Sparrow entered the room. He took long strides across the room gaily. His smile was broad enough that even a blind man could smell it. He looked at Bidemi like a lion that trapped its prey. He played with the black pistol he was holding. He spun it, stopped, and used it to drum his head. He went round Bidemi.
Bidemi felt his bone shake, even the skull that had no moveable joints seemed to move this time. His heart was beating fast against his chest.
His blood became hot. However, he tried holding his shaking bone by gritting his teeth because he didn’t want Sparrow to suspect he was afraid of death. Jesus, help me, he thought. His eyes were fixed on the wall.
‘ So, you did not want to kiss Grace?’ Sparrow suddenly said.
Bidemi looked on, knowing his answer would have no use; instead, it would aggravate the anger within Sparrow.
‘ You are a strong man’, Sparrow said as he continued go round Bidemi,’ You see that girl… Guys are dying to have a relationship with her but she refused all of them including me; yet, you refused her’.
Bidemi stared at the door, hoping Grace would enter before his heart burst.
‘Can’t you see that that tardy girl is dying for you?’ He said. One kiss’, he sang,’ one kiss… one kiss’.
Bidemi unconsciously hissed when Sparrow started singing. He was irritated by the hoarse voice Sparrow was using to sing.
‘ Okay…’ Sparrow said as he came near him, and put his hand on Bidemi’s shoulder, ‘ okay… I don’t want to kill you. You yourself might have noticed that I want to spare you. Normally, I wouldn’t have told her to kiss you for the video coverage. I would have asked you to sleep with her but I wanted that to be a choice you would have later in your relationship with her’, he paused, ‘so, what do you say?’.
‘No’, Bidemi blurted out. ‘No’.
‘ Okay… That means you are ready to die. I will give you a last wish’, Sparrow declared, happy to be in-charge of the situation.
Bidemi wanted to tell him he had no wish but he thought of his hunger. God knows, something might save him and he needed strength to stay alive. In case no one comes to save him, he would be happy to have enjoyed himself before death.
‘ I am hungry’.
‘ Yes… I am hungry and Pearl here too must be hungry by now’.
He assumed Sparrow would refuse it, but he was surprised to see him leave the room and return later with two nylon-bags of food. He went to Bidemi’s back and loosened a part of the knots, which made Bidemi’s hands free for him to eat the food.
He did the same for Pearl, then handed a bag to each of them, while still pointing a gun at them.
Bidemi opened it and saw meat pies, sausage rolls and some other things he did not know their names.
‘ Where did you get this?’ He mustered courage to ask.
‘There was a meeting here overnight. These ones are some of the things we bought for the people that had the meeting, but they did not eat it. Now eat and try to do nothing funny’.
Bidemi devoured it, topping it with a ‘five-alive’ juice that came with the food. Even, Pearl couldn’t help but devour the food. Bidemi felt strengthened and smiled at himself for declaring his desire. Only God knows when last he had had the opportunity to eat things like these.
After a few minutes, Sparrow came to him, corked the gun, and pointed it at his head.
‘ I will count 1-50, say your last prayer’.
Grace entered the room and leaned against the wall with the face of one who had given up crying over spilled milk.
‘ 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24…. Bidemi stopped breathing, waiting for Sparrow to get to fifty.
45, 46, 47…