“GOBE DE NISA” By Ter injo Lawrence
There was a lot of singing and dancing, the loud musical set which was playing familiar songs easily found many people to respond in chorus to its rhythm and beats. There was also a lot of buying and selling of local snacks; fried groundnuts, roasted corn, chicken, peppered pork and of course some alcoholic beverages. The most commonly sold was kparaga; a local gin composed of over seventy – five percent alcohol and very potent. Only a few people could afford the beers which were regarded as drinks for the affluent.
It was a communal setting and though the night had crossed over to early dawn, more people arrived. The large compound composed of several thatched mud houses which formed a large semi circle with a wide open area in the middle.
Ngoundu was selling roasted pears that night, a delicacy that though common was not yet in season and as such she sold at a good price and faster than she would ordinarily have. The boys loitered around them, they came and went, sometimes they bought one item or the other, and otherwise they just stood in groups and made small chatter and then drifted into the crowd.
She noticed Bem from afar and became excited; it had been long since she last saw him. They had been dating for some time, but unlike most girls in the village her father had made it a point of duty to properly monitor her movements after school, and as such she hardly had time for herself or the casual indulgences of her peers.
Bem smiled at her and greeted her friends who were also hawking various wares and generally chatting, she drew a stool closer and offered Bem who quickly sat and was soon joined by his friends, and they acted gay and tipsy. It seemed they had taken some of the kparaga because the odor that circulated around them and which obviously emanated from their breaths persuaded so.
“While have you been treating me so badly?” Bem whispered to Ngoundu as he inched closer to her.
“How do you mean?” She asked.
“Oh you have started! How come other girls find time to spend with their guys’ and you only find excuses not to be with me?”
“Haba! Bem, you know my situation, you know how my father is upbeat about us going out. Even my coming here to sell look some persuading if not that he knows how close I am to Alu’s family even before their father died.”
“Okay, let’s take a walk at least now your father is not here to quarrel.”
She was in a dilemma. Should she follow him so late at night, and where or what had he in mind? She had grudgingly accepted to be his girlfriend for more than a year and had received several gifts from him, most of which she hid for fear of her dad. But so far she had deliberately refused to go to his house and sleep with him like several village girls did, largely due to the overwhelming shadow of her father. She had constantly been taunted by friends about how much they cherished stolen moments with their boyfriends and though she had done it once with an older man, she had not particularly enjoyed it but was still curious enough and wanted to also have something to tell her friends. She would go with Bem, but not allow him do anything to her; there was time for everything she told herself. She asked him to go ahead outside the compound and that she would join him soon.
He left while two of his friends engaged Ngoundu’s friends with flirtations. Ngoundu quickly checked the proceeds of her sales, she had already made a hundred percent profit and still had few pears to sell, and she persuaded a friend to look after her ware and then quietly stood up and went in search of Bem.
She met him beside a flower bed on a road leading out but within reasonable outskirts of the compound. He held her by the waist with one hand and held a polythene bag in the other hand then began leading her away from the compound. She did not know where they were headed but wanted to spend a few private moments too, but the road beside the compound was too full of traffic. In fact she had had to pull away from him on more than out occasion on sighting any persons approaching; someone might see her and talk and within their small community her father would get to know that instead of the wake keep she had been hanging out with boys.
They eventually came closer to the community school compound and made a seat out of cut and well laid tree stumps that were placed under a huge tree that served as the school market square. He opened the polythene and produced a parcel which he unwrapped, it contained three large pieces of chicken meat freshly cooked and peppered and handed it to her. She opened it took two a pieces and offered him one, and then took one for herself.
He also brought out a fruit juice packaged in a paper sachet with “Five Alive” boldly written on it, but as he handed it over to her, his hands shivered and he hesitated for a moment as he thought back over the idea which Ter had sold to him on how to easily get Ngoundu to bed. He had earlier used a hypodermic needle and syringe filled with valium and Spanish fly and surreptitiously injected the contents into the pack. He used the attached straw perforated the designated place on the pack of the juice handed it over to her. In order not to draw attention to his not having something to take he had bought a similar pack with small alcoholic content for himself, but she was still generous enough to offer him some of hers.
As she ate the chicken and drank the juice Bem drank his too and at the same time watched her closely. He moved closer to her and she casually pushed him away asking him jokingly if he wanted her to rub some of the pepper on her hands in his face. She soon finished the piece of chicken and tied up the remainder with the motive of sharing it with her friends, Bem then produced a sachet of ‘pure water’ and they washed their hands.
