Archive for short story

Posted in poems with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2016 by Charles Bernard

mothss

An Africa mother’s Advice

 

Where heads you my son?

Tonight witches shall gather

Soon the sun will go to bed

Ndubisi my son come home

Come lay in your mother’s arm

Let my love protect you

Till dawn in my warmth

 

Come my son

The moon is full tonight

Let me tell you stories

The morals you must hold

Close to your heart all your life

Let them guide your thoughts

Leading you through life’s path

 

My son

You’re a prince

Like an ant be wise

Let your judgment be sound

Let your heart be filled with mercy

Give alms to the poor

Give food to the hungry

 

My son

Fear the woman

Her love is sweet

Her heart is dark

Keep your strength

For the love you shall find

And you shall be fruitful

 

My son

I have watched you grow

Your temper is quick

I fear it would destroy you

Hold it in check

Say but a few words

Let them be your bonds

 

 

My son

Your are my strength

Do not forget me when am old

Remember the breast that fed you

And the back that carried you

Let my old bones cling unto you

Let my dry skin feel your warmth

 

My son, soon

I will be gone from here

Uphold your father’s name

Let not his legacies die

Do me proud in your deeds

From the spirit land I will smile

For even in death I will watch you

#greendiarynotes

The policemen and the bus driver

Posted in poems with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2016 by Charles Bernard

They live on this particular street Just further down after a junction One big family of boggling belle men Clothed in black and strapped with rusty guns Here they make separate laws Every passerby must pay tax Through same route the bus driver Ply his trade, seeking daily bread With his bundle of painted metals That threaten to always fall apart With all his might and strength, he hustles Struggling all the way to make ends meet Each time the bus driver passes, he pays Without checking papers and luggage The men in black wave him on Happy and contented with their loot The driver mumbles as he drives away Wondering what he had paid for? Over the years, the looting became a norm Norm the men in black took serious Come what may (Condemnations and counter laws) They fend off the other man’s meager income Yet leave him at the mercy of real criminals A duty, duly paid for. . One day the bus driver had nothing to give He begged and begged, but the other men refused Hardhearted and in-movable they stood Angry, the bus driver turned on his ignition Angry the men in black cocked their rusty guns He shifted gears, they pulled their triggers

They live on this particular street
Just further down after a junction
One big family of boggling belle men
Clothed in black and strapped with rusty guns
Here they make separate laws
Every passerby must pay tax

Through same route the bus driver
Ply his trade, seeking daily bread
With his bundle of painted metals
That threaten to always fall apart
With all his might and strength, he hustles
Struggling all the way to make ends meet

Each time the bus driver passes, he pays
Without checking papers and luggage
The men in black wave him on
Happy and contented with their loot
The driver mumbles as he drives away
Wondering what he had paid for?

Over the years, the looting became a norm
Norm the men in black took serious
Come what may (Condemnations and counter laws)
They fend off the other man’s meager income
Yet leave him at the mercy of real criminals
A duty, duly paid for. .

One day the bus driver had nothing to give
He begged and begged, but the other men refused
Hardhearted and in-movable they stood
Angry, the bus driver turned on his ignition
Angry the men in black cocked their rusty guns
He shifted gears, they pulled their triggers

Black Cartel 7 “A New Dawn”

Posted in random with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2013 by Charles Bernard

Black Cartel 7 “A New Dawn”

Multiple ripples of fear in the crime world accompanied the news of Shadow’s death, the invincible executioner of the Don has been killed and every cartel family in Nigeria was wary of the Don’s wrath. The Don’s dominance was greatly shaken and even Lone Shark knew that dangerous bloody days waited in the near by future. The battle line has been drawn and he was at the center of it all, Lone felt the pain of every soul that would be wasted for his sake and thought of going to Don himself to negotiate a way out.

But he knew nothing would please the Don but his head on a platter and he wasn’t ready to offer his life to the man who murdered the only family he had. Let him come and get it himself Chief Donald told him while he discussed the matter with the old man.

Chief Donald stroked his beards as he always did when in deep thoughts, then said to Lone I think you should take a vacation son he said to Lone Shark and allow me to maneuver the situation to our favor. There won’t be much causality I will make sure of that, it won’t be long before everything settles then you can return the Chief concluded. Lone Shark stuck a stick of cigarette between his lips and proceeded to light it, he inhaled deeply then sent thick white smoke into the air towards the sky, what will the Don do godfather? Send an army? Sorry to disappoint you but I am not leaving Lagos till I see the end of everyone that murdered my family. The day I watched my brother lowered into the grave I swore to avenge him, I can’t turn back now that I am close to making good that promise this is my war and I intend to see the end of it.

Very well said Chief Donald I won’t stand in your way just be very careful son, you mean more to me alive than dead. Thank you godfather said Lone Shark.

……………………………………

Maria staggered from side to side as she walked through a dense maize farm under scorching mid day sun, her blouse was soaked with sweat and her feet was badly bruised.

She had managed to escape by tricking one of her abductors into wanting a conjugal session with her. She had left him lying cold in her cell with a bullet hole in his skull. She was eager to the high way before the other man returns and set out to find her, she had managed to retrieve her hand bag from one of the drawers before setting out, they were kind enough to have left her personnel effects intact save her phone which was no where to be found. At last she made it to the high way and was lucky to secure a cab, in no time she was headed to the heart of the city. Her first stop was an ATM from whence she proceeded to her hotel, they had reserved her luggage. Maria had a quick shower and a fast lunch then was on the road to the airport, she wanted a night flight to Lagos but was only lucky to have an early morning flight. She borrowed a phone from a stranger and made contact with Don Juan who was so happy she was still alive. Contact with this person once you reach Lagos said Don Juan then he proceeded to give her Chief Donald’s phone number which she jotted down on a piece of paper. When the line went dead Maria regretted having not asked him about Smart though she had her reasons of not wanting to raise the Don’s eyebrow but she wondered if he was still alive. Part of her missed him greatly. Come sunrise tomorrow she would be on her way to Lagos, there she will get answers to all her questions.

………………………………………………..

The Don walked to and fro from one end of his balcony to the other end with a glass of wine in his hand, occasional he paused and took a sip, when it ran empty he had one of his bodyguards refill it. Shadow’s death had greatly unsettled him not that he lacked hit men but he didn’t just trust their capability and also he has Lone Shark to contend with, he was already running out of ideas on how to kill the him however he has one more move to make on the chess board, one that Lone Shark will never for see.

