‘I can escape this place easily, you told me all the exits and entry points already and I’ve asked Stephanie to bring the vehicle in case I need a vehicle to escape.’ She replied. ‘The disadvantage I have now is that people discovering you here would jeopardize all my other plans and it would also mean that all of guys at Lagos are not safe too.’
The doctor heaved a sigh of frustration.
‘I’m going to kill Dave James today once I get the opportunity,’ Tarasha voiced out angrily, staring blankly at the wall.
‘Who is this Dave James?’
‘A dangerous guy you don’t know,’ Tarasha replied and then turned to look at his face. The look on her face softened and she moved closer to the doctor, staring into his eyes. ‘You need sleep Doc, I think you should take time to rest now.’
‘Are you sure I can do that now that there’s danger?’
‘The danger does not affect you Doc, and I’m going to take care of it in some minutes.’ She replied him. She placed a hand on his shoulder and sat on the table before him, ‘You’re an old man, I need you to sleep now and reserve your strength.’
‘Okay,’ the man sighed. ‘I’ll try to rest, but I need to check the woman again.’
‘Well, you can.’ Tarasha shrugged and stood up. She walked back to the table she was previously seated, dialing a number on her phone. ‘Cole,’ she called with a gasp as her call was answered. ‘Who else knows about my trip to Anambra?’
‘None, except for your team, me and Henry.’ Cole’s voice sounded through the phones speaker.
‘I just saw Dave James here, in the Dr Ekwueme’s hospital and he is claiming to have information about the doctor’s whereabouts.’
‘That’s crazy boss, I don’t know how he could have gotten that.’
‘We need to do a thorough check man, and ensure that there is no mole amongst the new men.’ Tarasha warned.
‘Yes boss, I’ll be extra careful.’
30 Minutes later.
Doctor Ekwueme was back into the room and was asleep in his seat with his forehead placed on the table. Tarasha’s seat was empty, she had gone to check if Dave was still around while waiting for Stephanie’s arrival.
She entered back into the room and walked straight to her table. She picked a bag from the ground and placed it on the table, she then opened the zip of the large space. With her face turned to the wall and her back against the door, she rolled up the white nurse gown she was putting on, she was putting on a tight black underwear which had slim pockets at the front. She took out two short blade cases from the pockets and placed them on the table. She then brought out a revolver from her bag and put it in a case, she placed it on the table. She rolled the gown up above her abdomen and folded it to stay, she then put the gun in the side pocket of the underneath tight. She rolled down the gown to the normal position and picked up the two blade cases, she placed each in both side outer pockets of her nurse gown.
Her phone began to ring. She picked it up and answered the call.
‘Hello, I just drove in now.’ Stephanie voice sounded through the phone’s speakers.
‘Where did you park the vehicle?’ Tarasha asked.
‘The Car park at the left side,’ Stephanie replied.
‘Okay, step out of the vehicle. There’s a open mini restaurant where snacks and soft drinks are sold at the right hand side of the hospital, go there and get something to eat until I give another instruction. Avoid getting into unnecessary discussion with anybody,’ Tarasha instructed.
‘Okay, should I leave the vehicle unlocked?’
‘No, drop the key beside the front right tyre.’
Doctor Brian’s Office.
‘So Mr. Dave, are you assuring me that the police would get all these information I’ve shared with you?’ Dr Brian asked.
Dave smiled faintly, ‘Haven’t you been visited by the police before? They should have asked you the same questions I asked.’
‘Police officers have visited here recently but they never asked of any young woman who came to cause trouble in the hospital, they only asked to know who his recent patients were and if he had any argument or secret business with anyone.’ Dr Brian replied.
‘You said Dr Ekwueme’s son was here that day and he saw the girl, he should have told them about her.’
Dr Brian shook his head, ‘I wasn’t here at that time, I was only told of it after Dr Ekwueme went missing.’
‘Okay sir, thanks for answering my questions,’ Dave said as he got up.
The doctor also stood up and offered him a handshake, ‘I hope you and your media house would be able to gather enough information that’ll lead us to Dr Ekwueme.’
‘Thank you sir,’ Dave smiled as the man squeezed his palm in his warmly.
Tarasha spotted Dave James as he walked out of Dr Brian’s office. She got up from the seat where she was seated with some patients waiting to see the doctor and others waiting for their family members whom had come to receive treatment. She waited until he walked out of the compartment before she got up from her seat and followed him. She followed him at a reasonable distance until he got to the reception. He stopped to greet and acknowledge some of the nurses at the desk and she walked past him and proceeded straight out of the hospital.
She walked to the garage at the left side and located the ambulance. She picked the key from the ground where she asked Stephanie to drop it and entered into the vehicle, she sat in the driver’s side and adjusted the side mirror to enable her view the entrance of the hospital.
Soon, she saw Dave step out of the hospital and begin to proceed towards the garage at the other side. She continued to turn the side mirror as he came closer until she no longer had to view him using the mirror. She saw him stop beside a blue range rover. He was about to open the door to the driver’s side when he looked up and saw something which caught his attention.
