© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
‘Good afternoon boss,’ Cole greeted and stood beside the door.
‘Get inside the car,’ she replied with a firm tone, also signaling with her head.
Cole turned to the other side and entered into the right front seat. Tarasha’s gaze lingered at the entrance through which Patricia entered the mall for some seconds before she turned to Cole.
‘I was just returning from Olusegun Obasanjo way and I saw your car driving into this place. I have a task for you and this is the best time to tell you.’ she said and turned to look at the back seat. She took off the face cap on her head and hung it on her right knee, then she stretched forth to the backseat and picked a brown paper file from there. ‘Here, take this and open it.’
Cole opened the file and took out the only A4 sized paper in it. Drawn on the paper was a table of seventeen rows and five columns. The first column contained the serial number, the next was titled ‘Name of drugs’, the third ‘Pharmaceutical Industry’s, fourth ‘Country of origin’ and the last column ‘Year of ban’.
‘The table contains the names of sixteen drugs which were banned by the World Health Agency between 2008 to 2015 but still found their way to Nigeria, and were used during those years. The drugs actually numbers more than a hundred but these sixteen drugs were the most dangerous ones,’ Tarasha explained. ‘Do you know where the drug Agency headquarters is?’
‘Yes,’ Cole replied. ‘Olusegun Obasanjo way, Wuse… Is that where you are coming from?’
‘Yes, I went there to take a survey, to check how easy to gain access into the place will be.’
‘It’s quite easy and that’s why you’ll do the job for me tonight so that we can use the proofs we get as soon as possible. I’ll leave further instructions on how to go about it at the base for you. Now listen, here’s what I want you to do.’ she stopped and narrowed her gaze on his face. ‘You would retrieve from the drug Agency files the emails sent to them from the World Health Agency informing them of the ban of these sixteen drugs during those years, also retrieve their confirmation of receipts, make sure the names and signatures of the drug agency’s chairman and Health Ministers’ of the respective years appear on them.’
‘Boss, but do you have the key to their database?’ Cole asked after her explanation.
‘I’ll leave everything including the keys you need at the base for you,’ she replied.
Cole took in a breath and nodded gently. He put back the paper into the brown file neatly.
Tarasha’s gaze moved to the side mirror by left. She could see the image of the lady Cole had come to the mall with there. The lady had gotten back to Cole’s car with a nylon bag and was standing outside, looking towards the car they were seated in.
‘That girl, who is she?’ Tarasha asked.
Cole raised his brows and squinted, he had been expecting the question. His second phone began to ring at the same time, he checked the screen , Patricia was calling. He looked back briefly and saw her standing beside the boot of his car and looking towards their direction.
‘Boss, she’s my girlfriend.’ Cole replied. He silenced his ringing phone and covered the screen with his palm.
There was silence for a while. Tarasha stared straight through the front window thoughtfully. She had no reason to come into Cole’s personal life. He was her employee and he was doing his job efficiently. She couldn’t tell him what to do with his life as far as it doesn’t affect his job with her.
‘My flight to Lagos is by 6pm. As I said, I was about calling you to meet me at the base when I saw you driving into this place. I want you to ensure that the Doctor at the base is being monitored and that the communication lines with me is kept open at all times.’
‘Okay boss. How long are you staying in Lagos?’
‘I plan to stay till tomorrow only but it could extend to next tomorrow if the need arises,’ Tarasha said and took a glance at her wristwatch. ‘I have to get my bag from the base now, Henry would drive with me to the airport,’ she stopped as she looked at the side mirror again. She could see Patricia already walking towards their direction. ‘You have to go now, your girlfriend is coming here already. Be careful.’
Tarasha put her cap back on and switched on the car engine immediately.
‘Okay boss,’ Cole said and got out of the car immediately.
‘Baby, I’m sorry.’ he apologized as he approached Patricia.
‘What are you doing there?’ Patricia said, still walking forward with her eyes on the car which Victor had come out from.
‘Nothing really, that was a friend of my sister, she asked me to take this home.’ He answered, displaying the envelope in his hands to her.
‘What’s that?’ she said, with her eyes still fixed on the car which was already driving out of the parking space. She still tried to continue going forward as they met but Victor held her by the wrists on the two hands.
