M.O.T.I.V.E.S – Episode 8 (Series Finale)

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Hey guys!

The final episode of M.O.T.I.V.E.S by Uneñ Ameji is here. As promised, this episode is unusually long. The compiled e-Book will be available for downloads soonest. We will keep you posted on that. Without plenty yarns, have fun and don’t forget to recommend reading.

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 Uneñ 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.

Find out if good or evil prevails after all.

Read all Episodes here

*****
Episode 8 – Series Finale

Victor Dakar – 28th August, 2011

“Business tycoon’s illegitimate son inherits estate” – News Dailys
“Chief Badmus Bello, Most Influential man in Africa disinherit family, names illegitimate son as next of Kin” – The Compatriot
“Pastor of TrueWord Evangelical Church of all Missions disinherited, mistress with love child revealed, wife files for divorce” – The True News
“Kole Badmus found dead in UK apartment, killer arrested” Concord Times
“Son, illegitimate heir to resume office, commission gas plant in Benin”
“President orders immediate relocation of the command center to Mubi, partners bordering countries” National Conscience

Several weeks after the reading of the Will at The Castle and Victor was still reeling from the effect. The increasingly sensitive expectations, suspicious managerial appointments, constant change of residence and flying out to The Castle every other week left him emotionally and physically tired. The unexpected silence from his mother despite her promise to explain why she walked him out of her life twelve years ago was more than maddening, if not frustrating. What ever happened to Bello’s wife? and her children? He wanted to know. The silence was uneasy and whenever he brought it up, she would say she had since released them. Where were they if she released? He expected some form of resistance but for the past months, it had been anything but that.
He roamed the premises of the new residence his mother had ordered they stay, like a caged cat. He had so many questions and unfortunately he wasn’t getting them. The resounding silence that answered back every single time the questions and doubt came to him made him want to scream and curse but he couldn’t. The last thing he wanted to look like was a weakling. Somehow Charity made him want to be stronger, better and that was enough for him.
He had waited with abated breath days after the reading of the Will for the headlines. And they didn’t disappoint him. They were all about him and Kudirat Bello but none about their arrest. That was suspicious but that was the least of his problem. His problem was overseeing his father’s company. His call to appoint new Board members was met without a fight and now the ongoing acquisition process left him winded. He remembered the headlines again, made up new ones and took a deep breath. Definitely it was going to look fishy – selling his father’s company barely five months after taking over as the Chief Executive Officer. He was highly conflicted.
The headlines went from hateful to furious, then to comical in the last months. It was as if the News houses wanted to outdo each other with derogatory headlines about him and Bello’s wife. The media had also been agog with tales of the Pastor Debola who had an affair with a church member and a bastard son. The embittered wife had since taken him to the cleaners but report was that the man was yet to defend himself nor did he show up at preliminary hearings. If there was ever a time he regretted the day he met Charity, it was now.
“You mustn’t look so sad” it was Charity in his boxers and cropped sleeveless see-through chiffon blouse coming up behind him as he walked in the cool garden. The two had remained inseparable since the reading of the Will and he was beginning to love and hate her at the same time.
“What’s fucking wrong with picking up your phone and calling your son?” he voiced loudly the moment she offered him the hot mug of black coffee she was carrying from the house.
Charity was also tired of the series of calls and instructions Naomi passed across. If it was not submitting a petition at the court, it was leaving a new house in the dead of the night. Moreover Victor was beginning to irritate her with his insistence whining. Naomi was his mother after all and with her new siblings, she absolutely refused to be dragged further into the Bello Badmus vortex.
He was dead and the group of evil men who were involved in her father’s disgraceful death lay in burnt pieces. As far she was concerned, she had gotten her revenge. All she wanted now was her Grandma and something told her Naomi would not find her in-house sex activity with her son so agreeable. It was time to cut the cord – whatever that meant.
In the last months, she had also endured series of outings at the Federal High Court following Naomi’s directions to initiate legal proceedings contesting the content of Bello Badmus’s Will. The woman was highly contradictory. Why would one contest a Will that left her son the sole heir? To what end? But she did not question the directive and she had filed the petition that was leaked to the press causing another week of embarrassing headlines. That also was the beginning of the Court house charade that lasted months. She served petitions refraining Victor from taking over his inheritance until a paternity test be carried out, petitions preventing him for carrying out his duties, petitions preventing for even stepping in the Castle. The result was always the same – Denied.
As a legal representative to her siblings, she had simply made a mockery of herself. The Newspapers and soft sells had a good time calling her degrading names even going as far as comparing her to her greedy father. The judge had thrown out the petition after she failed to provide her clients for testing. A fault of Naomi who wouldn’t produce the Pastor who was having his own episode of shaming and Laide whose mansion was being repossessed by the bank.
It was all happening so fast.
How the gossip magazine got their stories about her relationship with her clients didn’t bother Charity. She knew Naomi was playing a game but what game? The media loved the sordid tale of affair between her father, Nigeria’s top activist George Ajero and wife of Chief Badmus, Kudirat Bello. Their lives splashed across soft sells and major Newspaper houses were a distraction to what was going on at The Castle. It wasn’t long before Nollywood titles such as Corporate Whore in Hasso Rock made top Naira in the market.
If there was an angle to the circus, Charity was beginning to suspect that Naomi was using the distraction to her advantage and it wasn’t until Naomi told Victor to nominate new Board members and had instructed her to head the merger and acquisition team for the purpose of an outright take-over while offering a ridiculous price Naomi referred to as a bailout did she realize the grand plan of the woman. Naomi Mambutu wanted Bello Badmus’s company and had worked tirelessly to get it. One had to respect the woman’s tenacity.
“It is going to be fine” she reassured Victor by rubbing his back as she moved to go back to the house. Victor knew he was going to sign the finalized agreement in less than 24 hours and he was agitated. He was torn between preserving his father’s legacy and acting on the instructions of his manipulative mother.
“I am tired of being caught in the middle of all these” he said as he stopped her by holding on to her upper arm, stopping her from leaving.
“Me and you both” Charity tried a smile that was plastered on her face that was suffering from a major breakout.
“What does she want with his company? I can’t understand why she would keep moving us, getting all those people voted in and buying the company?” he struggled to understand and for a moment, Charity saw the conflicted child.
“Either ways, you get a good percentage. You are her son after all. What does it matter who has the company?” Charity voiced, looking away as Victor moved closer to lift her chin.
“I don’t care about being on the Board or working in any of their companies. I know she is using me and will throw me out again. She has done it before” he watched her bite her lower lips and smiled.
“You don’t believe me” he noted throwing the cup of hot coffee on the perfect lawn.
“I should?” she asked with a small smile.
“Yes, yes you should” he gave a rare smile as he found her hands and held her softly, massaging them in circles.
“Don’t” she said prying her hands from his manipulation.
“What are you going to do when all this is over?” Victor asked as they stared at each other.
“Is there an end in sight?” Charity chuckled.
“I should hope so” Victor chuckled as well and she laughed.
“Well, I will take a vacation with my grandmother” Charity said wistfully
“You have a grandmother…where is she?”
“Oh I don’t know” she shook her
“What do you mean you don’t know?” he asked finding her eyes shifting around without focusing on him.
“Naomi has her” she stated painfully, looking at her feet before removing her hands and walking back to the three bedroom bungalow sitting on a large green perfectly mowed lawn.
Victor stood watching her walk away. He didn’t stand a chance with her, his parents made sure of that.
Angered, he made to go after her when he noticed the greyish green metallic gate open and black sedan drove in.
It was his mother.
“About time too” he muttered under his breath as he watched the car drive into the parking lot.
*****

Florence Ohiemi, 26th August, 2011

Florence knew the decision to buy the company didn’t go down well with Victor. The decision was arrived at after she listened to Bello’s plan at getting rid of her and her son. Moreover, with the series of meetings she had attended with Jafal, she came to realize that several subsidiaries were mainly a cover for the funds that somehow found their way to purchasing arms and training more recruits. It funded their operations and buying the company was the only legal and smart way of cutting off the funding of the terrorists activities. She knew that to stop flow of funds, she had to handle the affairs of the company. The chip she had left behind on impulse after recording the meeting had brought her the greatest revelation and idea. Every other meeting, she improved to include photos and videos. If she was going to get Bello, she damn well was going all rhw way. All she had to do now was get Inale who remained adamant at being called Victor aware of the the situation.
Bello had been supportive over the past months, teaching her how to behave like Kudirat so that the 7-man group would not discover she was an impostor. Florence laughed at such lessons. Who was he fooling? Himself definitely. He acted as one who had her interest at heart. She followed Jafal to several meetings with the service chiefs, the arms dealers and group members. It wasn’t surprising to find sponsors from international community at such meeting and as always, she recorded the conversation on her phone and where possible took discrete photographs of the faces of the men she didn’t know. Every meeting was more deadly than the last. She knew she was risking her life but what had to be done had to be done.
When she had gathered enough evidence, she had excused herself by saying she needed to take care of domestic issues. Akin, the Vice President was more than happy to follow Jafal on his meetings.
“I see that your illegitimate son is still handling affairs” it was Jafal on their last trip together.
“It seems I must be present or do everything myself” she said refering to failure of her hit men to carry out the assignment.
“You must let the boy go soon. We are going to need more funds after the blast and you must be positioned to get us the funds” Jafal said almost in a sneer. If Florence had not heard the discussion Jafal and Bello had about her, she would have believed she was being taken serious. But it all worked to her advantage.
The irony was, while they thought they were playing her, she was the one playing them. It suited her well enough. On one hand, she was taking over his company, on the other she was gathering enough evidence to nail their coffins firm and save millions of lives that would be at stake if their plans succeeded. The only problem however was that she had no idea when the attack was going to happen. Somehow, they never mentioned it in their meetings.
“Make sure the boy is gone within a week. We can’t hold off any longer” it was Jafal as she got into her private car she had waiting for her at the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport.
“That will be done Sir” she said playful and left him there.
“Ganbo, where is my son now?” she asked her ever faithful driver and body-guard of over thirty years. He had been with her through the years and his loyalty rivaled none.
“I took them to a new place” he answered as he greeted her and opened the door for her.
“Take me there please” she said as they left the airport.
“We are being followed Ma” he said as he watched a car follow them out of the airport.
“Lose him” she directed almost politely.
“Yes Ma” and he did lose the tinted car.
It was only fair that she played their game and win them at it.
The need to see Victor as soon as possible arose because he refused to sign the document after the newly inaugurated Board approved the sale and witnesses had signed their part. Charity made sure of it but failed to persuade or force her son. She knew of their affair but that was not an issue she bothered about. She smiled as she saw him stand impossibly tall and proud. If only he knew.
She came out as soon as Ganbo parked and opened the door for her. She stretched and gave a tiring smile. She was exhausted but she knew it was not yet time for rest. She had few more errands to run.
She walked in her unhurried fashion to the entrance of the house. He stood watching her approach, hands in pocket, lips held tight.
“Such a cozy property” she tried a jab. He didn’t return it. They stared at each other wearily before she smiled and nodded at Charity who came out on hearing the car drive in
“Good evening mother” he greeted finally as she beamed at him before walking past him to the house. They followed her.
“So how have you been?” Florence tried a chit-chat as she sat down comfortably taking in the quiet surrounding. Charity offered a drink she refused to take. There were no friends in the game.
“As you have commanded” Victor returned with a childish air. Florence smiled passively as she made to get her phone from her bag, unhurried.
“I suspect you have issues with signing the document” Florence said to no one in particular.
“I would hesitate too if I were you. However you must believe the worst of me to think I will take over a man’s life work without good cause. I have been away a lot because there were things, people I had to meet, information that would benefit a lot of us” she continued leisurely as she found the files she was looking for on her phone.
“I would like you both to listen to these recordings and watch the videos. Let me know if you still have issues signing the documents. Charity, you have done well. The balance of your fees will be paid into your account but first, you two will be flown out tomorrow” Florence stated easily as if she were talking to her staff.
“Is she doing well?” Charity’s voice shook, her eyes misting at the thought of finally seeing her grandmother, not believing that the end had come, on a day she least expected it.
“What makes you so sure that I am going to sign those documents?” Victor asked, cocky as he stood up at her signal.
“This will” Florence said as she pressed the play button, dropped her phone and leaned back with eyes closed.
The voices flooding the cozy cream-colored room and warm red furniture soon had Victor shifting and looking at the face of his mother. Every word, every minute was revelatory. Charity and Victor sat frozen to their seats, goose pimples running on the surface of their skin as plans after plans were revealed. As one meeting finished, Florence would press the next button and more of the plans were revealed until it got to the voice recording of Bello Badmus and Jafal plotting their death.
80 minutes of listening to the recording and watching raw footage of videos from her top-level meetings achieved the effect she knew was needed to push the sales through. Of course she could decide to force him into signing the documents but it wasn’t necessary. The boy should know exactly why he had to sell his father’s company and shouldn’t be denied the exhilarating feeling of revenge.
Victor sat stunned as the last recording played out. Without being told, he knew who the person in the last recording was and he knew exactly what they meant when they said there was need to get rid of him.
“You understand why I do what I do now?” it was Florence putting her phone into her bag.
“Bello Badmus is alive?” it was more of a statement than a question. Charity knew that voice in her sleep.
“Yes” Florence confirmed.
“And he wants me dead” Victor completed standing up and squeezing his eyes shot. The rush of emotions blinded him momentarily. His own father wanted him dead – for a company he didn’t even want.
“I didn’t ask him to make me his heir! Why did he have to make me his heir only for him to turn around and kill me?” it was a shout.
“I think he enjoys the game he plays” it was Florence, calm.
“He is going to kill you too. You knew he was alive?” he asked again, taking a new sofa.
“I knew he was alive, I was aware of the simple plan of him playing dead so that we could catch my evil sister and expose her lies and plans to eliminate him for the cabal. It was for a good cause he said. I had no idea Josephine was going to go big with her bomb blast. I suppose it served his purpose just as well” Florence wasn’t sure anymore on why she had agreed with him to work on the plan of making her sister pay for her deeds. The game plan had since changed and she knew Bello had been taking her for a ride.
“What is the story with your sister?” Victor asked, watching his mother carefully as he saw a rush of cloud wash down her countenance.
“She sold me to some spiritualist when I was pregnant with you. She married your father after destroying our relationship. She killed my assistant and tried to kill you the day I sent you away, with the help of Charity’s father of course. She would have killed you when you started working at The Castle as a driver. I had Ganbo frame you up and bail you out the next day. I couldn’t allow her find you in your father’s employment. Ganbo leaves you for a week and you find yourself some trouble no?” Florence gave a small smile as she remembered the panic attack she had suffered when Ganbo who had taken a leave of one week reported on resumption that her son was now in employment of Bello Badmus. She had sacked Ganbo’s replacement with immediate effect.
Charity looked away as Florence looked at her when she mentioned her father being part of the plan to eliminate Florence and her son.
“So I take you have scores to settle with your sister” Victor said as he watched his mother with awe.
“That is correct” Florence answered simply.
“After working with him, Bello wants you dead” Victor repeated
“From his conversation, yes”
“Why?” Victor pressed.
“Why is the devil evil?” Florence answered
“Because he is the devil?” Victor tried dry humor and they shared a private chuckle.
“Exactly”
“So what is the plan?”
“Get those documents signed and get you out of here” Florence sat up.
“I mean about you” Victor continued
“I have work to do” Florence volunteered freely.
“Those people, they are responsible for the terror in the North East” Victor said after a moment of silence. He saw his mother in new light and respect. He knew that to have had access to the recording, she must have taken risks. Not only had she saved their lives, she had gone at the expense of her life to save the State. He was proud to call her mother.
“Yes”
“And you intend to expose them” he questioned like a little child, Charity was getting irritated at the questions.
“That’s the plan” Florence smiled at the easy rapport and wondered what their relationship would have been like if there were no craziness.
“How do you intend to do that?” it was Charity.
“I may have to find a way to the President but even he can’t be trusted. He may be compromised”
“I may know someone” she supplied helpfully.
“And who is he?”
“She. Omoni Osagie” Charity continued.
“How sure are you about her integrity?” Florence was skeptical and watching for signs of betrayal.
“I can stake my life on it” Charity vouched strongly
“And how do you know this Omoni?” Florence asked
“She saved my life, paid my way through law school and she is married to Peter Osagie” she offered as they both looked at her with blank stares. “The acting Director General of the DDSS” she volunteered.
“We should set up the meeting” it was Florence. She had heard that name mentioned behind Jafal’s back by the other members of the group but she wondered why they all couldn’t mention his name in Jafal’s presence. The joke was that this man was the only one who could stop Jafal. If this was the man, it was good.
“We should” Victor added looking at his mother before breaking into a full smile at her raised eyebrows.
There was no need for words. When life is threatened by a common enemy, forces are joined. Florence had no doubt about that.
*****

