He and I were best of friends until one day I told myself;
‘That’s it! I don’t want to see him ever again.’
And he came to visit me when almost anything wasn’t going on well for me during the day. When he opened his mouth I just lifted my head and told him;
‘What?’ he replied.
Off he went shaking his head and wondering how I came to say that. He looked at me again and saw lines caused by anger on my forehead. I had to tell him how I felt about he visiting me when I least expected him to and had no shame in saying it because after all, that’s how I truly felt. He knew I hated distractions and it wasn’t the first time I had shown he or any of his friends the door or back of it.
Prior to I showing he the door he asked me;
‘Do you have a problem with my brother?’
I mulled over the question and gave him a quick reply;
‘No, I don’t have a problem. You know why I don’t like he and I being linked?’
‘Of course I do.’
Having a man asking you if you hate another man is difficult a question to answer. Especially when he happens to be his brother or yours. He and I hadn’t been talking a lot except occasionally when he’d walk in inside my room unannounced. I used to ask him to call me first and request a date with me because I had a lot of things to do but he seemingly didn’t care about my feelings.
‘You’re one of those guys who love a person when they see him or when you have no things to do,’ I once told him.
‘What?’ he replied.
‘You heard what I’ve just said.’
His brother was a known crook and I thought I too will be called to account for his crimes one day. I looked myself hard in the mirror and realised his lifestyle could ruin all of us. I tried to make my friend aware about what may be lying ahead of us, how crime may be a stumbling-block which we must choose to evade at all costs or, fall hook-line-and-sinker within it— only to regret the consequences of our actions when things don’t go so well for us. By Sundays, he dined with priests and tithed like no man’s business and nobody cared to ask he or priests were he got his ill-gotten gains from.
People enjoyed the fruits of his labour but none wished to be associated with he for obvious reasons. He was brave and my friend and his brother’s friends liked him for that but weren’t there when he got bundled at the back of police vans or slapped around in cold-police-headquarters interrogation-rooms. He always wore a new scar with pride like it was a badge and bragged to friends how severe the beatings were but swore he’d never quit. Asked them;
‘If he ever did, how will my family survive?’
He had a daughter who attended crèche, a girlfriend who attended prayer services like they were on fashion. He got prayed for by even the most respected of prophets, got hands laid on his hard-skull and stubborn mind but he never changed his ways. It was like they knew what was going to happen to him in the end because everything in this life have an end but they chose to do a damn thing about it. And people like chose to watch the turn of events very far from them but they didn’t like how I reacted, how I walked out of the door one Sunday when I saw him seating in the back seat and he being praised for being a staunch-member of our Church.
When his brother came to visit me, he had come to convince me to forgive his brother for trespassing, for pulling a wool over my fellow-elects by injecting cash in their developments. I always warned them to be wary of wolves in sheep-skins but they were just glad to hear them howl closer than at hills like they are supposed to.
This fellow’s life was full of drama, full of twists and turns brought by his near-death experiences and our community loved the thrill of it. It was only after he mistakenly fallen into a trap. He jumped over walls and burgled houses. Only after he got a tip-offs from from maids that homeowners weren’t there and won’t be coming back home anytime soon. He jumped into a yard which happened to be of a police officer, a detective-sergeant. Not any other citizen but of a man who had been vowing to his colleagues that if he ever catch him with his bare hands, he’ll snuff life out of his body and ask his government to give him a state-burial. His colleagues and station-commander used to laugh him off like he was a joke.
‘Hold it right there, bro.’ Orb told Opps. Lay down that refuse-bag on the lawn and turn around slowly. Don’t think about doing anything stupid because I’ll blow your brains out.’
‘Orb?’ he said turning around to face him.
‘Yah. That’s me. I’ve been looking for you for a very long time son. Were the hell have you been?’
‘I’ve been all over the place looking for a job.’
‘You calling hopping over my fence, breaking my precious door and stealing my expensive gifts looking for a job?’
‘No, That isn’t what I said.’
‘Lie on the lawn with your head facing the wall and empty all your pockets.’
He did as he was instructed.
Officer went to him and made sure he wasn’t carrying any weapon and he wasn’t.
He handcuffed him, opened the door of one of his outside rooms and made him seat on a chair facing him.
‘You’ve now come to the end of your criminal journey,’ Orb told Opps.