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Stats: 1,881,140 members, 3,801,896 topics. Date: Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 01:22 AM
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 7:53pm On Feb 19|
1 hour later I stood in front of a massive mirror, observing the result.
Wendy had really outdone herself..I looked at my reflection in disbelief!
Bushy grey eyebrows, little hair on my sides sprinkled with grey, bald down the middle..I don't know what magic she did with her brush..which she called the magic wand but my face looked old and weathered. She also left me with tribal marks on both cheeks and I had insisted she keep it short. Not wanting the ear to chin type.
"This is not incision now..it would come off"
"Thank you keep it short"
I agreed with all her other choices tho because one thing that was certain: Wendy knew her job.
She also turned out to be a hopeless romantic and chartered away while she worked.
She thought it was very sweet what I had planned and couldn't wait to see the video..
"I'm so gonna upload it"
She tilted my head as she worked on my goatee adding grey touches giving me an elderly look.
"I think you should try and talk with her first..like a stranger..and when she doesn't expect it wham! You propose"
"That's true" I said in agreement...to be Frank..I had almost forgotten the excuse I had used on Jossy and had almost hit on Wendy before she reminded me I was getting engaged tonight.
Glasses followed..and that really altered my appearance..the type of glasses that would make you think its medicated because of the frame..I thought I looked like a serious minded old man.
A grey sweater was picked with black slacks "typical old man look" she explained and I nodded..glad for the change of clothes..
"I'd package it for you for later tonight if you want"
"I'd change here don't worry..better to complete the look once and for all"
If she thought it odd that I wanted to dress up for a night event by 1:30 in the afternoon she didn't show it.
We had our squabble when she chose multicoloured socks and selected a leather sandal for me.
"No way" I shook my head "I like my shoes as it is"
" lemme do my job now..this thing is just once..hopefully you'd ask this question once in a life time..let's make it right"
We squabbled a little bit more..then I thought what the hell?
I relented..and I had to admit the look worked out better than I would have thought.
Presently Wendy was holding a cap the papa type..soft brown in colour..she was frowning.. Looking at the cap and my face as if she had special eyes to see what I couldn't..she shook her head and made to drop the cap.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you" I made to pick it up.
"But it defeats the purpose of balding..you..your head Justice took extra care on the hair"
I couldn't deny it the boy knew his job.
"Look technically speaking I paid for all this anyway and I need my cap." I put it on.
She shrugged in acceptance.
Last was a cane..she dismissed it.."that would be overkill."
I agreed but then eyed the walking stick..it looked like a suitable weapon.'so you're not satisfied that you put someone in the hospital abi'
'That one was a mistake I need it for safety'
It seemed my two friends were back on my shoulder again..this time I went with the pitchfork.
"Wendy..I think I'd add a slight limp..to round up everything I'd use the cane"
She shook her head as she handed it over.."I still think its overkill....hmm not bad"
She added as I practiced some steps adding a slight limp to my step. The handle of the cane was superb and as I held it I felt that sickening moment when the stick had landed on Alhaja's head the day before..I carried violence around me like a cloak so the wisest action was to move the violence away from my family and towards whoever..the chief..strange eyes..that snoring man at the hospital and now this Dr.Rasheed I don't care how they share it as long as my people were safe.
I laughed to myself when Wendy made a point of stepping outside while I changed. I obsereved the final effect and was wowed..I looked old and scholarly..ethnic would definitely be Yoruba..thanks to the marks on my face..
I considered running into the chief somewhere where he wouldn't recognise me..I could get him alone and get..
The door opened as Wendy interrupted my thoughts..poking her head in "I thought you were still changing o..I wanted to know why...since morning"
I limped out of the room.."so how long can this look last"
After tonight you can wash it off..remove the eyebrows and mustache..its just the hair style.."
"I think I'd like playing this kind of pranks on my wife..can you work out different looks?"
She nodded enthusiastically "I'd start working on it..I have your face buried in my memory anyway"
"Excellent..so I'd get your number?"
"My number?" She frowned..
"So I don't have to pass through Jossy every time..I tried a charming smile but suspected it was scary. "The back door is more fun"
She seemed to agree to this and she gave me her number..I made to leave.."tell Jossy I'd send the video once its developed."
Her eyes widened "won't you go and see her?"
"Wendy.." I sounded old!.. "Jossy is a very busy person..I have seen her too many times for one day already"
Papa Rex tasted sunshine for the first time around 2:05 pm he limped down the street with the cane in hand and seemed oblivious to the stares sent his way..he cut quite a striking figure..and the limp seemed to add personality to his very movements.
"Daddy eka' saan" (good afternoon)
"Afternoon my dear" I responded to the lady who greeted me..I was beginning to feel quite old now..but I Wondered at the Yoruba people threw my way..living in Lagos a basic understanding of Yoruba was a requirement. As long as nobody took me too deep..I would be fine.
I made my way to the bus stop..thinking of my impending trip to the hospital..to meet one Dr.Rasheed, no appointment. My look made me feel a little bit calm..like I could observe those who always observed me without me knowing.
I boarded a bus and I could tell the people were surprised at the way I balanced and held on to the roof of the bus..my bones were youthful...and far from dry.
The general hospital was like most general hospitals but this had undergone recent changes and renovations in the past few years.
Still it was a mad house! Every hour was rush hour in there and I found myself fighting against the swam of bodies..from doctors to nurses..to patients to cleaners..
A lady pushing an infant on a wheel barrow while bouncing her back to coo the baby tied with her wrapper back to sleep. Pushed past me...climbing my leather sandals..and my weak left foot for that matter..
"Please direct me to the diagnostic center"
"Baba s'e kosi?" (Hope no problem)
"Not at all" just direct me na...!
She rattled of the directions in Yoruba pointing here and there..I nodded as I tried to grasp everything..
It took me ten minutes of limping and seeing every sign imaginable..from optician, dentist,dermatologist..finally I accepted I was lost "excuse me" I asked a lady nurse "diagnostic center"
She supplied the right directions and I moved on..marvelling at the size of the hospital.
Diagnostic Center 1. Diagnostic Center 2.
I stated at the door for seconds trying to decide which one..the man hadn't specified..I tried the first and it opened to reveal a cluttered room choked with test tubes, what I took to be an X ray machine and other instrument alien to me.
In the middle of it was a table with Formica top..clattered with clip boards..and a crate of about a dozen test tubes which thankfully didn't contain any blood. A short man..sat scribbling furiously at the table..his mind lost in whatever he was engaged in. I advanced towards the table and began to suspect that he was soon short his feet wouldn't touch the ground under the table.
I reached his table and he still hadn't brought his head up..I tried to read what he was writing but it seems all doctors are the same when it comes to handwriting.
"Yes..where is the urinalysis?"
I was quiet...urine analysis??
He looked up impatiently then saw he was talking to an old man..
"Sorry..I thought it was someone else..what do you want?"
"I'm here to see Dr. Rasheed"
He didn't blink "do you have an appointment?"
He pointed to an adjoining door which had to lead to the next room.
"Wait in there..the Dr. Would be with you shortly"
I wobbled my way to the door limping and feeling his eyes boring into my back.
I entered the 2nd center through the adjoining door..and while the 1st was clustered this was spacious with just a weight scale on the floor and a table much sturdy than the last. I took a seat as I looked round the walls were different health posters hung with messages about hygiene..anatomy..reproduction which was explicitly detailed and diagrams of bones.
I settled in a chair which was comfortable and anticipated a long wait.
The door opened..the same short man entered the office this time he had on a lab coat..he had a clipboard in his hand and once he sat down he began flipping through the pages.
I took the opportunity to study him..low cut..double glasses he had on..his eye sight must be bad..he had this freshness of skin and he was quite nice looking..but for the height..however he had a deep voice and large hands (to compensate) which looked like it could snap the pen he held.
He looked at me."What's your name"
I coughed playing the old man part "Rex Obasi"
He frowned "what is your predicament?"
Now I frowned.. Predicament...?
"What is your predicament?"
I was getting pissed..my predicament is I led my coworker and friend to an early grave...my fiance if I dared call her that was gallivanting around God knows where..I had endangered my family..and anyone foolish enough to call me a friend..and not to long ago I put an innocent woman..someone's grandmother in ICU
"What's your predicament? Short legs asked again spacing each word slowly as if each held a double meaning.
My brain clicked suddenly
"I have delayed diagnosis"
He nodded briefly
"Welcome.I'm Dr. Rasheed"
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 1:24pm On Feb 20|
I could tell my disguise threw him off balance no matter how he tried not to show it.
"I need to get your DNA sample"
"Why..? Please I'm at a loss here..what is delayed diagnosis?"
"But you said that was your predicament" he folded his large hands and relaxed as if he had enough time. "That was because I was directed here last night-"
"But we weren't expecting an old man" he interrupted "so you see why a DNA test is necessary"
I decided to take a stand.."I refuse to consent to any test without an explanation"
He laughed at that..
"You my dear friend are not in any position to make demands" he straightened up "I'd oblige you however because I tend to regard old men"
I said nothing just observed him through my glasses "A few weeks ago you came into contact with some papers..bank documents am I correct?" he asked as I went still.
Not waiting for a reply he drove on "now the money doesn't interest me..let's get that clear...but within those papers is one paper" he leaned on the table and I suspected his chair had lifts when we were eye level. "Just a bunch of numbers..I trust you've seen it..?"
I cracked my brain thinking..I could recall something of the sort all though my attention had been on everything with 250 on it.
Dr Rasheed continued "that paper is coordinates to various sleeper cells that are a threat to the National security of not only our country but another's as well"
"Israel's" I prompted and saw his eyes widen in suprise..then he smiled..
"I see you are quite sharp ehn...lemme tell you a little history".
"The Jews are people that have always been on the receiving end of oppression all through out their history..at the hands of Pharaoh,to Babylon.. not to mention the others recounted in the bible in between..to the Holocaust and the unimaginable things they went through at the hands of the Nazi's in the concentration camps" his voice broke as if from emotion and all though I was caught up..I wanted to ask him..what all the 'delayed diagnosis' racket of before was all about.
He continued "Now decades ago..an event occurred at the Olympic games in Munich Germany which sparked the old feelings of oppression back to the mind of every Jew..which sparked outrage and made them say enough is enough" I noticed how he said 'they' not 'us'. He proceeded to recount details i had never heard of to me..his voice had a strong baritone and I feared it carried out of the room.
During the Olympic games in Munich decades ago (I would later find out it was '72)
Members of a Palestinian terrorist sect known as 'black September' had stormed the Israeli Olympic team quarters and taken hostages. Demanding for the release of their prisoners jailed in Israel (234 was the number of prisoners would find out when I researched later)
The eleven hostages were killed! Dr. Rasheed expressed with something similar to raw pain in his voice and I began to suspect he wasn't a Nigerian.
This act could not go unpunished!..retribution was a must!
He took a break and looked at me "what do you know about the isreali Palestinian conflict?"
I shrugged "they don't like each other"
He smiled thinly "the institute was given the go ahead to Track down and murder every member of black September"
"The institute?" I asked
"Known as mossad" he replied..with a grim smile..
"So were they successful?" I asked him.
He smiled "the operation 'wrath of God' was very effective and everyone involved in the act of terror in one way or another were hunted down "but what people don't know is that the operation never stopped..the fight with terror is one that doesnt end..As I'm speaking to you..The Chief Amunike has been blacklisted in the book of death.. for selling ammunition for financial gain..to terrorist groups..whose very existence is a threat to our Country's existence and israel's as well.
"Blacklisted? By who"
"By the most effective group of killers in the world"
"The tip of the spear?.."
His eyes widened for the second time that day. "I'd advice you not to repeat that again"
"Dr I'm just an old man" I held up both hands
Dr. Rasheed continued "once you hand over the paper and the numbers are confirmed..be rest assured the Chief would be no more "
Na there wahala go dey o..I thought to myself. I had no idea where the papers were.
"There's this man called strange eyes..or agent John..he works for our Government..I know he could be of much use to you"
Dr Rasheed sneered.."our own agents are good at chasing their tales..this John you speak of is a mere child, spoilt with gadgets and given fancy toys to run around with..all meant to close his eyes to where he ought to look!"
I decided to speak before I got wrapped in "the problem is that the documents are gone"
He looked at me calmly..I had expected him to shout but he was quiet as if thinking it over..
"That would be very unfortunate for you..the ultimatum is that you have two days..to hand over the paper .the 250 million is yours but you must bring the other paper to this office in 48 hours or the tip of the spear shall visit you"
I began sweating profusely.."I have no idea how the papers got missing..you can't do this to me!"
"My friend.." He almost sounded sympathetic.."I don't work for the Israelis..I am just an ordinary informant..your handler..the same way I too have a handler that tells me what I pass to you now."
"Please help me ask for an extension...48 hours is too soon "
"You don't understand..if it is known you don't have the papers you are as good as dead.."
I put my head in my hands.
"When I contact my handler in two days I'm to hand over the papers that's it..failure to do that..." He let his voice trail..he had said it too much already.
"There is an old woman that has been after me..she killed my friend yesterday..who is she?"
"I would ask for a more detailed information about her..but she is a deadly assassin for hire.."
"What of Fumi..my fiance?"
He cleared his throat "Mr. man I'm not an encyclopedia of information..I've told you all you need to know..and what you need to do..get the paper here in 48 hours..keep the riches and the chief would be out of your hair for good"
"What if I fail to show?" I needed to know all my options..but it seemed it all boiled down to getting killed..
He brought out a paper from the desk drawer..then rattled of an address in Port Harcourt that chilled me to my bones..Cynthias address..
"The institute doesn't harm family and loved ones..but there's always that exception..
Or we could wait till Sunday when your folks come to visit..." My eyes almost burst through the glasses..
"Yes it wouldn't be Saturday..your fathers ram got into the finals..very wicked ram he has" he smiled in memory as if he had watched the fight.
"I'd be with the papers in 48 hours" I said hurriedly
He nodded.."now if you'll excuse me I need to open the doors to people who don't have delayed diagnosis..I am a doctor after all.
He inclined to the door with his head..and I stood up..
"You are betraying this Country..siding with a foreign Nation over yours"
"On the contrary..I am saving this country..from itself and from people like you and from people like strange eyes!..think how someone like the chief was able to make money distributing arms to terrorist group nor to talk of his local drug and human trafficking and made riches and grew untouchable if not for friends..in high places..
I shook my head "no one is above the law"
He laughed at that.."one day you are not going to believe you ever said such a thing"
His voice had gotten hard..it seems I touched a raw nerve..
"Point me in the right direction at least..if I'm to have any hope of retrieving the papers I need some kind of direction"
"If you truly lost it..the paper can only be with either The Chief,Strange eyes or your fiancé..those are the three possibilities"
"I'd need to know where Fome is..how do I get it if its with her?"
"I myself don't know her exact location" he stood up..not soo subtle in edging me towards the door "one thing I would tell you is she's always close by to you..you just need to force her to make contact"
I rolled my eyes as I moved towards the door..he unlocked it from behind.."I shouldn't tell you that none of this should leave this room...you are quite sharp after all" he added and I wondered if that was sarcasm I detected in his voice.
I said nothing and walked away..limping down the corridor..it was a couple of seconds before I heard the door close.
Strange eyes..The Chief or Fome..48 hours to find out which one of them had the document and retrieve it..
