The bullet whizzed past. It was so close she felt the heat. The target car was a distance away. They flew their best towards it, and shot back blindly trying their best to divert the attention of their assailants. It was not working. The darkness swallowed the shapes that approached them and the only clues they got were the fires at the mouth of the guns – their shots. There was no time to steady and aim. Suddenly the lights began to appear from a different direction.
“Hassan!” she shouted as her closest comrade fell to the ground. She bent to him and felt the heat again. She was in the air again firing back blindly. She cast a quick glance at the three men beside her. The fire from their muzzles showed their faces, grimly set. For a second she forgot the moment, the danger, and smiled. She was proud to be in their midst. Friends forever. She heard shouts of pain from the two different directions of the assailants and knew they had done some damage.
“Yes!” The opposing shots seemed to stop for a moment and they used the precious seconds to increase the distance and reach their vehicle. She quickly opened a door and jumped in. She started the car just as two of the others reached. She noted that Kunle had the bag with him as he took the front passenger seat beside her.
“Drive!” Kunle shouted anxiously.
“Ibun is a few seconds away!”
Ibun dived in through the rear door, some bullets accompanying. His instant lifeless body fell on Ida as the bullets tore through his entire frame.
“No!” Ida took a sharp look, felt deep sorrow, intense anger, and in that second jumped out shooting in the direction of the opposing fire.
But he was far past hearing in his raging charge towards the assailants.
She pushed the door open as Kunle’s leg jammed the accelerator from his side. The dust flew as the car sped forth at full throttle. She fell back to the seat. She struggled up, turned to look behind them and saw Ida’s body hit the ground. Tears filled her eyes as she turned to Kunle.
“We would have been killed too. Keep your mind on the road.” he said in a very tired voice.
She was mute with shock. The car sped on passing a tee junction. She felt a numb feeling all over. She could not believe that the people she had grown to love and cherish as friends for a long time could just fade away in the space of a few minutes. Lights appeared from behind.
“Shit!” Kunle shouted. “Drive faster!”
He got into the back seat and reloaded his gun, head down.
Pow! Pow! Pow! The three bullets shattered their rear glass. Kunle stuck his hand up and shot without aim. A loud shout of pain and some screeching assured him that his efforts had met with success. He raised his head:
“Yes!!” The shout was for the victory of conquering the assailants. It was short lived as he noticed another car coming in the distance.
“Damn! Drive faster!!”
She drove on oblivious of Kunle. The car behind seemed to stop or… Yeah. Some minutes later, Kunle heaved a sigh of relief as he turned his attention to the front. “We seemed to have lost them.”
Yes, they had lost them. She had seen Hassan falling to the ground. Hassan, the father of the recently born baby boy he had longed to have for years. Ibun fell unto Ida in blood. Ibun, whose mother kept calling him “My baby,” though he was twenty six years old. That sick mother in the village who would probably die of her ailment without the assistance of her two boys. There was the heroic Ida who would rather die with his brother in battle. He wondered what their mother would do. And Kunle…
She came back to as two shots found Kunle. She hit the brakes as he hit the back of her seat.
“Kunle!” She reflexively carried the gun and moved to the back seat shooting at the vehicle Kunle had earlier seen.
Pow!! Pow!! Pow!! Pow!!
She fired some shots just as the car came to the side of theirs and hit bull’s eye. She was hit in that instant too. Her breathing became hard, vision blurred. With her failing sight, she looked at the bag and wondered…
©Su’eddie Vershima Agema 2010