Tarasha – Chapter 20 Part 8

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**8pm**

‘But could it mean that he still lied about the location to us?’ Stainless asked as he drove them in the car, away from Gwagalada.

‘I don’t think he lied, the effects of the drug could be seen all over him that day.’ Don replied him.

‘But how come we found nothing in that house?’ Stainless pressed on.

‘Because they left the place already, they could be in the other location.’ Don said.

‘You talk to much,’ Rex said sharply with a warning tone to the both of them. ‘Think more instead.’

There was quietness for the next fifteen minutes of driving until Rex spoke again. ‘We’ll visit the location in Ass-O-ko,’ Rex said, trying try pronounce Asokoro. ‘If we can’t find them there, we won’t leave without getting a trace or link.’

_____

‘How was your outing?’ Jefa asked Henry who he had not spoken with since he returned with Omotara.

‘Not bad,’ Henry replied. ‘But Omotara is as stubborn as usual.’

‘Stubborn?’

‘Yes, but don’t worry.’ Henry said with a smile. ‘With time, she’ll be broken.’

‘Are you sure of that?’ Jefa asked, his tone revealed his doubts. ‘The way she acts and talks is as if she is afraid of love, and afraid of you.’

Henry smiled again, he got up from the bed and took off his shirt. ‘Don’t worry sir, I think you should just take a rest.’

‘How can I take a rest? I’m scared to see her like that,’ Jefa said.

‘Okay,’ Henry said sharply and turned to him. ‘There are two things likely to happen, it’s either she becomes worse than she is now or get better. And I believe she’ll get better.’

‘You believe so?’

‘I’m sure,’ Henry said and turned back to change his shirt. He returned to the bed and sat in it, resting his back against the headboard. Jefa was still standing, there were questions written all over his face as he placed his hands on his waist.

‘There’s something else I want to ask,’ Jefa said in a tone which caught Henry’s interest.

‘What’s that sir?’

‘It’s about you,’ Jefa had a frustrated look on. ‘You, what the police and the media says about you recently and why you’ve been walking around like a fugitive everytime. You always wear sweaters that keeps your face hidden.’ Jefa paused to look at Henry’s face.

There was guilt written all over Henry’s face, this was something he had been avoiding, he didn’t want to talk about it with Jefa.

‘No, don’t get me wrong,’ Jefa said with an apologetic expression as he saw the look on Henry’s face.  ‘I believe that you are innocent of all the charges but I’m wondering why you are not making any move to clear your name.’

There was a deafening silence for almost two minutes, Jefa had his eyes placed on Henry’s face while Henry was looking away, guiltily.

Henry finally heaved a deep sigh and began to talk softly. ‘I’m sorry I hid it from you, I was scared that of I told you about it, you’ll hate me just like Tara. I don’t want that; You’re my only connection with her and I don’t want it broken.’

‘What are you talking about?’ Jefa cut in, placing a suspicious narrow look on Henry’s face. ‘Is that part of the reason Tara seems afraid to love you?’

‘No, she isn’t afraid of me because of that but it’s true,’ Henry said in low voice.

‘It’s true… What do…you mean?’ Jefa stuttered, deeply afraid. ‘What is true?’

‘All what you’ve heard about me is true,’ Henry said.

‘No, it can’t be.’ Jefa tried to look into Henry’s eyes for confirmation but Henry looked away, the tears in his eyes confirmed him pleading guilty. ‘You mean you work with the assassins truly?’

Henry rose up from the bed and stared at Jefa’s face with a pleading look, ‘I don’t work with the assassins but I know about them.’

‘Then why don’t you tell everything you know about them to the police?’ Jefa said in a scolding manner.

‘No, I can’t.’ Henry said with tears in his eyes, motioning his head to signify disagreement. ‘I can’t tell the police anything.’

‘Why? Are you scared of the assassins?’

‘No, I’m not. But I don’t want them to get caught.’

‘What do you mean?’ Jefa asked sharply.

‘I’m sorry, I can’t say more than I’ve said already.’ Henry said and began to walk out of the room.

‘Henry, Henry,’ Jefa called in a commanding tone but Henry refused to stop. They walked past the dining room and then the living room.

