All In A Circle Episode 48

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Clement woke up early the next morning and after checking on Dolapo and seeing her still sleeping soundly. He shut the door into her room and scribbled down a note for her. As much as he wanted to cook for her, time was not on his side. He managed to describe where she could find cooking utensils and foodstuffs. He dropped three different clothes which he guessed will fit perfectly into her frame. He left a last instruction with Akpan, to drive her to the hospital if she insisted on going.

On his way, he branched at a nearby restaurant and grabbed a plate of rice which he intended to eat as soon as he reached the office. He knew he had so many places to go, first, he promised Ngozi a visit this morning, he promised to check on Tolani and he was yet to call his wife or anybody in his father’s house. He decided to call Rachel when he gets to St Battahias private hospital where Ngozi was admitted.

After spending close to five minutes with her, he left with a promise of checking on her in the afternoon before she was discharged. Then he proceeded to LUTH where Tolani was lying in a critical condition.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dolapo woke up and saw the note beside her on the bed. She read it and proceeded to clean her mouth and take her bath. She wanted to visit Tolani before any other thing, but the worms in her stomach warned her against it. She walked into the ktchen to prepare herself breakfast.

“Who is in there?” A voice asked her from outside the kitchen window. She knew it was Akpan.

“Its me.” She replied peeping through the window so he can see her face.

“Sorry. Good morning.” He said.

“Good morning sir.” She replied. Akpan went about doing his duties. But she felt the urge to ask him a question. She walked out of the kitchen and headed outside to talk to him.

“Excuse me sir.” She said to Akpan who was putting his bedsheet on the clothing line at the back of the house.

“Yes?”

“What will you like to have for breakfast? Or do you cook in your house?” She asked. Akpan smiled. Everything about this girl is matured. Just like Oga madam(Rachel)

“I actually do cook in my office there.” He said smiling. “But if Oga madam is around, I am sure of getting a plate of whatever they eat inside the house.” He explained.

“So have you prepared what you’ll eat this morning?” She asked.

“No. I don’t eat until eleven in the morning.” He replied.

“I will cook rice, then I’ll dish some for you. Hope you don’t mind?” He expressed his gratitude and she walked inside.

Even though she planned to make tea for herself, but now she has to prepare rice for the gateman. She went to the living room and was watching a film on an American movie channel. She seemed to be enjoying the film, but she needed company, she needed someone to talk to. She stood up and walked towards Akpan’s house. She knocked on the door.

“Please I need your help.” She said.

“My help? How may I be of help to you?” He asked.

“I am feeling lonely and I want you to keep my company.” She said pleadingly.

“Which film are you watching? Spartacus?” He asked. She knew it, his perverted self can’t be hidded. She told him the title but he refused to go with her saying he won’t want a situation where Oga Madam will be shouting on him.

“See, I can’t go in with you. If you are ready to go to the hospital, call me so I can drive you down there.” He said walking into his small house. She walked back into the house and proceeded to remove the pot of rice from fire. She dished it into two plates and proceeded to making tea.

Akpan came in a few minutes later and left with his food. She couldn’t explain how this happened, the mug in which she made the tea dropped and shattered into pieces. Even though, she doesn’t believe in superstitions, she concluded that something is wrong. Her mind immediately darted to the hospital where her friend was. She couldn’t eat her food as she troubled Akpan to finish up with his food and drive her straight to the hospital.

****

Clement was getting ready for a double header questioning session. First he had to see Scorpion and get addresses of where Deoye could be from him and then proceed to the hidden cell behind the station where Viktor was being kept. And since he wanted amnesty, he is ready to change the colour of his skin. It is only in America where the impossible becomes possible, a terrorist who has killed thousands of your citizens with one dangerous weapon. You eventually arrest him and he decided to play a fast one on them. He trades his weapon for his release, they’ll get the weapon from him and keep it in their museum, then fufill their own part of the signed agreement by releasing him and flying him out of America. They forgot the adage which says, “once a soldier, is always a soldier.” Sooner or later, the terrorist will develop another of such weapon and gather a new team in the new country he now lives in. He might not not go back to America, he’ll then travel down to Africa where he can display his spirited expertise in weaponry without being caught. Simply because Africa is thousand miles apart from America and other Western countries when it comes to security expertise. Which is why we still seek aid from them.

