FBRP: EPISODE THREE(III)
Written by: Ogu chinedu
life they say, is often filled with bright colors. it is even believed that at its lowest ebb, it is never darker than grey. yet, as johnson walked away from the eguru police station that morning, he wondered why all he could see was black. Dark, pitch and silent black. the kind that held no hope of light.
It was fifteen minutes past the ten o’clock hour when johnson weakly flagged down a taxi some blocks away from the eguru police station. It was the sixth taxi he had flagged since he stepped foot on free soil, but the first that had actually stopped. After a few hassles about the price, the taxi driver had grudgingly agreed to a few hundred naira. By the time the rickety yellow vehicle dropped him at the dusty entrance to the street, it was just five minutes to eleven o’clock. The street was deserted and a fierce harmattan breeze was at its full force. Johnson sighed and spat at the sight of a wet rag obviously fresh from being used on a fish tray, flies were already having a feast on it. This cursed street again! he thought to himself. As he approached the black gate that stood in front of number 7, he noticed a freshly printed paper pasted on the gate with what appeared to be leftover eba. If you have not paid your rent for next year, better prepare my money or prepare to pack out of my house. signed Landlord. Johnson let out a wry smile and banged the gate behind him. joker! big time joker!
Later that evening, just at the time the sun started its painless journey to find its bed, a loud knock woke johnson from his own slumber.
“person no dey this house?”
The voice behind the words sounded familiar, but it did not sound like a voice he wanted to hear. Johnson quietly crept up from his bed and peeped through the hole-infested curtain. Njide! the debt collector. A million thoughts flew through his head. What could Njide possibly want? surely he must have heard that ‘fine buoy’ had been incarcerated in the poor man’s hotel and had therefore come to collect his money before someone killed him for good. In these streets, it was money before neighbors, or brothers, or whatever. Money first!
“my friend open this door jhor!”