The phone in Brian’s pocket rings for the 100th time, no answer. Neither did the vibration stir Brian. He lays on his bed, still unmoving.
”Damnit!!” Ikena swears ..it would take him close to an hour to get to him, that’s if there is no traffic, with traffic would be an hour and half, if something was wrong with Brian, he might not get to him on time ..
Who should he call to go and check on him while he makes his way back? He looks up as his eyes catches movement and sees the Father coming out of his house or church, whatever; a few passersbys stop to greet him, he is smiling and talking to them, the bible to his chest and his other hand doing the sign of the cross to them as they leave, more people replaces them, Cosmos is waving at someone towards his end, Ikena slips down into his car so he doesn’t see him. He dials Brian’s number again.
”Finally!!” I exclaim as I see the taxi pulling over ”You took forever , what sort of Taxify that it takes forever to pick up a customer , I have been here for over an hour staining, and my legs hurt” I say flinging my bag and the other into the backseat of the car in clear visibly anger
”We are so sorry Ma, forgive my delay”
”Yeah!! Just take me home now please” I tell him
I blow hot air, staring back at his house, and then I turn away.
”Hey Dickson, what’s up?” Ikena speaks into his phone still laying down ”I need you to do me a favor okay, I am really far away but I need you to check up on someone for me, the kid I drive about, his apartment is 56, the huge house close to the fence, yes, I need you to go there and check if he is there, if he is, check if he is okay, and stay with him till I get there”
”Dude, I can’t leave my post, maybe later, why don’t you call him”
”No Dick, I need you to do it now, I think he is sick and might be able to come to his phone, I just need to make sure he is okay, I am on my way that is all”
”Ik, you know this is a tight secured estate, and every security detail counts, I can’t leave my post not for the next one hour, then I would check.. but for now..wait hold on let me check people coming out-” he puts Ikena on hold, Ikena could hear him stopping someone and speaking to them.
”Madam, you don dey go?” The man wearing the military uniform says to me as he orders the taxi man to open his booth and search the car.
”Yes!” I answer stiffly, even if we passed here a second ago, they would search, as though they expect to find something like a human head or bomb, their fingers ready to shoot, but ..i was in a mood, everything was upsetting me.
”Madam you sure say nothing dey inside your bag?” he says smiling at me as he collects the entrance tag from the cab man
”If there is you think I would show you?”
He laughs ”Nothing for the boys?”
”Nothing , can we go please, I need to get home ” I snap
”Madam take am easy, make I check something, you know when people come here and leave, we always need to call the house, just to make sure they are aware of your leaving and nothing is amiss, you dey come here na, you suppose know” he says
”Don’t bother, whoever I came to see wasn’t around”
”Hmm? Make I sha still call anyways, na my duty, chai, fine Madam smile small make e totori me for belle eh? See as you fine, nwam baby . Chai!!” he rubs his chest and laughs,
Really!! The last thing I need is some security personnel flirting with me,
Brian, then John, now him.
Who sent this people, the devil? Satan not today, not ever.
I ignore him.
When he sees I wasn’t in the mood to answer him, he smiles shaking his head ”Give me the house number please ma, ”
”House 56 ” I tell him frowning, he nods stepping into his security booth..
”Dick, come on, are you there, hello?” his coms buzzes
”Ik, hold on I need to check on a resident here before a guest leave, make I call the number…”
”Look Dick, when you are done can you please go check on him please, this is a matter of life and death and my own Job would be on the line too , please, I am already on my way”
Dickson sighs ”I will, hold on dude, ..” he says into his phone, he grabs the phone, searching for the house number ”House 56.. 070345
”House 56..070345…” Ikena frowns ”Wait wait Dickson, are you calling, no I didn’t say you should call, please just help me check on him for me, it would take you five minutes “‘
”Ik, I am not calling for you, a guest is leaving here and I am calling the house resident to make sure all is okay, you know you cannot be too sure, na our work be this guy, relax, once she leaves I will take excuse in thirty minutes and I will go” Ikena hears him say ” 07034578932″ the man continuous
” Dickson, was that person coming from House 56?”
” A lady?”
”Er..yes” the reply came slowly, Ikena assumes he is curious
”A pretty lady?”
”Yes Ik, why? You checking her out to?”
”Adora, that must be Adora!!” he says more to himself than to Dickson
”I don’t know her name,”
”Please, give her the phone, please!!
