© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
‘Are you expecting someone?’ Tarasha asked, taking a brief glance back at the door.
Jumoke shook her head in negative, folding her lips in to avoid making any sound.
‘Okay, talk to the person,’ Tarasha ordered her in whispers.
Jumoke sniffed in again and managed to clear her throat. ‘Who’s it?’ she shouted at the person at the door.
‘Aunty Nurse, hope everything dey okay, we dey hear noise from your room.’
Jumoke stared at Tarasha face for a moment. She would have loved to shout that moment and tell everyone she was in trouble but she knew that would take away all her hopes of remaining alive. She had heard of Samantha’s ‘exploits’ and even seen on the news the recent one at Anambra state, so she knew there was no one around who could save her except Samantha decides to leave her alive.
‘No wahala, thank you Bros.’ she replied and sniffed in.
‘You dey sure, Nurse?’
‘Yes, thank you, I go see you later.’ she replied.
Tarasha waited some seconds for the person who knocked to leave totally before she continued.
‘You said your boyfriend works with Desert Reporters?’
‘In which of their offices does he work?’
‘In Abuja?’ Tarasha widened her eyes.
‘Yes,’ Jumoke confirmed.
Tarasha had been thinking he was following her from a distance not knowing he was very close to her.
‘Do you know where he stays in Abuja?’
‘No, I don’t know.’
Tarasha stared at her thinly for a while, trying to access if she was speaking the truth or not.
‘Do you know I’ll kill you if you lie to me,’ she threatened.
‘I…don’t know… He only told me he stays in Abuja,’ Jumoke replied in a shaky voice.
‘He told you…’ Tarasha muttered to herself. She realized that Jumoke was not the Agent’s real girlfriend, but only a tool in the agent’s hand and maybe a sex partner for the agent whenever he visited Lagos. There was really no need to keep Jumoke alive again because she knew nothing else apart from what the Agent had fed her. ‘Since when has he been following me?’
Jumoke tried to keep quiet for a moment but Tarasha raised gun on seeing her hesitation.
‘I don’t know how long for certain but he was also around when you came to the hospital to drop those people,’ she quickly spoke on seeing the gun point directly to her eyes.
‘So he knew I was here with you that night?’
‘I didn’t tell him that until last week.’
‘What day last week?’
‘Uhm… Not last week, last two weeks. I think it’s on Wed…nesday,’ Jumoke said.
‘You told him you treated me and what else?’
‘That you sent money to me as a repayment for the things I had to buy.’
Tarasha took some seconds to process the information in her mind. That was exactly it. It was how Agent Dave got to get her card details and trace her recent transactions with it.
‘Was he at the hospital when I came to drop those people?’
‘No, he wasn’t. He came the next morning.’
‘And what did he come to do?’
‘He came asking about you. He said he was given an assignment to write about you and he wanted to know all but the police changed the story that you were a member of the force and he couldn’t do anything since he wasn’t a witness.’
‘How long did he stay during that period?’
‘He didn’t stay up to a week,’ she replied.
‘And you never saw him in the hospital again?’
‘After he left, he hasn’t been in the hospital again.’
‘I mean during his stay for that week, was it only once he came to the hospital?’
‘No, he hid himself in our premises for some days.’
‘And what was he doing there?’
Jumoke sniffed in again. ‘He tried to find out the truth from the patients you brought in, he checked on all five of them.’
‘You guys allowed him?’
‘No, he sneaked into their wards occasionally.’
‘How?’ Tarasha narrowed her gaze at Jumoke’s face.
‘I helped him, he always walked around in a doctor’s suit.’
‘You helped him? That was before you met me?’
‘And which of the patients told him the truth?’
‘He was only able to speak to one of them, he only placed recorders in the wards of the others.’
‘Which of them did he speak to?’
Tarasha paused for a while to recall the girl’s face. She could recall again Stephanie’s screams and her struggles under the rapist and that frightful look on her (Stephanie’s) face after she killed the man trying to molest her.
‘According to the report, Stephanie George lost her memory, was that true?’
‘No, it wasn’t. The police tried to induce memory loss into her but he changed the ampoule containing the mixture from the lab.’
‘Who changed it?’
‘My boyfriend, Dave.’ Jumoke replied, her voice still shaky and her look frightful.
