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Two Ends Of A spectrum

‘’Mama, don’t worry I’ll visit soon’’ Shola said on the line, as she sighed. Her mother has called her for
the umpteenth time prodding her about when next she will visit the village.
“you know your wedding is in a month time, you need to come and see some people oh, mama Anita is
even asking after you” Mama said on the phone.
“Mama I promise, this weekend, its work that has been keeping me busy and greet Mama Anita for me”
“Alright my daughter, I will be waiting for you oh”
“Okay Mama, bye”
Shola ended the call, taking a quick glance at the wall clock which read 9:30pm, it was late and the only
other person that would be around by this time would be Musa the security man.

This was a normal routine for her, working late into the night, “I hope they pay you as you work” Gabriel her Fiancée has asked her one time. She was the bank manager at a well known bank in the city hub of Port Harcourt.
She finally powered off her PC, gathering the files on her table and pushing them to one end, it was time
to go home, she stood up and a heavy yawn hit her, she stretched out hearing the cracking sounds of
her Joints, she picked up her car keys, exiting her office into the commercial banking hall which of
course was deserted at this time of the night. Shola finally exited the bank, pressing her car remote, her
black Mercedes-Benz Ml350 Responding with a honk. She got into the driver’s seat and started the
ignition, she was about to hit the gas when she undoubtedly heard the voice of her fiancée in her head,
“seatbelt”. He literally was an alarm anytime they were in a car together that she could still hear him speak when he wasn’t even around.

Musa who never disappointed was already holding the gate wide open, she gave him the usual smile
and wave as she drove past into the bustling road. The city was really a sight overnight, it seemed to have a different face entirely when the sun goes down, the hustle continued even by this hour, vendors, sellers and the very loud music from road facing mega speakers. Fifteen minutes later, Shola had pulled her car off the road into “west-end” street, she had to maneuver some pot holes filled with stagnant
water from the rainfall a night ago. She reached the familiar red gate of her 2 bedroom flat, she honked
her car twice, a man sprung his head out from the smaller gate, receding back to open the big gate,
Shola drove into her compound illuminated by security lights and killed the engine, the man ran
immediately towards her after closing the gates.
“Madam, welcome”
“Bostutu, how are you na, how the house?”
“Madam everywhere dey oh, security tight like kirikiri” Bostutu said with a giggle, his several missing
teeths on show.
Shola could not help but smile, “Nor worry, you go chop chicken tomorrow” she joked

“Ah madam, na chicken dey rush me oh” Bostutu replied still in his giggling state.
“Good night Bostutu”
“Good night Madam” he said as he head back toward his quarters.

The confines of Shola’s home was a welcome serene, the sitting room was quite furnished, black sofas, black shiny tiles, art portraits of Wole Soyinka and a 42 inch TV she rarely puts on all within a green backdrop of the walls. She immediately headed for her bedroom which had a family sized four poster bed. She tossed her black suit first followed by her bag and her car keys, she headed straight for the
kitchen, opening her well stocked refrigerator, she reached for a “5-alive” juice first but changed her mind, picking up a can of water instead, a juice won’t quench her thirst she thought. She downed three glasses at a go feeling refreshed as she headed back to the bedroom. Her reflection in the mirror caught her attention as she looked at herself ruing the dizzy state of her eyes lined by her black eye shadow.

Her small forehead, small eyes with brown pupils, average size nose and full lips with a pointed jaw and
dark hair gave her a very pretty look for a 26 year old indeed, her only regret being that her ears were
sort of mickey mousey. Her phone HarryBanty:
 rang, the well familiar tone of “Pana by Tecno”, it took her quite some time to search for the phone in the numerous pouches of her bag, the site of the caller put a smile
on her lips and she pressed the phone to her ears, excitement stirring within her.

