� Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
April 26, 2031.
Tarasha squeezed his fingers as it touched her palm. It took him by surprise. He didn’t know she was awake and had been watching him as he walked towards her, leading his way with his phone’s screen backlight. She had noticed when he sat on the floor beside the sofa and was wondering what he was doing when he spent sometime there silently without doing anything.
‘So you’re awake?’ he said, raising his phone to see her face with the backlight.
‘Yes, why didn’t you switch on the light and why were you tiptoeing here like you wanted to steal something?’ she asked with a light tone.
He chuckled. ‘I didn’t want to wake you up,’ he said and tightened his fingers around hers. She pulled his arm across her body making it lay on her belly touching his breasts slightly. He adjusted his seating position on the floor while she also turned towards him on three seater where she laid. ‘So why are you not sleeping?’
‘I was sleeping,’ she replied. Their faces were close to each other’s.
‘Sleeping? But you saw me tiptoeing to you,’ he questioned.
‘Yes, you woke me when you got out of your room.’
Henry was confused for a moment. He had opened and closed his door as gently as he could and the door wasn’t even one that made noise when it wasn’t even handled gently.
His phone’s backlight went off and he could barely see Tarasha’s face in the darkness.
‘How did you know I was still here?’ she asked while Henry was still trying to turn on his phone’s screen again.
‘I’ve not slept, I’ve been waiting to hear you enter your room since but I never heard the sound of your door closing.’ Henry replied.
‘Well… I just wanted to think alone in the darkness, that’s why I turned off the light but then, I slept off.’ she explained.
‘But you said I woke you up when I stepped out of my room, how is that possible? I didn’t make any noise with the door,’ Henry asked.
‘It still made some very low sounds, especially when you closed it back.’
Henry tried to remember the manner at which he closed it. ‘I closed it gently,’ he argued.
‘The whole house is silent, I can hear the gentlest sound now. Even if the noises are from different sources, I can still differentiate where each is from, I did a course on that for three years.
Henry shook his head and smiled. A brief silence followed. The phone’s backlight switched off but he didn’t bother to turn it on again.
‘That man you came with, who is he?’ Henry asked.
‘He’s Dr Martin, he worked with Elvis Richards several years ago and he seems to know a lot of the man’s secret.’ Tarasha replied, after taking some seconds to consider whether it was time to tell him or not.
‘How did you get to meet him?’
‘I got him from my research on Elvis Richards, he was the one I went to look for in Anambra.’
‘And he agreed to come here with you?’
‘Yes, he did.’
Henry let out a breath, not really sure of what to talk about anymore.
‘I was scared of losing you, I thought I would never see you again when I heard the sounds of those gunshots that night.’ Henry said in a deeply terrified voice. ‘Thank God you’re alive but…’ he stopped and gave a gasp.
‘So many innocent people died,’ Henry said in a sad tone and let out a very deep breath.
‘They had to die, I was attacked,’ Tarasha said defensively and sat up, she felt he was about to judge her again. ‘There was no way I could have left there without them going down.’
‘I know, I understand that they had to die. But I think is that we should avoid such situations from reoccurring,’ he said, turning on his phone’s backlight again. She had shifted away from him to the middle of the sofa while Henry remained at the edge with his hands on the armrest where she previously laid her head.
‘I didn’t plan to fight or ki*ll anybody there, the only ones I plan to ki*ll remains Elvis Richards and Inspector Rikau. But anybody that comes in my way and leaves me without a choice will have to go too.’
‘But do you know we can do this without you having to ki*ll?’ Henry asked thoughtfully. ‘Even Elvis Richards and the Inspector General.’
‘That’s not possible, I’ve told you several times that I ain’t gon take that sermon.’
‘It is very possible Tara,’ Henry insisted.
‘It isn’t,’ she argued.
‘Shh…’ Henry hushed, their voices were getting louder. He moved closer to her and positioned his elbows on her knees, he located her palms and held both in his. ‘Now, you said that man, the doctor that came home with you worked with Elvis Richards for several years.’