”Guy, you won chyke girl on my work duty?” Ikena could tell he is frowning without even seeing him, but that was least of his worries.
”Give her the damn phone Dickson, you won’t go check, she will, just give her the phone, please, thank you!!”
He could tell he wasn’t happy about it.. he waits, he sees Father Cosmas driving away, coming towards him, he slouches even lower in his car.
He is frowning coming out of the booth, I stare at him wondering what now?
”Is there any problem? I told you there wasn’t anyone in at the resident house I went to..so if you tried calling I am sure you would have realized that I said the truth, so I do not understand that stare down ?” I throw at him first before his frown deepens and he leans closer to me
”This is for you”‘ he hands me his phone, the telecoms his security uses, I frown staring at him but not taking it.
”Who is it from?”
”Take it Ma’am and you will found out, ” he says, the smiles and laughter had left his face, and I wonder what was displeasing him, the call or the fact that the caller wanted to talk to me.
And then again, who was the caller? Or ..was it Brian? Wait!! Was he in the house. With a girl or something and just finally finished and now want to see me? Was that it?
I smile angrily shaking my head ”Tell him I do not want to talk to him so if we are done here Sir, can I leave I have other important things to do”‘ I push the phone away back towards him, he stares at me and then the phone, he takes it to his ears straightening up..
“‘Dude, she says she doesn’t want to talk to you” Dickson says moving away\
”Why?’ Ikena’s voice returns
”How the hell should I know, guess she doesn’t like you so you better back off”
”what? No Dickson, give her back the phone, maybe she thinks..hell I don’t even know what she thinks, tell her it is Ikena ..please”
”But she said-”
”Damnit Dickon, someone might die..put your dxxk back in your pants and think with your head”
”Okay..that’s just low, you can’t use my name and my manhood in one breath just because they sound and are spelt alike…that’s just low”
”Damnit Dickon, I swear it if anything happens to that kid…before his father kills me, I am taking you down!!” Ikena shouts, Dickson frowns turning back to the lady in the car and walking back towards them
”Hey Ik the terrible, relax, person no fit play with you again, jezz..i am giving her back relax, what do you mean someone would die, what’s happening?”
”Just give her the damn phone, that is all, !!”
”Here, it is Ikena, he says it is important, life and death related, you have to take it ” he passes me the phone again
”Life and death?” I grab the phone reluctantly and place it to my ears, I hope it isn’t some prank Brian is trying to play because I swear this time, this time he would hear me…I won’t even try to pretend to be nice. No I won’t.
”Okay Miss Adora, I need you to do me a favor, and I know you might have questions but I cannot answer them at the moment …good thing you are still in the premises. I need to find out, have you seen or spoken to Sir Brian today?”
My browns knits together , I shake my head ”No, ” I bite my lip , should I tell him, it really wasn’t his business but,..he did see Brian lean in and kiss me didn’t he? I sigh ”I was supposed to meet him at home today but when I got here he didn’t answer, been here for a while and I got tired, called a taxi to come pick me, plus I didn’t have his personal number to call so…”
“I called him a dozen times, he isn’t picking either”
”Maybe he had an early club session!” I spat angrily
”Please, please, can you go back to the house and bang on the door, go through the back just to check and I know none of the securities can be able to follow you so that means you would have to force the door open, maybe the cab man would help you, I need you to get into the house and tell me what you find, can you do that for me..like now?”
”I do not understand, what is wrong Ikena, why do you sound worried, Brian isn’t home, I knocked a while, even my knuckles hurt”
”He has to be there, he isn’t picking up his calls and I just want to make sure he is okay, please, go back, get into the house and call me…call out your number for me and I will send you a text please”
There was so much worry in his voice, why?
”Miss Adora, you don’t have time to think or deliberate, whatever issues you have with Sir Brian can be addressed later, when you make sure he is fine, but for now you have to go back and make sure that he is fine, please..like now, find away to get in and tell me what you fine”
”Fine!! But you are starting to creep me out, like something is wrong with Brian, is he okay”
”That is what I need to know, thank you, I will wait for your call, but I am on my way”
”Okay!” I hand the security his phone
”And, what did he want?”
”I need to go back to the resident house, house 56”
”I thought you said the person isn’t around?”
”Yes, well..i need to go make and check’
”Okay” he hands back the drive in tag to the driver who had been quiet all through..