“Hey boo” She said happily
“Hi babe, how are you?” The voice of Gabriel her fiancée answered through the phone
“Im cool, how is New York, Business going well?” She asked
Gabriel was a contractor who travelled a lot, this time he had travelled to New York, on a two week
business trip.
“Very well babe, I’ve missed you” He replied
“I’ve missed you more”
“Have you heard from Mama”? he asked
“Sure, she wants me to visit this weekend”
“well, wish I could come with you, I will be back by next week, cutting my stay here short, you know I
want to make our wedding the best ever”
“awwww, wish I could just kiss you now” She said sultrily
 Gabriel laughed over the phone, “me too babe, early hours over here, getting prepared for another
meeting, sleep well and dream of the only person you’re allowed to, that’s me”
She laughed, “sure thing, you’re always in my dreams, go get em’ boo”

“sure, love you”
“Love you too” She replied as the call ended.
For a few moments there she forgot about her stressed she was, she glanced at the clock which now
read 10:45PM, she had better get some dinner, take her bath and catch some sleep, tomorrow she
would be up early, “Why is tomorrow not a public holiday sef” she thought.

A loud bang woke Shola, she managed to reach the bed side lamp and switched it on, she pulled her
night gown tightly around herself as she got out of bed, the clock was 1:30AM, where did that sound
come from?, she took her phone and headed to the sitting room, as she browsed her contacts for
“Bostutu”, she dialed his number and after several rings…
“the number you are calling is not answering, please try again later” the automated voice replied.
She dialed again and again with the same result each time, her heart rate increased suddenly after the
sixth try, it was so unlike Bostutu not to pick his calls no matter the time of the night, the man was not
one to fall too deep into sleep, he was a very alert person especially at night.

What must be going on she thought, she opened the curtains and peered out towards the gate, the
compound was well illuminated but she couldn’t see anyone, she could see no light coming from
Bostutu’s quarters which was just adjacent to the gate, she scanned the compound again, her heart
raising, her breath caught up in her throat when she noticed something strange, the small gate was
opened ajar. She staggered back and browsed through her phone contacts again, she stopped at “my
boo”, the number of her fiancée Gabriel but what could he do now? He was miles away, she continued
browsing her contacts and she got to “IK Police”. She dialed the number.

“to copy this tune, press one” the phone then rang twice before a sleepy voice answered
“Hello, Mr IK, please something is wrong at my house, someone opened my gate and I cant reach my
security man, hello? Hello? Mr IK!” she ended the call and dialed it again. This time around Mr IK picked
up at the first ring.
“Miss Shola….. please calm down, you were saying?” he asked
“I said someone opened my gate and…..”
“ONE MINUTE REMAINING” the automated voice interrupted
 “hello? Ma, hello?” Mr IK called, evidently concerned by the break in communication.
“Please come over, something is wrong”
“Where are……..” Mr IK started

Bang! Another loud sound, this time from the backyard towards the kitchen, the phone fell off her hands
in shock, landing hard on the ground, she scrambled to pick it up again, putting it back onto her ears, the
dial tone signaling the end of the call was all that she could hear, she could buy some airtime from the
bank now but her hand trembled, her brain struggled to function. Another bang and the sound of
shattering glass from the kitchen was the final evidence that she was indeed in trouble.
Shola bolted for the front door without thinking, she turned the handle but quickly discovered that she
locked it, she glanced around the sitting room and saw the keys to the door on the center table, she ran
towards the table grabbing the keys, she swung around toward the door but her heart skipped a beat at
the sight before her.

“shhhhh, quiet, just do as you are told” a male said, he had a gun pointed straight at her, she could not
make out the features of his face as he had a black hood on with blue jean trousers and black sun
glasses, his voice sounded as that of a teenager, he was much taller than her though.
She froze, devoid of reasoning, her mind was blank as she stared at the gun pointed at her head.
“give me all your money and jewels, where are they?”he asked.
Shola noticed a hint of nervousness in his voice but her own anxiety was much more.
“In the….the….bedroom” She managed to reply
“Good, lead the way, don’t…don’t do anything stupid” he said.
Shola took small steps towards the bedroom, footsteps clearly following behind her.
Just do what he says and you will be okay, he just needs money, he is a naïve young boy, she thought to
herself. She reached her bedside drawer, bringing out all her jewelries with shaking hands, her gold
watch Gabriel has given her as a gift at her last birthday.
“drop them on the bed, where is the money?” he asked
Shola followed his instruction, “In the cupboard”
“bring it……out”
She opened the bedroom cupboard, shuffling through hers and Gabriel’s clothes, pulling out a brown
envelope, fat because of its content, it was Gabriel’s idea to always have cash at hand, that might just be
her saving grace now she thought.
“drop it on the bed and lie down on the floor, face down” he said
Her heart reached the fastest rate possible as she followed his instructions, she closed her eyes, praying,
wishing, silently begging, was this the end? Gabriel, mummy……….

