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|THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 11:54am On Mar 21, 2017|
My book THE ENTRAPMENT was released few days ago on Okada Books, an on-line platform mainly populated by Nigerian writers. THE ENTRAPMENT is 171,00 words novel. Today, I will posting chapters from the THE ENTRAPMENT: the first 9 chapters or first 17,000 words. Your comments are welcome.
But first, the synopsis:
Armed with the only clue, a small picture of the woman who was instrumental to the process of his being deceived into a trap and set up for blackmail, he sets out on a mission of finding her and then convincing her to join with him as an ally, to combat the forces that are bent on controlling him for their own selfish end. But they both got more than they bargained for. In their optimism, they had underestimated the cunning and resourcefulness of the personality they were up against.
This is a tiny hint to the gist of The Entrapment. It’s a thriller with a robust romantic theme intertwined with the narrative.
Four years after deserting his wife Laide and their daughter over a deep misunderstanding in their young marriage, Dapo Olumofe came back into the country to take up a top-notch construction job which focuses largely on helping the company win multi-million naira contracts.
Immediately he began to effectively do his job, he became a target to be neutralized because he starts to create problems for a rival company, KenAlfred: a company in crisis and desperately in need of a lifeline. A company Olumofe has significant history with but had severed all ties immediately after his father’s death because of a betrayal that took place nearly thirty years ago. In the midst of this brewing kettle of troubles, Olumofe tries to win back Laide’s heart, a daunting task because she wants totally nothing to do with him, or so she will have him believe. These conflicts and love problems spins together into a fast moving tale of friendship, betrayal and murder; an unrelenting passion between a man and his ex-wife; a foisted entrapment and the will of the man at the center of it all to break out and be free.
NOTE: THE ENTRAPMENT is available on Okada Books. Just download and install the Okada Books application on your mobile device from the your application store, whether android, windows mobile, IOS or blackberry BB10. Then, simply use the search function to locate "The Entrapment".
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 12:12pm On Mar 21, 2017|
and its catch
Febuary 13 – March 11
THE American manufactured airplane, Boeing 747, owned by Virgin Atlantic Airways; soaring high above the clouds entered into the Nigerian airspace at less than full speed. Within five minutes, it had undergone considerable descent and emerged out of the sky. Another five minutes it was hovering over Lagos, the financial hub of Nigeria with a population of over twelve million.
A voice emanating from the speakers in the passengers’ section announced everyone should put in place the seatbelts. Dapo Olumofe, already weary from the over fifteen hours’ flight of the New York-London-Lagos route was more than glad to oblige the instruction. He put in place the belt and prepared for the little turbulence that will occur at the landing. Seven minutes later, the plane came to a halt on the tarmac of the Muritala Mohammed International Airport. Fifteen minutes later, after some necessities had been done, an air hostess without fuss told the passengers they could start alighting from the plane.
Immediately Dapo Olumofe felt his feet on the ground and the rush of cold wind that blew from across the vast land of green vegetation beyond the tarmac, he became eager to get to the office. He checked his wristwatch already adjusted to Nigerian time before he started on the New York-London-Lagos route. The time was 2.30 p.m. He was due at two for a meeting of the directors and management of Hinterland Construction Company taking place on the last floor of its ten-storey headquarter building situated in Victoria-Island, the suburban part of Lagos business district. The meeting had already elapsed by thirty minutes. He wasn’t the least worried because he knew the important personalities at the meeting would not be bothered by his lateness. The purpose of his mission to New York – to the head-office of A.J Henchman, technical partner of Hinterland wasn’t one of consequence. He’d gone to deliver the final payment of A.J Henchman in form of a cheque. Though not necessary in this modern age to deliver a handwritten cheque in person, it was so decided by Hinterland as a way of finalizing the deal between it and A.J Henchman and to show corporate appreciation to its technical partner on the last contract they just successfully executed together. There was no important information to divulge to the directors that will be at the meeting. He knew it. They knew it. They only awaited the knowledge that the task had been done and that A.J Henchman showed a mutual appreciation of its Nigerian partner, and to perhaps shake the hand of the man that had been very instrumental to the whole process. This Olumofe reasoned to himself maybe the reason for his eagerness. Sitting together with the top-notch of the company in the conference room which occupied almost half of the entire floor of the tenth storey, talking while they all listened, raising his glasses with them to the same toast, for him was so exhilarating that he could get no sleep the night afterwards. He always felt like a soothsayer seeing a vision of what the future held for a certain young man: himself.
Trailing behind the passengers that were before him, he soon entered the arrival section within the airport facility. After the usual protocols by the airport employees, he emerged outside and began to look around for the company chauffeur that must be waiting to pick him up. He didn’t need to; the man had seen him and was already halfway towards him. A few more strides and he was helping Olumofe with his suitcase which was the only luggage he had with him. He led Olumofe to the car, opened the door and shut it after he got in. The next moment, the chauffeur was in the driver’s seat. He started the ignition and they were off.
Olumofe had expected they would encounter traffic and was glad when they came across none. A little past 3.00, the chauffeur was parking in the underground garage of Hinterland building while Olumofe was already going up the floors of the building on the elevator. The elevator halted when it came to the last floor. The doors opened. Olumofe got out and made straight for the conference room.
Sitting down on a chair not far from the massive doors of the conference room was a uniformed guard. He stood up to greet Olumofe immediately he saw him.
“Welcome back sir,” said the guard. “You are being expected.”
Olumofe smiled at him and handed him his suitcase. “Please, could you get this to my secretary?”
“No problem sir,” the guard answered while collecting the suitcase.
Stepping to the entrance, Olumofe opened the adjoining massive doors of the conference room. Stepping in, he closed the door behind himself and faced the people in the room.
They were all men with exception of one: An attractive elderly lady with shades of natural white and black hair that seemed like it was done by a professional hairdresser. She became a director on the board of Hinterland when her husband died, she being the main heir to his estate.
A man got up from one of the chairs sited around the enormous long oval-shaped table and went to meet Olumofe halfway across the space left out by one of the sides of the conference table. The man clad in expensive guinea-brocade attire was the Managing Director of Hinterland Construction Company.
“Hello Dapo,” he said, “I was hoping you will get here sooner than later, before the gentlemen here begins to take their leave.” Taking Olumofe by the shoulders with his left arm, “You must probably have met everyone here, but there is someone I’m sure you’ve never met. Come; let me introduce you to her”.
Her, thought Olumofe, knowing at once he was about to be introduced to the attractive elderly lady.
The MD, hands still on his shoulders, navigated him three-quarters of the perimeter of the table till they came to where she was seated. During this while, she was seated with elbow on table, chin on hand, head tilted upwards, eyes fixated on them, knowing that she was the destination of the two bodies that sailed.
They got to her. On closer observation, Olumofe realized she was more attractive and sophisticated than he’d thought. Wearing a simple skirt suit, she looked more like a diplomat with her indubitable manners. She was wearing contact-lens, he noticed when he saw that her eyes were blue. She must be in her early fifties.
“Dapo” said Arinze, “I want you to meet Mrs. Kontagora. She’s here in place of her late husband, Alhaji Kontagora. This is the first time she’ll be joining us since his death two years ago.”
Bowing slightly as a sign of respect, Olumofe extended his hand to the lady. She shook Olumofe’s hand with a firmer grip than he expected.
“How are you young man?” she greeted. “I’m sure you must have heard of my late husband?”
“Of course I have,” answered Olumofe, wondering whether he acted indifferent during the introduction. “It’s an honour to shake hands with his wife.” And he meant it. Olumofe knew her late husband: The man, a traditional title-holder was an astute politician who played politics as a blatant demonstration of the ideology of power.
“Thank you,” said Halimat Kontagora, beaming with a smile. “I’ve heard a lot about the good work you’ve done. They tell me that your late father’s connections and good name in the Ministry has helped several of our causes.”
“Thank you ma,” returned Olumofe. “But I’m afraid I must decline such compliments. I’m only one employee doing his part. Whatever has been achieved was achieved by teamwork”.
Halimat Kontagora regarded him for a moment, trying to decide if this was a shrewd man’s recital meant to further enhance his already growing reputation or the vented inner feelings of a sincere man. She could not really tell when she said: “Well spoken Mr. Olumofe”. She looked to the MD. “David, we would have to do something about this young man, or not-so-young man if you wish to call it that.”
Nodding his head in agreement, Arinze answered, “All in good time; all in good time.” Shifting his attention to Olumofe, Arinze continued, “Well Dapo, we were already through with all that needs to be discussed before you came in, and I’ve received word from New York about your visit. If you wish, you may join us.”
Olumofe looked around. Of the twenty-seven people in the room, only eight were still seated. The rest formed several clusters at different locations through the extremely large room, each cluster engrossed in its topic of discourse. All at once he didn’t feel up to it anymore.
“Thank you sir,” Olumofe replied, “but I rather take my leave. I feel tired.”
“Of course, I understand,” said Arinze. “You are excused.”
Olumofe left Arinze who carried on with the discussion with Halimat Kontagora. Olumofe greeted and shook hands with several others he knew, moving from one cluster to another, and then he left.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 12:13pm On Mar 21, 2017|
OLUMOFE walked briskly along the corridor that leads to his office. He got there, opened the door and stepped in. A well dressed young woman pushed back with chair on wheels from the keyboard and stood up, her face showing excitement.
“Welcome back sir,” she said. “How was your trip? How was the meeting with the directors? Did all go well?”
“One question at a time, please,” Olumofe replied, smiling at her. “Yes my trip was fine; the meeting with the board was fine. In fact, everything went fine; even in New York.”
“So?” asked Amezie, questioningly imploring with a gesture of the hand.
“So?” replied Olumofe, obviously a little lost. “So what do you mean ‘so’?”
“So what did they say?” she asked. “I thought they were going to give you a medal or something – to go with a promotion.”
He laughed. “Jesus; things aren’t done that way. Every time we do a project, I get a promotion? Of course not; the board will show its gratitude on my day of reckoning.”
“Alright,” she said, pretending a tone of voice and face that seemed crestfallen. “By the way sir,” she continued, “Mr. Fernandez called to ask when you will be finished with the meeting.”
“Call him and tell him I’m done,” he said. He opened the door that led to the inner room that was his office. Shutting the door, he went to the desk, sat on the leather upholstered chair. Loosening his tie, he made a big sigh, glad to be alone at last with his thoughts.
