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

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

Episode 7

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

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

*****

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

*****

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****
*****

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

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

Have a great week.

M.O.T.I.V.E.S – Episode 2

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Hey guys,
Good week?
Looking forward to 1st May? We are…
Read Episode Two of M.O.T.I.V.E.S by Unen Ameji

Didn’t catch Episode One? Yup, Read Here
COVER-page0001
Episode Two – M.O.T.I.V.E.S

*****
“Gala, Gala, Gala, Gala, Ptttff! La’Casera” it was Victor Dakar shouting like the determined hustler that he was on the Nyanya-Maraba Expressway, hawking. Victor Dakar – a name he had given himself 11 years ago – was a name without roots. He was a man with no identity but a man who instinctively knew his worth, even if it came by hawking to meet his needs. He was a man who would find himself, a man who would be a victor. He knew he had been born in Dakar, Senegal – that much, his mother had told him before tossing him out on that cold rainy night with nothing but his backpack filled with crispy notes amounting to a million Naira. The unwanted was cast out.
A loud blare of car horns brought him back to the present as he narrowly missed been hit by a bus. He couldn’t afford memories now and consciously replaced irking thought with the thought of the car he was going to buy as soon as he made the last deposit. Skillfully, he watched for forlorn faces in cars stuck in the heavy traffic waiting for a facial expression that looked like hunger, boredom or a mixture of both. Most often than not, these expressions made sales and he had packaged his dynamic duo – Gala and La’Casera in light green almost transparent leather bags. It was easier to sell and made profit for two products with just a single sale.
“Gala! Gala” he bellowed as he held the last two leather bags for the day walking in the direction of his shack nested beneath the footpath leading to his Kubgo residence, as he fondly called it.
Just then, a white Lincoln Navigator parked across the road and a lady came out.
“Gala!” it was a single call but a ton of eager young boys flew across the Expressway to answer the call. He looked at the owner of the voice and turned back to continue his search for buyers of his last two leather bags.
He had just sold the last of his bags when he felt a sweaty hand on his bare back.
Na you she dey call” it was a cashew nut seller.
Victor looked across the road to the woman in a body clinging black gown that stopped at her knees, standing in impossibly high pink pumps. She didn’t look like she was interested in gala or his La’casera, moreover he had just sold the last of it. He obliged her all the same and crossed over.
“Good evening Ma” he greeted, holding his empty bag.
“Good evening. I saw you hawking your gala in leather bags and must say I am impressed. You see, I have a new product and I think you will do great with the marketing” she said airily.
“I can give you my number and I come see it tomorrow” he replied watching her face intensely. Something told him she wasn’t about selling anything.
“I would rather you see it now” she insisted.
“Madam, it is late and have to make report at my supplier after selling” he lied. He had no supplier. He bought outright and sold for his pockets.
“Alright Inale, I have a message for you from your mother” she finally volunteered laughing at a private joke.
“My mother is dead” he said painfully, his jaw twitching. This woman knew who he was.
“No, she is not. You know it. Now do we continue this discussion here or are you coming in?” she asked indicating that he enter her car.
“I would rather you tell me who you are and how in heaven’s name did you find me?” he asked getting angry.
“I am Charity, Charity Ajero, your mother’s lawyer. Your mother has, well, I’d say interesting network. I would not say it was an easy find but she did” she said coolly regarding him with sharp eyes.
“What does she want from her dead son?” he spat dispassionately, refusing to acknowledge the fact that the woman who had thrown him out was suddenly looking for him after 11 years.
“Your father is dead” the lawyer said waiting for his reaction.
“I do not have a mother and I most certainly do not have a father ” he declared, turning his back and making to cross the road.
“You will be inheriting roughly about ten million dollars” she said in a raised voice. She caught his attention.
He stopped and turned to look at the woman. Clearly, she was serious and without meaning to, broke into a loud heartfelt laughter that echoed and had passersby look at them.
“What is in it for her?” he finally asked, coughing and rubbing his eyes clean of the tears that had formed as a result of the belly-filling laughter.
“Revenge” she said after a while. She didn’t find his amusement a tad bit funny.
“That sounds like her, a lot like her” he said looking past her and into the green hills, remembering the last time he set eyes on the woman who had bore him.
“You should come in” she made for the car again.
“Look emmm, ….” He called trying to remember her name.
“Charity” she supplied graciously.
“Charity, I don’t want to have anything to do with that woman” he continued stubbornly.
“She wants you to get what is rightly yours” Charity maintained coldly, she needed him to get with the program and not waste her time. Patience was not her virtue and she didn’t care for it.
“Wait, let me get this straight. She disowns me, throws me out and refuses to tell me who my father is for 29 years and then suddenly, she wants to take revenge and give me the right to inherit a million dollars?” he asked as he wiped the last of the tears from his eyes.
“Ten million” she corrected as her phone rang. She ignored it.
“What?”
“You get ten million dollars, not a million dollars” she corrected impatiently as her phone buzzed.
“What is in for you?” he asked noticing as she expertly typed a message.
“Minus my legal fees?” she asked jokingly breaking into a smile. He was coming around.
“I suppose everyone is on board with this”
“Just you” she flashed her best smile.
“Right” he answered watching her.
“Well, here is my card…just in case you change your mind. Come by my office tomorrow”
“Will she be there?” he asked, apprehensive.
“No. she won’t be dealing with you directly” she said sweetly getting into her car.
“Of course” he swallowed bitterly.
“I will be expecting you though” she said as she closed her door and keyed her car.
“Uhmmm” he nodded. She watched emotions play on his face. He would come, she concluded.
“How does one get loathed just because you reminded one of your father? A man you have never met or chose?” he asked, his eyes grave.
“You will have your answers soon enough Inale. I will be waiting for you” she said kindly.
“It’s Victor now” he corrected, feeling a little triumphant at his new alias.
“I know, Victor Dakar” she said in wink before driving away.
“And that my friend is how I got to the hawking profession” he said to no one in particular, walking slowly to his house and tearing open a gala wrap he had reserved for himself.

*****

Her office, located in a Residential Estate in Maitama extension, was not an ‘office’. It was a modern terrace duplex, completely detached and heavily guarded. He wanted to turn back but his curiosity at finally meeting a dead father had him knocking on the intimidating steel gate with a security camera.
“Do you have an appointment?” it was the security guard in yellow and red uniform. His green wool cap made Victor cringe visibly at the ridiculous outfit. The getup looked like a deliberate attempt at belittling the guard and everything he stood for, and it was working. This was the reason why he stuck to hawking. He decided what to wear, sell and what time to close.
“Yes” he answered after a moment, handing over the nicely crested business card.
“Please fill this form” the guard handed over a form and collected it once Victor had filled it satisfactorily.
“Please wait here” he instructed with authority.
“Will do” he mouthed.
Few minutes later, he was ushered into the house and left in an empty room with white walls and huge Plasma TV on the wall. The empty room which looked like a reception, had no chairs. He stood waiting for the next instruction. He smiled at the thought.
“I see you decided to show up” he turned at her voice to see a scantily-clad woman in black bikini, furiously rubbing her wet hair with a white towel. She had curves that threatened to spill from her bra and firm rounded hips that could make a man want to be a dog for a long time.
“Yes” he answered thickly, his eyes stopping at her tight nipples. Her navel captured his attention as he traced the tattoo carefully with the writings leading directly to her crotch.
“Like it?” she asked as she watched him force his eyes back to her face.
“It is an interesting tattoo. I should study it sometime” he flirted with a serious face.
“I would like that. Thank you” she flirted back.
“So here I am” he said lightly, looking at her with desire curling in places he didn’t want noticing her.
“I can see that. Please follow me to my office” she said taking the lead as she wrapped the towel around her waist.
Her office was surprisingly professional, furnished with an impressive library and dark brown mahogany shelves carrying law books and extremely large blue bonded book collections. The cold office had a Yanni’s First Touch playing softly in the background and News on Al Jazeera on her TV playing noiselessly. It was the news on the late tycoon’s death on repeat.
She walked over to the wardrobe and eased a wrap gown from the hanger over her shoulders, letting the towel fall and walking over to her desk. He was tempted to ask her to pick up the towel, he hated littered room.
“You can pick it up if it bothers you” she said simply, catching the disapproval in his eyes.
“So, who is my father?” he asked as he took a seat across from her.
“Was, he is dead”
“Right. Who was my father?” he asked watching her power her laptop and reach for a file simultaneously.
“You may know him, you may not” she said handing him the heavy file.
“This is one hell of a file” he commented dryly but felt a little heart kick.
“I decided not to print all of it. Enjoy. What do you want for lunch?” she asked picking up her intercom.
“Pounded yam, Vegetable soup and assorted meat. Pineapple juice, freshly squeezed would do. Thanks” he smiled.
“You know, for one who hawks for a living, I am surprised you know what pounded yam and assorted meat is” she said sarcastically dialing her kitchen.
“I am going to be roughly ten million dollars richer, I think it is about time I started ordering like a millionaire” he threw her words at her with a piercing look and a twitch in his lips, stopping a grin from coming out.
“I see” she smiled repeating his order and asking for spinach sauce and samosa for herself. Victor made a face before standing up with the file and going over to the comfortable sofas across the office. He sat down and took a deep breath and then he opened the file.
The moment Victor opened the file, his eyes popped at the identity of the man who was said to be his father. Chief Badmus Bello, the dead Tycoon and political Godfather. The one man who he had tried to meet severally and had had the honor of driving in his convoy for a day before he was accused of stealing and picked up by the police only to be warned off after an anonymous bail was posted.
He could not believe and closed it to look at Charity. She nodded, the seriousness and intensity told him this was not made up. He took a deep breath before opening it again. And he read. The exact dates, early pictures, his present net worth, investments, his family, rumors and alliances, the double-shady dealings and the women – it was a complete biography, only that he probably had the only copy. All doubts on the genuineness of the file and motive behind his mother finally revealing his father dawned upon him. There was not enough truck to take the filth and atrocities.
It took 3 hours of carefully studying the file to finally reach the last photograph.
“He was on the news yesterday” he croaked, stunned and disbelieving. Chief Bello could not be his father.
“He died yesterday” she supplied watching him.
“He has been buried?” he asked. He was clueless as to the emotion that was appropriate. Anger? Joy? Gratitude? Pain?
He had all of those and more.
“Not yet. I suppose today? Informants tell me his son, the Pastor your brother that is, is making the arrangements and won’t allow him be buried immediately”
“Is he requesting for autopsy?” he asked, his throat filling up.
Victor was overwhelmed with the revelation and the last piece of information in the file had been a young picture of Chief Badmus. Victor was a perfect copy of his father at that age.
“That’s the premise” she supplied pitying his predicament.
“Why now?” he asked her after five minutes of reflection and squeezing his eyes shut.
“You would have to ask your mother that”
“You should ask her on my behalf. That’s part of your job, is it not?” he spat hotly.
He couldn’t believe it. Victor Dakar, son of Chief Badmus Bello, late Chief Badmus Bello, he corrected himself as he stood up and walked around her office. He pressed his eyes with his hand to stop the tears coming to his eyes and the anger at his mother. He didn’t deserve any of it, all of this.
“Where is their history?” he asked, hands in pocket, turning to face her.
“What?” Charity was a little confused at the question.
“How did the two meet? How did I get here?” he asked, his eyes blood shot.
“Again, you would have to ask her” she stated calmly.
“Hmmm, I wondered what she is paying you for. One would think she was paying you to tell me all I need to know” he said with a tight smile.
“She is paying me to represent you. I am going to get you your inheritance” she retorted, confident of her abilities.
“It is all about the ten million dollars” he said darkly.
“What if I don’t want any of it?” he continued walking over to painting at the end of her office. He wanted to cry but he couldn’t show his weakness.
“I am assuming you are still shocked. I suppose there may be more of you”
“And how many of us will be coming out of the hiding to claim our settlement package?” he asked disgustingly.
“As many as he fathered but none who has me as their legal representative” she smiled smugly at his look of disgust.
“I sense you have an axe to grind too. What did he do to you?” he asked staring at her. She looked at him back from her seat, a minute later, she stood up and went to him.
“This is my father. George Ajero” she said simply as they looked at the painting on the wall in front of them.
“A SAN too” he noticed.
“Yes” she said simply with a pained smile.
“Where is he?” he asked.
“He is dead. Your father killed him”

