Nneka and Seyi (not real names) have been neighbors for years and friends. Both contributing to the relationship and even with her brothers and sisters he is called friend.
One day, their sister (Chidima) came visiting from Benin, she was naive and did not really know what evil lies in the heart of men so when a guy got friendly with her in the bus, she thought he was just being friendly, she gave him her number and he told her a bogus story about how she has a demon inside her and he can help her remove it but she must not tell anyone about it else she will die. She believed him.
When she got off the bus, she was scared of the ‘demon’ inside her and when the dude called around 4pm for her to come so he can pull the demon out she was relieve. She told her family she wanted to take a stroll, she was not a child so they allowed her and when she was not back by 6, her mum got worried. Seyi was busy with Nneka’s brother arguing about football when the mother started getting really worked up so he joined the search.
Soon the rain started and the skies got dark and yet no sign of Chidima, they kept calling her phone (with Seyi’s phone) and still no reply until 8pm when a voice answered and said they found the owner of the phone almost unclad in a school where she escaped from 4 men who tried to rape her. They asked the, to describe their location and they did so the family including Seyi went in search. Their mum went one way, the rest went another but the description was inaccurate and even though the rain came down with reckless abandon, the search went in until 11 pm her phone did not respond after 9.
Drenched, the search party went home disappointed and sad. No jokes was heard in the house which used to be lively that night. Everyone returned to their beds with prayers hoping and praying that Chidina will be okay.
Seyi was alone in his room that night, no power supply and he was so cold, he had to light up his stove inside the room so he cold be warm. With chattering teeth, he tried to warm himself, all thoughts of dinner gone and just wondering and hoping Chidinma who he has seen just once will be fine and safe and imagining what would be the thoughts in Nneka’s house.
The next morning as early as 5 am, the search started again. Seyi’s two phones we already damaged by the rain and he dropped them at home. He had other things to handle but he ignored and they went to the school where the girl was said to be found hoping to locate her but they did not yet they kept searching until they got a call around 9am telling them she had been found…..her mother ran into someone and while she was crying, they asked her what was wrong. Luckily, the people who saw her were neighbors with the folks who found Chidinma.
Seyi licked his wounds and had to suffer the damage to his phones….one could not be saved but the other was saved. He fixed it and moved on. That was just one of the things he has been through with Nneka’s family and he already took em as friends so it was nothing to him until recently something happened that changed everything.
A little disagreement broke out between Seyi and Chidima’s brothers and it turned into a shouting contest. Nneka’s mother came out, shocked to see the boys like that, Nneka had taken sides with her brothers and already thrown some silly jabs at everyone hoping to escalate the matter but it was still withing salvage range until something happened to change it all.
Nneka’s mother said “You people are one na, stop this noise and fighting” and while everyone kept quiet, Nneka spoke back
“We are Igbo and he is Yoruba“
Seyi was speechless. He had flashbacks to the countless favors, the countless talks and encouragements and he shook his head as he walked away……..
This country scares the eff out of me