Bello Badmus – 26th August, 2011
Bello Badmus sat in his recliner chair and sipped his drink. All was working according to plan.
Daba had finally located where Florence had taken Kudirat and her children. The same building! She seemed to be more careful than usual at first then she got careless. He found it surprisingly though that she stayed away from Inale. If she did, Daba did not report it.
Florence entertained him, with her double entrees and eagerness at playing his wife and her twin sister, Kudirat at the same time. He laughed out loud as he remembered the first time he met her. He remembered the first night he had her, how eager and naive she had been – eager to please, eager to be pleased. He remembered the bright pink coloration of her labia the first time he had kissed her maiden head. It was breathing hot and shy. He smiled as he remembered the dark skin coloration of Josephine’s labia and mole just beneath her abdomen. The sisters maybe identical but they deferred where only him knew. Their sex.
He had figured that out the next semester after his first night with Josephine. At the beginning of the semester in January, Josephine was impersonating Florence, coming as Florence to his house, asking that they forget about her sister – Josephine and harping on about continuing from where they stopped. He knew Florence would never push that much but then it had not dawned on him. The feeling and conversations were simply different and when they made love, it was too hurried and loud. Florence was anything but loud.
Night and after night until he stumbled on it. The mole and coloration.
His first reaction had been anger at being played and he had thought about going to confront her. If the sisters were playing on his intelligence, it was time to stop it. But when he told Sule, his closest step-brother, Sule had laughed and told him to play along and date the two sisters. If they wanted a game, Sule suggested he played along. The idea had been perfect, even desired but no matter who he met, there was the mole and the dark coloration. And the sex was fast, loud and sweaty. It was then he began to suspect that Florence wasn’t Florence but Josephine. After being pressed, Josephine (now impersonating Florence) revealed that her twin sister – Josephine had deferred her admission from nursing school. That had been the lie that raised his antenna. He should have called her on it but then he let the game play for so long that he let it continue. After all he was going to get rid of her when he got tired of the game.
Why he had gone ahead with the game of deceit to the point of marrying Josephine, he never knew. Perhaps it was because he wanted to hurt Florence for deserting him. After few months, he went back to his old style of having many girls on campus. When Josephine claimed she was pregnant for him, he knew the game was over and he had lost. Confronting her about impersonation her left Josephine threatening to get him kicked out of school and had gone ahead to ingrain herself with his father. His father had immediately insisted they marry and when Josephine had decided to convert to Islam for the sake of unity, his father was ecstatic.
He regretted playing the game but there was nothing he could do. They were married months later and both of them had continued having affairs until Josephine had fallen in love with George. There was no way he was going to let her enjoy being in love when she had denied him the same. The affair with George had been to spite him, he was sure. He was not a jealous man but even he had pride and there was no way he would allow himself be cuckolded. Nothing had made him happier than when the he-goat had been killed. It was the perfect punishment for the crime of impersonation and adultery.
When his father died shortly after their marriage, Bello began his search for Florence but she had simply vanished. It was not until Naomi Mambutu appeared on the radar after so many years that he found who he was looking for.
The random checks of high-profile investors in his multimillion Naira produced the woman he had being looking for for years. Florence was Naomi Mambutu and like a bee to a flower, he couldn’t resist going after her once more.
The walk on the beach in Seychelles had been planned. With Sekinat in his hands as the perfect excuse to be on a holiday, he walked into her blindly on a cool breezy day. The breath had gone off her lungs as soon as she saw him and he could see her trying to decide what cause of action. He didn’t allow her though.
“Florence” he had called, surprised and holding on to her hand as he pulled her up.
“What?” Florence muttered, looking away.
“Florence Ohiemi!” he continued holding her, ignoring Sekinat who was always more than eager to follow him around the world offering bald pussy service.
“My name is Naomi”
“Naomi Mambutu? A major shareholder in my company?” he asked, eyes fixed on hers. Florence had smiled then and he had too.
“Naomi, yes” she recovered, shaking his hand.
“I know you are Naomi Mambutu but to me, you are Florence”
“Who is Florence?”
“The first and only woman I ever loved” he said casually still watching for a crack in her face.
“I see” she said walking away, baffled at his utterance and shaking at facing Bello so many miles away from home and unprepared.
“You look so much like her” he continued, trailing after her.
“I am sure” Florence answered as she walked to her house by the beach.
“Please tell me. You are Florence. I know you are and I am not going anywhere unless you tell me who you really are” he said simply, looking boyish with grey hair and ridiculously long eyelashes and fading pink lips.
“I am Naomi Mambutu and I don’t know what or who you talking about” Florence had feigned ignorance and gone into her beach house.
Bello had smiled at her denial and remembered what it had felt like to chase her over thirty years. Sekinat was sent back to Nigeria the next morning.
He would court Naomi Mambutu the rest of the week. Offering rides, flying her out to lunch, sitting outside her house at sunset and sharing a cold bottle of wine as they shared tales of travels, funny experiences and favorite foods. He was sure Florence had fallen again. The first night they kissed under the receding moon, he knew she was Florence and when he had her in bed that night, his first point of call was her labia. He was not wrong..…they were bright pink, hot and shy.
He had found his Florence.
When she revealed she was indeed Florence and had a son for him, he knew it was not long before things changed. Her tale of finding him married to her sister, George’s affair with his wife and what hand she had in setting him up for his final fall flowed freely. The weeks that followed, he revealed that Josephine had plans to kill him for the cabal and take control of investments possibly to fund the budding terrorism in the State and like his sweet naive mouse, she had swallowed his story and she had gone with the flow.
It was sad that her darling son was going to go but now that he had caught a glimpse of his son in the news, he was having a rethink. Perhaps he could let the boy live. The problem was getting him to do what he wanted. Would he be as pliant and cooperative as his mother? What would he do if he found out that the subsidiaries were covers for illicit operations? What would Florence do? Leave him? Inale was definitely going to the press. He couldn’t allow that. They had to go. Too much at stake and he was one who loathed loose ends.
Just then, the business headline news caught his attention. The Newscaster was saying the sale of his company had being finalized and the new company was being introduced shortly before a clip of Victor shaking an unknown man filled his screen. He knew the company that bought his company. It was Naomi’s!
His roar was enough to bring the house down as he sped into his room where Florence had been last night.
“Florence! Florence!! Naomi!” he called furiously, his heart beat increasing exponentially as Daba came forward.
“Where is she?”
“She has gone out”
“When?” he asked already planning
“Since morning”
“I see” Bello knew something was wrong.
“Get ready, call Sekinat, I need you both for a quick trip” he said as he walked to his room and opened his electronic save hidden behind Florence’s painting.
*****

Josephine Ohiemi – 28th August, 2011

Josephine had since given up on escaping or being released. It had been months since Florence had locked her up in the private quarters. The environment was always quiet, humming.
Some days she was convinced Florence had forgotten about her and other days she waited for the day she would come and pull the trigger. The recent change in treatment was welcomed but worrisome too.
Her meals had changed and she was allowed to bath and change into clothes provided for her. It was after such mornings that she found Florence sitting in her cleaned new room.
“You startled me” Josephine said as she came into the room from the bathroom.
“What did I ever do to you?” it was Florence, sitting on the side single sofa and watching her sister move around the room in her pair of white cotton trousers and navy blue blouse.
“What?”
“Your countless plans to kill me, taking what belongs to me…..all of it, Why?” Florence asked as she unfolded her arms to reveal a pistol. Josephine froze.
“Florence” she called gently, taking a seat on the bed as Florence signaled her to.
“Yes, I am listening”
“Don’t use that, please” Josephine begged.
“That’s a first. The deadly Josephine, wife of influential Bello Badmus, begging” Florence said, waving the gun.
“Florence, you need to understand it wasn’t about you. It was about me, I was just evil” Josephine excused
“I was hoping you wouldn’t use the ‘this has got nothing to do with you’ line” Florence mimicked and stood up as Josephine flinched. After five months in captivity with four of those months living in deplorable condition, Josephine knew Florence was not the person she knew.
Florence watched her sister squirm and smiled. It was surprising that she lived her life for this moment and now that it was here, she wondered why she had wasted her emotions on her all those years. Her drive for revenge on her sister and Bello had kept her up at night, planning, scheming. She felt better as Victor and Charity were flown out that morning. She had driven herself out of Bello’s mini Estate after instructing Ganbo to load his private plane with explosives in the dead of the night before asking him to take the evidence to the man in Mubi. She remembered the serene happy look on Bello’s face as she left him that morning. It would be the last look she would remember him with.
“I see you haven’t heard the news” it was Florence, going back to sit down. The urge to pull the trigger since leaving her.
“No” Josephine answered shaking her head.
“Bello is alive”
“Bello is dead” Josephine said darkly.
“No, he is not but he will soon be” Florence confirmed, eyes firmly on her sister with the ready silencer.
“I killed him. He was blown up” Josephine argued
“You blew up an empty casket”
“No. He was pushed. I arranged that”
“You didn’t push himself Josephine. Moreover, he was on to you from the beginning, well not exactly from the beginning. At some point, I believe Jafal must have sold you out for the seat of the President”
“That is not possible. I saw him lie in that coffin!” Josephine argued
“Are you sure it was Bello you really saw him?” Florence laughed at the expression on her sister’s face. It was the one of being played a terrible joke.
“No” it was barely above a whisper.
“Your husband is alive sweet sister and he has been really busy with Jafal”
“And you? How do you know all these?”
“I have been busy as well” Florence gave a small smile as she pointed the gun at her sister again.
“Wait! Before you shoot me, where are they?”
“Who?” Florence chuckled knowingly.
“Where are my children? Please” it was the first time Josephine referred to her children with the look of utter surrender on her face.
“They are safe. I don’t know for how long though. Somehow, Bello knows where they are and I heard him say he was going to kill them and then you, if I don’t get to it soon”
“Please don’t let him get to them. They have nothing to do with this and Kole needs to be warned”
“Kole is dead Jose” Florence informed pitifully.
“Noo! Noooo!!” she shouted and began to shake and sob. Kole was her favorite mostly because he reminded her of his father, her first love.
“Nooooo! Noooooooo!!” Josephine broke down in tears, heartbreaking sobs escaping her lips. Florence sat through it.
“How did it happen?” Josephine asked finally, standing up and going to the water dispenser that had been placed in her room the night before. She knew she had to distract Florence and collect the gun from her hand. A plan came to her. It was now or never. She chose now.
“He was slaughtered in his UK apartment. His body found after many days” Florence said, standing up noiselessly as she watched her sister fill the glass cup. She was smiling.
“Of course he did! The bastard, the devil, I will kill him, I will kill him” she cried, swearing, her eyes erstwhile downcast shone with revenge and in a blink of an eye turned around to pour the glass of hot water on Florence with the intention of blinding her to take the gun.
Only it wasn’t hot water. The water dispenser had been tampered with to produce only lukewarm water. The look on Josephine face as she noticed Florence standing without flinching gave Florence all the joy in the world as she shot her sister on her right shoulder blade.
Josephine screamed at the impact of the bullet, her shoulder blades enveloping in heat and pain as she landed on the perfectly laid white bed.
“I was hoping you would do that”
“Florence, Florence, don’t. Please I beg you”
“Close your eyes, pray for forgiveness from where you may get it”
“Florence please, forgive me”
“I will see you in the afterlife. Say hi to Bello and George” Florence said wickedly before pulling the trigger at pointblank range.
The scream that started died in Josephine’s throat and calm soon returned to the room.
*****