*****

“These were your father’s wishes. He said categorically that on his death, he was to be buried without any autopsy carried out” it was SAN Dele Adewole, Chief Badmus Bello best friend and lawyer in an emergency meeting called by the late Chief’s brother, Abdullahi because Debola wouldn’t bulge on committing his father to earth without an autopsy and basically delaying the rites to be performed according to the Islamic faith.
“What else were his wishes? Did the wish include not finding out if he was killed?” Debola barked at the old dignified man in black suit and grey shirt.
“My son, I am telling you what the provisions are for his burial. If it pleases you, the documents can be presented. Your mother is aware of this” he said steadily, not flinching as he watched Alhaja with clouded desire. He wanted her so much it hurt but he had kept his feelings away all these years, now that the Chief was dead, he wanted nothing more than to hold her and tell her everything would be alright. He had never seen a more devoted mother and supporting wife. He would convince her to marry him, he thought unashamed that his coveted his best friend’s wife.
“Mom, is that true?” Debola asked watching helplessly as his mother blew her nose into her handkerchief.
“Yes” she whispered and blew her nose again, nodding and drying her red eyes.
Laide was seated beside her beautiful mother because she felt obligated. She had shed tears the moment she had arrived but had since stopped, trying to keep a strong face as she had been told by many to. The truth was that she couldn’t wait to have the old man committed to earth. She wanted to get out of here. She looked around for Kasimu, their eyes met and she lowered her eyes to his crotch. He froze and moved away from her view. She hid a smile.
Kole had been bailed out but the presence of policemen on the premises reinforced the fact that they were not going to let him walk away just yet. He wore dark shades and no one knew whether he was high or crying. He simply sat, watching as the conversation flew over his head and waiting for the ceremony to start before slipping away.
“I am not convinced but if that was his wish…, I have to respect it” Debola said finally defeated.
“Thank you” his mother whispered as he came close and held her.
“All will be fine. You will be fine” he hugged her and watched as his Uncle Abdullahi, the family Alfa began coordinating the burial arrangements. He had tried his best but if the old man wanted to be buried immediately, who was he to stop it. He didn’t have the spiritual capacity or faith to raise him from the dead and even if he did, he would rather let sleeping dogs lie.
The truth was that Debola was relieved and had staged the delay just to make a show. The autopsy episode was sown out of the need to object to something to prove that he, Debola Bello was in charge and wanted to be sure there was no foul play. At his arrival at the airport, they were so many reporters; his team had had to block the myriad of microphones that were pushed into his face. Now, he was sure the man was really dead. He could use the money to settle a lot of things, like his new family and the new baby he had just fathered with his former choir mistress. He saw Martha approach and the thought died a natural death.
It was going to be harder than he thought. He was a desperate sinking man who couldn’t divorce his wife because he was a pastor to one of the biggest new generation churches. He had a responsibility to his members all over the world but could ten million dollars liberate him? The answer was not comforting

*****
The man watched from a distance as they came. Each in a convoy, each one of them a rogue, cheat and killer. He watched them come out of their exotic cars and watched others drop from their private chopper. It was the perfect setting.

*****
The dark grey skies thickened furiously as family and friends of the Late Chief arrived at The Castle in convoys that flooded the grounds. Former Heads of State, past and present Governors, Ministers, Spiritual heads and Executive Officers of international and indigenous companies came in troves to pay their final respect to the icon, the big heart who was now lying in state. The condolence register had since been opened and the dignitaries flooding the exquisite large room already prepared for guests overwhelmed Sekinat. Thankfully, his body would finally be buried and everyone could leave. The sooner the ceremony was over, the sooner she could leave The Castle with the baby growing inside her. She watched Alhaja Kadirat cry from afar and took a deep breath. What did they say about widows who grieve the most?
The mausoleum stood poignant and imposing like the man who was going to be lying it. Painted in crisp white with tall Victorian columns located on manicured lawn few meters away from his favorite wild mahogany tree, the Alfa, Badmus’s step-brother, read out words from the Quran and delivered a message with Debola itching to say few words. This was his father’s funeral and here he was standing on the sidelines. He felt like shit. He smiled at the profanity and looked at his wife who looked like she would laugh out any minute now.
The official pressmen had set up cameras from the moment Chief Badmus’s body had arrived at The Castle on his private plane and the live streaming as event unfolded had taken over several stations across the country. Martha had been impressed with the turnout and with the level of dedication the political vultures came to pay their last respect. Of course he was one of them and it was only normal that they would troop out enmasse to be at his burial. She imagined his Will and smiled. She knew just what Debola had planned and she would simply ask for more than half of whatever he gets. What would one do with $5 million dollars? She fantasied. Just then, Martha noticed movement behind her and felt a piece of paper being pressed into her hand.
She turned around quickly to catch a man in black suit leave and disappear into the crowd. Looking around, she noticed the rapt attention of everyone, staring at the Alfa and reciting the last recital before they committed the body to the mausoleum.
Secretly opening the piece of paper underneath her phone, it simply read – Leave Now.
Her head jerked up and looked around again for a clue. There was no one looking at her or acting suspicious. She stood for few minutes, her heart racing when her phone vibrated. It was a text message – Leave Now!. There was no sender number.
She watched Debola focus on his Uncle. Should she take him along? Perhaps she should, just in case it was a kidnap attempt, she thought looking around again.
She found his hand and pulled at it. He looked at her with impatience.
“What is it?” he muttered under his breath.
“Come with me now” she replied in a mutter before dragging him along, eyes following them. Debola nodded courteously at the onlookers and followed Martha who was obviously in a hurry to reach the main house 500 meters. She was standing by their car when he reached her.
“What is it now Nomso? You do realize that my father will be laid to rest any minute and as the first son, I must be there” he said, heaving.
“Get in” she ordered.
“Bola, get in” she said entrusting the piece of paper in his hand. He entered the car reluctantly.
“What is this?” he asked throwing the piece of paper on her.
Just then, the loud thundering sound of an explosion filled the car that reverberated and shook so hard, the glasses shattered. The heart wrenching sound traveled the distance and they felt the impact as it flung their car against other parked cars.
He fell sideways, pushing his wife to the ground as he opened the car door, feeling pieces of glass on his body. He felt her move and then watched in horror as blood flowed from the back of her neck. The windscreen had shattered and large chunk of sharp glass was lodged at the nape of her neck.
“Nomso, Nomso” he called weakly, the ringing bell in his ears was beginning to clear as he looked around littered bodies everywhere. Shouts emanating from persons he could not see filled air but a look at the direction of the mausoleum confirmed what he thought it was.
A bomb blast at the mausoleum.

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

*****

Next week!

Comment, Share….support!

Countdown of Ex-Boyfriend’s Gifts

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Hey guys!
Had a nice weekend? Stressful morning? Thought to post funny article for your lunch break….
Do not hesitate to comment or add your list…

Countdown of Ex-Boyfriend’s Gifts by @UnenAmeji

So it is a Sunday and I am going through my wardrobe. Music playing in background, clothes all around and I am tripping on shoes, brushes, books and toiletries. Definitely chaos in my room and this dude down here – Leo is responsible for most of it. He makes sure I have more work to do than necessary.

