Abioye Ayomide: Wrong place, wrong time [Nigerian Voices]

by Abioye Joseph Ayomide

On this day, I returned to school after a short break at home: a day I should have listened to the still voice telling me not to leave for school.

The voice was familiar.

If I recall what that voice had done for me, it would be the fact that it told me to read chapter 3 and 4 of one of my manuals in school and amazingly, exam questions were set majorly from there and it was that same voice that told me to quietly look for another seat, when a bigger boy – who looked ready to cause trouble – approached me confidently for my seat. How wise a voice it was; the same voice I had always listened to; but this day, I didn’t, because I thought of independence and being able to make my own decisions.

If only I wasn’t so foolish to ignore that the voice was my decision.

On this fateful day, I received three August visitors some minutes to 1 am.  These were visitors that had visited a lot of LAUTECH students like me and did the same thing all the time – victimize the poor students. How devastating it was for them to be my guest.

They were popularly called the THREE MOPOLS. I had heard about them, cursed them and even wrote horrible things about them, for they deserved it but little did I know I would have a taste of them. A sour one at that!

My then hostel was one of the most unlikely of places to be busted, but witnessing them bull-shitting their way past my locked-in-3-places wooden door made them truly August visitors.

A heavy kick landed on my door, breaking it open.

To my horror, I jumped out of bed. I should have listened to that same voice that told me to not sleep in my room.

I immediately sprung to my feet angrily, wanting to throw hot words at the one who did such senseless thing at that time of the night but what do I know? Three well-built men walked into my room, flashing a very bright light directly into my eyes.

“Lie down flat” rang in my ears and immediately a cruel voice of “I told you so” began to erupt in my head. They didn’t need to say it twice, as the instruments of dissection and, if needs be, destruction dangled on their hands and flashed past my eyes. I saw a pistol-bearing resemblance to the ones I saw in movies, an axe and one big hammer; sinful instruments of torture. By then, I felt a primitive heat from within and that voice that once advised me sang in horror.

“I TOLD YOU SO.”

In less than 5 seconds, I was covered in sweat. My singlet felt like three bags of cement on my body. Breathing was heavy and hard. I watched it in films, but then, it was real.  They made their way to where my dead infinix phone was laying expecting the 30-minutes-in-24-hours electricity. The next question was “wey your laptop?”  I didn’t think twice – I didn’t have the time. I opened my mouth and what came out was

“I no get SIR”. It was half-truth, half-lie. I had a laptop, but it was faulty and dead which is equally nonexistent. I thought they were going to beat me – like they reportedly did to others who didn’t have anything they valued. The laptop was in its bag, resting on my wardrobe exactly behind the one that held the axe! But they didn’t see it, and they didn’t ask again. I would have bulked under pressure if they did. Then I remembered the 5.30a.m morning prayers said by same person all the time – mum. I remembered two of her prayer points.

“May you not be a victim of evil circumstance, every weapon fashioned against you shall not prosper”

It worked when I needed it most. They left me untouched but deprived me and my room of the padlocks and keys. When they left, I was still glued to that same spot for over 30-minutes, trying to recover from what just happened. Hoping it was a dream and I would wake up soon. But NO! It was real and about an hour later, those of us in the hostel came out to lament our losses, and each explained his/her experience.

They made away with my phone, but good news was they didn’t steal my humorous spirit, inner me, and most importantly, my life.


This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.

We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected]

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