Read This – A Visit From Rex
‘Please thread carefully, be careful when you make public speeches…’ a voice kept echoing in Stephanie’s head as she restlessly stretched and turned in the bed.
‘Be careful miss,’ she could hear an unknown male’s voice as she felt two hands hold her down at each side.
Her eyes finally opened but her vision was blurred, she could feel the pains in her neck and a sharp pain in her hand as she tried to move it.
‘Be careful miss,’ she heard the man talk again. She could see his face far above hers but not clearly, he was putting on a white coth and had a rope hanging around his neck.
‘Thank God you’re awake now,’ a female’s voice at the opposite side sounded. Stephanie turned her head to look at the woman, her vision was now clearer. The nurse kept a kind smile as she brushed with her fingers Stephanie’s hair away from her eyes.
‘How did I get here?’ Stephanie asked in low tones, turning her face back to the Doctor.
The Doctor smiled and took a step back instead of answering her. ‘You’re Stephanie George right, leader of the SWAD group in Rael University?’ the Doctor asked with a smile.
‘Yes,’ Stephanie replied without much life in her voice.
‘Nice to meet you Stephie, I’ve heard a lot about you. I was also a member of SWAD when I was in school,’ the doctor said, flashing his whole set of teeth at her.
‘How did I get here?’ Stephanie asked again, ignoring his compliments and remarks.
‘You were brought here by your pa…’ the doctor paused to cough. ‘
‘My what?’ Stephanie asked impatiently. She tried to sit up but she was stopped by the pain she felt at her back and neck, the doctor and nurse also helped restrain her from attempting further. ‘How did I get here doctor?’ she asked again, even though she was feeling pains as the doctor helped her place her head on the pillow. For the first time since she woke, she noticed the bandage on her neck and the intravenous fluid line connected to the vein in her right hand.
‘You don’t remember anything?’ the doctor asked, looking surprised.
‘Of course I do,’ Stephanie said, inhaling air deeply with her mouth as she placed the face of her palm not connected to the IV line on her forehead.
‘How are you feeling? Is your head aching you?”
‘No doctor,’ Stephanie tried to pretend but the doctor could tell she was lying. ‘I remember falling down and hitting my neck against something, but I don’t know who brought me here, did she?’ Stephanie asked, staring blankly at the ceiling as she tried to recall Tarasha’s face from her memory. She looked at the doctor when no answer to her question seemed to be coming forth, the Doctor looked like he hadn’t heard her question, he was giving some instructions to the nurse in a low voice.
Soon, the nurse curtsied and left the ward, leaving Stephanie and the doctor.
‘Be calm, you’ll take some drugs now to relieve you of the pain.’ the doctor said, feeling her forehead with the front of his palm and then widening her eyes with his fingers to look in.
‘Doctor, did she bring me here?’ Stephanie asked.
‘Ermm… Who’s the she you’re talking about?’
Stephanie stared blankly at the ceiling for sometime before looking at the doctor’s face again, ‘Who brought me here?’ she asked again, this time in very soft and low tones.
‘Don’t give yourselves troubles Steph, ‘ the doctor placed a hand on her shoulder. ‘You need to rest well, we still have to do a lot of check ups on you,’ he added, turning back to look at the nurse who just entered.
‘But…’ Stephanie tried to speak.
‘Shhh…’ the doctor hushed her. ‘Save your strength now, you’ll ask the questions later.’
‘Dr Tom Danjuma,’ Tarasha repeated severally under her breath. She looked up and stared straight into the darkness for some seconds, wondering if the author could be her father or the name was just a coincidence. She had seen her father writing on sheets several times but it was only medical reports she saw. Maybe there were some other things he wrote that she wasn’t aware of. The guilt of Jefa’s death engulfed her again, at this moment, Jefa would have been the best person to ask questions.
She looked back into the register and noted the category and genre the books were selected from, the first ‘Doctors in love’ was a romance fiction while the second book addressed political issues. She got up from the seat and adjusted the torch on her head, searching around the library to locate the sections and see how they were categorized. Just as she was about to step out from behind the table to check if she could get an extra copy of the book on locating the romance fiction section, her alarm went off indicating it was time to check Aisha. She heaved a sigh and sat back reluctantly. She quickly arranged the register to where it was positioned previously, she unlocked her device to check Aisha’s location again, the position still remained the same. She got up from the seat and began to walk back towards the door with the device in her hands.
Aisha covered with her palm the light produced by the device in her hands, she released it from time to time to check the reading even though she wasn’t sure if she should expect Tarasha to come out for her while the police were still around. Only eight of them had come and with only two cars which were parked outside before the gate. Only three of the of the officers were outside the gate watching.
Things had changed in the country. About fifteen years ago, a reverse would have been the case when the police were summoned for something as urgent as this. They would have showed up twenty four hours later putting blames on logistics.
Aisha could see and hear the officers from time to time pass over the permeable covering placed over the drainage for the passage of vehicles. She remained still under, hoping that a chance for her to leave the place would come quick.
**12 minutes later**
‘Shhh…’ Tarasha hushed the man with a finger on her lips, she had a pistol to his side with the other hand. He was the security man on duty whom she had met sleeping on a mat beside the security building close to the gate. He had a long gun close to him on the mat and the keys to the gate beside it.