A potbellied police Chief arrived 30 minutes late the scheduled time for his appointment, ordinarily the Don would refuse to see him and reschedule the appointment he hated lateness. Rather he motioned him to take a seat opposite him even though he was a sucker for punctuality he didn’t care for protocols on days like this, I have someone I need you to take care of for me officer the Don said after the police man had settled opposite him. You know the usually drill the officer responded to the Don’s request whom in turn motioned to one of his guards, the guard brought him an envelope which he handed over to the officer. The officer peeped inside it, a crooked smile lined up on his lips, consider it done Don all I need now is the data. The Don gave him another envelope containing information about Lone Shark then said I must warn you this one is highly dangerous. No need to worry Don we know how to deal with such people the officer said.

That same night few hours after the police officer left the Don’s house Lone Shark was arrested as he left the hospital were Smart laid fighting hard to live again, he was still unconscious and the Doctor gave no hope of him coming around soon which troubled Shark greatly.

License and registration please one hungry looking policeman inquired, Lone Shark first instinct was to blast him through the head and speed off but he thought otherwise. He had neither of what was demanded so he squeezed five hundred naira bill and handed it over to the policeman who blatantly refused the money demanding he identified himself. Within minutes of the little commotion three other policemen appeared from no where and the first police man explained to one of the men whom seemed in charge that the vehicle of Lone Shark matched the description of a recently stolen vehicle, the man passionately apologized to Lone Shark but asked him to follow them to the station to make a statement, it was just normal routine consistent with police work he explained. Itching to get home quickly he agreed to follow them, he was certain the police can’t hurt him all they wanted was money and some dumb shit statement. It didn’t occur to Lone Shark yet it was staged till one of the policemen sent an electrifying shock through his system, he wanted to struggle but it was already too late a tape was placed over his mouth and his hand was cuffed behind him. Through a dreamy eye he saw one of them fixing a silencer over his pistol then he knew it was over, he wasn’t going to wake up from this sleep ever again gradually he drifted forever to dreamland.

……………………………………………………

At nearly same time as Lone Shark’s murder, three men acting on Chief Jaja’s order dressed as catholic priests invaded the Don’s house pretending on wanting to pay him homage, on some recent donations he made to the church. The gateman was use to priests visiting the Don so he wasn’t suspicious as he let them in, it was easy to pass all other guards all the way to the living room. They were directed to the balcony where the Don still sat planning on the next move after Sharks death, he was relived to see the priests they seemed the perfect distraction. His face changed from a glow to that of horror as he watched them gun down the two body guards that were with him, then the barrel was facing his fore head within seconds it was all over and the men left the way the came.

When Chief Donald heard of the Don’s death from Chief Jaja he was over whelmed but his feelings soon turned to worries as he called Shark’s number severally failing to reach him on each occasion, he was certain something had happened and he feared the worst that came to be.

………………………………………………………….

The dawn of a new day brought with it the dawn of a new era in the cartel circle, while the news of the Don’s eclipsed other important news items in the media, allegiance to cartel house of the late Don faded away with the night, many sought the face of the obvious next Don “Chief Jaja”. An emergency meeting was scheduled at mid night to merge powers and flush out what ever remained of the late Don. Many small time affiliates left town in a hurry fearing an uprising against them. The house Chief Donald was silent and in a mournful mood following Lone Shark’s death, his body was discovered along the coast of Lagos beach.

Maria arrived Lagos to an atmosphere of mixed emotion Chief Donald sent a car to pick her from the airport, the moment she settled in she made inquiries about Smart and was told of his condition.

With a huge bouquet of flowers she visited him at hospital, as she sat beside him she whispered into his ear please live for me dear one. He let out a weak little gasp of air at her words this made her smile with tears in her eyes, she then said you are going to live for me.

She stayed with him all day, holding his hands and telling him sweet words occasionally he smiled but he still seemed withdrawn from his surrounding but it gave her great hope and joy to see his lips move.

………………………………………………..

Two months later Lagos was still same as last two months to the common man on the street, the same hustle and bustle to make ends meet. But the Black cartel had a new leader and with new members including Smart who received a fortune from Lone Shark’s will while Chief Donald was vacating with Don Juan in his hill top mansion in Mexico.

One beautiful Friday morning a beautifully dressed Maria was saying I do to Smart in a small customary court in the city of Vegas. After the exchange of vows Maria whispered into his ear are you now rich enough to take care of me, he smiled and kissed her passionately on the lips then whispered in turn to her ear I would answer that question everyday for the rest of our lives….

Black Cartel 4 “Smoking guns”

Posted in random with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by Charles Bernard

Black Cartel 4  “Smoking guns”

Bobby was biting his nails absently minded; it was a habit he exhibited whenever he was excited or terrified. He had recently quit cigarettes but he craved for one like a dying wish right now. He constantly glanced at the rear mirror and to the shanty restaurant 20 feet down the street. The sound of his ring tone had him nearly jumping out of his seat that he accidentally pressed the horn button, it was his kid sister. He wiped his fore head with the back his left hand as he whispered into the receiver. He kept tapping the dash board, making inconsistent rhymes. Inside the shanty restaurant that had only 4 tables, an old woman whose over bleached skin had seen better days sat behind a battered counter. Her gazed was fixed on the uncommon sight of two strangers who sat at the corner. They were talking in tunes so low that even when the traffic noise outside faded she could still not hear a word, rather she only saw their lips move, occasionally she turned to look outside through the dirty white transparent curtain that had seen better days, into the street, but her mind was solely on the two customers who had over paid for food they didn’t touch or even seem to notice it was before them.

Maria and Smart held each others’ gaze as if one was trying to read the others’ mind. Listen Smart something serious is going on down here and I got a hunch a big revolution is about to take place in the crime world. I’d like to know exactly what’s going on within the circle. I think really you are asking the wrong person, i am just a peddler! I don’t belong within the circle. But you must know things or heard things, Listen Smart I am going to say this without caring how it would sound to your ears, I am in love with you! At this Smart made a gasp and blew out lightly. Maria I feel the connection too but I don’t think I have the balls to date a lady like you, look at this way I am not just your class and you don’t come from around here. Smart I honestly understand your fears but the Col is dead, the Chief is dead! They big fishes are gone, I don’t know how this works down here but when the bosses are killed the small fishes are usually left to their fate, they end up either busted by police or killed by angry cartels seeking revenge.

Now I don’t want you falling victim to any of those misfortunes, I care that much about you. I like to think I am safe Maria, besides this is neither my war nor that of one family against another! A man is on a vengeance mission and I am not on his hit list. You mean you know who killed the Col and Chief? I only got a wind of that information but not the details. Just then Smart’s phone rang, it was Lone Shark. Leave the city before the soon came the mean voice, it would probably get messy in the next couple of days. Okay Lone, where are you right now? On my way to Lagos, I have some business to take care of. Do you need me Lone? No Smart just go somewhere you can’t be traced and lay low for a while, it should soon be over. Okay got it.

