Arrow of Fate
By Yusuf Abdulwasii
As she reluctantly left the tree where she had been leaning all afternoon to cross the road, Abdullah saw her, ran after and pleaded for her not to go in the direction she was headed.
“Why?” she blurted out.
“From the information I got, those boys are approaching from that direction, pointing to where she was heading. They are well-armed. Let me take you where you can rest, out of harm, Abdullah said.
With kinds of fearful thoughts running through her mind, Aminah asked, “So where are you taking me to that would be safe?
“Let me worry about that, he answered.
Abdullah was thinking fast as he put her luggage in the boot of his car. His house was quite far from where they were. An idea dropped into his mind; he would take her to a guesthouse and pay for at least two nights until she calmed down a bit from whatever was eating her up. Another problem, how would he explain to her his intention to take her to a guesthouse without sending a wrong message? He really had no other choice. When he told Aminah where he wanted to take her to, she was not happy but she was very much out of options.
At the Fidelity guesthouse, she got a five thousand Naira per night room and Abdullah paid for two nights. He lodged her in with a promise to come back after two days. Perhaps by then she would have made up her mind about leaving town.
The following morning, there was an uneasy calm all over. The only reminder of the reign of terror the night before, were blood and bodies of innocent people killed for events they know nothing of.
Back in the guesthouse, Aminah was listening to the morning news, she stifled a scream when she saw a lifless body on the street. According to the reporter, the unidentified victim was one of those killed previous night by the cult boys, from the time given in the news report as when the man was killed, Aminah calculated and it dawned on her that it was only thirty minutes after she had left the street. She began to cry again. If not for that man Abdullah, I would have been killed too, she muttered to herself. She realized that against all odds, she needed to thank God for soaring her life. She wiped her tears, knelt down and thanked God.
Afterwards, Aminah began to think of what to do next, where would she go when she leaves the guesthouse? She tried remembering her friends, but could recall very little of them because she was not allowed to build any string relationships while she was married. And since she was not in the mood for any insult ever again, she concluded that the only option left for her was to go back to Lagos.
She had lost her parents several years ago. She had no siblings. I will tell Abdullah that I have finally made up my mind to go back to Lagos. As soon as this thought settled in her mind, she suddenly became irritated by where she was now. Even the guesthouse reminded her of what she had gone through. Earlier the next morning, Aminah go herself ready to leave for Lagos, she was only waiting out of courtesy for Abdullah who promised to come back for her. She was hurt, no doubt but she still had her manners. A person who saved another person’s life should be acknowledged, right? There was a gentle knock at the door. She sprang up from the bed praying it would be Abdullah, she opened the door to see a waiter with the breakfast menu. Aminah was not in the mood for food that morning, the only person she wanted to see is Abdullah so she could thank him for all he did for her. As she was about sending the waiter away, Abdullah walked in beaming sweet smiles at her. He took the menu from the waiter and ordered for coffee and sandwich for both of them.
He entered the room and sat on the only chair available, while Aminah sat on the bed. There was a long awkward silence between them, each one waiting for the other to speak first.
The waiter knocked and was allowed in, he served them. Abdullah wait patiently for Aminah to finish her food when he’s done. When they had done eating, there were more important things that needed to be discussed.
Suddenly, the light went off, the Hoyle management had turned off their generators on switch to power from electricity authority, Abdullah, sensing that an opportunity had presented itself, spoke up, “please ma’am, I don’t mean to intrude into your private life, it is not as if I cannot help you and go my way. I have a feeling that you are both into trouble and helpless.
I may be wrong but one thing I’m sure of is that there is something bothering you. I plead with you, give me a hint at least.
Aminah started crying and Abdullah stopped to watch her cry, she collected the handkerchief offered her to wipe her face bit continued crying.
My story is a long one Mr Abdullah… Where do I start my painful and disgraceful story from? Ten years of terrible experiences, each day and week with different story to tell. How do is start and when will I finish the story, if I leave for Lagos today, would I make it if I started talking??? Where do is start…?
She sat down now and took deep breaths to relax and calm herself.
My name is Aminah…
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