His thoughts, there were still on his beautiful twenty-seven years old secretary, Amezie. She had been working with him since he joined the company over two years ago. She was twenty-five then when she came in, fresh from the University of Ibadan, with a Bachelors of Arts in English, having just completed the mandatory one year national youth service. Tall, dark complexioned with long straight legs and beaming with enthusiasm, Olumofe was not surprised she was chosen over other contenders though he never knew them and had nothing to do with the selection process. In a short time she’d proven that she wasn’t just beauty but brains inclusive.
During the first year that they worked together, many nights she had invaded his dreams and for a long time he toyed with the idea of asking her out. More than a few times he was at the brink of it, but each time, had only barely managed to pull himself back.
Olumofe was sure she was aware of his inner turmoil because she at times gave him this knowing smile that says she understands. He knew she wouldn’t mind a relationship with him if he asked her. She might defer at first, but if he pursued her, he knew she would relent.
Amezie had once had to follow him to his ex-wife’s home where she stays with her parents. Bucky, their daughter had come to stay with him briefly during a short mid-term break. On the day she was to resume back to school, as already agreed between him and the mother, Olumofe dropped her off at school in the morning, knowing he will also have to pick her up in the afternoon to take her home to her mother. When the closing-hour of the school drew near, he discovered he was scheduled to visit a building site in order to write a certain report and he needed Amezie to be with him. So they had to in one journey, pick up Bucky, drop her at home and then head for the site to be inspected. They did not expect to meet Laide at home that time of the day. It couldn’t be helped: they had to spend some little time in the living room with the re-united mother and daughter before they could make their escape.
On the way to the site, Amezie had suggested that he and his ex-wife get back together. “You look perfect together. You have an adorable little girl. You seem to be both unattached and I sense that you still care about each other. Why don’t you guys just re-tie the knot?”
He merely laughed it off and said nothing. He knew at that instant what her knowing smiles meant. Amezie felt he was undecided about her because he was still carrying a torch for his ex-wife; and because he was hoping, maybe they will get back together again. So having finally seen them together, she was nudging him in the direction she felt was right.
But as for him, his indecision was because he felt Amezie was a special person and he wouldn’t want to start anything with her unless he was absolutely certain of his intentions. Also her judgment, though not completely accurate then, maybe considered right on track now, because since then, as he interacted with his ex-wife, feelings he already convinced himself were dead, buried and gone for good were beginning to come up strongly again. He knew she must be feeling the same way too, but they were both bidding their time, trying to tread cautiously. They both had a lot of stubborn pride.
The door to his office opened, interrupting his thoughts. Bayo Fernandez walked in.
Bayo Fernandez is Olumofe’s colleague and very good friend. They had first met at the University of Lagos which they both attended. After they graduated, they saw each other a lot less and a gap widened in their friendship. Then Olumofe travelled out and they lost contact completely.
He was therefore pleasantly surprised when on coming back to the country to start a new job, on the second day he bumped into Bayo Fernandez in the elevator.
Bayo Fernandez was beaming with a smile. He came over and sat down cross-legged, facing Olumofe across the desk with a comic smile.
After a moment he adjusted, putting his legs wide apart. Placing both hands on the desk with a little force so that they made a thud, he said, “So how are you feeling now? Like Tuface or Lemar?”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean,” replied Olumofe, looking nonplussed.
“You should know now,” Fernandez stated, gesticulating with a hand in the air. “You are the new rising star in the business world”.
“Bayo,” Olumofe said, “This hardly qualifies as the business world. It’s more like the Nigerian world; or putting it in a more proper scope, the Hinterland world.”
“Alright,” Fernandez playfully retorted. “You are the new rising star in the Hinterland world.”
Olumofe couldn’t help but to smile. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
“You are welcome,” returned Fernandez. “Anyway that aside,” he said with the gesture of the hand as if to literally draw a curtain on the past moments’ antics. “What are you doing tonight? After all, we just concluded a project which had made the office so hectic. I think we should ‘wash it’.”
“You’ve got any ideas?” asked Olumofe.
“Let’s go to Jazz-on-High.”
“I’m not in the mood tonight for a roomful of people feigning aristocracy. I want to be somewhere I don’t have to be in the least composed; full of fun loving people”.
“Somewhere like –” Fernandez said, busy turning over names in his mind. “Yes I’ve got it: Euphoria. We’ll go to the Planet-Euphoria.”
Olumofe nodded in agreement. “Yeah, you’ve really got it; exactly the kind of place I had in mind.”
The phone rang interrupting their idle chat. Olumofe picked it up. “Yes Amezie?”
“You have a call from your cousin Kunle in Abuja. Should I put him through?”
“Yes, please do,” replied Olumofe, delighted.
Kunle Doherty’s voice came through on the line. “Hey Dapo, how are you? Fine I believe.”
“Yes…yes, of course,” Olumofe replied. “Now, what’s happening at your end? I called your office and I was told that you were no more around. Did you move to another office?”
“You could say that,” replied Kunle Doherty. “But that’s putting it mildly.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I changed office alright. But not within Abuja.” The voice coming over the phone paused for some seconds. “I am calling from Lagos. I’m now back in Lagos after two years. My posting to Abuja has ended. I’ve been back for a week now.”
“That’s great news,” said Olumofe, genuinely feeling elated. “You know, I was talking with Bayo before your call came through. You know Bayo I believe. You’ve met him before.”
“Isn’t he your colleague at work?”
“Yes, and we are going to Planet-Euphoria tonight. It’s a night club at Maryland. I’m thinking maybe we could pick you up?”
“That will be nice. I’ll like that. What time?”
“Let’s say seven.”
“I’ll be waiting. Pick me up at my old flat.”
The line went dead. Olumofe dropped the phone and his attention returned to Fernandez who had been listening to a one-sided conversation all the while.
“Your cousin Kunle,” he asked, “Is he not supposed to be in Abuja?”
“Yes, but he’s back in Lagos now. We’ll be going together to Planet-Euphoria.”
“I know,” replied Fernandez curtly.”
“Why, you don’t seem too pleased. Kunle is a great guy once you get to know him. Besides, you’ve been aquatinted with him; like once or twice.”
“Twice and he was always playing stupid practical jokes.”
Olumofe laughed. “Kunle is like that. He likes to have fun. Anyway, I’ve already invited him. I can’t call him back to un-invite him, you know.”
“Of course not; I was suggesting no such thing.” Fernandez stood up and starts towards the door. “I’m going to my office to pack it in for the day. You told Kunle 7 p.m; it’s already past six.”
After Fernandez left, he called Amezie and told her she could leave. He opened one of the desk drawers, took out a bundle of five hundred naira notes, and slipped it into his trousers’ pocket. He picked up the suitcase standing beside the desk on the floor and placed it on the desk. Opening it, he collected from the desk some papers he might want to look at when he got home. He puts them in the suitcase, locked it up.
He left the office with the suitcase. On the way out, he saw that Amezie was already gone. He proceeded to the stairs and went one floor down. Taking a right turn, walking quickly down the large corridor, he got to Fernandez’s office within a minute.
Fernandez had already finished ‘packing it in’ as he said. With a briefcase in hand, he was already walking towards the door when Olumofe entered.
“I came to hurry you up.”
“I’m already done; let’s go.”
Together they left Fernandez’s office, went to the elevator and rode it to the ground floor. From there, they went to the underground garage where Fernandez had his car parked.
He brought out his car-keys, inserted it into the keyhole and opened the door of the three litre engine green Volkswagen Passat. Before getting in, he removed his suit and tossed it together with his briefcase onto the backseat. Olumofe did likewise and got in.
Fernandez turned the key in the ignition and the engine roared to life. He manoeuvred the car from inside the underground garage into the compound, and then onto the road.
A little over an hour later, the green Passat came to a stop in front of Kunle Doherty’s residence: one of the three bedroom apartments housed within a white one-storey building.
They both alighted and went up to Doherty’s apartment. He was expecting them. Face looking scrubbed and clean shaven from a fresh bath, and already dressed in black suede jeans trousers and tucked in black shirt with a jacket over it. Brandishing a TV remote-control in his hand, he opened the door to them. His attention was divided between them and the news on TV.
“Come on, lets get going,” said Olumofe. “We don’t have much time.”
“Wait,” Doherty said, throwing one hand up in the air and shaking it. “Isn’t this the project that has kept your company busy these past many months? Well over a year now. It seems like it was officially opened –”
His speech halted as Olumofe walked to the TV and switched it off. “Yeah, yeah, yeah; I know. It was commissioned today. It will be shown again. Let’s get out of here.” Making a gesture towards Fernandez, he said, “Let’s go to the car; we’ll wait for him.”
Olumofe and Fernandez left the apartment. Within minutes Doherty joined them in the car and they left.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 12:15pm On Mar 21, 2017|
SOMEWHERE else in Lagos away from the mainland, on the Island; the news on TV attracted much more interest. A premeditated audience in fact waited for it to come up.
On the last floor of a large edifice that goes up eight floors, belonging to KenAlfred, a foremost construction company, eight men gathered round a long table in a spacious white-marble floored room.
All eyes were glued to the forty-two inch screen LCD TV that hung on the wall, their attention preoccupied with the news being read by a traditionally attired lady wearing spectacles. The scene on screen changed: a correspondent was on location reporting the events just being read by the newscaster. She was at the commissioning of the first phase of the Housing For All Abuja Project. This project when completed will consist of over two dozens estates of building complexes containing apartments ranging from two-bedroom to four-bedroom and detached six bedroom structures. The Project was a government initiative and the purpose was to deliver a terminal blow to the severe housing problems which faced civil servants who work and reside in the Federal Capital Territory.
The scene changed back to the newscaster and she moved on to another news item. A seemingly middle-aged man walked up to the TV and switched it off. The man is Kenneth Hassan, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of KenAlfred. At sixty-two, he didn’t look his age. Endowed with a well-built frame and a height he carries well, a compact midriff and always wearing a trimmed moustache with a clean shaven chin, he could easily be mistaken for a man that was just closing-in on fifty; only his greying hair gave a clue that this might be a man much older than he appeared.
After he switched off the TV, he walked slowly back to the table. He took his seat and surveyed the eight men sitting down, taking note of their expressions. These eight men presided over the management of KenAlfred.