The sound of the gates opening outside brought her back from her thoughts, hope was restored,
without thinking, she screamed “HELP! PLEASE HELP!” she crawled towards the window.
“Shut up! I said shut up!”
She felt a sharp pain as a heavy object hit her at the back of the head the world spun around her, she fell
back unto the floor staring at the ceiling, she tried to speak but could not, tried to move but could not,
she felt her consciousness leaving her, her sight getting dimmer by the moment.
“oh God” she heard him say and that was the last words she heard before all consciousness left her and
the world turned red then black.

“He needs urgent dialysis” The male doctor said
Kelvin sat down across the table in the doctor’s office, in his white T-shirt and blue jean trousers. “How
much will that cost sir?”
“a session is fifty thousand naira and he needs at least two every week until you can gather funds for a
transplant” the doctor replied
Kelly, his 24 year old twin brother has been diagnosed with “end stage renal disease” and has been on
admission for the past couple of weeks.
“sir, I cant get that kind of money, please sir, my brother and I are just car washers, we don’t have any
other source of income, please sir, just understand” Kelvin pleaded
“I understand, but you have to look at it from my angle, my hands are tied here, we can’t work without
the funds. As much as I want to, I can’t do anything” the doctor replied
“There is really nothing you can do for us sir?” Kelvin asked
“No, im sorry”
“how long does he have?”
“we are managing his condition now but without dialysis, not long I am afraid”
Kelvin sighed, crestfallen, his vision blurred because of the tears threatening to roll out of his eyes.

“can I see him now?” he asked
“of course”
The sight of Kelly on the hospital bed, an oxygen mask on his face, several beeping monitors around the
hospital bed finally opened the flood gate as the tears came gushing down Kevin’s face. He sat on one
edge of his brother’s bed, he cried on, Kelly turned his face towards him obviously trying to  communicate but he could not, his eyes said a million words, HarryBanty:
his breath ragged.
Kevin stood up abruptly, blinking back the tears, resolution churned up within him.
 “you are going to be okay my brother, I promise you, nothing can take you away from me” he said as he
marched out towards the exit, the tears was gone, his face rigid, a hot fire burned within him, he found
his way towards the main road, he looked at his watch, 8:00PM, a taxi was approaching and he waved it
to a stop, he entered the cab.
“K and K washers” the driver hailed him as he entered the back passenger seat
K and K washers was what the entire neighborhood had come to know Kevin and his brother as because
of their famous carwash and they answered the name with much pride but this night, he so wasn’t in
the mood. There was only one other passenger in the cab, a guy called Odogun.
Odogun was the city bad boy, he was always in trouble for one crime or the other, the police cell was a
familiar place for him but he always have a way with the police that he gets released every time. His
huge stature not helping matters
“Odogun baba, I greet you” Kevin gave him the respect everyone in the city felt obliged to.
“Wetin dey worry you? Who you dey vex for?” Odogun asked clearly irritated by the worried look on
Kevins face illuminated by the passenger light.
“Bros, nothing oh, na small money matter, my brother dey hospital, no money to take treat am” Kevin
“Eyah, sorry oh, since when”? the driver asked as he hit the gas on the cab pulling back onto the road.
“since two weeks now oh” Kevin replied
“Two by two” Odogun called at the driver “drop two of us for my kabam”
 “bros sorry oh, but I get……..” Kevin started
“shut up” Odogun interrupted.
Some minutes later, the cab has pulled up close to a ragged looking house with peeled paint, only visible
because of the car head light, nothing else was quite visible because of the dark surroundings and there
were quite some bushes around. This was where Odogun lived

