® 18+ SNVL
© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
Bexford Ports Authority,
The casual workers could be seen working in and out of the 10cm high building, carrying goods and materials into the stores. A group of four men were standing under a shed close to the left side of the fence, discussing something that seemed important. Another man was walking towards them from the entrance of the place. It took him close to a minute to get to them.
“Sirs, Mr Marlon has just been found.” The man who joined them announced.
“Wow!” One of the men exclaimed. They all seemed elated by the news.
“Where was he found?” Another man asked, after heaving a sigh of relief.
“He was found in his car, it appeared as if he got drunk and was attacked by robbers on the way. I heard he did not sustain any serious physical injury,” the man answered.
“Thank God for that, where is he now?”
“He’s at the hospital for some checkup, he should be out in no time.”
“It’s strange though, Marlon rarely drinks. I wonder how he got drunk,” one of the men said in a doubtful tone.
“He was so drunk that he couldn’t remember anything that happened to him,” the man who brought the message chuckled.
“Well, thank God he’s alive. That’s the most important part,” the fourth man put in.
“Let’s get back to work,” another man said and they changed the topic immediately.
El Deols, Anthanna.
“The meeting has been scheduled for monday,” the secretary reported to Sheila.
Sheila was sitting quietly behind her table and her fingers were busy with the laptop keyboard. She took her time to finish what she was typing before she looked up.
“Have you received all other things needed?” she asked. Yes the secretary answered.
“It’s okay, they should meet on Monday and get things sorted out.” She said and paused for a moment to confirm something on her phone. “Fix my meeting with the Global Roy team for three o’clock on Monday.”
“Okay, what about the Ministry of housing delegates?”
“We can have that on Tuesday,” Sheila answered.
“Alright, I’ll send them messages right away.”
The secretary bowed slightly before turning to leave.
Sheila turned back to her laptop and finished up her work in five minutes. She closed her eyes and rested her back in the swivel.
She leaned forward briefly to pick her android phone. She unlocked and swiped to check the notifications she had not been able to attend to since she got to work that day.
One of the notifications was that of a message from Adrian. He was checking up on her at work again. She smiled as she clicked on the notification. Her smile broadened as she got to the end. She clicked on the reply button and began to type a reply but stopped halfway.
She cleared the already typed message and switched to the call register, she dialed his number instead.
She smiled on hearing Adrian’s cool voice.
“Hi Andy,” she chorused back. “I’ve been so busy, I just read your message now, thank you.”
“Oh! It’s nothing, I’ll do anything to make you smile.”
‘Thanks, so what are you up to now?”
“Nothing, just the normal routine at work.”
“I just finished some part of my work now, I’ve got a meeting by two o’clock.”
“Okay, so, video call?”
“Uhmn.. . I thought you were busy,” Sheila replied.
“Yes, I was but I’m free now.”
She chuckled. “You shouldn’t be making video calls at work.”
“Well, it’s not a crime until I’m caught. And I don’t mind getting caught if it’s about seeing my Angel’s face for a few minutes.”
“You’re good at flattering right?”
“No No, I don’t do that baby, I’ll call you back in a second.” He replied and ended the call even before she could protest.
Bexford Ports Authority,
Marlon walked into his office and closed the door. He took only two steps forward before he stopped to look around. It looked strange to him.
He observed the room was kept clean by the cleaners as usual but there seemed to be something amiss. He couldn’t tell what it was at that point. He let out a breath and silently walked to his seat.
He continued to look around and tried to remember how he left the office the day before. It didn’t seem like he could recall anything. He could only remember the early hours of work the day before.
They told him he got drunk the previous night, but it was strange to him. He wasn’t a heavy drinker and didn’t even drink at clubs or public bars, he only preferred to take light alcohol in his home.
The doctors had confirmed that he truly had an overdose of alcohol, and that made him more confused. He couldn’t remember how he got the drink, when and where he drank it.
