“I have gotten the answer we are looking for sir”
Abdul had slipped a note in his palm without looking at him, when he dismissed them from the parade ground earlier that day. ‘Permit me to come to your office immediately after this sir’ the note read.
As he sat in his moderate furnished office, he had his gaze on the junior officer and wondered why he was bent on following up this case. Abdul stood at attention waiting for him to respond.
“So what are your findings officer?” he asked
“I was right when I told you that someone was sabotaging our efforts at the Bonny”
He arched his eye-brows up “Interesting…so how did you come to this realization?”
“we were in the junior officers’ mess when Lieutenants Amadi and Ibrahim came in, they called out Sargent Okoye, he was with them till we left the mess…” Aminu said
“Is that all?” Ebube was disappointed
“No sir… while I was going back to the quarters, I saw three off them at the back of the administrative block…I over-heard them talking about the deal they pulled through at Bonny and how they are going to share the money”
Ebube exhaled “Aminu this doesn’t indict anybody, for all we know, they may have had another deal…”
“While the operation was going on sir?”
Ebube didn’t answer, he knew the junior Officer was right to suspect foul play if these three were into another deal when an important operation was going on, in fact it was an offence.
“Still you are not sure the deal they were talking about has anything to do with supplying of arms and sabotage” Ebube added
“Your Accusation lacks evidence Aminu, how am I sure you are not even accusing these ones wrongly because of personal misunderstanding?”
“No sir… sir I am sure there is something going on, I may not be able to give you evidence now, but I can get more facts for you if you give me a go ahead order sir”
He didn’t know what to say, Aminu was like a younger brother to him, and he feared what may happen to him if his accusation proved false “You can go now Officer, I will call you when I need you”
Aminu opened his mouth to say something but decided against it “Yes sir!”
Ebube checked the time and shook his head, he still had memos and queries to write, report to proof-read, and calls to make. “It’s going to be a hell of a day” he thought. But before he went back to work, he picked his phone and sent her a text message
It was a grid-lock when she got to Eliozu flyover, she was tired and hungry “not today God” she muttered. It was a mad zone as almost every vehicle wanted to cross the junction under the flyover, all at once. Sound of car horns compete against another, blasting on their highest pitches
Angry drivers shouted at each-other while some passengers got tired of staying in the busses that packed them like bags of stock-fishes and came down
A passenger in s taxi cleared her throat and spat, tinny drops of the spittle covered her arm “Jesus! Madam what is it now, why did you spit on me?” she said angrily
“E touch you? no vex abeg” the woman said carelessly
“What do you mean ‘E touch me?’ didn’t you see how tight this place is before you spat?”
“Ah ah! Auntie shebi I don tell you make you no vex, na this small spit way I spit dey make you para like this? Oya vex well well you hear…in short fall and die mtcheewww”
Elizabeth couldn’t believe it, she looked at her arm, placed it closed to her nose and wiggled her nose in disgust “Idiot” she called the woman and drove further as she got little space, she didn’t see when the woman brought out her hand and spread her five fingers “Waka there” the woman shouted at her
It took another thirty minutes before she was able to get herself out of the hold up, by the time she got to the house, it was almost nine pm, her Landlady was seated outside, with the wrapper that was her second identity, round her chest.
“Mama good evening” she locked her car and walked towards her flat
“Shebi I don tell una make no body come back here by this time…na my mouth una dey find o, if una go una boyfriend them house make una sleep there o” the woman said. It was obvious she was looking for who to pick a quarrel with. Elizabeth wondered where the landlord went to, the quarrel would have been good on both of them.
Three of them that were her tenants have already gotten used to her quarrels with her husband. the first time she heard the woman shouting for help while the man was beating her like a sack of sand, Elizabeth had run out and almost broke the door down in a bid to save the poor woman, only for the same woman to come to her house the next morning and warned her never to interfere. Since that day she learnt to mind her business like other Tenants.
She was still preparing her green tea when the landlord arrived and the quarrel started. She wasn’t disappointed as blows and screams disrupted the quiet nights. She took her tea and her phone to the room and decided to check her messages;
‘She doesn’t want to respond to my message’ popped up immediately she turned her data on. It made her smile, she had battled the temptation of calling him throughout the day,
‘There is nothing to respond in the message’ she sent after typing and deleting. She adjusted her sitting position, rest her back on a pillow and folded her legs. She saw his message in the afternoon, but didn’t know what to say. It excited her as well as scared her, she didn’t even know what they were to each other
‘And I am not your Beautiful’ she added when it was taking time for him to reply the WhatsApp message.
‘Really? Have we gone back to that again? ’ he finally replied
‘being protective and shutting me out’
She didn’t answer, she had travelled that road before and wouldn’t want to be beating again. He read meaning to her silence;
‘So how was your day’ he changed the discussion
‘stressful, but…its my job’
‘why did you join the force’ she asked
‘why are you asking? You don’t like it?’
‘no…not that…actually you look dupe in your uniform… ’
He laughed and she loved the huskiness of his voice ‘are you admiring me already?’ he asked
‘what? no! I mean…not the way you think… ’ she tried to defend
‘Hey, what are you doing Saturday night?’
‘ehmm… ’ she tried to figure out
‘can I borrow you for a date? ’
‘I don’t want your lover to think I am taking you away from him’ he added
She was disappointed, maybe she was interpreting what wasn’t there, she was fantasizing again while he only wanted to hang out…
‘Are you still there’
‘??’ he waited for her reply
‘I can’t come with you… my…my Fiancée will be picking me up for a date’ she typed
‘Oh, I understand, I thought we could…we could… ’ she desperately wanted him tell her more than just few words ‘… we could hang out as friends’ he said rather. Did she sense disappointment in his voice?
‘maybe some other time…sleep well beauty, and tell your fiancée about a friend that you rejected because of him ’ he was offline before she could respond.
She lay down thinking whether she would have agreed to go on a date with him, or did she do well by turning him down. Not long before she closed her eyes, she heard the pleasurable moaning from the next flat; that was how the two settled their quarrels, her landlady and the husband, beastly ravaging sex always followed their hot quarrels.
She wouldn’t have minded the ecstatic screaming of her landlady if not that it painted pictures in her head and made her think of what she had forgotten, the more she fought the image off her head, the more she saw those strong arms round her body.
‘I would have known better than to assume she feels something for me’ he thought. Just yesterday she had told him how much she missed him, and how she wanted him to stay. It was one of the memorable days of his stay in port Harcourt, she was so much fun to be with.
He walked into his room “maybe it is a good thing she was candid enough to tell me she has a guy” it would be hard to get her out of his head though.
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