Guys, here is episod one of Squadi: The Originals. Catch up on the teaser here if you haven’t read yet.
“Everyone is capable of anything when pushed to the wall, everyone…”
As a young man growing up on the streets of Mushin he had learnt to hustle his way through life. One of the most popular mantras in his hood had been, ‘Hustle till you die’ and because he was born in a large family where there was barely enough money to feed two people, he had taken that mantra extremely serious.
At the beginning, he’d tried school but somewhere between his father’s lack of belief in him (and any other child of his) and his refusal to pay a kobo for fees, he had eventually dropped out of school and tried his hands on basically everything he could to make money.
His late best friend, Mufutau, a popular guy on the streets of Mushin who later became one of the most dreaded Robbers in Lagos had always told him, “Omo, Alabi Yellow, tise o ba peni a pe ise o. If correct work no come find you, you sef go find correct work. And if you no get correct work, make any work correct for you”.
It was the reason Mufu had become an Armed Robber after pretty much trying his hands on everything.
At first, he’d been a salesman in a company that barely paid and treated him poorly, then he had worked in a Restaurant as a Waiter but the salary had been too little, he could not even save his mother’s life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
At his mother’s funeral, he’d barely spoken to anyone and had taken with him a bottle of dry gin which he stared longingly at as if it was the only thing that mattered in the world.
Later that day, while they sat on the low fence of an abandoned property, surrounded by teenage boys who loudly played a game of football, he’d stared into thin air and told Yellow quietly, “Alabi Yellow, I go tief. I go tief so tey my name go dey enter paper pass Ramsey Noah. I go tief so tey Fabregas go dey share front of newspaper with me”
When he had turned to face Yellow, the latter had seen the desperate look in his eyes and worse, he’d seen something that made him shudder; the unwavering determination to be a dreaded criminal.
And even though he wanted to convince him otherwise, his mother who was lying six feet deep at the entrance of his family house some buildings away was a reminder to stay silent and so, all he had done was place a firm hand on his shoulder and squeeze it.
Mufu did become a dreaded robber in months; he raided highbrow areas in Lekki and Ikoyi and he did it perfectly well. His ability to appear and disappear with his loot had earned him the name Spirit and his obvious decision to rob only famous people had given him the moniker celebrity Robber.
“Yellow, I no say you no go join and I no wan make you join sef but I go dey give you when I get” he said one day as they smoked unadulterated weed in his backyard. He had just handed Yellow an envelope containing 50k, money Yellow needed to balance the payment of his recently acquired bus.
“Mufu, thanks bro” and for the first time since Mufu chose the path he’d chosen in the underworld, Yellow had mustered the courage to say, “Mufu, I dey fear for una”
Mufu had glanced at him, thrown his head back and laughed loudly, “Yellow…”
“Mufu, I no dey joke”
“If dem kill you nko? If Police…”
“The Police is my friend” he said meaningfully and drew in the weed in between his lean fingers, “we get wetin dem dey call ‘mutual understanding’ and e dey work wella”
“I dey fear. Your mama no go like dis kain tin wey you dey do sef, you sef sabi nau”
He’d shot him a stony glare, “Oga danu. No dey follow me talk rubbish abeg. You wey no steal no be from me wey dey steal you dey come collect money? Ehn? Your government wey dey steal nko? You go go tell dem make dem stop?”
He’d offered him the money and turned to leave when Mufu called him back, “You be my bro, Yellow. I no fit vex…” then he’d paused and after a long stretch of silence had added, “Ejike, me sef dey fear sometimes”
That had worried Yellow; not the fact that he admitted to fear but the fact that he called him his real name Ejike.
Mufu never did that, he only did when things got pretty serious.
And years later, Yellow wished he had pushed further that day and convinced him to stay home later that night.
Because the operation Mufu had embarked on had been his last.
Yellow tried to push the image of having to pick up his best friend’s bloodied body that day after he had been informed of his death.
Mufu had been chilling with friends in a hotel in Ikorodu when the Police had descended on them, he’d faced them, fighting bullet for bullet but somehow had ended up dead in the bushes where the battle had continued.
It was exactly two years before today.
Sober, Yellow pushed through the door to his one room apartment and saw his wife in pains on their bed.
“Itunnu, pele” he muttered, taking a seat near her. She was the only family he had in the world and the only family Mufu had before he passed. She was Mufu’s only sister.
“I am fine” she said, managing a smile.
His heart broke, he had not raised enough money for her Hospital bills because all his savings had gone to repairing his Bus and he’d been certain he’d get the money back before she went into labour but nobody had warned him that twins sometimes came early.
“How far?” she asked, he could see the war she was waging against the labour pains.
“I have half money” he said and retrieved the money in his pocket. “I will beg them at the Hospital maybe they will answer”
She smiled again, “Don’t worry, I am fine. Let us wait small for you to find more money”
He wanted to object but she knew that already and so continued to speak, “I went to Mufu’s grave today. The useless Babas there let grass grow around the grave. I was so angry that I began to remove it with my hands”
He fought the urge to cry as she continued to talk about her late brother, while obviously trying to get his mind off their problems.