“Pay for two of us” Odogun told Kevin, who could not complain much brought out hundred naira and
paid the driver.
They exited the car and the driver drove off, removing the last molecule of light from the surrounding,
Kevin was getting restless, what could Odogun want? Why would he take him to his house? Odogun was
only known for petty crimes though, nothing much, that eased his mind a little. He followed Odogun
with caution towards the front door which was wooden, things becoming clearer as his eyes adjusted.
There was no electricity in the one room apartment Kevin and Odogun walked into, Odogun lit a candle
on the table with a lighter Kevin can swear he took out of his pockets.
Apart from the plastic table, small bed on the ground, a quite dirty ceiling fan and a small stove, there
was nothing else in this room. Kevin stood, unsure what to do next.
‘how many years you be?” Odogun asked him
“twenty three” He replied
“Good, you mature, you dey there dey vex say you nor get money instead of you to go work”
“work? I get work na, na because my brother dey hospital na why I never open car wash since” Kevin
“Nor be that kind work I dey talk” Odogun said, reaching under his small bed and pulling out what
looked like a gun.
Kevin blinked, the object becoming very clear as Odogun stretched it toward him, it was indeed a gun. a
wooden firearm probably locally made. Kevin took a step back, uncertainty spiraled around him. This
clearly angered Odogun
“wetin dey do you? You never see gun before, why you dey slack?” Odogun asked
“Baba, why you get gun na?” Kevin asked
“your head dey shake? Na the work be this, you need money take treat your brother abi? Na the work
be this” he replied, seeing that Kevin made no move, he continued “see, bullet nor even dey the thing,
na just to make the client comply, na sharp sharp, na woman sef, her oga nor dey house”
Kevin continued glancing from the gun to Odogun and back to the gun, he couldn’t do this, this was
wrong, this wasn’t what he had in mind when he promised his brother that nothing would happen to
him, all he had in mind
was that he had wanted to go and meet Papa Linda who was owing him three car
wash money, Uncle Best who had not paid him completely for the bike he sold to him, Mr Odion, who
he helped paint his house the other day and said he should come tomorrow for the money, Mama
Peace, Bros Solo, Pastor Mike.
“wetin you talk na!?” Odogun said abruptly
“I no go fit bros” Kevin replied

“you be mumu, this woman na bank manager oh, bank manager! She get nothing less than one mil for
her house, na just to threaten her carry money we dey talk for here oh, we nor dey kill anybody.”
Odogun said
That statement made Kevin rethink his situation, one million!, that would be enough to help his brother
for a long time, all the money he wanted to go and get from Papa Linda, Uncle Best, Mr Odion and the
rest would not even be up to fifty thousand. Was he going to this? Delve into crime? But it was for his
brother, his twin brother and the thought of his brother lying helpless on that hospital bed brought back
the fire in his stomach though with many doubts, he could do this, for Kelly.
“okay” he replied
“Na now you dey talk, see em, the woman dey come late for night, we go wait her small, her house nor
too far from here, we go leg am” Odogun said as he pushed the gun into Kevin’s hands. Odogun eyed
him over, a look of disgust spreading on his face. “abeg pull that your white shirt, wear this one” Odogun
said as he handed a black hooded shirt to him.
Kevin glanced at his watch, it was 10PM, he and Odogun have walked to “west-end” street and were
observing under a shade cast by a huge tree, one of the few dark spots in the well illuminated street.
Few clicks away was a compound with a red gate which Odogun has identified as the target. His mind
fought between determination and uncertainty several times as they waited patiently. Then something
occurred to him.
“Baba Odogun, how we go take enter the compound na, gate dey oh” Kevin asked
“nor worry, Bostutu nor get sense, he go open door for us” Odogun said
“who be Bostutu?” Kevin asked
“Na the gate man, he nor get sense, nor worry”
Some minutes later, a black Mercedes-Benz Ml350 got passed their hideout, the car stopped at the gate
and honked twice, the gate was opened and the car drove in after which it was locked.
“now we go wait small for here, make they go sleep” Odogun said.
Several hours and several dozing offs later, “oya wetin be time for your watch?” Odogun asked
“twenty minutes after one” Kevin replied
“Okay make we dey go, I go take care of Bostutu, you go go inside go carry the money” Odogun said
“ah! Na only me dey enter the house? No be two of us?” Kevin asked, confused

