POSTED 06/12/2018 13:27
"I won't tell a lie, Peter." Andrea muttered with faint strength lingering on top of his teeth.
He was still in chains.
Inside the prison cell were red letter designs of the names of past criminals who were too smart to write their names on the walls before their execution. But Andrea knew it was only four hours left before he'd reunite with his mother in death. He was even more afraid of where he'd spend eternity – hell or heaven? If getting a red letter design on the wall was really simple without a scratch on the skin, Andrea would have done same... he didn't just know what to do. So, here he was, clouded by the fear of a single drop of blood.
"Won't you tell me this last time, Andrea?" Peter's voice sounded more brutal than ever as the cold bodied Andrea was littered in a seemingly fresh pool of tears.
This was what Peter hated to see – men shedding tears, because he never felt that was the appropriate thing to do.
The distance between them was less than the stretch of a foot as the well built Peter with slightly curled beards and a really trimmed hair bent down like the slow cracking of a high statue to Andrea's left ear. But what was he trying to do? He whispered sincerely as a man who had never known the odour of sin in his entire life.
To Andrea, he said, "I'd go tell the commissioner that Benjamin died from a shock. Just tell me the truth that you know."
Ashamed to lift up his already red face, Andrea's voice could not possibly be louder than the yawn of a two year old during sleep. He was fair and very tall, having a bit of round legs and blessed with a very lovely accent to match the charisma in his speech. Very humble and quiet especially in the midst of uncultured young men because of the way his mother often spoke about them. But, Andrea had one ability which his father hated the most. He was always afraid to tell a lie which his father usually mistook for the truth. So, here was another moment to give him a feel of his father gnawing at home.
"I told you before, Peter – I didn't kill Benjamin."
Peter’s reply echoed, "It is okay...No one can be too intelligent than me. I have had cases like this before. Manson was killed, Ekong was bullet ridden, Actor and Elias who even did worse than you were killed in the most brutal way."
How else could Andrea be threatened? Perhaps one more word from Peter, Andrea would begin to hear the sound of the gun, and then see the direction of his heart . And next, he would see his mother with the blood stained pyjamas since two thousand and seven, standing by his side in the new quarters of death. But eight minutes was so wicked to go by in two seconds thought.
As Peter peeped into his wrist watch, he looked Andrea sternly in the face as the ugly words spilled from his mouth "I'll accompany you to where the drums are in less than twenty minutes if you are not ready to own up."
"Room four, room five, room six...nine...eleven... fourteen... where is he?" That was Inspector Mark walking into the prison block with Inspector Toro. They were ready to remove the demon in Andrea's body and send him to six feet in the most pleasant way. As soon as Peter heard Inspector Mark's voice, he jumped up, pointing his hand at Andrea's hopeless face, then added, "Who knows, if you were the knife that stabbed your mother? You're a murderer! You will see me the last time in only three minutes from now. Out!"
It was the first time in three weeks when Andrea would walk in the blessedness of clean air and see the hardness on the smiles of people because he was only seeing wickedness and death in the smiles that the prisoners wore while in the prison. So, as commanded, he walked diligently behind the two inspectors who dragged his chains behind them.
"Another delay by you, I'll burst your head." Everyone knew that was Inspector Toro's voice because he was a very proud man who never ceased to flaunt the badge of his position in the Nigeria Police Force.
They were heading for the drums which was barely the stretch of eight steps from where they were.
"Here!" Andrea was halted in the front of a skinny black thief who was already tied to the drum waiting for his death. Next to him was Tolu, a notorious kidnapper whose protruding stomach fitted in his stoutly built body showing the evidence of blood money. He had threatened the security of the community since Andrea's last year in secondary school. The third person seemed dead even before the gun will be shot at him, and the fourth look like a saint all along. With his chains loosed, Andrea was pushed to the fifth drum. Peter was asked to tie him up in less than fifty seconds. He was only pretending not to be guilty as Andrea cried out so loudly for the second time since his mother's blood splashed on the brown cushion in the sitting room.
That moment, he saw his mother walking into his room and telling him that,they'll spend the next holiday in Nevada as soon as his father gets stronger. He jumped up with full excitement to embrace his mother as usual and give her a peck.. but just then, Andrea's eyes were too gloomy to see the bullet coming.
Screaming "Noooo...!" The golden tip bullet forced its way into Andrea's forehead in less than five seconds.
Then, was his head dangling to the left of his once patted shoulder. His navy blue prison dress shone in fresh blood in the same way his well arranged teeth shone in the carefulness of his last prayer.
Benjamin arrived two hours later at the police station with a medical report that he was strong and fine. He had hoped to speak with the commissioner to tell him that Andrea was innocent and that he should not be killed. But, it was Inspector Toro who met him when the commissioner just left his office. The Inspector told Benjamin how Mr. Commissioner's administration was working to check every crime against the law of the land.
Then happily, he added, "...and that murderer Andrea, is dead."
Inspector Toro never knew that, that it was Benjamin who was supposedly killed by Andrea.
Almost fainting, Benjamin drifted his hand into his bag and got hold of his pen. Turning the back of his medical report sheet, he wrote;
Andrea was my brother. It was uncle Peter who poisoned my wine because he needed my father's money. He had ensured that the doctors would save my life and then, send Andrea to prison so the money would still get to him. But, I was too dumb to say a word. Good bye Andrea.
As Benjamin staggered out of the office, he saw the commissioner returning... but he couldn't wait because he had received a call from Father Raymond to make his tribute to Andrea at the St. Michael's cemetery.
Did you enjoy the story? Let your friends know about it