The sky was changing..getting cloudy and very grey with a huge rain obviously on its way but I paid little attention as I walked down the street.. I wondered which of them I would prefer to be with the papers but realized I couldn't trust any of them..not Fome..not after years of deceit and not when I still couldn't grasp her involvement in all this..not the Chief (come on na) and definitely not strange eyes the slippery bar soap.
The time was 4pm and I marveled at how the time had flown by..better go check the hospital..in the safety of my disguise..I wouldn't be bothered if the police where there..I remembered the short Dr. Rasheed who didn't take my DNA anymore..he probably new it was me the moment I entered his office..I used the cane to flag down a bike..noticing that for someone who was supposed to be limping I seemed to balance on my feet pretty well..
I didn't care..not as if anyone was watching me..besides I was tired.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 2:58pm On Feb 20|
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 3:01pm On Feb 20|
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 9:18pm On Feb 20|
I got to the hospital and I wasn't ready for the sight that awaited me..I should have noticed something was amiss long ago but I was deep in thought...I had been given a mission impossible which i had to make possible because the stakes were too high..
I walked in on the police officers in the waiting room..where they had most likely been questioning Andy and his 'wife' Andy looked worried he sat down in a corner with Mona beside him that wasn't all..
I could see Chiefs wife Mrs Benita with her two children standing beside the officers.
I took all this in while in motion (which was slow thanks to the limp)
A part of my brain noticed the triangle of Andy,Mona and the Chiefs son Emenike. I wondered what his reaction would be like if I told him this dude had his wife the day before..
I drew stares my way as everyone seemed to lapse into silence as all eyes focused on me.
I moved to the a single chair away from their section..the same place the snoring man had slept away before his chilling revelation.
They studied me for some seconds more and I took my time settling down playing an old fragile man to the fullest.
"So he gave you the keys and the note this morning and disappeared?"
I could hear their voice clearly! This is how the snoring guy probably listened to Andy and I the night before... I shook my head.
Presently Emenike was pacing while Andy fumbled out a reply to the sergeant who asked the question.."yes..that's what I've been saying since..me I was sleeping he gave me and left"
I tried my best to feign disinterest in what they were saying but I could see a particular police man watching me with narrowed eyes and a frown..my heart quickened and I wished I had a news paper or something to feast my eyes..instead I rested my chin on my cane and tapped my foot softly.
"So you're telling us this woman was attacked outside her home by some stranger...how come you and obasi turned out here together?"
I could feel Andy sweating.."he came to my house..earlier..we were both inside"
"Are you aware Obasi is the leading suspect in the murder of your workmate..one miss Fumi?"
"I-i had no idea" Andy stammered..
The police man who had been observing me came my way..
I braced myself.
Emenike was saying.."I know he is responsible..this guy should be locked up..he's not stable"
"What are you doing here?" The officer had reached my side.
He sized me up quite rudly and I took my time..turning my head slowly then adjusting my glasses as I stared up at him..
"My grand daughter..pregnant"
He looked at me closely.."are you not the husband to one Alhaja that is here?"
I looked at him blankly.."my grand daughter want to give birth..so me I come..me I wait.." Wtf! Talking like an illiterate would contradict my outlook.
The police looked at me again.."let's take a walk"
"Constable!" It was the sergeant
"Sah" the constable who had been making me squirm stood at attention.
I looked up to notice they were all leaving the room..with Andy and his wife..in tow..probably to the station..because of the car case..although I knew Mona only had to pull some strings in person of strange eyes and they'd be out with minimum bail. I still felt I was gonna get snitched on..Andy was a qood guy but he lacked the balls and guts (I'm one to talk)
The constable hurried to his sergeant and I sighed in relief..then my breath caught again as my eyes met Ada..she was looking at me in disbelief as if she saw through all the old man getup..her mouth opened in surprise as she moved towards the door..she was directly behind Andy and Mona..I knew she had to recognise me..there was no other reason for her to look at a stranger in open mouth surprise.
I expected the worst..for her to raise the alarm,point at the old man but she just stared until she left the room..I stayed were I was for minutes after the waiting room was empty. Calming the old and feeble heart.
I left the waiting room in search of the doctor who had attended to us..I didn't see him I checked out the reception for the fat nurse lady but instead met a slim dude.
I reasoned that when Alhaja's husband had come with Mona in the morning they were yet to change shifts..so it was possible this nurse guy hadn't met Alhaja's real husband..
I thanked God Wendy had worked on my teeth making it look old and coloured. I felt it was a giveaway that an old man like the one I was portraying would have 32 healthy
"Yes can I help you sir?"
"I want to check my wife she was attacked and her head-"
"Oh..Alhaja..she has been asking for you since..she came around sometime this afternoon and she's very weak but she still asked for you" he came around the table and took my hand..which I was just suddenly aware would feel young and smooth..I quickly retrieved my hand and used it to grab the cane
"Lemme take you to her..if she isnt sleeping..I don't think doctor would mind..I can spare a few minutes..its a miracle the way her recovery was instant...its a good thing she was brought here by your neighbour."
'This guy Na chatterbox' I thought idly as I followed him praying Alhaja would be sleeping..once I assuaged my conscience and was convinced she was okay..I was off from this hospital..I had 48 hours to perform magic. We entered the room and to my dismay I could see alhaja staring at the small TV in the corner..
"Oh yes..all the soap opera stations have kept her quite busy..Alhaja..guess who is here!"
I decided I didn't like this nurse guy..he was too lousy...whether I disliked him or not..Alhaja was looking at me..a slight smile on her lips and I wondered if by some stupid luck I could pull this off..another part of me marveled at the love she shared with her husband. But as I got closer her smile faded.."oko' mi da?"(where is my husband)
"Iya..emi ni" (wife it is me...or so I hoped)
She frowned and shook her head..the movement made her wince in pain..
"I think the blow gave her a little amnesia" I said to the nurse..who frowned..he studied Alhaja who was still muttering denials and asking for her real husband..
"That's strange..I hope its nothing serious..hold on lemme get the doctor"
I nodded..the moment he left the room..I looked at Alhaja..."I'm sorry" I said...
I left and closed the door softly..I had to move on now..I had a race against time..
I saw no more police...nor Ada or her mother..it seems they all went to the station ..I hoped they had seen the car in the crusade ground..if not..
I considered my next action as I headed for the exit.
The chief: it turned out his product ammunition was not just a metaphor with reference to alcohol..actually supplying arms to sleeper cells just for money...but why had he left..such important documents about in the first place..and had technically invited and given me time to snoop and find it..my mind told me to be careful..and thread lightly when dealing with the chief..I considered the fact that he was blacklisted to be killed once the 'institute' had the paper containing the coordinates was in their hands..my mind moved to Dr. rasheed and all he had told me..the 'kidon' were known for their innovative killings.. The family to one of their victims concerning their strike back operation (wrath of God) in response to the Munich massacre had argued that the said victim died from natural causes..I marveled at the innovation this people took in killing. I truly believed that if I played my part and relayed the document then chief would bite the dust in hours..I wondered if the strike team was on stand by already..probably In shadows waiting quietly..I really wouldn't lose any sleep over his death..to be frank..Fumi's death had made me stone cold...it was just a game to him..it could easily be any of my sisters next..or..I grinded my teeth in anger..my mother...no way! He had to go first...then if I had to trek round Lagos..I would hunt down that old assasin who had done the actual trigger pulling.
The question was..what if Chief somehow had the papers in his possession..how do I get it?
Then there was strange eyes..I had long forgotten the fact that he save my life..now over 72 hours ago..because his recent actions had endangered it over and over again..he had seemed truly pissed when I had declared the papers missing back in my house..but he was a master liar no doubt..he had also pretended to not to know of Chiefs 'operations' address but according to Mona he had 'discovered that Intel himself'
Something nagged at my brain but I missed it...it danced just out of reach and it seemed the harder I tried to grasp it the more it moved farther away.
I gave up. It was extremely likely that strange eyes had the documents.. It seemed more like his thing...breaking and entering was his specialty and he loved messing with minds..
Then Fome...her involvement in all this seemed to be deeper than I initially thought..
The sky rumbled and I looked up...not one single star in sight..my stomach was churning growling in hunger..but I had no time to waste..I couldn't afford to be stuck in a diner when the rain started...I thought to Fome..Dr.Rasheed had said to get her to contact me...how? I thought of how she contacted me to warn me about the old woman assassin..she had said 'don't enter that office' as if she were behind me..
"What did she mean.." The first drop of rain began dropping and I knew I had to make up my mind...either Chief or strange eyes..who to contact first..and how do I go about it..? My mind was blank..
The rain seemed to increase..and I suddenly..needed a break..I had been up and about since like 5 am..after spending the night dozing in a sleeping position..(I totally forgot the 3 hours sleep I squeezed in at the hotel)
I decided to branch in a food joint I noticed by the road..the bright neon lights announced it was a 24/7 strictly 'swallow joint'
I escaped the increasing rain..and decided that a plate of pounded yam could help jump start the brain because I needed strategies...but I wasn't going to starve myself anymore...I could be dead in 48 hours and I wasn't going on an empty stomach.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 2:51pm On Feb 21|
The restaurant was almost filled up I chose a lonely table and sat down anticipating my meal..welcome aromas drifted from the kitchen.
The rain had increased, although the sound was reduced in here..I could tell it was serious when people began rushing in seeking shelter.
A sales girl rushed to my side..pretty and in her early 20s.
"E ka le daddy..ki lo fe je" (good evening,what will u eat)
I wanted to ask her which soup they had but couldn't remember the Yoruba word for soup
I settled on vegetable with pounded yam and as she retreated from my table..I felt watched..I glanced around the diner but didn't see anything out of the ordinary..people were sitting,eating,talking..some where standing observing the rain..waiting for the slightest break in current and they'd be on the street no doubt..I took my time to observe as many people as u could..but I didn't notice anybody..no one seemed to be paying any particular attention to me and I focused on my food when the girl served it.
As I ate I tried to think of my next line of action..everything that had happened to me so far seemed surreal but I didn't need to pinch myself to be reminded this was reality.
It was a known fact the chief wanted me dead..so it was logical I try to contact him first before all the effects of Wendy's wand ran out..what I intended to do I didn't know..how was also a mystery but I knew I needed to act.
How about if i try to kill two birds with one stone?...on the off chance that strange eyes was the one with the papers and I could sense my danger in coming across the chief..
I pushed my thoughts to the background again and observed the diner. The feeling of being watched again..I feared it was someone from Dr. Rasheeds side..I didn't even want to think of the institute..but the details he had rattled of about my family had been to accurate...it was chilling..what had he said..'my fathers ram had won' how did he know about that..when my mother had called-
My phone vibrated!
I checked the I.d and grimaced..
I wouldn't say speak of the devil..cos my mother is an angel in my eyes but lo and behold my thoughts must have conjured the call..
I hesitated to pick the call..washing my hands hoping it would be a missed call..
The vibration stopped..before I could blink she was calling again..."hello mama"
I saw a young couple at the next table look at me in surprise I could tell what they were thinking..
'wow this old man..still has a mother...and they talk on the phone'
"I was expecting your call back since na" she said accusingly
"I forgot mama..the work has been too much recently"
She softened "I know..that's why you need a wife by your side now..I've been telling you since"
I mumbled something in agreement watching the sales girl as she cleared the table.
"Your fathers ram has another fight on Saturday.." She lowered her voice "its like God touched this your father today o..he used the money he won from that fight to buy me some lace and judge"
My eyes widened...my sisters and I had been responsible for clothing our mother since I could remember..we didn't really 'send' our Father because he came into enough money regularly from gambling alone..but you know the cycle of gambling in and out..still sufficient money was on hand to spoil his wife every now and then but the thought never crossed his mind..that's why I was surprised..this was news!
"All of it?" I asked her
"Haba now don't you know your father"
She went on "so we should be with you on Sunday your father is looking forward to it..I just pray his ram wins.."
I wondered if it would make any difference..Sunday was in 4 days time...
"Whats wrong..why are you quiet?"
"I don't know if its malaria..since yesterday I've been feeling sick"
"Have you taken drugs?"
"Mama I've taken everything I just need to sleep"
"Toh- oya rest o..we'd talk later"
I put down the phone and observed the windows..the rain had reduced..and not enough to keep me stationary on a normal day..but I feared it would wear out the effects on my face .I could feel it wasn't as profound as when She had finished it that morning.
So I remained in my seat and had even spaced out not gazing at anything in particular..the Sales girl returned to collect money and as I paid her I glanced around the room. I saw Mona at a table around my 3 o'clock position....I considered she and Andy would probably be hungry and this place was a walking distance from the hospital..
'That was quick..Mona must have pulled some major strings..were is Andy..' I thought to myself as I watched her idly..
She seemed to look around and I guessed she was expecting someone..where is Andy?..I looked around suddenly alert and wondered who she was expecting..,I wouldn't be surprised to see Emenike I thought to myself
She had nothing on her table and the sales girl approached her and they spoke..I had no idea what they said but the sales girl moved to another table before heading towards the kitchen.
Finally I saw her signal to who she was waiting for..I turned discreetly to check out the arrival expecting to see Emenike.
My mouth hung open like a cartoon I was sure..but moving to the table and now sitting down opposite Andy's dear wife was the old woman..the legit one. She still carried the same bag..as the last time..on the outside it looked like what an old woman would carry with all her harmless possessions inside. But I knew a deadly weapon (possibly a glock 9..) Was in the bag..I wondered if Mona knew too..and what kind of business..would they have together?
The sales girl returned "daddy shey you will drink something Madam they complain say seat no dey for other people wey wan chop"
"But I just ate here now.." My eyes were on Mona and Fumi's killer
"Oya gimme malt..you still hold my change sef"
She skipped away and I watched Mona and the old woman talk in hushed tones..
What business does a federal agent have with an assassin for hire..the very one who had killed my friend and wanted me dead.. I picked up my phone..'I hope he traces this..'
I dialled strange eyes "Rex..what a pleasant surprise"
"One of your agents is married to Andy my friend from work..yes or no"
"What... which agent...Andy..Andy..I know him very well but his wife..is not I repeat..not a federal agent."
I said nothing but observed them the sales girl brought my drink and made to open it.
I inclined my head to where Mona and the assassin still sat discussing. "How come your madam doesn't worry those two women...they didn't even buy anything"
She opened my drink then looked over ."no oo..that younger woman paid money for just that table"
"But I thought..your first service was to the stomach of people"
She laughed.."daddy not with this kind of money o" I uncovered my hand from the mouth piece of the phone, strange eyes was still on the line
"you have something I need" I glanced at the two women..still deep in discussion.
"I'd be with you shortly.." He must have traced the location...well the more the merrier..
"Make sure you bring the papers...all of it"
"I see you've gotten some base in your voice .but which papers?.I trust you would explain better when we see"
"You're messing with forces you can't handle"
Mona glanced around and I averted my gaze and picked my drink....I could feel her gaze in my direction and hoped she didn't recognize me from earlier in the waiting room. Two times might seem too much of a coincidence..
Strange eyes was blabbering "forces I can't control..that's what I should be telling you..you never should have ditched me..now you-"
I cut the call then put the phone on aeroplane mode..you never know..but strange eyes could enter the diner with a device that would latch onto my signal and direct him to my table..after all What was it Dr Rasheed had said again.."strange eyes was spoilt with gadgets to blind him to where he should look"
I put the phone in my pocket and looked discreetly in the direction of Mona's table..my breath caught..they were both looking at me contemplatively and muttering to each other.
