Kabir’s eyes watched his dusty feet in their brown leather shoes as he trekked home. He put his hands into his pockets and bent his shoulders muttering ever so slightly to himself. The date with Semira had been terrible he’d made every possible mistake; laughing too much, holding her hand at the wrong moment, then not doing so at the right time, talking too much about nothing and not enough about her. But worse thing, he had tried to kiss her and she had turned away. Not many English or Hausa words could describe his feelings at that point, and he was sure he did not know any. He had felt his ego deflate even lower at the prospect of replaying the event to Jubril or Francis. His eyes forced themselves close as he listened to the slap of feet on the ground, the rhythm cooled the heat in his head. The weather seemed to notice his gloom, because storm clouds started to gather just above his head it seemed, but Kabir could not be vexed any more nothing more could pain him any harder.

Turning the corner to his home, he decided to buy a sweet or something else to take his mind off the troubling issue or at least delay his inevitable talk of shame to his friends. He moved toward the erratic Hassan’s foul painted kiosk.

He got in through the stained wooden door which held stickers of a dead dictator, some verses of the holy Quran and faint writings which looked like a child’s scribbles. Kabir stopped and placed his hand on the counter and leaned in. Hassan was seated in a corner, bent over his mobile phone which he tapped at such intervals one could easily tell that he was playing a game on it. Kabir unconsciously felt his phone in his bosom pocket as he saw Hassan, this was his fourth phone in a year and half, he was determined not to lose it like the others. Hassan walked up to him. “Sanu de aiki, Hassan, abeg I wan buy… maybe tom-tom or any biscuit, which kind biscuit you get?” “Ah, Mista inspector Ja’amal Kabir, ina-kwna, ya-ya matan ka?” Kabir bit his teeth together, even as Hassan’s smile spread the entire breath of his narrow face. Hassan had spotted them walking together earlier in the morning, it was also no news

that Semira’s home was empty except for her uncle who was nonexistent during the day. Any young man who was invited into such a house even under the holiest of purposes would not be seen so in the eyes of others. The friendly entrepreneur patted him on the hand and passed him a jar full sweets and mints, Kabir took one look at them and decided he did not want candies or sweets, rock music would soothe him best. He took one out however. He unwrapped the toffee and bit it slowly as he looked around the bare store, stocked from ground to ceiling with convenience products. There was a small bench and a stool that held a half-eaten kolanut and a phone charger’s tail. His eyes found and rested on a red ribbon for girls’ hair that appeared as cheap as sand. He sighed.

Hassan watched the younger man’s face as it fell even lower. Kabir had never been a strong boy Hassan believed, always so soft and easily put down. It did not do him any favours too that his eyes were so feminine and hooded, his Fulani skin fair and spotless with long feline fingers that Hassan loved to watch with more than just an artist’s admiration. The shopkeeper swallowed as he saw Kabir do the same, and without knowing it he stretched out his hand and placed it atop Kabir’s. Kabir did not even flinch as he it was not new. Every day he got an item off Hassan, the other would always overtly show his camaraderie in queer ways. The bulb in the stall suddenly blinked and died, and the shop wore a much darker yet airy cloak, with Kabir casting a huge shadow into the wooden cave. The mix gave a serene quality to all around and Hassan thought it showed best on the younger man’s face. Kabir did not consider it, but the setting sun’s rays caught his face and hit eyes to make them appear translucent and his lashes longer than normal. His usually bland lips also took a shade of life and lusciousness to them. All this Hassan filed inside his mind.

“This useless NEPA, they’ve taken what you have to beg them for.” Kabir said in undisguised bitter Hausa. Hassan’s smile lessened but felt more as he said “They are our masters as we are their fools. But forget them, why have you come here with such a sad presence. Have you come to put me down as well?”