Everyone had a puzzled look on their faces, while only one, Olaniyi Ajifowobaje, the Director of Operations, in addition, also had the look of irritation and could not wait to get to the crux of the meeting. There was no love lost between these two men. If a CEO could do whatever he liked, Kenneth Hassan would have relieved Ajifowobaje of his position. As annoying as he sometimes was to Hassan, Ajifowobaje was a brilliant engineer, a real asset to have on one’s team and has substantial shares in KenAlfred.
Of those puzzled, Daniel Apata was the most puzzled. The reason, Hassan knew was because Daniel Apata was his confidant. Hassan knew he was wondering why he hadn’t been told the agenda of the meeting before it was called.
Olaniyi Ajifowobaje spoke up: “Now, Mr. Hassan, we lost this contract to Hinterland about a year and a half ago and I really do not see the point of bringing it up now; and besides, is this the urgent reason why we all have to be sitting here at this hour of the day? Could this not wait till tomorrow?” He reclined back on his the chair, looking at Hassan, expecting to hear some kind of justification from him.
Kenneth Hassan laughed. “Now, relax my good friend,” he said in an amused tone. “All in good time; if only you will be so nice as to let me continue without interruption,” he finished, veiling an intended insult.
Hassan continued. “I know you are all wondering why I set the meeting for this hour. I know several of us would have been on their way home by now. I set the meeting for this hour because I wanted each one of you to hear and see this personally.
Another person interrupted. It was Daniel Apata. “Excuse me, but when you say ‘this personally’; what do you mean by this? The news?”
“Yes,” Hassan replied.
Daniel Apata laughed gently, and then stopped. “I don’t get it,” he said in a voice tainted by mild sarcasm. “You called us all here for this; to hear a portion of the seven o’clock news?”
“I never said I called everyone here to merely listen to the news. That was your own insinuation. But then, before going on to the reason why I summoned a meeting, I saw it fit to re-open old wounds. I want everyone to remember the Abuja estate contract we lost to Hinterland. A huge loss to us. A gigantic gain to Hinterland. We lost because –” he paused for a moment, slighted to the right in a posture of consideration, his right hand raised, making an appealing gesture, “Well, maybe because of some other reasons, but mainly –”
Olaniyi Ajifowobaje cuts in, and his tone was brash. “You forget that’s not the first contract we will lose to Hinterland. To be precise, we have lost three major contracts in the industry to Hinterland.”
“Thanks for reminding me.”
“You are welcome,” replied Ajifowobaje.
“As I was saying before I was interrupted,” continued Hassan, “we are losing mainly because we have not invested enough in people within the Ministry and in people within government. Yes it is true, in the last two years we’ve lost three contracts to Hinterland. These losses have affected us aversely. This is a trend we must reverse at all cost.”
Kenneth Hassan stopped talking for a moment, his gaze roaming from one man to another until it had made eye contact with everyone seated at the table. He had their attention.
“Gentlemen, here is the reason why I called this meeting. I have some privileged information. Although in a month or two it might not be privileged any more.”
“Gentlemen, a state of the art stadium, to go along with it, a complete sports village, is going to be built in the Niger Delta region. It’s going to be called ‘Niger Delta Youth and Sports Centre’. It is said this proposed project may cost well up to sixty billion naira. Though the cost of the Abuja stadium was never conclusive; no one really knows for sure how much the government claimed to spend or actually spent, but I believe this will be a much more expensive project.” He paused to see the effects of the words he had just spoken.
For several moments, there was silence. The only sound that could be heard was the gentle humming of the air-conditioning system that kept the room at a low temperature. One of the other six men was the first to recover. His position was lower to the rest of the men.
“Well,” he sighed before putting in, “But are you serious about this?”
Kenneth regarded the man with an unveiled pleasant anger. “Mr. Akinde,” he started, calling the man’s name. “The time is now eight p.m. Here I am, the CEO of a multi-billion naira company. I have called on short notice to a meeting, eight men whose responsibilities are to assist me in running the company. Now, tell me, what do you think? Do I sound like an unserious man to you?”
Akinde did not voice any reply. He remained silent, wondering why such a cynical, though calm outburst to a harmless question he asked merely on impulse.
Ajifowobaje spoke up. “But you cannot totally disregard his question, though put forward in a manner that you resent. I for one find this difficult to believe. How can the President approve of such a huge expenditure when the Abuja stadium was built in the not-too-distant past at about – what is it now – like over forty billion naira. Besides, the Abuja stadium had no stiff opposition because it was during the military era and it was in the Federal Capital Territory – no man’s land. It does not belong to any tribe. But the stadium you talk about is to be built in the south-south. The President is not likely to make such a decision. There will be questions arising: Why the south-south? Why not the West, or the North? There would particularly be stiff opposition from the North.”
“Because the expenditure is such a huge one, the President would have to go through the National Assembly which as the name suggests is national, and it is very highly probable that the Northern Legislators in the house will kill the bill since they are in the majority. How does the President persuade them to vote in favour of the bill? Another sixty billion naira project for the North?”
He stopped and again reclined on his chair, awaiting Hassan’s response.
Kenneth Hassan took his time. He took in a deep breath before speaking. “Well Niyi,” he said, using the short form of Ajifowobaje’s first name; both of them were about the same age. “You have spoken very well. You are a brilliant engineer, but obviously, politics is not your turf. Your analysis portrays a wrong picture of the present polity of the country. I had anticipated questions like this, and since my aim is not to engage in a debating contest with anyone, I have taken out time to prepare for each of you a report.”
He placed his hands on eight files neatly arranged on the table. The files had been there all along, but only then did their reason for being there became manifest. “Inside this report, you will find all the answers to your questions. The genesis of the project; why and how it will be made a reality is all in the report. After you have read the report, we will discuss much more.” He banged both hands gently on the table and stood up, an indication that the meeting had come to an end.
Everyone got up. It was already many minutes past eight p.m. They talked for a while and then, one after the other, they all picked up a file and went out, except for Daniel Apata and Kenneth Hassan. The two remained behind: Standing.”
“Come now,” beckoned Hassan to Daniel Apata. “Do sit down.”
After both of them were seated, Daniel Apata said: “May I ask why I had to find out about this in a meeting like everyone else? I thought you said we are a team?”
“Relax Daniel,” replied Hassan. “Of course we are a team. You know that.”
Daniel Apata kept mute for a while before speaking again. “You didn’t answer my question.”
“Oh,” Hassan sighed. “That,” he said with a wave of the hand, a gesture which implied the question was inconsequential. “Time; I’ve been in Lagos barely three hours straight from Abuja. I didn’t have the time to pass it to you.”
A moment of silence passed. “But now,” continued Hassan, “Let’s put that aside. We have things of more importance to discuss. This contract that I’ve just spoken of is up for the grabs. We have to win at all cost; and when I say at all cost, I mean exactly that. At all cost.”
Hassan paused for a while for the words to sink in. “You know that for some time now,” he continued, his demeanour and tone becoming melancholy, “We have been having serious problems in KenAlfred. Our liquidity is utterly low. Very dangerously low. We have tried to keep this from the public and generality of our staff. Many suspect that something is wrong; but the public knows nothing and this is because the newsboys know nothing about it yet.”
Daniel Apata made a gesture with the hand, a signal that he wished to interrupt Hassan, but Hassan cuts him off with a similar gesture.
“In twelve months time,” Kenneth Hassan said. “In twelve months time,” he repeated, “unless we have some major cash inflow to rescue our liquidity, we will start experiencing difficulty in paying the salaries of our staff. If this happens, it will make headlines in the business papers.”
“The effort to rescue the company will precipitate a lot of undesirable things. What do we do? We run to the banks? We are not that much credit-worthy right now. We owe large debts to some banks; debts we’ve not repaid a single kobo out of. We run to the stock exchange, try to raise some money? Maybe…maybe that could be successful. But you know what that opens us up to: corporate pirates, sharks, hostile takeover; men whose specialty is to reap where they did not sow.”
Kenneth Hassan adjusted his position on the seat and raised up a hand and within the hand a finger to put emphasis on the words he would speak. “And this is what must never happen,” he voiced out in a grave voice. “KenAlfred is my own private kingdom. I still want to be able to keep a tight hold on things. Things must remain the same.”
For the second time, and a longer period this time, Daniel Apata kept silent. He didn’t immediately know how to respond to Kenneth Hassan’s deep seated emotions being vented in the calm, almost hypnotic manner. Of all his years of working with Hassan, this side of him he had never seen; it had been well hidden under a veneer of skin. If asked to write a psychological profile of his boss, he would never have perceived him as a megalomaniac. Apata had an intuition for being able to draw the bigger picture from a partial one observed; to sense the whole from a small hint. If this dramatic display of Kenneth Hassan was anything to go by, and Apata was sure it was; then it had become to him like a special telescopic lens via which he could look beyond the covering of the skin into the inner workings of Hassan’s mind. Kenneth Hassan was no doubt like some chief executives he had been privileged to know, who suffer from paranoia: thinking they were emperors while everyone else were their subjects in some medieval kingdom. My own private kingdom, Apata mentally replayed and chuckled within himself.
Of course, he didn’t dare voice out any of these thoughts. He didn’t care anyway, as long as he got what he wanted from Kenneth Hassan. So rather than saying anything that revealed even in the remotest sense what he was thinking, instead, he said, “The question I was about to ask before you waved me down: What makes you think the government will consider Hinterland or any other indigenous company for that matter, for such a huge project when we have conglomerates like Julius-Berger right here at home with us? Apart from the required technical expertise, you know the government favours foreign companies over local ones.”
“Very good question,” replied Hassan. “These are the things I expect Niyi to ask instead of him going ahead to expose his political naivety. But I rather you read the report. That’s why I had my source in the Ministry of Works and Housing make out the report for me.”
“Now to move on to things that are more important,” Hassan went on, “which has to do with you. Like I said, we have to win the contract at all cost. You and I are going to make this happen. I’ve decided to take you into confidence concerning this.”
Hassan paused. Daniel Apata said: “I’m listening,” in a cautious manner, not knowing what to expect.
