The story so far:
His gun was out in a flash, pointed right at the perplexed and dumbfounded Festus. In one swift movement he had the gun in his hand, and in the same fluid movement, he stepped into a position where he could cover both Festus and Nike.
“Stay right where you are my guy,” Shai kept the gun level at his chest as he shifted his position in order to have a better view of his captives. He took greatest advantage of the momentary state of shock brought on by the element of surprise he had sprung on them both, “you don’t want to be a hero now do you?”
Festus shook his head vigorously and did as he was told. But, Nike bolted from the shock of hearing another voice in the room. She now stood by her lover; her face contorted in fear and insane shock on recognizing who it was who had gatecrashed their private little party.
Looking at her now, she didn’t look to him as beautiful as she had been on campus. And her breasts and body no longer held the appeal they had on him a few minutes back when she was all over Festus. Shai knew what had happened, why he no longer saw her in the same light as he had seen her before. It had taken him a long time to fully understand what happened in that split second when he transformed into a vicious, relentless and thoroughly efficient predator. In the early days, it just happened, the ping that goes off in his head and he didn’t pay much heed to it. However, later he had come to master it and recognize it as his ‘On’ switch to get into the killing mode.
So, he knew what had happened in the short few minutes from when he left his car outside the building, bounding up the stairs and this moment when he was standing before Nike and Festus – Timi was gone and in his place was now Shai.
“Good,” Shai whispered while he continued to cover them both with the gun, a humorless smile beginning to creep across his face. He noted with satisfaction the appearance of naked fear in Nike’s eyes He knew she was still trying to figure out in her head what he was doing there pointing a gun at them. He enjoyed her ignorant, perplexed and totally clueless expression at the nature of the events that were unfolding before her eyes.
“Today is not the day for heroes,” Shai continued. He totally ignored her, not showing her any form of recognition, as he motioned at them to move towards the far wall. It was basic procedure – Minimize your captive’s ability to initiate any counter moves by neutralizing all possible assets he or she could acquire to launch such a move. The side of the wall he had motioned them to have nothing that could be snatched and thrown either at him or to create a diversion. Also, the distance allowed him enough room and distance to be able to aim accurate shots at either target, if they for whatever reason decided to try their luck, especially now that he had his silencer hooked to the gun thereby increasing the possibility of missed shots over long distances. Before they could make ground, he was confident he could take them both.
The human survival instinct is strong, and a man cornered in a dangerous situation can never be underestimated. He will take actions out of desperation in order to fashion out an escape route. Most times, such actions are not based on rationale. And actions which were not based on rationale are more bound to be successful, simply because they did not play by any known conventional rules. Shai took a swift look around the room, taking in all the potential areas of possible engagements. He was in his element now. He was a predator setting out the parameters of his environment while keeping his prey within its scope of vision.
He noted that in her hurry and shock, Nike had knocked over her handbag from the chair spilling all of its contents. There were odd bits and pieces he cared little about scattered around the foot of the couch. He casually stepped on them as he walked around the couch to face them.
“Well, well, well,” he waved the gun at her. “How it so happens that fate is a bitch, huh?” She didn’t answer as the look of shock on her face reflected the deeper turmoil of emotions churning inside of her. He didn’t need her to say anything. It was better if she said less now and more later when he started on her. That would be fun and very much different from what just went down.
“You see my guy,” he gestured towards Nike with his head. His aim didn’t waiver, even if his eyes were constantly in motion, “that over there is the perfect example of the Nigerian girl guys referred to as the ‘hypocritical virgin’.”
He smiled at the perplexed look of ignorance that flitted across Festus’s face. “Yes, my friend. They are the girls who claim or act like virgins in public spaces but then are vixen and sex Machiavellians in private engagements,” Shai pointed at Nike with the gun, “that one my guy, seems to have perfected the art. She cannot be said to be hypocritical, even if she projects an air around her of a ‘virgin’. For her, relationships are less of an emotional interplay. For her, every relationship is more of a psychological power play and not emotions. She loves to be in control of what happens in the relationship and when. Those kinds of girls, they are the ones to dread. They are the apple of anguish, because when you are ensnared in their net you cannot do without them, where they on their part have no qualms dispensing of you without batting an eyelid. They set all the rules and force you to abide by them. You cannot even breathe in their presence unless they let you to. In essence, what I am saying my friend is that you are being played by the female version of the male player. Do you understand all I just said?”
They both nodded and it was all Shai could do not to laugh out loud. Even Nike had nodded and that had been the comical highlight of his evening so far. He thought about her and how she had metamorphosed in a short few hours from a beautiful, sweet almost-shy girl on campus to the sex vixen riding cock like a loony demon from the mid-western. The scene he had witnessed earlier played on his mind all over again, making his inside churn. He couldn’t allow himself to entertain pollutant thoughts. He can’t feel for her or have any feelings whatsoever for her. Even though he had more or less conceded that he had a little twinge of affection for her. But that is where it all stopped. Where it must all stop.
