Adam knew trouble when he saw one. Unfortunately he was not only seeing this one, he was living He should have seen it coming. He tried again to untie his hands, it was not working. Hassan had tied him very tightly to the chair. If he was going to escape or survive this, he would need a miracle. He looked at Hameed’s body on the floor, he should have known. Hameed was erratic, emotional, crazy but he was not as calculated to pull off all the murders without getting caught. He should have known.
He could not die. Not yet. If he died, it would most likely mean Kate would die too.
Ese! He could not die without seeing his child.
“Hey!” He screamed.
Hassan strode into the room, a smile on his face.
“What do you want?”
“Look, I don’t beg criminals, I’d rather die but…”
Hassan laughed. “I knew there was a but coming.”
Adam shook his head, he hated that he had to do this. “My wife is in the hospital right now having a baby.”
“Aww, congratulations. It’s sad your wife has to raise that child alone.”
“What’s your plan here?” Adam asked. “Kill us and return to your life? All my detectives are out looking for you. They know you are the killer. You won’t last a day out there.”
Hassan leaned on the wall, the smile still plastered on his face. Looking at him now Adam could not believe he had not suspected him. It was obvious the devil himself lived inside of him.
“Here’s my plan Detective. I will kill you, that’s a given. Then I will travel to Niger Republic where I have friends. I will take Kate with me of course, I have become quite fond of her. I will marry her and we will travel the world together.”
“You delusional fool!” Adam said and spat to the side. “You actually believe you will leave this country? And you think Kate will marry you? Travel around the world with you?”
“Why won’t she? You saw Halima naked, right? Gorgeous woman. I have a way with women. Not even Kate can resist me. And don’t worry, I will get out of this country just fine. Okay, so you asked for my plans and I told you my plans.”
Hassan started to leave the room. Adam knew he had to do something, he could not just let this happen. He had no idea what to do. His hands were tied – literally, and feet too. If he shouted there was no chance anyone would hear him.
Except someone noticed the open gate and came in! He had to buy time.
Hassan stopped. “You called me Honourable? How honourable of you.”
“Why did you do it? Senator Halima? Senator Dafe? Senator Bello? Those poor girls? Why did you kille them?”
Hassan smiled. “This is the point where I tell you my story just so you can buy enough time for help to come to you, right? I read your church street killer story, I know what happened. I will tell you my story but nobody will find you here.”
Adam stared at him with cold eyes. “Just tell the damn story.”
“I’m telling this more for my own entertainment than for your information. I’ll start with Bello, I didn’t kill him, he killed himself. Dafe, I didn’t kill him too.”
“Yeah, not with you hands. Coward, you only kill women. You couldn’t handle a real man so you had someone else do your dirty job for you.”
Hassan’s eyes grew dark. “I am not a coward. Keep saying that and you will die, very slowly.”
“Senator Halima, what was her offense? She told you how weak you were in bed, right?”
Hassan rushed at Adam and landed a punch on his face.
Adam felt his nose and lips grew ten times heavier; he could taste the blood already but he continued all the same, he knew he needed to push Hassan further
“If your sex is as good as your punch then I can imagine why no woman would want to be with you.”
“Shut up!” Hassan shouted. “You are wrong! They loved me, Halima said I was the best she ever had. That was what she thought as she died – she died happy. I made her happy. They all died happy.”
Adam knew he had hit a nerve by talking about his sex life. He had put emphasis on the women dying happy. There was something else here. He watched Hassan. His initial burst of anger had subsided but he still had a dark dangerous look on his face. He leaned against the wall but Adam knew it would not take much to get him on the recieving end of another punch.
“They all died happy huh? All of them?”
Hassan looked up and Adam could see he was not looking as fierce as before. He was on to something.
“Was it your fiancee? Was she the one who didn’t die happy?”
“She didn’t die happy but it wasn’t my fault, I owe her nothing.”
So it wasn’t the fiancee. Mrs Galadima?
“Was it Mrs Galadima? You killed her too but she didn’t die happy.”
His face became dark again. “I did not kill her!”
He didn’t? “But she did not die happy, did she?”
“ I was never able to satisfy her. She always told me I could never do what her husband did to her.” He squeezed his fist, his eyes blazing. “She called me weak!”
“So you killed her?”
“No! I tried harder but then she died before…” His voice trailed off.
“So now, all these women…”
“Died happy.” Hassan said. “I’m done talking! Let’s get this over with.”
Adam knew the end was fast approaching, he was desperate. He was lost but maybe he could save Kate.
“Please let Kate go, she’s already been through this once. You will escape faster alone.”
Hassan smiled. “She will coperate with me or she will die. And I can’t guarantee it being a happy one.”
