Don't! Look Closer - Episode 1

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Whatsapp Groups are great especially when they are instrumental in the money-making process. That particular Saturday morning, a Whatsapp group that started five months before had suddenly gotten a change of name- THE D-day. The members of the group need not worry about other messages burying that of the group because they all got phone numbers that no one but the group knew about. Thus, the sim cards in the phone could only be reached by members of the group . To work effectively, they all saved every other person’s name the same way.

However, that morning, unlike other Whatsapp groups, everyone was waiting for the next post. And it came from WATCHER

Cake has arrived. Plan 10 in motion.

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Plans were useless if everyone involved wouldn’t execute their parts adequately. Ireti George hated when everyone involved in any plan couldn’t keep up with their parts of the plan. She hated that she had to keep calling her friend to keep her end of the deal. The day was supposed to be the best day for the one she loved but it was transforming to something else.

She intended surprising her boyfriend, Ayo, for his birthday before noon but everything was going south because everyone couldn’t uphold their parts of the plan. She tried calling Tolulope again

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. Tolulope had never been late for anything but that day she couldn’t get hold of her.

Ireti stepped into the compound as she tried calling her cousin, Kike George. Ireti’s father, an art collector, had expended a major part of his wealth on the security of their home. The security men looked fierce and desirous of a form of action, which the compound lacked. It must be frustrating for them because Ireti was sure she had never seen them laugh.

Every time, they would be seen harassing everyone, including the family member with their metal detectors. She glanced at the big cage that housed their hounds and hissed. Despite watching them grow to that stage, she detested them and everyone in the house was aware of her hatred for the dog. Most of the time, Kike did most of the works pertaining to the dogs.

Kike informed her that she was already at the gate and that gladdened her heart. Ever since she graduated from the university and finished her schooling as a law school, everyone in the family- Ireti, her father, and her mother- suddenly loved her. Before she went to school, they complained about everything Kike did. On her own side too, she hated the family because she grew up with them instead of her murdered parents. Rumour had it that Ireti’s parents maltreated Kike, yet she fared better than most orphans.

Some of those days, actually, Ireti would have loved to step in for her but she always harbored the fear that Kike’s works would be apportioned to her. So, she ensured she warded off the thought of lending a helping hand to Kike before they grew wings.

Delayed at the gate, Kike looked calm. Whatever happened to her in school was really something Ireti would love to try. Although they noticed the silence before she left for school, it became glaring only after she returned to the house. Now, she was collected and calm. This new demeanor attracted her father and caused him to employ her as his PA. Indeed, she did most of his hard work. Even her mother loved taking her about like her handbag. Kike had stopped being the fierce demon they grew up with. Ireti now banked on her to do things for her.

“But you know she’s family. C’mon, let her pass through. I’m late. Jones, she needs to hurry. We are going out together”, Ireti complained and checked her blue bodycon dress again. Sometimes, she wished she had those hourglass shapes that made all the boys’ heads turn. But her body shape could only do half of that. Regardless of her shape, her body evoked some desire in men and she utilized it.

She, sometimes, couldn’t tell if it was her body or her money that acted as the attraction for these men. But she was definitely sure it wasn’t her brain. And that was the reason she fell for Ayo. He was the only one that took time to appreciate her brain. He would definitely enjoy her that day. She turned to Jones Uche, who was in charge of scanning the cars, and imagined touching the navy blue, laced with yellow stripes, uniform. When her father brought him from Spencer Guards, she had to restrain herself from asking him out on a date he was too cute. Nevertheless, Jones wouldn’t look her the way she did.

Every time, his icy glare would scare her out of his presence. The only thing she had ever used to hold herself was always her anger. It worked every time.

“Madam, we’re only doing our job”, Jones replied as he was focused on the other car. Angry, she turned to her father, Chief George, who was seated in the balcony and was fiddling with several newspapers. For some odd reasons, he became frightened about everything as if people had the intention of killing him. But she knew nothing could happen. After all, he was only an art collector. Even politicians don’t leave in such fear as her father.

“Daddy?” Ireti called. He peeped.

“Let them do their jobs. I paid them for it”.

“They are delaying us. What’s all the fuss about? They should hurry about it if it’s in their wisdom to do what they are doing”.

Chief George waved at the security men to continue their jobs. Ireti turned and hissed.

“All these are for you. Don’t you know it’s all for you? They check us too”

“Then, let her enter the house without fuss”

“Impossible!!! Guys, carry on with your job”.