“Excuse my face, I am just bothered.” “Why, are you married yet?” “Kai! As if!...But why, I mean why would anybody be so wicked, it is not fair or funny I swear.” “What is it?” Hassan asked in softer voice. Kabir open his mouth to speak but a loud voice cut him in rapid Hausa “Hassan asalam aleku, for God sake would you pass me five Bensons in an empty, now?” Kabir turned and saw the big, black and brash Bashir in his oil stained work clothes leaning on leisurely one foot. Bashir looked at the picture of the shopkeeper and the boy, and felt his stomach turn. All of a sudden his cigarettes did not seem enough reason to approach the shop, and so he turned slowly and said over his shoulders “I shall return for them. Kabir your shoes are horrible, go home change them.” Bashir left in a hurried walk. This strange talk confused Kabir’s thoughts for a small time, but he continued with Hassan. “I swear it is that girl Semira that is just blowing me about like wind. Hassan, Hassan are you listening?” Hassan’s frown faded with Bashir’s departure and he gave Kabir’s hand a comforting squeeze. The boy smiled and continued, “She called me out, and even took me to the house when nobody was in it. So when I tried to touch her she said I should be careful, so I did not, but then later she asked me whether I did not like her, so I tried to…touch her again and this time she moved away from me. So I sat back and continued to watch the film, but then she just starting talking rubbish saying that I hate girls that is why I did not chase her. She said I did not want her so I was just there because she called me and that I did not care about her.” Kabir said, “I have never been so confused and embarrassed, so I told her that none ever angered me like she did, so I asked her to not to speak to me again.”

Hassan asked “What happened next?”

“I left her sitting on the chair.” A comfortable silence fell on them as they both escaped into their heads. In a small while Hassan pulled them back to earth, “She does not matter, women are as plenty as the sand on the ground, and men are like the feet which walk on them, no matter how many feet there are in place, somehow the is always space for one more. There will be more for you. But right now can you crossover and help me get this generator in the back started?”

Kabir thought nothing of the request and promptly entered the shop. The generator set was a small ‘Tiger’, virtually merged in with the wall, forcing the exhaust pipe through the thin wall to the outside. In doing so however, the ignition chain had to face a tight corner. Two hands where thus needed; one to lean the device free of the wall, and one to start it. Kabir shuffled through the small shop, brushing Hassan’s groin minimally as he did so, to get to the generator. He bent down from his waist to grab the generator’s ignition string, with his legs still stretched, as such his backside pushed out without effort. Hassan saw the younger man’s stance and immediately his heart started pounding, sounding like a galloping horse’s hooves. His shaking fingers reached into the air and landed gently on Kabir’s lower back without incident. Then he shifted closer to the boy and swiftly moved his hand round Kabir’s waist, pushing his groin against the other’s back.

Kabir froze for four seconds as he felt Hassan push against him. For some unknown reason, he did not panic but instead he calmly said “Hassan that is not the generator I think, that is my waist. Remove your hand.” This he said without anger in his voice but Hassan did not heed. He instead started to drag the boy’s trousers lower. Kabir shot up like startled lizard and removed his body from the shopkeepers hold. He backed so far into the corner hitting the generator as did so, hoping the wall would swallow him. He looked at his sides and saw no escape. “Hassan please stop this nonsense, I don’t like this joke. It is not funny.” “How do you know, you have never tried it before to know it is not funny or have you?”

“Hassan by Allah if you don’t leave me now I will shout with all my voice!” “Shout like the useless woman that continues to insult you, is that not all you are good for? You have no mind like a man, shout let them all hear you and see who will believe you. I did not force you here, you came yourself…” “..but that does not mean…” “So do not even think to shout unless you want to expose yourself as a dandaudu too.” “…” “But my lovely boy this is why I love you still, the way your mouth betrays your mind. Your weakness leaves me weak in the head, my blood pumps when I see that mouth of yours move as it does with lips red like pepper. Your frail fingers, your frail face, your frail heart, I want to know them, I will keep them for you I will not hurt them like the others have done I will…”

Suddenly came a thundering blow to Hassan’s head that had nothing to do with either member of the unfolding drama. Hassan eyes closed but a great light remained in his vision as he fell to the ground. The light was beating to the rhythm of a heart’s clap. Hassan opened his eyes not knowing what to expect but hoping that nothing would hit him that way again. The loud sound that hit him did not aid his pounding head and dizziness. “...By God if I catch you alone with this fool again I shall beat your feeble skull into itself! You thoughtless I hope you are happy now, if they hear about this Godless act don’t you know you will soil your name. How could you be so blind to his sinful language and act…” Bashir paused as he saw Hassan struggle to consciousness then struggle back to unconsciousness as he saw the bigger man. Bashir looked down at the shopkeeper and if was even possible his snarl sank deeper into his dark face. He took a step towards Hassan and the other scrambled back to Kabir’s former corner holding his temple with his quivering lips anticipating tears and pain. “Please Bash don’t touch me again, what is the meaning of this? Stop it right now or I will shout!” Hassan screamed. Bashir found this amusing so he said to Kabir “I thought you threatened him that way too, it seems he does not believe his own wisdom.” He again looked to the other man on the floor.

