“Welcome oga Clement.” a policeman at the counter greeted.
“Yes, thank you. What’s going on?” Clement asked.
“Going on where?” The policeman said.
“The flags flying at half mast. What happened?”
“So you have not heard?” Clement shook his head in the negative.
“Oga Charles is dead.” Clement gave him a very deadly look of “you don’t know what you are talking about.” Just then Sylvester came strolling into the station. His countenance changed immediately he saw Clement. But he was quick to to conceal it with a smile.
“Hey Clem. Its good to see you.” He said and walked out of the reception towards the hallway that led to the top officer’s offices. Clement noticed his but choosed to let it pass.
“What’s wrong with him?” The policeman at the counter asked.
“I should ask you that question. I was not here yesterday.”
“Maybe he is feeling sad because of Charles. The comedian. May his soul rest in peace.” It was then Clement knew that his boy Charles was gone too soon.
He managed to drag himself out of the reception towards his office. Just as he passed the Commissioner of Police’s office, he could hear raised voices. One unmistakably belonged to Sylvester, he knew the commissioner’s voice but two other voices were in there with them which he couldn’t fathom the owners.
He pushed open his office door and settled down on his chair. But what the hell is wrong with Sylvester? He was recommended to me and I took him in, he should at least brief me on every happening around here. He buried his face into his laptop where he was reading the news PobsOnline. An hour into his reading, a knock sounded on the door.
“Yes, come in.” The door pushed open and Ngozi walked in all smiled, dressed in a white and black top over a black jean trouser.
“oh! Its you?” Ngozi settled down on the chair opposite his before she spoke.
“You didn’t tell me you’ll be resuming this fast.”
“A surprise.” He replied. She smiled. After which silence enveloped the room, various throughts were going through their minds. Ngozi decided to break the silence after a few minutes.
“Have you seen Sylvester today?” She asked. Clement nodded his head in affirmative with an askance look. “You didn’t notice anything strange about him?” He nodded his head negatively.
“You are not vigilant as you claimed to be. Take your time to study him, you notice he is now uptight. He didn’t reply me when I greeted him this morning at the Commissioner’s office.” Clement decided not to probe further even though he had so many question troubling his mind. If Ngozi was at the commissioner’s office, then it is possible she has an idea of what was being discussed at the time he came in. But it is best to allow everything pass for now. He needs to see his boss first before he starts asking questions.
“And sorry about Charles.” Ngozi said, knowing he was the most pained of them all because just like Sergeant Mike rose through the ranks thanks to Clement, Charles success if traced will always lead to Clement. Clement nodded his head sadly.
“I’ll like to go now, I have an assignment with Sylvester.”
“You care to brief me?” Clement asked recovering himself.
“We’ve been ordered to go and search Mr Ayo Okorie’s residence.”
“Okay. Goodluck with the search.” Ngozi left his office two minutes later. And five minutes after her departure, he headed for the state commissioner of police office.
Ngozi kept quiet as Sylvester drove towards Dolphin estate where Mr Ayo Okorie’s residence was located. This was the first time she’ll be working with Sylvester directly, even though they were both visiting officers, Ngozi works at the Area F-command while Sylvester work for an intelligence agency, the FBI and he was contacted to help the police with his team. Ngozi wanted to ask him questions but the look on his face showed he was in no mood for such. She cleared her throat to gain his attention. He only glanced at her and turned to face the main road within a second.
“Sylvester.” Ngozi called. He turned to face her with an askance look. “When are you leaving?” She asked.
“Do you have a problem with me leaving or staying?” Ngozi smiled.
“You see, I have no problem with either of the two, its just that am surprised everyone is begging you to stay.” she replied.
“Do you want me to leave?” He asked smirking his lips.
“What do you expect, like if you leave now, I’ll be happy.” She replied. He frowned a bit but quickly concealed the frown with a dirty smile.
“Everyone wants me to stay. Even your bosses who are too old to handle a revolver. I single-handedly led the team that successful sent the notorious Ayo out of the town. I am an asset.”
“You are yet to achieve what some policemen have achieved, the likes of Clement, Late Okoro, Mike and even the late Charles. All you have is the ability to read the situation and you have the tactical knowledge, the execution is what you don’t have. Its not like you led the team into the residence, you gave them how to invade without anyone noticing.” Ngozi said angrily.
“You were not there and please I am driving, I need to concentrate.” He replied shutting her up. Fifteen minutes later, he pulled up in front of Mr Ayo’s gate where five soldiers stood guarding the gate.
“Don’t just sit down there lady. Come with me.” He said. Ngozi opened the door and came out, she rounded the car and walked towards the gate with Sylvester.
“I am agent Sylvester, FBI fourth clearance level assisting the police and with me here is Ngozi.” He said flashing his FBI badge. Ngozi produced her ID car and showed it to the millitary men.
“This way.” one of the millitary men led the way towards the main gate. The gate was opened from within after the soldier leading the way tapped the gate lightly.
“Who is in charge here?” Sylvester asked.
“Leiutenant James.” The soldier replied. They walked into Mr Ayo’s living room which was in a total mess, books flung everywhere, broken glasses, half burnt chairs to mention a few.
“How long do you stay here?” Sylvester asked.
