By Young C.c
Read My New Short Story – A Ghost In School
Immediately Tarasha got to the office the next day, she began to find a way to trace the movement of the police with Henry from the hospital. She needed access to the raw files from the regional blocks but as a new staff and person whose job isn’t related to it, she couldn’t ask Mr Sylvester directly. After getting the area where the hospital was located, she began to look for the section of the NSCC that was monitoring the area. Before 10am that morning, she already found it. But she still needed to break into the regional office and steal the raw file. She decided to strike by break time when most of the staffs wouldn’t be on seat.
‘Good morning sir,’ Ken greeted as he walked into the large room were Dakolo was.
‘Good morning Inspector Ken,’ Dakolo replied without taking his gaze off the pictures he was staring at on the board. ‘How is Henry doing this morning?’ Dakolo finally turned and asked Ken after a minute.
‘Henry is fine, he’s still the same. He doesn’t know anybody or himself, doesn’t want to see or even talk to me. The only people he sees and likes to talk to are the maids and the doctor,’ Ken replied. ‘He even shouted at an electrician today when the man tried to fix some wires in his room.’
‘But what did the doctor say is the reason for his hostility?’ Dakolo asked.
‘Fear, he said he’s afraid of people. The reason he’s more comfortable with the doctor and maids is because he’s been hearing their voices ever before his eyes opened and they’ve also been the one taking care of him.’
‘Then how would we take him out of there if he’s hostile to us? The doctor and maids won’t be with him for a long time.’
‘The doctor said I should try act more friendly and smile whenever I come near to him, that way he’ll start becoming comfortable with me and learn to trust me too.’
‘Well, you have to enroll for smiling lessons then,’ Dakolo joked. “I just hope everything works fine.’
Ken waited for some seconds before he started to speak again. ‘Sir, what do you think we do about Henry’s mum? Should we allow them meet like the doctor said?’
‘Yes, I believe it’ll be cool if we could allow them to.’ Dakolo replied, ‘but on the other hand, I still think it’ll would be stupid of us to do so.’
‘Why did you say that sir?’
‘Ken, the whole nation is aware of her presence in town, the media reported everything she did at the hospital and the office here yesterday. It means that the assassins are also aware of her presence, they could be keeping tabs on her and that means taking her to Henry or bringing him to her would expose Henry to danger.’
‘That’s true sir,’ Ken commented thoughtfully.
‘It’s a complicated situation Ken,’ Dakolo heaved a sigh. ‘Had it been she had come in quietly, it would have been easier.’
There was silence for the next two minutes, Ken’s eyes were fixed on the pictures pinned to the board while Dakolo was lost in thoughts.
‘Sir,’ Ken called Dakolo. ‘These pictures, there is only that looks so close.’
‘Yeah, only the girl on low cut’ Dakolo agreed with him and touched disguised Aisha out of the four persons in the picture. ‘The baffling thing is that her facial features is always different, the makeup she uses must have very thick layers.’
‘Yes sir, that’s what I’m thinking too. But what about these other people? Any close person found?’
‘I’ve asked for a search on matching photographs to be done on them.’ Dakolo answered, he picked his phone from a table nearby. ‘I’m sure the search should be completed already,’ he said and turned back. ‘Let’s go get the result.’
Both of them walked out of the room and headed for the computer room, to meet the same officers who had been charge of contacting the Government City Hospital in Capetown.
‘Are you done?’ Dakolo asked as soon as his eyes came in contact with the lady.
‘Yes sir,’ she replied, she minimized the application she was using on the computer and opened another. The separately cropped pictures of the four disguised assassins showed immediately, then other pictures began to show underneath each one.
‘For this lady who was called their leader,’ the lady computer operator began her explanation. She clicked on the picture of Tarasha which was captured in her disguised form, two other pictures displayed underneath.
‘Oh!’ Dakolo exclaimed as he saw the pictures, he had seen them before. ‘Isn’t this the fake desert Reporters journalist who interviewed John Obiano?’ he asked.
‘Yes, it happens to be the same person, Samantha Osman. The facial structures are the same, only the colour and hair are different,’ the lady affirmed. ‘But the problem now is that her pictures do not match with any in the citizens’ directory, it doesn’t match with the immigrants’ or even visitors’ directory.’
‘Her pictures has never matched with any, she’s always heavily disguised,’ Dakolo said. ‘It’s not her face.’
‘But how come the security officials never knew that she was Samantha Osman?’ Ken asked thoughtfully.
‘Even both of us wouldn’t have known if we were in their shoes,’ Dakolo answered him. ‘She wasn’t looking like the same, here she is fairer as the desert Reporters journalist than the way she was when she visited the Senate President’s House, no one could have connected it.’ Dakolo explained, pointing at the pictures. ‘The reason we’re able to connect it now is because we’ve conducted a search.’
‘Hmm… This is strange,’ Ken heaved a sigh of frustration, placing his fingers on his nose and mouth. ‘And I’m sure the facial structures aren’t even original.’
‘Yes Ken, her real facial structures must have been covered by the thick layers of makeup.’ Dakolo added.
