Tarasha stood transfixed, temporarily unable to utter any
word or move from the spot. The knife in her left hand
fell off and blood began to drip down to the floor.
‘Omotara’ Henry called softly as he proceeded forward.
‘We need to talk’
His phone rang out, disrupting the moment. He quickly
took it out and silenced it without checking the caller’s
‘Jeffery’ Tarasha’s lips moved repeatedly. The colours in
her eyes were changing, it looked like she wanted to cry
but there was no tears formed in the eyes. ‘Where did
you see him?’ Tarasha asked calmly. She released the
knife in her right hand to the ground.
Henry’s gaze moved away from her. He took a quick
glance at the window at the balcony of the house,
someone was opening the curtain to peep. ‘Let’s sit
somewhere and talk’
Tarasha inhaled deeply and walked back to the car , she
entered back into the front seat she was before. Henry
followed her slowly. His phone rang again, he checked
the screen this time, it was Agent Dakolo calling. He
silenced it again and dipped it into his pocket. He entered
and sat in the driver’s seat.
He looked at Tarasha’s face, she seemed not to have
noticed that he was now in the car with her. Her face had
turned pale, her body was right there with him but her
mind had journeyed far.
** May 27, 2014 **
Omotara sat on the floor of the bus which was covered
with a dirty rug. Still crying, she was feeling so uneasy
and dirty in her blood stained clothes. She wiped the
tears off her face from time to time but it was still
uncontrollable, it kept flowing down like a river. No one
could have imagined that such a calamity could befall a
happy family like hers, especially on her day of joy. Her
parents and two of brothers were brutally murdered, her
virginity was stolen in the most gruesome way and now
she and the rest of her siblings were being carried to an
unknown place, only God knew where they were taking
them to and what they wanted to use them for.
The bus vibrated on getting to a rough side of the road
after which the motion was slowed down and finally
brought to a stop. Some of their captors went out of the
bus and returned two minutes later. They began to lead
the youngest group of which Jerry was among, outside. It
was very dark, so Omotara could not see where they
were being led to.
‘Ahhh!’ She heard a loud groan which she recognized.
Her elder brother, Jeffery had fallen to the floor where he
was in the bus, a man who was holding a gun was
standing over him and looking at him with mean eyes. It
seemed as if Jeffery had tried to peep through the
window and the man had hit him on the head with the
butt of the gun. Her eyes met with her brother’s own , his
lips were vibrating, he was trying to say something to her
but he was inaudible. His eyes closed slowly and
gradually. Omotara’s cry increased, she couldn’t tell if he
died or fainted.
‘When we get out of this bus, I’ll make sure his head is
cut off’ the man who hit Jeffery said in a warning tone to
others. Omotara he felt like getting up to do something
like hitting the man furiously until he kills her too but she
couldn’t, her bones were so weak that she couldn’t even
lift her legs without vibrating. It wasn’t easy to be forced
on several sex rounds with the evil man whose body
weight was four times hers.
The main aim of the rapist was actually to molest her till
death, but she somehow survived. He had to give up after
he had gone several rounds with the innocent girl and
she wasn’t showing any signs of dying soon.
Jeffery was still laying down unconsciously when the bus
stopped again, that was after another hour of traveling.
Some of their captors went out again and returned few
minutes later to transfer another group of kids to
another bus. Omotara was part of the new group to be
transferred. Her peers began to get up and follow the
directions given by the men to move out of the bus.
Omotara was too weak to get up, she tried to, but her
legs failed her. She was still there with her back rested on
the bus wall as she struggled to get up, she noticed a pair
of boots stop in front of her, she looked up to see the
person. It was the same man who led the group into her
house and molested her, she could recognise his mask
and color of clothes. He took off his mask gradually,
revealing his mean face. He snarled and stared at her
‘Didn’t you see your mates going out?’ He barked and
landed a thunderous slap on her face. She rolled on the
floor with crying aloud. The intensity of her headache
increased, her vision was becoming blur. She stared into
his face, still weeping before she blacked out.
It was until the next morning she opened her eyes, very
hungry she was. She found herself in a forest, laying on
grass, clad only in her pant. Her stomach grumbled as
she tried to sit up, she could see her peers passing by her
side and carrying several logs of wood on their heads, all
dressed only in pants also.
Something landed on her head softly, a loaf of bread. She
picked it up hurriedly and started devouring it like an
hungry lion without trying to find the source. A man
came to stand in front of her, she looked up at his face.
He didn’t look like a Nigerian, but he was African.
‘Eat quickly. You can get water at the river over there’ the
man said, pointing in direction of the river. His intonation
and pronunciation further confirmed his non Nigerian
citizenship. ‘Join your mates immediately you finish,
there’s lot of work to do’ he concluded and walked away.
She paused a little while and turned around to look, it
seemed that the work had begun a long time, all the girls
were sweating heavily. Her headache began again.
‘Omotara’ Henry called. She blinked her eyes and turned
slowly to him, her eyes looked heavy but there was still
no tears in it.
