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“Strangers have been living in our boys’ quarters for two years and no one knew about it… until now.” 

DAY OF ARRIVAL….

“Chief Okafor?” He asked the tall man standing next to his wife and kids.

“Yes, who are you?”

“Badmus,” He stretched out his hand to shake him, “the driver.”

“Ohh, it’s you.”

“Yes, sir-” Chief Okafor pushed the trolley towards the man’s open hand, ignoring his handshake. 

With that, Chief He Okafor and his family left for the parking lot, leaving the driver behind. 

The driver stared down at the trolley in disgust at the disrespect he just received. But he didn’t take it personal because he knew this was not going to last too long. Not long at all.

Soon, they left the Anambra International Airport as they all settled inside the car. As they drove home, everyone was sound asleep except for Madam Okafor and the driver. This made the driver unsettled and Madam Okafor could sense something was off.

“Badmus,” She stared at him through the rear-view mirror, “So, you’re the new driver?”

No.

“Ye- yes, ma.”

He stammered. Why did he stammer? Was it because of her American accent?

She nodded her head slowly, “And how long have you been a driver for?”

He called out the first number in his head, “10. 10 years.” 

She remained quiet for a second before adjusting her glasses on her nose. There was a little awkward silence before she spoke up again. 

“So uhm, Badmus. How are your wife and kids?” 

He glanced at her through the rear-view mirror. She stared straight back at him.

“They are good, ma.” The driver smiled nervously and looked away.

“Badmus.”

“Yes, ma?”

“You have no wife and kids.”

How-

“We never hire drivers with wife and kids.” She added.

The car came to a full stop, frantically waking everybody up.

“What happened?” Chief Okafor asked from the passenger seat.

Before Madam Okafor could say something, the driver slammed the accelerator, causing the car to move in a violent speed. He stepped on it harder, driving past 180 kilometers per hour.

“Slow down!” Madam Okafor shouted.

He refused. He had been busted. This was the only way out.

“Are you mad?! Slow down!” Chief Okafor shouted too.

The faster the car sped, the darker the driver’s eyes became. 

He stepped on the accelerator harder and harder, not letting a single soul stop him. He was almost there, almost where he needed to be.

“Badmus!”

Almost.

“Stop the car!” Madam Okafor shouted while holding onto her three children in the backseat.

Very very-

“Badmus!!!”

Close.

He turned the steering wheel into the wide forest next to the road and zoomed right into the middle of the forest, causing the Okafors to scream. Madam Okafor could no longer hold her children anymore as the car moved violently along the grass.

In less than a minute, the driver slammed the brake and the car came to a full violent stop.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” Chief Okafor shouted at him, “You dey craze, Badmus?! You dey craze ni?!”

The driver turned off the engine and rested his back on the driver’s seat.

“My name is not Badmus.” He confessed, breathing heavily.  “I am Josiah Umeh.”

Confusion spreads across the couple’s face as they stared at him.

“And yes sir,” The driver turned his head to the side to look at Chief Okafor, “I dey craze.”

*****

PRESENT DAY…

“Who the hell are you people?” Madam Okafor asked, pointing the knife in front of the woman dressed in her own clothes.

“My name is Uchenna Umeh. And my husband there,” The woman responded and nudged her head towards her husband, Josiah, lying on the floor, “he is Josiah Umeh. And… and we are the strangers in your home.”

Nne, shut up!” Josiah called out from the floor.

“No, you shut up!” She shouted back at him from the floor.

Suddenly, an argument ensued between Uchenna and Josiah Umeh. It began with Uchenna blaming Josiah for making them come to this house in the first place, for making them hide in the Okafors’ boys’ quarters for two years because they were running away from the streets. Their former neighbours had threatened to burn them alive because Josiah had killed their landlord for sleeping with and, consequently, killing their 2 year old daughter, Ada. 

It was one event that led to another.

Josiah could not bear the thought of being blamed for Ada’s death because he knew the landlord was a paedophile and he allowed him to sleep with their little daughter as a payment for their 3 years’ rent. 

But when Uchenna had brought the past up this very night in the Okafors bedroom, screaming and crying as she cursed him…

“It was you who killed Ada! It was your fault!” Uchenna screamed at her husband, “If you were not so stingy and poor and useless and stupid-”

“Watch out-”

… Josiah lost his mind.

Before Chief Okafor could finish warning Uchenna to watch out, it was too late.

Blood began spurring out of Uchenna’s mouth. 

Her eyes widened in shock as she stared at her husband holding the knife against her throat. He stared back at her bloodshot eyes as they were face to face with each other.

Josiah pushed the knife harder to her throat until she bled more and could no longer move again. 

“Sometimes learn to shut up, nne.” Josiah whispered coldly at his wife’s pale face before her body collapsed on the floor.

