‘BN 10354’ Henry read aloud to himself as he
studied the makeup of a particular chip on his
laptop. He took a deep breath he cleared his
throat. This code number was a strange one.
‘ Encrypt XL
<< — t.a.r– n.e.f — >>
Run script = enter ‘
His laptop screen displayed the above in a pop
up window. He quickly wrote them in a jotter.
What the codes meant was a mystery to him
but he was sure that the key words, ‘TAR’ and
‘NEF’ referred to something very important that
would be of use in his research.
He took a sip of wine from his glass cup and
relaxed back into his seat to think deeply. This
method of encrypting used by the manufacturer
of the blog was more tedious to read than the
computer machine language. He wondered
where a criminal could have gotten such level
of technological knowledge from. He was sure
that the person was highly educated and not
just a petty app developer, he was also certain
that the person did not get his or her education
in Nigeria. What baffled him was the fact that
someone with so much intelligence and
knowledge had decided to use it negatively.
Such great knowledge could have been used to
improve the country and the information
technology world at large, instead of it being
used to carry out assassinations.
He got up and stretched himself, he walked to
the window and opened the curtains, it was
evening and the sun was gradually setting. He
had worked all day without even remembering
to take his lunch. It was time to take a little
break, he decided to take a stroll round the
street but then remembered that he also
needed to get something from the office.
He hurriedly put on his football jersey and
pocketed his car key, setting out to kill two
birds with a stone.
‘D–n it!’ Don cursed scattering the books on
his table angrily. He took another look at the
newspaper lying on the floor again, his picture
was printed boldly on it with the word
“WANTED” written boldly below it. A
compensation of three million naira was also
promised to anyone who had information about
He was not really angry or scared about t the
police’s search for him. His domain was enough
for him to hide for several years without them
getting any clue of his location. His anger was
based on the fact that their search for him
would dissuade his clients from associating and
bringing jobs to him.
He picked up the newspaper again. “Wanted:
Daniel Ogbighe. Criminal: suspected to be in
Samantha Osman and Aisha Bello’s gang” he
slammed it on the floor. He paced about
When he released the information on Aisha’s
location to the police, he didn’t think that it
could backfire like this. He had forgotten of his
escapades with Aisha right from the polytechnic
and when they had both dropped out. He never
imagined that she could ever be traced to him.
He was also confused about how the police
connected Aisha Bello’s case to Franca who he
had recently murdered. Franca had been one of
his secret informant and sex partner for years
after they met with each other in a night club.
Things had gone bad between them when
Sandra began to demand for more money from
him. The rest is history.
‘Stone’ he spoke into his phone. ‘I’m coming
over to Cameroon tomorrow’
‘You sound tensed. What’s wrong Don?’ A faint
voice asked from the other end.
‘I’ll explain to you later’ Don replied. ‘I have to
leave this country for a while.
‘You can’t get me to start arranging for you
without giving me a valid reason’ the voice
replied more confidently.
‘What the hell is wrong with you Stone?’ Don
replied in an angry tone.
‘Tell me what the matter is’ Stone replied,
‘Okay, I’m wanted in this country now. My
pictures and names are all over the media. Do
you get it?’ Don said in a firm voice.
Stone laughed. ‘Is that’s what’s sending you out
of the country?’ He said in a mocking manner.
‘What do you mean?’
‘See, if you don’t have anything to say other
than this joke, allow me go and do something
‘D–n! I’m serious man’
‘You can’t be serious man, you mean you’re
running away from your domain just because
the police declared you wanted? Haven’t your
influence grown at all?’
‘You don’t get it’ Don scratched his head. ‘I
want to see you for some other things too, I
need you to help me against an enemy ‘
‘Okay’ Stone voice sounded more considerate.
‘Who is this enemy that’s getting you on your
‘Tarasha’ Don let out a deep breath as he
mentioned the name. ‘She’s really a pain in my
‘Tarasha?? A she? I never heard that name
before’ Stone said half laughing. ‘Is she one of
these new amateur assassins?’
‘No, she’s different…’ Don gave a quick reply
but was cut short by Stone.
‘Or one of your numerous side chicks that has
learnt your dirty secret?’ Stone added.
‘No not that’ Don refuted quickly. ‘Have you
heard about Samantha Osman?’
‘Samantha Osman?’ Stone raised his voice.
‘That name is all over the world news’
‘Yeah, it is’
‘Isn’t it the same Samantha Osman associated
with top profile assassinations?’ Stone asked
again to be sure.
‘Yes, her real name is Tarasha’ Don answered.
‘Wow! How did you get involved with her?’