Leonardo in his element

Leonardo in his element


Sidebar: If you are in a relationship and have issues giving gifts, you should not be in one. Needless to say you won’t be remembered when it ends (trust me it ends with me sooner than later) or rather you’d be remembered for the measly rat that you are. #AkaGum
Without much ado, here are gifts received in no particular order;
1. House Still pending
2. Car Still pending
3. Diamonds Still pending
4. Exotic Trip Still pending
5. Spa session Still pending
6. Brazilian Hair Still pending (I will sell it and buy more shoes since I don dey eye dreadlocks)
7. Cash – millions Hundreds of thousands
8. Books e.g Monster by Frank Peretti _ never going to read it. (I am willing to trade it for book on Nigerian Slavery though- contact me at @UnenAmeji on twitter)
9. Sony Camera (Had an artistic phase and he suffered the consequences – sorry)
10. Mobile phones (Nokia, Blackberries – change phones a lot)
11. Part of Laptop (We saved for it – cute no?)
12. Bottles of Perfumes (Seems like I’m cursed with this one)
13. Hand bags (Had some ugly matured ones though..kai)
14. Shoes (Kitten heels – Maka Why! And ah, the cute twin slippers family members decided it was for public use – beefing)
15. Biggest pant (knickers) I have – Mr. I.I
16. Smallest pant (knickers) I have – Mr. I.I
17. Smallest bra I have – Mr. I.I ….(Don’t know what he was thinking)
18. Wristwatches (constant K)
19. Blouses, T-Shirts and Tank Tops (some hideous blouses – it’s a challenge to wear)
20. Jean trousers (Faded – don’t know how new)
21. Night wear (There is one I have worn to shreds…damn too comfy and makes me feel really sexy…hehehe)
22. Running shoes – (I would rather have a personal trainer)
23. Jewelry – (Leo found the box and had a little session with some, sis-moi swept the most recent one into the bin – she denies this allegation with straight face)
24. 1 no. fresh Rose flower (I hated the thought, I loved the gesture – it was romantic *kissed and I tried to preserve it _ No such luck )
25. Ah! Boxers (I steal borrow and don’t return – wearing one as I type)
26. Traditional outfits and Ankara fabrics (traditional outfit looked too serious – like a married woman with 8 children – nah)
27. Eye glasses (Looked like I was trying too hard to be hip and young – gave it out)
28. Weed – admirer (to treat glaucoma for a close relative – I SWEAR I didn’t take it)
29. Chess board – admirer (can’t find it but can play it _ thanks Mr. U)
30. Vintage piece of furniture – bribe from informal recruiter (long story)
31. Sweater (more appropriate name should be furnace)
32. Towel (lovely until you want to wash it – wet blanket is lighter)
P.S – The above list excludes lunches, dinners, cinema dates, air time and driving lessons from my two and a half boyfriends. Items in plural indicate gifts were given on numerous occasions. I may have left out some gifts…perhaps an updated list? If I am jobless again.
Unsolicited advice: Give good gifts _ I do……..it keeps the memory alive. I see some of these things now and remember these men and wonder what life would have been like with them and then again I remember why it was never going to work. Lessons learnt, growing days and forging ahead. I don’t remember measly men as a rule. And while we are still at giving gifts, be wary of men who don’t give gifts because they feel and tell you “you are a rich and independent woman”. Most often than not, they are just there to feel vacuum, waste your time and get what they can from you. Even a rich “independent” woman deserves a real man who will impress and give her meaningful gifts.

While I would like to continue making the list, ‘travel down memory lane’ and give unsolicited advice, I have got to clean and get back to writing the Gentlemen’s Club series. So….drop your comments, your lists and unsolicited advice.

Gentlemen's Club ....Anonymous.Front page

Get the first of the series Here if you haven’t.…consider it as a gift or helping a determined writer raise funds to publish her big book….

I am off to continue cleaning….

Nice week!

Read Gentlemen’s Club Excerpts Here 18+ #Erotica #Suspense #Fiction

Book Release: Gentlemen’s Club by Uneñ Ameji is Finally Out

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Uneñ Ameji, African Stories affiliated Author is out with a new mini series titled “Gentlemen’s Club“. It is exclusively available on the Okadabooks App.

Kindly click here to download the Okadabooks app

Get the book here

An erotica series, Gentlemen’s Club, set in modern day Nigeria, tells a different story of love amidst suspense and heated sexual scenes. She promises it would get hotter as she unveils each part, connecting myriad experiences and stories for the enjoyment of her readers.

Gentlemen’s Club…Anonymous the first of the series is about Talatu Sani-Sabo, owner of an art gallery and independent woman who wants a child at all cost. Tally is introduced to sex services rendered by the infamous club by her friend, Lucy – a bisexual.

All is set until she meets the wrong man.

Yakubu Aman, an artiste and ace music producer is searching for the right woman. He is ready for love but he finds lust. By fate, he meets a woman who he can fall in love with but she solicits for sex – A 21st century desperado.

Will Yaks choose love over decency? What becomes of their night of erotic pleasure?

Find out.

Kindly click here to download the Okadabooks app

Get the book here

Front Cover-page-001

Remember to comment after reading the book on the app. You can also send in your reviews to mailafricanlovestories@gmail.com or simply comment below.

Enjoy your weekend!

Love on the 25th – Season Finale

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Hey guys!
So sorry for weeks of absence…lot of work and script writing….yes, yes… got a scripting gig and it’s been great – just out of lies stories..but will keep you posted…when dem act am….hehehe.

So today is final episode of Love on the 25th… after months of writing about Debbie Black and Vince Fatasho, we rest their bitter-sweet story. Do comment…let’s know what think, your own ending version and share ….

Enjoy!

Episode 17. Season Finale
Timothy Benjamin Dickson was a vengeful man. No one crossed him and remained within close radius – if life was precious. Victoria Motosho knew better than to have let him live after she pulled a handgun on him and his ugly mistress demanding for her daughter 16 years ago. But it happened that Ben who wasn’t a cat still found a way to survive bullets sprayed in his midsection; a miracle that left Victoria fleetingly in mortal fear of a strike back and an unhealthy appetite for cold revenge after she found out that he was alive and had killed her best friend. The strike back never happened.

The look of shock and loud scream from the ugly woman Ben had left her for fueled her confidence and hatred as she held them at gun point on that dark fateful night. The ugly woman who had been cocky and annoyingly displaying a self-satisfied smug prompted a heartbroken Victoria to whip out the shiny weapon she had obtained from her father’s old box. Ben’s thick lips that Victoria loved had tightened when she waved it at the ugly woman who suffered from acute color blindness; bidding her to let her tongue wag one more time.
“Put the gun away” he had commanded firmly as his bleached mistress stood like Lot’s wife – a pillar of poisonous salt. Victoria had raised it with the intention of shooting her thighs but then Ben made an unplanned move to collect the gun from her trembling hands. An involuntary press of the trigger as they struggled and a bullet was logged in the ugly woman’s chest. She slumped on the black settee, almost in slow motion, lifeless body devoid of sound sprawling obscenely as blood soaked through her flowery shirt and yellow pants.
Ben ran to her, knelt beside her, jerking her dangling head and getting soaked with her abnormally red blood that gushed from her left breast as he called her name with tears stinging his eyes, his voice for the first time cracking and catching in his throat. He loved her – Victoria had come to realize as she stood afraid of what she had done.
He buried his head in her neck as he cried and pleaded for her to come back. Victoria should have left but she couldn’t bring herself to move. Victoria didn’t know how long she stood there until Ben came charging towards her in rage and she knew there was only one option. She raised the gun, closed her eyes and released strays of bullet into his wide chest and thick legs as he approached, tears falling from her eyes. She should have listened to her father.
“He is no good” he had told her on his death bed. But she didn’t listen.
His heavy body fell to the ground with a loud thump and Victoria stood in the cold room with the gun hanging from her hand as she looked at the dead bodies. Just as she made to leave, the stillness was interrupted by a teenage boy who opened the front door and stepped into the room albeit gingerly. He stared at the bodies and a look of recognition registered in his eyes as they stared at themselves.
“Alama’s mother” he said out loud. She buried a bullet in his head. She couldn’t afford loose ends. She had come to get her daughter but a murderer she had become. She stood, the bodies littered around her as their warm blood leaked out of the remaining of what was once alive. Weak and afraid of what she had done, she hurried out of the house, the bloody scene and smell of warm blood threatening to overcome her sanity, the need to retch overpowering her being. She rushed out.
The old gateman who tried to get a glimpse of the night visitor was given away by creak of the rusty door of his gatehouse. A bullet had entered the old gateman’s head as he begged, stopping his words forever.
She remembered everything.
The look of fear in her tiny ugly eyes, the angry look on Ben’s face as he charged towards her, the arrogant stare from the teenage boy and the last words from the dark lips of the old gateman
“Madam, please….I get children”
Time of murder – 10:55pm.

****
She opened her weary eyes as she always did when she couldn’t sleep. After 16 years, she still regretted the killings but knew she would not hesitate to put a bullet in his head if she ever set her eyes on him again. A cheat and a rogue, Ben had taken her for a fool, leaving her penniless and without a daughter. The days she had begged for contracts and favors on goodwill, selling her body to her so-called father’s friends for funds to execute government contracts but it had paid off in the end; an end that did not justify the means. She had come to understand that there were no endings – just series of unfortunate events with transient happy moments interlaced with unending days of regrets, fear and pogoing hope. Life as it were was nothing but just time and moments – there were no justifications.

The killings were never unraveled but she had been contacted after the bodies were found twelve hours after the shooting. An overbearing inspector with his timid partner had found her in her Lagos home 48 hours after the murder. She had driven back to Lagos from Benin the night of the murder and had gone straight to Kaita’s house. Dumping the gun in a small pool of water across a mini bridge as she drove on the lonely road at midnight, she wept for her missing baby, the lives she had taken and the children of the old guard. She wept because she had lost everything and he had chosen the worthless ugly woman in the end. Kaita, her best friend had taken one look at her and dragged her in without questions.

The ill-mannered policeman with beady accusatory fowl eyes reiterated that her daughter was still missing; her husband and his new ‘wife’, a teenage boy and an old security man had been murdered in cold blood at his Benin residence and she was the prime suspect. She knew he was buffing and like a shark circling, he smelled blood but couldn’t prove it. A play out of emotions of one who was suffering the anguish of a missing child, hatred her husband but still human enough to tear at the news was appropriate and Victoria played the part to perfection. There was no way she was going down for the crime when her daughter was still out there.

Kaita, a renowned lawyer stepped in when the crass inspector asked for Victoria to remain silent and cuffed her to the station with mere suspicions and few witnesses’ account of seeing Victoria two days before murder asking for her daughter in the street with flyers of a child. With a lawyer as an alibi and legal representative, it wasn’t long before the case fizzled out after series of appearances in court. In the cause of investigation and thanks to Kaita’s digging skills, it was discovered that Ben had embezzled millions of Naira of a very dangerous man in the creeks that couldn’t be named. It was also established that Ben had swindled Victoria of her inheritance along with other persons who were faceless. Soon the case quickly turned to one with more suspects than admissible – ‘above-the-law’ kind of suspects. Ben became the fraudulent dead man who killed his family and guard because of his recklessness and unmatched greed. Ben’s stash however was never found and the inconsequential amount in his accounts was frozen by the court. The case was dismissed.
“Give it time to breathe and we can check back” a determined Kaita to unravel where Ben hid his stash had told Victoria as she drove her to the Murtala Mohammed Airport after she was acquitted and was on her way to her home country – Ghana.

All was quiet until Kaita stumbled on a keg of gun powder 5 years later and was murdered few days to exposing the rot that was buried deep in the Nigerian Stock Exchange and big stalwarts in Government.

Ben was not dead.

