The Regents Centre,
Sadique sat in the car tapping the dashboard, his eyes set on the hospital across the road. He had followed the car from the ghetto wondering where it was headed until it stopped at the hospital. He saw Yemi and her father carry Gbenga Philips into the hospital. He saw Yemi’s father come out of the hospital in a hurry, enter his rickety car and drive away. He sat in the car for hours, listening to sentimental music on radio and thinking about what to do.
He had to make the best of the situation. Shade had given him some money to kill her husband. She promised him some more when he completed the job. He counted the money Shade gave him and discovered that he had a small fortune in his hands. Even if he didn’t finish the job, he would have a lot of money to help him lay low until he found another job or travelled out of the country.
Sadique reached for a small bottle of whiskey and emptied the contents in his mouth. He looked at the hospital again. Somewhere in this hospital Yemi his woman was with Gbenga.
He reached for his phone and called a number.
“Hello,” a woman answered.
“It’s me,” he said.
“Hold on a second, let me step outside. ”
He waited on the line.
“Sadique, where are you?” Ngozi asked in a whisper.
“I am where I am supposed to be.”
“What have you done to Gbenga? If you touch him I swear I will hunt you down until I…”
“Don’t waste your breath,” he interrupted her. “He is still live. That is why I am calling you. I will deliver Gbenga to you if you give me what I want.”
“What do you want?” Ngozi asked.
“Money. I need plenty of money to get out of the country,” he answered coldly.
“How much do you want?”
Sadique named a figure.
“That is quite high. I don’t have that kind of money with me but I can arrange for it in the morning. Where is Gbenga?”
“Gbenga is safe. When you hand over the money I will tell you where he is.”
“And Yemi? Is she live?”
“Yemi is my woman. I am going to take her away with me.”
“And if she doesn’t want to come with you?” Ngozi asked.
Sadique paused for a moment. “She won’t refuse me and if she does, I will…”
“Sadique don’t do anything stupid.” Ngozi said. “You know the police is looking for you. You have to be very careful. If Yemi doesn’t want to go with you, find another woman. Don’t risk your life over Yemi, she’s not worth it,” Ngozi cautioned the ex-military man.
“Don’t tell me what to do about my woman,” he raised his voice. “No one is going to steal my woman from me. Just get me the money first thing in the morning. I will be expecting your call.” He ended the conversation and threw the phone into the back seat.
Shade watched Ngozi return into the police station. She had gone outside to take a call. Who would be calling her at this time of night, she wondered. Her lawyer came out of the office of the detective in charge of the case.
“You are free to go. They have no reason to hold you anymore,” he said.
“They have no evidence against you except the accusation of Ngozi over there. Considering the fact that she was the one who allegedly shot Roberto in self defence, they are not taking her words seriously. While the case is being investigated, you have been granted bail. They don’t think you are a flight risk.”
Shade carried her bag and stood up. She walked past Ngozi who was talking with her lawyer. As soon as she got into the car she turned to Kola Thomas, her lawyer. “How is Roberto?” she asked.
“He is doing fine. He has been treated and released.” He started the car and moved out of the police station. He glanced at Shade and turned his eyes back to the road. “Shade, what really happened in your house last night? As your lawyer you have to tell me the truth or I won’t be able to defend you in court.” He paused and kept on driving.
Shade was silent, her face set like stone.
They arrived at the house and the lawyer parked the car outside the closed gates. They entered and sat down in the living room.
Barrister Thomas continued the conversation. “Did you deliberately shoot your husband in an attempt to kill him? Did you send an assassin after him and your maid to murder them? Those are very serious allegations made by Ngozi against you. What really happened here last night?” he asked.
Shade spoke slowly and deliberately through clenched teeth. “Gbenga’s whore shot Roberto in my home and she dares to accuse me of attempted murder?” she asked.
The lawyer was not moved by her outburst. “Ngozi said she shot Roberto in self defence. She said he wanted to attack her.”
“She’s lying!” she shouted. “She tried to steal my husband from me!”
