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Saturday, 16 January 2016


Chinedu woke up feeling fatigued from the previous night at Chanel 5. He looked at the wristwatch that was placed on a stool close to the bed and saw that the time had struck 3.00pm in the afternoon. He hissed and hated himself for waking up late. It had been a wild night for him. Memories of the previous flooded his night as he still could not believe his luck with finding a job at Chanel 5. Just as he attempted to get out of bed, a soft voice welcomed him from his slumber. It was Gloria.

“Brother Chi, good afternoon. You must have had a very long night.”
“Nwanyi oma, thank you. Sorry for keeping you outside.” He replied.
“I totally understand.”
“Where is Anita?” He suddenly remembered that Anita was the one at the door when he got back.
“She went home. She got a call from her mother that she had a visitor waiting for her.”

In a bid to change the subject, he inquired about their mother’s welfare, her education and other domestic matters. After a long chat, he picked up his phone to read a text message that had just come in with an anonymous number all typed in capital letters. The management of Chanel 5 had just invited him for a meeting concerning the job position he had agreed to take up. He was asked to show up at the doors of Chanel at 8pm the following day with five passport photographs and two new SIM cards. He was about to scream in excitement, but then he was taken aback when he read the requirements and time condition of the meeting. At least formal job interviews were not held in this manner. He looked up at his sister who was engrossed in a Genevieve magazine she had collected from Anita. There was definitely no one to talk to except Tunde who worked at the club.
He then decided that it was time to take a shower and then pay Tunde a visit. Only Tunde would have answers to the questions building in his mind. He screamed at his sister.
“Gloria, stand up gimme something make I chop. I wan go bathroom.”

Growing up, James was a very desperate individual and so, it was no surprise that he was always involved in every evil vice that reared its head within the slum. He was a source of sorrow to his parents and they always swore that he did not have their blood running in his veins. On several occasions, his father questioned his mother on the paternity of James. James was a regular face at the police station with several charges made against him. Bag snatching, illegal weapons possession, illicit drug usage and anything evil his hand could find. His parents eventually died and he completely went out of control. But Anita was his medicine; she always found a way to his stony heart. She was the only one that brought him to knees every time she threatened to leave him. She was his life until she became pregnant with their son Jason. Just as soon as she conceived, James had smuggled himself into the engine room of a ship leaving for South Africa at Apapa. It was a long travel but he was determined to better his lot at all means. He knew that Anita would hate him for this, but it was an opportunity that had just fallen into his laps, an opportunity given to him by the princes of the slum. He travelled with five others but three of them had died of sea sickness and their bodies cast into the ocean.

On the day they arrived South Africa, they left for different parts of the country carrying fake travel documents. James was supposed to live with a Nigerian that had citizenship of South Africa whom lived in Johannesburg. Chief Ayobami was this Nigerian, and he taught James everything in the world of trafficking narcotics and weapons. James being a fast learner rose up quickly in the chain and assumed the position of a hit man. He was responsible for taking out customers that refused to meet payments deadlines. He was skilled in weapons handling and was proud of himself any time he completed an assignment successfully. It was like the devil had built a duplex inside him and lived in it. He always pictured himself at the top of the Cartel’s chain, and one day he took the life of Chief Ayobami, his teacher.

Immediately Chief Ayobami was taken out of the picture, words reached the remaining members of the Cartel. Everyone feared James and as such it was no surprise that they facilitated his deportation back to Nigeria. His salvation was the money he had stacked up over the years in Nigerian banks as well as property he stole from Chief Ayobami. Upon his return to Nigeria, he reached out to Mrs Ayobami and told her a different tale about the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death.
He was home to take over the slum, no matter what it cost him.

Dupe was sitting at the reception of Domino clinic awaiting results from the Laboratory. She had felt this strange itching in a part of her body and had been constantly tugging at it till it became an embarrassment to her. She could not bear it anymore thus, she fixed an appointment with her doctor who had suggested a blood test. The results were out after an hour and she was called into the examination room.

“Modupe, you have contracted an STD.” The doctor told her with a look of disdain through his glasses.
“Ah, uncle STD ke? Emi STD?” she asked rhetorically.
“You have started your waka-waka again abi?” Doctor Femi asked.
“Uncle, I am seeing only one guy now o, I have left the rest.”
“I have told you to get married and get out of this life.”
“Uncle, please let us not start this preaching again.”
“Okay o, whatever you say. Just be careful.”

Doctor Femi was Dupe’s favourite doctor and she become fond of him over the years and preferred to refer to him as Uncle. He had a listening ear and always said a prayer for her whenever she had matters troubling her. Today, he was dressed casually but his attire was covered by laboratory coat and had a stethoscope adorning his full neck. He always knew what to say to convict Dupe and made her consider having a change of heart.
He prescribed her medication and further gave her some words of wisdom. She thanked him and left. She was going to pay Mustapha a visit. She wanted to know why he had an STD and chose to be quiet about it. Instead he passed it on to her after claiming that he was not a fan of condoms. All hell was going to be let loose. She left the hospital in fury with her purse clutched under her left arm, her stiletto heels making a koi-koi sound as she walked.

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