Sylvester sat behind his table, brushing up some of his previous works. Something surprising had happened the day before. It all started from the moment Dakolo asked about the report of Chief Jubril’s job, Henry did not reply with a straightforward answer.
Dakolo did ask, ‘what was the result of your investigation?’
Henry who was obviously not suffering from catarrh before that moment sniffed in and rubbed his nose like someone who was heavily disturbed with cold. ‘The man has not come to collect it’ Henry gave an answer which surprised his two listeners.
Dakolo slanted his face slightly and stared into Henry’s face. He wasn’t expecting an off point answer like that from the brilliant Henry, his detective mind quickly suggested to him that Henry was trying to hide something. ‘I know’ Dakolo persisted, ‘but what I want is the report’
Henry stared still for some seconds without a reply. ‘I have it with me’ Henry answered, still trying to conjure what kind of answer would be accepted by the Agent.
At this point, Dakolo was quite sure that Henry was trying to hide the truth but he still decided to keep his doubt unknown as he could be wrong, he didn’t want to wrongly suspect or accuse the honorable Henry.
‘What was the result? Was the number really Canadian?’ Dakolo made his question more specific.
‘Yes, it was. The calls they were receiving was from Canada’ Henry finally gave in and lied to cover up Omotara. He could see the unhidden surprise on the face of Sylvester who he had once told that the number was cloned and the calls were being made from Africa.
‘Hmm’ Dakolo paused for a moment, still staring straight into Henry’s eyes. He took a brief glance at Sylvester as if to confirm Henry’s words from him but the look on Sylvester’s face was that of a person who was just hearing the report too. Sylvester tried to help Henry cover up too.
Dakolo returned his gaze to Henry’s face, still trying to deduce if Henry was hiding the truth. He shook his head, smacked his lips softly and rubbed his palms together.
‘Let me leave you guys to continue with your work for now, I’ll be back to give and get more information’ Dakolo had concluded before getting up to pack his load.
Back to Sylvester. He was still wondering why Henry told a lie to the Agent as he arranged his table. Or did Henry give him the false report earlier? Whatever it was he would have loved to find out immediately but with the look Henry kept on his face after Dakolo had left, he couldn’t summon enough courage to ask.
‘Alexander Kimberly’ he pronounced as his eyes met the file dropped by Tarasha the day before. He selected it and took out the papers inside. The first was her curriculum vitae, followed by copies of her certificates from school, then some copies of the reports of her personal projects as a developer and software engineer.
He began to read the report and soon found the contents interesting. She seemed intelligent and competent. ‘She may be good for the job’ he said to himself on a second thought. He continued to read through the reports and found some details that astonished him. He was forced to check her curriculum vitae again to confirm which university she graduated from. It was a London university. He returned to the report again and continued to scan through, getting more surprises as he read through. At a point, he began to doubt the authenticity, it was possible that she had copied from the works of a successful developer.
He was still engrossed with the reports when his phone rang. He picked it up and checked the caller, it was an unsaved number. He answered the call and a familiar voice sounded.
‘Good morning sir, it’s Alexander Kimberly’ the voice introduced.
‘Oh!’ He sighed, he was just considering her files and here she was already calling his number. ‘Miss Kimberly, how did you get my phone number? I don’t remember giving it to you’
‘I got it from your office yesterday sir’ she replied. ‘I saw it on the calender too’
He sighed again. ‘Okay, what can I do for you?’
‘I’m at the reception now and I asked to see you but I was told that you’ve asked that I should not be let in’ she answered.
‘Yes, I’m not expecting anybody today’ Sylvester replied tiredly. ‘And why are you here again? I didn’t ask you to come’
‘Yes, I’m sorry about that sir but since we couldn’t talk yesterday due to the circumstance that played out, I thought it okay to come back today’
Sylvester rested his forehead on his palm which was placed on the table. ‘You shouldn’t have come’
‘I’m sorry sir, I apologize for any inconvenience’ she said sharply, as if the reply had been rehearsed. There was a short pause, Sylvester could not be heard saying anything. ‘So should I come to your office?’ She asked after waiting without hearing his voice. She was sure he was still online as she could hear little sounds of his intake of breath.
‘I’ll call the Secretary first’ Sylvester accepted reluctantly. Well, not really reluctantly, he was already wishing and itching to interview the applicant who presented such a mind-blowing personal project.
Six minutes later, Tarasha was in Sylvester’s office seated in the same seat she sat the day before. She was dressed in a black skirt suit and blue inner shirt. The attachment on her hair had been changed but she still made the hair in the same style, done to fall at both sides and cover her ears and cheeks.
Sylvester took some minutes before he finally gave her attention. ‘Why didn’t you stay back in London to get a job?’ He asked, staring into her curriculum vitae.
‘My parents wanted me to come back to Nigeria. I’m their only child’ Tarasha replied.
Sylvester paused and rolled his swivel back a little. ‘These projects’ Sylvester lifted the papers for her to see. ‘You handled them on your own? Or someone else joined you’
‘Yes, I carried out every single one on my own’ she replied with a smile. ‘I still have the files with me’
‘If that’s true, it means you’re good.’ He complimented.
‘Thank you sir.’ Her smile broadened.
‘For now, the vacancies are closed’ Sylvester announced bluntly, returning the papers back into the file. Tarasha’s smile diminished. ‘I promise to call you once we have another opening’ he said, handing her property to her.
