Tomiwa was fed up, his wife was just being stupid. ‘maybe she’s possessed by an anti-hapiness demon’ he thought as he pushed her away from himself.
“I have no time for this woman, so please get out of my way.” He said and walked out of the room. Hannah blinked in quick succession, her husband had never walked out on her like this, she’d expected him to push her and go to bed while she conyinued shouting but she was shocked at his reaction, she became panicky, did this mean she was going to lose her husband due to her nagging, her feet were glued to the ground, she couldn’t move them, she even tried to call him back and realized she’d lost her voice, she watched him leave the room and slam the door hard behind him, her knees buckled from the shock and she slumped to the ground and soundlessly cried. She just let the tears flow, feeling too weak to make any sound; Tomiwa had never acted this way, different thoughts rushed through her mind, maybe it’s a woman that is giving him money. Yejide stirred on her mattress and Hannah’s sorrow increased, what if Tomiwa never came back, where would she go, that would spell doom for her, how would she cater for the children alone, how would she pay the rent and school fees, she couldn’t do any of these alone, she wiped the tears, she had to stay positive, Tomiwa was not a heartless man, she was sure he’d be back soon so she decided to wait till he came back so she could apologize. She waited and waited and waited, constantly checking the time on the wall clock and cross-checking with the one on her phone but Tomiwa didn’t return that night, her imaginations ran wild as she couldn’t control her thoughts, later, four painful hours of waiting in vain, she succumbed to the power of the tears she’d been holding in, she cried briefly then went on her knees to the one thing she knew was right, she prayed but she still did not have a strong enough faith to battle her fears and calm her nerves. She drifted into an uneasy sleep, and was beside herself all night then it was five AM and she had to get up to prepare for the day still hoping that Tomiwa would show up at least for a bath so she could apologize but that did not happen; the children, ofcourse, were surprised that their father wasn’t home but they knew better than to ask their already agitated mum. The day went by
The day went by quickly with Hannah hardly concentrating on her business, she’d tried Tomiwa’s number severally but to no avail, he’d rejected all her calls. She closed her stall early and went home sad, she instructed Yejide to prepare dinner while she lay hopelessly on the bed. Around nine PM, Tomiwa came home with goodies for the children and a plate of food, Hannah’s joy knew no bounds but she kept a lid on it, he replied his family’s greetings and went on to eat.
“Tomiwa, where were you last night?” Hannah asked when she was sure the children were asleep.
“Woman, I am not ready for your queries this night.” He replied.
“Okay o, but you know what you did was wrong, you left just like that, I was worried and you…”
“Worried ko, worried abi angry that I didn’t give you the opportunity to run that loose tap you have as a mouth.” He cut in and Hannah smiled, she wasn’t going to argue even though she found it difficult to say sorry.
“No o, I was worried because you weren’t picking my calls.” She said calmly
“See ehn Hannah, if you’re not careful, this your mouth will just push me into another woman’s arms, there are already a lot of them at the garage there making passes at me, it won’t take me anything to start sleeping with them, it’s just the fear of God that is holding me back.” He fired. Hannah swallowed hard, she had no idea her marriage was sitting on the sharp edge of a knife and could be torn apart without her even realizing it.
“I am sorry.” She muttered and Tomiwa hissed.
“See, I have had a very long and tiring day, I want to sleep.” He said and climbed the bed. Hannah smiled to herself ‘ so the witches and wizards of my village are not satisfied yet, first they turned my father against me for years now my husband abi, well I won’t fold my hands and watch, I must pray against that strange woman or women in my husband’s life.’ She thought to herself then prayed for some minutes before joining Tomiwa on the bed.
Tomiwa sat cautiously in the armchair, he had a bad feeling about his dealings with this guys but the pay was handsome, soon, a lady came in with a glass of juice for him, she dropped the tray on the stool beside him and smiled before sitting in the armchair across from him.
“You will be attended to shortly.” She said and he smiled. He looked the girl over and shook his head, she was too much temptation, she had on jean shorts that looked more like panties and a black bra top. She sat cross-legged such that it was impossible for Tomiwa to look in her direction and not see her buttocks; maybe she was sitting that way on purpose; he looked at her again and her exclaimed in his mind, her bosom was full and her cleavage was graciously exposed, he looked at her face briefly, she had on a seductive evil smile. Tomiwa smacked himself mentally and unconsciously traced his wedding band ‘I am a married man and a father, I shouldn’t be looking this girl.’ He chided himself but this lady was all shades of temptation; she shifted seductively in her seat with her eyes trained on him, watching and most likely enjoying his uneasiness while Tomiwa just sat like a fool half-expecting her to walk over and start touching him. Tomiwa swallowed hard, sitting here was getting too uncomfortable for him, he took a large gulp of his mango juice and adjusted in his seat, he wondered what was taking whoever was supposed to attend to him so long to appear and just then, he was saved by the gun.