Maria could link up the conversion in her head but she couldn’t grasp in depth the information exchanged. Maria I am sorry but I don’t think it will work out between us. Sure I understand Smart but I still need you to tag along with me for the little time I have left down here in Nigeria, what exactly would be my role beside you? That is your choice to make, either to be a tour guide, a friend or a lover? Just then they heard a gun shot, even the old woman rushed to door to have a peep into the street. Two men were crossing the road from the spot where Bobby kept watch; they were heading towards the restaurant.

From where they stood Bobby’s brain mixed with blood splashed on the windscreen was visible, Smart turned to old woman who was visibly terrified, any other way out of here ma? She pointed behind the battered counter, in a flash Smart and Maria made a dash disappearing from the restaurant, leaving the old woman standing confused. The two men came in almost immediately, each armed with pistols and an urging desire to kill. In one single motion they scanned the whole place before turning to woman, where the hell are they? She pointed again to behind the battered counter. The rushed behind but the back door was wide open and no trace of them, they followed the way leading to adjacent street.

Out in the adjacent street, Smart and Maria boarded a taxi but the man refused to move insisting he wasn’t going in their direction, Smart was trying to explain the urgency of the situation but Maria drew a gun from her thigh, placed on the man’s skull and screamed go us the fuck out of this place! The two men shot after them but they had gone out of range.

……………..

That same day at the first hint of darkness after the sun went home to behind the cloud. Somewhere in Ajungle, one of the most notorious areas in the city of Lagos, within the enclave of one of the many houses. The man everybody called Shadow sprinkled a thin line of cocaine on his desk, it was just a bit longer than an inverted exclamation mark. With one deep inhalation of air he sniffed it all into his system, a weary smile lined his lips. He stroked his beards as if in deep thoughts, and then looked up at the Don who sat opposite him quietly all along, calmly smoking his fat cigar. I told you I am taking six months break after the last job. I know that already Shadow but this will pay you well even better than the last one. Don money is not my problem, 30 hit a year for 10 years can earn a man his pension.

You know something Shadow you won’t last six months, if you don’t take this job because sooner or later he will hunt you down too. Shadow’s eyes flicked, nobody knows I even exist Don! That’s true but when I have a gun to my head I’d hand over your biography. Is that a threat? No Shadow just a note of warning. Why are so interested in this Lone Shark guy? He has nothing on you. You should be too because last week you killed the only family he has on earth. You mean he is… Oh yes Chief Edet’s kid brother, he has killed two people already and won’t stop till everyone is dead. He can’t come to Lagos, he knows better! I smell him around here already Shadow. Do what you do best, track him and kill him. I will pay you double the price. Done deal Don, he would soon join his brother and the family. Just make it a clean job as usual. Alright Don I got this one, but it is the last one for sure.

……….

Lone Shark pressed the bell again and again, he stared at his watch, 11:17pm probably the old man was asleep or killed too. He was about to walk away when the familiar voice responded from behind the large steel gate, who is it? Baba it is me Shark, in a moment the gate opened. The old man hugged Shark hard, it was rumored you were killed too Lone, I am sorry about your brother and family, it was a real tragedy. Baba thank you, bless the gods you’re still alive too. Did you visit Lanre? Not yet but I hope, just be very careful the rumors I hear of him are not good. Thank you Baba, I’d like to pick some personnel effect from the house, I don’t have the keys anymore! Lanre came and locked up everywhere, he even came with some people to inspect the house yesterday, I think he is planning to sell the place. Don’t worry Baba I will find my way in, Smart fumbled with the back door for a short while and it was open, inside the house was quite as a graveyard.

He switched on the sitting room light and the house seem to come alive but more like a motion picture, he could see his brother helping his only son do his homework, the wife making the table for a meal, people coming and going. His brother’s picture hung in a corner, the smile he wore now seemed to Lone as if he was biting his upper lip in regret. Don’t worry brother I will see them all join you in hell. He went to his room, from the ceiling he brought down a box, there were plenty wads of naira notes, an ECOWAS passport, two pistols fixed with silencers and many cartilages of bullets inside it. Lone smiled as he closed the box again, Lanre I am coming for you!

…………..

Maria yelled at Smart the second, would please you calm down for a minute? Calm down huh? They shot my friend in the fucking head and you’re asking me to calm down. Smart Bobby is gone, nothing can change that. The police would take care of his corpse. Smart gave Maria a bewildered look, so I will just leave my friend on the street like that with his brain spilled out? Smart those men came for you and they would sure be on the look out for you even as we speak. Okay I am getting out of town tonight he said panicking. Right away she asked? In an hour or so, Smart I am coming along. No way will I endanger your life! My deal has ended, the Col is dead. Where are we headed? Lagos, Smart responded curtly. I am heading back to my hotel to pick my few things, will be back in a moment. Please don’t point a gun to cab driver head this time.

She smiled and said only when necessary. On her way Maria called Don Juan and explained that the war was getting out of hand, she had to leave for Lagos. He gave her a go ahead, then requested Smart’s phone number and promised some money to her once she touches down Lagos.  Two hours later Smart was alone on a night bus to Lagos.

…………..

Lanre walked casual into his sitting room, weary from another disappointing meeting with the Don, where the discussions circled around Lone Shark still running wild. He had killed two top members of the cartel and was probably in Lagos. He won’t come here Lanre reassured the Don, he knows it will be too hot for him. But when Lanre glanced casually over to the dining section of the living room, what he saw bewildered him beyond comprehension. It was more like a horrible dream that one prayed to wake from immediately. That single glance cast cold chills down his spine, which it elevated him to a whole new level of consciousness. His wife was tied to the head armless seat of the table, shot through the head. Her head tilted backwards a little. His two sons, 15 and 12 years old, tied and shot in similar manner. Only his little daughter yemi 3 years was merely bond by a scarf and a tape on her lips, a handkerchief was tied over her eyes too. A little note was pinned to Yemi’s shirt, too little to atone for her father, too pure to be killed and too innocent to watch the art of it too. Lanre rushed to the little girl, loosening her amid choking tears. He couldn’t scream as the little girl’s eye held his in a questioning manner. She seemed to be asking what just happened and he had no answers.

With shaky fingers he dialed the Don’s number, whispering Lone Shark was at my house!

