The Kate’s Diary
By Nnagoziem TheVyrus Udensi
Was home all yesterday recovering from a hangover off a serious night party, so I slept all day resulting to my insomniac night. I randomly became conscious of my room, lying with my back on my bed holding my teddy ‘Ed’ (named after my ex, something to remember him by) tight starring hard at my ceiling. I could see the ceiling fan through the dark so bored I was trying to trace a blade out of the spinning three, almost got me dizzied out. It was 4 o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t still catch some sleep and there was no new movie in the house to see so I decided to take out the trash. I pulled up lazily off of my bed with just my panties on.My room wasn’t air-conditioned and I wasn’t bout sweating and sleeping, so I sleep naked after weakening em mosquitoes with the cheap insecticide spray I got last time I accompanied a friend to the mall. I threw my p.j on, walked into the bathroom, and took a long leak wondering what else I could do instead of taking the trash out. Night calls was an option but come on ‘I don pass night calls level’ was exactly the sentence I use while dissing my friends about night calls and now im about calling em at night? It better be some emergency or they’ll nail me the next day. Weighing my options on a toilet seat ended up with me taking out the trash at least as a first step. Before now, stepping out at night was dreaded, it was a dangerous move. But since the new government, things changed positively in my city…turned the local city to vegas. Very lit up at night, street lights on every major and minor road, diverse security teams driving up and down the city fully armed for any anti-criminal combat. So basically I’m trying to say that stepping out at night was the least of my worries because everywhere is safe. All garbage packed in polythene I stepped out in a see-through p.j walking through the cold alley with my headphones to my ears playing asa’s ‘aye adaba’. Like always, I had this fairy fantasy running through my mind. Rays of light from the major road illuminated mildly the narrow path I walked through as I strolled slowly to the main trash box; imitating what I see on slow emotional music videos. After I threw the gabage out, ‘this music’s really messing up my head- I don’t need this’ so I paused to switch to a hip-hop track. As I paused to switch, there was enough silence for me to hear in auxiliary noise coming from the main street; sounded like men scolding someone; so I froze in the moment in mindless confusion of what the noise was about. “Shut up” “shut up” the voices repeated as they were visual dragging a weak blood-coated man who was busy begging like his life depended on it mindless of his swollen face gushing with blood. “Please, plaese don’t call Chief, please I’ll do anything for want”… He kept repeating this sentence for like a minute as a dark tinted s.u.v stopped right opposite the entrance of the alley. I was still lost in daze; recessed in the moment like was controlled by a time machine observing in clarity to see what becomes. It was dusk, black currant dark but the street lights shined on his face revealing this facial identity wholly although I couldn’t identify this short chubby man with an obvious pot belly, sweating profusely like he didn’t alight from an air-conditioned s.u.v. Dragging his quick brief feet across the road clutching a pistol in his left hand muttering angrily “this was obviously the chief the injured guy was ready to do anything so he wouldn’t show up” my mind thought. Chief was angry, very angry and a lefty too. I noticed because he explained things using his left arm more. What was going on? Just like it’s done in the mafia movies where the boss gives his gangsters orders to do things; Those goons held “the begging guy up” squeezing his jaw for a good focus on Chief who pushed his stainless baretta into the guy’s mouth, shutting up his constant plea, landing a furious slap to his face not minding the blood stains it splashed on his roughly buttoned pajamas. It was obvious chief was coming from his bedroom. I still stood here motionless “you think I shove a little money in your pocket and expose you to a little connect and you feel you can backstab me working with my enemies? Richard!” Chief voiced out angrily. Richard fought less this time, expectedly, he had made peace with what was coming to him he grabbed chief tightly staining his P.J forcing chief to squeeze angrily bursting his back head open. This was more than the high definition 3D movies. I saw at cinemas. The gunshot echo bounced off the walls into my eardrums sending this massive shock to my nerve. I lost control of my body causing my phone to drop on the cold concrete floor. Swoosh! Reality!! Who’s there?! Chief’s voice echoed fearlessly in horror, I swiftly picked-up my phone and took off. I was getting used to distress, I didn’t panic much, I was sane enough to know I shouldn’t run towards my house directly, in full awareness that I was being followed by those mean things. After a couple of rounds around my block, I made it home. I wasn’t safe to be here my mind kept reminding, I just witnessed a murder, and it wasn’t like seeing someone cheat in a power gamble; this was way serious. Seeing those guys do that to someone they at least know his name; what would become of an eaves dropper like me they don’t even know? I quickly changed to a more convenient outfit, sneakers, tight jean and my hoodie on-off to the streets again I took a different route off my neighborhood. Moments after I left, my house was spotted being ransacked by these things probably looking for a picture of me, which wouldn’t be hard to find anyway.