We drive back to the house, I came down leaving my things in my car, knowing Ikena was just sending me on a wild goose chase I am reluctant but I walk to the door and begin to knock. No answer. I kept knocking, no answer.
”Ma’am, I don’t think anyone is around, you have been knocking there for a while, if anyone is inside they would have answered’
”Yeah, but still” I frown, why did Ikena sound worried, sighing I turn away from the door, going round back, peering through the window, I see nothing.
”Anything Madam?” The taxi driver who had left the car to me ask startling me, I gasp escapes from my lips as I turn, stilling my heart with my hands to my heart I shake my head walking away back to the front.. I knock on the door a couple of times away
”Madam, there is no one here and if we don’t leave now I would have to charge you for extra hours”
”That is fine, ” I remember Ikena saying he is on his way, maybe I should tell him to leave, Ikena would take me home when he comes, but he also said for me to find a way into the house..
”Erm…can you help me?” I turn to him
”Help you with what Ma’am?”
”Can you force the door open, or find away to open it up?”
He frowns at me, scratching his head ”Er..i don’t know Ma’am, that would be a crime now wouldn’t it? I mean breaking and entering? Plus, you see this place ” he spreads his hands ” This estate is highly fortified with securities at two to three check points, you can’t come and leave here without being searched as though you are going to see the president, residents who stay here are probably elites or elites kids or whatever, you want me to force a resident’s house open, you want them to send me to Girigiri for trying to rob them?”
”You are not trying to rob anybody “‘
”Well you know that Ma’am, I do know that, they do not know that and if there is no one inside there, it would mean just that plus what if an alarm goes off alerting the securities, you see the guns they carry, you see their uniform, those aren’t some police men, or securities just for the sake of the name, those are army securities, see that one that was smiling with you Ma’am? He can be as deadly as a snake bite, they switch in a second, I know their types, they are everywhere, and you want me to force this door open so he can rush down here if an alarm goes off and bundle me to the end of my life? No Ma’am. I came here to take you home, that is what I am being paid to do that but if you rather stay Ma’am, that is okay” he backs away
“no no wait!” I scratch my head..
”What if ..what if it’s a matter of life and death?” I mean that was what Ikena said, doesn’t mean it is but, if it could get him to do it, it got me to come back here …so…
”Really, how does it concern a life and death to break open a door Ma’am?”
I turn away ”Even I want to know that?” I turn back ”Please, look, just help me with the door and you can leave, I will take the responsibility , you will be away from here when they come, they see only me if anything goes wrong…just please, okay?”
He blows out hot air, running a hand through his hair.. ”Fine, ” he goes to the door, ”I don’t think we need to break the door down though” he says going on his knees when he got to the door
”okay?”I am curious bending behind him
”I kind of have a few tricks off my sleeves though”
”And that is what exactly? Bending to stare at the nobe of the door, I am not following ”
”Well…” he turns his head to look at me, cocking his head from side to side
”what?” I back away ”why are you looking at me like that?”
”I wonder, if you could give me your hair pin, kinda useful right now?”
I touch my hair, taking one out and giving it to him .
He takes it and then he puts it through the key hole, making movements, taking it out and putting it back in after bending it…
”Is that a trick or a confusion, because I don’t see it working, what is it supposed to do?”
”Wait for it” he says still working the key hole
”I think you should just force the door open ..” I was becoming impatient ”because this isn’t work-”
Click ..click !!
”Ah, oh ye of little faith” he says as the door opens, he straightens up and give me back my pin, then he waits, listening
”Hearing to see if an alarm went off”
”I don’t hear anything” I strain my ears
”Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t , or maybe the resident forgot to put it on, or it went off in the security area, who knows” he backs away from the door ”I think I have to leave now Ma’am, I really do not want to get into trouble
”Okay, thank you” I watch him enter the car and pulling away
Then I remember, ”My bags?” I call out running towards him
He stops allowing me to take them out and zooms off. I turn back walking into the house, I drop my bag in the living room, I turn on the lights looking around, doesn’t look as though anyone is home.
I bring out my phone to dial Ikena’s number, I walk further into the house, I frown staring at the floor, there was mud stains, leading from the door to the bedroom, I follow it.
Why didn’t he clean his house before leaving? It looked dried, like it had been on the floor for a couple of hours..
I turn to the door again, I could make out for pairs of shoes, male shoes, but coming towards the bedroom it was only two. So he had guest, who didn’t make it pass the door or maybe removed the shoes at the door,..
