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  • POLICE STATION
  • Detective BajoWho killed them?
  • Slams his hand on the desk and leans forward.
  • Iya SadeAhhh! Not us, sir.
  • Detective BajoThen who did?
  • Iya Sade looks to her speechless, confounded husband, his fila lopsided.
  • Gloomy and slouched in his seat, Baba Sade doesn't see her.
  • Detective BajoHim?
  • Detective Bajo points a bony finger at Baba Sade.
  • Iya SadeNo o. Mi so be rara. I no tock laidat, sir.
  • Detective BajoSo who did?
  • Iya SadeI no know, sir.
  • Detective Bajo exhales loudly and stands upright.
  • Detective BajoDescribe your room to me.
  • Iya SadeWhich one?
  • Detective BajoYour bedroom. Describe it.
  • Iya SadeE be like bedroom, sir. There is bed and there is wardrobe.
  • Detective BajoWhat of TV? No TV?
  • Iya SadeWe no have that.
  • Detective BajoFan or air conditioner?
  • Iya SadeWe get fan.
  • Detective BajoAnd carpet?
  • Iya SadeThere is tiles.
  • Detective BajoGood.
  • Iya Sade's eyes squint. Her forehead creases.
  • Detective BajoOh. You're wondering why I asked all those questions?
  • She nods.
  • Detective BajoIt's because your cell won't have any of that.
  • Detective BajoJust wait until I throw you inside.
  • Iya SadeAhhh! Ejo sir. No be us that kill them.
  • Baba Sade looks up and starts pleading, rubbing his palms together.
  • Baba SadeNo be us, sir.
  • Sergeant ParfaAbeg shut up before my oga go vex.
  • Detective Bajo raises an eyebrow and gives Sergeant Parfa a stern look.
  • Sergeant ParfaHaha, no vex oga.
  • Detective Bajo returns his gaze to Iya Sade.
  • Detective BajoYou forget there are witnesses.
  • Detective BajoDid you not give ileya rice to that family?
  • Iya SadeWe share, sir.
  • Detective BajoSo, do you now see the connection?
  • Detective BajoYou give food to an entire family, next morning they turn up dead.
  • Iya SadeAhhh. Ta lo so be? Who talk it?
  • Baba Sade shakes his head aggressively in dismay.
  • Baba SadeNo be what happen, sir.
  • Detective BajoYou're still lying? Don't worry. You will soon start talking.
  • Detective BajoJust wait until my boys start to torture you.
  • Baba SadeEjo sir… Please sir. No be us.
  • Iya SadeTrue to God.
  • Iya Sade touches a finger to her tongue and holds it up to the ceiling.
  • Baba Sade drops down to the dusty station floor and lies prostrate.
  • Baba SadeI swear sir. With my papa grave.
  • Iya SadePity us, sir.
  • Sergeant ParfaYou want pity ehn?
  • Sergeant ParfaWhy you no pity the family wey you kill like fowl.
  • Detective BajoParfa!!!
  • Sergeant ParfaAh! Sorry oga.
  • Detective Bajo turns back to Iya Sade.
  • Detective BajoIf you want my pity, you know what to do.
  • Iya SadeOK sir. We go tock.
  • Baba Sade nods in compliance
  • Detective BajoGo on.
  • Detective Bajo taps his fingers impatiently on the table.
  • Iya SadeThat Friday of ileya, my husband say that make we share food.
  • Iya SadeBecause we use to share food every ileya, I no surprise.
  • Iya SadeSo I go market. I come back. I cook it.
  • Baba Sade grunts and nods in affirmation
  • Iya SadeI cook it very plenty.
  • Iya SadeWhen the food is ready, I start to share.
  • Iya SadeI call Taiye make she dey go give it to our neighbors.
  • Detective BajoWho is Taiye?
  • Baba SadeOur daughter.
  • Iya SadeI call Kehinde too. And Sade.
  • Iya SadeDem share it for all our neighbors.
  • Iya Sade begins to count off her fingers, beginning with the smallest one.
  • Iya SadeDem give to Amadi family.
  • Iya SadeDem give to Baba Jay-Jay family.
  • Iya SadeDem give to Mummy Sikira family.
  • Iya SadeDem give to Oga Uche family.
  • Iya SadeThen they now give to dem Akinlade family.
  • Detective BajoYou mean Taiye, Kehinde and Sade right?
  • Iya SadeYes. My children.
  • Detective Bajo brings out his notepad, licks his pencil and starts writing something
  • Detective BajoThey assisted you?
  • Iya SadeEh Y..Yes. They help me.
  • Detective BajoKehinde, is that a boy or girl?
  • Iya SadeNa boy.
  • Detective BajoAge of the twins.
  • Iya SadeThirteen.
  • Detective BajoAnd Sade?
  • Iya SadeTwenty-one.
  • Detective BajoOK. Carry on.
  • Iya SadeNa the same food that I give all the other family that I give Akinlade family.
  • Detective BajoBut you could have laced it with something.
  • Iya SadeEh? I no wear lace o, na ankara I wear.
