Lost But Satisfied - Episode 10

Reunion

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Jerry knew he had to start treading gently in his new quest for knowledge. He would start following all the money he had (every one of them) and the best place to start his search was his bank account. How did he get such a huge amount of money? He needed to find that out.

 Now that he was beginning to get clues as regarding himself, he would stop at nothing to know more about himself. At that moment, he wished above all things to meet his beautiful thief again, so that he would get to know all he needed from her . She had many questions to answer, a whole lot of them. And from what he had learnt, she has a lot of answers to any of his question.

When he got to his room, his phone rang. Rita was calling him to remind him about the fridge she wanted to buy and that she wanted him to follow her to Agric bus-stop at 2.00pm.

 ‘Please remember to bring that thing’, she said, ‘I can’t come there to collect it because of time’. He smiled as her high-pitched voice resonated in his eardrum.

 Jerry had promised to give her thirty thousand naira out of the amount she said she needed to get a freezer. She wanted to start selling soft drinks at her house. He would have loved to give her everything but he wanted to keep the fact away from everybody that he was two million naira rich, especially now that he needed to find his origin.

‘Should I seek out my past?’ He asked himself as he laid back on the bed, with fear that he himself wouldn’t like what the future might hold, that whatever might have happened in the past was a beginning of his trouble, of a bigger trouble.

            ***

By 2.30pm, Once had gotten to Agric Area, from Brown Valley

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. He hated the journey and its stress, especially the traffic jam. He promised himself that any time he saw Jasper he would use the butt of gun to hit his head. Why had the foolish boy not been picking his calls? Once looked around at the place he parked. As he dropped from the car, he was happy that he had done his research about that area well because his search would have made him be at stand-still. He stared at his box of stick sweet and smiled. Chief’s complaint came to him again like before: Jedi Jedi. Bile.

 He pondered on where he would start his search. Should he start by going to the police station? No. One of the codes of conducts of their organization warned them to avoid the police station at all cost; He looked for a place to park his car, where it would get full protection.

At that time, he wished he had followed a public transport. He drove to the nearest car-wash park, took his tools bag, and left the car for them to wash. Once crossed the road, still pondering on what to do as he crossed the road. Would he walk the whole of Ikorodu, searching for Jasper?

Once had all the details of the place and was preparing to do the job before Chief told him he had given it to someone else. Although he always wanted to be praise, he knew he had to stop deceiving them about being the best before someone discovered how he had remained on top of the game.

‘What did you think about that fridge?’ A lady’s shrill voice said behind him, startling him as he hurriedly left the way for the owner of the voice to overtake him.

‘It’s not worth that amount… At least the guy should have given a better price or try reducing the price’, another voice- a male voice said.

 Once knew that voice. He knew that voice. That mustn't be who he thought it was. There must be some resemblance somewhere. He needed to be sure the voice didn’t belong to whom he, Once, thought it belonged to.

 Nothing would ruin his precious reputation, the one he had been preserving for five years now, the one many people feared, and the one he hid its secret from everyone.

If he was who he thought it was, the person mustn't see him. And if he was the one, Once promised himself, ‘it’s final judgment time’.

Even from the physique of this person, Once saw that the owner of the voice looked like who he thought he was. His heartbeat increased as he thought of what that would means for him if the person was truly the one, what that means if Jasper saw him. 

After sometimes, he saw that it was who he feared it would be: it was Leech.

As much as he was in a hurry, Once wasn't ready to jeopardize this new mission by doing anything stupid in the public. Leech was supposed to be dead and when they say dead, it could be hidden in a very faraway place or buried. Confused, he brought out a stick of sweet and stuck it in his mouth as he parted the bracelet in his pocket. Rachael had warned him about his attachment to the object but he wasn't ready to heed her warning.

Once followed them via a bike, making sure he kept a safe distance until Leech and the Lady entered a house. All he needed was to be alone with him. So, Leech was still alive? How did he survive that great fall? Thousands of questions arose in his mind, he needed answers and Leech must answer them.

 Even till now, Leech was still a leech. He was still with the lady he went into the house with, not coming out, and that vexed Once where he sat, waiting. As for the lady, Once was sure he had seen her someone before.

Leech had not stopped doing what made everyone in Chief’s house call him ‘Leech’. Once looked at the house, his sweet-stick rolling in his mouth.

 At last, Leech came out of the house, making Once’s heart warm up as he quickly took his hand to his bag and brought out a pistol. His gun was always loaded because of emergencies like this. Unlike the other time, when he had trusted the system, he would ensure this killing was clean, sweet and easy. This time he wasn't going to play to chance. He would make sure he watched Leech die.