The Black Cartel

Posted in random, short stories with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2013 by Charles Bernard

The Black Cartel

THE PLOT

As Smart climbed the stairs he felt an uncertain uneasiness building up within him, he had rubbed his wet palms on his pant, trickles of sweat also formed on his forehead. He told himself the hundredth time even if she hates me I’d just be polite, after all it was I, who “pissed” her off the first time we met, I will just apologize and get on with my errand! Bigger problems lay ahead; the most difficult was lone Shark how was he to find a ghost? Within the enclave of her room Maria tucked at the tip of her short gown as if she was desperate to cover every piece of flesh the white flowered cotton gown could extend to! But it stopped just mid way between her knees and her enormous hips. She flattened the dress over her laps by rubbing her palms against it. She was checking her face in the mirror to make sure her make up was perfect when a gentle tapping on the door confirmed his presence, she wasn’t nervous to see him but everything had to be perfect, she had chosen seduction as her game plan, it was the easiest way to get a man talking about things he thought know not. The moment Smart entered the elegant but simple room he engulfed by lust it began to spin its own web around his thoughts, he tried looking away from the sexy Mexican lady before him he only found his eyes locked in hers. Hi welcome, she motioned him to sit and sat directly opposite him. Am sorry about the other night he began but she cut him off almost immediately, its okay actually! I wasn’t just in the mood for discussion. She stood up and walked over to the little stool that was in the corner of the room and picked out a bottle of tequila among the four other different bottles, with two glasses. Let’s do that introduction thing again she said and resumed her sitting position. She filled a glass and handed it over to him then filled hers. What’s your name? She asked with a smile drawn across her lips, all the while Smart’s eyes never left her body, it followed her round the room, drawing different anatomy of the small portion covered by the short gown. For sure we started off on the wrong foot Smart heard himself said, it was almost a whisper, and she made a face then said I am sorry about that! Am Smart, he said casually, Maria! They shook hands. Are you a soldier? Not knowing what else to tell her he did for a living he murmured nop! I just work for the Col! Interesting, so what do you do? Am sorry to disappoint you but it is confidential. Maria didn’t probe further she understood confidential, he was the perfect mark to make her job easier. Are you the Col’s mistress? The question annoyed her greatly with the manner with which he asked it. He was indirectly calling her a prostitute to her face. She didn’t show her emotion this time. Calmly she replied, Well You see Smart I am a business woman she re-crossed her legs as she spoke. Smart stood up and said Very well then I should get going now, can I have the money? I should be back by 4 pm. You know I was thinking of touring your city, would you be obliged to show me round. You mean like a tour guide? Well you can call it that but more like a friendship though.

……………

Somewhere in the city, the weak rays of the setting evening’s sun cast a sharp silhouette on a well trimmed flower wall, the dense cluster of delicate petals housed a variety of flowers and fruit trees. A sharp natural fragrance hung in the air not even the tiny balls of white smoke from chief Oham’s pipe was enough to pollute the alluring atmosphere of his garden. The Col sat opposite him sipping quietly from a glass of red wine. The usually calmness of the chief has transformed into rage, he wore the look of a worried man yet he didn’t raise his voice when he spoke to the Col, but took time to rub off just the right impression. With lone Shark roaming the street you know very well nobody is safe! I wonder why the delay in sending him to join his older brother in hell, Chief I assure you we are doing all that is possible. Col I want you to do anything possible just as long as lone shark dies! It is just a matter of time Chief, he can’t hide forever sooner or later we will pick him up somewhere. Alright Col I believe we have an understanding I will be traveling by weekend a grand meeting of every el-cartel house is going to take place in Abuja. I’d love this issue resolved while am away. I’d like to come back to a safe city…..

………

With genuine amusement Maria watched Smart speak Nigeria local version of English ‘broken English’, Even though she only understood bits of his words the rhythm of his speech thrilled her. He had promised she will enjoy suya “roasted meat” she didn’t quite trust him but it smelt good. 50 meters away by the road side sitting calmly in a black hilux, wearing a black hood concealing his facial features and peeping from a small binoculars, lone shark was watching this two with keen interest, his life was evolving around an unending myth these few days, tonight it had these two in focus he was desperate to get his hands on a good piece of information. Lanre his brother’s lawyer and PA had told him that Lagos and Abuja was in no mood for a grand reception on his behalf neither was P/H a safe haven. It was best to leave the country, he had advised. But Lone shark wasn’t one to run from a fight, they killed his only brother he was determined to seek revenge. He knew the Col worked for someone and that someone wants him dead, that same face behind the mask definitely killed his brother too. Everything was moving smoothly, he had followed the Smart closely but was too careful not to tip him off, it was all falling into place with the Col, Smart was the perfect link to get to the Col. Now the white woman was another piece on the chess board he didn’t quite understand it’s role. She seemed to fall from the sky into the picture now she was courting Smart. He had seen her at the hotel with Col, two soldiers always kept watch over her from a distance. The soldiers wore plain clothes and carried pistols. Patience! Lone shark whispered to himself, they would all soon fall prey….

…………….

Sequel to the next episode “City Of Blood”

Back at his apartment Smart sat at the edge of his bed, his forehead buried in his palms, his heart and head pounding in a perfect rhythm, he was savoring the effect last night alcohol. He had a real swell time with Maria, she was so sweet, that at a point he was toying with idea of them ending up in bed in his head. As if she had read his mind, she flirted with him more and more always wearing a gorgeous smile. The booze kept flowing as well as unending discussion they were like two close friends who had been apart for a very long while. By mid night he was too drunk to even stand up without staggering. She had to help him call Bob who drove him back home. A Creaking sound from the kitchen revived Smart to full consciousness, he started at his bedside clock it was 4:15 am, he strolled casually to the kitchen not really in a panic, the moment he stepped into the kitchen Lone shark was pointing the muzzle Of 0.45 caliber to his forehead…….

*(I greatly appreciate all your criticisms people, it makes my day actually and also I highly regret all the errors you guys have to keep encountering. I am working on a perfect editor, soon there should be an improvement. Things are really on the fast side right now. Thanks everyone, you guys are awesome.”

