Happy birthday to Osman, Age with grace
Tarasha could hear him coming towards her from behind the Jeep she was hiding; her legs were hidden behind the tyre while she bent. Don was looking around as he proceeded towards the parking space slowly, just about nine metres to the back of the car where she was. Tarasha readied her gun when she was able to approximate his distance to be four metres closer. Her plan was take him down temporarily and extract some information from him. But just as she was about to move out and shoot at Don, something on her wrist vibrated, the electronic bangle. The signal meant that Aisha was giving her a warning about something. She folded her jacket sleeve and checked the screen displayed on the bangle, it showed the message “Police officers are here”.
‘Damn it!’ she cursed. The police arrival would not give her enough time to drag Don out and do all she wanted to do with him and she didn’t want to take the other option which was to attack the police. She had to leave the place as soon as she could.
She stepped back a bit, still conscious of Don’s movement, she searched the outer pocket of her bag hurriedly and took out something.
Then she focused on the faded shadow of Don approaching with his gun formed in front, she rolled out the small ball taken out from her bag towards Don and turned back swiftly.
She could hear Don heavy steps as he staggered backwards and shot at the ball which was rolling towards him and emitting blue smoke.
She jumped on the bonnet of the second car and caught the tip of the very high fence, she pulled herself up without much struggles and climbed over the fence, landing inside another compound.
She landed into a small rectangular grass field, there was a short tree at the middle of the field, the small section looked like a relaxation part of the facility. There were two long unmovable concrete seats at each side facing each other under the tree. A bright bulb hung directly at the middle of the tree.
She began to crawl out of the place towards a shadow formed by a building some metres behind. She stopped as she got under the shadow and took sometime to look around the compound but she wasn’t able to determine what kind of building it was or even if it was residential or commercial.
She relaxed for a few seconds and took out her device, she unlocked it and began to search Aisha’s location with her app.
Soon, sounds of police cars could be heard closely. She rose up from under the shadow and proceeded forward carefully, she stopped at the front of the building behind whose shadow she hid, it had a raised corridor about half a metre above the ground level. The building itself was about nine metres wide and six metres long, it had two doors each at both ends of the width. She took a peep in through the slightly opened first door, she could see a line of urinals for men. That was when she looked up to the inscription at the top of the door, it read “Men’s toilet”. She looked towards the other door and it had the inscription “Ladies” hanging above. From that observation, she could conclude that the place was a public one which received so many visitors on daily basis. From the sparkling cleanness of the floor tiles in the men’s toilet, she also concluded it wasn’t a factory or warehouse like the neighboring building.
She paused for a second to listen carefully as she heard the loud noises made by the police officers and their vehicles as they surrounded and entered into the warehouse she had just left. She took a look at the device in her left hand again, the app had picked the exact spot Aisha was and the compass pointing the direction back through the warehouse.
She proceeded forward slowly. The main building in the compound was just three metres spaced from the toilet building. Both ends started at the same point from the back but the main building was ten times longer and wider. The building was a bungalow with a high roof for a public place but not up to the heights of big cathedrals. There was a security building directly opposite the toilet but with the entrance adjacent to the gate, just at the same position the security building at the warehouse was.
Tarasha stopped as she got to the front edge of the main building wall. She took out her gun and rested on the wall. She stared intently towards the security building for some seconds, waiting to see if any security official would show up if any alarm goes off but there was none. She proceeded to the front of the main building, it had a slightly high and large balcony. At the middle top of the roof was a broad rectangular sign board which displayed the name “New Prestige Library” in bold, the address and some other descriptions in smaller fonts below. She continued towards the steps at the middle of the pharmacy and climbed up onto the balcony.
She could hear noise made by the police officers outside the gate of the warehouse but could not hear anything outside. It seemed the officers had come for serious business. She could only hope silently that Aisha was able to hide herself from the police, else that would be a more difficult job for her and she would have to attack the police which she didn’t want to.
‘Boss, we’re moving out already,’ Stainless spoke into the phone as he dragged a bag along with him. At his front was Stone and the other men who were at the place with him. Stone had a gun placed to Cole’s back as he motioned him forward. Cole had an handcuff binding his hands but his legs were free. He was already deep asleep on the cold floor where he was allowed to lay when one of the boys had barged into room suddenly and commanded him to get up.
‘We’ll should get a safe location once we are able to get out of this place first,’ Stainless answered Rex again.
‘Do keep me updated everytime and anytime anything comes up,’ Rex voice sounded from the other end of the connection line.
‘Okay boss,’ Stainless replied and the line went off.
He dipped the key into the hole and turned twice it as quickly. He paused to look around the place again while the others were already halfway down the stairs. He stared at his phone’s screen one more time, then he exited the dialer and locked the screen before dipping it into his pocket. He took out his pistol from the other pocket and cleaned the tip, he tucked it into his back pocket after deeply sniffing in the cold air.
Rex took in a deep breath as he dropped the phone on the table, he adjusted his seat and tapped the keyboard, the monitor’s light came on and he entered the password. It unlocked and it displayed the Henry’s full portrait picture on the left side, on the right it displayed the portrait image reproduced with only black dots.
He clicked on a crop tool on the side bar and began to use it to cut out the image on the left. His phone vibrated twice before he got halfway. He wanted to finish with his cropping before attending to the message but the sender’s ID caught his attention. He abandoned the mouse and picked the phone.
