LIFE OF PAINS
Madam Amina sat in her room and
pondered. Why Abel no wait for me? Ha
Abel, you disappoint me o. but dis boy, I
no un-derstand. Bimbo… Bimbo…ok o.
Collins’ house was at Ebrumede, just
after DSC roundabout, coming from
Effurun roundabout. Collins and his elder
brother occu-pied a three be-droom flat in
a posh house. His brother had a black
Venza which was parked behind his
white Ranger Rover Sport. Abel sat in the
sitting room with his small bag on the
floor by his side. He stared around the
richly furnished sitting room in awe. He
had never seen so much [email protected]
wealth in his life. See as Collins TV big
anyhow, see e chair, and see as e soft.
Na wa o. Collins? He thought to himself
as he stared around. Collins walked into
the sitting room.
Collins: “Come make I show you where
you go crash. Go change make we go
eat. E get one sp©t wey deir ban-ga soup
na dead.” Abel got up and followed him.
He led Abel into a room with a big be-d.
The room had a small TV, fridge, an air
conditioner and a wardrobe for clothes.
Abel’s mouth would not close. I never
sleep for be-d by myself before o. ehn…
money dey dis country o, he thought to
himself. He put his bag into the
wardrobe. Collins left him to get re-ady.
They drove to the restaurant, sat down
and made their order. Abel felt like a
bush boy from a bush village. His shi-t
was old and worn and it has not felt the
heat of a pressing iron since it was
bought. He ate his food quietly, listening
to the conversation between the
brothers. All they talked about was
money this, money that. Dollars that
someb©dy paid and someb©dy received,
land, cars, houses…these guys only
spoke about money. Na wa o! Na G dese
boys dey do? Abi dem dey work for
offshore? He thought to himself.
After eating, they paid, got into their cars
and drove to a friend’s place at
Ugbomro. They picked two guys there,
then drove down to Express Junction.
Collins dropped his friends at a h0tel
called The Cardinal’s. Then he drove off
with Abel. They drove down to Udu road,
where Collins st©pped in front of a
boutique. They got in and Collins picked
clothes and clothing accessories for Abel.
He told Abel to go change into some of
the clothes, he bought for him. He paid
and they got into the car and drove back
to the h0tel.
Along the way Collins tells Abel some
Collins: “Omo boy, d street no get joy o.”
Abel: “na you wan tell me. No b d street
me I dey?” Collins nodded his head
watching the road before he turned into
the express road.
Collins: “you know say my pale don
kpoof. D old man die near dat e
wheelbarrow wey e take dey carry wood
from wood market for Udu Bridge.” Abel
nodded his head.
Collins: “school we no fit go. You know
dat my sister, Cordelia na?” he asked, as
he drove to the front of the h0tel and
Abel: “yes, how she dey?”
Collins: “person wey nearly die because
of abortion wey e wan do. D pikin no
comot o. e don born am. We arrange one
store for Jigbale market for am make she
take dey press.”
Abel thought about Bimbo. God, make
she no go die o. which kain life… He
looked around the h0tel. The place was
full. Loud music was spilling out of
speakers, cars were everywhere and the
girls, God, the girls, and they were like
Collins: “make we sit down here small.”
He wound down the windows and
switched off the engine.
Collins: “anyhow sha, me and Blessing be
dey hustle for one h0tel near awi house.
Na dere we kon meet Brume, I know
weda you go still remember am. When
we dey primary 5, e dey primary 6.” Abel
shook his head, he didn’t remember him.
Collins: “well, naim na introduce us to d
level wey we dey run now. “ Abel sat up
expectantly. Collins smiled.
Collins: “na street we dey run, broda. We
dey hustle maye for d street, na so we
dey fit dey live for dis town o. job no dey
o. person no fit go school. Family don
forget person. What to do, ehn.” He
looked at Abel.
Abel sat back and thought about what
he just heard. He had heard about this
hustle; Yahoo Yahoo. Hmmn, I no kill
person. I no carry gun rob anyb©dy. Na
whitey money I go dey collect. But wait
Abel: “I hear say some guys dey use
science take dey collect money.”
Collins: “dat na true. E get guys wey dey
go chop small tin, so dat when dem tell
their client make e drop d raba, dem go
legit am immediately but me and
blessing no dey work like dat. To God
who made me, I never t©uçh juju for dis
mata. Na my head, na I take dey work am
Abel: “what of Koti? I hear sa dem dey
disturb wella o?” Collins laughed.
Collins: “for reals o omo boy. Na so Koti
dey arrest anyb©dy wey dem see for d
road o. anyhow sha, we get alignment
wit some chairmen sha. We dey reason
dem percentage every month, so dem
dey free us. No worry my HK ti-ght. We
got to hustle o Omo boy. Dis waffi ehn,
no sorry o. now no b©dy dey reason
your mata, make you collect your first
orgbor first, you go know say everyb©dy
get price for dis town.”
