“Guys!……. I’m getting married”, Kunle had said this words a million times in his heart but they were too heavy for his lips to pop out. His lips trembled as he attempted voicing the speech knowing fully well the horror he was about to unleash.
But, the words came out and they did when he wasn’t even intending. He stuttered as he voiced each word, letting it fall sequentially from his lips like rain drops from a tree after a heavy down pour. The words broke the silence around the smoky atmosphere, but everyone held a cold face void of emotions. It seemed no one had heard him, they were all soaked in the insanity the brown leaves were feeding them.
“Guys! I just said something”, frustrated Kunle yelled into the smoke filled atmosphere. Kunle was the only one without a wrap of weed between his fingers, he had been lost in thoughts for days, rehearsing the very lines he just spoke to his friends but none of that made him loose his mind as much as the response he received. “You said”, that was the only thing that came out from Soji’s lips followed by the thick cloud of smoke he let out through his nose and mouth.
” I said I’m getting married”, Kunle said, this time with enough confidence.
The words were audible enough, it caught the attention of the rest of his gang gathered there; Soji, Chinedu, Luku. Tension and Scorpion who happened to be the gang leader, despite the fact that he was the calmest. The gang gave a few seconds utter silence, as if they were analysing how stupid Kunle’s words sounded to the ear and like those
peeps from sunday school choir they uniformly bursted into the most frustrating laughter.
“Kunle, you wey no dey smoke come dey high pass us wey don take like ten wraps, which one be you are getting married”, Chinedu said sarcastically with a croaked voice joined by the continued laughter of the other gang members, this time even louder and much more frustrating. “Guys! I’m damn serious, I’m getting married and I’m leaving the gang”, Kunle yelled, his face bent down to avoid their faces.
” Kunle”, they all screamed at the same time. This time they knew he was serious. “Kunle, see if na joke just stop am oh!, wetin you dey yarn na, shey you don kolo? we dey reason how we go take clear our package this night, you dey here they cap nonsense, no allow me forget groundnut for your body oh!” Luku spoke loudly with a vexed tone.
“Luku! calm down, wetin dey worry you”, Scorpion cautioned him, and then turned to face Kunle who still had his head bent down, “Kunle, look my face well well, you dey sure of wetin you dey yarn so?” “Yes Cappo”, Kunle continued “Cappo, you too suppose know say I no for dey here if no be crayfish wey bend. I be graduate oh, a master degree holder. See! I really want to settle down and Cynthia has been worried about what I do for a living, I don’t tire to dey lie give that girl”, he had barely finished speaking when Tension interrupted, “wetin this one dey cap sef, see small pikin wey we dey help him life, you get liver open your dirty mouth wan break our rules, if you be graduate nko?, because say we no go school ba!”, Scorpion gave him a hand gestures indicating ‘keep quiet’, he grumbled few more words and then everywhere was silent.
“Kunle! You really sure say you wan marry? You really wan comot?” Scorpion asked, more specific this time, Kunle nodded in affirmation. Scorpion continued “no wahala, I no get problem with you oh! But na just one thing you go do”, “anything Cappo, I go do anything”, Kunle said out of desperation and a bit of remorse. Okay then, Scorpion continued “na you go deliver our operation tonight. Senator Mark say make we pull down one political rival and him entire family, I go give Mosquito everything wey you go need make him give you. By this time tomorrow we go dey here host party for your send off, just try deliver tonight”, scorpion concluded.
Kunle wasn’t comfortable with the condition, but he would do anything to live peacefully and start a new life with Cynthia. “So yarn us na, who be this girl sef” Scorpion teased him. Kunle smiled, the distance of his grin spread so wide it reached for his ears because he has been touched with a question that completed the circuit where his love was stored, sending electric signals to his mind, “her name na Cynthia, ermmm! We’ve been together for more than six years, she…”
… “I told you not to worry about that Kunle, I have already spoken to my dad about you. I told him you are a master degree holder, he said after his senatorial election he would appoint you to manage his company here in Abuja…” *Bang! Bang!*, a knock came at the door interrupting Kunle’s phone romance. Kunle peeped through his window, it was his gang, they were all knitted for the night’s operation. He let them in.
…“ermmm! Cynthia I have to go now”, Kunle whispered to Cynthia. “Baby! This night, where the hell are you going to” Cynthia stroked back. “Ermmm”, Kunle tried to figure out a suitable lie “I thought I told you I’ll be going to a friends bachelors eve tonight” Kunle stuttered.
“Alright baby, just take good care of your self, you know I can’t afford loosing you, I love you so much baby”, Cynthia said, with a mix of insecurity in her voice. “hey baby, I’m not a kid okay, I can take care of myself, I’ll call you when I’m back, I love you more”, they exchanged vocal kisses and Kunle hanged up the call turning to his friends that had been starring sarcastically waiting for him to finish up. “Mr lover boy”, Chinedu teased him, tapping his head and they all laughed.
Kunle really liked his friends but he just didn’t like the job. His only joy was that it was all going to end that night.
….. They were all gathered at Mr Nnamdi Kingsley, the target’s apartment, after leaving the gate man in a pool of his own blood. Kunle stared at the pleading figure of a man before him, shaking as though bolts of current were passing through him as they stepped into the house, he looked at the picture in his hands and nodded his head to his friends…*kpa! Kpa! Kpa! Kpa! Kpa!* they sank bullets into the flesh of Mr. Kingsley, his wife and two kids and afterwards laid their lifeless bodies on the ground. Kunle smiled and the gang smiled back at him, knowing the beautiful reason behind his smile.
“Boys! I think we have a company”, Scorpion whispered as he went into a room were he found a girl hiding under her bed, dragging her out from the hair to the parlour where the rest of the gang were.
“Kunle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, that was the last word she screamed before two bullet pierced her head as she fell lifeless on Kunle’s feet. Kunle couldn’t understand what just happened, he couldn’t admit that he had just killed his to-be in-laws, he had just shot the man that was supposed to make his life a living fortune. He couldn’t believe that Cynthia had just kissed the dust.
He stood there shocked, with her last word ringing in his ear like a track on repeat. He pointed the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
Scorpion, Luku, Chinedu and Tension were all gathered around their usual spot, the mango tree. The atmosphere was quiet except for the sound their lips made while they sucked out insanity from the weed wraps in their hands.
They reminisced every conversation they had the previous day, the happiness and boldness in little Kunle’s heart when he made those heavy statements. They made instrumentals with sticks and plastics they found around, gyrating as their usual manner was. This was the send off party they had promised Kunle the previous day. They filled their bellies with alcohol and their lungs with fumes until they all laid on the floor, wasted.
Out of drunkenness Scorpion’s voice broke the silence
“GUYS!……. I’M GETTING MARRIED”…..