Rango and I didn’t get complete Raka’ats of Magrib prayer. While we were making up, somebody was addressing the people inside the mosque. I didn’t hear any word except the commotion that followed. When we finished, people were coming out, many of them in bewilderment.
“Yes, immediately you receive the call, that would be the end of your life.” Somebody was saying.
The person by my side, when I asked him what was the matter, summarized it all.
“The speaker was warning brothers about a recent development in the country. No one should answer call from the number 09141. It is believed to be a secret cult group in action. They will call you with that number, immediately you answer, that will be the end of you! About 10 people have so far died in Jigawa state.”
I lost word to say and my heart skipped a bit.
As we were going out, Rango showed me a message he received earlier from a friend. The message was warning him not to accept any call from the number 09141. I was imagining how could a person be killed through phone. Witchcraft? Cultism? Coincidence? I inclined to the last but then I remembered the 10 people reported dead!
“This is nothing more than a hearsay. Has anyone seen someone who died from the phone call in reality? The news is only heard in text messages, why should I believe it?” I heard someone saying.
He had just answered my question.
“Rango, only God kills, so don’t believe in any of that” I told him.
His phone was still with me when he asked me to direct him to restroom to ease himself. Before he came back, I edited my contact in his phone and changed the name with 09141! That was how it started.
We trekked together to the school’s main-gate, refuting the rumor on our way. In my mind, I was telling myself that I will verify whether this guy believes in the crap or not.
After about an hour, I knew my friend must have been through with his Iftar (he fasted). I made the first call.
Booooom.. booooom……booooom… booooom……………….. the phone was ringing. I was delighted that he was afraid to answer then suddenly it connected. I pushed the phone to my ear and listened. 2 seconds, and it went off. “That is one” I murmured.
I called for the second time, no answer. I laughed and dropped the phone. I knew he will call me. Almost immediately he did through my globacom line. I forced myself not to laugh on the phone.
“It called me Sada….” He started, terribly confused.
“What…. what called you?” I cut him, trying to sound indifferent.
“That number!. I swear it called me and I mistakenly picked up at the first time. You see, I was leaving Daula restaurant when they called. The phone was in my pocket so I couldn’t pick up on time. When I brought it out, afraid that it might cut, I accepted the call, then I saw the number almost immediately. I terminated the call instantly. They called again, but I refused to pick up.” He narrated.
“Subhanallah, I pray this thing is not serious.”
“Yes it is! You know the bizarre thing that happened? There was a thunderous spark of high tension electric wires just ahead of me and everybody was scared. It coincided with the time I was answering the call. If I hadn’t stopped to answer it, the spark would have been on my head.” He continued.
Deep from inside, I was appreciating the turning up of things. I manage to pacify him mockingly, “Rango nothing will happen in God’s name. No one can do you what God has not wished. I don’t believe it so you shouldn’t either. It is just bullshit.”
“Yes Allah is above them! It is all lie.” He managed to pretend.
I was feeling the guiltiness of what I was doing, but I just couldn’t end the action. I have to give my friend a farewell memoir (we were few weeks to graduation at the time).
I called him with the number about six more times but he refused answer. I knew I had him were I wanted.
When I went out to perform ablution for Isha’ prayer, I called him again with my globacom. This time I told him that the number had just called me too but I refused to answer. I told him the drama is becoming interesting. He agreed but negatively. I told him also that I will switch off my phone and advised him to do the same.
He agreed . Being him alone in the house was what scared him most. He said he wont sleep at home that night. The number was still calling him at that moment according to him..
It should have stopped there. But after praying, I thought of the heart-breaker! I decided to take it to the highest level. I composed the following message and sent to him..
“Brother, the owner of this line called you last. We just found him unconscious outside room58 Akinzuwa hostel. We are taking him to the Sick-Bay, if you know any of his friends in ABU Zaria please notify them”
Yes this brought it to the climax.
After about 30 minutes a friend called me. He sounded petrified and he was surprised to hear my voice clearly.
“Where are you? And what is happening?”
I couldn’t hold the laughter. I knew he must had been told by Rango that I was in the hospital. I told him it was all prank.
He was very annoyed.
“Sada, this is beyond prank. It is not in anyway a joke. I was watching a champion’s league match when Rango called me that you are seriously sick. Do you know how many people I called. I even called Ummah (his mom) to tell her what was happening and she was also horrified. I wont forgive you for this.” He didn’t wait for my reply and he ended the call.
To my ignorance, he, Rango and two more people were at the sickbay at the time.
I later apologized for my expensive prank. It took long before Rango and the other friends forgave me.
Written by Sada Haruna.