Detective Calixtus was wet and itchy. They had not expected the rain. His moccasin squelched as he and his men walked inside the forest in search of Attila’s hide out. His long-sleeved shirt was too light to drive away the cold. The cold had seeped into his bones so well that he shook now, with cold. He sneezed, one of his men turned to look at him curiously. They are not supposed to make noise, he knew but damn! This rain wasn’t supposed to fall.
SARS stood for Special Anti Robbery Squad set up to curtail and reduce the thieves in the country. The squad had added to their area of responsibility, the arresting and persecution of internet fraudsters. It is also known though, that a lot of them collected money from these internet fraudsters when they are caught and then they set them free. The squad was placed in charge of interrogating Jide. An officer from the squad entered Jide’s cell with some papers. He took a look at Jide, who had not looked up when he came in. the police man drew a chair to him and sat down.
Police Officer: “Mr Jide how are you today?”
Jide raised his head, looked at the man and bowed it down again. The officer sighed. He flipped through some papers.
Police Officer: “according to documents received from our sources, you managed to steal form several European women and overall sum of 50,000 dollars. That’s a whole lot of money even in South African currency.” The officer looked up from the paper in his hands.
Jide: “I told you guys before, I am not a 419. I sold clothes in South Africa and also helped people transfer money from Europe and America to Nigeria.”
The office nodded his head, then he looked back at the papers in his hands.
Officer: “do you know one Catherine Derruss? Or a Martha Rebbleloff or a Phil Mcpherson?” Jide shook his head. The officer nodded his head again. He picked a single sheet of paper, read through it, looked at Jide and smiled.
Officer: “Do you know a Shelley and Craig Histoff?” Jide paused, looked at the officer and sighed. He shook his head again.
Officer: “that’s sad. Because according to what I have here, the two of them were at your house for a few days before your arrest.” Jide wanted to answer but the police man waved it away.
Officer: “Let’s not waste your time. We have bank statements, transfers, chats between you and the women I mentioned all courtesy of Shelley. What did you do to make the woman so angry? Well she is also facing persecution in South Africa for aiding and abetting. As the saying goes, hell hath no fury than a woman scorned, right?” the officer laughed as he saw Jide put his hand on his head and start to cry.
Jide: “officer I have a daughter. I just discovered this. My brother is facing a criminal charge. My mom is old. Please help me out. Who will look after Princess if I am in prison?”
Officer: “don’t worry. She will have people to take care of her. Better start making arrangements with your lawyer, I don’t foresee a long trial. We have enough evidence to send you to prison now and you will be there for a long time.” The officer got up and walked out of the room, leaving the weeping Jide
Kola and Osas laid on the bed in each other’s arms. They just cuddled and talked. Osas told him of what she had been up to since she left Uselu. He looked at her hair. It was still short, growing after her scissors had cut it short. He smiled at her. He told her about Bunmi’s letter, Princess and Jide’s arrest.
Osas: “that your brother was always too smooth. He reminded me too much of my ex-boyfriend.”
Kola: “Nosa.” Osas nodded her head. She sighed.
Osas: “prison will be good for him. When he comes out, he will be a better man.” Her phone rang. She picked it, and looked at the screen. It was Mr. Fix. They spoke briefly, she covered the mouthpiece and turned to Kola
Osas: “He says he has seen the place Attila is holed up but police men are crawling all over the place, hunting for Attila too. He is asking if the catch should be left to the police.
Kola: “that’s a better plan. This vigilante justice you have planned out is good and fine but it is going to get you on the wrong side of the law. Let the police handle it.”
Osas nodded her head. She spoke into the phone and ended the call. She turned her head and smiled at Kola, they kissed and she snuggled closer.
Mr Fix turned to his men and gave a hand signal. They withdrew silently from the house. Two of Attila’s men had been caught and tied to trees around the house.
Detective Calixtus shirt was ruined. His moccasin had revealed its ugly truth; the sole had parted revealing his wet hole filled socks to the cold air. As he walked, he tried to avoid sinking into the soft earth, so he didn’t see the gun until it was too late.
