As we stepped out of the mall, our eyes roamed to see where Ishaku, Dave’s driver had parked the car. As Ishaku backed out of the parking lot, an excited Nessa couldn’t wait to open her shopping bags. Like an excited teenager, my sister was inspecting her new clothes and asking me if they were good buys. I was exhausted from touring almost every aisle in that enormous clothes shop. I couldn’t have been more grateful to be sitting in a car and have someone drive so I could get a few minutes of shut eye. I wondered if Nessa was feeling as tired as I was because she kept nudging me and exclaiming, “O Annie, look at this! Lovely isn’t it?” I’d nod back tiredly. Then she’d say with a sigh, “I love the smell of new clothes!” Nessa must have realized I was too tired to share in her excitement, because she soon left me alone and I drifted into a light peaceful sleep, lulled by the favourable temperature of the air conditioned car against the heat of the harsh tropical sun.
I still couldn’t get my mind off JiJi. I found my subconscious struggling to replay the events of her escapades even as my body was in desperate need of a rest, devoid of disturbing memories. My mind drifted back to the night that JiJi and Femai went to Springwood Hotel. As soon as they arrived, they had settled to drinks and a light-hearted dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Then they got up to Femai’s regular suite to watch the Oscars late into the night. They didn’t have sex that night because they were feeling sleepy from staying up late. So they were content to just cuddle in each other’s arms. The alcohol from the champagne they drunk had kicked in, lulling them faster to a sweet sleep.
Femai was awakened at 2am by a scratching sound on his door. His military instincts became on alert as he sat up on the bed with a spring. There was something about the movements outside the door that caused an unsettling feeling in his stomach. He got up and dressed hurriedly, reaching for the weapon he kept in his trouser pocket. He tapped JiJi and told her to dress up quickly as he pulled his pistol out of its holster, loaded it and crouched by the door. His groggy-eyed escort was still coming to terms with why she had been woken up so suddenly, when she saw the weapon in his hand and became alarmed.
“Nelson, what’s going on?” she asked, her throat suddenly turning dry with fear. She knew her boyfriend was entitled to own a gun as a naval officer but her business with him was mainly for pleasure so seeing him in battle mode with a real gun gave her the creeps.
“Shut up and dress up!” He commanded with a hissing whisper. “Bloody civilian!” He muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes in impatience.
By now, it was clear what the scratching sound was. Someone was trying to quietly pick the lock to his hotel room. Where was Aliyu? He wondered to himself. Just then, a voice rang out from the hallway, “Oga, run!!” He recognized the voice of Aliyu, his personal aide. Femai heard people struggling outside his door. He heard the muffled sounds of pain as two men exchanged punches. There was a sharp scream…a loud thud as a body hit the floor…silence…then a loud crashing sound. Someone had smashed his bedroom window. The intruder was putting his hand through the shattered gap and dropped something which emitted a thick choking smoke as soon as it hit the ground. Whoever did that was trying to smoke Femai and JiJi out of the room just like a hunter would do to a rabbit hole. That technique usually had rabbits running straight into the hands of its captors. Femai knew this trick all too well and he wasn’t ready to run into the hands of whoever it was out there. It was now very clear that whoever was behind this wanted him dead.
His eyes quickly flashed around the semi darkness of the room. By now, the toxic fumes were becoming unbearable and had started choking the illicit couple. Femai dragged JiJi to the balcony and looked down. They were on the third floor and a pillar ran all the way down from the middle to the ground. Femai figured if he wrapped himself around it he could safely slide down to the bottom and make a run for it. With his military training, it wasn’t going to be much of a problem, but JiJi definitely would slow him down. He put his gun back in its holster and reached for his wallet. By now, his assailants were breaking down the door to gain entry into the room. He hurriedly counted ten thousand naira and gave it to the frightened girl. “Listen JiJi,” he said. “I’m going to slide to the ground using this pillar. Watch me very carefully and do exactly what I’ve done. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet me at the third exit gate. If you’re not, I think they may spare you since you’re not their primary target. Good luck!” Femai said as he slid down the pillar.
The men entered the room; JiJi looked back into the almost blackened room where she had shared a romantic evening with her boyfriend, just hours ago. Four men wearing protective gas masks barged in. One of them fired a gun. The sound from the gunshot was so loud it startled JiJi, throwing her into a temporary state of disorientation that she completely forgot the instruction Femai had given her. She did the first thing that came to her head. With a sudden reflex action, she held on to the rail of the balcony, climbed across and jumped down.Did you miss, previous episodes of these series? Click on the links below to read…
Visit my blog next Wednesday to read the continuing part of the story. It only gets better.
Story Written By: Peace Ben Williams
No part of this story should be copied or published without the permission of the author.
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