‘Nothing important,’ he replied.
Her eyes followed the car as it drove off. ‘Who’s she?’ she asked, her gaze finally settling on Victor. She had watched his expression when he received the call earlier and also saw him walking towards the car direction but she thought he was only going to answer the call where she wouldn’t hear his conversation.
‘Like I said, she’s a family friend, she gave me something to give to Kimberly.’ Victor answered, now looking at Tarasha’a car which was now at the gate. He knew Patricia had seen that the person driving was a lady but he was sure she couldn’t have seen the face because of the cap Tarasha had on.
‘How did she know you were here?’
‘She came to shop here too and happened to see us driving in when she was walking to her car,’ Victor lied.
‘Okay,’ Patricia said and Roorkee to him, she faked on a smile and looked into his eyes. She rubbed his chest briefly with her palm. ‘Let’s go home.’
‘Yeah, let’s go.’
The held each other’s hand and walked back to Victor’s car. The bag Patricia had gotten from the mall was still on the boot.
‘Sorry, how did you pay for the things you bought?’ Victor asked as he saw the nylon bag.
‘Don’t worry about that,’ she replied and picked the bag from the boot. Both of them split ways, Victor to the driver’s side while she to the right hand side.
‘You can’t tell me not to worry, I should have given you my credit card when you were going in.’
‘I have enough money to pay and I’ve paid for it already.’
They both continued their argument on who should have paid as they got into the car. Soon they were on the road, driving to Cole’s new apartment.
‘Ensure that the Doctor does not have access to a phone, he shouldn’t reach any of his family members until I return.’ Tarasha said to Henry who just drove her into the airport.
‘I’ve heard you already and I’ll see to it.’ Henry replied.
‘Thank you,’ she said and took off her seatbelt. She leaned closer to him and placed a kiss on his lips before opening the door. She stepped out and strapped on her backpack. ‘Take care,’ she said before closing the door.
He watched her walk away in silence. He closed his eyes and drew in a breath after she walked into airport check-in. He prayed in his mind that she would not come across a similar situation to the case of Anambra.
He reversed out of the parking lot and turned into the roadway. He continued towards the gate, pondering on the tasks Tarasha had given for him to accomplish before she returned. The tasks were not tedious but necessary for the success of their coming operations and he also needed to get them done so as to avoid her changing her mind again about killing their targets with her own hands.
Victor and Patricia kissed each other like hungry lions. They had just entered into the living room of the house but couldn’t hold themselves to get into the bedroom before satisfying their urge for each other.
Patricia had started it, wrapping her hands around Victor’s neck immediately after he closed the door. He in turn lifted her up slightly and pressed her breasts against his chest. They continued with the kiss as they moved to the centre of the living room.
Patricia broke away from the kiss and dragged Victor by hand to the couch, she pushed him to sit on the sofa. She placed her knees each by both sides and made her bum rest on his knees. Her fingers reached for the buttons of his shirt as her lips located his again. His hands also located the zip at the back of her blouse.
Twenty five minutes later, both laid unclad and tired on each other in the three seater sofa, their clothes scattered in different directions in the living room.
The sound of Victor’s ringing phone brought them back to reality.
‘I got to pick this,’ Victor said as he tried to lift her away from his body. He recognized the ringtone, it was the one assigned to his boss and colleagues.
‘Oh! Can’t you just leave it for now?’ she resisted and covered his mouth with hers again, rendering him temporarily powerless. He fell back on the chair and responded to her kisses. The kisses stopped after a minute and Patricia laid her head on his chest. He wrapped his hands around her and closed his eyes.
Her gaze fell on the brown envelope which Victor had kept on the centre table. She began to think of the best way to gain access to the content of the envelope before leaving the place.
She could hear feel and hear his breathing as his belly gently rose and fell, she felt disgusted at every sound of it and even on imagining his body still wrapped around hers. But this was the stage where she always had her men under control, she knew what they could do to get her laid and what she could do to them after it.
Victor’s phone began to ring again and this time, he lifted her up quickly before she could overpower him. He searched around for his trouser and quickly located it. He took out the phone from his pocket and glanced at the screen before answering the call. The caller was Henry.