Peter Osagie – Mubi, 28th August, 2011
It was Farah who told Peter to take residence with the traditional bone setter who served the community in his red old hut built as an attachment to new stalls in the old community market that had since grown to include new houses and stalls for traders. The house attached in the rowdy community had dried herbs and animal parts hanging out in the open.
Peter had arrived Mubi with his team in disguise. With grown beards and dirty kaftans, they made their way to the man who was to give them a cover. Farah swore he trusted the old man and he knew they would blend into the community with the old man as their master. But it was a set up. Farah’s identity had been compromised and for his life, he had told Peter what Yakubu told him to. Although Farah did not understand why his boss and colleagues had to be put under surveillance, he knew that their assignment had been compromised but there was nothing he could do about it especially as he had been tied among the other captives.
On arrival in April, the old man had received them warmly as he took to the task of setting the bone of one of the locals. That night, he had discussed the problem of the insurgent with Peter deeply, speaking in Hausa and vigorously defending the people taking the law into their hands and fighting the Boko Haram. The old Mallam pointed fingers at the governors and financial faceless backers who unfortunately were untouchable.
Peter followed the story quietly and seemed interested in what the man had to say although he was unconvinced. He couldn’t quite place it but he knew something was amiss.
“These people caused this menace, now it has become war, they leave the community to pay for it” he said indignantly in good English. Peter was surprised at his clarity of facts but refused to show his shock or question his sources.
Days turned to weeks and weeks into months and still they were not closer to real evidence of sabotage than they were when they came. It was one attack after another, the terror spreading and residents going about their daily activities with trepidation. The so-called command center gathered no intelligence that was substantial, if anything it seemed it was a hopeless cause with soldiers conducting themselves without rules of engagement and high-profile officers reporting wrong figures to the Head Quarters and news outlet. The figure of casualty was always reduced and number of bomb blasts reported rarely reflected the sporadic explosions across the state.
In reality, the soldiers were losing ground and the superior fire power of the Boko Haram members more than ever convinced Peter there was a plan for show down soon. The problem was timing.
Omoni was still adamant about her position on him being at the center of the deadly attacks. He reassured her of his safety times without number when he took breaks to see her. The last time she had evoked a promise. If nothing happened within the next month, he would come back and be with her as her delivery date drew near. And then her call had come in.
“Hey love” he called sweetly moving away from the other occupant of the room to answer her call.
“How’s my favorite husband?”
“Your only husband is sweating and missing you” he replied, smiling into the phone.
“Well, your days of sweating and missing me are over. It seems what you are finding in Mubi is right here in Abuja” she said, smiling and wishing she could see the look on his face.
“What do you mean?” he was on high alert.
“I got a call from Charity, remember her?”
“Yes, yes” Peter barely remembered her.
“She called saying there were voice and video recordings on the sponsors and some photos. She didn’t call names but she vouched for the authenticity of those recordings”
“Names and video recordings of the sponsors of these boys? I have to leave right away”
“No need. I mentioned you were in Mubi Township and the recording is on its way to you. I have not seen it but I have a good feeling about this. I really want you back her with me” she cooed.
“Very soon too”
“It had better”
“And how is he supposed to locate me?”
“I said to find the bone setter in Mubi Township, Mobil Market. The messenger is familiar with the part. You will know him when you see him”
“I hope so”
“I know Rambo” she teased and he laughed.
“Love you”
“Love you too” she returned and dropped the call to go check on her Irish potatoes she was boiling.
She had just finished lunch, barely an hour later when her doorbell rang.
Standing up heavily, she walked to the door and opened it. The man she saw there made her weak at the knees.
*****
Peter tried to call his wife throughout the day but the phone was switched off. How was it possible that her battery was off? Even the guard’s mobile rang off. He worried deeply and was considering making the trip down when his phone rang. It was her thankfully.
“Hello sweetheart” it was Omoni, her voice sounding rasp and heavy. Peter knew immediately something was wrong.
“What is wrong?”
“I …” and the phone was taken from her as she tried to answer the question.
“I suggest you think really carefully before you do anything with that list” it was a voice he would forever detest, that deep dark voice of a killer.
“Jafal” Peter called with heavy breathing.
“Father would be nice. How are you?” Jafal asked, watching his son’s wife shoot daggers at him with her eyes, she was a feisty one.
“If you as much as harm her, a strand of her hair and I swear I will find you and kill you” Peter threatened darkly.
“Common on son, you know I wouldn’t do anything to my grandchild. Congratulations by the way” Jafal dragged, almost laughing. This was the reason a man like him didn’t have a woman. It was always an Achilles’ heel.
“Let her go immediately” Peter commanded hotly, frustrated and trying to hide his fear. He knew what his father was capable of.
“Destroy those tapes and burn those lists son”
“And what tapes are you talking about?” Peter stalled.
“You know what I am talking about. If I do not receive a call to that effect, I am sorry I must vent my anger on someone” Jafal said darkly.
“And how would you know if I destroy these evidence against you that I don’t even have?” he asked, exasperated. He noticed the eyes of one man in the room shift continuously and his chest grew heavy with anger. A mole in the room.
“I have my sources. The ball is in your court. Get back here with your team or say goodbye to your wife and my grandchild. She tells me you are having a baby girl too” Jafal taunted before cutting the call abruptly.
“Jafal! Omoni! Hello, Hello!” Peter flung his phone on the wall and what remained of the phone fell to the ground as he looked around the room and charged at the man in dirty kaftan and brown beards.
“You!” he said rushing the old bone setter, raising him and smashing him on the wall. His group was beside him in a second and prying the old man from his hand. Umoru his second calmed him down.
Peter looked at Umoru, took a deep breath and left him fall to the floor in a boneless heap.
“Let me have your phone” he demanded quietly albeit fearfully.
“I don’t have a phone” he said in Hausa. The slap that would fling the man across the room mixed with the first sound of explosion miles away.
Umoru searched the old man’s body and produced a phone hidden in his girdle.
The old snitch’s phone provided the confirmation that the information indeed was right.
“Lock him up. Get the SWAT team up and send them to my house. My father has kidnapped my wife” Peter commanded before taking the motorcycle and heading to the Mobil market to wait for the list or whoever had it.
*****

Peter Osagie – Mobil Market, 30th August, 2011

The man in sparkling black suit and a definite spring in his step was not missed. Peter waited as he saw the man approach steadily.
“You are looking for the bone setter” it was Peter on the motorcycle waiting in front of the stall which housed the old snitch’s properties. He had since relocated his team to an abandoned blown up cathedral and was keeping the man in one of the pastor’s room that was largely unaffected by the fire.
“Yes” Ganbo answered the stranger and looked closely at the man. He looked like the picture he saw in the papers and online reports of the newly appointed Director-General of the DDSS. If he was not good at disguise himself, he would have missed him.
“Come with me” Peter said and brought the motorcycle to life as Ganbo hopped on and they drove out of the busy market few minutes before the first blast would start.
*****

The team watched the videos and listened to the recordings quietly. The cold silence and anger was targeted at only one man in the room. Ganbo’s father.
Ganbo had seen his father tied up the moment he had stepped into the room. Peter was particularly too angry to explain the situation but Umoru, his second in command explained to a disappointed Ganbo. The old bone setter was Ganbo’s adopted father and mentor. He had been instrumental to Ganbo’s upbringing as a man who stood for what was right and his belief that evil needed good men to stop it. After so many years, Ganbo was disappointed to see that the man he called father and held in high esteem was a traitor to his people, a gun for hire – like himself. The only difference was that he did correct evil and it made all the difference.
“I am disappointed in you father” it was Ganbo, eyes red shot as he watched the man he had admired growing up. It was sad that he had become the monster that spied on his community.
“I had no choice” the old Mallam said, tired and weak from the random beating Peter melted on him whenever he thought of the danger his wife and baby girl were in.
“You do. There is always a choice” Peter swore loudly as they heard the gun fire begin in earnest.
“The attack has started. What do we do now?” it was Umoru, looking at Dante and Scorpio. The duo rarely spoke but were quick with the guns and loyal to a fault.
“Jafal has Omoni, he will kill her if we get the names out” Umoru continued, turning to Peter who was calling the Ibro, the head of the SWAT team Umoru had assembled. Every hour counted and he couldn’t even imagine a world without Omoni. He would piece the beast he swore hotly.
“We must call in reinforcement” Peter was angered because the call wasn’t connecting and was about flinging the locally made phone at the wall. He couldn’t think straight. Umoru collected the phone and began to dial a number.
Peter could only sit still and hear the raid continue in the distance, as the massacre went on.
“Get me Mr. President” Peter announced thickly after 30 minutes of brooding silence. Umoru nodded and made the call.
*****

Eid el Fitr – 30th August, 2011

The day was a black day. Thousands of Nigerians lying dead as rain washed their blood from their stiff bodies.
The multiple attacks started at 9:20am and lasted through the day. The emboldened members went of a rampage, over powering the military barracks and camps in communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states. Several coordinated suicidal attacks in hospitals, markets, mosques, churches, schools, filling stations and motor parks while they raided residential areas and captured women and young girls. The live stream of the destruction brought the country to a standstill leaving the entire country in mourning.
The military had gone on the defensive leaving their posts, running into hiding as the terrorists gunned them down, taking over major towns, burning their barracks, destroying government houses, police stations and major businesses owned by states and private entities. In some communities, the soldiers surrendered willingly as they gunned them down and marched the senior officers along with their convoy.
The mosques and churches had since been blown up and now the number of displayed persons rose from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands as some fled to neighboring countries while others ran into neighboring Nigerian states before coming to the capital to seek help.
Many families separated, mothers looking for their children, fathers looking for their wives, children lost and weeping as images of persons rushing to border towns for safety filled television stations. The international community and news centers had their spot light on the crises in Nigeria leaving many calling for the resignation of the President. He had failed his first and foremost obligation – to protect every Nigerian life and property, analysts say.
In less than 24 hours, the senate had convened and the move to impeach the President began. The citizenry drove the move as the President was yet to make a statement. There was simply no word from the Executive House and people worried that he was not affected by the dastardly act or more plausible, there was nothing he could do about it. He had failed the Nigerian state and must step down. The analyst called for a military government, other called for separation of state while others simply blamed corruption and past leaders.
However a few argued that the act was an attempt to frustrate the government into submission. These few people couldn’t have been any closer to the truth but the notion of simply sabotaging the government for sake of change of power by killing thousands of Nigerians was more than a larger group of activists and Nigerians could swallow and so did what every society would. They took to the streets as they called for resignation of the President, appealed for international help and condemned the attack in the highest regard before they retired at night to take a bottle of cold beer and steaming plate of peppered assorted meat over heated debates before taking to the streets the next day.
*****

The SWAT team moved noiselessly, steadily advancing the hideout where the signal of Omoni’s phone was strong. Omoni had taken an extra phone as she had being bundled out of the house and had sent Peter a text at night, nearly 72 hours after she was allowed to go alone to the bathroom to ease herself.
She had locked herself and sent the text promising to leave the phone transmitting when he was sure the team was ready.
The text had been received after Umoru had patched Peter’s phone up the night of the attack and he had sent it immediately to Ibro. In an hour, Omoni had requested that she be allowed to ease her bowels again. Tired and irritated, the bulky man guarding her allowed her as she placed a call and left the phone on top of the WC floater and returned to the room where she waited.
One by one, the snipers took out the men guarding the facility and Jafal who sat smoking his cigar in his bedroom and wondering where Bello had disappeared to, was the last one to discover they had been discovered. The game was up.
“Where is she?” it was Ibro as the team came in, taking down Daba who was too late in drawing his gun. Ibro advanced into the room, pointing the gun at Jafal at point-blank.
“Somewhere in the building” he said totally relaxed as they cuffed him minutes later and led him out to the bullion van.
The rescue of Omoni was swift and the news of Jafal’s arrest came with the release of the names of the cabal and the tape of violence in the morning of 3rd of July, 2011. Three days after the devilish attack.
Peter had left Mubi on the eve of the blast leaving his team behind. He couldn’t stay another hour despite the threat of possible attack. He drove his bike to the nearest town, passing bodies and meeting roadblocks set up by the members of the sect. when asked who and where he was going, he simply said he had a message from Yakubu to deliver to their sponsor in Taraba state. The lie was well received and immediately they let him pass as he looked and talked like a holy warrior from Syria. He took an abandoned truck at the outskirt of Maiduguri, hot wiring it and driving for hours, stopping only to refill his tank at deserted filling stations.
He arrived Abuja 24 hours after the attack and had attached himself to the rescue team. The moment he found her seating beside the bulky man she had knocked with a stool and shot with his gun, Peter was laughing with relief as he rushed to her side. She smiled as she saw him and as she made to get up, her water broke.
“On my God, Oh my God” she was saying in a laugh as he carried her off her feet and members of the SWAT team came to secure the room.
“Is it time?” he asked as he carried her out of the house and saw his father turn to look at him before they led him away.
“I don’t care. I just want her out already” Omoni gritted her teeth at her first pull of pain.
In less than 8 hours, Peter was a proud father. His fierce baby girl was bellowing and angry at being birthed 3 days early.
“She has your eyes” Peter comforted as he watched the feisty little tyrant sucking angrily at her mother’s milk breasts.
“She sucks like you too” Omoni said as Ibro entered the room.
“Sir, the president is on the line for you” it was Ibro. Peter after the rescue had sent Ibro with the package to be delivered to the president and ordered Ibro to begin arrest of the names on the list.
“Your excellency” he said into the phone as he eyed Omoni who was making a face.
“I am indebted to you. You have saved us, the country and me” he said. One could hear the relief in his voice.
“I believe you owe thanks to a certain Naomi Mambutu” he said repeating the name the man with the limb, Ganbo had told him.
“I will find her and do so accordingly. However, I need to make this official. Seeing as I have no Vice, would you consider having my back for the next 6 years?” the President asked and Peter laughed heartily.
“I am honored Mr. President but I would rather serve than lead” he answered, looking at Omoni.
“Thank you Peter. I shall speak to you soon”
“What was that about?” Omoni eyed her husband with suspicion.
“He wanted a Vice” he said as he hugged both of them, his little one already asleep.
“And you refused” she confirmed.
“And I did”
“Good’ she answered cheerfully as he took her lips in a kiss.
*****

