Ngozi stared at the
ceiling, she could hear Nduka’s snores reverberate the room. ‘What’s wrong with
me’? She asked herself. ‘This is what I wanted right? I wanted Nduka to love me
and treat me like his queen and even marry me, but what’s this strange
feeling?’ She asked herself.  She
couldn’t sleep so, she stood up from her bed and walked to the door of the
room, turning to spare a glance at Nduka who was far away in dream land. “I am
tired of this dis-contentment…what else do I want?” She asked herself again
as she spied her phone in a corner and went to pick it up. She saw a message
beep and was surprised to see the sender’s ID it was Mr. Ken the Managing director
of Pattersons who is also Ade’s boss, his text message read:

Hi Ngozi, I’ve been thinking of you since the day we
met, could we meet up for dinner sometime?’
Ngozi sighed and felt a
cold shiver run down her spine. She typed in reply.
“Hello Mr Ken, I just got your message and yes, I’d love to have
dinner with you. Is tomorrow too soon?”
She sent the message and
walked out of the room, as soon as she entered the kitchen her phone buzzed.
“What are you doing up?”
Ngozi smiled and
replied.
“Doing what you’re doing.”
He’s reply came quickly.
“And what am I doing?”
She giggled and sent,
“Texting of course…”
He replied again.
“Are you playing smart with me?”
Ngozi sent,
“Hehehe…perhaps.”
He sent a reply, this
time deviating from their former subject of discussion.
“I shouldn’t be texting you at this time, your boyfriend may have
my head.”
Ngozi pondered for a
moment and replied.
“What boyfriend?”
And their chat picked
its pace for the rest of the night.
******
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Ade couldn’t sleep, it
was almost eleven thirty pm and her eyes were as bright as an owl’s. She stared
at her phone the umpteenth time and sighed, ‘why was life so unfair?’ she asked
herself. When her dad persuaded her to relocate to Nigeria two years ago she
thought she wouldn’t cope but after staying in Nigeria for three months she had
met Emeka. Their meeting was so uneventful and that’s what drew him to her. Ade
is a foodie and so is Emeka and they both had a soft spot for ice cream. So on
this fateful day, Ade had shrugged off her cousins warnings and hopped on her
bicycle headed for the Ice cream parlour. She had just parked her bicycle when
she heard a rude honk from behind her.
“Hey lady! What do
you think you are doing?” Emeka had screamed from the driver seat of his
vehicle.
“What’s that
supposed to mean?” Ade had shot back.
“That’s a car
parking spot dear, please move!” Emeka had said in a sarcastic tone.
“What? Are you
nuts? I came here first so I have the right to park in whatever spot I
choose.” Ade had screamed in her British accent.
“You are
ridiculous!” Emeka had spat.
“No…You are the
ridiculous one. What an egoistic male you are…” Ade had shot back.
“Go park your
rickety bicycle someplace else. It’s a pity that a young lady like you with
such heavy English has to resort to a play thing for kids in order to move
around. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? Get a car already or sit at home if you
know that leaving the house means that you’ll be a nuisance to someone
else.”
At that moment, Ade saw
red, she hurled insults at Emeka.
“Pathetic pig! What
makes you think I do not own a car and if I don’t what’s your business? Does
owning a car make you the 8th wonder of the world? I bet you spent all your
life savings acquiring that car of yours, you buffoon!”
Somehow passers-by had
gotten involved in their banters and when Emeka picked up her bicycle and
hurled it to the side of the road, Ade had snapped and in an un-ladylike
manner, she had jumped on him intent on fighting him to the finish. They were
stopped from bruising each other any further and Emeka was mandated to replace
the bicycle immediately. They both abandoned their quest for ice cream and
hopped into Emeka’s car both headed for a bicycle shop. They saw one just
around the corner and as soon as Emeka paid for the bike, he apologised.