‘Jeffery is dead. How do you claim to have seen him?’ She
asked in a threatening voice.
‘He’s not dead, I saw him, he came to me and we spoke.
He told me exactly the same story of how your parents
were killed, his account was in no way different from
yours…’ Henry’s phone interrupted again. He took it out
and silenced it after taking a look at the screen, Mr
Sylvester was the one calling now. He silenced it
permanently and returned it into his pocket.
‘Where did you see him?’ Tarasha asked.
‘He came to look for you and found me’ Henry answered.
Tarasha blinked her eyes, she was doubting his answer.
‘You’ve also seen him before’ he quickly added. ‘The man
who I saw you with in the Catholic Church premises’
Tarasha paused to think. Jefa’s picture flashed back into
her mind. She tried to connect his face with Jeffery’s but
she couldn’t find any connection. The man was way older
than Jeffery should be. She shook her head in
disagreement, mumbling some words to herself.
‘He told me your story, your full name and even showed
me one of your childhood pictures.
Tarasha shook her head in disbelief, she opened the door
and stepped out. She couldn’t take all what he was
saying, it couldn’t be true. Jeffery was dead, the man who
hit him with the butt of the gun had promised to take off
Henry stepped out of the car and turned to join her at
the other side.
‘Where is he now?’ She asked him.
‘He’s in town, I have his phone number’ Henry said
excitedly, he took out his phone and began to search
through his contact details. He dialed Jeffrey immediately
he saw it. Unfortunately, the line was switched off.
‘His phone is switched off now’ Henry announced,
‘Henry, please leave’ Tarasha said with a strict tone and
began to walk into the building without looking back.
‘Tara, we still need to talk’ Henry pleaded for her to wait
stop but to no avail. She was done with him already.
Jefa continued to flip through the pages of the diary. The
writings on each day increased as he progressed. He
realised that the events of older days were actually
recopied into the diary, they were transferred from the
previous ones and compiled into that one, it could be
seen from the writing and ink of pen used. Their mother
must have summarised and removed somethings she
considered irrelevances from the older ones because she
had about five to ten older days on a page while she had
the days which were closer to her death more detailed.
Precisely, two months before May 27, 2014 more
detailed; each days within that period took at least half a
page. But the ones were before that period were very
brief, the most brief ones were the ones of the early
2000s, each day contained only a line or even half a line.
His mother could not have recopied it alll by herself, she
must have paid someone to do it for her. The detailed
ones were the only ones written by her, it was evident
from the handwriting and neatness of pages. The total
writings ended at the third quarter of the book. He finally
stopped at some pages after the middle page. March 27,
2014. He began to read.
“Today, my family finally moved from our comfortable
duplex in Victoria Island, Lagos state to an hideout in
Gwaskara, Borno state. That was the only place we could
think of running to since my husband is an indigene of
the state. The conspiracy and threats of our enemies had
become more serious and it looked like the police could
do nothing about it. Even the Inspector’s advice was for
us to hide for the main time until they were less angry
with us. The house is not that bad, it just doesn’t look as
comfortable as our home is. It also needs thorough
cleaning and washing. Thank God schools have not
resumed yet, I would do the cleaning together with my
Jefa placed a finger on the page and closed the diary. He
raised up his head, deep in thoughts. He remembered
that Sunday several years ago, a mini van had arrived
into their compound as early as 3am, their parents woke
them up and asked them to start arranging their clothes
and books into bags. Jeffery did not understand what was
going on then, all his efforts to get an explanation from
his parents failed as they gave him no response. His
mother even shouted at him angrily to shut him up, only
for her to apologize two days later in the new house and
promise to tell him the reason for the movement when
he comes of age. He never got that explanation till his
parents were sent forcefully out of the land of the living.
Who could those enemies be? He thought. Who were
those who sent his family out of Lagos to a place of
unrest and unsettled security .
Except for an instance where he saw his parents
discussing with so much tension, he had never heard,
seen or suspected that his parents had enemies. He used
to think they were loved by everybody due to their
generous attitude and their selflessness in carrying out
their medical profession.
He opened the diary again and began to flip backwards,
scanning through each page briefly. He stopped at
February 24, 2014
“Today, the threats against us increased. The Chief once
again asked Danjuma to approve the deal but Danjuma
refused. The Chief went ahead to give us a deadline of
one month to consider it. He promised to take our lives if
we do not comply and sign the deal. I’ve never been so
confused in my life. My husband is confused too.
We’ve reported the situation to the police but no step has
been taken to act on our case, I strongly believe that
these Chiefs have a very strong backup in the force. May
God help us and save us from this terrible thing that is
about to befall us”
Jefa closed the diary again, he was more determined now
to find out who the Chiefs were. He opened and began to
flip backwards. A knock sounded on his door. He paused,
looked up and kept quiet to listen well. The knock came
again. He quickly got up and returned the diary to its
former position. He straightened his clothes and went to
the door. The police had come for him as expected, he
had explanations to make about the trouble that ensued
in his store the last night.
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