Within a couple of hours Jefa spent in his apartment, he was able to rearrange and clean up the place. it was during this process that he remembered his mother’s diary and the picture in it, he tried to get it from where it was kept but then he remembered seeing it with his sister when she had come to get it at the hospital. He thought it was time to know more about those who sent his family packing from Lagos to Borno, he decided he was going to ask Tara about it when he saw her.
A soft knock on the door startled Jefa who had dozed off on the sofa, he rubbed his eyes with the back of his palm and got up immediately. The knock came again.
‘Who’s that?’ he asked, the only person he was expecting was Omotara but he still needed to be sure it was her and not any of his neighbours who would like to check if it was an intruder that entered into the house.
‘It’s me, Omotara.’ the reply came.
‘Okay, hold on.’ Jefa walked to the door and opened it. Tarasha walked in quietly and stood by the left side of the door. Jefa closed the door and turned back,
‘I thought you were not going to come,’ he said, staring into her eyes.
‘Of course, you know I would come. What reason do you have doubt my words?’ Jefa sighed,
‘truly, I have no reason. I’m sorry,’ he said and proceeded to sit on one of the sofas.
‘You can go home now, it’s safe.’ she said. ‘I’ll be joining you later.’
‘Safe? Are you sure?’
‘Yes, I am. I’ll come and meet you later at home.’ she said and moved closer to him with a white nylon bag in her hands. ‘I bought you lunch on the way.’
‘Hmm… Thanks,’ Jefa said peeping into the nylon as he collected it from her.
‘You’re welcome,’ she replied.
‘Today, I thought Henry would be coming back home, I was planning to make dinner for all of us, a special treat.
‘Well, you can still go ahead and make dinner,’ Tarasha urged. ‘Henry would be fine.’
‘How would he be fine in the prison?’ Jefa asked in a pained tone. ‘I know what it is like to be a prisoner, so he must be suffering greatly.’
‘Well, I’m going to see him now and I’ll make sure he’s granted bail, I’ll be coming home with him hopefully.’ she said.
‘Are you sure?’ Jefa asked with his face brightened up a bit..
‘Once everything works out well,’ she said. ‘So please go ahead and make your special treat for us tonight. Okay?’
‘Okay.’ Tarasha smiled and then turned, ‘I have to go now.’
”Ermm, I need something from you.’
‘What’s that?’ he turned back, thinking he wanted to request for money.
‘That diary you took from this table, I need to use it today.’
‘Oh! She widened her eyes.’ It’s okay, you’ll find it in between under your mattress, I’ve always kept it there for you.’ she said with a smile.
‘Hmm…’ Chief Rikau had his chin in his hands as he stared at the pictures shown to him on the screen by Rex. ‘I know him, he must be the one behind Samantha.’ he added. Don and Stainless continued to stare at the pictures without talking, even though they knew they got the wrong person but whoever the wrong person was; he was still their enemy since he lived in the same house as Tarasha. They had seen him come out from the gate and had taken several pictures of him.
‘What do we do with him?’ Rex asked Chief Rikau.
‘I don’t know yet, I’ll call the Vice President and we’ll decide together.’ Chief Rikau said as he got up from the seat and took out his phone. He walked out of the room and entered into another room where he was alone.
‘Hello Sir,’ Rikau spoke into the phone after his call was answered.
‘Chief Rikau,’ the Vice President replied from the other end in a gruff voice.
‘We’ve found out the person supporting Samantha Osman,’ he said.
‘Who is the person?’ Chief Elvis replied excitedly.
‘Danjuma Jeffrey, the son of Late Doctors Danjuma and Lydia.’
‘Oh!’ Chief Elvis exclaimed. ‘I thought you guys finished the whole family,’ he added in a tensed tone.
‘No, we only took the parents out that day and a little boy. The initial plan was for us to only take drop the parents.’
‘True, I remember! But which of the kids is now grown up enough to have the boldness to come for all of us?’
‘It’s their first son, he was one of those that were taken in for training into the then Haram group, he graduated and did his first two mission but only for him to come one day ,I think after he listened to some dumb preaching and tell us that all we’ve been saying are lies, that he was no more interested.’
‘Hmm, so you guys caused this problem.’
‘No, we caused it together.’ Rikau argued. ‘You financed us then.’
‘I never believed in your course, we only used you for political reasons.’ Rikau paused, it was hard to swallow the bitter truth, Chief Elvis had hit him hard with it. ‘But you still owe me your life,’ Chief Elvis continued after sensing that Rikau was hurt by his last words. ‘If I didn’t intervene, you won’t be alive today. You would have been sentenced to death.’