“Twenty four hours. We work in shifts.” A young man dressed in uniform stood beside another uniformed man and were conversing in low tones.
“You can go, I’ll take it up from here.” Sylvester discharged the soldier who nodded and walked away. The two millitary men stopped talking immediately they saw Sylvester.
“You must be James.” Sylvester said to none of them in particular, but he had his eyes set on the younger uniformed man.
“And you must be Sylvester.” The younger man replied. Sylvester dropped his hand on Ngozi’s shoulder.
“This is Ngozi, a policewoman.”
“Here with me is Hassan.” James replied. The four officers set to work with Sylvester assuming the lead role, he dished out intstructions while James explained the layout of the house to them. Sylvester siezed the opportunity to push Ngozi around as he made her work hard, opening locked door without keys, he was happy she came along. He was punishing her in the best of his abilities.
“Come and see this.” Ngozi said to Hassan whom he had developed likeness for because of his calmness. Hassan walked towards her holding a laptop which was almost broken into two with him. They were both in a room they assumed belonged to Mr Ayo himself. “A diary.” Ngozi said to him as they both glanced through the pages of the book.
Ngozi’s attention soon drifted off to a shelf that stood beside a doorway. She walked towards it and picked up the first thing her eyes caught. It was a map in which every part of the house was drawn.
“A map?” Hassan asked as he peeped from behind her. Ngozi nodded as she used her hand to trace the main gate to where they were and truely, the room belonged to Mr Ayo. Then her eyes caught something that heightened their curiousity.
“An underground?” They both exclaimed.
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Rachel walked out of the hospital building into the parking lot with Doctor Rapheal holding her hand.
“When next am I seeing you?” Rapheal asked.
“Next month.” she replied.
“You must have been due for delivery then?” he asked.
“Yes, so you’ll see me everyday then.” She replied. He frowned his face and stopped her just beside her car.
“I’ll be on leave by then. Doctor Andrew would have returned by then. He’ll handle your delivery.” He explained.
“Then you won’t see then.” She said conclusively. He thought for a few seconds before he spoke.
“I have a plan.” He announced.
“Tell me about it.”
“You said you are currently staying with your father-in-law right?” Rachel nodded affirmatively.
“Persuade your husband, so you both can return to your house. While he is at work, I’ll visit you at home during my two hours break.” He said. Rachel wanted to say no, but the smile on his face reminded her of how she craved for those smiles.
“Thats a very good idea. I’ll talk to him and give you his reply in the evening.” He opened his arms for a hug but Rachel turned to unlock her car doors.
“Won’t you give me a hug?” He asked.
“I am married.” She replied.
“You were single when we were kissing in there right?” He asked mischievously. Rachel’s face turned red with embarrassment. She hissed angrily and hopped behind the wheel.
“Give me a call once your husband consents to your return back home.” He said smiling as she angrily backed out the car and in one swift turn of the steering wheel, the car was facing the main gate. Not even in her wildest dream, she never thought she could drive like this. As a matter of fact, she believed the type of stunt she pulled was only possible in movies.
“Mad driver.” He thought as he walked back into the hospital.
By the time Victoria drove out of Dolphin estate, she realised the day has been far spent and she still need to see Don before heading home. She removed her phone and dialled his number.
“Are you home?” She asked. “Ok, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” She replied and hung up. Her eyes roamed about the street and something caught her attention. A group of soldiers guarding the front of a house. Only God knows who owns the house, he must be a household name. She thought as she waited at the estate axis for the traffic light to turn green, so she could move. Ten minutes later, she pulled up in front of Don’s residence. She alighted from the car and walked to the gate. She knocked three times and the gate was opened.
“Avicky vicky baby.” A mean looking guy, Deoye’s friend said. Victoria maintained a straight face as she ignored him and walked towards the main house. “No begin think sey you better pass me o. All I know is that you can’t pull out of the group now.” The guy said to her retreating figure.
“Your headache.” She said without looking back.
“Wide p.u.s.s.y.” He smirked. She ignored him and walked in, a light complexioned dude opened the door for her.
“Where is Don?” She asked rudely, thinking he was one of the newest members. The son of a richman who needed protection.
“Take a sit.” Deoye said politely. She scritinized him for a second before she settled down on a couch.
“Don ask me to keep your company. He is busy in there.” Deoye replied.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“I am Deoye.” He replied.
“I didn’t ask for your name.”
“I am Don’s cousin.” He replied darting into the kitchen to get her a drink. He returned a few seconds later with a bottle of soda and a cup of ice.
“How do you know my favourite? Or is that all you’ve got in your fridge?” She asked.
“It was written all over you. I love soda. Pretty ladies are predictable.” Deoye replied. She didn’t smile neither did she frown. She maintained that same old look.
Five minutes later, Don walked into the silent living room looking refreshed after a very hardwork in his room. Even though Deoye tried to engage Vicky in a conversation, she just showed him how uninterested she was by replying in monosyllables like ‘no’ ‘yes,’ he gave up when he realised that he was getting nothing out of her. Maybe he was boring. He concluded.
“Lets go.” Don said to Vicky who stood up at once and walked out of the living room.
to be continued–
“Welcome oga Clement.” a policeman at the counter greeted.