***Hey guys! Femi here. So as promised, here I am with a story for this week. Deji will be taking over next week with his captivating story. I had a lot of fun writing this and I hope you have just as much fun reading. Please like, leave a comment and most importantly– share! Thank you.***

“I’M GETTING MARRIED BITCHES!”

A collective cheer went round the room as the girls all raised their glasses to the latest bride-to-be in town.

This was turning out to be the best day of Krysty’s life. She was getting married. It hadn’t quite sunk in yet and she was still trying to process it.

She certainly didn’t feel like she deserved who she was marrying.

Ndidi

He was perfect. He was tall, dark and handsome. The trifecta that made girls all googly eyed and rubbery kneed. What more, he was unaware of how good he looked, but he also had a confidence that was almost regal. He walked into a room with a swagger that was infectious and while he was a man’s man, he was unafraid to be vulnerable with the one he loved.

Her

Krysty

And while most people would say you could never be sure that someone loves you, she was. She was certain and that certainty was both scary and exhilarating at the same time.

“Come on bride, you’ve had enough to drink”

“Wait! No!” Krysty protested as Tolani collected her drink. As far as girls went, Tolani was her best friend and for the life of her, she had no idea why Tolani still stuck around. She always felt guilty that she wasn’t enough of a friend to Tolani, but Tolani was there, she was always there.

Krysty looked around the pure white room with balloons, streamers, the whole nine yards. Everyone was dressed as a princess. That was the dress code. Krysty looked with mild disapproval at Tochi who was dressed as a Nubian Princess…Krysty reckoned it was Egyptian.

“Tochi is so woke, just let her be” It was Tolani. She swore, sometimes it felt like Tolani could read her mind. All her friends knew that when she said princess, she wanted fairy tale princesses, but Tochi was all for the liberation of African women, which was a noble cause but Tochi could be insufferable.

“I refuse to wear the garb of the white man” she’d say when they had their intermittent hangouts. Krysty would roll her eyes and say something snide like “But you like white chocolate”

She had to admit though, Tochi looked good.

“She does look good though” Tolani said again reading her mind

“Get out of my head!”

“No can do, I have to be your brain for tonight, cos it seems you’re a tad incapacitated”

“I’m perfectly fine” Krysty said defiantly

“So why are you holding the table decoration as a wine glass?” Krysty looked down, and sure enough, she was holding a clear globe that was placed on every table for decoration…she had been about to take a sip out of it.

“Oh fudge”

Tolani laughed. “Hey, it’s your bridal shower, you’re allowed to cut loose tonight.”

“But I’m still meeting Seni and Mark for dinner”

“You can cancel”

“No way!” She hadn’t seen Mark in months. His new job had him travelling everywhere and this was not going to be taken away from her and as for Seni, he had just gotten out of a bad breakup and he needed this night with his friends and she’d be damned if she let him down.

“At least let me come with you” Tolani countered. Krysty thought of this for a while. The boy and girl faction of her circle of friends never really meshed. The boys were—well not people the girls were really into. They were quite geeky, the girls were slay queens, two worlds that just didn’t mix.

But Krysty had her inner geek and therefore she mixed quite well with the boys.

“I’m not going to eat your precious friends Krysty” Tolani said, a hint of irritation in her voice. Krysty was way too protective of her ‘boy friends’ and for some reason that irked her, was she not good enough to meet the boys she was always gushing about?

“We’re going out?” It was Linda. Krysty almost groaned. Linda was the group’s slut. She said she was a serial dater, but then she had ‘dated’ five guys in the last three months and she had seen a picture of Mark on her phone once, and Krysty wasn’t sure she liked the way Linda’s eyes had lit up.

“We’re going to hang out with Krysty’s boy friends” Tolani said

“Ooooooooh! I wanna come” Krysty wanted to protest, but they weren’t even listening to her

“Sure!” Tolani said.

Linda squealed and ran off returning a minute later with Tochi in tow

“No, no, no, no, no” Krysty said with rising panic that was beginning to make her head hurt. She couldn’t have the woke queen with them. She loved Tochi but she wasn’t sure a meeting between Seni and Tochi would go well. Seni was a bit traditional with his world views and Tochi was confrontational.

“Calm down Krysty” Tolani said. She was enjoying this, they were going to meet these fabled boys and Krysty would see that they were good enough. If only she knew what she meant to them as friends, so the fact that there was a part of her—an important part, that she did not want to share with them, stung a bit.

“But…but…” Krysty started to protest

“Hello?” Linda was already on the phone with an Uber driver, how did she even know where they were going? Krysty was confused. She felt her phone vibrate and she checked the caller ID—hubby—right on time too.

“Hey babe”

“Hey honey” came the dolcet tones of Ndidi “How’s the party going?”

Krysty lowered her voice “It’s a disaster. Linda, Tolani and Tochi want to follow me to dinner with Mark and Seni” Krysty could hear Ndidi’s sharp intake of breath, he understood what that could mean.

“Okay, how about this, I’ll join you guys there and then we can all have dinner together.”

“That’s why I love you” Krysty said, reassured. If Ndidi was there, everyone would have to behave, because both sides also knew him and he got along well with everyone, so it would balance things out.

She dropped the phone and turned to Tolani

“Let’s do this”

 

Krysty looked out the window staring as the streets rushed by in a blur of colour. Linda and Tochi were chatting about some celebrity wedding while Tolani sat quietly in the front seat keeping track of the trip.

The driver of the car turned on the AC circulating cool air into the car. She hadn’t even looked at the driver’s face, she just couldn’t wait to meet up with the boys.

She really had missed Mark and Seni. A few months ago, she had been scared of losing them. She was newly engaged and the reality of marriage loomed over their friendship. She had no idea how the men in her life were going to handle each other.