Mr Fix: “Detective hi.” Detective Calixtus stopped, shocked. He had lost his gun somewhere behind. It was a damn heavy rain. He looked at the form resting on a tree wearing green raincoat and boots. He came prepared, detective Calixtus thought.
Mr Fix: “yea, I look good I know. You, you look terrible and those shoes… Wrong…very wrong. You see those shoes is what is killing this country; poorly made men.” The face hidden by the raincoat shook his head. Detective Calixtus looked at his shoes and sighed.
Detective Calixtus: “what do you want sir?”
Mr Fix: “Oh nothing. Just standing in the rain and watching you melt gives me pleasure. Well I have to go. A mutual friend says hi by the way, and to tell you that what you seek is on your far right after a small bridge over a stream. Guarded by two tied up miscreants. Au revoir monsieur.”
A call came to Kola’s phone. Kola looked at it as he wore his shoes. Osas was asleep. It was Rita.
Kola: “Hello, Rita.”
Attila: “Hello Kola. Sorry your love is a bit indisposed now. She is presently giving me a blowjob to save her life. Ahahahahaha…”
Kola: “If you touch her, Attila, I will find you no matter how long it takes me and I will make you pay.”
Attila: ‘bla bla bla. Do you have my money? If you do, you know where to find me. If I so much as smell a police man, she dies.”
Kola was already out the door. He knew were Attila was hidden. As Attila spoke, he heard a rush of water at the background. It’s a place he and I used to hook up back in the day. I will get him there. Rita has to be saved. He turned to look at Osas again, then he went out.
Iya Olayinka knocked on the door. The window curtains were drawn close but she knew someone was at home. She knocked again, then she heard footsteps coming to the door. Princess fidgeted at the door steps with her. The door opened and Iya Bimpe looked out. She looked haggard and stressed.
Iya Olayinka: “Hello my friend. Can I come in?” Iya Bimpe looked at her quietly for a minute, then she opened the door wider to admit them in.
The house looked unkempt unlike the Iya Bimpe she used to know, Iya Olayinka thought.
Iya Bimpe: “sorry about the untidiness, I was not expecting guests.” She said, removing clothes, prayer books and plates off the table and chairs.
Princess refused to sit. Rather she stood by her grandma, her nose wrinkled in distaste.
Iya Olayinka: “this is Princess, Jide’s daughter. Princess say hi to Iya Bimpe, she’s a family friend.” Princess greeted her shyly.
Iya Bimpe:”am sorry Iya Olayinka about the whole Kola thing. I was afraid and in pain. The girl had been placed in my care after an incident in which she nearly died. Now she gets raped under my watch, I needed to do something, prove a point. I am sorry.” She said, tears falling from her eyes.
Iya Olayinka:”it’s ok. I understand. Any mother would have done what you did.” Iya Bimpe rubbed her eyes and nodded her head. She looked for her handkerchief in her bag. On finding it, she took it and blew her nose noisily.
Iya Bimpe: “so Jide now has a daughter? That boy… She’s beautiful o.” Iya Olayinka smiled and patted Princess.
Iya Bimpe: “my daughter is dying my friend, no one to help me. Everybody has turned away. The church is the one feeding me now. My business money has been poured into her welfare.”
Iya Olayinka: “she will not die. Our Bimpe will not die. I have a gift for her. Maybe this will help.” As she spoke she opened her bag and brought out a check of three million naira and gave it to Iya Bimpe.
Iya Olayinka: “It seems Princess’ mother knew Bimpe. She gave us this check when she heard that she had an accident.”
Iya Bimpe was standing, speechless, tears falling down her ravaged face. She soon started crying openly. She cried and laughed at the same time. She rushed and hugged Iya Olayinka.
Iya Bimpe: “thank you. thank you. Abeg where is the woman, let me thank her?” she asked curiously as she wiped her face.
Iya Olayinka: “She passed on yesterday. She had cancer of the blood. “
Iya Bimpe burst into fresh tears and was crying when Iya Olayinka’s phone rang. It was Olayinka. He was at the police station. Jide had tried to kill himself. Iya Olayinka, Iya Bimpe and Princess rushed out of the house headed for the hospital.
Questions: will Kola get Attila? Will Jide survive his suicide attempt?
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