“I shall take care of this rotten infidel” he barked to Kabir, “Leave here and tell none about this lest you spoil your own name.”

Kabir dashed out the shop and into the street like released squirrel. Only after about a hundred meters he stopped. The fear in his heart was slowly replaced by anger in his stomach. He gripped his trembling fists tightly and bit his teeth as he replayed the encounter over and over in his head. You coward he thought within himself, you would have let that fool walk all over you like a hapless girl. Even Semira would have put up a stronger resistance than you did. Kabir slowly began to shake. He howled like a wounded animal and boxed the air with his fists. He remembered his father’s stories about their horse riding ancestors who watered entire plantations with the blood of their enemies, bringing religion and order to otherwise lost civilizations. How was he, heir to such a fierce clan be such a shaken leaf when cornered by a little weasel like Hassan? Where was his pride? His shame threatened to drown him even as he struggled not to let one tear worsen his already weakened spirit. "If only I had another chance to prove myself, that dog's faeces would pay!" he thought over and over in his mind It took him a second to realize that he was without his phone too. It must have fallen from me when I tripped over in the shop, he said to himself. Without another thought he turned back and walked to the shop, grim without doubt and hesitation, purposeful redemption hung from his very soul.

As he reached the kiosk, he saw the door closed but not shut. It had a only an outside husband-and-wife latch for padlocks and could not be shut from within. Whenever people saw the door closed, they assumed Hassan was at his prayers or had something vital going on, so they would not disturb him. Kabir did not here screams of agony at first, then… “Ah, Bash please don’t be so tough.” “Bash don’t hit me so hard.” “By God Bash please stop.”

Hassan’s whines and complaints were so subdued that Kabir almost thought they were groans, but he decided that the shop owner would not want to reveal his punishment from Bash for the entire neighbourhood by shouting too loudly. He climbed the steps and slowly opened the door, his heart racing and his face contorted into an anger mask, ready to look with disdain on the suffering Hassan. What he saw was unexpected to say the least. A half Unclad Bash grunted in pleasure as he said, “You wanted to taste the back didn’t you, you cheat!” Hassan only mumbled half a breath worth’s reply. Kabir looked for a second and closed the door quietly. He turned around and walked all the way back to Semira’s house, his mouth screaming in his head.



I walked slowly to the end of the street, measuring my feet’s length on the ground. The thick air was not foul smelling; for the first time. My timepiece read the air pollution as minimal, the best time to take a stroll or jog, maybe sit down in the park, under the protection of U.V. screens with my Chinelo and hold hands while she reads me her poetry. We could also watch the sun without coated glasses, observing the raw beauty that doctors claimed to be the cause of the recent epidemic in New Chechnya and the Amalgamated Republics. I decided that nature’s captivating appeal had all but fizzled out to me. This day felt like all the rest; dully without colour, drab, oily, recycled and sterilized. I got to the end

of the street passing absolutely nobody and turned left to the local bureau (Chinelo calls them ‘Barrow’ stations, since they just lift crap from one stage to another). My appointment was set for 17:45 hrs but I had waited in my home, or rather Chinelo’s home now for hours with nothing to do, so I decided to come in early. It was 16:20 at the moment.

The building came into sight. A very ridiculous structure that was designed that way to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis; even though there had been only documented occurrence one of either phenomenon in the country’s history, the prudent government had taken ‘adequate steps’ to minimize the threat posed by them. I found that my own steps had slightly quickened as I approached ground-zero, it helped my mood to note that I was not frightened by the place or filling the G-2 form. As I pushed the door open, cool high grade pure air washed over me. It would cost a fortune to keep an air-conditioner running on such premium products, but it’s the government’s money so who was I to say anything about how they spent it. I took seven steps to the reception desk, were a man in his mid or late forties sat. His face was lean and recently shaved, his nose just a little wide and pleasant but his glassed eyes seemed heavy, as if they had fought long and hard to keep awake, to keep vigilant in the face of daunting odds. His desk was neat and shiny with three framed pictures that held one of his family of four (one child short of the State’s recommended size), a picture of himself and the governor of the Eastern province, Haliru Amanfo, and the final frame held a picture of a white descending dove.

I read his name tag and addressed him, “Good day Mr Abule, I am here for the G-2 request, I applied two months ago and today is my expiry date.” He looked at my face for a small while and then took rather some time to put on his glasses. I felt at that time maybe I should have given the more traditional ‘ekaro’ that people had become accustomed to these days.

