‘The idea that you would even think of such an outlandish accusation is preposterous.’
‘Oga abeg stop all that grammar, pull your Shokoto now’
Brian stares angrily at the pack of riffraff surrounding him. He is at least 6inches taller than the tallest of the lot, his impressive frame clad in just the pants of his Armani suit. Behind gold-rimmed reading glasses, his intimidating eyes glare furiously at each one of the hooligans, finally resting on their leader, who barks out again.
‘Oga I say commot your shokoto’
‘Abi make we commot am for you?’ another one of the area boys says and with a flick of his finger, he expertly removes Brian’s Rolex from his wrist.
‘Can I have that back please? And my iPhone? If you would just let me finish the call I was making…’
‘You wan call police abi? Your papa! Ogbeni commot your trouser jor!’
‘This is ridiculous! You’ve searched my briefcase, you have my jacket, my shirt…’
Shoving his face into Brian’s one of the younger touts mimics Brian’s UK accent,
‘This is ridiculous! … My friend stop to dey yarn forneh, bring the phone come outside jare!’
‘I have told you countlessly, I do not have her phone, You have searched my pockets, why on earth do I have to take off my trousers?’
One of the touts turns angrily to their leader,
‘Tiger, free us make me arrange this guy na, if you don let us sama im body since, he for don know how far.
Obviously beginning to lose his patience, Tiger says to Brian,
‘Oga, if my babe talk say you tief her phone, then you tief her phone. I just dey respect you because I see say you be big man. But if you no commot your trouser now…’
Something in the tone of his words sends a slight chill down Brian’s spine.
He slowly takes off his pants and hands it over to one of the touts who flips it over, emptying the pockets of its contents.
An American Express Platinum card, a gold coated money clip with several dollar bills, and a bunch of keys with a Mercedes Benz remote attached, all tumble out on the black tarred floor.
Standing in just his boxers, in the middle of a busy Lagos street, in the midst of a scruffy crowd, Brian’s eyes beg for compassion from the onlookers. He remembers the case of the ALUU 4 students, accused of stealing and burnt to death by a mob years ago. He breaks into a sweat. This can’t be happening.
‘Look, I am obviously not in possession of her phone. If you will just…’
‘Commot your boxers’
‘What? That’s preposterous!’
Brian’s eyes looks fearfully at Tiger. Tiger’s remain red and unwavering.
‘I refuse to be subjected to such degrading and…’
Everything happened so quickly Brian’s head spun.
From the look Tiger gave one of the boys, to the hand movement, to Brian’s sudden elevation into the air.
He lands on the ground with a heavy thud, his eyes see color patches, he feels a sharp pain in his gut, feels the crowd closing in for the kill, hears the shrill sounds of sirens…wait…sirens!
The crowd hears it too and each man, woman and tout, takes off running, but not before scrambling for Brian’s possessions on the ground.
The Police drive into the empty street, closely followed by a tinted Rolls Royce.
Two policemen hastily come out of the van to help Brian up from the floor. He brushes them off, and rushes into the Royce which immediately drives off.
Inside the car, Brian angrily turns to the elegantly dressed woman with a sprinkling of grey hair sitting in the backseat,
‘I called you ages ago mum. What took you so long? Those animals would have killed me! I told you to hurry. Why did you…’
‘Where is it?’ she stretches out her open palm to him?
‘Where’s it Brian?’ Steely-eyed, she spits out his name with such disgust, he cringes back into the chair.
Slowly, he dips his hand into an inner pocket in his boxers and brings out a small Tecno phone. Her hands motion for him to bring it forward and he drops it on her palm.
She winds down the window of the car and throws it out.
Picking her own phone, she presses a number on her speed dial.
Brian watches her apprehensively.
‘Who are you calling mom?’
‘Hello Doctor Hudson…not very well I’m afraid. Brian has had a relapse.’
There is a long pause on the other end of the line. Brian starts fidgeting uneasily while she continues talking.
‘Yes…yes…I will send him out on the next flight to London…and this time Doctor, I want him totally cured or permanently committed. Thank you Doctor.’
SHORT STORY BY ORODE UWAWAH.
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