“The gun belongs to you and the accident happened in your home. It will be difficult to prove that she came to your home with the intention of harming you. I think the police will let her go,” the lawyer said.
“That wasn’t an accident. It was deliberate. She tried to kill Roberto.”
“And about Roberto, what is he to you?” the lawyer asked.
Shade averted her eyes. ” He is my…my…we are dating.”
“He is your what?”
“We are lovers. I am going to marry him.”
The lawyer shook his head with sadness. ” This is bad. This is really bad. You brought your lover to your home on the night your husband was shot and now your husband is missing? You can’t say any of this to the police or else they will think you are guilty of attempted murder,” the lawyer warned his client.
“I am in love with Roberto and we are travelling out of the country as soon as he is fit to leave the hospital.”
“You will be making things worse by leaving the country. You should wait until things are sorted out before you make this move.”
“Nobody is going to tell me what to do. I love Roberto and I am going to marry him. As for Gbenga and his whore, I will make sure I destroy them completely!” Shade had an insane glint in her eyes.
The lawyer looked around the house. ” I will advise you not to talk like this in front of anyone. It could get you into more trouble,” the lawyer warned.
Shade stood up. “You are my lawyer. It is your job to defend me. If you can’t I will find someone else. I am tired and need some rest. Let’s continue this conversation later today.”
As soon as the lawyer left, she brought out her phone.
Sadique heard the phone and picked it up, his eyes still set on the hospital.
“Sadique, what is going on? Why is Gbenga still alive?”
“He was rescued from the lagoon. I had no way of knowing somebody would rescue him.”
“You have to finish this job.”
“I am on it. Before the end of today Gbenga will be with his ancestors, insha Allah.”
“I don’t want any more excuses. The police are beginning to ask questions. They are searching for him as we speak. Make sure they don’t get to him before you do.”
“I will get the job done before sunrise,” the ex-military man promised.
Yemi sat outside Gbenga’s room dozing with her head resting on the arm of the chair. A nurse came out of the room, saw Yemi sleeping and tapped her on the arm.
“You shouldn’t be here, this is a restricted are. You should go and sit in the waiting area down the hall.”
Yemi rubbed her eyes and stood up. “How is he doing?”
“He is responding well to treatment. You can ask the doctor yourself when she comes in for her morning rounds.”
“Thank you for taking care of him,” Yemi said.
“The waiting area is over there,” the nurse pointed waiting for Yemi to move.
Yemi walked down the hall, found a seat in the waiting area and seconds later fell asleep.
Sadique slipped noiselessly into the dimply lit room and stood by the door of the bathroom. He watched the man on the bed stir, adjusted himself on his left side and went back to sleep. Sadique waited for a few more minutes until he was sure that the man had gone back to sleep then he moved across the room like a cat. He stood frowning over the sleeping man for a moment. He held a pillow in his right hand contemplating the fastest way to eliminate the sleeping figure on the bed.
He considered using the knife tied to his right leg but he didn’t want to make a mess in the room. He would proceed with his plan. The pillow would do the job. He took a step forward, began to lower the pillow on the man’s face. Suddenly the man opened his eyes and gasped in fright. He screamed but the noise was swallowed up in the softness of the pillow.
Sadique saw the fear in his eyes and wondered if the man believed in any supernatural being. At that moment the immense power pulsating through his body as he towered over the man thrashing around on the bed like a decapitated snake, could only be described as godlike. He held the very power of life and death in his hands. He could allow this man live or snuff out his life and no one could stop him. Only one being could do that.
At that very moment, Sadique felt like a god.
He wondered at this new revelation of himself, then broke out into a wicked smile.
In the room directly above where Sadique was contemplating the revelation of his god-complex and carrying out a heinous act to prove it to himself, Omolara suddenly felt uncomfortable. She stood up from her chair, walked to the door and locked it. She turned around, fell to the floor on her knees and clasped her hands in prayer.
With tears running down her face she prayed with a sense of utmost urgency. “Oh God, save Gbenga Philips from all his enemies!”
To be continued.