Those Awkward Moments (Episode 26)

Those Awkward Moments (Episode 26)

The first thing I felt was a sharp pain in the back of my head, as I slowly began to regain consciousness. I opened my eyes to try to make something out, but everything seemed kind of blurry. I groaned as I tried to lift my hand to the point behind my head where the pain was radiating from.

But I couldn’t move – not my hand at least. Both hands were immobilized behind me. The realization rushed me the rest of the way to wakefulness, and I noticed another thing. I was seated, and my hands were bound behind me. I pulled, attempting to prise the wrists out of the restraints. But whoever had tied me up had done a good job. Panic began to flicker inside me as a rush of recollections flooded my mind.

Maureen Bassey… Ngozi… And the man who hit me behind the head.

The panic fueled my determination to free myself and began tugging a bit more frantically at the restraints.

“Stop trying, you’re never getting out of that bond.”

The coldly-uttered words brought my head around to face the speaker.

Maureen was seated in one of the office chairs, her legs crossed, and the gaze she trained on me flat and icy. The environment seemed odd, and it took me a second to realize that we were not in her office. The musty smell of this room and the nylon wraps spread over the sparse furniture to protect them from dust led me to believe we were in one of the unoccupied office spaces on the fourth and final floor of the Highland Building. Sometime during my unconsciousness, they’d managed to bundle me up from the third floor to this extra-deserted area.

Why?

Because they obviously didn’t want any disturbance…

Or witnesses!

The thought turned the flicker of panic into a bright flame.

“I told them to give us a minute,” Maureen said just then.

“You mean the two people who’ll be nabbed alongside you for crimes that’ll keep you in jail for a long, long time?” I spat, seeking refuge in anger.

She chuckled. “You’ve got spirit, I’ll give you that. I heard you once told Demoniker off. You’ve got quite the fire in you. I like that in a man.”

“Too bad I’m not always wise enough to concentrate the flames in the right direction,” I rejoined, thinking about Ngozi and hating her.

Maureen contemplated me with a wry twist of her lips. “Did you really think she would help you get what you wanted?”

I didn’t say anything.

“Oh honey, you never once suspected that a woman who never liked you and suddenly wanted to ally herself with you might be playing you?” Maureen gave a tinkling laugh of mock disbelief. “Let me guess, she won you over when she fed you the ‘grandmother living illegally in the US’ line?”

I stared stonily back at the woman, stung by her mockery of my naiveté.

“It’s not your fault though,” Maureen said with another laugh. “The girl can be really convincing when she wants to be. And she’s pretty. All men have been known to act the fool with a beautiful woman. I should know.” She stood as she said this and looked at me steadily for a long moment. When I remained mute, she added, “You know it’s no fun if you’re quiet, right? I asked for us to be alone so we could talk.”

“Why don’t you untie me and then we can talk,” I spat.

Just then, my gaze was caught by an object on the desk beside her. Realizing what it was made its absence from my pocket suddenly pronounced. Maureen caught the direction of my attention and followed it to the phone on the desk.

She chuckled again. “Right. Your lifeline. Ngozi tells me you’re almost never anywhere without your phone.”

Frustration raged inside me, and I snapped, “You know, eventually, somebody is going to notice how long I’ve been gone, and they’ll come looking for me.”

“Yes, I know. But they’re not going to come look here. And by the way, I sent a text” – she twirled my phone – “to your mother, informing her that you had to get some work things done, and would be a while. So…” She shrugged.

“You bitch!”

Her face tightened, and her smile turned glacial. “That’s not a nice thing to say to a lady, Kevin. But I’ll let you off with a warning this time. However” – her countenance became even frostier – “should you call me that again, I’ll facilitate what we have in store for you, and instruct Udoh to make it very slow and very painful.”

My defiance wilted as I swallowed hard. My voice was husky as I said, “What do you want from me?”

“Good, now you want to talk.” Her smile lost the ice as she slid one of the drawers on the desk open and dropped my phone in it.

Recognizing this woman for the sociopath that she was, I said, “Please, just let me go. I haven’t done anything wrong!”

“Oh but you have,” she demurred. “You came to my office with the intention of foraging for evidence that’d connect me to Highland’s embezzlement. That counts as something wrong, don’t you think so?”