‘Yes, he worked with them.’ she replied, wondering what he was driving out. She tried to release her hands from his grip and fold them but he didn’t let her go.
‘And you also say he has so much information,’ Henry continued. He released one of her hands to take his phone, he turned on the flashlight and then placed the light to face up on the seat. He took her hand in his again.
‘Yes,’ she now folded her lips in and stared at him sternly.
‘Then, if we’re to go by the manner you said it, we should be able to get enough information from the man to bring these wicked men to justice.’
Tarasha shook her head at him. ‘How can you suggest that when you know that Elvis Richards can easily influence the court processes? The judiciary system here is still been control by the men at high places.’
‘I know, but we don’t have to take them to court directly.’
She stared at him without saying anything.
‘Now, for example, Inspector General Rikau was a major head of the terrorists that disturbed the nation several years ago. If we can get valid proofs of the man’s involvement from anywhere , then we can bring him down with that. If we also get valid proofs implicating the Vice President too, we can do the same with him.’
‘I still don’t understand how that is going to send them six feets down,’ she argued.
‘They would be killed or be forced to ki*ll themselves especially if we make it in a way that none of them would be able to escape,’ Henry said. He paused to see if she understood him.
‘I still do not understand him.’
‘Simple, we can get the masses to also want them dead. That would force the system to judge them rightly but if that doesn’t happen, the cry of the masses can make international bodies come in.’
‘Hmm… So how do we make that happen?’
‘Easy, this is how…’
‘Good morning Sunshine, I can’t wait for us to be at my parents house together this afternoon.’
Cole’s heart skipped a beat as he read the message. He wasn’t scared of meeting her parent, he was only afraid that it wasn’t the right time to do it. He also knew he could be putting her life in danger by associating too much with her.
He wanted to send a reply immediately to cancel off the appointment but he stopped. He had already planned it to take place during a period that Tarasha won’t need him and also planned not to stay long at the place. There was no need to change his plans now, except if the boss needed him to do something unplanned for.
‘Good morning dear, I can’t wait too. Hope you slept well,’ he typed in a reply and clicked the enter button.
He dropped the phone beside the pillow and stretched for some seconds in the bed. He stopped as he realized something, he picked his phone again and opened the messaging app, it was actually the first time Patricia would be the first to send a message in the morning. Maybe she was loving him more, he thought. Or perhaps she was taking him more serious because he was now ready to visit her family. He drew in a breath and closed his eyes. He got some kind of encouragement to meet her parents more.
Her image formed in his thoughts. He fantasized about her smooth curves and sexy lips, how he wished he could just have a taste of her that morning. Maybe that day could be the day. They had planned to go to his new apartment together after leaving her house. That could be the opportunity he had been looking for to have a taste of her great body. Not that it mattered to him than she herself but he still longed for the opportunity.
His phone beeped in his hand again and he scrolled down to read her reply.
Inspector General Rikau’s Residence, Asokoro
‘Rex, I think you should just tell us how long we should give you to ki*ll her. We’re tired of just making empty assumptions,’ the IG complained bitterly.
‘C’mon, give me a break dude,’ Rex replied in a rude way which shocked the IG. The IG looked around to see if any of his men had not heard or seen the way he was being disrespected. Rex gulped down a glass of hot drink before he continued, ‘You give me a target without sufficient information and you’re expecting magic, you must be kidding.’ he said as he dropped the cup on the table noisily. ‘Stop bossing me around like you give me the information I need.’
They were in the same room Rex was always allowed to stay whenever he came to the IG’s house. Rex was seated on the armless chair which back was turned to the table, his legs crossed and his left hand resting on the table. A bottle of wine and a small cup was on the table just beside the computer set.
The Inspector General stared at Rex with so much anger bottled inside for some seconds, he couldn’t find words to say anymore, he only clenched his teeth and fists in anger and disgust.
‘What do you need from us?’ he asked, his fists still tightened in anger.
