M.O.T.I.V.E.S Episode 7 – @UnenAmeji

Featured

And this week’s episode is here! If you have not been following the story, you should.

M.O.T.I.V.E.S, a story set in old and modern day Nigeria, is a riveting, stimulating, suspense-filled tale of a myriad of absorbing characters with Unen Ameji’s fluid style of delivering engaging stories of greed, love, lust and power that leaves her audience on the edge of their seats, guessing and usually clamoring for more.

The story features Nigerian Tycoon and powerhouse Bello Badmus. A man who gave power as he willed, a man who controlled Presidents, a man who put men and monsters in seats of power; Florence Ohiemi aka Naomi Mambutu and her identical evil twin Josephine Ohiemi aka KudiraT Sadika Bello who are ever in battle of wills – good and evil, where evil prevails.

In a thrilling twist, the events likened to a classic game of chess sees each piece on the board take power and lose it and take it all over again. An illusion of power, an illusion of control.

It’s dark, it’s unpredictable, it’s M.O.T.I.V.E.S

Read all Episodes here

****
Uneñ Ameji’s Note
This is purely a work of fiction. Names, Characters, Places and Incidents are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business and government establishments, events and locales is entirely coincidental. While the State Security Service and Boko Haram insurgency is mentioned, all event are mere imaginations and projections of the author.

Episode 7

Peter Osagie – Acting Director General DDSS, June – 2011
“Please” a silent plea for release, quivering and breathless from an orgasm long overdue. An orgasm that was fast becoming molten heat traveling the length of her body before settling on her swollen sensitive pink nipples, in between her wet pulsating vaginal lips and on the tips of her impeccably painted red toes. Her mouth opened in breathless rapture, her hands firmly gripping the white bedsheets as she rode the storm that was coming.
“Not.. yet, not……yet” it was a slow murmur spoken in between wet gasps of pleasure from the man underneath. Warm, regulated and yet soft, the air around their torso interpreting the fucking motion that was threatening a crescendo, none was ready to experience, but simply could not put off any further. He felt his resolve dissolve at the same time she let out a wail of pleasure, melting into uncontrollable orgasm that left her juddering like a lone leaf in December harmattan. Her explosive cry of release triggered the pent up orgasm in his spine as he wildly let go of the hot molten essence in his sacs into her.

It had always been like this between them from the moment they had set eyes on each other. They had decided it was just physical but after eight months of intense relationship and animalistic coupling in the strangest of places, Peter popped the big question. He had never met a kinkier, flexible, sexier woman and he’d be damned if he didn’t make her his.
Peter Osagie, acting Director General of the DDSS, now cuddling his 6 months pregnant wife of 8 years remembered the first time he had seen her. Bold golden brown eyes, generous heart-shaped lips and impossibly firm tipped breasts in white T-shirt and Khaki shorts that exposed her incredibly long legs.
His blood had grown unbearably hot when he had entered the Assessment room where the new recruits were standing for formal introduction to all the senior officers before their posting to various states. The 12 months intensive training program had come to an end and as the Regional Supervisor in charge of the recruitment of discreet and diligent Nigerian citizens for the DDSS, he had gone to appraise the final 50 who proved themselves diligent and fearless for integration and he had found her, Omoni O.Omoni, the only girl in the group of 50.
When his eyes had found hers, his nose flared at her scent as he came to stand in front of her. She looked back at him passively but without fear or interest; and while her colleagues bowed their heads after few seconds of eye contact with the tall domineering man with grey airs and ungroomed dark beards against what she referred to as Mulatto skin, she boldly stared at him until he was forced to move away from her. A small smile that refused to make it to her lips appeared in her eyes.
He left Kaduna with the lusty thoughts of her set mouth, delicately slim nose and remarkable golden brown piercing eyes kept him up that night and for the first time in over 8 years in the DDSS, he effected her posting to North Central, to the Capital City and to his command without regards to experience. He simply wanted her where he could monitor her, where he was closer to her.
Omoni knew the tall Mulatto carried a touch for her and she found it amusing mostly because of his reputation of being a hard ass and slave driver. She, however wasn’t interested in his subtle advances because she knew exactly what it took for her to get into the DDSS without leg. She simply couldn’t be involved and completely ignored him. This irritated Peter to no end. Her smiles were for everyone except him. Omoni secretly admired the man for getting job done despite the rumor that he was a bastard, ruthless and distrusting. Her last and only relationship had ended when her childhood love had been gunned down in her street in Port Harcourt, caught in between gang war. He was coming straight from the airport to see her after 10 years in the States. Peter turned from subtle to blatant wooing not caring for the smack remarks about him from his subordinates. Notwithstanding she kept a firm stance.
He was everywhere she looked and soon her China walls began to crack. His stares made her hot all over and whenever she caught his eyes wandering down her body – which was often, she felt like he had undressed her and tickled her all over. She would go home to human-operated fingers for good old relief. It soon became a daily occurrence and as sickening as that was, she barely could contain the excitement of going to work – just to be undressed with piercing grey eyes.
The first raid however would seal their fate.

*****

It was like every other raid but this time something went wrong. A mole in their unit leaked the raid to the group of criminals on the Interpol watch who were wanted for war crimes in Sudan. The ambush that awaited them took the lives of eight of his best men and he was shot on his shoulders. Omoni and the group of six assigned outside had an uncanny feeling and had climbed the broken down fence at the back of the house adjacent to the building where the criminals were. The incapacious bungalow in the extremely quiet Government Reserve Area in Benin City was undoubtedly the perfect hideout. After a few yards, at a bend, she saw a truck parked and a suspicious hooded man at the wheels. She plugged her earpiece and started on a careless jog like a resident. She slowed down to tie her boots and started again, taking the turn before removing her shoe and sneaking up on the truck when she heard gone shots and was torn between going to the house as back up or wait to pursue. The man at the same time started the truck engine. She climbed into the back of the truck covered in trampoline and buried herself in the pile of dirty linen stained with human blood and discarded carton of white foam as the driver moved the car. Footsteps alerted her of people approaching and she stilled as persons jumped into the truck and the truck sped off.
“Why did you carry him?” it was one of the persons at the back of the truck struggling to drop a body, breathing hard and fast.
“Because we need him” it was a quiet answer from another.
“I hope they don’t come for him” it was the same voice.
The truck drove for hours before entering untarred road that had them galloping for several meters before stopping at the foot of a blasted rock. They were at a Quarry in Lokoja. She remained in the truck until dead in the night. New persons arrived at the camp and carried four men along, leaving two guards to keep watch of the hostage.
With hands and legs cuffed, Peter looked at the site and noticed a power bike belonging to one the guards.
Later, Peter would remember the faint sounds of foots approaching, a gun exchange and seeing her face in the moonlight. Hurried but swift, she shot the cuffs off his feet and hands before pulling him up to where they mounted the power bike and drove all night to Abaji, stopping at gas station to top the tank until his strength failed him and she had found a roadside motel along the expressway. Both of them had slept off the moment their heads touched the bed. Eight hours later, he woke up just at dusk to see her eyes looking into his. He gave a faint smile and for the first time, she smiled back.
“You had me worried there” she said quietly, watching him. She had redressed the gun wound at his shoulder while she waited for him to wake up. The wound was deep but thankfully the bullet had a clean pass.
“I am sorry” he croaked, returning a smile. He tried to sit up and failed. The kick one of the criminals delivered to his midsection was raw and the pain made him doubled over.
“Where are we?” he asked after he lay down back.
“Some lodge. The receptionist was pretty much helpful” she laughed at his question and he laughed back.
“Female?” he teased and she blessed him with another of her dazzling smiles, standing up.
“Naturally” she answered as she made to get up with her back to him. Without knowing when he moved, his good hand circled her waist and she slapped them away playfully.
“Stay. Stay with me” he asked softly with longing in his eyes and she stayed and fucked him.
The next bust of the same criminals was successful after Peter and his squad met gave wrong information to the footmen and staged pseudo operation that led to identifying the mole – Garba. Garba after he was caught led the team to make an easy arrest of the criminals frolicking with local women in their new hideout in Ajaokuta. It was the perfect mission and they returned to the capital city with criminals to parade before handing them to the police and Interpol as was customary.
That was the beginning of the hot affair that quickly escalated to a relationship that had Peter intimidating other male colleagues that found her attractive. He couldn’t stand the attention, the eyes that settled on her like his did nor did he find it remotely funny that she made him purposely jealous by refusing to be tagged as his woman. She would go out with different men to taunt him and he would fume and parade his house like a caged tiger, throwing things and smashing glass cups on the wall. When he saw her again, he would let loose his anger, jealous and possessiveness on her hot spot but it was not enough. There was only one way to make her his and he had married her after 8 months. For a man who vowed to live a single life, Peter had failed.
That was 8 years ago.
Eight years since she refused a normal life until he finally got her pregnant. He smiled at the thought.
“I love you” he murmured into her neck, sniffing her scent and withdrawing from her. Trailing kisses down her neck to her shoulders, gently biting her neck and spooning her. She was quiet.
“I have to leave for Mubi tomorrow” he said gravely as he held her for several minutes wondering how to explain his promotion all over again.
His boss – Mr. Igwe Mbaka sacked by the President who was erstwhile passive in the bomb blast and security challenges in the North East had appointed him the acting Director General and had requested a private meeting with only him few days later. A meeting that would change the face of the DDSS and their jurisdiction. What the President was asking of the Agency has never been done but as the President has gravely revealed, the country was on the verge of a coup and not even the service chiefs were to be trusted.
“I have heard you have a trusted man in the Boko Haram camp” it was the President, heavy and sad. Peter was momentarily tempted to deny it but simply nodded.
“Good. Our people are in trouble. The unity of Nigeria lies in your hands Mr. Osagie. You must do all you can to get those behind the boys or Nigeria as we all know it is over” the President had told him with a tired look in his chambers.
The next day, in a surprising move the President ordered the relocation of the command center to Gwoza, the hotbed of the terrorists activities but had called him on a secure line to ask for help. He said he was placing all he had in him.
Peter couldn’t refuse a national call. Now more than ever, he had to serve but Omoni was not impressed.
As far as she was concerned, the President was sending her husband into the vipers den. The arguments had turned from hot to tears and back to hot again until both had given up on changing each others mind. If he wanted to go, Omoni decided she’d let him.
“Be careful” was all she said after he got up butt naked and walked over to the bathroom. His decision to go undercover with only three of his trusted men to Gwoza left her feeling afraid. How easy was it for him to go and die in the name of serving his country instead of staying with her and their son? In a desperate attempt to change his mind, she had gotten an ultrasound to derail him but knowing he had a son didn’t stop the plans he made all day and all night. If anything, it fueled his zeal to get his boys underway.
Peter’s thoughts several days up to the moment were solely of one man, Bello Badmus. He knew in his gut that the unrest in the region lay with the man and if ghost could be found, he wanted to.
To Peter, it all didn’t add up.
Dying mysteriously.
Getting blown up.
Disinheriting his family.
It simply was too easy to swallow.
The Presidential order to move the command center that was untimely and with the President calling for help, Peter’s gut itched some more. It reeked of Bello Badmus’s military style of overthrowing men in power but even he knew that dead men have no bite. Voicing the suspicion to his already distressed wife and trusted men would only make him sound desperate and disillusioned.
“Who would want to kill a dead man? Who would want to use a dead man to kill more birds? Who would benefit from a dead man? His new heir?” he asked himself again and again, in writing and when staring at the ceiling in his study. The boy had not even existed until the last couple of weeks and after investigation, he was squeaky clean. If anything, it looked like a perfect stage and a puppet to distract the country from what was really going on behind the curtain.
Peter knew if he sniffed some more or connected the dots properly, he would find the pattern that would reveal who or least a clue to who or what was behind the insurgency in the North East and the call to move the command center. He was absolutely sure it had everything to do with the bombing but for the first time in 15 years in service, he had nothing sitting in his study or office. The answer was in Gwoza and he was going to get it.
When Farah’s note had reached him a day after his secret meeting with the President, it was all he needed to put the team together. The note as usual was sown into wraps of multicolored turbans. It was the only way to communicate and Farah, his mole in the Boko Haram camp hinted how he fared by how squeezed the dirty piece of brown carbon paper was and this time, the piece of note was wrung out.
Farah – Mohammed Abdirahman a freshly recruited DDSS officer had volunteered way early in the start of the uprising to get information about the group but had gotten stuck. The group grew fiercely and when the first proxy of unnamed sponsor had shown up in their camp at night 4 years ago Farah, who by now was a trusted pioneering and senior member knew he had to stay to get the faces of the men behind the group exposed. He could only leave the camp in pretense of scouting for local recruits and gathering intelligence for their next hit. He would then smuggle reports in turbans through his old Uncle to Peter.
Once he was caught with Turbans and when he was questioned rather bloodily, he said it was his ritualistic symbol in recruiting and inviting sympathizers to join the brotherhood. Yakubu – the head of the group was particularly proud of Farah’s innovation because he sent more turbans than other fighters. He was truly a worker of Allah and Farah was once again promoted to be his right hand man. However, things were getting tensed and Farah knew his time was near.
Peter was going to Gwoza to get Farah back. He owed him.

*****

The scalding hot water from the newly installed shower left Peter partly burnt and relaxed but it did nothing to stop the uneasiness and nagging feeling of sabotage.
Kole Bello had since been found dead with his throat slashed open in an apartment in the U.K. That also made headlines but it was one less maze to go through.
The Intel that the youngest of the Bellos recruited fighters from countries in the North especially Libya, Sudan and Egypt to train fighters from Nigeria and neighboring countries was the reason he had requested for Kole’s intial arrest and subsequent tailing at his father’s funeral only to be smuggled out by his mother few hours after the blast.
Farah in the last one year had steadily reported the activity of the young man and the fallout between Kole and Yakubu because Kole had started demanding some form of payment and the head was not going to pay because he was a medium. This Intel coincided with the information that Bello Badmus had tightened funds to his children for over six months. At the time Peter was optimistic that Bello may have found out his son was funding the group and was doing all he could to stop it. In fact Peter praised him quietly but when Kole’s drug smuggling activities reached its zenith with law enforcement agencies releasing Kole and his boys on Bello’s order, Peter took back his goodwill and started on the best way to cut Kole’s funding of the group.
Peter had suspected Kole was responsible for his father’s mysterious death and the bomb blast as soon as the news broke. The autopsy that had been boycotted by the family on religious ground and the eventual blow up was to Peter a perfect cover up of the murder. That had been 4 months ago. Now Peter knew for sure that Kole, like the new puppet at The Castle was a distraction and that the blow up was indeed a way to kill the dignitaries for a specific purpose than just a random terrorist attack.
The Boko boys took responsibility for the bomb blast as was expected but Farah had reported differently. Farah reported that on the day of the attack, they were raiding a community for new girls for breeding of holy warriors to continue in the fight. He reported that Yakubu had received a call and staged a recording to take responsible for the attack before spewing out other rubbish and once again warning other government officials of their continuance to serve a godless country, a country that Allah was going to redeem by spilling their blood.
Now as he dressed in his favorite clean Jeans and black sweater, he watched his wife stare at him the whole time he moved about to get ready.
“I will be back soon” he said when he finally drew her up to hug her and kiss her eyes brimming with unshed tears.
“Make sure you do or I’d be forced to come get you” she teased painfully before succumbing to his kisses once more. The sound of the horn separated them as he picked his bag pack and walked to join his three-man team.
Watching him go was one of the hardest thing she had ever done in her life. But she had to. She knew he was like a dog with a bone and until he got to the end, he would not rest.
The tears finally found their way down in lone streams as she prayed that he come back to her and their baby alive and whole. And when she blinked after the Hilux disappeared from sight, it poured.