‘When are you coming back to the base bro?’ Henry asked.
‘Henry, I may come very late but I’ll surely come back this night,’ Victor replied.
‘I thought the boss had an assignment for you.’
‘Yes and that’s why I’m coming, I would have loved to stay here till morning.’
‘Try come earlier bro, she asked me to show you some of the details you need for the task.’
‘It’s okay, I’ll try my best to get there as early as possible.’ he replied.
The call ended and Victor heaved a sigh. He stared at Patricia who was already picking up her clothes. He tried to stretch his body to check if he still had enough strength for the boss’ task that night. He realized that he would need to inject himself some drugs if he didn’t want to mess up.
Patricia still glanced at the brown file as she picked her clothes. She had heard Victor talking about returning late that night. She wished that they had agreed to sleep over that night. She would have been able to go ahead with her plan of putting the sedative in his food and would be able to check the content of the brown file and even hack into his two phones before the next morning. Now, she couldn’t put him to sleep because he’ll surely know that she drugged him if he suddenly slept off when he didn’t plan to sleep overnight there.
‘Which hotel did you say you’d like madam?’ the cab driver asked again.
‘Take me to any good one around this area,’ Tarasha replied.
‘There are plenty good ones o, it all depends on your money.’
‘Just take me to the closest one, forget about the money.’
Tarasha took out her phone again and opened the notepad application. She copied the Drug Agency’s Lagos address which she had jotted there and pasted it in another application to check the distance from where she was now. It was 29.9km and approximately 1 hour 9 minutes drive through the Apapa Oworonshoki Expressway.
‘Driver, can you take me to “Bar-deer”?’ Tarasha asked, missing the pronunciation of the location name ‘Badia’.
‘Badia ma?’ the driver asked to be sure, pronouncing the word correctly.
‘Yes, I think so. NAFDAC’s office is located there,’ Tarasha replied.
‘No ma’am, our cabs don’t go that far and I don’t even know the routes to the place very well. I just started this taxi business,’ the driver replied.
‘Okay, thank you. Just take me to an hotel. I’ll use Uber services to get to Badia,’ Tarasha replied, still mispronouncing the name of the place.
She cleared all the apps running on her phone and opened her gallery to check Nnamdi Okafor’s picture which she had downloaded on her phone. She remembered how he died as her first victim in Chief Gab’s main task. She had thought he was just a victim, not knowing that he was also reaping the harvest for his bad works.
She checked the time and calculated the duration of time she would use in the two locations she planned to visit. She had it well planned out and would not need up to twenty four hours to complete her mission there except something unexpected came up.
Cole’s Residence, Abuja.
‘Men… You’re such a good cook too,’ Victor said as he swallowed the last mold of semovita.
‘Thank you,’ Patricia smiled back at him. She watched him as he took out the meat from the plate of ugu and egusi soup and tore it with his teeth. She smiled and did the same with the meat in her plate.
Both of them were distracted from the beautiful moment by the sound of a ringing phone. It was Patricia’s phone, she hissed as she heard the sound.
‘That must be my mum,’ she said with a sigh.
‘I guess it’s already time you should be home.’
‘I’ll drive you home once we finish the meal,’ Victor offered.
‘No, you’re going to have to take your bath first before we leave this place.’ she retorted.
‘Take my bath?’ Victor looked at himself. To him, there was nothing dirty about him.
‘Yes, I called you to come in when I was taking mine but you were too busy with your tablet device.’ she said.
‘That’s true,’ he remembered her calling him to join her in the bathroom but he was busy then studying the drug Agency building. ‘But, I still have to drop you first, I can have my bath when I get home.’
‘No, no, no,’ she said and folded her lips in. ‘I won’t let you drop me without having your bath.’
‘Must you always be this stubborn?’ he asked jovially.
‘Yes, especially when it’s about the right things.’
He shook his head and chuckled. ‘I’m going to have my bath now, but would you like to come with me?’
‘Come with you to unclothe you or flight you to wash well’ she asked and laughed. He joined in the laughter. ‘I’m not having another bath, it’s your punishment for not answering me when I called you.’