A tall chocolate skinned man with a very handsome face but very lean features walked out from the inner quarters of the house holding a small bag. He was wearing khaki shorts and a football jersey, his heard was scraped bald and his beards looked very neat. The lady smiled and excused herself while Tomiwa heaves a deep sigh of relief. Shadow looked Tomiwa over and smiled cynically.
“Get up…” he ordered and Tomiwa did. “You’re the keke guy right?” he asked.
“Yes sir.” Tomiwa answered in his most confident voice.
“Good, follow me, let’s talk.” Shadow said and led the way through the kitchen to a veranda, he waved Tomiwa to one of the three plastic chairs arranged side by side while he leaned casually on the railings, not minding that he was three storeys above the ground.
“Now, my boys have assured me that you are trustworthy and that my package is safe with you.” He said, gesturing to the bag and Tomiwa nodded.
“Good, I want you to deliver this bag to a location; can you do that for me? (Tomiwa nodded again) I see you are a man of little words which is fine by me, it only makes my job easier…” he said and handed Tomiwa the bag.
“… how much will you collect from here to Ritaville?” he asked.
“Sir, those other two guys just pay what they feel like, I don’t charge them sir.”
“You mean you don’t have a fixed price?”
“No sir, I don’t work up to Ritaville and I don’t even know how much it costs to get there.”
“Very well then, I will give you seven thousand naira and an extra three thousand naira to buy fuel.” Tomiwa wanted to jump for joy but he had to control himself, a whooping ten thousand naira for a trip, he could do this all his life if given the chance.
“Thank you sir.” Tomiwa said beaming then Shadow reeled off and address to him and instructed him to call Shanawole or Scorpion if he had any difficulties before dismissing him.
On the way, Tomiwa was tempted to check the content of the bag but he didn’t, he just felt too grateful to the handsome young man whose name he didn’t know. He got to his destination an hour later and was told to wait for fifteen minutes before he was attended to, when it was time, he was ushered into a furniture bare room and searched thoroughly then into another where the bag was received. The receiver looked the bag over for some time then made a quick call to inform whoever it was that ‘the package’ had arrived before he was dismissed finally. On his way out, he was given a brown paper bag that contained his pay. An overjoyed Tomiwa checked the time, one PM, he still had to ride one hour to the mainland then about twenty more minutes to the garage if he still wanted to go on with his business as usual but he decided to go home straight.
Shadow sat in his room, hunched over his laptop when a call came through, it was the boss.
“Hello.” He said casually with one hand still tapping at the PC’s keyboard.
“Shadow, I think he’s good to go.”
“Hmmm, was the seal intact?”
“Yes, very, what’s your opinion?” Babanla asked.
“He’s a poor man, desperate but not too desperate still but he has the right amount of desperation for the job, he needs the money really bad, I have assessed him, he won’t talk.”
“Hmmm, Shadow, I trust your judgement but if he becomes difficult, you know what to do.”
“By the way, when’s your trip due?”
“Very well then, we’ll see what happens on your return.” Babanla concluded and ended the call. Shadow closed the laptop, got to his feet and got dressed. The lady from earlier lay sprawled on the bed, he gathered her in one heavy heap and lifted her as her head and arms hung limp, he carried her to the living room and dumped her drugged body on the couch then went back to pack her things from the room an dropped them carelessly on the floor beside her, he looked at her awhile ‘she’ll come round soon’ he thought to himself then went back to the room to continue what he was doing, he had business to handle and he wasn’t ready to put the whole crew at risk. After a while, he went over to the wardrobe and retrieved his .38 caliber smith & Wesson pistol, loaded and put it in his belt holster then wore a black leather jacket over it. He looked himself over in the full mirror screwed to the wall, he was good to go, he picked his backpack, wore his vans, locked the room, pocketed the key and left the house not forgetting to wear his black Adidas fez cap. Off he went, into the night to sort out the boss’ dirty laundry, that’s why they called him Shadow, he is stealth and inconspicuous, he could blend perfectly into the night without a stealth gear, he is Shadow; crafty, intelligent, cunning yet he looked innocent, his handsome features would never give him away, he looked like one who couldn’t hurt a confused fly let alone a wicked mosquito but tonight, he was on a mission to end a life or at least leave an unforgettable scar, he is Shadow; ruthless and bloody, always enjoying the suffering and pain of his victims, none of his victims ever noticed him until he was too close and had backed them in a corner, he is Shadow; he followed his victims everywhere making sure they had no escape route and didn’t leave until they’d breathed their last, he is Shadow; even closer than your shadow, whenever he spared a life, it was usually maimed and even wished, literally begged, for death. He is
Shadow , his victims’ worst nightmare.
…to be continued