*****
7-Man: Meeting at The Elephant, June 2011.

The calm in the room was the best they had since the new faction of seven greedy, powerful and dangerous men decided to take laws into their hands and execute their former members who went out of line. To them, actions to bring the cabal to order was betrayal and former members had paid with their lives. Each man seated in the large airy white room had one agenda and it was on who was going to be the next person to take the seat of government. The head of the faction with the deep voice searched their eager faces and refrained from laughing at their gullibility. It excited him and amused him tirelessly at how they thought they stood a chance against him. He was destined to be the next President of the country. Greedy they were but they all served his purpose – but not for long. He knew first hand what fall-out factions were capable of. They were all seated and relaxed. Some had been served drinks by his aide and the light conversation in the room soon turned serious.
“The new order of the Executive must be watched at every step. We cannot afford the mission to succeed. We have gone too far now to get a simple order forestall our plan to get the President out” it was Jafal Kartar Asiedu to the men and woman who faced him the moment he opened his mouth.
Mostly referred to as J.K Asiedu in the media, Jafal was former general and war veteran. He had served on the Nigerian side in the civil war and later headed the ECOMOG mission in Liberia rumored to have populated the region with over thousands of children from the Nigerian and Ghanian troops and had committed war crimes from summary executions to bribery, extortions and abusing women and children. He had the ambition to govern the country but luck or chance never came to his door. Now he had gone to the door of the Executive Mansion to hijack the seat. His Pastor told him to take it by force because God’s kingdom suffered violent. It was a case of who was strong enough to take it and by God, he was.
He was not a man of the people and the populace knew him for the war crimes also attributed to his Command during the Civil war. J.K was singlehandedly responsible for over 50, 000 Biafrans lives at the Gulf and when he was called to answer for his crimes, he had simply thrown his commanding officers under the ICC bus. They were found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment until a new Attorney General of the International Criminal Court had been appointed and made a deal with the prisoners. They were to get full immunity in turn for their cooperation to name the men who had massacred and committed war crimes during the civil war.
The warden on duty found them shot in the head the next day in Dutch prison in Scheveningen where they had been temporarily transferred and detained. Where there was no evidence or witness, there was no justice. That was the problem with justice, it almost always never has no witness when it mattered the most.
He had called the emergency meeting after the President ordered the relocation of the command center to Gwoza and receiving a $140 million fund from supporting countries in the fight against terrorism. While the populace celebrated the new show of force by the Aso man – as he called the lizard in the Executive mansion, they had no idea that the directive came from the men that be, the men that owned the country and they were only two of them.
“We have that covered. The Service Chiefs are well aware of what is at stake. They are in line with the plan” it was Benedict Onwuka Njoku, the Vice president who wanted power by all means necessary and had since joined forces with the new faction members to remove the Aso man, the lizard. Jafal nodded at his enthusiasm and took a drink.
“I understand your husband disinherited you?” the question was directed at the only woman in the group of seven. The meeting had also been called in honor of her. She was perceived by the rest of the group as the hero that had made their plans easier to execute but like vipers, they waited patiently for the day they would toss her out like the garbage that she was. It was only a matter of time before it was her turn to be sacrificed.
“I find it rather unworthy of attention. The boy is nothing but an old mistake and I have it under control” the woman who sat in place of Mrs. Kudirat Bello said confidently, answering his question of being disinherited by her late husband, Bello Badmus.
“You mean like you had Bello and his repentant snakes under control” it was the lily-livered member smiling like a stranded kangaroo in Parque Zoológico Caricuao.

The plan to take over the seat of government was simple.
1. Increase the spate of killings by funding the terrorists.
2. Deploy ineffective troops.
3. Embezzlement of the $140million.
4. Stage a war breakout.
5. Overthrow the Government
6. Vanquish Boko Haram.
With the plan, it wouldn’t be long before the people called for the impeachment of the President and when that happened, the Chiefs would declare a state of emergency and take over government while the Senior Adviser to the President, the old goat Nurudeen Soyemi would silently execute the President and his backstabbing Vice. J.K was not sure Nurudeen could carry out a simple drugging of their drinks but sometimes even old goats had their uses.
The simplicity of the plan and foolish ignorant faces of the men sitting before almost caused Jafal to laugh out loud. It was all set and with the recent move of the command center, the stakes were raised higher and the blood bath that was coming was one that was going to leave the country in national mourning for a long time. He wondered who ICC was going to witch-hunt next.

“We don’t mean to pry but we must make sure there are no issues on that front. The contracts awarded to your late husband by the present government will well serve our purposes of recruiting more local and international fighters and need I remind everyone of the black market prices of these weapons? The French are bastards” it was Jafal playing the advocate.
Florence Ohiemi sat in that meeting with so much confidence that she frightened herself at the length she was willing to go to get her revenge. She knew the faces of the men in the room and it pained her dearly that these were the man responsible for senseless blood bath and unrest in the country.
It was the night after she returned from where she held Kudirat. Bello had left her to her devices but he had suggested she find more clues to help with her mission at Kudirat’s private residence. It was more than a welcomed suggestion and Florence had gone to the simple 2 bedroom bungalow surrounded by exotic plants in the heart of town. The Gardener who greeted her profusely said she had a message and she had found a note neatly attached to the letter of consolation from the Major General J.K Asiedu on her sister’s large mahogany desk in her study.
On opening the letter, a note fell out and on it was a call for an emergency meeting stating the time, date and venue on a plain sheet of paper. The address of the venue was clearly stated. That was enough to raise her curiosity and alertness. Florence knew a set up when she saw one. If indeed Josephine was involved with the high and dangerous, the address of what she suspected was a meeting of the infamous cabal would not be clearly stated on a plain sheet of paper. It would be coded.
Florence knew the smell of a fish and the letter was a stinking fish.
Perhaps they knew she had Josephine in hiding? Where her friends in high places monitoring her or Josephine in her usual fashion had more enemies than one could possibly have.
There was only one way to find out.
Arriving at the meeting at the ungodly hour stated was expected but the brief look of triumph across the Major General’s face gave Florence cause for concern. It looked like he was in on something that the rest of the group wasn’t aware and she was set to find out.
The faces of two notorious Ex-governors, Vice president, Deputy Senate president and well-respected Cleric shocked her but she had quickly feigned a cough as they all gathered round to toast to her success. Success in killing people was toasted here and Florence joined in drinking to hundreds of lives blown apart.
She smiled as she thought of Bello and slightly shuddered with pleasure at the thought of going back to his hide out in his estate.
“We will feel better once the boy is taken out of the picture” it was the well-respected Cleric interrupting her thoughts.
“I have it under control” Florence reiterated dangerously – as Josephine would and she saw them smile in satisfaction. She had no idea that she said the same thing Josephine said before Bello had been killed and the bomb had gone off few months after. Of course, she was the only one in the group to know that Bello was alive and well. She smiled at the thought.
“I am sure. This time, we don’t have three months. We need him to go quietly. Perhaps an accident? Random shootings is my favorite. Let us know if there are problems” Jafal said with good humor and they laughed as his treacherous eyes settled on her bosoms.
“If I could take care of Bello, I am utterly upset at doubting my stance on the boy” she hissed playfully after the laugh ended as if she was insulted and they all nodded their agreement.
“You all will have news in the next days about his untimely demise. However, we must contact the sellers immediately to have more guns for the boys. I’d also like to propose negotiating new arrangements. Extortion by way of high price of weaponry is not going to work for me. Should the French bastards refuse our terms, I have contacts in Syria that can get sophisticated guns for the boys. I for one think the tipping point for the new government is just a matter of force and more blood” Florence was getting into character and she found it exhilarating. It was surprising how easily one got into the role but she wasn’t amazed at her performance. She knew to get the information, she have to play the part. Impersonating Kudirat was a walk in the park.
“You will be coming with me to Dubai next week to meet them. We don’t want to stress a newly widowed and disinherited member but what must be done must be done” Jafal stated with dry humor as he declared the meeting closed and the group filed out after small talks in pairs of two while Jafal’s eyes kept resting on hers as the group cleared out of the room.
If Florence wasn’t getting ahead of herself, she noticed he was smiling unnecessarily, readily agreeing to her suggestions and making plans to taking her with him on couple of meetings. Akin Jolojolo, one of the ex-Vice Presidents obviously his right hand stewed on his foot and when he was dismissed for a private meeting with Florence, he all but stormed out as gracefully as he could.
“I should get to work. Some accidents need to happen” she said in a smile, declining his invitation as he raised his hand to her chin.
“It is not appropriate” Florence held his hand and dropped it firmly.
“I would have found you weak if you agreed. We need your new step-boy gone and soon. Daba!” he barked loudly as if he wasn’t ogling her moments prior. Immediately the door opened to reveal the man called Daba and she was ushered out of the hall, leaving a little chip behind.

*****
Bello Badmus: The Elephant, June 2011

He watched as she left his 15 room mansion with enough grounds to develop a couple of structures if he wanted but he didn’t. He liked to walk from his helipad to the house. It was one of such properties one owned just for pleasures like this. He had chaired their meeting from his study. He watched the vultures try to get favors from Jafal and watched Florence impersonate her sister to perfection. How classic. He felt like a god in handling of affairs of the State and as he came downstairs, he saw his best friend, Jafal sitting with a glass of brandy, in deep thoughts.
“Easy on the thoughts” he laughed easily coming to take the seat Florence was sitting just for a feel of her scent and the thought of dominance. The grand master and ace game player, he felt invincible.
“So how did you see her performance?” it was Bello taking a mouthful of his glass of brandy.
“If you had not told me it was your wife’s twin sister, I would have fallen for her acting” it was Jafal in his usual deep voice.
“She is good. Very good” he said almost in admiration.
“Spare me master player. You faked your own death, blew up your old friends and set Kudirat take fall for it. You killed your son to keep him from talking after using his identity to import arms and he found out he was fronting for his own father….and to top it all got this new piece fine woman to go into retirement with” he said in a low laugh generating from his throat wickedly.
“Point of correction, he wasn’t my son. After all the monies him and the others enjoyed, I had to get something from him. I have you to thank for my wife’s brilliant idea to kill me. I must say it was the right kind of creativity we needed to pull it off” he chuckled enjoying the rare praise for his bosom friend.
“And the other two from George?” Jafal asked
“Oh well, remind me to send Daba to trail my new retirement piece. I need get rid of them before they squeal and for some reasons she likes to think she has things under control” he drank heavily and chuckled again. The thought that Florence would think herself smart was admirable and stupid. Of course he knew who Naomi Mambutu was. He wasn’t Bello Badmus for nothing. Investing in his company was so sweet and innocent that he had staged an accident meet in a beach she favored in Seychelles. Oh the poor woman. He really loved her innocence and sighs of pleasure. It was not like the first time but she was the purest he could find. She would do for retirement. She seems to like beaches.
“So what is next?” Jafal asked as Bello got up to refill his glass. Jafal stretched his frame and brought out a cut cigar from his pocket and lighting it expertly before dragging it to his fill.
“Well, making you the President is not as easy as I thought. I had to kill myself” Bello all but grunted.
“You owe me” Jafal smiled referring to saving Bello’s life when he had been hired to assassinate over a decade ago. It had been the first time the two would meet and become good friends.
“I don’t think so. I have paid my dues and you on your own now” Bello smiled as he took his seat, Florence’s seat.
“Not when my boy is still after me” Jafal said almost sadly.
“I can’t help that your illegitimate son has decided to become a torn in your flesh” Bello drank from his glass.
Jafal, a prominent philanderer in his days had fathered his bastard son with an Irish maiden who had taken to a black man as moth to flame. It was invariable she got burnt with black seed. Nathaniel Asiedu now Peter Osagie was indeed a torn and now more than ever, he had everything to lose if his son, now the acting Director General got his nose in the grind.
Peter had taken up the name of his great grandparents and dissociated himself from his father the moment he was old enough to know who his father was. He was everything Peter didn’t want to be and from the moment he left the house at 12 years of age to stay with his maternal grandparent, he began a career that would bring men like his father to justice. Men like his father didn’t deserve to be left to their devices but put behind bars.
Father and son knew there was no lost love but Jafal had a soft spot for his son and he hated being put in the position to eliminate because he would. He made sure his dealings with the underworld were kept away from his son but Peter liked the dark side.
“You do realize if I go down, you go down” Jafal warned as he dragged his cigar and blew the smoke in rings watching his friend.
“You forget that I am already dead. You, my friend must be firm and extremely careful. All fingers point to you now” Bello said
“Not if I pointed them to your new squeeze. Tell me, how do you get these women to trust you implicitly?” Jafal asked brightly after a while, suddenly forgetting his distrust and cautiousness when it came to Bello. They were friends but one could never be sure with Bello Badmus.
“She thinks her sister is the new devil. She has been practically in love with me forever. Not that hard if you are lovable” Bello laughed a boyishly.
“And the boy she is supposed to kill? Is he not your son, her son?” Jafal took a lazy drag.
“Her son. I am still new to the fathering table. I am sure she is going to hide him again but this time, not from me, not for long”
“You intend to kill your son?” Jafal was shocked at the evil look that came over Bello’s clouded eyes and for the first time saw the monster that sat before him.
“How else am I going to get the control of my company back?” Bello emptied his glass.
“But when you get rid of him, Florence takes over” Jafal contended
“No” it was emphatic.
“Who then takes over?”
“You” Bello answered with a sly.
“And what happens to Florence?”
“Every good thing comes to an end, sadly” he added as an afterthought and as soon as he said it, the two men looked at themselves and broke out in loud shattering laughter that rang across the empty mansion obliviously to the chip planted in between the sofa of the chair where Florence had sat down and straight into the ears of the woman who sat in her car few streets away from the house.
The cold pimples that sprouted on her arms as she listened and the wet tears that threatened to drop was stopped just in time as she joined them in the loud shattering belly-filling laughter.
There was no end of betrayal and her suspicious had proved right.
Bello Badmus, how sweet his fall would be.
“Why is the fall of great men orchestrated by women always the sweetest?” she asked herself sweetly still coming down from the laugh as she drove to Kudirat, the recorded discussion in her possession.
After 30 days in Avianwu-replica, Kudirat was ready to play ball.
And somehow, Florence was sure Josephine was really going to enjoy playing this ball.
They say the best revenge was served cold, Florence thought the best revenge was served in painful small chops.

*****
*****

M.O.T.I.V.E.S is written by;
Uneñ Ameji
Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger on Amazon.com
See new book Love on the 25th on Okadabooks http://goo.gl/hmsKnv
W: http://bit.ly/1Il23U3
T: https://twitter.com/UnenAmeji

All Episodes here. Share, Comment, Enjoy.

Like Us on Facebook or Follow African Stories on Twitter and you’d never miss any of our postings.

Enjoy your weekend.

Cheers

Advertisements

M.O.T.I.V.E.S Episode 6 – @UnenAmeji

Featured

Morning People!

Finally! we have got Episode 6 of M.O.T.I.V.E.S after a loooooooooonng abrupt break. We hope you enjoy it.

Read all previous Episodes here

*****
Note from Unen Ameji
Hey guys, I must apologize for the two weeks break. Hopefully that never happens until the end of the series. The first week was the inauguration week and working in a *Buhari-oriented enviroment – whatever that means, it was a marathon. It was inevitable that I miss sending in the post. And last week Tuesday, I had an accident on my way to work – I was driving. While the facial injuries (Yup, different places) is/are healing, I sincerely hope there are no ugly scars – sexy scars I can deal. *winks
Seriously though, I am thankful and so grateful to be alive. I really am. Wasn’t the best of experience and never ever will I have a repeat.
Back to Motives – You may have to brush through the story to get flowing again, sorry about that. I promise to convert episodes into chapters and format into downloadable*s.
Soooooooo, enjoy this episode and let me know what you think – here or wherever is most convenient. I don’t mind. I love to hear/read your comments.
To Ridwan, Joesph, Ginika, Timayin, Sleekdami and her wonderful friend, Mariam, Zarah, Eve, Sim, Prince, Soulkey, Bisi, Shagkor, Temi T, ephortunate and those I have not mentioned here but have reached out…..thank you. I write most times because of your inspiring comments.
I’d love to know what you guys think – about the story; not asking me “How did it happen?” I am past telling the narrative, seriously guys.