The black cartel

Posted in random, short stories with tags , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by Charles Bernard

The black cartel

Col Butu’s office wasn’t as spacious as Smart expected, the colonel’s large body seem to occupy half the space. His bulge eyes scanned Smart from head to toe, it was so intense he literally wanted to melt away and disappear from this place. He would have preferred to be in prison as he had anticipated when was arrested an hour ago. He had just left the canteen where he usually had lunch, when soldiers apprehended him, booting him off the ground before tying his hands behind his back and taking him along with them in their jeep he couldn’t ask any questions as they didn’t seem interested. Young man do you sell drugs? The Col’s voice echoed in his head. Noo – sir! Smart stammered. Information reaching me and the evidence before me suggests otherwise. What information and evidence sir? Smart asked in the most saintly voice he could muster. It is not for you to verify, I have been watching you for weeks now and if I were to follow protocol you will be behind bars right away or rather short dead. I swear sir I don’t have a clue of what you are saying. Even though Smart was terrified he wasn’t ready to start accepting responsibility for crimes he knew he was guilty of, at least not without visible evidence besides this was Nigeria the evidence is the amount of bribe that would be asked of you. The Col had guessed right when he thought the criminal might deny. He had passed his first test without knowing it, well let’s see how he will fare with the reminder of the trials and information he could generate the Col said in his mind. He then said to Smart you’re just a small fish swimming alone in a big ocean young man, I own the ocean you see. I would have you report back in two days time we do have a lot to talk about. I would be watching you don’t make any wrong move. You can go home now. Smart was totally terrified and confused, he wanted to ask questions but he knew soldiers and orders, as he left the office he felt his feet and hands bonded with some invisible rope and a camera hovering over him.
……….
Maria woke to her first dawn in Africa, from her hotel room in Lagos she could see the sun rising lazily, it’s golden rays shooting fort from beneath the blue cloud. She recollected her mission carefully, her boss had assured her that her life is in no danger but was only a bargain chip to a business spanning into millions. The only part that disturbed her greatly was getting involved with the Colonel romantically to obtain information, it would have been okay to fuck a different man every other day in Mexico at her boss wish, it was her job, she was paid a good sum to do it, but to be involved with an unknown man in a foreign country for a whole year scared her to the bones. When Don Juan gave orders you dare not disobey, she shifted her worries to the man she was to meet in the next five hours, was he going to be brutal like her clients in Mexico who always ride her like a donkey. Even though she hated her life she was grateful to Don Juan for giving her one.
Carefully she unpacked her luggage, from the many folded clothing she choose a red gown that stopped just above her kneels. Men and red clothing she thought, it works always. She checked her self in the mirror one more time, the gown showing her enormous hips perfectly. In two hours she was aboard an airplane headed for Port Harcourt.
……………..
Smart couldn’t sleep; he sat on the edge of his bed in deep thoughts. Young man you sell drugs? The words kept echoing in his mind. Yes he did sell drugs but not just enough quantity to raise the military’s attention, No he wasn’t a drug dealer, it was just suppose small time stuff, buy a little sell a little, and make some extra cash while doing his nysc. He stared at the remaining stash on his desk, he felt a twitch in his stomach, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to sell dope anymore, someone must have leaked the information to the soldiers, it must be from the circle of three, he had created enough buffer to protect him from local consumers. I have to be careful from now on he thought, that means no more supplies till things cool off. Meanwhile he had to identify the muse that leaked the information. There was only three people whom he supplied directly, Mike, Cyprus and Bobby. Now he had to meet them one by one before calling a general meeting of the three. It was almost 3am, he had not slept a bit, his back arched as he tried to stretch, and he hissed cursing the idiot that leaked the information to soldiers under his breath. That fool must pay.
……………
The colonel stared at his watch impatiently it was near 1:30 am and Chief Ohams hasn’t arrived, the once lively bar was now almost deserted. It provided a perfect cover, he had sent his orderly home hours ago and drove himself to this place, he wanted everything to be perfect, not that he didn’t trust his boys he just didn’t trust anybody. He was about to light his second stick of cigarette for the night when the Chief Ohams took the seat directly opposite beaming an obvious fake smile. Apologies my friend I had to be sure the press didn’t follow me here, there has been lots of musing around these days as if the many security challenges we are facing don’t keep them busy enough. The Colonel face was impassive even though he managed a smile he was all about business and wanted to get to that point as soon as possible. Everything has been arranged chief, the first batch of the package would arrive by weekend that would only establish our connection of course, in due time if our client is really reputable there would be more shipments. Very well Colonel am only worried about your boys, this is big someone might try to blackmail us, I assure Chief he will six feet below before he even had the slightest chance. Then let’s toast to success, once we successfully dispatch this batch I will make more funds available. As always you will have your returns Chief. I think that would be it for now. Col Butu watched the short figure of a man stroll away moments later he heard his car engine come to life. Even though he hated the man the money was too good for emotional sentiments and it was all too easy for him, before the year runs out he would be rich enough to retire.
…………
The phone kept ringing to Bobby’s annoyance, he hated early morning calls with a sleepy eyes peeped at the phone screen, Smart’s name brought his senses back at once, something was wrong he thought at once. Bobby spotted Smart almost immediately as he approached their usual meeting point, a big tree just behind his apartment, he scouted the area in one single motion to be sure Smart was alone. There was no time for pleasantries as each wore a worried look, Shit man its 5 am what’s so important that can’t wait till sunrise, Bob someone sang to the military about our business, Bobby’s hands was already trembling and he stammered a bit when he spoke, how bad is the situation? I suggest we get out of town immediately. Relax man if it was that bad I won’t be here talking to you, I’d probably be dinner to a thousand mosquitoes in one of the prison rooms. But we will all soon be! Let’s leave town before they get to us. I am afraid they already did, I was apprehended today by soldiers. And they let you go just like that, not really but they don’t seem interested in placing me behind bars. I don’t understand man, you mean they just let you walk home. Yes! Why arrest you then? I will find out in due time bro. Right now I just want to know who the fucking snitch is. Bob I hope you have nothing to do with this because if you do it will be your head before mine. Come on Smart! You know I’d be the last person to snitch on the team besides we go way back before this business. Alright I trust you man that’s why I called you to help me figure out who did, Cyprus or Mike? We have to watch their moves and I am leaving that task to you, I’d like to know who they talk to, if any of them have any soldier friend, also I’d like to know everything about their women, if any of them is connected to the military. I will deal with the soldiers myself. Alright I’d keep an eye on them. One more thing Bob no more supplies for now till I am sure what we are dealing with. Am game as always Smart. Whatever you need!
………………
It wasn’t until 7 pm that Col Butu called Maria to expect him at her suite right away, she had expected to meet him earlier but he explained he had a conference to attend, the choice of her hotel room was based on secrecy of the operation, They had to be careful not to attract unnecessary attention he had told her. Maria stared at her self in the mirror, a wary smile lined her lips, her mind reflected on how life has really changed in such a short while, two years ago she was a university student, she was going to obtain her degree in mass communication, she wanted to be a presenter she had often mimicked Christina Ampour to her boyfriend Carlos and he told she was going to be perfect on the screen she believed him but her whole life changed when one day the police called her for some questioning, she thought Carlos was in trouble again. It was not to be as she was led to her home to identify the bodies of her mother, father and sister. They were all tied to the dinning chairs and shot through the head. She felt the ground fleeing from her feet, the shock didn’t allow her to shade tears, she was grateful though her brother was safe, but her affection towards him soon turned to scorn when police investigations revealed he had ran away with large sum of money belonging to an el cartel. Her family were killed as a result and even her life was in danger too so she had to run away, started sleeping in night clubs, to earn a little money she became a stripper, it during one of her many nights at different clubs she met Don Juan, he took an interest in her and soon she was solely working for him. The gentle but consistent tap on the door revived Maria to reality; she took one last look at her reflection in the mirror, perfect! she thought. Col Butu was always about business with whom ever he had an engagement, it was a standard he had set for himself. The huge man’s eye scanned Maria from head to toe, it sent down chills down her spin. She smiled at him to ease the tension that was building up already inside of her. Welcome to Africa the Col said almost immediately as he stepped in, he motioned her to sit. Maria assumed the position of a guest, I hope you like your temporary accommodation or would you like a change? Yeah sure I don’t think it is necessary Col. I have been briefed about you Maria, now I want you to brief me about your boss don Juan. What do you want to know Col, specific answers require specific questions. Everything Maria, I want to know everything but more specifically is Don Juan capable of 1 million dollar shipment of drug and guns? Col my boss is a billionaire even if he won’t ever make Forbes list, the problem I’d like to think is do we have the market for our products? I’d like to think so Maria, when next you report to Don Juan tell him we do have a deal.
Col my boss said to tell you this in person he is a serious business man who hates to be short changed, Maria your boss’s reputation preside his message. I must tell you Col he practices the act of revenge religiously. I like your tone but I hate your choice of words, I get the message you are trying to pass across but I hate threats. Now that would be all for today, see you in two days, if you need anything call me directly.
…………..
