I picked it up without hesitation…
“Hello, is this Afeez please?”
“Yes, I am Afeez. Who’s this please?” I replied in an effort to recognize the voice, then he spoke out again.
“It’s me Demola, your paddy”, he muttered.
“Oh oh, Demmy how far nah?” I asked, even then, I was surprised that he was calling me at the late hours of the day and not using his number.
“Where are you?” he asked.
“I’m at home right now. Any gist?” I inquired.
“You know what? You will have to vacate your house immediately in order to avoid being arrested!” he exclaimed rushing to hang up, but I quickly ask him to hold on.
“Wait wait, what’s the problem, what happened?” I interrupted him just before he hung up.
“Based on what I heard, Zainab was found almost lifeless in her room bleeding heavily. It was discovered that she aborted and she was brought to my father’s clinic. And it seemed her father has ordered for your arrest,” he explained and hung up.
His last words hit me hard and got me shocked. I almost collapsed at what he just disclosed.
My mood was destabilized and I didn’t know what to do. I stood at akimbo and I didn’t know when I started crying. Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door which got me shocked and sent a cold down my spine. I started panting, and quickly hid at the back of the door. I heard the knock again and a voice followed.
“Afeez, kilode? Silekun jare,” it was grandma, which meant “Afeez, what happened? Open the door.”
Then, I became calm and quickly wiped the tears and pretended as if nothing happened. I opened the door for her and she sat on my bed, and asked me what the problem was. She was too precious to me and it was hard for me to hide anything from her, so I explained everything to her.
She was highly disappointed in me and wept for my mistake. She asked me to pack immediately that very night and find somewhere to hide so as not to get arrested.
When I was ready to flee, her eyes were saturated with tears and she hugged me so tight and then dissolved into tears. I was touched and I started weeping too. I felt like staying with her, but she released me and prayed for me.
I later summoned courage like a gallant soldier and left the house without heading to any particular destination.
I called Demola’s number but it was not available and I decided to go directly to his house since it was dark, and fortunately for me, I met him at home.
He asked me on how it happened which I explained to him and he counseled me to leave the town as early as possible because Zainab’s dad was very wicked and he could do anything to get me eliminated due to what had happened to his one and only child.
On hearing that, my heart started pounding heavily and I had a restless night due to the challenges ahead of me.
Very early the following day at about 5:05am, I left the town for Ibadan. When I got to Ibadan, I looked for my sister who was also struggling for survival and got her informed about the situation on ground. She seemed carefree and less concerned about me. Then, that was when I decided to put a call to grandma.
She picked up the call but it was a man’s voice. I dropped the call so as to confirm if I had dialed the right number, and yes I was correct. Then, I re-dialed it and it was that same voice.
“Hello, who am I on to?” I asked with a great concern.
“This is sergeant Sunday from Apa Police Station, Division 2, speaking on behalf of Iya Afeez,” he answered.
I was shocked to hear that grandma had been arrested just because of the issue.
“But what has she done to deserve that? How dare you arrest an elderly innocent woman?” I questioned aggressively.
“Hear this fool! You had better show up before it is too late for you,” he said in concise way.
I was short of words and then hung up the call.
“You have landed Maami into trouble through your stupid act abi?” my sister said while I looked at her with horror eyes.
She took her phone and called grandma’s number again and pleaded to the sergeant to let her speak with her and which he allowed.
She (grandma) told my sister not to let me show up, that she was ready to bear whatever came out of it. My sister was not satisfied with her decision and hung up the call angrily.
After three days, my sister decided to go home in order to check her (grandma) and she came back to Ibadan with sad news which landed me in hospital.
“When I got home, I went straight to Zainab’s dad and pleaded to him to set Maami free and which he did by giving me a letter to the police station, but when I got there, I learnt that she had been mistakenly taken for a woman who killed her husband just because he didn’t take her out for valentine. And an attempt was made to correct the mistake, but she had been hanged to death before the correction could be made,” she explained and busted into tears.
When I heard that, I slumped and fainted. I woke up after some hours and still couldn’t believe grandma has gone to the land of no return. I cried bitterly not because of anything, but because I was responsible for her death.
“Yah Allah, forgive me for not letting her reap the fruits of her labour and being responsible for her death,” I prayed and asked for forgiveness.
It took me some days before I could recover.
Afterwards, I decided to put a call to Zainab, but her lines were switched off and likewise my childhood friend’s (Demola) number. My life became a misery because I didn’t know if she survived it or not, but I later motivated myself and learned to move on.
I started another way of life and lost my phone in the process, I got another line neglecting the former one. I applied for direct entry into a federal university and which I was admitted.
After a year, my sister got married and relocated to Osogbo while I was still schooling in Ibadan. I later joined her in Osogbo where she secured me a placement for my Industrial training (IT).
- Very Creative