I tried to act nonchalant but I could tell from the corner of my eye that their attention was still on me.
Lightening flashed from outside..the rain wasn't over yet.
The phrase seemed to imply my current situation..and I sighed as I worriedly observed the old crooner (ruthless killer)and Mona (Agent or ??)
Presently like two monitoring spirits..I could tell they decided there was something fishy about me.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 10:55pm On Feb 21|
I sat counting the seconds into minutes..I watched the door closely..and spared a glance towards the other table..two pairs of eyes were pointed my way..it seemed as if they wanted eye contact..I thought it looked obvious I was avoiding eye contact..but I feared if our eyes met..I'd see the flicker of recognition at least on on Mona's face.
The old wooman caressed her bag which was on the table..and my blood chilled..not the bag again..surely she wouldn't try anything funny in such a crowded place..in the privacy of the toilet my life had been saved by two unsuspecting girls..not to talk of this public place.
But my mind was still on the edge.
My attention was drawn to the door..and a group of people (about 5) hurried in seeking shelter from the rain.
I noticed him immediately..he stood out from the rest or maybe because I had been expecting someone like that exactly..but I could tell he was from strange eyes side of the fence. While others seemed to have been caught in the rain unawares..he seemed to have prepared for it..right now he was shaking of a his heavy windbreaker which was waterproof..I tried to cross his face to the gala seller who had left my face with scratches but couldn't place the gala agent's face..new faces and events had occupied my memory I guess.
The agent was observing everybody with trained eyes as he walked around holding his dripping coat pretending to be on the look out for a vacant space..but I could see his eyes scanning the faces..I watched his face for any sign he recognized Mona..but nothing when he looked at me..I held my breath..he took a sit close to the entrance..he had practically circled The diner then settled at the spot he passed.
I looked at the other table..they were talking to each other now..I don't think they noticed the agent but the old crooner still stroked her bag almost lovingly I thought.
I saw strange eyes come from the kitchen and my eyes bulged..when did he pass? He looked as if he had been in there all along..his clothes where dry...except..: I noticed his trousers from the ankle down were soaked wet and he wore rain boots.
He had probably gone through the kitchen window..I'm sure he brought a coat just like this other one that is drying now..I sipped my drink as I watched him enter the diner..
A part of me thought and hoped that it was a set up..that they had lured the old crooner here to take her down..and that Mona was indeed an agent and that strange eyes hadn't traced my call but had been communicating with Mona about taking down the assassin...some how I knew it was wishful thinking.
I saw Mona's eyes widen and I read her lips clearly "sh!t" she put her head down..he had seen strange eyes..
I watched this with interest..front seats in the cinema...'why would she duck?..she knows strange eyes..and knows he can recognise her..'
Strange eyes hadn't seen her..he was stopping by tables asking questions and moving on..the way he was moving..he'd get to my table first before the other one..what was he even asking them anyway? He would lean in a table and say or ask something and most times they would shake their heads. Other times I couldn't make out their reply. He was heading to my table like 4 places away..I got out my phone..
[ look to your left..the lady in a blue blouse said she worked with you the old woman In brown is Fumis murderer and also after my neck]
I pressed send..then added another:
[Show me I can trust you. Do something!]
Both messages brought up an error sign..but I had credit now..aeroplane mode!..
I dragged my notification down then deactivated it..I pressed resend rapidly for both messages while my network bar rebooted.
Strange eyes was two tables away..maybe if we spoke he wouldn't recognise the voice..but I had a feeling he would..I would have to try my best to alter my voice.
The messages showed me a sent sign..I put my phone on aeroplane mode and looked up just as strange eyes approached my table.
He leaned in..his phone beeped..I heard it too new message.
"Are you the owner of a pathfinder vehicle outside..plate number-"
The phone beeped again..the second message..
I could see his hands were itching him..he straightened up and checked the phone..his first reaction was to scan the room probably looking for where I sent the message from..not knowing yours truly was in front of him.
Then he checked out Mona's table and he frowned..looked at his phone again..then looked round..I could tell he was baffled..without any word he turned from my table and walked to the door where his partner had sat..I watched him closely and noticed a sign..he gave his partner..just a slight sweep of the head..his partner got up and headed outside to the rain..I could see him pulling out his phone as he left..'better call back up' I said through gritted teeth.
I wasn't the only one monitoring these movements..Mona was literally fidgeting..and I was finding her reaction. Interesting..it seemed they had both forgotten about me..
She muttered something to the old woman and she grabbed the bag holding it in Her lap with her hands positioned in a way that ensured easy access to the content.
I obsereved strange eyes..he was standing by the door looking around..wondering were I was hiding I was sure.
A man decided to leave and brace the rain..he got up and moved to the door..strange eyes almost didn't clear road for the man..he eyeballed the man till the man was almost past him. The man raised his arms in a 'what?" Kind of gesture and strange eyes sidestepped letting him pass.
I disabled the aeroplane mode once more..",have to warn this fool" I
Sent a message
[The old woman has a wicked gun in her purse]
I clicked send but the message refused to deliver..my network was full so it had to be strange eyes..
I watched Mona's table closely...she seemed to be really restless and I could tell the old woman was trying to placate her.
I looked at strange eyes he was talking into his wrist watch..and truly just as Dr. Rasheed had said..the gadget blinded him to where he was meant to look..because as I looked back to the other table..Mona brought out a Pringles jar from under the table..and with much urgency thrust it at the old crooner.
I knew it as I knew my name was Rex Obasi..the papers were rolled in there!
Mona pointed towards the kitchen while speaking to the old woman and I knew she had guessed that strange eyes had used there to gain entrance.
She finished whatever instructions she gave the woman and stood up..the old crooner remained on her seat and I watched as Mona made her way towards the entrance..
Strange eyes saw her approach and stopped talking into the watch phone or whatever was on his wrist.
He moved to intercept her as he came to her front he raised a hand to her and made to speak...Mona's next action would make me think she was not an agent at all or if she was she was a rogue agent.
With lightening speed she struck out her hand slapping away the one strange eyes had raised she turned 180 with a round house kick following...strange eyes was lucky she had on sneaks and not heels if not I probably would be referring to him as no eyes after this incident.
The kick connected well and strange eyes staggered but the stubborn man wouldnt go down..he counter striked with a kick of his own and the fight was on..people were shouting and exclaiming..making a racket..but nobody made any move towards them..I looked at the old woman and saw her shuffling her way in the confusion towards the kitchen..Pringles case in hand. I got to my feet grabbing my cane as I fast limped after her..this had to be a miracle..for the papers to fall under my very nose! I couldn't miss it..no it wasn't an option.
7 Likes 1 Share
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 11:18pm On Feb 21|
I said this piece is damn awesome anticipating more!
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 11:21pm On Feb 21|
honey i miss those lips
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 10:37am On Feb 22|
A short corridor led to the kitchen and I thought it wise to slow my steps. This woman was armed after all.
I could still hear shouting and even cheering from the other hall by now I expected phones to be recording strange eyes and Mona's fight..no one would venture to seperate..there were some kind of fights that when you saw the quality you knew you were safer on the sidelines.
I drew closer to the kitchen and I could hear the old crooner's voice..it did have a lovely and grandmotherly tilt..but that was pretty deceiving.
"A di' ti' ni? (Are you deaf)open this door immediately"
I could here another woman's voice..probably the madam of the diner..
"Mummy I have told you this is for only staff..the entrance is that way"
Next thing I heard was "Jesu!"
And the short gasp of a younger woman..probably the sales girl.
I knew the gun must have been whipped out.
My heart beating I eased slowly to the doorway..wishing for the thousandth time that I had a gun..not as if I would have been able to hit the target..I remembered my miserable shooting the last time my life had depended on it.
I heard the bolt of the door..the gun had changed the rules..the door wasn't exclusively for kitchen staff anymore. I peeped into the room and saw the old crooner pointing the gun at both the madam and the sales girl who had opened the door..she had her back to me and was easing her way towards the door slowly still keeping the gun trained on the two women.
I thought of sneaking behind her and smacking her upside the head with all my strength..the cane was stronger than the stick I had used before...and if it meant I had knocked out two old women under 24 hours so be it.
I almost took the first step but then my feet became cold....
what if I made some noise and she turned around...
And she remembered me from the diner as the suspicious old man she and Mona had been avoiding..
I could picture it clearly..all it would take is one shot to the chest..no way.
I watched her step into the rain and immediately she was gone I hurried after her..The Madam was shaken..drawing signs of the cross..and speaking speak in either tongues or Yoruba..her eyes widened as I rushed through and I could tell she was thinking not another old person again!
I burst out from the side street...observed left and right
I thought I had lost her..but there she was running to a commercial bus that she had flagged down..I observed the street it was empty..if she got on that bus it was over..the yellow and black buses where indistinguishable and I couldn't tell the plate number from here..besides she might highlight at any point- I shut off my brain and ran with speed shouting for the bus to wait for me.
The old crooner was just entering the bus and once the conductor saw me running he held the bus.
I entered the bus and our eyes locked.
She looked at me in disbelief and what I hoped was panic.
"Madam help me shift for am na!" The conductor shouted.
She shifted but her body was rigid..her left hand held her purse but her right was inside. I had a good idea of what she was gripping.
What kind of whala did I just put myself into..leaping without looking!
'Next time don't shut me off' (my brain scolded)
The Pringles case was in her purse also but half of the body was outside.
I eyed it with the corner of my eye..if I could grab it and jump out of the vehicle..
But the bus was moving at break neck speed and what's more the driver had slid the door shut to prevent water from being splashed on the passengers.
The old crooner was mumbling something..I slowly bent my head with style to hear what she was saying.
'..of many colours that my mother made for me'
She looked at me slowly and smiled..wickedly.
And I knew she had just figured out who I was.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 5:26pm On Feb 22|
I almost shouted for the driver to stop..I couldn't risk it, the way she sang the song like there was an underlying message in it. I imagined her singing the same song before she discharged the bullet that ended Fumi's life.
Funny but this time recalling Fumi's demise didn't bring about the anger and charged up feeling it previously brought about instead I could feel myself begin to panic.
The thing was if I ran away today..I ran to die another day (or two days to be precise)..to live to fight another day I had to take a stand here and now..(I hope u catch my drift) I thought about the code I had used at the hospital..'delayed diagnosis'..what if the situation I found myself now, from Fome' to this woman.. the outcome had been predetermined but I was just delaying it.. Dr Rasheed had seemed straight forward but I could imagine him and his 'handler' smiling at a hidden second meaning when I had said I had delayed diagnosis...
Currently I was sitting next to the old woman killer in a bus. The rain had died down but the conductor still kept the door shut.
"Conductor my change oh!"
A woman from the back shouted.
The conductor ignored her and the bus fell silent.
I wondered were the old crooner was taking the papers to..I was sure it was to the Chief..but if it was the Chief then why did he allow me to take the papers from his house 3 weeks ago? I was sure he had done it on purpose that day..Moreover how did Mona now fit into things..who was she? What had my buddy (Andy) been married to? Just look at how she had fought with strange eyes...
"Conductor gimme my change o!"
The woman's voice boomed from the back again.
The conductor put his face through the window without replying.
The bus fell silent again.
The old crooner leaned close to me
"You will meet your ancestors tonight"
She said it in clean English and I had a feeling she could speak any language.
"Conductor gimme my change now haba!"
Every other person was mute minding his/her business. If things were normal I would have bothered the conductor on her behalf but presently the assassin beside me who had a gun just told me I'd be going to my ancestors.
I replied her "you killed my friend..you can never go free..ever"
The guy in the front seat glanced back..I didn't care if my voice was loud..I wouldn't mind exposing her here but I knew the power of a loaded gun.
"Driver tell this your useless conductor make he give me my change na!"
The conductor exploded suddenly.."Nna abeg park this bus,park this bus!"
The driver slowed down."wetting dey happen again eh Osi"
"I tell this woman say change 1000 no dey but she still enter..now she dey disturb me..abeg make she comedown..hey woman wey you oya con come down"
I was surprised the driver was actually slowing down to a stop..the conductor jumped down
"Madam no waste time na come down..I go give you your money..I no go again"
The woman remained inside..
"No dey disturb me again o..when I get your change I go give you"
I had been watching the drama and only when the conductor was about to climb the bus did I notice I had been slacking.
The old crooner still maintained her position meaning she wasn't holding the case I looked at it and I knew the window of opportunity was very small.
It all broke down in slow motion...I grabbed the Pringles with such force and leapt out the vehicle which was just about accelerating. The conductor had been hanging on the door the way they always do and I had knocked him backwards..my legs touched solid ground but gave under me as I wasn't balanced..my knees and hands..on the floor..there goes the Pringles case rolling away..
Then it all sped up..I got to my feet and picked up the case and ran with the kind of speed an old man just could't attain no matter how fit.
I heard shouts from the bus..
"That man no gimme money o! The conductors voice.
I didn't dare look back..I ran madly entering puddles with the rain falling a little harder.
Luck was on my side that the bus had pulled over at a bus stop and not the lonely high way if not where would I have run to? I heard more shouts from the bus..then the strange woman's voice: "Ole! Thief!"
I could see the few people standing under shelter fron the rain beginning to pick interest..
Ole ke?? I thought to myself not with all this jungle justice that has been going around lately..only in Lagos you can hear something like someone getting lynched in the rain..
"One chance! One chance!"
I shouted madly at the top of my voice
"That bus na one chance o!"
"I see am him jump commot for the bus na true na one chance!"
A lady's voice(bless her!)
I heard the bus pick up speed as people had began advancing throwing stones already.
Whether Alhaja had stayed in the bus or not I didn't know and didn't intend to find out..I kept on running.
"Baba o' ti to' (its okay ) they have gone"
For where? I paid no heed to their calls and I could here someone laugh obviously marveled at my speed.
I zig zagged through countless shops then entered a shack in one corner..it was covered well and although I chose it spontaneously, the shaded look was a factor.
I entered inside out of breathe and drenched..I wondered how my face would look..not so old I was sure.
"Baba welcome eyah..sorry.."
The woman was heavily pregnant she ushered me to a bench "what will you drink?" She asked in Yoruba.
I looked around about half a dozen men were witted about..spread on about four benches..all were drinking some kind of spirit drink or the other which she poured in shots.
"My liver" I touched my stomach.."you don't have palmy? I no dey take hot again e don spoil my stomach already"
She smiled at this. "We no dey sell palmy but I go help you go bring..iya Sarah dey sell"
I made to give her money but she said "wait lemme come first"
I looked around the shack no one had even spared me a second glance..they were all busy knocking shots and discussing within themselves.
I looked at the Pringles case...at long last!
A foolish part imagined if I had gone through all that trouble..from almost breaking my neck and the running only to discover that the case truly held Pringles.
All that for Pringles!
"That's impossible" I laughed as I loosened the cover..but my smile began to falter.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 11:51pm On Feb 22|
When I saw the whiteness of paper I let out the breath I didnt know I was holding..I looked around the shack again but this time I took everything in with a peace of mind.
I did it!
Somehow I had stumbled on the papers without having to cross the danger zone of the chief or through strange eyes and his strange tactics.
A mother hen entered the shack followed by about a dozen chicks. They began pecking here and there searching for food.
'Don't count your eggs before they hatch' I remembered the saying.
I frowned as I studied the chicks then the Pringles case....
I brought out the papers completely they were about four in number.. I hurriedly checked the contents..
