Tarasha Episode 33

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**4.15pm **

‘That girl is d–n wild!’ Dare laughed loudly as he got into the driver’s side of the car. ‘I had to beg her to stop because she wouldn’t get tired, she just kept on riding without pity’ He cleaned his face with a white handkerchief as he paused to listen. He loosened his tie and took it off his neck, opening the two top buttons of his collared shirt. His eyes met with the scar on his forehead through the front mirror as he relaxed back in the seat.

He had gotten the scar two months ago when he got himself drunk to stupor on his birthday. He had attempted to pull the shirt of one of his friend’s invitees to the party and she responded by pushing him violently away, not minding that he was the celebrant of the day. He hit his head on a table beside them. Since then, his face had been disfigured with the black scar.

‘OK, I agree I’m not strong’ he began with another round of laughter. ‘Just get me someone better this Friday night’ He rounded up the call in few seconds and started the car engine, he wasted some more seconds to fasten his seat belt before proceeding to drive out of the company’s gate. He received salutations from other employees as he drove out and face the main road.

He had driven for only one minute when his eyes met something attractive. He smacked his lips and took a deep breath as he fixed his eyes on the sexy legs walking up the road.

‘Hello Pretty, where are you going to?’ He pulled up close to her.

‘Sir?’ She pretended not to hear as she bent down to look into the car.

‘What way are you going to?’ He took another deep breath as he viewed her b—-t neatly packaged in the cleavage showing dress.

‘Bello road’ she answered and stared at him in anticipation.

‘I’m going to Bello road too’ he lied with a big smile on his face. ‘Let me help you’

‘Thanks’ Tarasha replied and opened the door quickly.

‘You’re welcome’ he responded. Tarasha heaved a sigh of relief as she sat in. She was already tired of waiting for him outside the gate. She has tried to trap him also the day before and waited at that same point for him, only for him to drive happily by without taking any look at her side, it seemed his mind was disturbed the other day. This was the only trick that Tarasha could play this time as going to his office could revealed her identity after the operation.

The company had been studied and it was found to have several security measures that could keep records of her visit. Trying to break and corrupt their security devices would only waste more time, so Tarasha opted for the option of getting him to notice her on the road.

‘Can we go sir?’ She said to the stunned Dare who was still feeding his eyes on her thighs sheepishly.

‘Oh sure’ he replied like he was caught unawares and started the driving.

‘Thank you’ Tarasha said again.

‘No thanks. God would have gotten angry with me if I had refused to help an Angel. I did it for myself’ he replied, putting a smile on her face. ‘So where were you heading to in Bello road?’

‘Lorita restaurant’ she answered.

‘For lunch, I guess?’ He took a quick glance at his wristwatch.

‘Yea, kind of’

‘Wow!’ He exclaimed. ‘So who’s this lucky guy who’s opportuned to take you out for lunch?’

‘No one, I’m going alone’

‘Alone?’ His eyes widened in disbelief.

‘Yes, alone’ she replied firmly.

‘Okay, your boyfriend is coming to meet you there ‘ he voiced out his assumption.

‘No, I’m going alone’ she repeated. ‘I’m new in Abuja and I’ve got no friends yet, I came to do business’

‘Are you kidding me?’ He talked with so much excitement. ‘I hope you won’t mind if I join you’

‘Of course, you’re welcome’

‘Wow! ‘ he smiled happily.

…………….. ‘

Why didn’t I even check here?’ Henry laughed at himself as he tossed the bug on the table. He remembered arguing about it with the attendants at the computer company when he had gone for his ID card. He insisted that they would have found it the same way they found the card and that one of the workers had taken it for himself because it was seen as a special type of bug.

He totally forgot that he went to the company with a bag. He picked up the bug and brought it close to his eyes to scrutinize again. He sighed and shook his head in a negative manner. He had to dismantle the device and check the components before making any reasonable conclusion. What he planned to do was to learn the working techniques of the device, that would help him avoid getting into a trap like Robin Kahn did. Then he would be able to trace the real address from whatever trap was set.

………………

‘The last time I saw Daniel was last year’s December, here in Oshodi, in this street’ the plumpy girl explained to the two officers seated in front of her.

‘He was with a girl I know to be called Franca’

‘Okay, did you guys talk when you saw?’ James asked.

‘ No, he acted like he didn’t see me’ Bose replied. ‘We didn’t use to really greet in school, our matriculation numbers were just close because we registered at almost the same time’

‘And Aisha registered at the same time with you too?’

‘Yes, she registered after Daniel’

‘Okay, are you sure he saw you?’ James inquired

‘Yes, he did’ she gave a quick reply. James paused for a moment, he scanned through all he noted down in his tablet device. ‘You said they were dating in school’

‘I didn’t say they were dating’ Bose refuted. ‘I said they were so close that people assumed that they were, Aisha said they weren’t’

‘I thought you said you were not close to Aisha, how did she tell you they weren’t dating?’ James asked with suspicion in his voice.