Despite all, he was ready to offend himself and the one that had always been his help because if any other person knew about this, he was dead. In fact, he would do this and she wouldn’t know anything about it.

He watched the street for any sign of anyone following but there was none there except a haggard beggar. When Leech walked past where he was hiding, Once placed a silencer on the pistol and watched him turn to a corner before he hastily followed him. When he saw Leech cutting another corner, he ran after him and only stopped when he saw where it led to.

He backed away quickly return to the corner, when Leech turned back as if he heard the screeching of Once's face. After hearing the door close, he came out and decided to go in. But some people had pitched a tent beside his house in a bid to celebrate some. So, he decided to wait till the night. As Rachael would always say, ' enjoy your kill, and never procrastinate'.

But this wasn't procrastination. This was enjoying the kill. He chose the night, which had a cloak that would cover Once’s face.

             ***

Yemi sat transfixed as he watched Grace smiling, and knew the reason she had the big, bright smile on: she wanted to kill every grief and face life squarely; she wanted to let the pain drift away.

‘Your son… What is his name?’

‘Precious’.

‘Hmmm... Precious Adeoti the son of Bidemi Adeoti.  I saw him outside. He’s really grown’, Yemi said absent-mindedly.

 Grace got the pregnancy of this boy when she was still an undergraduate and it almost affected her education, but she scaled through especially with the help of Bidemi.

‘Grace, accept my condolences’, Yemi said slowly, trying not to raise any sad emotion in Grace.

‘Oh! Please Officer. The ones that would die would die. I’ve been hoping he would return home for months but I didn’t see anyone. That is a reason enough for me not to think over his death any longer’.

Yemi felt tears swelling in his eyes, so he quickly pinched it away and checked the time- 9:30.

‘I saw a man in Greencity that looked exactly like Bidemi’, Yemi said blankly.’ And, he is connected to a murder case that I am working on now, and that’s why I came to ask questions’.

  Grace edged forward in her seat, and looked at Yemi intently as if she hadn't given up on her husband being dead. The chair screeched.

 ‘Where is his picture? Don’t you have any picture of him? Anything that might make me see him? Even though he is a look-alike’.

‘But I thought…’ Yemi said and changed his mind, ‘someone stole the phone that has the picture from me in the bus. And you do not need to bother, since…’

‘I need to see him. What if it is Bidemi?’

‘But…’ Yemi said again and kept quiet, ‘he is not the one because this other person does not know me’.

‘What if he is pretending?’

‘Nah…’ Yemi said shaking his head, ‘this one wasn't pretending at all; in fact, the way he looked at me, one would know he had never seen me in his entire life’.

 ‘So…’ Yemi said as he rose, and dusted off unseen dirt from his body, smoothening his trousers, ‘Grace, I’ll have to return to the station to know what we can make of that murder case’.

 Saying that, he turned towards the door but Grace pulled his cloth.

‘Please, Officer Yemi, let me follow you…To clear my mind, for me to truly believe he is dead because I am not sure he is dead. I have a feeling he is still alive’.

 She went down on her knees.

 ‘Please, let me follow you to this person in Green City’.

                ***

Rachael almost jumped for joy as she got to the concluding part of her final plan.

‘I’m good! I’m their boss! I’m the great schemer’, she whispered as she carried the bags of money into her car. She had been monitoring Chief’s transactions for months now and had been waiting for the biggest one to click, to lay her hands on it.

 So, when she got the information about this one, she knew she had to grab it and hold fast to it. Luckily for her, Chief still enjoyed following the primitive ways of collecting money. The people, who brought the money to him, brought it to the house: 50 billion naira.

Read " Purified Tomorrow: The Mad Awakening " by the same author ( Akíntayo Akinjide )

. She found a way to drug everyone in the house that day since they all trusted her. She had served the family for long and it was time to get out. More so, they saw it as a privilege for Rachael, a whole Rachael, to cook for them and serve them.

 However, she couldn't leave without saving her crush, newfound lover and, hopefully the father of her unborn child. She couldn't leave without taking Leech from the place she was forced to put him. The place she was forced to hide him from the evil of this world and Chief's desire to use him.

The moment she got outside the building, she tipped the gateman, and zoomed off. Agric Area straight, she thought. She had rushed down all the way from Greencity to Brown valley when she caught notice of the money. The money was like the flower that blossomed in adversity. It was the rare and beautiful.

 Her phone rang: It was Martha. ‘Hello Mat…’

‘Once is here’, she whispered.

Rachael inhaled and became rattled. She glanced at her bottle of coffee and gulped it with a great intensity that could break the bottle.

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