The first paper had just four digits:
'What on earth is this?'
No banking papers..no coordinates nothing..I checked both front and back nothing!
The second paper like the first occupied just the center of the A4 paper. It contained an address...I cracked my brain and remembered that was the address Mona had told me was the Chief's operations home.
I didn't like what was forming in my mind..
The third paper literally stopped my breath...I was looking at Fome's photograph, her name, age, height,weight, eye. Colour...in fact everything concerning her physical appearance.
The last paper was a confirmation.
It was a check of 500 thousand naira..
So that's how much Fomes' head was worth..
How much had the killer been paid for Fumi?
How much for me too the pending case?
"Iya" I signaled to the pregnant lady..
"E fun mi hot" (give me spirit)
She smiled as she brought the bottle along. She brought the drink and without regard for my 'liver' I turned 3 shots to my half empty glass of palm wine.
The woman raised her brows in question but I shrugged..an unholy mixture was needed right now.
As she moved away I wondered idly how many months gone she was..the stomach looked like it could drop any day...as long as she didnt go Into labour right now because I could tell she was running the shop alone.
I looked at the papers in my hand..so Fome was supposed to meet the chief tonight but he had put a hit on her for 11 pm.
I shook my head and drank deeply.
It had to be the Chief..Mona had to be working for him...Mona..Mona Mona.. I shook my head thinking of Andy.
I brought out my phone and saw it was still on aeroplane mode. I deactivated it and dialed his number.
I took another long gulp again..I could feel the effect already...I didn't want to think about later tonight..I knew I had to somehow be at that address come 11pm and I needed a clear head and a foolproof plan with enough strategies but I topped up the glass again with the palm wine
The phone was ringing..Andy what did you marry..I muttered to myself.
He picked up on what had to be the last ring.
"Obasi..where you dey? You won't believe what I've gone through today because of you"
"You snitched me abi" I turned the cup again. This mixture was making sense
"Why you go dey talk like that"
"Andy..where is your wife?"
"Yes your sweet innocent wife where is she"
"She went to the hospital..why?"
"Andy you are married to a demon..run away I tell you"
"You're slurring your words..wait don't tell me you're drinking right now!"
"I've been shivering like a fowl that was left in the rain..I'd drink what I want"
"Do you know what I went through at the hands of the police because of you?"
"I'd do the same for you..by the way how far the car did they get it?"
"Yes they've gotten it" he whistled "the car main o"
"I tell you". I was worried "Andy please listen to me just leave your house..go to a hotel don't tell anyone I'd meet up with you early morning..your wife isn't normal..she was with the person who killed Fumi now she gave her a contract to kill Fome"
"Rex what do you have against Mona..all this your stories are getting tiring"
I felt like smashing my phone so hard that I ended the call and placed it gently on the table.
This guy has been brain washed!
I had other things on my mind anyway...I had to find a way to warn Fome or save her from getting killed by 11pm
Not to mention the papers..my 48 hours had been counting down Already and I somehow knew Mona had been the one to steal the papers..it made sense perfectly..she had been to my place severally with Andy in the past and she could have easily gotten in that week and retrieved the papers for the chief.
So whether I liked it or not the confrontation I had been avoiding had to take place.
My phone vibrated, it was strange eyes.
"Now where are you?" He asked rudely.. I thought he sounded tired..
"Did you arrest Mona?"
"She got away"
"Why am I not surprised"
I could tell he was pissed..I began to suspect Mona had whopped his ass.
I thought of asking his help I didn't know how else I could handle this 11 o'clock business. But something stopped me..Fome had said the Government never had one interest and she was one..or something to that effect, and i knew strange eyes had been after Fome and at times i got the impression he wanted her caught more than the chief..my thoughts were mixing up thinking and drinking didn't go together.
Still I emptied the palm wine bottle pouring the last contents in my cup.
"Strange eyes..I swear the minute you catch the assassin that is after me I would turn in myself to you..I would trust you fully"
"Turn in?But I don't want to arrest you..I just need-"
I cut the call.
So if Mona was working for the Chief and the Chief had the papers..why had he allowed me to find and take it from him before..what was I missing. It all seemed so puzzling
I began to have headache...I had taken alcohol a remedy for thinking but i was still over thinking I checked the time 6:45pm it was getting dark. The rain had stopped..
how could I contact Fome to warn her away from that address..or how did I go about 'saving' her from the deadly bullet from the old crooners gun..what would I do...?
I remember thinking but next thing the vibration of my phone woke me up..I checked the time in dismay 7:45pm. I had conked out for an hour.
The shack was still half filled and the men were quiet..each having pumped himself with sufficient alcohol.
The number calling me wasn't saved and I wondered who it was.
I considered not answering it but knew that I must..it could be Fome.
I picked but didn't talk.
Definitely a females voice but I couldn't place it..
My eyes widened and the remnant from the drink cleared from my head as guilt took over.
"Ada I'm sorry about your car"
"So you don't own a magazine?"
Could they be tracing this call? I needed to end this..they could arrest me tomorrow night..not tonight...infact not even tomorrow night..they should wait till I relayed the paper to Dr. Rasheed then I would gladly stretch out my hands for the handcuffs
"I recognised you today"
I was silent..."but I didn't rat you out Rex..with what you put me through I didn't rat you out..and I don't know why.."
"Thank you and I'm sorry I took your car..its just I'm going through something you won't even believe"
"I didn't follow my family home tonight"
Oh-oh "why not"
"I stayed behind in a hotel.."
She let the unspoken suggestion hang in the air and I knew I should cut the call but I stayed on the line.
"I want you Rex..come and spend the night"
I rubbed my eyes..talk about piss poor timing..besides paranoia won't allow me do such it could easily be a trap.
I was prepared to shoot her down..I have to be in your daddy's house before midnight to prevent my fiancé from being mudered!..your daddy...your daddy..the chief your daddy...
I frowned...Strange eyes had described Ada as the Chiefs favourite.
Maybe I had some leverage after all.
"I can't.. but you could come and spend the night with me instead" I wondered how she even got my number..just one more mystery that won't get solved.
"I don't know if you can move around at night because I won't be there till like 11"
"I have Bruce with me"
Bruce was her Mercedes named after Batman whom she loved..this girl didn't learn..she still planned to bring her car to the very same person who stole it...
"That's nice" I said
I told her the address.
"Good 11 you say..so I would leave like 10:30"
"That's splendid" I got up from the bench where i had slept for over an hour. using the light from the oil lamp which was hung on the wall to put the documents back into the case.
I had to stop this from happening..I looked at the paper with Fome's details..I had to stop it.
I didn't know how it would play out and as I waved the pregnant woman and exited the shack I thought about Ada who I had invited to her fathers house..obviously a danger zone..
Hope she dresses decently..I laughed bitterly to myself..
And if it was a set up and she was coming with armed officers of the law..the more the merrier.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 5:37pm On Feb 23|
I walked the streets of Lagos observing the night life.
It was 8pm.
Three more hours.
The rain had stopped by now and traders were back on the streets trying to salvage a little profit before closing.
Foremost on my mind was a suitable weapon.
The cane had previously given me confidence, but ever since I had sat next to the killer in the bus I knew it was child's play.
I needed a gun. But where do I get one?
The only person I could think of was my immediate elder sister's (utebo) husband.
Paul was a major in the army and we got along fine but I doubted he would like to give his brother in law a gun. Besides they were based at Abuja were he was posted.
I walked the streets shaking off the lingering effects of the palm wine,I knew I needed to be agile and light on my feet but I felt heavy.
I stopped at a suya seller.
"Saanu' abeg gimme suya"
I selected and as I watched him cut it up I watched the knife..
"This your knife sharp well well o"
"Yes oga..na one time I dey cut"
He added pepper.
"No I no want onions...this your knife you get another one"
"Haba oga..wetting I wan take am do"
I scratched my chin as he wrapped the suya up in news paper. The blade was too long anyway..how could I carry it about..besides I wasn't a ninja..having the blade would still be equivalent to the cane in my hands..all it took was the old crooner to point her gun @ me....
"No worry..no mind me jare I no get anything to cut o"
I paid him and turned to leave but he called me back.
"Oga oya bring five hundred I give u the knife"
I looked at him "you no dey use am?"
"I get another one oga"
I thought of it then wondered if I had the guts to cut someone open..maybe the killer for instance I shook my head..I planned to avenge Fumi but...I shivered as I imagined the blood and everything no...I knew myself I didn't have it in me I wasn't a cold blooded killer.
"No worry again a beg" I left.
I had just made a very wise decision or a very foolish one. I would find out in less than 3 hours.
I decided to head straight for the address..better to scope the neighbourhood out. Especially since I couldn't remember anything from my last visit.
The house was massive..I stood looking at it or better yet looking at the walls because they were very high and allowed you to only see the metro tiled roof.
I couldn't really tell but I thought the lights inside were off..the security light on the fence was on however and I felt open and vulnerable.
The time was 9pm..now what? I still had two more hours to go.
I tried to listen to my instinct but I couldn't hear Jack!
I tried the gate and saw it was locked from inside..
What if there were dogs sef?
I couldn't sneak in..I couldn't climb the fence (electric lines ran across) I could only knock.
So I knocked.
A young man in his 20s and in a uniform opened the gate without asking who was there first.
"Yes?" He said rudely. He smelled like a brewery and I sensed that this man was my key into the house.
"I'm here to see the chief"
He sized me up then burped loudly"here to see the chief...from where? Who you be?"
"We have a meeting here tonight.. Very important"
"Baba the chief no tell me anything like that..I no sure say he dey come tonight"
I was skeptical..I tried to look past him and I could see the compound was dark.
He squared his shoulders blocking my view.
"When do you think he'll come?"
"See na him house if he like make he come if him no like..Na him sabi my own na to open gate."
With that he pushed me back and slammed the gate.
I walked round the street for minutes..how should I play this now?..
The chief wasn't yet in and that had to be an advantage and I had to take it to the fullest.
My only problem was dogs..did the chief have any..from the look of it he should judging by the high security I guessed he needed as much security as possible for the shady deals which went on in the 'operations house'.
Finally I decided I was wasting time..this was 9:22pm now. I had to take the risk.
I walked back to the gate and knocked loudly bracing my self.
"Who be that..old man na you again?"
Why didn't he open up straight this time na.
"Lemme just drop a message for him then I'd be on my way"
"Talk I dey hear you"
"I have some money with me I'm supposed to give him."Money always worked.
And it didn't fail this time. The gate guard opened the gate and I was swift.
I brought the cane to his head smacking him backwards..he staggered but didn't go down and I knew he hardly felt anything..he was obviously intoxicated right now.
Well he needed to go to sleep.
I went upside his head about five times and he even threw a punch at me which luckily missed..I knew it would have been bad news for me if he had caught me with the right hook.
It seemed I had knocked him unconscious but he remained staggering on his feet.
Now since I was little my sisters had always jested me that I had a big head. For the first time I wished it were true. I held him by his shirt and pulled him forward..at the same time smashing my head into his face..this time he touched the ground.
I feared I had broken his nose but shrugged..that was collateral damage..besides hopefully next time he sees an old man he would show some respect.
I hurriedly closed the gate. Thankfully the house opposite had been marked to be demolished so there was no one there to see what happened.
I closed the gate and observed the compound..no barking of dogs..surely if there were dogs they would be going bananas by now.
I dragged the guard to the gate house where he was living.
I noticed the half empty bottle of ammunition on the table..
I shook my head..no wonder!
I dropped the guard on the floor then stared around..what now?
I stripped him off the uniform he had on (a grey halogen uniform)
I took off my sweater and slacks which had been soaked and dried off on me.
I put on the guard's uniform which was a little tight I marveled at my bald head and tribal mark. It changed my look alright but now it was a far cry to what this man on the floor looked like.
I looked around the room for something suitable to tie him with and I saw the grey cap on a nail..I hurriedly put it on and decided the chief couldn't notice anything..at least not from a distance.
Few minutes to ten now and I knew that time wasn't on my side anymore..I used belts including the one I had on previously to tie up the guard..I wasn't convinced..I knew if he woke up he could free himself easily..but what could I do?there was nothing to use!
Maybe I would see something suitable in the house..that was a good idea!
I hadn't planned on snooping around before but now I thought it was a good idea.
I made sure the main gate was bolted then walked carefully to the front door..by this time I had decided there were no dogs..unless it was a very evil and intelligent dog that had waited until I had locked myself in before attacking.
The front door was locked and the compound was quite dark. Apart from the security light on the fence no other light was on.
I had seen a torchlight in the gate house and I quickly ran back to retrieve it. I went round the compound checking the doors which were all locked. I got to the back and tried the door..it was locked also. I shone the light through the window and saw it was the kitchen.
I turned to leave but on an afterthought, I tried the window and it slid open
I climbed in then found the light switch and put it on. It was possibly the only furnished place in the house..cabinets, gas cooker and everything a kitchen needs basically.
I checked the rooms downstairs and it was as empty as it had been 3 weeks ago even the room I had discovered the papers in was empty even the table was gone.
I got to the stairs...and remembered the chief had spent a lot of time in his room that day..I just had to find it and I was sure I'd see something..maybe even the papers hopefully.
As I put my foot on the first step I heard the blast of a car horn.
the Chief was back!
I hurried to the kitchen switching off lights as I went.
I headed straight for the window then stopped.
I went to the gas cooker and turned on all the knobs..
I climbed through the window and shut it.
The cylinder was outside.
I released the valve.
The chief was horning Impatiently and I ran to the gate thinking about the gas being released in the kitchen..it seemed like a very foolish act and I wondered what had drove me to do such.
I opened the gate for the chief. His headlights blinded me. But I could see him stick his head out of the window.
"You nincompoop!..you have been drinking again haven't you! I'd fire you idiat!"
He drove into the compound.
And I thought to myself..fire...hmmmm..that was a bad choice of word considering what I had just done.
As I slid the gate shut I thought to myself..why not take down the chief now..my cane was inside but I guessed I could still take him on comfortably..
As I entertained this thought his son (Emenike)got down from the passenger seat. The back door also opened and a man in a neck brace stepped out.
I recognised him as Jumbo..one of the two thugs who had come to my house at night and I felt some satisfaction knowing I had done that to his neck.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 10:57am On Feb 24|
"Mathias you must be very foolish" the chief had opened the door but he remained inside. "Will I be paying you and I'd still be opening my gate by my self?"
He obviously expected me to run to the open door so he could blast and address me properly. But I wasn't about to get too close to him and risk being spotted, besides if I had my way I wouldn't even speak..I wasn't so sure about my voice yet.
He solved my dilemma for me however "my friend what are you standing there for? Assist Emmy with the powder. idiat"
Emenike had opened the booth of the car and was carrying down about 5kg bags of what looked like garri. I hurried to his side. Jumbo remained standing at the corner..his neck brace disqualifying him from any physical work but I could see the butt of the gun sticking out of his trouser.
The booth was filled with these bags and I naively wondered if the chief was into food distribution also.
It seemed Mathias worked as both the gate man and slave.
"Hold it carefully and follow me"
I carried two bags and followed Emenike as he brought out a bunch of keys from his pocket.
"What do you mean she lost the papers?!!"
The chiefs voice carried through from the car.
"That's her business Fome would be here very soon and I have already paid her half the money"
He paused listening to the person on the other end who I presumed was Mona.