‘No, you didn’t do it for me, you did it for yourself.’
‘Shut up and don’t argue with me, I did it for you. I was in authority then and I could have killed you silently in prison but I chose not to, but I decided to reward you for your faithfulness to us.’ Chief Rikau was quiet. ‘I think we should have just wiped out the whole family that day, you know that was the main reason I called off the officers securing the town, their family was the main target of the day, we just gave you the opportunity to also use it for your course.’
‘No Chief, I agree it was also an opportunity for us that day but if we had attacked that family alone, it would have raised suspicions…’
‘But how come he’s still alive?’ Chief Elvis cut in. ‘He was one of the guys we set up for the soldiers to arrest, I think he was granted pardon after some years.’
‘And how did he know about all the Chiefs who sponsored you?’
‘He’s the eldest son and he could have known that his parents were running from you guys?’
‘Hmm… We have to do something quick about him and make sure he knows why we do it, make sure he dies a painful death. I don’t want to return and find him alive.’
**15 minutes later**
‘I want to go with you guys,’ Chief Rikau said to his assassins.
‘You may not need to, we could bring him here.’ Rex said.
‘I want to go and kill him in his house with my hands,’ he insisted.
‘If you insist,’ Rex said, putting on his hood to cover his face.
‘Do you want to come in with a covered face?’
‘No, I have a message for him, he has to see my face.’
‘Okay, we will deactivate all the cameras outside before you come in,’ Rex added. ‘But the cameras in will still be on, because they are made with high security. We’ll take out everyone we find in there.’
______ **Forty five minutes later**
The officers led Henry out of the cell, he had handcuffs in his hands and legs. His face was swollen and badly bruised, his white singlet had turned to a cloth of three different colours; brown, black and bloody red.
‘That’s her, your niece Tara.’ the officer said, pointing at the lady where she was seated. Henry could not see well with his eyes from afar, he felt tipsy as he tried to look. The officer motioned him forward and they got to the table where she was seated. There were several other tables in the same place with prisoners and their visitors. ‘You have only six minutes,’ the officer said and left them alone. For the first few seconds, Henry refused to sit, he kept staring at the face. This wasn’t Tara, it was an impostor, so he thought until she spoke.
‘Please Henry, sit ‘ she said to him in a teary voice. Henry was baffled, this was her voice he heard but it was a different face. ‘Sit down, my face is disguised.’ she said and wiped the tears in her eyes with a handkerchief, careful not to clean the makeup. Henry then took his seat and continued to stare into her eyes. It was the same eyeballs as Tara, he was now convinced it was her. ‘I want to get you out of here,’ Tara continued in low tones. ‘You have to cooperate with me.’
‘No, I don’t want to get out of here.’he replied confidently. She stared at him in shock and disbelief, how could he say he didn’t want to leave the place with his body battered and his face deformed, almost unrecognizable again.
‘What are you saying?’ she asked in a shocked tone. ‘I could help you get out by tomorrow and leave to another country.’
‘No, I don’t want to get out of here, it won’t stop the police from coming after you. I want you to get out of here and go to somewhere far with your brother.’
‘What do you mean?’ she asked, baffled, she couldn’t understand his kind of mentality.
‘I’m already labeled a criminal, it’s of no use for me to escape. But I want you to leave before the police tortures me enough to get out information about you.’
‘I don’t understand you.’ Henry stretched his hand on the table and held her palms, he squeezed it and felt the warmth.
‘You need to leave this country with your brother, leave to a place you can start a new life of positive impact, where you can live your real life, that’s all I want now, I don’t need my freedom.’
‘But I can’t leave you suffering here,’ she argued.
‘You have to,’ Henry insisted. ‘You have a bright future and for that bright future to come, there has to be a sacrifice.’
‘You don’t have to make the sacrifice, I did all I did myself and I have to take responsibility for my actions.’
‘No Tara, I can’t let you do that. It’s going to bring an end to what I see that you can become, you have the qualities in you to make the world better, and that is where you’ll find your real happiness. I don’t want freedom in expense of your happiness, I’ll be free in my heart once I see that you’re doing good.’
‘No, Henry,’ Tara shook her head in tears. ‘I can’t let you do this.’
‘Please let me do it,’ Henry said, using his hand to turn her face back to himself.
‘No, I can’t.’
‘Yes, you can. Look at me Tara,’ he held her face with his two hands. ‘I don’t have any other life to live if I get out of this place, my joy is to see you happy and alive.’
