All In A Circle Episode 24

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Clement’s phone rang for the upteenth time without anybody picking up, his communication device has beeped severally until it lost connection a few seconds ago. Road users were busy with their businesses, driving along the Dolphin axis with no one paying attention to a man who head was rested on the steering wheel and the car parked beside the road with bullet scratches all over the body of the car.

Two lastma officials arrived at the scene and they knocked on the widow of the car, they got no response and this prompted them to open the car door and ready to drag out the driver who had the guts to park his car in an area marked with the sign NP(No parking)

“Mr man, come down here. If you have problems with your wife, the best you can do is to settle with her at home and not by parking your car inappropriately on the road. Come on drag him out.” The superior officer said.

“Oga. Come and see something.” The junior officer who made to drag Clement’s body out of the car said.

“What is it?” His boss asked as he walked to the passenger side and opened the door.

“Blood of Jesus!” He exclaimed.

“He is is still breathing oga.” The junior officer said.

“Good, find a way of helping him into the backseat. We’ll take him to the hospital.” The two officers succesfully dragged Clement and made him lie on the backseat while the Junior officer took to the wheel, his superior sat on the passenger seat, keeping a watchful eye on Clement.

“His face is familliar.” The junior officer said as he accelerated the car ignoring the traffic light.

“Everyone’s face is familliar to you. You better concentrate on the car you are driving.” His boss replied.

“I think he is a policeman.” The man behind the wheel said opening the car safe where Clement’s police badge was.

“I told you.”

“This is a big catch for us man. The state government will commend us and hopefully we’ll be promoted.” His superior said admiring the badge.

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Sergeant Smith and his boys were trailing the van at a relative slow speed and the driver of the van was not vigilant enough to notice that they are being followed. This time they had left the suburb and are on their way towards the Idi-iroko boarder.

“I knew it, these guys all work for Abdul Maleek.” One of the policemen said.

“How did you know?” Smith asked him.

“Sir, this was exactly where we had combat with the Khal corp members when we came to rescuse Late Okoro.” The policeman, a corporal replied.

“I think we should do the needful. Hey, you overtake them.” Smith commanded the driver of the bus who increased his speed in a bid to overtake the van.

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“Guy, do you know that we are being followed?” The driver of the van asked his partner looking through the rear mirror.

“You don’t mean it?” His partner asked. He removed his head through the window and turned to look back but he couldn’t see a thing as his head got blown off with a bullet. The driver quickly brought the car to a halt as a result of the shock. He was surrounded within seconds by men of the Nigerian police force.

“You are under arrest.” Smith said. Just then the backdoor of the van opened and Agent Sylvester jumped down. Every policeman on ground stood at attention and saluted him.

“Get him into the car. He’ll drive us into their base.” Sylvester ordered Smith who obeyed at once. The driver was pushed behind the wheel after they had succeeded in pulling his partner onto the ground. All the policemen all got into the van after giving orders to the driver. He is to drive them into the Khal corp and they(the policemen) take it from there.

The van drove into the Khal corp headquarters with about ten policemen lying in the second compartment of the van. The first compartment(the driver’s seat) was demacated with an iron sheet with a little opening which allows fresh air.

“Salam aleikun.” Someone greeted the driver in arabic.

“Its me Deric.” The driver replied. The two men conversed in English.

“Did you get to meet Ayo?” The man asked.

“No, but he sent his greetings.” The driver replied.

“Ok good. Maleek is waiting for you.” The man at the gate said. The driver ignited the car and drove deeper into the compound. A few seconds later, he opened the car door and made to get out.

“Where do you think you are going?” Sylvester asked through the openig between the two compartment.

“The boss wants to see me.” He replied.

“Whatever. Which is the safest way here?” Sylvester asked further.

“I don’t know. I am employed as a driver and all I do is drive in and drive out. I don’t move around.” He replied angrily.

“You are raising your voice man. Keep it low.” Sylvester cautioned.

“Am not keeping my voice down. I’ll alert everyone in this compound that the cops are here. I agreed to drive you guys down here because I know if I refuse, you’ll kill me and I value my life very much. And do you think if I walk in there I won’t raise an alarm?” The driver asked.

“You know what? I’ll get you killed now.” Sylvester said as he stabbed the driver with a kitchen knife through the opening of the demarcation.

“Smith ,you come with me. We’ll do a quick survey of this compound. Then we get back to you guys for action.” Sylvester said opening the back door and jumping out of the van, Smith followed suit and they both walked into the garage where tens of cars were parked and about five vans were parked.

“Hey guys, you all come out in twos and threes, get into the vans in the garrage and await the next command.” Sylvester said through the communication device.

The two men proceeded towards a door that stood at the north of the garrage just when a redlight shone brightly on the two men. Then the alarm started blaring loudly.

“We’ve been discovered. We can’t face these men. Lets get out of here as fast as we could. Sylvester and Smith ran outside the garage and Smith quickly hopped behind the wheel of the car and Sylvester beside him. Smith who sat uncomfortably on the dead body of the driver who brought them powered the car and in one swift moment he made a U-turn and was directly facing the front gate. Sylvester from his seat was shooting the gunmen manning the gate. And from his knowledge of targetting, he was able to drop the three men who stood before the gate, while Smith sped towards the gate and slammed the van on the gate. Forcefully, the gate gave way and the van flew outside the compound in full speed.