‘Just tell me where she is right now and her movements for the next forty eight hours, then I’ll bring her dead body to you in less than seventy hours. That’s the information you should give to an assassin if you want immediate results. But right now, I’m doing the job of an investigator too.’
The IG’s mouth was sealed after hearing his words. He still felt feed Rex wasn’t right but he had no words to counter him.
‘Let me go straight to the reason I’m here,’ Rex said after gulping another cup of wine. ‘I wanted to ask if there is anything of yours or the Vice President which Samantha Osman touched in that state she went to.’
The Inspector General stared at his face, ‘Things like?’
‘Your family, investments or property.’
‘I don’t have anything in Anambra State and the Vice President also does not have any business or family member there too.’
‘So, it meant she might have just gone for another business?’
‘Yes, as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing in Anambra that has to do with us.’
‘What about that SSS Agent who trailed her, do you know him and what useful information does he have?’ Rex asked.
‘I don’t who he is. Right now, he’s still in Anambra State but I’m aware he’d be returning today.’
‘That means you can find out who he is when he comes?’
‘No, he’s a secret agent, the only person allowed to know him is the Agency’s Chairman.’
‘Is there no way you get any details about him?’
‘I can, but I don’t know what he has to do with this,’ the Inspector General said, giving Rex a questioning look. ‘What do you need to know him for?’
‘I do not necessarily need to know him, I only need to know what he knows.’
‘If that’s what you need, I can provide you with that. He’s submitting a report to the NIS immediately he returns.’
‘Come on, they’re waiting for us already.’ Patricia said as she dragged Victor by hand into the house.
‘Wait!’ Victor pulled her back. She stopped and turned to listen to him. ‘Are you sure I’m properly dressed?’ he asked. She had painted her parents as very strict people and he tried his best to dress as responsible as possible.
‘Of course, you look perfect.’ she replied, sizing him from head to toe with her eyes. She wrapped her arms in his and pulled him along as the climbed the stairs to the balcony.
Victor couldn’t explain his anxiousness. The thoughts of having her parents reject him kept running through his mind. He felt for some reason that they might find something in him that they didn’t like and order their daughter to call off their friendship.
Patricia’s father was in the living room when they entered. He was lying on the three seater sofa with his legs crossed, a tablet device in his hands and an earpiece fixed in his ears.
He didn’t seem to notice their entrance until Patricia got to his front.
‘Pat, when did you come back?’ the man asked, sitting up and taking off his earpiece.
‘Just now, Daddy. Good afternoon sir,’ she said all smiles, bending her knees slightly in courtesy. ‘This is Victor,’ she said beckoning on Victor who was still standing afar off to come closer.
‘Victor!’ the man called with so much enthusiasm showing his complete set of teeth.
‘Good afternoon sir,’ Victor bowed slightly as he proceeded forward, the man was already stretching his hand forward to him.
‘My son,’ the man continued cheerfully as they shook hands warmly. ‘You’re welcome to our home, Patricia has said a lot of things about you already.’
Victor faked a smile and flashed a look at Patricia. He hoped she had told the father only good things about him and not how he was staring at her breasts and backside when they first met.
‘You may have your seat,’ the man finally released his hand and pointed him to an adjacent seat close to the couch.
‘Thank you sir,’ Victor said as he took his seat.
‘You should go and call your mother to come see our guest,’ the man said to Patricia. She turned and smiled at him before taking the way that led into the other parts of the house.
Victor took some seconds to look around the house. It wasn’t expensively decorated but was beautiful enough. He noticed that the walls were just recently painted and the air conditioners newly installed.
‘So Victor, where are you from?’ Patricia’s father began. ‘I mean your state of origin.’
‘From Edo state sir,’ Victor replied, focusing his gaze on the man’s face. The man had a round face with a flat nose, his hair, partly grey and already halfway the top of his head.
‘Where in Edo State?’ he asked.
‘Benin sir,’ Victor replied.
‘Benin!’ the man gave out a bright smile. ‘I served in Benin and also spent the first five years after service working there. I have a lot of friends there. So can you tell me which area in Benin?’
