My Worst Memory Of Maiduguri Pt. 2 by @VonDBeatz

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Hello, I am A-Maz. This story is a true life event of the passing away of three dear friends. This story is from @VonDBeatz perspective and depending on the response of this story we might incorporate the perspectives of other close friends. This story is to  be published on Saturdays but I shifted last Saturday’s edition to Monday, 23rd September because it is Shizzy’s birthday. Next week’s episode will also not be published on Saturday, but on Sunday 29th because that is the day Shizzy, Heych and D2 were murdered. May their gentle souls rest in peace. Also, stay tuned to 360nobs for when we their post-humous music is released. Read on and don’t forget to pray for Nigeria

Episode 1 can be found here

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A TRUE STORY

30 September, 2012. Maiduguri, Nigeria

I was shivering. I wasn’t feeling cold but I kept shivering. It was about 12: 20 am or so and my room seemed darker than usual. Snazzy’s call a few hours ago had sent chills running down my spine. Shizzy (Abdul), Heych (Halima), found covered in blood… I chuckled to myself. It seemed to me that Snazzy must have gotten high on something new, and I wasn’t finding it funny at all. I’d already spent the past one or two hours making phone calls, trying to put together a picture of what was happening, but all I’d gotten were vague answers and lots of speculation. I sighed to myself and adjusted my blanket. Strangely enough, I wasn’t scared, sad or even feeling any emotion at all. I just had a cold, grey emptiness slowly engulfing me, my mind thinking clearly and methodically going through all possible scenarios, weighing all my options, deciding what needed to be done. Looking back now, I think it was God, who held back the floodgates of emotions from overwhelming me that night for I needed to be strong for what lay ahead.

I picked up my phone and dialled D2’s (Yakubu) number. For one thing, he was the only person that I could trust to give me a true and detailed account of what was going on. D2 was blood, and one of the few people that held my confidence. We had a history together too and he was one of the artists ‘signed’ to I and Shizzy’s record label Sound Unit. His house was on the same street with Shizzy’s apartment in 202 and so I expected him to be abreast of whatever was going on in that area.

“The number you have dialled is unavailable at the moment, please try again later”.

I sighed to myself. I’d lost count of the number of times I’d dialled D2’s number, and I was getting frustrated with the automated message that kept playing each time. Where was D2 when I needed him? I scrolled through the contacts on my phone and dialled A-Maz’s number. He needed to know what was happening.

I closed my eyes and slowed down my breathing, trying to calm myself for the adrenaline in my bloodstream was making me really nervous. The wind was whistling eerily outside and I tried to imagine the scenery that had just been described to me by Snazzy. I had a duty to call Shizzy’s parents to let them know what was happening but I didn’t have the guts to. What was I going to tell them? Besides, I didn’t even believe that Shizzy and Heych were dead anyways and so…

The door of my room burst open as Shizzy and Heych rushed into my room in their usual jovial manner. Heych jumped on me and started tickling me until I was nearly out of breath.

“Guy, how far now? You don dey crash already?” Shizzy asked as he helped to drag Heych off me. She was giggling uncontrollably and she was obviously having a good time torturing me.

“Meeeeeen, where una dey since now? You know the kind rumours wey don dey fly around? I’ve been really worried O!’” I replied when I regained my breath. I felt like a heavy burden had just been lifted off my back. I’d never been happier to see Shizzy and Heych.

“Haba Dee. Stop looking so serious now! Wetin you hear like dis wey dey make you fear?” asked Heych looking puzzled.

“Boys just dey call me dey tell me some kind funny things o! Say una don fall for 202… you and Shizzy… covered in blood or something like that.”

Abdul chuckled in his usual self-confident manner,

“Guy, how you go ever believe say I don fal,l ehn? Abi no be me dey your front like dis? Abeg jor, on Xbox for us make we tap ‘Call-Of-Duty’ small jare…”

I smiled as I lazily stretched to turn on the game console. All was well after all…

The sound of distant gunshots jolted me awake. I sighed to myself and realized that I had just been dreaming. I was half awake and I was finding it difficult to differentiate my dreams from reality. Was I even dreaming at all?