“But if you didn’t do it, if you didn’t embezzle from Highland, then all this shouldn’t be necessary, should it?”

She let a moment pass, during which her eyes took on the slightly maniacal gleam of one who had found the power with the perfect combination that intoxicates: the combination of bettering self while hurting others. Then she said softly, “But I did do it.” She started walking very slowly toward me. “I did it. I found an avenue to take from my husband and the son he began doting on when it became obvious I couldn’t give him a child. After taking from me all those years, he moved away from me when I needed him the most.” She stopped before me and I was inundated by her scent: lavender with a hint of cruelty. “Don’t get me wrong, he was by my side. He wasn’t going to toss me like yesterday’s trash, the way he did his first wife. But he wasn’t there. Suddenly his Joshua was very important to him. So I plotted and then I stumbled on this. It was like God giving me a chance to right my own wrong. And right it I did.” She let out a laugh, miming the wiping of sweat from her brow. “Phew! You made a better job of getting that out of me than my therapist ever can.”

“I did nothing, Mrs. Bassey,” I said huskily, my heart pounding as I recognized how direr and direr my situation was getting.

“Oh but you do plenty, Kevin,” she countered. “You know, when I first saw you, I thought to myself: Wow, so this is the smartass who was gutsy enough to blackmail my husband with something the fool doesn’t even know that probably half of his employees are aware of.”

My eyes widened with shock.

Her smile widened with some indulgence. “Yes, Kevin. I know about my husband’s affairs. He stopped making an effort to hide them from me. I told you he deserved what I did to him and his son and his beloved company. But you” – she shook her head and tut-tutted – “I saw you and thought: what unfortunate cretin gave life to this fool? Then I met your mother.”

“Don’t you DARE” – I shouted the word at her – “talk about my mother!”

She saw the rage in my eyes and stepped back from me. “Aww, is mummy’s boy offended?”

“You wouldn’t understand that kind of loyalty, would you?” I snarled. “You don’t have any kids of your own.”

The barb hit home, and she actually staggered back a step. Her expression began to turn ugly as she hissed, “You bastard.”

“That’s not a very nice thing to say to a gentleman,” I returned.

“Yea? Well, you don’t have a choice but to sit there and take it.”

“That is more than I can say for Josh,” I shot back. “At least I know who the enemy is. But he – you just had to reel him into your antagonism for his father. And he doesn’t even know it.”

Maureen took in a deep breath, effectively calming herself and regaining her posh. The smile returned as she said, “I like Joshua. I really do. I didn’t want to get him mixed up in this. But what’s that saying? Oh right. To make it on the board, a queen has to sacrifice her pawns.”

“You’re not going to get away with this.”

“Oh, but I am. No one is going to find out. And I won’t have you around to complicate things. Honey, it ends tonight.”

Just then, as though to punctuate her words, the noise of a few firecrackers erupted outside, the explosion reaching up the floors to us. Some revelers were obviously caught up in the anticipation of the New Year.

There was a vibration of the desk, and Maureen turned and walked back to it. It was her phone vibrating with a notification. From the huff of mild exasperation she let out as she read the notification, it was clear she was needed elsewhere, most probably at the party downstairs. “Ugh! These people won’t let me be.” As she was talking, the phone began to trill. She answered the call and began speaking at once, “Yes, Seyi. I’ll be right down. This had better be worth my time.”

Then she disconnected and turned to stare at me. Then she arched her head and called out, “Udoh! Ngozi!”

“It’s a shame it has to end like this,” she said to me. “You were showing such promise for the Highland Empire. Even Ryan said so. And my husband doesn’t just hand out praise to just anyone.”

The door opened and the both my colleague and her minion walked in. Ngozi spared me a quick glance, one which I caught and returned with an icy glare.

“Ma’am?” Udoh said enquiringly to Maureen.

“I’m needed downstairs to make the mid-party speech,” she replied. “You two should watch him. if he tries anything funny, kill him. But I’d prefer for him to be alive until he gets here.”

He? Who he? There’s another person involved in this? Even in the face of a certain fate, I couldn’t stop my mind was speculating on this case of the Basseys.