“Give me your name and allocated number.” I removed my right hand from my pocket where it rested and handed him a white printed slip. He took the paper and typed in details from there into the computer stylishly crafted into his desk. He then looked up to my face again, “You are alumni of the Otta Leadership Academy and the Nobel Training Institute?” he told me in perplexed voice. “Yes.” “You are also a trained biomechanics engineer?” “Yes.” “You worked in the Government and the United Nations research facilities?” “Yes.” “How old are you?” “28.” “How many languages do you speak?” “Five; Yoruba, Hausa, English, Mandarin and a little French.” His face looked full at that time. It seemed like he might burst into tears or plenty laughter at that moment, I could not be sure which. “Why then are you seeking a Transfer, you have what others would die to have, what others would kill to have in fact!” I tried to hide it, but my boredom could never be hidden. I had been asked this question plenty times since I decided to join the voluntary transfer program, but no answer I could offer would ever suffice the thirst for understanding from others. “I am simply tired Mr Abule. I don’t have the capacity to appreciate what you do. I am as dry as stockfish, there is not much under the harsh sun to keep me here.” He squeezed his lips together and looked even harder into my face. I started to think that maybe some answers were there. He lowered his eyes slowly as his hand showed a blue sheet printed iG-2 to me “I will have to ascertain your mental status since you are obviously

not of the common kind that applies for this processing. If you fall into the special category you will be denied the permit. Do you understand?” “Yes.” He stood up from his desk and came around, “Follow me to the test room.”

We walked into a small white room, where a table and two white chairs waited. It was so clean that I believed I could eat food kept on the bare ground. In the room was seated a lean man with a narrow face and skin as fair as the palm of a new born, reading a brown book titled “Three Shades of Dark” by Amanda Adichie, one of her later classics. Mr Abule said “This is the good doctor who will conduct your examination. I will be in the reception praying for your failure my friend.” “Thank you.” I said. Mr Abule handed over the paper to the fair man and walked out, while I stood still, expecting an invitation to sit. “Please sit.” His voice was bland and his eyes did not look for my face. “I see you chose to use the expediency transfer,” he said while I sat “you must understand that that entails a little more backgrounding than the usual process would.” He read into the paper and did not squeeze his face at any time. I saw that everything about this man was lean; his eyes, nose, mouth, maybe his heart was also lean. “I shall ask you a series of questions on general knowledge which a standard mind like yours ought to know.” “What happens if I failed?” I had to ask. “Well you must not worry about that, the assessment is not based on the correctness of the answer.” He answered without measure. “Well then I could answer perfectly and still fail?” “Yes and vice-versa.”

He pressed a hidden button built on the table, cleared his throat and told me he would begin.

“Tell me your name and linage.” “I was born Badmus Kehinde, from Ekiti state of the Southern Nigeria Republic in the year 2061 to Mr Olubayo Kehinde and Mrs Simi Kehinde both of blessed memory now. I have attained all academic qualifications necessary for service to the State and I have been granted A+ status by the public office. I am in a heterosexual common law relationship presently,” I felt my stomach twist “and I work with the Advanced Institute for Technological Research here in the commercial capital New Port Harcourt state.”ik He opened his mouth to speak when I said “I have also been drafted for the mental advancement project by the Ministry of Science and Advancement.” His opened mouth stayed open for a longer time than I expected. He said, “Thank you. Tell me what your informed religious stance is?” I started to make designs in my left hand with my right. “I was born a Methodist Christian” I said “but after my parents died in the space bus tragedy on that pilgrimage, I converted to Islam. However after the collapse of the Brotherhood I departed that too and I have remained a Statesman according to the final Soyinka postulates since then.” “So you are a Statesman?” he asked again. “Yes.” “Tell me as a Statesman, what you know of the evolution of the Southern Nigerian Republic since…” “Since the Federalist decree of 2019?” I said, he nodded and fell into his chair as his eyes relaxed and saw me for the first time. “Owing to the astronomical cost of government and the abysmal failure of the vision 2020 plan, President Emeka Chikwelu, who came into power in 2019 through a strong opposition coalition made up of mostly southern Nigerian political blocks, immediately convened a sovereign national conference whose outcome caused such wide spread dissension that it threatened to devolve into civil war but for the decree by the President adopting total federalism. This was to be known as the Federalist decree in later years.