Smart couldn’t sleep; his mind was too busy to be calm. Images of Col Butu kept flashing in the dark, what does the Col want from him? There was no option of a military connection he had not exploited in his thought, yet he could not establish a major lead. There was too much at stake if he was to take to his heels. Life was not this complicated a year ago, he was just another stranded graduate waiting on the nation to call him up for service, even though he lived from one pocket money to another, life was fun. He was so used to getting broke that it didn’t matter when he had no money he simply got through it like every other day. Every day was almost like the one before that sometimes the only difference was that he wore different clothing or he drinks one bottle of beer more than he did the day before. Even though he smoked marijuana most days it never crossed his mind to sell drugs, it was something thugs did, there was always dangers involved, the type that involved floating bodies in lagoons, how ever his resolution cracked when he encountered an old friend who came to visit relatives from Lagos. Few days of hanging out with him had Smart asking many questions, he was so loaded with naira wads and spent them without worries. They drank choice wines, had numerous flings which he sponsored, he was always parting him with little amounts of money, he didn’t even have to ask for it. Eli how did you make so much money? Smart asked with surprised filled eyes, you’re into yahoo yahoo business I guess? Hahahaha no my friend I just sell the good stuff. What is so good? He brought out a wrap of marijuana and sniffed it, this is money my good friend. Raw cash! Wait you mean you sell drugs? Common that’s way too dangerous, yeah in Malaysia maybe but it is legalized on the streets of Lagos. Your crazy Eli, how can you be dealing dope after graduating from the university? Do you have any job waiting for me, besides I just want to make a little money then am off. You could make some too, naaah not me I can’t sell dope, that’s where you got it all wrong Smart it is way too easy, besides nobody is looking for the small dealers on the street, they go after the big fishes from whom the can get enough bribe. You would soon be going to Nysc camp; it is always a good place to sell dope. Before anybody realizes someone is dealing dope your stash is gone, your money would be in your pocket. It sounded a good idea at the time, went smooth as an operation, Smart made triple his investment but there was never going to be enough money, he kept investing it all and gaining it all. One day Eli called him, brother I have hit the real gold mine a real money spinner. Fill me in Eli I don’t have a clue of what you mean, Smart how does you making your first million in 2 weeks sound? Sounds like a film trick my brother. This is real, we going to be dealing cocaine now! Are you mad Eli? How do we even get the supplies without the law on our ass in no time? Just like we do with weed soft peddling, think about it Smart, I will call you tomorrow to know your stance as for me am already on course.
Every worries smart had was erased a week later when the supplies came, the product sold like wild fire, the money was flowing in so rapidly that he didn’t have time to even think about the law, his three close men was the buffer between him and the final consumers, they had buffers too. Most people were so excited to try out the new stuff in town, of course it was a small time business in the drug world but the turn over was consistent they all came back for more. Even though Smart didn’t make his 1 million naira in two weeks he knew it was only a matter of time before he hit his first milestone. It was a wild dream that was going to come true till the Col struck.
……..
The bar was almost deserted expect for a few late drinkers like smart who littered around beneath different thatched huts, each roofing was made of thatch in a circular shape the size of a large umbrella, the flooring was ruff surfaced tiles it had no walls but pillars supporting the structures. The pillars were decorated with pictures of different wild animals. Smart sat alone in one of the corners thinking about his appointment with the Col, it was only a night away and he had no lead on what information was leaked to the military. Running away kept popping up in his mind but he knew his life would be ruined. He was a corps member and the Col probably knew that, how will his parents feel if they found out that their first son is on the run for drug charges. His mother would die! Nipping the problem in the bud seems the only viable option. He tried calling his friend Eli for like the hundredth time but his number was still switched off. The waiter came around again he ordered his 7th bottle of Guinness extra smooth, he stared at the pack of Benson and hedges on his table with disgust he picked up a stick from the pack, hissed before tucking it between his lips, the lighter wouldn’t spark up flame. One last effort got him puffing, he looked up and a lady was standing in front of him, she must have literally appeared out of nowhere. First instinct was to scream but he wasn’t that drunk, can I use your light? Maria was eager to walk back to her room, she had misplaced hers and it was too late to buy. Sure miss, thrice she struck yet no flame. Here use mine he offered her his stick. She turned to leave after lighting her stick. But he obliged her to stay, let’s share a drink please, am not he hooker she replied sharply. I never said you are! His sense of humor attracted her but it was excitement of knowing someone on a personnel level in a new country that made her stay. Even though Smart was drunk the surprise his eyes emitted made them bright. Am Smart maim, Maria she relied curtly. Are you Italian? Nope! I am from Mexico. ‘’Mexicans and drugs’’. Smart intended that as a joke but Maria wasn’t smiling. Maria totally regretted sitting down to talk to him. Not wanting any further personnel question and answer session. She stood up and left. Hey am sorry, did I offend you? Smart wanted to run after her but thought otherwise. He looked at his watch it was 12:45 am, the waiter came with his order he declined, paid his bills and made for home. He had forgotten about tomorrow, his thought shifted to why the white lady left.
………..
Maria wished she never left her room that evening, now she must leave this hotel for another with hope she didn’t encounter the inquisitive stranger again. She hated people that asked too many question, she had gotten his attention he was sure to return and find her. Which will in turn cost him his life; she hated the thought of another young man lying along the street dead because of her. It had happened a few times in Mexico, but they deserved their deaths she thought for they had tried to take advantage of her. But this fellow made quite an impression of a sense of humor, he was just too eager. Tomorrow she will complain to Col about the food and request a new suite in a different hotel.
…..
As a last resort Smart assembled his three right hand men in his apartment at noon, they sat as friends, there was enough meat and drink on the table, after which they smoked a marijuana pot, it was near 7 pm when the Col called him to come over, it was at same hotel he was at last night, Smart now told his men all about the military involvement in their business, if I don’t return tonight I might as well be in prison and even then I will know which one of you here sang to they soldiers, I will give my orders from prison. If I do come back still I must have found out the truth, that person better be ready for hell. Before he left he pulled aside his close friend “. ” If anybody tries to leave he is the traitor, bind him till I come back he left for the meeting in his mind he was certain he will return, his thought laid with the bargain the Col wanted. What he didn’t tell his close friend however was that if nobody tries to leave then the traitor was certainly him, it was a crude judgment but he trusted his instincts. He was directed to the swimming pool side of the hotel, it was almost a deserted area at night. It was mostly occupied by important personalities at this hour security personals swamped the area. A soldier lead Smart to the table where the Col sat, he motioned Smart to sit opposite him to which he obliged. To the Orderly he said, Go and bring my orders with two bottles of Heineken, I hope that’s your brand he stared at Smart briefly. Smart was too tongue tied to speak. With the Orderly gone Smart sat alone for the first time alone with the Col, his eyes was laden with fear as the Col’s bulge eyes scanned him for seconds. Why do you do drugs? I was suppose to flush you out till I realized you were a corps member that why I didn’t carry out that order immediately. Your little supplier in Lagos is death, so is everybody connected to Chief Edet, he stepped on the wrong person’s foot. Now give me a reason to let you live. Eli was dead! Everything started to add up little by little, his phone had been off since a day before the soldiers had apprehended him but Eli had assured him they had the military to protect them incase of emergency even though there won’t be direct their direct involvement how then is it that they are the ones hunting them. I notice your disturbed by your friends passing, it is classified information, and you never heard that understand! Our kind of business is war, to grow you need to acquire more territories and to do that blood must flow. If you play your cards well however you will always be on the winning side. Just then the orderly returned with two plates of pepper fish, two bottles of Heineken and glasses on a large tray, the bottles was in a small crate, the fish was garnished with vegetables and pepper sauce. A plate, a bottle and a glass was placed before each, the Col gave the orderly the rest of the night off, a waiter brought tissues, liquid soup and two bowls of water. I had a long day and so hungry you happened to be my guest so share a meal with me, smart couldn’t refuse for it was almost an order.
………
Maria was surprised to see the young man trying to find out about her last night seated with the Col, when the Col told her he was around if their was anything she needed she had gone to meet to secure permission to move to another hotel, she had wondered the reason she was going to give him but approaching him she didn’t need one anymore, she had found a reason to stay at last someone on the inside. She couldn’t wait to get to her room to report her findings to Don Juan. She made a light complaint of having no local currency in her possession and the Col gave her 10000 naira but promised send someone to help her change her notes, perhaps he could help he said, pointing at Smart. Okay she replied causal and left. Smart sat tongue tied everything was happening so fast he wasn’t sure if he was dreaming or awake to these realities.
At her room Maria waited as patiently as the phone kept buzzing, a sleepy but firm Don Juan voice answered from the order end, damn! You bitch I am trying to rest, am sorry boss, but something came up, what couldn’t wait for 6 hours. We have got an insider, when Don Juan answered his voice was filled with eagerness, is he clean? I don’t know how connected but a good bet he seemed. Alright bring him in but keep him aloof on the matter at hand. What about the Col? Proceed as causal as possible. Hey Maria don’t fuck this up. Good night boss. The line went dead, she was eager for day break, finally she might not stay up to a year, and her mission would soon be over.
…………
It was half past 1am when Smart walked through the sitting room door, the house was in a total mess, nothing was in it proper place save the cushions and television set. His men were fast asleep in different corners not wanting to wake them he slipped past. He had a lot on his mind already.
On his bed his mind kept wandering around the puzzle confronting him, what was the Mexican lady’s connection with the Col, certainly his mistress he thought even though it didn’t quite appear so? There were other pressing matters than who the Col beds at night. Eli was dead; his name was on a cartel death list on certain assumption of his connection to some Chief Edet. Certainly more further supplies wouldn’t be coming, how was he to cooperate with the Col on his quest, as it was requested of him to point out the sub dealer to Chief Edet, he needed to be flushed the Col had explained, it was his first mission, a kind of initiation. He accepted without knowing how to contact the man who handed him a parcel every Saturday night at 9th avenue. There was no phone number, no address, and no name. The Col was kind enough to help him with the last piece of information. He went by the nickname lone shark whereas his real name was Luis. Tomorrow he had an appointment with the Col’s mistress; he so much delighted in the task since it means having a chance to offer her apologies upsetting her the other night….. To be continued.