"Well she'd better infact after this one I'm thinking of killing her. She hasn't still been able to get that boy"
He ended the call. I could hear him say "Rex my boy..I never expected you to survive this long"
I was at the door behind Emenike who was fumbling with the keys and for a moment I thought he was talking to me.
But he must have been thinking out loud.
Emenike finally had the door open and he directed me.
"Just put it in the usual corner"
He hit the light switch and looked at me and I thought: its all over..he would surely spot that this wasn't Mathias in the uniform.
But his eyes were glassy..he leaned in and whispered.
"I snagged a whole bag of this mehn..I'm f*cking stoned right now...I'd keep tour share don't worry..just carry everything and don't let Big Chief notice anything suspicious."
"Yes boss!" I guessed even if I had a female voice he wouldn't notice.
He moved upstairs and I guessed to continue 'stoning' himself.
I didn't know where the usual spot was but decided to dump it in the room I had found the papers 3 weeks ago.
I stared at the bags..this was pure cocaine..the soo called evidence strange eyes hadn't been able to find for over a year. I considered snapping it with my phone but then I thought: why bother?
I sniffed the air but couldn't smell any gas..that was good.
I hurried outside and the chief was still in his car but this time he had the engine running and had shut the door for privacy and I could see him smiling into the phone and I wondered who he was talking with..maybe his wife self..after all his son was aware and even involved in his activities.
I walked to the booth to continue my task..there were about 20 bags in there!
I glanced at the gate house and I saw the light had come on..Oh my God..I had almost forgotten about Mathias..he must have freed himself now..
I ran to the house hoping I'd reach there before he started shouting or ran outside.
I entered then saw to my relief he was still on the floor..I could even hear him snoring..so who had switched on the light?
I saw Jumbo before he saw me..he had been gazing around shocked to see Mathias on the floor..tied up with belts..I had the advantage because he couldn't turn his neck and had to rotate the upper half of his body anywhere he wished to look due to the constraints of the neck brace.
I didn't need to think twice..I crossed to were he was with double speed..and just like the first time, I caught the back of his head perfectly in my palm and...you know the rest.
I heard the sickening thud as his head connected with the wall he slid noiselessly to the floor and something told me I shouldn't bother with tying him up.
I noticed the bulge of the gun and picked it up..where to put it now?..it would show on me because the uniform I had on barely fit as it was.
I decided to put it on the shelf Mathias kept his boots..if anything should happen I'd run like a mad man to get it and hope to keep my shooting steady.
I locked the door this time and pocketed the key which had been sticking out the key hole all along.
I returned to the car to continue with the transfer.
The chief was still on the call and I took a second to look at the bags..I knew I was looking at hundreds of millions and I just wondered about the Chief..what kind of man was this anyway?
I had carried half the bags and I was dropping the 11th and 12th approximately when my phone rang. It was Ada..
"Rex Darling I'm almost there..the road is so lonely I'm just glad my central lock is on"
I checked the time 10:45pm
"No problem I'd soon be there also if you get there before me just wait in your car please..I won't be long"
"No problem honey"
What was I doing? Dragging an innocent girl to the middle of such danger..I couldn't live with myself if anything happened to her..
But she was the 'apple of the chief's eye' I just needed her presence for my own safety And Fome's also.
Still it was my duty to try and protect the two of them..every other person in this compound could kiss the dust for all I care.
The chief had closed his booth when I got outside..
"How come you never carry am finish..you bloody nitwit"
I remembered Ndidi his house help and him crucifying her because of pidgin English.
"Sorry sir" I had to risk saying something lest my silence becomes suspicious. I made sure my face wasn't in the light.
"Sorry for yourself..you continue the packing later..I'm expecting guests..once FoFo knocks on the gate you let her in immediately"
"Yes sir" it seemed I was safe with only two syllables as my reply.
"An old woman is coming too..you let her inside with no questions...I don't want your rubbish..am I clear?"
He turned towards the house
"Now where are these two fools...Jumbo! Emmy"
Jumbo is in la la land..I thought to myself. Then: why not get the gun and hold the chief down till Fome arrived?..his son the black belt was stoned and wouldn't know what was reality and what was not.
I considered it seriously..I remembered a word from my favourite song: 'sabali'
It meant patience.
I calmed my beating heart then returned to the gate house..Mathias was still asleep but I felt it wise to 'reload' his slumber...I picked up my cane.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 4:00pm On Feb 25|
I heard the knock two minutes after 11.
I had locked up both Jumbo and Mathias who were now unconscious and had been pacing outside nervously.
The Chief was inside but I didn't see any other light come on in the house.
The man obviously preferred the dark.
When I heard the knock I had hurried to the gate praying it was Fome on the other side of the gate.
"Who is there"
"Who are you expecting?Mathias open this door joor"
It was Fome's voice.
I swung the gate open happily and saw the all too familiar nuzzle of a gun aimed at me.
"Fome wait a-"
For a minute I thought I was dead. I was horizontal, my body stiff...my brain seemed to black out and I when I came around..the shock was too painful to contemplate and I could taste copper on my tongue.
For s brief second I thought she had shot me but then she bent to retrieve the two wire points she had shot into my chest..
A stun gun it had to be I tried calling her name but my lips wouldn't open.
"Who else is here?she asked roughly" gripping me by the collar.
She was unrecognizable her eyes had a killer glint in them and her voice was cold harsh and she brought the stun gun frighteningly close to my eyes.
This person was supposed to be my wife!
My brain was getting unscrambled but I still couldn't catch my voice.
She dragged me up by my collar and I feared she planned to smash my head to the floor.
Karma had probably caught up with me for Jumbo's sake.
The thought was enough to get my joints moving.
I lifted my hands which where numb and my voice found itself..although it sounded more like a frogs croak.
"Rex!" Her voice dripped disbelief and shock.
She helped me to a sitting position so she could lock the gate.
"My God..what are you doing here..this is too dangerous you don't understand"
That got me angry but I controlled my voice.
"Someone is coming to kill you any moment from now..".
The chief stepped out from the compound "what is going on there.. Mathias!" He hurried down the steps.
Fome helped me and I got grudgingly to my feet.
"Who was knocking..fofo is that you?"
For a second I thought she was going to use the stun gun on Chief. I was fully behind her..although I had become weary of her..my heart still hadn't settled from the jolting of electricity.
However she smiled.."Big Chief it is I o.."
They then exchanged words in an urhobo dialect and the chief gestured to the house.
As she went with him he said:"wait"
He turned to me "what are you looking at?"
I retreated to the gate house thinking l had to do something now..I had to get the gun.
The chief had held Fome's hand and they stood talking.
I was thinking something wasn't right..the Chief had looked at me strangely just now..or was it my imagination?
I fumbled with the key.
And I heard the knock again.
I looked back and both the chief and Fome had stopped talking.
"Mathias open the gate "
There was no way I could do that. that was literally opening the door for the angel of death.
I stood rooted to the spot as the knock sounded again..
"Mathias!" Chief was sounding furious. "Are you deaf open that door"
No way sir I thought to myself..I turned to the door fully intending to rush for Jumbo's gun which was just on the shelf inside.
From the other side of the door came the voice..
I thought she sounded scared and I looked back at the chief just in time to see his look of disbelief.
I moved towards the gate
"I no deaf oga.. I hear am"
I unhooked the gate and stood to the side..and in came Ada walking slowly..she was visibly shaken and as I wondered why, the gun followed..in came the old crooner leading Ada in a hostage like situation.
I was beside the gate and once more I had reacted too slowly because only when the old crooner was in the compound and gripping Ada more tightly holding the gun to her neck that I realized I should have broken her feeble bones by slamming the gate shut on her the moment she had entered.
But now she had Ada in a right grip and was accessing the situation..she looked at me but either the cap and uniform changed my look or she didn't register me in the heat of the moment.
I was 100% sure that if she recognized me she would gun me down instantly. I knew I had been a thorn in her side,same way she had been a thorn in mine
The moon had decided to shine fully that night and I guess it broke away from the clouds because all of a sudden the compound was very well lit.
Chiefs mouth hung open and I could see this was the last thing he had expected to see.
Ada was silent but shaking and I knew she was close to tears.
I cursed myself and thought of my options.
The old crooner pointed the gun at me and gestured I move towards Chief and Fome.
Fome had been stationary but she had been shocked by the arrival of Ada and the old assassin.
"Chief the gods really smiled down on me when I saw the very same car I had used in tracing the boy on so many occasions. Imagine my surprise when I would find this lovely lady"
She used the gun to part Ada's hair from her face and when I saw the tears down her cheeks I hated myself...she was just 19 for Gods sake..barely a kid. I had let myself get carried away and just see the result.
The chief on the other hand cut a figure of apprehension and I heard him catch his breath when the old crooner caressed Ada's face with the gun.
"Chief" she continued "your daughter is not why I'm here..but I need the complete money for this job plus the extra 750 balance now..when I kill the second one."
She looked at me when she said 'second one' and I knew she must have recognised me all along.
"Listen to me..anything you want right now I will give you but the moment you lay a finger on her head there would be no place on earth you can hide!"
The old crooner smiled "I know..but could you hunt me from the grave?"
"Yes I can" he said it with much authority.
I was watching Ada and she was quiet as if in a trance.
Fome too was almost invincible but then again nobody wanted a bullet.
The old crooner nudged Ada forward
" Mona delivered the a sum of 250 million..I would like the papers right now...and your daughter [sup][/sup]would go free."
The chief didn't blink.
"They are upstairs"
"Good. We all go"
She pointed the gun at Fome and I
"A single file..Chief you stay at the front. ,you!" She signaled me with the gun "stay after the girl(Fome)"
Like obedient pupils we formed the line and began a slow march to the house.
"If I see any funny movement I would shoot before I ask questions!"
That would surely mean the death of everybody because once I stepped into the house I sniffed the air and caught the distinct ordour of gas Coming all the way from the kitchen at the other end..
chief started to ascend the stairs followed by Fome then me. I could hear Ada's controlled sobs behind me.
The old crooner who obviously hadn't smelt any gas..potential riches being all she could smell sounded out another warning.
"My right hand has arthritis so my trigger finger hasn't responded since I tried to shoot since yesterday..so it may respond any moment at the slightest agitation am I clear?"
"Yes ma'am" even the chief responded.
As we headed upstairs I thought of Emenike..he was upstairs in one of the rooms I was sure..probably in a different planet now.
I sniffed the air again...this time I couldn't smell the gas. This time around I smelt doom.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by princessadeola(f): 9:59pm On Feb 25|
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 10:10pm On Feb 25|
Gracias ma'am it means a lot
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 11:22pm On Feb 25|
We got to the Chiefs room and he seemed to fumble about for the key.
"Adaobi baby its alright. You'll be alright" he said this in Igbo.
"Answer me Osiso" the woman replied in igbo. it seemed she could speak any language whenever she pleased.
I used the opportunity to lean into Fumi as we stood waiting for Chief to open up.
"Gimme the stun gun"
I couldn't see it on her body but I knew she was with it.
She was quiet.
"Gimme the gun now"
She didn't reply and I thought she was scared..I gritted my teeth in frustration.
"What's the hold up? My fingers are twitching o" the old crooner prodded the chief. He opened the door and we filed in.
Chief seemed to take time to locate the switch.
"Now..pass it now" I whispered to her ear. But still no reply.
"Don't mess with me put on the light" the old crooner shouted, she did something that made Ada gasp out in pain and chief hastily switched on the light.
"Why was she scared..she could have given me the gun easily..The gun in the old crooner's hand was liable to go off and I knew I needed to act.
Something nagged at my brain..something my subconscious was hinting at but which I did not want to consider before..but all of a sudden I had a flash back to about a year ago. Andy's marriage to Mona had been about 9 months old then and Fome and I had still been our usual 'rosy' selves. The four of us used to go out together a lot..Andy and Mona were in the early days of marriage and love was shooting out of both their eyes.
Me on the other hand had been nursing the idea of marriage and so dragged Fome with me every time. The usual ploy of getting her around married people to make her susceptible to the idea..you'd think at 26 she'd be thinking along those lines but no..I was the one doing all the prodding back then.
Anyway, standing in the Chiefs room that night, as the lights came on..I recalled a particular Sunday from one of such outings with Andy and his wife.
The four of us had been at the beach..and we were pretty drunk or to be specific I was pretty drunk..Andy was halfway gone too but had been keeping himself in check because he was on driving duty and you remember he was super careful with his driving.
Anyways that day we had been under the shade just watching the water and enjoying the breeze.
I was holding what had to be my 4th canned beer.
Andy had been on the phone.(he had been trying to cut down on his gambling so he only called the barman of the place he gambled to place bets for him. Then covered the guy on weekends.
That day Andy had been making one of such calls and as I waited for him to finish so we could continue our argument about football I had looked at Mona and Fome where the both of them had sat laughing and talking.
"Wow! Are you guys twins?" I had belched loudly feeling very merry.."you guys look soo much alike..Andy don't they look alike?"
Andy had glanced impatiently at me lost in the betting world.
"Thank God you are not driving us home tonight" Fome had laughed.
"Abi..he's really tanked..how can he say we look alike?"
We had laughed it up and when Andy had ended his call we continued arguing Liverpool and man United's dominance of English football.
The flash back was like a revelation.
It seemed the nagging thought that had previously been dancing around my mind finally touched down.
I looked at Fome in disbelief.
The old crooner
Pointed the gun at us. "Sit on the bed"
I sat immediately but Fome remained standing.
She took a step forward to the chief.
"Where are the papers?"
Chief Amunike's mouth fell open for the umpteenth time that night. He stared at the old crooner in surprise half expecting her to caution or maybe shoot Fome, but the woman said nothing only smiled.
I reached my hand into my pocket as no one was looking at me and thanked God I had removed my phone lock.
I swiped the screen then with experience guided my finger to were my dial symbol was I tapped it twice...strange eyes was my last dialed and I hoped I just dialled his number right now.
Chief looked at Fome
"What are you doing" he looked at the old crooner as if in protest..but I could see in his eyes that reality had dawned.
"Shut up..remember my finger" the old crooner warned
Fome walked round the chief who it seemed was stricken to the spot.
"You have no right to ask questions" she splashed out suddenly with much venom and hatred.
She looked at me and I could tell she had forgotten I was in the room.
" Oh Rex honey..your clothing makes me think its Mathias that is here..I keep on forgetting..just hope I don't forget and shoot you" she laughed.
But alarm bells were ringing..what kind of joke was that?.
"What's going on?" I asked her..
She paced round the Chiefs room..checking the walls, the drawers..there was the painting of the sunset on the wall and she took it down to inspect the wall..for a safe I thought.
"You're going to give us the papers chief unless we'd make an example with her"
The old crooner seemed to hurt Ada who cried out..chief threw up his hands in horror..
"Stop stop stop..I'd give you"
Fumi gestured to the old crooner to stop..
"Wait..I'd tell you why.." She looked at me "so maybe you can understand and forgive me"
I thought of my phone and prayed strange eyes had picked and was listening and tracing this call..
I hoped the fool will come with sufficient back up this time and thought that if he could hear I better alert him to the gravity of the situation.
"Please don't shoot her..don't SHOOT her please"
"She would only be shot if we don't retrieve the papers"
"I'd give you.." The chief assured.
"Sit down first.." She pointed the stun gun at chief and he hurried to the bed.
I shook my head..he didn't look like a master planner anymore.
Fome went to the window and stared outside.
"24 years ago..a woman had two daughters of ages 4 and 2" she kept quiet and closed her eyes as if remembering a certain painful detail.
