I believed it was possessed. Many people said it. How could l explain it. It was beyond sanity. I wasn’t a fetish. I didn’t believe in witches and angels. I didn’t push the analogy of evil and bad into the dusty archives of my memory. What else is a Car made of? Metals, wires and other mechanical stuffs. What else ?
My head was covered with lints, stitches, and bandages. My body was on fire. For the first time, l found life a worthless adventure. I wasn’t at ease, my mind was moving through all the events. My head was filled with their pictures. Those limbs. The curled up body of the boy, the jelly-like state of the girl’s body. The shouting crowd. The chase. With all events playing all l could remember was: l had an accident. The burning sensations in my spine shot through my body. I was dying. My wife sat by my side. She wept all the while l arrived at the Hospital. It was all she could do. She was awe-struck.
“How did it happen ehen, dear, how?” she asked over and over again in between sobs. I stared at her, dumb and too scared to talk. The smell of drugs filled my head. I couldn’t find an answer. my mind went blank whenever the question was asked.
The cuffs were burning my left wrist. The range between the bed and the handcuffs was too short and l couldn’t touch my burning head. The pain was just too much.
?? ??? ?????????.
What else would fit in? When l saved the money for a stretch of six months. l dreamt of it. I spoke of it. I browsed all available dealership and all reasonable prices and l was sure the goal was near. But why should l be cursed with a blessing? I denied my self all luxuries. My wife ran the house. I was so obsessed with the purchase of the car. Everyone at the firm owned the car and l was the only one without a four wheel ride. When the purchase was complete l went to the dealership and purchased a curse.
When l bought the 2021 Toyota Corolla Xse Hatchback, l was beyond joy. I drove the blue car home and we celebrated the arrival of medusa —the source of horror. My kinsmen from all parts of the town came and they were all happy, at least for the moment. Owning a Toyota Xse was a great thing in my neighbourhood. I hired a car maintenance firm to keep it in shape. The love of money is the root of all evil, for me the love of all cars became the source of my sorrow. You should see how l cared for this car. I chose who rode in it, which part of the town with good roads to visit. All the way l didn’t know it would happen.
??? ? ???? ? ????.
” You were drunk when it happened Mr Kunle”, my lawyer said, holding my wrist when he came later that afternoon.
” l can’t remember ” l answered and stared hard at the blue board by the side of my bed. I was told, the police ordered l should be kept in a separate ward inorder to aid their interogation. But it made no sense, just like the events playing in mind, I couldn’t remember.
“You were bleeding and your leg was stuck between the brake and the driver’s seat” he sniffed and wiped his nose with an handkerchief. The seat belt was torn and your head was bleeding. It was terrible. Mr Kunle drinking while driving, drinking while driving. I found the…”
“That cannot be, Barrister Tunji”, my pious wife said. Her voice was dry. “The car was possessed. He despises alcohol. Check his bar at home, only Eva wine and juice. And moreover, it happened twice ehen, twice. Come to think of it.” she said and wiped her swimming eyes with the tip of her wrapper.
???? ???????? ?????? I thought.
“Before l left the scene, l found the bottle in his briefcase” Lawyer Kunle said.
Then l remembered it all.
I was in charge of the marketing department of my firm. I was also the head designer of the firm. We produce customized cloths and Bags. I was ordered last week by my boss to create a spectacular design for the firm’s collection. I accepted the offer and the deadline was set. I worked through the week, until a day before yesterday.
During the designing period my mind was occupied with how l would complete the installment of the Corolla l was paying to the dealership. My savings for six months wasn’t enough, so l had to go by installment. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my wife that l purchased the car by installment. I was trapped. The dealership sent their warning. They said they would return my money and retrieve their car. When l sourced for the money l was relieved, but l couldn’t complete the design. My boss was disappointed and he relieved me of my post. I was so disappointed in my self that l became depressed. The Car took my joy. I was driving home dejected when l stopped by a bar and purchased a beer. I drank it in gulps and l returned to my car. I drove slowly to the main road and the bottle took the man.
I drove slowly until l got close to the police checkpoint. Perhaps it was the fear of the police arresting a drunk driver that got me or the green notes they were collecting, l was overcame by a ghoulish fear. I increased the speed, the vehicle accelerated. I drove right through the middle of the road. Seeing the vehicle on such a speed they fled from the road and kept shouting. It wasn’t me, yes it just wasn’t me. I didn’t halt, l drove on. My ears were nailed up. I was about to take a bend when l saw them. Those children. They were hawking their wares. They turned and saw my corolla.
” Runnnn!…………….na motor………you no hearrrr…..”
They veered to the left side of the road. Holding their wares firmly to their head pads. It was no use, my car closed in and the poor boy was in the pool of his own blood. His wares were on the asphalt and the sandy roadside. He shook for a while and he became still. My heart skipped a beat.
???! ???’? ??? ???? My mind said to me.
I reversed vehicle and l took the road by the left, ignoring the wailing children and the shouting pedestrians. l kept on driving, trying to bring calmness to my worried mind. My fingers and legs were shaking. I was relieved when l got to the major road leading to my estate when l heard their sirens. ??????!
I was gripped with fear. My end was near, at least it should have ended with the police arresting me there, but it was a lie. I accelerated, and did all l could, l just didn’t see the girl on time to use the brake. When l did she was dead by the road side. This time, l couldn’t ignore the girl, l marched the brake and the vehicle went straight to the canopy of trees by the side of the road and then……
” What have l done ?” l said with self-pity. “Where do l start from?”
“It depends on what the court decides. I will do my best in defending you”, Lawyer Tunji said. Pain shot through my head again, l became dizzy.
” what of the car?” l asked.
” lt’s in police custody. Why did you ask ehen? we have seen the truth already. Kunle you have killed me” my wife said.
About the Writer
Oladejo Victor Olayemi is a budding artist and a secondary school
graduate. He lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state and wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org