“I will be candid with you,” continued Hassan. “The only real obstacle I see standing between us and the project is Hinterland. I have done my homework Daniel; and I have found out, though they may be several reasons why Hinterland was able to clinch the three big contracts that we lost, the major reason is a man who took over what Hinterland calls its Contracts Department precisely two years, two months ago. The Department was formerly directly under the Managing Director, Arinze. When this young man took over, he was given the designation ‘Head of Contracts Department’. Prior to this time, he worked in an American company, A.J Henchman, based in New York for three years. With his international exposure, coupled with his late father’s extensive connections -” he paused suddenly, reflecting. “No, I wouldn’t call it that. It will be more accurate to say, coupled with his late father’s pervasive goodwill within the Ministry of Works and Housing, and government circles, he had been able to deliver to Hinterland these contracts successively. He reclined back on the seat, an indication that he had finished talking for the moment.
“And this man,” said Apata humorously, “Does he have a name?”
“Everyone has a name,” Hassan said, now in a lighter mood, playing along with Apata’s wittiness. “His name is Dapo Olumofe.”
Apata’s eyes lit up at the mention of the name. “Dapo Olumofe,” he repeated the name, savouring in his mouth a taste that did not exist. “This Dapo Olumofe: is he in anyway connected to the late Reverend Olumofe, your supposed partner when you started this company.”
“Yes,” replied Hassan. “He’s the man’s son.”
“Well,” sighed Apata, “it’s funny. It has almost a theatrical ring to it, one must admit. So the son has come to avenge his father, who by every means is a man of peace. Is that what you think?”
“What are you talking about? What has been done to the father that the son has to avenge?”
Kenneth Hassan had chosen his words carefully to divert attention from himself, Apata observed. “Stories do get around, you know. Anyway, I am sure that’s not the case. He’s simply a man doing his job.”
“And by doing his job, he’s pushing us to the edge of a cliff.”
“Yes, that is a matter of fact,” Apata stated and meant it.
“So we need to neutralize him concerning this contract.”
“When you say ‘neutralize him’: what exactly do you mean?” Apata inquired, his senses at once alert, itching to possess the next information which Hassan will divulge.
“Jesus Lord!” Hassan blurted out, feigning an appalling expression. “What a foul mind you have; and what you must think of me. When I say ‘neutralize him’, I mean we find a way to zero his effectiveness; render him ineffective concerning the contract; not kill him.”
“Sorry, I misunderstood.”
“Yes you did,” Hassan carried on, “but that’s alright. “I cannot do this alone, and the rest are such fools, wanting to get something for nothing. You and I, we are going to plot together. In this plot, we need a beautiful young attractive lady. I want you to handle that part.”
“Why me?” Apata asked.
Hassan spoke with candour. “Partly, I am a busier man than you are. Mostly, because the job specification fits you”
Apata smiled. “Enlighten me on this, please.”
“You are a man who lives alone in a house that’s big for even a family of five, yet you live in it alone. Your wife and children, they live far away in England; and I know about your appetite for young ladies. You see, for you, it will simply be a matter of mixing a little business with pleasure.”
Apata had to smile though he did not want to, because he didn’t want to appear compliant, someone you could give orders to – just like that. “Alright,” he said, “I’ll do it.”
Then for a long time, they talked about other matters of less importance until finally Apata stood up, picked the last file on the table. “If you don’t mind, I’ll take my leave now.”
“Of course; we have said all that all that needs to be said for now.”
Daniel Apata made for the door and left, leaving Hassan alone buried in his thoughts, mulling over in his mind all that had transpired in the room that night.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:04pm On Mar 21, 2017|
AT the time Daniel Apata left Kenneth Hassan alone in the room, it was already 10 p.m. At that same time, inside the air-conditioned bar and spacious dancing floor of the night-club Planet-Euphoria, Dapo Olumofe, Bayo Fernandez and Kunle Doherty were seated round one of the round tables with three girls seated amongst them.
After they had left Doherty’s residence at Ikeja, Bayo Fernandez had first driven them to the University of Lagos campus, actually having to drive past Maryland where the club is, then through Ikorodu Express Road, past Yaba, and then, they reached Akoka where the campus is situated.
As it turned out, Fernandez has a very friendly female buddy at the University and she’d conveniently invited two of her friends to share in the night’s merriment with them. It turned out that Fernandez had called earlier without the other two’s knowledge. By the time the green Passat was parked in the wide open ground annexed to the female campus accommodation, the girls were already dressed. Fernandez dialled a number on his mobile phone, connecting him to his female friend’s mobile, and in ten minutes, the girls arrived dressed in skimpy little things, looking gorgeously scandalous. Olumofe and Doherty were quickly acquainted with their would-be companions for the night. Between Fernandez and his friend, there wasn’t need for that: O tipe t’omi ti wa ninu agbon.
At barely to eight, they arrived at the Planet-Euphoria and had been there now for a little over two hours. Within that time, they had had drinks – beer for the men and juice for the ladies; pepper-soup, suya, nkwobi and goat-head as their various tastes desired; some taste though, overlapping the items as it could accommodate more than one. They devoured these delicacies on the wide balcony that occupied the entire roof of the building, directly under the night stars with fresh natural air breezing all around them.
Then they had left for the bar downstairs on the ground floor which there were presently now seated. The conversation now was stilted as the men talked only men-talk, making the ladies to feel left out.
One of the girls, Kike, stood up. “I hope you guys don’t mind if we go to the dance floor without you,” she said, already rhyming her body to the rhythm of the music which reverberated through that entire floor and pulling along the girl seated beside Doherty as a dance partner.
“Not at all,” said Fernandez, waving a hand at Kike. “We’ll be joining you soon.” Kike was the girl that was his ‘friendly female buddy’.
After a moment, the last girl, seated beside Olumofe nudged him on the ribs with her elbow. Among the girls, she was the one with whom he’d had much more rapport. She was an average height, light complexioned girl of the eastern Igbo tribe. Her name is Chioma. “Dapo, she said, “I’ll like to get some orange juice. I’m thirsty. It must be the pepper in the suya.”
Olumofe fished inside his trousers’ pocket and handed over a Nmadi Azikiwe emblem five-hundred naira note. She snatched it out of his hand and left the table.
The girls temporarily out of the way, Fernandez decided to ask the question that had been on his mind since they had sat down. While there were up on the balcony, he and Kunle Doherty were seated in adjacent positions. His elbow had accidentally brushed against Doherty on the ribs when he tried to avoid a spill of juice from Kike’s unsteadily held glass cup while she laughed to a joke. In the act, he felt his elbow strike against a metallic object under the jacket Doherty wore. He was not that unknowing as not to know what it must be that his elbow had hit.
So Fernandez said, “I know it may be nothing, but I think it’s worthy of asking. Dapo, do you mind telling me why your cousin carries around a gun?”
“Oh, that,” Olumofe replied, “I thought you knew. Kunle is a government agent; an S.S. man; you know now – State Security Service.”
“Really,” shouted excitedly Chioma, who was just returning with a sachet of an orange-juice brand. “So Kunle, you are an S.S. agent,” she rattled on, taking her seat now beside Doherty. “Your life must be very interesting. You must be one of those big bad guys – you know – during the Abacha regime, arresting and locking up those un-cooperating politicians, and giving them the spanking their mother never gave them.”
“I’m afraid I will have to disappoint you,” Doherty said to Chioma. “I’ve had no such pleasures or privilege. As for the interesting life, that is most times not true. Many times, you have to strain yourself for hours...days, doing monotonous routines before you have a small breakthrough; and it is possible that you may have none at the end of it all. So you see, your assumption is most furthest from the truth.”
Chioma’s countenance seemed crestfallen, and then it lit up again. “Alright,” she said, “but tell us about one of the escapades during one of your monotonous routines.”
“Why don’t you tell us like she said?” Fernandez placated when he saw that Doherty was reluctant. “It can’t be that a big deal. It’s not as if we know who or where to report you to if you are breaking any rule.”
“He’s right,” Chioma persevered. “Tell us now; why don’t you tell us?”
Doherty succumbed to the pleadings. “Alright,” he said.
“Just wait,” Chioma spurted out. She ran off to get the other two girls and within a minute, she had them seated and dished out a brief explanation of the tale about to be recounted to them. “You may start now,” she said.
Kunle Doherty delved into the details and intricacies of a case a team of agents from the SSS had assisted the NDLA in solving. A middle-positioned NDLA official was onto a local government chairman who had been indirectly linked to a series of drug trafficking crimes. The official was murdered on a Monday morning along with his aide on the way to work. Preliminary investigations pointed strongly in the direction of the Chairman, but there was not a single evidence to pin on him.
They decided to take a long shot. Within a period of three months, the SSS was able to infiltrate two of it’s agents into the Chairman’s sphere of activities: domestic, official and extra-curricula.
First, the housemaid in the employ of the Chairman’s wife terminated her employment with her madam-boss. She just met a certain fine young man who took a keen interest in her. He had told her, a beautiful smart girl like her had more potential than being somebody’s housekeeper. When she told him that she made excellent grades in her school leaving certificate exams, she only said it to soothe her own ego and was not in the least expectant of what was to follow. The man had promised he would get her a better job and admission into a part-time programme in a polytechnic. To her surprise, two weeks later he had done both. She had a job as a receptionist in a security consultancy outfit and an admission with the fees fully paid. But the relationship would not proceed further as she wished, but she had no cause to regret. None of her past relationships had brought this kind of fortune her way. In fact none had even come close to it. Meanwhile, the Chairman’s wife was so happy when she found another efficient house-help almost immediately.
Then, the employee whose one of routine duties in the council was to each day clean the Chairman’s office had gone to his usual night-bar one evening, and there he got talking with a certain man who had a friendly disposition towards him even though – he could tell from his appearance and manners – the man was clearly out of his league. They had talked for hours about everything from politics to women. At the end of it all, he paid for his drinks and was about to leave, but turned back and asked what he does for a living. He told the man he was a cleaner at the local government council. The man laughed and gave him a complimentary card. “Make sure you get in contact with me,” he said. It was that simple and two weeks later he had a job as a waiter in a five-star hotel. The monthly take home was more than double the peanuts the council pays him as salary. Another cleaner, a recent intake assumed his duties. The Chairman noticed nothing. How could he, when he had never even looked the former cleaner in the face before.
The SSS had also planned to replace the Chairman’s personal chauffeur with one of theirs but had dropped the idea when it learnt the chauffeur had been driving the man close to ten years. The housemaid and cleaner had been at their jobs less than two years.
With these moles in place, the state agency starts to feed information through different channels with the intention of misinforming the Chairman. The misinformation was that all the while, the NDLA had been carrying out investigations underground and will soon have enough information to nail him. Then all they had to do was to wait.
