“Tope, miss me?”
The look on her face is distorted, a mix of surprise, fear and rage.
“Tevi?…… What… are you doing here? And how did you let yourself in? If you are here to talk about what we talked about earlier I’ve told you there is no deal. I don’t have the heart to do what you ask to my friend. She more than a friend she is a sister. You are a psycho! You should go and meet her yourself talk to her leave me alone.” She spoke moving back and forth in the living room.
Her companion is seated in a cool demeanor, his eyes are as a snake, reflecting deceit and a shrewd darkness. He rises up, his towering height approaching her; she takes a few steps back shuddering as he comes forward. They are inches apart and he pulls her head close his lips taking hers. His kiss is aggressive; she struggles to set herself free but gives in part of her enjoying the earthen smell of his cologne and the other part taken apart by a longing that has been under the waters for long.
They break apart, in between heavy breaths glazed by passion and something that cannot be defined. He speaks in a slow patronizing voice, “you will help me gain access to your friend. You will help win back her love and trust and you will give me the keys to her apartment”.
She nodded her head in consensus “but what about me…..us?”
He placed his hand lovingly lifting up her chin starting into her eyes. “I’m doing this for us, for us it’s just a matter of time”. He lowered his head to kiss her.
“Go and get the keys”. She scurried away. He smiles amused at how vulnerable she is.
I lift my phone for the umpteenth time dialing Tope’s number but it is unavailable. This girl has turned me to a stalker. I have tried to reach on every medium, facebook twitter, emails, called her work place but with no luck. They say she is on her annual leave. I sighed wishing I had not missed confronting her that night she disappeared in a twinkle the minute I turned to embrace Ben. Whatever was going on, I hoped for her safety.
I spoke to Damisi about Tope’s suspecting attitude and how I thought it weird, considering what we have been through. In her typical free-spirit her response was “you are over-analyzing this, you know Tope keeps to herself. Don’t let it bug you much but If it makes you feel better I will talk to her to know what’s up and get her address for you so you check on her. On that note we ended our chat with promises of giving me feedback soonest. Although I haven’t heard from her I trust her enough to make Tope open up and get any information from her.
The red light from my phone blinks it’s a BBM notification, I slide open the phone and smile, its Ben.
“Hey love, how are you?”
“I’m fine a bit tired but okay”
“I can make you feel better ;)”
“Loool, what are you suggesting”
“Come over, I’ll make it worth your while ;)”
“Lol I’m too tired to drive; I gave Sadiq the week off his wife just gave birth”
“That is nice, we should have our babies”
I’m having a good laugh when sound of a ringing bell ring interrupts me. I drop my phone. There could be just one person who would ring that bell which is invisibly built just at the handle of the door. I walk briskly to the door and open it.
“Hakeem abin da ya sãme?”
“Get dressed Baba said to get you, I will waiting for you down stairs” With that he turns back to take the stairs. I swoosh to my room; change into jeans and some tees get out of the apartment and into the back seat of the black Camry.
Whatever is going on doesn’t sound good.
They drag him into an inner room, hands gagged at his back; the only lighting in the room is a yellow bulb. There is a man seated at the rear of the room covered by the darkness. The victim is pushed on the floor, ignorant of his surroundings. Eyes blindfolded with maniac thoughts flying in his head. The man in the dark speaks
“Where is our request, you were given you enough time. You breached the agreement, your promised to deliver in 2 weeks is still pending, and we don’t have the documents or the girl”
“Give me more time…. please” the victim cried out in a shriek.
The man in the dark rises up from the dark approaches his victim. “For the wages of sin is death” he says with a sneer and snuffed the life out of him.
We arrive at the house, Baba is seated in the screened porch eyes trailed on the paper I let myself in placing a peck on his cheek.
“How is my Baba?”
“I am as fit as I can be a smile on his ageing face”
“What’s the big news? Hakeem literally kidnapped me from the house”
“Don’t mind Hakeem you know his methods”
“I have decided to get married”.
“Woah this is big! Who?
“Aunty Ladi, nanny aunty Ladi?!” I said astonished.
“When did this romance start?”
Baba goes on to talk about how being alone all these years, making money, building alliances and empires was becoming a bore and he needed a companion and since my parents passed on he swore to take care of me till death but sometimes he still felt lonely. Aunty Ladi has served our family for many years and she is a woman of many virtues very reliable and consistent. He couldn’t have survived all those years without her. Although she came in to serve as my nanny and she became a friend someone he could rely on. All of these traits and the years made him fall for her.
I listen with every fiber; the story makes me happy. Aunty Ladi is like family and for many years she had served my family as a duty. If there was anyone who knew Baba she is the person. Time and time when I’m broke I talk to her first to know the best trick to get cash from him she being the closest thing I had to a mum and Baba being my dad.
“Do you accept?”
“Haba Baba after telling me this story I can’t come between love; you have my support. I know she will make you happy and most importantly take care of you. Its official I have a new mum now, where is she?
“She travelled to back home to Kano to talk to her people”
Okay, I will come to the house when she returns. Just send Hakeem to come and kidnap me again.
We share a laugh and I peck Baba goodbye.
I walk into my apartment with glee, happy about the just received news. Hakeem has been long gone. I’m in my bedroom about to taking off my attire to change into something comfy. I take a seat in front of the oaken mirror stand, wiping my face assiduously with a facial wipe. I am humming a song I can’t remember the lyrics but I’m well accustomed to the tune. I pick up my phone that from the floor, haven forgotten to take it along with me to Baba’s house there would be tons of notifications. I unlock the phone and to my dismay the red blinking light is just an email notification. I click open it’s an email from Tope (finally).
I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA saw all you messages. Didn’t notice you were at the Bogobiri the other day. We need to catch up since I’m in town. When will be cool for you?, I no wan disturb you as a madam for office. Just let me know so we can catch up on old times. Plenty gist 😉
I am about to respond to her mail when I hear a shuffle at my door. It’s the dead of the night say 11:00 pm and I don’t expect company. I drop my phone and tiptoe to the living room in the darkness. Listening raptly to be sure it isn’t what I am thinking then I get more convinced as I hear the shuffling of keys someone trying the locks to gain access to my apartment. I dash back to my room reach for the hidden compartment inbuilt in my bed consisting of my precious documents and a pistol given to me by Baba a year ago when I was moving in I never thought I would use it. I place the bullets in and cocked the pistol. Tiptoeing to the living room, as I lifted the weapon I could feel a muscle in my arm straining as I aimed at the door of my apartment. Whoever it is dead meat!
Hakeem abin da ya sãme? (Hakeem, what is the matter?)