“Do you know him?” a husky voice asked behind me. I turned to look at who had asked such a silly question.
Everyone had seen the man fall from the bike, everyone had seen him cough up blood and die, we all watched it happen and we stood at a safe distance for fear of the unknown.
What if what it was that plagued him was contagious?
And now, there was this tall, pale-eyed, bearded human towering behind me and asking if I knew a dead man.
I shrugged and walked away. The sun was hot. I got into my house, and undressed slowly, letting my clothes hit the floor, one by one. I moved my hands to my breast and I closed my eyes. A memory from last month played in my head.
I remembered running early in the morning, then colliding with a jogger, and then I fell and twisted my ankle
I remembered limping and wishing the day would break faster.
I remembered that someone grabbed me from behind and blindfolded me. I remembered the darkness, the groping, I remembered slapping his hands away. And then he leaned into my ears and whispered, “Shout na, nobody go hear.”
I remembered his loud grunts as he violated me. I remembered that he carried me and dumped me right where he picked me, as it was still dark.
My mind traveled to three days ago, when I heard that voice again, that laughter. I turned and I saw him.
He was eating at a buka. I asked around, he was a regular.
The 18-year-old waiter at the buka seemed very impressionable. All it took was ₦100,000 and a small bottle of rat poison.
And today, a man fell off a bike, vomited blood, and died.