Henry walked out of the house and out of the compound without listening to Jefa’s call. Jefa had to walk back into the house, disappointed and frustrated.

‘I guess you and your friend must have had a terrible argument,’ Tara said in a taunting tone. She was now seated in the living room, with the legs on a footstool and the television remote control in her right hand.

Jefa refused to reply her and walked straight into his room.

He returned to the living room thirty minutes later. He met Omotara already sleeping on the three seater sofa, he tapped her gently.

Omotara opened her eyes slowly and sat up, looking into her brother’s eyes and wondering why he woke her up.

‘I served your food already,’ she said to him.

‘I’m not eating, I want to talk to you.’ Jefa said and took his seat beside her.

‘What is it brother?’ she asked in a lively tone.

‘I want to return to my house tomorrow,’ he said.

Omotara felt heartbroken at the sound of his words, she stared at him for a moment without reply. Blood began to pump through her body at a faster rate, tears formed in her eyes almost immediately.

‘I want to go back to my normal life, I believe that my presence here has not done any good to you’ Jefa continued. ‘I want you and Henry to reunite but I’m scared because I don’t think that would ever happen with my presence. I want you to be happy. My few days with you have been the happiest days of my life. All these while I’ve been living alone, I’ve been living in pains that bad memories bring to me, you’re the only one that brings back memories of good times to me.’

‘Then why do you want to leave if you’re happy with me?’ Omotara said in a pleading tone, she herself couldn’t even believe that the words were coming out of her mouth.

‘I’m scared,’ Jefa said and stood up. ‘My bad dreams seems to be manifesting already. I’m on my way trying to reunite you and Henry together but I’ve dreamt severally that it’ll cause a disaster, especially if I’m with you.’ he paused and turned to look at her face. ‘I don’t want to be the cause of your sorrow.’

‘Brother, dreams are meaningless, they are products of our imagination and activities during the day, they shouldn’t form your actions. You dream that we being together will bring disaster but still you say that the happiest moments of your life has been when we are together. Why don’t you let us work it out, so that you can be happier. Why do you want to return to the pains that the bad memories cause you? Why not stay in this happiness?’

‘I don’t think this happiness would continue,’ Jefa said briefly.

‘It will continue, we can it continue. We can leave this country if you want, I believe it will help erase the bad memories and dreams from you.’ she said and got up, desperately trying to stop him from leaving. There was a brief silence, she closed her eyes and sniffed back in the tears.

Jefa sat back on the chair, thinking about the option of traveling out of the country, it sounded like a good idea to him. Maybe they could avert the disaster coming if they were in another country, besides, in all the dreams he had, the locations were places in Nigeria.

Tara sat back on the chair with him and placed a hand on his shoulder. ‘Would you stay with me?’ she asked.

‘Would you be happy without Henry?’ Jefa asked another question which got her confused.

‘I don’t know,’ she said, looking narrowly away.

‘I want you to be happy…’

‘I will be happy,’ she cut in, deciding to not consider herself, all she wanted was his own happiness. ‘I will be happy when I’m with you.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes.’

‘I don’t think so,’ Jefa retorted.

‘I will be happy brother. You’re getting it all wrong, I’ve never been in any relationship with Henry and I’m not planning to start one.’

Jefa looked into her eyes for some seconds. ‘But you love him?’

‘I don’t know.’she replied and looked away again.

‘How can you not know?’ Jefa said, turning her face back to him. ‘Stop denying, it’s obvious that you love him.’

‘I don’t know if I do, that’s the truth.’

‘Henry has a challenge, I think we should try and help him fix it instead of leaving him.’

‘I don’t know about his challenge and we don’t need him. I’m okay with you, let’s travel to another country and forget about him.’ she said.

‘No,’ Jefa said in an adamant tone and got up to his feet. ‘I won’t let you trade your happiness for mine, if I can’t see you happy, then I’ll return to my former self.’ he said and stormed back to his room.

++++

**At Inspector General Rikau’s place **

Rikau was in a seat facing Rex with two non uniformed officers standing behind him while Don and Stainless standing behind Rex. Chief Rikau was relaying Chief Elvis’ message to them.

