Bisi is a powerful girl. No one needs to tell me to convince me. I stare in awe as she waltzes around the small group gathered in front of the village head’s palace. A meeting conveyed to fight with the villagers over the siege on Ade and his human death-knell.
My girl smiles, and pats people on the back, twenty years beyond her age.
Moni and I stand at a corner and observe. Ajao stands by me and explains the concentrated dialects spoken. The ruler is upset and his spies have informed him his son is in police custody.
Who did this? The old man asks over and over again?
The people tremble and I wonder why. They owe the old man no explanation. His son had oppressed the whole village long enough.
“What if no one speaks up,” I whisper to Ajao.
Ajao shrugs. “He will dismiss us, and we reconvene tomorrow. Every day till there is a confession.”
“Why is Bisi moving from people to people?” Moni says weakly.
I don’t blame her. We’ve been on our feet for almost an hour, the sun is up, and with the ordeal we all went through just the day before, I’m surprised she can stand this long.
“The chief believes she’s telling the people to speak up. Either threaten them or cajole.”
I look at my sweet Bisi. She does look like she’s appealing to people to confess.
The chief cries out. “I will forgive immediately, please disclose the police station my son is kept.”
I feel sorry for him. His voice trembles with fear and pain. What can I say? Even a bad son is better than no son. Obviously from his desperate appeal, it seems impossible to do anything with the powers they believe they wield. The girls have out-powered them. Must be a zonal headquarters Ade was taken to. Ibadan is a big city.
“The police in Ibadan no longer have him. He’s been taken to Lagos,” the chief’s voice rings out.
Ah, power pass power. How did these girls plan such a grand disgrace?
“Bisi must be enrolled into the police force. She’s good,” I whisper to Ajao.
The boy smiles. “Do you know what she’s doing now?”
I shrug. “Begging the villagers to own up?”
He chuckles. “Begging them not to own up. Chief will soon tire and go to sleep.”
I cover my mouth to curb a guffaw. Smart girl. I look at her again, and conclude she’s genius.
Almost an hour later, the chief dismisses everyone and we all troop back to our homes. Minutes after Moni and I arrive our quarters, Bisi comes with bowls of pounded yam and melon soup. The smell of the food alone has me salivating.
“Darling, you went home to pound? After all you went—we went through?”
She smiles. “My grandma pound and keep. She no follow us to the chief’s palace because she old.”
“Oh, so thoughtful of her.”
The food tastes great, if ever you eaten food prepared by an old woman. We dig in and only talk after the bowls are empty.
“Ah, that is the best food I’ve eaten in my life,” Moni says. “Now time to pack, rest and travel back tomorrow morning.”
“I don’t have your—”
“I have.” She winks at me. “Will you two excuse me, I want to change and sleep.”
I lead Bisi out. Mr. Akande rushes into his rooms and slams the door.
“What’s wrong with him?”
“Police will come for him too. He cannot hide again.” Bisi nods. “Wicked man. His wife ”
I take her hand and we walk into the night.
“I’m so proud of you, darling. How did you manage to pull this off?”
“Hmm, Abbey mi, it’s your sister. Moni start it. She plan everything.”
She laughs. “Yes. She begin make friends with everybody. Me I tell her our problem. That Ade is our problem.”
My head reels. No wonder Moni wants to return home. Her mission is accomplished in Abagboro. For me, it’s all good. Dangerously close but then, how else would one have caught the mean-spirited rogue, a curse on his own people. Power-drunk and feeling invincible, a prince who has no fears.
Deep within me I feel taller, and stronger, like I could conquer the world.
“Where is Ade now?”
Bisi shrugs. “Somewhere his police friends no dey.”
“Justice is served.” I laugh. “We must now proceed to polish your grammar, Bisi. How can you be married to an English teacher and speak like this?”
“Hmm, Abbey my love, marry? Give me five or six years. Let me become teacher too.”
“You said that properly. Is it a mistake?”
“Teacher? Is not a mistake.”
I pull her into my arms. It was after a long kiss I realize we’re standing in full view of Mr. Akande’s window. Dirty old man could have been watching.
“Let’s leave this place.”
We run in the direction of our hide out, laughing like little kids.
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