This Story is a continuation of GOING… GOING… GONE PT 1 and GOING… GOING… GONE PT 2
“Memories; the brain’s diary entries of your life. Now, imagine those pages being ripped out and tossed into the wind…you get the picture? Well, that’s the story of my life.” Adunni. O.
Recap: *After nearly being used by Jide for a diabolical purpose, Adunni escapes and stumbles unto a construction site to spend the night.*
Few Days Ago
“Please fasten your seatbelts for landing. We will arrive shortly at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.” An air hostess announced.
However comfortable the Business class was, he couldn’t wait to get off the plane.
Just before he left, a pretty brown skinned flight attendant who had been just a bit too friendly, leaned over and slipped him a piece of paper that no doubt contained her phone number.
“Have a great stay.” She smiled while her eyes said ‘call me.’ His face gave nothing away as he walked past her.
Out in the scorching Lagos heat, he quickly located the driver that was waiting for him at the pick up area. Sliding into the air conditioned Mercedes, he leaned back and sipped from the chilled drink waiting for him.
“How was your trip, Sir?”
“Quite eventful.” He replied, as he remembered the determined flight attendant.
He went to his home directly, but planned to stop by his parent’s house later that week. He recalled the last time he’d been home months ago, but the circumstances that had brought him were far from pleasant.
He tried to push the burial to the back of his mind. He needed to focus on business. The building project which was the reason he had made the trip from the UK.
Not caring much about jet lag, he picked up the phone and called the site manager he’d placed in charge of the estate. Once plans were made and he was scheduled to check on the progress of the site, he let himself rest for a bit. But sleep would not come easily and he knew why.
I woke up to the sound of heavy boots nearby. The sun was up and sleep was slowly clearing away, leaving me more alert.
“Hey you! What are you doing here?”
I blinked and squinted against the sunlight. A security guard was standing before me with a baton in his hands.
Quickly, I got to my feet noticing more activity around me. Workers filled the construction site, a few threw me curious glances while others ignored me.
“Abi you deaf? I said what are you doing here?”
Just then, I got the craziest idea. But I went for it anyway.
“I came to find work, Sir. Abeg, no vex.”
“Did you see any sign that says they are hiring? Or are you-”
Another man’s voice interrupted.
“What is all this noise? Ahmed, what is going on here?” The man was of average height with a sturdy build. His closely shaven head gleamed in the sun.
“Sorry Mr Basi, I’m telling this beggar to leave the site.”
The man turned to me, his eyes taking me in. I wasn’t particularly at my best, but I didn’t think I looked like a beggar.
“Young lady, what do you want?” He asked.
“Please Sir, I want a job, I need one.” I almost didn’t care if I came across sounding desperate.
He looked around the site then back at me.
“You don’t look like you’ve done this kind of work before. Or have you?” He asked.
“No, but I promise to work really hard.”
He contemplated for a while before nodding sharply and dismissing Ahmed, then he asked for my name.
“Follow me.” Mr Basi said.
We walked to a building where workers were carrying blocks and cement mix to and fro.
“I’m one of the supervisors on this site. I can let you work as long as you keep up and do your assigned tasks.” He glanced at me with a glint in his eye. “Maybe if you impress me, I could move you to a better position.”
He put me to work with the others. The first few trips of carrying blocks were endurable, but after a while I felt my arms turn jelly-like. I noticed the others carry on like they possessed the strength of two men. Even the women there were holding their own.
What possessed me to ask for this job? I lamented silently. But the thought of being paid was my motivation.
When they announced a short break later, I gladly collapsed unto a nearby bench and closed my eyes.
“Here, take this. You look like you need it more than I do.” A voice said.
I opened my eyes to see a full figured, dark woman sitting beside me. A cold bottle of water in her hand.
“Thank you.” I panted, gulping half of it down within seconds.
“You were sharp back there. They don’t usually treat those who loiter around nicely. Strictly authorised people only. I’m Halima by the way.” She said.
I noticed she spoke very good English. All day, I’d been hearing an eccentric mix of pidgin English and local languages.
“You don’t look like the typical worker we get around here.” She commented.
With my petite figure, I wasn’t surprised.
