When James told me that our guy would come in two days’ time, my heart almost failed me. Every plan in my head flew away and I became a fool right on the spot.
‘Are you going to handle your end of the bargain?’ James asked when I went mute and lost.
I sighed. ‘I swear, I don’t even know anything anymore.’
‘It’s Dave, he scares me!’
‘So, you are human after all?’ He mocked. ‘You were the one dishing out instructions and giving ultimatums like you are some kind of hulk, who would handle…’
‘Shut the Bleep up James!’ I screamed and held my head. ‘Let me think, okay?’
‘Well, you have like a week to do this.’ He scoffed and left.
Days later, I told James that I would be ready in three days’ time.
‘Are you sure?’ He asked.
‘Why did you ask that?’
‘Because, three days’ time will be Thursday, and Bryan would be around.’
I shrugged. ‘So? I just have to take my chances.’
‘And if that fails, he tortures you, and you confesses, right?’
‘Listen, like I said, I will take that chance first.’
James looked at me for a while and scoffed. ‘You know what? Just tell me you need my help and I will do just that. Stop acting like you got it all covered.’
‘Oh, so, you’re just going to shoot him dead for me, so that I can run away with you, right?’
‘Absconding with me is not my problem, by the time you got trails of law enforcement behind you, you will know who to call. Here, take this.’ He handed me a gun.
‘You have any other idea?’
I shook my head and collected it. ‘Thank you.’ I whispered.
‘Keep it safe.’ He said and left.
My mind was racing all through the day. I had access to nothing that I could use except the gun that James gave me. I wish I could use something else.
Dave came on Thursday, as usual. Without wasting much time, he dropped the groceries and rough-handled me for the first round of hate-sex. He pulled my hair and slammed my head on the kitchen table as he rode me from behind.
‘Did you miss me, biatch!’ He asked loudly as he finished.
I was silent. I pulled my trousers into the right position and buckled my belt. As usual, as he sat down, he started to heat up the heroine.
‘Have you eaten anything?’ He asked as he tied his arms, readying the needle.
‘Good. You got to sit here and have your shots. I took some f****** new aphrodisiac and I wanna test it out. I don’t want you feel anything. That what you’re good for. You should be a porn-star.’
I didn’t reply to his derogatory statements. My mind was made up and my thought was how to shoot him dead! He finishing shooting himself some heroine and relaxed in his chair with a big sighed.
‘Feels good.’ He croaked.
I watched him close his eyes and breathed steadily. I said there, in the second chair in front of him, with a low stool, separating us. After a while, I was assured he was asleep, so, I decided to get up slowly and go for the gun in the kitchen cabinet. I grabbed each of the armrests with each hands and held it tightly as I tried to lift myself from the seat- hoping not to make a sound. But I was wrong. As soon as my butt was off the chair, it creaked and…
‘Sit.’ Dave commanded without his eyes opened.
I froze, but didn’t sit back. I hoped he was just hallucinating. I lifted myself again and this time, he opened his eyes and looked straight at me. I froze.
‘What are you trying to do?’ He asked.
I was silent. I sank back into my chair.
‘You want to kill me?’
‘Shut the f*** up!’ He shouted and kicked the stool at the middle.
The contents on it came flying at me and I dodged, but the stool hit me very hard on the knee. I screamed. He stood up and kicked it again and it hit me right at the knee. I fell and held my knees and screamed aloud. The pain was excruciating. I shut my eyes in pain. Dave hit me in the stomach and I coughed out blood. I was on my knees- one hand held my stomach while the other was on the floor. Dave came running at me and kicked me in the face. I almost choked on my own blood.
My mind was on how to get to the kitchen and grab the gun that James gave me. I needed just half that chance. I tried to crawl, but it wasn’t easy for me. My knees, my stomach, my face, the pain, it aches! Dave kept talking about how he was going to kill me. I heard him unbuckle his belt and pulled it out. He was going to rape me! I tuned and saw him pull down his trouser, ready to pounce on me. I summoned some courage and leaped to the side of the chair where he dropped his gun why shooting his heroine. I could hear his approach. I stretched and my finger wriggled at the grip of his pistol. I couldn’t reach it and Dave was getting closer. I was weak, I didn’t think I would make it.
“Ready to die, Dam?’ He announced his arrival and I delved forward- one last leap at the gun.
He was on time, he grabbed me by the feet and pulled me back. I lay there, facedown. As he turned me to face him, I aimed the gun at his face and pulled the trigger!