Things turned out exactly as the agency had hoped. The Chairman started on a needless endeavour of trying to cover his tracks.
Within a period of two weeks, the state agency had several incriminating audio recordings of discussions which took place in the Chairman’s office, home and car. Compliment of the two undercover agents, the SSS had their bugs everywhere.
They had moved in immediately, arresting the Chairman and his conspiring boys who had done the actual deed simultaneously in one clean sweep.
Doherty had thought the details of the case would bore the girls, but they hung to every word with fascination. When he was done telling the story, it was an hour to midnight. Everyone stood up to start to leave.
Doherty decided to spare Fernandez the trouble of taking him home; he opted for the option of taking a bus or okada. He was not keen on taking any girl home either. If the girls had thought he was a policeman, it would have been better. But he was an SSS officer and these were girls still basking in the euphoria of youthful exuberance. Under the circumstance – though there were no hard and fast rules about it – he felt it was unwise for him to.
Fernandez drove to Olumofe’s place to drop him off, or so Olumofe believed. But after he got down, he saw Chioma also getting down. Though he had splendid conversation with her through the entire night-out, he had in no way hinted that he will like her to spend the night with him. But he could not exactly come out straight and tell her that. He knew he would come across as being very rude and self-righteous.
So he went to Fernandez’s side of the car at the driver’s seat, bent down and talked quietly: “Dapo, why did Chioma come down? I didn’t tell her I want her to stay the night with me.
“And you don’t?” Fernandez asked in an equally quiet voice.
“Yes I don’t. Not tonight; maybe some other night.”
“Well...I told her that you really really like her...and would want her to stay the night with you.”
“Then you need to tell her that I don’t.”
“Can’t do that?”
“Sounds demeaning; you embarrass not only her, but me also. These girls are not harlots. Seriously, they are not.”
“Then tell her nicely. I know you can; just do your thing.”
“Alright,” Fernandez said, a feigned commiseration on his face, as if he finally saw the light. “Just allow me turn around the car.”
Olumofe left the window-side to give him the space he needed.
Fernandez turned the car into the centre of the deserted street, and almost brushing the side-mirror of a parked blue 180E 1984 model Benz in a slightly jerky manoeuvre caused by the backward waving of his left hand at Olumofe, he zoomed off. Olumofe could do nothing but stare at the Passat’s behind till it disappeared. Then shaking his head, he smiled and returned to the matter at hand: Chioma.
Olumofe’s residence was a green five bedroom one-storey building. The gate had already been opened by his malo who heard their arrival. He went in with Chioma through the gate into the fairly large compound and then into the house.
Outside the gate, the blue Benz parked on the opposite side of the street was occupied by a presence. The presence of a man simply referred to by his associates as Flex. He pulled up the driver’s seat. Prior to this time, the driver’s seat had been depressed so that he could not be seen by someone on the street unless the person came to the car and peered inside through the window.
When he became seated upright and comfortable, he brought out a mobile phone from his breast pocket. He punched in some numbers and seconds later, a voice came through on the line. “He just entered his house,” Flex said. “He was with a girl on his arms… yes...he’s adventurous. A lover of women, seeker of pleasure…you were right, the plan will work.”
The line went dead. Flex dropped the mobile on the front seat. He started the Benz’s engine and with the tires making a loud screech, he sped off.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:07pm On Mar 21, 2017|
“This is my humble home,” Dapo Olumofe said, addressing Chioma. “Do you wish for me to get you anything; a drink perhaps?”
They were in the living room. Olumofe had immediately crashed into a sofa. Chioma remained standing, her eyes appraising, her expression conveying approval.
“I’ve had enough drinks for today; but I’ve not had any water. Not to worry, I’ll get it myself in the kitchen.” To Olumofe’s amused amazement at her forwardness, she left and after a minute returned with a glass of water in hand.
“You have a nice house,” she said. “Good taste, good furnishing; could I see your bedroom?”
“Really? Why?” Olumofe asked wittily.
“I’ll like to know what kind of man you are. My mother told me you can tell the nature of a man by the state of his room.”
“Yes. Why don’t we put it to test and see whether my dear mother is right or not?”
“Well, if you insist, I cannot refuse.”
They went up the stairs together to the master bedroom. Olumofe opened the door and they stepped in.
“It’s dark in here,” she complained.
“I know,” he said, and switched on the lights.
Olumofe’s room was a large and spacious one, the floor fully carpeted with a plush black rug which contrasted sharply with the white painted walls and beige curtains, all giving off a nice unique effect. At the centre, close to the wall was a large bed. The room was neat and everything was orderly.
Chioma went over to the bed, sat down and kicked off her shoes. “I am pleasantly tired.”
“So what kind of man do you think I am?”
Chioma looked round the room. “My instincts tell me you have a maid who keeps your room this clean and tidy. So there is nothing to tell.”
“Hun-un,” he sighed.
“Yes. It’s just like they say in the movies, the crime scene has been contaminated. Come now,” she beckoned to him with one hand, the other supporting her as she leaned back on the bed. “Let’s forget about my mother and clean and tidy rooms; come and sit beside me.” She patted with the palm of her hand the space on the bed beside her, as if summoning a child.
Olumofe smiled but made no move towards her.
“Are you afraid?” she inquired.
“Don’t be silly,” he said.
“I’m not being silly,” she replied. “If I’m being silly, prove it. Come and sit down.”
He covered the distance to the bed with a few strides and sat down beside her. She sat up from her leaning position so as to parley her body symmetrically with his. She said softly into his ears while nibbling it gently: “Do you always talk this much when alone with a woman?” Her hand went further down, closing round his neck.
“Not really,” Olumofe said, prying gently her hand from his neck.
“Then you won’t mind if I request that you shut up?” Her hand went back to his neck and the other begins to unbutton his shirt. When Olumofe hands came up again, intending to stop her, she abruptly let go of him before he could complete the move.
“I knew it,” she cried.
“Know what?” Olumofe asked, a little dazed with her sudden abandonment of him.
“This is your matrimonial bed,” she cried happily like she just hit a jackpot. “That’s why you are so tense.”
Olumofe said: “First I don’t have a wife. I told you that already. Second, I am not tense. I don’t know why but I’m just not in the mood tonight.”
Olumofe stood up from the bed. “You may sleep here if you want. I’ll sleep in another room. I’m tired and it’s late and I have to go to work tomorrow morning.” He turned and starts to walk to the door.
“Hey,” Chioma called after him. “I’m tired too and I have classes tomorrow morning. Who says we can’t sleep together without sleeping together. Couldn’t you just hold me instead?”
His steps towards the door halted, the halted leg pressuring on the carpeted floor to act as a pivot in turning him round to again face Chioma’s figure on the bed.
“Besides,” she continued, “I can’t sleep alone on unfamiliar grounds.”
He looked at her for a long moment. He could see the plea in her eyes. He took his first step towards the bed.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:08pm On Mar 21, 2017|
IT’S the next morning and Dapo Olumofe is fast asleep on the bed. He is wrapped round in sheets to keep the coldness of the air-conditioned room from seeping underneath his skin.
The door suddenly burst open. A little girl ran inside, going over to Olumofe’s bedside. Her name is Olubukola and she is Olumofe’s eight years old daughter.
“Daddy, daddy, wake up,” she cried nudging him on the arm.
He pushed her hand away sleepily. “Go back to sleep and don’t disturb daddy.”
Bucky left him and ran over to the curtains. In two clean sweeps, she pulled the curtains from the entire windows. The morning sunlight came pouring in. He woke up instantly, raising his hand to shield his eyes from the blinding light.
He sat upright on the bed, placing his feet on the floor, the weariness and sleep slowly clearing from his head and eyes. The hours of sitting on the plane and the booze were taking their due effect. He must have slept like a baby throughout the night, no doubt, to the disappointment of Chioma. Yes, Chioma. It suddenly dawned on him, and his gaze shifted slowly from Bucky to the bed, fright evident in his eyes. This had never happened before. He had never brought a woman home while Bucky was in the house.
The shifting gaze got to the bed and he discovered there was no one else on the bed except himself. A surge of relief coursed through his body. But Chioma, where could she be, he wondered.
“Bucky,” he asked, “Did you see any woman downstairs?”
“No daddy,” she replied. “Did you bring your girlfriend home daddy?”
“No, of course not,” he said, wondering where she picked that from. “You know I don’t have any girlfriend. By the way, what are you doing here? I thought you were with your mother?”
Bucky’s school was on vacation and she had come to spend part of the holiday with him. But when he had to take a sudden trip to New York six days ago, he dropped her off at her mother’s, promising to come to pick her when he returned. He hadn’t the slightest idea that she was in the house.
“Mummy brought me here yesterday,” she replied. “She says it is good for little girls to welcome back their daddy. We waited for you and you didn’t come, and she left me with Aunty Ilori and she said she will come this morning and –”
“Alright, alright,” Olumofe cuts short the girl’s whining. “I get the picture.”
“Daddy, which picture is that?” she asked in her childish voice.
“I mean to say I understand. Now run along and prepare for school.”
“You know we are on holidays. That is why I’m with you.”
“Alright; just run along and do something. You know I have to get ready for work or I’ll be late. And where is Ilori?”
“She’s in the kitchen.”
“Go and help her in the kitchen. Little girls should help out in the kitchen too.”
Bucky ran off from the room to Olumofe’s relief, exited at the prospect of assisting Ilori, Olumofe’s housemaid, to maybe prepare breakfast. He went to the door she had left ajar, closed and locked it and returned back to sit on the bed.
They must have wanted to surprise him by being in the house when he arrived. It was too bad other plans took him somewhere else. Their cosy company would have delighted him more than the club and the girls. But thank goodness, he thought, that he came home late; late enough for Bucky to be asleep, and her mother Laide to have already left. He hated to think of what would have happened if he had walked in upon Laide and Bucky with Chioma hanging onto his arms. His prophecy of the cosy company of three would have been fulfilled from the opposite direction: the disastrous company of four. A shouting contest would have no doubt ensued. Laide would of course hide her reasons for being upset behind the fact that she needed to protect her daughter from such domestic scenes that are detrimental to a child. Is this what happens when I’m not around? he imagined her lamenting. He knew her too well not to know exactly what to expect, but –”
His train of thought derailed as the door to the bathroom flung open and Chioma stepped into the room, her stunning body clad in his towel.