Such was the case when Abdul Maleek, a top official in a terrorist group in America a decade ago, he was nabbed alongside his comrades and the Amereican government decided to release each of them to their respective home government. Maleek was sent to Sudan, his native country and was sentenced to a life imprisonment. He broke free after six years, then smuggled his way into Nigeria and became a household name.

The office in which he was seated was empty, his neighbours were all not on seat, Mike was in Ibadan facing a panel of top police officers, Ngozi in the hospital, Habeeb questioning the fifteen cultists arrested in LASU a few days back. The two other officers who occupies the two empty chairs were at a checkpoint or the other searching every vehicle that passes the route. He picked his paper and headed for Scorpion’s cell.

“Good morning sir.” Scorpion greeted. He ignored him as he sat down before him and uncuffed his two hands. He slipped a pen between his fingers.

“Give me the addresses of everyone connected to Deoye. All of them.” He said without smiling.

Looking at Scorpion’s face alone was multiplying his rage, the sad news he heard this morning was enough to kill his mood, yet, he was sitting face to face with one of the people who was responsible for the killing of the innocent girls. Scorpion knew his loyalty to Deoye had brought him to the end of the road, he decided to do everything within his power to make sure Deoye was arrested. He wrote five different addresses. Two in lagos, one of his cousins who studies at Yabatech and his other cousin, Don who lived in his own apartment downtown. One address in Ibadan, Deoye’s elder sister who was married with kids. The other two were his parent’s house in Minna, Niger state and his uncle’s house.

“I’ll be back. But first, I have to work on this addresses.” He said as he cuffed his hands and walked out. Immediately he started calling distric police stations in Lagos, while he called the Headquarters at Ibadan and Minna.

+++++++++

He unlocked the iron bars and walked into the cell. He click the switch and the light flickered on, illuminating the dark room. Viktor raised his head up on sighting Clement.

“How do you do?” He asked. Viktor looked at him in astonishment, he was a criminal and he knew it. Why was he asking how he was?

“Are you here with my amnesty papers?” Viktor asked.

“The presidency is working on it, but first, you have to help us. Give me the names of the top officials working for Maleek.” Viktor smiled.

“I am no longer a member of the corp. But before I left, Meleek was the boss which we all know, he has ten council of chiefs members, no one knows who they are. There is a certain Hakym, the head of strategies, and another guy called Daner-kelv. He goes by the name Kelvin.” Viktor explained.

“Why did you leave the corp? The ten men you mentioned, are they always on mask like Maleek? Why is it that you don’t know their names?” Clement asked.

“I will only answer your question if you go one question at a time. Understood?”

*****

There was a knock on the door. Everyone in the room kept quiet immediately and waited for another knock to sound on the door.

“Who is there?” Don asked.

“Its me, the doctor.” A male voice replied sharply.

“Go and get him.” Don said to one of his boys who approached the front door, and with one swift yank, the door was opened. Doctor Rapheal stepped into the room holding a briefcase.

“Welcome Doctor.” Don said as he rose up to greet the young medical doctor. Rapheal smiled as he dropped the briefcase on the table and looked around the room for his patient.

“Where is he?” Doctor Rapheal asked.

“You should at least grab a drink before setting to work.” Don said.

“Nah, I had to put a student doctor in my office. I have less than one hour to spare. Take me to where ever he is.” Rapheal replied. Don snapped his finger and two boys disappeared into one of the rooms. They returned a few seconds later carrying a stretcher on which Deoye lay.

“What did you give him?” Rapheal asked immediately he was dropped on the floor. He wore his gloves and set to work without delay.

“The same dose was what I gave him. Just the way you advised me to use it on any on them” Don explained.

“Its over a month since any of your boys was hit. Yesterday’s outing must really be tight.” Rapheal said cleaning the cut sustained from the impact of the gunshot. Deoye stirred and winced in pain.

“You didn’t sedate this guy. Did you?” Raph asked.

“I did.”

“You only gave him the pain killer, but the sedative drug was not added. I mean that yellow liquid in that glass jar.”

“It has finished. But he slept nau.” Don pointed out.

“Yes, he’ll sleep. You know, there is a little amount of sedatives inside a pain relieving drug. Once you are relieved, you fall asleep, but only a full dose can make him feel alright.” Rapheal explained.