A silent investor using a new name, Ben controlled companies worth billions Naira with subs that did whatever they were told. Not one to stay in a place long enough to reveal identity, Ben was steadily on the move and rise to acquire businesses across Africa with pseudo names. Kaita had found out the stunning discovery when one of her clients complained of shares bought in a company that had been declared non-performing by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and wanted to sue the company along with other investors who bought. His investments to the tune of five million Naira had gone down the economic drain and he wanted it back at or to be compensated. The story was that FAT Communications had issued IPOs – Initial Public Offers for the company clearly with the intention of not reporting to the NSE quarterly as stipulated. After 6 years, the company alongside others was declared non-performing, investors didn’t get a single kobo on shares bought because “they were supposed to share in the risk” and worst off, they couldn’t recover their investments. Their lives savings, borrowed funds and seed money was gone and they wanted Kaita to represent them.

Kaita, the notorious digger had dug deep into the company and discovered monumental dirt in the modus operandi of the perpetrators. These companies had the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in their pockets and as such could default without any slap on the wrist. More also, not only was FAT Communications a cover up company, four other companies on the list of the non-performing companies had the same chairman – A Tim Bent.

Kaita, dogged, continued to track down the evasive man until an old copy of his passport stared at her from the laptop of the clerk she had seduced with her fine legs and a promised bed rump after work.
Tim Bent was no other person than Timothy Benjamin Dickson.
Victoria was the first to know and together they had worked on how to expose the system that sold shares to unsuspecting public for the purpose of raising millions for personal gain and Victoria – with the sole aim of destroying Ben.

But sadly, few days after Kaita had an incriminating document she wouldn’t show Victoria, she was taken off the 3rd Mainland Bridge by a truck – one belonging to one of the companies under investigation. An autopsy after refusal of company to pay huge compensation demanded by Kaita’s firm revealed enormous dose of cocaine in her system. The case had not only destroyed her reputation as the best female lawyer in the country, it had also left Victoria mad with grief and ambition to take Ben down at all cost, even if it were the last thing on earth she’d do. Now, Victoria decided was a good time to contest ownership of the company – Zenith Group and expose him for what he truly is – evil in human form.

Tim Bent owned 70% of Zenith Group with a miserly 30% shared between unknown fronters including Abel Fatasho, her father’s P.A before her father died and she had married Ben. It took Hanna Towel, Victoria’s new forensic accountant 2 years to dig out and trail Ben’s investments across Africa and in the UK but Ben remained ‘dead’.

There was simply no trace of his existence.

Whether he was alive or his ghost existed, Victoria was going to make him pay for his crimes. She might have pulled the trigger that ended lives but he had gone long enough wrecking more havoc and needed nemesis badly. If she was a hypocrite, then so be it. Victoria was ready to bare the economic rot he had long cultivated and take her pound of flesh. If he thought he had powers at the top, she had garnered alliances from top officials and international bodies….this time; Victoria was ready to see the nail go down his coffin – firmly.
It was her life ambition. It was time.

The long talk with Alama now Debbie Black revealed she had worked with the Group and had a fling with Abel’s second son. Victoria had smiled at the new name her little princess had given herself and admired her strategy for survival – she was really her father’s daughter. Alama had no idea of the power at play and the recount of her life had Victoria pasting a wide white smile as Alama continued to jab away on her friends, work and achievements. Did Abel know Alama – now Debbie was Ben’s daughter? Was Ben aware she was alive and working in his company? If so, what was his plan? He always had a plan and Victoria was sure Alama was going to be caught in between them once again.

She lied when she told Alama her father was dead because she wanted her daughter to smile, to stop the tears that flowed but mostly because she desperately wanted him to be. She hoped for both of them that Ben was indeed dead and that someone was acting on his behalf or impersonating him. Despite the task at hand, Victoria was thankful for the wedding interview – she had found her daughter. And now, she waited for tomorrow – Alama’s wedding day before flying to Abuja to go see Abel to make her demands. God help them. God keep her.
A smile at the thought of witnessing her baby girl walk down the aisle as she dropped her legs on the cold tiles tugged the corners of her mouth. Her phone rang. It was Alama. She smiled and picked it.
“Hey baby”
“Mum, Mum!” Alama called in panic. Her voice is shrill like she has seen a ghost. Victoria was sitting up as fast as she could.
“Yes Alama, what is it?”
“He is alive, He is alive” she said in quick breath.
“Where? Baby, where?” Victoria asked, panicking as she thought of the worst that Ben could do to her baby just to spite her.
“With my boss, with his son, I don’t know..I can’t be here. I am sorry the wedding is off” her voice barely in whispers.
“Calm down baby” she calmed her.
“I will find you” she said as she swallowed a sob and ended the call.
“Hello? Alama! Alama?” she called, staring at the dead phone in her hand.
Victoria Motosho knew Alama had slipped past her fingers once more and as always Ben was the denominator.
It was time to face Ben and face him squarely.

****
Vince

Her eyes closed, long lashes fanning her flushed cheeks and tempting swollen pink lips. Head on white soft pillow and hand placed delicately along her curved hips, she slept peacefully and I resisted the urge to wake her up for another romp. Watching her even breathing, I couldn’t resist anymore and planted a kiss on her warm soft lips as her eyes fluttered open. She woke up with a sad smile.
“Hi” I smiled as she looked sleepy and blinked to focus on me. I placed light kisses on the tip of her nose and she purred, smiling.
The sound of light rain caused her to turn, the movement revealing her pebble-like nipples on healthy sturdy breasts. I could see the receding love bite from my sucking and I smiled recalling her eagerness, hot dirty talk as she rode me and her twenty seconds blackout. She had screamed into my mouth as we came together and I felt the flimsy material between us rip as I filled her with my essence.
“Hey beautiful” I said, dipping my head to give her a full kiss. The room was dark and cold, the Air Conditioner humming in distance as we moaned, sucking and kissing. I could kiss her all day.
“I have to go” she choked after the passionate kiss, looking at me with unfathomable eyes. I didn’t know what she was thinking and the fact that she showed no emotion made me flinch.
“No, you don’t” I murmured as I tried to drag her soft warm body under me but she twisted free, standing up and going to the bathroom. I followed her.
“Really Vince, you don’t need a bath” she said as I joined her in the shower. Silence followed as we took turns washing each other and she smiled, shaking her head as I pressed her up against the glass wall.
“Someone is determined to get me pregnant” she said as she felt me slip my fingers in her tight love hole before going down on her. She had insisted on condoms right from the start and I had obliged her. It wasn’t my fault it ripped. I simply wasn’t built for condoms. After a thrashing orgasm from my mouth, I was determined to leave a piece of me in her and I plunged in, deeper, without a single thought of retracting until the deed was done.
“You are mine, only mine” I said as I pushed into her womb, standing and bracing her legs up. Her squeal and tightening of her legs round my waist, flexing of her vaginal muscles became too much for me as we went at it slow, raw lust building up as I fed her; and then she had shattered in my arms; crying and clinging to me. I came unexpectedly as we stilled; each afraid of moving, holding on to the moment. I was spent, sedated but surprisingly hard again in few seconds. This was too much.
“You have to get that sorted and don’t you dare come close” she laughed as she came down from her climax and felt me growing hard in her canal. Unhooking her legs, she moved away for a thorough bath. Words were not exchange afterwards as we washed; looking at each other and smiling.
“Marry me” I asked as I relished the feeling of teasing her pebbles on firm flesh.
“I am not going to leave you” I said with profound determination as her silence washed over me. Pressing into her and trailing kisses under her earlobe, she remained stiff but gradually got excited again as I sunk my index finger in her. I couldn’t resist – I had her again.
“What time is it?” she asked as we finished ‘bathing’ for the umpteenth time, getting into her jeans and looking around for her bra.
“Let me help you with that” I said going behind her and slowly putting it on but holding it lose as my hands covered her firm round breasts that were defying my persistent attention to cause them to fall.
“Vince, stop it. It is not a toy” she said trying to push my hands away
“Are you sure? Coz I am pretty sure I could play with them all days” I said tweaking the already hardening nubs.
“I can’t do this right now” she snapped as she walked over to where her shirt lay on the sofa.
“I am sorry….I just can’t get enough of you” I said as emotion caught in my throat. Never did a woman get under my skin this deep and the thought that she was walking down the aisle in less than twenty-four hours caused me great discomfort. It also made me feel less of a blockhead for what I was about to do. A desperate man really could be a foolish man. I had no idea of what I intended to achieve but doing nothing to stop the wedding would be waiting to be spoon-fed.
“Do you love me?” I couldn’t believe the words had come out of my mouth as I watched her adjust her shirt in the mirror. She froze, not turning to look at me. Few seconds passed as she found her bag and walked around the room almost too afraid to acknowledge I had spoken as she picked her phone.
“I asked you a question Alama” I pushed and she turned to face me; her eyes begging to be let off the question.
“I need to know” I pressed as I noticed her lips clamping together.
“Debbie?” I called, reaching out to her.
“Vince, I can’t”
“Do you feel anything for me? Some kind of connection, likeness, love maybe?” I asked standing in her front, almost begging her to let me know what she was thinking. It seemed like she only wanted me for sex and then couldn’t get away fast enough once it was over. It was unfair to have these feelings and not have them reciprocated.
“Even if I did, what would be the point?” she said looking straight at me, then dropping her eyes.
“Marry me Debbie” I asked again, tilting her chin to look at me. Her eyes watered and her lips tightened; I could feel her heartbeat and noticed the uneasiness in her breathing. I could see the conflict of emotions in her eyes, fear, desire and loyalty.
“I am getting married to Kole in less than 24 hours” she finally answered, looking at the door. She had decided. I watched her as she walked out of the room but not before long heard her gasp.
“Caleb”
I closed my eyes.
“You are such an a**hole” I muttered underneath my breath as I followed her out, grabbing a shirt on my way.
Perhaps a meeting of ex-husband and soon-to-be husband might just stop wedding.
I could only hope.

****
Debbie

For the umpteenth time, I wondered what was wrong with me as I rode him hard, twisting and gyrating for all I was worth. I couldn’t get him out of my system and the fact that I transform into some devious sexual being whenever I was with him confounded my confusion. Why Vince? Why did I have to get mushy and brainless the moment I’m left in the room with him? To say he is the best I ever had would be an understatement. He was firm, long, big, curved and his measured strokes took my breath away. He knew his way around my body and I didn’t care if he had 10,000 hours practice with 10,000 women to get it right every single time. I lost it when his lips found mine and all I could think about was having him.
“You have to stop this wanton behavior. This isn’t you” my inner Being said, frowning in disapproval as I voiced phrases that would put the highest porn star to shame. Using the last ounce of self-control, I stopped and made to climb off him but he was quick to anticipate my move. He switched and I was on my back before I could blink. Thoughts flew out of my head as he drove in with one purpose. Domination. I blanked out as I came and I felt him rip the protection I was counting on.