‘No, I need you to get out of here.’ Tara said stubbornly with tears now dropping from her eyes.
‘You don’t need me Tara, you need to be happy and I’ve told you what to do already.’
‘I need you Henry, I can’t be happy without you.’ the words dropped off her mouth like a bomb of so much impact, both to her and Henry. ‘You’ve showed me how to be happy and I want to do it with you.’ Henry stared at her face in silence for some seconds, how he wished she had said that a long time ago, maybe a solution would have been found and things wouldn’t have deteriorated to this level. Maybe they could have left the city and go to somewhere else where they could be happy together but things had gone worse already, he had to make this sacrifice for her to continue living happily.
‘The people of the world are cruel and they’ve made me like they are,’ she continued. ‘If I want to be happy and live a life of impact like you’ve taught me, then I have to live it with you, I have to learn by watching you live it.’ Tears flowed down from the eyes of the both of them, their foreheads touched each other’s with Henry both hands on her ears. Tara moved her head backwards a little but Henry’s hands was still on her ears. ‘Please, let me help you leave here and we can go somewhere else afterwards.’ Both of them spotted the officer who had brought Henry coming back with another officer, they knew the time he had given them was up.
‘It’s too late Tara, it’s late; I don’t want both of us to be hunted for life, we won’t still be happy that way. I’ve taught you all you need to know about a happy life already, you have to live it without me and You CAN’
‘No Henry,’ Tarasha said with tears rushing down her face.
‘Time’s up, please get up!’ The officer pulled Henry away from Tara.
‘Please do what I’ve said,’ Henry pleaded as the officer pulled him up.
‘No Henry, No,’ she screamed in tears and watched Henry as he was being dragged away.
‘Please, do what I said.’ she could hear Henry’s voice echo in her head as they dragged him out of sight. *
**About an Hour later**
Tarasha was still in tears as she drove back home, the tears had almost washed away the makeup on her face but she was still well disguised with it. She continued to ponder on all Henry had said. She wished that he would agree for her to help him get out of the place but he had refused and said that the only way he could be happy was if she did what he suggested; and that was she and Jefa leaving the city to go and live somewhere else happily. The thought was too much for her to bear, she pulled over to the side of the road and broke out in tears. After a minute of crying, she cleaned her face and picked up her phone. Then she dialed Cole’s number.
‘Hello Boss,’ Cole’s voice sounded eager. He had been on a long break and was already expecting the boss’ call.
‘Hello Cole, how are you doing and how is Aisha?’ Cole’s reply was delayed for some seconds, he was surprised at his boss’ tone.
‘What’s the matter boss?’ he asked instead of replying her greeting.
‘Cole, I’ll send twenty million naira each to you and Aisha’s account after I’m done with this call, I’m paying you off, I won’t be assassinating again, so I don’t need your services anymore. I advice that you live a good life with the money and stay away from killing people.’
‘Boss…’ Cole had lost his voice, he couldn’t believe what he just heard.
‘Goodbye Cole,’ she said and ended the call. She closed her eyes for a second and took in some air, she opened them back and started her car engine. It was time to go and meet her brother, get him to leave the country with her and live that fulfilling life that Henry had taught her and sacrificed himself for. She had just driven further for only five minutes and was few metres close to the house. She met with two cars approaching from the return lane, she recognized the driver of the first car, it was Don Daniel, Cole’s former boss. She was staring at him but he couldn’t recognize her because of the disguise. Then she saw in the second car, seated at the back seat, the man who defiled her at eight, Inspector General Rikau. Fear gripped her heart, the worse came to her mind, she could only think about Jeffrey. She increased her speed and got to the house in three minutes. In a matter of seconds, she had parked her car and was rushing into the house. There was nothing suspicious around, the door was firmly locked. She took out her key and entered into the house quietly. Then she saw in the living room, something that would change her life forever. Jefa. Jefa was lying in his pool of blood, two bullets hole were in his forehead and chest. That was it, the only reason she could live a happy life is gone. Her whole body vibrated as she knelt beside the dead body, the diary was on the floor stained with a drop of blood. She saw a note written with her brother’s blood as the ink. It read,
‘The Danjuma’s family must all be wiped out, we are coming for you, Omotara.’ She tried to hold in herself but it was impossible, she let out a scream that reverberated throughout the whole city.
‘Cole, start preparing Aisha’s heart. The killing is just about to begin, I’ll pay you triple of what you earn already.’ Tara said into the phone.
END OF SEASON ONE
story by By Oyin Oluwatosin Emmanuel
jail bird season 2 start tomorrow
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