“By the time I’m done, hopefully we’ll all be complete here. And then we can decide how best to dispose of him.”

There was such a businesslike finality in her tone that caused several chills to skitter up my spine. I began to mutter a prayer for someone at my table to somehow realize that I was in danger and not busy doing any work. Mum, please, now’s the time to tap into our special connection… Jude, if you ever truly love me, shouldn’t you be getting goosebumps right now, alerting you to the danger I’m in… Samuel, Tayo, Sly, for chrissakes, we’re friends, surely that has to make you guys attuned to my distress…

Maureen Bassey walked out of the room in a moment.

And I rounded on Ngozi. “How could you! I mean, I know you hated me, but is this how low you’ve sunk? I can’t believe you would do this, and still be able to look me in the eye!”

“You did this to yourself, Kevin!” she retorted. “If you’d just listened to me and gotten this off your mind when I asked you to, you wouldn’t be in this position.”

“You know I didn’t have any choice!”

“Everyone has a choice, Kevin!”

“Yes, I can see just how great the choices you’ve made are looking for you,” I spat.

“Hey! Shut up there!” Udoh rapped out from the window, where he’d strolled to so he could look down at the revelry on the streets. He’d however turned to glower at me. “Shut up or I’ll rip out your tongue!”

I glared hatefully at him. He got an ugly smirk on his face and then turned back to the sight beyond the window. I turned my glare back to Ngozi, shook my head at her and turned away from her. Angry tears pricked at my eyes, tears that underscored my helplessness. I blinked rapidly. There had to be a way! This couldn’t be it for me.

“Uh, Udoh…” Ngozi suddenly called.

There was a stir as the man, no doubt, turned to her.

“Can I have some water please?”

“Huh?”

She gave a small laugh of self-consciousness. “All this excitement these past few hours, and I’ve suddenly gotten a serious thirst. I was just wondering if you could go get me some water.”

There was something odd in her voice that made me return my attention to them.

Udoh looked like he wanted to tell her to go and get her water herself. He darted a quick look at me. Ngozi caught it and said airily, “Oh him? Come on, he’s tied up nicely. You did it yourself. And you do such a good job.” Her voice had turned breathy and her expression coy.

Where had I seen her like this? Ah yes, that day at Mula Mike’s studio when she brought drinks for us. She’d been a seductress then. And she was being a seductress now.

All men have been known to act the fool with a beautiful woman.

And Udoh was no exception. Ngozi added, “What can he possibly do? I’ll watch him, don’t worry.” And he shrugged his acquiescence.

“Very well.”

“Oh good. There’s a dispenser in the reception down the hall.”

“Okay.”

“Thank you, Udoh. You’re such a lifesaver.”

The man preened a bit under the beam of her smile. Then he glowered at me some more and growled, “You try anything funny with her while I’m gone, and it’ll be the last thing you do.”

I didn’t bother responding to that.

Ngozi’s grateful smile remained anchored on her face until the man was gone. Then it vanished and her expression became grim as she turned to me.

“Do you mind telling me what da hell is going on?” I fired at once.

“There’s no time, but here’s the summary of it all…”

***

In fifteen seconds, Ngozi had brought me up to speed. After she told me of Maureen’s orchestration of the embezzlement scheme and I decided to point Detectives Elohor and Abayomi in her direction, Ngozi, who had been monitoring Maureen’s shady activities, was suddenly startled at the speed all the evidence she’d been following vanished. Everything disappeared. Memos, carefully worded emails, everything – gone! It was as though Maureen had been alerted to a threat of exposure. Feeling frustrated by the sudden dead end, Ngozi realized that the only way forward was to gain Maureen’s trust. And what better way to do that than to expose the threat and its plan to expose her?

“So you set me up?” I said, aghast.

“Yes.” She looked around the room, moved to the desk, and began opening its drawers.

“To what purpose?”

“To get a confession out of her. Criminal masterminds always confess when they believe they have all the power over the person who’d tried to throw them over.”

I stared at her, suddenly amazed by her sheer brilliance.

“But how would we have gotten her confession?”

“She did confess to you, didn’t she?”

“Yes. Still how –”

“Aha!” She cut me off when she opened one final drawer and picked out my phone.

