Ahmed’s parents were distraught at his demise. They could not understand how much he had that armed robbers will want to rob and kill him in a city he had never been to before. The police had promised them they would do their best to bring the culprits to book but they knew better than believing them. They buried him amidst tears and bitterness mainly towards the person he went to see who had only sustained a minor injury during the unfortunate incidence.
The bitterest one among them however was Aliyu. He felt guilty within himself because it was he who advised him to travel to Ilorin. He felt like he had intentionally pushed his friend off a high cliff, he felt like the murderer. He knew without doubt that there was foul play somewhere. How could they have known to rob only that room? He wanted to find out by all reasonable means and so he decided to consult an alfa. He needed to avenge his friend, he yearned to prove to Ahmed what a true friend he was and to atone for his own sin of pushing him to his death. He did know nothing good will come of the trip but he let him go anyway.
On reaching the Alfa’s place, he was ushered into the sitting room which had no furniture but an animal skin the Alfa used for prayers and his consultations. The alfa sat down and beckoned for him to sit on the mat they had spread there for him.
Alfa: “How can I help you Mr?” he spoke in Hausa.
Aliyu: “What I need your help for is a very serious issue concerning my friend who just died”
Alfa: “Awww what a pity!” he said. “So what exactly do you want me to do for you?” he asked looking at him with all concentration.
Aliyu: “Alfa walahi I don’t believe the story the police told us concerning his murder. I want to know what truly happened to him. Please help me so the spirit of my friend can rest in peace. Please help me”
Alfa: “Allahu akbar…Allahu akbar… well of course I can help you” he extended the misbaha in his hand to him and asked him to pick one bead. He did and the Alfa prayed over it. After some few minutes, he stopped praying, looked at him and shook his head.
Aliyu: “What happened please? Why are you shaking your head?”
Alfa: “You were right. His death was not as it was painted to be” he paused.
Aliyu: “So how is it then?” he asked curiously.
Alfa: “I saw a naked lady standing over him, there was a very powerful force behind her. she is very dangerous”
Aliyu: “My suspicion has been right all along anyway. I have to tell his parents this and find a way to arrest that devilish lady he called his fiancée” he stood up angrily.
Alfa: “Please sit down I am not done talking”
Aliyu: “No I have heard all I want. I will personally deal with her infact. I will surely avenge my friend” he said as he moved towards the exit”
Alfa: “Don’t do anything rash mr. that girl and whatever is behind her is very dangerous. Please come and renounce what you just said so you can be safe” he called after him but Aliyu was long gone and did not hear him.
As he walked home that night, eager to break the news to whomever it may concern, he felt someone walking behind him, he turned to see who it was but saw no one. He began to walk faster, it was a lonely path and it was already getting dark. He quickened his pace when he heard the shuffling of feet on the ground which was filled with dried leaves, turned more sharply this time but what he saw took his breath away, it was Manny in all of his full glory. He had like a thousand flies on his horns while his tails dripped blood. He opened his mouth wide when Aliyu turned revealing a throat which looked like the bottomless pit. Aliyu turned to run but lost his foot holding, fell into the gutter, broke his neck and died instantly. Manny poured spittle on him. The next day when he was found inside the gutter, he reeked of alcohol and it was deduced that his inability to get over his friend’s death led him into drinking too much which cost him his life.
He had told her to get Celine fully into the fold at that period when she was at her weakest state of mind. That afternoon, she laid on the bed pretending to be reading a novel but looking for a way to talk to Celine who was on the bed clutching her stomach.
Zahra: “What is wrong with your stomach? Why are you holding it like that? Are you okay?” she asked in succession without waiting for a reply.
She was surprised at her question since the two of them never really cared about her, whether she was dying or not was none of their business.
Celine: “I am fine. I think I am having ulcer” she replied innocently and that almost made Zahra snap at her but she controlled herself anyway for the sake of her mission.
Zahra: “Why won’t you have ulcer when you hardly eat? Sorry okay?”