‘So it means Stephanie still remembers everything that happened?’
‘Yes, she does. Dave made her agree to pretend.’
Tarasha stopped to think again. If Dave had asked Stephanie for information about her, the girl would have only told him about their encounter that night as there was nothing else she knew. But it was possible for Stephanie to still be in contact with the Agent. She considered the situation careful for some more seconds. Stephanie George would be more useful than Jumoke, that because, Stephanie was kind of well known in her school and had been made more popular due to her encounter with Samantha Osman but Jumoke was just a nurse whom the secret agent had used to fulfill his purpose, Tarasha was sure that the Agent had no feelings for her.
She raised her gun and pointed it straight at her forehead. ‘Did you see note I write wrote to you before leaving here that morning?’
‘Ye…ss..ss, I saw it.’ Jumoke trembled with her whole body vibrating. Her knees were on the seat now and her bum resting on the back of her ankle.
‘I also warned you when I sent the money not to let anyone else know but you refused,’ Tarasha said and gave a brief chuckle. ‘I left you alive because I thought you were a good girl but you proved otherwise… And do you know you’ve been a fool? The man you called your boyfriend isn’t a journalist, he is a secret agent of the SSS and he traced me to Anambra with the payment information you gave to him.’
Jumoke’s eyes widened in shock at the revelation. It instantly made more sense to her why Dave always returned free from the police and the source of the bullet wounds she had treated got him.
‘Agent David James has taken you for a fool, but I’m going to help you end your foolish life.’
Tarasha raised her brow and tilted her head leftwards a little. She cocked the gun.
‘Are you coming to the office today?’ Lizzy typed into the chat box.
‘Yes, I’m on the way already. Dan is driving.’ the reply from Dave entered almost immediately. ‘We’ve got a lot of reports to write at the office this morning, so I may not be able to see you until noon.’
‘I’m also leaving the office in some minutes. I got some thing from Victor last night.’ she typed in and sent. She exited the app and opened her pictures gallery where she located the photo of the document she took the last night. She marked it and forwarded it to the messaging app.
‘What did you get?’ Dave’s message had already entered before she sent the picture.
‘It’s a list of drugs, I don’t know what it’s all about. He got it from a lady when we stopped at the mall yesterday afternoon to get some food items.’ Lizzy sent.
‘Which lady gave it to him?’
‘I don’t know her but I think he was being traced all the while we were together.’
‘Did you see the lady’s face properly?’
‘I didn’t see her face at all, she was far from me and was even putting on a face cap.’
‘A face cap? Black one?’
‘Yes, a black one.’
‘Samantha was dressed the same way at the hotel that day but we can’t say if she was the one you saw.’
‘Just check the pictures and see what you can make out,’ Lizzy sent.
‘Okay, thanks. I’ll call you later today.’
Lizzy dropped the phone on the table after the chat ended and continued to arrange the rest of the makeup kits into her bag.
‘The Chairman may get mad at us if we run late,’ Dan said to Dave, after taking a glance at his wristwatch.
‘I know, but what can we do now?’ Dave replied back and folded his arms.
There was an unusual traffic jam along the way that morning. From the look of things, they could guess the reason of the delay to be a malfunctioning of the traffic signs. Dave and Dan had an appointment with the NIS chairman that morning.
‘I think we should call him now and tell him we’re stuck in a traffic jam right away,’ Dan suggested.
‘Do you think that’ll make anything better?’ Dave sounded pessimistic, even though he still took out his phone.
‘Just try and let’s hear what his response would be,’ Dan replied.
A call came through just as Dave was about to dial the Chairman’s number, the caller ID displayed was Jumoke. He answered the call and placed it close to his ear.
‘Good morning Jummy.’
‘Good morning, is this Mr David?’ a strange male voice spoke.
‘Yes. Is there any problem? Where is Jumoke?’
‘Where are you? You’re needed right away at the Lagos State General Hospital.’
‘I copied eleven messages from the archives, each one carrying the names and full signatures of the persons involved.’ Cole typed on the computer keyboard and tapped the enter key. He minimized the app with the use of the mouse and opened a picture folder, he selected three pictures and renamed them one after the other.
The computer speaker beeped while he was still renaming, Tarasha had replied.
