Kofi slowed his car as he reached a bump, he knew that there was just another bump ahead so he maintained a slow speed and cursed the people who constructed such delay on a deserted road. As he neared the third bump, a poor looking beggar approached his car and stood so close that Kofi almost needed to stop the car, the beggar was a young Fulani boy with a walking stick and a begging bowl. Kofi frowned, and attempted to wind up but it was too late, the boy had appeared too suddenly from nowhere.
“Oga. Good afternoon sir,Please give me money, please and may God reward you greatly.”
Kofi neglected the young man, if he saw that he was not listening to him, he would go away, like other beggars do.
Seeing that he was not going to leave, Kofi protested verbally; “See, I don’t have anything. Please leave and let me be.”
“But oga, God will bless you.” The Fulani insisted.
“Okay, have this.” He scuffled his chest pocket, brought out a hundred naira note, he checked it slightly, and returned it, then he tried again and brought out a fifty naira and then he returned it and properly checked to be sure his next trial wasn’t a guess, he offered a twenty naira note to the man with a bitter frown.
A big smile crossed the face of the beggar, but when he discovered that it was just twenty naira, he knelt quickly in front of the car and begged.
“Oga. Please sir, you can do more than this please.”
“Mr. Man!” Kofi said angrily, “If you don’t leave my car now, I’d crush you.”
Kofi didn’t bother checking his mind to see if his conscience accused him likewise, inside his back pocket is seventy-five thousand naira which he was going to spend at the bar tonight with his friends, but there is no way he would let a penny to this poor beggar because he didn’t contribute towards his earning it. At least, if the poor boy too had been diligent with his work, he wouldn’t have been in the unfortunate state.
“Oga, please sir!” The Fulani boy tried finally and then attempted to leave.
“Just get out!” Kofi screamed.
He reeved his car and impatiently attempted to accelerate when he suddenly felt a cold metal at his left temple. He turned his engine off immediately, his hands went up in total surrender.
“Now give me all the cash you have on you.” The Fulani said in very clear quins English.
“Yes sir, there is seventy five thousand naira in my back pocket Sir, five hundred in my chest pocket. I have three thousand in the laptop bag that is at the back seat.”
“Now slowly step out of your car, put all the money in the laptop bag and hand it over to me. Meanwhile, do tell me if you want me to show you that there is bullet in the gun.”
“No Sir!” He screamed, “I know that there is bullet in it sir!”
Kofi obeyed the man’s every instruction. He couldn’t gather himself to pray that the man would not take away his car, what he simply prayed for was that the man would spare his life.
“Go into your car.” The young man said with the bag now hanging over his neck as he holstered the gun at his target.
Kofi gave a triumphant sigh but the man was not done, he simply came and sat beside him for a moment.
“Shall I keep driving sir?”
“Keep driving please” The gentle man said with a smile.
“Thank you sir”
As his hands trembled on the steering, Kofi remembered that there would soon be a police checkpoint ahead of the road, he hoped that the thiefwould be ignorant of this and wouldn’t stop until they got there.
“There is a police checkpoint near Sharpcorner, I don’t want us to get there before I alight.”
Kofi was disappointed that the man was also aware, but when he thought about it again, he was glad that the man was going to alight.
“Okay sir.” Kofi responded.
“Now see. What was your initial plan with this money?”
Kofi was too scared to reply, he couldn’t focus on the driving and simultaneously responding carefully, he didn’t want to say something that he would regret.
“Actually sir, It is for my mother’s hospital bill. She has a serious illness and the doctor said only an operation would do.”
“Wonderful. And impressive too!” The Fulani laughed, “You must really think I am a fool. I have followed you right from bank and I heard you calling some of your friends to get ready for the party tonight.
However, even if you were going to pay your mother’s hospital bill. Does it matter now? I was begging for just something to eat! To eat! And you were so not going to give me.
You want to pay your mother’s bill heh? But you could have had an accident and lose your life along the way, you could even have been assassinated and not able to pay that bill you desire to. A million and one things could have debarred you from achieving it.
And here was someone begging you to give him money to eat, but you couldn’t.”
“I am very sorry Sir” Tears filled Kofi’s eyes. The Fulani man was now talking as if he would send a bullet through his lying lips before they got to the police checkpoint.
“What would it have cost you to save a soul? To feed a man dying of hunger? You are a very wicked man! And do you not deserve death?”
Kofi’s hands now trembled even more. They are now almost where the police spot was.
“I deserve death sir” Kofi didn’t think saying otherwise would help.
“Stop now.” The man instructed.
Kofi wished he would just step on the accelerator and get them to the police checkpoint which was now very near. But he knew too, that the finger of that man was closer to the trigger than his legs to the accelerator. He stopped the car.
“Thanks for the ride” The man said and bade him bye carting away his laptop bag with all its content.
Kofi sped to where he thought the police men would be, to report as quickly as possible, but there was no one there that day. He could not even tell which way the man had taken. He couldn’t help but appreciate his decision to cooperate with the thief.
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