In the dark a shapely silhouette of a young woman took quick short steps. the steps of a woman with a mission. She glanced frequently behind her, jumping at sounds which seemed to pop out of nowhere.
“Dumebi calm down jare, you too they fear” she assured herself for the thousandth time in the wee hours of the morning as she found her way to the bus park. She had come to know the street so well but yet still felt shivers run down her spine whenever she set out of her house alone. Today was not any different but she kept having a nagging feeling that she could have waited a little more at home. She pushed her fears aside, thinking halfheartedly about the bag which she had told Mama Peter to keep for her. she had fallen in love with the bag the instant she set eyes on it and the rather garrulous trader had narrated to her how she fought tooth and nail to buy the bag. that had sealed the deal for Dumebi. She was going to pay for it today.
She looked up wide eyed at the sky, day break was nowhere in sight. the dark clouds seemed menacing as the moon gave off a dull light, Dumebi stopped to look for her phone in her bag. She searched blindly for it and as her finger felt the cold plastic of her mobile phone she wrapped her hands around it and gave a sigh of relief. She quickly looked at the time, the blue screen of her phone showed 6:22 am.
She directed the light that emitted from her phone on her brown leather watch. It was 4:08 am. She looked around her in confusion and then panic as she realized she was all alone on the street. or so she thought.
A pair of eyes had been watching her advance, it had watch her stop to fumble around in her bag. when she looked up he thought their eyes met immediately he had looked away and looking back up saw her looking at her wrist intently, he thought to himself how strange she was. No responsible lady prowled the night so confidently like the lady in ……he scratched his head trying to figure out what color of dress she had on. “dis girl set die” he gloated. He could smell her, he imagined how warm her thighs would feel in the coldness that accompanied the morning. He wanted to taste her.
He touched his groin moaning quietly as he stood up from his hiding place to see the young lady walking away. He followed her steadily staying out of sight.
Dumebi now shaken and truly scared started a race home. she cursed at her phone for deceiving her and blamed herself for not checking properly. she prayed fervently to get home safely as horrible tales of the dark fleeted through her mind. Just then she thought she head quick footfalls behind her that weren’t hers. She quickened her steps not bothering to stop or check. She was sure she was being followed.
Her heart started the race of horses. She could hear her blood pound in her ears. She began a run for her life and as she ran she knew her pursuer was near. “oh God oh God ” was all she could muster. Her legs became the tools of her escape. She never knew she could run like this as she had often come last in races in her secondary school days, she only managed sometimes to beat Tiwani to the finish line. this was not the time to reminisce but she had to stop the picture of her guts spilled on the streets, her breasts cut off and people looking sadly at her dead body. “God I can’t die today she thought, Please forgive me and save me” she was almost in tears .
The set of eyes which had watched her and whose feet are now the pursuer of the object of its desires had a menacing smile pasted on his rather dark, bearded, scarred face on which a pair of nostrils sat proudly. He wondered why she hadn’t looked back but he knew from how fast she was now that she was aware of his presence. if only she would look she wouldn’t be so scared he smiled to himself thinking of only the passion he would share with the goddess of the morning. The woman who in front of him now ran. he ran as fast as he could trying to catch up with her.
Dumebi stumbled through the dark willing her house to come in sight, she didn’t realize until now how far her house was from the bus park. The footsteps behind her had stopped and she began to question herself, had she imagined those heavy footfalls behind her, was she just being paranoid or has fear clouded her judgement.
She finally ventured a look behind her, “hmph, nobody in sight she thought”. Not leaving her safety to chances but intuition, she doggedly plowed the roads adrenaline seeming not to be in low supply.
Soon her house came into view. She took a deep breath and stopped to search for her keys, all the while panting like a thirsty dog. she could hear the croak of the frogs that had taken residents in the gutters, and the night insects chirping away, apart from that the morning was dead silent. It seemed like ages before she found her keys in the jumble of used bus tickets, makeup and personal effects.
Just as she made to continue her race this time with pure relief and her heart beat returning back to normal, she saw a shadow from the corner of her eyes, she paused to be sure of what she was seeing willing her mind not to play tricks on her. A short distance from her stood a shadow hunched over, she could tell it was a person, she opened her mouth to say something, but her mind screamed for her to run and never look back.
The pair of eyes knew he had got her, if she had looked a little longer she would have seen his desire written all over him. ‘I am not letting her get away, she’s mine a gift from the gods.” He resumed his chase this time determined to catch up.
Dumebi now at her gate searched the bunch of keys for the key to the gate. She was sure she had found it and she inserted it into the lock. she fumbled with the lock and it came up locked. Becoming disconcerted she desperately tried a second key. “I can’t try five keys nah” she lamented.
Finally the right key, and just as she made to turn the lock she heard a thud behind her and then a smacking of lips, the smell that choked her was the smell of urine. she fainted.
“Dumebi, Dumebi wake up” Charlie her brothershook her vigorously
There she was at the gate like a pile of cloth, coming groggily awake, realizing someone was with her she sat bolt upright in fear and then saw that it was only Charlie and she had wet herself. She heaved a big sigh of relief. “Dumebi when will all this stop, do we need to take you to a psychiatrist” he demanded. Looking pityingly at her he carried her into the house.
She had been sleep walking again, but this time she wasn’t alone, there was a shadow in the dark.