His lips taking mine hours later woke me up and I felt my treacherous body respond in a way I knew would cause me to misbehave again. His hands, his hard-soft body and lips tempted me as we showered until he asked if I loved him and repeated I marry him. His continuous chant of the two-word sentence was beginning to get personal and serious. I freaked out. Hurrying out to the sitting room to escape the tensed atmosphere, and there he was. Sitting with his back to me, I knew even before he turned. I felt my lungs collapse and my throat clamp up as I watched him turn.
“Caleb?” I called. I couldn’t believe he was sitting here after so many years. My legs needed support at this point and I found myself leaning on to the sofa in the large live-in space.
“Alama?” he called, his eyes meeting mine. A smile? A confused look?
“Caleb. Why are you here?” was all I could come up with. The questions were whispered and my heart beating so fast I had to consciously tell myself to calm down.
“I thought you were dead” he said standing up and advancing slowly. I raised my hand to stop him.
“You left me.” I said in a strange high pitched voice. Like the frightened 16 years old who was left in the fire.
“I..” he couldn’t find the words.
“I am sorry” he whispered as I waited for him to explain why he deserted me. Why he wasn’t with me in the burning hut. Why he let me suffer knowing I was carrying his child, our child.
“What are you doing here?” I repeated, my eyes filling with salted water. Vince had told me Caleb was with him in his message but seeing him here was overwhelming. What was his plan? To reconcile us? To get a confession from me? From Caleb? Surely it was just a ploy to get me in bed and it worked. I wasn’t angry, I felt cornered.
“Mr. Vincent” he said looking anxious and uncertain as he lifted his eyes to the approaching figure. I knew without looking back that Vince was standing behind me. When did he let Caleb in? Most probably when I was sleeping. And for how long was he here? Did he hear me scream? I shifted on the sofa as I gathered my thoughts.

Vince went straight to the bar across the room and got a glass of spiked vodka for himself eyeing both of us, and just as he screwed the lid back, a knock sounded on the door.
“Right about time” he said without looking at me, questions on who he was expecting and what he wanted to achieve with the ambush trapped in my throat. He walked over to the door and opened it. I saw his body tense before I heard a familiar voice. A voice that would change the course of events.
“We need to talk right now” it was an angry Mr. Fatasho. What was Mr. Fatasho doing here? I tried to process the connection between my wedding Kole, Caleb and Mr. Fatasho and came out blank.
“Tobi can host the government official father” Vince sounded pissed and I wondered what was going on. Caleb sat looking at me quietly and I stood up, uncomfortable at his silent direct stares. I approached the door and decided to find out what was the cause of the raucous exchange.
“Good evening sir” I greeted sweetly and a flick of alarm registered on his face. He looked like ashen; like a blow had been delivered in his midsection; and as he glanced beside him, my eyes followed his to the subject of his agitation. A mass of living body occupying gold plated wheelchair stared back at me.

My heart literally lurched; fear, anger and an emotion I knew as hatred flushed down my body all in one second.
A look of shock etched on his lined face and dimpled nose, I saw the proud man I knew as my father seated in a wheelchair with a pregnant young woman; his hair white, lips drawn to the side imitating a sardonic smile and a little glint in his eyes. If I wasn’t any wiser, I would have concluded he was happy to see me but I knew better. This was the man who was responsible for a terrible childhood, this was the man I wanted dead, this was the man who was dead yesterday but today lives. This was the man who changed my life before and who had the power to change it yet again.

What was the connection here? What did Vince and his father have to do with my father? And how did they all get here? Caleb, my father and just as I lifted my eyes….I saw Kole at the landing of the stairs few meters from the door.
It was official. There was no way I was going ahead with the wedding.
Just in a second, what took me sixteen years to forget was staring at me in the face and this time it wasn’t any different. I did what I knew how to do.
I ran.

****
Kole

I knew without being told that she was with Vince the moment her line rang off repeatedly. The text from Vince after the fourth ring confirmed it. Although it barely stated why he was inviting me to his apartment, the vague message from Vince was all I was hoping to avoid few hours to my first wedding. It was obvious that Debbie had tuned out since the Alex episode and whatever I said afterwards evoked passive of smiles, the signed agreement serving to divide us further. The little spark that existed between us was long gone and we were going ahead with the wedding because it was too late to stop and I, hoping for a fresh start and giving my sexual orientation a break.
How did Vince get my number though? That wasn’t an issue with Debbie’s phone on her person. I was furious and as I got ready, I vowed he wasn’t getting away this time without a disjointed jaw. Taking two hours off the guys to “go sort out some issues”, I drove roughly to the address. Alex had gone MIA and wasn’t returning my calls. I had to make sure he wasn’t going to try some crazy stunt at my wedding tomorrow. Perhaps he was why Vince had invited me to his apartment – I hoped not.

The drive to Ikoyi took the last shred of patience and as soon as I found a suitable parking spot, I was out fuming and eager to put the little boy in his place.
My phone buzzed. An email from Alex.
I knew the content of the mail before opening, call it premonition and you’d be right. Taking a deep breath, I opened it nonetheless.
Get married and I will release our love video” an email
Staring at me as attachments were sex videos. Alex, a weirdo had recorded one of our session because ‘it kept him warm’ and wanted to get kicks from editing the footage. But from the attachments, he probably must have recorded more sessions. I felt heat climb up my neck and took a moment to take in air. I sent a reply instantly.
I will be there in 1 hour. Don’t do anything rash” I replied.
I cursed my addiction to the fine specimen…Alex was going to be my downfall, I knew it and yet I couldn’t wait to get to his apartment – mostly to ‘reassure’ him of my love the only way I knew how.
‘There goes my bachelor’s eve’ I muttered as I looked up the apartment number from Vince’s message.
‘Get her and leave’ I muttered again all the way to the 1st floor chastising myself for thinking she was with him and using the stairs to work up anger.
And then I saw her.
Her face red, like she faced a furnace, as she ran down the stairs as fast as her legs could carry her. A look at the little group at the door of the apartment told me they were responsible for the tensed atmosphere and they stared back at me as Vince dashed past me in hot pursuit.
“Debbie! Debbie!!” he called as he ran after her.
I briefly considered asking what Mr. Fatasho what was going on but decided against it and I followed suit.
“Debbie!” I called as I ran down the stairs but she was already out of the mini estate and had waved down a taxi.
“Debbie! Listen, I had nothing to do with whatever that was back there” it was Vince shouting as Debbie got into the car. Her hair askew, eyes red and nose running, she was on a call.
“He is alive, He is alive” she was saying into the phone in panic as I came within hearing distance.
“Debbie” I called and she looked at me.
“I am sorry Kole. I can’t” and she was gone. I knew even without her saying it – the wedding was off.
My phone rang. It was Alex.
“I can’t talk now Alex” I said into the phone as I watched the car speed off.
“Then you leave me with no choice Kole” he threatened.
“The wedding is off” I barked into the phone, exasperated at his timing.
“I need you here with me, please” he tried the pitiful tone he knew got me every time.
“Give me few minutes” I said grudgingly into the phone and I cut him off.
“The wedding is off” I said looking at Vince with a straight face. Vince stared after the long departed car, rubbing his nose violently and cursing in muted tones.
“I hope you are happy” I said to a distraught Vince who finally looked at me with heated eyes.
“Yea, I guess so” he said maliciously and he matched back into the estate with anger oozing from his pores.
I had less than 25 minutes to get to Alex. It wasn’t a good time to find out what the little gathering was all about and moreover the wedding was off…..I sent the three worded sentence to my ever efficient P.A and switched off my phone.
She knew what to do.

****
Caleb

I knew even before I boarded the plane that Alama’s rumored wedding would not hold. Against Umar’s advice, I had taken the plane ticket from Mr. Vincent and had left for Lagos – hopeful, excited and ashamed at various times as I prepared for the trip. Mr. Vincent didn’t know this but Umar was a friend of a friend I briefly housed when he came into Abuja for his job interview years back. It was a huge relief when he had stepped into the house weeks ago.
“I really don’t know what you did or didn’t do. I think it will be wise to stay off for now” he had advised as we left Mr. Vincent’s house. Two days later, Mr. Vincent strolled into the lounge and handed me a Lagos-bound ticket. I took the decision to end the suspense. Yes, I was a murderer or almost a murderer and yes, I wasn’t going to confess, I wanted to see the woman she had become – the woman who had the attention of millions. I simply wanted to see her just one more time.

And I had seen her – more radiant and confident….until she had seen her father and fled, Vince in pursuit. I knew I wasn’t going to see her again; maybe in another decade. I could only hope.
Vince returned alone with eyes so bright with anger and chest heaving with words unspoken.
“Who is he? What are you doing here?” he shouted the moment he walked in, slamming the door as he pointed a look at the mean looking man in wheel chair. The atmosphere had been quiet but tensed in the airy room as the old men and young pregnant woman made entrance few minutes earlier; my eyes refusing to meet the man I knew was Alama’s father. I didn’t introduce myself and frankly I didn’t know what I was still doing there.
“I am Tim Bent – Alama’s birth father” he said without missing a beat.
“We need to talk” it was a man who looked like Mr. Vincent in his mannerism and thick brows knotted in determination to maintain aloofness. Mr. Vincent simply ignored him and went into his bedroom but exited shortly after.
“Book yourself a flight” it was Mr. Vincent handing me two bundles of one thousand Naira notes. The look in his eyes told me I was free to go.
“I am sorry” I said for the first time meaning it. He didn’t know what I was sorry for but he nodded.
I was sorry for keeping Alama when her mother was looking for her.
I was sorry for taking advantage of a 16 year old
I was sorry for killing an innocent baby.
I was sorry for deserting her
I was sorry for the chance lost to apologize to her.
I was sorry.
“I am too” he answered and showed me to the door.
One last look at three domineering men and I gave a sad bow.
I got what I came here for – I got to see her one last time.
But I was not going back to Abuja.
A new life in Lagos beckons – Another fresh start and I welcomed it.

