Time is the gateway between life and death.
..."the passage of time brings about change, nothing remains constant forever".
Paula awoke with a start, she had been asleep for too long. Tutu was still sound asleep and the painkillers did make her feel better. Everywhere was eerily silent, James had switched his boombox off already. She picked up her smartphone to call Nife. Damn the consequences, The dial tone beeped twice before she was sent to voicemail.
A gunshot is loud enough to disorient and deafen anyone in a too close range. Now, gunshots in confined spaces is another matter entirely especially when you aren't bracing for it. Bang! Bang! Bang!
Tope's ears were ringing, he could hear someone yelling. There was something mushy in his mouth, there was definitely something on his face too, it was too much to ignore. It took some seconds for him to realise that he was the one doing the yelling. There was so much blood but, there was no pain. He thought he saw a knife, he tackled the boy to save Nife. Was the boy holding a gun in the other hand? Was this what dying felt like? No white light anywhere, he didn't feel numb. He held his hand to his head, the gunshot was so loud. What's that smell?
That smell, was the acrid smell of cordite and excrement. Yes excrement! Dying is not a blissful thing, especially when you never saw it coming. Such was the case for Ahmed. He didn't even feel the pain of the bullet puncturing his skull, all he felt was nothingness as his fiery rage faded into embers. That was what death felt like; absolutely nothing.
I said I like it like that!! Cardi B's voice sounded like thunder rumbling across the skies to the boys ears. Nife jolted out his shock, that was his preset ringtone for Paula. "It was always bad timing with her" he didn't waste time sending her to voicemail. But that was the call back to earth that they all needed. Skodo was standing aloof and staring at the black 9mm Beretta 93R machine pistol that was in his fist. Nonso who was standing at the door, with a full view of the showdown that had just happened couldn't help but retch. The look on his face was one of utter awe and shock. Nife immediately went over to Tope who had just stopped yelling before his phone rang he was sitting astride Ahmed the boy who was just shot and he was distraught. He kept murmuring inaudible things. Nife helped Tope up and checked him to see if he got hit by any of the parabellum rounds Skodo had just generously dispensed. Then he got a full view of Ahmed, single gunshot entry wound to the head and two to the torso. It looked like the 8k version of an action movie "Where had Skodo learnt to shoot with such precision". As Nife helped Tope up, Skodo unfroze and murmured "we have to move now". Nonso protested; "but we can't just leave!" "Yes we can" Skodo replied. I will call Egbon he will know what to do.
Egbon is Skodo's elder brother. Nobody really knew his real name Skodo knows but won't tell. Egbon is rumoured to be the current hitman for The Supreme Vikings Confraternity a deadly cult group that splintered off from The Buccaneers in 1982. Viking members are usually nicknamed vultures, in the southwest chapter, Egbon was the deadliest of them all. Egbon was a Norseman and Adventurer no doubt, he has travelled all over the country committing atrocities so horrible that they were left at being just rumors. It could not be brought to admittance. Egbon always knew what to do, he had never failed his younger brother and he definitely wouldn't now. The boys hurriedly hoped into the car and Nife zoomed off faster this time and not a single word was said.
Paula didn't bother calling back. It wasn't new, there was no use crying over split milk. Then her thoughts took a turnaround; He is probably very busy, he will have an explanation for her when he calls back. Paula decided to clear her head by taking a strolling in the estate where she lived; "Moremi Estate". It was an estate predominantly filled with female hostels. She woke Tutu up, notified her of her intentions, plugged in her earphones and selected Meghan Trainor's new album "Treat Myself". She then set out on her walk.
It was not blazing hot neither was it cool either. It was just tepid. She had been walking for a while maybe about 30mins. Her thoughts were raving mad, there was so much on her mind. Growing up isn't fun, Why have I been robbed of my innocence? Why is there so much hurt and pain. A white Mercedes-Benz CLA250 blew past her cutting into her train of thought. The luxurious car was moving a little too fast for the untarred road. She wondered what such a nice car was doing in her neighbourhood. It was probably some parents coming to see their kids or some sugar daddy coming to pick up his sugar baby. She wasn't fazed by cars though, she didn't know much about them and didn't care as long as it was comfortable and doesn't breakdown too often. Nife always drove her around with the Camry SE whenever she really needed a ride and that was enough.
Femi or FM as he was well known in smaller circles, was behind the wheels of the aforementioned car. Since he got the ride, the respect he got from all and sundry was overwhelming. He had to tint his windows to the darkest shade of black he could get and give up his customized FM plate number so as to maintain anonymity. Since he moved into Ile-Ife recently, his businesses required that he kept a low profile. The AMG V8 Biturbo engine kept firing like a fine tuned horse and the off-road sport tires he had acquired last week before moving down here was crunching gravel like a construction compactor. He knew he was driving too fast for the terrain, he should slow down so as not to ruin the undersides of the Benz. But who cares, he could always get another one if it gets ruined he had more money than he knew what to do with anyways.
As he accelerated past, entirely engrossed in his thoughts and enjoying the new car smell that hadn't thawed yet. He caught glimpse of a beautiful damsel with headphones on. She looked liked she had no care in the world for anything at all. He had to hit that he thought, he braked abruptly and the V8 engine groaned in protest but still slowed down anyways. That's why he loved AMG engines, they are beasts on a very sordid leash. As the car slowed down he ignored the paddle shifter behind the steering wheel and decided to use the touch gearbox instead. He still hadn't gotten tired of the new technology yet. He put the car in reverse and at a creeping pace. He puts on his shades, turned down the volume of Roddy Ricch's "Please Excuse me I'm Antisocial" that was playing over the custom titanium speakers, stopped next to her and then wound down his window "Heyy Pretty, what are you doing out here in the sun; you going somewhere?"
Paula hadn't noticed the car braking, she didn't notice that the car was slowly reversing either. She braced herself, ready to rebuke the poor sod behind the wheel, she wasn't ready to play the cat and mouse game that most girls like her had to play with those potbellied old men. She was not ready for what came next though. The voice that spoke next sent shivers down her spine, her brain released hormones that made her nether regions pulse. She couldn't see his eyes behind the shades he wore but, those shoulders were well toned, his face was graced with a chiseled jaw and a beard that had been styled into a goatee. As the window wound down further she could smell his perfume, he smelled like wood and earth, so very refreshing. She couldn't even remember what he had said. As she took in all of these, he took off his shades and asked her very sweetly again "Are you okay?"
At that moment, she lost herself in his eyes.
Stay tuned for more Chapters!!!✨ I will be randomly updating from time to time at least twice in a week.
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