Through this decree, Nigeria was basically split in two autonomous sister states; Northern and Southern Nigeria marshalled by two Prime Ministers, even though they both answered to a federal government which still owned the army. Due to the discovery of crude oil in the Northern State, financial dependence on the Southern State was not necessary though. Most of all this was not achieved till 2025 during Chikwelu’s second tenure, the decree merely gave the blueprint for them. After the…”

“Yes, yes you have studied the history extensively but could you please maintain a concise line of narration, keeping to only major factors of the evolution.” He said. “I will do so.” I replied “After the decree, the Southern Republic’s formative parliament, decided to adopt a pragmatic national school of thought, which meant a radical change to the government’s approach to educational, militaristic and economical policies. Through this process the military was aligned as a major contributor to science and technological advancement. It was a period of true modernisation even with a resurgence of our cultural identity. In 2042, professor Samuel Soyinka, a philosopher and writer wrote, or rather created the ‘Final Assessment’, a manual for a new principle of living based on a total symbiotic relationship between a citizen and the state. This manual stated that the basis of the State’s existence must be in constant flux to mirror the realities of her citizens and postulated that this could only be achieved if the State totally absorbs each and every of its members. This meant total and uncompromising assimilation, which in turn meant that the survival and progress of the State, would in turn assure the progress of her citizens. Even though many criticized the manual for advocating for more censure on free markets and capitalism, the manual was so successful that in seven years, the Prime Minister of Southern Nigeria, Bamidele Christopher gave in to pressure from the academia and it became recognized as a religion, or pseudo-religion anyway. This almost led to a split again within Southern Nigeria which had strong religious sects but it was settled after the PM agreed that it would not be forced on anyone to convert to this faith. However, ten years after its creation Statesmanship became the fastest growing faith in the world and was loosely described as the most original export from Africa.” I smiled to that. “For the last 40 years, Southern Nigeria witnessed national growth that was virtually proportional to the rise in Statesmen which led to the conclusion that though other faiths have saved souls, Statesmanship saved the soul of the state, even though the nation suffered the set back of the reverse coup that simply wiped out the PM’s political enemies and reinstated the PM after a brief incarceration. This is not to say Northern Nigeria did not

enjoy some monumental progress, but it was not directly germane to the evolution of the Statesmen.” My mood was brighter as I tasted these words I just said, turning them over and over in my mind.

My hand still made empty designs in the other. “Well,” he said, “you have satisfied my question as to whether you are a true Statesman. However you need to tell me what you personal life has been like in the last five years.” I stilled my mind, remembering I had expected this question. I started, “Six years ago my mother died when I had just been accepted into the leadership institute in Calabar. It did not bother me as it could have because I had my father and brother to rely on. Due to the strenuous academic program of the institute however, I could not keep in touch with my family as much as I wanted, so I had no way of knowing that my father had become depressed and hypertensive. After two years in the program I graduated winning the PM’s golden handshake only to realise that my father had sought a transfer and was scheduled to depart a month after. He died before the date, suffering a massive stroke. My brother had everything organised, rejecting the State’s help because he felt it was his Christian duty to do so. I was at that time posted to Northern Nigeria to work in the research program by for anti-gravity enhancement sponsored by the Federal Government. It was here that I met Chinelo, my common law partner. She is wholly Nigerian, paternally from the South and maternally from the North. Though her parents had separated while she was young she grew up with her mother, making her a Northerner with a Southern name. I was supposed to spend a year in the North but I opted to stay for another year just to be with her. It was while I was away that my brother died in a car crash. He was driving on land because he had vertigo and could not fly at almost any altitude, when his car developed a mechanical fault on his way to a supermarket. He was trying to prepare a meal for my visit.” I noticed I was sweating quite a lot by this time, probably due to the erratic way my heart was pumping. “I returned with Chinelo and organised the funeral myself. So you see, I had lost my entire family in four years. It was not long before Chinelo too started to get depressed. As I worked and progressed, so did her mental state regress. She works in the University of Nsukka right now and though both of us applied for mental advancement program, she was dropped.”

He waited to know if would add anymore. I did not so he said, “Mr Kehinde I will be blunt with you. The agency does not want you to take the transfer. You are too valuable to the polity, as a Statesman I am sure you know that you must put your State above every other consideration. This is your duty.” I looked on at him, not saying anything even to myself.