Tired of running, I was walking in through alleys behind streets with my hoodie on, face down, it’s been an hour plus-walking aimlessly with no destination, I’ve tried eddie’s number severally, he didn’t answer, probably taking the beak-up serious, well obviously because I haven’t seen or heard from him since the break up despite my incessant pleading on voicemails and text messages, asking his friends to help advocate on my behalf, it was too much that my girlfriends suggested I should stop, that the pleading made him feel important. I’ve now stopped calling or texting for months now yet nothing and I really miss him (something my friends can’t understand). I’m in trouble again, and the traditional routine in letting Eddie in, but I guess times change because I’ve buzzed him over twelve times and he didn’t answer, what a devil. I had this new guy who has been asking me out, a rich kid, well connected, handsome too but I still had Eddie at heart, I haven’t moved on so I couldn’t date Richie. Well I guess it’s time to put Richie’s love to test. I called him and he asked me to come over to his house. Within thirty minutes I was there. In his room I took a refreshing bath, Richie wasn’t comfortable with my countenance; he asked and I narrated and described what I witnessed with details of the shooter’s attributes. I don’t know what I said but Richie got somewhat happy, I couldn’t understand but I know from description, Richie knows who this shooter was. He ran out the room in excitement, which threw me off balance, why would he be happy when my life’s in danger, what was the whole excitement about? I was still lost in thoughts when he came back with some fresh clothes probably from his sister’s wardrobe. As I was changing into the fresh clothes, Richie was selfishly explaining why he was happy. The chief was a former local government chairman, also a gubernatorial aspirant and Richie’s dad political enemy. Richie was suggesting I should come with him to his Dad so he could help me with the issue. Imagine Richie wants me to stand in court and witness against such a well connected dangerous. Is he insane? Here in Nigeria? I felt like throwing something heavy at him. How could he be this selfish? In a very corrupt country like Nigeria, nothing would kill me faster than standing in count against a politician. Living in his fabulous mansion, Richie couldn’t give a fuck if I was caught in the cross-fire. I kept my cool, I didn’t flare up, I didn’t want him to notice his selfishness and stupidity. I showed a little agreement in his suggestion. My mind was figuring out how to get out of that house as soon as possible. It was around 8 0’clock a.m. I told Richie I was starving and needed something to eat, there was nothing to eat but he agreed to go fix me up something. As he left for the kitchen, I took off so fast, I could possible leave my brain behind. That was it! I was pissed off! Mad and raged at Eddie. I mean what in the hell would make him treat me that way? I was good to him, so I made a mistake? So I followed a friend to an evil boy’s house, it wasn’t like I was going with sexual intent, I was drugged! How is that my fault, he wasn’t being fair. I had his back when he was down, fed him when he was hungry, took care of him when he was sick, I even give him money when he’s broke, I run coming at his first call. I was a perfect girlfriend and he broke up with me over one single mistake? They say everyone deserves a second chance, and so do i! – My mind ragged as my path was directed towards Eddie’s house. I took a bike straight to his house, walked up straight fearlessly ready to face him in any dimension banging on his door. In seconds, a girl in a night gown opened the door yawning in my face. In my face! Half of me went dead, Eddie had a new girl, I felt like crying, but hell! I’m a tough knot! What have she seen? Nothing I have more history than her with Eddie, and I’m about creating another one, I pushed her off and walked in. it was a self-contained apartment, so finding Eddie wasn’t hard. He was lying down there on the bed smoking…Smoking? I never allowed him try that when we were dating. This new girl obviously doesn’t care about him. All hell broke loose, it was a verbal war for almost two hours; we went on and on ranting and arguing, the new girl tried stopping us but couldn’t get around it so she left. Minutes after she left, some gun-men barged into Eddie’s room. “That’s her!” one of them confirmed “Again!?” Eddie exclaimed “Why do you keep getting people with guns around me?” “shut up and sit back there we want the girl”. Eddie hates intimidation, so he pulled his gun out from under his pillow “you want who…In my house? You don’t know what you are talking about”. I was in trouble but I was happy, it’s like my Eddie’s back. After minutes of arguing and lashing out threatening words, Eddie and I were duck taped tied up, blind folded and throw in the trunck of a car. It was quite uncomfortable being in the trunk of a car…. I didn’t shout, I didn’t struggle I just laid still wondering why I was always in trouble, it haven’t occurred to me but this isn’t a regular life of a normal girl. I chat with my friends and they bring up issues, telling their deepest secrets but none, not even one has been through what I’ve been through. I don’t understand, I don’t understand why it was always me and I keep dragging my boyfriend, I mean my ex-boyfriend into it, even after he broke up with me, here were again in a trunk of a car sweating like slaves and breathing like dragons. He never complained, like a chameleon, he adapts to any situation. The car stopped, finally – my mount of Calvary, only in not gonna be crucified with thieves but a loved one I dragged into his death.