****
Vince

The two old men sat staring at each other and I was tempted to scream the roof off.
“I see you are her father” I started after the silence followed Caleb’s exit.
“You knew she was alive and you didn’t tell me!” the old man in the wheel chair snapped at my father.
“I didn’t know” father said in low tone looking out of the window.
“I see” he replied and turned to face me.
“Where is my daughter now?” The intimidating man in wheels turned to ask me and I blanked out for few seconds.
“That is irrelevant” my father voiced coming to stand in the middle of the room.
“What do you mean it is irrelevant? If you have nothing to say, it would do you good to keep quiet” he barked again; I could see him with legs looming over the room.
“She ran away again and I want her back” he continued without a breaking, looking at me.
“I am out in the open. I am not supposed to be seen out and if you were thorough and smart as I thought, you’d have known my daughter was right under your nose all these months” he seethed with malice; his words coming out in hisses.
“I suggest you take a vacation then” father voiced bitterly.
“I want to see her” he said almost to himself than to the occupants of the room.
“I don’t see that happening” father stood his ground with the hot tempered man. “Can you get in touch with her? I see you two may have some kind of relationship” he waved.
“I suppose?” I answered meeting his eyes.
“Look for her” he instructed.
“She knows how to remain elusive. I looked for her for years” my father answered.
“She was right under your nose. Don’t speak anymore” he commanded and I was surprised to see father bite his tongue for the first time in my life.
“I told you to receive a visitor in Abuja, if only you had. We’d have devised a way to keep her where we can always find her” father growled at me.
“What has that got to do with the fact that Debbie is out there and unreachable?” I said, exasperated at my father as I called her number. It was switched off.
“You were supposed to receive me. I guess you should have told your boy to keep her an eye on her since you knew there was a probably of finding them together” he was saying to no one in particular and the young woman sat, her eyes trailing one mouth to the other.
“You, my boy refused to receive me. I demanded this meeting to tell you to help me keep my daughter safe and well, guard until I could tell her …” he stopped and looked out of the window.
“Dad, is that my sister?” the young pregnant girl asked as stillness came over the room and the operator’s voice telling me Alama’s number was switched off came to an end after the 6th dial.
“Such a fool….who will inherit my empire” he rubbed his eyes and I felt pity for the pregnant young woman.
“I will leave the country in few days” the old man said tried as he wheeled himself out. The young woman clambered after him.
“Right. We will find out where she has gone this time” father reassured.
“Don’t bother. It will be another decade before I see her again. She is my daughter afterall” he said with shiny eyes and a smile on his lips.
“If she contacts you, tell her I love her and need just five minutes of her time” he said as he reached the door.
“Will do” I nodded.
Soon the crowd of three piled out and I poured myself a full cup of whisky and dialing her number.
You must know that I have no knowledge of what happened earlier. Please don’t let this come in between us. Call me
An email sent. A text sent.
But somewhere deep down, I feared I had lost her. Forever.
I poured the hot drink down and felt tears running down my eyes involuntarily
“Debbie….please” I choked as my heart broke for the first time.
It was love on the 25th.

****
The bright sun was significant on Monday morning as Victoria walked into the reception of Zenith Group HQ. A look at Victoria and a card made the stoned faced receptionist skip like ram as she called Abel’s office. Victoria having spent 48 hours waiting for Alama to contact her was exhausted but saturated with anger.
“Please come with me Ma” she said as she led Victoria and Hannah to Abel’s office at the penthouse; heels clicking with the sparkling marble tiles.

Abel was already on his feet as she walked into the rich space that oozed authority. She faced the green snake who was christened Abel after 20 years and with him, his son – Vincent sitting heavily with blood shot eyes. The receptionist bowed out.
“I suppose you have more than enough time to chat with an old friend today” she said sweetly as she swayed into the room.
“Of course! Victoria! So nice to see you” he said coming around for a hug.
“Been a long time my faithful friend” she said with sarcasm.
“Ah! There she is….the acid tongue” Abel laughed; the chuckle not reaching his eyes.
“You chose sides…I wasn’t happy with you for a long time” Victoria said with a small smile of her own.
“Oh! You don’t blame me…he was a very dangerous man” he laughed off the comment.
“I suppose”
“My son, Vincent. Vincent…this is Victoria Motosho, Alama’s mother” he introduced and passed a look to his son, who looked temporarily lost.
“Debbie Black, just in case you were wondering” Victoria sitting down and extending her hand to Hannah who produced a bulky report.
“It is my pleasure Ma’am” the young man said in a small uninterested voice. He looked sick and worst off; he looked like he would rather be at home sleeping than at sitting here.
“Heard from her, have you?” Victoria asked noting he was probably love sick.
“No” he said, sitting up.
“Me neither” Victoria said looking at Abel.
“So to what do I owe this visit?” Abel asked wriggling his hands.
“We both know Ben is alive and probably out of the country…it took me a while I confess but I think he will be interested in this little compilation. I have had the pleasure of making this compilation and I am sure you’d find it quite expository” she said as she dropped the bulky report mid-way between her and Abel who had long taken his seat.

His face tightened as he pulled the thick volume close and opened it gingerly, each page a revelation. Like a well-researched project, each page revealed names of companies under the Group and supporting documents that showed the amount raised through fake IPOs, companies delisted, taxes evaded and monies transferred to offshore accounts, fictitious transactions and bogus fraudulent figures that could bury the Group and all directors. The report really was the end of Zenith Group should it reach the wrong hands. This amount of information could only have made its way out of Ben’s den and he knew how. Akin had died because he had been careless with the documents.
Now, here it was after 11 years.
“From your look, I bet you know what those are” she sneered.
“What do you want?” he asked closing the report and meeting her eyes.
“Well, since you asked…I want Ben”
“You do realize that is impossible”
“Not as impossible as publishing this page by page. I wonder what your business partners and international friends will do”
“You are not going to bring all of us down because of your vendetta with your ex-husband who you killed” he snapped.
“I am aware of a court judgment that says otherwise. Can’t say the same for you Abel. You are a fraud, accessory to murder of Kaita Lawal and more importantly a betrayer. I wonder what Ben would say if he knew you were the one that gave Akin the documents to bring him down? What were your plans? Take over the Group?” she asked taunting him.
“I was in love with Kaita goddammit! He killed her and he will pay for it” Abel said, looking at his son that watched without an expression – almost bored to death by the banter.
“I don’t see it that way. I remember you were the C.E.O of Gabs Transport at the time. Your truck pushed her off the bridge” she said wickedly
“My hands were tied but I have not forgotten”
“I wish I believed that”
“Victoria, I can assure you that going this way will not lead to a satisfactory conclusion” Abel said palming the report.
“What will you have me do? Keep this well written report all to myself?”
“You can’t win”
“I can’t?” she asked as she stretched out her hand to Hannah. A piece of paper was given to her from a file.
“Just a copy of a court action” Victoria said as Abel reluctantly collected it and skimmed it.
“You are suing the company for its ownership? On what grounds?” he asked, sweating.
“Well, his last will had me as his next of kin. And he is dead. It is only logically I take over the Group as stipulated”
“But you can’t prove the Group is his”
“I can’t?”
“How do you propose you will do this?” Abel asked, alarmed now.
“I presume the report will fill in the missing blanks in court. It boils down to who will be held responsible for fraud and countless forgery – Ben is dead but his name and signature keeps appearing on incriminating documents. It could mean one of two things – Abel Fatasho is an impersonator or an accessory to murders and fraudulent diversion of funds, tax evasion…..need I say more? Either ways, you will be spending a long time with Jamie Ibory – I remember he was a friend of yours” Victoria said taking back the court action.
Abel didn’t know this but Victoria was bluffing. The court action had been doctored but Abel couldn’t tell the difference seeing that she flashed it and retrieved it just in time. She could see him fall under the pressure. No one wanted to take the fall for Ben – it was too big a fall for one man.

Abel feared Victoria and knew she would do as threatened. He couldn’t take the fall for Ben especially since he wasn’t even going to show up if the court action were instigated against the Group. He would lose everything. All he had worked tirelessly for –sweat and blood. Moreover, it was time Ben paid for taking Kaita from him.
“I believe we can work something out” Abel said after long minutes.
“I am willing to consider your options. I will be waiting for your call” Victoria said with a smile. She knew that look.
Abel was back on her side.

****
Abel Fatasho thought hard for days, his grey hair turning white in less than a week and experienced what his doctor told him were the early signs of a heart attack. He had given all to serve the man called Timothy Benjamin Dickson. He was not going to give his life too.
He was ready to relegate the control of company to Victoria but surprisingly, Ben had named his daughter Alama Dickson as his next of kin as he found out from his friend Tunde – Ben’s lawyer. Tunde was one who didn’t know the definition of the word “confidential” after a few too many bottles. A discreet visit to some of the directors revealed their absolute readiness to save their necks when faced with public humiliation. Some mentioned the need to eliminate Ben to save their necks if push turned to shove. There was no one ready to take the fall.

Abel made the call.

Ben was excited to receive news of Alama’s return and readiness to meet her. A meeting in his home in Nairobi had been fixed and he was exhilarated. He wanted to tell Alama he was sorry, he wanted her to know he loved her and all he did was for her. He wanted her to have all he had worked for, to take over his legacy. He couldn’t wait.
And while he sat sipping his favorite drink of freshly blended ginger and cinnamon, he knew he had been poisoned as soon as Victoria walked in.
In white apparel, she let her hair fall as she approached him under the palm trees where he relaxed. Abel, who had met him hours earlier, told him Vince was bringing Alama and so they waited; sipping drinks and sharing laughs.
“We meet again” was all she said as he felt his eye lids begin to fall. Trying hard to keep his eyes open, he turned to look at a straight faced Abel who had dropped an enormous amount of abrin into his drink when he brought his glass from the house.
“You filthy betrayer” he choked as he held his chest, piercing Abel with a heated look. His eyes closing and mouth trying hard to reveal the last secret, Abel was fast to block his view from Victoria as the words escaped his dried lips in gasps.
“He killed your father for me” he voiced but Victoria didn’t hear it.
“It was a pleasure to have worked for you” Abel returned as he stepped aside and they watched him choke; trying to reach for his phone. Abel shifted it from him and both watched as his heart gave out, taking his last breath, pointing a long accusatory finger at Abel.
“Kaita would be happy” Abel said as he looked beyond Ben; seeing nothing.
“Yes, she will be” Victoria said and unexpected allowed pent up tears flowed down her cheeks, for the first time grieving for Kaita.
Abel stood up and walked into the mansion to alert his young daughter and his body guard.
“Call an ambulance, He is having seizures” he said to the hefty guard who called the hospital immediately.
“Is he dead?” Abel heard the timid voice of the girl as he turned to return to Victoria and nodded solemnly.
“Thank God” she whispered as tears fell out of her eyes.
She was finally free from his hateful words. She had sinned because she wasn’t Alama. Mary had been in school when her mother had been murdered and soon after, Ben discovered that Josephine, the woman he had left Victoria and Alama for, had lied about Mary.
Mary wasn’t his and she had paid dearly for her mother’s deceit. But still, she called him father and regarded Alama, her sister.
Where will she go? Who would she tell? Who would believe she was carrying her his child?
She sunk to the floor and wept; until the woman in white apparel had reached for her and helped her up.
“I am sorry” she chanted continuously as she cried in Victoria’s arms.
Victoria had found the shaken girl on the floor and she knew God had given her a second chance to redeem herself. She was going to be a mother. She would take care of her.
The next day, the death of a Kenyan business man Jela Chane hit the local news. He had died in his home from a heart attack. Ben was laid to rest in an unmarked grave at the public cemetery with Victoria, Mary, Abel and his body guard paying their last ‘respect’.
An orphan, Timothy Benjamin Dickson had died the way he fought all his life against – To be unknown.
Tunde who read his will in presence of Victoria, Abel and Mary revealed what Abel already knew – he had given everything to his real daughter – Alama Dickson. But in absence of her, Victoria would take over affairs till Alama returned.