‘Send me all of them, everything in a word document but each one starting on a new page.’
‘I would do that now boss, but while I’m at it, here is Henry’s work last night.’ he typed in and sent first before clicking on the attachment button, he selected the three pictures he renamed from the picture folder and sent it to her. ‘Henry got their full details and location, we can begin work on them as soon as possible.’ he sent and minimized the chatting application again.
He navigated with his mouse to “My Computer” on the desktop and clicked on it, then he selected the removable disk A from the opened window. A beep sound came from the speaker again but Cole continued with what he was doing. He opened a txt document from the removable disk and then opened the Microsoft office word 2030 from the start icon. He copied the messages from the txt document into word and spaced them just like Tarasha asked him to do. He saved the new document to the desktop with the name ‘NAFDAC’ and then maximized the chat application again.
‘Do you know any of those in these pictures before?’ Tarasha had sent to him.
‘Yes, I had always known of Vivy the girl and the first son James, but I never heard of the middle one even though I knew they were three.’ he sent in reply. He continued to type after sending, the messenger also indicated that she was typing. ‘I’m attaching the word document now, I couldn’t fix in the signatures yet.’ he sent his message before she could finish typing.
‘Okay, I’m sure you know we would place more focus on James.’ her message entered, just two seconds after his.
‘I know boss, but I suggest we use Vivy too, James as a man would accept and handle it maturely and would be calmer due to the nature of his job but Vivy would get emotional, and because she’s a public person, I think she’d help us with our target more.’ Cole typed. Another message had entered from her before he finished typing.
‘We would fix the signatures after I select the useful ones.’ Cole read her reply before sending his message. He began to type again.
‘Are we sending to them in hard copy or soft copies?’ he asked.
‘Okay, we’d use the girl also.’ Tarasha’s message entered. Cole waited for her to reply his last question. ‘Both formats to make them know the seriousness, but we’d send the hard copies first and only use the soft copies as a reminder. I’ll personally deliver it to James and you’d get it to the girl.’
‘You have to show this document to Dr Martin after I verify and send back to you.’
‘Okay, the doctor has asked of you and said you promised to allow him speak with his family today.’
‘I’ll be back before evening, my flight is by 3pm.’
‘Oh!’ Cole typed and sent. He was surprised she had finished all she went to do so quickly.
‘Have you been able to reach her parents?’ Dave said into the phone. He stood by the boot of the car in the garage.
‘Yes, we’ve been able to reach them and her mother is here already.’ the receiver replied.
‘What’s her state now?’ Dave asked.
‘Well, it’s not something I can say on phone, you just have to be here.’
‘I’m in Abuja now, but I will try my best to get there tomorrow.’
‘Where are you going Dave?’ Dan’s voice sounded from the back.
‘Okay, thank you.’ Dave said into the phone before turning to Dan. ‘I have to be in Lagos briefly tomorrow.’
‘Lagos? For what?’
‘My girlfriend is in a critical condition at the hospital,’ Dave replied.
‘Your girlfriend? I never heard you talk about a girlfriend,’ Dan said as he walked to the driver’s side of the car.
‘That I never spoke about her doesn’t mean she doesn’t exist, does it?’
‘Well…’ Dan shrugged. He opened the car door. ‘So how do you plan to go about it? You are aware you can’t get permission to leave town anytime soon.’
‘I know, but I have to find a way about it.’
‘I’m sorry I can’t help you, I don’t want to get into trouble with the chairman again. Today’s trouble was enough,’ Dan said before entering into the car. Dave also walked to the front and got into the passenger’s side.
The Inspector General’s Residence.
Rex sat in front of the table, working on the computer system. The Inspector General sat somewhere far behind while Stainless sat close to his boss
‘The credit card has truly been destroyed,’ Rex turned away from the computer and faced the IG.
‘That means the report is true,’ the IG replied and wheeled himself forward.
‘But I’m finding it difficult to believe that the Agent doesn’t have an idea what Samantha planned to achieve in that state.’ Rex said thoughtfully, moving gently side to side with the swivel.
‘I don’t think he lied about that, he wouldn’t have returned soon if he knew her next plan.’
‘I need to know that Agent,’ Rex said and sprung up to his feet. He walked past the Inspector General towards the door.