“Can you come and untie me please?” I said, suddenly aware of the disadvantage I was still in.

“Sure.” She came back to me and worked my restraints free. I flexed my fingers before bending over to untie my ankles.

“So what’s the plan?” I asked.

“Here, unlock this,” she said, handing me my phone.

I did so and she took it back. “Before she took your phone,” she said as she swiped her finger across the screen, “I activated the recording app on it. Thank God you had one. My only other alternative had you not had the app was to leave my phone in the room when she ordered Udoh and me out. So everything she said to you must be in here. Now we’re going to have to send an S.O.S to those detectives and… Hmm, Kevin.”

“What is it?”

She was still staring at my phone screen, her forefinger still swiping. “There are twenty-seven missed calls from some guy named Kuddus. And a couple of heartfelt apology texts as well.” She arched her brow at me. “Is there something I should know?”

“In this critical time- No!” I snapped, before snatching my phone from her, before proceeding to send the S.O.S. texts to Detectives Abayomi and Elohor, and then deleted the messages once they were delivered.

“Now,” Ngozi said, turning to the door, “let’s get out of he–”

The door had swung open and Udoh stood there, a plastic bottle of water in his hand. He took one look at me, standing and unbound, and at Ngozi looking startled at his entrance, and his face turned ugly with comprehension. He threw the bottle to the ground with such force that it fell with that splat that shattered the plastic.

“You scheming bitch!” he growled as he advanced into the room.

“Udoh, it’s not what you think –”

“You don’t want to know what I think!” He lifted his meaty arms and cracked his knuckles.

We were so dead!

“Hold it right there!” someone bellowed from the open doorway.

We turned to see Detective Elohor standing there, his gun drawn and pointed at Udoh. I’d never liked the man, but right then, a surge of relief and joy suffused my insides. I’d never felt happier to see anyone than I felt in that moment.

“Thank God, detective!” I gushed. “You are just in time –”

“What are you thanking me for?” the policeman cut in.

And I stared in stupefaction as he withdrew his gun, and shared a malignant grin with Udoh, who turned to leer at Ngozi and I.

And suddenly something clicked in my head. The he – Detective Elohor was the missing link in this scheme. Suddenly some things began to make sense. Like how Maureen was able to become wise to a threat after I informed the police of my suspicions of her involvement in the crime. The shock that juddered through me at this awareness of the policeman’s duplicity had greater impact than when I found out I’d been dating the cousin of a guy I despised.

“Oya!” Elohor said, now waving his gun at Ngozi and I, as he gestured to a corner of the office. “The two of una go dah side. Unless you want somebody to die tonight.”

***

Within minutes, I was back on my chair, bound again. This time, two things had changed. Firstly, the restraint was much tighter. Secondly, I had a companion in the misery: Ngozi!

Oh, and I also watched miserably as Elohor smashed my phone with a baton he had with him. My second phone in a year, lost to criminal hands.

“You know,” I began, directing my words at the policeman, “I want to say that I can’t believe you’re working for her, but I can actually see it. I always knew you had something insincere about you. I never liked you.”

“Yea? Well, I never liked you either!” he spat back at me. “Whiny brat that you are, you also have to be a faggot!”

I drew in a sharp breath, feeling my face flood with heat as I glimpsed Ngozi turn a surprised look to me through the corner of my eye.

“At least I haven’t done anything to hurt anyone. But you – why? You’re an officer of the law. Why would you descend so low?”

“It’s easy for you to sound so self righteous!” the policeman hissed. “Posh job in a swanky establishment, fancy lawyer that you had, an apartment of your own at your age – what are you, twenty-four, twenty-five? It’s evident you’re privileged. So of course you can afford to talk down at me. You sonofabitch!” He suddenly seemed to get really angry and advanced a step toward me.

I didn’t recoil. I stared defiantly at him as I said, “Don’t use the difference in our social statuses as an excuse for your criminal acts. And I didn’t always have a charmed life. I grew up with a background that struggled. My parents worked hard to get our family to where it is today. So really” – I was sneering now – “what’s your excuse?”

Elohor rocked back on his heels, momentarily taken aback by my boldness. He regained his aplomb with a chuckle. And ignoring me, he turned to Ngozi and said jocularly, “Engee baby, long time. What’s up!”