I turn away putting on the light in the passage way and follow it, going to the bedroom door, I knock..
There was no one at home which was pretty obvious at this point but still, just maybe he was in there with some woman, I didn’t want to walk into anything that would give me a heart attack…
What if they are asleep, drunk, spent, satisfied and in a deep sleep… I hear one can get totally knocked out from those for a couple of hours.
I knock again, no answer.. I hold the door nobe, I turn it and push it open..
I freeze, the scream catching in my throat.
Ikena puts his phone into his pocket and sits up, the Reverend Father had driven off, he is contemplating, should he go back into the house or do check on Brian? He was thankful he spoke to Adora to go check, he just needs to wait for her call or go back into town and make sure he is okay himself, or …go find out what is inside that church and any glues on this frank person.
But, if Adora hasn’t called him till now maybe, maybe Brian is okay.
He alights from his car and locks it, he makes his way back to the house, he knocks.
Juliet wipes the tears from her eyes and the blood from her face, she grabs a plaster and places it on it to stop the bleeding, she winces in pain as she tries to get up. He rammed into her so hard from behind she felt like her insides were going to explode, or that her vagina would be ruptured. She was so sore she washed off blood too as she cleaned away his sperm between her legs.
He hears the knocking again, sighing she covers her face and goes to the door, opening slightly she frowns, pushing it closer and hides her face ”what do you want, Father isn’t here”
”I am so sorry, he asked me to get my card and I thought I didn’t have it, I have already gone before I realized that I had one in my wallet and I came to give him, but, I didn’t see him ..where did he pass, would he be gone for long…Juliet?” he stares down at her, she was hiding something, she wasn’t even showing him her face, she had a cloth to cover parts and her eyes were red..
”Give me, I will give him , ” she stretches out her hand to take the card Ikena brought out of his wallet, he stretches his hands out to her and gives her the card, letting it drop to the floor
”Oh sorry” he makes to pick it but he drops it in a way that it falls close to her feet into the house,
”No, I will get it..”she says stopping him, she closes the door slightly , bends and picks it, she looks at him as she closes the door back slightly ”You can go now sir, please”
”Okay, thank you!” he nods as she closes the door, he heard the door click ones and twice..he stamps his feet down the stairs leaving the door as he hears footsteps stepping away, he counts to ten, then twenty, then thirty while he pretends to make a call…
Then he turns back to the door, pulling a small thin silver paper he gums to the door as she bends, he places it on the key hole, takes a pen and jabs it into it…and turns it twice, the door opens up, he places the pen back into his pocket, removes the silver paper by peeling it off, he takes his hankerchief and wipes the door as a white powdery substance replaces the silver paper, he squeezes it and then puts it back into his pocket, he would toss it away later. He shuts the door behind him and then turns to find the room area empty.
He was quiet as he begins to check, listening for movement, going to one door to the other to find out which room she was in.. he did, he could hear her crying ..
He frowns turning away, later..for now..he needs to know what goes on here.
After a few minutes, nothing was amiss, nothing looked amiss, it still didn’t mean there was nothing here. The other two rooms were as unsuspicious as these ones, like a churchy, homely place..
There were just two rooms left, the one Juliet was in and the one he saw Cosmos coming out from, he picks that one, it was locked unlike the rest, he did picks this lock this time and then he enters..
From the outside it looked like a sanctuary, two huge bibles were on the table, then crucifix of Jesus at the center of the room hugged at the far end, a bed, a shelve of books, motivational and hymns, his pictures with obviously members of his church with him wearing either a black long rope with a red small cup-like cap on his head, and a big bible in his arms or a blue or a black one, awards lined the walls too..
He seemed well accomplished for a Reverend Father of a small fellowship cell house..or church, whatever this place was. Ikena goes round the room, looking, using his pen to touch and lift things up, ..
It was so clean and normal it even smelled like a church in here, he frowns turning.
Maybe, maybe this Frank did his person in this place ..this house or church but not in the view of the father and Juliet..
What if there was some hidden basement, or underground house, and if there was..it wouldn’t be in plain sight would it..or maybe it would.
If he were someone who lived double lives, where would he hide his basement or hidden place…?
He uses his pen to tap the wall quietly, separately.. hoping that Juliet doesn’t hear him.
Tap, Tap Tap!!
The walls were filled, it made no echo. Nothing, he does it for every open space on the wall, high and low ground. Nothing.
