Finally, the report was over and the slides were ready for tomorrow’s presentation. She was really pushing for a promotion and a managerial position was just a pebble throw away.
She sighed again, this time out of frustration. How was she going to get home at this hour? It was 9pm. Her car had broken down this morning and had been taken to the mechanic at noon. Because of her pursuit of excellence, she had turned down Nnonye’s offer of a ride home so that she could finish up for tomorrow. Maybe that was a bad idea now that she was thinking about it, but then she really just had to get done with this presentation.
She walked out of the office door and headed to the security room. She had told Mula that she was going to leave late so he would be expecting her. She wasn’t surprised. He was asleep. She tapped on the dusty glass to wake him up. He woke up with a stare then slowly lifted himself to the window.
“You are going?” He asked.
The smell of alcohol and onions slapped her face. She wished she had stepped back a little from the window.
“Hmmn.” She nodded.
She didn’t wait for him to comment. She just turned around and walked away.
“See you tomorrow” she muttered as an after thought. It was necessary to be polite irrespective of who she was addressing.
“Okay, Madam. Goodnight.” He called out.
She swung open the gates and stepped out, slightly hitting her foot on the raised platform of the gate.
Her tight shoes were already a burden only to make it press tighter against her toes. She pulled out her slippers. The things women go through, if you do not carry a pair of slippers or flat shoes in your bag then you must be really sophisticated.
She stuffed her shoes in the bag and bent down to examine the corn that was forming on her toe.
She stood straight. If she walked to the end of the road she could get a taxi…..
Buki froze. The thought was lost in her mind as a sense of panic rose in her. Why was a mad man staring at her? He wasn’t even blinking. Buki wasn’t sure whether to ignore him and continue down the road-but she would have to walk past him.
What if he attacked her? What if the mad man was actually an armed rubber? Should she go back inside and call Mula to walk her down? She was considering her options.
Then, it looked like the man was about to move or speak. Panic was rising in her, making a knot form in her chest; her mouth was dry; she was sweating and her feet were weightless.
The man turned fully now to look at her. Then, he called her name. Buki didn’t know how the sound escaped her. Or how she found herself in Mula’s cave. But she was almost crying. A mad man called her by her name! Mula had peered out of his door to see what was going on. Then he quickly shot the door and locked it.
” Madam someone is coming.”
She started to plead the blood of Jesus.
The mad man was shouting now.
“Buki! Buki is that you?”
The tears swirled up in her gut and the salty water stung her eyes. The blood of Jesus had turned to words of desperation for God to come and save her.
She was sweating; afraid. Mula’s room smelled like dirty boxers that had been soaked in water for days.
“Buki is that you?” The man kept asking. The volume of his voice sounded like he was just outside the window.
Mula was confused. “Madam ‘im dey call you.”
She didn’t know where the anger came from.
“I can hear!! Blood of Jesus!”
Mula joined her. The two chorusing blood of Jesus like performing deliverance on a demon-possessed individual that refused to be delivered.
“Buki it’s me.” he tapped the glass.
To be continued…..