I couldn’t believe that the same person whose life I had saved, and had run into trouble in the process, was the same person who had just saved my own life, too. I was both surprised and delighted as I look into her eyes with joy. For the first time, I realized how beautiful she was and I agreed with myself that saving her wasn’t a bad idea after all.
“How did you get here?” I asked. “Where did you spring from?”
“I am the one who should be asking you what you are doing here. What were you thinking, trying to get onto the train in such an unconventional way? You could have been killed.”
“I was being chased by some men. I was being chased by the same men whom I saved you from. I killed some of them, but only in self-defense. Now, they are after me.”
“Well, first of all, I want to thank you for intervening in my situation. However, I want you to know that what you did would have serious consequences. You see those guys; they won’t stop chasing you until you go down.” She explained.
“What? What are you talking about? How did you know all these? I thought it was just a random event? Are you saying that you knew those guys?” I was surprised.
“I know them. They are very dangerous. They are hired killers and robbers, armed robbers. Now that you have killed some of them, they sure will come for revenge. Are you a cop?”
“Yes, I am.”
“That makes it better for you. However, they work for a rich man who is very influential. He has connections in high places. So, I will advise you to lie low or if possible, go very far from here. If they get you, they will kill you in the unkindest way you could ever imagine.”
“This man they work for, do you know him?” I asked.
“Yes, I do. He lives in the village I am going to. So, where are you going?”
“Nowhere in particular. I was hoping to drop off at the next terminal.” I spoke.
“The next terminal is my village. Now that their boss also lives in the same village, will you still drop there?” She asked.
“What do you advise I do.”
“Well, it will take a while before they come back to report to their boss about what has happened. Since it is already late, it might be up till tomorrow. So, you can drop off and leave very early tomorrow morning. What do you think?”
“I agree with you.”
A few hours later, the conductor announced that we were approaching the next terminal and anyone who was dropping off should get ready. A few minutes later, the train came to a screeching halt and the passengers started disembarking. The girl and I also disembarked and the train moved on.
“What is your name?” I asked her.
“Lindsay, and you?”
“Rayim, Detective Rayim.”
“Alright, you will be following me to my house. You will spend the night at my place, and tomorrow, you will be on your way.”
“Are you sure it is safe?” I asked.
“Yes, it is safe, at least for now.”
“For now? How do you mean?”
“What I am about to say now might be a bit unsettling to you. However, have no fear. The man, the rich and wealthy man that those guys are working for, is my father.”
“What? Your father? Then, in that case it is a bad idea to go to your house. Please, I have to leave now. What if they had already called your father and explained everything to him? I just might be walking into a trap.” I was very alarmed.
“Calm down, detective. No such thing has happened. No one has made any call.” She tried to reassure me.
“How sure are you?”
“Take out your phone.” She ordered.
“Just take out your phone.”
I took out my phone, looked at her and asked:
“So, what’s next?”
“Try to make a call. Just try to call anyone.”
I dialed a number and tried to call, but I was told that I am not within the range of any service. Now, I understood what she was talking about. There was no network service in that village. So, there was no way the killers might have called their boss to inform him about their misfortune. That also meant that at least for now, there was no need to be afraid. However, I had to be cautious and conscious. Anything could happen at any time.
“Are you ready to follow me now?” She asked.
“Yes, lets go. However, something bothers me. If really your father is the boss of those hoodlums, then why were they trying to hurt you?”
“They weren’t trying to hurt me. They were just trying to get me back to the village. I had been away from here for a while because I hate staying in the village. My father was the one who sent them to get me back, and that was what they were trying to do before you interrupted them.” She explained.
“Oh my gosh! That meant I clearly overreacted. I thought they were going to hurt you. Had I known, I wouldn’t have intervened.” I lamented.
“It’s too late for that now. You already did. Anyway, just to let you know, their leader, the first one that you killed was my boyfriend.” She revealed.
“Your boyfriend? That rascal? Did your father know?”
“Yes, my father knew. However, there was nothing he could do about it. That guy was the most favourite of all his acolytes. So, though he might not be happy that we were dating, he tolerated us. I actually like bad guys. Are you a bad guy?” She asked, her head in a curious angle.
“I am a cop. I go after bad guys. So, that makes me dangerous. Most bad guys are dangerous. Therefore, I think I qualify to be your spec.”
“Hmm! That’s nice.”
“What would your father think about me? Won’t he be angry that after staying away for so long, the first thing you did on your return was to tag along with a strange man?”
“No, he won’t. he likes dangerous men. Actually, he will be furious but after I must have told him that I have brought him a dangerous man who could work for him, he would calm down. Don’t be worried. He can never be angry with me for too long. I am his only child. However, we can’t tell him that you are a cop.”
“Where is your mother?”
“She divorced him a long time ago.”
“Has he remarried?”
“No, but he has numerous women, imported from the city every now and then by his thugs.”
“Hmm!! That is interesting. Let’s go to your house, then.”
Her house was not very far from the railway terminal. So, we didn’t need any form of transportation. We just had to walk. In about thirty minutes, we got to her home, and to be honest, I was wowed by the magnificence of the building.
It was big and huge and very modern. Just the cost of the fence of the house could build five ordinary houses in the city. I wondered why someone with so much money would decide to plant such a magnificent property in a rural area. In the city, that house could fetch him a lot of money. However, who knew how many of other such houses he could have in the city?