Cheers.
https://twitter.com/UnenAmeji

*****

Episode 6

Avianwu – Auchi, March, 1982

Florence woke up to the cracked dirty walls, the soggy brown asbestos ceiling with irregular water marks from rusted leaking aluminum roof covering half of the building and large cobwebs dangling merrily in the eerily lit room. The warm air was humid as it was suffocating, with stench of decaying human waste, concentrated urine and a little of what Florence would come to know as weed. The putrid smell originated from the farther corner of the room where the en-suite toilet had no door nor roof.
Florence, faint and disoriented, tried to rise up from the sack which served as her bedding and felt her legs give away. She felt sick and the strong urge to vomit was overwhelming. Struggling to support her weak frame by holding the wall, she moved albeit shakingly, taking steady breaths. Reaching the middle of the room to where the only window was, she struggled with the metal locks momentarily and forced it opened just in time to throw up the heavy greenish slime that troubled her being.
Retching loudly and hoping to turn her insides out, she noticed movement from afar in the bushes and soon heard voices approach the building. Suddenly afraid for her safety, she looked around for the door and walked over to it, prying it open. She found it locked from the outside. As the voices neared, she hurried back to the sack and lay down, feigning to be asleep while she waited for the voices to fade.
The voices faded eventually but the thin man with extremely long limbs that entered the room several minutes later reminded Florence of the story of the giant praying mantis only that his countenance belied his fragility. His unusually black face looked like it was cast in precolonial bronze and the gun he hung loosely around his neck and pistol he held carelessly had Florence nodding when he asked if she was sleeping. Fear indeed improved Florence’s hearing ability, even when she was supposed to be fast asleep. She opened her eyes afterwards and slowly sat up after she noticed the thin man go about his business of removing his black overall.
“Where am I? How long have you had me here?” she braved as he settled at the other corner of the large room that looked like an emptied abandoned classroom.
“You are in Avianwu. You have been sleeping for 3 days or more, not sure. Found you lying in the bushes. You can remember taking a nap in the bushes?” he asked wickedly in surprisingly good English and walking over to the open en-suite toilet to take a piss. She had no answer but watched as the yellow liquid splashed on his trousers before turning to face the wall in disgust. Her stomach was rumbling again.
“Here” he said when he returned, throwing her a black leather bag. The wet biscuits in the bag would last Florence for the next couple of days and it would be the beginning of their routine that would last 24 days, three weeks and three days, Florence kept count.
24 days after her escape from the spiritualists that Josephine had staged, 24 days after she found herself in the dungeon with the thin dragon, she started experiencing headaches, cough, sore throat and high fever. Constantly throwing up and feeling cold all night, all day. Her dungeon-mate who came only in the mornings became overly worried and watched her for hours when she was sleeping and mumbling nonsensically. She would wake up at intervals to see him watching her, like the vulture – the haggard scavenger that doesn’t pay the barber visits.
Waking from one of those numerous nap, Florence, dehydrated and hungry, found a tin of clean water, a bowl of sparklingly fufu and what looked like badly cooked Egusi soup plastered on the fermented cassava dough. What was supposed to be cooked meat stared at Florence with flagrant boldness until she was tempted to throw the piece of meat away. She dared not for she felt his eyes on her from his corner.
Nke ahụ bụ ewu nwa anya, n’ihi na protein” he said in Igbo, noticing her hesitation at eating the food he had placed before her. Florence simply nodded as her stomach growled to announce her hunger despite the goat eyeball he served her as protein. Swallowing small balls of the cassava dough, the thin man with the fierce countenance fixed a direct stare at her, challenging her to eat, to throw up. Surprisingly, she didn’t. Her system seemed to like the smell of the fufu and hot green peppered Egusi soup. She was feeling better after she finished the large plate with running nose and weak limbs.
“Lock the door after me and stay in. Wandering around here gets you killed” he said almost in a murmur as he stood to get ready to go out. He had since stopped locking her from the outside. If she wanted to go, she could – so he told her after her seventh day. She had taken a step out of the dilapidated building and found herself rushing back. It was literally a jungle out there. Lighting a rolled up leaf that Florence knew was marijuana and taking a deep drag, he offered her humorously.
“Please” she croaked as the smell enveloped the room. The smell always gave her headaches and coughs and he knew it. He fixed her another stare before leaving to join the group of strange looking men who always waited for him outside the deserted building every afternoon.
The broken-down building was located at what appeared to be in a valley surrounded by tall palm trees and well-rounded large trees that Florence decided were either mahogany or Iroko. The insects that stung her, night animals wailings and the cold air that made her young bones shiver every night told her she was nowhere near civilization.
She had also joined the thin man in taking dumps in the toilet by placing newspapers or fresh plantain leaves he provided on top of the cemented floor and when there wasn’t space, she simply placed the newspapers or leaves on drying excreta and took new dump. Life was unbearable and she was certain she was going to lose the baby and die, and Josephine would be happy.
The thought however strengthened her resolve to live. She decided she wasn’t going to die, she wasn’t going to give her sister the satisfaction of disappearing from the face of the earth forever. From her kidnap to her scape and her apparent rescue after she fainted in a cassava farm, she vowed she would survive and pay her sister back in kind and in coin.
He rarely spoke to her that fateful morning, the 25th day in the forest. He simply ignored her and sharpened his knives and polished his guns the day before, smoking his marijuana without caring if she was going to vomit or faint. She stayed quiet and watched him getting ready for what she knew was going to be a raid or possibility another kidnap. Her morning sickness had reduced but the urge to throw up and weakness still woke her up every morning. Somehow her rush to the window amused him and at such times, she would see twinkles in hie eyes.
“We will be leaving tonight” he said quietly as he ate what would be his last meal, a plate of white rice and palm oil stew with dried fish he brought from who Florence came know was Mama Edo, the woman who the healing fufu and Egusi soup came from. Mama Edo was supposedly the the forest’s herbalist and food vendor.
“Tonight? To where” she asked alarmed, wondering why they will be leaving in the night, in the thick scary darkness. He was surely going to give her to another spiritualist since he had figured out she was pregnant, she thought.
“Leaving to the city. What is your name?” he asked, ignoring her eyes filled with fear. His eyes dropped to her stomach and instinctively she covered her stomach with her thinning hands.
“Florence” she answered going back to her corner when he gave her the remaining food in a blue plastic plate.
“Florence who?” he asked, his voice a little tighter than usual as he stood up and took the last drag of his stem. The thin man almost always smoked marijuana after his meals.
“Florence Ohiemi” she said taking a spoon of the already mixed red rice.
“Florence Ohiemi, from where?” he continued his questioning as he started dressing, hanging his gun and wearing his black leather overall that needed washing.
“From Ibienafe” Florence answered, dropping the spoon and pushing away the plate from her.
“Eat, you will need your strength” he admonished and she picked up the plate again.
“If I come back, we will be leaving this place. Do not sleep, be ready to go immediately I get back” he said sternly to a fearful Florence.
“Why at night? Can’t we go in the morning?” she asked as he stood up to go.
“You are the pregnant one. Do you want to leave this place? he barked and she dropped her head.
“Yes” she answered meekly.
“You don’t know where you are. How do you expect to walk into this forest and get to civilization without guidance?” he asked, looking at her like a petulant child.
“Sorry” was all she could say.
“What’s his name?” he asked after few minutes of silence.
“Who?”
“Your child. A male child” he tried a pitiful smile that made him look like a hungry wild cat, the kind that chewed red kolanut.
“I…, I don’t know. I have not thought about it” she replied with a smile herself. Her mouth felt like an algae pond, slimy and green, her breath stinking like rat died in her bowels and her body was so filthy one could use the dirt to plaster the cracks on the wall.
“Inale” he told her and looked at her thinning frame with pity before disappearing into the forest.
“Inale” she murmured under her breath as she watched him go.
He returned at midnight. When the sun had since forgotten it rose and when the moon took over the skies. However, that particular night, the moon was taking a well deserved break and refused to give night light. The stars took their cue from the moon and they too refused to entertain the dark skies. She had been waiting for him all day. A little sleep, a little murmuring of prayers. She prayed for life, her own, the thin man’s own. God knew her dungeon-mate as the thin man.
“Florence” he called in a whisper from the window and she was soon out, following him. He was with a large bag and a pistol. His appearance disheveled and dried blood on his clothes and forehead. Using flashlight to indicate his position and walking briskly into the unknown, Florence could only follow.
She ran to meet up, wet grasses rubbing her exposed legs as they took uncharted path up the uneven hills and down the meandering plains. Once, she tripped and almost fell into a hole.
“Watch where I step and be quiet” he admonished tiredly, backing the large bag and turning to lead the way.
They walked for what seemed like hours to Florence. Night birds howling, insects biting her exposed limbs, neck and face, wild animals grunting and making strange noises as they walked the lonely bushy path. From a distance, Florence could here chanting of human beings and it sounded evil. Florence jogged to keep up.
After an hour, he stopped abruptly and pointed.
“That’s the highway. When we get there, know where you want to go or follow me. I don’t want to waste time” he all but grunted and forged on.
Florence had no idea where to go to. Until that moment, she thought he was going to kill her or sell her.
“Where are you going to?” she asked, making a conversation and at the same time trying to decide where she would run to. She couldn’t go back home just yet and going back to Zaria was out of the question. With the pregnancy and her evil sister, she knew she had to stay away for a while or else Josephine would find a way to get rid of her, this time for good. And if she wanted an abortion or to give birth to the baby, she had to find out how that worked.
“Cotonou, then Senegal” he answered as they walked hastily, the thin man holding the gun and looking around as they matched on.
“That’s out of Nigeria” she said mostly to herself.
“Yes”
“What’s your name?” she finally braved up to ask as he vied off another bushy path and entered thick bush obviously an attempt to get to the highway faster. She followed, albeit cautiously.
“Friends call me Inale” he answered.
“And enemies?” she tried a joke, wiping sweat from her brows.
“I don’t have enemies” he countered.
“Everyone has enemies. You wanted me to name my child after you, why?” she asked merrily.
“Not me. Yes I wanted your son named after me” he grunted.
“How is that possible? I know for sure everyone has enemies. My own is my sister” she said continued, a smile playing on her lips. They were having a conversation and he was leading her to safety. She decided that instant to follow him. Somehow she knew he would protect her and her baby.
“Because I don’t let them live. You shouldn’t let your sister live either” he said dangerously and she felt shivers go down her spine. The conversation was over.
The next thing that happened changed Florence life forever.
Few minutes after she had stopped questioning him, Inale gave a loud scream and instinctively fired his legs, falling down in a heap. He threw the large bag away and shot at his legs some more. Florence, confused, ran back and waited at a safe distance.
Inale unfortunately had stepped in a pool of poisonous king cobras and they had fastened their fangs on his legs and thighs. They bite him randomly on his long limbs as he shot into the night, killing them, shooting himself. He was bleeding profusely by the time she went back to help him up.
“Please don’t give up. We’ll soon reach” she comforted him as she placed his arms over her shoulders.
“I won’t” he grunted as they moved.
Florence dragged him from the dead snakes, tying his legs and thighs in attempt to prevent circulation of the poison and carried the bag before they started on the path he had vied from. The mixture of pain and poison soon slowed him down and he gave up after 10 minutes to lay down on the wet grasses.
“I am not going to make it. Make sure you do. And whatever you do, don’t abort that child. Take the money in the bag and invest it. Don’t spend me like a fool” he said in between pain and cough as he tried a brave smile.
“Please, please” she was crying now, sweat rolling down her face, afraid for her life, for his. She heard the first cock crow and this time she prayed, using Inale instead of the thin man. But it was too late. There were a million and one thin men in the world and God must have saved the wrong one.
“Let me bleed your legs or at least tie it again” but Inale was long gone after she opened her eyes from the prayer.
He died at the third crow.
Florence, with the bag sat with his body until dawn, crying for her lost friend, for a man she would never know, her rescuer. She waited for help but none came.
Later, Florence would bury him in a ditch beside where he slept peacefully, a beautiful smile now on his lips. She put wet branches over him, carried the bag on her head, walked to the highway before boarding a pickup carrying fresh meat heading to Lagos.
The bag contained new crispy notes in different denomination just as Inale said. The decision to go to Cotonou in the motel room two days later came naturally. Senegal was her next stop.
And Florence did right by the bag.

*****
Lagos, December, 1999

The trip from Dakar to Lagos 18 years later with a teenager looking like his father, Florence was convinced Bello was going to be shocked and proud to have a son, Inale – a hot headed, smooth and savvy young man – carry his last name. Florence, now Naomi Mambety, was the owner of chains of hotels and fast food eateries across the capital – Dakar, Grand Dakar and Pikine and she had since understood Bello for been confused that night and forgiven Josephine after several counseling sessions for her wicked plot. She was a wealthy woman in her own right, married and divorced and was ready to return home, investment wise as well as be reunited with her sister, if ever possible. Pastor Faye Cisse seemed to believe so. Of course there was no question about her love for Bello. She still loved him deeply and she would return to find out if he still loved her. Perhaps he was married, just maybe he was unmarried or divorced like her. It was a chance she had to take, and take it she did.
The search for Bello’s whereabout wasn’t hard. The 9 o’clock night news on their third day in the country told her what she needed to know.
Bello Badmus, Nigeria’s finest entrepreneur was breaking grounds for his estate, The Castle. Slated to be the number one tourist destination in Africa, several investors were scrambling for a piece of the prime development. As the newscaster would later end, Bello Badmus was the man of the moment. Indeed he was but the woman beside Bello with a plastered smile was the beginning of another chapter in Florence’s life. The covetous smile beaming at the camera while Bello pecked her was enough to turn Florence into a burning furnace and it burnt all the teachings of the church and of her dear Pastor Faye. She knew the smile because she saw it every morning when she looked into her mirror; a smile that she shared, a smile of complete triumph.
What she feared the most, her evil twin was married to Bello and here she was, weak and a forgiving fool.
The next weeks and months, Florence would read interviews and features of the Bellos in business and lifestyle magazines. She came to know that they were married the morning of Inale’s death. She wept quietly as she thought of the months she spent leaving one boarding house to the next, trying to survive in a new country with no communication skills, no identity, a protruding stomach and a bag of money. She remembered Mama Annerose and how she had taken her in. There was no measure for the pain that went through her. Over and over, she cried and she swore. Forgiveness wasn’t the way. Inale was right, enemies were not allowed to live. They had no right to live. It was time to end it all.
Florence hired private eyes to find out more information on the Bellos as she came to regard them. The kind of dirt she needed was not available in daytime prints. She hired Eesha, an efficient Togolese to deal with these hired hands and did not go out without wearing a veil and dark glasses.
She found out soon enough that Josephine was now known as Alhaja Kudirat Bello, an architect and a nurse who supposedly carried on an affair with a prominent figure in the country. She was a Founder of a non-profit organization and friend of several ministers and politicians at the Assembly. She discovered that she, Florence Ohiemi had graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University in 1986 with a second class lower. It was the ultimate revelation – Josephine was living her life or what it would have been.
Bello Badmus also was a formidable name in the country and while everyone knew him as the ruthless man and shrewd businessman, others knew he was a silent killer and was behind many groups helped that the government to take major political decisions. No one knew what he had on the politicians but he lacked nothing and when he wanted some of them gone, the military Head of State made it happen. She found out that Bello Badmus, father to her son, was in fact a man to be feared and envied, a man rumored to have blood on his hands, facilitating executions of persons that ran out of luck with the then military government. He was no longer the Bello she had fallen in love or was he? She needed to take back her life. The greatest revenge she realized was taking her life back and getting rid of the enemy.
However, Florence would come to learn that to get things done, one did not find and trust complete strangers with semblance of honesty and dignity. One had to do it personally or at least had a great amount of control. She would learn this lesson at great cost, another twelve hard years.
As fate always have it, she saw the advert of George Ajero’s internationally-recognized law firm on the glossy pages of a legal journal in early 2000 and consulted the firm. She was told by private eyes that the firm was topnotch in handling high profile cases and after several correspondences without meeting the man in charge, the man everyone and media houses sang his praise, the man George Ajero, she decided to pay him a visit; The man she thought was going to help her bring her sister down.
George Ajero, foremost activist and SAN was a friend of the Bellos and helplessly in love with Josephine from Zaria days and Josephine loved him as much as she could but her obsession to take whatever Florence left behind had married Bello but still continued her rendezvous with him. George Ajero was the face of the man who Alhaja Kudirat Bello had her illicit sessions.
The moment Florence entered the office and he had taken a double look at her, Florence knew there was going to be a problem, but she had no idea how much.
She left the meeting hours later without telling him who her defendants were but she had a disturbing feeling he knew. She had mixed feelings of great apprehension and euphoria. George had simply waived away the resemblance of her to a friend he knew a long time ago while vowing to bring justice and making sure the father of her son acknowledge his son and the woman who had committed such atrocities be brought to justice. They concluded when she was ready, he would directly take the case and make sure the defendants rotted in jail.
It was the perfect pitch.
By the time Florence got to her rented apartment in Ikeja G.R.A after taking a drive to Bar Beach to clear her head and re-strategize, her assistant Eesha who liked to play dress up in her clothes lay lifeless in her bed, her throat slit open, her mouth opened in a muffled scream. Inale, who had gone out to play football was picked up by her driver and taken to a new apartment in Ogba. That night, she sent him out with enough money just as her friend, Inale had done and sent Ganbo, her trusted bodyguard to monitor his activities without interfering while she escaped to Seychelles, coming into the country under disguise every six months to see her son, albeit from afar and to continue her revenge plot. This time, she had to get it right and it took time.
She remembered the tears in his eyes and confusion that night. No explanation, no father, he had walked into the night just as she had 18 years ago, with a large bag of money on his back. However, with no wise words, he had squandered it in months and struggled to keep alive. Florence in years that followed invested in companies Bello Badmus owned. Naomi Mambety was vicious and on a mission and she bought shares blindly until she came to own part of his business, by proxy.
When the opportunity came to rope in the SAN, George Ajero – her new enemy, in a mining deal that failed and costed Bello billions of Naira, Florence made sure Bello walked in on his long time George and his good wife Alhaja Kudirat who was pretending to be her in similar position as she had found them over 18 years ago. Bello in turn would have George humiliated, single-handedly closing down his internationally firm while destroying years of life’s work by discrediting him in the media and releasing his black files. By the time Bello was through, an aggrieved member of Bello’s group found it worthwhile to kill the betrayer while Kudirat watched from a safe distance as they fed his wigged head some hot bullets. She had wept bitterly and mourned her lover, the father of her children for years, in dark silence. She promised George she would avenge his death and that began her quest to be in control in affairs of the State. Bello, naturally was her first target and his group of murderers followed her list; and it would take her twelve years.
*****

