Before you arrest him, Mr. Inspector


Mr. Inspector, please don’t be too hard on him. He too is surprised at the murky puddle of blood and human that swim weakly across the street. It was exactly 30 seconds before you arrived that he looked very closely and pieced his self-created jigsaw puzzle and made out the keke driver’s face.

Mr. Inspector, it is true he killed the keke driver, but he is not a murderer. Some 43 minutes ago, he had rushed out of the bathroom to save his screaming mother from the blows of his distant father.  Again, his father had come from one of those bus stops where he screams “owo da” to scream same to his mother in her little foodstuff kiosk in front of their house. Again, he was mad, raining unspeakable curses at his father as he pulled him away from his only parent. Again, his father thundered even more curses, striking a well-placed blow or two before his mother quickly pulled him away. Again, his father wobbled away and cursed him that one last curse that still jabbed his arteries despite its frequency. Broken again, he picked a shirt and headed to the mechanic shop where hitting on iron and steel would hasten his breathing out.
Mr. Inspector, I promise you, he didn’t know where that stick came from. H‎e had walked for about 37 minutes, kicking on stones and the rising dust in spite before his tired feet led his body to board the keke. Two bus stops later, he alighted and gave the driver N20. His long silence was deafened by the insulting screams of the keke driver that his fare was N50. Infuriated by the driver’s fury, he yelled that it was the bus park to the bus stop that costs N50 and he had walked most of the distance already. The elderly driver was having none of that and bellowed curses laced with intermittent demands for his money. Soon, it was a lot of unclear screams with “money”, “N50” and “bus stop” escaping to audibility once in a while. He was about to walk away from all of it when the keke driver pulled him by his shirt, threw a precise blow where his father earlier hit and cursed him that curse that jabbed at his heart. Then a stick became visible. Then the stick became too blurry. Then the stick became visible in the hands of a swift peacemaker and with it the driver’s blood flowing under the keke.
Mr. Inspector, please don’t use those cuffs on him. Such semblance with his father can kill his mother. With her dying breath, she will avoid those tales sweet mothers tell of their dear sons and focus on the truth. She will tell you her son’s only weakness was the incurable anger he felt for his father. She will tell you he was to go to the mechanic shop not only to pound on iron and steel but also bid them farewell. She will tell you he had packed his bags and multi-checked his documents to be sure nothing was forgotten. She will tell you it is his eighteenth birthday tomorrow and it was to be his fresh start as a freshman at the University of Ibadan studying Mechanical Engineering. She will tell you the only good decision she had made all her life was to not abort him like she did all others. She will tell you the wrong decisions to sleep with men and women to raise his school fees was for her so she can one day boast of being the mother of an Engineer.
Mr. Inspector, I know you’ve heard this too many a time but this truly is the work of the devil. He didn’t plan to kill the driver, he didn’t even know he was hitting him. He thought it was another vivid reenactment of the mental picture he had been nurturing since he was three. It was the peacemaker’s punch that made him realise the keke driver wasn’t his father and this was real. It was that curse that pulled out the control screws his father had earlier loosened. It was all the devil and none of him that the lifeless keke driver now lies some two feet away from him. His own devil just isn’t the chap with two horns and an arrowed tail but the man he is so unfortunate to call father.
Image Source: DNAINDIA
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12 thoughts on “Before you arrest him, Mr. Inspector

  1. I need to know, did you write this???? This is splendid! you succeeded in achieving the verisimilitude that is elusive to most fiction writers.
    The law exemplified by the inspector must take its full course.


  2. Hmm. My dear friend. This is a master piece. Ingenious. Kudos. However, the law must play it’s practiced, bitter tune and the engineer-to-be must dance to it.
    The devil is too busy to be swaying to the music of the law, so let’s leave him out of this. But then again, the society just has a way of making people loose it. One needs to have a good dose of patience to cope,to survive.


  3. Beautiful!!!
    Joy, here’s my twokobo: Keep penning. Flow from the street. Tell the street’s stories.
    The only curse suffered was that Ikemefuna called Okonkwo ‘Father’ in Chinua Achebe’s legendary “Things Fall Apart”. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the human race is that the true, core values of that word have been lost…


  4. I like the omnipresent point of view. It would be nice to also know how the inspector regards such troubled young men whom he deals with on a daily basis. This is in line with the current face off between the police and the citizens.


  5. u think its simply amazing with very deep thoughts, knowing the thoughts of the inspector would be nice but would also seem over dragged. Still, kudos


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