Published on July 19th, 2012 | by The Alchemist12
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Alchemists corner.
In case you missed it, Episode 8 went up yesterday.
Now, The Experiment continues…
EPISODE 9: Warrior. Spirit.
My eyes flutter open and I try to raise my head but it feels like it has doubled in weight. I stop trying to move and relax my muscles again. Eyes open, I survey my surroundings. I am still in Baba’s shrine but I have no idea how long I have been unconscious. It could be anything from a few hours to a few weeks. Feeling slightly better now, I shift my weight to my right and prop myself up on my left elbow. I attempt to raise my head again but the action makes me dizzy. After waiting for the world to stop spinning, I manage to get up and stand on my feet. I touch my back, fingers and head but there is no pain from my prior injuries – the healing has worked well – as expected. As I begin moving, my head begins to clear.
I quickly review my thoughts on all that has happened in the past few weeks. It helps my head with the clearing process.
Lolade Adejuwon was being honest when she asked me to kill her husband. She did not impose any time limit or indicate any sense of urgency that would lead me to clash with Brigadiers bodyguards-turned-assassins. Her getting me involved was an unfortunate coincidence. There is no evidence to support thoughts to the contrary.
Lateef, Onos, Old soldier, Clement and their friend TJ were paid by a well-connected group of Nigerians consisting of at least the ones they call ‘Chief’ and ‘Senator’ to turn on and kill the Brigadier general. As to exactly why they did this, and what the mention of the president had to do with any of all this, I do not really know.
That is where I stumbled into all this. Once this group discovers that their men have been eliminated, they will begin looking for me. Luckily, they have very little information on me so I can still vaporize. All I need to do now is wait for Baba to get some information from his political friends about the people involved in all this and tell Mrs. Adejuwon to leave the country as soon as possible after ensuring her silence. Once Baba does all these things, I will return to my business as usual and forget that any of this ever happened. I can hide out in Port Harcourt until then. The exchange of one imbecile at the helm of the nation’s affairs for another is of no concern to me in the least. They have been playing this game for a long time. I do not care if the country is turned upon its head tomorrow, as long as Baba continues to bring me work and I can carry it out unhindered, my world remains unchanged. I have long turned my back on any aspirations to righteousness or justice. I simply follow my way and fulfil my purpose.
To hate injustice and stand on righteousness is a difficult thing. Furthermore, to think that being righteous is the best one can do and to do one’s utmost to be righteous will, on the contrary, bring many mistakes.
I rise from the mat and walk purposefully into the main house and towards the living room. Even before I enter I can hear the noise of a football match. Baba really loves his football.
I turn the door handle and walk in.
“Ehen, omo ni, o ti e da, o ti ji. Mo ti ba o se to irin ajo re. Monday. Mo si ti pe AZed fun o. Bo ba ti ya o, ma pe ko ma bo.” (Ehen! My boy! You are up. Very good. I have already booked ticket for you for Monday and called AZed to be on standby. He will come and pick you once I send him a text)
“Thank you Baba”
“Ko si wahala. Oya joko je ka wo boolu. Igbakugba lawon omo mi n gba lati igba ti omo buruku ti won n pe ni Messi yen ti wo ori paapa.” (It is ok, oya come and watch the match with me, my boys are not doing well o. This Messi has brought his wahala to our stadium)
The clock above the television says the time is 8:00 pm. I wonder what day it is.
“Its ok baba, I need to eat and take a bath. How long was I asleep?”
“Ojo kan soso, are re ma n tete ya.” (Just one day. Your body heals fast)
So I slept yesterday night and woke up tonight. About 25 hours. Not too much of a time loss. Good.
“Thank you. Please text Azeez to come tomorrow morning. I’ll be in my room.”
“Ah, oti ya niyen. O fe ba mi wo boolu ni.” (This boy sha, you don’t want to watch game with Baba. Ok o. You are stubborn sha.)
He is frowning now. I ignore his somewhat affected reprimand. It comes from a good place and belies the fact that there is no ill feeling.