The recording, videos and photos had since become viral as arrests were made from all spheres. Kudirat Bello had been found dead in her house with a suicide note. The arrest of the service chiefs, his Special Adviser – Nurudeen Soyemi, Vice president – Akin Jolojolo, Jafal Asiedu and the well-respected Cleric shook the country amidst cheers of victory. Bello Badmus had since gone missing but to the populace, he was dead.
He was nowhere to be found and Peter knew he still had his work cut out for him. But Bello could wait. His family was paramount and Omoni wouldn’t hear of it. Perhaps in future he told himself as he watched his wife and baby sleep several days after they were discharged from the hospital.
The country turned vicious after initial celebration taking into the streets, armed and advancing on properties of the arrested men and destroying their businesses and properties. The wives, children and relatives of the evil men were rounded up too and brought in for questioning, Debola and Laide Bello inclusive. The Castle was flooded into by angry youths and it took the intervention of the Police to restore calm after burning buildings.
With appointment of new service chiefs, the quick clean of the Boko Haram group was swift. The funding had been stopped and French supplier caught while international help from the U.S, A.U, French and German countries poured. Analysts began a new discourse and the vote of confidence in the President increased as his impeachment proceedings came to a halt.
The new change brought about a change in war tactics and the flush of fleeing Boko Haram members from their camps revealed women and children held under captivity while several hundred members of the sect were killed and over two thousand captured awaiting trial.
And for the first time since Nigeria’s independence, the country was truly one.
*****

Epilogue

Venice, Italy – September, 2011
His sweet insistent tugging of her brown nipples made her toes curl with excitement, heart racing.
“Stop it” Charity stressed pushing him from her exposed breasts.
“I can’t. You make me sane” Victor tickled, pressing his length down her thighs
“My grandmother is right inside” Charity begged as she tried to leave his arms.
“Not until I have you wife” he said hotly before planting himself in her warmth. The words forming on her lips died a natural death as she welcomed him, holding on to him in the private pool as they enjoyed their first as a married couple.
*****

Nigeria, September, 2011
Florence watched as the private helicopter took off from the helipad and gave a small smile thumbing the remote in her hand.
“Goodbye Bello” she said as she pressed the button and the helicopter in the distance blew into pieces. It was only befitting that Bello Badmus died in flames, a bomb blast.

*****

Seme Border – September, 2011
The man in dirty rags crossing the Benin Republic border attracted little attention. He was sitting in the white bus with little luggage and as they were stopped and told to come down for routine checks, he came down and smiled at the patrol guard with the big head and flappy ears.
“Oga mi, abeg give me small money for bread naw” the patrol guard joked when it was his turn.
“Na you suppose give me some money” the man said in terrible pidgin.
“Where are you going?” the patrol man asked as he watched the dirty man, his face familiar.
“I am going to Cotonou” he replied in good English.
“Where is your passport?” the patrol man asked suddenly in haste to continue his search of other passengers as he saw a new car arrived at the border.
“I have it here” he said going to bring it out.
“Go, go, go” he waved the man away as he noticed his colleague approach the new car.
The man in rags smiled as he walked back to the bus and took his seat, scratching his fake horse beard with a deep satisfied smile on his face.
“Adebayor Kokoro Philips indeed” he muttered under his breath as Bello chuckled watching the patrol guard in rear mirror pocket clean crispy notes and waved the new car past, his private thoughts returning to him. His little Sekinat and Daba must have exploded in his private plane, he smiled wearily at his erection. Florence had won in the end, but did she really win? He asked himself humorously.
The old white bus continued its journey steadily and every mile, every hour took Bello closer to his destination – freedom, a new man. A man who could do as he pleased with his Cayman island account. Perhaps he could buy his company back, perhaps he could find Florence or find a new pastime. He chuckled at the revelation. He could do anything he wanted. Anything.
Whoever said evil did not prevail? Especially if he were wise like the ant who saved for rainy days.

THE END

*****
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
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M.O.T.I.V.E.S Episode 7 – @UnenAmeji

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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
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M.O.T.I.V.E.S Episode 6 – @UnenAmeji

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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
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M.O.T.I.V.E.S Episode 5 – @UnenAmeji

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10 days to public holiday! Swearing in a new government or not, a break is always welcomed.

And yes, we have got Episode 5 of M.O.T.I.V.E.S By @UnenAmeji

Read all Previous Episodes Here

Episode 5
*****

“The new faction, Al Sahaba al-Islami, the terrorist group has taken responsibility for the bomb blast that took the lives of 105 people, leaving 126 people critically injured. It has been confirmed that Mr. Tamiyu Samson, Minister of Information representing the President, ex-leaders and President Abdulrasak Abubakar, Gana Itunu Konamu and Shola Ige Adebowale are among the dead while businessman Wole Jim, Governor Tashimu Kolo and Reuben Yakubu are in critical condition. Minister of Power and Transport, Hauwa Babale and Abdulahi A. Abdulahi are said to be recovering in the National hospital. This tragedy has been firmly condemned by the presidency in the strongest of terms and the President has vowed to bring this deadly group to their knees. The new group said that their action was in line with their earlier message to the Government. In a video released last month, they had demanded that the Government change the constitution of the Federal Republic to recognize the Sharia law which in effect means the country becomes an Islamic State. They had threatened the execution of statesmen in and out of office should the Government pay no heed. The mastermind, Aminu Hussein Waziri is on the run but other members of the deadly gang are now in custody of the state security service. Investigations are ongoing and the special adviser to the President on security, Ramsey Igoh has assured Nigerians of the commitment of the administration to ensure security of lives and properties. ‘These attacks will be stopped and these killers will not escape justice’ he is quoted to have said at the briefing with security chiefs. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has begun compensation of living relatives of the victims. Analysts say this new faction is politically-oriented and controlled by organized body with ties to International terrorist group, ISAS. However, this has not been confirmed by the State Department of Security. My name is Gbenga Ololade, reporting for NNTA” the articulate reporter rounded up his report as Charity who sat at her desk in her lingerie took her remote control to reduce the volume of the television.
It has been three weeks since the incidence and two weeks after the last email from her client Naomi telling her to forestall actions as against earlier instruction. It has also been two weeks of constant chat and teasing. It started as a joke after he called to report that there had been a bomb blast and his intention to forget about getting the inheritance money he humorously referred to as JRS – Jumbo Retirement Savings. The intrusive WhatsApp messages followed after and then it turned erotic until she had stopped it and refused picking Victor’s insistent calls. He had sent couple of messages after to reinforce his decision to forgo the JRS and Charity understood his fear but he was not in the position to determine if he wanted it or not. Naomi had her by the balls and there was no escaping the soft spoken blackmailer. She simply couldn’t afford to lose her grandmother who was in the custody of the woman.
Mama J, as she fondly called her grandmother, had been diagnosed with acute case of renal tubular acidosis. Late detection had caused her kidney to fail and the expensive weekly dialysis took all of Charity’s savings. She began borrowing funds from her friends and almost gave up hope before the call came.
The job was simple – sort out inheritance issues. It was the ideal standard request Charity got every other day but this time, the fee was suspiciously too good to be true but she needed the money and she believed in a miraculous God. The money however wasn’t enough to cover the new cost of keeping her Mama J alive. Naomi offered to take Mama J to India for the surgery, all-expense paid. How Naomi knew about her ailing grandmother did not occur to Charity at the time for Charity would have sold her dignity to see her Mama J smile one more day; and was grateful for yet another wondrous act of God. It wasn’t until Mama J reached India before the job description was given. She was to go against the big icon, Badmus Bello. A firm of one? she had asked herself.
This was a feat that she knew was above her competence and told Naomi there was no way she could deliver. Naomi, after successful transplant, took Mama J from the hospital to a location that was kept away from her. It was old school kidnap, only Mama J didn’t know she was kidnapped or in danger. She was alive but in captivity. Another heartache for Charity.
“This was not the deal” she complained after she was told she could only talk to her grandmother once a day when an unknown number would call her.
“You should focus on getting the job done. Your grandmother is in good hands” the soft spoken blackmailer had stated firmly but calmly.
Mama J, 59, was indeed doing fine. She sounded excited all the time now, recounting stories of places she had been, continuously praising her caretakers and asking for a visit from her dear Charity. At the end of every call, Charity’s heart broke and she cried for the position she found herself. There was only one option, give Naomi what she wanted. So no, it was not in Victor’s place to accept or reject his inheritance. Her grandmother’s life was at stake and nothing was going to stop her from getting her back.
Just then her phone rang.
“Hello” she said into the phone with a small smile. It was her latest admirer, as he called himself.
“It is Victor” he announced almost in a growl.
“I know” she smiled imagining the look on his face, his thick brows in knots, eyes piercing and lips tight in annoyance. She had watched as her gate-man turned him back few days ago but she knew she couldn’t afford to let her feelings get in the way. She was thinking too much about him lately and that was not good for the focus his blackmailing mother asked her to have. Why would she even consider a younger man whose father murdered hers and whose mother was blackmailing her and holding her grandmother hostage? She needed an intervention.
“I suppose you have been busy” he said looking at his reflection in the wooden mirror hanging askew on his wall and rubbing his beard that needed shaving. He wanted to hear her voice, wanted to argue with her, watch her sharp mouth curve in a sardonic smile and her eyes light up with amusement. He was way too interested in her and he wondered why he found her attractive. His dead iconic father had killed hers, there was no way she would be interested in him.
“Yes, I have” she lied, she had been sitting around waiting for an email from his mother.
“I just wanted to let you know that I won’t be pushing for the inheritance” he said for a lack of what to say. He had called but didn’t expect that she’d pick up. He couldn’t tell her the reason he called was because he simply wanted to hear her voice or see her.
“It is not in your hands” she said tersely, hating herself for the position she found herself.
“What do you mean?” he asked, biting his lower lips in annoyance.
“I mean you don’t have a say in it”
“You do realize that Bello was blown up, even in death. Someone hates him more than you do” he tried a dry joke.
“Trust me, that is not the issue” she said, a sad smile playing on her lips.
“I would like to know what the issue is” he pressed imagining her in her bikini. He really should stop.
“I can’t say at the moment. You should stop by the office if you really want to know. We have to go over a new document from your mother” she lied, biting her tongue at the invite. She shouldn’t be inviting him to her house. She knew what was going to happen and she was going to let it.
“I will be there” he said, smiling before ending the call.
He would make her and his mother understand that he was not interested in stolen money. He wanted nothing to do with the man but wanted everything to do with feeling those legs wrapped around him in ecstasy, those eyes drowsy with need. He smiled deeply, scratched his beard and decided against shaving. A hawker didn’t have time for grooming.
Charity stared at her screen after the call and like timed bomb, the email she had been waiting for all week popped at her. She took a deep breath before opening the new mail from Naomi.
Reading of Will at The Castle, Date – 21st March, 2011. Be there with Udale.
Call 08138911937
it said.
She had been looking to find a way to be at the reading of the Will with Victor, as she preferred to call him, and Naomi had graciously provided a number.
She made the call.
It was 8:20pm.

