Another midnight phone call from Emmanuel left me shaken to the bones. My wife had been awoken by the loudness of the ringtone with suspicions about the caller. She didn’t know Emmanuel, and there was no point opening old wounds. So I claimed it was a wrong number and that put her to sleep.
That unfortunate Friday evening ten years ago has always been with me despite already pouring it out to the Reverend Father at confession. We had gone out to the pub as usual, and on our way back we had seen her. Taiye made drunk passes, and when she slapped him, he was outraged, and he raped her. We watched, and we too, one after the other had our way with her. She stopped struggling at the sixth person, and it was then we realized that she was unconscious, and fled for it.
Taiye’s senator father had somehow found a way to keep the story under wraps and we got off easy, but my conscience will not let me be. So I ran. I fled Lagos and settled in my Eastern hometown, got married and had a kid. And things seemed pretty good until the calls started coming.
Emmanuel, now UK-based, had called to tell me about Taiye’s airplane crash, and how his remains were never found. He had also called about the fire incident at Yusuf’s home that gutted his entire family beyond recognition. In a space of three months, four mysterious deaths had happened, and now he was calling to tell me he had been diagnosed with cancer.
I knew this might come, but I hoped confession had somehow let me off the hook. Now, staring into emptiness and replaying the conversation in my head, I know something is coming. Or maybe it’s already here.