Gabriel Adetomiwa Jones dabbed his face to remove beads of perspiration that formed on his face. His mind was still on the last encounter he had with Chief Obiaso. It still astonished him, yet he knew he couldn’t tell anyone. They wouldn’t even believe him.
Who would believe such thing? If he was in their shoes he wouldn’t believe as well.
His eyes darted toward the people downstairs walking with springs in their steps. He knew they all had one motive in mind and that is to get away from the scorching sun. The sun in the core north was considered unbearable. It must be due to the lack of trees and the presence of several barren lands. Gabriel shook his head and dabbed his face again. He really wished there was something he could do about the unbearable weather condition. But of course, there was nothing he could do as usual.
Ko, ko, ko.
He waited to hear his boss’s reply from the inside but he didn’t. He repeated the rapping on the door and this time he heard a reply. As soon as he opened the door, he was hit by a gush of chilly air, the saying that, ‘monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’ was really correct because it suited the very position of his boss.
While they worked their asses off downstairs with the ceiling fan blowing hot, their boss was chilling in his office, under the air condition with a lady seated on the sofa. No wonder he has refused to increase his salary.
The girl stared at Gabriel briefly and then quickly looked away. She looked shy and really young too; like she was 18.
“Young man! State what you are here for and mind your business!” Mr lawson, his boss, thundered as he Stared wide eyed at Gabriel who shrunk back, after sensing the disgust in his voice.
He must have been having a nice time with the girl and was angry at the rude interruption. Although, the girl didn’t look like she was having a nice time too. In fact her face looked like she didn’t want to be here.
He drew out a chair and sat just in front of his boss.
“You sent for me sir.” He watched as Mr Lawson rolled his eyes at him again.
Gabriel sighed inwardly. He couldn’t really wait to start up his own private law firm. The startup capital was what he couldn’t afford.
“When? See, if you don’t have better things to do, you should leave my office,” he replied, directing his gaze to the young girl who shifted awkwardly and kept staring at her feet.
Suddenly his entire look irritated Gabriel. He hated the yellow stripe shirt he was clad in, which he tucked into a blue trouser. What was it with 50 year old pedophiles? He almost exclaimed. There was no clue of wealth in the man. He wore old clothes, his dark, scrunched up face was nothing to write home about and the horrible car he drove made one think that he was a common driver not knowing he was a multi-millionaire. But that wasn’t all, something deep must be wrong with him because he behaved like a nut was unscrewed in his brain.
“You asked Ahmad to call me just now sir. Concerning chief’s will….”
“Oh. Er yes!” he nodded and proceeded to check his table for something and then produced a small paper and some documents. He handed them over to Gabriel and proceeded to check his computer.
“What’s the paper for?” Gabriel peered at the 9 numbers on the paper
“That is the code to Chief’s safe at The African Millennium Bank. I have spoken to the manager already and he has assured me that Chief’s safe would be opened if we get the code. We are doing this because it was the instruction he gave to us, to open his safe and read his will to his family, 6 months after his death,” he concluded.
“Yes and…listen. I want you to alter the will”.
Gabriel couldn’t believe his ears. Was this what he did to the deceased clients under him? Alter their wills? Perhaps that was why he was so wealthy yet he couldn’t even afford a comfortable car of his own.
“I don’t get you, sir,” Gabriel stared at him in disgust. This was one of the cankerworms in the judiciary system. The ones that make the society call lawyers thieves.
“What is it you don’t understand ehn?” he hissed, eyed the lady sitting on the sofa and shifted close to Gabriel. “Look, if you scatter this plan for me ehn, walahi I will kill you with my bare hands and bury you in my home town in Port Harcourt,” he whispered harshly.
The stench of his breath was enough to get Gabriel puking and right then, he felt for the lady on the sofa. How on earth was she able stand his unpleasant mouth odour?
His irritation level tripled.
“My own is, I have given you some files with a list of account numbers, make sure 60 million leaves that account to us.”
Gabriel drew back. “60 million!” he whispered.
“Quiet! Just be a good boy and get it done in time. I give you just a month to get this deal done and get back here in time because you have some other duties to attend to,” Mr. Lawson said.
