I stood in the toilet for over an hour, my legs shook like a volcano and I could hear voices coming from the hotel room. It was Ola’s turn, she was the only model left in the room, others had taken the defecating test and left. I heard her cry silently as the men spoke to her harshly.
“Where is the last one?” They asked.
“I don’t know…” She wailed.
“Do you think we are joking? You swallowed twenty kolanuts; how come there are only nineteen defecated? Other girls swallowed and defecated twenty kolanuts.” Bongo spoke harshly.
I peed in my pants the third time while my ears were glued to the door, my heart beat fast and my breath erupted in spurts.
“What should we do with her?” One of the men asked.
“Delete of course, we cannot afford to be found out and once she’s out, she’ll talk.” Said Bongo.
“Please…don’t harm me, I will not say a word…” Ola cried desperately.
I almost died, since I took the kolanuts one hour ago, I had not even defecated one, I was just urinating and sweating. Immediately, I sourced for a quick escape route but found none, the generator hummed loudly and everywhere was noisy. The toilet windows were too small and the burglary proof was separated by barely an inch apart. I was stuck.
“Take her away and waste her!” Was the Don’s command.
I almost fainted as I heard the girl cry and beg loudly, she made moaning noises as she was dragged from the room. I was the last girl left, the other girls had defecated all their kolanuts and had been given special appointment cards and even been taken photographs as one of the men held a camera.
“Please…no…” Ola continued to cry.
“Wait! Leave her there on the floor, let’s see what the other girl holds in store for us.” Said the Don.
They left her there on the floor, whimpering and making inaudible sounds.
I still stood in the toilet motionless and jerked when I heard the loud call.
“Model number sixteen!” Shouted one of the men.
I am model number sixteen, so I peeped in my pants again and closed my eyes in fear. The girl who cried in the room opened my eyes to the fact that these men were up to no good. I was even at a worse crossroad, nothing has left my anus since I swallowed the pill, I couldn’t let them kill me, I knew I would one day die but it won’t be today. Pushing the door open, I walk into the room.
“You are the last model standing.” Said one of the men.
Ola still cried as she stared at me with red rimmed eyes. One of the men was busy licking his fingers and counting a bundle of notes, the notes looked like foreign currency.
“Yes sir.” I replied in a firm voice, I had to prove to them that I could not be intimidated.
“It’s no news to you that if you do not meet up to our requirements, you will be sent to your forefathers.” Bongus said, giving me a pointed look.
“I hear am.” I reply.
“Aren’t you scared over your fate?”
“Me! Fate? Wetin una dey yan? Na modelling I come ooo, shio... no use fate scatter my brain.” I say.
“No try area gial for here ooo… we go just scatter that ya brain. Wia ya Kola?” Asked one of the men, walking to stand by my side.“Hmmm…you dey smell like piss…” The man said as he made an ugly face and held his nose.
I ignore him while my gaze refused to stray from the man with the money. One of the men asked me again.
“You no dey fear? Wia ya kola? See dis gial oo, her area runs go soon finish am for here.”
“I no be area gial… na werrreee… una dey see hia so.” I say suddenly changing my tone of voice and giving them a sterner look.
“The Don…see this gial oo…see as im mouth sharp like sugar cane, abeg give us order make we finish am for hia.” Said another man.
“You fit? Una no know wetin follow pesin commot for house!” I warn.
Most of them laugh, while others stare at me in disbelief. Seeing that I have caught their attention, I continue.
“I no from Lagos come… na proper village gial I be.”
“Wetin bring dat yaawa come na?” Asked Bongus.
“I come Lagos for mission…”
“Which kain mission?” They ask.
“Na blood carry me come.” I answer turning to stare each one in the eye, but truthfully my legs quaked in fear.
“Who send you?” They ask, some had fear in their voice.
“Na my mama wey dey fly for night!” I reply.
“Ya mama na witch?” One of the men asked me perplexed.
“Ofcourse! I suppose bring five men come for am, we wan use deir head do juju.” I say.
“Ah…” Shouted the men in alarm.
“Since I come, I never see orobo man wey be like una, infact una don make my work easy like chewing gum…” I say.
“Ah…the Don, na witch we recruit ooo…” Shouted Bongus in alarm, while turning to face his boss.
“Are you mad, what kind of witchcraft does she boast of?” The Don replied, rising from his chair.
“The Don, abeg you carry juju follow body so… dis gial wan finish us for here!” Said Bongus.
“I no need juju for this small gial. My juju dey house.” Said the Don, changing rapidly to pidgin.
"Wetin ya juju dey do for house?" One of the men asked the Don fearfully.
"You don see person wey dey carry juju waka before?" The Don asked in disgust.
“Don… I no fit ooo, dis gial fit kill us for here. E no better say we use the fourteen gials wey we catch so? Abeg make we kukuma leave dis one ooo… I get family, I no wan die.” Shouted Bongus, with eyes wide.
“She’s bluffing.” Spat the Don.
“Don, you no hear am? Na mission bring am come Lagos.” Said one of the men. They had all dropped their foreign accents and ploughed pidgin.
“Boys…” Called the Don in a stern voice.
“Sir!” The men all answered.
“What brought us here?”
The men looked at him with uncertainty and shrugged.
“The Don…this na life matter ooo… no be our plan be dis. We be wan use gials export cocaine, we no agree say we go use witch ooo.” Bongus continued.
“She is no witch ,that is what I can assure you of. Where is the passion guys? I don’t want to die a poor man! The nation is corrupt; the government doesn’t attend to our needs. We have decided to search for greener pastures and it all starts from here. Are we going to let this young girl change our plans? The cargo arrives in one week; two thousand, five hundred and fifty wraps of hard drugs will be enroute to Togo through these girls. This is the reason for the kolanut exercise, it is supposed to test the strength of their stomach, any girl that can swallow kolanuts comfortably can swallow coke. Once they cross the border by road, we start processing their papers to transport them to other countries with our merchandise. I have paid a huge sum of money for these goods, it will not help us to abandon this project just because of this girl.” The Don said.
I began to get unnerved, my plan was not working, but trusting in my sharp mind to do wonders, I suddenly switched to my native dialect and throwing in some pidgin to spice it up, I did a little trick of my own.
“Mama I never fail you before, I no go fail you lai lai… na dis men I be wan catch for you…. abeg no vex….they wan form sharp for sacrifice. Use dem Mamma…suck their blood, troway their mind for bush. When I shout MamaSenorita three times, appear for their front, carry dem go!” Pursing for a while to make sure my warning sank in, I inhaled and screamed; “MamaSenorita! MamaSenorita…”
They didn’t even wait for me to finish, the men shouted in fear and rushed to the door, each one taking to his heels and outracing the other in a helpless struggle. The man with the money flung the money away and fled for his life. The door was forced open and everyone including the Don himself was out through the door in minutes.
Ola who was still on the floor, looked up and stared at me in fear and apprehension.
“You no go run? Abi you wan see witch?” I asked.
The girl scrambled to her feet and raced out of the door in haste, I breathed a deep sigh of relief and kneeling down with my hands in the air, I silently mouthed my thanks, heavenward. I rose up and made to leave when I saw the heavy wad of notes in a helpless heap on the ground. I quickly make my way towards it, grab the heavy sum and dash out through the door! Saying to myself;
“Na shikere waka dey carry snail reach London; with Senorita, no slacking lai lai.”