She worked her mouth and spat a glob of saliva at his feet in response.

“Ever so well mannered,” the policeman said with acid humour.

Ngozi scowled at him.

“Answer me this,” I intoned, “is Abayomi also a part of this? Is the police force that corrupt?”

“Abayomi?” He threw back his head to give a bark of humourless laughter. “My partner may be many things, but being on the side of the bad guys isn’t one of them. He’s not that bright. Dude is too square for the dark side.” He grinned. “Now shut up and stop talking to me!”

Just then, the door opened and Maureen walked in. she was followed by Udoh, who had gone to fetch her after he and Elohor secured Ngozi and I. The woman’s beauty was marred by the livid expression on her face; her eyes sparkled with liquid rage, one directed at Ngozi. She walked straight to the bound woman, whipped her hand back and brought it forward in a slap across Ngozi’s cheek that jerked her head around and threatened to topple over her seat. I flinched at the slap.

“You bitch!” Maureen hissed. “You had me. You totally had me.”

“Yea, the fools thought they could play us,” Elohor said as he sidled close to her. He placed a hand on her back and she turned to face him. She placed her hand on his chest and they leaned toward each other to share a light kiss.

Another beautiful woman, another sucker of a man, I thought as I watched the smooch.

Maureen broke the kiss and murmured, “And they may very well have gotten away with fooling us if you hadn’t been around to take control of the situation.”

“I was already in the building when I got the S.O.S. text from Kevin. That was when I knew they’d gotten one over Udoh.”

Maureen inclined a frosty glare in her bodyguard’s direction. The bulky man met her stare with stoic remorse. “I’ll deal with you later,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am,” he said woodenly.

“Good thing I was the one they sent the text to and not Abayomi.”

“Did you verify that?” Maureen asked.

The man hedged just a microsecond. There’d been no texts in my phone to prove who I’d sent the S.O.S. texts to. And when he’d asked, I had instinctively said he was the only one I sent it to. It made it easy for him to believe me because at the time, I hadn’t known Abayomi was not part of their racket.

“Yes, I did,” he said.

Oh God, Detective Abayomi, please don’t be at church or a party celebrating the coming New Year, I prayed.

“Good,” Maureen said. “Now, let’s take care of what’s left.”

“What do you –” Elohor began.

But he got cut off when Maureen jerked his gun from his holster and turned her aim to Ngozi.

Suddenly, the room became ten times hotter than it was, and I felt my heartbeat leap into overdrive. Next to me, Ngozi sat very still.

“This is for your betrayal,” the Highland CEO said. “Maybe in your next life, you’ll think twice about double-crossing me.”

“Maureen, no –” Elohor shouted.

She pulled the trigger. The room appeared to reverberate with the force of the gunshot. I watched a flower of red erupt above Ngozi’s left breast. The force of the bullet hitting her threw her body – and the chair – backward and she crashed back to the floor.

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! The mantra raged in my head as I stared on.

***

The next few minutes were spent with Maureen Bassey and Detective Elohor arguing heatedly over what she’d done and what they should do next. I sat dejectedly in my chair, sobbing wretchedly, my gaze transfixed on Ngozi’s still form. I could not seem to get myself to look away from watching the life flow out of her.

Oh Ngozi…! Oh Jude…!

Ngozi!

Jude!

Ngozi!

Jude!

The sight of Ngozi’s body kept getting looped over with the image of Jude’s body months ago on the floor of my living room. The past and present kept up a whirlpool of interactions in my mind, like a badly recorded video. I felt crushed. My tears flowed faster.

“Oh My God! You devil!” I began screaming at Maureen through my sobs “You killed her! You’re a devil! And I hope you rot in hell!”

“It looks like you’ll get there before me,” she replied.

“You bitch! You whore! You devil! No wonder you’re incapable of having children! How can anyone with a soul so dark know such joy!” I was crazed with my grief that I threw everything I could at her.

Her face turned into an icy block of fury and her fists clenched. “Don’t you ever speak to me about –”

“SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP, YOU WITCH!”

“No, you shut up, Kevin!” Elohor shouted back, whipping up the gun he’d retrieved from his lover and pointing it at me. “Shut up or I’ll end this myself.”