*****
He stood, watching the doorway like a wild cat alert for his prey. In his ripped faded blue jeans and navy blue sweat shirt, Victor was tensed as he was calm. The nagging need to see her took him by surprise and at 9:45pm, he was standing in her living room. He knew there was no way he was going to sleep one more night without seeing her. He would have her and get her out of his system for good, he kept telling himself. He was not a teenager for God’s sake.
He waited.
Charity stood staring at herself in her bathroom mirror and shook her head at herself for the umpteenth time. She was hopeless. The moment her gate-man told her a Mr. Victor was here to see her, she sped into her shower and took a cold shower. Still, she felt her heart pound against her rib cage.
“For God’s sake! I am a grown woman” she scolded herself, tying her hair into a disheveled bun and dropping it on top of her head. Taking a deep breath, she walked out to the sitting room upstairs where she had told the gate-man to take him.
She walked out just as he imagined. In a bathrobe, her hair in an untidy bun and her eyes dancing with amusement. He also knew she was not wearing underwear. He knew these things.
“Some of us have curfew” she greeted, stopping to watch him stare at her calmly.
“Some of us don’t” he said, a little smile playing around his lips. Charity watched his pink succulent lips twitch and forced her eyes away from him. He looked terribly sexy standing there, his beards overgrown, teased her; his voice filling the room and she could swear she could feel his body warmth where she was standing.
“We will be traveling for the reading of the Will” she said, going over to the installed wall refrigerator where she stored her wine. Her throat suddenly felt dry.
“I won’t be going with you” he said coming around.
“You will” she smiled as she filled two glasses and handed him one.
“I missed you” he said raising a brow after he took the first sip.
“I know” she watched him over the rim of her glass and smiled. Gosh, she felt so stupid and reckless.
“Did you miss me?” he asked as he stepped into her space, collecting her glass and staring at her pale pink lips with longing.
“Tonight we are going to forget you are a client and we are never going to talk about this” she stated calmly while her heart pounded loudly.
“I want nothing more” he said almost in a whisper. She smelt like rose water, pale scent going up his nose.
“We are going to the Castle” she said softly as his hands wound round her waist.
“What are you wearing underneath your robe, little one” he teased, breathing hot air into her ear.
“Nothing. We are going to the reading of the Will” she caught her breath as he tickled her already poking nubs.
“I am not going to the reading of the Will” he countered, moving her slowly to the wall as she moved out of his reach.
“We are” she maintained as she left his arms and walked to the middle of the room; stood in a pose with her right leg raised slightly and began losing her robe. He swallowed painfully, his eyes following her hands, heart beating out of rhythm and his second half growing painfully hard in his trousers.
She took a deep breath to steady herself, running her hands all over her partially exposed body before dropping her robe, standing there in nothing but a golden body chain demarcating her breasts in an provocative manner and an untidy bun on top of her head. He swallowed loudly as he feasted his eyes on her fresh nakedness, the junction of her thighs beckoning, the lazy lightening above giving her a glow.
“Say yes” she said slowly, staring back at him with unabashed longing. He smiled, walking over to her before dropping his head to her lips.
“No” he said in a warm breath, taking her lips in a sweet kiss.
It would be a night they both would remember for a long time.

*****
21st March, 2011 – The Castle – Reading of the Will
Alhaja Kudirat Bello had done nothing but remained in her quarters all week after she had gone to the hospital to see her daughter-in-law, Martha, who was being prepared to be taken out of the country for a surgical operation and to commiserate with the affected staff and families of those who lost persons in the bomb blast that she facilitated. Kole was in hiding, she made sure the police dogs couldn’t get him. Soon, when she assumed office, she would make sure not one uniform personnel would intimidate her last son. Debola had little stitches across his forehead, his assistant – Pastor Tayo had died in the bomb blast and he was visibly shaken.
Kudirat was disgusted with the show of weakness in her first son and wondered how he got that crowd in London to believe in his God that allowed wickedness to triumph. Laide was another thorn that had been left unharmed. Without been told, Kudirat knew Laide was busy with her manservant, Kasimu when people had gone to her father’s burial. She chuckled at the thought – uncontrollable sexual urge saving her nymph of a daughter’s life. Kasimu must have been tired by now but how else could they keep her on the leash? Such a waste. She cared less for the wench that was now helping herself with her teenage adopted sons. Bello had been right to threaten to disinherit her. The little girl indeed thought her hired gun had been the one that killed her father. Such ignorance made her want to laugh.
Kudirat remained elusive and quiet, as a widow should; waiting for the reading of the Will that would make her the President of Funtua Group of Companies in name but much more in dark circles of power. She planned to eliminate the head of the seven-man committee and soon merge with former members of the cabal who were now without leaders. She, Josephine Ohiemi, would be in charge of ruling the country. The most powerful woman in the country. It was her ultimate mission, her life purpose – to head the cabal, to dictate, to determine the fate of the country. The thrill of power was exhilarating. Such power was the reason she existed.
She had everything she wanted but in few hours she would truly own the world. The empire that she had killed and fought for would be hers. She smiled and took a sip of her herbs, adjusting her veil. If only Florence was alive to see her, gave a little triumphant chuckle. As if that was possible.
She waited for the lawyers.
It was 7am.

*****
Victor Dakar, 21st March, 2011 – The Castle – Reading of the Will

The air was fresh, pure and cool yet it was suffocating him. Sitting behind the Lexus RX Hybrid with Charity beside him in a smart grey trouser suit and impeccable red lips. He closed his eyes as they sped past the Security Guards at the main entrance of the Estate to the venue of the reading of the Will. Charity met a group of lawyers the day before and the lawyers in their flashy cars drove ahead of them to the venue. Victor was uncomfortable with the secrecy seemed to be projecting but said nothing to her.
“You will be fine. I am here” Charity said sweetly as they watched from afar the sectioned grounds where the bomb had gone off.
“I would rather be in bed with you” he said without humor, looking into her eyes. He was serious about being in her bed but more serious about having her as his. The memorable night, if anything had made the attraction worse and all he thought about was when he was going to feel her against him. He hated the fact that he gave in to her demand that he come here. He was afraid of what his reaction would be, the reaction of Bello’s wife who he surprisingly had never seen, the legal battle that will follow, his safety, the press…it would be unending mess.
“We both want that” she said and gave him a peck. He smiled as he remembered their night together.
“Not fair” he groaned, giving a deep-throated chuckle.
“Life is not” she said and he nodded as they stared at themselves.
The large office complex sitting firmly on a large square foot was finished in glass walls and Victor remembered the building. It was the first green building project in the region and as a driver newly employed in Bello’s convoy, he had been privileged to be sent with some contractor to the site for evaluation few days before he had been detained for theft of some materials and anonymously bailed out. It was in the past now but what did they say about life as a circle? he asked himself as he got down from the car.
“Are you ok?” Charity asked, swallowing the tension that was threatening to leave her bowels as she joined him.
“Yes” he smiled confidently. She smiled and walked past him to the team from the firm handling the reading of the Will. How Naomi knew them was none of her business. It made her job easier.
The elderly man with impressive white hair stepped down from his car and walked past the team of his attorney into the building. Charity was tempted to go introduce herself to the legend Jimi Brown but she decided against and together with his team, entered the imposing structure.
She was ready as she could be.

*****
Josephine knew the exact moment the lawyers arrived and had called her driver to come around the entrance. She stood up from the black sofa in her waiting room to go to the office complex where she had fixed as venue for the reading of the Will. It felt right to seat on Bello’s chair as she took power.
“Good morning Ma, the lawyers are here” it was Bello’s personal assistant Sakinat, the little cheater Bello had been running around with. She would deal with her in due course, she thought with light-hearted malice.
“Is Debola there?” she asked, emptying the content of her small mug.
“Yes Ma, everyone is seated and waiting for you” she said simply, not mentioning the new faces that had been admitted into the boardroom.
“I will be there shortly” she said coolly, dismissing the flat-chested girl.
Josephine had since been in touch with Dele Adewole who confirmed that the Will that he was going to read was the one Badmus had made over a decade ago where he named her his sole heir.
Dele who escaped the bomb blast told newsmen who cared to listen that the only thing that saved his life was a phone call, an emergency at work that needed his attention and that staying behind in the executive mansion for few minutes to sort out the issue was the reason he had not been blown into pieces like some of his colleagues that had come to pay their final respect.
That wasn’t the truth. The truth was that Josephine had asked him to wait for her in Bello’s office but she had no intention of meeting him there. She had done that to save his life because she needed him to read the Will. She could only imagine what he thought would happen in Bello’s office. The first and last romp was to make sure he stayed a loyal dog. And so far, he was.

She arrived at the glass house, past the reception and walked majestically into the boardroom, barely glancing at the array of suited men at the table. The atmosphere was charged with expectation and she could feel it. She turned in time to see a man in black suit jacket and blue jeans stare blatantly at her with contempt. He looked like someone she knew from another life. The resemblance had her brain scrambling for recognition. She watched him and he looked like he was about to say something when Jimi Brown, Adewole’s partner came in her line of vision. She would ask the young man of his father when the reading of the Will was over, she thought. He looked vaguely familiar and in her line of business must have met his father.
“Where is Adewole?” she asked as she shook him, taking her seat.
“I am afraid Adewole had to go to London on an indictment charge” Jimi said with a small smile, walking over to the other end of the room to take his seat. Josephine had never really liked Jimi because of his upright stance and white hair that he thought was a mark of excellence and distinction.
The week before, offline and online media had been flooded with the news of bomb blast with various editors and column writers giving their views and analyzing polls supporting the act of terrorism against the executive arm of the Government. Opinions were that the new faction group was doing the country a favor by wiping out corrupt politicians. She couldn’t agree more. This week however, the front page featured the reading of Chief Badmus Bello’s Will. Josephine couldn’t wait to have her pictures splashed across newspapers, magazine and interviews.
Seating at the head of the dark brown mahogany conference table with a seating capacity of thirty people with Debola, Laide, Feyi – Bello’s sister, Sule – Bello’s step brother, the attorneys and two strangers she believed where necessary to capture this historic moment sat, she signaled that Jimi commence the read.
“I will be presiding over the reading of the Will” Jimi said quite loud for the occupants of the cold room to hear as he sat at the other end of the table with a speaker placed in his front.
The room was silent, belying the tension in the room. Sweat was pouring under Debola’s armpits, Laide sat with her legs crossed; the excitement in the building would be transferred to her manservant; Feyi, Badmus’s sister and thorn in Josephine’s side sat expecting a showdown and Sule, Bello’s step-brother sat uninterested. He was here because he wanted to be. He had his own empire to run.
“I would like to tell all in this room that this document is the last will and testament of Chief Badmus Bello. He has chosen us as the executioners. We will proceed if there are no objections” he continued, looking around the faces as the Will, sealed was brought out from a briefcase. He waved the document to show that the sealed was not broken.
“Go ahead” Sule waved quickly.
“Alright” Jimi said
“This is the last dying will of Chief Badmus Bello. I read” the lawyer said and began to read.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
Of
Chief Badmus Bello, FSV, OON

1. Declaration
I hereby declare that this is my last will and testament and that I hereby revoke, cancel and annul all wills and codicils previously made by me either jointly or severally. I declare that I am of legal age to make this will and of sound mind and that this last will and testament expresses my wishes without undue influence or duress.
2. Family Details
I am married to Alhaja Kudirat Sadika Bello hereinafter referred to as my spouse.
I have the following children from her:
Name: Adebola Olusegun Bello. Date of Birth 17th June, 1983
Name: Laide Yejide Bello. Date of Birth 30th March, 1984
Name: Kolawole Bankole Bello. Date of Birth 2nd June, 1986
However, these people have ceased to be my family as I have since known that my wife of 29 years have been unfaithful and heartlessly imposed her lover’s children on me. Her lover, George Ajero, is their father and I have supporting documents to this claim.
I state here that I have a son with Florence Ohiemi.
Name: Inale Ohiemi-Bello. Date of Birth 1st September, 1982. He is the only son I have.
3. Appointment of Executors
3.1. I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Adewole & Jimi, Attorneys at Law as Executor or if this Executor is unable or unwilling to serve then I appoint Florence Ohiemi as alternate Executor.
3.2. I hereby give and grant the Executor all powers and authority as are required or allowed in law, and especially that of assumption.
3.3. I hereby direct that my Executors shall not be required to furnish security and shall serve without any bond.
3.4. Pending the distribution of my estate my Executors shall have authority to carry on any business, venture or partnership in which I may have any interest at the time of my death.
3.5. My Executors shall have full and absolute power in his/her discretion to insure, repair, improve or to sell all or any assets of my estate, whether by public auction or private sale and shall be entitled to let any property in my estate on such terms and conditions as will be in the best interest of my beneficiaries.
3.6. My Executors shall have authority to borrow money for any purpose connected with the liquidation and administration of my estate and to that end may encumber any of the assets of my estate.
3.7. My Executors shall have authority to engage the services of attorneys, accountants and other advisors as he/she may deem necessary to assist with the execution of this last will and testament and to pay reasonable compensation for their services from my estate.
4. Beneficiary
I bequeath the whole of my estate, property and effects, whether movable or immovable, wheresoever situated and of whatsoever nature to my son, my blood, Inale Ohiemi-Bello
5. Alternate Beneficiaries
5.1. Should my spouse, Alhaja Kadirat Sadika Bello disagree, I direct that her three children be subjected to paternity test in full glare of the media and results published in the National Daily. I have provided my DNA at The Trinity Hospital, Ikoyi and Dr. John Gagbena is commissioned to carry out the test.
5.3. I direct that the inheritance devolving upon any of her children under my last will and testament as well as the proceeds, the reinvestment of such proceeds and the income thereon be ignored.
5.4. If any of her children are proved to be indebted to me before my death by means of a legal instrument, then his / her debt shall not be paid from my estate.
5.5. I direct that my adopted grandsons be placed on monthly allowance of $1000 until their 25th birthday and actions be taken against their mother should she be unwilling to let them go as I have constantly instructed.
5.6. I direct that the 10 hectares of farmland in Kuje, Abuja be given to my step-sister Feyi Bello.
5.7. If my spouse and her children cannot reach agreement or publish paternity tests within one year of this will coming into effect, the Executor shall transfer the whole of my estate, property and effects, whether movable or immovable, wheresoever situated and of whatsoever nature to my son, Inale Ohiemi-Bello.
6. Special Requests
I direct that on my death my remains shall be buried at my Mausoleum located at my estate, The Castle, Ondo State and all funeral expenses shall be paid out of my estate.
7. General
7.2. Should any provision of this will be judged by an appropriate court of law as invalid it shall be subject to provision of proved paternity of spouse children.
Signed on this 10th day of February, 2011 at headquarters of Adewole & Jimi, Attorneys at Law, Lagos in the presence of the undersigned witnesses.
SIGNED: Chief Badmus Bello, FSV, OON