The rest of my night was spent drifting in and out of sleep, each-time having a different dream about Shizzy and Heych… They all seemed so real! I finally got frustrated by the dreams and forced myself out of bed. I checked the time and it was already about 5:00am. Curfew was not going to be over until 6:00am but I couldn’t wait till then. I needed to get to the bottom of all the rumours once and for all and so I hurriedly cleaned up, put on some clothes and got ready to leave home. I silently snuck into my sister’s room and gently woke her up.

“Jay!” I whispered, “I’m going out and I’m not following you guys to church. I’m hearing some rumours that Abdul and Halima were killed in 202 and I need to go and find out what’s happening. Help me tell mum coz I don’t wanna wake her up!”

Julie was speechless. I didn’t wait for her to reply as I briskly walked out of her room, out of the house and into the darkness outside. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that I was going to have an awful day.

Walking has always been a way of making myself think and that morning was no different. What was I going to do? I’d already made up my mind that I was not going back home until I had found Shizzy and Heych, and put an end to the silly rumours going around. It still wasn’t 6:00 am yet and it was a risky business going out in Maiduguri during curfew hours. You would definitely be shot down by the JTF if you were found violating the curfew in place. I knew the risks but I could no longer sit at home and do nothing. I walked briskly towards Gate-4 while trying to formulate a rational plan in my mind. Heych’s brother, Umar was living in 303 and I knew that if anything had happened to Heych, he would be on top of the situation. I needed to see A-Maz first however before going over to Umar’s place. I needed a brother by my side and I knew that A-Maz would stand right by me.

I made it to A-Maz’s compound without being shot. He was already waiting for me and from his face; I could tell that he hadn’t slept too well either. It was a melancholic gathering, as we all sat down (I, A-Maz and Blaq) in silence. No one had the will to say anything. Words weren’t needed to express the grief and gloom in the atmosphere.

“Von, how do we confirm any of this now?” Blaq asked me.

“Meen, make curfew finish make we enter Umar side. I’ve been unable to get him since yesterday…” I said with a heavy sigh.

I was lost in my thoughts when A-Maz called me out so we could head out. It was time to find out the truth!

* * * * * *

We arrived at Umar’s house at some time after 6:00 am. A-Maz adjusted his parking while I quietly walked into the compound and headed towards Umar’s room. A few guys were hanging around door and it seemed strange that no one was talking to anyone.

“Where is Umar abeg?” I asked one of the guys hanging by the door. I got silence for an answer. I brushed past the guy and made my way into Umar’s room. The sight that greeted me was heart-rending and the worst of my fears were confirmed in an instant. Mama, Heych’s immediate younger sister was weeping uncontrollably on the floor. Some other guy was sitting at the other end of the room, a pained expression on his face. He was obviously at a loss of words to comfort Mama. Holding back my own tears, I rushed to her side and hugged her. I was also at a loss for words to console her too. It tore me inside to know that there was nothing I could do at that moment to spare her the grief that was definitely eating her up. The other guy in the room, who was Umar’s roommate, spoke up;

“Von-D, where’ve you been now?”

“Bro, na curfew hold me for inside school O! Where Umar enter now?” I asked.

“He just left like 10 minutes ago. He said he was going to look for you at home”

“Give me his number abeg”

I collected Umar’s number from him and dialled it. Umar confirmed to me that he had just entered the school campus and was heading towards my house. We set up a rendezvous and I reluctantly left Mama in the care of Umar’s roommate.

I met with Umar just outside the school main gate. His eyes were swollen and bloodshot, and it was obvious that he had had a long night. I shook his hand and gave him a bro hug. We stood in silence just staring at each other, neither of us having the will to speak up… I was praying a silent prayer, pleading with the Most High to wake me up, for I was trying hard to convince myself that it was just another nightmare.

“Von D, where is your friend now?”

Umar’s question took me aback. What in the world did he mean by where is my friend? He was obviously referring to Shizzy and my mind couldn’t comprehend what he was trying to imply. A faint glimmer of hope sprang in my heart.