Diary Of An Urban Man 8 “Twist Of Fate”

Posted in random, short stories with tags , , , , , , , on April 20, 2013 by Charles Bernard

15th August, it was Alex’s birthday, I couldn’t believe he was 25 years already, I thought of Beckley on each of his son’s birthday not because of his biological status but because they both shared same date as birthdays, it came with many memories of past years that I shared with Beckley. His birthdays was always remarkable I made sure of that but the feeling gradually faded through the 25 years I didn’t set my eyes on him, bit by bit every feeling died away only Alex reminded me of him, every time I stared into his eyes I saw Beckley, they shared same dreamy eyes that made me go gaga years back. I had wished to celebrate this day with my son who was in the far away city of Manchester studying for his MBA final exams.
It was a quiet morning as my husband had left quit early and I had little to do for the day. Finally I was glad things were getting on fine, Beckley was so far away our paths might probably never cross again, I was glad I left Lagos, I was glad he didn’t knock on my door for 25 years, I had refused picking the few times he called, everything ended in Lagos and that part of my life was over. My mother’s death had hit me pretty bad and as the only child I inherited everything she owned. I felt so bad I wasn’t by her side during her final days, just how much more cruel could heart attack be? After the burials ceremony was over I knew my days in Lagos was over too. I wanted Alex to have a home, since Beckley wasn’t so sure of his feelings I needed to do it alone. Leaving the celebrity life completely wasn’t an easy decision but the joy Alex gave me was worth its every bit of disappointment. Then there was my husband, even though we didn’t march down the aisle it was a perfect union, one that didn’t come with so much hassle and pain in the butt. Jide was a responsible man but above all just the father Alex needed. We didn’t have other children because of a medical problem my hubby had, but Alex was enough for us. We were both committed to our businesses which grew tremendously, I had taken over mother’s eatery business and expanded it from one outlet to eight outlets, I won’t deny the fact that my celebrity status helped me a lot. Everything was just perfect.
………………..