The quiet room erupted into a high pitched laugh and Victor, who held his breath throughout the reading turned to look at the source of the sound. It was Laide. The man who looked like a known pastor sat with a stunned look and suddenly Charity looked like a car ran over her, her eyes going from the girl laughing and the stunned pastor. The only person in the room who was unaffected was his mother, who sat poised with a small smile on her lips. Was this how she wanted to compensate him? His mother was Bello’s wife? Why did she send him away all those years? To cheat on her husband to have more children? Why would she cast him away and raise another man’s children in his father’s house? Did she have them before him or went back to him after she threw him out? What was the reason for the change in the Will? Didn’t Charity say they were to get $10 million each? And why was his mother not looking at him? Victor wondered, more confused than ever. There were no answers to his questions and he felt like standing up to demand answers. Just then his mother spoke.
“Have you finished?” Josephine Ohiemi asked as she fixed Jimi a cold stare.
“Yes” he said returning the stare squarely. Jimi Brown had never been happier than he was now. Finally, his friend was doing something he approved of and moreso because he had the honor of putting the little tick in her place. How he loathed her.
“There is no truth in this document. I must say that my husband may have lost it these past months. For one, my sister, Florence is dead and she never met my husband because she died over 30 years ago. There is no son anywhere. I believe you have cooked up this Will with an imaginary son perhaps to cause a sensation or perhaps you simply have the wrong Will. Get Dele to clear up the mix. You have wasted a greater part of my day. I expect that this embarrassment should not repeat itself anymore ” she waved nonchalantly as she made to stand up.
“The Will is valid Josephine” it was a voice Josephine Ohiemi taught she had silenced forever, it was the voice of the only one who could take her down.
“I am not dead” the voice was stronger now as the woman who had being waiting all her life for this moment walked across the room to where Josephine was standing, rooted to the spot, speechless.
It was Florence Ohiemi, in flesh and she was ready for her pound of flesh.
And this time, she would get more than a good slice.

*****

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

*****

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M.O.T.I.V.E.S – Episode 3

Featured

Hey guys,
Sorry for delay in posting….internet providers messed us up…we back online though…Apologies.

We got you Episode 3 of *spanking new online series from @UnenAmeji

Read Previous Episode Here

Enjoy…..remember to comment!!!

Episode 3
*****
Faction Meeting – Seven meet at undisclosed location in the Federal Capital Territory
Agenda – Termination
Date – 8th December, 2010
Time – 2: 00 am

The quiet hum of the cold room registered the entrance of the last member of the deadly group with firm clicks of wooden heels on the shiny marble tiles. The bunker, located underneath the perpetually sealed off property, was eerily lit and one could feel the evil in the air as they sat still, not talking to each other. These people decided affairs of the State and they had gathered to decide the fate of some old weathered thorns, thorns who wanted them exposed and dealt with.
The fallout had come right after the nomination of the next President of the Republic. The disagreement over the candidate and the policies to be implemented caused some of the Elders- as they called themselves – to leave the coven and force the hand of the group by inciting the public in demanding for a change in governance and administration of their monies. It was the submission of the repentant Elders that the looting and bleeding of the treasury had gone on for too long, that it was time to develop the country and focus on rejuvenating dead sectors. The seven meeting in this room did not think so.
They were of the opinion that those that called for a readdress probably had more reserves than they claimed and as such was simply a farce and a case of hypocrisy.
The scheduled meeting had been called to find lasting solution to recent overturns of policies that served that interest and most recently the sentencing of two of their members to 25 years imprisonment over money laundering and embezzlement charges. It was time to put an end to the witch hunting and they were ready to do what was needed.
The meeting was set to start and the room stilled as the leader spoke.
“I see we are all unanimous in our decision” the leader, a tall domineering figure with thick voice spoke, confirming the thoughts of the seven people in the bunker. They knew why they were here.
“It must not fail. It must not be traced back to us” another said carefully, the unsure but dissatisfied element in the group was not particularly comfortable with the killing of former members but his greed knew no bounds. He simply did not want to get caught.
“You have nothing to worry about” the thick voice belonging to the mastermind of the group said with live cigar in his hands. He had no idea why he need these lily-livered fools, he thought. He knew he could do this by himself but he also knew that there was always need for scapegoats.
“A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem” his father always told him. But as he looked at the woman sitting quietly, carelessly thumbing her phone, he doubted briefly if she was working against them. Wife to a member who had decided to ‘repent’, he wondered what she was doing here. His curiosity had been the reason for admitting her into the group after several correspondence..
“We do” it was the woman.
Six pair of eyes were turned to her. She continued thumbing her phone as she spoke.
“I think the method proposed in eliminating the bottlenecks is greatly flawed, very common. Forgive my objection but if this was to come back to us, we would have a lot of amendments to make. We may lose more than what we intend to gain” she said as one who had rehearsed her speech.
“What is your submission then?” the thick voice asked, eyeing her with caution and watching as other members of the group listened to her with rapt attention.
“Why don’t you leave it to me to deal with this?” she asked, finally meeting their eyes.
“We cannot just let you handle it. If you fail, it comes back to all of us” the man who was already panicked said.
“I am ready to take the fall for it” she said, fixing her eyes on the leader of the group. A silent staring match that lasted several minutes ended as the men nodded their heads in the affirmative.
“I suppose you will keep me updated on your next course of action” the leader of the group said at last, trying to maintain his authority.
“Watch the news” she answered with confidence as she smiled.
“If I can be excused, I have a little event to plan. Gentlemen?” she smiled charmingly as she stood up and left the bunker through the secret passage to her car.
Out of the seven cars parked, she unlocked the car she had rented from the airport and headed back. She believed in working alone because she knew aides had a way of leaking secrets, leakages she could not afford.
She arrived at the private wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport at 4:30 am and casually waited for her husband as airport officials greeted her as they went about their business. He was flying into Abuja on his private jet and she intended to take it back home.
“My darling wife! I am sorry to have kept you waiting” it was Chief Badmus Bello in his usual style, wearing his starched crispy white Agbada and black Suede cap with Italian brown leather shoes to match.
“It is no problem. I just got here” she lied as she stood up to a kiss. A peck on the mouth. The time was 7:45am.
“I know, I should get you your own private bus too” he teased, holding her hand as he escorted her aboard while his female assistant, Ribina followed dutifully. He was overly jovial because he had come to Abuja to conclude on the privatization deal with the President on power.
“You should” she playfully admonished him.
“See you at home” she said as he gave her another light peck before getting into the plane
“Don’t hold your breath” he muttered under his breath as he walked back to the reception with his female assistant trying to catch up with the rest of the escort in her impossibly high heels.
Badmus knew his wife of 29 years was up to something and not the smoke screen of attending women empowerment seminars she had put up in the last months. He had hired a private eye to look into her affairs but after three months on her trail, there was nothing out of the ordinary except the uneasy way in which she regarded him. Her proper sanctimonious smiles she threw at him when she knew he was cheating on her drove him up the wall. Reports were that she was busy with the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development but he knew in his gut that his darling wife was up to no good.
But what?
He had no idea.

*****
23rd February, 2011 – Day of Burial – Peter Osagie Jnr. Residence

“Honey! Stop! I am serious! I am so pregnant!” it was Omoni giggling like the pregnant woman that she was as she tried to fend off her horny husband who was trying to get her to bed for the umpteenth time.
“I know you are but Sade said we could still have sex…until” he crowed, grinding behind her and dropping his head to lick her ears as she stood in front of the gas cooker making Nkwobi. The steaming goat meat peppersoup stirred Peter’s appetite but nothing could quench the hunger he had for his 8 months pregnant wife. It would seem that the more she grew, the more he wanted to have sex with her. The raw need was almost too much to bear.
“Make love, not have sex. There is a difference” she corrected as she felt his hot breath fanning her ears and his restless hands palming her stomach, breasts and thighs.
“You are so soft” he whispered teasing her sensitive nipples as she gasped, mauling her full breasts and pinching her nipples the way he knew drove her insane.
“Stop it Peter” she said, twisting from his arms.
“Say you like it, I am turning you on, am I not? Uhhmm, say it, admit you like it” he continued as he unbutton the multicolored sleeveless cotton blouse she was wearing.
“Peter! God, Yes, Yes! you are turning me on, you big devil” she cursed in a laugh as she turned in his hands and got her lips enveloped in a wet searing kiss. He feasted on her hot lips, kissing and probing as she returned the kiss fervently.
He had just exposed her firm pink tits and dropped his head to suck on the full breast when his phone rang. He groaned loudly.
“Saved by the phone” she laughed as he palmed her buttocks.
“Go and answer your call” she laughed pushing him away from her.
“Okay! I will go. But be warned, I am coming back in full force” he teased spanking her round buttocks before answering his call.
It was work. He had just gotten his one month annual leave to spend with his wife. The last he needed were work calls.
“Sir, there has been a bomb blast” it was Sani, his subordinate without preamble.
“Where?” he asked, already saying goodbye to his leave and his hot wife.
“At the Castle. The burial ground” Sani supplied with finesse, waiting for the next instruction. Peter didn’t have any. He hated the Bellos and he had chosen Sani to head the extraction of Kole Bello immediately after his father’s burial. This was a complication he wasn’t ready for.
“Who would want to kill a dead man?” he asked, not expecting an answer.
“Who would want to use a dead man to kill more birds?” he asked himself again, still not expecting an answer.
“Sani” he called
“Yes Sir”
“Get a team set up. I want to know the number of casualties, how many were dignitaries and who is taking responsibility for the act. Also, get me information from the Presidency. We need to know if they intend making a statement and what it would be”
“Yes sir”
“And Sani”
“Yes Sir”
“If Kole Bello is dead, I want to see his body or parts of it”
“Yes Sir”
“Good” he said forcefully as he ended the call.
As head of the newly formed CID special squad in handling criminal activities of the uber-rich and persons who thought themselves above the law, it was his duty to investigate and prosecute these elements in conjunction with appropriate authorities.
“What is wrong?” it was Omoni coming out of the hot kitchen with sweat sprouting on her forehead. She had buttoned her blouse.
“Apparently, there had been a bomb blast at the burial of Badmus Bello” he said going over to get a drink.
“Oh my God! That’s awful. Who would want to kill a dead man?” she said rushing to change the channel that had been on a movie channel. It was breaking news on FTV and a couple of stations she surfed.
“At least this is the first bomb blast that has a different undertone” Peter said carelessly as he watched the report live from the scene of the blast. The bald reporter was putting the casualty figure at 226 persons and commending the quick response of the Emergency Units. Although the names and identity of persons were yet to be released, the bald reporter said that it was likely several powered executives and statesmen were feared dead.
“What undertone?” Omoni asked as the report finished and she changed it to another channel reporting the attack.
“I think this was targeted at the dignitaries and not a terrorist attack. I will be surprised if the boys took responsibility for this” he said sadly as he watched the repeat report.
“I will not be surprised. Didn’t you tell me they issued some threats months back? This attack will boost their portfolio and up the stakes especially with the new demands they are making” Omoni said as she took a seat to rest her legs.
“I am certain they won’t” he said confidently as he helped her to seat on the long couch.
“Why?” she asked, signalling that he switch on the Air Conditioner.
“Because Farah has not contacted me yet” he finally revealed
“You are still in touch with Mohamed Abdirahman?” she asked sitting up in alarm.
“I am sweets” he said with caution as he watched the emotions play out on her face.
“Why?” she asked, angry.
“I need Intel and he provides really accurate from time to time” he defended weakly coming to sit beside her.
“You promised to….” he did not allow her to finish. It was always the same argument. Farah was bad news and they both knew it. It was only a matter of time before he would be found out as a spy. If they were lucky, he would not reveal the squad and the man behind it. Omoni was scared and she had every right to be.
“I know I promised. It is just hard right now but I am careful, I promise I am” he begged as she looked at him, slowly releasing her pent up breath.
“When are you leaving?” she asked, looking at the Television but not seeing anything.
“In a bit” he said as he looked away from her. She pushed herself up and made to walk past him as he stood up and caught her hand.
“Don’t be like this” he coerced.
“I can’t help it. We discussed this…remember?” she said, biting her lips from saying more.
He nodded.
“I am just using him to get inside information”
“Until they find out and come for you. I just……have a safe flight” she said as she walked into their room and locked him out.
Peter stood in the big sitting room before following her to beg.
It was going be a long afternoon

*****
23rd February, 2011 – Day of burial – The Presidency

“Mr. President, there has been a tragedy” it was Nurudeen Soyemi, Special adviser to the President on Media matters.
“There is always a tragedy in this moronic country” the man who was voted into the highest office in the land said distastefully as he watched a rerun of the football match, paying no attention to his Special Adviser. He had missed the UEFA Championship match between his club Manchester United and Chelsea because of a late night meeting with some old men who wanted him to pay striking workers. Why should he pay when they had collected the allocated funds? He had wanted to ask them in presence of some of the overzealous pressmen but decided to let them waste his time and requested for his little Nina, his pleasure for the rest of the night.
“Yes Sir. It is the Chief’s burial” Nuru continued, a little sardonic smile breaking on the old man’s face.
“I told you to send a representative Nuru!” the President spat impatiently as he briefly looked the old man who had been forced on him.
“See our boys doing well ehn?” the President continued, pointing to the Newspaper beside him that had headlines of the National football team qualifying for the African Cup of Nations.
“Sir, there has been a bomb blast” the tired Special Adviser said grinding his teeth that had few missing from his last appointment with his dentist.
Oooooooh! Ehn! Wich kain tin be dis? When was this?” he complained loudly finally looking at his Special Adviser.
“Just a few minutes ago, Your excellency. They blew up Chief Badmus’s burial. It is breaking news on NNTA” he said pointing to the remote that the President was gripping hard.
“Are you serious? They wanted to blow me up? Who is they?” President Jang Wuyaku asked rapidly, turning back to his large screen and changing the channel.
“I don’t think that was the plan” Nuru said and bit his tongue at his blab. He should be more careful, he thought shifting on his legs.
“So they would have killed me now” the President continued, oblivious to the statement that Nuru had just made.
“No Sir, God will not allow it”
“He will o! Thank God I sent that yeye Minister” he continued as he watched the report and wreckage, shaking his head.
“I think we should make a statement to condemn the act and call the I.G of Police to get to the root of this fast” he continued
“Yes, Yes of course. That’s your job naw. Go do what Nigeria pays you for” he said with a belittling smile and waved him away.
“Old mumu” he muttered under his breath, hating the fact that he could not fire him without another old man scolding him.
“Fool” Nuru muttered as he went to his office to make a private call.
The phone rang twice as he walked over to his door and locked it.
“Good day Sir” Nuru said into the phone.
“We are secured?” it was the thick voice.
“Yes Sir, we are. It is done” Nuru continued, eagerly waiting for some kind of commendation.
“Has this been confirmed?” it was the voice.
“Yes, it has been confirmed. There are all gone. Yes, we can continue with the program”
“Good” and the line went dead.
Nuru sat for a moment, reeling in the news before calling his assistant.
He was too old to write press releases.