Stone sounded somehow excited. ‘That chick
would be a hell of a machine to work with’
‘Stop that’ Don slammed, getting angry by
Stone’s excited tone. ‘She’s my enemy, she’s
‘I see’ Stone sighed. ‘We’ll talk more when you
come over, I’ll prepare for your arrival’
** 6pm **
Cole mimed along with the songs playing from
his IPod as he waited patiently in the car. He
glanced at his wristwatch again, he had waited
for exactly one hour thirty minutes. His eyes
finally caught a glimpse of Tarasha through the
side mirror walking briskly towards the car. She
was still dressed in the blue suit which she
went out in with Dare.
She entered the backseat twenty seconds later.
Her eyes met with Cole’s through the front
mirror. He quietly passed a brief case from the
front seat to her at the back.
‘How was today Boss?’ Cole finally broke tge
‘Pleasant’ Tarasha replied in a tiny feminine
voice that surprised Cole, he had never heard
her talk like that. He remained silent , amazed
at her acting skills as he watched her open the
case check its content.
The person he knew was a Bossy Tarasha who
gave orders, now she was acting as Evelyn, a
young carefree and normal chick.
‘How did it go with Dare?’ He asked.
‘Fine, he’s cooperating’ she gave a short reply
as she continued searching the brief case.
‘Dare is still coming to pick me for dinner
tonight, so we’re rolling fine’ she said. ‘You
guys should get set to work’
‘Hmm’ Cole was speechless.
‘Thanks for this’ Tarasha said after closing the
briefcase. ‘It’s accurate’
‘We’ll talk on phone’ Tarasha spoke and got out
of the car. She walked straight back in the
direction she came from. Cole also zoomed off
in the opposite direction.
Tarasha had just walked for about six minutes
when she noticed a car pulling up beside her.
The driver pushed the horn, she looked back.
‘Someone needs a ride?’ Henry called to her
with a mischievous smile.
She continued walking, he drove slowly behind
her. ‘I’ve forgiven you for all your wrongs, let’s
be friends ‘
Tarasha kept on walking without looking at him
again. He increased his speed and parked in
front of her, she stopped behind the car and
waited defensively for him as he proceeded out
of the car.
‘Hey! Trying to run away?’ he twisted his face
as he taunted her, walking slowly towards her.
She remain silent. ‘It’s my day, what do you
think? Are you scared? He added.
She stared at him and bit her lips. She took a
deep breath and tried to walk away, he blocked
her. She paused again and stared into his face,
she tried to feign a frustration remark on her
‘I work on this street and I’ve got lotsnof friends
and supporters here, I could take revenge on
you now for all you’ve done to mw’ he
continued. She remained quiet and looked
around to see who was watching. She waited
for seconds before attempting to walk away
again. The brief case hit Henry’s leg.
‘Ouch! That hurts’ he rubbed his knee. ‘What do
we have in there?’ He pointed at the case, still
standing in her way.
‘Will you let me go please?’ Tarasha said in a
pleading voice and hid the case behind her.
‘I won’t let you go until I get soldiers to trash
you like you did to me’ he threatened.
She made no reply. Henry picked his phone and
feigned a phone call.
‘I repent. No revenge but you must grant me a
date’ he finally said.
‘I’m not, just let me go’ she replied stubbornly.
‘Then, let’s settle the case with the police’ he
threatened, pointing to a nearby station.
‘Yes, that’s better’ she replied confidently.
‘Let’s see what case you have to present’
‘Oh! I see you’re bold’ he exclaimed, surprised
by her confidence. He picked up his phone and
dialed a number. ‘Mr. Sylvester, I just found the
lady that made me go through torment in the
hands of the soldiers and we’re on our way to
the A-Division to report ourselves’
He pushed the phone back into his trousers’
pocket. ‘Let’s see how you’ll escape’ Henry
said boldly. He narrowed his gaze to the brief
case as she hid it behind her again. ‘I know you
have some exhibits there’
‘Henry!’ She called his name to his surprise. ‘Do
you know it would cost me nothing to get you
into trouble again?’
Henry stood dumbfounded at the sound of his
name. Where in the world did she learn his
name from? Had they really met somewhere
before? He recalled that he had that feeling
when he collided into her at the gadgets store.
‘How do you know my name?’ Henry asked,
squinting at her.
‘Huh?’ Tarasha seemed surprised too. She had
made a mistake of thinking he remembered her
from their encounter at the Lagos Ibadan
‘How did you know my name?’ He repeated
‘Huh? I saw it there’ she pointed at a book
placed by the window at the backside of the
car. He turned back.
‘You saw my name on that book from here?’ He
questioned in disbelief.
‘Yes, isn’t it bold enough?’ She asked. Luckily
enough for her, Henry’s name was written
behind the jersey he wore, so she changed her
strategy. ‘It’s all over you, how do you expect
me not to know?’