As Dave’s eyes caught the show glass of snacks and cakes, in front of a open area covered with decorated fronds. He remembered that he had not taken anything for breakfast, he locked the door back and put the remote control button into his pocket. He then proceeded towards the mini restaurant to get some snacks and a drink.
‘Hello, who’s here?’ He stopped at the front of the show glass and called. He looked through the various types of snacks available and made a choice of the ones he would love to get. ‘Hello,’ he called again and stepped forward onto the paved part of the shed and looked around. There were only four tables on the pavement and four chairs around each table. ‘I want to buy some snacks,’ he said as he saw a lady putting on an apron coming close to him. He was about moving his face back to the show glass when his eyes met with someone who was staring at him. She quickly looked away but it was too late, he had seen her already.
Dave couldn’t close his mouth, he was shocked beyond words and his body remained stiff for a while. She looked at him again and their eyes met. She quickly began to pack her bag as she realized that he had seen her already but Dave quickly proceeded towards her, ignoring the sales girl who was now trying to attend to him.
‘Hey! Steph,’ he called and ran after her as she tried to leave through the other side. He finally caught up with her as she was about to go down the short stairs and he held her by the arm from behind. ‘Stephanie,’ he called again.
Her body seemed frozen to the spot. She felt a current of electricity run through her as his fingers touched her elbow from behind.
‘Stephanie, we need to talk,’ Dave said in a pleading voice.
She closed her eyes and heaved a sigh. She was confused on what decision to make. Dave had seen her already and she knew he wasn’t going to let her go if she didn’t give him attention. At the same time, she didn’t know how Tarasha would feel seeing her with him. She had warned her not to get involved in any unnecessary discussions and she didn’t know how she was going to explain that her would be discussion with Dave was necessary without telling her who he(Dave) was. She had no idea that Samantha recognized Dave’s face, so she still felt obligated to protect Dave by not exposing his true identity to anyone else, also sticking to the promise she made to him that way. For the same reason, she had skipped telling Samantha about Dave’s involvement with her.
Tarasha watched from afar. She stared at her phone’s screen, the call dialer had opened but it was late already. She had seen Dave move in that direction but didn’t think he was going to that exact place, rather she thought he was going to use the restroom at that side. She decided to use the opportunity to quickly place a tracker on his car and it was after she did successfully she looked up and saw that Dave was at the same eatery she had asked Stephanie to stay. She tried to reach Stephanie on phone quickly but before she could even dial the number, Dave had seen her and was going after her.
Tarasha stared at them for some more minutes and began to walk back to the ambulance when she saw Dave and Stephanie turn back into the eatery to sit.
‘Stephanie, what are you doing here?’ Dave asked, almost in whispers. They had attracted quite some attention from other people there while he was trying to get her back to the seat and he noticed it was part of the reason she eventually gave in to him.
Stephanie heaved a sigh and looked away. She wasn’t sure of what answer to give him and didn’t want to make any mistakes that would cause trouble for the Samantha Osman team.
‘Why are you not talking?’ Dave asked, looking keenly into her face. He looked in the direction which she was looking at and saw nothing. ‘Stephanie, talk to me.’
She looked at his face briefly again and only sighed and shook her head.
‘Who are you here with?’ Dave asked, looking around to see if there were signs of anybody waiting for her.
‘With nobody,’ Stephanie interjected. She looked around also to see what Dave was looking around for.
‘Come on Stephanie, talk to me. What are you doing here? At this hospital and at this time?’ Dave said, staring at her inquisitively.
‘And why do you think I should answer all your questions?’ Stephanie asked.
Dave stared at her with the side eye for a moment, he shook his head and then looked straight into her eyes. ‘I don’t want to believe meeting you here is a coincidence, there’s a lot of explanation you need to make.’
‘Explanation? To who? You?’ Stephanie looked at him with mockery in her eyes.
Dave drew in a breath and relaxed his back, he folded his arms and kept his stare on her face.
‘I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my movements,’ Stephanie continued. ‘I can be anywhere I want to be at anytime.’
‘Who are you here with?’ Dave asked again.
‘And what has that got to do with you?’
The more she spoke, the more Dave got convinced that she had come there with someone else who was watching them from afar.
‘Do you know that you have been declared missing by Samantha Osman?’ Dave asked, still in his relaxed position.
‘I don’t care,’ she replied.
‘I do,’ Dave said and leaned forward, resting his arms on the table. ‘And the government does too. Samantha Osman accused the Vice President of kidnapping you, the government would be happy if I can present you to them because it will prove that you were not kidnapped.’
‘This is none of your business Dave,’ Stephanie slammed.
‘It is my business Steph, I’m a citizen of this nation who works for the government. I owe them the responsibility of reporting cases like this,’ Dave slammed back.
Stephanie shook her head. Dave was making things more difficult than she thought it would be. She looked around, she was confused.
‘Dave, I’m not going to allow you threaten me to tell you anything,’ she said, trying to sound confident.
‘Then I’m going to have to report you to the police,’ Dave threatened.
‘You won’t do that!’ Stephanie replied in a strong tone.