He loved this woman more than his life and he was going to get money for her to have a safe birth. Because if she died, he was going to die too.
There was no living life without his best friend, his mother and his true love.
Martha was counting the money in her hands for the sixth time. Ekanem knew that because she had been counting too.
She also knew that there was no hurrying Martha up, the woman was going to be done when she was going to be done.
Martha looked up at her then, a frown on her smooth face, “Are you sure this is all?”
Ehen, I steal comot.
“Yes” Ekanem replied and then turned to leave.
“Who asked you to go?” Martha asked
“Sorry madam. My mother just called me to tell me my brother is in the Police station and there is nobody to bail him out” Ekanem answered
Martha looked puzzled, “And how is that my business?”
“You will leave this place after working hours and not any time earlier than that” she snapped, “Get out” she added and Ekanem left the office.
She knew there was no way she was getting away from Martha but she had tried because she really had to.
Her brother Emem had been arrested by the Police the day before because he had gone to steal a drug for their mother at the Pharmacy close to their house in Abule Egba.
Her mother had mentioned that it had taken cries and pleas from her and her Aunt before Emem had been let go off by the Pharmacist and the crowd that was hell bent on serving jungle justice like jollof rice at a big party.
And because Ekanem knew her baby brother was not like that, because she knew he had done what he did because of their mother’s health, she had been worried sick.
Absentmindedly, she grabbed a comb and dug into the hair of a customer waiting to be tended to. The cries of the customer jolted her out of her thoughts and she hurriedly muttered apologies.
“Just be easy abeg.” The customer said and added, “It’s okay, just be easy” when she apologized.
But she soon realized it was too late when Martha dashed out of her Office and dished her two slaps.
“Are you mad?” she’d yelled at the top of her voice at the same time, apologizing to the customer.
“It’s okay. She has apologized” the customer said but Martha was having none of it.
“Your salary for this month is off!” She yelled and Ekanem wished she knew why she threw the comb away and marched to the spot she kept her bag.
But she didn’t at the moment, she just knew she grabbed the bag, hissed at Martha and stormed out of the salon.
And the moment she got into the first Keke she saw, tears rolled down her cheeks because she just did not get why life dealt her so much blows sometimes.
Hakeem rolled his eyes impatiently as the girl whose head was buried between his legs sloppily licked him like he was her favorite brand of lollipop.
If only she’d get it over and done with so he could actually cum and the tension inside of him could be eased.
Willing to pass away time while she pleasured him or rather, thought she was pleasuring him, he grabbed his iPhone which was encrusted in pure gold with his name “’Keem” written on it and scrolled through stories on Snapchat.
That clearly didn’t sit well with his companion, “Hakeem I’m working hard here and you’re on Snapchat, what’s that?” she sulked
“If you were working well, I wouldn’t be on Snapchat dummy” he replied, his eyes still glued to his phone. He was currently watching his sister, Lexy’s Snap and he could see she was going on about her new pair of Yeezys and Rihanna’s newly designed sneakers for Puma.
The bitch just always got what she wanted, yet he never got one tenth of shit he wanted.
“You are too rude” the girl in his room was saying now
“Suck the fucking dick and shut the fuck up” he said and forced her mouth back to where it was. He paid her well for this and she was only allowed to use her mouth for one thing; sucking him.
She reluctantly continued and he closed Snap just as he saw a diamond wristwatch that was worth millions of naira on his little sister.
His father spent on her like she was the only thing that mattered in the world. And now was the time for him to put more pressure on that AJ guy. He wanted his money now more than ever.
He sent that one a message on Whatsapp
Then he threw the phone on the bed and pushed the girl’s head further.
“Be fast, bitch”.
He hated the fact that Hakeem had something on him but honestly, he had no idea how to get out of the situation.
He was going to help but first, he was going to find out how to help without ever getting caught.
Until then, that spoilt brat was going to have to wait a bit.
He concentrated fully on the App he was building on his computer; the App nobody could know existed or could know was created by him.
He’d created it solely for stalking his Ex-girlfriend’s phone months ago and her account statement when she swore to him the man she was always going to spend time with was her Uncle.
And since most Banks in Nigeria were not up to date with security, he’d easily hacked into her account and then her supposed Uncle’s account in hours.
However, that was a bank in Nigeria not a bank in America where Hakeem was expecting him to hack into and retrieved millions from.
He was not going to take chances with no American bank, he was going to weigh his options, look carefully and ensure that not even in a hundred years could he be linked to the biggest scam anyone had ever recorded in this side of the world.
He turned off his phone and slowly, went through the features on his App again.
No be only Quilox, he was going to be in his room until he had his safety ensured.
- Squadi: The Originals
-Tomilola Coco Adeyemo.