That was the end of Timothy Benjamin Dickson.

The resolution of Group directors was unanimous too – until the return of his next of kin – Alama Dickson, her mother and ex-wife of Timothy Benjamin Dickson would be the new President of Zenith Group.
Victoria Motosho on her first day of work collected names of all shareholders and through the legal department returned monies to them. There were no profits but surely a refund was a most welcomed idea. In an unexpected move, shares of the company soared in six months – if there was goodwill and assurance to get a refund, most investors trooped in.
Never one to shy away from the camera, she granted interviews in hopes to reach Alama. She knew she was watching.
Victoria knew one day Alama would return and she waited.

****
Sandra

I remember like yesterday the move to Abuja with Debbie, the shameless absolute need to have Vince, the wedding of the decade and Debbie’s disappearance. Kole wouldn’t tell. Vince wouldn’t see me or the girls. He worked all the time and he looked like he had an acci
dent with life the weeks that followed. Months and five years, Vince became the eligible bachelor that had vowed off women. He looked hurt all the time and the last time I saw him, he drank whisky all day barely meeting my eyes.
“Have you heard from her?” was all he asked.
“No” I answered and he had let out a fake laugh.
“Will you let me know?” he asked in a murmur.
“Yes” I reassured and he had nodded. That was the last time I saw him.
I remember her text.
“The wedding is off. I am on my way to Abuja. See you soon”
At first I thought it was a joke and had called her line. Her phone was switched off. Panicking, I told the girls and we had gone into overdrive calling her.
“The number you have dialed is switched off” it was the electronic voice of the female operator.
“Call Kole” Tina suggested.
“The number you have dialed is switched off” it was another operator.
“His number is switched off” I said panicking further.
It was midnight before we saw him drive in. Kole looked flushed and sad.
“What is happening?” I fired still trying Debbie’s line.
“Where did you keep your phone?” It was Uloma.
“Have you spoken with Debbie? Have you seen her?” It was Eva
“Debbie said the wedding was off” Tina continued and at that point, he looked like he wanted to throw us out.
He looked tired, his shirt showing a rip and his hair totally spiking at all angles.
“The wedding is off” he said as he walked past us.

Undoubtedly the news of the broken engagement made pages of papers and front covers of soft sells in coming weeks. Debbie’s twitter account was deleted and all that was left of her were personal pictures, mentions of her in write-ups and the legendary interview uploaded on different blogs and websites.
Debbie had disappeared from our lives. Her line was switched off and at some point, the operator simply didn’t reply when the line was dialed. Emails went unanswered.
That was 5 years ago.
I am married and pregnant.
Uloma relocated to the UK with an Igbo man who still drank palm wine as tea and called everyone ‘Nne.’
Eva was in series of relationship – it was Frank, then Moses, Ebi was the last after Nathan…I had lost count.
Tina was having the time of her live in Paris with her new catch – Alhaji Bello Fatagi.
Kole is the father of my baby and I am his trophy wife. It happened in Dubai during a fashion show we both attended. I had no issues with his sexuality and it was fun to have the freedom to desire another man should I ever get tired.
I don’t regret the one night stand or the outcome.
Yes, I know……..I am a good friend and should not be with Kole. But I am. Sometimes life is more than rules, more than expectations, more than girl-code. Most times, life is just what it is – series of interesting unfortunate events.
I keep waiting to see her again.
Will I?
I don’t know.

****
5 years, 9months later

Dinan, Bretagne – France
Catherine Ejor held the hand of her little baby girl. Eyes deep as her father’s, she sang nonstop as they headed to the local market to get her favorite lunch of baked potatoes and greens. Long limbs springing into a run, Catherine called after her.
“Alama” she called as she bumped into the solid frame of a black man who turned to look at her with the same set of deep set eyes that tormented her at nights. He looked so much like him. No two people should look this good…
“Hello” his voice reverberates.
“Hi” she is breathless. He smiles as he released his hold on her arm.
“Lanre” he offered
“Catherine” she called still looking at him.
“Mummy” it was Alama coming back to drag her.
“You live around?” he asked as she smiled and made to follow her excited daughter.
Catherine nods.
“Yes” she answered as she walked away.
“See you around” he said as he stepped into the art shop.

Jaja Fatasho didn’t like his name mainly because he didn’t like the sacrificial tone. Almost gone for 8 years and constantly been hammered to come home, he made a hasty decision; picked an ugly vessel and without second thoughts went in search of the beautiful woman he had seen in the small market minutes earlier.
She wasn’t married, that he was sure because her dainty fingers revealed no rings and her eyes said more about her need. Perhaps he could return home with her as his wife and the pretty girl his daughter – the thought soothing his return plans.
That will shock his father and his little brother…and step mother.
With a smile as he found the beautiful females taking a seat at the sidewalk restaurant.
“Catherine” he called.
“Lanre” she waved.
“You call it well” he sounded surprise.
“Yes, I lived in Nigeria for a while” she replied.
“I think we might just have a lot to talk about then…Lunch sweety?” he asked the shy pretty girl hiding behind her mother’s skirt. She nodded and looked up at her mother with missing front tooth.
“I am hungry” she said and Catherine laughed.
“I know what you will like” Lanre offered as he held out a seat for the little girl.
“Green” she called as she pointed at the plate on the waiters hand going to another table.
“My! You are really hungry” he teased and she hid her face behind her small hands.
Catherine laughed; her heart filling with joy at his easiness.
“God please, let this man not complicate our lives” Debbie Black prayed as she watched him feed a happy Alama who was ecstatic at having a new friend and vegetables in her toothless mouth.

****
If only God didn’t have a wicked sense of humor. There was more than enough humor in the days ahead.
‘Let the pilot begin’ He says.

THE END

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

Download “Love on the 25th” on the okadabooks apps for Android users.

Love on the 25th. Episode 15

Read Previous Episodes of Love on the 25th by Uneñ Ameji Here

Episode 15

****
Kole

It has been days since the interview and in the days that followed I grew restless and tensed. A simple marriage proposal had gone terribly wrong and everyone had demands. Mum wanted a daughter-in-law and grandchildren as fast as I could make it happen, Debbie wanted out of the deal and threatening scandal, Alex was threatening to go to Debbie, Goge was dying on me and the media houses were lobbying to cover the wedding – a rivalry I couldn’t understand. Having so many ‘friends’ in that sector made it difficult to decide.
I was way over my head with the roller coaster ride that I had signed up for and I regretted following through with the promise of getting married or pushing for an interview aired to millions.
This was all mothers’ fault! She had pressed tirelessly and when the opportunity had presented itself with Debbie, I was quick to seize it – good genes, brilliant mind and interesting personality. I should have told Debbie about Alex and her role in the façade from the beginning. If that had been part of the agreement she signed, her cheating and implied but ambiguous threat of going public with her affair wouldn’t have been so ruinous – and even if she did, only mother would be hurt and I’d make sure she paid for it dearly. It hurt that she cheated right under my roof, falling for her was not planned either. I wanted her, I wanted Alex…a tough decision and until she had mentioned public laundry washing and Alex had gotten jealous, I was just fine.
Mother saw the interview and had called to reprimand the surprise sternly and in the next breath demanding to speak to Iyawo. You would think after 38 years in the UK, she’d have cleaned up on her Yoruba acts. The phone had been given to Debbie and that was a fatal mistake. The duo had gotten in sync almost automatically and was laughing in few minutes like they knew themselves; Debbie turning on her full charm had mother eating out of her hand in few chats. Mother went ahead to cut me out and collected her number directly. Now, I didn’t know how often and long both talked. Alex, my partner was getting increasingly jealous and demanding too. He wanted to meet with Debbie and tell her I was his! He wanted to be known as my partner and be accorded same recognition. Being Caucasian and having same sex marriage legalized in his country, he couldn’t understand why I had a hard time accepting I was gay – bisexual. That had caused a big row and he accused me of playing with his emotions going on air to announce my love for a woman! I didn’t want to lose him yet and I couldn’t afford the chance of Debbie finding out I was going out every night to have fun with a man. I should have listened to Goge. Marriage was a wrong idea.
For a moment I stopped to ask myself why I was hell bent on getting married to Debbie Black and I knew why. My mother and perhaps a chance at being ‘normal’. If she ever found out her perfect son played with the boys and rolled in the hay with them, she’d sure die of a heart attack and I couldn’t have her blood on my head. A single mother, she was all I had and I was all she had. I was gay growing up but I had since upgraded to having preference for both sexes. Being bisexual was liberating and one had options. Women I came to love but men were my all-time favorite partly because they were my first and there was kinship with men that existed naturally – there were no pretenses and what we wanted, we did….until Alex.
‘She would tell me if Alex told her about us, wouldn’t she?’ I asked myself a hundred times as I watched her sleep in our new room. I was sure Vince would keep the knowledge to himself seeing that I had saved him from getting rape by some of my male friends….or would he? Surely one good turn deserves another. Debbie on the other hand was surprisingly cheerful not minding the fact that I had moved us to my new place in Ikoyi. It was a move meant to stop Vince from finding her or coming to the house in my absence. That aim had been defeated since her friends trooped in to organize showers and take her outing. The one named Uloma and Tina were the craziest but they were good people. A man could get used to been straight I thought as I watched them have fun at dinner and Debbie for the first time laughing hysterically at being tickled because she failed a question. A dark thought sneaking up on me as I watched her – perhaps she had plans of killing me without an heir after the wedding or she was probably pregnant for Vince already. What if she was? Would she abort it? What if she killed me and passed the bastard as my son? She had mother on her side and she had already signed the document. For the first time, I was afraid of what I was getting myself into.
Debbie was unusually happy and less interactive when we were alone, preferring to stay on her phone than engage in a conversation. ‘A new world’ she said when I questioned her obsession with the social media. Mother would call her for hours and both would discuss wedding plans and Debbie’s preference for honeymoon. Mother was more interested in honeymoon….the place where babies are made. The pre and post wedding plans fell squarely on my shoulders – Shola’s shoulder. My personal Assistant was flooded with work and was also acting up as the days got nearer. I knew she was uncomfortable with the fact that I was getting married and had nursed hopes of becoming Mrs. McGregor someday but I didn’t want her love suffocating me in close quarters. The puppylove eye and seductive moves was enough to disqualify her but she was good at her job and I was pleased with her work.
And then Debbie had gone out with Dan returning with smiles and an unreadable expression on her face as she watched me move around the house almost subdued. What did she know? Was she waiting for the wedding day to reveal her findings? Was Vince giving her the armor she needed or Alex had contacted her as threatened. If that was the case, I had a lot of damage control to do. I was definitely going to lose most of my business partners and clients if she decided to get even. This publicity wasn’t good although the bluff about publicity working to my favor had worked. Debbie came out with her demands sooner than I was hoping.
“I see someone has my mother in her pocket” I said finding her on the balcony. Alex was not returning my calls and a drive to his flat at 1001 Estate confirmed a change in locks. Debbie in a long maxi gown at the balcony looked rather beautiful in the night light and I was ready to find out what she knew and what she was going to do about it.
“Mother already asking for baby names” she answered looking up at me as I stood beside her. I laughed.
“If only she knew” I said in a tiring smile.
“When do you intend telling her you are hijacking a bride” she asked with a small sad smile.
“I wish things were different” I said taking a seat. The wedding was only two weeks away thanks to Shola’s planning abilities and resources.
“Me too” she said somewhat stressed.
“What are we going to do?” I asked finding myself smiling.
“First, get a new agreement drafted. Since you have no plans of dying soon, terms and conditions are invalid” she said going back to her phone.
“I won’t be doing that sweety. We are getting married and you are going to give your new mother-in-law babies” I said in a smile.
“I am not sure I will be doing that. Infact I took the liberty of drafting a new agreement. I will be having Goge’s place and you will have a wife that won’t give birth but opened to adoption. A very simple employer-employee agreement with a little marriage twist” she said looking serious and I knew she was ready to make her demands.
“I don’t see that happening” I said putting up a bold face.
“I think you will. Mother wouldn’t want to know her son loves men and forcing me into marriage when I clearly don’t want to” she had turned violent.
“How did you find out?” I asked already sweating…she knew.
“Didn’t take Alex long to find me. I am surprised you didn’t include that in the agreement” she looked straight at me and for the first time I wanted to deny my sexual orientation. There was the need to deny but I defended instead.
“I am bisexual and Alex is…..was” I couldn’t define it.
“A fling? Your love?” she was back to palming her phone.
“So, when are you going to Mother with this?” I asked hoping she would not.
“Not sure I should. I like mother and I want the job. It would be in your best interest to sign the new agreement. It should be in your email by now” she said and smiled.
“I see” I said, standing up and heading to my study. I needed to see the agreement immediately and I had the inkling I was going to sign the damn agreement.
What goes around does come around.
****
Vince

