** 01.12.2030 **
Tarasha inhaled a huge quantity of the the
moisture filled air as she parked her bike close
to the bush, she removed her helmet and hung it
on the bike. She gently brushed back part of the
long hair which covered her left eye with her
hand. She looked right and saw another bike
approaching, ignoring it she began to walk slowly
towards the narrow path of the bush which
probably led to a village.
After riding the expressway for about two hours
she decided to take a break, walking around the
bush a little. She surged forward through the
narrow path, playing with the leaves as she
She suddenly stopped midway on hearing the
sounds of some movement behind her, she
looked behind her, nobody was there. She took
another two steps and paused, she bent to pick a
stone. She turned backward and aimed
something at the left side of the bush.
‘Yaaay!’ Someone moaned and came out from
the bush, using his hand to massage the part of
his forehead where the stone hit him. Tarasha
ignored and kept walking forward.
‘That was cruel’ he shouted at her.
‘What was cruel?’ She stopped and asked,
without turning back. ‘Why have you been
‘Huh? Did you look now I was following you?’ He
trotted closer , still rubbing his forehead.
She turned back and proceeded out of the bush
path without looking at him. He paused and
stared at her before following.
‘Your bike started following me from the Solid
Quarry junction’ Tarasha stated, heading for her
bike. His bike was parked just behind hers.
‘Huh? You knew? Why didn’t you stop then?’ He
was perplexed, his shoulders dropped as he
stood still after getting out of the bush part. He
wondered why Tarasha did not take a look at
him, he walked further closer to her.
‘What?’ Tarasha growled, offended as his hand
was on hers resisting her from putting on the
‘Why are you shy? You can’t even look at my
face’ he mocked.
‘Shy?’ She took his hand away and wore the
‘If you aren’t shy, then why are you hiding your
pretty face? You don’t want me to see it clearly?’
She ignored him and sat on the bike, after
wearing her gloves well she started the engine.
She attempted to ride off but he stopped her,
standing at the front with the front tyre in
between his legs.
‘Come on, I won’t hurt you. I just want to have a
little chat. Let’s get to know each other’
She raised her head and stared into his face
through the helmet transparent cover. She spoke
in a harsh voice, ‘Your name is Henry and you’re
a rider, I have no time for your association’
She pushed him with her right hand gently, but
powerfully enough to make him stagger
backwards. She reversed the bike and drove off,
narrowly missing him as he jumped away
He stood still watching as she raced off,
wondering what type of girl she was. Her
declaration of his name affirmed to him that she
was the same girl he had met on the same
expressway some few weeks ago.
Since that day, he had been riding through that
location every Sunday evening, hoping to meet
her again. Now that he had the opportunity, she
didn’t give even listen to him, rather she put up a
Maybe she was scared that he was dangerous or
that he might harm her. But he was just a rider
who wanted to make friends with a female rider
who he viewed to be very skillful. He wished she
could see that his intention was pure.
He heaved a sigh and headed for his bike, he
bent to dodge a nylon of sachet water thrown at
his direction as an inter-state passenger’s bus
He tried to picture Tarasha’s face in his mind as
he sat on the bike, putting on the helmet. He
didn’t get a very clear view but he could
conclude with the little he got that she was
pretty and had a light skinned complexion.
‘Officer James’ James stood up from the cell’s
cold rigid floor as he heard his name. He saw a
uniformed warder with the approaching with
He moved closer to the room bars, the warder
opened the door and motioned him outside.
Segun saluted him,trying fruitlessly to hide the
look of pity in his face.
‘You’re free to go, officer James’ the warder
said, handing over his clothes in a nylon bag to
few minutes later
Segun drove in the black Camry, with neatly
dressed James at the front seat with him. He
glanced occasionally at his boss, trying to figure
out the right way to begin a conversation.
‘You said Oga is waiting for me?’ James began,
using Oga to refer to his immediate superior.
‘Yes, he says he wants to speak with you as
soon as you’re out’ Segun answered.
James heaved a sigh and paused for a moment
before talking again.
‘What about Emeka?’ He asked of the stout
officer who drove with him in the jeep that
picked the Ghanaian minister.
‘He should also be released today’ Segun replied.
‘So he was put in detention too?’ James posed a
rhetorical question. ‘What about Officer Tunde
and the others?’
‘Officer Tunde is dead o’ Segun voice was full of
pity. ‘He was found dead in the car, the others
were found drugged in the mechanic workshop
beside our office’
‘So there’s no way to find out if Tunde was a
party to the assassination?’ He questioned
without expecting an answer, he rubbed his palm
on his forehead and on his face.
Silence reigned for the rest of the journey to the
station. James immediate boss was standing in
the compound with his hands at his back, facing
the station building. James’ eyes met with his
when the man looked back as they drove in. The
man turned well to face their direction and
watched as they drove the car to a halt and
‘Good afternoon sir’ James and Segun saluted,
waking towards the man.
‘How are you James?’ The man responded and
extended his hand to James. ‘Well done Segun’
‘Fine sir’ James replied, taking the man’s feeble
hand in his.
They began walking slowly into the station as
‘James, the truth is I’m really disappointed in
you’ the man continued with a note of regret in
his voice. ‘I didn’t believe something like that
could happen when you’re in charge’
James bowed his head in shame, avoiding the
look on the various officers’ faces as they
walked through the opened offices to the man’s
‘What were you thinking when an escort car
suddenly disappeared and then reappeared? Why
didn’t you stop to check?’ The man reprimanded
loudly as they moved away from earshot. ‘This
shouldn’t have happened to a officer of so much
experience and training like you’
‘I’m s…sorry sir’ James replied almost in
whispers, trying to find his voice. ‘I was only
trying not to disturb the minister’s comfort’
The man punched in the pass code to the office
door and metal door slid gently open. He took off
his suit jacket and hung it before taking his seat.