Gabriel nodded knowingly but his mind was still on Chief. Just how rich was Chief?
“Good, I have booked you for an eight o’clock flight tomorrow. So, be safe, okay? You can get out now.”
As Gabriel walked back to his office. The smile on his face wasn’t hard to notice. He was going on a flight to Abuja? He was a big boy already then! He couldn’t wait to get home, tell Charles about his news and also call Chinelo and ‘gist’ her about the recent development.
Gabriel was ecstatic. Going to Abuja was like a vacation for him. For him, that meant free sex, free good food from Chinelo and probably free touring of the town from Chinelo. She was one of those rich spoilt brats who depended on their ‘daddy’ for every little thing but he didn’t mind. The girl’s parents according to her, were stinkingly rich and so was she. How he got lucky with her, he still didn’t know. But then he never didn’t even like her.
He had someone he loved immensely, and that was Priscilla….his university heartthrob, the only lady he had fallen in love with. He didn’t know what went wrong in their relationship but he was determined to find out and he was going to find out, sooner or later. He didn’t know how but he was so sure that fate would bring them back together. They were very much in love with each other and from experience, he knew that there was always a reason behind every happening.
Having stepped behind his desk again in the privacy of his office, Gabriel’s eyes fell on the journal. Memories of his recent encounter with Chief flooded back and immediately, he got to his feet. He was going to sit at his colleague’s office until it was time to go home.
It was a bright day in Kaduna with a calm weather suitable for a safe flight. Gabriel had prayed all night for the weather to be calm and free from pregnant clouds and he couldn’t have been happier that God had granted his request. Now he was at the airport, dressed in a causal white polo shirt, and a blue jean. He had spent an extra 500 naira just to have a stylish hair cut for his professional look and he was glad he hadn’t wasted his money because the way the lady on the next queue stared at him, made him feel like she wanted him.
He adjusted his gaze and stared at people’s luggage. They had different forms, shapes, sizes and even colours of suitcases. He had borrowed a small brown suitcase from Charles because he couldn’t take his own since it was absolutely nothing to write home about. He made a mental note to buy a new one from Abuja or when he got back. And he hoped to make enough money from this assignment.
The queue was long and it moved slowly. He couldn’t wait for it to get to his turn. He was simply too ecstatic to leave Kaduna. Just then, his Tecno K7 vibrated in his pocket.
He reached for it and saw Chinelo’s name displayed on the screen. He hadn’t saved it with any endearment. He had used her name just like that.
“Hey, sweet corn,” he spoke quietly.
“Hey bumbum kitty,” she laughed. Bumbum kitty was her name for him. He simply didn’t know why she loved to call him that.
“I called you last night but you didn’t pick,” he feigned anger.
“Oh, bumbum, I’m sorry. I was asleep.”
“It’s okay. Well, I have a smashing surprise for you.”
“Really? What’s up?”
“I will be in Abuja in the next one hour.”
“OMG! You’re kidding right?”
“Oh no sweetcorn. I’m serious! It’s a business trip.”
“Wow! But you should have told me earlier.”
“Uh, why?” he hesitated.
“I am in Lagos presently. Waiting for my flight to Ghana. I have a client to meet with and it would take me about a week,” she sighed sadly.
“Wow! So I’m going to be in Abuja and for a week I won’t get to see my sweetcorn? Ohh mehnn. That’s terrible,” he said. Truly, he felt bad about it.
There were 5 people before him now. Soon it was going to be his turn.
“Bumbum, it’s just a week now. You will survive without me and I will be back in no time okay?”
He sighed. “Alright babe. Till you get back. I will be in Abuja waiting for you.”
He heard her chuckle. “Oh great! I love that. I love you baby but I need to go my flight has been announced.”
“Okay dear, me too.” He quickly ended the call. He never said the ‘I love you’. It was like a cage for him; one that he was still in. He sighed and moved towards the security man checking their luggage. He couldn’t wait to be on the plane heading to Abuja.
To be continued
This is a Pelleura story.
Idea and write-up by Funmi Akintade. Read the first chapter here.
Please don’t forget to like, share with your friends, and remember to drop a comment.