“Wetin you mean by ‘where is my friend?’ I thought he was with Heych last night when…” I couldn’t bring myself to complete the sentence.

Umar’s expression was grim.

“He wasn’t with Heych last night o! We found Heych with one other guy last night covered in blood and we haven’t seen Shizzy since. People think the other guy is Shizzy but we actually don’t know who it is. Nobody was able to identify him.”

I was beginning to comprehend the complexity of the situation and I could see why he had rushed to my place first thing after curfew. If Shizzy had somehow managed to survive, I would have been the first person he would have gone to and so it made sense that Umar would come to me first. My heart began to race and despite the gloom around me, I felt a sudden warmth surge through my heart. So my wing-man wasn’t dead after all. Shizzy was the toughest guy I knew and I was sure that there was no way he would’ve gone down easily.

“I never hear from Shizzy o! I was thinking that he was the one with Heych last night” I said.

“Men!” Umar exclaimed.Things were really getting really complicated.

“I need to send Mama home. She’s too traumatized and I can’t let her stay here. She needs to be where she’ll be looked after.” Umar finally said.

Umar was right. We needed to make arrangements to take Mama home. I was still desperate to get the details of what had transpired the previous night but I was not willing to put Umar through the ordeal of recounting such a story to me at such a delicate time. Umar joined us in A-Maz’s car and we headed for his house to make arrangements for Mama’s departure.

“Last night was awful, man” Umar spoke up.

“What really happened bro? I tried to reach you last night but I apparently had a wrong number.”

“Some soldiers came to my house last night around like 9:00pm in the night to tell me that they had just found my sister dead. I nearly fainted” He sadly said.

I could see the sorrow in Umar’s eyes as he tried to fill me in.

“No one really knows what happened; I just know that some unidentified people murdered them. I spent the whole of last night getting Halie to the hospital and answering questions at the Police station. I am even supposed to report there this morning self.” he continued.

“And you said that no one knows where Shizzy is?” I needed to be sure.

“Yes bro. I really need you to help me look for him. I believe he’s the only one that can let us know what really happened.” I could see that Umar was also really hopeful.

“Ok, here’s what we’ll do. You take Mama home and then report to the police station. I’ll go into 202 and do everything I can to find Shizzy. Just make sure that you keep me informed on any developments on your side.” I said to Umar

“Aite bro… I’ll keep ya posted.”

I, A-Maz and Blaq dropped Umar at his house and then headed back for A-Maz’s place. A lot of questions were swirling through my mind. Who would want to kill Halima? Was Shizzy alive? If yes, then why hadn’t he looked for me? Were things so bad that he could not afford to contact me? Was he too injured to make it to my place last night? Was he hiding somewhere and if so, where could he be hiding? Why couldn’t he… I had a million questions running through my mind.

“Oh God please let him be alive…please Lord! Please, please, please…” was the silent prayer echoing in my heart. I tried to be rational. I needed to let Shizzy’s parents know what was happening. I needed to find D2 too, for he would have known what had transpired the previous night. I also needed to find I.B and Ayo, for they stayed in the same compound with Shizzy and it was Ayo who had originally discovered the corpses, according to Umar.

We got back to A-Maz’s place at probably around 7:00 am. The ride back home had been awfully silent as each one of us had been lost in his own thoughts, pleading with God for the safety of our dear friend. The fact that Shizzy was probably alive had lit a fire within me and I immediately set to work, making phone call after phone call, trying to piece together the events of the previous night. I finally had to make the most difficult phone call of my life.

“Hello, good morning daddy”, I greeted Shizzy’s dad.

I knew he had sensed something was wrong but he didn’t push me.

“Morning my son, how have you been?” came his reply at the other end of the line.

“Daddy we have a problem o!” My voice was really shaky. “Halima was murdered last night in Abdul’s house with one other boy but we don’t know who it is. We have been looking for Abdul since last night…”

 

King

King

King is a writer and guitarist. He is an opinionated, multi talented individual with love for music and everything it concerns

10 comments

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