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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

'I fell in love with my brother's killer!' (2)

Ena, now fully awake, grabbed my hand, asking quickly:
"Those are gun shots! What's going on?"
"I don't know," I stated worriedly. I got up from the bed and moved towards the window. Through a gap in the curtain, I peeped outside, but it was too dark to see much.

Just then, my brother Brendan rushed into our room.
"It looks like robbers are on our street! Daddy said we should all come to his room," he stated urgently.
We all trooped out to the corridor linking the upstairs bedrooms. Standing there shivering like someone with fever was Tanni, our maid. Our Dad, who was standing by the door, motioned us inside. Everyone in the house, including our guests was already gathered in my parents' large bedroom.

Meanwhile, the gunshots had increased; there were also sounds of broken glass as the robbers tried to break into our house through the windows downstairs. My Dad was making frantic calls to the DPO of a police station close to the estate where we lived in Lagos, but it was not going through. He also tried some of our neighbours' lines.
They must have cut the iron bars on the windows for the next thing we knew, the robbers had stormed inside our house. After ransacking the rooms downstairs without seeing anyone, they made their way upstairs where the whole family had gathered. 

They kicked the door, which was locked, open and rushed in. There were five of them, all wearing balaclavas. They brandished some mean-looking guns which they waved around menacingly. The men shouted on us to lie down on the floor and place our hands above our heads. I was really scared and my hands shook as I obeyed their command. It was like a bad scene from a movie. I prayed fervently that they would not shoot us.

I cautiously raised my head to see what was happening and my eyes met those of one of the robbers standing at the other side of the room. 
He shouted at me to face the ground, threatening to shoot me if I didn't comply immediately. 
"Do you have a death wish?" he shouted at me, coming over to kick me on the leg. I faced down at once, my heart pounding erratically.

They ordered my father to bring out all the cash, jewelry and other valuables in the house 'and be fast about it or someone will get hurt,' one of them, who seemed to their leader, ordered.
My Dad brought out his suitcase, opened it and gave them all the money in it, a large bundle of Naira notes and some dollars.
"This is all the cash I have at home. Take it and leave us alone," he stated. Their leader grabbed the money, tossed it to the man next to him and said:

"Where's the jewelry? You are a rich man so Madam should have gold, diamonds and other expensive trinkets in the house." 
They collected all my Mum's jewels including some priceless coral beads heirloom she inherited from my grandmother which she was planning to hand over, some time in the future, to Ena as the oldest daughter.

Still not satisfied with all the loot they had collected so far, they still searched all of us for rings, chains and other ornaments.
One of them tried to unhook Ena's new necklace that my parents gifted her on her birthday, but she resisted, unwilling to give it up.

"Take your filthy hands off my sister!" Brendan shouted on the man that was clutching at Ena's necklace. He made to grab the man's hand and that was when it happened. The robber pushed him away and raising his gun, fired point blank at him. Brendan slumped, blood gushing from his chest. Till today, I can still hear my mother's scream, my sisters wails and the fear that gripped me at the sight of my blood soaked brother's body...

Watch out for the next episode of this story later tonight at 9 pm! (GMT)

Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.

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