I was past caring. “DO IT!” I shrieked even louder. The two of them were momentarily taken aback by my evident death wish. “DO IT! Just get it over with! End it already! It’s not like I’m having a great life anyway! You’ll be doing the world a favor by getting rid of me!”

“I’m not kidding, Kevin!” Elohor said, his grip tightening on the gun. “Shut up or I’ll –”

“DO IT!” I yelled again.

“I’ll do it!”

“DO IT!”

“I swear I will!”

“Just shoot me, you muthafu –!”

Just then, the office door blew open, startling all four of us. Uniforms stormed in.

“Freeze! This is the police! Lower your weapons!”

Udoh – the disobedient citizen that he was – whirled around, a gun in his hand. He got off just one shot before he got riddled by a blaze from the officers who were storming the room. The bodyguard did a quick macabre dance before dropping to the ground.

“I SAID LOWER YOUR WEAPONS!” Detective Abayomi emerged from the other policemen, his gun trained on the only other criminal with a firearm. His expression was grim as he observed his partner slowly lower the gun to the ground.

“You’re under arrest, John Elohor and Maureen Bassey. You have the right to attorneys. Anything you say now can and will be used against you in a court of law.”

***

The countdown to New Year was still on, but in the next several minutes, thoughts of such a landmark entry were not on anyone’s mind at Highland. The entire building and its environs were enveloped in a maelstrom of activity. There were people everywhere outside, merrymakers, uniforms, and the press. Camera lights, both from spectators and the media, flashed as first Ngozi was wheeled out on a gurney; she was followed by Maureen and Elohor was being led out in handcuffs. Accompanied by Abayomi, I brought up the rear.

I watched as Ngozi was loaded into an ambulance. One of the paramedics had assured me that she was still hanging on. Then my stare turned cold as I watched Maureen being pushed gently into a police car. Elohor wasn’t that far behind. I thought of what Abayomi had told me back upstairs, about how he began to harbour suspicions against his partner after he mistakenly opened a text message Elohor had received on his phone which Abayomi had been operating at the time. He’d been about to close the text and hand the phone to Elohor with an apology, when the word ‘Highland’ caught his attention. He’d gone ahead to read the text; it’d been from a contact simply saved in the phone as M. The message had been too cryptic for him, but it planted a seed, one that began to flourish when I told the two of them of Maureen Bassey’s possible involvement in the embezzlement.

Maureen. M.

That and the fact that Elohor had been especially denigrative of my suspicions during that meeting had made him get a recording chip installed in Elohor’s phone. In a country where a few good men in the law enforcement were antsy about the debilitating image the corruption of the police force was giving it, it hadn’t taken much to get a warrant that gave him the go-ahead to investigate his partner.

The look on Elohor’s face as the news that he’d been played by his partner who wasn’t ‘that bright’ was priceless.

And now, it was over.

“I will not stand for this!” Maureen was now screaming, fighting against the motion to get her inside the police car. “Call my husband! You guys can’t do this! Do you know who I am?!”

Elohor, on the other hand, didn’t make a fuss with his arrest. He had his head bowed, only lifting it to stare hatefully at me.

I was sure he was regretting the day he’d first laid his eyes on me.

“KEVIN!” someone screamed just then.

I looked back to see my mother and friends hurrying up to me. With tears suddenly back in my eyes again, I walked up to meet them. I had my eyes on Jude as I approached. He was the one I wanted to be with, the one I wanted to console me in a time like this, and fro the expression on his face, I could tell he felt the same way. But I opened my arms to hug one person – my mother.

As she kissed me several times on my cheeks while simultaneously running her hands over my body to check for any injuries, she was saying, “Oh Emeka! I knew it! I just knew it! I knew something had to be wrong with you! And that text of yours…Oh I could never have forgiven myself if anything had happened to you!”

“Mum, I’m fine. It’s over. I’m fine…” I said reassuringly over and over.

“Kev, we heard gunshots,” Tayo interjected concernedly.

“Yea, what happened?” Samuel said. “There’s talk that you are involved in something shady. What happened?”

“Your friend stopped something shady,” a voice said from behind.

