(Hausa Accent) “Forgive me father for I have sinned; It has been an eternity since my last confession”
Malaud’s misaligned slippers guided him awkwardly through the streets of Abuja into the Chapel. He knew he was supposed to be in there but he was not familiar with the part that said he would be bleeding as he approached the confession box. He didn’t take note of much as he staggered through the streets but there was that one man with a briefcase who bumped into him. Business men are always in such a hurry, he had muttered to himself. Malaud was getting dizzy, and if he didn’t deliver his message quickly, it would mean the death of at least a million people.
Amidst his struggle to approach the confession box, Malaud noticed a few people in the pews inside the chapel. He didn’t care what they thought but he figured it must have been an awkward sight for them. It is not everyday a bleeding Muslim walks into a church in his clothes, visibly soaked. He saw that she was there, pretending to pray, and that meant all was going according to plan. Of course, he couldn’t make it obvious that he knew her but from the little patch of hair which was still visible under her veil, he knew it was her and he thanked Allah that she made it to the church – they hadn’t gotten to her as they did him. They can’t stop me from stopping them. I won’t let innocent people die so they can have more power.
The confession box seemed a century away and Malaud was finding it harder to propel himself with every step. That was an illusion though; he knew he couldn’t stop half-way. Even if it meant he would crawl, he had to be inside that confession box. He had to say what he had been told to say. The planning had taken everything he had and he would not let his time and energy waste. This seemed like a sick joke from the universe as Malaud saw that these two things – time and energy – were the two things he no longer had.
Malaud found his thoughts drifting as he continued loosing blood. He remembered the first time he had discovered that there was indeed a plan to reduce world population by killing off innocent people. He remembered feeling trapped and not being able to do anything. He remembered getting the anonymous call from her and he remembered the first time she met them. That red gown, such confidence… She had given the rest of them a workable plan which would save the lives of the people who would have suffered and it was going so well until…
They can’t stop me from stopping them. I won’t let innocent people die so they can have more power.
As Malaud returned his thoughts to the place he was, he realized that he had his blood-stained hands on the door handle to the confession box. Finally. I will be successful. Allah be praised. He pressed down on the handle and, within seconds, he was seated in the tiny cubicle awaiting the voice on the other side to speak first. He knew exactly what he was expecting to hear and he knew exactly how to respond when spoken to. He quickly took note of the sharp pain coming from the lower part of his stomach and he winced in acknowledgement. The adrenaline must have started to wear off. It was almost over – his part at least.
Malaud looked around the tiny booth and as he ran his hands through the lining under his seat, he found it – exactly where they said it would be. He quickly grabbed it and put it in his pocket. The tiny window-like frame opened and the voice spoke. “Good Morning, my son. The lord be with you”. Malaud knew it was time. He had to say it exactly as he was told. He took a deep breath. He knew they would be listening. He had to make it convincing. Four months of practice was about to prove useful. He took another deep breath and began. His thick Arabian accent filtering the words as they passed from his throat to his tongue “Forgive me father for I have sinned; It has been an eternity since my last confession”
***TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK***