“Hello.” he said into the phone, his palms were sweating and his knees were weak. If he had been standing, he would have collapsed. He had to make the phone call. Folarin had told him; knowing is better than ignorance.
Strange that a simple phone call would make him this frightened. The only thing that scared him in life was his father. The man was a living nightmare. Only his father made him feel this inadequate, and nervous. He never imagined a phone call would scare the greedy demons in him.
“Hello, who is this?” A soft voice responded. Hearing the voice startled him so he mistakenly dropped the phone.
“Hello…? Hello….who is it?” The person kept asking until the bad network ended the person’s curiosity. Meanwhile, he stared at the phone like it had developed a contagious disease.
Three hours before he made the phone call, he had been positive that life was his best friend. He drank with his buddies, flirted with the pretty waitress that served them drinks, and he called his brother to confirm a certain payment. Life was good and he was glowing like a pregnant woman.
Now, three hours later, he knew life despised him. He also knew he had to make the phone call again. He picked the phone and dialled the number again reluctantly.
“Hello…” This time the voice sounded different with a trace of impatience and irritability in it.
“…Hello, my name is Juwon, I think I am the man you have been looking for…” He said into the phone, trembling visibly.
“You bastard…”The voice had a hard note to it. It almost felt like a stab.
He winced in pain as if the person had plunged a knife into him.
“Please I just need to know. Am I the man you have been looking for?” He pleaded with the other person on phone.
“Yes, you are! Tonight, I will kill you!” The person screamed into the phone and the line went dead.
Juwon stared at the phone, and he remembered…
The reason for the phone call occurred two years ago while Juwon was in ijebu-ode doing some contract work for the government.
He never wanted to leave Abuja for Ogun state but his father got him the job. Heavens forbid he rejected the offer. So, he packed his bags, gathered some enthusiasm from his philandering friends and he embarked on the journey that now looked like it would end his life.
Ogun state welcomed him with open arms and it presented him with gifts such as hidden opportunities, new friends; Folarin and his cohorts, and the possibility of a new relationship with the Oba’s daughter.
“If I had known this place would be this amazing! Guy, I for don leave una for Abj since.” He told his friend on phone one evening during his stay in Ijebu-ode.
“Guy, places like that are hidden so that trouble makers like you don’t find it, and cause trouble.” His friend replied.
“Seriously, I have found my new paradise, I was get tired of Abj anyway plus I just spotted a sexy babe I must wife o. Na Oba’s daughter I dey eye.” Juwon shared with his friend.
“Juwon, are you sure? What about Linda in Abuja? You know the babe don dey share wedding invites.”
“Ehn, that babe get small craze abeg, na toy she dey find, no be husband.”
“Ok but be careful, ijebu is not Abj o. Things are different.”
“I know. Thanks bro. Gotta go. My future wifey is here.”
“Yeah, later.” His friend replied and they ended the call.
Everything was rosy for Juwon until he made the mistake of trusting his head contractor and heeding his advice to take the artefacts he excavated as his own.
He decided to sell the artefacts, and he left Ijebu-Ode for Port-Harcourt without informing anyone except Folarin.
Juwon had thought he could run from his past as always, and start all over again until Folarin informed him three hours before he made the phone call that the king and his chiefs were going to behead his “sigidi’ that night unless he showed up in Ijebu-Ode before midnight.
That was the reason he decided to make the call. He thought the phone call would pacify the King.
The first time he called the palace, the princess picked up, he could tell by the softness in the voice. Her voice was one of the reasons he had fallen for her.
The next time he called, the Oba picked.
Juwon knew the moment the Oba ended the call that he was a dead man walking…
Sigidi- a small voodoo doll used to harm people.
P.S. There is a Juwon in every guy.