What They Will See

“If a naked man were to rob a bank, six out of ten witnesses would clothe him in their testimonies.”

The afternoon a man was taken in front of the departmental store was like any other. There had been nothing wrong or strange about it. In fact, when opinions began flying later, certain people would remark that it had been typical; hot and tiring.
One man would call it peaceful. Peaceful like the calm before the storm. He was one of those who would wonder why questions were being asked about the nature of the day. When people are taken, what’s the sky’s business?
Before the gunshot and the squeals of tires, people inside the store remembered the sounds of voices. A man’s voice and a womans’. It was the only distinct memory the crowd would have. The only thing they would agree on. The raised voices.
Then the bus too. Some people had jumped down, everyone heard a shot, someone was thrown inside the bus and the bus had driven off.
A body was left behind.
At least, that was the general idea.
The only thing that took me to that store was my wife, ok? For one, I don’t understand why you have to ask these questions. But, I’ll answer them. And that’s just because I know you’re doing your job.
I heard them arguing. No, no. Wait. The woman was nagging. They are prone to do that, women. It’s like their very wiring. Nag. Nag. Nag. And the poor man, he just stood there and fumed. I even thought he would slap her or something. But he didn’t.
I know I’m beating around the bush, but…ok. I remember the man was wearing a fitted shirt and blue jeans. I remember this because all those quiet people dress like that a lot. And the woman wore something pink and tight. I only remember the colour but she dressed like my wife. That stupid colour.
And you’d be surprised by what she was nagging about! She raved on and on about the children not seeing him enough.
I have three children. Peter, Paul and Paulina. But my wife, who I married through arrangement, never complains. She knows better. I come back very late and no, don’t change your face. I’m not cheating on her. All women are the same. Why would I want to jump from one to another?
Anyway, the man said something like, “Agnes! You’re causing a scene. Calm down.” She didn’t calm at all. Then he said, “I just want to enjoy this like everyone.” The way he said it; it was like he was popular or something. Like a politician.
That was when I saw the bus! It just drove close to them and stopped. Four or five guys jumped out. Then one just shot the woman! Just like that. Yes, something else. The bus was painted green and white. Like those buses in Abuja. My brother said buses there are that colour.
After that, three of the men just pulled the shocked man into the bus and then they drove away.
Well, later, you people came and started asking questions. Hmmmm. Their faces? No, no. They wore ski masks. You know, the ones with two holes and a—oh! You know them? Sorry. And I remember they all wore brown and brown. It was strange. That’s why I remembered it.
So, can I go now? I’m hungry.

Can I smoke? No? Well, that’s your business. I like smoking. It’s relaxing. So ask and let me go.
What I was doing there? Well, that depends. I was deciding whether to work that night or not. I’m not a prostitute! I just wait there for my friends.
What? I called it work because my type of friends can be hard to please. Hmmm. Do you want to hear me or not?!
The man wore a blue shirt and jeans. I didn’t really look at him. But he was fine. Ok, I looked at him small. The woman was fine too. And they were excited about something. I didn’t hear much but what I heard was enough.
She was happy that they transferred him back to town. I don’t know who they are! She said something like, “That’s good. The children don’t see you enough.” Something like that.
I wish my father was like that when I was small. He didn’t use to be at home. But he would not be happy even when he gets the chance.
Anything else? I really have to be going. To see my friends of course! Stop it o! It’s just two I’ve smoked. I’m nervous. No! I did not plan any—are you ok?
Did I tell you that the woman was hot? She was wearing this fine purple top. It was tight and hot. But I didn’t like her trouser. If the top was tight, then the trouser should be tight too. Simple sense.
So, as I said before, they did not quarrel. They were happy. How did I know? because I am not happy! And I know when people are happy. They were happy, ok. Or wait, is it that you want them to be angry? Are you even looking for the people that took the man?
They came inside a bus. The bus was green with white on the front. Eh , just two lines of white. How did I know—it reminded me of Always Ultra. You don’t see the relation? How is that my problem?
Calm down please. I’m not the one that took the man. So, the people jumped down. Then they pushed the woman and threw the man inside their bus. Then

3 thoughts on “What They Will See” by Michael E. Umoh (@Lurielx)

  1. One event, different versions, abi? That’s the way it is. That’s why I don’t envy investigators, judges and the jury.

  2. Different perspectives.

  3. Viewpoints!

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