March, 2011 – The Castle – Reading of the Will

“Florence?” it was Josephine, breathless and moving back steadily. She looked around to confirm that she wasn’t the only one seeing her twin sister. The other room occupants looked from one woman to the other, befuddled and sitting at on the edge of their seats, except one.
“It’s Naomi now, I take you are Alhaja Kudirat Sadika” Florence laughed halfheartedly and shook her head.
“Why in God’s name would you choose that ugly name Josephine…rather unlike you I’d say” Florence continued, slowly walking to where her twin sister,a smile of triumph on her radiant face.
“What, what is this?” Josephine finally let out, flustered and looking around the room to see eyes on them. Josephine knew that for Bello to have discovered he was not father of her three children and summarily disinheriting them, there was a reason. However, to see Florence standing before her was totally unbelievable. All these years, she made sure George had the last laugh and it echoed from the grave but now the reading of the Will had silenced it and Josephine knew that the woman standing before, the one person who she hated above everyone else was the reason for it.
“What is this? I came to see you. Or rather, came to help Bello with his Will. You don’t object to the Will now, do you?” Florence said dangerously, her words lined with meaning as she fixed Josephine a stare that meant more, Inale’s stare.
“I don’t, I mean I do” Josephine swallowed nervously.
“I thought so. We don’t want to implicate you in murder and other minor crimes. We want to be reasonable, do we not?” Florence asked lightly with a small smile as she looked across the room to her son and Charity who watched without words.
“I thought you were dead” Josephine said, trying to sound firm but her voice that was strong and commanding few minutes ago was now flat and without timbre.
“You thought you had me down where Bello is lying?” Florence insinuated cheaply.
“I did no such thing!” Josephine denied vehemently.
“Of course, what was I expecting? You need proof course. I have more surprises but at the moment, I think it’s time to answer some questions” she said immediately three men in police uniforms entered the conference room.
“Mrs. Kudirat Sadika Bello, you are under arrest” the man who suspiciously looked too stocky for a police officer said as they approached the head of the conference table.
“For what?” Josephine spat, a little too forcefully.
“Oh let’s see, for the murder of your husband Chief Badmus Bello, kidnap and murder of Florence Ohiemi, forgery and impersonation – for starters. I am sure as we sweep, we’d more dead rats, like your George. You killed him, you know” Florence said as two other officers came to stand behind Josephine.
“I didn’t kill George. Bello and his blasted goons did. If there was any justice in the world it is their death” she retorted hotly at Florence.
“You talk about justice in the world. I guess this is you getting justice. Take her to the station” Florence directed the officers.
“Get your hands off me! Do you know who I am? You will lose your useless jobs for this. Jimi, get these clowns out of here” Josephine said in a loud voice as one of the officers forcefully cuffed her.
“I am afraid you have to follow these men to the station. We are representatives of the deceased and your earlier utterances are implicating. However we will arrange for your bail. This probably is a misunderstanding and it will be sorted out soon” Jimi said with a blank expression.
“You fool! You will regret this” she threatened as she felt hands at her elbow shove her to move.
“You can’t take my mother anywhere” it was Debola finally recovering from the shock of being disinherited and the exchange that was taking place.
“I suggest you two follow us” Florence said signaling the other two police officers to take Debola and Laide into custody.
“We have not done anything to warrant an arrest. I demand you impostor leave here immediately or you will regret the outcome of this pathetic ambush” Debola declared loudly, standing up and trying fierce look while Laide sat watching the scene with amusement.
“I wouldn’t be too quick to start calling names. You have been an impostor all your life, didn’t you hear your father is George Ajero and not Bello? One would rightly assume you are more deluded than your congregation. I think perhaps it’s time the world knows of your mistress and your baby. Men of God like you should be known for what you really are, don’t you agree?” Florence said returned hotly without mincing words as she turned to face Laide who was already being escorted out of the room while Debola who looked like he had electricity pass through him was ushered out.
“Move” it was one of the police officers.
“I wonder if there is any law for women who sexually abuse underage boys” Florence added with sly smile as she stood in front of Laide. The look in Laide’s eyes went from passive to dangerous.
“It is none of your business how I seek my pleasure” she hissed back.
“Of course. Pedophiles always have entitlement mentality. You abuse those poor boys because you can and because it makes you feel good. That’s the problem we have in the society these days, everyone doing things that make them happy. No one gives a thought to how such misguided happiness affects other people’s lives” she said to no one in particular as she stopped to return the stare from Josephine.
Josephine who was trying hard to be unaffected by the turn of events was thinking of possible line of action. She knew she would get freed at the station the moment she called Yakubu, the Inspector General of Police. She gave a knowing smile and Florence returned hers. There was no need to trade words; she always won at the end, always.
The officers matched them out as Florence walked to Victor who was now standing, watching the police officers take the trio out. Charity was confused. How could her father be involved with another woman and to have fathered three children with a married woman all these years? How did that happen? She was older than the first of three children with just a two years. That meant the affair was roughly the same time her mother and father got married, if not earlier. Moreover, the inexplicable way her mother had drowned in the swimming pool when she was just 8 years old still raised questions in Charity’s mind. Could her father have been in love and killed her mother to be with his mistress? Or perhaps Mr. Bello’s wife had killed her mother to be with her father? or simply out of jealously? What happened after? Why didn’t they get married or be together? Why all the disconnection and more questions instead of answers. The woman Naomi seemed to have it all and she knew she had to have them. The three-man team that sat with Jimi, looked at themselves with unvoiced questions; only Jimi had a knowing smile on his lips.
Florence stopped in front of Victor and gave a sad smile.
“I am sorry I couldn’t be physically there for you twelve years ago. There is so much you don’t know but I promise you, you will soon. Yes I sent you away but it was for a purpose and I never left you. I knew where you where every single hour, every minute and when this is all over, we will have that talk. I promise. I hope it is not too late Inale” She said with a sad smile and held his gaze.
Victor, confused and angry, nodded his head slowly as he saw his mother’s eyes water right before she turned and followed the back stairs where the men she hired to camouflage as police officers were told to follow.
The fake police officers instead of taking the front door bundled Kudirat and her children through the exit on the second floor with stairs leading to the basement. Kudirat knew the moment they pushed them down the stairs with guns urging them down stairs that Florence was no longer the clueless sister she knew and for the first time in her life felt real fear.
Just before entering the car park, they bagged their heads and Debola fought in vain to get the bag thrown over his head, removed. Florence’s footsteps approaching instinctively brought the struggle to a still.
“Florence, what do you think you will achieve with this?” Josephine asked, starting a struggle as they held her still.
“Take her to the house and take them to the other location. That dark room should do for now” Florence said to the fake police officers as she lifted the bag and smiled evilly at Josephine who had a panicked look on her face.
“Where are you taking me? Don’t hurt them. Take only me” she shouted as Florence dropped the black bag and walked the BMW 5 Series Sedan car parked few meters from where the van was.
“Where are you taking me? What are your plans? Leave my children alone!” Florence could hear Josephine’s shouts from the van as she headed to the car.
“Florence! Florence!! You can’t do this! Florence” It was Josephine shouting as the van drove off.
“Naomi. Florence is dead. You killed her” she corrected in a murmur as she closed her eyes in relish.
After twelve years of delicate planning, nothing could go amiss now. Florence glowed at the thought of Josephine having 30 days of dirt, no food, cold and smell. It was time for the coin payment and she had enough reserve.
The driver came around to open the door for her and she entered. Silence followed briefly before the other occupant of the car spoke.
“How did it go?” the familiar voice asked as she settled into the cozy leather and took the cold glass of red wine he was holding out to her. The voice that still brought shivers to her being, the voice that had accosted her in front of her hostel over three decades, the voice she had forgiven.
“Pretty much low-key for what I had in mind” she answered simply, taking a sip of her drink.
“I like when you are bad” the voice continued in a tease.
“Glad you approve Mr. Mausoleum” she said in a giggle as he found her hand and brought it to his lips as they drove out of the basement.
“So Mrs. Kudirat Bello, what’s your next line of action?”
“Dead men don’t ask questions. They know” she said evilly, smiling into his eyes just before he took her lips in a warm kiss as the sun filtered lazily into the dark car.

*****

Till Next week!

M.O.T.I.V.E.S is written by Uneñ Ameji
Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger on Amazon.com
See new book Love on the 25th on Okadabooks http://goo.gl/hmsKnv
W: http://bit.ly/1Il23U3
T: https://twitter.com/UnenAmeji

Comment, Share….support!
P.S: Kindly make observations of your typos and structures and send to mailafricanstories@gmail.com.

Have a great week.

M.O.T.I.V.E.S – Episode 4

Featured

We good? And yup! We got you Episode 4 of interesting new online series from @UnenAmeji

Read Previous Episode Here

Thanks for comments outside post and most appreciative of persons dropping comments below. Thank you Mr. Ezeogu for your email on the typos and errors.

Enjoy…..remember to comment!!!

Episode 4

*****
Auchi, Saturday, June 2, 1962

There is something terrifying about the night. The far-reaching darkness. The thickness of nothingness and the pure weight of cold fear. One could touch it if one but stretched out his hands. The unending stretch of blackness, the absolute stillness of silence and unsettling tension in expectation of pure evil.
Then at first ray of light, the hope of life is restored. Hope replaces fear, and man would roam the earth as one who ruled completely, one without fear – for twelve hours. Alas, darkness descends again and if one thought about it deep enough, one might discover that the earth recreated itself in 24hours.
A repeated cycle starts with these altering words – Let there be light.

It was on such a terrifying night that Agnes Ohiemi, wife of dedicated choir master, Kimi Ohiemi, after 19 hours of labor gave birth to two beautiful girls. These identical twins would grow to hate themselves and wish the other was never born. No two human beings could be any more different than these two.
The first, a rather small bundle, with a loud aggressive wail came out the moment the minute hand clocked 3: 00 am. The three women from the church shouted praises as they held the feisty baby and severed the placenta from the mother not paying attention to the weak Agnes who was fast losing strength and blood. The pastor’s wife who doubled as the official midwife of her parish began the bloody task of cleaning the exhausted Agnes when she noticed movement in the bowels of the mother.
“There is another baby coming” the pastor’s wife proclaimed and the old prayer warrior among the women broke into spiritual tongues that sounded like confused clash of vowels and Greek alphabets. The task to birth the second child proved more difficult than any other birthing they had witnessed while the mother slipped in and out of consciousness.
“Let us take her to the hospital” Sister Pamela, the new convert weakly suggested only to be rebuked hotly and told to continue in supplication for the life of their dear sister.

The thing was, the church forbade orthodox medicine and believed strongly in fruits to cure diseases ranging from prostate cancer to HIV/AIDs. As dedicated and core believers, Kimi and his wife decided to follow the church mandate and all through her difficult pregnancy refused to go to the hospital. Instead they believed in the word of God and the holy unfailing words of the prophet while taking fruits, vegetables and the Holy Communion after they broke fast daily. While Agnes had not completed the 40 days of dry fasting and prayer as required, she was severely malnourished and weak.
The battle to give birth to the baby girl turned spiritual as they began praying and singing praises like Paul and Silas, speaking in holy tongues while the old prayer warrior continued to force the baby out.

After another 3 hours, just at the first ray of light, the second baby girl glided out, pale and still. The mother, almost gone now urged the women to make her baby cry. And when she gave her first cry after a weak cough, the beautiful young woman smiled and laid down comfortably, closing her eyes with a smile, welcoming the sweet relief as her ravaged body allowed her breathe escape and her gentle spirit ease out into that place of permanent darkness.
She had finished her purpose, so the pastor said the next day in a powerful sermon in church while the distraught husband led the choir. Weakness was of the enemy and only show of strength could drive the devil far away.
The first girl would later be named Josephine and her quiet and frail sister, Florence.

Kimi didn’t mourn his wife, in fact after eight months, he got married to a dedicated sister in the choir. It was necessary because a man was not meant to be without a wife, temptations abound and this man had new born babies – two beautiful identical girls who up until the shabby wedding were with his mother in the village.
It was this new woman, this desperate repentant prostitute Eunice, that would raise the girls up in a wicked way, fueling the jealousy and hatred in their little hearts. It gave her pleasure when they fought, she always instigated it because it calmed her heart. She could not bear children because she had lost her womb several years ago after an unsuccessful attempt in aborting a child that was as a result of rape she had continuously endured in the hands of her sister’s husband.
It was only human that her sister threw her out into the streets and from where she sold her barren womb for money until she met the lord and accepted Him as her lord and personal Savior. She was a new being and she ate more vegetables and fruits than were necessary. Perhaps, at the scent of rain, her dead womb would sprout forth. It never did.

Kimi fathered a son outside his home 3 years later but it was forgivable in the sight of God and the church. A man needed an heir, and like his father Abraham, he had found himself a Hagar – Eunice’s best friend – and his Ishmael became the responsibility of Eunice.
It was this dysfunctional home that Josephine, Florence and Kenneth (Ishmael) had their childhood. Josephine, born several hours before Florence, was arrogant, selfish, intelligent, covetous and utterly wicked. She wanted everything for herself and couldn’t stand the fact that another being had her exact flawless pretty features. It became too much when Florence, quiet,brilliant, reserved and vengeful grew more beautiful. Her eyes shone bright when she smiled and her breasts stood proudly, framing her hourglass figure that stood on impossibly long straight legs. Florence despised Josephine for one reason only – her ability to take what was rightfully hers and get away with it.

From the first day they could walk and talk, they stayed away from each other like one would avoid a leper. Kenneth got into trouble at school for removing panties of his female classmates and would later lose his life as he tried to escape a robbery where he had gotten carried away and raped his principal’s daughter who teased senior boys in school.
The principal who overpowered the trio, forced their locally made guns from their hands and shot at their heads one by one.
He was a member of the Kimi Ohiemi’s church. That was the last day Kimi went to church.

Florence first memories of Josephine’s covetousness went back to their clothes, plates, school bags and boys. From the moment boys became a steady diet in their days, Josephine was perpetually on the lookout for the latest boy that Florence was dating and within days deceived them into thinking she was Florence. At the beginning, Florence threw a storm and burnt all her clothes but their step-mother had sided with Josephine and asked Josephine to burn hers in return. Kimi was far too gone in liquor to care about the fire in his home. That had been the last time Florence retaliated actively. Instead she poured purgative in Josephine meal, tore her notebooks and misplaced her assignments. Once she poured wata pia-pai inside Josephine’s plate of Ogbono soup but had a change of heart and threw away the food before she got to taste it. Florence figured she had to find a way to get rid of her sister, rat poison would be too easy. In years to come, Florence would greatly regret this.

Josephine couldn’t care less. She enjoyed the thrill of stealing whatever belonged to Florence and most especially the boys. They should be coming for her, she was the oldest and so naturally, she should have the handsome boys, loveliest of clothes and the attention of everyone, including their pastor who had since been ministering to her behind locked doors.
At 18, Florence got admitted into the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to study Architecture and was thrilled at finally leaving home to chart a new path away from her twin, however, it was one of those dreams one had before mid-day, short, believable and abrupt. The next year, Josephine transferred herself from Nsukka to Zaria School of Nursing and became a torn in Florence’s flesh once more.
It was at this time that Badmus Bello entered their lives. It was at this time that they became mortal enemies.

*****

Zaria, October, 1981

Badmus Bello, son of Otunba Falaye Bello, exporter of cotton, groundnut and tomatoes was known across Northern part of the country. Otunba Funtua, as fondly called by the locals had considerably amassed a good name, great influence and intimidating net worth. Badmus was funny as he was intelligent and rich on campus. Popular, handsome and domineering, it was inevitable that females flocked around him and him, having more than enough females to go round would share with his friends.
He was a Mechanical Engineering student and was in his 3rd year at the University with a lot of females vying for his attention. Life of the party, one did not host a party and didn’t invite him. His friend Abba, an equally egoistic territorial animal was hosting a party and Godiya, Florence’s new friend was invited to attend the hottest party of the semester. She absolutely had to go and needed a wing. Florence would be that reluctant wing. After several weeks of non-stop pestering, Florence gave up and was forced into a pair of tight flamboyant trousers and blouse that pressed against her breasts like rubber band. She hated herself and Godiya even more.

The teaming house with equally tight clothed females and randy males irritated Florence to no end. It was everything that she knew it would be and more. She finally snuck out of the building the moment Abba had taken Godiya to the dance floor. Practically escaping out of the big house, she stepped out just in time to see a male student hit a female few meters away from the gate of the big house in the Government Residential Area, in glare of loiters who were drunk and fooling around. Angered, Florence watched him slap her again moved swiftly where they stood and removed her high heels in quick succession before slamming him on the back of his head with all the strength in her tiny limbs and heaving chest that was beating furiously. The impact left him in deep pain as he turned to find the source of the attack.