  • Detective Bajo rolls his eyes in disbelief.
  • Detective BajoI mean… you could have slipped something in it.
  • Iya SadeNo oh. No sir. I no put anything.
  • Iya SadeNa for that kitchen I share everything.
  • Detective BajoYou cooked that plenty food inside your kitchen?
  • Iya Sade shakes her head vigorously
  • Iya SadeNo. I cook it for outside.
  • Iya SadeNa on top firewood. But when it have done, I carry it go inside house.
  • Detective Bajo's eyes widen. He leans forward as if he has just learned something new.
  • Detective BajoWhy didn't you just share it outside?
  • Iya SadeI no fit share food outside because of flies.
  • Iya SadeAnd because I no fit put the plates for sand.
  • Detective Bajo nods in agreement.
  • Detective BajoFair enough.
  • Iya SadeSo that is why I share it from my kitchen.
  • Iya SadeAnd na from there my children carry all the food dey go.
  • Detective BajoSo there was no time when you left the food unattended?
  • Iya Sade thinks for a moment then shakes her head.
  • Iya SadeNo. I dey with it throughout.
  • Detective Bajo purses his lips contemplatively, then mumbles.
  • Detective BajoWell, except for when your children distributed it.
  • Iya SadeYes… Ah. You say what?
  • Detective BajoDid you go with them as they distributed the food?
  • Iya SadeNo. I siddon for my kitchen. I still dey fry meat.
  • Iya SadeBut my children no fit do that type of thing.
  • Detective BajoYou trust them?
  • Baba SadeYes, we trust them.
  • Detective BajoWell, nevertheless, I'm going to bring them in for questioning.
  • Detective Bajo stands up and starts walking to the door, then he turns around.
  • Detective BajoAnd this time, I'll do it individually.
  • Detective BajoLet's see if your stories add up.
  • Sergeant Parfa rushes to open the door.
  • NEXT DAY
  • Detective BajoDo you know why you're here.
  • He fiddles with a lighter, sliding his thumb in one quick motion and producing fire.
  • SadeYes.
  • Detective BajoTell me. Why?
  • SadeBecause you want to ask me questions about my parents.
  • Detective BajoNo. It's because you've now also become a prime suspect in this case.
  • SadeWhaaaaaaat?
  • Sade's eyes widen with horror as she jerks back in her seat, causing it to creak.
  • Sergeant ParfaNo dey shout for here!
  • Detective BajoWatch your tone. You're not in your father's house.
  • Again, he fiddles with the lighter.
  • SadeHmmm... Sorry. But what do you mean prime suspect?
  • Detective BajoYou're a fine girl. And you look smart. I'm sure you know what it means.
  • SadeI didn't do anything. My parents didn't do anything.
  • SadeWe're not like that in my family.
  • Detective BajoI wish I could believe that.
  • Detective BajoThere's hard evidence of bad blood between your family and the deceased one.
  • SadeBut people quarrel all the time. Then they make up.
  • Detective BajoAnd some harbor the hate irrespective.
  • Sade shakes her head profusely.
  • SadeTrust me sir, we're not like that.
  • Detective Bajo grunts and flings open his palms indifferently.
  • Detective BajoIf you say so.
  • He retrieves a gold-colored pack of Benson & Hedges from his trouser pocket.
  • He pulls out a cigarette and sticks it between sunburned lips.
  • Then he ignites the lighter and holds it beneath the white end.
  • It takes. The end glows orange.
  • Detective Bajo takes a long drag and puffs out plumes.
  • SadeYou said I'm now a prime suspect. Why did you say that, sir?
  • Detective BajoThe real question is 'What did you do?'
  • Sade's face contorts in confusion.
  • SadeWhat did I do? How?
  • Detective BajoYoung lady, I think it's time you started talking.
  • Detective BajoDon't sit there and waste your time. We know!
  • Detective BajoWe've been told.
  • Silence.
  • The creaking from the ancient ceiling fan becomes audible.
  • SadeYou've been told what?
  • Detective BajoLet's not forget I'm the one asking the questions here.
  • Detective Bajo takes another drag from his cigarette and puffs.
  • Sade scrunches her nose as she tries not to choke.
  • Detective BajoWhat did you do to the food you helped your mother deliver to that family?
  • SadeI didn't do anything. Who said that?
  • Detective BajoYou know what, let's start with the dead girl.
  • Snaps his fingers repeatedly trying to recall her name.
  • SadeHauwa.
  • Detective BajoYes, Hauwa. What was your relationship with her?
  • Detective BajoWere you friends? Did the two of you agree on everything?
  • SadeOh. So that's what this is.
  • SadeSomeone told you about our fight?
  • Detective Bajo nods quickly and plays along.
  • Detective BajoYes. Yes.
  • Detective BajoThat fight. What was it about?
  • SadeIt was just a stupid argument. Nothing serious.
  • Detective BajoTell me about it. Let me determine that for myself.
  • Sade clears her throat reluctantly.
  • SadeI saw her naked pictures on my boyfriend's phone.
  • Sergeant ParfaChai!
