SOLDIER ON GUARD

Tadashi has grown old searching for her purse containing a number of valuable items such as ATM card, spare keys and some thousands of naira. The last place her mind could trace as to where she had left it was at the dining table. Tadashi seems unable to fathom how rapid she had lost or misplaced things in the last few days. Just then, Raymond walks in. He lives next door to her and they are very good friends. She explains her confusion to him and he joins her in the endless search. ‘How are you that we’re still going to find your purse’, he asks after about ten minutes of rigorous searching’. Tadashi shrugs trying hard to control her already swaying emotion. She had always assumed that the fact that she’s staying in an Estate can make up for her security lapses. Raymond seizes this platform to reprimand her of how carefree she had always been. ‘Many times, I have had to draw your curtains and lock up your door for you whenever you’re out on an outing of some sort. As a lady, you know that you have to be like a soldier on guard at all times, you have to be sensitive and security conscious, when you don’t give a cold shoulder to such things then you can be said to have a mastery over what you’ve got but a lady who is carefree losses her possessions and right to guard them, she can’t even mentor her fellow gals to be sharp and sensitive because you can’t give what you don’t have, she basically loses her self-confidence.’ He points out.
Tadashi remains stare fixed and dumbfounded. She realizes how forgetful she has always been. Just last week, a clever rouge had stealthily entered into her house and made way with her stereo set. Ironically, she had failed to notice until six pm in the evening when she wanted to listen to the network news.
Raymond encourages her to report her missing ATM card to the bank as well as changing her house keys for security reasons. He also gives her some stipend to make up for missing cash. Tadashi thanks Raymond profusely. He had always been there for her even in her careless moment without requesting for a payback of some sort. He leaves her apartment and Tadashi continues with her normal routine. It’s Friday and she remembers a couple of friends who had invited her for weekend hangouts. She will have to spend Saturday catching fun with friends but she will do well to squeeze out time to correct her missing items. She had failed to take prompt action the last time her ATM card was stolen and the thief had not hesitated in draining her account, she quickly learns from her past mistake and she will not procrastinate this time.
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After what it seemed like forever, the weekend comes to an end. These moments are the most dreaded by Tadashi because her weekdays are always extremely busy. Tadashi takes a shower and dresses up for work. She puts her load in her Toyota Corolla car and is about to hop in it when she hears some loud sounds, it felt like music but it sounds very weird. She traces this music sound to a flat apartment opposite a kiosk within the neighborhood. She had spotted the guy who lives in this flat number of times as a strange and lonely fellow howbeit looking like a criminal, especially with the fact that he goes by the name – Scorpion. Confused, she drives off for work.
She arrives later in the day to still meet this strange sound. Hence, she wears a dark sunshade for identity sake hurries out again in order to inform the Estate police. This isn’t a time to be sluggish or dull at all. She must be aware of her environment and perform her duties as a good citizen of the country. Who can tell? This guy might know something ‘bout her missing items. Raymond had given her the vibes to be a vigilant soldier on her guard. She will not only be doing herself a good but everyone around her, she refuses to be vulnerable anymore. She comes back to her neighborhood with two police officers and they match down to the loner’s house. The officers knock on the door and a fair, tall and muscular guy in his early twenties opens the door looking very irritated and furious. ‘So, you wanna break my door hun?’ He asks eyeing the trio.
The officers show Scorpion a warrant to search his house. He stubbornly barricades the entrance, insisting that there’s no entry for them but the police officers shove him aside and they proceed. What they begin to discover is quite unbelievable: Dangerous weapons such as machetes, snipers and pistols as well as other demonic black powers for protection. They bang into his bedroom only to find a lifeless young girl between the age of ten and twelve in a pool of blood. She obviously wasn’t his first victim. Many times, he would rape his victims before sending them to the land of the silent ones but he’ll never forget to increase the volume of his stereo set to prevent their shrieks from being heard. This makes the officers fly off the handle and they quickly handcuff the criminal and whisk him into the waiting patrol vehicle.
This attracts a scene as Raymond and some other people come out of their various apartments to view what is going on. Raymond and a few others even gather up the courage to enter into Scorpion’s house. Raymond quickly points Tadashi’s attention to her stereo set beside his large plasma screen, including her purse laying on the bare rug. She screams in excitement and opens the purse to check if things are still intact but discovers it’s bare and empty. She and Raymond laugh heartily, Scorpion will eventually find most of her valuables useless for him as she had already made security measures to checkmate them. Some other people who had also experienced cases of fraud recover their items in Scorpion’s house. In the long run, most of what furnished Scorpion’s house were not truly his.
Everyone express their heartfelt appreciation to Tadashi for helping to punish the culprit. Thus, she also seizes this opportunity to sensitize her neighbors on the importance of always being alert and conscious of one’s environment, she tells them to always summon the courage to report any suspicious movement around them as good citizens and ambassadors of the country.
After everyone disperses, Tadashi discloses her intention to relocate to another location entirely so as to prevent Scorpion and his cohorts from reaching her for a revenge. Raymond allays her fears and assures her that the Estate will definitely eject the criminal from its environs. ‘That’s the spirit’ He salutes her courage as they stroll back home.

Aluko Deborah J.B

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