Dapo was mixing a cocktail for himself in the kitchen when the phone call came in.
He held the bottle of vodka in one hand and then with the other, retrieved his phone which was in his back pocket.
It was Lanre Ige, he gave instructions to him that he was expected to follow and then ended the call before Dapo could ask any questions.
Dapo placed the phone on the kitchen counter in annoyance. He hated when he was being ordered around like this.
And he hated that IGE&OBI refused to give him answers to the questions he asked them, rather they took their time to bark out orders at him.
He downed the cocktail and then prepared yet another one before he attended to the person knocking at his door.
It was his partner in crime and the person he was supposed to be working with on the assignment Lanre Ige had called him about.
He frowned as the other guy bounced into the house, disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a glass of vodka and a bottle of coke.
“Have they briefed you on what we are going to do?” He asked Dapo as he treated himself to the mixture of coke and vodka.
Dapo nodded, he shut the door.
“Guy if no be say dem be Oga, I for tell dem say make dem no dey call me for dis kain time at all. How pesin go dey with hin babe and as the tin dey sweet…”
Dapo tried to ignore the rest of his statement. The last thing he wanted to hear about was the details of how another man was making love to his woman.
“But as he come say I.K, we got you out of prison so you can be useful, I come give myself brain.”
Dapo looked at I.K, the other man had his full attention now, “They said they got you out of jail so you can be useful?” he asked and I.K nodded as he poured himself the equivalent of a shot of vodka. “Interesting” Dapo muttered.
I.K might have thought that statement was harmless or even forgettable. But he knew deep inside that it wasn’t.
That was another pointer in the direction of what he was slowly becoming to believe was the truth about IGE&OBI; they were users. And they were both using them to settle a score they had with Owambe. However, the big question was after all of these was done, what next?
And then the house, the car and all of the money? It just did not make sense that these guys were this generous.
I.K finished with the vodka and then asked Dapo to go get dressed. Then he made himself confortable on the couch while he watched an old match with an enthusiasm he would have used to watch the original match.
Dapo got dressed and ran the instructions through his mind again. Lanre Ige wanted them to help him get a parcel from someone on the outskirts of Lagos, somewhere in Ibafo.
According to the clear instruction, they were to get in, use less than five minutes and get out of the area before anyone spotted them. They were advised to time themselves so they could get the job done on time and they were supposed to bring the parcel to him before midnight.
Dapo did not know what the parcel contained, neither did he know who they were going to meet but one thing was for sure, those IGE&OBI guys were shady individuals.
Tiwa was eating from a steaming bowl of pepper soup as Chima updated her on what had happened to him earlier. Chima had ordered the bowl of pepper soup because she had complained of a heavy surge of nausea earlier on her way home, now she sat on the couch next to him while she scooped the delicious spicy soup.
“I have never trusted that guy and that was why I did not understand why he was the one that you chose as a partner.” She said as she scooped a small cowleg inside the bowl. “But I get that you had no choice, I am just happy that you found out how evil he can be before it became too late.”
“Actually, its too late” Chima said, a look of regret on his face.
Tiwa frowned, “How? You got what you wanted, you can get your lawyers and find a way to get rid of the asshole so he can go and shop for his guns on Ebay or something.”
Chima shook his head, “Its not that easy.”
Tiwa wanted to know how hard the situation was then, “Its not?”
“No, Tiwa. The company still can’t stand on its feet if Chris Owambe left right now. We still need him and that is why this is so hard for me.”
Tiwa placed the bowl of pepper soup on the stool closest to her and then threw her arms around Chima. “I will be with you every step of the way, you know right?”
He managed a smile, “I appreciate that.”
Tiwa disengaged from the embrace after a while, “We would fight this maniac together.”
“Tiwa, about us…”
Tiwa knew where the conversation was headed but she just did not have the inner strength for it at the moment. “Chima please let us discuss this later.”
She reached for the bottle of water near her and helped herself to some water,
“When? This relationship is sinking faster than the titanic and the more I try to fight for it, the worse it seems to become. I need to know what’s happening to us. Do you want to leave or do you want to stay?”
“I’m not sure what I want right now, Chima. I have a baby growing inside of me and I want the best for that child, that’s the only thing I am sure of right now.”