We turned to meet Detective Abayomi’s steady gaze. “He wasn’t part of it. He stopped it from going on any further. Not only did he expose a fraud in the person of Mrs. Bassey, he also revealed a corrupt policeman. He was a hero. It’s an unfortunate thing that his partner-in-heroic-acts almost lost her life in the process, but yea, they did good tonight.”

“Wow,” Samuel breathed out.

“Kevin, you da man, man!” Sly hailed, turning an admiring stare to me.

I looked at Abayomi, remembering something else he’d told just me upstairs. End it already! It’s not like I’m having a great life anyway! You’ll be doing the world a favor by getting rid of me! He’d recounted my tirade to me. Through the recording chip installed in Elohor’s phone, he’d heard the testament of my dejection. And he’d said to me, “Don’t ever feel like the world is better off without you. You have proven today that you’re of so much more value to us alive than dead.”

Presently, I mouthed the words ‘Thank you’ to him.

He acknowledged it with a nod.

Suddenly there was a roar. “FIVE!”

I was momentarily startled.

“FOUR!”

I suddenly realized what was going on. 2016 was almost here! And the crowd was bracing for it.

“THREE!”

I watched as one of the officers guided Elohor into the back of a police van.

“TWO!”

I turned to meet Jude’s eyes. Our gazes held.

“ONE!”

I glanced at my mother, at Samuel, Tayo and Sly, and realized how lucky I was to have such people in my life.

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

And fireworks exploded while people cheered and exchanged exuberant greetings.

Just then, there was a stir around the police van. A jostle of bodies and some quick shouts. And then the bodies parted as Elohor shoved his way through. His expression was maniacal and he had a gun he’d wrenched from one of the policemen trained on me.

“Kevin, watch out!” I heard somebody scream. I couldn’t make out the voice. In fact, I couldn’t do anything, not even move or duck to save my own life.

Elohor fired two shots at me. He was going to keep going, but a blizzard of gunfire from some policemen caught him and knocked him like a marionette without strings to the ground.

Somebody else fell to the ground too. Those two shots the ex-policeman fired never got to me. I felt a hand push me to the side. I felt this person’s body jerk with the force of the bullets hitting him, before the two of us crashed to the ground.

Written by Reverend Hot

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32 Comments

  1. Kester
    January 05, 06:24 Reply

    You just love giving people high blood pressure. If you ended this on an OK note what would have happened? Nice entry I thoroughly enjoyed it

  2. Queen Blue Fox
    January 05, 06:51 Reply

    Bia Reverend Hot, that better not be my jude taking that bullet or Kevin’s Mother who I think is an example in support for family to all mothers in Nigeria; before I find your house and set it ablaze!

    • Mandy
      January 05, 07:11 Reply

      I want it to be Jude sef. #TeamKuddus

        • wealth
          January 05, 09:23 Reply

          Jude? After that shot in his forehead that he escaped,no way that guy has suffered from bullets enough. Abeg make he rest from bullet wounds.

  3. Mandy
    January 05, 07:10 Reply

    What shall it profit Rev Hot to drop this kind of cliffhanger and leave me flustered and in panic, eh? Jisox! Erm sorry, Jesus! (Before posh will coman read me my rights)

  4. wealth
    January 05, 07:22 Reply

    OMG!!!!! What a piece? Geez,my heart almost shattered at the thought of declan being shot. Too bad someone got shot again,I pray it’s not the mother or jude again. Declan’s life is so full of complications and dramas. Great piece. Thanks for the good work.

      • wealth
        January 05, 07:39 Reply

        Yea I know,I’m also following this story. So as roulette of the damned. They are great stories.

  5. Kester
    January 05, 07:30 Reply

    A reverend should not be this cruel. I really laughed at….. a hint of cruelty… I am so using it. How many more bullets will jude take before you pity him and let him have sweet sex with declan and live happily ever after?
    #Team jude!

  6. Brian Collins
    January 05, 07:31 Reply

    But what kind of evil is this? Did you forget the part where I wrote “To Rev Hot – Give Kevin a Break”? Let it not just be Jude who took the bullets for him o. Warris wrong with you writers and giving your readers something to cry about?
    Great entry, this played out well in my mind’s eye. Maureen Bassey is Charlie Theron, Ngozi is Zoe Kravitz, Kevin is Eka Daville , Kevin’s Mum is Loretta Devine, You should take this series to South Africa, there maybe a producer who’d want to make it into a series. Could be another season of Scandal on e Africa.

