I’m over being under your spell
It keeps blinding me
Was too blind to see, yeah
I’m not the only one that you tell
That I’m the only one
– Zendaya (Butterflies)
It was a hectic day and it was her first time in Lagos.
Toriola stepped down from the cab she boarded at the
car park to the address James gave her. She doesn’t
have much stuffs to unload. Just a black luggage
filled with some of her clothes along with some
documents and a big blue polythene bag which
consists of a few pairs of her shoes.
After getting her stuffs down from the trunk of the car
she paid the driver the agreed pay.
‘Hello’ The driver of the cab called back as she had
her back turned in an attempt to carry her load.
‘You forgot your phone’ He said handing her a black
iphone which Tori was quite sure wasn’t hers but her
response was caught between coughing out the dust
left behind by the cab.
Her first time in Lagos has to be with a phone
belonging to God-knows-who in a God-knows-where
part of the city. That being one of the least worries
she has, Tori tried calling James once again
murmuring a silent prayer as she did.
Her heart had raced a mile when she tried calling his
number this evening and her call got disconnected
each time. It wasn’t like she knows anyone else here
so where the hell was she supposed to stay the night
considering the fact that it was already past her
With a frustrated sigh which followed the beep sound
she heard to signal a disconnected call, Toriola paced
in panic and restlessness. She had heard so much
about this place regarding serial killers, robbers and
serial rapists too.
She was freaking out thinking about all the terrible
things that could happen to her if she stayed another
minute on this lonely street. She noticed there wasn’t
even an insect passing through and the narrow road
was surrounded by tall trees, shrubs and grasses.
Anything could be lurking behind those tress. She
looked around checking if anyone was coming and
somehow she was glad no one was coming but at the
same time she was frightened she was alone.
It was like she was alone in the whole word and that
made her shiver in fear. She could feel goosebumps
form on her arms.
The number one thing she needs to do is flush
negative thoughts out of her mind. Still pacing, she
thought about seeing Richard again. It would be quite
nice. If she should recall vividly, it had been almost a
year since she last saw him
Then returning her pacing to the other side of the
road, she saw a shadow coming towards her. It was
the shadow of an hefty man with quite an height and
the strides he was taking was quite amazing. It was
as though it was thrice an average person’s stride.
Taking a few steps backwards, Tori dialed James
number but she got the beeping sound. Just when
she was trying his number once again, she felt a fat
palm on her shoulder and her eyes went wide with
fright. She closed her eyes almost immediately.
‘Please don’t kill me… I have no money but you can
take my stuffs.’
‘Wooh wooh wooh… Chill girl…’
She wouldn’t miss that accent for anything. It was
quite unique. Letting that thought sink in, she carefully
opened her eyes one after the other as though if she
didn’t do that, she was going to be betrayed by her
ears and the proclaimed James might turn to a serial
It was James alright but why was he looking this fat?
His features looked as though he had been blown by
some big bicycle pump if she would compare him with
the James she had always known.
Somebody wasn’t watching what he had been
‘What were you thinking. Why didn’t you call me…’
‘I did call you but my call got disconnected each
time…. By the way, how did you know I’d be here
since the last time we talked was when I got to the
park here? ‘
‘After waiting for you for so long and you decided not
to show up for a ride which normally takes thirty
minutes, I decided to come check you up since I know
whichever cab you take is gonna drop you off here.’
‘Oh really… ‘
‘By the way, it was hard recognizing you from a
distance. You’ve grown!’ He said with a glint in his
Yeah and you’ve grown too. Fat though.
Tori smiled back her thoughts
‘It was the luggage beside you and when you pulled
out your phone the moment I approached that made
me conclude it was you.’
‘Anyways, it’s getting late, let’s get you home.’
With that statement, he dragged her luggage down the
street with one hand and the polythene bag with the
other hand leaving her with only her handbag. He was
quite a gentle man.
‘So, when was the last time you saw Richard?’ Toriola
‘A month or two ago. He moved out all of a sudden a
week after we got here leaving only the address of the
new place. He had never been home whenever I tried
visiting. I bumped into him at the mall and he was
with… ‘ Tori could feel the hesitation in his eyes. She
could see his thick palm encircle the luggage handle
the more. ‘…qqHe was in a hurry. ‘ He finally said
‘So that was it. I tried calling his number too and it
had always been switched off. I wonder what went
wrong with him.’
Richard was her boyfriend. They had been dating for
close to two years now back then in the university. He
was two years ahead of her and they were the perfect
couple until he moved down to Lagos to search for
greener pastures a few years after graduating. What
really attracted him to her was the fact that he was
quite a funny dude who was brilliant as well.