Something he rarely did, he had told her. And the rest was history…
Ade stared at the small
framed picture of the both of them in her room. They had attended a Lagos
wedding of one of his colleagues and a photographer had insisted on taking their
pictures. She had placed hers in a frame and he had done the same and they had
become inseparable since then. Hugging her pillow and sighing into the night
Ade for the first time in many years, prayed.
****
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Nkechi was not exhausted
but Emeka was, he lay on the bed like a log of wood, so tired and out of
breath.
“That was
fire!” Emeka said, he was sweating in the air-conditioned room.
They had both had dinner
in Emeka’s house prepared by Nkechi. Now, hours later, they both lay down on
the bed and stared at the ceiling.
“Well, to you it
was but for me, that was just ice.” Nkechi said.
Emeka turned to look at
her baffled at her words.
“Wait ooo. So you
mean that all this pounding, was ice to you?”
“C’mon Emeka let’s
drop the subject okay.”
“No… We have to
discuss this. Do you know what your words have done to my ego? It has actually
trampled on it and crushed it to bits.”
“Emmy love…why
are you sounding like this? I meant ice in the context of…errr…as hot as
ice kinda thing.” Nkechi said with a smile.
“Hah! I for fear
ooo…look at me all sweated up and look at the sheets soaked in sweat even
with the air conditioning and you’re saying it’s ice…hmmm…I would have
asked if you ever lived in a brothel because…it’s mostly women who have libidos
as high as errr…trained courtesans that can go for as long as eternity. Chai.”
“Hahaha you make me
laugh…” Nkechi said. “Let me go and get some water to drink, I’ll
join you in a bit.”
“Please get a cold
bottle of water for me too…my throat is parched.” Emeka said.
“Okay baby…” Nkechi
replied. “Do you want anything else?”
“No…” Emeka grunted and
immediately she closed the door behind her, he dozed off.
Nkechi however was not
close to falling asleep yet. She had meant every word she said, he had not
satisfied her, not in a long shot.
Nkechi moved to Lagos in
the late nineties and then, even while still quite young she had been a looker.
There was one trait Nkechi possessed that had eyes reverting at her at every
point and that was her back side, Nkechi had a full blown figure. She had moved
in with one of her relations who had taken up responsibility of being her
guardian. Her relative was married with children and she had Nkechi enrolled into
secondary school and treated her like part of her family, unknown to her that
her husband was one of Nkechi’s first conquests. By the time Nkechi finished
secondary school, she found ways of getting the fancy things of life and what
other way than making the men who vied for her attention, happy and content.
She started learning the arts of sex and before she could say jack she was a
pro. During her uni days her reputation of being so good in the sack found many
young men at her doorstep and soon enough it became a business. She gave them
what she wanted for exchange for cash, jewellery and many more expensive items.
It got to a point that she couldn’t do without sex in a week and gradually it
became a daily affair. She knew how to wear men out and she was so good at what
she did.
Now as she paced the
dining area of the house, she quickly dialled a number on her phone. It rang
three times before the person picked.
“Hello…how can we
meet? I need you now.” Nkechi said into the receiver.
“He wasn’t able to
satisfy you was he? Why don’t you admit it that we are made for each other
Nkechi?” The male voice at the other end of the line said.
“Stop talking
rubbish I need you now or I might lose my mind.”
“Okay…I know the
address, I’ll be there in the next twenty minutes. I hope there’s a spot where
we won’t be disturbed.” He said quietly.
“I’m getting some
water for Emeka and I’ll lace it sleeping tablets, you can come over to the
house. Even a loud trailer’s noise will not wake him up after he’s drank what I
prepared.”
She hung up the phone
and was about to go into the kitchen when a picture caught her attention. It
was a picture of Emeka and Ade obviously taken at a wedding. Anger laced
through her features as she instantly knocked down the photo and watched it
crash.
*****
Henrietta would have screamed but she was too weak to do so.