Now Victor was scared to continue. He didn’t lie when he said he was from Benin but his fear was the man knowing more about him if he mentioned the exact location. If the man knew his area, then research could be easily made on his background and details he would want to hide revealed.
Patricia and her mother joined them in the living room at that moment, rescuing Victor from his tight situation.
‘So, is this the young man who wants to marry my daughter?’ Patricia’s mother said in a lively tone as she approached them. She was short and fat. She had a round face just like her husband and walked like someone who was struggling to support the weight of her body on her legs. However, she was neatly dressed and her hair was well plaited. She had an apron on her body which showed that she was coming from the kitchen.
‘Good afternoon ma,’ Victor stood to greet her, managing to put on a smile.
‘Good afternoon my dear,’ she walked close to him and gave him a side hug before going to the sofa just opposite him. Patricia stopped behind Victor’s seat and rested her elbows on the top of the backrest. ‘Pat, aren’t you going to entertain your husband?’ she said to Patricia.
‘Oh! Mum, thanks. I’m okay for now,’ Victor tried to stop Patrica from going.
‘No, you can’t just be seated like that,’ the woman insisted. ‘Pat, get your husband fruit juice while we wait for the food.’
Cole took in a deep breath. He didn’t know whether to feel welcomed or uncomfortable now that her mother was already referring to him as her husband, does it mean that she accepted him already. She also asked him when she entered that was he the man who wanted her daughter’s hand in marriage. It meant Patricia must have told her parents that he was her fiance. He was also amazed at the way he was welcomed, he was expecting a thorough scrutiny by both parents.
‘Yea, I’m very hungry too, I would not mind a cup of juice first too.’ Patricia’s father joined in.
‘Always hungry Papa Pat,’ the woman jeered at him.
‘Yes o, Saturdays are my free days, allow me eat as much as I can please.’ the man replied back jovially.
‘So Victor,’ the woman called to his surprise. ‘You didn’t answer my question.’
Victor stared at her inquisitively, not knowing what question he didn’t answer.
‘I asked if you are the man that wants to marry my daughter.’
He let out a smile, feeling embarrassed as his eyes met with the man’s own. ‘Yes, by the grace of God,’ he responded shyly. He was surprised at the words which came out of his mouth. He could tell where he got ‘by the grace of God from’. Now, Patricia must explain to him why she told them he had asked to marry her.
‘You’re welcome my son, feel at home.’ she said with a smile and relaxed back.
‘Thank you ma.’
‘So what job so you do?’ Patricia’s father asked and Victor’s gaze turned to him immediately.
‘I run my firm under AA group of companies.’
‘What do you do in your firm?’
‘I deal with exporting Nigerian made products, so it means I serve as a mediator between the indigenous production industries here and the distributors in other countries.’
‘That sounds nice. Where do your parents stay?’
‘My parents are in Lagos state,’ Victor replied.
‘Okay, well…’ the man got up to his feet holding his device in his left hand. ‘I want to do something inside before lunch, do make sure you feel at home.’
‘Thank you sir,’ he bowed slightly and his eyes followed the man as he walked inside.
‘Let me go and check the food in the kitchen,’ the woman was already up before Victor turned his face back. ‘Pat!’ she shouted as she made her way into the kitchen. ‘Don’t you know you’re keeping the young man waiting?’
Her voice vanished as she disappeared and for once Victor was left alone in the living room. He took a moment to look round the walls of the living room again. He could see the wedding pictures of Patricia’s parent and also a family picture by the side. An old wall clock was positioned up above the flat screen TV close to the ceiling.
‘Victor, what do you think about my parents?’ Patricia said as she walked in from behind with a tray and a pack of juice in it.
‘They are wonderful people,’ Victor said, turning back to look at her. His eyes followed as she walked to the footstool and placed the tray on it and then carried everything to his front.
‘Thank you,’ he said.
‘You’re welcome,’ she replied with a smile and squatted beside the stool to open the fruit juice, she poured some into the cup for him. ‘You’ll like it, it’s cold.’ she said as she got up to her feet.
