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Silent echoes

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SILENT ECHOES****
It was the eve of her much talked about birthday party she was dating Nnaemeka, the richest guy on campus, though a number of her friends vehemently disapproved of him , she didn’t care. As far as she was concerned, they were all envious of the lavish luxury and extravagance he showered on her. Everyone was expecting a fabulous birthday bash and she had no intentions of letting then down.
The excitement which floated around her apartment was so vivid it could be touched and tasted. Ifeyinwa and her roommate, Sheila were engrossed in the soup they were preparing, it was her favorite vegetable soup garnished with surplus fresh shrimps, goat meat, periwinkles and dry fish. The narrow kitchen was drenched in soup aroma, the gas cylinder hissed persistently, the scintillating blue flame it spat out hungrily licked up d bottom of the aluminum soup pot.
Then came a faint knock on the door, Sheila dashed out to check who it was.
“Who be that?” Enquired Ifeyinwa, from inside the kitchen, on top of her husky voice.
“Na your former chewing gum boyfriend ooH” replied Sheila, fits of laughter escaping from her mouth.
“Ify bekee” teased Kelvin as he made to sit on the sofa. Ifeyinwa gave the soup a final stir and cut in
sharply.
“Bia nwokem, I thought I’ve told you I have a new guy in my life, advise you forget what we had and move on with your miserable life, you cannot be reaping from another guy’s investment, inugo”
Kelvin was dumbstruck; self-pity clung to every horizon of his mind. He stood up reluctantly
and walked out of the sitting room like a Zombie without saying a word. This was the least he expected from a girl he’d dated for almost three years. He was there for her through thick and thin, for her with the stipends he could afford as a student, even used his school fees once to see her out of a financial distress to the displeasure of his friends. Now she was jilting him without remorse for Nnaemeka whose source of income was still a mystery to many. What made it all worse was the contempt with which she tried to get rid of him.
******
The sun was quite fierce that afternoon, the wrath of the angry sun descended on the earth without pity. Ifeyinwa boarded a taxi to the bank closest to her place, so she could withdraw the cash Nnaemeka had sent for the party, he promised he’d join her afterwards because he had an urgent business to take care of. The thought of having a big birthday party sent shivers of excitement down her spine, she felt like a kid who’d just received a big box of cookies and chocolates. She made her way into the expansive banking hall, and hurriedly filled her slip for withdrawals.
“Good afternoon” greeted a smart looking petite cashier; Ifeyinwa rewarded her with a plastic smile and handed over her withdrawal booklet. No sooner had she accepted it, than the clatter of sporadic gunshots rent the air violently in a discordant fashion. “Everybody lie down” the hoarse voices of four terrifying robbers echoed throughout the vertices of the banking hall, trailed by a short spell of more gun fire .Customers scampered for safety amidst screams, wails and panic. Ifeyinwa and other front desk cashiers all lay as flat as they could. The cold from the marble floor stung her viciously. A stream of warm urine trickled down her pants a the robbers were now just above her head expertly and hurriedly stuffing their duffle bags with wads of crisp naira notes. Just then she heard a very familiar voice say “O boy see plenty money! But time no dey make we fall out abeg” She’d never mistake that voice even if she was deaf.
“Nnaemeka” She called out impulsively in a subtle tone. And there he was, dressed in an all-black outfit, his blood shot eyes spelt nothing but terror and ruthlessness. A part of him she’d never known. An AK-47 dangled loosely from his slim shoulder.
“Ify” He whispered. Shock, regret and dismay formed a halo over his heavily bearded face. His expression was wooden, like he had just beheld a demonic evil spirit. Tears consequently trickled down the slope of Ifeyinwa’s high cheek bones, the rifle spoke with a brief automatic rattle, her once slender and exquisite body now riddled with copper bullets fell with a faint thud to the floor. Her eyes were still wide open, she could lucidly hear the silent echoes of death reverberating in her head as she gasped for breath.
Written by Edozien Sley….

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