  7. Mr. Fingers
    January 05, 08:00 Reply

    Oh. This is the best episode so far. I love the suspense.

  8. Kenny
    January 05, 08:37 Reply

    Interesting read. Better than some of our nollywood movies sef. That cliffhanger tho…. It’ll probably be one of his friends Tayo, Sly, or maybe even detective Yomi

  9. Ruby
    January 05, 09:26 Reply

    Oh nooooooooo!!!!
    Not Again!!!!!

  10. Mr. Anonymous
    January 05, 10:27 Reply

    Kuddus just got shot. I can feel this series wrapping up already. Great job as always Rev.

  11. peaches
    January 05, 10:40 Reply

    My bladder is full with weewee, biko, tell me who it was that got shot before you all come visit me in d hospital with broken heart n ribs due to a rare case of heart trauma… You re meaner than that mrs. bassey o, its an amazing piece tho.

  12. Promise4all
    January 05, 10:55 Reply

    I just hope sey no be Jude or mama kelvin collect bullet ooo and (s)he had better not die BTW Revd K.D will have to pray God to deliver you from every rocket spirit of cliff and sky hangars

  13. wahid
    January 05, 11:04 Reply

    Ewoooooo! Rev Hot has killed Kuddus oooo. I will neva forgive u for dis!! Ewooooo Ndi KD come n help me see dis abomination ooooo.

    I know I’m jumping to conclusions, but Tis my suspicion.

    • wealth
      January 05, 11:09 Reply

      Lol suspicion indeed. Can’t you see that jude has suffered enough from bullets. I just pray it shouldn’t be the mother or jude.

      • wahid
        January 05, 11:18 Reply

        I’m a 100% sure it ain’t his mum or jude. U know, his heart is still wif jude n there’s a budding r ship wif Kuddus who loves him so much. My 100 naira is Kuddus.

        • Pink Panther
          January 05, 11:58 Reply

          And Kuddus magically materialized to his side? Kai! See how people don’t want that relationship to succeed. Lol

          • wahid
            January 05, 18:09 Reply

            Pinky, I’m just afraid Most Rev Hot wld tell us it is Kuddus. Remember there were so many missed calls from d dude.

            Hmmmmmmmmmm!!! So dis d how a budding love story wld just end?

  14. Vhar.
    January 05, 11:41 Reply

    I have to agree.

    You, Rev. Hot is meaner than Mrs. Bassey. I have a lot to learn. Kai!

    Recherché.

  15. Delle
    January 05, 12:04 Reply

    Oh my God! Ngozi had better not die! The Cookie of this series had better not die!
    And please let it not be Samuel or Tayo or Sly or his mum…anyone but them *crying hysterically*
    Just when I thought this was going to end sweetly!!!
    *smashing phone on wall*

  16. Mandy
    January 05, 12:18 Reply

    Oh yea, Rev Hot, I love what you’re doing with Ngozi, it’s amazing how much I’ve loathed and admired and loathed and admired her since she came in the picture.

  17. ambivalentone
    January 05, 13:51 Reply

    Well done Rev Hot. You tried in pleasing me on all angles. Ngozi wasn’t bad and one of the cops is dirty. Whats the name of thar Kuddus’ cousin sef? He wants to redeem himself abi?

  18. Oh...
    January 05, 21:26 Reply

    That unlabeled bullet better be on Trey Songz…
    If I can’t have him, no one can!

  19. Sheldon Cooper
    January 06, 08:53 Reply

    This had better not be Jude!!!! He has suffered enough! Kill him and the next episode will be the last I’ll read. I can’t deal.

    May your pen never run dry Rev. Hot.
    Thou art talented.

  20. Baby
    January 07, 17:49 Reply

    “Kevin, watch out!” I heard somebody scream. I couldn’t make out the voice. In fact, I couldn’t do anything, not even move or duck to save my own life.

    iamcoy, thanks so much… My bet is on Isaac too..

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