‘Thank you,’ he took the glass cup and took the first sip. He dropped the cup and relaxed his back. Patricia was now seated on the left side arm of his chair and her right hand placed on top of the backrest. ‘Pat,’ he changed into a serious tone and turned to her. ‘But why did you…’
His statement couldn’t be completed as she pulled him forward with his collar and covered his lips with hers. He felt powerless for that moment and couldn’t resist the kiss. She placed her arm on his head and pulled him closer.
‘Pat! Food is ready now, come and serve.’
They quickly broke away as they heard the voice of her mother approaching. Patricia got up and turned towards the kitchen immediately.
‘Victor, hope you’re enjoying yourself?’ the woman asked as she came in view.
‘Yes, thank you ma.’ Victor replied and quickly went for the cup of juice again, grateful that the woman did catch him smooching her daughter.
55 minutes later
‘I was thinking I would meet your sister today,’ Patricia said as they drove down the road. Victor was in the driver’s seat and she was at the passenger’s.
Victor gave a chuckle, ‘She’s not the kind of person that likes meeting people, except for business reasons.’
‘She seems kind of weird to me,’ Patricia said, bending her lips in a funny way.
‘People say that often,’ Victor nodded.
‘So why haven’t you moved into your own apartment since you have one?’
‘There has really been no reason to, and I also don’t want it to sound like I’m an ungrateful person, so I have to take it slowly.’
‘Okay… So, do you have foodstuffs in your house there?’
‘Ermmm… Yes, I stocked the place with some…’
‘You didn’t order from us?’ she cut in.
‘No, I did. EasyShoppers sent another of their delivery men.’
‘Okay, but you should order through me next time’
‘It’s okay ma, correction taken ma.’ he said and both of them laughed briefly. ‘But I hope you’re not planning to cook again when we get there?’
‘Why shouldn’t I cook?’ she raised a brow.
‘We just had lunch,’ he stared at her with his eyes wide open.
‘Yes, that’s lunch. Won’t we have dinner?’
‘Dinner? Isn’t it too early to think of dinner?’
‘Early? It’s not,’ she argued.
‘I think you shouldn’t bother about cooking, we could just get something to eat from an eatery close by before I drive you back home.’
‘No, I’ll cook.’ She insisted. ‘In fact, we have to stop by at the mall in front. I’m sure you don’t have the food items for the meal I’ll like to prepare.’
Victor shook his head and blew out breath from his mouth. He knew he couldn’t convince her to stop. It took them three minutes to get to the mall and she stepped out after Victor stopped the car in the parking space.
‘What exactly do you want to buy?’ Victor asked as he stepped out from the other side.
‘You don’t need to follow me,’ she said and began climb up the verandah of the mall.
‘So you think I’ll sit and wait for you in the car?’ he asked after leveling up with her.
‘I won’t stay long in there, that’s why I asked you to wait.’ she replied.
‘It doesn’t matter how long you want to stay,’ Victor said to her. He got distracted as his phone began to ring. He took it out from his pocket and checked the caller, a serious look appeared on his face as he stopped to answer the call. ‘Boss.’
‘I’m in the compound of the mall, my car is parked at the other side. Come meet me there briefly.’ Tarasha’s voice sounded through the speaker.
His heart began to beat faster as he turned back and looked towards the parking space at the opposite side to locate her car.
‘Ain’t you coming with me anymore?’ Patricia stopped to ask as she was about going in through the door.
He took the phone away from his ear to whisper to Patricia. ‘I’ll meet you.’ He put the phone back to his ear. ‘I’ve seen your car boss, I’m coming there.’
Patricia watched him for some seconds before entering the mall.
Last Week’s Question
– From the last episode, Cole told Tarasha that the other vehicles pursuing were far behind. How then did the SSS vehicle catch up with Tarasha so quick?
Answer – The Vehicle that caught up with them wasn’t coming from behind, it came from the other direction.
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION
According to what the SSS men told the owner of the Chevrolet Camaro, what is the occupation of the person who drove in her car?