Celine: “Thank you”
Zahra: “Maybe I should prepare oatmeal for you so you can eat it for now till I have prepared something better later in the day?”
Celine: “Really? You will do that for me?”
Zahra: “Sure! We are friends remember?”
Celine: “Yeah sure!” she replied looking sceptical about what she had just heard but Zahra stood up, and made the oatmeal for her, adding enough milk even. After she had eaten, she sat up at last feeling extremely grateful to her new found friend. “Thank you Zahra” she said smiling contentedly.
Zahra: “You are welcome. Besides there is something I need to discuss with you”
Celine: “Okay?” she said shifting uneasily on the bed.
Zahra: “I have a proposition for you. I don’t like the way you live your life, all the lacks, your inability to cater for yourself, it breaks my heart so I want to help you”
Celine: “Oh that will be very great but how do you want to do that?”
Zahra: “It’s very simple. I will like you to be my closest chum, you will do the things I do, go wherever I go, we will have a deal that you will do everything I ask you to do. Isn’t it very simple?” she said smiling as sheepishly as she could.
Celine: “No it’s not simple at all I must confess” her mind skipped to what she had witnessed at the hotel room that morning. The deal between her and the mystery man was still etched in her memory. At that moment, she regretted eating from her hand.
Zahra: “Why is it not simple if I may ask? Are you trying to say you don’t like the way I live my life?” She was almost losing her cool but she felt something nudge her from within, she knew what that meant.
Celine: “I did not say that. Just that we are two different people. I’d rather continue living my own kind of life except you want to join me in living it?”
Zahra: “Uhmmmm! Well I am telling you this because of your parents. Imagine how much they are going through trying to sponsor your education with no one to help them out? Just imagine that you can actually sponsor yourself, wouldn’t that be a great relief to them?”
Celine: “It would be but I’m sorry dear, I still can’t do that?”
Zahra: “So you are saying you can’t be my friend?”
Celine: “We are already friends. How else can people be friends?”
Zahra: “Well can you go out with me later in the day then?”
Celine: “where are we going to?”
Zahra: ‘You will know when we reach there. Please?”
Celine: “I would have loved to but I am going for fellowship later in the day” she replied, stood up and went into the bathroom with her heart beating so fast. She knew what it was the girl wanted and was not ready to give in just yet. She wasn’t going to let the devil take more of her. She quickly got ready and went to church even though there was no program that evening since it was Monday.
After she left, Zahra’s personal demon named Manny who was to be her protector and at the same time her tormentor whenever she disobeyed their master or was unable to carry out an assignment suddenly jumped out of her, lifted her up and threw her against the wall. She winced painfully.
Manny: “You were unable to get a girl as simple as that you lazy thing” he snarled picked her up again and threw her back against the wall, bent down and started raining blows on her. She had scratches all over her body by the time he was done. The mysterious man appeared and the demon jumped back into her. She stopped feeling the pains which were wrecking the whole of her body and watched as the scratches on her body got healed miraculously and she felt as good as new. The pain she had felt before Manny jumped in was so excruciating she thought she was never going to make it up again.
Mysterious Man: “What happened that you were unable to convince someone who was already losing her faith? Someone who is already very weak spiritually?”
Zahra: “I am sorry master, I will try harder next time I promise. She still isn’t broken enough and that is why she is still acting headstrong. I will see to it sir” she knelt in front of him.
Mysterious Man: “Are you sure about that?”
Zahra: “Yes I am sure and I have something bothering me. You told me Manny would be protecting me, how is it that he is tormenting me instead?” she asked but he said nothing, instead he disappeared into the thin air. “Hmmmmm I guess I am in for it this time. Celine so you think you are strong right? I shall see for how long you can hold. I swear I will strip you of your very honour, I will break you to shreds, you will be so broken you will beg me to show you the way…” she said menacingly with her voice sounding like that of ten women joined together.
Question? : Does anyone probably know what her next game plan would be? Do you think Aliyu caused his own death?
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