He wanted that prey all to himself. But, Festus have now found himself unknowingly led into the predator’s den and into this circle of death. Yes, both their fates were sealed from when he stepped out of his car. And he knew he was wasting time, but this kill was supposed to be special.
It was not how he planned it. How he would have preferred it, but again that is the nature of all predators, the ability to adapt and improvise given any unfavorable conditions to their hunting strategy. He will just have to make do.
“Do you have any idea what is going to happen tonight, while I am here as your visitor and after I leave?” They both shook their heads, incapable of forming any kind of speech for the time being. “Ok, fair enough. I startled you guys badly and it is understandable you are still shaken. You see, she knows me well.”
For a moment, Festus’s face showed signs of anger. But, he was quick to mask it. Shai smiled, the dude had mastered the art of masking his true emotions. That is what hankering over a pussy like Nike’s does to a guy. Especially, when you are a man like Festus who has letters but no mail box, or boxes for that matter, to put them in. You just wait when you have a chance at one, not upsetting its owner and hope to God it is opened sometime soon so you could post your stuff and move on.
Shai laughed inwardly at his own warped rationalization of the man’s plight, while he stood before him naked. If anything, he ought to put him out of his misery and miserable life quickly. But, he had some kind of respect for him on the subconscious level. He had dealt with Nike, almost the same way he would have – only he didn’t finish properly.
Girls like Nike should not be walking the streets. They create more problems than they solve. They are the ones who fuck up a guy’s head and turn him into a psycho. He had no personal problem with her, only with what she stood for and what she represented. He had watched her closely for about three months and had come to learn she had several other guys like Festus dangling from her puppeteer’s strings; guys who were good for nothing other than for getting her access to stuff – clothing, jewelry, money.
“I know her very well and she knows me quite a bit too. Unfortunately, tonight is not the night for introductions. If we had met under other circumstances, we would have had that pleasure.”
Festus stole a quick glance at her, an accusatory look of betrayal now fully displayed on his face.
“Oh please, Festus!” Nike exclaimed. “Don’t give me that look. You can’t possibly tell me you couldn’t take a hint, could you?” she snapped. “I batted you off a long time but you kept coming back. What was a girl supposed to do?”
“Hey! No domestic fights, alright?” Shai cut in. “I was asking you both if you knew what was going to happen tonight. Since you both don’t seem to have an idea, alright ask me,” he pointed at Nike.
“I don’t ask why mad men do mad things,” she blurted angrily at him. Her eyes were beginning to regain some life and he could vaguely recognize something familiar in them. She had a fiery streak in her, and it was coming to the surface. “It’s not in my place and I am not interested. Isn’t this what all men want? To satiate their need guilt free? I am a girl, I also have needs and men are not a specie to be trusted with things most precious to a woman – her body, her pussy and her heart. Men are liars. It’s in their nature and they cannot help it.”
To her right, Festus was looking at her like she was from another planet. He had on his face the look of a man who suddenly realized he had been dealt the sleight of hand by a duplicitous seller at the local parts market at Ladipo. He knew he can’t have his money back and the fake parts will not fix his problems. A cloud of anger was beginning to brew somewhere in the wells of his being.
Shai could see it, and he was glad. He wanted him to have a clear understanding of why he was doing what he was about to do. He needed him to see her for who and what she was. She was no white rose basking in the glow of the morning sun; neither was she the bloody red rose which tugged at your heart every time you saw it under the reddish glow of the setting sun in the evenings. She was a cross, a hybrid and one of the most dangerous types of the women kind. They won’t surrender to you. They will lead you around like a dog instead, yanking at your chain at every turn and bending your will to cater only to that which benefits theirs.
This is now why he does what he does. He was like the Robin Hood of the menfolk, hunting down these rogue women, breaking them down and eliminating the threats that threaten the natural rules of engagement that was supposed to exist between a man and a woman in a relationship.
“My friend, behold one cat with a big bad attitude around her. I bet you, you never heard her talk like this before? And that is simply because you had from the beginning failed to listen and study her non-verbal codes. You were a lap dog right from almost the beginning.”
The yell and the speed at which Festus launched himself forward almost took him by surprise. However, he was able to quickly take two rapids steps to the side which resulted in Festus flying past him only by inches and crashing into the couch. The sound of his skull connecting with the wooden frame of the thread worn couch head rest was sickening. Nike flinched at the cracking sound, but Shai had the presence of mind to not bother with him. He knew from the intensity of the crash, that Festus was either dead or would be dead soon enough.
