He was running as fast as his legs could carry him, the house was just ahead. He could see the lights of the house, the curtains were drawn, and the inhabitants of the house were probably asleep, unaware of the terror about to be visited on them. He could get in front of the ivory painted gate now, and he began shouting on the top of his voice.
“Help, Help, wake up” he yelled at the top of his voice. But a shot rang out, and he was still gazing at the lit balcony of the house, when he felt a pain rip through him, he held his throat as blood spurted out of it. Before he fell to the ground, he saw a young woman come out to the balcony, he wanted to warn her, but the darkness enveloped him, and the world blacked out…
Dayo bolted up from sleep like he was yanked out of the dream. He was sweating profusely and he felt a cold chill in his heart.
“What sort of dream is this?” he pondered. He got out of bed and held his head, there was pain in his head, he thought perhaps it was the speed he used in waking up from sleep. He went downstairs to the kitchen to get a glass of milk. He always had a glass of milk before he slept, but last night he had forgotten, so, he attributed the nightmare to the lack of milk before bed. But when he got close to the kitchen, he heard whisperings and he stopped. He heard Stone’s voice as clear as day.
Stone: “This operation is very important, there must be no mistakes” he said in his usual coarse voice. His voice was because of too much smoking of weed.
“If you don’t want mistakes, then you must keep that protégé of yours, at home. I have a bad feeling he is going to spoil things for us one of these days.” One of the gang members retorted.
“What is the essence of bringing him along, if he is going to sit in the car and not join the operation” another quipped.
Stone: “Silence, you are forgetting the real issues, which is the operation, not Robert” he thundered, and everywhere became silent. They didn’t talk, neither did they move. Then Stone began to speak in the silence, detailing the operation and the timeline. He quickly jotted down the address of the house in his head and would have lingered to hear more, but someone came out of the kitchen.
Dayo dived into the alcove adjacent the kitchen entrance. The alcove which was a small inlet in the wall, house supplies like cleaning agents, garden tools and other equipment. Luckily it had a door, and Dayo closed it quietly and from a little hole, he watched the gang member climb up the stairs. Dayo rushed out of the alcove and entered the kitchen yawning and walking like he was sleepwalking. Stone smiled at this and rushed to hold him thinking he would fall.
Stone: “When will you outgrow sleepwalking?” he said fondly. He opened the refrigerator and brought out milk because he rightly assumed that it was milk that brought Dayo to the kitchen. As he poured the milk into a glass, Dayo looked at the people in the kitchen from under his eyelashes.
Dayo: “Thank you” he said sleepily and walked back upstairs.
In his room, the glass of milk was forgotten on the table, he was worried about what he had heard and the dream. Was the dream trying to tell him something? He wondered to himself.
Cassandra did not understand why she couldn’t Robert(Dayo) on Facebook again, and the last message he had sent to her, sounded like something that couldn’t come from him. She was broken hearted over the easy way he had discarded her. While she laid in her dorm room, nursing her broken heart, her real-life boyfriend, Ken, called her and invited her out for dinner. She wanted to turn him down, but she saw the dinner date, as an avenue to forget about Robert, so she obliged him.
She dressed in a little black dress(LBD) and strand of pearly necklace. At the restaurant where Ken had invited her to, she still could not concentrate, a young man in his twenties that had walked in, reminded her of Robert.
Ken: “Were you even listening to anything I said?” he asked and followed the direction of her eyes to the young man who had entered the restaurant, “Really Cassandra?” he asked incredulously, not believing for a moment that he was sitting with a girl and she was checking out another man.
Cassandra: “Sorry Ken, I have a lot on my mind” she said, trying to cover up with a smile.
Ken: “I can see that” he said flatly, and with a hint of sarcasm. Cassandra raised her head up from the plate of spaghetti she was eating, at the sarcasm she had heard in his voice. and saw Ken looking at the young man with anger in his eyes. She chuckled.
Ken: “I was asking if you would be going for the summer break” he said
Cassandra: “Of course, I have missed my mother” she replied.