The lady computer operator closed the picture and opened another, Cole’s disguised form to the Senate President’s mansion. ‘This one does not even have any matching picture,’ she said before closing it. She opened Benny’s picture as Mr Alfred, ‘this does not have any match too.’ she closed it again and opened Aisha’s own. ‘This one doesn’t really match too but we can identify her to be Aisha Bello if we compare the pictures and sketches. Her features here looks similar to the real Aisha Bello’s pictures, there are still big differences anyway. The matching factor is that her nose in the sketch looks like her nose in this picture but her cheeks are different while her nose in the real Aisha’s Bello pictures looks far different from the two but her real cheeks are like the one in the sketch.’
‘Well, it must be Aisha Bello. Although, a sketch isn’t really that reliable but with all these connections, it must be her.’ Dakolo joined. ‘And this also confirms that Aisha Bello is different from Samantha Osman, Samantha Osman is the real leader of the gang.’
‘But sir, ‘ the computer operator gave a confused look. ‘ We only found little similarities, there are lots of discrepancies between the Aisha Bello’s pictures too. The jaws, the foreheads…’ she was saying but paused and opened her mouth like she was shocked about something.
‘Sir, see,’ she urged Dakolo to look at the computer screen. ‘The ears are the same.’
‘Wow!’ Dakolo stared in surprise too. ‘Why didn’t we ever notice that?’ he said, smiling at Ken who had joined in the surprise too.
‘It’s Aisha Bello, no doubts’ Ken stated with certainty in his voice.
Dakolo’s smile soon turned into a frown, ‘well all these discoveries would not lead us any closer to getting her,’ he said in a discouraged tone. Everyone’s smiles also disappeared. ‘Or is it possible to post her ears to the public and declare it wanted? Who’s going to be searching for people’s ears?’
There was a deafening silence for the next three minutes, the slow and calm breaths of each officers could be heard.
‘But,’ Dakolo suddenly began again, with excitement. ‘We can do something about this,’ he said and began to take out his phone.
The others stared at him in awe, wondering what the reason was for his excitement.
‘Hello Mr Sylvester, are you at the office?’ he said into the phone. ‘Okay, I’ll be there very soon.’
‘Do something about the ears sir?’ Ken asked as soon as Dakolo was done with the call.
Dakolo paused and stared at him awkwardly, ‘no, do something about the pictures.’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll explain to you later.’ Dakolo said and patted Ken on the shoulder. He turned to the computer operator, ‘please make five photocopies of the pictures for me, I’ll be back to get it in ten minutes time.’
‘Okay sir,’ the computer operator replied.
‘Ken, let’s go plan about Henry’s mother,’ Dakolo before he and Ken walked out of the room.
Aisha had been monitoring Mrs George since the day before. Mrs George was staying in her friend’s house and brought with her no car which Aisha could place a tracker on and monitor with. Aisha had no choice than to resume her monitoring by 5am in the morning.
It was until12pm, Mrs George came out of the house with a young man in his late teens. Aisha who was already dressed in a pullover whose hoodie covered her hair, and a dark eyeglass to cover her face began to follow them closely. Soon, Mrs George and the young man stopped by the road side to wait for a cab. An idea came to Aisha, she took out her phone and uncovered her head.
‘Good morning ma,’ she said approaching the woman where she was standing.
‘Good morning,’ Mrs George replied calmly, but her body language showed that she wasn’t comfortable with the stranger approaching her.
‘I’m Seun, a journalist from YTV.’ Aisha made an introduction, she pressed the recording button on her phone and brought it closer to the woman to show that she was ready for an interview.
The woman sighed on hearing the introduction and looked away but Aisha pressed on.
‘Ma, I have some few questions for you,’ she said, turning to stand at the woman’s front.
‘Young lady, I’m not in the mood for questions. As you can see, I’m on my way to somewhere very important.’ the woman said in a warning tone.
‘Where are you going to ma?’ Aisha asked, disregarding her warning.
‘It’s none of your business, please leave me alone.’ the woman replied and tried to walk away but Aisha followed.
‘Would you leave her alone please,’ the young man shouted at Aisha, standing at her front in readiness to give a fight.
‘Oh!’ Aisha slowly backed out acting defeated but she had accomplished what she wanted to do already, a tracker and a voice recorder had been fixed on the woman’s clothes.
Aisha walked back to where her car was parked and waited inside until Mrs George and the young man got a cab. She clicked open the screen of her phone and opened the tracking application, she could see the position of the woman on the road. She took her makeup kits bag from the back seat and began to apply a quick solution to disguise her face briefly, she had to do that because it was possible she ran into someone who knew her face. She took off the pullover, leaving on only a small blue blouse. Then she put on her wig before driving off, in the direction her tracking application was pointing her to.
After driving for a total of thirty minutes, she stopped when she noticed that the woman’s movement had stopped first. But the stop was brief, there was another movement but a very short one, she could tell that the woman only moved a short walking distance. Aisha took out her headset and plugged it into the phone to listen to the recording, what she could hear at first were brief greetings and questions in low voices, she could easily tell that the woman was in an organization.