Abel sat quietly, watching two girls,
obviously prostitutes, sitting on a car
Collins: “so we-tin you talk? You dey
game?” Abel turned to look at Collins and
Abel; “I no get choice. I no get anyb©dy. I
no go school. I no sabi any work. I don
too sufa. Make I still enjoy small before
life go end.” Collins nodded and opened
the car door on his side.
Collins: “welcome to the family, brodaly.
Oya make we go press small liquor. Shey
you dey drink sha?” Abel stepped out
and closed the door on his side.
Abel: “once, once o.”
Collins: “Ok. We go find one shorty for
you, make you take relax dis night ehn?”
Collins asked, smiling.
Abel: “No! No….no woman. No bring any
girl near me o.” Abel replied vehemently.
Collins: “Guy chill, we-tin sup? You no like
woman?” Collins asked, looking at Abel
in surprise. Abel relaxed a little.
Abel: “Abeg no vex. I no want distraction
now. Na money I want, woman go come
Collins: “Mtschew…make we dey go
inside joor. Reverend father Abel…waka
joor.” They laughed and walked into the
Abel and Collins soon located Blessing,
Collins’ elder brother and two guys they
had picked up earlier. They were seated
around a two tables joined together.
Four girls had joined them. Abel looked
at the girls. See as dem fine. He thought
as his palm [email protected]£ sweaty and his heart
beat sped up.
A slim, dark complexioned girl caught his
eyes. She was so beautiful, it hurt to look
at her. He spied her from the corner of
his eyes as he took his seat by her side.
She smiled at him then turned to the girl
by her side. Abel sat back and looked
around the h0tel.
They were seated outside. Chairs and
tables were placed all over the place. A DJ
was spinning out great songs and soon
Abel was nodding his head to the music.
Abel was suddenly roused from his
Waiter: “what will you take?”
Abel: “Malt.” The beautiful girl by his side
turned to look at him in surprise. She
looked him all over, smiled and shook
her head. Collins had heard Abel’s order
and he frowned.
Collins: “guy bring one Andre and one
Hennessey come joor. No answer dat
one. Babe meet my friend from back in
the day, Abel. Abel, meet Preye, she’s a
whole lot of fun and she’s crazy as hell
too.” Collins said laughing. Preye smiled.
Abel: “Preye, dat na Ijaw name na?” He
said, trying to start a conversation.
Preye: “Yes, it is. Are you Izon?”
Abel: “no o. I be Urhobo o. Ijaw girls dey
fine.” He said, then he smiled and bent
Preye looked at the boy. He is tall and
slim. Not cute but looks like a ha-rd
worker. No education, palms have
callouses. Hmmm… This one don hustle
life tire. E look smart o. we-tin e dey do
wit dem Collins? Dem one spoil dis
innocent for ground so. E don tey I fv¢k
guy wey e mind still clean o. hmm. She
looked him up and down. Janet kicked
her leg from un-der the table. Her phone
beeped. She looked at the message, it
was from Janet.
Janet: “which one you dey look d boy
like say e dey smell $h!t?”
Preye: “babe d guy no dey fit speak
English o. where dem Collins for see dis
Janet: “Lol…you be winch o. but e be no
bad o. e tall and e b©dy slim, strong.”
Janet: “Na wa for you o. tall, slim guys =
long d!¢k. Digging de-ep”
Preye bur-st into laughter. Abel turned to
her in surprise. She shook her head
Preye: “sorry.” She said in between
laughter. She looked at Janet and opened
her palm, wi-de at her.
Preye: “Waka. Ashawo.” She mouthed
silently, giggling. Janet returned the
pla-yful curses back and they both
The waiter returned with the drinks and
plastic cu-ps. Preye opened the Andre and
poured it into Abel’s cu-p, then poured
Abel: “tank you.” he sipped it. E sweet o.
He drank some more. He turned to see
Preye looking at him, her eyes bright in
the dark. He smiled.
Preye: “I like fv¢k you.” Abel’s drink
sprayed out of hisl-ips as he choked on
his drink. The rest at the table bur-st into
Preye: “sorry. Come let’s get you cleaned
up.” she said, smiling. She got up and
Abel got up to follow her out.
Janet: “digging de-ep!” she shouted.
Preye laughed again and walked away
with Abel in tow.
Bimbo watched in disbelief as Abel
walked away with a beautiful girl in his
arms. Ehen… Abel run comot house,
come dey enjoy for here abi? Meanwhile
auntie dey fine am for everywhere. E
come and leave only me to be facing her
wahala abi? Issorite.
