He later found out that the third individual in car was Greg; a heavyset former military officer he had known over the years and he felt a lot better. They greeted with a friendly hand slap when Daniel got into the back seat of the car with him. The whole plan had been discussed and they were now waiting for the phone call that would alert them immediately their mark left his house for the bank.
Stanley was behind the wheel, and Small Fred was at the front passenger’s seat. It was ironic that he was called ‘Small Fred’ since he was a hulk of a man at 6 ft 4 of raw muscles. But he was the youngest in the clique, and he only got initiated after his cousin, Big Fred got shot down on one of their operations.
They passed a stick of marijuana around as old Tupac songs boomed out the car speakers. Three AK 47 rifles were right there on the floor of the car, covered with a black cloth that blended with the Cerator’s upholstery. Stanley was driving, and he had never needed to carry a gun during operations because of how much he believed in his juju. His friends always made fun of his size, saying bullets would get lost in the folds of his flesh.
Daniel looked out the window and his mind went to Gloria and the discussion they had had earlier in the day. He had gone to see her after her friend, Nkechi told him that she might be pregnant but was too scared to let him know. When he approached her and she confirmed the news, he held her in a tight embrace amidst tears. They spoke at length about their future plans, and he had secretly made the decision to change from his evil ways. But, minutes later, when that phone call came in, and Stanley told him his share of the operation would be a hundred thousand dollars, he was tempted to oblige.
Daniel, do you know what you can do with hundred thousand dollars? You can start your life afresh. A voice in his head said in the split second it took for him to say yes to Stanley. Maybe the universe was giving me a ticket out of the evil life, he thought to himself. The ringing tone from a phone in the front seat brought him back to consciousness. Stanley turned down the car stereo and picked up. ‘Okay.’ That was the only thing he said before ending the call. He turned the key in the ignition and was about to drive off, but stopped and turned in his seat so he could see his three mates before saying, “Guys, please, no casualties.”
Major part of the building was glass, and the part that wasn’t glass was snow white. The bank building stood on a fairly busy road. Mr. Alex, the robust guard at the gate who made double his salary from tips he received from saluting bank customers was extremely happy today as the last man that drove out in a white Lexus had tipped him with a thousand Naira. It was just 11 am, and he was so enthusiastic about how much more he would make before the end of the day.
He joked with one of the bank drivers that was heading to the security post, and slapped his butt when the guy called him ‘pale;’ a Southern Nigerian slang that refers to someone as an old man. The young man doubled up his pace to avoid further assault from him.
Okon the driver walked into the security post still laughing when one of the armed security guards stationed to the bank backed at him, saying he needed to stop going in and out of the security post at will. An argument ensued and Okon walked out of the security post vexed. He decided to go and stay under the umbrella of the lady selling roasted corn outside.
On his way out, he joked with Mr. Alex again, but the man was busy opening the gate for a dark blue 2006 Honda Accord to drive in. Alex the guard was even in fuller spirit when he discovered it was one of his biggest tippers. He paid no attention to Okon as he was busy with mental calculations of how much he might take home to his wife tonight. And then, just as he was about to seat on his high stool by the bank gate, a black car drove up to the gate.