He gets to the shelve, he turns away when nothing looked amiss, he goes round the room and he comes back again..he taps his jaw, it wouldn’t hurt to check. He runs his hands over the body of the shelve, up , done, side, tried moving it out as one would open a door, it didn’t bulge, he tried moving it to the side as one would as though pushing , it didn’t bulge.
Strange, it felt as though it was built into the wall, it didn’t move. He shakes it, nothing.
The only reason one would have an inbuilt shelve into the wall is because ..one don’t want anyone moving this around…because..
He stretches his hands to the wall behind a book and knocks this time,.
He looks around trying to get in..where was the way in? He goes back searching the room again, there was nothing on the shelve, nothing, he searches the desk , running his hands over the table, the side of it, under, down it’s legs..
Where is it, it should be a button, something not visible, very very obvious but yet unaware.
Back to the wall, the pictures, the bed,..
Damnit !!! it has to be somewhere.
He rubs his lips, looking around, sitting down briefly to thing, take everything into perspectives..scanning the room with another eye, a military eyes he takes in the entire room..
After another ten minutes, he gets up smiling, going back to the middle of the room.
It was just staring at him, the only thing which didn’t belong in this room was a rocking unicorn small enough for a child. And he didn’t have any if the pictures on the wall was any indication and as all Priests and Reverend Fathers go, they are sworn to celibacy, married to Jesus, so that means no wife, no kid, and definitely there was no reason why rocking unicorn should be in his room unless…it is used for a different purpose all together other than a child rocking.
He goes to it, placing his leg on the rocking board and pushes, the unicorn rocks back and forth..he looks up, nothing.
He runs his hands over it, under it. Nothing.
Maybe, he needs to rock it. He throws his legs over it, and sits, as one who would want to ride it, his weight sinks it down, he frowns as it sinks lower, even lower, even lower, he made to get up grabbing unto it’s horn, it breaks, his frown deepens..
”Damnit!!” he swears, he just messed up. He looks at the broken horn and then he laughs ”Clever, really clever Father Cosmos”
The horn wasn’t broken, it was an attache’, it opens to reveal a button, which he presses, the shelves swings out towards him on it’s own, with the wall attached to it. Ikena gets up and walks towards it and entering, he pulls the latched attached to it and closes it as he enters. As he closes it, he sees an open button at the side at the other of the wall as it blinked a bright red, he turns around, it is dark, thick fogged dark.. he looks at blinking red , there is another one, lights it red, it pushes the button and then he turns as the room illuminates.
”Fxxk!!” he swears ”Oh Father Cosmos, you have been a very very very bad father” he takes out his phone and dials ”Hey Teksa, I think I found Frank, you wouldn’t believe whose life he is playing and …I think he just might be the one you lot have been looking for, I am going to send you a pictures of his forte, it is mindblowing and revealing…I mean, drugs, prostitution , the whole shebang..” Ikena says walking to the desk, looking around at the pictures on the wall, faces he had ‘X’ which meant one thing, the target was dead, he frowns when he sees a picture of Brian with an ‘X’.. he looks away as he sees pictures of young girls too, bending to look he sees a picture of Juliet. So she was one of his prostitutes,
He taps the computer button to come on, it is locked with a password, he turns away, going round the room.. a vault for cash, a stash of drugs in a cartoon, guns in another, and then he sees them, faces of young boys, he recognizes three of them..
They were the ones who attacked Brian last night. This father Cosmos was definitely Frank, and he was a hardcore criminal..The one the Port Harcourt Police call ”Vampire!”
He had been on police radar for years, terrorizing the city and other neighboring cities, with kidnapping, killings and arm robbery.
Apparently he had been in this business since he was about twenty years old, making a name for himself after kidnapping a government officials when he was a driver and demanded for half a million, when he got the money, he killed him and went on to his other victim. After a couple of years he began to recruit young boys to join in, smuggle girls out of the country for prostitution and left some in Nigerian to keep his business booming.
By the time he was thirty he was widely known and respected amongst his peers. Had a few hundred deaths on his hands, people came to him, top people to have those they felt threatened them to be taken care off, they paid him high he carries out the job, when he isn’t killing, he is robbing, raping, and by the time the police finally apprehends him about five years ago after someone tipped them off..he was arrested and confiscates all his properties and freezed all his bank accounts and took away his cars.. he was left with nothing but a cold cell and to reflect on his life.
But hardened criminals don’t change, he was planning. A year later he escapes from prison, with the security personnel on duty claiming he was asleep.