*****
23rd February, 2011 – Charity Ajero’s Maitama Residence

The breaking news on the screen jotted Charity from her bed as she rushed for the remote control in her lingerie. She was preparing for the trip to the Castle with Victor and had instructed her temporary driver, Bantu to get ready to drive them to Ondo State.
“There has been a bomb explosion at the mausoleum of late Chief Badmus Bello in the Castle. While the total number of casualties is yet to be determined by the police, report say 226 people are dead and several others injured. In a new list, Mr. Tamiyu Samson, Minister of Information representing the President, ex-leaders and President Abdulrasak Abubakar, Gana Itunu Konamu and Shola Ige Adebowale, business man Wole Jim, Governors of Bauchi, Taraba, Kogi, Nassarawa and Oyo state were said to have been among the dignitaries in attendance. Others include Minister of Power, Transport, Water Resources, Agriculture, Aviation and the chief Imam. There has been no confirmation that they are indeed causalities but they are indications that they were at the site at the of the attack. The terrorist group, the Boko Haram are yet to make any claim however. We await word from the Presidency on this barbaric attack and updates on the identity of the casualties from the police. The question on the minds of many is “what is the implication of an attack on this magnitude on the country?” Stay tuned as we bring more on this development. My name is Kingsely Maduike for FTV News” the reporter said, ending the update.
Goose pimples ran up her limbs as she stood fixated, eyes glued to the television. How possible was this? She wondered, a little shaken at the names. Her phone rang just as she picked it up to make a call.
“I suppose you have seen the news” it was a female voice.
“You did not tell me this was going to happen” she accused, not raising her voice.
“I had nothing to do with this” the female voice clarified.
“Then who would do something like this?” she asked, getting agitated.
“My sister”
“Do I thank her for killing those responsible for my father’s death? How would she feel with your demand for Victor, should we still go ahead with the plan?” she asked, temporarily confused. She had taken up the case because she had wanted to shame the memory of the man who, with his friends, had killed her father. Now that those people had been killed, what was the need in continuing to represent her reluctant client?
“You may have gotten your pound of flesh, but I have not gotten mine. You will be wise to continue as planned” the female voice who had introduced herself simply as Naomi and mother to her client threatened.
“But at this time? I suggest this blows over” she said, thinking fast.
“You will do as I say. Check your email. You are to follow the instructions” the voice directed firmly.
“And if I don’t?” she managed to challenge the female voice.
“Let’s say you won’t be alive to find out” the line went dead.
Rushing over to her office downstairs, she accessed her mail.
Downloading the attachment, she closed her eyes and whispered a silent prayer.
Scanning through the document, she nearly bit her tongue as she stopped herself in time from crying out.
She was to organize a press release to expose illegitimate offspring of the late Badmus and demand that his net worth be published and shared equally between his legal heirs.
There were two issues – Calling for the published net worth of the man who expose the Government in dirty dealings. And she had been blessed with three more claimants. More update soon, the email ended.
She was caught in her web of revenge

******
23rd February, 2011 – Alhaja Residence, several buildings from bomb blast

The moment she heard the bomb explosion go off far in the distance, she smiled underneath her veil as she lay on her bed, about a thousand meters away from the blast. She had cried herself to exhaustion and got hysterical when they had suggested that the burial ceremony start. Her doctor had given her tranquilizers and recommended bed rest after she had staged a major breakdown.
Josephine Ohiemi rubbed her red nose and took a deep satisfying breath. The deed was done.
After 29 years of marriage to Chief Badmus Bello, she had successfully killed him and his cohorts. Now, all she had to do was inherit the empire, the legacy that she had killed her sister for.
It would only be a matter of days before that silly lawyer will dance to her tune and change the Will.
She smiled.
If only her good for nothing sister was alive to see her victory.
Yes, she had killed Florence. She had destroyed her sister and married Badmus, the lowly worm.
There was nothing she, Josephine Ohiemi, now Alhaja Kudirat Sadika Bello could not accomplish if she put her mind to it. Her phone rang then. She picked it.
“I suppose congratulations are in order” it was the thick voice.
“I suppose so” she said proudly, sniffing.
“We are not crying, are we?” the voice teased.
“Only because we are happy” she replied proudly.
“Yes, one should cry for joy. Abubakar and Ige were beginning to get really personal” the thick voice said slowly referring to the ex -Presidents Abdulrasak Abubakar and Shola Ige Adebowale who were taking a strong stand against their former colleagues.
“They were. Flies that refuse heed follows the corpse to the grave, literally” she said in a little chuckle.
“They certainly do Madam Badmus, I fear you” it was a tease but the owner of the voice knew better. A woman who single-handedly kill her husband in order to achieve the feat she had achieved wasn’t a woman to be toyed with.
“Good. In the next few weeks, I expect some sort of power shuffle”
“Yes”
“Good. Now I shall continue to play the widow”
“My condolences” he joked and she laughed lightly.
“Thank you” she said as she slipped into deep sleep.
It was time to get rid of the mastermind.

*****
23rd February, 2011 – Praslin, Seychelles

Florence Ohiemi sat watching the screen quietly and sipping on her homemade pineapple juice.
The news of his death and bomb blast did not come as a surprise to Florence. She knew what her twin sister was capable of and had since waited for this day.
Josephine had reached her zenith but it would be her destiny to bring her down.
There was no forgiveness.
There would be no mercy.
It was time to play a game of the dead.
“Now we play” she said over the rim of her glass.
“Now is my time”

*****
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!

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Ineffable by Tolu Daniel – A Short Story

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Hey Guys!

Yes…..too long. A while since any post made it here…Apologizes…

Today, we will be posting series of short stories by our Tolu Daniel and a new writer Arikor Collins….do enjoy.

INEFFABLE by Tolu Daniel

You wished you could say those words, that you’ve been told she wanted to hear but you couldn’t, logic says no, logic does not understand the language of the heart, so you are stuck with throwing mindless and thoughtless tantrums till you lose her.

Four years later, you meet her at the airport on your way back from a journey to the states, she smiles sweetly at you waving her hands at you. She told you that she has been seeing you on television and had read all your books over the years hoping you’d be impressed that she had finally taken a liking for books like you always wanted her to. You felt a tinge of pride; your success had been a major hit. You had expected that she would definitely have heard about it. And you were indeed impressed that she had chosen not to forget you even if she never contacted you.

Then, it suddenly dawned on you, the reason for her wave of hands, as the blinking ring on her engagement finger caught your sight. She’s getting married she announces; You are not moved, you didn’t smile nor congratulate her, Logic who had always been your best friend starts denying you like Peter at the Crucifixion of Christ.
You are still single, she is now engaged; you couldn’t confess your feelings for her back then because you were scared of immediate commitment. You were scared that you were not man enough for her; your bank accounts as at then couldn’t boast of a thousand naira. She had told you that she didn’t mind starving so far she was with you.

You didn’t believe her; you had seen what the lack of money did to your parents. How it was your mother that had been responsible for most of the things in your house because your father lost his job and broke his spine in an accident that condemned him to the wheelchair the rest of his life. You saw what that had done to him, how hurt his pride had been whenever he had to collect money from your mother to do anything. You had sworn to work as hard as you could possibly work to ensure that your father’s fate never befalls you.

You felt sorry that you couldn’t ask her out back then or call her your own. You felt that she deserved better than you could give; not that you had anything to give her anyway. Now the same commitment that you had eluded back then is all you are looking for but it is nowhere, four years down the lane; you are a successful writer and speaker of international repute. You had slaved yourself over the years to editors and publicists to make a hard living and when success came it had not come with all the perks that you had imagined it would come with, though it had been overwhelming but you couldn’t find anyone who could love you for who you are and you feared that you were still in love with someone who you never expressed your feelings to and whom you are now finding out that she’s engaged.

So you mouthed the words in a mumble that sounded like the gibberish that came readily available to you and didn’t allow them to come out clearly.‘I loved you back then and I still love you’ Bisi strained herself to hear you clearly but you did not say those words again. This is not a movie, you thought to yourself, this is life and this is the shit that happens when you don’t talk when you were supposed to, so sulk it up and move on.

“I could almost guess what you were thinking you know” She says watching your mouth drop as you fear that she may have figured out your gibberish. “You’re thinking of what happened between us those years ago and how it was possible for me to move on after you broke my heart.”

Words failed you; you stared after her in disbelief and wandered for a brief moment if you would ever have the chance to tell her how you really felt about her. “It’s not like that Bisi, and I know you know that too” You say, your guilt renewed like a newly fueled fire.
“It’s never like that with you, everything has got to be complicated and you never talk, you never truly open up except maybe in your books. I read all of your works and hoped that maybe somewhere inside it there was a hidden message for me, something to hold on to, but I found none!”
“That’s not true Bisi, all or at least most of my works were a message to you. I didn’t want to start something that I couldn’t finish with you. I thought you understood that.”
“Understood? Sola was right about you. You really are heartless. Did you ever sit down to consider how I felt?” The mention of the name Sola brought back cruel memories to you. You remember him clearly; he had been the one who gave her the attention that you were not willing to give; the rich boy who roamed campus with his father’s car, who had almost everything given to him on a silver platter. He had been your arch-rival from the get go and despite your best efforts to stave away the trouble which his rivalry might cause to your friendship with Bisi, he had continued to debase you at every opportunity he got.

She could see the effect of her words on you, so she backed off. “I had feelings for you back then and I think I still do. I just couldn’t do it as at that time. I couldn’t handle a relationship then and I didn’t know how else to break it to you than the way I did.”
“I don’t know what to say to you…I’m sorry” she said as a tear rolled down her ebony cheek. You blink back the tears yourself.
“I’m sorry too, so when’s the big day?” You managed to say, struggling to catch your breath, you felt a lot better after saying those words to her because it had been at the tip of your tongue since you discovered the rings on her finger.
“It’s next Saturday and I’m getting married to Sola.” You stared at her in utter disbelief, you felt really angry, not at her nor at Sola but at yourself. You managed a smile even though your heart was in sharp contrast with what your face was producing. You felt like a thousand knifes were stabbing your heart at the same time but you smiled still and urged her to send you the invite to the wedding.

END.
Tolu Daniel is a fiction writer, blogger and administrator of A Poet’s Diary. He blogs at http://toluojuola.wordpress.com and is @iamToluDaniel on twitter.

How We Fall – A Short Story

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    Read other Works by Uneñ Ameji on African Stories

    How We Fall by Uneñ Ameji

    It was like every other Monday.

    The traffic was long enough to compete with the legendary Niger Bridge under political contention and Ms. Joe as usual was running late. A last-minute being and an uncompromising sleeper, Joe was one to sleep to her fill and took motorcycles from her house to wherever the traffic stopped before jumping on the next available bus heading to her work place 3km from home. A journey indeed it was. She didn’t mind – a good boss and an impressive salary didn’t come easy in the capital city.

    But today was not like every other Monday.

    The black bearded ruffian in what Joe decided were lice infested rags sped and maneuvered the meandering traffic as if hoards from hell pursued. She wasn’t in the least worried about the speed. The faster she got off the death trap, the better chance she had at escaping invisible lice that she felt crawling up her skin.

    In what will be only fit for the movies, Joe in the middle of her thoughts saw the door of a moving vehicle in the go-slow open and within seconds was flying off the bike with her large bag and landing heavily in the green lush bush few meters away from the main road. Her first thoughts were for the safety of her laptop and phones as she lay there momentarily confused at the flight and why she wasn’t hurting.
    Hanging on to the wet grasses and hoping she wasn’t bleeding internally; she mentality scanned her body for pains and felt none.

    A look at her black shirt revealed she was not stained but a look at the scene unfolding before her caused creativity to pool at the base of her brain. A crowd had gathered with cars stopping and bike drivers holding the passenger who had opened the door without looking. A slap from a bike man initiated a little drag with the man that had opened the car door. The black ruffian on the coal tar was shouting to the heavens as if he was great pain. Joe knew he wasn’t. He wasn’t an actor.

