The commandant finally dropped his call moments later. He looked at me with a face devoid of “joy“.
My heart skipped ten bits.
“TOSS HIM IN,” the commandant thundered, before he went inside his office, probably in search of something I seriously hoped was not a gun.
I assumed that “at all at all”, I’ll get to enjoy a nice ride, even though the uncertainty of our destination might not have made it entirely comfortable for me, but little did I know that they had other plans.
I was bonded on both hands and feet, then dumped like a sack of “garri” onto the trunk of the car.
I was gagged too.
If I wasn’t sure that I was in trouble before now, being tied up like cattle on its way to the slaughter ground inside the trunk of this car gave me a great prospect.
Bundled; blinded by the thick darkness; being whisked away in the trunk of that car, I couldn’t help but remember Jonah in the belly of the fish. At this point, I felt a connection; “THE” connection.
That great man must have been my forefather, after all.
I instantly reached to tap into Jonah’s (my forefather’s) anointing. If God could hear his voice; his cry for help in that helpless state, he should also be able to hear mine in this dire need.
“Baba God! You no be man, na em make no matter how much we cast, we no suppose shame to come back in search of your mercy. Nobody fit dispute the fact say, you na the All-Forgiving; most forgiving; most merciful supreme being. I know say I don cast, Baba. Forgive my earlier talk, the one wey I been say me and you know say I no be the castest. Baba, i swear, na slip of tongue. Save your boy from the belly of this beast. I dey clear you say if you save me from this one, I don born again like this.”
(Father Lord! No matter how much we’ve erred, we are never ashamed to come falling to your feet in search of your mercy because you are no ordinary man. No one can dispute the fact that you are the all forgiving; most forgiving; most merciful supreme being. I know I have erred, Father. Forgive my previous proclamation; the part I’d said, you and I know that I am not the worse of the worse. That was a slip of tongue, Lord. Save me from the belle of this beast. I promise to change my ways; I’ll be born again.)
From the trunk of this car, I could hear chatters coming from the soldiers inside the car. It was not clear enough, though, to know what exactly they were discussing or enough to have given me a clue as to where they were taking me.
These soldiers would talk and then, at intervals, let out a loud, hard laugh.
The car drove for a very long time. So long a time that at one point, out of fear; exhaustion and probably, haven left everything in the hands of God because I know; I believe that he is the best disposer of affairs. I dozed off.
The screeching sound of tires woke me up to the awareness that we’d probably arrived at our destination.
All through the long drive, I had time to think.
I remembered a “Hollywood movie” I’d watched not so long ago. In this movie, the actor was bundled into the trunk of a car, just like I was. He was able to devise a means to cut himself loose and went ahead to set a trap for his captors, for when they came back to open the trunk of the car; to get him.
Wait! I hope you are not already nursing the idea that I might have applied the same tactics😏?
Is like you dinnor know that film is different from real life, abi🙄?
I heard the door of the car throw open and then shut. Then I heard footsteps approaching.
I shut my eyes very tightly in anticipation of their arrival. Not sure what to expect or what my reaction should be; would be when they eventually opened the trunk of this car. I began to mutter words of prayers again, underneath my breath.
They’d barely opened the trunk of this car when resounding slaps began raining down on me again.
I was bundled out of the trunk and flung onto the ground.
I was flung so high up in the sky that for a second, it felt as though I’d developed wings. But I landed with a thud.
These soldiers stumped me; matched me as though I were palm fruits that its oil urgently needed to be extracted because a deadline was running thin.
They didn’t utter a single word. Not to me nor to themselves. They just went ahead with their business. It was as though they already had their orders. All they were doing at the time was carrying it out.
If I didn’t already know, at this point, I already knew exactly what the magnitude of my offence was.
These soldiers went on beating the hell out of me for what seemed like “a lifetime” before the commandant finally ordered them to stop.
I was now drenched in the pool of my own blood. My face has now seemed “alien” to my body. No matter how hard I tried to open my eyes, I just couldn’t. My vision was now almost impaired. The opening; what I could afford to, was too tiny to see as clearly as I normally would; as I ought to.
I was numb all over and in severe pain (all at the same time).
My life began to flash before my eyes at that very moment.
I remembered my father, my beloved father. I remembered how I hadn’t heard from him in a while. Then I wondered where my mother would be at that exact moment. I wondered if premonitions were real. I wondered if my mother would have any about me, when I eventually die tonight.
I thought of Uyai. I wondered where she was and what her own fate was.
Yeah! It was a great “knack”, but the answer to “WAS IT WORTH IT” is a resounding “NO”.
I felt the kiss of a cold steel to the back of my head.
At this point, I didn’t need any verification to know what was to come. I knew exactly what time it was.
To be continued…
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