The men did a thorough scan of the car. Ireti flung her wallet away. Kike, on the other hand, remained calm. After a while, the security team allowed her to pass through.  She drove to the park. Their family park had about six different cars including her own. Ireti always had a knack for jeeps and had opted for Kia Sportage when her father asked her to pick her choice.

The day he gave her the car felt like the best day of her life. She travelled all around the city with it and made everyone aware she had gotten the best of car. She went clubbing and returned home drunk. But for Kike, she might have been robbed. Even till date, she still wondered how Kike could work so fast and intentionally. She, basically, controlled everything in the house. Ireti too loved to make her see life the way it was. But Kike wouldn’t even touch some things like alcohol or anything to smoke.

The other car in the park belonged to her parents. Ireti hurried off to meet Kike. Then, she remembered her wallet and went for it as she shouted, “even hotel own no reach this one. Mummy’s hotel doesn’t have this strict measure”.

“Why didn’t you throw your phone today? I would have shown you what stuff I’m made of”, Chief George said and went off to keep reading his newspaper. The news was his information. He always looked for loopholes with the intention of banking on them for money.

Kike hissed and rushed to meet Kike, who was battling with a bag and the cake at the same time. If the table turned and Kike was the daughter of her father, men would have scrambled and fought for her attention. She held the power of men’s gaze any time they were together. But without much action, she always had a way of redirecting men’s attention to Ireti.

Before Kike could explain herself, Ireti grabbed the cake and rushed off. She dropped it on the roof of the car and fetched her key from her wallet.

“Babes, no vex. I was delayed in the traffic”, Kike muttered.

“No worries. Let’s go. I can’t get hold of Tolu”.

“Well, I’m here for you”.

Ireti turned and dropped the cake at the backseat. Kike battled with her seatbelt while Ireti started the car.

“You can’t understand. I’ve explained the details more to her”.

“God will save us from this your three-month-old best friend”, Kike interjected.

Ireti smiled. “It seems like forever”

She couldn’t believe they could be that close within a very short period. Tolulope had saved her from being raped or being used. She met her at a friend’s birthday party. That night, Ireti drank herself to stupor and redirected the attention of everyone to her that night. When she woke the next day, she met herself beside Tolu, who explained that she had to drag her to her own place, since her friends also were drunk and couldn’t drive.

Ireti was so grateful that she took her as the best of her friends. And truly, Tolu was better than every friend she had ever had. They enjoyed everything together and even her parents gave Tolu the same access Ireti had in the house.

Just as they drove off the park towards the gate, her mother stood in front of her car. Frowning, they both knew they were in for trouble.

‘What have you done this time?’ Ireti asked. Her hair was flowing with such grace that she couldn’t help smiling when she caught a reflection of herself in the mirror.

‘I’m not sure it’s me’.

‘It’s not me. I’ve been in this house since you went out to get the cake. She could have harassed me all these while’.

Mrs George came to Kike’s side of the window and knocked. “Where are you going with her, Kiki…?”

“Ma… Erm… We want to visit someone”.

“Have you forgotten I told you we were going to the supermarket together?”

“But… You were. I thought you were joking”

“Joking kwa!”

“Ah! Ma, we have somewhere important to be”

“More important than what I want from you”.

“No ooo. It’s just that...”

Ireti frowned. “Her mother… We will soon return. It’s a very quick one”.

Mrs George shook her head. “It does seem you two want to spend the rest of your day in my room”.

“Ah! Kiki, go o. Go.

Read " Lost But Satisfied " by the same author ( Akíntayo Akinjide )

. We will meet… You might still meet us there”.

Kike climbed down but didn’t complain. The manner with which she had been punished and flogged for doing such when she was still a teenager had helped her inculcate the good soldier habit. Mrs George made eyes at Ireti playfully. Ireti frowned and drove off.

Just when she got out of the earshot of her compound, she dialed Kike’s number.

“Hello... Are you alone? Can you talk?’

“Yes…”

“Since you are no longer in the plan, it is still almost the same. The only slight difference here is that I’ll beep you as soon as I leave A.Y’s place. Your guys are to cross me at the junction opposite my house. Remember, you’re to make him or those crazy security men see that I have been kidnapped”.

“Alright. Everything is set. All the best”.

‘Good!’ She disconnected the call and hissed. ‘Stingy man’.

{)(}

WATCHER typed: ‘Humming bird’s on the way’.

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