He turned with a stunned look on his face. Speechless as he stared down at the slim pretty girl with flashing eyes and heaving chest. It did no go good that her firm breasts pressing against her blouse revealed her tight nipples.
“How does it feel now? You don’t slap her around like some slave because you can” she said in a hiss and watched him stare at her as she walked past them and found her way out of the compound, eyes of bystanders following her out.
The next morning, he was waiting in front of the hostel for her.
“You think I won’t find you?” he asked as soon as he saw her stop in mid steps, regarding him carefully. Tall, domineering and a little intimidating, Badmus Bello watched her eyes regard him coldly before matching past him in a hurry. Now that she wasn’t angry and irritated, Florence was afraid of the male leaning against his car.
“I don’t know you” she answered as he caught up with her, stopping her from breaking into a run. She was heading to her class to finish an assignment. It was a Saturday.
Florence at this time was in her second year but she was dedicated to graduating with a first class for a scholarship that would take her out of the country and forever away from her evil sister and her fragmented family.
“Sure you do. I have you to thank for this” he said removing his face cap and Florence drew in her breath. His head where she had used her shoe had a blood soaked cotton wool sticking to it.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t know I hit you that hard” she apologized, looking at the red soaked cotton wool and looking away, ashamed of her anger, afraid of what he’d do to her now or if he would ask that she pay for the treatment. She couldn’t afford that.
“I thought you said you didn’t know me?” Bello asked, trying so hard to keep a straight face. He was intrigued by the constant change of her facial expressions and the biting of her lower lips, eyes framed by long natural lashes hiding her beautiful eyeballs. She was a fine thing and he wanted her.
“Look, I am sorry. You had no right to slap her like that and I got carried away” she said as she decided to go back to her room. She didn’t feel safe standing with him while he looked down at her.
At 5ft 5 inches, she was petite as he stood at 6ft 4inches of pure maleness. In the daylight, she noticed his good looks and for a moment looked at him straight in the eyes that registered an awareness that would be the beginning of their relationship.
“I had no right. I was fuming mad at her but I know I crossed the line and I am sorry” he apologized with a half-moon smile dancing on his lips while he peeled off the red cotton wool on his head.
“You tricked me!” was all she said in a laugh as she noticed that there was nothing wrong with his head. He joined in the laugh too.
“You deserved it” was his playful reply. It was a go.

The two were inseparable after then. It would be the first time Florence would give herself to a man completely. Bello, instead of Badmus, as people called him, was her first, and her last.
She had screamed and bitten him the first time he pushed into her wetness on his firm mattress where he had taken other girls but this time, he didn’t understand his need to consume her, remain embedded in her warmness and tightness. He couldn’t even remember his name as he spilled his seed and murmured her name again and again. She was shaking like a lone leaf in harmattan and wanted nothing more than his warmth. Her heart beat so fast she counted numbers to slow down the rate at which her heart pounded against her rib cage.
The next time he saw her, after a week of trying to ignore her on campus, he felt drawn to her, like moth to flame. He couldn’t stay away and ached when she did as much as smile or laugh at something a male friend of hers said. He had taken to randomly visiting her department building in hopes of seeing her but actually telling himself he was checking on his young brother, Sule.
“I thought we were done” she said bravely as she sat in his car as they took an early evening drive outside the school. She knew the moment she left him the day he had taken her virginity that he had gotten what he wanted and was not surprised when he stopped coming by her hostel and class.
Now here he was, looking at her and smiling, occasionally shaking his head.
“I thought so too. Apparently, I can’t get over you as I have with other girls” he said easily with a light laugh. He felt the opposite. He was afraid of his true feelings. He couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he had been caught in the proverbial web of love as his friend Garba had the previous year and had gotten married to Laila, his second cousin who was barely a teenager. He just couldn’t be falling into love with this Eastern girl, he couldn’t. But he was and it terrified him that he knew the end of his free days were here.
“Look, I am not other girls and certainly won’t die for you like they do” she spat almost too forcefully. She lied, she liked him terribly and hurt every day he didn’t come around to see her.
“I don’t want you to die for me. I just want you to be mine only” he said as he parked in a secondary school football field several kilometers away from the University.
“That’s not possible” she said, her heart singing for joy at his demand.
“It is. You just have to make it possible. Right now, I want to see you behind the wheel” he said in a laugh and got down for her to take over the steering wheel.
That was the start of their exclusive relationship.
He couldn’t wait to see her in school, have lunch or cook dinner with her. The moment he wasn’t with her, he wondered what she was doing. Was she with another man? Did she want him as much as he wanted her? Did she love him as he did? Bello had finally bitten the love bug and his friends teased him sore.
Then one Sunday night, he saw her in the arms of another boy at the Nursing department and was so mad that he charged across the hall and hurled the boy away from her.
He demanded an explanation and for a moment, a blank stare replied him before a smile broke out knowingly on the same lips that he had fallen in love with for the last 5 months. Only that, the girl who stood before him was not Florence but her twin sister, Josephine.

The moment Josephine knew that Florence had deceived her into thinking she was going out with Obinna, the boy who had been hurled off her, she dropped the confused boy like hot nail and moved on to Bello in a heartbeat.
“I was just telling him to let me be” Josephine impersonated Florence’s smooth small voice when she wanted to clear up a situation. Nothing gave Josephine satisfaction like seeing Florence heartbroken or sad because one of her handsome boyfriends had fallen into her trap again. This time, it was the big catch. Who didn’t know bad boy Badmus Bello.
Bello stopped at the voice and watched as she came over to take his hand. Florence wasn’t this forward but he let her hold him anyways. He felt the disconnection but it didn’t help that she kept trying to explain what he just saw and was apologizing as he drove her to her hostel.
“Where are we going?” Josephine asked, fearful at the direction they were going. She didn’t want to go to her sister’s hostel.
“To your room” he answered quietly.
“But I don’t want to go to my room now. Let’s go to your place” she cooed.
“You have to study for tomorrow’s paper” he reminded her.
“I am done” Josephine lied.
Bello, eager to show her who she belonged to did not waste time and took her straight to his house. He was on her the moment she had her leg in the door, tearing off her skirt and blouse, ripping her bra and pushing her against the wall.
“I told you, you belong to me. No man else. I want you to know that, do you understand that?” he asked hotly as he pounded away, too hot to bother about the difference in the feeling. She wasn’t snug and tight like Florence, she didn’t hold him and clinch the tip of his maleness with her clitoral muscle as she normally did.
Bello was in bed with the wrong sister and like it would always happen, Florence who was indeed done with her studying decided to go surprise him. It had been a long time without him and she missed having his arms around her when she slept.

Florence opened his front door with her key and walked quietly to his room. What she saw that night broke her spirit. Her twin sister had won again. Lying in each other’s arm, naked and blissfully asleep, she stood and wept noiselessly, sniffing and crying all over again.
She stood there for a couple of hours before Bello felt presence in his room and switched on his light to find Florence standing in front of his bed, tears and catarrh running down her nose.
For a moment, he was confused but skipped out of bed when the hand splayed across his broad chest moved. There was another Florence on his bed.
“What is this? Who are you?” he asked Florence, putting on his discarded boxers hurriedly. Florence watched Josephine wake up and curl comfortably without bothering to cover herself. The rush of pure hatred that filled her that the day was like none she had experienced over the years. She was in love for the first time and Josephine had destroyed it.
“You just had sex with my twin sister Josephine. I am Florence. Goodbye Bello” she said slowly, stemming her rage as she pointed at Josephine with dead eyes before rushing out of the house. A dumbfounded Bello stood looking at the girl on his bed, seeing no difference, he followed his heart out a minute too late. She was gone.
Josephine, shaken by the look Florence had given her knew this was the last straw. She knew it was never going to get any better than this and knew instinctively if she did not act now, Florence was going to get even. How? She didn’t want to find out. She had to get rid of her mirror image. It was settled.

*****

Florence left Zaria to Auchi two days later, after her last paper and avoided Bello like a plague. She had found out she was pregnant the following day after the horrible night at the student clinic and was afraid of what she was going to do about it now that it was over between them. It would be the last time she would see Bello.

Over the holiday in Auchi, an attempt would be made on Florence’s life that left Josephine, family and church members to believe she was dead. The burial had taken place days after finding a faceless body that had been sacrificed to a deity and thrown on the bush path.

What nobody knew was that Josephine had sold her supposedly virgin sister to some group of boys who needed virgins because she was sure Florence was one. What she didn’t know was that Florence was pregnant and the deity rejected her because it could not take a new life, or so the native doctor said when his ige told him the girl was pregnant.
Florence, weak and spaced-out, was left in the thick forest to die. However, a new convert of the terrible gang returned for her at nightfall and rescued her. He told her days after she recovered from her state not to return home because her sister had staged her kidnap and would try to get rid of her by paying his leader who she had been sold to.
Afraid for her life and the Bello’s baby, she fled with the new convert to Osogbo.
The body belonging to an actual virgin that looked like Florence’s was left as arranged. Josephine was ecstatic. Her mirror image was gone forever.

In far north, Josephine took over Florence’s course, friends and forgave Bello, as was intended. No one was any wiser of the switch. Josephine, an intelligent girl, graduated in Florence’s stead and after another three years graduated as Josephine.
Bello, still in love, proposed and took Josephine home to meet his parents.

Later, Josephine would convert to Islam to impress Badmus father who wanted his son to follow his faith. That singular act endeared her to Otunba and not long after their wedding, she became Alhaja Kudirat Bello, wife of Chief Badmus Bello.

If life wasn’t for those who took it by force, who else’s would it be?

But this was not the end, this would only be the beginning.

*****

M.O.T.I.V.E.S is written by;
Uneñ Ameji
Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger on Amazon.com
See new book Love on the 25th on Okadabooks http://goo.gl/hmsKnv
W: http://bit.ly/1Il23U3
T: https://twitter.com/UnenAmeji

*****

Next week!

Comment, Share….support!
P.S: Kindly make observations of typos and structures. Thanks guys.

Love on the 25th. Episode 11

Hey guys! New online clothing store Sisi AfriQue , Nigeria’s foremost online wholesalers and retailers of all African prints for all events – weddings, anniversaries…..Aso-ebis (family cloth) is now opened.
Sisi AfriQue is new, stylish, indigenous and highly sophisticated. A network of the fashionably fabulous, they are new face of African events and fashion.
Sisi AfriQue offers exclusive wholesale of Ankara fabrics for all events + exclusive coverage for Online Magazine, Retailing of Ankara fabrics,Ace In-House designers and Advert platform to make-up outfits, photo studios and exceptional event planners. More information on their website.

Read previous episode here

Episode 11
****
Sandra

“I am not interested in you”
Vince’s voice replayed in my head every single time I thought of him – which was every 10 minutes. Was I truly in love with him or I loved the idea of being in love? Perhaps I was interested in the challenge he posed – wanting Debbie instead. Was she even aware? She didn’t act as though they had something and barely listened whenever I brought him up.
I knew Debbie was a hopeless case when it came to men and was pretty sure Vince was wasting his time until she had dropped the bombshell.
“I am getting married” her voice smooth and unsure at the same time.
“You can’t be serious” I said dropping my brush. She was leaning on my studio door with a smoothie in her clasped hands. It looked like she was nervous. This was barely three days after the mysterious date with her mysterious oyinbo but the giant rock on her finger told me she indeed was serious.
“I am” she said in bright smiles as she showed me her ring. I was all over her in an instant with red and black paint.
“Are you kidding me? Oh my God! This is huge” I said as I held the rock under the light. I was ecstatic mostly for her but deep down I knew I had Vince to myself now. Fate couldn’t have played it out any better.
“I am pretty shocked myself” she confessed laughing in little hiccups and holding the cup to her mouth.
“I am calling the girls” I said dashing into my room and starting up a video conference on Skype.
“Who is the lucky man? Or unlucky man?” I asked as Uloma in her pajamas bottom and red bra, a toothbrush in her mouth came online.
“Man? What man?” she asked as Tina and Eva finally joined in. It was 8:38pm.
“Debbie is getting married” I said excitedly and the gasp of breath with stunned looks had Debbie laughing.
“Stop playing with me” it was Eva. With hair so scattered and eyeliner running down her eyes one need not wonder what I had interrupted her from.
“I am your maid of honor o” it was Tina already securing a place for herself as she dug out of her bed at the mention of the ‘M’ word.
“Are you serious?” it was Uloma, looking more stunned than others.
“Yes” Debbie answered.
“Who is he? Where did you two even meet?” Tina asked taking over the chat.
“Kole McGregor” Debbie said as she waited for recognition to hit our brains.
“Oh my God. No way! Really?” I covered my mouth and jumping on my feet unconsciously. Kole McGregor was the hot designer causing such a sensation and the fact that I had not gotten an email from my precious gossip columns meant something. I rushed to my phone immediately ….my mobile data and WiFi were turned off.
“It is a lie!” Tina shouted, jumping out of her bed. She was in love with Kole’s designs and was always after Debbie’s head for dissing him at any chance she got.
Biko, no na. Cheiiii! It is so unfair. He is my dream man biko, please give him back” it was Uloma rushing to the toilet to pour out the toothpaste in her mouth and throwing her toothbrush away.
“I saw the headline but didn’t know it was you” Tina was already pacing her room.
“I saw it too. You are the mystery lady! Gosh! Where is the ring? Where is the ring?” Eva called and when Debbie flashed it, the three shouted some more. Questions were fired from the three of them and Debbie laughed them off mostly because they answered the questions themselves.
“I am coming to Abuja first thing tomorrow morning!” it was Tina already ditching work.
You no get work?” I asked her. I knew she was flying out to meet Kole.
I get but I have a new client I need to pursue to close a deal. That should sound right to Mr. Ibi” she rolled her eyes referring to her loudmouthed boss.
“I ordered some Abuja kilishi and I’d be picking it up myself. Will check you guys when I come in” it was Uloma telling us she was coming in too.
“I am definitely not missing this” Eva added. Debbie and I shook our heads and laughed before signing off.
“This is great news!” I said after the chat.
“I hope it works” she said with a meaning I didn’t quite catch but didn’t pursue. If I knew Debbie, I was sure she had made a deal and it was more of business than romance but for the first time I couldn’t care less. Vince was mine now.

****
I met the trio at the airport at 5pm on Friday and picked them amid loud noise and argument between Uloma and Tina on who was going to be the maid of honor. Eva simply shook her head and took the passengers’ seat as we walked to the car park.
Debbie joined us after work at 6pm at the Palm Lounge overlooking the beautiful Jabi Lake; looking tired but all smiles.
“Here comes the bride” Tina had shouted as soon as Debbie stepped in, eyes stopping on Debbie. She covered her face and reached the table.
“You may have to stop with the declarations. Kole and I are keeping it quiet” she said taking her seat in quiet tone.
“Awww….did you guys hear that? ‘Kole and I are keeping it quite’. Eiyo.” Uloma ,winking her long fake lashes that enhanced her round eyes.
Get away jor. Mumu” Debbie shushed.
Please tell me you didn’t scam us for a visit o. I may be happy that finally somebody go put somtin inside your v.v but I gats be sure” Uloma said after the hugs and butt pinching. Debbie blocked her ears and Eva covered her mouth with her hand.
“I hereby invoke my power of purity. Uloma…keep this table and our atmosphere pure or be fined with buying us shoes for the wedding. All in favor say ‘Aye’ I said raising my hands to the heavens in babalawo fashion.
“Ayyyyyyye” we all shouted, laughing hysterically.
“I really am getting married” she announced after we had laughed and ordered more drinks. Tina aka Warri wolf bellowed again at Debbie’s formal announcement, looks reaching us at our table were not friendly ones.
“Congratulations! At last you proved us wrong” I said holding up the glass all the more happy that Vince was going to be mine now – I couldn’t get over the thought.
“Hear! Hear! Congratulations!!!” the voices of the ladies filled the air in giggles as our plates arrived.
Over the wine and food, we teased, balloted and made plans. Eva picked the maid of honor card and jumped up so high the diners at the other table scrambled to their feet in fear.
“Sorry, sorry. I am my friend’s maid of honor” she said weakly, sitting down amid loud laughter from our table. Soon a bottle of Bordeaux arrived our table courtesy of the lounge and Eva fought to hold it all the while claiming her ‘jump-move’ got us the bottle. Uloma would have none of it and proceeded to jump up too. Loud laughter suddenly reached us from a table of guys who had been looking at fine sisters getting it on.
“So how did you two meet?” it was Tina, after the drama.
“Some request about being a judge in his show. Went on a few dates and he said I was the one” she answered smiling. I knew there was more to the story but I also knew she wasn’t going to share it.
“This is unbelievable” Tina continued, her eyes shining with mischief.
“Believe it! My girl is getting married” and I raised my glass as we proceeded to decimate the chicken, vegetables, funny flour mix on our plates, all having a taste from everyone’s plate. The next train stop was the Red Dragon club in Wuse II despite pleas from Debbie to go home. Thanks to Uloma’s new boy toy – from the men’s table at Palm lounge, we arrived at the hot club before she realized it was probably a stupid decision seeing that he kept sniffing his handkerchief. His white nose convinced us all to go home.
The next day being a Saturday, we slept in late and by afternoon, Tina was requesting a visit to ‘our in-law’. Vince was nowhere to be found, his numbers ringing out without an answer.
“He has gone back to Lagos. I will be meeting him there in two weeks” Debbie replied over her glass of ‘Eva’s Bordeaux. She was still laying claim to it.
Isho” I flashed my tongue at Tina in jest. That earned me a race round the house as she pursued me before I jumped into the pool in full clothing.
Days that followed were pool night with Uloma manning the barbecue stand.
Wia your neighbor?” Tina asked in pidgin English as she picked her nose. It was Tuesday and there was no sign of Vince.
“I don’t know. I have not seen him lately….” I said getting worried. His numbers were not reachable and most times I got the busy buzz. He must have blacklisted me. The possibility was hard to entertain and so I pushed it away.
“You mean after the kiss” it was Debbie coming out in her night wear. Eva had gone upstairs to bring her out. The tone of her voice worried me just a little.
“Ooooh! Spill! Spill!!” Eva ran up to me and spill I did. The girls ‘ooooed’ and ‘aaaaaed’ but not Debbie. She maintained a thin smile and that worried me some more.
“So why isn’t the excellent kisser home?” Uloma asked biting the hot sizzling beef in her hand.
“He traveled to London. I heard he won’t be back soon” Debbie supplied and placed a large chunk of excellently roasted beef in her mouth to prevent more answers. I waited.
“When is he coming back?” I asked after she swallowed.
“I don’t know…maybe four weeks, five weeks” she shrugged before diving into the pool. My plans of seducing Vince were put on hold but it was not going to be forever now that Debbie was getting married and Vince was out of the country.
Life couldn’t be better.