The man sat up slowly and cautiously as directed by Tarasha, his eyes was on his gun and his mind searching for a way to pick the gun without Tarasha shooting him first.
‘Don’t bother to pick the gun,’ Tarasha said in low tones, putting an eye on the security building to ensure no one else comes out of the place without her seeing. ‘I don’t want to hurt you, I only need something from you,’ she continued, still motioning for him to stand with her fingers.
‘What do you want young lady?’ the man asked as he got to his feet, raising up his two hands.
Tarasha felt angered by his confidence and cocked the gun to make him see her seriousness. He probably was taking her for a girl who couldn’t handle him like her stature depicts.
‘Calm down,’ the security man said, now staring at the gun intently and her finger which was close to the trigger. ‘Just tell me exactly what you want.’
‘Move this way,’ Tarasha said, directing him with her gun towards the main library building.
‘Okay,’ he said and began to move towards the direction slowly without taking off his eyes from her.
‘Stop,’ she commanded after they had taken some steps forward, now on the same line the back wall of the security building. The man halted, with his body towards the building but his face turned towards her at the back.
‘Look there, what do you see?’ she stopped beside him, pointing towards something at the veranda of the library.
The man squinted to see but saw nothing except a red blinking light. He turned his face back to her with a questioning look.
‘Here’s it,’ she took out a small control box from the outer pocket of her bag and pressed a button on it. Then she motioned him to look towards the building again, the light had turned green. He looked back to her for an explanation, his hands still up in the sky but lower.
She tapped another button on the box and the light turned blinking red again. ‘The whole of this building and it’s surrounding will go up in flames in the next fifteen minutes, whether it will or not lies in your hands.’ she said to him and watched the look on his face gradually change to a confused one. ‘Who else is with you here?’ she asked, taking a quick glance towards the security building.
‘My colleague,’ he answered briefly.
‘He’s sleeping inside?’
‘I don’t know, we do take turns to watch but he has a visitor with him inside.’ he replied.
‘Fourteen minutes, seventeen seconds left.’ she announced after taking out her smaller phone. ‘Your task is to distract the police officers in the next building…’ Tarasha stopped and gave him a thin look, she wanted to ask him how it was possible for him to continue sleeping with all the gun shots that was coming from the building next to the library but she didn’t because of lack of time. She also realized that the last sound she heard of the police was their cars outside the gate of the warehouse, she had not heard any sound since they entered, meaning that the fence walls must be coated with additional sound proof materials and the gunshots would even if it was heard, would have sounded like it came from a very far distance.
‘Distract the police officers from the next building, tell them you saw some people here and also discovered a bomb. Distract as many of them as possible from the entrance of that building and bring them into this place,’ she concluded with her instructions.
The man stared at her for some minutes, he seemed not to agree with her task. ‘I don’t know what the police are doing there, how do I distract them?’ he questioned.
‘You have thirteen minutes and forty five seconds left,’ Tarasha said in a threatening voice and ordered him with her hands to get to work. She put her gun into her pocket and placed her hands on her waist.
The man turned back slowly and proceeded towards the place he kept the keys to the gate.
Tarasha didn’t turn back to look at him but remained in her position, waiting to hear the sound of the gate opening. Her thoughts drifted to what she had seen in the library, her father’s name in the author’s column, that was a reason she couldn’t possibly bomb the place, she wasn’t sure if she would get the book from another library and she felt a strong need to confirm the authorship.
‘Don’t move,’ she heard the man talk from behind her instead of the gate opening sound she was expecting, the security man had decided to play a fast one on her. Since his gun was at the same place with the keys, he decided to pick the gun first.
‘Don’t be foolish,’ Tarasha said as she turned back to him. ‘That gun is empty,’ she added as she dipped her hand into the side pocket of her bag and took out a very small paper bag and dropped it on the floor, three bullets rolled out of it.
The security man confirmed her words as he tried to shoot at her and nothing came forth. The gun dropped from his hands in fear as he stared at her frozen to a spot. His superstitious mind had made him conclude that she was a witch and had made his three bullets disappear from the gun into the paper bag as there was no other way he thought possible that she could have removed the bullets from the gun without him knowing when she did.
‘You have thirteen minutes and ten seconds left,’ Tarasha announced to bring him back to consciousness.
He turned back shakily and hurried to the mat, he picked the keys and proceeded to open the gate immediately. In less than thirty seconds, he was on his way to the warehouse building to report her, not out of obedience to her instructions but fear for his own life.
‘Hey! Stop there,’ an officer dressed in all black shouted, pointing his gun at the security man at the gate from the police car parked at the gate of the warehouse.
‘I know where she… Where they are,’ he said as he raised up his hand and approached the police car.
‘Who are you?’the police officer asked, coming out from behind in the car with his gun still pointed at the man. Two other officers showed up from the other car parked outside. The two bright gate lights of the library facility went off with the wires sparking at the moment. The security man ran forward to the police man with his both hand raised in the sky.
‘She got into our building and they’ve installed a time bomb,’ he said as he got to the police man pointing a gun at him. The police man searched his body quickly to check if he was armed.
‘Who is she?’ the police man asked, his two colleagues were already coming closer to them, one of them trying to connect with his communication device.
‘I don’t know her but she’s still there, she said she came with some others.’ the Security man replied.
‘I think they permeated into the neighboring buildings,’ the policeman said to a colleague over the phone.