Ofcourse it was a lie, he conveniently left the gate open, making sure he was set free. A month later, the police officer was found dead in his apartment. That is what you get for trusting the devil. Apparently , he made a deal hoping that Vampire would make good on his word to make him rich, give him access to some drugs stashed away so he could sell and make his first billion.
But the mouth of a snake is as sweet as an apple given to Eve; he was signing his death certificate and he had no idea.
Since then, Vampire has been under the rather. It’s been five years and nothing, no one knew where he was, or who he is playing this time, all his colleagues had been found dead or they died in cell. It was as though he was doing a purge, the less anyone knows about him the better. He wipes them all..how he did it, no one knows.
But Vampire was the bad of the bad, he was smart, he was deadly..he wasn’t someone who you come to meet to kill someone for you and then you change your mind… he usually always succeeds.
But it has been five years, five years since he went under, and he doesn’t have such luxury anymore to be the Vampire he was… thus.. he recruits boys from the university to carry out petty jobs for him, under the guise of Reverend Cosmos Ijorla..
Light and darkness have nothing in common and yet, the devil is in detail.
Ikena shakes his head, so he comes down to this town, leaving a normal life like a Reverend. So in the mornings and mostly on Sundays, he sings to God and blesses people and at night or odd hours of the day, he sends girls out for prostitution, sends young boys to kill, kidnap or whatever , sells drugs and a whole lot more, and ofcourse, what better way to do it if not with the clock of Christianity where no one would ever look, which better place to hide in plain sight if not in church…and what better place to have a gathering of criminals if not here…
They come in the guise of prayer cell meetings, fellowships and in plain sight they operate.. and because he doesn’t have his houses and money and luxuries and connections as before…maybe, just maybe he does menial jobs too..
Nothing is too small.
Ikena looks around, yes, this was definitely Vampire, the newspaper clippings on the wall proved it, it has his faces splashed all over, and then there were other pictures of him, changing looks and bearing other identities, the reverend own is his present.
His real name was ”Alex Akinyola Aka the Vampire”. When he got back into town from the battlefield and while he hugged around the police district to get his filing, his name was one of the top most wanted persons in the city, and then out of curiosity he read his file, that was how he got acquainted with his bio.
Now the next question was this, who the hell out Brian in his radar, who wanted Brian to get hurt?”
He snaps the room, making sure to capture everything, ”Teka, I am sending you pictures now” he says, when he turns to leave he sees it, the phone on the table, he goes to it and powers it on, it is blank..
He can’t take the phone, it would raise suspicion, if only it was visible he would have scrolled to find a number, anything . He drops his phone back on the table, making sure everything is in place as he sees it, then he leaves the room watching as the shelve closes back, he replaces the unicorn’s horn and makes his way quiet out.
This just doesn’t have to do with Brian anymore, this was of the security of lives, Vampire was a wanted criminal, and he can’t just confront him like. First he needs to find out who his client is who had it out for Brian, then ..he would hand him over to the army, they would treat him to what he deserves, the police wouldn’t do justice to a criminal like that, he would, but…for someone like this, he needs to go through the proper channels.
As he closes the door and turns, Juliet is standing there with tray of food in her hand, she drops it in fear and opens her mouth to scream.
”Oh my God! Oh My God, oh my God!!!” I repeat as I begin to shake, the scream not leaving my chest, I rush to him. There is blood ..so much blood.
”Brian, Brian, are..are you…can you hear me?” I shake him ”Oh God, oh God Oh God!!” I am shaking as I shake him again, I get up and run outside…the taxi had gone, call Ikena, call Ikena, no call the hospital…
But I don’t have the hospital number , I don’t have any number that would be useful now, I am shaking, I run back into his house, my eyes pooling, I touch his face, ”Brian, please, don’t be dead, don’t be” I touch his face, his neck, his wrists, not sure what I am doing.. he is cold, so cold..
Er …oh God oh God!!
Ikena, call Ikena . I reach for my phone and dial his number .
”The number you are trying to cal isn’t reachable at the moment, please call later”
Damnit !! I call again, same thing. I need help, help. I run outside again, trying, samething.
There are two houses not far from his, I run to them, banging on their door, someone, anyone, I needed a car, I needed help as I screamed ”Help please someone, please help”
No answer, no one is home in either houses, if I have to run to the gate, on foot it would take ages, what if he dies, what of he is already dead.
