‘How far Debo?’ Chief Jubril asked as his personal assistant stepped into the office.
‘Fine sir. The call was from Canada but we’ve not been able to verify the user’s details’
‘When would that be done?’
‘We should get the report by next tomorrow’ Debo answered.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, very sure sir’
‘Good…’ The man paused and focused on his laptop for a minute before he returned his gaze back to Debo.
‘Do you know what is happening next tomorrow?’
‘Yes sir.’ Debo smiled sheepishly. Jubril Lawal smiled back. ‘I want you to organize a banquet for me. The venue would be my villa. Send invitations to every friend on my contact list’
‘Invite Evelyn Alex also.’ The man paused and cleared his throat. ‘I’ll like her to meet with some of our other business partners that would be involved in our partnership. Make sure you also mobilize for proper security’
‘Okay sir.’ Debo bowed and proceeded out of the office, trying to come up with ideas on how to organize for the birthday celebration.
Tarasha eyes began to search around for Henry in the reception as she came out of the elevator. She took out her phone from the jacket and dialed his number.
‘Where are you?’ She spoke into the phone.
‘Outside the gate’ a gruff voice which was not Henry’s answered, Tarasha noticed.
‘Okay, I’m coming’ she replied and ended the call. She dropped the phone back into the jacket’s pocket and proceeded out of the building. She spotted Henry’s blue Honda car parked behind a police sonata as soon as she stepped out of the gate. She noticed that three uniformed police officers were at their car with a non uniformed person. The officer at the front seat beside the driver’s came out looking at her direction. She took out her phone and placed another call to Henry as she proceeded slowly towards his car.
‘Hey Madam’ the police officer accosted her.
‘Hello, what can I do for you?’ Tarasha ended the call she was trying to make and turned to attend to the officer.
‘Are you Miss Evelyn Alex?’ The officer asked.
‘Yes, I…’ Tarasha was cut short by what she saw. The “non uniformed officer” which appeared to be Henry was motioned out of the car by another officer which was huge in size.
‘Do you know that man?’ The officer continued, looking towards Henry. Tarasha paused for a while before answering.
‘Yes’ She stared at Henry as the huge officer motioned him towards their direction.
‘You were with him yesterday?’ He asked again.
‘Yes’ Tarasha answered.
‘Your attention is needed in our office’ he said.
‘For what?’ She inquired.
‘Just to answer some few questions’ the officer replied with a brief smile. Tarasha stared at Henry’s face for an explanation but he just stared back until she spoke.
‘What’s all these Henry?’
‘I’m sorry, I don’t understand too’ Henry replied. ‘I asked them to leave you out of this but they said that we must go together. I believe that Dare must have told huge lies about us to the police’
‘May we leave now?’ The huge officer interrupted, eyeing Tarasha wickedly.
‘Can I have my phone to make a call now?’ Henry demanded, stretching out his hand to the slim officer.
‘Of course, it’s in the car. Let’s proceed first, then you can make your calls on the way’ the officer made way to return to the car.
‘You go with her in the Honda’ the huge officer, Afo , said in a commanding tone.
‘Okay’ the other officer obliged and led Tarasha who followed silently to the Honda. The officer in the driver’s seat of the Honda already started the car engine before they entered into it. They drove away from the hotel fence in few seconds. Tarasha kept a searching gaze on the officer accompanying her. He stared back intimidatingly into her eyes when hers met with his.
‘Is this how you pick up people in this country?’ She asked a question which made the officer look stunned. ‘I wouldn’t have followed you if I didn’t see Henry with you’
‘You have no choice madam.’ He gave a wicked smile as he answered. ‘You don’t defy police orders here’
‘I have a right to know why I’m going with you’ she snapped at him.
‘I’m only inviting you for interrogation’ he snapped back. ‘Madam business from Canada, don’t provoke me’ Tarasha looked away from him and carefully examined his words. He just qualified her as “Madam Business from Canada”. Whatever he meant by the phrase, it revealed that he had found out from somewhere that she was from Canada and was doing a business. She glanced at him again with suspicion in her eyes. She began to search around his uniform again, searching for something to confirm her suspicion.
Henry had also become suspicious too when he asked from his phone from the huge officer and he replied him coldly.
‘It’s with my colleague in the other car, you’ll get it when we get to the station, we can’t pause our journey just because of you’ At this time they had driven for about fifteen minutes.
