Loud, old-school hip-hop music blared out of the speakers, positioned at either end of the small canopy that sheltered the different groups of people, who sought release and entertainment after a long week. Some were drinking, laughing, and seemingly having a competition to determine who can raise their voices highest above the surrounding music.
My Den of Secrets
Posted by FemmeFaçade in My Life on July 30, 2012
I cannot explain how utterly refreshing unburdening my thoughts here is. It kinda gives me a skip on my feet, and even Dera has said I look a lot more lightweight and giddy. I don’t know where that one gets his ideas, LOL.
I had always thought mommy was everything right we had as a family until my little cloakroom treasure-hunt experience. I’d admit I was very upset when I heard his voice, because I knew exactly who he was and what they were about to be about. I can’t blame her for being human, Daddy does it too. At least she’s unwaveringly devoted to us, and even though I can’t tell her what’s going on right now, I can tell she’s sensed something is up and that makes me happy.
It’s absolutely remarkable how she gives nothing away when the three of them sit and talk. She’s way better at this cheating thing than Daddy.
P.S. I think what Dera sees is baby glow, you know, that one that people say pregnant women always have. Oh shit, I’m pregnant.
As usual, the arrival hall of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport was busy with activity. Foreigners and Nigerians alike trooped out of the tunnel and made a beeline straight for the exit, or the baggage claim area, chatting loudly about one thing or the other – some walked up to drivers waiting for them, others embraced their families, squealing loudly, and airport workers pushed large boxes up and down the hall. A woman’s voice could be heard over the PA system, announcing the arrival of more flights, and scheduled take offs. Amidst the ruckus, two well-built Arabian men dressed in smart suits and holding one duffel bag each calmly weaved and dodged their way through the crowd to the exit. After been cleared by security and immigration, they proceeded to the parking lot.
The cold night air welcomed them as they emerged, as well as an onslaught of cab drivers eager to pick up a new fair. Ahmed, the bigger of the two men, waved away the cab drivers a bit too enthusiastically and Kareem chuckled. Scanning the lot, he spotted a young lady briskly walking towards him. At first, her face wasn’t clearly visible but as she drew closer, he recognized the wide smile he’d seen in several pictures and during numerous Skype sessions. “That’s her, Ahmed.” He informed his companion while waving at Bisola to signal her.
Ahmed nodded his approval as Bisola finally reached them and immediately pulled Kareem into a hug. He waited for them to break apart before speaking. “Your bag, sir”
“Oh, yes.” Grinning, Kareem handed over the duffel bag he was holding and gestured to Ahmed “B, this is Ahmed. He’s my bodyguard.”
Bisola, still grinning from ear to ear, nodded towards Ahmed’s direction “That’s great, sweetie, but I kind of assumed you would be travelling with more than one escort.”
Smiling, Kareem wrapped his arms round Bisola’s shoulder and pulled her closer so his voice is just above a whisper. “I didn’t want to bring all that excess baggage along, dear. I’m here to be with you and doing that will be significantly harder, having to tow ten or so armed men along.”
“I see.” Personally, she would have loved to be seen walking around with all the security detail. The more attention the better as far as she was concerned, but Kareem had arrived and that was all that mattered. She finally got to meet to her prince.
“Shall we head to the car? It’s a bit cold tonight.” Kareem interrupted her thoughts.
“Sure.” Bisola pulled away and led the group to where the car is parked. Wanting to make a good impression on Kareem, she’d taken the Range Sport and had her father’s driver stay later than usual. He’d been really distracted when he’d gotten home that evening, so she was sure he wouldn’t mind or even notice. She and Kareem piled into the back seat and Ahmed, after dropping the duffel bags in the boot, sat in front. “You’re going to stay at Transcorp, of course.” She chirped, glee sparkling the brown in her eyes. Before Kareem has a chance to reply, she turned to the driver “Gideon, we’re going to Transcorp.”
