Man In Black Episode 1

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He rang the doorbell.

“Who’s there?” a voice asked asked from inside.

“Bros, na me,” answered the caller.

The door opened. The caller was a man of thirty-two, clean shaved and wearing close-cut hair. He was carrying a backpack.

“O-hoo, I no talk am? I know say you no fit finish early for your life,” he complained, his face drawn. He was already getting tired of Segun’s lateness.

“Okay, I have heard you, Chuks,” Segun said. “But you see that I just want to iron some clothes. Besides, even the one I intend wearing today is rumpled a bit.”

“How I wan take know, when you never talk say make I enter, ehn Shege? You harsh o.”

“Oya come in,” Segun beckoned his friend, opening the door wider. The way he was behaving, you wouldn’t even know they were late for something. “Did you bring your bike?” he asked as Chuks entered, taking off his bag.

“Ehn, I park am for street.” Segun locked the door and walked to the ironing table in his living room. His iron was plugged into an extension plug beside his television. Chuks watched him a bit.

“This one wey you dey sweat like this, you don baff? Ah, so you never baff,” he said as his friend looked up from his ironing to shake his head. “And you never shave, self. Na wa for you o. You know we’re supposed to start shooting practice today, and you want us to go late. You be fine guy, but if you dey do like this everytime, na so girls go dey run comot your side o.”

“I’m almost done, let me just stop here. I’ll go take my bath now, just let the TV keep you company.”
Segun’s house was a mini-flat in Ikeja, Lagos. The interior was painted a vibrant green with brown leather chairs in the parlour. A dull brown rug ran all over the floors, while a green rug was over laid on the parlour floor.

Ckukwudi, tired of waiting, settled himself to the 32-inch LED TV which was showing a documentary running on the discovery channel.

Segun and Chukwudi were childhood friends, brought together by the friendship between their parents, or rather, their fathers, the Brainards and the Browns. They had gone to the same secondary school, and later went to the same tertiary institution, a prestigious university in the UK where both studied sociology.

After their graduation, they both came to Nigeria and had been living in their motherland for a year. Just the previous week, Chukwudi had signed up for shooting classes online at a shooting range in Lekki and had persuaded Segun to join.

Regardless of the education he had received, Chukwudi loved speaking pidgin, because according to him, “home sweet home, pidgin sweet pidgin.” Memories of his own catchphrase brought a smile to his lips. Segun’s voice brought him out of his reverie.

“Yeah so I’m done, and ready to go,” said a transformed, smiley-faced guy.

The sweat that had been on his body as well as his beard were gone, and he was decked in a form-fitting white shirt T-shirt, camouflage vest, combat pants, and a pair of shining black All Stars. He too carried a backpack.

For a guy who took barely twenty minutes to prepare, Segun could clean up really well.

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“O-boy you fresh o,” Chuks said admiringly, “but if soldier catch you. . .”

“Never mind,” Segun said, dismissing his fears with a wave of his hand. By the way, I like your fingerless gloves,” his friend commented.

“Yeah, I heard it helps to get a good grip on guns, so. . .”

An instinctive smile played on Segun’s lips. Chuks raised an eyebrow, even though he knew what he just did. Segun laughed, and Chuks allowed himself a smile. To abandon his beloved pidgin, and for British-accented English, no less! It was rare. But he had heard the fingerless gloves made for good grip on weapons. And as he was going to be playing with guns, he had figured they had to look the part.

And he had schooled in England, so there was just no getting around that.

“Ehn, I know, ah!” Chuks said. He glanced at his watch. “See time, 8:05 already, and we suppose reach there by 9 O’clock. Oya make we dey go.”

In another ten minutes, the two friends were speeding off toward the island.

Tbc