Dave stared at her for a moment. He could see the zeal and passion with which she was answering him. He knew there must be something behind it. He looked into her eyes more intensely and a thought suddenly struck his mind. He opened his mouth in disbelief, ‘Did you contact Samantha Osman?’
‘I think it’s high time I leave,’ Stephanie said and tried to get up from the seat but Dave held her hand.
‘You ain’t going anywhere,’ he said. It was getting noisy and people were staring at them but Dave didn’t care anymore. He knew Stephanie would be scared of getting people’s attention to herself.
‘Dave, I have to leave,’ Stephanie said in a louder tone, sounding more like a plea now.
‘You can’t leave Stephanie,’ he pulled her back, with his grip still firm on her wrist. She was frustrated and was staring at him with a helpless look. He looked back into her eyes and whispered softly, ‘If you are leaving here, we are going together to the police.’
‘Of course, she leaving right now,’ a feminine voice sounded behind Dave and a heavy blow hit his face as he tried to turn back. He lost his grip on Stephanie’s hand.
‘Go,’ Tarasha said to Stephanie immediately, nodding her head towards the gate to signify which direction she ought to take. She pulled Dave up by the collar and sent another blow to his face. He staggered backwards, almost falling on the table.
She grabbed him by the neck and pushed him on the table, making his back lay flat on it. She sent him two more heavy blows on his face and left him to fall to the ground.
‘You don’t just harass girls anywhere and anytime,’ she said as she walked away, leaving the people to stare at her in amazement.
Nobody touched or questioned her as she walked away, instead some looked at eyes with commendation in their eyes and hailing her for beating up a man.
She quickly hurried towards the gate to join Stephanie. Stephanie had already crossed to the other side and had just stopped a cab. Tarasha waved for her to hold on. She quickly crossed to the other side and they both entered into the cab.
Dave was sure of one thing as he managed to get up to his feet with the whelming feeling of embarrassment; he was attacked by no ordinary girl, the girl had to be none other than Samantha Osman. He was more convinced now that Stephanie had contacted Samantha and that Samantha also had a hand in the disappearance of Dr Ekwueme.
He could hear the silent chuckles and see the smiles on peoples’ faces as he tried to straighten his cloth. He picked up his phone and wallet from the floor and hurried away.
‘Where did you know him from?’ Tarasha asked Stephanie as they journeyed in the cab, both of them sitting at the backseat.
‘From the City Hospital, he helped me after you rescued me from the kidnappers.’ She replied.
‘How did he help you?’
‘He changed the drug that was supposed to induce loss of memory into another.’
‘So, that’s what made you retain your memory and that’s why you remember me?’
‘And you didn’t know him before then?’
‘No, I did not.’
‘What reasons did he give for helping you?’
‘He told me he was a journalist on investigation and he got to find out the plan of the police.’
‘And he never asked anything from you?’
‘He never asked for material things, he only asked that I should reach him if you ever try to contact me again.’
Tarasha let out a faint smile, she wanted to ask if Stephanie was the one who called Dave to tell him about her but she decided to skip the question. ‘And since then, how often have you been seeing him’
‘I never saw him again, until I got to Abuja. I called him because I thought I would need his help in fighting against the Vice President.’
‘And did he agree to help you?’
‘Yes,’ Stephanie replied in a stressed tone. She was getting uncomfortable with the questions because she was sure she would have to reveal Dave’s true identity if it continued that way.
‘What are you hiding from me?’ Tarasha asked, noticing the look on her face.
Stephanie quickly looked away on seeing that Tarasha’s eyes were fixed on her face.
‘Why didn’t you tell me about him?’ Tarasha asked.
Stephanie was unable to answer. Tears began to form in her eyes.
Tarasha was irritated and wanted to turn hard on her, she held herself back on realizing that they were still in a taxi. She took out her phone and unlocked it, she opened the tracking application.
‘So, you were with him when he sent me the message informing me about Chief Nonso’s whereabouts?’ Tarasha asked while waiting for the tracking application to load.
Stephanie nodded affirmatively without saying any word.
Tarasha remained mute for the rest of the trip. All on her mind was how to get a knife into Dave’s heart as soon as she could.
‘We have one minute now, you have to increase the speed.’ Henry said from the backseat of the car where he was seated. He was holding a tablet device in his hands and monitoring the movement of a vehicle in respect to theirs on a road map. Cole and the third man were seated in front, Cole was driving while the other man had a pistol ready in his right hand.
Cole increased the speed just as Henry increased. They were heading towards a round about and their target vehicle was also heading towards the same round about from the opposite and other side of the road. Their target vehicle was going to turn into the road which would be theirs immediate right turn and there they would cross the vehicle and kidnap their target.
‘They’re turning already, add a little more speed.’ Henry said.
‘How many more kilometres per metre?’ Cole asked, even as he increased his speed. They sped past the vehicles in front of them and were directly in front of the roundabout. Their targeted vehicle came into view.
‘Damn! Reduce your speed, it’s too much.’ Henry warned but it was late. Cole tried but their vehicle crashed into the targeted vehicle and smashed it against the highland.
To be continue