The procedure had started already and from the beams heading directly at her
face, she knew it was night time and her captors were using flashlights. The
strong smell of antiseptic hung in the air and the large prick of the needle
that had been inserted into her vein throbbed badly.
“Doctor…we were already scared that you wouldn’t show up,
especially when we went to the roadside after you called and didn’t see you.”
One of the men was saying.
“We have seen him now, haven’t we? Please let him
concentrate, he has a lot of organs to extract from her today and we need to
keep her alive during the extractions because the heart is the last part.”
Jonathan said in a raspy voice.
“Wait ooo…when you turn doctor? Abeg hold dat oxygen well
ooo…de mask don dey comot from her face.” Another man said.
“Shut up…we need to be quick about this. Hope Kelvin is
manning the entrance, we need to take care to avoid surprises.” Jonathan said.
“Her blood pressure is high…” The doctor sighed.
“What? Wetin consign us for blood pressure. This na chop
money for garri…abeg doctor go ahead with the procedure.” The first man said.
“I don’t think her body is ready for this…” The doctor said
in a wary voice.
“Wetin that one come mean na? Doctor abeg do sharp sharp.”
The second man said with fear in his voice. “And this man wey you carry come,
who he be sef?” The second man referred to the man that came with the doctor.
“He’s my assistant.” The doctor said quickly.
“Na which time you begin bring assistant come? I nor like
this kain parole ooo.” The second man said in disapproval.
“This is not our first time of doing business together and
it will definitely not be the last. You guys need to understand that I know
what I am doing. He is a season doctor himself and besides like I said earlier we
should wait a bit. I’m having double mind about this procedure already…let’s
leave it till dawn.” The doctor said in a shaky voice.
“No way! Haba! My car needs to be cleared from the wharf and
my family needs to celebrate Christmas this year in bounty, I don’t want to come
home with gist about not having enough money to celebrate Christmas.” The
second man said.
“But doctor, we have been pumping her body with fluids for
the past few days and she hasn’t even eaten anything yet. Besides you just
injected her with some anesthesia …” Jonathan said.
“My hands are shaky…I can’t do this procedure today…” The
doctor proclaimed.
“Wait ooo…you no go fit do wetin? So all the yarn wey I give
you about my car and about Christmas nor enter ya head abi?” The second man
said upset.
“What do you want to do? Beat him up? He is our chop money
for garri besides clients pay him directly and he pays us so…” Jonathan said.
“This one that he didn’t even bring cash with him
sef…Mtcheww…” The second man said in distaste.
“Don’t worry…I will do this procedure at dawn.” The doctor
said.
“This is so absurd…well it’s okay. Even if we did the
procedure this night we still have to clear to our different destinations
tomorrow so…it’s okay.” Jonathan said.
“I go quiet because na you bring business ooo…if na my
merchandise be dis ehn…anyhow una don know my way.” The second man said.
Henrietta felt funny, she could only feel her legs and arms
and head but every other part of her body was as numb as ice. She floated once
again, but she didn’t rise, instead she sunk lower and lower till she felt
nothing.
*****
Calista hadn’t gone far, she was somewhere around and she’s
been around for the past five hours.
“Where are you daddy? Where are you?” She whispered to
herself. All her life she had heard people complain about their displeasure in
the police force and she never imagined that she’ll ever fall into that
category but now, she saw herself doubting that the Nigerian police actually
protects its citizens. Her legs were already numb, she had seen the men enter
the building from her hideout and they had been in there for a while now.
“Daddy please save her quick…God where is my dad and his
men?” She sighed.
Curious as always, she took some steps forward towards the
building, sneaking and trying not to be caught. She had reached the window of
the building when she felt a strong hand at her shoulder. She yelped in pain.
“See this one ooo…wia you from come?” A man said to her with
alcohol in his breath.
Calista’s eyes widened in fear as she stared at the hideous
looking man who looked like he needed a bath. His face was achingly familiar,
where had she seen him? She asked herself as she stared at him, then
realization dawned on her. He was the crazy man that prowled the area around
the market place, ‘so he wasn’t mad after all’ she thought.