Bem began touching her again using his hands to probe inside her dress, she offered very little resistance this time and Bem noticed a glazed look in her eyes and observed the slur in her speech when she said. “I am feeling a bit sleepy let’s go back so that I can collect my things and head home.’
Bem used both his hands and held her face in between them, then placed a kiss on her lips. An unusual and overwhelming heat suddenly rushed through her body in torrents, the Spanish fly exhibiting its famed aphrodisiac qualities, creating intense sexual desires in her pubis and quickly spreading same all over body.
In no time Bem had removed all her cloths and the large wrapper she had around her waist was conveniently laid on the floor, then he began to have sex with her right there under the tree. It was about two am in the morning and it was very unlikely that anyone would turn up at the school market at that hour, especially since the school had been two month into a strike action by teachers. From the horizon of two silhouettes cleverly tiptoed closer to them until at last they became human forms and stood just a little distance from the three where Bem was pounding away at her.
One of the two detached and tip toed closer to them, he reached the ground and quietly picked up their carelessly discarded clothes and then quickly hid them in a nearby bush and waited.
While Bem was having sex with Ngoundu something had pricked his ankle but he was too engaged in the act to notice. He was soon through with her and as he stood up his two friends rushed in with the intention of taking their turns with the girl.
Bem resisted their move and an argument ensued, from the argument Ngoundu faintly deduced that his friends had suggested and procured the tranquilizer and aphrodisiac with the agreement that if it worked Bem would allow them take their turns with her.
As they argued Ngoundu weaker than she was before picked up her wrapper and covered up herself and began looking frantically around for her panties, brassier and shirt, she also noticed a sure numbness in her left leg which became a little painful when she moved.
When Bem was convinced that his friends had given up on the idea of having sex with Ngoundu, whom he convinced them was his girlfriend he became conscious of his nakedness and began looking frantically around for his cloths but could not find them. It took him only a while to find out who would have taken them “please and please my friends return our cloths so that she can go.” He begged them down on his knees.
“What do you mean” one of the friends began. “This is a girl who has been chopping your money without reciprocating. And how could you succeed with her if not our idea and resourcefulness, you must keep your part of the bargain.”
Ngoundu was curious and asked Bem who explained to her sincerely his predicament. To which she replied “So you had to plan with your friends and drug me?” She asked in the her weak and slurred voice, ‘let them come and do whatever you planned if that is the only thing that would bring my cloths back, I have to go back home now.”
Without wasting time the first friend helped her remove and place the wrapper on the floor, as Bem watched helplessly he mounted her and began his own round of sex.
Meanwhile, Bem began persuading the second friend begging him not to behave like the other; he listened but made no commitment. “Let’s wait and see.” He said finally.
As the friend pumped in and out of her and as they struggled almost violently on the ground Bem began to feel completely numb in one leg, he bent down and looked at his leg and noticed even in the dark that it was swollen. He collected a mobile phone from his second friend switched on its light and took a closer look at his leg, his ankle was swollen beyond proportion and a small dried line of caked blood was visible on his skin downwards. What is this? He thought very alarmed.
The friend finished with her and noticed that half way through the act and stopped the involuntary jerks she had been doing in response to his heavy thrusts. As he got up from her now still and unresponsive body he too noticed a pain on his hand. The second friend started towards Ngoundu hoping to take his turn, then received the mobile phone and lit his hand and saw it was slightly swollen with a purplish looking and tiny but serious bilateral incision on his hand which looked like a bite. By this time Bem had gradually eased himself to the ground and was sweating profusely in pain.
As the second friend made to move towards the now stiff and mobile girl he handed over the phone to the one who was complaining of his hand. The moment the phone was switched on and even before he could take the last step towards the girl the second friend saw a stealthy gliding moment away from the girl on the ground. He quickly grabbed the phone in his friends hand and pointed it to the ground just as he stepped on one of the several snakes that had laid eggs and made an abode under the large boabob tree and it struck immediately on his ankle.
He immediately shouted to the alarm of the rest, as he quickly jumped back in fear the phone fell out of his hand, but out of fear they could not spend a second in the darkness looking for their cloths or the mobile phone.
As they ran towards the classroom blocks naked and exposed to nature, their palpitating hearts aided the spread of the snake venom. Bem could not even stand up from where he sat, the first friend fell down as he tried to tie his hand on the school corridor with some shard of pieces of his shirt; the second friend made it halfway to the main road and then fell. They all died that night, and their corpses stiff by the time they were found by hunters very early the next morning in fulfillment of the Hausa speakers’ legend of the snake; Gobe de nisa-Tommorow is far.