‘You see’ she began her explanation. ‘Aisha was a sportswoman, she was loved by everyone. The only reason some people stayed far from her was get association with Daniel. Daniel was a rough guy, believed to be a deadly cultist but that assertion wasn’t proven. So everyone except teammates maintained a distance from Aisha, they could only speak with her briefly when she wasn’t around Daniel or his friends’

‘So he was already dreaded in year two?’ James raised a brow.

‘Yes, as a matter of fact, there were rumors that he was already a committed member of the cult before he gained admission’

‘Hmm, serious’ James nodded his head slowly and took a glance at Sandra. ‘Do you know where we can find this Daniel?’

‘No, I don’t have any idea’ she replied.

‘What about the girl you saw him with?’

‘She lives down the street, I can show you to her house’

…………

‘So Evelyn, what part of Nigeria are you from?’ Dare asked as he took a bite of the chicken. They were seated opposite each other in the restaurant on a table for two.

‘Rivers State’ she answered, ‘my parents are from Orogbum’

‘Orogbum’ Dare corrected her pronunciation, he gave her a suspicious look. ‘You don’t even know how to pronounce the name of your town?’ Evelyn quickly put up a bright smile,

‘I wasn’t born or brought up here so you can’t blame me, I grew up in Canada’

‘I see. I’ve been to Orogbum before for a friend’s mother burial’ he paused and stared at her face.

‘What part of Canada did you stay?’

‘Ontario’ she took a sip of the fruit juice and rested back in the chair.

‘Hmm, cool. So what brought you back to Nigeria? ‘

‘I told you earlier that I came to do business’

‘Business?’ He started stared at her in disbelief.

‘Yes, business. To invest in the many opportunities here’ He gave a broad smile,

‘I like that, it’s very rare to see young girls talking business in this part of the world’ She replied with a chuckle. She took another sip from the glass cup. ‘Ain’t you eating again?’ He stared at the remnant of the food in front of her.

‘I’m full’ she smiled.

‘Come on’ he cleaned his oily lips with a tissue paper. ‘You’ve not even taken up to five bites’

‘I’m full’ she insisted

‘Or you want something else?’

‘No, thanks’ she took a glance at the wristwatch and exclaimed.

‘Oh! I have to leave now’ she said and hurriedly grabbed her bag.

‘Why?’ He asked

‘I have an appointment with my Dad online in forty minutes time’

‘I see…’

‘Yeah’

‘Let me drive you home’ he offered, getting up from his seat.

‘No, thanks. Don’t bother, I’ve troubled you a lot already’

‘You don’t have a choice’ he said mockingly. ‘Do you know how to get back home?’

‘Of course’ she laughed heartily. ‘How do you think I know this restaurant? I’ve been briefed about this city and I also have the map’ she displayed something on her phone’s screen to him. He smiled.

‘Well, I insist on taking you home’

‘Alright, I agree’ she eyed him playfully and took the lead. He licked his lips and rubbed his palms together as he had a view of her behind once again. He caught up with her and they walked silently to the car. He opened the door for her to sit first before entering into the driver’s side.

‘So where are you staying exactly? Where’s your house?’ He asked before starting the car engine. She smiled.

‘I don’t have a house yet, I’m planning to pay for a property next week, I’m in a hotel for now’

‘What?? That means you don’t have somewhere to stay?’ He glanced at her as he began to drive.

‘I just told you I stay in a hotel’

‘And you’re comfortable there?’

‘What? Why not?’ She wiped her hair backwards. ‘I’m not staying there for too long’

‘I can help you get your own property this week, a very good one’ he said

‘No thanks. My Dad specified what he wants me to get’

‘We can get something of the same kind’ he persisted.

‘OK, let’s see what you can offer’ she gave in ‘Tell me about this weather’ she changed the topic of discussion.

‘It’s harmattan. It was harsher than this two days ago, it’s gradually subsiding’ he grinned. ‘Hope it has not been bad on you’

‘Not at all. I’m putting on a sleeveless short gown, it doesn’t seem cold to me. I only hate the dust’ He smiled.

‘You hate the dust?’

‘Yeah’. She looked at him funnily.

‘You’re lucky that everywhere is tarred in this city. If you get to the rough side of the country, your whole body would be covered by dust already’

‘Wow! Is it that bad?’

‘We don’t see it as bad anymore, it’s just one of our seasons’

‘What season does cotton grow here?’ She suddenly changed the topic again.

‘Hmm…’ He scratched his beards. ‘I don’t really know but I can find out for you. Why do you ask?’