    “Are you okay?” it was a good looking man in a well fitted black suit blocking her view. With smart looking glasses perched on his nose, Joe did the next thing she knew would get her to the office without transport fare. Tears clouding her pretty brown eyes, she shook her head in the negative.
    “I am sorry, I didn’t see you guys coming” it was the man who had opened the door joining the man who offered her his hand. Supporters as well as castigators moved to her.
    “Can you stand?” it was the handsome man. He had lovely pink lips and bushy knotted brows too.
    “I can’t” Joe said, the tears already pooling at her lids threatening to drop if she blinked. It was going to smear her makeup for sure but the prospect of getting a free ride to work wasn’t too much a price to pay. Moreover, she got kicks acting. It was her first love.
    “Here, let me help you” he said as another supporter helped her up.
    The whimper was fake but they didn’t know that. Joe was the ace faker when it came to dodging work or getting freebies.
    “You need to get to the hospital” the man in black suit said as the traffic began to clear. A look at her wristwatch told her she didn’t have time for checkups.
    “I am good” she answered as the tears rolled down her eyes.
    “No, you are not” he stated and indicated they help him carry her to his car parked just few meters from the scene.
    “I will go to the office and sign in first” she sniffed as she saw the lice-ladden bike man collect 2 notes of a thousand Naira.
    “Where do you work? Let me take you to sign in and then take you to go checkup” the man whose perfume spoke volumes helped Joe along to his new Toyota Camry. Joe smiled inwardly.
    ‘A.C’ she almost sighed aloud.
    “Fiji Consulting, Maitama” she said as she tip toed along with their hands, stopping momentarily to make sure her acting is believed. Just then, a woman who had since followed her decided to speak up as she settled on the passenger seat.
    “Let me stretch it. It will swell up if you leave it” and just like that, she was on her knees grabbing her right leg immediately. Her eyes had dried considerably but as soon as the woman touched her, she twisted free and fresh tears flowed.
    “Pleaaase” she cried holding her leg and twisting it free from the strong grip. Taking a hand she came to realize was the man in suit, she pulled him closer as she smelt him and he held her closely.
    “Sorry” he muttered as she nodded and let her tears fall.
    ‘When will I get a part in the movie industry?’ she asked herself with an evil grin as she pressed her face into his stomach.
    Soon, the woman decided she heard a click and stood up feeling like the latest traditional leg puller.
    “She will just rub Aboniki. It have set” she said to no one particular, clapping her hand.
    “My dear, sorry ehen, all this bike men are very careless” she continued breathlessly.
    “Sorry oo” she rubbed Joe’s head and Joe raised her head in a nod. Her big eyes were already red as she sniffed. She saw the crowd stand up in roaring applause at her performance.
    “Feel better?” the man in suit asked with such sweetness, Joe gave a small smile as the invisible audience disappeared.
    “Let me take you to work and then we check the hospital” he said as if he didn’t just hear the leg puller declare her leg ‘set’.
    “Ok” was the only word that came out from her mouth. Joe wanted to get out of here.
    “Here” it was her zipped bag. The supporting man who had helped her up handed it over to her.
    “Thank you” she tried a small smile with a sniff.
    The crowd, desperate to continue hanging at the accident scene dispersed slowly and soon Joe was headed to work in a cold car and a handsome man beside her.
    “Still aching ….” He asked as he joined the highway.
    “Joe…., no, it feels much better” Joe answered settling into the ride. She would be in on time.
    “I’m Kene” he said looking at the being sitting beside him. Kene had seen her fly from the back of bike and had stopped to offer his services as a ‘life saver’. He smiled inwardly at the thought. Kale, his closest friend called him a life saver ever since he decided he was going to be a doctor at the age of 10.
    Joe nodded and stared ahead only too happy for the free ride.
    He was cute but she was in a relationship – surely she couldn’t go out of her way to be friendly with fine men especially as she knew how scared she was of her approaching nuptials. When she was afraid, Joe was a flight risk. Yomi, the groom was sweet. The perfect man for her but sometimes, she wished she would just catch him cheating and have a valid reason to be single again – to take a breath of fresh air. She longed for the days she didn’t belong to no one; days she could decide to stay indoors and sleep rapture. But those days were days of old.

    She was getting married.

    “Are you okay?” his voice startling her from her sad thoughts.
    “Yes. Thanks” she released a small sweet smile and she saw him smile back.
    “You fly really well” he cracked and he was rewarded with a hearty laugh. Kene liked what he saw and when that woman had gone down to twist the poor girl’s ankle; it took him a lot of restraint not to tell her to leave it alone.
    “Thanks” Joe said.
    “So Joe?” he continued the conversation.
    “Josephine” she said and he nodded like he understood.
    “I like Joe” he smiled as he neared Maitama and she directed.
    “Me too” she laughed again and she pointed at the blue building at the Close.
    “I will wait and take you to the hospital” he said as she made to get down.
    “No, no need really” she was already hopping out.
    “Did I mention that it is my hospital?” he asked coming out to help.
    “No. you omitted that” she said in a small laugh.
    “Well, now you know. And it is free too” he said as he helped her out.
    “Now how can I refuse?” she feigned disappointment and he laughed. It sounded like a snort.
    “You simply can’t” he said as she leaned in and he helped her past the curious security guards.
    “Let’s have your card doctor. I will come in as soon as I get the vibe that I’m becoming an invalid” and that got her a hearty laugh. Joe was dismissing him.
    “Right” he said after she limped into the reception.
    “Thanks” she waved his card as he left. She waited for him to leave, limped to her office and as soon as she sat down took out her heels and her laptop.
    She got to work.
    It was 3:00pm when Anna called her from the reception.
    “Your Doctor is here to see you?” it was a question.
    “My doctor?” Joe asked trying to finish tidying her accounts.
    “Dr. Kene”
    “Oh! I am coming” Joe said changing into her flats and taking a quick look at her mirror. Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear and a clean wipe of her oily face she made to the reception with slow calculated steps. Perhaps he could take her back home too.
    “Hey Doc” she called happily as she approached the good doctor without his suit. The sleeves of his purple shirt folded at the hands and neck opened at the collar, he looked friendly and younger.
    “You didn’t come, I was in the neighborhood and I decided to checkup” he said smiling.
    “I …….” Joe was saying as an awkwardly tall male walked into the reception. His eyes looking out for someone and then he focused his round eyes briefly on her before walking up to them.
    “I see you have found her” he said and the good doctor turned to acknowledge him.
    Joe looked at the tall man and suddenly felt like a dwarf. She itched to climb some inches. She could tell he could see into the middle of her head and she didn’t like the feeling it evoked.
    “Yes, I did” Kene said smiling.
    “How’s your leg?” the tall man was asking. Joe didn’t know if she should answer. Kene helped her.
    “Better” he said and Joe looked at him with a smile.
    “So are we taking her in?” he asked fixing her with a look that Joe didn’t find pleasant.
    “No, you are not taking me in” she finally found her tongue as she looked from one to the other.
    “See! I told you she was okay” he finally said smiling at a confused Joe. Anna, who had been watching the exchange, picked up her ringing intercom.
    “Oga is calling you” she said after dropping her intercom.
    “When are you closing?” Kene asked.
    “5:00pm” Joe said feeling the eyes of the tall man piercing into hers.
    “I will come take you home” Kene said excitedly and Joe simply nodded.
    “Kale Kanwa” the tall man extended his long hands fit for a pianist and Joe momentarily wondered if he played. His Adam’s apple danced as he laughed at Kene hitting his hand away.
    “Joe…” she said simply as she smiled at their exchange. They looked like an interesting pair.
    “Joe who?” he asked as Kene pulled him out of the reception because Anna was already beckoning to Joe.
    “Joe Nathaniel” she answered as she made to walk away.
    “Joe with the broken ankle, we coming to pick you up at 5:00pm” he said as he gave in to the tugging from Kene.
    “Don’t let him scare you. See you soon” Kene called and they left soon. Joe smiled as she watched them go. An odd pair…she shook her head.
    The next hours flew past and by 5:10pm, she looked like she needed to be re-hydrated. Hanging her large bag containing her laptop on her shoulders, she stepped out of the building and decided to make it to the junction. Calling Kene to take her home will be asking for trouble.
    “Are we ready?” the familiar voice called from the car park and she turned to see the awkwardly tall man leaning on a white SUV that looked like a jalopy. It was covered in dust.
    “Like my car?” he said reading the expression in her eyes. She smiled.
    “Where is Kene?” Joe asked looking around.
    “He asked me to come pick you up. He got another bleeding case” he said without emotion. Joe laughed.
    “Great! She has a wicked sense of humor” he laughed and made to open the door for her.
    “Thanks”
    “Anything for a short woman” he called as he gave an evil laugh.
    “Awkwardly tall man” she retorted and laughed at her reaction.
    “Put on your seat belt” he said as he walked over to the other side.
    “So are we going to meet Kene?”Joe asked as they left her office.
    “Awww, she has fallen in love with the good doctor” he said looking at her briefly before focusing on the road.
    “I have not fallen” Joe answered angrily and amused at the same time.
    “Nopes….we are taking the little woman home after buying some ligament nonsense – Doctor’s order” he winked and Joe laughed. His Adam’s apple danced again as he swallowed a laugh.
    “So how’s the leg?” he asked as they joined the express and he sped on.
    “Doesn’t need amputation” she said and he laughed again, sparing her a side glance.
    “So what do you do at Fiji Consulting?” he asked as they drove in silence for a while.
    “Keeping their account. Thinking of committing fraud though. Just in case you see my photo in The Guardian” Joe said and she got another side glance. He laughed through his nose and the sound sounded lovely yet strange. She was definitely getting in over her head.
    “Why The Guardian?” he asked after his original laugh.
    “Boss reads only The Guardian” Joe replied as they reached the traffic.
    “Makes sense” he gave a smile. His lips upturned and Joe wondered how it would feel in a kiss. A quick mental slap and she was good.
    “You live in Karu?” she asked as he kept a straight face and drove with rapt attention.
    “Nopes” he answered, another side glance.
    “So Kene requests that you take me home”
    “Yes. He wants to know where you live so that he can monitor your leg” he gave another evil laugh.
    “Evilly” Joe said as she heard him laugh.
    “Goodily” he replied naturally as if they were longtime friends
    “So you want to listen to your favorite song?” he asked as they inched closer to home.
    “I don’t have a favorite song” she answered and watched him play a track.
    “Miranda Lambert – Over You, if you are wondering” he said as he turned up the volume and continued to stare straight ahead.
    “I wasn’t wondering” Joe answered as they neared the diversion that was taking her home. Luckily, the traffic flowed and she briefly wanted an impromptu traffic that will keep the conversation going.
    He was awkwardly tall – she couldn’t get past that but then he was cute with his round roving eyes, hyena-like laugh, impressive hairline and an Adam’s apple that should worry her but it did more to fuel the quiet interest that was building within her. She didn’t dwell on the lips and long fingers; that would be asking for trouble.
    She definitely shouldn’t ‘like’ any other man and in less than 12 hours, she had met interesting ones.
    “What do you do?” she asked.
    “I am waiting for my inheritance” he answered seriously with a wicked look that got a laugh he wanted.
    “Construction. Lovely to build masterpieces. I’d take you to some of my sites when your leg lets you. Be warned – my works are taller than me” he answered easily as they arrived at the roundabout.
    “Left” Joe answered with a shake of her head as she directed him to the house.
    Soon she was home and he remained in his car clutching the steering while he waited for her to get down.
    “I’d love to” Joe answered surprising herself on agreeing to see his sites. If she was any truthful, she’d say she wanted to spend more time with him.
    “Great! And you should give Kene a call. Tell him I drove like a human being” he winked and soon he was zooming off. Joe stood smiling as she watched him drive off.
    She definitely was going to get tangled with this one…
    …Kale…she turned to walk into her flat and missing a step, she was falling into the gutter……a thick blackness overwhelming her as continued to fall…..
    Grrrrrrrrrrrrggh! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!!!
    Joe woke up to the angry doorbell blaring so loud she jumped off the bed and rushed to the front door to open it without asking who it was. It was probably Maimuna – her flat mate who liked to play with the doorbell just for the fun of it after her club nights.
    It was a Saturday and Joe was earning her beauty sleep.
    What was she dreaming about again? She searched her fuzzy brain as she unlocked the door. She blinked and shaded her sleep-raw eyes as the hot sun blinded her with her right hand.
    “Good Morning” a familiar voice greeted.
    “Yes?” she answered finding the source of the voice as she cleared the mass of long borrowed hair from her face.
    And there he stood looking down at her with warm brown eyes, amusement lighting his roving eyes and his twitching lips as he studied her appearance. Dressed in a flimsy sleeveless shift shirt that hung off her shoulders and clearly displayed her provocative chest, Joe looked like a sleep-demon. She looked down at herself and back at him.
    “Do you find it to your liking?” she snapped, irritated at his height advantage and the delayed smile tugging at his lips. He laughed then and Joe found herself stepping back.
    Surely he wasn’t real.
    “Is that stubborn Maimuna home?” he asked as he fixed Joe a stare after his original laugh. It was him, the dream guy; her brain trying to retrieve her dream as fast as it could.
    “And who wants to know?” she asked heating under his stare. His Adam’s apple.
    “Kale Kanwa” he answered.
    A rush of air from her tensed lungs.
    It couldn’t be.

    She was getting married in 2 months.

    ***

    Read more from Uneñ Ameji on the Okadabooks App. Love on the 25th – a corporate love story set in Nigeria is her latest. Get Courting Baida and Finding Baida on African Stories. She is @UnenAmeji on twitter.
    **How We Fall is dedicated to a new friend. #AwkwardlyTall