​​​As he walked down the hilly part to church, he thought of her. Sergio’s parents had left for church with their old little car about thirty minutes earlier; he was still asleep when they left. He thought of her; her name was Jane. He remembered how they had met; it was on his way back from school some months ago. He had spotted her within her peers.  He had pinched himself countless times for not noticing her all these while.

This was his first time in such a terrible situation; his relationship with Jane had lasted only five months before it happened. He was 17 and she was a year younger. From where he was, he could sight the church; its big bells hanging magnificently and being protected under a long structure. The area was a hilly one. He sighed and hissed almost simultaneously. Though he could see the church building, he knew he still had a long way to go.

​He continued in his thoughts; alas they would keep him company throughout the long journey. He remembered the moment she slapped him, it was on a Friday afternoon when classes had ended for the day and probably the week. He had reached out to hold her hands, to hug her and tell her how much he would miss her face; to tell her how much she looked like an angel; maybe Michael, Gabriel or Raphael. But his expectations didn’t go as planned. His phone rang, bringing him back to reality. He ignored the device vibrating in his pocket as he tried to concentrate on his daydreams. He found it hard to. He looked towards the church bell, YES! He was almost there. It would take another “going-up-a-hill and going-down-a-valley for him to arrive.” He went back to his daydreams. She had slapped him twice and on the second one, he held her hand to his face tightly; she wriggled in discomfort as she tried to break free. He could see pain, remorse, and a little sympathy in her eyes. he didn’t want to believe  she could ever do this, he felt she had been pushed to do this. “What have I done to deserve this Jane?” he had asked shamefully, feeling so embarrassed. There was a crowd of students already and the richer senior secondary school boys who had phones had began capturing the entertaining moment. The gossips had gotten a new topic for the weekend gist, the Artists had gotten a new picture scene to draw, the class clowns had all seen new roles to mimic. “My friends told me that you’re broke” she replied him in a calm tone amidst the chanting noise from the crowd. Jane had started regretting that hasty comment few minutes later. She was already looking stupid to herself.  “I need someone who can take care of me, not poor boys like you!” she flared up again feeling too confident in herself, this time she didn’t want to care if she was right or wrong. She was able to pull out her hands from his face where he held them firmly and she walked away.  

​He understood that she was being deceived by her friends. The words resounded harshly in his ears… “BROKE!...YOU ARE BROKE” he just wished he hadn’t asked her about it that moment. He sensed that it must have been one of his gifts which he had gotten her that must have embarrassed her and attracted mockery from her friends. He was brought back to reality again; His phone rang and vibrated in his pockets, the daydream had already changed his cheerful mood. He decided not to touch the phone neither would he know the caller. But on a second thought, he did.

​It was mum calling. Why would mum be calling though she was already in church? He asked himself. It was a matter of minutes before he would arrive the church. He picked up the phone but then, the gadget shut down almost immediately. The battery was low and he hadn’t even charged it before coming. He hissed again and hastened his footsteps. He found himself going back to his thought again. As she walked away, he bit his lips in dismay, she was right, he really had no money, he usually helped his dad on the farm every weekend and sometimes he would assist mum to sell in her little kiosk close to the house. Tears rolled down his eyes, he found himself begging her not to leave.”Jane please” he had said in a soft tone almost kneeling. “Don’t come back looking for me!” she said “it’s over!” He watched as she walked away, he watched as her friends hugged her in turns and hailed her. “You’re becoming a strong woman” said Billy one of her friends.

​The shaking of nearby bushes, followed by hastened footsteps brought Sergio back to reality. The young boy tried looking around to know what was happening, but it was too late. A hand covered his eyes followed by a scarf tied to his mouth almost immediately. He tried to break free, but his hands and legs had been firmly bound. He blacked out, after they made him inhale a certain substance.

​In the darkness, he could imagine mum crying, calling and shouting his name, he could also imagine his dad pacing about uncontrollably. The old man would be quiet and be praying for his safety by now. Sergio opened his eyes to the beautiful Morning; he had been unconscious for hours. He tried shouting for help, but the scarf tied over his mouth wouldn’t let him. Two hefty men stood in front of him. He tried to understand what was going on. The last he remembered that he was on his way to church and had been surprised he hadn’t arrived after so many minutes he tried moving his hands, it wasn’t possible; he noticed he was tied to a pole. He felt weak; Sergio groaned in discomfort, he was becoming scared; tears began rolling down his cheek, THIS MUST HAVE BEEN THE REASON MUM CALLED. MAYBE TO TELL ME TO GO BACK HOME THAT IT WASN’T SAFE OUT THERE. He thought.

​He looked around; he saw Fred and Sam, his neighbors who attended the same church with him. They had probably gone through the same route just like him and had ended up here. They had been blindfolded and tied to some other poles just like his. When Sergio saw that they were naked and also noticing the presence of a big pot and a cutlass, he began to understand what was happening. One of the hefty men finally came and put a cloth over his eyes. He felt hands unhooking his belt; in some minutes time he had no clothes on. He heard them discuss. “No baba, we should blow this one who has a big head, he would fetch us more gain” one of them said. Sergio knew they were referring to Fred, Fred had a big round head and he was always made to sit at a corner in the church because the size of his head had, on many occasions blocked people from seeing the preacher. He was yet to understand what they meant by the word BLOW, but while still imagining all these, he heard shouts from Fred. It looked like he was being stabbed. Soon the shouts stopped abruptly. Segio began panicking; he tried shouting amidst the scarf tied over his mouth. He was sweating heavily. He knew it was only God that could save him. The fact that he had been blinded folded again made him clueless to what next that could happen. He heard one of the men say “Baba, the meat is ready” he listened as they carried out the metal pot from where it lay to some distance close by.

“We shouldn’t blow this one with small legs, his legs are too small, it wouldn’t pay us much at all. Sergio knew he had small legs even Sam close by was chubby and there was no way they could be referring to Sam. Someone untied the scarf from his mouth, though he couldn’t still see, he felt a bit relived; he didn’t just know why, but he felt a little inner peace. He couldn’t just understand how his thoughts went back to her again, even during that tensed atmosphere. He had seen her walk away, she walked slowly with her friends and she seemed not to talk with any of them, he watched as they vanished out of sight. “Jane please come back” he said gently, before a slap landed on his face. It was one of the hefty men who had brought him back to reality. “You fool!” one of them said, they uncovered his blindfolded eyes deliberately for him to see the separated body of Fred inside the pot which had been brought close to him. He almost had a heart attack. “Call your mother’s phone number one of them said kicking him from behind. He screamed in pains.


As the phone rang and rang, he was surprised she didn’t pick up the call. The phone kept ringing. Sergio opened his eyes, he looked around, he discovered he was lying on the bed in his room and the phone hadn’t stopped ringing. He was a bit confused, he searched for the phone which was ringing, it was his. It had been vibrating under his pillow; it was mum calling from her room; He picked up the call.

“You’ve been sleeping for so long Sergio aren’t you coming to church with us?” she asked. “We’re almost late for service”

“Okay mum”. He put down the phone, he yawned and stretched, he smiled triumphantly. “Thank you lord” he muttered. Everything had been a dream.


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