Silence filled the room. Everyone froze for a second. No one could utter a scream or make any audible sound. They were all in a phase of electrifying shock, before they finally regained their senses.

“Mama!” The Umeh twins screamed for their dead mother from the floor next to her. They were tied against the closet in between their mother and the gateman, and they began kicking and screaming from the floor.

The Okafors were still in shock at everything they just witnessed. Chief Okafor quickly whispered to his wife and kids to leave the room and run away.

As they rushed for the door, Josiah turned around and caught Chief Okafor’s eyes. Before they could reach for the door, he jumped right in front of the door and pointed the bloody knife in front of them.

“Nobody is leaving this room alive.” Josiah threatened them. “Nobody!”

He began swinging the knife around and began laughing like a mad man. They all scrambled away in fear, but Josiah kept jumping from corner to corner with the knife.

“Una never forget say I dey craze.” He laughed. 

Chief Okafor could no longer take his madness anymore, he pushed his family behind him and grabbed a pillow from the bed and rose it to slam Josiah’s head. 

But before it could reach Josiah’s head, Josiah stabbed his stomach with the knife. Chief Okafor fell backwards and groaned in pain at his bleeding stomach.

“Honey!” Madam Okafor ran towards his side but as she got closer, Josiah stabbed her back too, causing her to scream and fall next to her husband.

The stabbing lord was in action.

Chief and Madam Okafor moaned helplessly on the ground and looked up to their children standing in front of them in tears. But it was only Chima and Chike that stood in front of them. Where was Chidinma?

“Daddy?” Chidinma called out from the opposite corner of the room.

“Yes.” Josiah and Chief Okafor answered at the same time.

Both men glanced at each other in fury before they turned back to her and both said at the same time, “Come to daddy!”

She stared at the two men in confusion, trying to figure out which one was her real father. Was it the man in luxurious clothing holding the knife? Or was it the helpless man in tattered clothes on the floor? 

Who was the real Chief Okafor?

*****

DAY OF ARRIVAL….

“Where is Badmus?” Chief Okafor asked Josiah in the car after he had revealed his true identity, “Who are you? And how did you get inside my car?”

Josiah ignored him and came down from the car. Angrily, Chief Okafor got down from the car too and slammed the door, ready to beat up this impostor in the middle of the forest.

As Chief Okafor was about to throw a punch at Josiah, a hand came behind him and covered his nose with a red handkerchief. Chief Okafor struggled to fight but his eyes began to get dizzy as his body began to feel numb from the substance in the handkerchief. It didn’t take too long before he was passed out on the floor.

Josiah turned to the car to see Madam Okafor and her three children also passed out in the backseat. Josiah’s real twin sons, Peter and Paul, had blown the substance from their handkerchiefs into the backseat to cause Madam Okafor and her children to fall into deep sleep.

“Josiah, what do we do next?” Uchenna Umeh asked him while removing her hand away from Chief Okafor’s nose.

“We change.” He ordered.

Right in the middle of the forest, the Umehs swapped clothes with the Okafors in order to impersonate them outside this forest. 

The Mbeze Okafors were now dressed in the tattered clothes worn by the Umehs, while the Umehs were dressed in the Okafors’ luxurious clothes, adorning themselves with every piece of item the Okafors arrived Anambra with.

“I cannot see well with these glasses.” Uchenna complained to Josiah in the car while adjusting Madam Okafor’s medicated glasses on her face.

They had just finished changing their clothes and locking up the Okafors inside the long boot of the Sienna Car, leaving only Chidinma with them inside the car.

Chidinma was sleeping in between ejima (twins) in the backseat, while Uchenna and Josiah sat in front.

“Commot am. No dey stress yourself, nne.” Josiah responded. 

“Call me Madam Okafor.”

They looked at each other for a second and burst out laughing.

“And I, be Chief Mbeze Okafor!” Josiah slapped his chest proudly.

“Honey, no. No pidgin. Speak like an Mbeze Okafor.” 

“That one no concern me.” He hissed and started the engine. 

As they drove back to the Mbeze Okafor family home, Uchenna could not help but wonder,

“What are we going to do about Chidinma?” She asked, while glancing at the little girl in the backseat, “How are we going to convince her that we are her parents?”

“She’s a child. Children believe anything you tell them.”

“Let’s hope this one does not fall our hand.”

*****

PRESENT DAY…

“Daddy?” Chidinma called from the corner.

“Yes.” Josiah and Chief Okafor answered at the same time.

She stared at both of them before her eyes stopped at Josiah.

“Daddy, why are you holding a knife?”

“Chidinma, he is not your father!” Chief Okafor shouted while struggling to stand up, “Daddy is here. Come to daddy.”

He tried to reach for her, but she screamed and ran to Josiah’s side instead.

“My daddy does not wear ugly clothes.” She pouted.