LIFE OF PAINS
Bimbo listened to her friend with half
attention. Her mind was on the scene
she had just witnessed. Abel…see him
fine cloth. Dey waka with dat fine gal. Na
lie o. she got up and excused herself. She
walked towards the direction she saw
Abel walk with the girl. She soon saw
them by the toilet. The girl was doing
something to Abel’s shi-t. Without
thinking, she walked straight to the girl
and pushed her away from Abel.
Bimbo: “what you dey do? You cannot
be tou-ching someb©dy husband like dat
and you, you are following me home this
night. you gif me belle na you run? you
lie.” She said, gr-abbing Abel by the arm.
Abel stared at Bimbo in surprise. we-tin
she dey do for here? He j£rked his arm
off Bimbo’s hands and turned to Preye. A
female cleaner pas-sed them with a
bucket and a mop. Preye was watching
him quietly. There was a different light in
her eyes now.
Abel: “She gi me mecin wey make me
sleep o.” he tried to explain.
Preye: “you are not as innocent as I
thought then.” She smiled sadly and
turned to walk away from the toilet.
Bimbo: “where you dey go, husband
snatcher!” she said, j£rking Preye back.
Preye stepped wrong and her shoe heel
broke off. The anger that she had kept
down inside her, poured out. She saw
red. She pushed Bimbo back with all her
strength. Bimbo sli-pped on the sli-ppery
toilet floor and hit her head on a
washbasin. She went limp and slide to
the floor. She j£rked for a few minutes
then went still. Abel stood there in shock
and confusion. Preye immediately took
to her heels.
Abel: “Bimbo…Bimbo!” Abel rushed to
Bimbo and tried helping her hold the
Abel: “make una come o! Help o! make
una come o!” he screamed.
The female cleaner rushed out from the
toilet she was cleaning, [email protected]£ in, saw the
blood all over the place and ran out
screaming, “He don kill am o! He don kill
am o!.” Abel sat with Bimbo and
watched life sl!pout of her sli-ppery
grasp. There was tears in her eyes, he
saw. She j£rked again as he screamed
for help. He raised his head to see people
rush in as Bimbo went limp on his arm.
He looked down at her, tears had flowed
to her ears on both sides. Her eyes
stared at him. She was dead.
Preye ran outside and called Janet. Janet
[email protected]£ out and Preye told her what
happened. Janet quic-kly went to Collins.
They whispered for a bit. Collins in anger,
Janet in determination. Finally Collins
relented and they all picked their things
and left the bar. Collins as he left, picked
the bag containing Abel’s newly bought
As they drove away in a convoy, police
vans drove inside the h0tel and
policemen jumped down with guns held
re-ady. They started herding people to
one side. The manager of the h0tel was
out. He tried explaining to a policeman.
The policeman gave him a [email protected] and told
him to lie down with the rest.
Preye watched from her rearview as the
police surrounded everywhere. Jesus!
What have I done? God! I nee-d to get out
of this country fast. Jesus. She picked her
phone and started dialing her father’s
Madam Amina was restless. Today had
not been a good day. She had found out
that Kabiru had been stealing from her.
Where did that fool, Abel disappear to?
he no fit wait for me to come before e
run? That fool, Kabiru, steal for her and
give it to one yeye girl abi? He will go
back to Lokoja. He is not serious. Where
dat girl? Where have she go now? This
children want to kill me before my time
abi? Useless things. Make she come
house come meet me….She bent down
to select onions that her customer just
brou-ght for her.
She worked for a while but her heart
was not in it. Something was wrong, she
could feel it. Something bad had
happened. Na so I feel d day my mama
die o. make I call baba weda him is fine.
She got up and walked into the kitchen,
picked her bag and brou-ght out her
phone. She had eight missed calls. She
didn’t recognize the number. She cleared
it and dialed her father’s number. Her
father was healthy and doing well.
Everyb©dy was fine at home. She ended
the call before he could start rambling.
She still felt weighed down with sadness.
She shrugged it off and went back to
Abel tried to explain to the policemen
but none of them cared to listen. Bimbo’s
esc-rt claimed that Bimbo had gone to
the toilet to ease herself. Abel said he
[email protected]£ with Collins and Blessing but they
could not be found. The cleaner claimed
to had seen Abel arguing with Bimbo
about pregnancy. Abel explained that he
had entered the toilet with Preye but she
too could not be found. He was cuffed
and thrown into a police van while
Bimbo’s corpse was placed in another
van and taken to a mortuary.
Abel sat inside the police van crying. He
begged them that he didn’t kill anyb©dy.
