I woke up to my parents, yelling at each other like they did most mornings. My mother was doing most of the yelling, and this time, for a good reason. She had just found out that my father borrowed an immense sum of money from the bank for his failing business, and he had till the next day to pay it back or they take our house and the properties he used as collateral.
After the yelling, my parents and I sat together to think of a last-minute solution. Like every other person, we started with family, the ones we knew would always have our back, or so we thought. My father called his younger brother, who he dropped out of secondary school to cater for, and his reply almost gave my father a heart attack. “The insurance company is having a small issue at the moment, I cannot afford to help you but I built a house in the village, you and your family can manage there for the time being,” he said then cut the call because he was a busy man. We looked at each other dumbfounded. Uncle Mike was a playful man, and for a second, I believed this was one of his jokes, It had to be, but it wasn’t. We tried others, some were willing to help but not able to, some could but were not willing to, while some promised to help the little way they could, all in all, we were doomed.
I went up to my room before I said or did something I’ll regret, I’m not great at controlling my anger so I avoid getting angry. After a while of pacing in my bedroom I got a text from my boyfriend:
I’m outside your house. Dele invited us to his house, shocking right?
My boyfriend Chima and I met while in secondary school then started dating in University, our friends called us power couple because one thing was sure, we were inseparable. Dele was one of our close friends, his father was a popular retired politician and billionaire. They lived in a mansion that few had had the liberty of entering, and today, I was going to be one of them.
I told my parents I was going for a walk because telling them I was going to see a boy in the middle of our situation would make them crazy. We got to the front of the mansion, and after being spotted by the security camera; the gate opened for us to enter.
What I saw in pictures and videos, was nothing compared to what was in front of me, it was not just a mansion; it was heaven on Earth.
“Welcome to my house,” Dele said after we entered the living room.
“House? This is a palace!” Chima exclaimed in awe. “Now I understand why your daddy does not allow you to invite your friends.”
“I don’t,” I said.
“Look at all these shiny things, who would not be tempted to steal?”
Dele who never got the chance to show off his magnificent house used the opportunity. “You guys think the living room is cool, check out this place.”
He took us past different rooms and stopped at one that required a security code to enter; I knew why once I stepped into the room. It was like I walked into a jewellery store with artifacts. Two or three of these jewelries could clear all my father’s debts. Maybe what I needed to do to save my family was ask, or steal.
“Where did you guys get all these things?” Chima asked.
“I don’t know,” Dele said. After testing and taking pictures with as much jewellery as we could, Dele offered to give us a tour around the house.
We stopped at his father’s office, which was as big as my living room.
“So your father just sits here and makes billions of naira?” I asked, jealously.
“Something like that,” he said proudly.
“God when?” Chima said, and we laughed
Dele went round his father’s table, opened his drawer, and brought out a gun, startling Chima and me.
“Is that a gun?” Chima asked, excited, then collected it.
“Be careful with that thing,” I said, frightened.
“Babe, relax I know how this thing works.”
“It’s not loaded,” Dele said, and I sighed in relief.
“Why does your father have a gun?” I asked, disturbed.
“Because he can afford one, rich people buy things because they can,” Chima said.
“And how would you know?” I joked. Chima was not poor, he was more of a middle-class citizen.
“I’m sure there are bullets somewhere around here, bring them let’s shoot something,” Chima said, excited.
“We can’t, if anyone hears a gunshot they’ll call the police, and believe me, they’ll be here fast.”
Thoughts that scared me went through my head, thoughts of killing everyone that so outrightly let us down starting with uncle Mike.
“Do you really know how to use this thing?” I asked Chima, then collected the gun to look at it.
“In movies, they click something with their thumb, then shoot.”
“That was very helpful.”
“What, do you plan on killing someone?” Dele joked.
“Yes you,” I said and pointed the gun at him, pretending to be an armed robber. “Your money or your life.”
“My life, what am I without my money,” he joked.
“Then I shall grant your wish,” I said then pressed the trigger button expecting a click sound but what I heard was far from it. I screamed, not because of the sound but the hole I had made in Dele’s head.
“What did you do?” Chima asked in a terrified voice.
“I.. he said it was empty,” I couldn’t move, I had Dele’s blood all over me and on the wall, and a little on Chima. We needed to do something or the rest of our lives was going to be destroyed. “What do we do?”
“We?” he said, walking towards the door. “I was never here.”
To say it shocked me was an understatement. I glued my eyes to the door Chima had just walked out from, I knew I should run too but my legs felt too heavy besides there were CCTV cameras everywhere so I stood there telling myself, “they will understand.”
Like Dele said, someone had heard the gunshot and called the police, I could hear their footsteps from the corridor but I still didn’t move, they opened the door and saw me standing above the victim with the murder weapon in my hand, this would be an easy case they probably thought.
One of them held my hands to my back, handcuffing me while he read me my rights, then walked me to their car. As I got comfortable in the car, I knew one thing for a fact, my worst day was yet to come, but at least I’ll face them with a roof over my head.