Adeola stood at the ATM frozen. Her fingers were on the keyboard but they weren’t moving. She had felt a terrible pain in the back of her neck just as she stepped up to make her own withdrawal. She tried to move but her neck would not budge.
Slowly, another searing pain moved from the sole of her feet, up her spine, and settled in her head. She could feel it trying it force its way out of her eyes and she tried to suppress it. She tried to blink it away, but it wouldn’t go. Adeola cried out, but no sound left her mouth. Then her heart started racing.
The young man standing directly behind her bent sideways to look at her. Then he cracked a joke about her withdrawing all the money and not leaving anything for anyone else. Everyone laughed. I mean, the ones who were not squinting their eyes to block out the hot Lagos sun.
When he called out again, he tried so hard to sound cool, but it was evident he was becoming pissed. Not just him, everyone was becoming alarmed. He could tell from the look on their faces. “No be for ATM, this woman go see my craze”, he thought to himself. So he waited. But after seven more minutes, he could no longer take it. The young man called out to her again and asked her to hurry up. This time his voice was angry and sharp.
Adeola didn’t move. God knows she was trying, but it seemed as if she was glued. Her head was aching badly and the veins in her head were thumping. She cried out again; no sound.
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The young man got angry. He walked up to her and patted her. Like a robot, Adeola turned. When their eyes met, the young man got the scare of his life. Blood was trickling out of her eyes down her cheeks. For a moment, it seemed like he was in a movie; let’s name this one THE VAMPIRE IS OUT TO PLAY (the Asaba version). He made to walk away but stopped when he saw the tears. She blinked and then slumped.
See run! Oso! Onye obuna awa! In less than one minute, there was a traffic jam on the main road close by. People from the queue ran into road without warning and forced drivers to stop. Honk, honk, chaos everywhere.
Adeola handed her cellphone to the terrified young man, who surprisingly stayed back. In a nod, she asked him to read out the message she just received. He obeyed. It read: YOUR TIME IS UP. She heaved a sigh and closed her eyes.
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