He tried to explain to the police seated
beside him in the van but the man
ignored him. They drove away after they
ransacked everyone in the h0tel. They
added some boys to Abel. These ones
were picked because they were
suspected to be yahoo boys. They drove
to Ovwain police station.
He was told by the policeman on duty to
drop the number of a next of kin. The
only number he knew was Madam
Amina’s number. The police called her
but she didn’t pick. He gave them her
address as he was taken into an empty
cell. He kept on crying that they should
ask Collins and Preye. He cried all throu-gh
the night as mosquitoes feasted on his
blood and fears feasted on his spirit.
Bimbo’s friend did not know where
Bimbo lived. He had met her at the
market. He had collected her number
when he saw at where she ground
pepper and tomatoes. This was their
first [email protected]£. All these he explained to the
police. He was allowed to go home after
spending hours answering police
Collins and blessing got home, picked
some clothes and important items.
Within minutes they were at a park,
where they booked a night bus headed
for Lagos from where they intended to
head for Ghana. They intended to be
there until the heat died down. Collins
was scared for Abel but he didn’t want
to end up in a cell too. So he had to save
his skin first. Hmmm… dat Janet na bad
person o. I wonder we-tin Preye see for
dat kind person? Na dem know sha. He
thought to himself as they waited for the
bus to fill up.
Preye and Janet drove to a h0tel and
lodged. Preye dialed her father’s number
but he was not picking. She went into
the bathroom and threw up there. When
she [email protected]£ out, Janet had tied two wra-ps
of weed and was about to light one up.
Janet: “babe come smoke small kpo. E go
clear your head.” She said handing over
a stick of weed to Preye.
Preye: “Janet I can’t do anything. My
whole b©dy’s shaking. God how did a
good day get so bad so quic-k?” She
bur-st into tears.
Janet walked over to her and held her,
then brou-ght her to the be-d to seat.
Janet: “Is your dad’s number going
now?” Preye shook her head, weeping
Janet smoked the weed quietly and
watched the weeping Preye throu-gh the
cloud of smoke that wra-pped her head
like an offering to old gods, dead gods.
This level don cast o. I gats bounce o. no
time for lakpa lakpa mata o. dis one papa
go come save e yansh, my papa don die
o. she smoked and thought. Someone
knocked on the door. Both of them
jumped up in fear.
Janet signaled Preye, who stood
trembling, to calm down. She walked
close to the door and spied throu-gh the
peephole. She smiled and opened the
door a little. It was one of the h0tel staff
with a bottle of whiskey, a bottle of coca
cola and ice. She took the items, thanked
the guy and shut the door.
Preye was on the be-d, her knees had
given out when she saw that it was a
waiter. She was sweating profusely. God
what do I do? She took the glas-s of
whiskey from Janet and downed it in
one gulp. She was still trembling. She
signaled for a refill. Janet obliged her.
She downed that one quic-kly then she
sat back and start smoking the weed.
Suddenly, her phone rang in the night. It
was her father.
Bright: “baby what is it? I was in a
meeting. Is there any problem?”
Preye:” daddy I killed someb©dy” she
bur-st into tears again as she narrated
the tale. Her father listened quietly.
Bright: “hang on let me make some calls.
I will call you back.” He said and ended
Preye got up from the be-d and poured
herself another glas-s of whiskey, then
she lit the weed, Janet had left for her.
Janet observing Preye had her nerve
back, relaxed and took off her clothes for
Preye’s phone rang again. It was her
Bright: “hello baby girl. No one is looking
for you as of now. One Abel has been
arrested as the culprit. What you will do
now is go to the airport at Osubi. I am
s£nding Benson to you. Is your pas-sport
Bright: “ok. What about Janet? Ask her if
she has her pas-sport with her?” Preye
turns to Janet, who after going throu-gh
her bag, confirmed that she has it.
Bright: “Benson will bring change of
clothes for you guys. Also he will give
you a credit card for another account I
will open for you in Dubai. Oya start
going. Call me when you get to the
Preye told Janet the plan and they both
quic-kly move out of the h0tel. They got
into Preye’s car and they sped off.
Along the express, just after PTI junction,
Preye’s phone rang. She picked it, it was
Collins. Collins explained that he is on his
way to Ghana, Preye laughed and told
him that she is headed to Dubai. They
wished each other the best of luck and
then Janet screamed.
Preye tried to control the wobbling
steering wheel as she ran into a keke
coming from her side. The Keke rode
into the bush on the side of the road
while Preye hit the road divider, flew off
the road and hit a street light.
There was pandemonium as people
rushed to rescue the accident victims.
Question: Will Abel be convicted for
Bimbo’s death? Will Preye survive the
Next episode drops later in day
Life of pains Episode 7 & 8
LIFE OF PAINS