“So, that was stupid. But, it was not entirely surprising. That leaves just you and me, sweetheart”
It was spoken in the softest and calmest of voices. She was remarkably calm for someone under the kind of circumstances she found herself. The question was poignant, and it was only a shame Festus was no longer here to hear his answer. Under the calm demeanor, Shai could sense the beginning of a flagging resolve. She was coming loose at the helms.
“’Why’? You ask me now, huh?” Shai chuckled at the simplicity and complexity of the singular question. “You see, it is all very clear now that I am not the guy you thought I was. I am the cobra hiding in the green grass. The whip, which is hidden behind the teacher’s back, the scourge of women and all feminine passions. I am that guy you don’t want to fall in love with, yet you just can’t help yourself doing just that. I am that guy who feeds your heart’s wanton desires, fanning your fantasies to the point they become almost a reality, before I snatch that away from you and leave you with nothing but an exit ticket away from this world into another,” Shai paused before continuing, “another world where all men will be free from your wily and cunny ways. A world where men will be free of the anguish and despair you bestow any fool who falls in love with you.”
Nike didn’t move. For a twenty-three year old, she was more wizened than Shai would have granted her. She was taking everything really calmly. Or maybe, she simply didn’t understand what was about to happen to her.
“I have watched you for a while, almost three months. Studying you and your life patterns before deciding what your punishment was going to be for being what you are. In that time, I have observed how you have toyed with men. They would do anything and everything to satisfy your every whim and need. It may interest you that some have stolen just to keep up with you and your demands. They wanted you; they desired you and every one of them you played like they were toys.”
“I didn’t ask them to love me,” She said simply.
“But, they did. What was even more annoying was that they all genuinely loved you and wanted to marry you.”
“And I made it clear I was not marrying or going to marry them,” She maintained the same calm voice. “Each one of them knew the score; they only chose to ignore it. I can’t be held accountable for what people choose to hear and believe.”
Shai could feel the anger building up in him. He would lose grip of himself if he allowed this to go on any further than it had. She was tugging back at the ropes, scratching away at his own convictions for doing what he does and is about to do. She was not physically fighting back, but she was fighting back real hard all the same. He looked at her, naked as she was and felt sorry for her. Again, he saw something cross her face and that sense of odd familiarity came back upon him. He could not place a finger on it, but his gut feelings kept kicking it in his face.
“That guy over there,” Shai gestured towards the bleeding motionless Festus,” he loved you and he paid the ultimate price for that. Even when he came face to face with the truth, his emotions and feelings for you overrode his common sense. You say you tell them the score, but in the same breath you keep them close by making them believe they had a chance. That is cruel, because you could have put a stop to it if you really wanted to.”
He took a step forward, and as he did so, the power went off. Instinctively, he stepped sideways and felt rather than saw Nike fly past him. She had taken advantage of the window of opportunity presented to her by the temporary diversion. Shai knew that unless something remarkable happened now, his plans have all but gone to shit.
What was even more amazing for him was that in the bedlam, she had refused to shout and call for help. It was like she was defying anybody and everyone to fight her battles for her. This was her war and she intended to win or lose it all by herself.
All of a sudden the stakes were balanced out and he knew he had to quickly regain the upper hand. Shai felt her come at him again. This time he was ready and was waiting. He connected with her jaw with a heavy punch which sent her sprawling on the floor. He couldn’t tell if he had done permanent damage, but at this point he didn’t care. He had to get this done with one way or the other.
He couldn’t sense her moving, so he took a chance and went in search of some light. If she came at him again he might just either be defenseless or have to permanently put an end to her. He went towards where he guessed the ante-room was, the entire place was dark so he had to put his hand before him to be sure he doesn’t run into a wall. He tried to make out if there was anything he could use, matches or torch. It was useless, he couldn’t see past his nose.
What to do? He was desperate now. What if she comes to, and decided to make a racket? It didn’t help that the blinds were down and he didn’t know where the matches and candles were. And as things stood, he couldn’t dare leave. She already had seen him and could identify him to the police. He had to finish this one way or the other, or be sure it was finished.
He was walking back into the sitting room when the lights came back on.
Shai smiled at his luck, looked around and his smile broadened. On the floor was Nike, her face was half-hidden from him so he couldn’t tell if she was still alive. But, at least he was pleased she was still in the room and had not escaped under the cover of darkness. He went over and checked her pulse, she was still alive which made him happier. He lifted her on his shoulders and headed for what he figured was the bedroom. Then he started cutting strips from one of the curtains, satisfied he had enough he went back into the room where he tied Nike to the bed posts, pulled up a chair and waited for her to come to. He glanced at his watch, it was just past eleven. There was still enough time for what he had in mind.