Adam watched Hassan leave the room. He was sure the next time he came into the room, it would be to kill him. He thought about his child, he did not even know if it was a boy or a girl. He should have spent more time with Ese. He closed his eyes and pictured her face – it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He could not believe he would not see it again. He had escaped death once with Collins, he could not see a way out of death this time around.
“Are you praying?”
He opened his eyes and saw Hassan standing in front of him. His eyes went to the knife in his right hand. It was still stained with blood. Hameed’s? That was it. His moment had come.
“Before you do this,” Adam said. “Can I speak to my wife?”
“No.” Hassan said.
“Okay, can you release Kate so she can take a message to her?”
“Alright, could you…”
“Just shut up.” Hassan said and walked past Adam, to his back.
Adam could feel the hair on his neck rise. He never imagined things would go this way. He was not surprised he was going to be murdered but not at the hands of this cowardly woman-killer.
Hassan grabbed his head and pulled it backwards. At least the killing was going to be swift. He closed his eyes and waited for the knife.
“What are you doing?”
That was not Hassan’s voice!
His eyes snapped open. General Galadima was standing in front of them. His head almost exploded with relief. He was not going to die, not today.
“General! I’ve never been more happy to see you.” Adam said.
Hassan was not moving though, he still had the knife to his neck. Surely the General could talk to his boy. Surely!
“Hassan, haven’t you done enough harm? First you sleep with my beloved wife and then you kill my son’s fiancee and now you have killed him! Haven’t you done enough already?”
“Beloved wife? You never loved her!” Hassan shouted. “If you loved her, why would you…”
“Shut up Hassan! Drop that knife now!”
“Or what? Report me to the police? Kill me too?”
Adam grunted, the knife was starting to break flesh.
“We had a deal.”
“Yes and I fulfilled my end by raising you and getting you where you are right now. Honourable member of the House of Representatives.”
“This ends now!” Hassan said.
Adam felt the knife press against his flesh. His head felt light, he was dead! God keep Ese and my baby.
He heard a loud bang and something fell on his laps. The knife had stopped. He opened his eyes and saw the knife on his lap. He looked up – General Galadima was holding a gun in his hand. Hassan was crumpled behind him.
He sighed, he was not dead. He was going to see his baby. He looked up at the general; all the time he was convinced he was a murderer not knowing he was going to be his saviour.
“He was like a son to me.” The general said. “I thought I would be able to reason with him.”
Adam did not care, he was alive, it was all that mattered.
The general untied his hands and walked to his son’s body. He had never loved his free hands more. He bent and began to untie his legs.
“How did you find us here?” Adam asked.
“I came for Hameed, I didn’t expect to meet Hassan or you here.”
“You knew where Hameed was hiding?”
“He called me.”
Adam paused untieing his leg. Hameed didn’t sound like he trusted his father when he talked to him earlier, he did not even want to go home. Why would he call him?
“Is there a problem?” General Galadima had noticed his hesitation.
“No sir.” Adam said and resumed untieing his leg.
“So you knew Hassan slept with your wife?” Adam asked.
“I didn’t. I would have sent him out of my house.”
He had mentioned it earlier when he talked to Hassan. How did he know about the affair if he had not known before? What was the deal Hassan mentioned? What was Hassan’s end of the deal? Was he missing something?
“Hassan mentioned a deal, what was that about?”
“It was nothing, just a promise I made to him to protect him and help him become somebody in life.”
“Looks like you held your side of the promise.”
“A promise is a promise. Even after I found out he was sleeping with my wife, I still did my best for him. Then he goes ahead to kill my son.”
Adam paused and looked up. He claimed not to have known about the affair. What is happening?
“Why didn’t you tell anybody where you were coming to? If I hadn’t come you would have died.”
“I came in a hurry.” Adam was not sure what it was but he could feel it, something was still wrong.
General Galadima went into one of the rooms. Kate! Was she okay? Adam released the rope and stood. The general was hiding something, he could tell. At least now he could defend himself now if things got ugly again.
The general returned to the room.
“So I was going to ask, you said…” Adam started.
“I slipped the other time and mentioned that I knew about Hassan’s affair with my wife, didn’t I?”
Adam looked at the gun hanging loosely in the general’s hand and he left a lump form in his throat.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Adam said.
“Oh yeah you do. I wasn’t sure if it was smart to let you go before anyway knowing you could figure it all out later. Now you have helped me make up my mind”
“Make up your mind?”
“Yeah, you’re not leaving this place alive.”
Adam could not believe what he was hearing. “Come on, you saved me. Now you are going to kill me?”
