It’s going to rain, and from the occasional hissing and rumbling in the sky, it sure promises to be a heavy downpour. The wind blows through your baggy clothes, sending freezing chills down your spine. Water droplets disperse on your forehead and trickle down your temples. The water droplets gradually become a faint drizzle, but you sit still on the fence, lost in the world of oblivion until your baggy clothes begin to cling to your skin.
You’ll remain here, this pavement in the middle of a lone street, at this wee hour of the night; you’ll remain in these drenching clothes, basking in the strong currents of water that have started lashing at your skin like a whip.
You strongly wish the hurlings of this rain are strong enough to beat you to death, or maybe the rain will just flood this street till it sweeps you off this pavement and wash you away like an empty soda can. There’s this urge to drown; you need it now more than ever. To drown in this gutter filled to the brim with muddy rainwater. Just like you almost drowned in your tears two months ago when you got that rejection call a day after Laraba pulled that stupid Christmas stunt on you, and called it a prank.
Like that wasn’t enough, just when you’ve decided to trash the thoughts of the rejection call and scamper away from depression as far as you can, the call came through this morning. At first, you had been sceptical about picking up since it seems you have bad luck with calls. First, it was Laraba’s fake assassin’s call that almost gave you a heart attack. Then, the rejection call. Who knows? This might just be another bad luck call, you had thought before hitting the green button.
And truly it was. It was Laraba’s friend on the line. “Lara has been kidnapped,” the words came in between choking sobs. You’d cackled; It sounded funny. Then the sobs from the other end rose to a gruesome crescendo—a heart-rending wail. The sincerity in that breaking voice couldn’t be mistaken. A sprint got you to the gate from where you moped into the streets, roving about like a lost sheep until darkness clouded the atmosphere. You found this pavement and have since been glued to it, hoping that Laraba will somehow appear out of the blue.
In sticky wet clothes, under the glaring, full moon, you pass the night tossing and turning on the pavement, your heart laden with a question: These kidnappers will definitely ask for a ransom. Where the hell is your broke ass self going to get it? The blast of a lorry’s horn jerks you awake with “Laraba” in your lips, and of course, a mucus-filled nose. You spring to your feet. It’s dawn, and you are still foggy with sleep. You rub sleep off your eyes vigorously with the back of your palm and begin to trudge back home, trying hard to see through the thick morning mist.
You do not bother to blow your nose; you let the watery mucus trickle down. Your gate is in view now. Far off, you can see the gate is closed, but you’d left it ajar yesterday evening when you dashed into the streets. You reach the gate and try to push it open, but it is locked from inside. Your heart skips myriads of beats. The kidnappers are here, the voice in your head keeps chanting. In your mind’s eye, Laraba is on her knees, a thick, black tape wrapped tightly around her face. Her limbs bound with strong ropes.
They are prolly waiting for you to come back. They must have called your number several times to ask you for the ransom all to no avail because last you checked, you flung it to God knows where after Laraba’s friend’s call. All these and more are the thoughts that run swiftly across your mind in split seconds.
Just when you’re about to spin and bolt to the police station. You hear a voice, “Who’s at the gate!” Then the figure appears, gaunt and slender. Your jaw drops. Your knees grow wobbly. You hold the gate for support, lest you come crashing down like the walls of Jericho.
The figure is no other than your supposed kidnapped sister, Laraba. And the most irking part, she has that mischievous grin plastered on her face. You need not a soothsayer to tell you that you’ve just fallen for one of her pranks, again. She rolls out cardboard with these words scrawled on it:
Roses are red, violets are blue. Come what may, I’ll always love you. Happy birthday, Francis. You’re the best bro ever.
You keep your hands glued to the gate. Heaven knows if you release them, you’ll beat the prankster and stupidity out of Laraba. You’ll start by hurling the stones on the floor, close to your feet at her. Then you’ll cut one of those clotheslines in the compound and whip the fucking childishness in that slim body. Blood ties be damned! Arrant nonsense!
About the author:
Destiny Okoduwa is a vibrant teenager with a flair for creative writing and storytelling. He spends his time teaching primary school pupils and weaving words into stories. When he’s not doing any of the above, he is weaving hairs into beautiful patterns to alter the appearance of women. Okoduwa writes from Ogun state, Nigeria.
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