‘Okay, let me just go already.’ Victor said and got to his feet, still munching the piece of meat in his mouth.
‘I’ll clean the dishes while you get ready,’ she said and began to pack the plates on the dining table as she watched him go into the room. She stopped with the plates after he walked out of sight. She proceeded towards the room to ensure that he was already in.
She returned to the living room quickly and headed straight to the centre table where the document was. She held it and positioned herself in the three seater whose back was turned to the path of the room so that she could quickly hide it if for any reason he comes out unexpectedly. She also held her phone which was previously ringing closer.
She opened the brown file and took out the paper in it carefully. She unfolded it and scanned through the content. At first, she didn’t understand what it was until she took her time to go through it. Then, she took a shot of the paper with her phone before folding it back into the envelope neatly.
A message entered her phone as she walked back to the dining. She unlocked the phone, the message had popped up on the screen. It was from Dave and it read; ‘I’m in town.’
Jumoke trudged through the passage of the house with her bag which seemed heavier than it should be in her left hand. She had a stressful day at work as there happened to be more than five emergencies in just one hour of that day.
She managed to pick out the keys to the door from her bag and inserted it into the keyhole. It opened as she turned it, easier than it should have but she was too tired to notice. She pushed the door in and stepped inside. The house was dark and hot, the curtains were all closed. She closed the door and reached for the bulb switch. She turned on the bulb and turned to meet a surprise.
‘Hi,’ Tarasha said and made a smirk. She was seated on top of the backrest of the three seater sofa and her feet was placed on the seat cushion. She was dressed on a white top and black shining trouser, her jacket which she took off because of the heat laid beside where she sat. She was fondling a pistol in her hands.
Jumoke froze on the spot. Even though she didn’t recognize immediately who her guest was, she knew she was in trouble. Her legs vibrated on the spot and her bladder suddenly became full.
‘Don’t be scared, I’m supposed to be your friend. Or have you done anything wrong?’
Now Jumoke recognized her, both her face and her voice. The change in hairstyle had been the cause for her not recognizing immediately.
‘You helped me some months ago, and now I’ve come to pay you fully.’ Tarasha said and jumped down from the chair.
Jumoke’s heartbeat faster than normal. She knew she was staring death in the face and didn’t know what to do to save herself.
‘I left you alive because you were good to me but I’m here to kill you now because you decided to sell me out even after I warned you,’ Tarasha said as she stepped closer to her slowly.
She stopped at Jumoke’s front and placed the gun on the nurse’s lips. Now, Jumoke’s whole body was vibrating. Tarasha dragged the gun down from the lips through her neck and stopped in between her breasts. Then she hit the nurse’s face with her backhand suddenly, making the nurse crash into the television behind.
She followed and dragged her up with the collar from the shattered parts of the television and disks on the floor. She left her for a moment and proceeded to door to lock it. Then, she pulled the nurse along and pushed her to the sofa.
‘Now, look at me.’ Tarasha said, pointing the gun at her. She placed her feet on the centre table and supported the arm with the gun on it. ‘Where can I find him?’
Jumoke’s face was soaked with tears already. Her back head had hit the television and it hurt so much that her head had become so heavy for her body.
‘Where can I find him?’ Tarasha asked again, this time in an impatient tone.
Jumoke managed to voice out something amidst her tears but it was inaudible.
‘Look here, I’m not joking with you.’ Tarasha warned. ‘I don’t want to repeat any question again.’
Jumoke sniffed in and managed to stop sobbing, her nose was running already. ‘He stays in Abuja, but I don’t know where exactly.’ she repeated the same thing she said earlier which wasn’t audible.
‘What’s his name?’
‘You told him about my Bank transaction with you?’
‘What else did you tell him?’
‘How I found you that night and your warning to me,’ she said in a teary voice and sniffed in again.
Tarasha smirked, ‘How did he find you?’
‘He’s my boyfriend.’
‘Your… Boyfriend?’ Tarasha widened her eyes and released a deep breath. She put her leg down from the table.’So what does your boyfriend do? Where does he work?’
‘He’s a journalist, he works with Desert Reporters.’
‘Yes,’ Jumoke nodded like a frightened baby.
A knock was heard at the door.
…to be continued