‘I’m into the cotton business and I hear the industry here is big. I’m looking for a good company to partner with’ Evelyn explained.

‘You’re into the cotton business?’ His eyes widened as he asked.

‘Yes, do you know anybody who is also involved in it? Or any company?’

‘Yes, I know’ he started joyfully. ‘My father has the largest cotton firm in the whole nation. Julal Limited’

‘Your father is Jubril Lawal?’ Her eyes widened in surprise as she exclaimed.

‘Yes, he’s my father’ he stated proudly.

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……………….

‘Who do you say you were looking for?’ A middle aged woman walked into the living room with her teenage son who went to call her.

‘Is Franca your daughter?’ James asked.

‘Yes, she is’ the woman put on a serious look as she placed a hand on her chest.

‘We need to see her concerning one of her friends’ James continued. ‘We are from the police headquarters’

‘Eh! ‘ the woman began an unforeseen wailing, adjusting her head tie as she sniffed.

‘Calm down madam, let’s hear you well’ James urged, as he couldn’t hear what she was saying amidst tears.

‘My daughter has left this house since the thirty first day of December and has not returned since then’ she repeated.

‘Where did she say she was going to?’ James enquired.

‘She only said she was going to see her friend’

‘Which of her friends?’

‘She did not specify, she said she wasn’t going to stay long’

‘Has this been reported to the police?’

‘Yes, it has. They’ve questioned all her friends that we know but no one seems to know where she is’

‘Have they questioned her friend Daniel?’

‘Who is Daniel ?’ She asked ignorantly.

‘You don’t know Daniel?’

‘None of her friends bear that name’ James turned to look at Sandra to come in with an explanation.

‘Daniel is very tall, he’s dark and not too slim’ The woman looked more confused at the explanation. ‘He came here with her on the thirtieth of December’ Sandra put in.

The Woman looked at her son standing beside her for affirmation or denial.

‘I don’t know if he came to the house with her but I saw them walking on the street’ Sandra quickly added.

‘Yes, I saw her with a stranger that day’ the light skinned teenage boy joined in.

‘But they did not stay together for long’

‘The person was a total stranger?’ James turned to the boy. He affirmed by nodding his head. ‘Was he a stranger to Franca too?’

‘I think he was her Facebook friend. I overheard them saying something like that’

‘What’s Franca’s Facebook ID’ James brought out his phone and began to type into it.

**7am**

Henry looked sober in his room. His head rested on his two palms that were clasped together as he mumbled some words under his breath. He had just finished listening to a salvation message by popular Nigerian televangelist , Chris Oyakhilome and had been fired up from inside. Though he was a Christian, he wasn’t a committed one. Now, his mind had just been awoken again to the love of God and how why he should be passionate about God.

His phone rang, disturbing his prayers. He switched it off immediately and hid it under his pillow. He picked up the bible on the stool in front of him and began to flip through the pages, he was unsure of where to stop. He turned back to the concordance and located the word “love”, he began a more intensive study on it.

………

‘Make sure it is organized before this afternoon’ Tarasha said, looking into the laptop screen.

‘Sure, I’ll get it done’ the reply came in a thick Russian accent. Tarasha closed the video calls application and shut down the laptop. The landline in the room rang aloud.

‘Hello’

‘Good evening Miss Evelyn, A man by the name Dare Lawal is waiting for you’ a voice came through.

‘Thank you, I’ll be down shortly’ she said and dropped the call. She catwalked to the mirror and viewed herself one more time. She was looking perfectly okay in her blue trouser suit, more importantly she looked business minded. She picked her handbag and proceeded out of the room. She got to the reception in two minutes.

‘Hi’ Dare smiled and got up as he spotted her.

‘Good morning’

‘Good morning.’ She smiled back.

‘How was your night?’ He extended his hand to her.

‘Perfect, how about you?’

‘Awesome’ he said and placed a gently kiss on the back of her palm.

‘I was thinking about you all night’

‘Really?’

‘Yeah. It’s like I never met someone as beautiful as you are before’

‘Oh! That’s sweet’ she blushed, getting her acting skills perfectly.

‘Anything for an angel’ he grinned. He arranged the tip of his suit properly before taking her hands in his.

‘Shall we?’ He smiled and ushered her forward with his other hand.

‘So what part of the city are you taking me to?’ Evelyn asked as they walked out of the hotel.

‘Asokoro. There are lots of apartment you’ll like there’

‘Alright, let’s see’ she gave a bright smile as she stepped into the car.

‘You will like it, my Dad stays there. You’ll be able to see him often and partner well with him’ he said before closing the door. He smiled as he turned to the driver’s seat. His concern wasn’t her partnership with his father. He was so focused on getting in between her thighs that he wouldn’t have raised any doubt if all she had told me about herself the last night didn’t sound authentic.

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to be continued