“They’ve brainwashed her, honey.” Madam Okafor said to her husband.

“No, we did.”

Chief Okafor stared down at Josiah’s hand locked around Chidinma’s hand. He became more furious. He could not take their bullshit anymore.

“Look here! You will never inherit my clothes, my house, my name… and not especially my daughter!” Chief Okafor growled and dashed for Josiah.

But as he got to his front, Josiah yanked the knife to his throat. He stabbed Chief Okafor right on the spot.

“Honey!!!” Madam Okafor screamed but winced in pain on the floor.

Chidinma screamed and ran away from Josiah to meet her brothers. He surely wasn’t her father.

“Oga, abeg. No kill me. Na gateman wey I be, I no kill person.” Emeka the gateman begged Josiah, knowing that this man right here was very dangerous. 

Josiah laughed hysterically at his statement and bent over to squat in front of Emeka that was also tied down on the floor.

“You remember wetin I talk before?” Josiah asked him, pointing to the ground. “Inside this room.”

“’You dey craze?’” He quoted Josiah’s words from earlier.

Josiah chuckled and shook his head. He moved closer to his ear and whispered, “I say ‘Nobody is leaving this room alive’.”

With that, he stabbed the gateman’s chest multiple times, causing the other children to scream.

Josiah stood up, blood stains all over his face and clothes. He stared at everyone alive in the room. From an injured Madam Okafor to Chidinma to Chima to Chike to Peter and Paul. One by one, he debated what he was going to do to them next. No one was family anymore.

He wanted to begin this newfound life alone.

And he had only one thing to do.

******

Later that night, Josiah Umeh was sitting in the parlor, legs crossed with palm wine in one hand.

He sat there, watching Cocomelon on the wide flat screen TV in front of him. Chidinma’s favorite TV show.

It could have been Ada’s favorite show if she were alive.

As Josiah’s eyes were glued to the TV screen, tears formed around his eyeballs and began falling down like a waterfall as he watched JJ and his family sing Baby Shark.

He was alone. In this dark empty room.

And where was Madam Okafor and the five children?

Josiah turned his head to look outside the window. He stared at the bungalow building standing next to the parlor. 

The boys quarter.

The boys’ quarter was cold, dark and empty. No sign of life existed within the walls of the building.

The last sign of life that existed there was just behind the giant metal door. Six dead bodies locked inside after inhaling carbon monoxide that Josiah had exposed them to after locking them up inside.

The only one left alive in the Mbeze Okafor family home was the murderer himself, Josiah Umeh.

There was one question that came across his mind as he sat alone in that dark room,

 “Why am I hungry?”

His stomach did not growl neither did his throat feel dry. His hunger wasn’t physical, it was internal.

He did not feel satisfied after he had accomplished his one greedy desire; become Chief Mbeze Okafor.

He felt empty. He wanted more. But the more he wanted, the hungrier he became. Would he ever, for once, just once, be satisfied? Even after all the bloodshed and glory that stood in front of him…

“Oga, wetin you dey find?” A voice snapped Josiah back to reality. 

He blinked twice. Where was he?

He looked around to see himself standing outside the gate of the tall green 6-bedroom duplex that belong to the Mbeze Okafor family.

He turned to the owner of the voice, Emeka the gateman.

“You wan sew cloth for my oga?” Emeka asked again, while pointing at the sewing machine on top of Josiah’s shoulders. 

For a moment, a very short moment, Josiah had forgotten he was an itinerant tailor. 

With his fist clenched, Josiah stared at his machine and back at the tall building in front of him. 

Disappointment flooded his face but at the same time, he felt relieved that none of all the craziness that happened inside the Mbeze Okafor family home was real.

“No, sir.” Josiah shook his head and turned around to leave.

Emeka stared at him strangely for a second before retreating back into the house.

Josiah stopped walking and unclenched his fist. He looked down at the lost keys that he picked up from outside the Mbeze Okafor house gate. 

The keys that had the word ‘Boys Quarters’ boldly scribbled on the plastic key holder.

He dug the key inside his pockets before strolling back into the streets to continue his job.

And one question replayed at the back of his mind.

To break in or not to break into the Mbeze Okafor family house like he imagined? He shook his head. Maybe he won’t.

…. Or maybe he will.

—THE END—

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters, locations, organizations and incidents appearing in this article are fictitious. 

COMMENT below what kind of stories you would like to see on my blog. Romance? (don’t dare me on this one because it will end in tears) Juju Horror? Corruption? Secondary school? NYSC?

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2 Comments

  • Wendy
    Posted April 19, 2022 10:02 am 0Likes

    I’d love to see you write on corruption.

    • Husseina Jafiya
      Posted April 19, 2022 6:18 pm 0Likes

      Would look into that. Thanks for the recommendation.

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