  • Detective Bajo's eyes widen. His cigarette falls out of his mouth.
  • Detective BajoEh... How...
  • Sergeant ParfaLike all the breastisis were open fia fia.
  • Detective BajoShut up Parfa or I'll send you out.
  • Detective Bajo looks back at Sade.
  • Detective BajoHow did they get there?
  • SadeHe said she had been disturbing him.
  • Detective BajoWhat does that mean.
  • SadeShe liked him.
  • He bends down to pick up his cigarette and checks that it is clean.
  • Detective BajoInteresting.
  • Detective BajoDid he tell you this before or after you found the pictures?
  • SadeAfter.
  • Detective BajoAnd that pissed you off right?
  • She nods quietly.
  • He studies her for a minute, then scribbles something in his ever-present notepad.
  • Detective BajoOkay.
  • Sade realises her folly and speaks rapidly in her defense.
  • SadeIt pissed me off but I didn't kill her, or anybody else.
  • SadeAll I did was ask her about it and she got aggressive, so we fought.
  • Detective BajoSo you're saying she hit first?
  • SadeYes. She pushed me. When I retaliated, she pulled my braids.
  • Detective BajoHow convenient.
  • SadeSir?
  • Detective BajoShe's not here to defend herself so you can say anything.
  • Detective BajoIt doesn't matter anyway.
  • He drops the cigarette stub to the concrete floor, this time on purpose.
  • He raises his boot and crushes it underfoot.
  • Detective BajoNot that it matters, but when was this fight?
  • SadeLast month. But we resolved our problems.
  • SadeThat's why I did not refuse when my mother sent me there.
  • Detective BajoOr you just had other plans.
  • Sade raises her hand over her head in a circular motion, then snaps her thumb and forefinger.
  • SadeGod forbid. Tufiakwa.
  • Detective BajoYou see how I'm being nice? The next time any of you see me, it will be different.
  • Detective BajoYou will join your parents in the cell.
  • Detective BajoI will give three of you time to decide whether you want to confess or not.
  • Detective BajoBy tomorrow, if you're still not talking, we will torture the truth out of you.
  • Detective BajoCan you see that pressing Iron over there? Can you see that plier?
  • Detective BajoTomorrow you people will know why they're here.
  • Detective BajoSergeant Parfa, take her away.
  • EVENING
  • Baba SadeBut, Sade, o sure pe... You sure that you no do anything to the food.
  • She turns sharply to face him, shakes her head disappointedly and stays mute.
  • Iya SadeYou know pe we trust you. But situation ti a wa bayi, we need to ask. Shogbo? Ma binu my dear. Just answer.
  • The cell gate rattles and they turn to see Sergeant Parfa with his beret in his hand.
  • His head is clean shaven with one or two prominent veins visible on it.
  • Sergeant ParfaSo you people are still gisting?
  • Sergeant ParfaUna still gather unaself dey yarn tales by moonlight.
  • Sergeant ParfaIt's like una no know the kain soup wey una don enter so.
  • Iya Sade shakes her two index fingers repeatedly.
  • Iya SadeRara. We no gist o.
  • Sergeant ParfaUna kill four people and una still get mind to gist.
  • Sergeant ParfaWait till tomorrow. After my oga pull all una teeth, I go see how una go gist.
  • Baba SadeAhhh. No be gist sir. We just dey…
  • Sergeant ParfaAs you see my oga so, e dey crack the most hardened criminals, so una too small…
  • Sergeant ParfaYou see those una fingernails, e go uproot them one by one.
  • Sergeant ParfaThat una body, e go iron am until e smooth pass ruler.
  • The parents go on their knees rubbing their palms together.
  • Sade remains seated, her expression defiant and nonchalant.
  • Sergeant ParfaShebi you, you no dey fear abi.
  • She ignores him, infuriating him further.
  • Sergeant ParfaNo worry. Na you we will start with. Shebi you stubborn.
  • Sergeant ParfaMake una ask her well, that girl be like criminal. Maybe na she do am.
  • He releases his grip on the gates and leaves, balancing his beret on his head as he disappears.
  • NEXT AFTERNOON
  • Detective BajoUnlock it.
  • Lock clangs as Sergeant Parfa fumbles with the cell door.
  • Finally, it clicks open.
  • Detective BajoGet up, three of you.
  • Iya SadePlease sir. Please sir. We no do anything.
  • SadeI swear sir, it's not us.
  • Detective Bajo cracks a smile.
  • The smile is hideous, almost scary.
  • Detective BajoI know.
  • Father, mother and daughter are dumbfounded. They stare at him mutely.
  • Detective BajoFollow me. Time to go home.
  • Iya SadeSir?
  • Detective BajoWe just received the autopsy.
  • Detective BajoThey died from fume inhalation.
  • Iya SadeFumuu kini? Kilon je be?
  • Baba SadeBawo?
  • SadeHow?
  • Detective BajoIt was raining outside so they moved their Tiger generator into the corridor.
  • Detective BajoThe fumes are very deadly. That's what killed four of them.
  • THE END

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