What have I done?
I should have told her no.
Why did I decide to trust her?
Was it her looks that made me lose my senses? Or was it the confident way she walked and talked? Or…Oh no – did she bewitch me?
It was a morning not unlike all the others – there was nothing to show that in a few hours there would be total chaos in my life.
I had come to the market in very high spirits with the belief I would make a killing in sales. I said hello to my neighbours and opened my shop.
Ten years selling female clothing at Balogun Market and nothing like this has ever happened to me; I pride myself in knowing every trick in the book – but this was not really a trick, it was just – fate?
I was reading a worn out thriller when I heard her voice.
“How much is this?”
Her voice, how can I describe it? It was strong, like someone used to giving orders and always having her way.
“Just two thousand naira madam,” I said, expecting the usual haggling about the price.
“Okay can I get twenty five pieces?”
I couldn’t believe my ears, I was actually going to sell goods worth fifty thousand naira! What a way to start the day!
I quickly gathered the pieces together, twenty five in all, and placed them in several big bags.
She opened up her bag to pay, then started rummaging through it.
“Is there a problem?” I asked.
“No, seems I don’t have enough money here, can you accompany me to the ATM so I can give you the money?”
I thought about this for a while, then decided there was no harm in it. After all, how many people carry fifty thousand naira on their person in these days of cashless economy.
I helped her carry the bags and we made our way to the ATM which was a short distance away.
We chatted about nothing in particular as we trudged under the hot morning sun.
“You know what?” She continued, “I stay just a short distance away, let’s go to my place and I will give you the money.”
I just wanted my money, so I reluctantly agreed and she hailed a cab.
Traffic was quite bad that morning, so we ended up being stuck in traffic. That was when she told me she needed to take her drugs.
At this point I was past caring what she wanted to do, all I wanted was my money. She proceeded to open up her bag and bring out a long syringe. I watched with my mouth open as she proceeded to inject herself in her arm. She capped the syringe and returned it to her handbag and continued the conversation as if there was no interruption whatsoever.
I must say she had an engaging personality, she became even more boisterous.
At last, we got to the destination and she paid the cab driver the fare. We were at a block of flats and she pointed down the road to a red gate. “That’s my place,” she announced.
We proceeded to walk the short distance and that was when it happened.
She dropped like a sack of potatoes and started shaking like a leaf, her body began contracting as if a current was being passed through it.
“Madam stop this game and go get me my money,” I said, not one to be fooled by amateur acting.
I looked at her, she was as still as a statue.
I bent closer to her, this couldn’t be acting. Was she dead?
I was in a panic, what do I do? Do I run away?
But I had done nothing wrong and this was a human being. But how do I explain being here with this strange woman instead of being in my shop?
There was a cab coming, I ran to it.
“Please…please…, please, help take us to the hospital, this woman has just collapsed.” I pleaded with the cab driver.
The driver looked at me, then at the woman lying on the sidewalk, and he hesitated.
Finally, he opened the car door and I carried her into the car.
That was four days ago.
Now, sitting in this prison cell, with tears in my eyes, I remember how I struggled to make my business thrive and how I might lose it all.
The doctors had found cocaine in her system, and nobody believed my story.
THE END (BASED ON A TRUE STORY.)Follow me