The man who sat with sunken eyes and subdued spirit had finished his sob story and Umar was surprisingly believing. Umar who had the nose for sniffing lies and conspiracies looked like he was satisfied with Caleb’s shabby account. According to Caleb, he was married to Alama, they were never divorced and he thought she was dead because of a fire outbreak 16 years ago. When I asked why he reacted the way he did when he saw her picture, he skipped answering and went on to reveal that she had been pregnant with his child, giving birth to a premature stillbirth and in few hours, his house had mysteriously burnt to the ground with Alama inside because she was sedated and probably was unconscious. He was a man who had suffered because of his loss. His reaction was because he remembered the last time he had seen her and he still missed her. But I knew something was missing here….that was 16 years ago. Alama or Debbie couldn’t have been that sophisticated, so matured and made-up as she looked in the photo. My instinct told me he had more to say than he was letting on and I felt like telling Umar to do his job! Umar, a friend and intelligence officer however looked rather uninterested and I wondered why.
“You said it was the devils’ work. What was the devils’ work?” I asked barely satisfied with his story.
“I was confused because you were shouting and calling the police. All these years, I felt like it was my fault she died in the fire and when you started shoving the picture in my face I panicked out of grief” he answered in excellent tenses. He was calmer now and spoke clearly. I could see Umar nodding nonstop and I wondered what was going on with Umar. He was usually the master ‘driller’.
“And what of the marks on Debbie’s back?” I pressed. He looked lost.
“Alama…or whatever, what of the marks on her back?” I repeated my question.
“My Alama had no marks’’ he said, his earlier fearful stance was gone. If his story of the house burning was the truth, then it was plausible that Debbie had survived the fire but scarred.
But I was worried because I knew in my gut he was riding on pity and his story didn’t answer my questions. Why was she afraid of men? Of being touched? Did this man have anything to do with it? He abused her?
“How old was she when you married her?” I asked, doing Umar’s job.
“16, no, she had just turned 20” he corrected and I caught his eyes shift.
“Where did you two get married?” I continued without pausing for breath.
“Benin”
“What year?”
“Vince! Stop” it was Umar. My face spoke volumes.
“He needs to answer these questions”
“Not yet he doesn’t”
“Are you on his side now?” I couldn’t help the question, upset.
“I think we need to speak to this Alama, Debbie. If there is anyone who has to tell us anything is the woman in question. How she survived, why she changed her name and why didn’t go back to find her husband are details that can help this case, if there is a case” he said quietly. I took a deep breath. I could see the direction this was leading and I didn’t like it at all. Umar was going to drag Debbie into the questioning room if I insisted on continuing with the barging. Debbie had to answer these questions and I wanted the answers – whatever they were but I wanted to have them alone. I just wanted her. All of her.
“I see”
“I may have seen the lady on Television” Umar said studying the picture on my tab.
“Just keep an eye on him. I need answers and I am going to get them” I said taking a picture of Caleb before standing up, the move indicating I wanted my space.
Now more than ever, I wanted to see her. Was she really married to this man? It was unthinkable to imagine her with this clown but he spoke of things that were too real to ignore. Alama? Perhaps he was paid to do this I concluded. I tried her number for the umpteenth time and got the same dead tone. Then it hit me! She may have blacklisted my known numbers but certainly a new number may reach her.
They were soon out of the house and I tried Debbie’s number on my private number.
She picked.
“I see you were married before” I said with annoyance. I heard her suck in her breath.
“Who is this?”
“Vince and I need answers Debbie, or is it Alama now?” I asked almost too angry to care.
“I don’t know what you are talking about and don’t call me again” she sounded scared and stiff.
“I think you will be calling me” and with that I ended the call.
“In police custody…” I captioned the picture of Caleb and sent it to her email taking a bite of the cold pancake. It was time to play the waiting game. She was going to call me, of that I was sure.
****
Debbie

It was rather strange that after 48 hours of airing the surprisingly believable interview I got a call from a man named Alex Douglas. With an accent, he had asked for a meeting to tell me about my ‘dearest Kole’. In need of information that could help me with the pending nuptials, an arrangement had been made to meet him at Tango with Kole’s in-house driver. If there was ever a meeting I came to hate was the meeting with Alex. Professing his undying love for Kole was pathetic with his red nose and eyes pleading for a cancellation of a wedding I had nothing to do with.
“You do realize Kole set this up?” I asked after I let him blow his nose.
“I do and I don’t understand why”
“Right”.
“I swear to you Debbie, I love him and I think he does too”.
“Of course you do” I said a little irritated and ecstatic at finding out where Kole had been spending his nights. To think I was considering ‘settling’ with him.
“Are you going to help me?” he asked, wide eyed and hopeful.
“I will see what I can do” I said already tired of the details of their tryst and why I must ‘see that Kole was just getting married because I was pressurizing him’. Wearing my aviator to avoid being recognized, I made my way out of the dark underground club. It was absolutely unbelievable. Kole was gay and he was getting married to me without telling me about it. I was right about Kole being secretive on his night outings and his going red at the mention of speculation but I had no idea it was this deep. While I was somewhat disappointed at ‘losing’ him, I was glad I had the information I needed to make my demands.
The mention of new documents had him fidgeting and I watched sadly as he walked to his study to get a look of the demands I made. I was going to resume in Goge’s office as earlier agreed but there would be no heir and a quick divorce after 3 months on mutual agreement. Signing of a pre-nup to protect his assets is agreed to but I will remain as the Business Head for West Africa for a minimum of 10 years or until I resign or found guilty of negligence or corruption. There were simple logical demands and I was sure he was going to agree to them. I had gone too far with his mother and really liked her; almost considering a real marriage but he had to be gay!
Just then my phone rang. An unknown number, I refused to pick the call. Ringing again, I answered it with annoyance.
“Hello, who is this?” I asked half hoping it was Vince and it was but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Standing up at the mention of my ex-husband and my birth name, I was desperately afraid.
“I don’t know what you are talking about” was all I could come up with, my heart beating so fast, my mind going haywire. What if he knew….did he know? What else did he know? A demand to stay away had been voiced and not long after my phone had beeped and Caleb’s face was staring at me via my mail. He looked like he had just had a confession session. My phone rang again and I stared at the caller I.D…a new number.
“I told you I don’t know anything about ….” I was saying
“Alama?” a female voice with a distinct accent called and I froze.
“Mum?” I called almost too afraid to believe it was her voice.
“Alama” she called and I could hear tears in her voice.
“Mum!” I called and burst out in tears of relief! She saw me!
“I want to see you”
“Mum” it was all I could say. I forgot about Vince as I turned around blindly looking for nothing in particular.
“I am staying at the Sheraton. Please baby, come see me”
“Yes, yes…I am coming now” and with that, I was rushing out of the house in nothing but a tank top and gypsy skirt. Remembering to go get my purse, I decided against taking the driver.
In less than an hour, I walked into the lobby when I saw her. She looked exactly as I knew her at 10 years before father kidnapped me from school. She stood, smiling and I stopped briefly, holding my breath. She was alive! She was here. Almost in a sprint, I ran into her arms and the tears I had long suppressed came pouring down in torrents. She was crying too and in that moment, I saw flashes of camera lights and heard clicks of phones.
It was paparazzi.

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