� Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
Crescent Moon Hotel
‘These clothes are very useless to us,’ Dan said flinging back the clothes to the bed.
‘I wasn’t expecting her to leave anything useful behind though, we just had to come so that we could write a complete report.’ Dave said to him.
‘Well… Let’s get out of here, you need to get some rest.’ Dan said, proceeding towards the door.
The were in the room previously occupied by Tarasha. It had been locked since the last night by the other SSS officials and nobody was allowed to enter. Both Dave and Dan had SSS tagged masks on their faces which covered only some parts of their faces just to make them unrecognizable when seen without the masks. The masks looked more like helmets. The head security officer of the hotel was there with them, standing, with his back resting against the wall beside the door and watching while the agents ransacked the room.
‘Officer Clement, I do need to thank you for your time and patience. I’m sorry about the loss of your men and the disruption of your normal activities.’ Dave said as he turned towards the door. Dan was already out and walking away slowly.
‘It’s okay, we could have made history if we got her yesterday,’ Clement replied in a rather low tone.
‘Yea we could have,’ Dave sighed. ‘But it’s sad that she still got away.’
‘We made a good trial at least, I think we put in our bests, she was just too ready.’ Clement stopped to lock the door after both of them stepped outside. Dan had stopped at the front of the lift and was waiting for them.
‘The vehicle she got away with hasn’t been located anywhere, I heard the owner was at the police station to make report.’
‘Yes, the SSS general was at the station when he came, so he told me about it when he came here. But we’ve driven the Chevrolet you left at the front of his house to the SSS office for repair of the door.’
They began to walk towards Dan.
‘I hope there’s no other problem with the Chevrolet?’
‘No, there was no scratch on it.’
‘What about the owner of the Zenvo ST1? Has anyone come to ask about it?’
‘No, not yet.’
‘Well, I think I saw the owner of the Chevrolet that afternoon when I drove in. Those cars are expensive, I trust their owners to come very soon.’
‘Yea… But that Chevrolet,’ Clement stopped walking. ‘A police Inspector was here this morning, they said it was likely owned by a kidnapper.’
‘Yea.’ Clement affirmed. They continued walking towards Dan but at a slower pace. ‘A wealthy Doctor was said to have left his residence with a girl in that car and didn’t return home that night. So they traced the car and found out it came here yesterday afternoon but didn’t know where it went to from here, they couldn’t find the footages.’
‘What’s wrong with these NSCC guys these days? Their system crashed when we needed them last night and that is what has been happening for the past few months,’ Dave said, wondering what Mr Sylvester and the others were doing at the headquarters. He knew they must have been trying the number he submitted to them.
‘They just need to improve, I believe it was the overload and unusual collection of the footages that crashed it last night.’
‘But isn’t that what they’re meant for?’
The man gave no reply.
‘So, that girl kidnapped the old man?’ Dave asked.
‘No, the officer called back this evening to ask if they had come for the car. He said it wasn’t a kidnap. The old doctor called them in the afternoon to tell them he was fine and he just needed a break from his family and that’s why he went with her.’
‘Hehe,’ Dave chuckled. ‘I thought the man was her father when I saw them together yesterday. I was wondering how that kind of young girl was riding that expensive car, but I believe the wealthy doctor must have gotten the car for her,’ Dave said in a light tone. The picture of the girl on low cut appeared in his mind again and he continued to marvel at her beauty even though she now seemed more like a runs girl to him.
Three of them stepped into the elevator and the door closed.
Tarasha’s Residence, Udoka Estate.
‘The rain has just begun heavily,’ Tarasha said as she walked into the man’s room.
‘I can hear the sound,’ the man replied, buttoning up his shirt, one of the new shirts Tarasha had gotten from him.
‘I brought this for you, you might need it.’ she said as she passed a blue cardigan to him.
‘Thank you,’ he collected it gratefully. ‘Are we leaving right away?’ he said, noticing she was fully dressed up in her usual black on black.
‘No, we’ll wait for the rain to subside a little, it’s quite windy now and I won’t like to drive yet.’
‘Okay,’ he said and began to put on the cardigan. He said something which wasn’t audible because of the cardigan covering his voice as he wore it.
‘What did you say?’ Tarasha asked.
‘Why are you on black?’
‘Dark colours are good for dark periods of the day,’ she replied.
He looked at her face and nodded in agreement.
‘I want to believe your security officials at the place won’t give us trouble,’ Tarasha implied.