“No I won’t. Hassan killed you then killed himself. I arrived too late to save any of you.”
“Nobody will believe that.”
“I am General Galadima, they wll believe anything I say.”
“I don’t even know what you think I know about that makes me a…” Adam started then paused. The general knew about the affair, Hassan insisted he did not kill Mrs Galadima, maybe the general did.
“You just figured something out, didn’t you?”
“You killed your wife?”
“That’s why I can’t let you go. You’re smarter than you think.”
‘”She was your wife!”
“Who was sleeping with a boy, under my own roof!”
“Why didn’t you kill Hassan instead?” It sounded like a cruel thing to say but it made sense. A lot more people would be alive.
“He was a boy, stupid. My wife should have known better. But when he started killing those girls I wished I had killed him. ”
“I protected him the best I could. Implicated other people, let him off the hook, I believed I owed him that much.”
“Senator Bello? Senator Dafe?”
“The assasin too, collateral damage.”
“You were going to let Hameed go away for the murders.” Adam was livid. He could not imagine doing that to his child. The child he was never going to see.
“I have to go before anyone notices I’ve been gone for too long.” The general said.
“You are a soldier General.” He could not think of any other thing to say. “You can’t do this.”
“What do you suggest I do then? Let you go? Let the girl in the room go?”
He knew about Kate too.
“My wife is currently having a baby, please don’t do this.”
“I will take care of your wife and your child, I promise you. And you know I keep my promises.”
Adam could not stand the thought of this vile man coming close to his family. They would probably think him as a good Samaritan too.
He was not going down like this. He looked at the gun, it still hung loosely in the general’s hand. He could make a go for it. The general seemed to notice where his eyes were and he held the gun tighter.
He looked over the General’s shoulder. “Kate?”
The general turned to look back and Adam charged towards him. He heard a bang and he stopped. His ears rang and his head buzzed. He felt some wetness around his stomach and looked down, his shirt had gotten red; he was bleeding. He had been shot! He dropped to his knees and fell on his side.
He looked on as the general came closer to him.
“I’m sorry detective but you know I have to do this.”
Adam shut his eyes and for the second time that day, prayed. God keep Ese and my baby.
He waited for the shot and it came; not once but twice. The sound echoed through the room. Why had he heard the sound? Why wasn’t he dead? He opened his eyes, the General was not standing over him. He turned his neck slightly and there he was – his head was a bloody mess.
“Are you dead?”
Adam looked in the direction of the voice.
“So you’re not dead.” Nnamdi said with a grin.
“How did you find me?”
“I told you I was more powerful than you thought.”
Adam tried to stand, pain shot through his body. His head felt light, his sight blurred. Was he dying? He struggled to keep his eyes open but a dark mist enveloped him and with each second he sank deeper into the darkness. There was no point struggling, he closed his eyes and let go.
The nurse wheeled Adam into the room. His body was stiff and his eyes still blurred from time to time but he could no longer wait. He saw them first and for a few seconds he watched. Ese was feeding the baby completely oblivious to the man watching them.
The nurse pushed him to the foot of the bed before Ese looked up.
“Hey.” Adam said.
She saw the bandages wrapped around his stomach and gasped.
“I’m fine, very fine. Can I see the baby?”
She opened her mouth to say something then stopped. She moved closer to him and held the baby out. He looked at the baby and his eyes blurred. This time it was not because of his wound. He could not believe he would have missed this.
A phone rang close to the bed. Ese leaned over and answered the phone.
“It’s for you.” She said and handed the phone to Adam.
“Hello.” Adam said.
“Where are you? The IG is holding a press conference right now taking all the glory for the case. He didn’t even mention my name.”
Adam shook his head. “Nnamdi, let him take the credit. That’s what he’s paid to do.”
“It’s annoying, that’s all. How’s the baby?”
“The baby is beautiful.”
“Okay detective. So, we’ll meet for drinks on Saturday?”
Adam laughed. “You saved my life doesn’t make us pals.”
“See you on Saturday.”
Adam handed the phone back to Ese.
“How did your case go? Is it over now?” Ese asked.
“Yeah, it is. Bad guys are dead.”
“Saw on the news this morning that General Galadima died in his sleep. Coincidence?”
“In his sleep?” Adam laughed. Even in death General Galadima was still pulling his weight.
That wasn’t his problem anymore. He had a family to love.
“So is the baby a boy or a girl?” Adam asked.
Ese smiled. “Take a guess.”
NB: On February 1st, I will be starting a new series. And like the #30DaysOfNovember Series, I will not be writing it all alone.
The series is titled: #LettersOfTheHeart : Love Letters Worthy of Cupid’s Locker.
Be sure to check it out.