All posts by LordJosh


Treachery 4

Guilt is a terrible burden. It drives men to crazy heights and terrible depths. Men have killed innocent strangers because of it. Some have ended their own lives, transferring the guilt to their relatives who then carry it on till they also reach their breaking point. Guilt have driven men to dreamless sleep and dreadful daydreams. But for Luke, guilt eventually drove him to sleep.
After several hours of drinking and pacing in his living room, he had swallowed a few sleeping pills. They made him drowsy but couldn’t get him all the way. He was trying to run away from what he had done and what he was doing but sleep was not going to be his escape. Maybe it was better to wallow in the guilt, allow it devour him. He let himself go; broke down in tears, cursed himself and everything he had done in the past two weeks. Maybe it was the drugs eventually working or the exhaustion from the crying but in the end he fell asleep.
He tossed in his sleep, his legs flaying around on the cold, hard floor. Anybody watching him would think he was fighting something and maybe he was, but his enemies were not such as could be beaten with a few karate chops.
The screen of his phone came on followed by Tu Pac’s voice declaring with rhythmic fervor “I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself, is life worth living, should I blast myself…”
Luke did not wake up to hear his phone ring, or to answer the question Tu Pac was asking but he would soon have to answer both; the call and the question.
The phone rang again, and Luke stirred for a few seconds and stopped. He lay still till the phone stopped ringing. His eyes opened, slightly, but his mind could not comprehend anything he saw. He opened the eyes wider and sunrays streaming through the window hit his cornea. He snapped his eyes shut and for the first time noticed the banging noise on the right side of his temple. He moved his right hand and placed it on his temple. Actions had consequences, hangovers were proof of that. He pulled himself to a sitting position and leaned against a sofa.
Why on earth did he feel so terrible?
His phone rang again and he had the answer to that question. Engineer Lawal was calling. He remembered the arrest warrant. He remembered Doctor Jordan and Elizabeth. He remembered the document he’d signed. The clock on his phone said it was seven minutes after twelve. If Engineer Lawal was right, the arrest warrant would have been issued already. And if Elizabeth was right, Doctor Jordan would be out of the country already. He could not wait on the ‘if’s though. He picked up the phone and hit the answer button.
“Hello?” He said, his voice barely audible.
“Where the hell are you?”
“I’m…” It looked like he was in his living room. “I’m in…”
“Is your TV on?” Engineer Lawal asked.
He removed his right hand from his temple and reached for the TV remote. His head felt like it would come apart. He clicked the power button and the TV came on. There was nothing on. He’d not paid his subscription in four months.
“Hello?” Engineer Lawal called.
“Sorry, my sub has expired.”
“Okay, I guess I’ll just tell you then.”
“Tell me what?”
“Doctor Jordan was arrested this morning at the airport and has been brought in for questioning by the DSS.”
“What!” Luke jumped to his feet. His eyes swirled and two seconds later he was back on the floor.
“It is what it is Luke. We are working on it but we need you to stay away from the case, okay? Don’t do anything stupid, we are sorting everything.”
“You said this was not going to happen.”
“You just be calm, okay?”
“Be calm? You said they couldn’t arrest him.” Luke screamed, trying his best to be louder than the banging in his head.
“You said he would not be in the country.” Engineer Lawal retorted.
“You made me sign that thing…”
“Shut up Luke. We are sorting everything as I speak to you.” Engineer Lawal said. “And nobody made you sign anything, you made the choice.”
“What am I supposed to do now?”
“Sit tight and don’t talk to anybody. You understand?”
“Does he need a lawyer?” Luke asked and quickly added. “Do I need a lawyer?”
“We are taking care of it, sit tight.”
“And remember, don’t talk to anybody.”
The call ended and Luke dropped the phone on the floor. This was exactly what he feared, no, what he knew would happen. How could he have been so stupid to sign that document? He’d hoped they could sort the whole arrest out without Doctor Jordan even knowing about his part in it but there was no way that was happening now. What were they doing to his poor boss now? Were they torturing him? Were they threatening his business and his family?
He had to talk to her. He was sure Doctor Jordan already knew he was the cause of the arrest and Elizabeth probably knew too. He had to talk to her.
He picked up his phone from the floor and noticed the ‘missed calls’ for the first time. He had thirteen of them. Nine of them from Elizabeth. He hit the redial button and put the phone on speaker. It started to ring. He was not sure what he would do or say but he had to talk to her.
“Luke, I’ve been calling you all day.” Elizabeth’s loud voice filtered through the speakers.
“I’m sorry.” Luke said. “Where are you?”
“Where do you think? In the police station and I’m not even sure my father is here.”
“You’re not…?”
“Why are you not here?”