‘The Vice President wants her dead but he also wants you to find and kill the sponsor, anyone you find first would be okay.’ Chief Rikau concluded with a summary after a long message of about ten minutes.

‘We are close to getting her Chief, it won’t be long before we bring her and her sponsors down.’

_________________________

**Next Morning**

__7.30am__

Tarasha was dressed in a black suit and trouser with her hand bag hung in readiness to go out.

‘Good morning Tara,’ Jefa greeted her as she approached the exit door.

She quickly turned back and flipped her hair backwards. ‘Good morning brother,’ she greeted with a smile. ‘I served your breakfast already,’ she said and continued towards the door.

‘I’m leaving today,’ Jefa said, making her stop abruptly.

She turned back slowly with a frown, ‘you’re leaving where?’

‘I explained to you yesterday already,’ Jefa replied.

‘But I said we’ll leave this country soon.’

‘Not without your happiness.’

She took in a deep breath and stared thoughtfully, ‘Okay, I’ll talk to Henry today and see if we can help him.’ she said and paused to see his reaction.

‘Okay,’ Jefa nodded. ‘But I still need to go to that house today, I need to pick somethings.’

‘Promise me that you’re not trying to escape,’ she said.

‘I won’t leave you if you promise that you’ll make yourself happy.’

_____

**8.45am**

Henry was jerked off from sleep as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He opened his eyes to find himself in the boot of the caravan, then he remembered what happened the last night.. He quickly peeped out through the window to see if the owners of the vehicle were around. After seeing no one, he walked out of the vehicle and jumped over the fence of the warehouse.

The sun rays reflected into his eyes as he begun to walk down the road. That was when he realized that he was without cover that morning, he had left Tarasha’s house without any suitable cloth to disguise himself.

He moved to a corner and took out his phone. ‘I think I love you. Let’s meet today by 5pm.’ that was the first pop-up message his eyes saw as he unlocked the screen. It was from Omotara.

++++

7.45am

‘Hello madam,’ Stainless greeted a man coming out from a black gate.

‘Hello, may I help you?’ Henry Paul replied politely.

‘Yes, please,’ Stainless said, then he motioned Henry Paul to step forward. ‘I’m from the police headquarters,’ he said, displaying an ID card.

‘Okay sir,’ Henry Paul adjusted his NSCC ID card hung around his neck.

‘Who stays in this building?’ Stainless asked, pointing to the Tarasha’s gate.

‘Hmm… A young lady and three friends.’ Henry Paul answered.

‘Do you know her and her friends?’

‘Yes, I know a little about her but I don’t know about her friends, I’ve not even been seeing them recently. I only see her occasionally with another young man whose face I never see properly.’

‘Okay, do you know if she’s in the house now?’

‘No,’ Henry Paul said, shaking his head to emphasize. ‘She should have gone to work already, I recently found out that she also works at the NSCC where I’m a regional staff.’

‘Hmm… So she works at the NSCC?’

‘Yes, she does. Hope there’s no problem.’

‘No, there’s none.’ Stainless said with an assuring look. ‘Do you know her name?’

‘I know her to be Evelyn but I found out at the office that her full name is Kimberly E. Alexander.’ Henry Paul answered. ‘Are you sure there’s no problem?’

‘Yes, there’s none. I think she’s not the person I’m looking for,’ Stainless said with an harmless smile.

‘Okay then, I have to be on my way now. I’m running late already.’ Henry Paul said and waved the presumed officer goodbye.

Stainless quietly returned to where their car was parked, several distance away from their main target location. He entered into the front seat of the car, Don was sitting at the driver’s side while Rex was at the back.

‘Boss, more than just one person stays in the house. But I think the owner herself is a lady, her name is Kimberly E. Alexander, she works at the NSCC.’ Stainless said, looking at his boss’ face through the rearview mirror.

‘I think we’ve got the correct location, there are cameras all around the house. We only need to confirm by bringing your hostage here.’

‘So, how do we strike boss?’ Don asked impatiently. He clenched his teeth and fists, excited about the fact that he was a part of the team that was thing to bring down Tarasha.

‘We’ll strike gently, remember she’s a machine too.’

…to be continued.

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