Ken: “Then I am going too” he replied.
Cassandra shook her head at this, it repulsed her that Ken always did anything she did, even though he was not pleased with it. He did it to be close to her always. She wished that she could reciprocate his feelings, but she couldn’t. No matter how she tried to have some sort of connection with the opposite sex, she couldn’t because they were not Dayo. It baffled her though that Robert was the only one aside Dayo who caught her fancy. She felt nostalgic towards her impending trip home. Whenever she was in Nigeria, she was always considering people’s faces, checking if she would see Dayo.
The next day Stone asked to drive Dayo to the University for his clearance. He wished that he could keep Dayo at home forever, but it was not possible. He had discussed online learning with Dayo but he refused saying he couldn’t do any other course other than medicine, and Medicine could not be taken online.
Stone: “Remember all I told you, measure your words and don’t answer questions that are too personal. Keep everyone at arms-length, and call me when you are ready to come home, I will come and pick you” he admonished before unlocking the door.
Dayo exhaled as he stepped out of the 4matic car and walked towards the school gate. It was like the school was inviting him with open arms, he felt happy because he was closer to achieving his mother’s dreams. He rushed through his clearances because he had some other assignment to do. The address was still in his head and he wanted to check it out. He was certain that the occupants of the house would be visited by Stone and his gang soonest and he was wondering how e could help. It felt like he was meant to help them because he had been shown a dream. But he was also afraid because he had been shot in the dream. Any attempt to go against Stone would be met with death, he knew, but he didn’t know how to turn a blind eye, he had stumbled on their meeting for a reason.
When he got to the address which he had heard from Stone, he knocked on the gate for a while before the gateman opened the small entrance gate a peep.
Gate man: “Eh, eh, wetin you dey find?” he barked aggressively.
Dayo: “Please can I see the owner of the house?” he asked
Gate man: “Why, shebi you be one of those boys wey never chop belleful, wey dey come disturb my small madam anytime she come back from school abi, dey vamoose for here now before I comot your teeth” he said in pidgin.
Dayo: “It is important I see someone from this house, something bad is going to happen if I don’t warn them” he said with urgency, but the gate man was the least bit concerned.
Gate man: “That one na new format? Go think again, this one no follow. If I close my eye open am, and you still dey here, you go blame yourself for anything wey happen to you” he said closed his eyes. Dayo shook his head sadly and walked away. He went back to the University and then called Stone.
Two days later, Dayo began to shadow his guardian, Stone, he needed more details about the operation, to inform his next action. He noticed they only had meetings when they were sure he would not stumble into their conversation, so he pretended to be asleep. Stone came to his bedroom to check on him and when he saw Dayo was asleep, he went away. Dayo waited a few more minutes and then he tiptoed to the kitchen.
He heard voices and he listened. They were loud this time because they were having an argument.
Stone: “The daughter complicates everything. We will have to eliminate both of them”
“There is no need to do that, she is just a teenager” one of the members replied.
Stone: “The client wants both of them dead, and we always do what the client wants. Our hearts have never been the thing we think with in this business. We won’t start now. We kill both of them. We leave the house by 8pm, operation ETA is five minutes. Remember when we are out there, we think about our individuality, if the police happen on the operation, run, and don’t get caught” he said with finality.
Dayo could still hear murmurs among them but Stone’s words were final. He was shaken to his bones by what he had heard. They were going to kill a woman, and her daughter. He remembered the gate man he had met at the address, and his words. He had talked about a small madam, that could be the daughter they wanted to kill, he thought. His decision was already made, he was going to run away and save that family. He crept back up to his room and dressed in black sweatshirt and sweatpants. He opened his bedroom window, and climbed on to the window sill. From there, he stretched his hand and held on to the branch of a tree growing in the backyard. With the support of the tree he swung off the window sill and on to the tree.
Question: Will Dayo succeed in warning the occupants of the house or will he be shot like in the dream? Also do you think the occupants of the house are related to Dayo in any way?
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