‘I’ll try to make them not to, but let’s be prepared for them. I’ll prefer if there’s a way we can go in without going through them, they know my family has been looking for me and may want to raise an alarm even if I tell them not to.’
‘I’ll take care of that, we can help them sleep for two hours and forget all that happened when they wake.’
‘I have two guards there and two relatives, are you going to inject them all benryl?’
‘I don’t have to inject them for it to get into their bodies, but anybody that comes in sight will get it.’
The man replied with silence and proceeded to put on his shoes.
‘We’d leave this state finally on Friday, I hope you’re ready to depart from your family.’ she said and proceeded towards the wardrobe.
The man exhaled and inhaled deeply for a moment. He repeated the process one more time before he spoke. ‘Where are we going to from here?’
‘I can’t tell you for now,’ She stopped at the front of the mirror and stared at her reflection. She placed a palm to press down her neatly combed hair gently and rubbed her forehead with the hair cream that stained her palm.
‘How long are we going to stay? Or how long do I have to be there with you?’ he asked another question.
‘For as long as it takes to achieve the purpose we’re coming together for,’ she replied.
The man closed his eyes briefly and took in a breath. ‘Will I be allowed to make calls to my family?’ he asked as he opened his eyes.
‘I’m too not sure I’ll allow you do that, but if it’s ever gonna happen, it’ll be monitored.’
There was silence for some minutes. Tarasha turned to the other side of the bed and sat on the footstool. Both of them seemed to be waiting for the intensity of the rain to reduce.
‘Do you know why I’m taking you with me?’ Tarasha asked, looking at the man’s face.
The looked back at her with a pitiful look on his face. He nodded sideways to answer ‘No’.
‘I just don’t feel like killing you,’ Tarasha voiced out, feeling embarrassed at herself. ‘The normal thing is to ki*ll you after extracting the information I need from you but I’ve not been moved to do that especially because you’ve not given me any trouble. But I won’t allow you return to your family until we’re done, allowing you return would be dangerous for me andit’ll be more dangerous for you because I can still come back to ki*ll you and your family members whenever I want, no matter where you run to. But now that you’re traveling with me, I still promise you a bullet in your brain if you ever mess up.’
Tarasha closed her eyes briefly after talking. She knew something was wrong with her. Killing people haven’t been easy for her for sometime and it even became more difficult after she was saved from death by Cole and Henry. However, she didn’t tell the man the real truth. Even though she didn’t want to ki*ll him, the main reason she was taking him along with her in a healthy manner was because she believed he could still have more information than they were going to retrieve from his house that night. She could have injected him substances that’ll make him have a total memory loss or another that’ll turn him to a dummy and render him useless even if she wanted to preserve his life.
The man stared blankly into the air. He believed every word she said. He had seen the crime scenes on the news that afternoon and knew what she was capable of doing. And maybe he still could prevent the bullet from entering into his head by helping her against her targets and at the same time ‘helping his nation’ like she had put it and by that he would totally avert the nightmares he had been having.
‘So, you really want us to go out tomorrow?’ Cole typed into the chat box with Patricia and clicked on send.
There was a smile on his face as he scrolled up the messages again. It was her first time of ever asking him for an outing first, even though she only suggested it indirectly.
‘No, it’s not compulsory that we go out. I could come over to your house. Probably prepare dinner for us if you allow me and then we can spend the night together. I’ll leave from your place to work tomorrow.’
The smile on Cole’s face totally disappeared after reading her message. On a normal day, he was supposed to be glad that she offered to come to his home. He should have started preparations immediately for things he would do to her and with her when she comes. But the reverse was the case here.
‘But what about your parents, will they like it if you sleep out?’ Cole sent his reply.
‘They won’t know where I slept. I could just tell them I have to work late that day and that I’ll be sleeping at the staff’s quarters.’ her reply came in.
Cole heaved a sigh on reading the new message. He had houses in Lagos he would have taken her to if they were to be in the state but he had never thought of having a house in Abuja even though he had the money to buy several, the reason being that their stay in Abuja wasn’t planned to be a long or a permanent place of residence.
‘I won’t like you lying to your parents just because you want to spend time with me,’ he replied, surprised at rate he had turned to a good moral adviser.
‘Why? I’m a woman and not a girl anymore, so they can’t dictate what I should do.’ she replied.
‘I know but I’ll prefer that they know me and know that you’re coming to my place,’ Cole typed and sent. He really wished the argument wasn’t going to continue. He didn’t have much excuses to give anymore.
‘Then why are we wasting time? I think you should come to my place this weekend so that I can introduce you to my family as my boyfriend.’