We were pulled out of the car, still blindfolded as we were dragged into a huge house, hollow like a warehouse, it was a warehouse like I expected, we were tied to a seat each backing each other. Yeah right typical copy from the movie Mr. and Mrs Smith, they couldn’t just do their own thing – imagine the Kinda thoughts that ran through my mind. A damsel in distress, what can I do? My knight in shining armour was in distress with me. My blindfold was removed living me with quite a blurry vision, slowly, balancing revealing a rather huge with less pot belly chief. Almost same structure with the man I saw earlier but taller wow! Chief was in a shape shifter. “I am chief Azih!” “Oh! Richie’s dad my mind rang as I heard the name” I would have known, Nigerian politicians have same structure but different uniforms. So what does chief Azih want…A confession? He can’t be serious. He went on ranting on things I could gain if I worked with him against chief Iweka – oh! Iweka was the cold blooded killed I broke my morning with; Quite fierce. Chief Azih never mentioned things I could lose which includes my life, how convenient. As if it was a visa lottery jackpot I won, I don’t see how chief Azih saw what he was offering as a favour, it beats my imagination how selfish these politicians are and yet sound so selfless at political campaigns, really, it beats me. I wouldn’t take that offer. No I wouldn’t even if my life depended on it. Actually my life did depend on it. “You want her to testify against your enemy, and you have your goons tie her up and throw her in a trunk of your car still tied to a chair with her brother making crazy offers? It was shocked. Eddie was screaming these words from behind me. How did he pull off the gag and tape on his mouth? I can’t tell. Eddie is something else. Who’s that? Richie’s dad asked…’her brother! Didn’t you hear me the first time? Eddie replied rudely as chief walked across to take a closer look at Eddie I think. “Oh!” was Eddie’s reflex word and he went numb “Good day Sir… and you were saying” he added after some seconds in a quite an intimated tone. Just at that moment, gunshots were fired from outside, “is it the police? My mind wondered “when did they start responding to emergency cases? And who called em? Chief Azih as much as we were, was shocked and confused, ordering his boys to hold on, till the shooters were identified. One of chief Azih’s boys who was on the lookout identified the other gun men as their enemies; probably the other chief’s goons. All hell broke loose; chief Azih ordered a return fire which he was practically part of Squeezing the trigger of his firearm firmly putting bullet holes all over the place. Eddie and I struggled till we fell to the ground tied to the seats Eddie stood up quickly with the seat still he to him, he made a quick run backwards towards the wall scattering the furniture on impact liberating his arms. He quickly made run for me while untying himself, then me. I was already sweating, he suggested I should follow his lead, crawling on the floor littered with hot bullet shells, chief Azih and his boys took the whole shoot out too personal to notice our escape. Through the other side of the warehouse, we made it out alive once again, thanks to Eddie’s bravery. Shirt-less and barefooted, Eddie was holding me who was also barefooted with scattered hair looting like a widow at her husband’s funeral. We walked in silence for the long distance along the city major roads turning heads. Eddie paid no mind to the unusual stunned pedestrian audience. We got to his house, on foot, the shootout was on the news there were casualties, are didn’t care, Eddie suggested we got out of town for some weeks, that was the only thing I cared about at that moment, he also suggested it was high time I go for prayer to reveal the main reason I’m a mishap magnet.