Lost But Satisfied - Episode 16

Every Man to Himself

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Everyone in Chief’s house that night was quiet and waited for Chief to shout, rage or even ask the men to kill Once. Instead, he began to dance, not minding he was fooling around in front of his secretary, that they were all expecting him to talk- he loved to surprise people. He sang excitedly for a while then stopped and turned to Once.

‘How did you know this?'

‘I saw him with my eyes… I saw him’.

‘He killed Jasper?’ Someone asked.

‘How did you know Jasper is dead?’ Once asked as his hand flying to his equipment bag.

‘Shaki told us’, Chief said. Once relaxed.

‘It’s Chioma’, his secretary protested.

‘Whatever’.

‘I don't know if he killed Jasper . He said that he didn’t kill Jasper, that someone killed him’.

‘Who is that person’?

‘I suspect Rachael….’

‘Rachael’, all the people in the house exclaimed.

Chief raised his hand and everyone became silent. He looked around, his stance emitting fear, everyone looked at him with great trepidation, even his secretary quivered, and he loved that. He moved forward and pointed at some men.

‘Go and get those Americans for me’.

The men set to work, leaving the room in a hurry

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. They were to go to the University of Greencity, from where they were to bring the men to Chief in blindfolds- these they know and must do perfectly.

‘Where is he?’ Chioma asked and looked at Chief,’ you know that Chief would want to know what happened to him?’

‘Ehn... Beeni... Yes… Where is he?’ Chief said with his Yoruba accent lacing the sentence but he didn’t smirk as he didn’t notice this.

‘He escaped. Remember that fair policeman, Chief. He and Bidemi’s wife and Rachael helped him escape’.

‘Where were you when he escaped?’ Chioma asked angrily and Chief was happy that she was taking his matter seriously. Once gave her a cold glare.

‘Who are you to talk when I am talking?’ Once barked at her and Chief smiled again. His secretary didn’t wince neither did she do as if Once had shouted at her. Her eyes were focused as she awaited his response.

‘My friend, answer her. That’s my P.A’.

‘Rachael shot me, and left me for dead’. Once moved towards a seat and when Chief wasn't looking, he pointed two of his fingers to his eyes and towards Chioma, who bared her teeth at him.

 ‘You, go and call my daughter for me’, Chief order a recruit nonchalantly.

‘Sir?’

‘I said call my daughter for me’.

 The person Chief sent to call his daughter looked at him again with his mouth agape, looked at the door, then towards the direction of Chief’s daughter room and then back at Chief again.

‘Chief…Your daughter’.

‘Ehn…. Ina la n ran si ina’, the chief said and to others, expecting that he had sent the right person to his daughter and hoped that the statement that ‘we send fire to fire’ would jeer this recruit up, and make him do what he had always expected from all the assassins.

‘Chineye…’

‘It’s Chioma…’

‘We are going out’.

‘This Midnight…?’

‘Yes… We are going to Erinnla, the herbalist’, Chief said, eyeing her as he climbed the stairs to his room to change his cloth. His secretary didn’t like going to Erinnla place even in the day. So, going in the night was like rendering her heart into pieces, like putting her in a sea when they know she hated swimming pool.

 When Chief got back, the assassin he sent to his daughter was already panting on the floor, holding his head, and was cleaning bloodstain from the tile on the floor with a rag. He m*aned and tended to his face, which was now swollen. Chief’s daughter was sitting at a corner.

‘He walked towards her and stroked her hair,’ Asabi, my daughter, the Elephant that has the character of her father, an Elephant’.

‘Daddy, why did you wake me up in the middle of the night?’ She asked still fuming as the shoe she used to hit the assassin dangled in her hand. Chief glanced at the assassin and wondered when these recruits would understand that his daughter was trained as an assassin also and that they must handle her like a thug, like an assassin and not as a jellyfish that her face always presented her to be.

His daughter, Jessica, the second person he successfully trained as an assassin after he finished training Rachael, had become so good that if Rachael, the best, stopped killing in a long time, his daughter would be ranked the best. Chief decided to train Jessica also after he discovered anybody could endure the rigorous pain of being a professional assassin since a 14-year old Rachael survived it.

‘Bidemi Adeoti is alive…’

‘Ehy’, his daughter shouted and almost choked. He knew how his daughter and Bidemi were close and knew how she became sick the same day Bidemi was proclaimed dead.

 ‘How did they find him?' Jessica asked.

‘Once found him’.

 She looked up at Once disdainful. Her gaze always had a way swallowing the person she was looking at, making such a person feel unsecured, even Chief always had that feeling whenever he looked at her.

‘Where did you find him?’ She asked.

‘Lagos’, Once said and quickly turn to face Chief. 'I have a plan about Bidemi…’

‘Yes. I have a plan for Bidemi too…’ Chief said, trudging to the place he kept the megaphone, picked it and spoke into it, 'anybody that finds Bidemi Adeoti first would get double of his present money and would have the opportunity of killing Once’.

       ***

Chief’s daughter, Jessica, the head went wild.

Read " The Thorny Path to Europe " by the same author ( Akíntayo Akinjide )

. She must find Bidemi before anybody.

‘Rachael’, she shouted angrily. How did Rachael make Once get to know that Bidemi was alive after all these times she had made sure he was safe from the hand of her father? Where was Martha?

‘Racheal? She helped Leech escape’.

 Her anger doubled, as she felt the flame of fury arouse within her. She felt like killing someone. If she had the opportunity, she would kill Once there. He was a poke-nosing idiot. She threw the shoe she held at the person that made the statement.

‘I said you should never ever in your life call him Leech’.

The person cried in pain and she looked at the person- the same foolish recruit that came to call her. Jessica stood with the mindset of finding Bidemi first.

          ***

 Chief’s secretary decided to launch all weapon she had to catch Bidemi first. So, that she would use the money to disappear and leave before people start seeing what Chief was planning. She, Rachael, and Chief were the only people who knew the main thing Chief wanted but she didn’t want to be involved in it, anymore. Her fear as regarding her own sets of plans made her want to leave Greencity before she was compelled to do them. Even, if she saw Bidemi first, she would help them catch him, collect the money, and release him afterwards.

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