Five minutes later, the movement stopped totally, by this time, Aisha had been able to decipher that the woman was in the police headquarters.
‘Good morning ma, I’m Inspector Ken.’ she could hear someone say to the woman.
‘Good morning ma, I’m Inspector Ken.’ Ken introduced himself to Mrs George. They were inside his office, Mrs George and the young man were seated on the visitors’ seats.
‘Where is Dakolo?’ the woman asked in a distressed tone, thick Igbo accent. ‘He should come and tell me where he has kept my son.’
‘Please calm down ma,’ Ken said politely. ‘I’m working with Inspector Dakolo on all issues that has to do with your son, Henry.’
‘So you people are in it together? Where have you kept my son?’
‘Ermm…’ Ken hesitated for a while, staring at the young man. ‘You have to excuse us for a moment,’ he said to the teenager.
‘Tell me, did anything happen to my son?’ Mrs George was impatient.
‘I can’t say anything until he leaves ma,’ Ken maintained his position. The young man got up reluctantly and walked out of the office.
‘Ma,’ Ken continued in a serious tone, after the young man was out of the office.
‘Tell me what you people have done to my son,’ the woman said in a low but tensed tone.
‘Ma, first of all, we have to agree now that everything I tell you here would be kept secret between us.’
The woman stared at him without replying, she twitched her lips and squinted.
‘You have to agree ma,’ Ken repeated. ‘It’s to make sure everything turns out well.’
‘Okay,’ she finally said.
‘Good, your son is fine, hale and hearty.’ Ken announced and paused to see the reaction on the woman’s face. As expected, her face was lightened up and her lips covered with smiles.
‘Where’s he? I want to see him,’ the woman said happily.
‘That’s the first problem, you can’t see him now.’
The woman’s smile changed into a frown, she instantly began to doubt Ken’s words. ‘Why can’t I see my son?’ she asked.
‘You can’t see him now because f he’s in danger,’ Ken replied, he took a brief pause before he continued, Mrs George’s face was already showing her eagerness for more explanation. ‘Ma, you know the circumstances that led to his condition. His life is being threatened by the dangerous Samantha Osman assassin group.’
‘But what have my son done to them?’ the woman began to wail. ‘My son does not look for trouble.’
‘Calm down madam,’ Ken hushed. ‘Your son is fine and recovering very fast.’
‘But how would I know you’re not lying to me?’
‘You’ll know Madam.’
‘How would I know?’ the woman argued. ‘You’re saying my son is fine but the news says he was in a condition of mental instability; I tried to contact him but I couldn’t, I tried to contact you people but you wouldn’t respond. Now the news says he was already poisoned by Samantha Osman, how am I going to know if my son is not dead.’
‘You’ll see him ma,’ Ken replied.
‘You’ll take me to where he is?’ the woman’s face brightened up again.
‘No, I won’t take you there neither would I bring him to you. It’s very dangerous for you to go to him now or for him to come to you, the assassins may be trailing either of you.’
‘Ah! Assassins trailing me too?’ the woman became alarmed.
‘Don’t worry madam, we have everything under control, we’ll provide security for you.’
‘They should even come and take me,’ she said in a frustrated tone, raising up her two in surrender. ‘I’m old enough to die but let them leave my son alone.’
‘Madam, both of you won’t die if you do what we say.’ Ken tried to encourage.
‘But wait,’ she put down her hands and stared at Ken with all seriousness. ‘Is it true that my son has now become a dummy?’
‘No,’ Ken couldn’t do but smile at the manner which she asked. ‘It was true, but now your son has recovered, he has his senses back.’
‘How am I going to know you’re telling me the truth?’
‘You’ll take to him via video chat,’ Ken replied.
‘This night, we’ll connect you to him. We’re also making arrangements for you to ensure your safety, you won’t leave here now. Some policemen would accompany you to get whatever you need from where you came from this morning.’ Ken explained. ‘But please, do make sure that nobody else hears this.’
It was past break already and Tarasha had gotten all the data needed. After watching the video files over and over again, she wasn’t satisfied with what she got. The officers had taken Henry to a very far distance, far from the cameras’ reach. She was getting more impatient about Benny’s return now, she needed to know if the task of killing Henry was a successful one. She picked her phone and dialed Cole’s number.
‘Hello Cole, hope you’re getting prepared to send the Senate President back home?’
‘Yes, all is set already.’ Cole replied.
‘Okay, have you heard from Benny yet?’
‘What about Aisha?’
‘No news also.’
‘Okay, if you don’t hear from Benny or locate him before the day runs out, you guys have to move from the lodge.’
‘Okay, back to Asokoro?’
‘Maybe, but to an hotel, not where I am.’
‘Okay boss,’ Cole said and the call ended.
Aisha’s call came in few seconds after. ‘Hello girl,’ Tarasha answered.
‘Boss, Henry is not dead.’ Aisha stated flatly. She waited for a response from the boss but got none as the boss was too dumbfounded to speak. ‘His mother would be speaking live to him through a video chat tonight,’ Aisha continued her message.
…to be continued
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