****
Debbie
The feel of warm velvet against my cheeks as I woke up reminded me of the happenings of past month. It was as if my life was on a roller-coaster and I had no control over it. Barely three months in Abuja and I was already getting married to Kole McGregor for a bargain. Who would have thought? Being president of a conglomerate had been a long life ambition and here I was getting it on a platter of gold – of course with a marriage condition. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
Lunch with Mr. Goge and Kole turned out better than I had hoped. After all preparations to dazzle with figures, it became just what it was – Lunch.
“So I will see you in the office tomorrow?” Goge had asked as the lunch came to an end. Almost too tensed to eat, I had ordered a glass of water spiked with lemon.
“I must say Mr. Goge, you are rather eager to have me move to Lagos” I noted as he stood up.
“Well, I must obey the boss. If he needs you here, I must retire” he said with humor. He was a small man but underneath was a brain witty enough to control Kole’s vast assets in the region. With his white teeth sitting on one another and lips so red, he rattled on about networks, ongoing projects, projections and partnerships…..my head reeling for the first time in years; I had the sudden need to use a pen and paper.
“Please don’t confuse my wife” Kole had defended, thankfully taking my hand.
“I must say I am not quite comfortable with that arrangement” it was Goge to Kole as they shook hands and for the briefest moment noticed a look of disagreement pass between the two.
“The arrangement is to have Debbie at helm of affairs. I have no doubt she’d do just fine” it was Kole taking my hand again. I withdrew my hand politely with a smile.
“If you say so…Boss” and he was gone.
That was 3 days ago.
“Are you decent?” it was Kole at my door. Staying in his house had been his idea. With the media getting desperate by the second, I had agreed to stay in his mini estate. The girls had promised to keep Kole’s identity a secret. The last thing I needed was my face in the news. Thankfully, I was nonexistent in the social world and had no trace on the internet.
“Of course I am” I answered getting up from the bed as he entered my room in white bathrobe with wet hair.
“So I was thinking we go pick your wedding gown today” he said coming to stand before me as he wiped his hair. The wedding was in two weeks.
“I thought the bride did that with her girlfriends?” I said walking to wash my sleep stained face.
“Yeah…for brides who are not getting married to Kole. I have a special gown in mind for my bride” he winked as I came out rubbing at my face.
“Ah! The Kole factor” I teased.
“I suppose. You know, we haven’t really talked on sleeping arrangements and child bearing. I am assuming you are willing to give me an heir?” he was looking serious now, the announcement leaving me breathless.
“I thought you were dying in 6 months” I said then shook my head as the meaning of my utterance dawned on me. It sounded like I had an agenda.
“….I meant….no. I didn’t think…no. I have not considered that” I said, a little sweat sprouting in my armpit. ‘Was he serious?’ I asked myself going to wash my face again.
“Very well then. I suppose you may want to check your mail for the contract after we get your wedding dress. I took the liberty of bringing in some of my latest designs. Sure it will fit” he said before leaving the room.
“Sure” was all I could come up with. I had to look at the contract ASAP.
The choice of wedding gown was swift. He made it for me. ‘To suit the crowd’ he had said as he brought it to my neck in his Ikoyi showroom, his manager and attendants falling over themselves from the minute he entered the large building sitting conspicuously at the beginning of the street. Despite my attempt at making him understanding I wanted a small wedding, he simply maintained he wanted his beautiful. Big or small? I had no idea.
“You want to have that printed?” he winked referring to the contract. He had noticed my eyes as they soaked up the downloaded pdf.
“I may have it done” I said jumping to the paragraph for the need for an heir. Was I getting myself into some pit latrine? God, I hope not. Maybe I should rethink this. Mr. Fatasho had taken the request lightly mostly because he said I was still on ‘probation’. Maybe I should call him and take my job back?
“Read later” and with that he confiscated my device. The fitting took less than an hour as the gown practically hugged my curves in a sinful caress.
“Perfect!” he clapped happily like a child and for a brief moment, I shared his enthusiasm as he took pictures for my friends. The gown was gorgeous. His manager was given a stern warning to keep the visit and most especially his bride out of the papers. He nodded seriously.
“So where are we having the wedding?” he asked. We were having lunch at the house.
“I am sure you have a place in mind” I answered poring over the document
“Don’t be so suspicious darling. I promise I only want one child” he said jokingly.
“I am not sure that is all you want” I eyed him warily. Sending the document to some legal ‘friend’ wasn’t an option. Knowing the wedding was making headline news, I didn’t want the document surfacing as an ‘Open Contract” seeing how Obasanjos’s letter ended up scanned, printed and hawked in traffic.
“Come on! Where is your sense of adventure?” he said taking his plate to the kitchen down the long hall he called a dining room.
“I am pretty sure this is not an adventure. You wouldn’t want me scanning through business documents just by having a ‘sense of adventure’, would you?” I asked sweetly eyeing him as he returned.
“You win!” he said, throwing up his hands like a child.
“Alright, you are bored” I said chewing on the large onions left in my plate. He sure was a good cook!
“Finally!” he tried again and I laughed.
“So what do you have in mind since you have stylishly removed my friends from me?” I accused standing to take my plate to the kitchen. He followed.
“I didn’t! I was just scared of them” he tried to look scared but failed.
“I bet you were. Who is your doctor?” I asked as we reached the kitchen.
“What?”
“Your doctor” I asked again, opening the tap. He looked lost for a moment.
“Not sure I want that information in the contract” he said and turned abruptly as if hurt.
“Did I cross a line?” I asked him as he walked out.
“No. Just got reminded to take tonight’s colorful pills. Excuse me wife” he called over his shoulders.
Few minutes later, I heard the sound of his car leaving the mini estate.
****
Going through the contract after lunch, it detailed responsibilities and benefits. Apparently, I had to have an heir or be pregnant with one to have the power of attorney to act in his stead on his demise. Absence of fetus or baby meant I would be just an employee and will be paid as such. I had no legs to stand on. To put matter ontop table as Tina would say, the paragraph meant I had less six months to get pregnant or kiss my new position goodbye. Wondering who would become the administrator of his estate if I refused, I closed my eyes briefly to contemplate my choice for the umpteenth time. What if this was career suicide? Was I being greedy to jump on title wagon? Plus I had few doubts about Kole mostly because didn’t look like someone who was dying. I wasn’t an expert on death looks but to decide whether he would look gorgeous in casket or not brought chills. I was definitely over thinking this. Suddenly in the mood to take a walk around the estate to clear my head, I pulled on a knitted sweater and was out.
The estate, floored with rich green palm trees on thick luscious carpeted grass gave an eerie feeling as I thought about my parents for the first time in years. Were they still alive? Caleb was in Abuja – that much I knew and Mrs. Thomas’s children? Would they still recognize me? Would anyone recognize me? Cool breeze gently sweeping the tarred access roads to buildings I suspected were servant’s quarters and guest chalets. The main house, a bungalow with a penthouse connected to several other smaller buildings occupied most of the land and I made a mental note to check all the rooms when I got back. Kole had mentioned a private cinema, game room and indoor swimming pool.
The pristine streets and excellent trimmed shrubs had me relaxing right before I heard the commotion at the gate. I turned to see what the fuss was about and felt my lungs expand as I took in more air than my lungs needed.
It was Vince.
****
(Oyinbo – white man)
(Kilishi – spiced sun dried meat)
(babalawo – Herbalist)
(Isho – a sarcastic expression)

****
Love on the 25th is written by Unen Ameji; Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger. Get a copy. She is @UnenAmeji

All Fun and Games. Episode 10

Morning Peps!

Read all Previous Episodes Here

ALL FUN AND GAMES: EPISODE 10

***
Alhaji Ibrahim took a close look at Daniel and then at his wristwatch.
“Who did you say you are again?”
“My name is Daniel.” Daniel replied, sounding more confident than the first time. Alhaji blinked as he swallowed.
“Why do you want to give me information about Craig?” Daniel took a deep breath.
“Because I think you are a good man and do not deserve to be fooled in the manner in which you are being fooled.” Alhaji ran his eyes over Daniel.
“No one is good except God. Why should I believe anything you tell me about Craig?”
“Because I am his friend.”
Alhaji swallowed. “His friend? What do you have to say?”
Daniel motioned towards a seat. “May I?”
Alhaji nodded in agreement as Daniel took his seat. “Hurry up.”
“Sir, Craig and Aisha are not in love. They have an agreement to be in a relationship.” Daniel said bluntly.
Alhaji took a deep breath and relaxed in his seat.

++++****++++

“Why are you in such a hurry to get married? We have to be careful with this thing you know?” Aisha said as she folded her arm. Craig nodded.
“I know but I think the earlier, the better. I want to get my life back on track as soon as possible and I don’t think fooling your Dad for so long is such a great idea.”
“Since when did you start to care about my father’s emotions? I don’t.”
Craig shrugged. “Well, I do.”
Aisha nodded slowly as she sipped her drink.
“We would get married when I think it is time and get divorced as appropriate too.”
“I would appreciate it if your timing is sped up.” Craig replied as he fetched his drink. Aisha stared at him as he gulped angrily. A smile lurked around her lip as she shook her head. “You suck at losing.”
He dropped the glass. “What do you mean?”
“You are starting to like me, aren’t you?” she asked.
Craig smiled. “You flatter yourself. I am tired of you.”
“No, you are not. You planned ‘this’ to see if you could get to my heart, sorry, it didn’t work.” She replied as she dug her fork into the food. “Besides, it is a tasty meal. Thank you for it.”
Craig smiled as he watched her eat.

++++****++++
Alhaji wiped his forehead with his handkerchief from all he had heard. The sweat now trickled down to his back and he could feel them between his thighs too. His eyes were red hot, not out of anger, but out of the tears that welled in them. Could Aisha be fooling him? Was there any crime in loving his daughter?
Daniel watched Alhaji’s facial expression and the old man didn’t look well.
“Sir?”
“Please continue. So, Craig is no hot shot, right?” Daniel nodded in the affirmative.
“He is a lowlife with nothing until he met Aisha and his meeting with Aisha is what has funded his pockets. Sir, to be honest, I stand nothing to gain from telling you all these but I just want you to know the truth before it is too late.”
“You expect me to confirm this, right?”
Daniel nodded. “Yes and that is why I provided my name. I want you to use it so that Craig would know that his secrets are all out.”
Alhaji picked his phones from the table. “Is that all?”
“Yes, Sir.” Daniel said, standing up.
“Thank you very much, Daniel.”
Daniel smiled. “It is my pleasure.”
“I know it is.” Alhaji replied standing up.
“Anyway, I don’t think you should say you are Craig’s friend. A friend won’t actually do what you just did. Be that as it may, I am grateful.” Alhaji replied and walked away.

++++****++++
Craig wiped some food off his mouth.
“So, we are here alone, without the press. I want to know you more, Aisha.”
“Pick up any business magazine from you vendor. All you need to know about me is there.” She replied as she drank some water.
He nodded as he fetched a magazine.
“I already did. I don’t want the Aisha there. I want you. I want to know you.” She smiled.
“There is nothing to know apart from the woman in the magazine.”
“Really?” he asked, standing up.
She nodded in agreement as she fetched her phone. It was time to ping Moira. She had no idea of what Craig was up to, he seemed to be doing too much and she didn’t like that. Craig smiled and walked away.
AISHA: PING!!!
MOIRA: PONG!!!
AISHA: Hey Idiot! I am in trouble here, SOS!
MOIRA: Do I call the Police or SWAT team? Lol. What’s up, babe?”
AISHA: Craig just stepped away and I don’t like what am seeing here, he organised a private dinner for us here.
MOIRA: Ouch! And I don’t like that gown you wore o! I think he wore a tux, shey?
AISHA: Are u high? I am talking about a private dinner on the beach! This is not funny again.
MOIRA: Take a picture please of the set, I want to see it. Omg! Such a romantic scene *puppy eyes* Shame am not there. Who’s gonna love me? *tears*
AISHA: Moira, I don’t like how this is going. I need you to help me.
MOIRA: Chill babe. It’s just dinner. Food, essential commodity for the body. Remember?”
AISHA: This is turning into more than food. I can’t stand what he is doing; he wants to know me more. His own terms.
MOIRA: There is no harm in a little bond, Look, Aisha, u r gonna have to try to blend with your Dear Future Husband.
AISHA: Moira, this is not funny. What do I do? I need to get out of here. I think Craig likes me. Like Likes me.
MOIRA: LOL! Aisha, you are so full of it. The Dude wants Sex and Money from you, simple. Besides, if you run now, you are going to give him the impression that you like him too and that is where the danger lies. Be careful, lady. Mommy is warning you. *wide grin*
AISHA: Shut up, man!
MOIRA: Just play along with him, don’t try to act tough, be free, and you’ll survive the dinner. Anyway, I have to sleep now. Some of us are lonely.
AISHA: Wait! He is coming, what do I say? Do I ask where he went too?

Aisha stared at the message as Moira read it but didn’t reply. She hissed as she tossed the phone back in her purse.
“Can you come with me, please?” Craig asked.
In her heart, she smiled. She didn’t have to ask any question, but she was worried. What was Craig planning again that could be worse than a dinner? Maybe a bedroom in the sand? Her heart skipped as the thought passed through her mind.
She was hesitant to stand up from the chair. “Why?”
“You just have to follow me. Try to trust me a little.” She swallowed as she took his hand and went with him.

++++****++++
Moira rolled over her bed as sleep wouldn’t come. She was actually sleeping when Aisha had ‘pinged’ her with her emergency. The doorbell chimed or had she heard wrong. Who would be calling the house at this time of the night? It had to be Aisha else the security men wouldn’t have let the visitor in. At least, not this late.
She tossed the sheets away and slipped into her slippers. She hurried downstairs and straight to the door. She paused as she approached the door. Aisha had her own key; she would have let herself in.
The doorbell chimed again and her heart raced faster. What if robbers had found their way into the house? She drew closer to the door with fear and peeped through the hole. She was afraid. Robbers would have been a much better guest than Alhaji Ibrahim at this time of the night.
“Sir?”
Alhaji Ibrahim stepped aside and walked into the house.
“Aisha is not here, Sir.”
Alhaji Ibrahim nodded as he took his seat.
“She is with that phoney, right?”
Moira’s heart skipped a beat. “Phoney?”
“Don’t mind me.” He replied with a smile.
“I was around the corner for some drinks when I decided to stop over to pay you girls a visit.”
Moira swallowed as she took her seat beside Alhaji. “Sir, Aisha lives with Craig, you know?”
Alhaji Ibrahim smiled. “I think I am aware of that. Anyway, we can have a conversation like father and daughter, just as always.”
“Okay, Sir. Okay.” Moira said as she stared at Alhaji. She knew all wasn’t well. Alhaji took a deep breath.
“I was with Hakeem today. He doesn’t seem to like Craig much which is very understandable but I want to know your own impression of Craig. What do you think about our Aisha’s boyfriend?” Moira blinked as she smiled.
“Craig is Aisha’s type of man. They complement each other, they help their flaws and weaknesses and I’d say they’ll make a perfect couple.” Alhaji nodded slowly.
“Can I have a drink?”
YES!!! Moira had been waiting for the opportunity to run in to ping Aisha.
“Of course, Sir.” She said with a smile and hurried to the kitchen.
MOIRA: PING!!!
MOIRA: PING!!!
MOIRA: PING!!!
MOIRA: PING!!!