“How come you were in the bathroom all this while? Was that deliberate?”
“No; I guess you were just lucky, daddy dear,” she teases him. “I heard her when she was in the room, so I did not bother coming out.”
“Thanks,” he said.
The handle of the door that leads into the room turned but the door did not give way because he had locked it. There was rapid succession of soft bangs. The type made by a hand not yet strong, and Bucky’s voice came through loudly from the other side. “Daddy, mummy is here. She is downstairs.”
Olumofe shouted back: “Tell her that I’m coming right behind you.”
“Yes daddy.” The girl went away.
He looked to Chioma. She went on to pick her clothes that were strewed all over her side of the bed. Bucky at her age, was not yet wise enough to realize the implication of women’s clothing on her father’s bed.
“I didn’t know you had a daughter,” Chioma asked, as she slid on the g-stringed pant, the towel still round her body.
“We did not get to that part, or did we?”
“I think not. Are you not going to meet mummy downstairs before she suspects something is wrong?” she said in a mischievous tone.
He recognized the underlining in her question. “I told you. She’s my ex-wife, not my wife. Besides, I don’t see how any of this concerns you.”
Olumofe stood up. Chioma was busy slipping on her short skirt. “I’m going downstairs. I want you stay in this room and lock the door.”
He proceeds to the door and was already halfway through it when he turned back. “It seems I’m laying too much trouble on you,” he said, removing the door’s key from the keyhole. “You need not bother yourself. I’ll just help you lock it.” With that he closed the door and locked it from the other side.
He went to the stairs, ran down it, and from there entered the living room through an adjoining door in the waiting hall.
Immediately he stepped in, he saw her, Bucky’s mother, Laide, sitting down cross-legged on the long sofa, looking dark and lovely. She was dressed in lace material sown bubu gown. The bubu which was white flowed all round her, making her tall slim figure to seem fuller than it actually was. Every other thing she wore was white: the earrings, wristwatch, high-heeled slippers; all contrasting strongly with ebony skin.
Her skin. Her ebony skin. That was what had attracted him to her when they had first met. Her skin; dark and shining; there was no single adjective to appropriately describe it. It was like the surface of the still waters of a lake under the midnight stars. As the waters became dark when it was night, so was her skin dark; and the kind of glow it radiates from the effect of the moonlight, so does her skin glow. It surprises him still, that since he first met her, over nine years now, her skin hadn’t lost an ounce of its quality.
She looked up at him smiling as he drew nearer. He noticed she had on another distinct hairdo, different from the one she wore since the six days he last saw her, when he went to drop Bucky off. Her hair now was plaited into four bold weavings, which touched down beyond her shoulders. Olumofe knew Laide as one who hardly ever perms her hair or use synthetic hair attachments. As far as he could remember, her hair was either plaited or braided into different sorts of styles and patterns.
He remembered the endearment he always used for her in the first two years out of their three-year marriage: My African Princess. That was when the going was good and the passion hot. But all that seemed like ages ago; for seven years now they have been separated. Apart from her eyes that have a much more matured look, she looked maybe just three years older than the twenty-two she was when he got married to her. He was twenty-eight then.
“Hey Dapo, how was your trip?” she inquired still smiling.
“All went according to plan,” he said as he sat on the other end of the sofa. “Totally hitch-free.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I thought it would be nice for your daughter to give you a surprise welcome. We waited for you but you never turned up. I had to leave, but I still wanted her to see her daddy arrive home, so I left her in the capable hands of Ilori.”
“I’m really sorry about that,” Olumofe said. “I went out with a couple of guys from the office. I had no idea anyone could be waiting for me at home; would have come home straight if I knew.”
“It’s alright,” she said. “Bucky will be coming back home with me today. She will soon be resuming back to school.”
“La-i-de! Bucky is not due to resume back in school until two weeks from now and you say it as if it’s tomorrow.”
“She will have to prepare before hand for resumption. Surely you realize that?”
“If you want me to say the truth, I don’t; but then, is there any chance I could stop a daughter from going home with her beloved mother? None.”
“Common Dapo, don’t be like that,” she said, whining childishly while she looked at him with narrowed eyes. “Are you trying to say I’m doing this to get back at you?”
“Jesus! Of course not. I said you could take her. It’s alright really.”
“Then we’ll get going. I’ll fetch her. She’s helping out in the kitchen”
She stood up and went to get Bucky in the kitchen; Olumofe followed. Then they all went outside to where Laide’s car was parked.
“What about her things?” Olumofe asked after mother and daughter had both climbed into the SUV – a Mercedes Benz: ML 320.
“No need to bother. It’s already in the boot.”
“Dapo, you said you didn’t mind.”
“No…no, no; I don’t, really.”
Her expression at once became affectionate. “We’ll see you soon,” she said, “or won’t we?”
“Of course you will.”
The malo opened the gate. Laide started the engine and drove onto the street.
By the time Olumofe got back to his bedroom, Chioma was already fully dressed – not that she had much to put on anyway. She was standing next to the window.
“Your ex-wife,” she said. “She’s very beautiful.”
“How would you know?”
“I saw her from the window.”
Olumofe pulled out a drawer from the bedside furniture. He counted some notes and hands it to Chioma. It was an amount of seven-thousand. She did not collect it.
“I’m different from the other girls, you know. I’m from a wealthy family. My parents stay in Benin. I live off-campus in an apartment together with my sister, and we both drive our own cars. I came home with you because I like you.”
She picked up his mobile that was on the bedside furniture and fiddled with it for about five minutes. She placed it down again. “There you have it, my address and number. Give me a call. I think I should get going now. Not to worry, I’ll let myself out.”
She walked out of the room, down the stairs, out of the house with a wide-eyed and mouth-gaped Ilori staring after her, and then, out of the compound.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:08pm On Mar 21, 2017|
It was twelve days later. Olumofe was caught up in one of the usual Lagos early morning traffic hold-ups. Horns blaring, tempers rising, and drivers hurled insults at no one in particular. No car had moved an inch in thirty minutes.
The only people that seemed to be at ease were the commercial drivers and their conductors. Their line of work had made them used to the chaotic Lagos traffic and they use the idle time to crack jokes and play all sorts of antics. Mostly, they laughed to their own jokes and antics alone by themselves. At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, when people were in a hurry to get to their various businesses and offices, but were instead arrested by one of Lagos legendary hold-ups which were known to be able to drive normal people to the edge of insanity, the passengers’ sense of humour was at the lowest ebb.
Olumofe called a boy peddling newspapers and bought a copy of the Financial Standard; might as well use the time to get informed, he thought. The headlines carried nothing of interest to him. He flipped the pages over to the “Property and Environment” section. He had not even begun to scan the page when a small caption at the left corner caught his eyes: ‘Legislators to Sponsor Bill For Another Abuja Stadium’.
Olumofe laughed to himself; must be someone’s idea of a joke. Who is going to pay for it? He flipped over to other pages. The car behind began to blare its horn. He put down the paper and saw that the traffic had started to move and there was already considerable distance between his car and the car in front.
Quickly, he dropped the paper, started the engine of the Toyota Avensis and moved the car slowly, following the crawling line. The Avensis’ colour was black, the seats black-leathered and the interior black all through.
Gradually, the traffic congestion eased and his car was now moving at a fair speed of twenty kilometres per hour. By the time he passed all the bottle-necks, as usual, he could not tell the cause of the hold-up.
He soon got to Hinterland office building and parked his car in the underground garage. He went up the elevator and went on to his office. As he stepped in, Amezie told him the MD had called earlier in the morning asking after him. He spent some minutes at his desk settling in for the day before he rode up the elevator to the final floor where the MD’s office was. He walked past the secretary who waved him on to enter, telling without words that he was being expected.
He opened the door and went inside. The MD, David Arinze was seated behind his desk, and in front of the desk were seated three people, one of them, Bayo Fernandez.
“Sit down, Dapo,” David Arinze said.
The other two men got up and left the office. Only Olumofe and Fernandez remained.
“I was saying before you entered,” David Arinze said, “a friend of mine at the Senate told me that a particular bill is about to emerge from the lower house. The purpose of the bill is to make a case for a stadium to be built in the Niger Delta. Not just a stadium, but a complete sports and youth centre – whatever that means.”
Olumofe’s eyebrows went up. “I just saw a caption now in the papers which says ‘Legislators To Sponsor Bill For Another Abuja Stadium’.
“Well, you know our papers; they like flashy and intriguing headlines. I’m sure if you go on to read under the caption, it will say something like ‘another stadium, similar to the standard of the one built in Abuja is to be built in the Niger Delta’; something like that or something similar to that.
Everyone laughed and agreed.
“But do you really think it’s possible”, Olumofe asked.
“Well,” said Arinze, “Naturally, I would have want to view the whole issue with scepticism, but if you live in this country, then you must know that anything is possible; even the indefensible. And then, my senator friend is of the opinion that it’s highly probable that something concrete would come out of the bill. Anyway, I only wanted to tell you as I have told a few others. Keep your ears to the ground and get ready for any eventuality. Bayo, I want you to start working more closely with Dapo.”
“But we already work closely,” Fernandez said.
“I know that. And I know what I said. We’ll talk about it later.” Arinze gestured to both of them with a hand. “You may leave.”
They both left. They conversed while walking on the wide long corridors.
“What do you think? Fernandez asked.
“I don’t need to think.” Olumofe replied. “Time they say reveal all things.”
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:12pm On Mar 21, 2017|
THROUGHOUT the morning and afternoon, Olumofe was able to do considerable amount of work, and by 3.00 p.m., he finished all he that needed to be done for the day.
So, at the time the phone on his desk rang, he was rocking back and forth in the adjustable leather chair, doing nothing, thinking something.
The sound jeered him to life. He bent over and pressed the intercom. Amezie’s voice came through. “Your daughter is on the line.”
Olumofe smiled. He was delighted. He had not seen her for almost two weeks, since when she left his place with her mother: his ex-wife. “Put her through please,” he said cheerfully.
“Hello daddy, how are you?” shouted Bucky, her voice full of gaiety, pouring out from the speaker.
“I am fine. So, why are you calling me?”
“Nothing daddy; I just want to say hello.”
“Alright; so how is your mum?”
“Grandma is teaching me how to play the piano.”
“Really! That is so cool. You must teach me too.”
“I want you to buy me Mr. Biggs and bring it over.”
