Ladi Amin was back in Nigeria and he was here on a mission. Five years in Libya learning long range shooting was something that would make him very useful to any army; good or bad. But he was not back in Nigeria to join any army, his mission was not in the interest of National security, it was personal.
He looked through his binoculars and shook his head. She looked exactly the same. Maybe a little more beautiful even. She hugged a tall man whose Identity he was yet to confirm. He did not need any technical training to see and understand how she looked at the man. She used to look at him that way too before she broke his heart. He’d seen many of his friends suffer heartbreaks like this and become serial heartbreakers themselves but he did not choose that path.
He’d left the country after the heartbreak and drifted from one African Country to another until he found himself in Libya. He started military training in Libya, trying to forget about her; it did not work. He dreamt about her every time he was asleep and thought about her when he was awake. Until one day he decided enough was enough, there was only one solution to his situation; he had to get rid of her.
He closed the window of his hotel room and dropped the binoculars on the bed. His hotel room faced her front door. It was about 500 meters away but he could take a perfect shot from that distance very easily and he would. He would do it the next morning. He picked up his gun and held it against his cheek. The gun was cold against his cheek but he soon forgot about the gun as his mind wandered to his life with her.
They were new students in Medical school but it looked like they both had other passions. He loved to take pictures, she loved to have her picture taken. She wasn’t the only one who loved to have her pictures taken but he bonded with her so much they soon became an item. They attended all their lectures together and read together. They ate together and played together. Several of their classmates had joked they leave school and start a modeling outfit. He was great at taking pictures and she looked great in everything.
It was all funny until Kemi started taking the jokes serious in their second year of medical school. First, it was the relationship part. She asked him one day to define their relationship. It was funny to him. They were not kids in secondary school who did not know what they were doing. Neither were they final year students who needed to get engaged. This was what he believed and he told her that much. She said it was okay but something changed from that day.
A few months after that discussion, she started getting serious about modelling. At first, he thought she was joking like everybody else so he didn’t answer all her questions. He got the shock of his life when he saw pictures of her online where she modelled for another student photographer.
He confronted her and she told him to go to hell. One week later he’d dropped out from Medical school and was in a bus headed for Cotonou. He’d always had one question; ‘why did she do it?’
He shook the thoughts off his mind and laid the gun carefully on the bed. His trainers had told him the way to get a clean kill is to detach from the target. Any emotion, even anger was bad. But it was not easy for him to detach from this particular target. He picked up his binoculars and looked through the window at her house again, she was outside talking some lady. Maybe he should talk to her. Maybe instead of just wondering why she dumped him, he should ask her. He shook his head, his training taught him never to contact his target except it helped his hit. Or maybe he should call.
He picked up his phone and scrolled to her phone number, the one she’d always had. According to TrueCaller, it was still her number. He hit the ‘dial’ button and waited as it rang. She answered and he ended the call. That was stupid. He was here to take the girl out, not talk to her. He walked away from the bed and the phone on it.
The phone rang and he ran for it. He answered the call.
“Hello?” Her voice filtered from phone speaker.
He swallowed, he’d not realized the voice would elicit so much emotion from him.
“Hello?” She said, again.
“Hi.” He said and quickly added. “Do you know James Oladele please?”
“Who is speaking?”
“I can’t answer that question until I know if you know him.”
“Yes I knew him, he and I used to date.”
“You dated?” He thought their relationship was undefined.
“Yes we did.” She replied. “Who is this please?”
“I’m a friend of his.”
“Really? Oh my God, where is he? I’ve been looking for him for years.”
It was time he asked his question. “Why did you break up with James?”
“He said you broke up with him and I’m wondering why.”
“I did not break up with him, he left without saying goodbye. Can you please send me his number? I need to talk to him.”
He removed the phone from his ear and sighed. She just said she did not break up with him even though she accepted they were in a relationship.
“Hello?” He heard her voice from the phone speaker.
“Why? Why do you want to talk to him?”
“I’ve dreaming of the day I’d see him again, I really want to…” She stopped talking.
He looked at the phone, she was still on the call. “Hello?” He said.
“This is James, isn’t it? James you are the one of the phone. James?”
He ended the call and put off the phone. She was already getting inside his head. This was why he was not supposed to contact the target.
He picked up the gun from the bed, put it on its stand and set the stand on the window. He had to do this now, he would not have the mind for it in the morning. He adjusted the scope of the gun and aimed at her. She was fiddling with her phone, probably trying to call him back.
It did not matter, she was his target, and he would take her out.
He took aim and placed his right index finger on the trigger. Should he talk to her again? No, this was it. He closed his right eye and aim carefully. Suddenly she stopped looking at the phone and looked up in his direction. His right index finger pulled and squeezed the trigger. The bullet went off and his shoulder took the kickback from the gun.
He hurriedly took off gun from the window and picked up his binoculars. He looked in the direction of her house. The binoculars dropped off from his hands, he sank to his knees and let out a small cry. Had he just made the mistake of his life? It was not intentional, he said to himself but he knew deep down he had done exactly what he wanted to do. He picked the binoculars and looked again.
He smiled, he’d missed.