A quarter of my mind: The Glitter of False Gold (IX)

A Quarter of Mind: The Night Niko Turned (Part III)
Winifred hMensa

The sun waded through the single-windowed cell where Addison was held. He’d been awake at sunrise, staring through the window, absorbed in the streams of light that seeped through, uncertain what waited for him outside. Out there, he felt like a prisoner locked up in Luna’s madness. Here, in the safety of the cell, he relished the peace of his confinement; content to be away from her.

An officer ran his baton against the bars, startling him from his thoughts. He threw Addison’s clothes through the bars and minutes later, he was at the main desk picking up his personal items. The clock in the station read a quarter past six when Addison walked out a free man. Nothing was said about charges, a police statement or a date for trial. Only a warning against hitting women.

Outside, he waited for Kumi to pick him up. Perched under a big neem tree at the front of the station’s yard, he called Luna. It was a moment of daftness he would come to regret.

“Hello?” She answered, sounding vexed.

“Luna, why?”

“Why what?”

“Why are you so evil.”

“Me, evil? Wow.”

“Yes! In fact, you’re a witch! Jezebel.”

Luna laughed.

“Do you think you will get away with this? You will pay for this. I’ll make sure you pay with your life!” he said angrily.

“Wow, look at you Addison. Very ballsy after a few nights in jail.”

“Ehhn? Ok. Fine. Because I’ve been nice with you, you think I’m a fool, eh? Me, I’m a street boy o, so you better watch your…” Addison’s battery ran out before he could finish the sentence. It was just as well because he was suddenly dizzy. Having subsisted on a diet of unsoaked gari for 2 days, he was physically weak.

When Kumi picked him up, Addison needed help walking to the car.

“You be cool?” Kumi asked.

“Chalé, if I for be cool.”

“So the shoddi, what be een problem?”

“Bro, me, I no know. Be like she dey ment.”

“Hmm…before I forget, your mommee call me o. Den she make worried. She say she call you saa, she no dey get through.”

“O chaaalé. What you tell am?

“I tell am say you people go office retreat wey the reception for der no good,” Kumi answered.

“Thanks, bro.”

“What you do now? How you want handle things?”

“I don’t know. For now, make I go collect my tins from the office den lef. I no want see dem again.”

“The way she do Amerley, eh? Bro, unless God come inside.”

“You go see am?”

“Yeah. Chalé, e no good o. Heh! Dat chik, be witch!

“You say where you go find am. Be like your family people dey back, because…”

“Hmm, K. I beg, we lef the office ah, make we go see am”

“No p. But, we no go fit make dis Luna chick go free like dat o. She for pay.”

“My guy, I swear, she go pay!”

“I know some guys, so your mind dey aa, I fit organize dem give you,” Kumi offered.

“You make serious?”

“Joke no dey back.”

“Okay, I hear you. Make we catch house den see how we go do am.”

Addison’s stomach thundered.

“You dey hung, eh?” Kumi asked.

“Chalé, e be gari pɛ I chop the last 2 days. I make light.”

“We lef here ah, make we go chop some waakye.” Addison nodded and went quiet for the rest of the ride, lost in disconnected rags of thoughts. On their way, Kumi bought a bottle of coke from a street vendor.

“For energy,” he said with wide grin when he handed Addison the bottle.


Minutes later, they pulled up at the gate of the car rental company and parked directly under the large Wilberts Luxury Rentals signage. Addison’s stomach churned. Everything about the Wilberts rubbed him the wrong way. He looked out the window and sighed wearily.

“You be okay?” Kumi asked, cutting through his thoughts.

“Yeah,” Addison answered, uncertain that he was.


“Make we go inside eh,” he said opening the car door.

“Make you give me like 5 minutes. I for pick some quick move for your back here.

“O saa?” Addison asked.

“I beg, e be some kpa kpa kpa movement. I no go kyɛɛ. So make you start dey pack. I go join you soonest.”

“Okay. Make you no keep long. The way I make weak, I wan’ lef here quick.”

“I promise. Like 10 minutes.”

“You talk 5, now 10?”

“Okay, 5-10 minutes.” Kumi smiled.

“Hmm…okay.” Addison said and got out of the car.


Going through those gates felt very different from when he first walked in there about a month ago. A place that had once held his dreams was now a living nightmare.

Nodding to the security as he passed by, he walked into his office. Everything was as he left it 3 days ago, with the exception of the chair he’d picked out with Luna that had been delivered in his absence. He sat in it, wheeled himself around, his face contracting into a rueful smile. He was sorry he ever met Luna; sorry for believing she held the keys to his dreams.

Sitting behind his desk, he pulled out the drawers and threw everything – his business plan, a photo of himself and his mom and a few other items – into an empty box under the table. Just as he was clearing out the last drawer, he heard the scuffling of feet coming towards his office.

“Where he dey?” Cobra’s heavy voice boomed through the corridor.

Moments after, the stocky man barged in and marched straight to Addison, two others in tow armed with golf sticks.

Sensing danger, Addison tried to get up before Cobra got to him. Before he could stand up straight, Cobra’s right arm propelled from his side and landed an open palm on his face, “SLAP!” swiping his cheek left.

Addison staggered backwards, holding on to the armrests of the chair for support. But the chair didn’t offer much assistance. The wheels slid effortlessly on the tiled floor, until it collided with the minions who had found their way behind him. They held the chair in place as Cobra reached for Addison’s collar and stood him up. Then they rolled it out of the way until Addison was surrounded; sandwiched between them, a window to his right, desk on his left.

Cobra threw him against his lackeys and followed the slap with a left hook into Addison’s side, forcing him to the floor, coughing. Crunched over, trying to catch his breath, Cobra’s foot came up with speed towards his gut. Addison parried the kick with his right forearm, conducting the current of that power through his arm and shifting something in his elbow. He howled as pain shot hit every available nerve. He grabbed his elbow, exposing himself to the second kick which landed on his ribs. The guys behind pulled him up to his feet by his arms. With no sense of ground, Addison’s legs wobbled and he searched desperately for a place to plant them.

Cobra walked up to him,

“Heh! Look at me!” He said breathing into Addison’s face and pounding his chest with his fist, “I said look at me!” he repeated, shaking Addison aggressively. Addison’s eyes swirled in his head when he tried. The lights were starting to fade in his eyes and his neck dropped. Cobra nodded to his boys and they let go of him. Addison dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes and tried to crawl his way under the desk. Cobra’s firm hand grabbed him by the belt and pulled him out. Wanting a taste of the beatdown, the 2 guys picked up their golf sticks from the desk and continued the thrashing, hitting Addison all over.

Panting, they lifted him up again to face Cobra. Just then Kumi walked in.

Putting aside his demure stature that was no match for Cobra’s stout physique, he followed his instincts and darted towards them, tearing through Cobra’s grip on his semi-conscious brother. Displeased by the interception, Cobra pushed Kumi against the window.

Addison folded to the floor as one of the minions moved to hold Kumi back. Through watery eyes, Addison saw Cobra’s blurred figure kneel and shift his weight on his broken rib. Ignoring Addison’s agonizing howl, he said,

“If you call Luna again or I see you here or anywhere around the house or restaurant, you’re dead!” That was the last thing Addison remembered before he passed out.

To be continued…

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