Dave fell backwards and slumped. I couldn’t believe myself. I did it, I told myself. I’m free! I allowed the gun to fall freely as I covered my face in joy. The safe comes to mind, but the hope of the money dampened as soon as I realised that I wouldn’t be opening the safe without James. I stood up slowly and dusted myself. Dave laid still- I stared at him for a while. He was both a hero and a villain to me. I could have stayed if he wasn’t so greedy.
But then, something ran through my mind. The way the Dave was lying on the floor was not normal. He laid with his beneath his chest- it looks like he protected himself from hurting as he fell backwards. I replayed the way he fell in my head, and it appeared that he ducked as soon as I face him with the gun. Immediately, I looked up towards where I fired and there was a bullet hole on the wall- I had missed.
‘f*** me!’ I said and without wasting time, I dived for the gun.
Dave’s hand caught me on time and I hanged in the air. I slammed my belly hard on the floor and found myself reversing towards Dave as he pulled me back to himself. My brain screamed red, I turned quickly and kicked him in the face with my second feet. He groaned and let go. I jumped for the gun again and this time, I grabbed it. Like a pro, I rolled to face up and aimed at him the second time. He froze. This time, I aimed well and pulled the trigger!
The horror on my face was impeccable, so was his smile- the gun had jammed! Dave walked triumphantly towards me and my brain worked like a gear. I knew nothing about gun, else, I would have unjammed it; but, Dave would have collected it, unjammed it and shoot me with it. So, I released the magazine and threw it far across the room. I ejected the lodged bullet and threw both the gun and the bullet in separate ways.
‘Wise girl’, Dave laughed, ‘but not so wise.’ He grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me to face him. ‘You are so dead, b***h!’ He said. ‘You tried to…’
A very hard knock on the door interrupted him. As he distracted himself with that, I gave him a resounding head butt. I ensured it hit him hard, right on the nose. He bellowed and dropped me immediately. I ran for the kitchen, where I kept the gun that James gave me. The knock was now hard on the door.
‘Open this door! Is everything alright?’ I heard James’s voice.
‘Get the f**k back to where your post is, azshole! This is my business! Dave answered, but his voice was already near the kitchen door.
I went straight to the cabinet and started to pull down the food cans. I hid the gun behind them.
‘Mr Bryan, I am going to have to break down this door.’ James shouted again.
I hoped he did.
Dave appeared in the kitchen with a bleeding nose. He held the gun in one hand and the magazine in the other. As he moved towards me with a bloody smile, he inserted the magazine and coked the gun. I haven’t even made it to where I kept the gun. I stopped and gave up. Then the sound of the James, breaking in interrupted him again.
‘What da f**k…’
I made to rush towards him as he spoke, but this time, he was ready for me. He fired in my direction. I screamed and fell.
‘You want to die? It’s okay, b***h. But, you are not going to get me that way, again.’ He announced as he moved towards me.
He aimed at me, and I knew he would shoot. I was still. I closed my eyes as I expected him to pull the trigger. Then there was a loud sound from his pistol- but, surprisingly, I was still alive. Then I heard a thud and slowly, I opened my eyes. Dave was dead, a gun wound to his head. His eyes opened, he oozed blood from his head.
‘Are you alright?’ James asked as he sheathed his gun. He offered his hand and pulled me up. ‘Are you alright?’ He asked again as he took Dave’s gun from his hand. ‘I will keep this.’ He said.
‘Where’s Mike?’ I asked.
‘You’re welcome.’ He said.
‘Sorry, thank you.’ I said.
‘I told you, you would need my help.’ He said as he led me to the living room.
‘What the hell is happeneing here, James?’ Mike said as he rushed in to see Dave’s body in the pool of blood. ‘You killed Mr Bryan?’
‘He was trying to kill her!’ James shouted at Mike.
‘I only asked you to come see what the f**k is going on when we heard gunshots.’
‘And I said, he was trying to kill her! That was the f**k I found out!’
‘I am sorry James, I gotta call the HQ! First, it was you behaving eratical and unprofessional, and now, this!’
‘I won’t let you do that, Mike. Sorry.’ James said and aimed the gun as his colleague.
I was surprised that hes got guts.
‘What are you gonna do? Shoot me?’ Mike asked with a chuckle. ‘I am calling HQ, anyways.’
He brought out a phone and I heard James fired at him. Mike stood still. He wore a surprised look on his face. At first, I thought James had missed, but the blood stained wall at Mike’s back, said otherwise. First, the phone fell off his hand, then he fell on his knees, and slumped.
‘You killed him.’ I tried to act surprised.
‘I got no time to waste. My guy is already on his way and I got to leave the city in,’ he checked his watch, ‘two hours, max.’
‘It’s going to take that long to open the safe?’
James didn’t answer.
‘You might want to start packing.’ He said.
‘I don’t have anything to pack. I just need my share and the car.’