Oh God!! What happened to you Brian, what happened to you?. I run back to the house, Ikena’s number isn’t going through.
What do I do? What do I do? If he is dead, I can’t be here..i can’t be here..
I grab my bag and want to leave, but I can’t move. I drop it and go back to the room, he isn’t breathing, his body is cold..he isn’t moving,
He is dead, he looks dead, must have been for a couple of hours. Then my eyes pools again, tears roll down..
If I hadn’t been thinking of me, maybe when I came I would have checked, knocked hard enough… but I had come and being angry about a fault he didn’t even falter, he must have being fighting for life and all I was thinking about was how he stood me up, but he was here, in his house, dying.. guilt washes over me even if I knew it wasn’t my fault. I go to him, he is dead…I don’t feel a pulse, nothing.
I lay my head to his chest, I can’t..i sniff, I can’t hear nothing.
I peel his hand away from his tummy, the bandage is soaked red, he must have been injured, must have gone to some chemist or pharmacy..why didn’t he go to the hospital, why? The hospital would have kept him over night, they wouldn’t have let him go home, not like this.
I sniff, the blood had dripped to the floor after soaking the side of the bed he laid on. Looking around I find a scissors and cut it open, ..
Oh dear Lord, it was infected, it was swollen, more blood was pouring out, he must have died from it. That is why.. part of his wound was congealed with thick blood which slowed down the rest from gushing out.. I look at my hands, it is dripping red after I open the bondage completely.
What was i doing, he was dead, Brian was dead. Tears blur my eyes.
Crying I get up and go to the toilet washing my hands with soap, I eye an antibacterial cleanse, I pour some into my hands and wash it thoroughly, I was doing this to prevent any infection to the wound, or any more,. I open the cabinets, my hands are shaking, . I would wait, wait till Ikena comes.
I was scared, what if…what if he comes and says I did it, but ofcourse I didn’t. I should leave but..
Couldn’t leave him like that, I couldn’t .. I see a first aid box, I pull it out, I feel a small pan of bucket with hot water from the heater, I grab a towel hanging there, I take them to the room..placing it close to him, I go back for the soap.
I had no idea what I was doing, but still. I peel off his shirt, and the bandage I dump them on the floor, with my shaking hands I begin to clean his wound with the mild soap and water, I keep doing this, applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding, ..carefully, going back and forth to the toilet to change hot water, and the last clean I search the first aid box to find some an antibacterial ointment, I use it to clean his wound again…
My mother, she used to do that when I injure my leg , and when I had gone to the hospital a few times with her , I had seen some nurses do it.
I grab a clean bandage that will not stick to the wound and I band him up, using plaster to hold it in place.
Then I change the water again, and begin to wipe him clean, his face, his hands, his chest, wipe it clean.
My tears is increasing as I continue to wipe his face; his lips was bruised, even the back of his head felt swollen as I raise It up.
What happened to you Brian, who did this to you? I sob. For a few minutes as I am done, I held him in my arms, close to me as I would warm someone who is cold, and he was cold, so cold.
Where are you Ikena? You called too late, he is dead.
My hands are still shaking as I hold his head, my eyes blurry from the tears. I choke. For some reason, this breaks me.
”Sshhh, don’t scream , don’t scream !!” Ikena reaches out and closes her mouth, his finger to his..
She begins to fight him off, he holds her still ”Ssssh, don’t scream. I will not hurt you, I promise, don’t scream. I won’t hurt you I promise okay, if I let you go you will promise not to scream?”
She nods her head in fear, ”Good” he lets go off her, backing away with both hands before him ”Okay Juliet, I am backing off now okay, you are safe, I am your friend , I promise you”
”My friend? You broke into the church, what do you want, who are you? Are you a thief? I don’t have money please I beg you don’t kill me, you can do anything you want with me but please don’t kill me… please I beg you!!”
Ikena frowns ”No no Juliet, I am not that..neither do I want you , no Juliet, I won’t hurt you”
”Then why are you here, why did you sneak into the church, why did you? “‘
”I was looking for someone ”
”Frank? There is no one like frank here” she says , fear fills her voice, her eyes are wavering, he knows she is looking for a way to run, run to safety thinking he wants to hurt her
”Well, I have found frank, or who you refer to as Father Cosmos, I don’t think he is who you think he is” he tells her watching her, then he smiles when she didn’t look surprise ”Apparently you know this”
”Want do you want?”
