*TWENTY MINUTES LEFT TO CONFESS*
Nigeria may be tough to survive in, but the thought of crossing over to the great beyond within 20 minutes is a tougher anti-survival syndrome. Babatunde Kelvin blinked cluelessly in his seat, drenched in sweats and soaked in indescribable fright. “You have just 20 minutes to live sir. I’m sorry”, the husky voice of Dr. Aloma rang in his ears again and he impulsively checked his watch. Oh gracious goodness! 2 minutes had passed already!
He’s running out of time. He remembered the decision he made years ago when he was a chronic player to turn born again before 60 years old. Now,he’s just 48 years but has only…what now? He checked his watch again for the umpteenth time—17 minutes left!
He asked the doctor for a favor,which he was more than willing to oblige. “Please doc,I want to confess all my atrocities before I die. Please can you help me record them or write them down?i will be very fast before my time is up sir. Please…” he pleaded pitiably as Dr. Aloma nodded his consent. “Sure sir,no problem at all. Let me use my phone voice recorder if you don’t mind”.
“It’s fine sir. In fact,that will be perfect. You will just play it for everybody I’ll mention so that they will hear my voice in person”, Babatunde replied with a sorrowful sigh.
The doctor turned on his device’s voice recorder in a flash and gestured to his patient to begin. By now, 2 minutes more had passed.
Tears rolled down his cheeks in torrents as he began his last minute confessions. “I impregnated Ajoke,my wife’s younger sister twice and aborted them for her.”
“I once raped Eunice, our former teenage house maid when my wife starved me of sex for 2 weeks for no reason. I-I-I stoned my neighbour’s favorite hen to death by mistake when I was 12 years old,and later…(sighs) stole the second hen she bought for Ileya one month later.”
“What did you do with it?” asked Dr. Aloma.
“I took it to our house backyard and slaughtered it,cooked, fried and ate it all alone.”
“I masterminded the plot to beat up my Mathematics teacher in SS2 with my gang because he flogged my best friend and classmate then when he(my classmate) failed to turn in the maths assignment he gave to us a day before. We ambushed him on his way back to his house and clubbed him to coma. His two knee caps were broken and till I left the school,he used wheelchair throughout. But I was not caught because my parents protected me.”
“I faked my kidnap with the help of my friends and demanded for N4 million as ransom. The money was my father’s gratuity. After the payment, we ran away with it and splurged it on girls,clubs,flashy lifestyles, and many more. My friends were later arrested but when they confessed that I planned the abduction, I denied vehemently and my parents believed me so I was exonerated without conviction. That’s how bad my folks spoilt me back then.”
He and Dr. Aloma checked their watches at the same time. They realized in consternation that Babatunde has spent almost 10 minutes confessing. His heart beat increased in panic. He still has more to say. Will he go to heaven or hell? Will God ever forgive him?
“Say your last 2 confessions quickly and end it with your final prayer before your time is up sir” the doctor advised him.
He sobbed quietly and nodded in agreement.” I embezzled about N20 million into my personal account from my company’s account last year. When my dirty secrets almost leaked, I found a way to pin it on Mr. Christopher, the HR manager. He’s in jail now serving his 2 year term for a crime he didn’t commit”, his wailing became louder,shaking his body in rhythmic synchronization. “Please beg them all to forgive me. Please take care of my wife and children. I love them all.”
“God…”he raised his wet, red swollen eyes heavenward” forgive me…I-I don’t want to burn for eternity…”.
“You won’t…”Dr. Aloma said, tapping on the stop icon of the recording. “Excuse me please,. Give me a second…” “Please doctor,don’t leave me alone here…I-I-I don’t want to be alone when I die…” Kevin grabbed Aloma’s hands desperately, weeping helplessly like a bereaved widower.
“I’ll be back before your time is up. I promise”,Aloma gently removed Babatunde’s grip from his own arms, dipped his phone inside his white overalls’ pockets,and rushed out of the room.
Babatunde broke down completely in grief,sprawled on the floor like a dead dog. He tore his shirts, undid his belt and punched the floor aggressively. He continued to mutter prayers of mercy and forgiveness,praying for a second chance to live and amend his evil deeds. He was like that for more 15 minutes without his notice. Yet he’s still alive.
Just then,the office door opened and Aloma re-emerged with a mischievous smile on his face. Babatunde stared at him in confusion. “Mr. Kelvin. You are still alive.Congratulations!”
While he was still trying to digest the news,Aloma continued.”It was all a prank. It was a set up but I won’t tell you by who. By the way, I have your recordings so I’m in charge now. I will send it to everyone you mentioned and ruin your life”, he said wickedly.
“Noooooooo!!! Don’t do that! I’ll do anything for you. Please don’t kill me before my time”, Babatunde was too relieved to even think of getting up and pummeling the prankster to pulp for such an expensive joke. He sprang to his feet and grabbed the doctor violently by the shoulders,his fear was so visible one could even touch it.
“Then let’s make a deal and I will delete the recordings”.
“Pay me N100 million and allow me to continue sleeping with your wife till I’m tired of her, then we are good. And about the recording, you cant get it anywhere because I’ve saved it in a safer place. You may be thinking of sending assassins to finish me off but it wont make any difference because as we speak,the recording is with 5 trusted people who would disperse it as soon as they hear about my murder. So don’t even try to be smart with me”.
“You?! Sleeping with my wife?”
“She was my ex before you snatched her from me. Unknown to you, I became your family doctor at your wife’s recommendation and soon afterwards, we re-ignited our affair behind you after she discovered your infidelity.”
Babatunde’s feet wobbled under him and he slumped to the floor. He dearly prayed for that 20 minutes death prank to be real. He’d better die than live to witness this humiliation.