‘Officer’ Tarasha called softly. She placed a hand on his chest seductively covering the pocket on the shirt.
‘Yes…’ He answered, his body shivered as her fingers proceeded behind the buttons.
‘What’s your name?’ She asked.
‘Erm…’ He stammered and looked towards his chest to check the name inscribed on the tip of the pocket. He flung her hand away from him suddenly as he figured out what she was doing.
‘What that flip’ he cursed and brought out a gun, pointing it at her immediately.
‘I know you’re fake, you don’t own the uniform’ Tarasha said bluntly and sat back properly, ignoring the gun pointed at her. ‘Who sent you?’
‘Shut the hell up’ he shouted at her, still threatening with the gun. He searched his pants pocket with the left hand and brought out his phone.
‘Hello, this girl don burst me o’ he informed his colleague that he has been busted by the girl in pidgin English.
‘No problem, just keep her there. We would be at the workshop in the next two minutes’ the huge man answered through his phone in the police car. He brought out his gun also and pointed it at Henry. ‘Boy, it’s better you cooperate with us without making noise or I’ll burst your brains’ He said in a harsh manner, terrifying Henry.
‘Who sent you?’ Tarasha asked the slim officer again as they drove into a large compound. He replied her with a wicked look.
‘But this is not a police station’ Henry protested as he looked around the bushy compound.
‘Shut up and get out of the car’ Afo ordered and pushed Henry out angrily. Tarasha was also escorted out of the car with a gun by the other guy. The drivers of the cars came out of the car too with their guns, making it four armed men against Henry and Tarasha.
‘Get into the house’ Afo commanded, motioning them with his gun. Henry and Tarasha began to walk slowly into the brick walled building covered with corrugated iron sheets at the front section. The door was opened by one of the drivers and they were led into the poorly lit room, the windows were not opened and it made it hot. Three other guys appeared from another section of the building and hailed their Boss Afo.
‘Kneel down there’ Afo commanded the two, pointing his gun at them as he lit a cigarette with his other hand.
‘Raise up your hands’ Afo added after they obeyed his first instruction. He brought out his phone and dialed a number. Tarasha carefully dipped her right hand into her jacket’s pocket and made sure nobody noticed as she took out an item and attached it into her sleeve before slowly raising up her hands.
He puffed out some quantity of smoke before placing the phone on his ear.
‘Hello… We’ve got them here’ he said through the phone to his call receiver, staring deeply into Tarasha and Henry’s faces.
‘My boy told me that you called and said you wanted to see them before we finish them off’ Afo inhaled another quantity of smoke before he continued.
‘That means your money has increased, you’ll add twenty percent… Ok, we’re expecting you by evening time’
‘Who sent you to kidnap us?’ Tarasha asked in a calm voice. Afo chuckled mockingly and hissed as he stared at her face. He turned to Kalu, the guy who was with Tarasha in the Honda car.
‘Where are those chairs?’ He asked searching round the room. ‘Get the chairs and tie them up’ Afo ordered and walked out of the building hurriedly.
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‘Good’ Dare stamped his feet on the floor in joy as he ended the call. He rejoiced with himself in his office. He would finally put to rest his past which just resurfaced and was trying to haunt him. The only painful part of it was that Evelyn had to go with it. He remembered the look on Henry’s face when they met again after several years. Henry’s gaze had sent shivers down his spine. What his guilt made him see was thirst for revenge in Henry’s eyes. Then he decided that there was a need to totally wipe out the past of which Henry is a part of.
His phone beeped. He quickly picked it up and checked the screen. He smiled. It was a reminder for his Dad’s sixtieth birthday which was coming up in two days time. He began to think of what gift was best to present to his father. What could his money buy that his father couldn’t get? His father was a hundred times richer than he was. The only gift he knew his father would be impressed by was a profitable business idea.
‘D–n!’ He sighed. His father was so business and money minded that it was possible for him not to remember his birthday on the day. He was sure there was going to be no party, his father barely attends social functions nowadays for the fun of it. He only did it if he was going to meet his business partners there. Or should he organize a surprise birthday bash for his dad? He thought. No, the man would not appreciate that. Instead of getting pleased with the action, his father would probably be disappointed. Dare shook his head thoughtfully and dropped his phone on the table. Then he returned his focus back to the files on his table. …
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to be continued