“So, what’s going to happen now?” One of Don’s boys asked.

“I’ll remove the bullet and get the wound dressed. He’ll be fine in a matter of days. Lets just hope, his vein wasn’t affected.” Rapheal said opening the suitcase and removing all manners of instruments.

“What if his vein was affected?” Don asked.

“He’ll have to visit the hospital.” He replied.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isabella has been in the kitchen right from the time they arrived from Sandra’s house. All efforts to bring Frank back to his normal self proved abortive. She dropped the pot on the kitchen table and proceeded to wake her boyfriend before any other thing. She walked into the room and was surprised to meet him awake.

“Sweety.” She said.

“Good morning.” Frank replied looking away. She joined him in bed and held his hand.

“Baby, look at me.” Isabella said. Frank turned to face her and waited for her to say whatever she wanted to say. “Breakfast is ready.” She said.

“I am not hungry.” He replied sharply like he has been reharsing that particular phrase all night.

“Starving yourself won’t solve this issue. You need to talk to Sandra. Make her reason with you that it is impossible for you to do such thing to her. Why would you? What do you stand to gain? Is it the money or what?” Frank kept quiet and was looking at her without blinking away.

“According to the story you told me. She sponsored your education up to the university level, she got you a job to work for her. She got you your first car, rented this apartment for you. What else do you want? Just talk to her, I believe she’ll listen.” She continued.

“The most painful thing is that Sandra didn’t believe me. Even if she caught me in the act, she ought to ask if it was me or someone else.” Frank said bitterly.

“Stop being childish. Learn to trust no body. Trust yourself and nobody else.” A knock sounded on the front door outside.

“Who could that be?” Isabella asked.

“Maybe, its the neighnour’s door.” He replied. But when the knock sounded again, Frank stood up and went to the living room to open the entrance door. Isabella was on his chase.

“Good morning sir.” A postman greeted.

“Good morning.” Frank replied.

“Is this Mr Frank’s apartment?” He asked.

“Yeah.” Frank replied.

“You have a letter.” Frank wanted to laugh at the postman’s reply. Do we still have a functioning postal system in this country, even if we do, you’ll receive your letter after a month. He collected the envelope and signed some form. The name written on the envelope as the addresee increased his heartbeat.

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****

All through breakfast, Rachel couldn’t look at her father-in-law in the eyes. Everytime their eyes met, she was quick to face her food. It wasn’t like she was feeling guilty, but she was getting afraid of the man. Kelvin was seated on the left side of the dinning table and Chief Patrick opposite her. All she wanted to do was to eat and get out of the dinning room. She just can’t wait to see her kid sister in town. She had called her the previous week and made her promise that she’ll be in town today, being saturday and she’ll leave on Sunday to resume in her place of primary assignment.

“Dad, when is the party primary?” Kelvin asked.

“In two months.” Chief Patrick replied.

“Who are you drumming your support for? Do you have a Lagos gubernatorial candidate? What about in our hometown, Ebonyi?” Kelvin continued.

“I am just a political observer at the highest level. As a Board of Trustee member, we are to make sure that the president returns to office.” His father replied.

“But dad, I have been thinking about this. You as a politician, you ought to have a son in the game, so that the name Obi Patrick can be on for a long time.” Kelvin said. Chief Patrick laughed.

“So, will you join me in the league? I can assure you of a local government chairmanship slot for a start.” His father asked.

“We both know I am not a political person. Why not try Clement?”

“That one? He loves his job more than anything. He can’t do politics.” Chief Patrick replied.

“We can make Rachel talk to him.” Kelvin enthused. Rachel who has been eavesdropping on their conversation was grateful for being sidelined. Her cutlery fell onto the ground immediately she heard her name.

“Sorry.” She said bending down to pick the cutleries on the floor.

“No, don’t.” Chief Patrick said and she froze. “A pregnant woman isn’t allowed to bend down. It is not good for the baby.” He explained.

“Onome, get me a fork and a knife.” Kelvin bellowed. Onomen walked into the dinning from the kitchen adjacent to it.

“Here it is sir.” Onome said.

“Give it to her.” Onome gave the cutleries to her and walked out of the dinning without saying a word.

“I’ll just go to bed.” She was starting to feel dizzy. Kelvin and his father exchanged looks.