He was still wondering what was wrong with him when his gaze landed on the wall where some keys were hung. He noticed some keys missing there, a separate bunch of keys and another group of two keys. He stared blankly for a while and then quickly opened his drawer to check the keys. He couldn’t find the keys there.
He got up frantically and began to look around to check where he could have dropped the keys. He stared at the wall where the other keys were hung again, there was no where else he kept his keys other than that.
He ran his fingers through his hair as he heaved a sigh of frustration. He returned to his table and picked his phone to make a call. Five minutes after, a man walked into his office.
“Good afternoon sir,” the man bowed slightly. “Welcome back to the office sir, sorry about the robbery, I hope you’re fine now sir.”
“Yeah, thanks.” Marlon replied him impatiently. “Do you know who swept my office this morning?”
“I did personally sir, the woman in charge came late due to some issues” the man replied.
“Ermm… I can’t seem to find some of my keys, did you see anything like that?”
“No sir,” the man answered and looked towards the place where the other keys were hung. “You keep your keys here, where else can they be?”
“I came into the office this morning and noticed some of the keys were missing.” Marlon said.
“Well, maybe you dropped them elsewhere. The keys there were the only ones I noticed while I was cleaning here this morning.”
“Are you sure you didn’t see any other key anywhere?”
“No, not in this office.” the man replied, shaking his head with confidence. “And your office seemed a bit disorganized this morning, your files were on the visitor’s seat, your pen and some documents were on the floor. I put them together in the document and placed them on the table.”
Marlon widened his eyes in shock. He stared at the table and noticed it was arranged, but not in the way he usually arranged it himself. He noticed the file that had documents and a pen in it. He drew it closer and opened. He quickly began to go through each document one after the other and singled out one.
He squinted at the paper for a moment and his lips moved silently as he read the content. He stared up briefly with his mouth open in shock. He looked around in distress for a while and then picked up his phone to make another call.
A knock sounded at the door just as he dialed the number. He ended it abruptly to answer the person knocking.
A woman in her early thirties stepped in slowly and closed the door. She was holding a file document with her.
“Good afternoon Mr Marlon,” she greeted as she moved closer.
“Good afternoon miss,” Marlon answered her. He took a quick glance at the other man. “You may go please.”
“Thanks,” the man bowed slightly and then turned to leave. He said a word of greeting to the lady before he proceeded out.
“I hope you’re doing better now Mr Marlon,” the lady said, putting on a light smile.
“Well, I can’t tell how I’m feeling exactly.” Marlon shook his head in self pity.
“So sorry about the robbery, but thank God you weren’t hurt.”
“Oh thanks,” he shook his head again and let out a sigh.
“We never thought you’d be fit enough to come to the office today,” she continued. “But since you’re here, I want to ask if we can still proceed with the checks on The Treak today.”
“Ermm…Well,” he let out a breath. He was sweating and trembling all over.
“It’s not compulsory, I can see you need a lot of rest.” She said quickly after noticing his jittery mood. “We may skip the checks since you submitted the report of your previous checks already.”
“I submitted a report?” He seemed so surprised.
She raised her brows. “You told me you probably would make a check yesterday and submit a report. I left the office early yesterday and could not join you. So, I saw the report you submitted this morning when I came.”
“Oh!’ he faked on a smile, to pretend as if he remembered. “Yeah, I hope you’ve checked the report.”
“Yes, I did.” she replied. “I’ll suggest you take a break from work and go home to rest, you appear to need a lot of rest.”
“Thanks, I’ll take your advice.”
She smiled and nodded slightly before turning to leave.
Marlon heaved a sigh of frustration. He could not remember a single thing concerning all she said. Maybe he had truly done the check and forgot the key somewhere, or he probably forgot the keys and took them in his car.
He wasn’t supposed to take the keys home and he could be penalized if they found out he did. He tried to remember if he had seen the keys in his car while driving to the office that afternoon. He recalled that he didn’t see anything like that.
He was in a deep mess. Maybe he should go home and take a rest like the lady had advised, he thought.
He picked up his keys and personal effects and proceeded towards the door.
