How’s she?’ A middleaged man asked no one in particular as he rushed into the hospital reception, he had a pot belly which clearly showed it round signs from the neatly ironed shirt. He turned to Lovina who was sitting in the reception sofa with the driver, three uniformed policemen were seen standing beside them.
‘How’s your sister?’ The man asked again.
‘Loveth is fine’ Lovina answered, folding her arms as she stood up with tears formed in her eyes. ‘The doctor said she didn’t lose much blood because we brought her in early, they just have to take out the bullet’
‘Thank God!’ He exclaimed, rubbing his palms in the air in appreciation. He turned to the three policemen that stood beside Lovina, ‘but how did it happen? Who was the criminal that tried to kill my Loveth?’
‘We don’t know sir, but our men are after him and would surely get him’ one of the officers replied. He turned back to Lovina,
‘I think you should go back to school now since Loveth is already on treatment. I’ll see the doctors’
‘Huh?’ Her eyes widened in disbelief. ‘Dad! That guy tried to shoot me also she exclaimed.
‘The criminal is already being pursued by the police, he can’t come after you again’ he reassured. ‘These officers would also follow you there’
‘Dad, I’m scared’ she said as she ran into his warm embrace. ‘I don’t think I’m stable enough to fly the plane anymore’
‘Don’t be scared dear, my enemies have failed’ he said, patting her on the back. ‘I’m sure they only want to stop you from flying the plane successfully’
‘Would you go with me Dad?’ She looked into his eyes and asked.
‘No’ he replied, he could read the disappointment in her eyes. ‘I have to stay with your sister’
‘Ok’ she agreed hesitatingly,
‘ I’ll go’ She picked up her bag and looked at her father again for reassurance before she walked out of the hospital, two officers and the driver followed.
The man sat into the sofa where Lovina got up from, he ignore the gazes of other waiters in the reception and buried his face in his palm. He wondered who it could be that attacked his daughters, he wondered who wanted them dead.
Loveth, Lovina’s twin sister was a student of the university of Enugu and had come on a short break to grace the special event with her sister. The assailant’s target was surely Lovina but the great resemblance of the twins must have confused him and he decided to shoot both but failed.
Jude paced the floor, already getting impatient waiting for Lovina. He was already dressed in his pilot’s uniform, the flight was to take off in the next twenty minutes and he was to walk out with his partner and pass through the security protocols before going to settle in the airplane. His mind became at rest when he noticed a figure behind him, he heaved a sigh of relief. ‘Lovina, why did …’ He was saying as he turned to look at the figure. His sorrow returned when he turned back to see Gloria dressed in a pilot uniform.
‘Jude’ she called and smiled at him.
‘What?’ He barked at her turning his back to her, ‘I’m in a serious dilemma here and you’re playing games with me’
‘I’m here to help you Jude’ she said calmly.
‘What stupid help?’ He growled, he narrowed his gaze at her and examined her appearance. He asked with a threatening tone ‘where did you find this uniform?’
‘I’ve come to help you Jude’ she ignored his question and continued. ‘Lovina is not here and I don’t want you to lose this opportunity, I can represent her’
‘You know that’s not possible’
‘It is’ Gloria insisted
‘It’s not, all the students and lecturers present already know who is supposed to fly with me’ Jude argued.
‘But they would not notice, they’ll only be watching us from far’ She put in. ‘I won’t stay out of the plane so long for them to see me’
‘You can’t even get into the plane’ he said sternly, ‘Only Lovina’s ID card and mine would be allowed by the security to enter the plane or even access the runway
‘I have one here’ she displayed an ID card to him.
‘What? How did you get that?’ He asked, his look turned into a suspicious one.
‘Shhh…’ Gloria hushed him, placing a finger on her lips. ‘Stop raising your voice, I only want to help you’ He narrowed his gaze first and then raised his brow,
‘I don’t need that kind of help, it could get me into more trouble’ She moved closer to him, removing an android device from her pocket. She opened her chat with Aisha on the instant messenger, revealing some pictures and videos.
‘Here’ she pointed something to him on the screen. He refused to look into it first, but he saw something familiar that caught his attention. The picture she was showing him looked like one taken in his sister’s hostel room. He moved closer to have a clearer view. He was greatly shocked by what he saw. His younger sister, the only sibling he had and the only surviving member of his family who was a law student in the port Harcourt university couldn’t come to the event because she had an exam that day. He was terrified seeing her tied to a chair in the room, blindfolded wearing a bomb jacket.