‘You are lying’
‘D–n! Of course I am lying. Can’t you think?’
She said in a provocative manner. ‘Henry is
written boldly behind your shirt and even on the
collar and you’re asking me where I got your
Henry took a deep breath. He felt foolish as he
recalled that his name was on his jersey but he
still had some doubts in his heart.
‘Can I go now?’ Tarasha made to leave.
‘No, let me know your name at least’ he
stopped. ‘I’m Henry, I work here at the cameras
security operation’ he said in a more pleasant
‘Oh!’ Tarasha sighed and smiled as he exposed
himself. She might need him to get some things
done in regards of camera security.
‘You?’ He demanded for her name.
‘I’m Evelyn’ she replied at last. ‘I’m a business
‘Sounds nice’ he smiled for the first time. She
smiled back. ‘So can I give you a lift to your
‘No please, don’t bother’ she pleaded. ‘My car is
parked just nearby’
‘I could drive you where the car is parked’ he
‘That wouldn’t be necessary’ she smiled. ‘We
could meet some other time’ she said and
brought out her phone.
He brought out his too, expecting that she was
going to call out her number. She didn’t
disappoint this time. He stored the number with
the name Evelyn and walked her to where her
car was parked.
‘When is your Dad coming to Nigeria?’ Dare
asked Tarasha who sat opposite him, playing
with the spoon around the plate.
‘He might come visiting when I have established
something big’ Tarasha answered after
munching the food particles in her mouth.
‘I see. Your family is a business minded one’ he
‘Just like yours’ Tarasha remarked playfully.
‘Not everyone loves business in my family’ he
frowned. ‘I personally don’t like business’
‘What do you mean?’ She asked with a chuckle.
‘I would have loved to be a lawyer’ he replied
sadly. ‘But I had to tow this path because my
father needed someone to take over his
Tarasha remained silent and listened to him
with keen interest.
‘He gathered a lot when he was in government
and he invested so much’ Dare continued with a
note of sadness. ‘At a time he was in charge of
securing the whole nation. He says he got
fought by a lot of lawyers and wouldn’t want
me to become one of his enemies’
‘If you want to be a top profile lawyer, you
would have lots of enemies that’ll want to bring
you down, so he says. He doesn’t want any of
his children to fight like he did’
Tarasha extended her hand on the table and
held his hands in a compassionate manner. He
stared into her face, he could see she felt his
sadness. She gave a him a look of reassurance,
like she had been his friend for ages.
He had been with so many girls but always, his
only aim was to sleep with them. This one was
different, he felt like he could pour his heart to
‘Tell me about your father?’ Tarasha pushed
further, with the main aim of gathering more
information about her target. ‘How did he gather
so much money to invest with?’
He stared at her face once again without saying
a word. She quickly added more soothing words
to reassure him. She squeezed his palm in hers.
‘I mean he’s a success, that means he had a
mind of an entrepreneur unlike so many other
retired public officers who are living off their
pensions and gains during service’
He smiled. ‘My Father had some businesses he
was involved in before serving the country. He
used his gains at that time to invest more for
‘Hmm…’Tarasha nodded silently and relaxed
back into her seat, unsatisfied by the response.
Dare smiled and continued.
‘When would you love to meet my father?’
‘I already left that for you to fix’ she answered.
‘Since you said you were going to help me talk
‘Sure, I will’ he reassured. ‘You’ll most likely
meet with him next week’
‘Thanks’ she smiled.
‘So what about your boyfriend?’ He changed the
‘Boyfriend?’ She seemed surprised.
‘Well, I’ve got no time for a boyfriend right now.
I want to establish my business first’
‘Huh?’ His eyes widened as he laugh. ‘You
seem to just love business more than
She joined in the laughter. ‘Not really. I love my
parents more, they mean the world to me’
‘Huh ho! Nice’ he smiled sheepishly.
He placed his hand on his stomach as he
suddenly began to feel uneasy. He covered his
mouth with the other palm as he gave a silent
‘Can you excuse me for a minute’ he said and
got up from the seat.
‘Oh yea sure’ she permitted with a smile.
She frowned and picked up her phone as he
left. Her instinct told her something was
happening as her network bar kept fluctuating,
but she wasn’t sure of what it was.
‘What? Data inaccessible?’ Henry exclaimed at
the pop up message on the laptop screen. How
can that be? Does that mean that Evelyn was
using an unregistered sim?
No, but it wasn’t possible to use a sim card
without registering it first. So why couldn’t he
access Evelyn’s registration details on the
network bearer’s database? Or was it that the
network bearer has made their database
He dropped the laptop on the bed and stood up
to yawn and stretch himself. His eyes met the
wall clock, to his surprise it was twenty minutes
to five. He was planning to call Evelyn by nine
pm. but he didn’t know when the time passed
as he was carried away by the desire to find
her full name and details.