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“Have you chosen the journalist to substitute?” Henry’s said into the phone.
He was leaning towards the table. His right hand elbow on it and the phone in his palm.
“Yes, we have and Samantha is going in while I and Jenny takes down the chosen journalist.” Cole replied from the other end.
“We’re also ready here and we’d talk about the details later. For now, get all the tools we need ready, Dave would be going into the boat while we make the escape smooth.”
“Okay boss, got it.”
Marlon walked into the living room and looked around, trying to remember if he had brought the keys into the house. He couldn’t recall ever bringing the key home.
He had barely settled on a sofa when his phone began to ring. His girlfriend was calling.
“Hello Baby,” he answered the call.
“Hi darling,” his girlfriend in a calm tone. “Are you at home now?”
“Yes, I just got home.”
“Did you find the keys?” She asked.
“No, I don’t know where I could have left it.”
“So, what are you going to do about it?” She sounded so concerned.
“I think I would have to take the spare keys from the store to replace mine for now while I search for the other bunch,” he answered.
“So, when again is that event?”
“Wow! So close already, isn’t there anyway you can tell them the key went missing after you got robbed?”
“It’s complicated right now, I already submitted letters confirming that we’re ready for the event and that the keys are with the right department, so I have no other choice than to use the spare keys.”
“Okay darling, it’s gonna be okay. I’ll join you in thirty minutes,” she said in a concluding tone.
“I’ll be expecting you.”
“Let’s stop here,” Steve said to Dan as he confirmed the reading on the signboard.
Dan pulled the car to the curb immediately and turned off the headlights.
“Make a call to the office now, let’s the CCTV cameras go off for twenty minutes.” Steve said to Evelyn who was sitting behind.
“Isn’t twenty minutes too much?” Dan asked.
“No, it isn’t. We don’t know how tight the security at the gate of the institution is,” Steve retorted.
Evelyn made the call and they waited to get the go ahead from the office.
“The CCTV is off,” Evelyn announced two minutes after she made the call.
They all remained silent as Steve checked his wristwatch to see the time.
The streets lights also went off.
“It’s time to move, everything should happen as we have planned.” Steve glanced at their faces before opening the door. Evelyn also opened the door and they stepped out together.
The crescent shaped moon still provided some form of brightness to the earth. Steve and Evelyn had to walk in the shadows beside the fences of the building.
Three minutes after they had left, Dan started the car engine and pulled into the road.
Evelyn stood back and watched around the area while Steve tried to open the gate. After three minutes of using different tools, the gate opened with the keyhole enlarged slightly.
He whistled for Evelyn to follow him in as he pushed the gate gently and stepped in. Evelyn followed, still looking around until she entered.
“Get that chair,” Steve whispered to her to get the chair outside the office to close the gate.
She got it and returned and it was used to support the gate from behind.
They took out their torch lights and proceeded forward quickly. The school compound was a large one and they found it difficult finding their way through. They passed through the sport centres including the basketball court and football field before they came across the first learning class. After some more minutes of looking around, they located the library.
Steve climbed up the balcony quickly while Evelyn turned and looked around again. It took Steve close to five minutes to open the door and he whistled again for Evelyn to join him. This time, he turned back and waited for her to climb up and step into the library before he followed.
They turned on the torchlights and quickly split into different directions.
Thirty minutes later, they had gone so far apart at the opposite ends of the library. Steve held a large book opened in his hands and the torch held with his mouth, he began to walk towards the center.
He stopped briefly at a table and dropped the book temporally on it. He took the torch off his mouth.
“I”ve located the archives here and I think I’ve found a useful book,” he said in a loud voice to call Evelyn’s attention.
She stepped out to the aisle few seconds after and pointed her torch towards Steve. She seemed not to have heard what Steve said to her.
“Come over, we have every information we need.” Steve beckoned on her.
She walked quickly walked towards him, he also took some short steps forward and settled at a table close to the center. She pulled a chair closer and sat beside him.
“Here, we have the records of the past school basketball players,” he said, showing her a section of the book.