Boyfriend? Cole gasped. Nobody had ever introduced him as a boyfriend in his life since he never had the chance to keep a girlfriend. And he also thought that it was only fiances that were introduced to families.
He sat up and rested his back against the headboard. He exited the messenger and opened a web browser. It was time for him to get a personal house in Abuja. He knew he would find a good one within minutes of checking.
‘Hey?’ another message entered from Patricia. She could see he had read her message but didn’t reply. ‘Are you coming to visit my parents?’
‘Ermm… Don’t you think we’re taking things too fast?’ he typed and sent.
‘Do you love me?’ she replied in less than ten seconds.
‘Yes, you know I do.’
‘Isn’t that what matters?’
Cole heaved a sigh and shook his head. He began to consider the option of going to see her parents. It wasn’t really a dangerous idea for him but it could be for her.
Getting an apartment was the solution for him. Once he finds a house and pay for it the next day, then he would be able to take her somewhere whenever she requested to go to his house.
‘Are you coming?’ her message entered before he could type anything again. ‘Please don’t say no if you really love me.’
Cole let out a breath, he felt weak. ‘Okay, this Saturday.’ he finally replied.
Three minutes later
‘Yeah! The dummy has finally agreed to come see my parents,’ Lizzy typed into her second phone. She was also chatting with Dave.
‘Wow! How did you go about it?’
‘I asked him to prove his love with it.’
‘Nice, so how do we make plans for him?’ the reply came in.
‘You have to arrange parents for me,’ she replied and dropped the phone to reply to Victor’s message on the other phone.
‘I’ll get back to you tomorrow,’ Dave replied.
April 24, 2031
Crescent Moon Hotel, Anambra.
‘Sir, that wasn’t her face.’ Dave said to Clement in the security office. They were the only two persons there. Since a great number of the security men of the hotel had died days ago, the office had always been scanty with only Clement and his assistant there most of the times.
‘I don’t understand, do you mean that the face captured by our cameras was unrecognizable?’ Clement asked with a frown.
‘No, the pictures from the cameras were clear enough but we still couldn’t find her as a registered citizen of the nation or even in the guests records.’ Dave replied, shaking uncomfortably in his seat.
‘That means it’s a problem from the records,’ Clement suggested.
‘No, it isn’t. We’ve never been able to trace Samantha Osman’s records from the start.’
‘What of the records as AK Evelyn which she used here?’
‘The AK Evelyn she registered here isn’t the same as the one I thought, it is something else not Alexander Kimberly Evelyn, Dave said.
‘Okay, if you know the full for the initials of her new name, why don’t you trace through that?’
‘We’re doing that already but I’m sure it won’t lead us to her, she would have discarded the name and cleared the records like she does always.’
Dave’s phone began to ring at that moment. He politely excused himself from Clement to receive the call.
‘Good morning Agent Godwin,’ Dave said into the phone.
‘Good morning Agent Dave, you’re needed at the headquarters right away.’ Agent Godwin replied from the other end.
‘I hope there’s no problem,’ Dave replied, a frown appeared on his face.
‘It’s not a problem really, but it’s urgent. It’s about the car you used that day.’
‘The Zenvo? I thought we addressed the owner yesterday. We pleaded with him that it might take some time for the government to release us money except the car is insured.’
‘No, it’s the Chevrolet.’
‘Oh!’ Dave paused a bit. ‘Okay, but my colleague is at the office, he can address their questions for me.’
‘No, he’s tried but couldn’t answer all. You need to be here, because the owner is claiming there’s something missing in her car.’
‘Something missing? That’s not true. The only problem is the door which was destroyed.’
‘So you need to come say that yourself to the owner.’
‘Okay, I’ll be there in few minutes.’
‘We told her that you are a doctor and you only used her car to go to the scene to give first aid to the victims.’
‘Okay, that’s fair enough.’
‘Yea, we’re waiting for you.’
Dave got up from his seat immediately he ended the call. ‘I’ve got to go now,’ he said to Clement.
‘No problem,’ Clement also rose up from his own seat to see him off. ‘So what’s the direction of your investigation now?’ Clement asked as they walked towards the car park.
‘No direction yet, Samantha has destroyed the credit card I traced here.’ Dave said with a sad tone. ‘I don’t think we’ll stay up to two more days here. I’m not sure she’s in this state anymore.’
‘But what if she launches an attack elsewhere after you leave?’
‘For now, I don’t have an idea where she is or what she might be doing next. If she does anything after we leave, the men of the SSS here will take over, we’ll come back if there’s any need.’
