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Thursday, 3 February 2011



  Jennifer flashed a smile at the security guys at the gate as they opened it for her.
“Madam Jenny, how U dey naa?” one of the guards asked.
“I dey fine Timi. This one wey U hide for inside your office sef, the sun no dey smile abi?”
“As in ehn?” the guard answered, as the two other guards inside the security room smiled. It was a two-story structure, with the main controls upstairs on the first floor. The other guards would probably be upstairs, she thought, staring at the glowing screens. Well, nothing like ‘too much security’ for the Secret Service. The guard Jennifer had been speaking to nodded at one of the other guards, who pressed a button, and the gate buzzed open.
“Thank you,” Jennifer said. “I’ll be back soon.”
Outside, she saw Ahmed. She smiled to herself. She knew what was coming.
Ahmed turned his head as he heard the gate open. He saw who it was, and smiled mischievously. “Aaah…Madam Jenny Jenny. How you dey?”
“Ahmed, I am fine oh. Isn’t the sun too hot for you?” Jennifer asked.
“I just felt like coming out here.” Ahmed got off the twenty-feet high, twelve-inch thick fence he’d been leaning on, and straightened his jacket. He slung his AK-47 across his shoulders and took off his sunglasses. He looked her up and down. “Kai, Madam Jenny, you fine oh!” he said, smiling.
Jennifer smiled. “Thank you.” And with a face which would make most models go green with envy, skin the colour of light chocolate, brown eyes that seemed to lighten or darken with her mood, and a full and shapely figure which she carried with ease on her five-feet nine-inch frame, she really was a beauty. Used to being the cynosure of all eyes wherever she went, she was actually easy-going, which was why most people liked her. But one thing she was most grateful for was her boss, who had never made a pass at her. She wasn’t sure how she would have dealt with that.
“I need to go and get some lunch, I’ll be back later.”
“Ah, no takeout today?” Ahmed asked.
“No Ahmed, I feel like eating something else. You know whether that bolé woman don comot?”
“Yes oh. And she get better plantain today, with plenty fish. I think you need to go now, before other customers just finish am there.”
“Okay. Thank you.” Jennifer walked off. Five minutes later, she was greeting the owner of the bolé stand.
“Aaah, Jenny, long time. How now? U just forget my roasted plantain abi?”
“Ah ah, Mama, no naa. You know it’s not like that. Na work no dey gree me chop again oh.”
“Okay oh. Wetin you want? The usual?”
“Yes ma.”
“No wahala. Just siddon for there, Chichi go bring am for you.”
“Okay.” Jennifer found a seat at a table beneath the canopy. At least her table was empty, and the canopy beneath the mango tree provided adequate shade. And nothing was better than natural breeze…
Five minutes later, she was washing her hands and digging into the hot roasted plantains and roasted fish tail, all covered in hot, peppery sauce.
And death watched her a few meters away.
Death had known her, a lifetime ago…

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