He picked up the phone and dialed the number
as he sat on the bed. The call was answered
after it rang the third time.
‘Hello Evelyn’ he said pleasantly.
‘Hello’ a tiny voice replied.
‘How are you doing?’
‘You remember me?’ He asked.
‘No, I’m actually expecting an introduction’
Henry smiled. ‘It’s Henry, we met earlier today’
‘I remember’ she replied calmly, with less
‘Yeah, so how’s your night going?’
‘Great, yours?’ She managed to reply.
‘So when would we see again?’
‘I don’t have an answer to that question now’
she answered softly.
‘Can we meet for lunch tomorrow?’ He offered.
‘I’m not sure I’ll be free’ she replied
‘Not sure? Tomorrow’s Saturday’ he said.
‘Yes, I know. I also have things to do on
‘Would you be busy all through the day? Maybe
we can meet by evening time’
‘You know what? I’ll call you if I’m less busy’
she said and ended the call immediately.
Henry dropped the phone slowly. He wondered
why she was acting so hard. His mind suddenly
returned to the mystery surrounding her phone
number registration details. He quickly checked
the true caller application on his phone if it had
recognized the number but the app did not
show records of the call. That got him more
He bit his lips as he remembered that he could
have traced the call and gotten more
information, including her location. He thought
of calling back and tracing it but suspended it
for another day.
He cleared his throat as he got up from the bed
to pull his shirt. Why was he even getting
unnecessarily suspicious about an innocent
looking girl anyway, he thought. Maybe the sim
registration just had some errors from the
network bearer’s database. He had earlier
decided and even included in his new year
resolutions to stop intruding into people’s
personal life through his knowledge of hacking.
He didn’t know how he found himself doing it
again when he was aware that it was a crime
and was wrong morally.
He was about to hang his shirt in the wardrobe
when his mind changed again. He saw the
jersey he wore earlier that evening. His name
on the collar was printed in very small
characters and that made another question
arise in his mind. How was Evelyn able to read
it from the distance she was standing? He also
did not remember turning his back to her, so
she couldn’t have seen the name there.
She must have known him from somewhere
else, he thought, remembering the feeling he
had when he met her at the gadgeta store. She
also could have lied about her name. He must
find her real name. He was going to hack
illegally once more and get her real details and
location. Just once more!
‘Good morning Dad’ Dare voice sounded lively
as Chief Jubril answered the call.
‘Good morning son’ the man replied. ‘How is
‘Fine Dad’ Dare replied and then went straight
to his reason for calling. ‘I have one of my
friends who would like to do business with you’
‘Your friend?’ The man seemed surprised.
‘Yes, my friend’ Dare answered. He seemed
surprised too that he called her his friend. It
was not up to one week that they had met and
he already developed trust and friendship for
her. What endeared him to her more was the
listening ears that she gave to him. She was
not like the other girls that he met who were
only interested in developing a relationship with
him because of his money. He too had always
played along with them and used them only for
sex and dump them after a while without
releasing so much money like they expect him
to. That has made several girls label him a
‘Your friend? Are you sure?’ The man asked
‘Come on dad’ he urged. ‘Why are you talking to
me like I’m a kid?’
‘No Dare, don’t get it wrong’ the man pleaded.
‘You hardly keep friends who are into business
or investments, so I’m just surprised’
‘I just met this wonderful Lady Dad’ he
continued with excitement. ‘She seems
industrious and business minded’
‘You just met her?’ He replied with a note of
‘Yes Dad’ Dare answered. ‘She’s a Nigerian but
grew up in Canada with her parents. Her
parents own large companies in Ontario
‘Hmm… Dare’ the father sighed. ‘You can’t just
trust someone you just met’
Dare was silent for a moment. His father’s
words left an impact on him, the loudness of his
voice reduced. ‘I think she’s sincere’
‘You think? You should not make conclusions
based on assumption, she might likely be a
fraudster’ he fired.
Dare remained silent.
‘What’s her full name?’ The Chief asked.
‘Evelyn Alex’ Dare answered.
‘Her Dad’s name?’
‘Okay’ the man jotted down the names. ‘Tell her
to come see me on Monday’
‘Okay Dad, have a pleasant day’
‘You too’ Chief Jubril replied and hung up. He
shook his head as he placed the phone on the
seat. His son just disappointed him, he didn’t
expect that Dare would not be reasonable
enough to be careful with a recent
He picked up the jotter where he wrote down
the names. He was sure going to deal with the
Lady if he finds out that she is a fraudster, he
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