Loud, old-school hip-hop music blared out of the speakers, positioned at either end of the small canopy that sheltered the different groups of people, who sought release and entertainment after a long week. Some were drinking, laughing, and seemingly having a competition to determine who can raise their voices highest above the surrounding music. As is common on weekend nights, The Wine Shop was filled with people looking to have a good time and get just the right amount of faded before hitting the club where they would have to pay three times the price to get the same amount of high. The older men occupied the seats at the furthest end of the canopy with their much younger, eager-to-spend and much-too-easy-to-please companions, laughing the night away with bottles of beer spread before them; around the middle of the canopy were the guys and girls just out for some fun, hookahs were placed on the table as well as several bottles of vodka, rum and mixers, making the most noise really, telling tales about other adventurous nights; and then, closer to the edge of the canopy, were the ones notice-me nouveaux-riche, who want to be seen spending, with expensive drinks on the table, none of which were really being drunk, smoking cigarettes and talking quite loudly.
Yinka and his friends were among this last group of people, seated just outside the canopy, close to the suya grill. They’re engaged in conversation about something that happened on a night Yinka couldn’t make it out. Yinka laughed with the others as his best friend Phil narrated how he spent the entire night trying and failing to get a girl to go home with him. “Dude, that is just embarrassing.”
“Wait!” Phil knocked back another shot of vodka “You know I don’t give up easily.”
Yinka laughed “But she didn’t leave with you abi?”
“Bro, trust I got her number! Called her up the next morning and invited her over. Of course the babe was forming one thing, two thing, but who can say no to me in the end?” At that, the rest of the guys at the table burst into another fit of laughter. “Plus, after I picked her up in the Benz, the girl herself reasoned.”
Nodding, Yinka smiled and took a sip from his cup “So, what now happened?”
Phil looked round the table with a mischievous grin on his face “Well, I invited her for a drink up over at mines, as the babe kept going on about how she doesn’t get high. Long story short, we had a hell of a night.” Cheers and high-fives went round the table as Phil basked in the memory of his conquest.
“You got her high?” Yinka raised an eyebrow “So she was just making mouth. Why do girls even do that?”
“No oh…!” Phil leaned back in his chair “That babe could drink! I had to take matters into my own hands.”
Abu, who had been content with whooping and cheering the entire time finally spoke up, his speech a bit slurred. “Guy mixed some blue with a drink and gave the chick.”
Frowning, Yinka put his cup down and stared at Phil “Are you serious?”
Phil shrugged “Yeah now, you know how we do. Man-them had a hell of a night. Babe didn’t wake up until early evening the next day.”
“Why the fuck would you do something like that?!”
“Dude, calm down” Phil raised his hands to shield off Yinka who had gotten up and seems like he was on the verge of hitting Phil. “We do this shit all the time, what’s your problem?”
Grunting, Yinka shoved the table in front of him, sending some bottles over the edge and crashing to the ground, and walked away.
Mosun lay in bed, snuggled under the thick duvet, listening to the sound of the shower running and thinking about the past few hours. Making the arrangements for Sola’s funeral hadn’t been easy on her, and she couldn’t imagine how she would have coped had she been forced to do it all by herself. Thankfully, Jide had flown in the night before and ran around town with her, getting all that needed to be done in order. She smiled as she remembered how he’d put an extra effort into making sure she didn’t get too depressed all day, especially at the funeral home when she’d had to pick out a coffin. That part had made Sola’s death all the more real, and she’d felt overwhelmed by it all. Jide, her hero, had stepped in and handled everything, even paid despite all her protesting.
She smiled towards the bathroom door as she heard him turn off the shower and step out of the box. “Are you done?”
Jide stepped out of the bathroom; towel wrapped around his waist, and sat on the edge of the bed. “Yeah, are you okay?”
The concern in his eyes made Mosun smile “You really have to stop asking that every five to ten minutes, darling.”
“I know, I know.” He laughed. ”I just worry about you; and besides…” he stood up, walked over to her side of the bed, and planted a kiss on her lips “…I wasn’t asking a few minutes ago, was I?”
Giggling, Mosun sat up in bed “No, you weren’t.” She continued watching him as he got dressed, smiling the entire time and just enjoying having him around. “Are you going to see Wale?”
“Yes dear, but I have to go pick up some things for the funeral first.”
“Haba Jide, what things are you picking again?”