Olumofe smiled again to himself. Mr. Biggs was the chain of fast food restaurants spread across Lagos metropolis, owned by the multi-national, UAC. What she meant, of course, was that her dad should buy her pastries from Mr. Biggs; but it was an expression even many adults use.
“That is alright,” he said. “I’ll bring it.”
“Are you angry with mummy?”
“Of course not; what makes you think I’m angry with mummy?”
“You promised to come and see her, but you have refused to come.”
“Alright, I will prove it to you that I’m not angry with mummy. Today, I am coming over there with loads and loads of Mr. Biggs for both you and your mum.”
The other phone on the table rang; he picked it up. Amezie was calling to inform him of a client, Professor Onuoha, who was waiting for him. Professor Onuoha had come in respect of a workshop that was being built for the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Lagos, one of the backlogs of projects catered for by the Education Tax Fund. Five minutes later, he had managed do away with Bucky. Kids, how their mind worked, he wondered just as Professor Onuoha walked in and took a seat.
The business between Olumofe and the Professor took up to two hours he had not envisaged. At exactly five minutes to five, Professor Onuoha shook hands with him and took his leave.
Olumofe closed for the day, and in another fifteen minutes, he was cruising on the road in the black Avensis. He drove from the Island through the connecting Third Mainland Bridge to the mainland at Oworoshoki. From there, he soon connected Ogudu Estate where Laide lives with her parents in their palatial home. She was the only child of her parents that still stays in the house.
Three hours earlier to the time Olumofe connected to Ogudu Estate, precisely at the time Bucky was dropping the phone after she had finished speaking with her father, Laide was half-seated, half-laid down on the four-sitter sofa, ten feet away.
After dropping the phone, she ran over to Laide, jumping onto the sofa, while crying excitedly. “Mummy, daddy is coming over today and he’s going to bring Mr. Biggs. He’s bringing for you too, mummy.”
“That’s nice of Dad.” Then for some moments, she went into oblivion – thinking. She came back to life when Bucky jerked her arm.
“Come here,” Laide said. She drew the child onto her laps and held her affectionately. “Bucky, tell me, does your dad have any girlfriend?”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because he says he doesn’t,” the child simply replied.
“But doesn’t any woman come to visit him?”
“I have not seen anyone. Mummy, why are you asking? Do you want to toast daddy?” The child had used the Nigerian slang which generally implies: a guy making romantic moves on a lady.
Laide’s mother who had just walked in overheard the last remark. She was going to the kitchen and had decided to take that living room, one of the routes that led into the large kitchen within the house.
“Who is toasting who?” she asked as she walked on to the kitchen, pausing momentarily, facing her daughter and grand-daughter.
“Mummy,” Laide replied, “You know she’s a baby. She doesn’t know what she’s saying.”
“Unh-un,” the elderly woman sighed. “So she doesn’t know what she’s saying, or does she?” She gave her daughter the knowing look of a mother and continued on her way.
After she left the living room, Laide stood up, facing Bucky, trying her best to appear angry, but making a poor performance of it. “I am going to skin you alive,” she said. “Why did you say that?”
“I didn’t do anything mummy,” the little girl cried out. She was not afraid; rather she was having fun.
“You are one naughty girl,” Laide shouted tenderly at her daughter.
She raised the girl and dumped her back on the sofa. Then with her hands, she starts to poke her in the ribs, making her to giggle. When the girl could endure the sweet punishment no more, she escaped by running off to the kitchen to join her grandmother.
Laide, alone in the living-room, crashed onto the sofa, her spirit highly elated from the fun. After a while, the feeling of elation subsided and her mood slipped back into its ordinary state.
Was it not odd, she thought, that out of five children of her parents, three girls first and two boys coming later, she was the first to leave the house, getting married at the age of twenty-two before her two elder sisters. What an ironic twist of fate, that now, she should be the only who still lives at home. Her two younger brothers have been out of the country for four years.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:17pm On Mar 21, 2017|
SHE met Olumofe at the beginning of her final year in the University. It was her father’s fiftieth birthday. He just returned from four years of ambassadorial posting to Ghana and it was going to be a big affair. Her father, Dr. Owadokun had been an important personality at the Ministry of Foreign affairs for a decade and half, and naturally, the guest list included many top civil servants cutting across different government departments. Reverend Alfred Olumofe, Permanent Secretary of the Works and Housing Ministry was invited along with his wife. Dapo Olumofe had come along with his parents to the birthday party.
As she would learn later, he saw her for the first time when she, with the rest of her siblings gathered round their father and mother to take a family portrait with the birthday cake. After that, as the party continued, he stalked her until he found the ideal moment to initiate contact.
The party held on a large open field belonging to an ancient church, with countless sophisticated tents put up to cater for guests seating and comfort. The ideal moment was when he at last discovered her alone, seated at the corner of a table at the edge of a sparsely inhabited tent. She was trying to catch her breath after a doze of energetic gyrations to juju music played by a live band.
She had seen a young man quietly take his seat beside her. “You look so different from your sisters,” was the first thing he uttered. Unlike her, her two sisters were both light complexioned.
She took a moment to study the man who had spoken to her. He was dressed in blue agbada lace attire with a black cap to match. Well – he looked polished…and classy, she had thought. “How?” she simply asked.
“You have a lovely skin,” he said.
“Oh,” she sighed and said, “That,” with a dismissal gesture of the hand.
He stretched his hand towards her in an introductory handshake. “I’m Dapo Olumofe.”
She gave him a tranquil stare; the hand was suspended in the mid-air for a couple of seconds before she took it. “My name is Laide; I don’t see the need to tell you my surname since you must already know it.”
“Naturally of course,” he said, getting to feel a little at ease, though the girl’s tone of voice was curt.
He wanted to go on, but stopped when he looked up ahead. She followed his gaze. Far off where the live band was still playing and people dancing, her two sisters had decided to take a break and were now sluggishly heading towards their direction.
“It seems we’ll not have enough time to discuss,” he said. “I’ll go straight to the point. I saw you while you were posing for the pictures with your family and I knew I had to see you.” He brought a complimentary card and gave to her. “Please, I plead with you, don’t throw it away. Call me.”
He stood up and left before her sisters arrived.
“Who was that guy?” they asked as soon they had gotten to her and were seated.
“I don’t know,” she replied nonchalantly. “Some guy who thinks he’s hot.”
“Is that his complimentary card?” her sister asked as Laide tried to slip the card into her purse. Tolu’s hand, moving at a lightening speed snatched it from her before she could. She held up the card before her eyes.
“Of course it is,” Tolu said, answering the question she posed herself. “Works in some kind of building company; not bad; so are you going to call him?”
“I have not decided yet,” Laide said, snatching the card back from her and slipping it into the purse.
“So how come you are putting the card into your purse?” she asked, her voice tinged with sarcasm.
“Because – dear big sister, I have not decided yet,” she repeated, in a nice stiff voice.
It wasn’t until three weeks later that she finally decided. Two days after the party, she was off to Ibadan city, to resume to her studies at the University of Ibadan. There in school, she had played with the idea of calling him for over two weeks until one of her friends told her: “Why don’t you just call the guy. For all you know, he may not even come. He thinks you are in Lagos. Once he learns he has to come down to Ibadan for him to be able to see you, the distance may put him off.”
She called him the next day and he was so delighted to hear from her. He picked up the call himself, and she was pleasantly surprised that immediately she spoke, he could recognize her voice and said her name right away.
Her friend was wrong. The estimated two hours journey between Lagos and Ibadan did not weaken his resolve to see her again, as the very next day, he was waiting for her outside after an afternoon lecture. He had collected all the information he needed to find her during their telephone conversation.
When she asked whether he was not supposed to be at work, he had said he called his office to say he was feeling ill and would not be able to make it to work for that day.
Things have moved very fast after that. They got to know each other and she found out he was the kind of man she had always dreamt and hoped to have as her own. He was humane, intelligent, not chauvinistic; didn’t take himself too seriously and most importantly, he was youthful at heart and possessed a high sense of humour. Though it was her first real relationship, yet she knew all this because she had always known what she wanted in a man since she was in her teens.
The first time they made love was when he picked her from school and took her to a resort on the outskirt of Ibadan on a rainy weekend. She knew it would happen and was ready for it. She was glad she was going to give her virginity to a man who adores her. She has heard all sorts of sad tales from other girls at school, whose first time, they discovered later to their dismay, was nothing but a conquest to the guy that deflowered them. For them, it was their first lesson in the discovery of the trickery and deceit, which according to them characterized all men.
They had played through out the day in the pool and later, the gardens and open fields of the resort, each knowing what was to come in the evening.
When the moment finally came, he was gentle with her. After taking a bath, she came out to him, her body wrapped in a white bedspread, wearing nothing underneath. It was like a bride coming to the groom; and in fact to her, that was their real wedding night because over the years, she had come to be much more emotionally in touch with that night, as its recollection came more frequently to her mind, pushing her wedding night to an obscure corner of not-so-much-significance.
He pulled her to him on the bed. They had kissed for a long time before he began to undo the sheet round her. Slowly, he kissed the nipples on each breast, teasing them till they became hard and taut. He continued with pre-intimacy for a long time, and by the time he was to possess her, her body was more than willing and ready for him. With a single strong thrust, he entered into her, rupturing through the hymen. She clenched her teeth from the searing pain which pervaded her being for only a moment, before it became just a dull re-echo, now being over-ridden by an intense pleasure that was slowly building to an orgasm.
After taking a bath together to wash away the blood, they had made love throughout the night. These times, it was more pleasurable for her without the anxiety and the pain.
It didn’t take long for her friends in school to notice that she had fallen in love and that she had fallen hard. From that time till she wrote her final papers, two out of every four weekends, Olumofe visited her in Ibadan.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:18pm On Mar 21, 2017|
After her final papers, Olumofe didn’t take long in proposing marriage to her. She was so hopelessly in love with him that she wanted nothing else than to be his wife. So she had said yes.
He took her to meet his parents and they loved her. It was then her turn to do the same, but she needed to tell them first.
Her two sisters were present when she told them. They of course thought it was a joke, and her mother and sisters laughed heartily. Her father couldn’t be bothered by such pettiness, for so he thought, because his eyes never left the “Times” magazine he was reading.
When they realized that she was serious, their reaction was that of complete shock. It couldn’t be! Her mother thought: not her baby girl! Her almost twenty-three years old daughter remained a baby to her even though she was now a graduate.
