Mistaken identity - Episode 1
From as long as anyone could remember, I Tom t and Paulex had been friends, we we're so close some even imagined we were in a way related by blood.
We all were young men, still hustling to get that "dream life" and so did one or two things to keep the hustle real. Paulex after secondary school went into fashion designing while I went to further my education in a university but was now back managing as the accounting teacher in a nearby secondary school but as for Tom t he was waiting for his posting to serve the one year service to Nigeria, Tom t had a fairly stable background but was not the showy type so one would easily mistake him for just another broke young man hustling to make ends meet but thanks to his family he lived better than the both of us that had jobs so to speak.
So the day was April 21 and Tom t had stopped by to pass time with Paulex in his shop . Paulex at the time was busy trying to meet up with the increased demand of his services as is usual during festive periods, Christmas been the case at this point. Happy to see Tom t he begged him to assist him run an errand since his apprentice had traveled due to some supposed emergency.
"Guy abeg, him no go waste your time, its just to collect the cloth, him don design am finish" Paulex pleaded with him to help collect a cloth he had taken for extra design from the other side of town. After much pleading, Tom t agreed, if only he knew, he would probably have refused.
Tom t stepped out of the shop stopping the first commercial motorcycle or okada as they are popularly called in everyday Nigerian language that passed his way.
"Taiwo road, just drop me for one of those shops, you go wait make I collect something then you go bring me back"
"OK but your money 250 o" the motorcyclists said
"For wetin? abeg if you no collect 200 then the go" Tom t bargained already knowing the actual fare.
The bike man or okada man motioned him to sit, agreeing to the price, they turned back wards and headed up town. Within 7 minutes they reached the busy area, it was a place thriving with business and that part of town was mostly dominated by Hausa Muslims that were talented in the art of stitching and designing of floaral patterns of any imagination.
"Alhaji Abu good afternoon" he greeted as he walked into the shop while the bikeman waited outside.
"Good afternoon" the lanky dark skinned man replied in thick Hausa accent
"My friend send me to collect that cloth wey him leave for your shop, him suppose don call you"
"Okay na Oga paulex ko, ba wahala" he spoke some words in Hausa to one of his apprentice that immediately went to search under a pile of clothes evidently already designed.
Tom t collected the cloth and turned to leave only to notice that he was been blocked by a young man of about his age, he shifted, giving space for the young man to pass but the young man still remained at the door
"Oga I no understand shift make I pass" he said to the young man
Before he could realize what was happening the young man had grabbed him by his shirt, landing three slaps In quick succession. Still confused, he shouted holding his ear with his right hand.
The young man ranted in Hausa shouting and pointing at his face, unfortunately Tom t did not understand any part of Hausa so could not even comprehend what was happening.
Read " Best Friend " by OtseDavid
. The young man slapped him again dragging him outside, and within seconds, a groud had turned up.The bikeman on noticing it was Tom t, quickly turned his bike and zoomed off.
Slaps from all direction was now landing on his body, he shouted pleading, Alahaji Abu struggled with them to set him free speaking the language Tom t did not understand but obviously they were not yielding as the crowd was now getting violent. The only thing he could make out of what they were saying was "barawo".
His shirt was ripped apart and his back felt every sting from the belt lashed on him.
Alahaji Abu hurriedly ran to call the police men that stationed the u turn not far away, by the time they came back, a tire was already around his neck. He sat bleading from his head and blood dripping from his opened mouth. The officers shouted at them rescuing Tom t from instant death. All the while, he did not even know what he had done to deserve such cruelty. He gladly followed them, he had never been more happy to see police officers.
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