Sylvester looked at Smith in a bid to commend him but was suprised to see blood all over the steering wheel. The force with which the car hit the gate and coupled with the fact that he wasn’t sitting comfortably made him hit his head on the steering wheel.

“Smith, can you hear me?” Sylvester asked. He realised the car was heading toward a nearby oak tree and he can’t afford to let that happen. In three quick pull ups, he brought the car to a halt with the help of the hand brake.

“Come on guys, lets get out of here. Smith is unlikely to make it out of here alive.” Sylvester said opening the door and he ran deeper into the bush, his boys followed suit and the terrorist gave them a hot chase. Even though he had no idea of where the bush path will lead him but he knew it has to lead to somewhere safe, because running through the untarred road which connects the hideout with the main road is dangerous.

He knew running through the road in which they had come is a death sentence because of an ambush that lay ahead and the basecamp that provide first hand cover to the building. He knew there can’t be anything of such in a forest as thick as this but he won’t loose his guard. He was running with all his might, then he glanced back to see his men are still behind him. They had drastically reduced to four. If only he would get out of this alive, he’ll resign and pursue a career in music.

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Rachel was in the kitchen assisting the Patrick’s housemaid.

“Get me the bottle of dry pepper.” Rachel said to the old lady. The lady in her mid forties opened a shelf hung on the wall and brought out a bottle of dried red pepper.

“Here ma.” The lady, Onome replied.

“Stop calling me ma. Aunty Onome. I am your kid sister.” Rachel corrected.

“I know you are my kid sister. Even our last born is older than you but circumstances can make one bow for one’s son.” Onome replied. Rachel added a little pepper to the egg she was frying then turned to face Onome.

“Circumstances like? please tell me more.” Rachel said pleadingly. Even though she is in her father-in-law’s residence on a visiting purpose. She enjoyed chatting with Onome anytime she came visiting and Onome on the other hand is always looking forward to her visit. Rachel got to know more about Onome after she got married to Clement.

The newly wedded couple spent a week at Cheif Obi Patrick’s residence before they moved into their own apartment which at the time of the wedding was still under construction, interior fitting to be precise.

“Look at you now, you are married to Clement, Chief Pat son. a rich and caring husband.” Onome began.

“How sure are you that he is caring?” Rachel asked. Onome smiled.

“I have been working with the Patricks for over a decade now and I know a lot about each and every member of the family. Chief is a no nonsense man, he hates negligence and doesn’t tolerate sluggishness. Kelvin is that mean looking guy who will respond to your greeting once in a month. Clement is that man who’ll walk into the kitchen early in the morning to say hello to me, a mere cook.” Onome explained. Rachel smiled happily. She is truly lucky to have this man.

“I am a cook here and I amount to nothing. I am only placed on the high when they(the patricks) are hungry. Anything aside that, no one cares.” Onome continued. Rachel decided to keep quiet and listen to Onome so that she won’t judge her inlaws too quickly.

“You are happily married, your hausband cares for you, you live in affluence, confortability is the order of the day. You have a car, you’ll soon put to bed by the special grace of God. Everything seems to be working for you and God seems to be on your side.” Onome said and swallowed hard. Rachel decided to check what she put on fire and she turned the egg being fried.

“I am married too but lost my husband just three months after our marriage. I was pregnant when he died and I delivered a set of twin, a boy and a girl. What am trying to say is, your father-in-law pays my salary and you are his daughter-in-law and also his daughter. Authomatically you are my employee.” Onome said conclusively. Rachel kept quiet, looking at the old lady before her with pity. As hot tears rolled down Onome’s cheeks.

“You have every reason to be thankful to God, at least you are alive and when there is life, there is hope. Your children are your hope. Where are they now?” Rachel asked.

“The two of them are with my mother in our hometown. They are in secondary school now, ss2 to be precise.” Onome replied.

“They are the reason why you should always thank God….” Just then Chief Obi Patrick walked into the living room.

“Anybody home?” The old man asked as he sat down on the nearest sofa. Onome quickly ran out of the kitchen to welcome her boss.

“Welcome sir.” Onome greeted kneeling down from a distance.

“Hello.” Chief Patrick replied with indifference. “Take this suitcase into my study.” He said handling a suitcase to her. she took it and made to walk out of the living room. Just then a heavilly pregnant Rachel walked into the living room.

“Welcome daddy.” She greeted kneeling down too but her knees were not touching the ground because of her condition.

“Hey, sweetheart. Come right here.” Chief Patrick said opening his arms for a hug. Rachel walked towards his and hugged him on the seat.

“I learnt you had a shock last night. Hope you are good now?”

“Yes. Am much better.” Chief Patrick smiled happily. There is this special affection he has for her, the reason to which he couldn’t fathom. Maybe because he has no daughter. Or so he thought.

“Hey, you come back here.” He said beckoning to Onome. Onome descended the stairs and walked towards her long term employer.

“Give the suitcase to her. Let her take it to my study. Its been a while we talked about politics.” Onome handed the suitcase to Rachel who took it and walked towards the flight of stairs. Just then Chief Obi patrick’s phone rang.

“Hello.” He said on picking the call. “Yes, I am his father. Any problem?” “What!?” He exclaimed.

to be continued–