Moira stared at her pings as they delivered without Aisha reading it. She fumed at it and poured Alhaji’s drink.
“Why did you take so long? Alhaji asked as Moira joined him with his drink.
“Let me guess, you were alerting Aisha of my presence?” he asked with a smile collecting the drink.
Moira raised an eyebrow. “Me? No. I couldn’t do that.”
He laughed and then took his drink. He replaced the glass by the side of the table.
“Prior to this moment, you have been excellent in telling lies, you just disappointed me.”
“Come on, Alhaji, I agree I ‘pinged’ her but she is not aware of your presence.” Moira replied.
He nodded, “That’s a good thing. I need to talk to you about something.”
Oh God! Moira stared at Alhaji. “Can I get a glass of water?”
He nodded with a smile. “As long as you don’t tell Aisha that I am here, at least…not yet.”
Moira nodded. “I can do that.”
“Please do it for me, I want to surprise her.” He replied.
Moira rose to her feet, “Trust me, she is already surprised in advance.”
With that Moira scampered off into the kitchen and of course, she tried to dial Aisha again but to no avail. “Where are you???” she groaned as she slammed the door of the fridge.

++++****++++
“Where are we going?” Aisha asked.
Craig smiled. “I told you to trust me, didn’t I?”
“Well, you did, but I didn’t actually enjoy you bringing me to this place for a private dinner without the press.”
Craig nodded. “I apologise for that. It won’t repeat itself again.”
“Good. So, where are we going to now?”
He shrugged. “I want to surprise you.”
“I am already surprised. I can’t believe I am even walking with you to never land. Besides, I forgot my phone, I should go and get it,”
Craig stared at her with a smile. “You saw Peter Pan?”
“Every kid saw Peter Pan.”
“Not me. I didn’t.”
She rolled her eyes. “And I guess your knowledge of Peter Pan came from the wind?”
“That’s more like it.” He replied with a smile. He stopped and then fetched a neck tie from his pocket. “I am going to blindfold you.”
She shook her head in disagreement. “I know I should have taken my phone. You are a serial killer, right?”
He smiled as he stood behind her. “No. But if you want me to be, I don’t mind.”
She took a deep breath. “You are creeping me out.”
“Really?” he asked as he whispered into her ears.
His cologne filled her nostrils as he leaned closer. She wasn’t sure but it seemed he just wore it. He placed the necktie over her eyes and tied it firmly but carefully.
“Can you see anything?” he asked.
“Nothing.” She replied.
He smiled. “I’ll take the lead.”

++++****++++
Daniel sipped his drink by the bar burdened with guilt from what he had told Alhaji and filled with pain from losing Vicky. He had done what seemed logical to him at that moment. He had his love scorned while Craig had love and money offered to him. No man should be that lucky. He thought aloud.
“It should have been me. I owned that stand, not Craig. Aisha should have met me, not him.” He said as he drank.
“Hey!”
Daniel turned to see Bolu. Bolu smiled as he took his seat beside Daniel.
“Guy, you look fresh o! Did you have a job interview?” Bolu asked, staring at the suit.
Bolu swallowed as he cursed his luck inaudibly. He had come to the bar right from meeting Alhaji.
“Not really an interview, but it was successful.”
Bolu smiled. “That’s good. I heard Vicky left town.”
Daniel nodded in agreement. “Yes, she did.”
“How are you?”
Daniel shrugged as he focused on the drink. “I am well. I don’t feel sad.”
“Are you sure? That’s good. It’s nice to see you taking it in good strides.”
Daniel sipped his drink. “Do I have an alternative?”
“Oh well…Look Dan, you do know that Craig loves you as a brother, right?” Bolu started.
“All this friction between us isn’t cool, Craig would marry Aisha soon and all this would be over.”
Daniel scoffed. “And then he would go looking for Vicky, right? She is obviously the only lady that can actually love him.”
“Come on, man. I hate the tension between us. We used to be very happy.”
“Point of correction, you have always been content with the way that Craig has treated us and that is because you might have no ambitions after all.” Bolu stared at him and then laughed.
“Guy, wetin dey do you? Craig na our guy na and he is always there for us.”
“What are you doing for yourself? You quit the mall to run Craig’s errands. When the divorce is over, Craig would have some proceeds from the divorce and he won’t share it with you. It is then you would realise how selfish and greedy Craig is.” Daniel ranted.
Bolu took a deep breath. “I don’t know what to say, man. You keep surprising me every time. We grew up together and for the times and everything, I am trying to mend the fence but it seems like you want nothing to do with us.”
“There! You got it! I am done with you guys! Give up!” Daniel concluded as he gulped his drink.
Bolu sighed.

++++****++++
“I am going to call off the agreement I have with Aisha.” Alhaji said.
Moira stared at him with a great deal of surprise and worry. She tried to hide her worried look with a smile.
“That…That would delight Aisha a lot.”
“I know.” He replied with a smile.
Moira drank some water. “So, why the sudden change of mind?”
“I admire the relationship between Aisha and Craig but I feel I would not be supportive of them with that agreement being on.”
Moira shrugged. “Does it really matter, Alhaji?”
“It does, Moira. It does.” Alhaji replied.
Moira drank some more water and then faced Alhaji.
“Sir, I think you are driving at something. Whatever it is, I want you to know that Aisha loves you and the best way to show your love to her is by supporting her decisions.”
“I support her decisions, Moira. I do.” She nodded in agreement. “Sir, what I really don’t understand is why you want to cut the agreement you had with her.”
“Moira, it is a good thing, isn’t it? I am relieving her of the pressure that I put her under by saying she has to get married before getting her inheritance. I don’t think I am doing anything wrong here.” He replied.
“Why do you think what I am doing is wrong?”
Moira shrugged as she took a deep breath.
“I think I am really tired tonight, that’s why.”
Alhaji Ibrahim nodded. “That’s probably why.”
“When do you intend to tell this to Aisha?” Moira asked.
Alhaji paused for a while. “I have not actually thought about it, but I don’t want you to tell her before I do. I actually came to you to know your own opinion of it.”
“Well, I think it is a very good thing to do. Aisha would be very happy to hear that, Sir.”
He nodded. “I know she would be.”
Moira yawned so as to set Alhaji on his way. “I am sorry, I am just so tired.”
Alhaji rose to his feet.
“Sorry for coming this late, I just thought to let you know about it first.”
Moira smiled. “Thank you, Sir. It’s okay.”
“See you later.” He said and walked out.
Moira shut the door after Alhaji and immediately dashed in to call Aisha.

++++****++++
Aisha couldn’t see anything. It was really dark. She was blindfolded. “Are we there yet?” she asked.
“You should be scared. I might be a serial killer.” Craig said in a comical voice.
“Very funny, Craig. Very funny.” She replied.
“But really, where are we going, Craig? We have been walking for a long time now.”
“Where are we, Aisha?” Craig asked.
She hissed. “How am I supposed to know that? I am the one with the blindfolds, in case you haven’t noticed.” She replied. “Anyway, I still feel the sands so we are obviously still at the beach.”
“That’s right, anyway, we are almost there. Just a couple steps more and all this would be over.” He replied.
“How many more steps, Craig?”
He smiled. “Keep your hands on your thighs.” He said as he led her to a seat. “I’ll take your blindfolds off now.”
Aisha took her seat and kept her hands on her thighs. Finally! Her blindfolds came off slowly. Before her stood a giant Piano. She shut her eyes and opened them again as she stroked her fingers against the chords. She tapped the chords again and then stared at Craig.
“What is this?” she asked. Her tone was low and subtle. Nothing like her normal self. Craig had actually reached out to her heart.
Craig got down on one knee and stretched out a ring before her. “Will you marry me, Aisha?”

****
All Fun and Games is written by Tomi Adesina, Writer and Author of “Dear Future Husband” available for free on African Stories. She is @tomi_adeshina on twitter. Get a copy. Read, Share and Sponsor next episode 😀

Crush or Love? Episode VIII

aspergers-love

Read Previous Episodes Here
Bassey Odiete
I poured myself a glass at the bar and prayed U.D would be too drunk to remember the slap. She couldn’t have slept with him, could she? Of course she had. How could she? I took a large gulp as the images of her red dress, her supple breasts, her scent and her pouted lips tormented me. I had to get over her. I knew I wasn’t going to. I had to have her again and again.
The night was the longest as I sat and schemed on how to get her attention once more. Surely she still wanted me between her curves and smooth patch. I felt myself growing hard at the thought and stood up to take a cold shower. I didn’t need two heads thinking for me today.

The first light of dawn had me going for groceries at SPAR. Dropping a bag at her house at 8am and tagging it anonymous, I waited patiently for her call. Of course the old Gateman promised to have it delivered immediately and had nodded with enthusiasm as I tipped him with high notes before leaving. U.D was walking out of the house as I drove in at few minutes past 9am.
“Hey early bird” I called partly hoping he didn’t remember the slap. He looked rested. He must have been too drunk I concluded.
“Hey bro” he shook my hand as he walked up to me as I stepped out from the car.
“Going out”? I returned the firm slap of his hand.
“Yes. I have got a date” he said and shone his teeth in bright smiles. I was green with envy but smiled too.
“With Funke I suppose?” I asked fishing.
“The very same” he said entering his Rover.
“Have fun” I called after him hoping he would not.
A plan began to form in my head.
****
Funke Dayo
Another knock sounded on the front door and I held my bathrobe tight to my chest. I mouthed a silent prayer against the forces of Emeka Douglass.
“Who is that?” I called rather loudly at few minutes past 9am.
“Na Musa Ma” it was the old Gateman and I felt relief rush through me as I opened the door.
“One man say make I give you” he said handing me a basket.
“Who?” my eyes suspicious of the gift.
“I no no Ma” he said
“And you collected it. Go away with it” I dismissed him and closed the door. It had to be Emeka. It just had to be him.

Another knock soon sounded again as I climbed back into bed. I let the person knock some more. My phone rang afterwards. I broke into smiles and went down to open the door.
“Okay?” it was U.D leaning against the door with raised eyebrows.
“Hey” I left the door opened and hurriedly brushed my hair with my hand thanking God I was dark skinned. The blood rushing to my face and tensed air leaving my body told me I was falling for him.
“So you are just waking up” he said as I turned to face him. All smiles and heart beating fast.
“Emm, nope” I said waiting for him to take me in his hands unconsciously. He approached me and I stood still. I stopped breathing the moment he bent to plant a kiss on my dry lips.
“Someone is yet to brush” he said as he bit my lower lips. I pushed him away totally embarrassed.
“Silly” I slapped his hand resting lightly on my hips.
“I have brushed na” he feigned seriousness as I walked back up to go brush.
“Haba! Come na, Oya na” he ran after me and in playful rush, I ran up. He pursued.
“Open this door” he said hitting the door of my bathroom. I rushed to my brush and minutes later poured out my mouth content. Rinsed my mouth and checked my reflection in the mirror before I opened the door to see him fold his arms across his broad chest.
“Are you done? Can I get my kiss now” he asked as I looked over his shoulder to nowhere in particular. I was giddy with excitement.
“Maybe” I said almost shy but holding my head straight. He shouldn’t know that he affected me this bad I thought.
“That is just enough for me” with that he brought his head down and my breath caught in my throat.
“Are you excited?” he asked in a whisper. My heart beating fast.
“Yes” I answered softly as his lips claimed mine. The minty flavor soon diluted as he deepened his kiss and pulled me close tugging my night robe at the waist. Unconsciously, I raised myself on my toes and pressed close to him; his hand positioning my head and brutally assaulting my lips just before sucking them into his. A moan escaped me as my hand traveled to his neck in abandon.
In a swift movement, he lifted me up and dropped me on the bed still kissing me.
“Your heart is beating so fast” I informed him quietly as he stretched his length against me.
“How you make me feel” he replied before planting his lips on mine again. His hands had found my belt and tugged my robe opened. Barely covered in flowery panties and white lacy bra, I studied his expression as his eyes traveled the length of my body. He seemed to be contemplating what to do with the offered sacrifice as he teased me by planting wet kisses directly on my nipples.
“Let’s get breakfast” he jumped off abruptly. I looked at him with pleading eyes but he looked everywhere else except my eyes. I knew deep within me why I wanted this. The moment I had him, I was simply going to lose interest. Perhaps I wanted this so bad because I was afraid of losing myself to him. I pushed the possibility of love aside. Surely I was incapable of love.
“What do you have in mind?” I asked getting out of bed and throwing my robe on the bed. He watched quietly, his throat clamping hard. I walked seductively to my wardrobe and took more time in finding a pair of leggings and provocative blouse. Wriggling my butt into them, I wished I could see the look on his face. Turning to face him, I saw him fix his stare on my back and smiled.
“You know you have got to stop wearing these” he said in thick voice before heading out. I followed him minutes later, wearing my blouse and combing my hair into a bun.
“Smells good” I said stepping into the kitchen. He had eggs frying while he grated carrots in the pan that revealed lots of onions and chili.
“I am a chef baby” he said lightly. The dark countenance gone.
“And what is chef baby making?” I joked coming to stand beside him.
“Breakfast baby?” he joked back.
“Need help?” I asked
“Yes, squeeze the oranges” he said as dropped the grater in the sink and squeezed my breasts.
“Hey! Stop that” I beat his hands away.
“I told you to stop dressing so sexy” he said without missing a beat and went back to the egg.
Minutes later, food down, we stretched lazily on the big couch.
“When are you going to the office?” I asked reminding him of the workload.
“Up for all night?” he asked as he brushed my hair.
“No” I replied.
“We go soon then” he replied turning down the volume of Rihanna’s Rude Boy.
“I am not ready” I made to collect the Remote.
“So you dance” it was a rhetorical question.
“I was in a good mood” I defended knowing he was referring to his welcome party. I couldn’t tell him Bassey was here before I came to pick him up plus the look on Bassey’s face when he barged in on us was disturbing. He looked hurt. I didn’t dwell on it though. It was done and it was past.
“Will you marry me?” he suddenly blurted out.
My body turned cold and jumped out of his arms like I was stung.
“No” I answered so fast my head spun.
“Why” he asked sitting so calm.
“Because I slept with your twin brother” I replied eyes blaring.
“And I told you it didn’t matter anymore”
“I am older than you” I found another reason
“You are not”
“I don’t know you well” I found yet another reason
“You are out of reasons. We will get married in two months”
“I am not and you are joking” I laughed yet afraid. Somehow, he looked so serious and determined.
“I am not going anywhere Funke. I am not going to have sex with you just so you can have me out of your system” he informed, eyes finally resting on me.
I caught my breath.
“Yes, Funke. You are that obvious”
“I think lives would be better if it we don’t complicate it”
“And you think having sex with every man is not complication?” he asked and it felt like a slap. I blinked.
“You need to leave now” I stood up.
“Don’t get all tensed up” he said
“I am not. I want to have sex with you and be done with it. Getting married to you is out of it” I stated evenly.
“I won’t have sex with you until you say yes” he insisted stubbornly.
“You will and very soon too” I challenged excitement coursing through me.
“We will see. Meet me when you have bathed at the office” with that he planted a hard kiss on my lips and took his leave.
Sitting down heavily after I heard his car drive out, I knew it was time to weigh my options.
****
U.D Odiete
“I can’t believe I just asked her to marry me. What was I thinking?” I asked myself aloud as I drove to the office. Was it just to spite Bassey? Did I really want to get married? To Funke? I know we were good together and the feel of her body against mine felt so good. Too good. I smiled as I remembered the butt wriggling and white lacy bra that had her pale nipples poking out. It was quite a sight and doubted if I was going to keep my hands off her for long.
The slap still rang in my head. Bassey must have been pissed but it felt good to be the one desired now. The pent up years of resentment; having him steal my women were over and it would seem Funke was the kind of challenge he needed to break his pride. I found myself enjoying the feel. Almighty Bassey panting after a woman that wanted me. How the tides change. It was petty but it felt so good.
If there was one thing I was sure of was this: Funke Dayo was one hell of a lady and I was going to get married to her in two months.
****
Bassey Odiete
I waited all day for U.D but he was nowhere in sight. The suspense killed me. Did she get my gift? She would have called me if she did by now. My phone buzzed just then and I picked it with alacrity. It was Susan. Another booty-call. I dropped the phone with distaste. She was spoiled goods. The images of what could be happening got me fired up and I drove to the house on surveillance.
I drove past the house and looked out for either of their cars. I didn’t see any. I parked a block down and walked to the house. The old guard broke out in smiles as he opened the gate just in time to see me.
“Oga, welcome” he smiled looking at my hands.
“Is she home?” I asked.
“Madam don komot” he answered still looking at my hand
“She komot with somebody?” I poked.
“No o” he answered walking away.
“The man wey come here unkor?” I asked some more.
“You know Oga, I no no you. I no fit dey tell you everything about my Madam. You know how ei go look” he looked at my hand again. I smiled. He needed notes.
I made out with some and he broke into smiles with his brown teeth showing his appreciation.
“But Oga, you know na”
“I know” I waited.
“One man come. The man look like you small. He komot then she too come komot later”
“So they didn’t go together” I asked
“No”
“Did you give her the basket?”
“Eheeeeen, I give her but she come give me” he scratched his head.
“She didn’t look inside?” I asked now furious with the corrupt old man.
“She just say make I take am. So I take am” he said opening his palms as he explained.
I had heard enough and went back to my car. Where did they go to? For how long were together. I was going crazy. I had to see her soon.
****
Funke Dayo
The quiet office had most of the staff finishing their designs. U.D and I worked oblivious of time. Yawning as I stretched at past 7pm, I suddenly remembered I had not eaten save breakfast.
“Hungry?” he spoke my mind.
“Famished”
“Dinner at my place?” he suggested finally looking at me through tired eyes.
“Sure” I answered.
“Just few minutes”
“I hope Bassey will not be be home” It was a question.
“Do you care?” it was harsh.
“Yes”
“You shouldn’t have slept with him then”
“Don’t speak to me in that tone”
“You are having dinner at home with me. If you have problems with it, deal with it before we get there” it was almost a command.
“Why doesn’t it bother you? It is weird to want me after knowing I slept with him” I wanted to annoy him.
“What is weird is getting married to you in two months. I am weird alright” he closed his work and got up.
I stood scanning my witty mind for a reply but came out empty.
“Ready?”
He didn’t need an answer. Few minutes later, we headed home.
****
Bassey Odiete
I waited at home to tell U.D that I knew what he was up to. Trying to make me jealous wasn’t going to work and I knew he wasn’t with Funke. That thought died the moment they both exited their cars and walked towards the entrance with U.D taking her hand in his. The old man must have fed me wrong information.
“Hey” it was U.D.
“Had fun?” I asked underlined with meaning.
“More like work” it was U.D. He looked like he was enjoying the charade. I winked at him and he winked back. Funke barely smiled and looked largely uncomfortable. I liked the fact that she was uncomfortable. It meant that she still remembered my worthwhile administrations.
“How are you?” I asked her squarely.
“I am good. You look good” she complimented. I smiled. Perhaps he didn’t satisfy her.
”Dinner” it was U.D and she followed him to the kitchen with hands on her waist. His voice was heard ordering the cook and followed the cook to his room with the food trolley. I sneaked to the kitchen. Her back to me, I dropped my hands on her waist and she turned to face me. Her eyes angry.
“Get your hands off me” she moved but backed into a corner instead. I blocked her path with my body.
“You look good Funke”
“Don’t touch me” she said and I moved to let her pass. She rushed out of the kitchen just as she bumped into U.D.
“Oh” she said relaxing as she saw him and I saw the look in her eyes. It looked like she really cared about what U.D thought of her.
“Was going to wait for Dad but I might as well as say it now” it was U.D holding her on her waist before stealing a kiss. I blinked.
“What?” I asked right before Funke looked at him momentarily confused. Then it hit her.
“No” she shook her head vehemently.
“Yes” he said rubbing her nose with his.
“What?” I asked wondering why she was so uncomfortable.
“We are getting married in August”
“The hell you are” I retorted hotly.
It was never going to happen.
Never!