By this time I had decided she was the 2 year old girl in her story..the age fit perfectly.
She continued her journey down memory lane and I had a feeling she hadn't recounted this in a very long time.
"This woman had just lost her husband who had been very wealthy with a fast growing business on the rise"
I felt the chief tense beside me.
"Do you want to tell us the kind of business eh chief"
He said nothing.
The old crooner laughed or rather cackled wickedly.
"Enlightenment always comes after the darkness"
"True..just as sister used to say" Fome smiled lovingly at the memory and I couldn't take it anymore
"Just what exactly is your relationship to this old woman?"
The old crooner hissed and bared her teeth at me and I wished I had my cane with me to open 32 windows in Her mouth.
"Rex this is someone I see as my mother mind you"
"The same way you saw the chief as your Father abi"
"This man" she walked to the chief and I feared she was going to shock him "is not my father. This man took everything my father had.." Her voice shook as emotions seemed to boil over..
"What kind of man moves in on his friend's home after his friend's demise and takes advantage of the wife's naivety and ignorance to rip the family of everything the husband worked for?"
She searched my eyes looking for understanding..but I was still stuck on what I first heard.."like your mother?..This woman killed Fumi!..she tried to kill me! She was suppose to kill you"
"I never knew about Fumi or you and I'm sorry"..she pointed at Chief "that's the culprit"
Who was this woman before me?
I thought of how I had ribbed Andy saying what had he married even called him easily blinded not to have seen through Mona's veil but look at me now..my case wasn't soo different, what was I even saying..they were sisters!
She moved to Ada who had stopped trembling and was now taking everything in with wide eyes.
"Adaobi, you have been like my sister...but years ago when I was still a child your father took everything from me and my family..we were cast on the street and had to turn to beggars..while he went about building an empire and gathering wealth which the source of which he had forcefully taken, tricked and conned from his dead friends family"
Where was strange eyes?..he should have heard enough by now and the phone had been connected for long hopefully.
I caught the scent of gas..it would have spread to all corners of the house by now..especially downstairs..time was of the essence.
Me I didn't need the money..just a piece if paper which one Dr.Rasheed had recommended for my 'delayed diagnosis'
"Fome look...you know my family well..they love you..they are all in danger..look in the papers..there is one particular document...I need it urgently to take it somewhere tomorrow please my Family is at risk..my mother!"
She knew my mother was very fond of her and the feeling was mutual. I saw the emotion in her eyes..she turned to Chief.."you can hear the rest later now get the papers"
The old crooner who still held on to Ada tightened her hold and I was really angered "you don't have to keep doing that..she has been hurt enough already besides the chief is going along with your demands."
Fumi said "that's true..let her sit down"
The killer was displeased I could see but she released Ada who staggered.
The chief made to hug her but the killer stopped him with the gun. "Ehn ehn..get it right now"
She squeezed her nose "ki' lo ruun' "
(What is smelling) I knew what was smelling alright gas..the explosive type..I thought it best to announce my previous action..so everyone. Would be fairly warned especially the old crooner who seemed trigger happy.
The chief had gone to his wadrope, opened it then slid another door open inside which no one but him knew was there. He brought out a suitcase. The type that used combinations.
"Hurry up" the old crooner snapped pointing the gun in her hand.
"Calm down..if you shoot even by mistake we all die" I warned with my voice rising.
"What do you mean"
They all looked at me.
Before I could talk about what I had done in the kitchen downstairs we all heard the voice outside.
At first I thought it was strange eyes but then I listened:
"When you want it, when you need it...you'll always get the best of me!"
It was Emenike obviously wasted, singing a Brian Adams song like it was pasuma.
His voice got louder as he got closer.
"Who is that?" The crooner asked
'That should be Emenike?"
She looked at the Chief.
"Who else is here?"
But then it seemed Emenike passed the room.
I heard his voice as he muttered to himself "Mathias sorry but I have sly you...sorry o..."
His voice faded away and I gave a sigh of relief.
But then he was back and the door handle began to turn.
"Big chief..are you here?"
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|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by princessadeola(f): 8:50am On Feb 26|
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 5:13pm On Feb 26|
Emenike entered the room and swayed taking all the faces in.
"What's going on here?" He asked no one in particular as he barged in the room.
The old crooner had been waving the gun at him but his eyes passed over her. He seemed to be looking for his dad..when he saw Ada however, the recognition was too strong and he blinked and seemed to regain his train of thought.."Ada! What are you doing here? Who are all this people?"
He turned round the room looking at us. Ada was on the bed now I was beside her...the old crooner stood a little to my left where she had been breathing down Chief's neck where he stood about to enter the combination. Fome stood to his right.
"Young man sit on the bed or I'll shoot you" the Old crooner came closer...and I had a feeling of déjà vu from my front seat of the action.
48 hours ago I had stepped *close* to Emenike holding a pestle when I found out about him and Mona. He had dispatched it from my hands with lightening reflexes.
It seemed he was faster when he was intoxicated because as the old crooner got close with the gun pointed..Emenike's eyes drifted to his father And he must have understood what was going on in a second.
The kick was swift! A quality round house kick. It caught the old killer squarely on her wrist and she yelped out in pain
As the gun flew out of her hand and landed a couple of feet from my side of the bed.
For a second add was still. I expected Emenike to finish of with another perfect kick preferably to the face but he began bouncing like a kick boxer as if waiting for the old crooner to throw a punch so he could parry.
The stun gun from Fumi shot into his back, and the duration of the shock convinced me that this was more potent than the one she had shot me with but still Emenike didn't touch the ground his response to stimulus must have been numbed by all the substances he had in his system He fell to his knees however as his legs gave out from under him and I could hear his teeth as they clattered together. All this happened in a matter of seconds.
I looked at the gun then at the old crooner..our eyes met and we were thinking the same thing.
I would have begged her for the gun and shot myself if she had beaten me to it. But I'm proud to say on that occasion, sheer youth won. Before she could bend towards it, I had the gun in my hand and pointed at her.
The tables had turned..now it was hunter hunted!
I looked around the room madly as I tried to keep my heart under the speed limit.
"You dirty old frog..sit on the floor!" The old crooner looked at me and complied grudgingly.
I felt like going to give her a sound kick but decided I remain at a distance..bullets traveled after all!
Emenike had his back on the ground by now and as Fome bent to retrieve the wire points I pointed the gun at her.
"Stay where you are!"
"Rex!" She looked shocked.
The chief straightened up..
"Rex my boy I'm soo glad..all I need is one call now..everything will disappear tonight..this woman that killed your friend, she's a goner"
I didn't even want to think about that right now if not my own finger could start to seize and I could smell the gas all to clearly.
I stopped him in his tracks as he made to come closer
"You were opening something"
"Rex..is it the money you want...its yours..I let you have it the first time..but you did nothing to it..and when I was able to get it back I knew you didn't deserve it"
Something else was nagging my brain..if Mona had returned the papers then why did Fome and The old crooner come for it again?
I looked at the old crooner then Fome..just what was their real reason for coming here?
My business however was the coordinates..I needed to get the papers and take it to Dr Rasheed asap and get my family and I off the kidons 'blacklist'
"Open it up..when I see what I need I'd take it" I instructed him waving the gun for emphasis.
Ada came to stand beside me and I was expecting a protest from her but she folded her arms and glared at her dad.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by forzarush(f): 9:24pm On Feb 26|
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 12:19pm On Feb 27|
Fome took another step closer "Rex calm down..put the gun down"
I knew I had to take a stand.
"Fome you too" I gestured to the ground with the gun."sit on the floor" she looked at me in disbelief,
"Rex..it is ME..its Fome o"
"Exactly,..who exactly is 'me'?.. sit on the floor Fome"
"Throw the stun gun towards the door"
She shook her head. "Rex what are you doing to me?"
I gestured impatiently and she complied.
The old killer was to my left silently watching me but she did not move. Which was smart because a part of me dared her to try she had nothing on her (her big purse was not in sight) save for her fists (which were only deadly holding a gun).
I on the other hand could not use the gun to shoot but I could very well use it to smack her unconscious.
I sensed she could feel the murderous rage I felt towards her because she kept her distance. But I could see her watchful eyes sharp and on the lookout for the slightest mistake to pounce.
I was determined she wouldn't get one
The chief had the briefcase open. The situation was quite tricky because I had to maintain my grip on the gun keeping it level and ready to point in any direction. From the old woman to the chief then fome'
Ada however was beside me I looked to her.
"Help me get the papers"
She looked at me with such frostiness that it felt like a cold shoulder.
My eyes were darting around the room watching for any movement "I'm sorry for what I put you through..I didn't expect it to escalate like this"
I tried to keep my voice down but the Chief had been watching me so intently that he probably read my lips.
"By the way Ada..what are you doing here" he stood beside the bedside table where he had opened the suitcase.
"Daddy don't even start..so this is the India you've being going to?..in this very Lagos! Kai..I'm a fool! and this idiot (she nudged Emenike with her foot who was beginning to stir) knew all along...what of mummy!?" That would mean she had believed the story she had told me before..and I had believed her to be lying. However,
I couldn't afford to let her ramble...I wondered at their sense of smell..I could smell the gas more distinctly now and I wondered why none of them could smell it also. Probably because only me knew what I had done but still..
The chief wasn't ready to supply any of those answers because he turned the suitcase for me to see. I could see a bunch of papers on top a slim file. But the rest of the briefcase was filled with paper..the green kind!!
The currency was dollars, the stacks were neat and the rows were much!
I stared at it for seconds..and I could see the old crooner squirming on the floor trying to get a good look.
Fome however was looking at me she hadn't stopped looking since I had literally 'put her down'
And I was watchful but right now the not so handsome face of Mr.Benjamin was looking quite appealing as I stared at the wads of paper.
"This whole suitcase is yours..hell! I can give you more..God knows it wouldn't touch me but forget about the other paper you mentioned"..he shook his head..."that was very unfortunate"
"It is indeed unfortunate because I don't plan to be buried with money..my primary interest is that paper Chief..all these" I encompassed the suitcase with my eyes
"All these is secondary" but my eyes lingered.
"Why do you need that paper anyway that was a silly mistake..I wanted to set a little trap for you so you'd be in my debt because
I wanted you to join in my business'
"Yes my boy..business..it is a business" he added when I frowned at the word "And soo much money is involved, just look at the evidence before you..and this is just chicken change...
He brought out the folder and removed some papers and I knew they were the previous ones that had been stolen from me. "Somehow..a very vital piece got mixed with the papers and I didn't find out until it was almost too late" he took a step closer and lowered his voice which I thought odd since we were the only ones in the room..and the house..even the compound. I had locked the gate after all..hadn't I? I tried to flash back...
The old crooner had entered and I had been by the gate..thinking of how I should have slammed the gate..she entered then pointed her gun to me to join Chief and Fome where they stood....which I did on double time.
So the gate should be open!
The chief had been talking "...........to very dangerous people. The type of danger you can not understand..for your sake don't refer to it anymore."
"I don't think you understand what I'm telling you"
"It doesn't even matter" the Chief hurried on still lowering his voice. "The papers are gone..in the hands they shouldn't have left..which is not mine I can assure you"
"Spread all the papers in the bag on the floor. One by one..even that paper too on the money..yes" he made to do as he was told and I glanced at the old crooner.
"Just respect yourself like that if not I'd give you the ultimate disrespect"
She nodded in agreement but I could see her squinting her nose probably catching the scent of of the gas.
The chief was silent as he put began to arrange the papers on the floor. "We are wasting time..its not even in this country!"
My mind dropped like 20 stories but I did not waver "just arrange it and keep quiet.
The papers were quite much..more than the ones stolen from me.
"This is one of my personal suitcase I put other things there " he explained. I watched his bald head which reflected the light bulb that hung from the Ceiling.
All was silent for seconds then the chief looked at Fome who was to his side.
"But I did my part by you..as Larry's daughters I sponsored you and your sister's education and I tried to keep both of you financially stable."
Fome looked at him and her voice was low with emotion "you have no idea what my earliest years were like..the- The earliest memories that I can remember are of poverty and violence and the suffering, tears and self guilt of my mother which you caused."
I cleared my throat "please let's focus here..this is not a therapy session"
Fome glanced at me with expressionless eyes.
My phone- I had forgotten about it vibrated in my pocket. It was Andy "Oba where are you?"
"Mona said she was at the hospital but she hasn't come back since..and this is almost 12. Have you seen her? Are you at the hospital?"
I had an idea of where she was heading to..and the gate was open in invitation!
Ayaiyaiyaiyai!!(rubbing head) The gods must truly be crazy in my case because everything just seemed to jumble up and add against me.
The call was a distraction and I cut it immediately.
"Hurry up" I reminded the chief who had been watching me trying to observe the conversation.
I checked the phone and saw that my credit had been extinguished on the strange eye's call...But so far he was a no show..
Now I wished I hadn't done that because now I had the situation under control or hoped i did and I hoped to get the papers and disappear from the house..the gas smell was more distinct now and I could notice Fome's face had gone serious as she sniffed the air also..
But this Mona person...she could just enter the compound and I wouldn't even know she could hang around the door and choose a suitable time to surprise or 'stun' me...no way! Once was enough...I had to lock it.
But the smell of the gas was growing..a fast exit from this room might be necessary and locking the door hinders that..
To and fro the thoughts went until Chief had spread all the papers in a double line semi circle.
But My mind won't be at rest...I needed to lock the door so I could watch the papers well and keep an eye on my 'hostages'
Emenike who had not moved in a while stirred again..and I considered giving his head a gun slap to put him to sleep. I didn't need his 6'2 karate frame doing crazy kicks and hand tricks in this room.
Too much thinking before acting! I would curse myself because just as I made to move towards the open door..Mona stood beside it with something very wicked in both hands.
Now I've never been a gun person but I knew what she held had to be a .50 magnum probably a desert eagle.
Ada saw me looking past her turned around and screamed..she ran to my side and hid behind me and I couldn't blame her.
"Drop that gun Rex"
"didn't you smell the gas on your way up..you drop it"
But the whole of her gun nuzzle seemed extra wide and intimidating like a cannon.
"Gas?!" this came from the chief and he seemed to sniff the air for the first time . His face was white with horror..."that can not happen..things are in this house!...it can't!"
Everyone began mummering at once with Fome crying out in shock..and the old crooner saying "I said it..I said it.."
I marveled at how we had come to this:Two guns trained at each other. Every one was restless since hearing the word 'gas' and I could tell the fear of getting shot was being replaced by the fear of blowing up.
Mona and I continued in our stare off but I could tell she was rattled by the gas.
The worst thing that could happen was for strange eyes to turn up now because for once it wasn't 'the more the merrier' and I hoped the credit I had used in calling him had been so little that it had died immediately.
But deep down I knew I had had sufficient credit.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 10:29pm On Feb 28|
Fome was the voice of reason. The air was heavy with tension as Mona and I continued our stand off. I had come too far to back down now and my fear had to be given the back seat. Fome moved closer to us. She looked at me and shook her head and I knew at that moment that it was all over between us...to be honest I felt like I had dodged the bullet. Although Fome had been the only person I had worried about, in the past few hours however she had shocked me too many times to count. Once with electricity!
She turned to Mona
"Mona what are you doing? Don't you know that any mistake we all could get killed?"
Mona lowered her gun still looking at me but I maintained my position.
