Anike’s Dailies: The Beginning

by Tolulope Adeniyan

It was getting late when Anike quickly packed her plates into the lunch-bag, snapped the handle of the bag off the hanger, and said her greetings to her boss while she dashed out of the shop. It was a Monday evening and Anike was determined to begin the routine of going home early, since it seemed her neighbourhood had turned to where thieves decided to be visiting often and where their properties are to be preyed upon. Even, human soul is not expensive to them.

The previous day, which was Sunday, some buglers had bugled a house in their neighbourhood at the hours they knew the street was most deserted. Although the thieves were seen by some neighbours, no one could ask them any questions having seen them carting the gadgets out of the compound through the opened gate as bold as the owners or relatives. People had thought it was the owner who sent his brothers to go and bring the gadgets to him. The wife of the owner confirmed her gold collections were stolen alongside the other things stolen. Her store where she kept all the new and the old kitchen wares for business and parties was emptied.

During the week before that Sunday, a motorcyclist had been hacked on the neck with a cutlass in the bid to kill him because he struggled to stop his supposed two customers from snatching and taking his motorcycle away. Another woman’s money was taken from her at gunpoint: one hundred and fifty thousand naira from a person that sells provision in the street is not a child’s play in this present economy.

As Anike strolled into the street from the tarred road, the pungent smell of stench from the nearby poultry filled her nostril. She spat in the nearby gutter. The spittle made a slapping sound. From the distance no one was in sight, she thought as she doubled her step. If one was caught in a negative situation, the high walls and the sound of generator sets will suck up any cry for rescue.

As she hurried into another street passing the school fence that obstruct seeing whatever could be happening on the other side, she froze for a moment. There was an image hovering at the front of some shops which had remained unopened for quite sometimes. Fumbling in her bag for at least something she could use to puncture a part of an assailants neck if she lunged tactically, she found a cold metal on which she wrapped her hand around in the bag. It had a pointed tip and she held the metal in her hand in the bag.

What if it wasn’t just one person? What if she would be trapped between two people, the one she was looking at and the other person hiding in the shallow, shrub-filled gutters behind her? Or maybe behind the thick flowers that had grown to a forest at the front of the house opposite the one where the guy was hovering?

She got her mind prepared for whatever would happen, and opened her ears to hear even the noise of a dropped needle behind her or by the gutters.

If the one she was seeing tried to mess her up, she would fight to kill.

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