CHAPTER EIGHT ⃝ THE GAME PLAN

 

ǁǁǁ ………..And touch down. I didn’t carry Agaracha…..I’m sure she wasn’t happy to be left alone again. Especially since I didn’t know when next I was going back. Felt good to be back to the game city. More so that I had new info! More moves!!! It felt like I was ‘crowning’ but not quite. Knowledge sure is power.

I had closed my eyes from Calabar at take-off; strategy for avoiding conversations. The ‘Guy-Man’ beside me with badly permed hair and bleached nose itched for one. I wasn’t going to listen to his fake accent and bad conversation start up lines!

“You know planes are very fast” he sounded all bright and certain with wide smile that uncovered a bad dention and yellowish teeth………tobacco abuse. Emm, No, thank you.

My eyes snapped shut. Yours would have too.  

The good thing about a light pack was checking out immediately and not waiting at the carousels. Oh! Plus running away from the persistent ‘Guy-Man’.hehehe

Gosh I hate waiting at the carousels. I remember a ‘situation’ with Aero Contractors years back when I travelled to attend Remi’s wedding in Lagos. As usual……last minute Didi flew in hours to the wedding. Alas, missing luggage, missing Asoebi. My luggage was not on ‘board’. I had a wedding to attend in less than two hours and they spent over 80 minutes providing plausible explanations. I attended the wedding in a pair of jeans and tank-top; needlessly to say I stayed away from the cameras. I was PISSED. There was no apology………like with most service industries in the country. Terrible………..MTN just gets me boiling. Have a responsive customer care goddamit!!!!

The air was moist and it had poured. Didn’t tell Uche or Tony to pick me up as was habitual; I took an airport cab instead. It was raining in torrents in the Central Business District. Adamu opened the gate reluctantly at the blaring taxi horn and increased pace when he saw me. The gate flew open.

“Good evening ma, welcome” he said beaming with smiles.

“Thank you Adamu” I said effortlessly while paying the driver. Walked up the porch leisurely. I no fit out run rain abeg.

The click ushered me in; was good to be back full of knowledge and direction. The house didn’t miss me much. All in good condition; Uche must have been here. I felt strangely calm and ‘responsible’. Was it Ummi? I felt different. Powering my phone, the messages came pouring in. I put a call to Ali.

“Hello Didi, glad you calling” He said smoothly as if he had been expecting the call.

“Same here. I need to have a talk with you soonest” I said rather vague.

“Likewise” he said.

“I am in Abuja” I informed casually.

“Good. Tomorrow by 6pm. I will send Christian to pick you up from Cubana. I suppose you know where that is” it was rhetorical.

“I can drive” I said quietly with stubbornness.

“I don’t want you followed” he gave a reason. Followed by who?

The private eyes of course.

“Thank you” was all I could manage.

“You are welcome Didi” he said and I was off.

The game had started and I was going to be playing Ali’s team.

What was Akhmed thinking; recruiting me to marry my niece’s father? Bet he didn’t know I would find out or that Ali was aware of his plans. He was playing a twofold game.

Plan A: Get me married to Ali, use me and dispose of me after committing his crimes. Talk about being the mop stick. Or

Plan B: He plays the lover boy, I fall for him for real and he finds a way for a wealth transfer transaction if and when I find out of Ali’s will et al.

I am still working on Plan C. Certainly I was going to find out sooner or connect the dotted lines. Or maybe, I was over-analysing his sudden interest.

Game up Akhmed Bricks. I chuckled as I went through my messages.

The messages had pooled. Akhmed had the highest entries.

Content bordering on missing me, dinner dates, can’t think straight…………..oh please. He must be tending towards Plan B; the radio-silence had him shaken. He wasn’t sure what move next; he was sacrificing his pawns. He could stop the emotional undertones once he figured out what I was up too. Whatever happened to his private eyes? He had those, didn’t he?

I am loving this already.

Few from Uche and Tony. Tunde had an entry on work. The proposal was ready. Time to call in Oke. I made a mental note. First thing Monday morning.

The email I had been waiting for was sent amongst others. I made to download the attachment. It was from Felix, my private eye. Hehehe.

Me ma get my own eye na. Unbiased check up on some facts. Felix does a great job plus he is discreet.

Uche’s call came through immediately.

“You had me worried!!! Are you okay?” she said immediately I hit the green button.

“I’m sorry babes. Just got in” I said with a weak smile.

“Glad you back. I didn’t know who to call in Lagos. Please don’t do that again” she sounded pissed and relieved at same time. I smiled in spite of myself. Felt good to have her care this much.

“I won’t” I apologised. The doorbell rang. Wo ris dat?! I just dey enta house abeg!

“Tony was worried too. Tessy misses you” she continued as I made to check the peep hole. It was Akhmed. Okay? How did he know I was back? A guess………Adamu ofcourse. I have to change him. I opened the door and waved him in with a plastered smile. A pawn moved.

“Tessy is your baby. She couldn’t have missed me that much. I will call Tony now. Remember the girls’ night out?” I asked as he stepped in with hands in pocket. I smiled again and nodded. He smiled back. He looked freshly scrubbed and the rain drops made him look all the more sensual…….wet long eye lashes.

God should stop making men with long lashes jor.

“I have been putting it off for you. When do we go out?” she giggled with excitement. I bet she was bringing her crazy friends from the bank………….calling themselves Sisterhood…cliché.

“Alright. Akhmed is here. Call you later” I was off before she ran me over with questions.

It was still drizzling.

“You are wet” I said looking at him pleasantly.

“Seems you are too” He said coming to stand close.

“Yeah, I just got in” I said.

“Glad I decided to check you up. Didi, I really missed you” he said sweetly with a shy smile.

“Yes. Have a drink. I will be with you in a minute” I said eye dancing him and heading to my room. I love body language.

Him don enter.

“Was hoping I could take you out for dinner” he said casually after me. It was 5:38pm. Already getting dark.

“Sure” I was so agreeable. I wanted nothing more than to have a hot cup of choco with legs up but if you a game player; you never drop your cards. A dinner date it was.

“Okay” he sounded surprised.

“Will be out in a few. Make yourself at home” I said as I went to get dressed.

I pulled my ‘instant’ dinner gown from the wardrobe and over my head. It was a short black fitting gown with the ‘V’ neck and deep pockets. Issy on the tag……I wonder who she is. I would have asked for another in red.

A quick hair brush, quick powdering and Maybelline to finish. Tinini-tanana on the perfume bottles in front of my vanity mirror got me using Bvlgari. Few inches taller on my wedge, I matched out armed with a silly hand purse.…………..all in less than 10 minutes.

“You are beautiful” he said as the Bvlgari announced my presence.

“You are handsome yourself” I smiled. Plastered aka Fakest!

It had stopped raining.

“You ready?” I asked. He was standing in same spot without a drink.  

“Yes” he took my hand and we walked side by side to his Audi parked out of the gate.

“So you avoided me for a week” he continued as he drove off.

 “I didn’t, took time out. Visited friends” I said vaguely. He gave a steady gaze.

“Glad you are back” his right hand taking mine. I removed it a few minutes with a shy smile.

The idea is to make him want to hold me more and let him think I am biting.

TIP # 10: WHEN YOU ARE BAITING YOUR ‘MAGA’…….DANCE BEHIND THE CURTAIN NAKED. MEN LIKE INTRIGUE. UNRAVELLING A STIMULATING FEMALE IS A FAVOURITE OF MANY; DON’T BE OVERLY EAGER TO SHOW HIM THE REAL YOU BECAUSE TRUTHFULLY HONEY, THE REAL YOU ISN’T SO INTRIGUING. FACE IT.

“I am glad too” I answered breezily.

“Where do you want to go?” he said feeding the conversation.

“Where do you have in mind?” I asked hoping he had a place in mind. I didn’t have the brain power to conduct a search.

“Oh well, there is this new place a friend told me about. Just opened around the lake, you want to try it out?” he sounded so unbelievable. So romantic. What was he getting at? We were supposed to be scheming and now he sounds like we were in some sort of ‘relationship’. All the more better. A little romance won’t hurt.

“Yes” I said without much ado. He looked at me, I shine am smile abeg.  

The evening air at The Waters was cool and fresh; a new bar and restaurant near Jabi lake.

Akhmed seated kept smiling at me. I dey form sexy. Classy Sexy o!

“What?” I asked sweetly. The classic line when a man keeps staring at your facial features or cleavage…..in my case. We know wetin the man dey look.

“You are so cute” he said almost truthfully.

“You in too much of a good mood” I smiled faking shyness at his comment.

I didn’t give a damn. I know I am cute. 

A waiter approached almost immediately we sat in a corner closest to the lake view.

“Alright!” he waved the waiter over giving up on the compliments. I got a beep. It was Uche.

 

Are you at home?

I replied.

No. Went out with Akhmed.

She replied almost immediately.

Love wantin-wantin.

See you soon.

I smiled.

 “Okay?” he asked with a raised brow.

“Uche”.

“Oh. So, how are you?” he asked after the well-dressed waiter disappeared with the order.

“I am good” I said looking away.

 “You said we needed to talk?” I redirected.

“Yes. And we are talking” he laughed silly. He looked cute.

“Yes we are……..but I was under the impression it was on the subject of your father” I pressed. His mood took a dive. Smiles disappeared.

“Yes. I am not going through with it” he stated

“Okay?” I asked playing

“It means there is no plan and you can dig in my Mine instead” he was joking. I made a face.

“I don’t want to dig in your Mine when I can dig in a bigger Mine. Plus I will be doing to a favour too. Throwing business your way?” I reminded him. He chuckled.

“Really Didi, I don’t want you to” he sobered.

“Why the sudden change?”

“Let’s say I had a rethink. If I am not his son, why should I get anything from him?”

“I should go contest my inheritance from my father’s” he completed.

 “What happens to your project?” I reasoned.

“I will have a meeting with him. Maybe he can finance it as a business decision” he shrugged. I didn’t buy the change of mind theory. There was more.

“Alright. Glad you figured it out” I said. The waiter was back.

“Would you rather I didn’t?” he asked with a bland expression taking a fork of his plate content.

“Not sure. Playing your father would have being fun though. Especially with the millions of dollars bonus” I winked. He found it extremely humorous. I joined in giggles.

“You are refreshing” he said after the long laugh.

There was no need to mention the accident and sale of the Sky-Jet and the night in Calabar. From the look of things, he had no move for now. He didn’t know or maybe he was playing the deadly ignorant.

“That I am” I was relaxed.

He smiled with the ribs in his mouth. I wasn’t up for rips or anything for that matter.

“You are not hungry” he stated seeing that I didn’t touch the plate in front of me.

“Not really”

He looked at me, wiped his mouth and took a sip of his glass.

“Want to go home?” he asked.

“After a drive maybe” I smiled.

“Alright. I’m going to freestyle tonight. I do want to impress you. Come” he said taking my hand suddenly.

It was already dark………..we walked slowly along the lake. Holding hands…..it was almost real.

“Can you re-consider digging in my Mine?” he asked holding my hand and coming to a stop after a long silent walk.

“You really have to stop stating the obvious” I said jokingly.

“Which is?” momentarily confused.

“My Mines don’t know they are being dug”

He threw his head back in genuine laughter that held him breathless for a while before looking at me again. I liked that he laughed.

“Is that so?” he asked caressing my hand. I withdrew it.

“Yes. So much so” I said looking at him. He was so cute, I felt the attraction pulling at me.

“Then I shall remain oblivious to the fact” he mimicked with a British accent.

“I will do us both good” in smiles. I was getting goosebumps. The chilly night breeze.

“You cold”

“Yes”

“I can take you home now” He said studying my face. He leaned close-breathing on my lips. I took a step back and pulled him towards the car park. No kissing yet.

The drive back home was intense.

“Do you like me enough to have a relationship with me?” he asked as we got to my house.

“Yes” I answered honestly.

“Will you?” he asked hopefully.

“Not at the moment” I shut him down. He smiled and shook his head sadly.

“Guess I’m too forward” he said

“No. I just felt like saying no” I smiled silly coming down from the car. He followed.

“So you playing with me Miss Didi” he said beaming with smiles.

“You must be used to yes all the time, a little no to toughen your skin” I smiled and gave a peck. He chuckled.

“Good Night” I whispered and up my porch I went.

“See you tomorrow”.

He drove out a minute later. Checking my phone, I saw an unread message.

“Had a nice time?”

It was Ali’s text.

He must have had his private eyes watching. I smiled inwardly. He sounded jealous….not bad. Have both eating out of my hand won’t be a bad idea. I did a victory dance and went for my night soak.

22:10pm had me snuggled up in bed.

The burglary alarm was switched on………….hope I don’t find an electrocuted being in the morning.

****************************************************************************