through the dirty trouser and pierced the unprotected skin. He screamed and glared. Wande took the bottle containing the ethanol. Wande poured it slowly over the ound. The man kept screaming and his voice was close to the screeching sound of an old Cadillac Car. Wande removed the rag and threw it away. The man coughed and phlegm mixed with blood dripped from a corner of his lips.
“ Walahi, Na rantse zan gaya muku komai*” He said and coughed. “ l don telli you”. Wande shook his head. He was frustrated. All guards and clique members are always stubborn. He thrust the knife into the man’s wound again. He screamed.
“ Alhaji, Ahmed, na him send her, na him”.
The man was bleeding and the blood gathered on the German floor around the chair. Wande dropped the knife and sat on the chair. He was feeling lethargic and dizzy. The guard kept quivering. ?????? ?????? ??? ?? ??????? ??? ???? ????
The death of Sulia left a great thirst in him. A thirst for vengeance, a thirst for peace. The scene kept playing in his head and it haunted him since the day it occurred. He never knew he would get to the secret so fast and he had been in fear that Alhaji Ahmed won’t be involved and his Career would be over as a soldier.
Sulia , before her death, was a beautiful maid working at Alhaji Ahmed’s house. Wande met her when he was sent by Alhaji Musa’s son, Bello, a top officer in the Army. He worked as a private guard for three months and during this period they fell in love. Though Wande was a Christian, Sulia promised that she would become a Believer when they get married. The dream was crushed three weeks Before the Ramadan fast. He received a brief call from her which made him scared and weak. He could remember that day vividly. Sulia’s voice was silent when she called with her phone.
“They want to use me. Yes Wande. They….er….er”
“ Who are the “they” Sulia? where are you?”. There was a long pause.
“ Central Mosque, lNEC office” she said and his phone went off. Wande dropped his phone and drove with a crazy speed to the heart of kano. He parked close to the INEC office and tried to locate Sulia but couldn’t see her. He was sweating profusely and his heart was racing. The cleric at the mosque just started the prayers. Muslim faithful in their colourful bou bou walked briskly to the mosque. Traders were covering their wares and the stalls close to the stalls were empty within a second. Suddenly a truck from the , park drove on an high speed and parked near the mosque. Wande’s heart lurched when Sulia Opened the door of the truck and ran into the Mosque. The truck reversed and sped away. Almost immediately, the Mosque exploded. The brick walls fell apart and dust like giant mushrooms rose into the air. Wande fell on his back and became unconscious until He was revived at the Hospital.
“ Why Una send Her? Alhaji Ahmed dey work for Boko Haram abi?”
The guard nodded. Wande stood and walked to the cabinet at the far end of the Warehouse. He took his leather Jacket and wore it. He took a pistol and fixed the silencer. He fixed another barrel into the barrel well of his Italian Baretta 259 × 19 mm Submachine gun. He took a pocket knife and a mask with a Viking emblem drawn on it. He closed the Cabinet and aimed the pistol at the unfortunate guard he kidnapped from Alhaji Ahmed’s house and Fired. The quivering body became still. Wande wore the mask and hid his Baretta and the silenced pistol in his Jacket. He walked out of the old warehouse to his Bike and drove it into the silent night.
Alhaji Ahmed’s Flat was built next to an Islamic school in Sabon Gari. He was a popular Muslim faithful and a wealthy man by his people’s standards. Arabic writings covered all walls of the building and a stable was built next to it. Wande parked his bike close to the gate. He walked slowly to the fence at the back of the House and climbed the fence. Being a skillful soldier, He broke the lock of the iron grille that was close to the back door. He was about to open the door when He saw a guard. He crouched and fired the guard with the silenced pistol, the guard dropped dead and his torch rolled away. Another guard walked to his Companion and checked his pulse and flinched. He aimed his rifle in the direction of the grille. Wande fired him and he fell to the ground. He walked to the dead guards and dragged them to the grille. He opened the door quietly and walked on his toes like a Ninja. The kitchen was filled with the scent of potato and myrrh. There was a pot of potato next to the zinc. Calenders and almanac were hung on the walls of the hallway and He tiptoed to the door of Alhaji Ahmed’s Room. He kicked the Door open. He ran into the room and closed the room.
Alhaji Ahmed jerked and pulled his bedspread aside. He was sweating. He glared at the masked man in his room and shook with fear. Wande aimed at him with his Baretta.
“ Longtime Alhaji” Wande said and walked closer.
“ Wetin you want, For Allah’s Sake, don’t point that gun at me” He said and tilted his head to the left.
“ l didn’t know you are a demon. You killed her….why did you…..”
“ Walahi…….l no kill……..ki….anybody”
“ knee down, who sent Sulia to the Central Mosque. The one wey you bomb, the one wey dey close to lNEC office”
Wande raised the Baretta and aimed at Alhaji Ahmed.
“ You think say…..l…..l… No go know. If l repeat my self and you no tell me who dey involved for this thing with you. I go shoot you, your pikin and your two wives” Wande threatened. Alhaji Ahmed wiped the sweat on his forehead. Wande walked closer and he pointed the Baretta’s muzzle at his forehead.
“ Na Bello, him dey with them. We dey together. Please take the gun away from my head” He said.
“ As long as l live” Wande sniffed and gripped the front strap of the Baretta tightly.
“ l would avenge Sulia’s death”. He squeezed the trigger and made a mess of the man’s head. The lifeless body fell backwards and blood sprayed on the curtain and flowed on the tiled floor. Wande pulled the knob and ran through the hallway into the kitchen. He kicked the grille and ran to the fence. He Jumped it, He was panting when got to his Bike. . Though he killed Alhaji Ahmed, he was still miles to peace. Peace would only come when he had fully avenged Sulia’s death. The walk to peace just started.
Hausa words and meaning:
Walahi, Na Rantse zan Gaya Muku Komai — l swear l have told you everything.
Oladejo Victor Olayemi is a budding artist and a secondary school
graduate. He lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state and wrote in via email@example.com