Dusk fell upon a building in Ariya Street somewhere in Lagos.
Inside a room in the building, a lady slipped out of bed to brew evening coffee. After coffee, she walked to her 2-storied balcony looking onto the street.
Not many stalls were still opened for business.
Ahead, a ray of light appeared. She watched it glow, then diminish. She was never used to this high-profile locale she lived in. It was probably a new movie been shot. She peered closely, sighting a band of people surrounded by tripods, boom poles and camcoders. Definitely, a new movie.
She knew her unfamiliarity was worsened by her husband’s six-month old death.
She caressed her light-skinned face, cursing the sudden memory.
Seun had been a lawyer, like her. Tall and dark, he’d attracted her when they’d first met at UNIBEN. Inevitably, they’d married. Through the seven months their union lasted, she loved nothing more than the way he’d say ”Linda, i’m home” everyday he returned from work.
One evening, she hadn’t heard those words. They’d found his body the next day, bullets in his head. A witness said he was used for cover by a robber running from cops.
She waved off the memory, but not before she heard her mother-in-law’s last words: ”As my son died, so will you.”
She didn’t think about it. Instead, she went inside to dress.
She’d to visit Shade, her fellow widow, before the night came alive with night robbers.
* * *
Linda locked her door, headed downstairs. She heard nearing footfalls behind her the moment she entered the now-empty street.
She turned. An arm grabbed her neck, spinning her to face a yelling cop. Hard metal pressed to the side of her head. Her resolve fell.
”Drop your weapon!” the cop yelled past her.
”I’ma blow her brains if you move,” the man said, pressing the gun harder.
The distance was easy to cover, but bullets moved faster. The cop didn’t consider that as he charged forward.
Idiot, she thought.
The cop approached. One step. Two.
The gun clicked beside her ear. She shivered, lips unmoving. She only remembered her mother-in-law’s words, then shut her eyes in resignation.
It sounded like nothing she had ever heard.
It was another voice. She opened her eyes to see a man approaching the scene, and another holding a black-and-yellow board behind cheering folks.
The robber released his grip and walked to the cop. Pocketing their weapons, they both approached her, too.
Nothing had ever shocked Linda so. She switched confused gazes from one man to another. The other man stopped before her.
”Sorry. Shooting a new movie. Had this scene we needed real emotions of fear for,” he paused. His tag boasted ‘Director’. ”Who fits better than a real passer-by?” he asked, smiling.
Linda couldn’t believe her ears. All this, a scene for a movie?
Feeling colour return to her face, she gave the director a soft smile and a hard slap to his face.