Bunmi sat in front of the window and stared at the falling snow. It was so white, so beautiful. Have I lived well, God? Do I gain heaven? My heart is pattering fast. I have tried to make amends, the best way I can. I hope it’s enough. I am too young. Too young to leave like this…Jesus. She sighed and turned as the room opened and a nurse entered,
Nurse: “we are ready for you.” she nodded, wiped her eyes.
The nurse rolled her out on the wheelchair headed for the theater. God please protect princess. Make her strong. God please protect Kola, make him great. God please protect Jide, make him a better man. God please protect Olayinka….she prayed silently as she was rolled into the theater.
Rita came to see Kola the next day after his release. His mom and elder brother had carried Princess with them to the police station to see Jide. They spoke about a lot of things. They spoke about Osas.
Rita: “Has she been to see you?”
Kola: “No. I have not heard from her. Her aunt and mine are no longer in talking terms so I do not know how she’s faring.”
Rita nodded her head and stared at a cock pursuing a hen across the yard.
Rita: “your mother thinks you love me. She could not believe that we are just friends with needs.” She looked at kola’s face as she spoke.
Kola: “you are a beautiful woman. Any man will be lucky to have you as a wife but am not that man. I have got too much bad in my past. I don’t want to bring my baggage into your life. I care for you but it’s not strong enough to last.”
Rita nodded again. She opened her bag and gave him a sealed envelope. She got up and looked at him,
Rita: “she was at my place last night. She told me to leave town for some days. Then she gave me that envelope for you. She is lucky to have you. Take care Kola.” She walked away.
Kola watched her walk to the road and enter a bike. She waved him from that distance and he raised his hand in return. He felt sad. She had been a friend in his time of need. He opened the envelope. Inside it was a single note that read ‘Watch Rita. He might go after her.’ He immediately jumped up and started to run to the road. He boarded a bike and told the man to hurry. They sped down the road and after two turns, they found the bike and the bike man on the ground. He was alive but unconscious. Kola quickly called Olayinka.
Olayinka left Jide, his mom and Jide’s lawyer and ran to detective Calixtus’ office. He gave him Kola’s message. The detective quickly mobilized and was soon on the way to the area Kola had described. When he got there with his men, Kola was nowhere to be found but the bike man was struggling to start his bike. The policemen held him for questioning.
Osas sat with Ozegbe in a rented flat, unknown to anyone. She held her phone in tension. Her mind ran through the events of the past month. She had called Oz and informed him of what had went down. She knew Kola. He would have gone after Attila with all he had, so she made him too weak to do anything by swearing him off. She had felt the pain in his eyes when she pushed him away with her words but this work was meant for hardened people. She had lived in the streets all her life. She had made her way in the streets; selling her body to men for money, sometimes selling weed along the way. She had in the process met all kinds of people. Back in Abuja at a Minister’s daughter’s birthday, she had met a businessman; he was old enough to be her father. She thought he wanted sex as usual but was surprised when they spent the whole night talking, drinking and smoking. By the next, he paid her and became her friend. She rarely called him because she was an independent woman, who knew how to take care of herself. That night after pouring tears into the bathtub, she had sent him a long text and he had immediately promised her an associate to help sort things out. Mr. Fix as the man called himself was his Chief Security officer; an ex-soldier, assassin and a qualified surgeon. He came and picked her from the hospital where she had lain faking coma.
The man was effective. The torture of Kunle had scared her but it had been worth it. It had brought Attila out of hiding. Although she had not calculated Bimpe or Rita into the equation until it was too late. She was holding Oz from going into town. He had come to Lagos with the half-baked idea of killing Kola but he was stopped on time before he made a fool of himself. She looked at him. He had left his mechanic shop and his baby mama for her. well that’s what family does. i love him to the moon and back but he is a dunce.
Her phone rang.
Mr Fix: “hello madam.”
Osas: hello Mr. Fix. What is the situation?”
Mr. Fix: “He got Rita. Kola has the Police in. we are watching the hideout. Kola seems lost though. What do you see in this crushed face that you are all itchy when you hear his name?”
Osas: Mr Fix, go drink a martini or something. My feelings for him is not a part of your job. When he gets too close, capture him. He needs to be informed about our plan on getting Attila.”
Mr Fix: “Okay ma’am.”
Osas ended the call and turned to her brother.
Osas: “Oz, you needs go back to mumsy o. You don leave am tey o. you know how she dey do.”
Oz: “what about you wey disappear from hospital?”
Osas: “I go show crib side when this level don set. I no wan leave the level half way.”
Oz: “Okay o. this guy wey you import come dey try sha. That Attila get lucky. Market for fall press am.” He winked at his sister, picked his small bag and left the hotel.
Osas sat quietly for a while, tapping her phone on the table. A knock came on the door. She asked the person to enter. The door opened and there was Kola. He looked tired. He had aged a lot since that night.
Osas: “Hi Mr. Man.” She greeted him, searching his face for his reaction.
Kola looked at her, then moved around the room on silent feet.
Kola:” you are running a tight ship, young lady.” He looked her over. She looked well.
Kola: “how have you been?” He asked sitting down on a chair.
Osas nodded her head, drinking in his face.
Osas: “I am fine now that you are here.” She said quietly. He smiled his lopsided smile.
Kola: “someone set Jide up. He is in police custody now.” Osas nodded her head.
Kola: “you heard that Bimpe nearly died. She needed money for operation. That has been covered though.” Osas smiled. She got up and walked to him.
Kola: “the police is around here somewhere o. you need to leave. We need to leave.” He said, his eyes following her approach.
Osas only smiled until she was standing right in front of him. He could touch her shirt, perceive her scent, and see the blood vessels on her wrist beat as they carried blood to the tips of her long fingers. He could see her pupils dilate, her breath cease and he could hear the sound of rain falling on the roof. He watched her chest rise and fall; her bow shaped lips drawing close, her eyes closed and his eyes watched her long eye brows and ….
Kola: “stop there Osas. I have things to say. I was not able to protect…” a resounding slap echoed in the room, shocking a wall gecko approaching an ant. Kola’s gaze split into twelve. He saw twelve Osas’, his ears ringing.
Osas held his shirt with both hands and drew him close.
Osas: “kiss me Mr.Man” she demanded.
Kola shook his head to clear the cobwebs. He looked at her.
Kola: “I am not worthy to…” another resounding slap blocked his ears. His teeth clashed each other so hard that he felt like his brain fell.
Kola: “Jesus! Woman! What’s all the slapping for?” Osas giggled.
Osas: “kiss me you, big ugly face.” Kola shook his head again, laughed and bent to kiss her. They kissed deeply and the gloom of the room lightened. Heat flowed through them and for a time they forgot pain, sorrow, sadness and tears. For a time, they lived and the rain fell, the curtain fluttered and life bloomed.
Rita sat looking at Attila. She was tied to a chair. The room was leaking and where she was placed was the worst hit.
Attila: “so you are his girlfriend?” he chuckled. “What do you see in that his cracked up face?”
Rita: “He is a man.”
Question: will Rita be able to escape Attila alive?
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