Tarasha didn’t collect it immediately. It took some encouraging looks from Sylvester before she took it from him.
‘Can I work as a volunteer?’ She asked after a moment of deafening silence.
‘Volunteer?’ His eyes widened in surprise.
‘Yes, I just feel I have something to do here’ she continued convincingly. ‘Especially with our recent security problems, I think I’ve got something to put in’
Sylvester placed a finger on his lips as he tried to reason. Taking her as a volunteer seemed excellent to him, but what if Henry thinks he employed her as a full staff? He gave a brief smile and clapped his hands together. Even Henry had said he was the Boss, so he wouldn’t owe Henry any explanation.
‘Okay’ he smiled. ‘You’ll do some personal jobs for me, when would you like to start?’
‘Start?’ Tarasha widened her eyeballs to express her joy. ‘I can start now, I’m ready’
‘Are you sure?’ Sylvester folded his arms and rested back.
‘Yes, I am’ she replied briefly.
Sylvester gave a crooked smile. He was going to have an intelligent person work for him, for free. He started to think of his abandoned projects that he needed to work on.
~~Elvis Richards Residence, Asokoro, Abuja ~~
Elvis Richards laid in the bathtub filled with warm water, he had a pipe in his mouth. That was his perfect thinking place when he had a serious difficulty, in the bathroom. He could either stay thirty minutes thinking under the shower while having what was supposed to be a brief bath or deliberately set himself up in the bathtub. But it had been years since he did any of those, because for a long time, he had not been faced with any challenge which got him so perplexed as this one.
Though when he became the Vice President, he had promised himself to stay away from police and criminal matters, he couldn’t keep his promise as the recent assassinations involved two of his closest, old-time friends and business associates. Thinking about all the assassinations and the mode; that is how they were killed when they weren’t even vying for any position or contending for any post. He began to think that this dangerous assassin, Samantha Osman could actually be their nemesis, his nemesis.
After the day he and the President had met with the heads of all security bodies, he had become more conscious of this thing, Nemesis. Or how could you explain how his two close pals were killed? Without any concrete or suspected reason.
The meeting had opened his eyes to see more clearly, that’s why he quickly agreed to work with the security bodies and bring in his experience to help them defeat the assassin. But he still lacked absolute trust in the security system. Being once a part of the system and a notorious one at that, he concluded that the system could not be trusted as there could be one like him who would be the one perpetrating the crime and also fighting it, like he did during his time of service.
All these troubles, just for his past. He wished he could erase it totally and be a new man, but it wasn’t possible. The effect of the atrocities committed by him, Nasiru Attahiru – the Senate President, the late Jubril Lawal, the late minister of health and some others who had been dead for a longer while would still be felt for generations to come.
One thing that still got him confused and considering if it wasn’t nemesis was the second victim of assassination, the Rivers State Governor. The Rivers State Governor was never a friend or associate of his, so he couldn’t connect the man’s assassination to his close pals’ deaths. Or maybe it was just a coincidence, maybe some serial killers had just been released into the countries of the world and had unfortunately chosen his two friends.
Anyway anyhow it was, he had to be prepared for anything. Now that he had joined forces with the security bodies, he needed to also seek some other alternatives.
He stepped out of the bathtub and took the towel from where it hung. He covered his nakedness with the towel and began to proceed out of the bathroom.
He stopped at the entrance as he remembered an option. Don. That was the topmost assassin in the country. Of course, the topmost before Samantha Osman was revealed.
Several years ago, Don was known as a trainee under Scot, an assassin who used to work for Chief Elvis and his friends. Scot was a dreaded cultist during his days in the university, he was always used several by politicians to carry out political assassinations and violence. Seven years after leaving school, Don Daniel headed the same cult he had left. Don graduated from school and joined Scot in the assassination job but be proved to be wiser and cleverer than Scot. Don later killed Scot after they had a disagreement and took over Supremacy.
Don had a large network of assassins under him and he also was connected with others who were working on their own. Chief Elvis was sure that Don would know who Samantha Osman is. She may even be an assassin under his control, he thought. He was going to contact Don before deciding what step was next.
Chief Elvis finally stepped into the room and closed the bathroom’s door. He had a meeting in the next three hours to prepare for.
~~Same day, 4pm ~~
Henry was returning to the office in his car after driving out to get something in a computer gadgets store. He had been moody all day, barely talking to anyone in the office. He couldn’t get his mind off what transpired in the office the day before. He wondered if he had made the right choice in lying to protect Omotara or if he had just gotten himself into trouble. He also wondered where Omotara was now and if she had decided to take his advice to get a decent job.
He let out a deep breath as he turned at the roundabout point and faced the road which led to the office. A median was separating his lane from the opposite direction lane. There was an unusual traffic jam on the lane but the other was free. Henry sighed as he queued behind a taxi, just few metres to the office.
As the cars began to move slowly, he saw a car which looked familiar drive by through the opposite lane. At first, he couldn’t tell where he had seen the car but in a moment of seconds, realization hit him. It felt as if he was punched hard in the stomach. It was the same blue car he saw in Omotara’s compound, he could recognize it by the scratch on the bonnet.
He wanted to turn and follow after the car immediately but there were cars already behind him and he could not fly over the median. He poked out his head through the window immediately and looked back, he couldn’t see the car anymore.
He hissed and shook his head in pity for himself. He was just hallucinating, he thought.
… To be continued
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