By Femi Odunayo
The Night was fast approaching and the atmospheric condition was relatively cold prior to little drizzle of rainfall that reflected on the moment. The cozy breath of nature emitted fresh breeze that circulated around every nook and crany of the house which eventually made it unnecessary to power the air-conditioner regardless of stable electricity from the generator power plant mounted in the house. Jude was living the life of a king and could afford almost anything he needed as a man, yet was unmarried as a result of his occupation, even though he wasn’t getting any younger.
Often times, he wished he could wake up every morning as a responsible individual and not someone who would have to steal or kill to survive. He had thought of changing that status several times but could seldom phantom the feasibility of that ever happening.
The door to the parlour was soon opened and they both stepped into the sitting-room which was practically a mini-heaven. Elo could hardly believe her eyes as she had entered the most expensive house in her entire life.
Jude positioned her comfortably on the sofa located at the southern flank of the room, and proceeded to his home-theatre system that instantly began playing slow RnB rhythm which was dimly volumed. He then started pulling off his shirt while Elo surprisingly watched and started imagining how she was about to be molested by a criminal. Although, she would have freely given-in to sex because her assignment as an undercover was more important than being f****d once by someone she barely had feelings for. Everything seemed set for a perfect romantic night of intimacy which would have been one of a kind should Jude had capitalized on the opportunity. Instead, Jude walked back to the couch where she was seated and sat beside her before enacting a conversation
“You’re welcome to my crib ma’am, please do not hesitate to feel at home.” He said and then curved his lips into a cute smile. Elo replied in appreciation and again, she stared directly into his eyes but what she saw was a loving man with a good heart, who was unfortunately wanted for robbery.
“So Elohor, tell me more about yourself. I mean everything.” Jude said and leaned his back closer toward a small pillow near him, and raised his eyebrows up whilst looking interested.
Elo was instantly reeled with goose bumps as though she was about to be interviewed by the devil himself, but then, she managed to coordinated herself together as she started telling about herself.
After she was done telling about herself, she purposely told the truth about some things, and lied about some other things; but above all, she omitted the part where she was a television reporter. It became Jude’s turn to give a hint into his person and he equally did the same thing, telling the truth and also lying about himself, especially on what he does for a living.
In his story, he started by narrating from the early days of his youth while he was struggling as a young adult from a poor hardworking background. He was the only child his parents had and they virtually gave and sold all they had ensuring that he was able to acquire formal education. He was the only hope his pauper parents had to enjoy the little benefits that life had to offer before they would eventually migrate to meet with their creator. His mother, though, wretched, yet sold her clothes and other belongings to send him through school. His late father also took loans to pay for his tuition fees, accommodation, feeding and social well-being while he was still an undergraduate. At a point, his father was unable to remit the loans he had borrowed, then the monetary institution that granted the loans teamed up to take possession of their only farmland which was initially used as collateral and left them with nothing. It wasn’t until then that he was offered a scholarship to study abroad after he finished as the best graduating student in his department while in the university; but his mother had no money to pay for his travelling ticket, hence, he rejected the offer. Few years later, he was able to have his Master’s done in Nigeria, at the University of Ibadan but was left stranded in the labour market with no profiting job to his degree. Then, his mother was struck with a severe illness. They couldn’t afford to take her to the hospital, that way, they began treating her traditionally, using medicinal herbs. To make matters worse, his mother later passed away while he was holding her helplessly, he clearly asserted that watching his ailing mother die slowly and unable to do anything to help was the most traumatic event that had ever happened to him.
As though that was not enough, he started losing the people he called his friends, his longtime lover also abandoned him, and then it seemed as if society had rejected him. Jude stressed that he contemplated committing suicide many times, perhaps, heaven would accept his soul. He then accepted the fact that his story was undoubtedly touching, but failed to acknowledge to Elohor that his life eventually turned around when he met a man called “GENERAL.”
By this time, Elo was already covered with genuine tears and didn’t know when she started narrating her worst ordeal ever experienced. She reflected on a particular robbery which took place in the city two months earlier, it was one of the worst act of terrorism ever experienced in the land, and even had international news desk ‘CNN’ reporting it to the world. Elo revealed to Jude that she was the only survivor in that attack which almost terminated her life until she was saved by an unknown person who shot dead her supposed killer.
Jude was immediately shocked after a mystery was unraveled; he had to find out that he was a hero to a strange lady he barely know, and whom he recently met at a function. He was uncomfortable still, but nonetheless, he had no worries having a close interaction and friendship with someone like her regardless of the secret they shared among each other. Although, it was against their code of ethics to keep close relationships with the opposite sex, let alone having a conversation with someone involved in one of the attack they carried out. Perhaps, he thought it was only an instance of coincidence, only if he knew that the lady beside him was working in cooperation with the FBI/POLICE in order to have him and his team arrested.
“You’re a good man…” Elo slowly uttered while stressing the ‘Good’ part. “…and you should be thankful to God that your story has changed today.” She added. Elo immediately started having a strong emotional feeling toward him, unknown to her that she was taking the worst decision ever…
*TO BE CONTINUED*