Fome looked at me. "I don't even know who you are again"
"Touché" I replied grimly.
I noticed movement from the corner of my eye and swung the gun widely. It was the old crooner standing up.
They must have all thought I was going to shoot because they all shouted my name and the old crooner flinched. I raised my eye brow at the chief.His lips were the last I expected to hear shout 'Jesus'.
"What is wrong with you boy, do you want to get us all killed!" The chief boomed and I could see his hand on his thin chest as he tried to steady his pulse.
"Rex stop this we need to leave here put away the gun" Mona and Fome chorused together. Funny now but their resemblance was very striking all of a sudden and I wondered how Andy and I had been blind to it all the times we used to hang out.(Apart from the one time I had noticed it in a drunken haze but even that had been quickly forgotten.)
I still did not lower the gun nor my voice.
"I came here for something and if I don't leave here with it I would be dead in two days.." I glanced at my wrist but didn't see any watch.
That would be the second watch in about 3 weeks. And it only just occurred to me that I had been in this same operations house when I had lost the first. Although that had been in the morning and was the day it all began('it' being my stealing of the papers). Now it was night and it had to be the day it ended.
"Now its not up to two days any more..this is about..." I consulted my 'watch less' wrist. "About 37 hours!" I shouted.
I knew I was giving the vibes that I was unstable and the funny thing is I wasn't acting. I was freaking out.
Everyone seemed rooted to the spot and their positioning sort of formed a circle and they all looked at me with apprehension and open mouth wonder.
Fome must have been thinking "so Rex Obasi, my ex fiance whom I dated for years is finally cracking up under all this pressure"
Mona must have been thinking "why can't he just be as calm and gentle as sweet Andy"
Ada I'm not so sure but something according to these lines."he was always strange anyway...sexy but strange...too bad I didn't shag him before. (lemme boost my ego abeg)
The old crooner the one person I loath more than the chief was looking at me and her eyes showed her thoughts like subtitles.
"O ti ya were' ma si pa'" (he has gone crazy. I'd still kill him)
The chief didn't give me the chance to 'read his mind'
"Rex we need to leave this place. Have you heard about gas explosions? They wouldn't even see our our bones to bury"
"Chief you are going to check the papers on the floor..then you are going to give me the one I'm here for..the paper with the coordinates of the sleeper cells and terror hide outs."
Ada gasped and I looked at her "yes dear..daddy hasn't been a pillar of the community"
I returned my attention to the Chief.
"If you don't give me the paper Chief..I swear on the grave I would be buried in I would empty this gun until this house is blown to the sky" my voice was chilly and controlled but they sounded like the words of a mad man..imagine the Joker, Batman's nemesis till tomorrow, his words would be eloquently spoken and adequately spaced but the content and delivery would assure you that this was no sane man.
I'd like to think that
was how I sounded to the chief that night. I continued pacing the room as I looked from one face to another. And my gun didn't waver once. I pointed it anywhere my eyes went and the person at the other end always flinched.
Even Mona who held a deadlier and scarier gun also jerked her hands to try and shield her face as though if I were to pull the trigger her hands would magically stop the bullet.
"Chief look at these faces well or better yet look at the mirror because I know you care only about yourself...I would blow everybody here up if I don't get that paper.." I looked away from Ada to the chief. (I at first made a conscious effort not to point the gun at her but I got carried away.)
I pointed the gun at the chief again.
"You know why? because that paper is my life line right now..thanks to you by the way..and without it I'm dead"
I made as if to rooster the gun but it had none. It was a suitable assassin's weapon. Once the safety was off you fired away without having to rooster each round into the chamber.
My hand movement was very believable it seemed because I heard the gasp from around me and the chief shut his eyes probably thinking it was over.
"I won't die alone..I would need friends to take with me to the other side..starting from you..and if the devil loves alcohol you won't run out of business..ammunition would sell well there I'm sure" this was directed at the Chief.
My eyes narrowed and my index finger moved as if to caress the trigger. But to be truthful I had no plan to get too close..like my people always say 'when there is life there is hope' and if it would be 36 hours I had, then I'd use it to say a proper goodbye to my family instead of speeding it up.
No one had to know my true thoughts. And I asked the Chief harshly "so what's your call? The ball is in your court"
He looked at me for seconds then sighed.
"Rex when you found those papers that was just a little mind trick..I needed someone in the banking industry that would..should I say look the other way while I passed billions of naira through the bank..I chose you because you were close to someone I saw as my daughter(he turned to Fome) God knows I thought wrong..but I liked you and I thought to myself why not link this boy so millions would touch his hand. The night I called you after Fome left..I never knew you were halfway gone already and I decided to Pump you with liquor..that night I told you about it..but you kept on drifting off then you would wake up lamenting about Fome. I brought you here but you passed out and I decided to mess with you the next morning.." He broke off to catch his breath. The gas smell was thick in the air and beginning to choke. Everyone was paying attention to the Chief and no one seemed to notice it.
"In my haste something else got mixed up with the papers"
He walked to his wardrobe and brought out a slimmer brief case.
"Rex...you want to know why I've been lowering my voice all night long?" He was putting the combination.
"That's because this house is bugged..you ever hear of a terrorist group called black September?"
He had the case open and was leafing through its contents.
"Actually I have" I replied.
He looked at me then smiled "Rex my boy what have you gotten yourself into"
"You mean what did you get me into and stop calling me your boy"
"But I never forced the papers into your hands...you snooped around and you stole it" he laughed crazily and I thought to myself 'this is the real joker' maybe the gas had began to affect his brain.
However he was sober suddenly.
"Rex once you leave here with this papers...your clock starts ticking.."
"You don't understand..it is already ticking"
He shook his head.
"Then its unfortunate..you are just delaying the outcome.." He glanced at the old crooner. "This ancient hag should have done you the mercy of ending your life I'm afraid but she spent more time planning to to. From me.."
She bared her teeth "who are you calling old hag?"
"Your own time is up don't worry" he replied her then looked at me. But I was thinking of what he had said..of a word he had used 'delaying'. That I was delaying what? My diagnosis? What was the diagnosis? Who was the doctor doing the 'diagnosis? Dr Rasheed?.
What the chief was saying was too potent however and when I heard a key word my attention was drawn back to him.
"Blow? Blow up who?"
He was holding a paper and I knew it had to be it. The coordinates. I could see numbers all over it and recalled it from before. I hadn't even paid attention to it the first time.
"I said this people are able to blow up all members of your family simultaneously if they were scattered around the world. Not to talk of only here in Nigeria..Rex be wise"
I was thinking...my eyes were wide..but then I remembered the way Dr. Rasheed had rattled of my sisters address and how he had talked about my parents activities.. I shuddered..
"I'd take the papers Chief..give me so we could all get to safety"
He handed it over and I took it and let my guard down as I stared at it the gun was pointing to the floor but no one seemed to notice. even the old crooner looked shaken by what she had heard..another set of assassins that were totally out of her league! A part of my brain still Nagged me that she was Fumi's killer and hadn't yet paid for it..but what could I do? The papers in my hands still felt like a miracle.
Emenike sat up. He had been knocked out for about half an hour..he looked around madly and his eyes settled on me "Mathias..what's happening?"
The chief looked at him.."get up you fool..run to the kitchen and switch of the gas then run to the red room and carry those letters outside immediately"
I looked at him which letters? But something told me I wouldn't want to know.
Emenike shook his head as if he didn't understand...he looked at me strangely then got up he made to go out of the room but then he spotted Mona. "You too...what is going on here babe?"
His eyes caught the gun in her hand.
"What are you holding that for..?" He turned back.."you sef Mathias...what is going on here...why are you even in daddy's room"
"Emmy!" Chief shouted "can't you smell the gas? Go and do what I told you right now...And if I find out you're on my powder..I'd grind your bones to replace the one you used" he added as Emenike hurried out of the room.
He turned to Ada "Adaobi..see...where do I start. First I'm sorry-"
"Daddy biko..I don't even want to hear again...please by next week just book my flight..I'm ready to go to school now..no more designing for me"
I felt some kind of guilt knowing I had killed that dream.
"You could go to a fashion school..some place like France" I added looking for a silver lining.
She nodded and was about to say something but Mona interrupted.
"Look at all of you exchanging pleasantries like you just finished church..I have a gun too and Chief we also are not leaving till we get what we are owed"
"Actually I was just leaving thank you very much" I made to move towards the door hugging the paper to my chest. She pointed the gun and I stopped
"no one leaves till we get what we came for"
I turned to the Chief "Chief you self give them the money" that reminded me of the fresh dollar notes...I had called it my secondary objective at the time but now that the primary was in my hands...
Chief retrieved some papers from the floor..the ones he had arranged previously.
"How much..take the papers..250 million..I can still add another 50 for rounding up sake...I am tired of all this gun pointing today"..he looked around "idiot Jumbo is no where to be found"
Fome spoke up this time "Chief this was not just about the money...we came for something else..do I need to take you down memory lane?"
Chief squinted his eyes trying to think...then his eyes widened in comprehension.
I had no plan to be in the middle of another confrontation. I had what I came for and if I could grab just one rubber band of dollars I'd be fine. Greediness had previously put me in this situation so I didn't intend to be greedy again. Just one rubber would do. But my sixth sense could smell danger looming.
I sniffed the air, I could still smell the gas.
A strange noise sounded from outside and the chief stopped speaking.
"Jumbo!" He shouted towards the window.
The reply was two frag grenades shot through the window. They smashed the glass and I saw one of them bounce of the wall then roll to the floor..the flash of light was brief but blinding, thick foggy smoke began to escape from both canisters.. I knew what was happening! Thanks to call of duty video game. And i knew who was behind it:strange eyes! He had taking soo much time that I thought he wasn't coming but he must have been getting prepared for a major strike.
It was a mad dash to the door as I grabbed Ada's hand..she was caught up in all this because of me and I had to protect her no matter what.
I could hear other windows being smashed as the canisters were shot in..the smell of gas was still very potent mixed with the fog coming from the cannisters.
The lights went out. That didn't stop me. I ran blindly to where I had seen the door last still gripping Ada's hand. We were all coughing madly and someone in particular (I'm guessing the old crooner) sounded like she was coughing out her lungs. It was a mad dash to the door and Ada was beside me as we sprinted in the darkness in coughing fits.
She should be behind me...I thought to myself. The doorway can only take one person she would be hurt...
As this thought turned round my mind, I ran into the wall and Ada passed through the door. The pain was blinding as I went down still clutching the paper in my left hand.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 10:36pm On Mar 01|
Yummmy update Yo
Where are u tho
Remaining ur update to make my day anticipating More
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 10:36pm On Mar 01|
Yummmy update Yo
Where are u tho
Remaining ur update to make my day anticipating More
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by nastynic(m): 10:37pm On Mar 01|
Yummmy update Yo
Where are u tho
Remaining ur update to make my day anticipating More
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 6:13am On Mar 02|
Slept off last nyt.. Travelled and was tired..my brain wasn't just connecting
Wld update like a mad man today.
P.s: I wld call ghost busters for all the ghost readers oo
Lemme know ur thoughts on the story so far pls
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 8:19am On Mar 02|
Ada came back for me.She helped me to my feet.
"They brought an helicopter!.who are these people"
I couldn't speak if I wanted to, my throat was on fire and I couldn't keep my eyes open.
She had her flashlight from her phone on however and the beam was sufficient to lead her through the house.. I followed blindly with the one thought on my mind being the paper which I still clutched in my left hand.
"Easy Rex we are at the steps" she warned "just put one leg in front slowly I'd guide you"
I was extremely grateful...I tried to say thanks but my throat wouldn't permit me to talk.
We moved slowly down the stairs and were just getting to the bend when someone from behind rushed past with such speed that I almost lost my balance.
"She doesn't move like an old woman..see her run" Ada commented and I thought to myself 'that must be the old crooner'
"The smell of gas was stronger downstairs because the kitchen was on this floor. And once we had descended the steps fully, we quickened our pace.
We had gotten to the main door leading outside when we heard a series of gunshots from outside. We stopped at the doorway. Gunshots from outside? The same outside we were heading to..
But inside was smoking not to mention the deadly gas that continued to spread waiting for the slightest spark to blow everything to bits.
It seemed we were between the devil and the blue sea. But I thought to myself 'the devil you know....'
Strange eyes was the devil but he was a known one.
Firstly I squeezed the paper in my pocket..if Dr. Rasheed complained that it wasn't neat I would strangle him with his stethoscope..considering all I had gone through to get it in the first place.
I strained to open my eyes then pulled Ada towards the door.
"What are you doing? Didn't you hear them shoot?"
"Just put your hands up and trust me"
She seemed doubtful but she followed.
It seemed the moon had doubled its effort because the compound was twice as bright but then the strange noice I had been hearing had me looking up.
It was a chopper! And the powerful beam was focused on Ada and I blinding us.
"Get down! Get on the floor!"
No idea where the shouts were coming from, we obeyed I went horizontal quickly tugging Ada's hand to follow my lead.
Armed men approached us, I couldn't see their faces and dared not look up but the boots I saw alone assured me that this was the real deal.
Someone grabbed my hands(which I had forgotten on my head) and something cold snapped my wrist I knew it had to be handcuffs.
From the corner of my eye I saw Someone was also attending to Ada.
"How many of you are in there?!"
The man had a very deep voice but his knee was pressing into my back making it impossible to speak.
"About five..I'm not the enemy please..."
I heard another voice and for the first time since he had forced his way into my life, I was glad to hear strange eyes voice.
".y leave him..that's my informant"
The knee shifted, I was helped to my feet and the 'dy' (pronounced deewhy) removed the handcuffs.
They freed Ada also.
I looked around and could count about a dozen agents in complete regalia..helmets,kevlar vest,knee pad and a very wicked rifle so sophisticated that it looked like a toy.
Strange eyes materialised from their mist.
"Where is Fome and the Chief"
I noticed how he asked for Fome first.
"She is in there with the Chief and Mona" I looked at his face and saw his right eye was almost swollen shut and his lips were slightly swollen. It seemed Mona had beat him black blue.
Ada had come to stand beside me and I was about to tell Strange eyes about the bags of 'powder' in the house and in the car, but her presence made me hesitate..he was her dad after all.
Strange eyes on hearing the confirmation that they were all in the house signalled to the men who had all taken a kneeling stance and had their guns trained at the doorway.
"Please try not to shoot there has been a gas leak in there" Ada pleaded desperately and I could tell she was concerned about her dad and brother.
"What kind of gas?" Strange eyes asked.
His questions wouldn't get to be answered because Mona came running out of the house with her gun still in sight.
"Drop your weapon! Drop it now!"
She ignored the shouts but kept on running to my direction I could see the tears in her eyes and something moved me..all of a sudden a chill ran down my spine and I had the feeling that Mona and Fome had come here for something equally important as well not just money.
The bullets cut her down and Ada screamed..I shouted also and held my ears.
About two agents had gunned her down and I could see the blood spreading about her.
My first thought was: Andy...oh my God..I knew he loved his wife 100% and this was going to knock him down.
It was that thought that had me running towards her.
I heard strange eyes shout my name which I ignored. He shouted my name again then to his men "hold your fire!"
For the second time in 3 days I knelt beside a dying woman surrounded by blood as she breathed in her last.
"Rex...do this for me and Fome..avenge our deaths...the widows initiative...1989 please Rex find out what really..."