“Do you know who I am? You don’t do you? Well I am the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior. When your file landed on the transfer desk it was immediately speedshot to me. I have come here personally to administer this check and to determine what your discontent is. It is now clear to me that you must suffer some kind of guilt or blame, or worse still hatred towards the State for your tragic family history. However I must urge you not to lose hope at this point because you obviously have not thought this through. If you choose to transfer yourself at this time, what will become of your partner? You know she will continue to be held responsible and blamed for your decision, so this is what the State will do for you; you shall be granted a deal, or more commonly put, you will be given the Aladdin Lamp. Any wish you make will be granted by the State, as long as you chose not to take the transfer.” My body stopped moving for a while as I slowly let out a stream of air that I did not know had built up in me. “If I am to be given the lamp, do I not need to sign any form first?” I said to him. He smiled for the first time, a lean smile as he replied “The agreement is informal and only a few have the power to grant it. I am of that few” I nodded. “By the way, do you know what category you were appointed to upon graduating from the institute?” This I considered an unnecessary inquiry, obviously I was a scientist so the State would only recommend me in that field. “Science and Technology advancement.” I said. “Hmmm, well at least you were properly assigned; I have met three graduates who were improperly assigned. One who was certified from the medical sciences was assigned to the transport technology department and the other two who are core artists, found themselves in the lucrative field of energy refinement. I later found out that the first was a minister’s son, the second a fraud and the third the daughter of the Overseer of a prominent church.”

I could think of no earthly reason why I should know this. “My point is that mediocrity and unbalance, which are the prime destroyers of States, have started to permeate the system and we must do everything we can, every bloody thing we can think to do must be done to squash this erosion. This is why you must consider the greater picture and rescind on this request. I know I cannot stop you from carrying on with the Transfer illegally but a thoughtful and logical mind such as yourself must realize that the cons outweigh the pros here.”

I bent my head, even though my face was a frown of concentration my mind was clear and decided on the next step to take. I requested a pen and he gave me one. I took the sheet placed on the table and wrote a sequence of numbers that I had been writing in my palm for weeks now. ‘2001498-G19’ I pushed the paper to him. “Here is my one demand; you have with you a Transfer request file number.” He looked at the paper quickly, I continued “I have no doubt that it has been granted, I want it revoked.” His confusion showed on his face. “After it is revoked, I want that person who requested the Transfer, listed in the mental advancement program in the health field and I want you to personally make your way down here again to tell her that she is too special to the polity to be allowed the Transfer as you have so done for me.” He smiled. It was a narrow smile. “Chinelo I suppose.” “Yes.” “What is wrong with her?” “Depression and I fear she may be schizophrenic.” He stopped, with his mouth half open and narrowed his narrow eyes even further, then he asked, “Does this mean you did not want to take the Transfer, this was all a ploy?” “No sir. I do intend to take the Transfer if Chinelo cannot be helped. She is the only purpose I have right now. Science will progress without me; I am not indispensable. However, she

needs me if I lose the value of being needed there is nothing further to accomplish as a living being.” “If that is the case you realize that the advancement even though it might cure her will not take her to the next level of intellectual perception which is the aim of the State?” “I do.” And added, “I also believe that ’The aim of the State must at all times reflect the ambitions of its citizenry’. Soyinka’s Final Manual.” He looked at me for a while again then looked down to the table. He pressed another button which created a small buzz. We sat for fourteen seconds before Mr Abule entered once again, his eyes shiny behind their glasses. He looked from my bland face to the narrow man’s tight face. “Please show Mr Kehinde out, after that come back to help me process his special request.” Mr Abule’s face suddenly became like stone while I stood to follow him out. Abule said, “That means it has been granted?” “Soon, with your help it will be.” The doctor answered without mystery. At the door I turned back to the narrow fellow, “Good bye Mr Danladi.” Again the narrow smile came, “So you knew about me? Well all the more reason to grant your wish.” I shared his smile as I exited. The waiting area was still silent and chilly, but I could feel a lightness about it that was not there when I first entered. I was almost out the main door when Mr Abule stopped suddenly. He turned to me. I waited, not expecting but wondering. His smooth hand pushed a small pamphlet to my chest. I carefully picked it from him. When I looked up a breath later, he was passing me by. I walked out and began to read. ‘The Lies of the State Volume 3’ in bold print under a cross and a dove was the welcome I received. I flipped the page and continued. ‘The G-2 form is a nefarious and evil plot to provide disturbed and vacant souls for the pleasure of Lucifer. My brother, my sister PLEASE DO NOT BE MISLED, SUICIDE IS NOT SANCTIONED BY GOD ALMIGHTY. Even though the State calls it ‘Assisted Transfer’ all it is, is assisted suicide! Don’t fall...” I stuffed the note and walked home, once again mine and Chinelo’s home. I would trash it there.

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