She had eventually found out that while things weren’t the same, a balance had been found. The boys were all friendly with each other and they weren’t acting weird towards her simply because she had a fiancé.

She was so relieved, because the thought of losing any of her friends was unthinkable, the people around her were everything to her. Family was foisted upon you, but you choose your friends and every single one of her friends was chosen—carefully too. Losing any of them was not an option.

“Where are you going to?” It was Tolani. She was looking at the driver with an irritated look. The driver said nothing. That was odd. Now that she thought of it, the driver hadn’t said one word. She vaguely thought about how she couldn’t recognize the streets around her anymore. Tolani was looking at the driver with an odd look, Krysty expected Tolani to be screaming at the driver, but instead she looked drugged.

Krysty also realized that Linda and Tochi had fallen silent. She looked beside her and to her astonishment, Linda and Tochi were slumped on their chairs, apparently asleep.

What in the world was going on? Krysty’s heart was beating, but she felt sluggish. She looked and saw that Tolani had also slumped across the seat. Why was everyone slumped? Then she looked at the driver again and then at the AC unit.

The realization hit her like a mace.

The driver had had a hanky tied around his nose and mouth since they picked them up and the AC was definitely pumping tainted air into the car.

Was it poison? Some sort of nerve gas? Krysty was trying to think, but her mind was sluggish. Her thoughts started to swirl together so that she had no idea where a thought started or where it ended. She started to feel groggy, she wanted to close her eyes.

Keep it together Krysty…come on!

“Heh” Krysty managed. It was no use, the driver was probably a ritualist and they were going to butcher them and offer them to the yaga yaga gods or whatever then they’d have money with ridiculous restrictions like ‘you can’t pee standing up or else you’ll run mad’ Krysty almost laughed at the thought.

Her eyes started to deem. At least if she was going to die, she’d be doing it in Princess attire, that was some comfort.

Krysty’s eyes fluttered open.

She wasn’t dead. She examined herself; her clothes were intact, there were no bruises, so she hadn’t been raped or anything. She was in a dark room with screens all around. She could hardly make out anything. She was strapped to a chair. She tried to move about, but no dice. She was well and truly trapped. Her anxiety started to rise again as she remembered that she had been abducted, maybe they were waiting for her to be awake before harming her, that’s how twisted some people were.

Suddenly, the screens flickered to life. Krysty flinched as the light from the screens caught her unawares. She waited for her eyes to adjust and then stared at the screens.

Her blood ran cold

The two screens on featured Tochi and Linda both hanging from chains. They were sobbing and Krysty could hear it. The sound of their crying was heart-wrenching, they hadn’t been hurt from the looks of it, but they were scared shitless clearly.

“Tochi! Linda!” Krysty screamed, but none of them seemed to hear her. They were clearly in different rooms.

“We don’t scream here” said a cold voice from beside her. Krysty nearly jumped out of her skin

“Who are you? What do you want from us? What did we ever do to you.”

“Nothing.” Said the man simply.

Krysty could make out his outline and saw that he was a man of average build. He didn’t look imposing or remarkable, save for a father Christmas mask he wore. It was one of those generic ones that kids wore that had a bearded Santa with rosy cheeks.

“Hello Krysty” he said. His voice was soft but dangerous. She had never heard it before.

“Who are you?” Krysty asked again

“A dedicated student of humanity” answered the man patiently.

“What do you want from us?” Krysty asked seeing as he seemed ready to answer her questions.

“A lesson”

“A lesson?” Krysty repeated.

“Yes.” The man paused “Who’s your favourite person Krysty? Of all the people in your life, who would you say is your favourite?”

“No one.” Krysty said indignantly “I love them all equally”

The man exhaled.

“I’m disappointed. I always imagined you to be a rather truthful person.”

“But I am, I swear”

“But you’re not” said the man still in his soft voice, but somehow that chilled Krysty even more.

He continued “So since I won’t be getting my answers straight, I’m going to have to get them using—other means”

“What do you mean?” said Krysty, afraid of the answer.

“Well, you see” started the man as if he was explaining why the sky was blue to a 3-year-old. “Tochi is crying hysterically because she’s quite literally staring down the barrel of an M2 Browning .50 calibre Machine gun. It shoots around 350 bullets a minute and will quite literally cut you in half.

“I’ve rigged it so that by pressing this button right here.” The man showed her a button on a weird looking remote control “It’ll fire and she’ll be ribbons before you know it”

“No!” screamed Krysty “Please don’t kill her”

“I might not.” Said the man, his voice never showing any emotion. “I just need you to help me with a little something.”

The man looked at the screens dispassionately and his index finger played around the control of the gun.

“In the other room is a wall of spikes. Again the wall has been rigged that when I press another button it will move towards Linda and crush her.”

Krysty was hyperventilating. What in the world was happening?

“What do you need me to do? I’ll do anything.” For the first time, the man smiled.

“That’s excellent Krysty. All I need from you is to tell me which of them you want me to kill.”

Krysty didn’t quite understand what she was hearing. Choose? Kill?

“Huh.”

“Choose which friend lives and which one dies. You have five minutes” just then a display clock in the corner of the room came on

05:00

04:59

04:58

She couldn’t choose, these were her friends

“Oh” said the man softly “If you don’t choose before the five minutes are up, I’ll kill both of them, but not before I tell each of them that you chose the other over them, that way they’ll die believing you killed them to save someone else.”

Krysty’s heart stopped.

***Hope you had fun *wink* Don’t forget to like, subscribe to notifications of new stories, leave a comment if you will and please share. Till I come your way in another fortnight or so, Jana.***