“Just some stuff.” He turned and smiled at the expression on her face “As cute as you are when you worry, just try and relax. Take a nap. I’ll be back in a little bit and I don’t want you burned out when I do.”
A smile played on the corner of her lips “That so?”
Kareem, Ahmed and Bisola were seated at the Transcorp lobby, drinking and engaged in conversation and Bisola kept glancing at the reception area sadly. She sighed and cut Kareem off in the middle of a sentence. “Sweetie, I’m so sorry about this. I totally forgot to make a reservation.”
“That’s alright, darling. No need to beat yourself up about it.”
Bisola sighed again and glanced at Ahmed, who had been sitting there quietly the entire time “Are you okay, Ahmed? Do you want something else to drink?” When all she got was a slight shake of the head, she turned back to Kareem “He doesn’t say much, does he?”
Kareem laughed “His job isn’t one that requires speech, darling.”
“Toh” She glanced at her watch again and then back at the reception “I have to leave soon, sweetie. My parents won’t be too pleased about me being out with you this late.”
“Oh no, leaving me already, B?”
“You know I’d love to stay.” She said, wrapping her arms around his shoulders “But there’s so much going on right now, and I don’t want to add to the stress.”
Sighing, Kareem kissed her hand “I understand. I’ll see you tomorrow then?”
A wide grin spread across her face “Definitely!” Picking up her bag, she got up and walked towards the exit “Goodnight guys.”
When she was well out of sight, Ahmed burst into laughter and Kareem had to punch him on the shoulder to quiet him “Stop it. It’s not funny.”
“You’re absolutely right. This is beyond funny. It is hilarious!” He burst into another fit of laughter and Kareem buried his face in his palms “How long do you think you can keep this up?”
“As long as I need to, Ahmed; this girl must not find out about my family’s bankruptcy…” he heaved a sigh and took another swig of his martini, grateful for the delay.
“…At least not until after the wedding.”
“Well, fortunately for you, she doesn’t seem too bright. You might actually be able to pull this off.”
Sighing, Kareem got up and picked up his bag “Let’s go, please. Someone told me about a hotel in Zone 6 that’s about five thousand naira a night.”
Mustapha stood at attention in front of the IG’s desk as the man went through his case report. He could tell from his furrowed brows that the IG wasn’t too pleased with what he was reading, and he couldn’t blame him. Try as he might, Mustapha had hit a road block on every lead he had to follow concerning the murder of Chief Odukoya’s daughter and was honestly getting pretty frustrated with the entire situation himself. No one seemed to be much willing to cooperate, and he couldn’t just drag everyone he suspected into an interrogation room without solid evidence. Especially since the people involved were mostly high profile citizens. So far, from the information he’d gathered, the young girl’s death was nothing more than a senseless murder. She could have walked into someone she wasn’t supposed to or even slipped and fallen on a knife as one of the not-so-smart people he’d interviewed at her school had suggested.
“I don’t like this at all, Inspector.” The IG set the report down on his table, clasped his fingers and looked up at Mustapha. “You don’t seem to be making any headway in the case.”
“Sir, this case is a really delicate one and I’ve tried my best to handle it cautiously…”
“As you should” The IG interrupted
“However, no one seems to be interested in being completely honest. All I’ve gotten are road blocks and misdirection at every turn.”
“But that is why you’re an inspector, Rabiu! Inspect!”
In his mind, Mustapha rolled his eyes “Yes sir!”
The IG continued “I put you on this case because you are the best inspector I have. If you feel the case is too much for you to handle, I will gladly assign it to someone else.”
“That won’t be necessary, sir. I have new lead.”
The IG raised his hand and cut Mustapha off again “Abeg, spare me your grammar, Rabiu. Just get me results. The chief is getting tired of hearing excuses and, quite frankly, I’m just as tired. I have enough on my plate as it is, and I certainly don’t need another pompous politician barking at my heels every damn day!”
“Yes sir!” Mustapha saluted and left the office.
The IG sat contemplating for a few seconds and then picked up the intercom “Send Inspector Tunji in here now.”
HOUSE ON THE ROCK
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