“What’s wrong with you?” Kelvin asked.

“Maybe, Onome’s presence neausates her.” Chief Patrick replied. Rachel wanted to defend Onome but she decided to keep mute. “From this moment, Onome, you have to stay clear of my daughter- in-law. Okay?” Chief Patrick bellowed.

“Okay sir.” Said a fallen voice from the kitchen.

Sitting and eating in the midst of enemies can be killing at times. She thought about Kelvin’s advice to his father, that Clement should join politics. Why not him? Kelvin smiled at her acting prowess. She stylishly dodged his question by suddenly feeling dizzy and sick. But unknown to her, he was only trying to save his brother from the pain of loosing close relative while he was still a police. The corporation are after him and his wife. And as far as he is still a policeman, he will always be on the corporation’s rader. How he wished he could just talk to either of them and make them reason with him without telling them he worked with Khal corp.

The rest of the breakfast went with little or no conversation with his father. He retired into his room after the meal as he prepared to visit Sandra that morning. His ringing phone caught his attention. It was an unknown number.

“Hello.” He said.

“Kelvin, its me Ngozi.”

“Oh! Good morning.”

“I am in the hospital and I needed someone to keep my company.” She said.

“Send the address to my phone. I’ll be there in a jiffy.” He quickly rushed to the bathroom. He was not concerned about her being in the hospital, he just wanted to be with her. She being bored meant she was alone, therefore, he’ll have all the time in the world to tell her how he felt about her.

*****

Rachel finished dressing up after she had recieved a call from her kid sister, Chidinma announcing that she was in town. She was wearing a gown, sewn from Ankara, a native cloth. She applied a little make up and picked up her handbag. She walked into the living room and picked a car key from one of the numerous keys hung on the wall. She walked into the garage and pressed a button on the key holder, a yellow Honda Element gave a squeek. She hopped in and drove to the motor park, where Chidinma was waiting for her.

——-

Thirty minutes later, she was driving towards her husband’s apartment with Chidinma on the passenger seat chatting happily.

“Hope the students are not troubling you?” Rachel asked. She was posted to a secondary school in Ibadan to teach.

“Ibadan students are very wonderful. They are willing to learn but the only problem they have is inter- school conflicts, but aside that they’ll make you laugh.” Chidinma explained.

“You must really be enjoying yourself then?”

“More than enjoyment sef. Its like I’ll settle down in Ibadan after my service. The only problem is their epileptic power supply.” Chidinma replied.

“You can buy a small generator then.” Rachel advised like the big sister she was. They continued their journey amidst chatter and before they knew it, Rachel was already blarring the horn outside the gate. No response came from within the compound.

“Where is this boy?” Rachel said as she disengaged the seat belt and opened the door.

“Let me get him. Do you still use Akpan?”

“He is very faithful and honest.” Rachel praised him. Chidinma walked towards the gate, pressed the bell, knocked and banged. Yet no reply came. Then her eagle eye darted towards the lock on the big gate.

“The gate is locked from the outside. He is not in.” She said to her sister. Rachel removed her purse from her handbag and gave a bunch of keys to her kid sister. Chidinma unlocked the pedestrian gate from outside, she walked in and opened the big gate. Rachel drove in.

“Where could he have gone to?” Rachel asked as she knocked on his door but no one replied.

“Maybe he has gone to have some fun in town.” Chidinma said as she took her small travelling bag from the back seat and and pulled her sister into the house.

“Seriously, I am famished.” Chidinma announced.

“Get your things into the visitor’s room while I go prepare something for you to eat.” Rachel said walking into the kitchen. She stopped in her tracks when she saw that the kitchen was very tidy and neat. Its over a week that they left the house and it is still very clean. Akpan can’t possibly be cleaning the house, he doesn’t have the key. Then her eyes caught the waste basket. She remembered the night when an intruder entered the compound, she personally disposed the waste basket into the large bin outside. How come a broken mug and tea bags were visible inside the basket. Someone must have used this kitchen but not certainly Akpan. She knew Clement slept over last night, but the Clement she go married to won’t take tea in the morning before going to work. Moreso, when she asked if he had eaten when they talked on phone, he said he had gotten a plate of rice from a fastfood joint. Did he bring another lady into the house and he lied to her? She wanted to get on with her cooking but her mind was not at rest. She couldn’t do anything, she was just imagining the scenario where Clement would be romancing another lady overnight. Just then Chidinma bursted into the kitchen.