She must have strained her self to the limit to say those words because she didn't get to finish..a chill ran down my spine as the feeling of déjà vu came over me once more..I closed her eyelids thinking about what she had said..the widows initiative?..1989? Which one was this again..and she had said avenge her and Fome's death was Fome dead?
"Rex step away from that body now" strange eyes barked
I turned to look at him and I don't know if it was the emotions of the past few days..or seeing another person draw her last breath before my eyes but I could feel tears rolling down my cheeks.
"Why did you have to shoot her..she didn't raise her gun"
"But she refused to drop it when she was ordered to" strange eyes replied.
"Who is this fool that you are explaining operations procedure to..I say we lock him up and waterboard him until he confesses to what he didn't do" this came from dy. (Waterboarding is an interrogation or torture technique using water and a piece of cloth to give the sensation that one is drowning).
I didn't know if strange eyes would have agreed to it or not because another agent shouted: "INCOMING!!"
I looked up to see The Chief and Emenike running madly.
"She said you'll never get her alive" Emenike shouted as they got Closer.
"Who" another agent asked.
No one replied him. My mouth hung open when Strange eyes opened one of the Ford jeep doors (the agents always uses strong 4 wheel drive jeeps for operations) and ushered the Chief inside.
He selected half a dozen of his men.
"Alpha...you and Dy split into three each and smoke her out..try not to kill her shoot her kneecaps if you must"
I couldn't believe what was happening, He was treating the Chief like royalty but going to shoot out Fome's knee caps? What the hell was happening?
Emenike spotted Mona's body on the floor and started wailing. The chief opened the door and instructed him to get inside.
"You too Ada" he added and his voice was very different now..not like the voice that had been shaking minutes ago when faced with a gun. Now it carried authority.
Ada called my name. "Rex?" She held out her hand for me to join her in the car. But I shook my head, emotions were bursting within me and I felt like a sissy. What's more I felt like I had been running around blindly without any form of understanding at all...
As I watched Alpha and DY lead half a dozen agents to the house I chewed over Mona's dying words..1989..the widows initiative...what was that? Something else nagged my brain...she had said 'avenge me and Fome's death'
Suddenly I knew what was going to happen. I got up from where Mona's body lay and moved to the very back..I passed the few agents whose eyes were all trained on the house. Even strange eyes only spared me a glance as he spoke into a mouth piece "Alpha Dy what's your position? over"
The chief was looking at me from the car and the moonlight plus the beam from the helicopter was enough to make me see his smile. He must have seen my surprise at his reception from strange eyes.
His two children were in the car and Ada opened the door thinking I was
Coming in. I passed the car however and went to stand beside the gate house. Where Mathias and Jumbo were probably still tied up. I saw the old crooner's body on the floor were multiple bullets had ripped into her frail body. Instead of feeling satisfaction I felt sick however.
I could hear strange eyes voice repeating over and over "what's your status. over"
His status is quarter to dead' I thought idly and lo and behold the explosion happened.
The whole house went up in flames the roof also catapulted into the air raining fire and the helicopter was fortunate that the pilot had the experience and skill to move it out of harms way.
I hadn't even heard any gunshot and I knew the reason Mona had been crying was because Fome had already headed towards the kitchen to blow herself up while she came running about.
The explosion had affected everyone in the compound and one agent had been too close that a piece of 'fire'wood had landed on him spreading fire all over his body. Other agents hosed him down with a fire extinguisher while he yelped in pain.
Strange eyes was quiet..he had his head in his hands and I knew that it was due to the fact he had not caught Fome rather than for the 6 men he just lost.
As I watched the house burn I looked at the Chief who was smiling victoriously...
And I knew the paper wasn't safe in my pocket not while i was here..it seemed strange eyes and co. offered him protection when they should be arresting him. I sneaked towards the gate.
Everyone had their attention on the fire and I knew I must sieze this opportunity now.
As I moved towards the gate..I promised the souls of Fome and Mona..the two sisters who died in one night, that whatever the year 1989 meant or whatever the term 'widows initiative' meant I would find out for their sake and avenge their deaths..something told me it was all still tied to the Chief and frankly I was tired of him.
But first things first..I had to see the Dr. Rasheed now that I had the papers and make sure my family wouldn't see any harm.
And as for the terrorist group Chief spoke about..this black September...
My mind was blank there..no solution was forth coming..
I prayed that he had been exaggerating but somehow I knew he had not.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 5:15pm On Mar 02|
I successfully exited the compound and I walked down the street. Funny but I wasn't in any hurry I took my time, with my shoulders hunched and my hands in my pockets.
People had run out from their different houses and were looking at the flames which was burning red into the sky. there were gasps and some pointing of fingers as the few people on the street whispered to themselves about me.
I didn't care. My mind was in shock and I chose to find respite in times of the past.
"I've been noticing you for weeks but you never smile why is that?" I was on my 'school swag' with denim jeans and denim jacket with the traditional comb in my afro hair. I had been noticing this chick for days but she had the habit of disappearing whenever I decided to approach her. I would see her then just check my reflection or decide to comb my hair or check my teeth and poof! She'd be gone.
Not today however, I saw her coming out of the admin block and I had been with a course mate of mine Samuel who was the serious type and didn't joke with his studies.
"Sam abeg help me write attendance" my eyes didn't leave the girl. She was really breathtaking and I didn't plan to give her the chance to disappear again.
"Why what is wrong?" Samuel asked then he saw were my eyes was focused.
"You dog you know Fagbamila might give us test today sha?"
I didn't reply my legs already moving towards her direction.
She stood alone reading something off the notice board and I noticed her legs were smooth and long (I've always been a sucker for nice legs).
I stood beside her for seconds as if o had something I was checking for on the board.
I noticed her brows were drawn together in a frown and decided to use the 'always frowning' line.
I leaned in, flashed my killer smile and said (in what I hoped was a sexy drawl) "I've been noticing you for weeks but you never smile..why is that?"
I actually thought she hadn't heard me because she continued with whatever she was reading. I was about to repeat myself when she said.."that's because I always see you 'noticing'
She used her fingers to quote the word 'noticing' and somehow I knew I was in.
"Well it didn't work"
Curiosity won over like I hoped it would. She looked at me "what didn't work?"
"Your frowning drew closer instead...try smiling maybe I would run"
She laughed at that and I knew I was a goner..look at that mouth!
"I'm obasi..Rex Obasi" I was in love with 007 at the time and I practiced the way he always said his name 'Bond...James Bond'
She looked at me and I could see her trying to decide. Finally she smiled "I'm Fome"
"That's a lovely name..you look lovely too"
"Really...look I'm in a hurry I need to rush home..nice meeting you"
"I'd like to see you again can I get your number?"
I brought my phone with the very long antenna(that was the 'happening' phone at the time)
She smiled then "why should I give you my number"
"Because although you look appealing when you frown..your smile is breathtaking...and I want to make you smile more."
She smiled at that and in that moment I knew it would be easy falling for her..I was half way gone already!
"Lemme dial it on your phone..in case you don't call and I need to smile so I will have yours too"
Eight years ago that had happened when I met Fome..and now she was dead! I walked the streets at 1:30am with my mind swimming around the one thing I found hard to accept as fact. FOME WAS DEAD!
I couldn't even cry...I was still in shock. Fome whom I had truly loved and imagined as the mother of my children...Fome...dead?
My phone rang. It was Andy.
I picked it up.
"Oba why you dey always cut call when I still dey follow you talk..that thing dey vex person"
"Shur..you dey apologise..you dey alright?"
I was quiet.
"Anyway" he continued "you done see Mona for hospital? Them don discharge Alhaja since but she never come house"
"Andy I'm sorry" something told me not to break the news over the phone. "Are you at home"
"Make I no lie for you Rex..I dey house but abeg no come I don't tire for your wahala..you fit come na na my head you go burst. I called you to ask for my wife..if you never see am no wahala we go see during the day when you go fit see wella"
"No problem bro" he would see me soon.
"By the way did you ever know that Mona and Fome were sisters?"
"Sisters..not at all..they met each other through us..have you forgotten when. We introduced them...wait Oba are you sure you are okay...you don dey worry me o"
"I'm okay no problem"
I ended the call.
Andy's home Was very far from where I was and I had no idea how I would get there.
Save for the occasional car that passed by (and with very high speed) the road was empty.
As I stood at the pavement considering my next step. I saw a bike in the distance. I paid little attention to it because my mind was still jumbled up..I could still here the explosion and see the house burst in flames..the heat had been something else and even me at a distance I had felt the searing heat.
The bike pulled over without me stopping it and I blinked at it as o cleared my thoughts.
Two guys in their mid 20s were on it. The one behind leaned to my side.
"Abeg bros we dey find this address" he made to show me a paper and one part of my brain sounded the alarm. Everywhere was pitch black..the Government had skipped this area when they were installing street lamps about so how did he want me to see?
I saw the knife..which was almost as long as a cutlass but pointed like a sword. I wondered where he had brought it from.
"I would cut your throat if you move..oya hand over your phone and your money..fast fast!"
It wouldn't be until later when I replayed it in my head that I marveled at my response. I didn't even think..I just..acted!
The knife was pointed close to my throat..and I put my hands in my pocket as if to comply with him.
I brought my knee up suddenly and the knife was in the air as o
I hit his hand.
Before he could blink I had crossed his face with my fist and I heard the breaking of bone..probably his nose. I didn't feel any pain in my knuckles..not this time..all I felt was rage!
I caught the knife on its descent then brought it to the face of the driver. Whose eyes had widened in surprise.
"It is because of people like you that Lagos is not a safe place"
"Oga me just dey ride.. I no know"
The passenger and potential thief was moaning in pain clutching his nose and I kicked him..or more accurately shoved him with my feet. He fell over the other side.
I mounted the bike then brought the knife to the side of the driver.
"Just the driver abi...oya take me where I tell you to..If you make mistake I would cut your back open"
"Yes oga..na the same thing him do for me"
"Why are we still here...move!"
I had been edging this way since I discovered Fumi's body, I had gotten closer to the edge while I bent over Mona's lifeless body..But the moment the house had exploded with Fome in it I had gone over the edge...Now I didn't feel afraid anymore..I didn't feel cowardly anymore..I might not have lightening reflexes or super fighting skills..but hence forth I was going to face whatever life dished me head on...Rex Obasi was a new man.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 10:39pm On Mar 02|
I highlighted from the bike about two streets from Andy's apartment.
I thought it wise not to let the bike man know the house I was going to because I knew he had to be in liaison with the thief. And the only thing worse than a thief was one hungry for revenge.
I was becoming attached to the blade however and as the driver sped off I considered throwing it into the gutter.
Hours ago, I had turned down a similar knife from a suya seller because I thought I didn't have the guts to rip someone open. Now I wasn't so sure but the idea didn't seem so appalling anymore.
I strolled down the empty street in silence hearing a dog bark in the distance. I worried about street vigilantes..it would be hard to explain my presence by this time almost 2 in the morning, not to mention the wicked blade that glinted in the moonlight.
Maybe I should just throw it away..I had scared Andy too much already seeing the blade could put him in a frenzy.
I only considered this thoughts but didn't act on it. At the end, I knocked on Andy's door grateful that no vigilante had stopped me.
Andy must have thought it was Mona..which means he probably would have been awake waiting frantically for her.
He opened the door without asking who it was and when he saw me his face literally fell.
I was too tired to be hurt by his 'enthusiasm' or lack thereof. I barged into his home pushing the arm he used to block the door out of the way.
He shut the door. "Oba I don tire for you o..you no even dey listen to me again..which kind friend you be?"
"A friend in need" I replied heading to his fridge. I left the blade on his dining table. "Which would make me a friend indeed" I brought out a canned beer. Trust Andy to always have that in full stock.
His eyes had widened at the sight of the blade and he watched me warily.
"Oba I don't know what you are turning to...scratch that I don't know what you have turned to but please, please and please stay away from me..if you truly value my friendship"
"I value your friendship Andy..God knows I do" I drank again..the can was half empty now..as a matter of fact I wouldn't mind turning to an alcoholic.
"Then why do you keep on doing this to me..see what I went through the last time...the police almost skinned me alive"
I was quiet. I had thought to get a little tipsy so I could tell him easily about Mona but the beer had turned to water in mouth.
"Normally I wouldn't mind..it would even be fun..but not anymore Rex..now I'm married"
On a normal day I would have rolled my eyes at this but not tonight.
"Not only that Rex..but I'm going to be a father"
I looked up in surprise and despite myself I said "congratulations" I know how much Andy had wanted a child. But look at the card life had dealt him. Even if Mona had been carrying Emenike's child Andy would have been the best father that child could hope for.
My anger doubled again this time not only for Mona's sake, not only for Andy's sake but for the unborn child's sake. For being robbed off having one of the best Father's one could hope for.
Andy continued "Oba you know you're my brother but you have to understand..I just called my mom last night and her joy was priceless.." He smiled at the memory and I knew I had to do something fast because I was losing my nerve.
"Andy..Fome is dead!"
He blinked at me as he lost his train of thought.
"My God..Rex" he crossed over to where I was still rummaging the fridge for God knows what.
"What happened..my God...Rex..are you okay?..dead?..how come?" This stumbled out of his mouth and I could see him struggle to comprehend and also struggle with guilt concerning his initial reaction to see me.
He held my shoulder and lapsed into silence. "I know how much you loved her..God..Fome dead?..how come?..why?"
I was thinking of how to tell him about Mona when Fome had rocked him so but he unknowingly gave me the opening.
"Is that why you called saying she and Mona where sisters that time?"
"Yes Andy...they were sisters she and Mona..they hid it from us all along and they both died tonight."
The world seemed to stop spinning But Andy didn't hold anything for balance. He walked calmly to where I stood and gripped me by the collar.
"Oba I love you like the brother I never wanted but if you lie to me about this again I would break your face I swear it"
Now Andy was lanky and very tall with ropy arms. The kind you'd find on a teenager going through that award phase but I believed him and I knew he could do it right then..with what I saw in his eyes.
"Andy I'm not joking" I choked out "Mona and Fome were killed hours ago and I saw it all happen.."
He loosened his hold and for a second I thought he was going to punch me.
But he said "Rex..I've had enough..please get out"
Did I mention Andy was the king of the Nile? He probably bathe in Egyptian rivers daily (I meant denial...I'm a rapper sorry)
"Andy I'm sorry but Mona was shot dead..she wasn't who you thought she was and Fome wasn't who I thought she was and they were sisters"
Now he looked like he was going to smash my face and I braced myself. If it took him to put me in the hospital before he would believe then that was what it was going to be.
I was saved by the bell however. Or more accurately by a knock.
Andy looked at the door then at me. And I could read his thoughts clearly...that was Mona at the door!
I shook my head but he released me then headed for the door.
I stayed by the fridge thinking of what next..if he didn't believe me then I had to leave...there was only so much I could do.
I heard the voice as the door opened.
"Good evening sir..or should I say good morning...please did you learn anything from your wife concerning the initiative?"
"What initiative and who are you"
I had been about to open another can beer..it seems intoxication was the way out..but the words stopped me cold..
"The widows initiative..what did your wife tell you about it?"
I was rushing to the door..call it intuition or 6th sense or my not so reliable spider sense..but I knew that a bullet was coming.
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by Bibi294(f): 11:17pm On Mar 02|
Ugh.... Keep the good work bro
|Re: Delayed Diagnosis by souloho19(m): 6:42am On Mar 03|
Yes madam just keep on motivating me with shadows and marriage.
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