Her sisters could not believe it. Laide – getting married? Didn’t they teach her all that she knew about boys? Besides, does she even have a boyfriend? As for her father, he would simply not hear of it; but her mother convinced him they should at least meet the guy.
The next day, Olumofe joined them for dinner. After an hour of interrogation by her mother and sisters, they were impressed by his charms and the intelligent way he answered their questions. She knew from the expressions in their eyes that they approved of him.
But not her father; the only thing that impressed him and made him consent to their marriage was that Olumofe’s parents were the highly revered Reverend Alfred Olumofe and his wife, who were both known to be involved with several philanthropic causes and organizations. Even then, her father did not totally come through and he would later be the bane of her marriage.
They were married three months later in a grand church wedding. Ten months later, Bucky came along. She was given birth to at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
For another year, everything concerning their marriage was blissful. Olumofe was everything she had hoped he will be. She had a sensitive caring husband who had even learnt to change their baby’s diapers and many times insisted on doing it himself though they had gotten a maid to help out. For an African woman with an African-man-husband, living in Nigerian-Africa, and not in Europe or the US, though it was not a thing unheard of, still, a woman that has such a situation in her home knows she has a priceless possession and so does her friends.
The troubles in her marriage started to brew when after Bucky’s first birthday, she wanted to find a job and start working. She and Olumofe had agreed on having three children. Two first and the third after a six year break. They reasoned that within a three year period, she could bear two children; and when the second child would be aged at least one, then she could start work.
But now, she thought otherwise and this new line of thought was not unconnected with her father. She had majored in Finance while in school. She had her mind on being a career woman and would like to start right away, she had told him. He had argued: the issue that she should pursue a career was never in contest, that she was still young and could have a fulfilled career afterwards; after their second child clocks one. Also, they didn’t need the extra cash. They had more than they needed.
Looking at everything in retrospect, she could see it was mostly her fault. She handled the matter very badly. Maybe because she was so young; but then her fatal mistake was involving her father instead of her gentle and wise mother. She had done that because she knew he was more likely to get his support.
Her father had sent for his son-in-law Olumofe and he went to see him. Her father told him in no uncertain terms that his daughter was nobody’s housewife – in fact that she was too smart to be an housewife – and she was going to start work, and work she will, as soon as possible whether Olumofe liked it or not.
Olumofe was very hurt; more by her actions than her father’s words. When he came home that night, he told her if she decided to start working, he would not stop her, but she should know that she will be doing it against his will. She soon started the job anyway. She got one almost immediately she started looking; with her father pulling a few strings, it was not a difficult task. It was a bank job and she started right away.
The cosy atmosphere which had always been between them gradually dwindles. He started coming home late and didn’t talk much when he was in the house. Then her crazy hours started. The bank job was very demanding and coupled with the bad traffic situation, she always got home very late. He was angry that it seemed Bucky was only been tended to by the housemaid. They had many arguments over this and the ambiance in their home became tense.
Then the one that broke the camel’s back: He found out from a friend, accidentally, that her job contract included not getting pregnant in the first three years at her job in the bank. He was livid when he confronted her that night. She had barely arrived from the office and was only a feet away from the entrance.
She told him that she was tired, dieing to get a shower and did not have time for a shouting contest. A wide-eyed and mouth-gaped Olumofe watched her as she calmly walked past him to go into the bedroom. With fast strides, he moved ahead of her and blocked her way, intending to make her comment on the issue he just brought up. “Would you stop all this childish pranks and allow me go inside and have a shower,” she said. “Or can’t you see that I am fagged out.” Deeply annoyed by the nonchalant way she was waving him away like some stupid kid on an issue he considered important, she saw him raise up a hand as if to stop her, then put it down again. She could see there was frustration in his eyes, and venting it out, he pushed her out of the way and left through the door that had not yet been closed. Outside, he discovered his car keys were still in his pocket. He got into the car and drove to his usual hang-out.
Unknown to Olumofe, because he never he looked back till he got out of the house, when he pushed Laide out of his way, her leg had caught against the other one and she missed her balance. She fell flat and her head hit against a stool. She was dazed for a while and in pain. When the pain subsided, she had a bump at the side of her head and a throbbing headache that proved the bump was real. Annoyed by the fall, and more annoyed by the fact that he could treat her that way – which she considered insensitive – she called her father and told him what happened. “Where is he now?” her father had asked. She told him where she thought he would have gone. “So he has the guts to beat you up,” her father had concluded deliberately in contradiction to the facts of the story related to him and she had conveniently bothered not to set him straight. She was hoping that her father would come down hard on Olumofe; tell him to back off and let her be. But she got an overdose of what she hoped for.
Olumofe did not come back home that night. She did not see him until she returned from work the next evening. He was civil and very calm. There was no trace of anger in him. He asked her how her head felt. He must have found out from the maid, she thought.
Next day at the office, her mother called to say she needed to see her urgently. She closed from work as early as she could and was able to make it to her parents’ house at some few minutes past eight.
Her mother took her outside to the gardens. There she asked what transpired between her and her husband. Laide told her what happened and exactly how it happened. It was then she learnt that her father had Olumofe picked up and arrested at his regular hang-out. He spent the night and half of the next day in police cell before he was released. When she heard this, she was horrified.
Her mother had told her, “Your father would be the ruin of your marriage. It’s time you stopped listening to him.”
But the admonition had come too late for it seemed the damage was already done. On getting home, she called Olumofe, explained to him that she never told her father to do what he did. She begged him but he insisted he was not angry with her and played down the whole event.
But of course he was lying. For the next two months he remained still civil and calm. He never got angry at anything or complained again about her job. Not even when she gets back home very late. He did everything he ought to do in the house the way a loving husband would, except warm up to her. It seemed the only time he was himself was when he played with their daughter Bucky.
She knew she was losing him but was at a loss at what to do. All efforts to appease him had no result. How does one placate someone who would not even admit that he has been wronged, she pondered helplessly.
Finally at the end of her wits, she decided to quit her job. Maybe that would have changed the course of things, but it was not to be, as fate chose that time to strike a terrible blow. Olumofe’s father, a diabetic suddenly took ill. For three weeks, he was in the hospital, and his condition worsened till he finally died.
The funeral was a big affair. The cross-section of the society came to the funeral, ranging from highly positioned civil servants from different governments departments to representatives of many NGOs and philanthropic organizations Reverend Alfred Olumofe and his wife had worked with over the years. The clergy was also highly visible; after all he was a Reverend of the Anglican Diocese. Also the President sent a representative, his media relations adviser to read a prepared speech eulogizing the many good works and virtues of the Reverend and high government official: his unrelenting selfless service to the nation, his commitment to God and His church; his philanthropic pursuit to make life easier for those less fortunate than him; and his positive contributions to humanity at large, making the world a better place than he had met it.
After the funeral, Olumofe told her he wanted to stay in the house with his mother for sometime. He was their only child and he said the mother needed comforting. His arguments seemed sensible and there was no way she could object under the circumstance, for she would appear callous and insensitive to anyone who heard about it But deep in her heart, she knew his seemingly good motive, really, was only an excuse to move out of their home. But there was nothing she could do about it.
When the four weeks that he was to stay with his mother came to an end, she awaited his return back to their home. Since she had already quit her job, she was hoping they would begin things afresh.
But instead, she received a home delivered parcel. Inside was a letter from Olumofe. The letter said he was already on plane to US and his final destination was Massachusetts. He already enrolled for a one-year MBA degree programme at the Boston University. After the one-year programme, the letter had said, he didn’t know what would come next. He regretted any pain his decision might cause her but then, she and her father had given him no choice; she and her father had caused him great pain.
After reading the letter, she immediately drove down to see Olumofe’s mother. It turned out that the same day, and in the same manner, she ha found out that her son had jetted out of the country. His mother was so surprised because neither of them had given her any hint that they had problems at home. There was little consolation the much older woman who was still mourning the death of her husband could offer her.
When she got back home, she broke down in tears and cried. She cried through the night and the following day. Her maid was so confused and didn’t know what to do, so she just avoided her and busied herself with minding Bucky.
The crying continued for the next two days before she was able to put a hold on herself.
Six weeks later, she moved back to her parents’ home. What constitute the greater part of her grief stems from the fact that she was so sure the love between both of them had not diminished, not even by a tiny bit, yet Olumofe could turn his back on this and walk out on her. They had lived together for two years, eleven and half months. They had now been separated for over six years.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:51pm On Mar 21, 2017|
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by yorhmienerd(m): 1:55pm On Mar 21, 2017|
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 3:10pm On Mar 21, 2017|
We'll be waiting
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 7:21am On Mar 22, 2017|
Good morning guys, still waiting for the first review.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by hardehbayor112(m): 9:08pm On Mar 22, 2017|
Oboi, I dey qbadun this story, More please
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by Bensoate1(m): 5:32pm On Mar 23, 2017|
You got a great story here, am so loving it pls more and frequent update, but i think people dont want to start a story that wont be completed since you are posting only the first 9 chapters, even if you will not complete the story dont indicate from the start, it discourages.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 6:56am On Mar 26, 2017|
Thanks for the nice comments... it's a big book, can't possibly post everything here...... the book is available on Okada Books through the application from play store or stores of other mobile platforms.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by dammyd46(m): 11:54am On Mar 27, 2017|
Great story got me totally committed.....
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 6:19pm On Mar 28, 2017|
You where to go if you wish to continue: Okada Books
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by double0seven(m): 8:37am On Mar 30, 2017|
Bros, why not just check it out on the Okada App. It's not even expensive. Just 500 naira. People sha
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 9:13pm On Apr 03, 2017|
No reviews yet
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 7:58pm On Apr 12, 2017|
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 1:24am On Apr 28, 2017|
Guys, trust you're all doing well
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 12:44pm On May 22, 2017|
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by Chummypinky(f): 5:35pm On May 22, 2017|
complete this thing naw please
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 6:34am On Jun 05, 2017|
I think I tried better than most, putting this much for anyone to read. I hope to put the book in print (publish).
But it's on sale online.
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 2:22am On Jun 28, 2017|
Hope you guys throughly enjoyed the Edel fitiri Break
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by lanrefront1(m): 10:20am On Jul 05, 2017|
Raining cats and dogs
|Re: THE ENTRAPMENT by Lanre Osinubi by double0seven(m): 3:19pm On Sep 11|
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