A man who will criticize you openly carries no connivance
“Ko si wahala, ma ranse si AZed.” (Its ok, I will text Azed now.)
I will never understand why Baba or anyone else for that matter keeps referring to Azeez as Azed. It’s such a crass moniker. I would never use that name to address him. However, I do not scoff at Baba for his simple, jovial, unpolished and local ways. He is who he is. He has always been this way since I first met him and I do not expect him to change. In some primal way, his basic demeanour gives me comfort just as I feel my own polished demeanour does him.
That one’s own district is unsophisticated and unpolished is a great treasure. Imitating another style is simply a sham.
I turn my back on Baba and walk out of the room before he says any more. Baba is like a father to me and it would not take much for him to emotionally blackmail me into sitting through one of those disgusting football games with him. I walk to my room and look around. As always, it is exactly as it was when I left it. Simple, spacious. I walk into the bathroom, strip off all the clothes I am wearing and step into the shower. It does not take long for my mind to turn to thoughts of Port Harcourt and Debola.
The first time I met her, she was bleeding on the floor of a guest room in a cult house. Her hands and feet were tied to the edges of varied objects at the ends of the room with rope and condoms littered the floor around her. They had lured her there from UNIPORT with rumours of a big party but instead had kidnapped her and subjected her to repeated rapes and beatings. When I arrived to take out their leader on orders, the rest of their cult had gotten in the way. In the end, I had to kill and incapacitate a decent quantity of them before I finally got to him.
It was when I was about to leave the house that I found her tied up and gagged. I released her bonds and told her to leave but she refused. She wanted revenge. There was fire in her eyes, the kind of fire I had never seen in a woman since I returned to Nigeria. Her fire captivated me and so I broke my discipline. I led her to the room where I had left the injured cult members, gave her my knife and told her to take her revenge, expecting her to withdraw from the prospect of having to literally take her pound of flesh from them. I was completely surprised when she walked over to the first of them (whom I had shot in the kneecaps), pulled down his trousers and forcefully liberated his penis from him.
She proceeded to the next of them (a semi-conscious oaf whom I had smashed over the head with the butt of my gun) and she took his penis from him as well. I stood there transfixed for almost an hour while she slowly, deliberately took her revenge on all of them without consideration for any other factors – it were as though revenge were worth more than life to her.
The way of revenge lies in simply forcing one’s way into a place and being cut down. There is no shame in this. By thinking that you must complete the job you will run out of time. One must act as though the act of vengeance is more valuable than one’s life.
I found myself fascinated beyond comprehension. Here was this simple girl, a student, whom had never been involved with this kind of violence that was characteristic of my world, brutally violated but a few hours ago and she still had the presence of mind and the gall to take out the most macabre of vengeances, without pause, trepidation or even much speaking. She was born with the truest of warrior spirits and I was impressed.
When we were done, I took her to Dr. Uwem’s clinic and had her treated and tested. A large payment ensured that test results and medication came within two hours. Leaving the clinic, I took her to my hotel room to get cleaned up and dressed properly. She remained silent through all this, not even protesting at being shepherded by a stranger. When we saw the news on TV the next morning about a ‘ritual killing’ at a cult house in Rumokiri, she laughed for the first time and hugged me. I kissed her cheek and she returned the favour. We lay in bed all afternoon, exchanging only kisses and the occasional few words before I took her back to her campus. Before getting out of the taxi, she kissed me again and gave me her phone number. We have carried on an affair of sorts ever since. When I allow myself think about it, I am haunted by the possibility that I may be in love with…
I turn off the shower and step out into my room. I put on boxer shorts and nothing else before going to the kitchen. It is too hot to sleep in clothes. I make myself a meal of Garri soaked in cold water sans sugar and then I return to my room to sit and meditate on all that has happened so far. I am glad that Baba agreed with most of my reasoning but I am still troubled by an uneasy feeling. I try to focus and pinpoint what it is but my mind is constantly interrupted by thoughts of Debola and Port Harcourt.
Next Week on FIST:
EPISODE 10: Sky Burn Notice
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