“Rachy, come see something.” She said grabbing her sister’s arm and dragging her towards the visitor’s room. The house belonged to her and she knew the bed in the visito’s room was always vacant with no bed sheet spread over it. It was only when they have a visitor that she spread the bed, but now a bed spread was on the bed. That was the first thing she saw, then two of her clothes on the bed.

“These are my clothes? What are they doing here?” She asked her sister.

“That was why I called you.” Chidinma replied. Her eyes then caught and unusual night gown, a jacket on the empty cloth basket in the room. That was the straw that threatened to break the camel’s back.

“Clement, how dare you?”

***

Frank was seated on a three seater couch in the living room, looking dazed and surprised. He looked heartbroken and ready to cry, but something seemed to be holding the tears. He wanted to cry, sob and wail loudly, but he has to be strong. Isabella walked into the living room with a bottled water and a glass cup on a tray. She removed a stool from beside the couch and placed it before him. She filled the cup with water and gave it to him.

“Am I really thirsty?” He asked.

“But you asked me to get you water.” Isabella said raising her voice. She was not a fan of all his ‘Ramsey Noah’ stunts. Even if his cousin threatened to get him killed, he has no reason to be afraid of her.

“Baby, I think you’ll have to take it easy on yourself. Sandra threatened to throw you out because she got this apartment for you and paid a two years rent. I think you have a stable bank account, lets move out and get another apartment.” She advised.

“Why are you talking like this? Moving into another apartment will only confirm that I know about all Janet did. I’ll have to beg her. Remember she promised to kill me too.”

“Tell me you are scared because she threatened to kill you? She dare not try it, remember she is a public figure, and unless she wants to kill me too. Because I’ll definitely report her. But I think we should explain everything to my dad.” She said. He wanted to slap her that second but throught against it. What is the point boasting about your dad’s status when it has nothing to do about the issue on ground. Every little thing that happens, her dad must be involved. Even if a mug fell on the floor and shattered into pieces, she’ll advice that they report to her father. What can an ex-lawmaker do about a broken mug? Will he re-mould it or pack the remains?

“There is nothing your dad can do about the issue on ground.”

“Remember, he was a senator. He could use his connection and protect us.” She replied.

“Your dad was a senator in one of the old republics. He remained a senator because the title is for life. He is no longer relevant politically, they only mention his name because he is an elder.” He said angrily rising up to his feet. Her jaws twitched.

She blamed her father for going into politics too early in his life. Even when she was in school, her friends will claim they have never heard of her father’s name in the Nigerian politics. How she wished her father was an incubent lawmaker.

“Where to?” She asked. He ignored her, picked his car keys from the tv cabinet and exited the living room.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Benson was already dressed in his black tuxedo suit and white shirt. A pair of black shoe adorned his legs and a briefcase occupied his left hand while he held his car key on the right. He has a case to defend that day by eleven and he was running late. He has thirty minutes to reach the court. He stood rooted to a spot and was fuming. Seeing him, one would think he was waiting for his wife, but a few seconds later, his wife returned still dressed in her nightie.

“Let me out of here.” He shouted.

“Out of where? You are not going anywhere.” She replied as she flashed a bunch of key on his face. It was evident they were fighting, and she had locked the doors.

“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t go out today.” He said calmly.

“I won’t give you one reason. They are many, one, you said you’ll be home throughout the weekend. Just this morning you said you have a case to defend. Its over a year since we got married, I am yet to concieve, I have no problem because you married me a virgin. The highest you ever spent with me per day is three hours, except at night when you are already asleep. I suffered a miscarriage last month, and now that I needed you most to console me, you are always defending one case or the other.” She complained bitterly. He knew he was at fault, but couldn’t bring himself to admit it.

“Alright sweety, just unlock the door and let me go, I promise to make things right as soon as I return. I have to be in court.” He pleaded. Hot tears trickled down her cheeks. That did the trick, she’ll open the door at last.

“You are cheating on me because I am a very gentle person. Only God knows what you do with your so called clients out there. And that sexy secretaty of yours.” She complained bitterly. Did she just call her ‘sexy’? She unlocked the door and walked into the room angrily without another word.

To be continued