Hearing the news of Steve`s woman being taken left me thinking about my own wife and kids, Paula and the kids were still out of the country and she was beginning to pressure me to either go and join her or them coming back.
“My love, the kids are going to school, we cannot keep them here any longer” she would say.
“I know love, I will come pick you up soon enough, and the kids can have home learning for a few more weeks. I just want the whole thing to clear out completely before I can come to get you” I tried to calm her but she was evidently not buying it any more especially that I had not told her what was really going on. The last thing I needed was telling her, her father was involved too.
“Ackim, if you don’t tell me what is going on am coming home tomorrow “I heard her sigh from the other end and I knew she was damn serious, she never called me by name unless she wanted to make a great emphasis.
I had zoomed out and lost in thinking about Paula when my phone rung, it was one of the guys I had put to find Mr. Benson the father to Paula.
“What’s going on? I asked the moment I picked the call. He told me where Mr. Benson was and immediately called Steve to let him know. I took the moment to review the evidence we had gotten to see if I could see any clues as to who else was involved or how best we could solve the matter once and for all.
It seemed most of the top guys where deep in the matter. “What money can do?” I shook my head leaning back and thinking through. Then an idea popped my head. I recalled I had never met face to face with Paula`s father. I decided to take a chance and check out what was going on at his residence in Solwezi, assuming he was in Lusaka.
The drive to Solwezi took me less than 2 hours from chingola town, by the time I was getting there the sun was setting. I drove around the small town to check out the main points I knew he had connections and I notice most of his goons seemed alert. I made sure I wore a cap and to avoid being sported all over the city lest Mr. Benson got the news before I could get to him first.
I started with visiting his lodge to check on a few people I still knew from there.
“Hey Ackim, it’s been a while” the accountant greeted me cheerfully as I sat in the corner of the restaurant.
‘hey, sure it has been long, I just came to see how you guys are doing?” I smiled looking up at him
“well business is okey, the boss came here a few hours ago he too came to check on some things” he remarked and I moved in my seat realizing the guy had lied about Mr. Benson`s whereabouts.
“What?” I asked loudly without thinking through. The man before me looked surprised at my reaction.
“Is there a problem man?” he asked frowning
“Oh no, there is no problem, I mean am just surprised I thought he was out of town” I told him with a grin.
“Well, he was here this morning unless you saying he travelled this afternoon” he smiled
“Um, am sure I was misinformed, anyway I need to go see him now” I stood up not wanting to waste any more time.
“Yeah regards to Paula and the kids” he shouted raising his hand at me as I left. I decided to go check his place out myself just to be sure. I wanted to call Steve and tell him it was false intel I had given him, but I thought it was best I had something else at hand before giving him a call, besides, I realized the guys could find another clue from the place I was given. Making a mental note to follow the guy who lied to me and get to the truth myself.
“you will pay for double crossing me you pathetic fool” I spat as I went to Mr. Benson`s mansion.
At the gate I cleared my throat before speaking to the guards.
“Who are you, and what business do you have in this place?” the guy asked me his gun pointed at me.
“You might as put down that gun, somebody might get hurt” I chuckled casually.
“Oh yeah, and who could that be?” the guy moved closer to me his red eyes focused on me.
“You act tough huh?” he smiled revealing his yellow colored teeth.
“Am here to see my father in law” I cut him short avoiding taking some fight with him. I had no time to waste of a person like him and I calculated two good blows would take him out. He looked at me from head to toe and shook his head.
“What? You don’t believe me?” I asked him.
He was still trying to talk rubbish wanting me to show him my ID and claiming the minister had asked for maximum security around his yard and that he would not allow anyone to go in unless it was someone he had called or on appointment.
“Look here, I don’t think you are the right person I should be talking to now…” I could not finish my sentence and I saw Mr. Benson walked out with a little limp. I almost burst out laughing at the thought of how he got that limp. “Steve you are the man” I smiled inside my heart and seriously looking at him as he walked towards the gate.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he shouted before he could get any closer.
“Sir, am sorry, am I supposed to stop seeing my father in law now?” I teased knowing he was aware of my part involvement with Steve. He looked at me and sighed before indicating for the guy to let me in. the guys around kept staring at me and their menacing stance told me somehow they were expecting me.
I followed Mr. Benson into his house, the house I once lived in and fall in love with my dear wife. Nothing had changed over the years, he still had the same furniture and the inside workers too. I looked around as I followed him to the living room and before I could sit, he stood looking at me.
“Can I offer you anything to drink?” he smiled sheepishly I saw there was more to the smile.
“Water would do, thank you Sir” I sighed staying alert as I sat in the couch before him.
“He was silent for a couple of minutes watching me take the water.
“So?” he cleared his throat.
“What brings you here? The last time I heard about you, you were working with someone who wants to destroy my life over false allegations” he started
“Are they?” I asked knowing so well he was just bull s***ting me as I knew the contents of the recordings.
“You have known me for years Ackim, you are married to my daughter and you and I come a long way, you know I respect you so much and I regard you with high esteem. Now tell me, why do I have the feeling you are quiet disappointed with me?” he looked at me sipping on a glass of his own water.
“Well, I am here so I get the truth from you. I might not trust Steve but I need to know the entire truth if am to trust you Sir” I responded looking at him. The moment was like that movie where two enemies came together but each one trying to play smart with the other in order to trap them.
“i mean, I have nothing to hide, see, if at all there was something, that fool could have bloated it out already, I hear he has a tendency of playing hero. That junky is a fool who barks more than he can bite. “He remarked and if felt myself feeling upset, he was the one that was a fool who wanted to sell our country and here he was playing me for an idiot.
“I saw and heard the recording’” I cut him short and he smiled knowingly.
“You are not a fool are you?” he laughed softly shaking his head.
“Where is it?” he asked
“Well, Steve would know better, I never laid my hands on it” I lied my eyes at him am sure he believed it.
“You are in my house and yet you try to play cool with me, I know you are not here for a courtesy visit so tell me why the hell you came?” he asked and I tried to focus my eyes at him but the images around me where becoming blurry, I tried to rub my eyes to see properly but it was hard to stay awake, I could feel things going on around me and his voice asking me things but it was like my body was no longer under my control.
“What have you done to me?” I struggled to ask
“Well, a little dose that will make me get what I want from you?” he smiled standing above me as leaned back the couch my whole body weak.
“The, the water” I murmured as realization set in but it was too late. I could feel I wasn’t myself but he started asking me questions of which I answered without hesitation.
“Where is Steve? What does he know?” he asked and I looked at his face responded even when my mind was telling me not to.
“He is going to the house I was told you will be at” I responded
“Tell me everything about him” he asked and I heard myself give out all the information I knew about Steve and the operations. As long as I knew it, I gave the correct answer. I could see images of other people walking in but I was not in my right mind to say or do a thing. I watched as one of them grabbed my phone as it rung and speak. I wanted to stand and beat the crap out on them but I couldn’t move at all, I felt stuck and desperate.
To be continued…