“Kelvin…come see specimen!” The mad man growled.
Another man appeared from the other side of the building and
was stunned to see her.
‘Wetin carry dis one come here? Na pesin bring am?” Kelvin
asked.
“I see am as she dey try peep for inside building.” The mad
man said.
“Wait ooo…who send you?” Kelvin asked Calista.
“I er…I was singing and I…” Calista answered.
“We go submit am…anyway the money go double because this na
new specimen and because na me catch am, my cut go dey higher.” The man who Calista
had known for years as mad, said in a gruff voice.
Calista screamed as she was carried into the building.
****
The shock on the men’s faces as soon as the men brought in
Calista was blatant. Calista was thrown to the ground and she jumped back up on
her feet as soon as she was dropped.
“Let me go…let me go this instant.” Calista screamed.
“Who sent you?” Jonathan screamed as he rushed to grab her
and shook her fiercely.
“No one…” Calista said with a strong voice.
“She has seen everything…we can’t let her go…she’s our
Christmas gift.” Said the second man.
Calista’s eyes widened at the realization that they were
meaning to perform the same procedure they had started with the girl on the
metal table on her.
“No way! My dad is the Inspector general of police and he’ll
be here in any second…I called him…I called him earlier to tell him everything…”
Calista said without thinking.
The men stared at her stunned.
“What? We need to clear ooo…now now…” The second man said in
a quaky voice.
“Yes, we will leave but not after extracting the organs we
need from Henrietta’s body.” Jonathan said in a firm voice.
“What of this one?” Kelvin pointed at Calista.
“I’ll get rid of her myself.” Jonathan said and brought out
a gun from his pocket which he pointed at Calista.
Calista’s eyes widened when she realized that he was going
to really pull the trigger and kill her at that instant.
“No one gets the police involved in my matter and goes scot
free.” Jonathan said with finality.
A loud shot rang and a body fell to the ground in a dead
heap.
******
“Is she going to make it?”
Calista’s father pulled her into his arms as he watched the
ambulance take the young lady away to the general hospital.
“I hope so…but next time, promise me Calista that, you’ll
stay away from this kind of trouble.” Her father said to her.
Calista smiled and hugged him back.
“I am a hero dad…say it, I promise it wouldn’t wound your
ego.” Calista said.
“Yes you are…my fearless hero. When Sergeant Mike told me
what you did…when I heard that gunshot, I died inside…I was so scared.” Her
father said.
Calista remembered what happened in a fuzzy blur, she had
been there waiting for the bullets to destroy her fragile body when she heard
the shot but didn’t feel any pain. Instead she saw in horror, Jonathan’s body
on the ground.
Apparently, the doctor had been taken up by the police even
before she had called her father to inform him about the lady she had seen in
the building. Her call confirmed their worst suspicions as the police
immediately started interrogating the doctor, not knowing that he was involved
with what the Inspector general’s daughter had just reported. It was after a
thorough search of his car that they saw something implicative, they saw a lot of
medical equipment that had no business in the boot of a car as well as huge wads
of cash. This led to further interrogations and in bid not to lose his license
he had spilled out the truth and even offered the police a lot of money. At
last, they had sent the doctor on his way attaching to him, a sergeant who was
to disguise as his assistant, it was the sergeant that shot Jonathan before he
could shoot Calista. All the men involved in the human trade crime including
the fake mad man were arrested and taken away and Jonathan’s body was taken
away by the police as well.

As Calista walked to her dad’s car with her father, she
looked at her right hand where she held Henrietta’s hand bag and made a mental
note to see if she had a phone which she could use in contacting her family.
She was so proud of herself and inwardly she knew she’d make a good detective, perhaps
she would pitch the idea to her father.
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Adaeze loves to travel, write and sleep.

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