‘Who are you and what do you want with my sister?’ Jude asked shakily.
‘I want nothing with you or your sister and I won’t harm any of you if you cooperate with me’ she spoke, tapping in some commands into the android device, she switched it off and flung it into a locker. She returned to face him, ‘all I want is to get on the plane with you’
‘But that’s not possible’ his eyes was full of pleas.
‘Then you have to sacrifice your sister ‘ she said bluntly. She rolled up her sleeve and showed him a device placed around her wrist close to the watch, she placed her hand on the red button. ‘All I need to do is touch this and your sister would join your parents’
‘No no, please’ he pleaded with tears forming in his eyes, he knelt on the floor.
‘That won’t work Jude, what I want is to fly the plane with you, I’ve a message for one of our passengers’ she continued without no pity in her voice. She glanced at her wristwatch and turned her back on him, ‘we have only eight minutes to board the plane, your sister or I pilot the plane with you?’
‘Okay’ he finally agreed, wiping off his face as he got up from his kneels. ‘But you have to promise me that nothing will happen to her’
‘Nothing would happen to her’ she said with a smile.
‘Let’s go’ Jude said as he matched forward to the exit.
‘Wait!’ She ordered, ‘clean off your face properly, no one must suspect anything’
‘Okay’ he used a handkerchief to mop his face and tried to put on a smile.
‘Good’ she smiled again. ‘We’re going straight into the plane after we pass the governor’s security officials, no wasting of time’
She walked back to the second exit which she entered from and opened the door slightly. She inserted a metal into the lock and fastened it like a bolt, she left the site slightly opened and turned back to join Jude. Jude led the way out and they proceeded where the plane was parked.
Gloria took care not to look back at all as she could hear several voices chanting the names ‘Lovina’ and ‘Jude’, they thought she was Lovina since she was wearing a wig of the same hairstyle Lovina had on. They passed the governor’s security officials easily after they displayed their ID cards and were searched. She avoided looking towards John Obiano who was outside, looking fly in his black shiny suit complimented with a red tie as he chatted with the minister and the Rivers state governor, Kelechi Edwin.
The Aviation minister was also dressed in a black suit and shirt but he had no tie on. The only odd one was the Governor, he was adorned in a native attire and a black hat to match it, he always loved to represent his culture especially when he was in a program that was being televised internationally.
Gloria greeted the dignitaries briefly and walked into the airplane immediately with Jude to settle in the cockpit. Jude took the Captain’s position at the left while Gloria took the first officer’s seat, a drop of sweat rolled down her head from underneath the wig she wore.
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‘Hey!’ A lady dressed in an air hostess’ uniform carrying a black bag approached Cole in the midst of several students and guests walking in and out of the field.
‘Hey’ Cole replied with laughter in seeing Aisha, ‘you looked great in this uniform’ She poked him by the side playfully and joined in the laughter, ‘are you done with your job?’
‘Yes, I’ve been waiting here for you all day’ he replied.
‘Well’ she continued and they began to walk slowly, ‘my task was a little bit cumbersome’
‘What were you asked to do?’
‘To handle the pilot’s sister and also exchange one of the flight attendant’s bag’
‘And how did it go?’ He asked.
‘Fine, how was yours?’
‘Good, it was easier than I thought it would be’ he replied, ‘I only dropped a needle into John Obiano’s pocket’
‘Needle?’ She asked, facing him.
‘I think there was a pack of needle in my bag too, but the main thing was a parachute’ He chuckled as they continued walking,
‘I was almost wondering how she intended to drop off the plane before’
‘Your task was simple ‘ Aisha teased. ‘No one could have failed that’
‘Huh?’ He gave her a sharp look.
‘Do you know how many bodyguards I had to go past?’ She hissed playfully, ‘stop magnifying it’
‘See you’ he gave a playful hiss and peeped into the bag she was carrying.
‘What do we have there?’
‘Nothing edible, stop sniffing’ she pushed his nose with a finger. ‘Except you want to eat first aid materials and other hostesses’ kits’ He replied with a prolonged hiss showing his disappointment
Cole stopped suddenly, he looked shocked as he stared at someone approaching them. Aisha paused to see what he was staring at, the same look appeared on her face.
‘Gosh!’ Cole whispered. They stared at Lovina and the two officers approaching hurriedly. …
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to be continued