‘Tarasha has gotten away and I’m also trying to escape. Someone has contacted the authorities and members of the Rapid Response Squad are here.’ the message read.
Rex shifted his chair backwards to create space for him to type on his phone. He slid his finger round the popped up keyboard, inputting a short message in few seconds, ‘Where exactly are you now?’
He stared at the screen in silence for some seconds, expecting a prompt reply. He wasn’t disappointed as the reply came in less than thirty seconds.
‘I’m hiding in the roof of the building behind the warehouse,’ the reply read.
‘Stay safe and avoid being caught, leave only when the place is clear.’ Rex sent in reply. He placed the phone back on his table and adjusted his seat to the table properly.
Tarasha rolled the flattened tiny metal into the keyhole and the door gave way easily. She held back the door with the handle and carefully drew out the metal, then she pushed the door in slowly and entered. She was welcomed into the library by the total darkness due to the absence of light and closed windows. She closed the door carefully and walked some steps away from the door, then she took off her backpack and dropped it on the floor, squatting before it. She turned on her device flashlight and then opened the bag, she took out a material which look like a face cap and closed the bag again. The material could be attached to the head just like a face cap but it had no top covering. She wore it on her head and pressed something by the left side of the material. A bright source from which light diverges like light from a torch appeared at the middle of the material on her forehead. She turned off her device’ flashlight and strapped the bag to her back as she rose up, she then walked towards the window which were covered with fancy library curtains and peeped through to see if there was anything or anybody in the compound, she covered the light from her forehead before bending to peep. After that, she returned back to the door and pulled the handle to make sure it was properly locked, it was.
She turned to look around the library, her little source of light limited her view of the facility but she didn’t want to take the risk of having the place more brightened. She wasn’t really interested in the content of the library but only wanted to hide herself in until she thought it was safe enough to go out and pick Aisha. The officers would still be flooding everywhere now that they just arrived, it would take them some time before they narrowed their search or scrutinization to the warehouse alone.
She located the short shelf just few metres away from her standing point and proceeded to the place. She could see an inscription at the top of the shelf which read, ‘Drop your bags here and other objects not allowed in the library’. Under that was another inscription, ‘Your properties are safe with our security’.
She raised her head up after reading the inscriptions and her light revealed a seat behind the shelf. She was about turning round the shelf to the seat when she raised her head and her light met with a very short round table and a chair behind it, there were neatly arranged newspapers on the left side of the table, two different colours of pen, a red and blue one laid on the arranged newspaper. She moved her head slightly and the light revealed a long desk which was behind the short round table, there were four chairs well spaced behind the desk. It looked like the reception point of the library and the desk for the librarians and maybe other staffs. Instead of turning round the shelf, she turned to the other side instead and settled into one one of the chairs behind the reception desk after putting her backpack on the desk.
She placed her device on the desk and exited the flashlight app. She navigated back to the tracker and refreshed the dashboard to see if Aisha was still in the same location as she was before. It refreshed and displayed the same location as it did previously. That enabled Tarasha to make a conclusion that she (Aisha) was hiding somewhere and was in a stationary position, unseen by the police.
She dropped the device on the table, her eyes met with a pile of record books as she attempted to relax her back. She sat back upright and picked the first record book, she adjusted the torch on her head as she flipped the cover. She closed partly to check the title of the book on the cover. The first page on the register was dated 1st of January, 2031. There was a table of twelve columns and several rows numbered from the top of the page to the end and continuing on the other pages. The first column was titled ‘S/N’ , the second ‘Name of User’ , third ‘library number’ , fourth ‘book borrowed’, fifth ‘name of author’, sixth ‘category’. The other columns contained other information like section, return date and signature of user.
Her eyes scrolled down the page, just to while away time, she particularly focused on the names of the books borrowed. She scanned through the first page casually, the second and the third, stopping briefly anytime she saw a book title that caught her attention. She skipped some of the pages after the third page and landed at a page dated 30th of January, 2031. She scanned through a page, making no stop as she found no title of interest. Then the next page and three more pages before she dropped the book and picked her device, she turned on the screen and refreshed the tracker again, Aisha was still at the same position. Her eyes drifted to the time, it was 2:47am, she had used up to forty five minutes already in the library facility; about twenty five minutes walking in the compound and twenty minutes in the library itself. In the next ten minutes, she would be moving out of the place to get Aisha even if it means confronting the officers. She knew their alertness must have reduced since they had come for forty five minutes without seeing anyone or probably seeing Don and the dead bodies alone. A thought struck her mind, what if the position Aisha was stationed was in a police van, maybe she had been caught by them. She tapped her screen on again and clicked on a icon at the top bar of the app. A loading circle showed and it began to roll slowly, it got faster with time and the circle got bigger. In a minute time, it loaded complete and a line image of a human appeared. The person appeared to be squatting in something like a hole with her hands holding the top for support. It gave Tarasha an idea of where Aisha was hiding and eliminated the thought of Aisha having been captured. Staring at the picture again, she wondered where Aisha could be hiding in such a position. The only option that carne to her mind was the drainage which ran through the front of the warehouse.
She dropped the device on the table to wait for five more minutes, she decided to go through the register once more. She flipped a page and scanned through as usual, something caught her attention as she was about to flip to the next page. It was on the twentieth and twenty first row. The books on both rows were borrowed by the same person and was written by the same author. The title of the books were ‘Doctors in Love’ and ‘That Village Girl’, both in literature category. But that was not what caught her attention, it was the name of the author. Dr Tom Danjuma.