He walked out of J429 with a renewed impetus. He had former to this time gone for his night time weed experience, it often made him buoyant, fearless and bold. This night was no exception. The wind howled in that dry eerie way of its, with the distant coughing sound of choking goats who probably had , had too much weed to smoke, sorry ahh mean eat. The porter snored loudly with her lungs engaging in a night long battle to release the co2 pent up inside her, with little passage space from her cold ridden nose.

“Okpa…Okpa!” A night tout screamed as he moved from room to room in a bid to perpetrate his sick joke, but he was not in the mood. He had, had one fight too many in his life and he was not ready to risk another, just not yet. His gaping holes in his dent, where his incisors should have been were all but souvenirs from his more vibrant days, “when men were men”. He moved swiftly in search of the missing symbol, his signal, his pride.

He stumbled upon the first symbol when the clock struck two, when more restless roosters were beginning to agitate in anticipation of the next mating exercise. A slow meditative music was playing in the background. It endeared him further. He stepped to the door that was visibly ajar, reflected by the silvery moon that was flaring above. He looked left, and then right. There lay his symbol, he could always tell where when and how to locate it . Today was looking promising already, there were days he didn’t have as much luck, when he would walk aimlessly till it was 4:00am without any luck.

He stepped into the room, officially entering danger zone. In his field of business it was impossible to succeed without the constant risks and of course entering danger zone. He did the routine check, the symbol were six in number “hmmm” he said with satisfaction. It was so exhilarating this untold good luck and it wasn’t even his birthday yet. He pondered thoughtfully whether it could be all part of some grand conspiracy to apprehend him. He laughed though inwardly, “ fools” he thought. “He had single handedly carried out his operation in every single hostel housed within Unec and he had managed to walk free they would never apprehend him, not in their current phase of operation”. Yes he thought, reassuring himself, ” Babalawo had prepared it well”. He said he had never failed before, he was free up to this moment he had no reason to doubt him. He reached for the first inmate, sorry I mean roommate and tapped him gently on the shoulder. He stirred irritably but didn’t wake. He did the same routine for all five of them that were around and then proceeded down to business immediately. He first unplugged the system charging on the table, the first black berry curve 4, the second a Bold 6, a Nokia lumia and a Samsung galaxy( this guys must all be dope ooo he thought, bet they won’t miss any of this). He had a black bag he often slung across his shoulder, the operation bag he called it and he carried it always even during the day, one in the business never could tell with certainty when or where the operation might go down. He made a step towards the door to cross check the vicinity a fifth time. Caution was the most valuable tool in the business after all. He had just made the trip and returned when he felt a presence behind him. He felt strongly that he was being watched, thus he turned around and met someone that looked curiously like he had an interest in the room. Never mind that most Ij guys were probably just busy bodies or squatters.

“What are you doing” he said and he was soon in difficulty how to wriggle out of this one. He had not yet committed any offence yet apart from trespass if that was applicable under a perhaps fictitious IJ code of conduct and rules. What he was finding difficult to explain was whether there was a criminal intent attached to his presence in a room that was obviously not his. I was looking for ONYENDU( the most popular guy in IJ in those days) but he is not here , I would just be on my way he said thoughtfully and he edged towards the door to make his escapeMescape. It was when the lanky boy didn’t budge that it dawned on him that this might not have been as easy as he thought. The boy soon like a hysterical mad man released from psychiatry imprisonment for many years, he called for attention and people soon gathered. His roommates, IJITES and bored busy bodies. He looked up to the accusatory glares that surrounded him, he clutched his talisman concealed inside his front pocket and awaited the questioning. He only hoped it wouldn’t be violent. He was confident. Babalawo had promised ,after all.


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