‘James?’ A voice interrupted. ‘Who’s James?’
‘I am.’ James replied the guy with a tool box, standing by the door. ‘You’re the guy, right?’
‘Yes.’ He walked in and starred at Mike’s body. ‘Where’s the safe?’ He asked, unmoved by the dead body.
‘Take him to the safe.’ James said to me. ‘Sorry about the mess.’
‘Mess? We’re are talking about twenty million dollars. I would do worst for a million.’ He smiled.
I took him inside the room and showed him the safe.
‘Can you open it?’
He gave me a piercing look before he knelt by the safe. He ran his hands through it and looked at me again. ‘Piece of cake.’
‘Then, do it.’ I said.
‘No, call me James. We never talked my own share.’
‘What?’ I asked.
‘What is it, man?’ James came in. ‘Get to work.’
‘I am collecting five million.’ The guy said.
‘I will give you half a million.’ James countered.
‘I want three.’
‘One.’ James dragged.
‘Anything less than two, then I should leave.’ He picked up his tool box.
‘One point five.’
‘I will see you guys later.’ He said and made to leave.
‘I can make you do it for nothing!’ James said and brought out it his gun to the guy’s face.
The guy smiled. ‘Seriously? You really want to do that?’
‘Find out, tough black guy. You aint no gangster. Because you are black doesn’t make you…’
‘So, you a racist too. That cool.’ The guy smiled again. ‘Two million, or you better pull the trigger ‘cos ama die first, before I do it fo’ nothing.’
‘Are you sure about that, tough guy?’ James cocked his gun.
‘Enough!’ I screamed. ‘Enough of the dead bodies, okay? I will give you three million!’
‘What?’ James squeaked.
‘Out of my f***in’ share, azshole!’ I grinded my teeth at him.
‘It’s okay by me, then.’ James said and withdraw his gun. ‘Hey, tupac, get to work. You heard the lady.’ He said as he exit made to exit the room.
‘Sorry about that.’ I told the guy who nodded and got to work.
I went to the kitchen and took the gun that James gave me. This time, I checked it properly- there’s no room for jamming, when shiit hits the fan. I cocked it ready and tucked in behind my back. The way thing are going, I needed to prepare.
Twenty minutes later, the guy said he’s done. I followed James back into the room and the guy was there, safe opened, wads of notes on the floor. My heart beats faster- I am free. James rushed to the money and held it in his hands.
‘You are right, you are right!’ He screamed and smiled at me. ‘I am rich.’
‘No, you are not.’ The guy said.
‘What?’ James asked as he turned to face the guy, who brought out a gun from the back of his trouser and held it to James’s face.
‘I said, no, you are not.’ He said and fired his gun.
James slumped without a struggle.
Without much thinking, I retracted to exit. The guy didn’t waste time. He fired at me, but I was already out of the room. I ran back to the kitchen. Went straight for the gas cooker and unplugged the hose that supplies gas to the cooker. It gave a whooshing sound as it filled the air. I quickly grabbed a lighter and tucked it into my back pocket. I was on time. The guy came in with his gun. My hand was already up, in surrender.
He came over and asked me not to move. He went straight for the gun at my back and brought it out.
‘Smart b***h.’ He said, smiling. ‘What’s that?’
‘That smell.’ He asked with a frown.
‘That’s the smell of you burning flesh.’ I said.
‘What did you…?’
‘I pushed him very hand and he staggered. I ran for the door. He fired and the wooden framed splintered as his shots missed me. I closed the door and locked it. He banged for a little and started firing at the door. I was a hard wood, it would hold. I assured myself as I rushed to the basement and came back with a gasoline. I poured it right at the entrance of the kitchen and watched it flow below the door into the kitchen.
‘You f***in biatch!’ He screamed and kept shooting.
He was an idiot, he would have shot at the lock, but he kept firing at the door. I rushed inside and started to pack the cash into my box. In no time, I was done. The guy in the kitchen was now throwing things at the door- his bullets was done. I took the money to the car and came back to the kitchen door. I made a trail of gasoline from the kitchen door as I exited the building. The gasoline finished at the sitting room. I took out my lighter.
‘Goodbye, dogs.’ I said and lit it up.
The fire burned like a flash and went straight to the kitchen door. I ran outside. As soon as I was outside the building, the house went up in flames. The shockwave sent me off the porch. I crashed to the floor. Embers filled the air- debris of the house dropped around. I turned and saw the cottage burning. The same cottage I was being held hostage for years, by Dave.
‘It’s over.’ I told myself. ‘f*** you, Dave.’ I said.
I started to laugh- I laughed and laughed, until I started to cry!
…To be continued