We all took to our heels and panicked in confusion as the gunshot increased louder. Ijeoma was the first to run off immediately, followed by her sisters and then me. We instantly locked the door shut the moment we got in. We were both scared.
Ijeoma had followed me alongside while we ran, while her sisters ran forward to their place. We were still trying to catch our breath when, all of a sudden, a knock came at the door.
Ijeoma looked at me, I looked at her back. Her fair skin had suddenly gone pale. I could sense fear and anxiety all over her. She was vibrating seriously, so was I.
The knock came again the second time. We both went numb!
“Who’s there?” I called out with fear.
“Help me please…” a masculine voice responded.
“Please help me. I’m dying,” he whispered. I looked at Ijeoma for confirmation, she shook her head vehemently.
“Please for God’s sake, please…” he pleaded on.
I looked at Ijeoma again, this time she nodded in approval. I slowly tip-toed to the door and gently twisted the key open. I was shocked to see who I saw. He was also shocked too.
“Be quick!” I told him as he hastily hopped in. I then locked the door shut.
He smelt like he had just fallen into a gutter. He smelt awful. His hair was also bushy!
We all stayed motionless for a brief moment, staring at each other’s faces with uncertainty when, all of a sudden, another knock came again. It was loud.
The unknown guy gave us a sign as he ran hurriedly to my bathroom. I heard the door handle click twice, which meant he locked it from behind.
Just then, the knock came again in a more loud thump. Ijeoma was vibrating rapidly as I was also sweating profusely. I slowly opened the door to see three huge guys all dressed in black with guns, axes and machetes clinged to their hands.
“Did anybody come in here?”
“N… No,” I stammered.
“Are you sure?”
He searched my eyes for a while like he didn’t believe.
“Let me check,” he said and pushed me aside and entered. My heartbeat increased. He looked around and saw Ijeoma shivering fearfully behind me, and faced his gaze to me once more.
After clearing his doubt that I was alone, he came out and signalled to his boys as they left. I immediately locked the door shut. Almost immediately, the unknown guy came out too with sweat all over him.
“Are they gone?”
I nodded in response. He went to the door and peeped through the key hole to confirm.
“Thank you very much,” he gestured with a handshake to me.
“Were they after you?” I ignored the handshake.
“Yes,” he replied.
“Why?” Ijeoma asked.
“I don’t know. I was just coming from school and they began chasing me,” he said.
Ijeoma looked at me, I looked at her back. We knew he was lying.
“Do you have any weapon on you?” I asked. He nodded in denial.
“Raise your hands up!” I said and went to check him. He was truly clean, apart from his phone and wallet which I found.
“How come you have blood stains on you?” Ijeoma asked.
“I was cut on my way running,” he answered and showed us the wound. Ijeoma and I exchanged glances quickly.
She pulled me to a corner away from him.
“What do we do now? He’s bleeding.” She said.
“I don’t know. I don’t trust him.”
“I don’t trust him either, but he needs help. He’s dying.”
I faced back and looked at him, he was removing his shirt and squeezing it tight to the wound. He poured a bit of saliva to the wound and was rubbing it. He didn’t notice me watching.
“How do we help him?” I asked.
“We have some antibiotics inside and a first-aid kit. We’ll need to stitch up the wound,” She said.
“Okay, bring them over. I’ll stay and watch him.”
“Be careful,” she said as she left.
Ijeoma soon returned with the medicine and tools to be used. We poured some Medicated Spirit to the wound and stitched it up. Thereafter, we offered him food but he declined. He only took a cup of water.
He had his bath and changed into a pair of trousers and T-shirt I gave him. Ijeoma helped him wash his clothes and hanged them outside.
He refused to talk or say anything about himself till at night when he packed his clothes, thanked us and then left through the back door.
TO BE CONTINUED