Bang! Bang!! Bang!!! Everything in the room shivered. The hinges holding the door cringed like a man bitten by a snake. Akin heard the deafening sounds driven through the tightly locked wooden door. The sound permeated the expansive room. Beyond the room, the sound crawled menacingly into his mind. Akin wished there were padlocks on his ears.

Eventually, it curled into his heart like a sacred python with penetrating evil eyes.  Every sound from the door painfully repainted his misdeed last night forcing his heart to skip a beat.

Akin knew it was a matter of time before the boots of the soldiers dribbled through the obstinate door. He looked at the blue curtain dancing gently behind the door and wished it was a second door.

But Akin was determined to stick on. The fierce looking soldiers, like a hawk on a trail of an injured snake, haven’t been the best of friends to anyone recently. Since they overthrew the President, they’ve been terrorists in military uniforms. Lives assumed little importance where it had any. The constant assaults from the army were devastating. Akin believed his people only needed someone to mobilize them for a revolution.

He looked at the machete in his hand as he lay fearfully on the ceiling. Its blazing-edge suddenly lost its sting as he compared it to the death-spitting sticks hanging between the soldiers’ shoulders.

“Should I just surrender? No,” he shook his head, “that is clear cowardice.” The dread of the height he must endure before he gets painfully smashed against the ground made using the window the worst route to hell.

“From the seventh floor!” An electric shock dribbled through his spine.

Still, he couldn’t believe that no one stood by him yesterday. “A Yoruba man will go through anything just to be alive,” a look of contempt wrapped his face. That just three soldiers went on rampage amidst a bursting Lagos city full of youths beat his imaginations.

He was appalled by the indifference of the people yesterday after he dished out a fatal lesson to one of the soldiers. He had thought the young men will continue from where he stopped. Instead, he watched painfully as they shifted backwards – surprise and guilt written boldly on their faces. No use trying to mobilize this pathetic group who cannot defile a quarter of a dozen soldiers. He bolted.

Just then, another kick at the door jolted his heart back to life. Akin thought he heard a cracking noise by his side. Before he could readjust, another kick sent the door swimming through everything in the large room. Akin’s heart skipped a breath again.

Another crack and he was crashing down the floor. He had no time to think or look around. His feet snatched the power of his mind and dashed at the window. It happened fast, maybe a couple of seconds.

“A-k-i-n!” He couldn’t have missed it. That was his mother’s voice. But he was already diving through the thin air. He wished he could lay his hands on something and stop to hug his mother. But he could feel the penetrating gaze of death below, squeezing through his chest right into his soul.

Suddenly, he felt a strong grip. Then, he noticed another soft tender grip. Four palms curled around him pinning him to something – soft and comforting. That was when he opened his eyes.

He saw his parents with faces covered in tear and fear. But he couldn’t keep his eyes opened for too long. “Calm down baby, it’s the fever,” his mother voice rang faintly as he snoozed back to his woes.



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