Wale waited for Nene to come back. He could not sit inside the car anymore He got out of the car and walked towards the prison gate. However, he knew he could not get too close, to avoid attracting attention to himself. He felt uneasy as the clock ticked and minutes crawled towards an hour. What if she has been caught? He wondered with fear, as he paced up and down the lonely dusty road that led to the gate of the prison
While he was pacing up and down, Nene had been taken back into the offices of the Prison Warden, a middle-aged man with potbelly. Her head was filled with the image of Nabila’s father being escorted into the prison with severe looking bodyguards behind him. She had only seen him a few times in all the years she had been friends with Nabila, but he was somebody that one could not easily forget. His presence left a mark on someone, not just because he was of a tall build, but because he had an air about him that forced you to cast your eyes downward, when in his presence. She was surprised to see him in that prison, and a light bulb went on in her head, but she was finding difficulty connecting the dots.
However, she did not have time to contemplate this as she was called and hulled into the officer of the chief warder.
Prison Warden: “You say, you are Benita?” he asked slowly.
Nene: “Yes, obviously” she replied, with a bit of attitude, to hide her uneasiness.
Prison Warden: “What law school did you finish from?” he asked again
Nene: “Lagos Law school” she replied, thanking God that Wale had insisted she learned about the identity she was taking on. The Prison Warden went on and on, asking her questions about Benita’s background. Nene wondered about all the questions, and fear gripped her heart. Could they have found out that she was an impostor?
Prison Warden: “You must be wondering why you are being asked all these questions You see, if that man was getting representation, I should be informed, and I was not informed of him getting any representation” he said, looking at her quizzically, from above big spectacles.
Nene: “His family retained me” she said simply, restraining herself from scratching her head with her shaking hands even though the wig itched. That would give away her fear
Prison Warden: “Which family? His daughter is dead, the other is being hunted for murder, she certainly doesn’t have the time to ask for a lawyer for her father. His wife is probably dead as she was with the daughter when they drove into a riot. So which of his family members had you on a retainer?” he asked and he did not fail to notice the sweat beads forming on Nene’s fore-head.
Nene: “This one asked to remain anonymous. She told me she is the illegitimate daughter of Mazi Okeke. She is probably the only surviving member of that family, and she wants her father to have a fair trial” she replied, thinking fast.
Prison Warden: “I see” he said, still watching Nene. There was something about the young woman that rubbed him wrongly, but he couldn’t find anything to back up his suspicions. The woman was trying to hide her anxiety, and he didn’t know why. Perhaps this is her first major case, he concluded.
Nene: “Will that be all, sir? I would like to take my leave” she said, standing up. It took all of her resolve to move her wobbly legs.
Prison Warden: “That will be all” he stood up also, and nodded at a warder who escorted Nene out of the office. He kept looking at her until the door closed behind her. Nene walked briskly towards the gate. Then, the Prison Warden remembered the news he had seen about Mazi Okeke’s daughter murdering a son of the soil in Kano. The girl had the same build as this one who called herself Benita, and their facial structure was identical He got up and rushed out of his office.
Nene had passed through the barricade when she turned and saw the Prison Warden running towards the gate gesticulating wildly, with two guards. She did not even wait for anyone to tell her that the man was coming for her, she took to her heels. She heard shouts for her to stop, but she ran the fastest her scared legs could carry her.
Wale was pacing up and down when he saw Nene running towards them, he told the driver to start the car. At the same time, he saw a black Maria drive out of the prison yard, he knew instinctively that there was trouble. He ran towards Nene and scooped her on to his shoulder and ran to the car. Immediately they were in the car, the driver sped off, he already knew there was trouble, and he did not want to be caught abetting felony.
The black Maria was closing the distance between them, and the driver was looking for an exit off the main road. He saw the curve of a road that led through a farm. He took the road and disappeared into a road that led to the left and the right. When he got to the intersection, he took the left because it would take him away from the route of the prison.
The path they took led to another tarred road. Wale advised that they got off the road until the hunt for them was over. But the driver insisted that they could not stay in the first hotel as that was where they would look for them, should their pursuers guess correctly the road they had taken. So they drove for a while before they saw a motel, close to the outskirts of Zaria. They stopped and parked in an obscure place, partially protected by overgrown trees.
They booked two adjoining rooms, and ordered food. Nene could hardly take a bite, adrenalin was still pumping into her system. She turned to Wale and held him, and then her shoulders began to shake with the force of her sobs. Her sobs were nerve racking; she had just had a narrow escape and the shock of it was finally hitting her.
Nene: “I don’t know what to do” she said in between sobs. Wale rubbed her back in order to console her. Nene raised her head and stared into his eyes, and then she came closer to him, bringing her mouth closer to his
Wale: “Nene, what are you doing?” he asked, confused
Nene: “Just kiss me” she said and crashed her lips on his. Wale hesitated for just a second before he kissed her back. He had always imagined this day but he had never thought that it would be under these circumstances.
Nene started to snuggle into Wale, and she did not protest when he began to remove the buttons of her shirt, but when he pushed her on to the bed, she sprang back up, and began to button her shirt
Nene: “I am sorry” she said simply, eyeing the boner between Wale’s legs
Wale: “I understand, you are under a lot of physical and emotional stress, I should have been wiser. Now, did you learn anything from your father?” he asked trying to distract himself from the picture of the swell of her breast from beneath her lacy bra.
Nene: “Mistletoe, Nabila’s alias was brought up. He has seen the name in communiqués between the compromised agitators and the shadowy insider who holds the strings controlling the players in this drama. ” she explained.
Wale: “You lost me” he said with a confused expression.
Nene: “He believes somebody was paying some of the members to cause trouble and scuttle their fight for restructuring. He explained his fears to one of the co-agitators whom he considered a friend and the latter came to warn him to get away from Kano” she said, her head filled with deep thoughts. She remembered the day her father had come home looking spooked He had asked them to pack their belongings as they were leaving Kano. However, he had been arrested before they could leave. But she remembered something about that day, Nabila’s father had known about the arrest even before it happened. Nabila had also warned Najim to stay away from her because her father was being investigated for treason.
Nene: “How did he know?” she asked aloud.
Wale: “How did who know what?” he asked breaking into her thoughts. Nene went ahead and explained what she was thinking.
Nene: “Could her father be Mistletoe? It is not possible, right?” she asked rhetorically.
Wale: “We already know what Nabila is involved with, but what if it goes deeper than that”
Nene: “This is definitely beyond Nabila, she is not that smart and connected politically to pull this off” she said shaking her head in disagreement.
Nene: “He was in Kuje prison, why? What does he have to do with all these, I must find out” she said thoughtfully.
Question: Could father and daughter be involved in something this deadly? What role does Najim play in all this?
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