Bridget sipped the juice in the cup in her hands and shook her hand,
Bridget: “You can’t be serious!”
First Lady: “I have never being this serious in my adult life!” Bridget hee-hawed, First Lady was left confused and irked. She was first with a serious situation and instead of her friend to help out she was busy mocking her with laughter, “What’s funny?”
Bridget continued laughing,
Bridget: “Sorry,” still laughing.
First Lady: “Bee baby you’re beginning to annoy me ooo!”
Bridget managed to catch her breath,
Bridget: “Hmmm. What has come over you?”
First Lady: “for trying to right my wrong?”
Bridget: “That’s foolishness! Undiluted foolishness!”
First Lady: “How do you mean?”
Bridget: “Did you just listen to yourself? What would you tell your husband?” First Lady sighed, “ I want to confess that the young man is innocent I forced him to sleep with me?”
First Lady: “Shhh! Lower your voice someone might over hear our conversation,” she said looking around.
They were in a lounge, somewhere in outskirt of town. It was their usual hideout.
Bridget was making a point First Lady thought. she didn’t think of how outrageous it would be. If she dared use that approach her marriage to Chairman was over“What do you think I should? My conscious is killing me! I can’t stand Henry being tortured for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Bridget: “Why do I sense that someone is in love, eh?”
First Lady giggled,
First Lady: “Go joor! Who is falling in love?”
Bridget: “Yes na. All these talk about conscious and innocence I don’t understand oo!”First Lady giggled again,
First Lady: “Henry na fine bobo na. I like him so much. I just couldn’t stand the fact that he turned me down, “she raised her shoulders as her eyes ran through her own body and added, “Check me out na? I know maik sense, eh?”
Bridget: “You wey know?” they gave each other high five. After a few seconds of silence, she added, “You did right, babes. The dog had to be given a bad name. It’s nobody’s fault.”
First Lady sighed,
First Lady: “What do you think I should do?”
Bridget: “Just leave it the way it is! The deed has been done already!”
First Lady: “It isn’t going to be easy you know?”
Bridget: “Life goes on baby!” she opened the bottle of whiskey and poured for herself and the First Lady,
First Lady: “what can I do without you?”
Bridget: “You can say that again,baby!” They clicked their glasses against each other’s.
Henry was thrown into the cell with criminals. The stench of the place made him choke. He could perceive the stench of excreta; old and new. The churning stomach made him feel like throwing up but he knew doing that would make the place more fury than it was already. Stares fell on him, very scary. He stood in the middle not knowing which way to go. A tall lanky man who was known as Presido asked Sergeant Tunji who had just locked the cell a question,
Presido: “Serg, maik we drill em?
Tunji struggling with the lock,
Tunji: “Leave for today. E don drink enough tea. Maik e body well small!”
Henry had being battered, the whole of his body ached. He felt as if his life was hanging on a thread. How he managed to survive the battering from the aides and then the police officers he couldn’t explain. He sure was a cat with nine lives.
Presido with his coarse voice beckoned at him,
Presido: “Show here!” Henry crawled and stood in a position the Presido pointed at.
The cell was crowded but he noticed two men sat away from the others in wing of the cell. They seemed to be shivering. About four men stood with pieces of carton waving towards Presido blowing him breeze. The men who obviously were the slaves looked bigger than the lank Presido and Henry wondered why they would let such a man control them. It was like an ant leading herd of elephants. It was funny.
“Wetin be your charge?”
Henry didn’t understand what he meant by that,
Henry: “Eh?” they burst into laughter and someone yelled,
“Suwegbe, wetin you do?”
Henry grunted and whispered,
Henry: “Nothing!” they didn’t hear him.
Presido: “Speak up, bastard!” something seemed to choke Henry he couldn’t speak out lout, “You dey mad abi? You know wan talk?” Henry tried talking but there was no voice. It had cracked from the wailing. Presido whispered to one of the inmates, and he stood up and walked to where Henry was,
“Recharge e phone abeg since credit to talk don finish!”
Henry knew he had gotten into more trouble; he forced himself to talk but he had lost his voice. The man smiling raised his hand high above Henry’s head and before Henry realized what was happening he was staggering. The slap had dazed him before he could recover from the first slap the man whose hands were colossal like the blade of a big hoe sent another his way. The people cheered laughing savagely. Henry had the world twirl with him as his sight became blurry and he landed on the ground and it seemed the last breath of life had left him. The rowdy cell became still, eyes staring at another; the man who had slapped him stood dumbfounded.
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