“Don’t shoot, don’t shoot, please don’t shoot”, Nadia screamed dropping the big stick she was holding and raising her both hands up. “Please don’t shoot me”. She quickly knelt down.
“Who are you ?answer me now before I shoot your f—–g brains out”,
“No no no don’t shoot please” Nadia begged on, “my name is Nadia and this is my house, sorry, sorry, this is where I stay”, she corrected her head faced ground.
Stanley stood up and walked round her, the gun still pointed to her, he looked around as if to verify her statement.
“Who else is with you” he shouted, “who else stays here with you.” Nadia kept quiet, then Stanley put the gun on her head, Nadia saw the blood dripping from his arms, “if you don’t answer me now am going to blow your brains out, I said who else stays with you in this place”. Slowly Nadia hand reached the stick she had earlier brought with her, its either she acts now or die and so with a flash of light she released the stick on Stanley’s hand hitting the gun from him. Stanley fell on the ground rolling in pains. Nadia quickly reached for the gun and held it the way Stanley had pointed it to her. She pointed it to him and ordered him to sit up. When he sat up Nadia knew that she had seen him before.
“Ah God!” he grumbled, “shoot me already, I don’t even know why I’m not dead yet, my only brother is dead, my mom is sick and at the point of death, I am here, once am caught by those policemen, its either I will be killed or taken to prison for life and that I can’t bear, so its better you just kill me now”. Nadia looked at him and felt much pity on him, then she lowered the gun. She saw he was in so much pains so she ran inside and came out with a piece of cloth and a bowl of water, gently she wiped the surface of the gunshot and she assisted him to sit well. “Its inside Stanley” said, “the bullet is inside and you have to take it out.”
“Who will take it out?” Nadia asked,
“please” Stanley begged on, “you have to take it out if not I may lose my hand”. Nadia looked confusingly at him and said
“how can I take it out? Am not a nurse o, I don’t even know how”,
“I will direct you” he stammered, “but please help me.” And just as he had said he directed Nadia and in another 20minutes the bullet was out. Nadia then tied the hand firmly with another cloth. The whole scene reminded her of when she was helping her mom with the nails on her legs. After she tied the arm for him, she picked herself up, threw his gun at him and then she turned to leave.
“Please whoever you are, take yourself from this place, we don’t want trouble here, just take yourself and leave already”. Then she walked away….
Nadia went back to Ruth and laid down but she couldn’t sleep. In the early hours of the morning, she went back to the spot where she left him but he was no longer there. There was no trace of him he had wiped the blood off the ground and everywhere seemed like no one had even come there. Ruth saw how uneasy Nadia was and asked her why but she told her all was fine. After they ate that morning they headed for the market once more.
Nadia had learnt to do daily savings from one of the older girls there. There was this lady who normally comes with a card to sign whatever amount you pay to her. And so Nadia has started saving 1,000naira daily from her sales. She had also introduced Ruth into saving too. Whenever they had to cook they would contribute 500naira each and then save 500naira. The two of them had become closer than before and one could easily mistake them as sisters. Ruth was looking beautiful and beautiful daily. She loved and respected Nadia so much. She thanked God daily for that gunshot experience that made her meet Nadia.
All through that day, Nadia was not focused. She couldn’t stop thinking of what might have happened to the young boy she met that morning. The rumour has gone round that a group of four boys went to steal and one was killed on the spot, one arrested but later died on the way to the station due to guns shot wounds, two had escaped and are still at large. But the police will stop at nothing until they are both caught and killed. She doesn’t know if he was caught or he managed to escape. She soon found herself praying that God should keep him safe.
Its been 8months since that midnight experience. Nothing was heard from the two escaped armed robbers and there have been peace in the neighbourhood. Nadia and Ruth have grown so much in the pure water business. They even get to save 1500 sometimes and still go home with a good amount of money. They can now afford some new clothes and good food. Life couldnt be more better.
That faithful morning, they woke up as usual to prepare for business , when they saw two cars drive past the bushes into the compound, they stood outside to know who was coming in. A man in his mid fifty came out of the car with some boys a total of 7 in number. The man looked at the two teenage girls in surprise and was wondering what they were doing in his house. Nadia was standing like someone who was ready to defend her property.
“Young girls what are you doing here” the man asked! Nadia looked at him and answered
“I should ask you that sir. Are you looking for something?” The man looked around the place and saw how neat this two girls have kept the surrounding, he turned and looked at Nadia who happened to be the spokes person.
“This is my property’, I have left bit for a very long time but now I want to work on my house to complete it”. The look of courage on Nadia’s face disappeared and fear gripped her. “Who are you, and what are you doing here? Where are your parents?” The man asked.
Nadia turned to Ruth and then to the man again.
“Please sir we are very sorry for everything sir, but we stay here, we have been staying here for sometime now. Please sir don’t be offended.” The man looked in surprise but he was not angry, because the girls kept the place neat.
”Oh I see” he continued. “Anyways I believe I have tried and helped you girls for the period that you have stayed here. Right now I want to work on my property , I want to complete my house, i have need for it. And so you girls have to leave.” This was Nadia biggest fear.
“Leave? Please sir” she stated , going fully on her knees , “please don’t send us away please”. The man laughed at her before talking and asking,
“this one you are saying I shouldn’t ask you to leave, are you saying I shouldn’t complete my house. This house has been like this for almost 6years. I need to complete it. Or shouldn’t I?”
“Yes you should” Nadia replied “but please, don’t send us away.
” If I don’t send you away how will I continue my work , I need to use this property please, I want to use it so please pack your things and leave”. Nadia started crying so hard. Ruth could not understand why Nadia was crying so deep, she knew they have enough savings and can afford a one room apartment. She took Nadia to one corner and told her to stop crying that they should take small money from their savings and rent a House. Nadia ignored her and went back to the man begging him and crying that he shouldn’t send them away.
The man looked at the girls and shook his head,
“how I wish I can help you girls. But take” he dipped his hands in his pocket brought out dome money and gave it to them, Ruth quickly collected the money from him. “Please use that money and rent a one room apartment. At least that money will help. Am so sorry but in two days time we will commence work here, please be gone by then, boys let’s go”. They turned and entered their car and drove off. Nadia ran to the spot where her mother was buried and cried bitterly, she wept so much and Ruth was confused because she didnt understand why Nadia was acting up. Nadia eventually packed some of the sand on her bag,
”mother” she cried, “I am leaving now, but I will not forget you, I will be back, I will be back mother, I promise!” She stood, packed some bags, she told Ruth to pack some bags and they walked away from the building. She turned and took a good look at the building one last time, with tears in her eyes she walked away and never looked back.