She knows distance was supposed to change some
things. Things about him but she never knew it was
going to make him a complete stranger. She wasn’t
quite sure she knows the new Richard anymore. He
seldom contacts her and she had never been able to
reach him for a couple of months. Whichever way it is,
she was bent on not giving up on them just yet.
‘The last time I talked to him was when he called and
I told him I chose LUTH for my internship. He was
quite happy about it and he told me he would find me
a place to stay here… But ever since, I had not been
able to reach him.’
‘He called me frequently to update me about how
everything was going. There was this time he said he
got a place for 140k and told me all he has was a
100k. He was bent on finding the rest of the money
but I was scared the place might get taken by
someone else so I sent him the rest of the money.’
Tori paused and weighed the magnitude of what she
was about to say.
‘Do you think I’m being played by Richard. He
probably got no place and just used that as an
excuse to extort money from me.’
‘Why would you think that?’ The look on James eyes
made her take back her words.
‘I know it is crazy right.’ She smiled back her worries.
‘Richard can’t do that.’
She really doesn’t know who she was trying to
convince. James or her but one thing she was sure of
was she had a bad feeling about this. About finding
out her worst nightmare was about to come true.
She knows things wouldn’t be as rosy as it was with
Richard like it was in the past but she was scared of
the extent he must have changed.
With that she sealed her lips and they continued their
awkward walk down the road.
‘Well, How have you been?’
She was quite surprised about how obvious James
made it that he wants to change the topic. His
personality hasn’t changed a bit. He was still the shy
and introverted James she had known. James was
Richard’s best friend back then in College of Health
Science as both studied Anatomy. They traveled down
here to Lagos together. It was amazing things had
changed this much between the duos.
When she was unable to reach Richard. She had
called James and told him about her plight. He urged
her to come and told her he has a place for her.
‘Here we are.’ James announced as he slanted her
luggage against the wall of a a medium sized
apartment. Tori watched as he nervously plugged a
key inside the key hole and dragged her stuffs in
immediately he opened the door.
Tori stepped in cautiously. With a glance here and
there across the well lighted apartment, she concluded
James had been living well. The house wasn’t the
least bad for a single graduate
‘Richard and I used to stay here. Over there was his
room and right here was my room. His room is going
to be yours now.’ He said pointing to doors leading to
opposite sides of the room.
Tori nodded her comprehension. She was going to
stay here until she was able to secure her own place.
It was just for the meantime. She hates being a pain
in the neck to anybody.
The room wasn’t at all bad. There was a kitchenette
and a little bathroom adjacent to the entrance. A
single mattress was lying on the tiled floor. Over the
mattress was a clean blue duvet. The walls of the
room were painted Yellow and the ceiling fan was
rotating at a very high speed. She switched that off
first and started putting down her stuffs.
Satisfied with the outcome of her arrangement. She
stepped inside the bathroom and had a cold shower
after which changed into her pajamas.
‘I hope you are Okay. ‘ It was more like a question
than a statement. James voice emanated from behind
the door. She got up from the bed and opened the
door for him.
‘ Yeah. It’s all thanks to you. You are really a
‘If you need anything just let me know okay? ‘
‘Sure, I promise I won’t hold a thing back.’ Tori
‘And I am making dinner. In a few minutes it would
‘No wonder my stomach kept rumbling. It should be
He gave a soft smile then walked away from the door.
Tori walked back to the mattress and was about
settling in when Her phone started to vibrate.
She picked her bag and searched through for her
phone. There it is.
She picked it up but it wasn’t vibrating even though
her bag still vibrated a bit violently. She fished out the
iphone just in time.
‘Hello’ she said into the phone.
‘Yes. This is great. I think you have my phone. ‘ It
was a male voice.
‘It appears so. You obviously forgot it inside a cab
and the driver thought it was mine.’
‘Thanks for explaining that to me. But the thing is I’m
not really in Lagos, as at now but I would be in a few
days time. I would be glad if you’d keep that for me
till I get back.Alright. Thanks. Bye.’ With that, she
heard a beep which signalled the call ended.
He wasn’t even taking his time talking to her. It was
like he was in a hurry. She bet that was how he
forgot his phone in the first place and it was as
though he had little concern for the phone as well.
Tori dropped the phone in the bag and lay flat on the
bed thinking about her grandma. The woman had
gone through a lot for her. She never knew her mum.
She heard died during childbirth. She wished she could
achieve her aim in time and give her the good life they
deserved. As beautiful thoughts crossed her mind, she
drifted off to sleep.
Watch Out For Episode 2