My father always told me I had a discerning spirit. He said I always knew what was right and what was wrong but I would decide each time to go for what was wrong. I think this was probably what happened the day I decided to rob a department store.
Now it wasn’t just any department store, it belonged to the Enehs. The patriarch, Chief Eneh was the owner of the biggest chain of department stores in the state. He also happened to be the superior who had set me up as the fall guy for a shady deal I never even got to understand the details of.
After the setup, the police came to arrest the culprits. Most of the scandal was bribed into oblivion, but someone had to go down for it and somehow that person ended up being yours truly.
This was about four years ago though, but the stench of having the most televised sacking in all Nigeria was yet to wear off. Job interviews afterwards were just opportunities for people to get details from the man who tried to go against Eneh and Co.
You would think four years after I would have moved on and decided to do something more profitable with my life, but I have never been one to miss out on an opportunity. So when the opportunity for cold, sweet revenge came knocking; I deemed myself unqualified to turn it down.
You see my wife is ill. Terribly so. She has been managing kidney failure for months now, and it has now come to the point where she needs dialysis. I figured there was no better time to cash out on my investment of four years salary which I had to deposit with Chief Eneh, when he wrongfully terminated my employment.
Finding accomplices wasn’t hard. Rich people have a lot of enemies, but wicked rich people…their pool of enemies is as diverse as the complexions in India and so I didn’t have to look too far to find the ones I needed.
My team had Loko, the recon guy. He was known for having all the inside gist and he was to be on duty in the surveillance room the night of. Eche and Sam were the muscle, and I was the driver and the lookout.
After planning, the job was supposed to be simple. We had spent weeks watching the rhythm of things at the department store. Once every month, all the proceeds from the other branches of the stores were brought to the main branch for a night because Chief Eneh had this fetish about seeing his hard currency before it was sent to the bank and reduced to figures. The money was always sent to the banks, along with the profits from the main branch, the morning after he had spent at least five minutes looking at it and revelling in his genius. This information was very privileged. The only people who were aware what was offloaded once every month at the headquarter store were Chief Eneh, his P.A and two security men- Eche and Loko.
You see, loyalty is a rare quality to find and you could always count on men to be greedy. It was this universal truth that made it possible to sell the idea of a heist to Eche, Sam and Loko.
Loko informed us that he had a guy who could provide a bulletproof car and we would only need to pay him after the job was done. And just like that we had a bulletproof getaway car.
On the day of, the car arrived. It looked bulletproof enough in all its matte glory, not that we had enough time to test it out; so it came as a real shock when as we were weaving through the streets of Lagos trying to escape the police who were not up to three feet behind us, a bullet came right through the glass and then through Loko’s head. The next few minutes went by on hyper speed.
The police fired more shots and for the first time in my life I found myself navigating blindly, as I had to collapse the car seat almost all the way down to prevent getting hit. The back window was shattered and the car dragged the windscreen for a few kilometres before letting it go. Only Loko carried a real gun, I had managed to convince the other guys our plan was foolproof and there would be no need to harm anyone. I mean we were trying to be thieves not killers. Due to our gross lack of ammunition, Eche and Sam were eventually hit, but I refused to stop driving.
I had more of a will to live than the rest of them and I refused to lose both my job and the rest of my life to Chief Eneh. So with one hand on the steering wheel and the seat back upright, I found Loko’s gun, cocked it and began shooting sporadically while still driving.
I had gotten away. I really had. The sound of the sirens could only be heard in the distance when I got home and parked the remains of the car four blocks away. I was reaching for my keys with the box of cash in hand when I saw it. There was a note on the door, but the door was ajar. It read “Would you rather the sickness kill her or your foolishness? – Chief Eneh”
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