”Did he do that to you?” he points to her face, and then at her neck ” And the one behind your neck?”
”And you are not a desperate father looking to safe his daughter!’ She replies
He smiles ”how long have you been his property Juliet, how many of you does he have and use for means that are very painful and humiliating and inhumane?”
”If you aren’t here to hurt me, then you should leave, because if he comes back, you would be dead, and I with you” she says fearfully
”I can help you Juliet”
”No one can, I tried, anyone who tried to help us were caught and killed, my family were killed when they came for me. My work here is to serve him, with my body and others to for their pleasure and their money…I cannot do otherwise and when I err, I suffer the consequences, and this wound would be the least of my problems”
”Well, maybe because the right person haven’t come knocking.” Ikena says ”You do realize that he would kill you anyways, ?”
She is silent
”look, let’s do this, I need you to help me with something and I promise I would get you out of here”
”If you believe I can, I can Juliet, I would take you out now and he would never have to find you, ever, but you have to be willing to leave here..”
”okay then, take me away then, to safety, you have no idea what I go through on a daily, he rapes me every time and –and-” the tears flows ”The men I am forced to be with, they are animals, some days I hear one of us, the girl, trying to escape, trying to fight, they kill them…me? I don’t have any fights in me, I don’t …I accept my fate, give myself up so that I don’t get beaten. So take me away now…because I cannot go on” she begs going on her knees
Ikena pulls her up ”I will, promise I will, I need you to do something for me”
She wipes her eyes ”You men, you all are alike, you want something for something, you want something too?’ she pulls at her dress, he stops her ”I would do anything to be safe away from this monster, a lesser one is better than him”
”No! what I am asking you is a matter that affects another’s life. A kid I watch over was almost killed last night, and I got to them before they succeeded, which led me to here and to your Cosmos”
”He isn’t my Cosmos, he is the devil”
Ikena nods ”Yes, he is. But, someone, a client of his ordered the hit for the kid, I need to know who…and I cannot confront him just yet”
”So you need me to do what, find out who the client is…?”
”Yes!! Can you do that?”
She is shaking her head ”I cannot,. He will kill me”
”yes you can. You will save a life Juliet, please, I just need to know who has evil intentions for the kid, he can be unruly but he has a good heart and I hate when innocents are harmed, especially ones under my care…I just need to know first then I can take care of him and Cosmos, then I will make sure you are safe”
”what is the name, the name of the one you want to protect?”
He wonders if he should tell her ” Brian, that is his name, you have to find out who called for the hit, for last night , that is all”‘
”And when I do, how do I get to you?”
He takes the five thousand given to him by Cosmos and hands it to her.. ”Do you have a phone?”
She shakes her head ”He doesn’t allow me touch one”
”Do you go out at all?”
”Only when we have clients for the night”
”Okay, there are phone booths around, find out, and make a call to this number, or send a message with anyone’s phone, just the name, that is all, and I will know it is you, then I would come for you, don’t worry, you will be safe, just be careful, don’t give anything away” he gives her a number he writes down on her palm as he takes her hand ”Write it down somewhere he won’t it okay?”
She folds the money and nods ”And if you think he is on to you, abort this and reach out to me, I would come get you immediately okay?”
”Are you a police officer?”
”Then who are you?”
”My friends call me Ikena , my enemies call me the terrible ” he says ”Take care of those wounds so it doesn’t get infected ” he points to her , then he peeks out of the window, seeing nothing amiss he opens the door and leaves.
Juliet stares at the closed door for a long time before she locks it and goes back to the room he came out from.. She needs to lock it back before Cosmos comes back.
Ikena is driving back, he has sent the pictures to his friend in the police station.., he told Teca not to make any move until he gets the name of the client and the Juliet girl out to safety , so for now, they lay low.
He frowns when he remembers Brian, Adora hadn’t called him, maybe, maybe Brian is okay. Not wanting to take any chances since he has already delayed, he steps on it.
Ikena walks into the house an hour and half later ”Brian? Brian?” he calls out, the door was unlocked, which means Adora found away to get in.
He takes full strides to the room and pushes open the door, i raise my head to look at him, tears filling my eyes again..
”I found him like this, I think Brian Andrews is dead!!!” I choke ”He isn’t waking up, not moving, I – I tried to clean the wound, and him and….but…he wouldn’t wake up, he I dead..i think he is dead” is sob
TO BE CONTINUED.