‘Rex, I’m not going to allow you meet him.’ the IG turned back and shouted at him.
‘You don’t need to bother yourself, I know what to do.’ Rex said before stepping out of the room. He closed the door noiselessly.
‘Good day sir,’ Stainless’ voice brought Chief Rikau back to reality as he kept on staring at the door through which Rex left. He was still speechless as he watched Stainless also go out through the door. He hoped that Rex wasn’t planning to go looking for the secret Agent because it could cause troubles for him as the Inspector General.
‘So you made her lose her memory permanently?’ Henry questioned Tara. He sat at the edge of the bed in her room, Tarasha standing at the front, arranging and hanging some clothes in her wardrobe.
‘That was the only choice I had. The reason I didn’t kill her was because I promised you no death until it was really necessary.’
Henry let out a deep breath. ‘Well… I don’t know if I should say the permanent memory loss is really better than that.’
‘I think it is, she can start a new life without remembering something about me that’ll get her into trouble again or even make her eventually lose her mind.’ Tara replied, arranging a black jacket on a hanger.
‘Is there any possibility of her ever regaining her memory?’
‘There’s none,’ Tara stated blankly. ‘The liquid had enough time to circulate her body, no one discovered her until late in the morning.’
There was silence for the next thirty seconds.
Henry shrugged after trying to shake off the guilt he felt thinking about what happened to the girl Tara had to drug. He remembered that the same drug was used on him but he was lucky to be discovered before the mixture circulated his blood. ‘So, did you get enough information from her?’
‘Yes, I did get as much as she had. The secret agent only uses her for his works, she doesn’t really know much. But I got his mobile number from her,’ Tara replied.
‘That’s something tangible, so when are we going to work on the number?’
‘Monday morning after our first set of tasks are completed,’ she answered.
‘Monday is tomorrow.’
‘Yes, tomorrow.’ she replied and closed the wardrobe, she was done with arranging her clothes.
She turned towards him and placed her hands on her waist. She stared at him for a while. He also stared back at her. She was putting on a v-necked top on a black pencil jean shorts which stopped on her knees. Her uncombed hair made her look like a young tomboy.
‘Were you also able to extract everything we need from the drug agency’s office?’ Henry asked.
‘Yes, I got everything we need.’ she replied as she walked straight towards him. She climbed up the bed and on his legs with each knee placed by his sides.
‘Ermm… What are you doing?’ Henry asked, staring straight at her face as she firmly gripped his shoulders by a hand at each side.
‘Trying to get you to f…’ she stopped as she lacked the right word to use. She had wanted to use the f word but she knew it would be inappropriate for what she really wanted. She could feel his breath touching her chest through the open v-neck part. She pulled his head closer gently and covered his lips with hers.
She pushed him gently to the bed and their lips continued to work on each other. Henry grabbed her by the waist and pressed her body gently against his. She broke the kiss and raised her head, she unbuttoned his shirt slowly and began to use her lips on his chest hungrily. She pulled away again and tried to take off her top. Henry got to his knees and their lips covered as he tried to help her take off her own top.
The shirt was taken off and flung to the floor, leaving her with the bra covering her breasts only. He was already taking off the bra from behind when she voiced out some words which killed the urge in him immediately.
Henry pulled back at once. A sudden feeling of guilt and weakness overwhelmed him at that moment. He began to think he was only about to fulfil his lust because of his inability to control his sexual urge. He moved away from her and stepped down from the bed.
‘What’s the matter?’ she stared at him with her eyes widened, disappointed and feeling angry. Her bra was already off halfway and she was seated on her heels.
‘I can’t do this,’ Henry said, shaking his head in an agitated manner. He buttoned up his shirt quickly and fixed his legs into his slippers.
‘What?’ she stared at him with so m annoyance in her eyes.
‘I don’t want to f*** you Tara, I want to make love to you.’ he said before walking to the door.
Tarasha remained in the same position, lost in thoughts. ‘F*** me hard,’ that was the phrase that dropped out of her mouth and made him pull away. It was the language she understood not ‘make love’. She realized she had never ‘made love’ to anyone, this would have been her first time, all she had ever done was to have sex with people to get something done or eventually kill the partner.
END OF CHAPTER TWELVE