She rang the bell and a uniformed guard opened the door.
“Welcome, Madam.” He greeted humbly.
“Where is my father?” She asked, ignoring the guard’s greetings.
“He is inside, Madam.”
At that same instant, her father came out of the house looking angry. Except for the angry face he was wearing, he didn’t in the least look like someone who was into crime. In fact, he could pass for a Father Christmas. He was a handsome man of about fifty-five years with fine facial features. Now, I understood where his daughter got her beauty.
“Where have you been?” He asked furiously as soon as he saw Lindsay.
“Good evening, Dad.”
“I said where are you coming from, young lady.”
“Calm down, Dad. I know you are angry with me. Don’t worry I have brought something good for you. I have something for you that will make you happy.”
“And what is that?” He asked, his tone was beginning to soften.
“Meet Mr. Rayim. He is someone I met out there. He is very good with guns and ammunitions. So, I figured he could work for you.”
“Wow!” He exclaimed, his face brightening. “That is smart of you. Now both of you come inside and get something to refresh yourselves with.”
We walked into the living room, and I lacked words to describe it. It was spacious and palatial, beautiful and classy. We sat down around a table and her father brought Champaigne and we began drinking while the maids got us something to eat. After supper, since it was getting dark, her father asked that the generator be turned on since there was no electricity in the village. Soon, Lindsay excused herself and left me with her father. That was her father’s opportunity and he took it.
“So, Rayim. Tell me about you. Where are you from and who are your parents?” he asked.
“Sir, I come from the East Region. My parents live there too. We are Bamum.”
“Oh! I see. I hear Bamum women are very beautiful.” He laughed.
“Yes, Sir, they are.”
“That is good. So, tell me about your experience with guns.”
“Sir, I was in a military academy when I was overseas. That was where I learned how to shoot. I also did martial arts. I am an expert in judo and karate.” I spoke.
“Oh!! That means you are my kind of person. Welcome to my home again. Would you like to work for me? I will pay you handsomely.”
“Do you really want me to work for you, Sir?” I asked, wishing he knew who I really was.
“Yes, of course. A man with my money, influence and status in the society need men like you. You know, when you are rich, there are always bad people who want to bring you down. So, you could be of very good use to me.”
“I understand, Sir. I will give it a thought.”
“That is good. That is very, very good. I promise you that you won’t regret working for me. I have some other guys working for me. However, I sent them on a small errand and they still haven’t returned. I wonder what’s keeping them.” He spoke angrily.
I wish he knew that his men came into contact with me, and I sent them to their maker. Anyway, for now, I would keep my mouth shut and play along. First thing tomorrow, I would disappear before he even woke up from sleep.
Our conversation was interrupted by Lindsay who had just come back from freshening up. She looked fresh and beautiful in the oversized woolen pullover she wore over a white mini skirt. Her father smiled when he saw her approaching us. She sat down beside me and put a hand around my shoulder. She whispered in my ears that it was time for me to go freshen up, too.
An hour later, and it was around 8:00 PM now, I had already freshened up and had changed into new clothes. I was wearing a pair of fitting jeans and green military style T shirt. I also had a jacket on. I wore the same boots I had in the afternoon. As to where Lindsay got the clothes from, I couldn’t tell. She told her dad that she was taking me to a village club to have a good time. He promised him we would be back before midnight.
Her father couldn’t say no. It was evident that he had spoiled her because she was his only daughter. He found it very difficult to say no to her, or to deny her anything. Making sure that my gun was safely in my jacket, I held her hand and we stepped into the night. We got to the village club some minutes later and joined the village folks in merry making. We danced and drank until late into the night. However, I was very nervous because I knew I was in danger. So, though I pretended to be normal, I was on high alert for any danger.
It was almost midnight now. So, Lindsay and I decided to go home. When we got home, her dad was already asleep, but the generator was still on. We got into the house and went to her bedroom. You can guess what happened later. An hour later, and both of us feeling satisfied, we fell asleep.
I had barely slept when I felt a cold substance on my head. I opened my eyes slowly and realized that I was looking right into the barrel of a gun, my own gun, and the person holding it was Lindsay.
“You thought you had found a friend in me, right?” She smiled.
“What are you talking about, Lindsay?” I asked in fright. “How did you get my gun?”
“Don’t bother about that, Rayim. I just want you to know that you have walked into a trap. Now, you are going to die. Say your prayers before I kill you.” She spoke and fired.
I flinched when she fired and woke up from sleep. It had been a dream. Sweating and thanking God that it was a dream, I turned quickly around but didn’t see Lindsay. I wondered where she had gone to. Then I thought of my gun and checked my jacket that hung on the bedpost. Thank God it was still there. As I was wondering where Lindsay might have gone to, the door burst open and she walked in breathing heavily.
“You have to leave now, Rayim. You have to leave immediately.” She spoke urgently.
“Why, Lindsay? What is going on?”
“They are here, they are here, Rayim.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“My father’s men, the same ones who attacked you. The ones who were after your life. They have just arrived and are having a briefing with my father as we speak.”
“What? This is not good. I have to leave immediately.”
I woke up immediately and began dressing up. As I did so, I heard angry footsteps approaching Lindsay’s bedroom. I grabbed my gun, released the safety catch, and got ready to shoot.
TO BE CONTINUED