“I could say the same about you, you don’t sound like the typical worker either. I’m Adunni.” I returned.
She smiled slightly.
“Graduated with a first class years ago, but no job yet.”
I shook my head sadly.
We watched as a luxurious silver and chrome Range Rover drove past. People suddenly seemed more alert.
“Break is over, get back to work!” One of the supervisors called.
“Who’s that?” I whispered as we began loading our metal pots with cement mix this time. I was glad for the change.
“The owner of the estate. I’ve never seen him though, I’ve heard that he’s a well known Architect. He designed the layout and everything.”
“No talking over there!”
Halima and I glanced at each other. I rolled my eyes with a small smile and we both got to work.
For a month, I worked at the site. Halima and I became good friends and she allowed me squat with her in her temporary home which was a stone throw away from the construction site.
Mr Basi called me one evening after we rounded off and were paid.
“You asked to see me, Sir?” I said.
He looked at me before taking a step closer.
“You’ve done really well on this job Adunni, you’ve really come far and I feel it’s time to move you to a better position.”
“I’d like that very much, Sir.” I was glad he thought so. I knew he’d given me this job with much skeptism.
“Come meet me here tomorrow by 6pm to begin.” He said before walking away.
At first it didn’t occur to me but later I realised that the next day was a Sunday, and we didn’t work on Sundays.
“I’m not sure about this Adunni.” Halima said when I told her.
“Everything will be fine.” I reassured her before leaving later that evening.
Hours later, I returned to Halima’s house a stuttering mess.
“What happened to you?” She got to her feet, alarmed.
“I-I think I k-killed him.” Was all I could get out before I broke down in tears.
She froze before suddenly locking the door and lowering her voice.
“Tell me exactly what happened.”
I took a deep shaky breath and narrated the incident.
“He wanted me as his mistress even though he’s married. I refused and called him names then he got so angry, Halima. He was like a raging bull. He tried to force himself on me and I…I wasn’t thinking. I just grabbed the nearest object and next thing, he slumped.”
Halima was quiet as she absorbed the news. I ran my trembling hands over my face, still in shock.
“Was anyone around? Did anyone see you?” She asked.
I shook my head.
“I don’t think so.” He had planned to get me alone.
“Good. No one must know about this.”
“But what if he’s…dead?” The words brought a sinking feeling of fear into my chest.
Halima shook her head as if trying to convince herself too.
“He may not be. But you have to keep a low profile. I’ll return to the site for work as usual on Monday to check things out. If anyone asks, I’ll say you’re ill.”
Later that night as I struggled with sleep, the images that came to mind were ones I wished I could forget. His impatient roaming hands, his smooth as honey voice that turned into ice when refused and finally the sight of his unconscious body, head bleeding out a deep red pool on the floor.
When Halima returned, I learnt that Mr Basi was in the hospital. One of the guards who went on night patrol found him. I gave a huge sigh of relief. I wasn’t a murderer after all.
“I can’t stay here anymore.” I said to Halima.
“Why not? Mr Basi fine and he hasn’t mentioned a thing. He knows what he did was wrong, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he had you there in the first place.”
“But I can’t live off you and do nothing while you work. I need to get another job.” There was no way I was going back to the site, I was scared of running into him again.
“Just think about it before you make any decision.”
Three days later, I’d gotten my things together to leave. I’d purchased a small, cheap phone and saved Halima’s number on it. Hers was the only contact I had, but it felt good having someone I could call a friend.
I took public transport, this time making sure to take caution. I’d just gotten off at a junction and was halfway across the quiet road when a vehicle came barrelling around the corner.
I screamed in horror as it came to a sharp halt mere inches from me. When I realised I was still alive, I noticed the familiar silver and chrome Range Rover.
The driver got out and rushed to my side. He wore dark shades and a face cap that hid most of his face. All that was visible of his features was his clean, sharply defined jawline.
“Are you okay?” He asked in concern. “For crying out loud, why would you dart into the road like that? Do you-” He suddenly stopped mid sentence.
I got off the ground and turned to face him fully, I was too shaken up to speak. It was like the accident all over again. Except, he’d stopped just in time.
In my haste to get away, I left him there staring after me like he’d seen a ghost.
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