I wished I was on same flight with Ada and they kids, it would have been easy to die with them than to be left alone to grieve. It was just so hard to believe that I was speaking to my wife hours ago and now she had vanished I won’t even get to see her body nor those of my two boys “Chidi and Ebuka” even my little princess Amara who had just named her new teddy “Daddy” in view of my birthday, I wasn’t going to ever see her giggle again. It was so much for one man to bear. I sat by the large swimming pool staring at the stars reflection, sparkling, the sight was peaceful and so beautiful it amazed me, it didn’t grief with me rather it smiled back like I didn’t just lose my family in a single swoop, my thoughts went back to my previous birthdays when we had family time with my kids, while Adaku baked my birthday cake between cooking a delicious lunch we would devour afterwards. She was a good cook I often anticipated my birthdays because it was a ritual to have a house party.
My phone rang louder than usual I nearly jumped into the pool, I imagined it would be Adaku, I prayed in a split of seconds for the caller to be her and she would tell me how sorry she was, that she missed the flight, that her and my kids were fine, together they would sing me a happy birthday over the phone, And I would hear my little daughter’s voice straining her tiny voice to outshine the boys like she did last year, I did get a birthday song from the caller but it was Christine wishing me a happy birthday, I couldn’t break the news to her as it would devastate her, not yet I cautioned my self.
She inquired about my family whom I lied were out in the pool having fun. Please I’d like to Amara later about a little something later, okay sis. I knew she was planning for my little girl to visit her in Rome only she didn’t know Amara was no more. I held unto the last hope of the morning tabloid which would release the names of victims affected. It was sure a dead end but it was the last straw of a drowning man. The night was deep and my thoughts was filled images of Ada and kids burning to ashes, I couldn’t not keep up any longer, I lowered the camped bed by the pool and fell asleep.
……………………

How can so much misfortune befall a man and change the cause of life forever, if I had lost all my money I’d willing accept poverty but what is left of a man who lost his family and much more when he won’t even bury their corpses. I didn’t need the papers anymore it was on national television, it was a national tragedy, and the whole 145 passengers aboard lost their lives there was no survivor. On the list of names my families name shone brightly. There was no mistakes, no second chances; they were gone, reduced to ashes. I had to switch off my phone as calls kept coming in trying to confirm the news; I was tired of their exclamations and wails. I was too hurt to cry, I was in a complete trance. Life has changed for worst; all that I lived for is gone. There was no other family apart from my sister Christine and my Brother left to share my grief with. How can I lose so much at a time, I felt cursed by God.
………………..

It was Jide my husband who brought the news, even if though Beckley was my past, the news pierced my heart into two, I was bleeding internally for him, I felt it, how could so much tragedy befall a man at the prime of his life. When I was alone in the kitchen preparing dinner I knew I won’t eat, tears kept streaming down my face. I cried for a lot of reasons, I thought of my friend Christine how the news would devastate her, I hadn’t called her since I left Lagos I cut out the friendship too, it was one of the important things I left behind in Lagos. I cried because it was a better relief than holding unto grief within. I know Beckley had not forgiven me for leaving him when he had finally came to his senses to put a ring around my finger but I did what I thought was best at the time. Even though I knew Jide was impotent and couldn’t father another child, one was enough for us to raise together he said. Love would keep us together not children. I had a feeling Beckley would be back for his son, only time would tell.
………………………..

Both Papa and Mama had passed away peacefully years back; Alex and Christine were both living abroad. Other blood relations in the village asked that I came home and bury them but their was nothing to bury, a huge memorial service was to be held in their honor, it was a national mourning, I asked Alex and Christine not to come home because of me, I wanted to grief alone at least for now, the both promised to visit during December celebration. The only family that sat with me at the service was my wife’s aged mother and older brother. At some point I wanted all these to be a dream that I would wake up and Ada would be by my side reading the bible on her tablet as she always does on Saturday mornings, but this Saturday I woke alone in my bed, the house was so quiet I could hear my foot steps echo, my children’s room looked as though they just left for school and would soon be back.
……………………………..

Jide knew I was bothered and I guess he suspected it was Beckley even though he never brought it up but his remarks pointed in that direction, I wanted to clear the air but I wasn’t ready for the heated argument it might generated. I didn’t want my husband feeling I had another man on my mind. My concerns were for my son who would soon be in the eye of a storm, Beckley would soon come knocking and Jide had never made it a secret that he was going to hand over his managerial seat to Alex when he was done with studies, his two daughters would only be given tokens. It was a perfect plan, one that would benefit my son and husband greatly, Jide’s lineage would be preserved even though his bloodline would be lost. One mistake really was we never told Alex about his biological father and what transpired before he was born, he only grew up to know Jide as a father and me as his mother, it was easier that way at the time but everything has changed. Will Alex resist the lure of his biologically father when he knocks, only time would tell.
………………….

December came so fast I didn’t realize it was here already till I received a call from Christine that she was coming into the country by weekend, I practically had been too intoxicated with everything to feel the passage of time, I worked with much more aggression keeping up to date with every social events, more celebrities bought their clothing and accessories from me, I spent half the nights at the clubs often coming back too drunk to climb the stairs to my bedroom, in fact I preferred sleeping on the sofa, it gave me a feeling that Ada was upstairs snoring away, every stick of Benson I smoked was my last till it was the 20th one in the pack and the circle had to start again with a new pack telling myself same lie. The whole house smelt of tobacco I had since stopped caring if it smelt or not, I just loved that light headache cigarette gave. Bottles of jack Daniels littered the house, I smoked and drank everywhere around the house, I didn’t care anymore life has done its worst there was nothing left for me to cherish on earth.
……………..

My house became a home again and was certainly gearing up for a bubbling Christmas celebration, My brother arrived with his family two days after Christine arrived, she really had a tough time cleaning the big house, she kept hissing at every cigarette butt she picked, brother your are on a suicide mission and I won’t let that happen to you, your misfortune can still be salvaged you have a son, all you need do is find julie, My brother brought it up at dinner again, we need to find Julie and you guys thinks she would easily part with her son after so many years. There is power in persuasion besides we have got the law on our side we just need to prove your the biologically father. Are you guys actually suggesting of going to court? Not yet Beckley but if it comes to that why not! I had dreaded a confrontation with Julie all these while but it seems so inevitable now.

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