‘Sit down’ he said to James who still remained
standing, waiting for the order.
‘Thank you sir’
‘There’s more work now, the killers have to be
found before the end of next month, that’s the
deadline given to us by the commissioner’ the
man explained. ‘That means that there’s no rest
for you, you have to get to work immediately and
you must not fail’
‘I will not fail sir’ James replied, swearing under
his breath to do everything possible to nab the
killers within the given time.
‘D–n! Slash his head dude’ Cole exclaimed
excitedly, punching the buttons on his joystick as
his avatar stood over Benny’s after taking it
down with a uppercut, it stood over the opponent
drew out a sword. Cole sat on the rug close to
the TV, in order to have a close view and enjoy
the game. Benny was sitting on a stool not far
from Cole at the other side, eyes glued to the TV
screen with the other game pad in his hand.
‘Never’ Benny retaliated; his avatar sent a heavy
kick to Cole’s, making it stagger far behind. He
smiled as his avatar stood up and charged
towards Cole’s avatar in rage but Cole was
faster, he dogged Benny’s attack, returning it
with a heavy kick.
‘Hey guys’ Tarasha walked into the sitting room,
dividing their attention.
‘Welcome Boss’ Cole replied, he paused the
game and stood up.
‘Good afternoon Boss’ Benny greeted, also
getting up to his feet. ‘We’ve been expecting
‘Been trying to get something done’ she replied
and took a seat. ‘We’re leaving for Rivers this
‘Rivers?’ They asked simultaneously, surprised.
‘Yes Rivers, we have a job to do there’ Tarasha
continued. ‘Which of you knows the city very
Both stared at each other for a moment before
Benny spoke, ‘I’ve only been there once’
‘That means we have more work to do’ she
crossed her leg and leaned on the chair arm.
‘Cole would get some geographical and street
maps of the city for us to study’
‘Okay, but what job is it? Who’s the target now?’
Cole curiosity pushed him to ask.
‘I’ll keep that to myself for now’ Tarasha denied
him the answer. ‘Let’s focus on getting there
‘Why don’t you want to tell us?’ Benny
interrupted. ‘It would help us in guiding, you
know we are used to the country more than you
are. Or are you scared that we’re going to sell
Tarasha narrowed her look at the guys and gave
a long wicked laugh. She suddenly stopped and
asked, ‘where’s Aisha?’
‘Humm’ Aisha answered with a shaky voice
before any of the two guys could respond. She
appeared with a bottle of wine and three glass
cups from the corridor leading to the other
From the way she appeared swiftly, one could
easily conclude that she had been listening
silently to their conversation and was shocked to
hear Tarasha ask about her.
‘Good afternoon’ Aisha curtsied.
‘Hi, where have you been? And where did you go
on Friday night?’ Tarasha asked with a frown.
‘I went to my boyfriend’s place’ she gave an
already prepared answer, ignoring the first
Tarasha smiled and turning back to face the two
guys, she took a sip from the wine Aisha served
her. ‘We’ll leave on Thursday with two vehicles’
‘Huh?’ The surprised trio exchanged glances and
returned their focus on Tarasha
‘Why land transport? Port Harcourt is a long
distance from here’ Benny questioned.
‘How many hours journey is it?’ Tarasha inquired.
‘I’m not sure, but it shouldn’t be less than seven
hours’ Benny replied.
‘Which of you can fly a jet?’ She paused, staring
at their faces to get an answer. She continued
when she got none, ‘I can fly a jet but we won’t
be able to use it for to travel for this operation
because there’s no personal landing space for us
‘We could get one to use, if you talk to Chief
Gab, he can provide one for us’ Cole suggested
‘No’ Tarasha objected, ‘ that would announce our
presence, it would make us exposed to the
‘True’ Benny whispered, aligning his thoughts
‘We’ll go in two vehicles, a truck which would
carry some cartons of books with our
instruments hidden in them’ Tarasha elaborated
on the plan. ‘I and Benny would drive in the truck
while Cole and Aisha would follow in a car. We’ll
buy another car when we get there’
‘Have you gotten a place for us to stay when we
‘Yes, there’s a building prepared for our use in
Oro…ro…gboom’ She struggled to pronounce the
town’s name, she brought out a tablet device
and scrolled through. ‘Latitude 4.79071, longitude
Cole got up from his seat and proceeded to
where Tarasha was seated, he placed a knee on
the floor and bent to have a study the map on
Tarasha’s device. She handed the device to him.
‘Orogbum’ He pronounced correctly, staring at
his Boss’ face. ‘It is very close to Port Harcourt’
‘Its Okay, does anyone of you have questions to
ask?’ She got up from her seat, collecting the
device from Cole.
‘For how long would the operation last?’ Cole
‘I don’t know yet, it depends on how fast we are
able to come up with ideas’ she gave a quick
reply. ‘Any other question?’
They trio exchanged gazes in silence, not having
‘I’m sure that you guys are trained enough to
keep all we’ve said here to yourselves’ she
admonished with a serious look on her face.
Turning to Aisha, she added with a contorted
look on her face ‘no one else should hear about
this, including your boyfriend’
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