Chima understood that but he wanted more, “See, I am sorry if it feels like I am pushing you but Tiwa, but my career is suffering and my relationship is suffering too. I need to know for a fact where I stand with you and what to do so I can know the only battle I am fighting is the one where I am trying to save my company.”
Tiwa knew she was falling harder for Dapo by the minute but she could not leave Chima at this point. They might not have that great relationship anymore but she still loved him, he still held a place in her heart and she could not bail on him when he seemed to need her the most.
“Chima, let us solve the most important problem first.”
“Our wedding is supposed to happen this weekend, is that still happening?”
She did not give him a response to that, rather she stood up and said, “I have to pee. Excuse me.”
Chima sighed in frustration as she watched her leave the sitting room. Something told him he’d already lost her and there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. And that hurt more than driving a knife through his heart. It was the only thing that hurt more than watching his company sink.
Dapo and I.K drove through the secluded street in Ibafo carefully. The road was bad, there were potholes big enough to hide a big cow and each one of them was filled up with water enough to bathe three babies.
I.K vented his frustration by swearing every time they hit an unseen pothole, he was not enjoying the drive through the place at all. He turned on the radio and nodded to Wizkid’s Bombay just as it started to play. That seemed to better his mood as he sang along at some point.
Dapo was not sure which one dampened his mood more, the music he clearly couldn’t comprehend and appreciate or the potholes that were beginning to threaten the last thing he ingested that night.
“Abeg check the google map again, we don reash?” I.K said, taking a break from chanting the lyrics to Bombay.
Dapo directed his gaze to the android device clutched in his hands, they were close. He looked up and gave I.K that information. The latter nodded and took the directions to where they were headed.
A few minutes later, they parked in front of the small unpainted bungalow surrounded by uncompleted buildings and bushes.
As they stepped out of the car, I.K reminded him they had five minutes to get out. Dapo nodded, he got it.
However, as he moved closer to the house, his instincts started to scream No. Something was just not right.
Chima had heard her scream and he had dashed to the bathroom as fast as he could. She had shown him why she’d screamed immediately he joined her in the bathroom; she was spotting.
It was not a lot of blood, but it was enough to worry her sick.
“Let’s go to the hospital.” He said and helped her out of the house into his car.
She had told him she wanted her Doctor and he had obliged her even though it was farther than his own hospital was to his house.
He had sped to the hospital, running against every traffic light and almost colliding into another driver at some point.
“I just hope this is normal for pregnant women. I hope its nothing so serious you know… I hope my baby is going nowhere.” She kept saying until he drove into the hospital premises. He had ensured they attended to her immediately they arrived and that was the exact thing that happened.
Then he began to pace the hospital reception as he waited for the Doctor to get back to him.
Dapo’s instincts had never failed him. Never. So when he emerged from the house in less than the proposed five minutes, armed with the parcel he and I.K had been ordered to get and nothing had gone awry, he decided maybe that was the first time his instincts would actually be wrong.
They made their way to the car, determined to get out of the area as soon as they could. I.K was already rambling about how eager he was to return to his girlfriend who Dapo had learnt now was the woman he was insanely in love with and who he wanted to marry as soon as possible.
“Great job. The bosses would be proud.” He said as he patted Dapo on the back.
As he watched the Doctor approach him, Chima knew something was wrong. He waited in what seemed like eternity for the Doctor to stop in front of him and deliver the news to him.
Tiwa was fine, she still had the baby but the thing was, she had to lose the baby to live.
What did that even mean, he found himself asking out loud even though he had meant to keep th question inside while listening to the Doctor.
“It means its an ectopic pregnancy, Mr Nwachukwu…”
Chima was not sure he heard anything more after that, the only part of Tiwa he thought he could keep even if she chose to leave him was now about to be taken away from him.
He thought about his company as he slumped into a seat.
He was not sure life had been that hard for him ever since he was born.
Dapo and I.K were ready to move. I.K had started the ignition and was reversing but they had been stopped by a loud sound that momentarily defeaned Dapo. It was a gunshot.
Instinctively, Dapo ducked. He covered his ears for a second and then realizing that the hands behind the trigger might be approaching to finish the job, he glanced up nervously.
And that was when he realized I.K had been silent, it was an unsual thing. He looked beside him and found him lifeless, his head leaning on the car window which was now smeared with his blood. Blood that splattered from his head.