‘Alright, I wish you goodluck with your work.’
‘Thank you sir.’ Dave gave a light smile. ‘I would like to apologise again for the troubles we caused here and for all the men you lost.’
‘It’s okay Agent, it had to happen. I just hope you help us push it and make the government provide the adequate compensation for their families.’
‘We’d try our best,’ Dave replied. He shook hands warmly with Clement again before he made his way into the passengers’ side of the car. A driver was waiting in the car for him.
Dave groaned slightly as he sat, the wound at it back was opening up because of lack of rest. He closed the door and put on his seatbelt before signaling to the driver that he was ready. Clement stepped back and watched until they drove away.
Dave took a glance at all the cars in the hotel compound as they drove towards the gate. The sounds of gunshots and the screams of men falling returned to his memory. He felt guilty for their deaths and wished he could do something to reverse it. But he knew it wasn’t his fault. He had done his best to avoid a sh00t out that day but had no option other than it as he didn’t want to let Samantha go.
He tried to change his line of thoughts as he let out a deep breath but couldn’t until they got to the gate.
The security men opened the damaged gate as he approached them, Dave remembered the lady in the Chevrolet again. He wondered if she was the same person waiting for him at the SSS office and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to meet her if she was. He began to think of words to say to her when they meet.
16 minutes later.
‘Agent Dave,’ Agent Godwin offered him a handshake as they met at the entrance of the reception.
‘Sir, where’s she waiting?’
‘In the lounge with your partner,’ Godwin answered. ‘I am going out already, I’ll be back before you guys leave. Remember that you’re a doctor.’
‘Okay,’ Dave smiled and let go of the man’s hand. He made his way to the lounge, hoping that Dan would have left there before he got there so that he could have enough privacy with the lady.
He was disappointed when he got to the lounge, not because Dan was still in the lounge but because the lady there was different from the one he saw in the car two days before. This one was not as beautiful as the other but wasn’t ugly as well, she had her hair plaited and all falling back.
‘Good afternoon ma’am,’ he greeted as he walked closer.
‘Good afternoon sir,’ Tarasha squinted at his face. She wondered what kind of doctor he was, the bandage on his head wasnt as neat as it should be which showed that it needed to be redressed and it was also obvious that he was a victim of a recent accident.
‘You own the Chevrolet?’ Dave asked as he settled in the seat close in front of her.
‘Yes, I do and are you the doctor who drove in it?’ She didn’t take her eyes off his face as they talked and It didn’t take long before she recognized him and remembered how he drove in with the taxi that day she was leaving. She recalled that their eyes met briefly and that he kept staring at her until she drove out through the gate.
‘Yes,’ Dave replied. He looked towards Dan with a frown. ‘Have you guys confirmed that she’s the owner?’
‘Yes, she has all the necessary documents and knows everything about the car.’ Dan answered.
‘Okay.’ Dave looked back to the lady and let out a fake smile. ‘Sorry, I just needed to be sure.’
‘It’s okay. I’m sorry I had to make you rush down from where you were. I thought I dropped a folder in the car that day but I’ve been informed that it has been found. I didn’t bring it along with me to the hotel that day.’
‘Okay, so you have no need to see me again?’
‘Yes, I’m sorry. I just decided to wait for you and apologize since they said you were already close,’ she said and got up to her feet.
Dave flashed a look at Dan to confirm and Dan shrugged in confirmation.
‘But… I thought I saw your car earlier that day in the hotel driven in by someone else,’ Dave said as he got up from his seat.
‘The SSS director and this your friend, already confirmed that i what you saw wasn’t my car, the car you saw was different.’ she replied. Her phone began to ring in her bag and she stopped to search for it.
‘Yes, Agent Dave.’ Dan confirmed. ‘Her Chevrolet drove down to the hotel from Asaba, the other one you saw came from an hospital in Ngozika Estate. The car couldn’t have been in two locations at a time.’
Dave felt somehow confused. He knew it was possibly true because most Chevrolet Camaro were painted in that same color but he wondered how they had to use the same hotel that day. He however had to accept since Dan had confirmed that the cars were different. All his hopes of meeting the beautiful girl on low cut totally diminished. Not that he really felt lust for her but there was just a strange desire to get closer to the low cut lady.
‘It’s okay ma’am, sorry for stopping you again.’ Dave said to her.
‘Thank you doctor,’ she said and raised her phone to her ear as she turned. Her finger touched the volume button at the side of the phone.
…to be continued.