“see, you nor get experience for this level, person need to dey gate to dey look if person dey come, if
person dey come I go hala you” Odogun said.
Kevin’s heart raced as they approached the gate, whether because he was doing this for the first time,
or he knew this was wrong or because he was going into the house alone or because he had an
unloaded gun in his hand. They reached the gate and Odogun knocked subtly.
“who be that?” a voice asked from the other side of the gate, certainly that must be Bostutu
“Bostutu na me” Odogun said
“who be you” Bostutu asked
“na Micheal, the boy wen dey owe you money”Odogun replied
“Micheal? Wetin you dey do for here by this time?” Bostutu asked as the sound of keys and bolts ringed
from the other side of the gate.
Bostutu opened the small gate a little and in a flash, Odogun had kicked the gate open, a loud bang
sounding as a result, the gate had knocked Bostutu straight off his feet and he landed hard on the
ground knocking him out flat.
“oya dey go, dey go! Follow the backyard!” Odogun prompted.
Kevin ran into the compound illuminated by security lights, headed for the backyard, the last thing he
saw of Odogun was he shuffling the unconscious Bostutu into the security quarters.  Kevin reached the
back door of the house, his heart racing, he hesitated a little,

what was he doing? Why did he agree to
this? But it was too late now, he was already here. He tried to open the door which was surprisingly
wooden but it was locked, he took a step back and kicked the door with all his might, making a loud
noise it bulged but did not open. He went for it again, kicking it with more strength this time, the door
flung open, the sound of shattering glass followed as he found his way into the kitchen. He put on his
hood and wore his sunglasses that were always in his pocket. He listened and heard footsteps like
someone running coming from what could be the sitting room, he walked with stealth towards the
sitting room and found a woman clearly in a haste to get something from the table.
 This was it, he raised his gun at her as she swung around, she gave a startled yelp
“shhhhh, quiet, just do as you are told” Kevin said, reverting back to formal English as he was no longer
in a conversation with Odogun who might punch him in the gut if he spoke in such way to him. His
instincts took over, his brain went on overdrive, the lady in her night gown stood, clearly terrified at the
sight of him, if only she knew that he was also nervous, that his gun wasn’t loaded.
“give me all your money and jewels, where are they?” Kevin asked .
“In the….the….bedroom” the lady replied in a frightened voice
“Good, lead the way, don’t…don’t do anything stupid” he said.

The lady took small steps and Kevin followed her into the bedroom. She walked towards the bedside
drawer, and shuffled within it. Kevin got a fright, what if she had a gun in there, his was relieved when
she brought out some jewelries and a particularly shiny watch, but that wasn’t what he needed most
“drop them on the bed, where is the money?” he asked
“In the cupboard”
“bring it……out”
She opened the bedroom cupboard, shuffling within it, pulling out a particularly fat brown envelope.
“drop it on the bed and lie down on the floor, face down” he said.
She followed his instructions plainly, he lowered his gun, thinking of his next action, would she shout if
he left her here? That is a great risk, she could alarm people, Kevin thought hard he was very confused,
his breath was faster, he would make for it, grab the money and jewels and bolt out, and that was what
he was about to do when the sound of the gates opening startled him, who could that be? Was it

 “HELP! PLEASE HELP!” the lady screamed at the top of her voice, scrambling toward the window
Kevin, caught off guard could do nothing but shout “Shut up! I said shut up!”, she wouldn’t listen, he had
to do something, he immediately closed the distance and hit her on the head with his gun, the first thing
he could think off in his state of anxiety.
 She fell down, face upwards, blood soon trickled out from the back of her head, she was motionless, the
only movement being her eyes as it went closed so slowly. What has he done?
“oh God” he muttered, quickly kneeling down and shaking her vigorously “hey hey hey”, he slapped her
face a few times, she gave no response, his arms were stained with blood, then it occurred to him, he
had killed her. “no, God please no”, tears welled up in his eyes, his hand shook, the world seemed to
spin around him.
A voice from outside caught his attention

“Miss Shola! Miss Shola! Are you Okay? It’s me! Its IK!”
 Who was that? How did he get in, where is Odogun? Kevin hastily picked up the fat brown envelope,
his whole body trembling, he had to get out of here, he made for the kitchen, going out through the
back, he hesitated, listening for the stranger, his sniffed his now running nose. He would bolt for the
gate, he started his run from around the back yard toward the front gate, he can do this, he would make
it, he is almost there.
Boom, a sound rippled the air, Kevin felt something pierce his back, his strength failed him, his legs gave
way, he collapsed, his blood pooled, he heard someone who sounded like Bostutu say “Oga Ik, you
shoot am well, the other one don run commot”

Kevin felt the life drain out of him, his limbs got weaker and weaker, he thought of his brother, he would
never see him again, he might join him soon enough though, well he hoped they could meet on the
other side as the world went dark.

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