“I’m sorry, Engineer… I mean, I just heard about the arrest.”
“You just heard? Have you been asleep all day?”
He could not answer that question. “What happened? I thought you said you were traveling this morning.”
“Our flight was delayed.”
“Oh, no.”
“They are calling my father a terrorist Luke.” Her voice broke and she started to sob. “They said he was a sponsor for terrorists. You know my father will never do that.”
“I know Elizabeth, I know.” Tears welled in his eyes, what had he done? “Don’t worry Elizabeth, your dad will be fine. There are people working on his release.”
“People? What people?”
“Just trust me, okay? He will be fine.”
“Luke, they are not even allowing him see his lawyer.”
Luke sighed. He could not tell her about Engineer Lawal or what he was doing to help her dad.
“Elizabeth, I promise you, your Dad is not alone. I’m doing something about this already.”
“Thank you Luke.” She said. “My Dad needs you now more than ever.”
“I will not disappoint him.” Luke said.
It was already too late to fulfil that promise but she needed to hear the words.
“When are you going to get here?”
“Within the hour.”
“I’ll see you then.”
She ended the call and Luke buried his face in his palms and screamed. He lifted up his head, stood and stumbled towards the bathroom. There was a time to beat himself with guilt but that time was not now. Doctor Jordan and his daughter needed help and he was going to the one man who could help them; Engineer Lawal.
Luke held the car steering wheel with one hand and held the phone to his ear with the other.
“The number you have dialed is switched off.” The machine said for the umpteenth time that afternoon.
Luke looked at the phone, he was dialing the right number; Engineer Lawal’s. Was the engineer in a meeting trying to sort Doctor Jordan’s arrest? This was the first time his phone was switched off. He’d told him once he never switched it off, not even at night. He had business partners in different time zones and he needed to be reachable at every minute. Why was it off now?
Luke pushed his turn signal and made a right turn, he was going to the restaurant where he’d met with Engineer Lawal severally. He might meet someone there who could tell him what was going on.
What if he didn’t meet anyone? What if he was not able to reach Engineer Lawal on time? What if he was never able to reach Engineer Lawal again? He shook the thoughts off his mind. He had to focus now, Doctor Jordan needed him to. Elizabeth needed him to.
He didn’t need to worry, it would seem. As he approached the restaurant, he saw Engineer Lawal go into the place with a couple of older men. He sped up to the building and parked as fast as he could. He ran to the door and stepped in. The restaurant was in full operation. There were customers sitting around but Engineer Lawal was not in the restaurant. He walked to the counter and saw the lady he’d seen in dungarees the other night sitting close to the cashier.
“Hello.” Luke said to her.
She looked at him, her face blank.
“I’m here to see Engineer Lawal.” He said.
“He’s not in.” She said, her face still showing no emotion.
Luke smiled. “I understand why you might say that but I’m one of his business partners. I was here the other night, you took me in to see him.”
If she remembered that night, her face did not show it.
“It’s urgent please, I’d like to see him now.” Luke said.
“He’s not here.” She said and this time her face showed a reaction; annoyance.
“I just saw him walk in.” Luke said, he was getting pretty annoyed himself.
The dungarees lady stood. “I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
“Leave? Are you serious?”
“Please leave now.” She said.
Luke turned around and faced the door. What on earth was happening here? Was this girl just being a problem or was she under instruction not to let anybody see Engineer Lawal? Or maybe Engineer Lawal did not want to see him specifically. Well, there was only one way to find out.
Luke eyed the door he’d gone in through that night, it was slightly open. He turned around and ran for the door. He crashed into the door and was behind it before the dungarees lady could get after him. He ran through the short corridor and burst out into the kitchen. He got to the end of the kitchen and turned the handle of the door that led into the room where he’d met with Engineer Lawal. The handle turned but the door did not open. On the other end of the room, the dungarees girl was approaching. Luke did not like the look on her face, she looked like someone who could kill.
He had to get in somehow. He knocked on the door and then he banged on it.
“Engineer Lawal.” He shouted. “I know you are in there.”
“Step away from that door.” The dungarees girl said. “Now.”
Luke stayed as close to the door as he could and banged on it with both hands.
“I said step away.”
Luke turned around and faced her. “I just want to talk to him.”
“You are not going to, not today.”
“But he’s in there, isn’t he?”
“Step away from the door.” She said and walked closer to him.
He was not sure what she was going to do but the least he could expect was fisticuffs. He was getting into the room whether she liked it or not.
“For the last time, step away from…”
He stopped her mid-sentence with a punch. It landed well, almost as well as any punch he’d ever thrown. It wasn’t good enough because now, her formally blank face looked hot with anger. She balled up her fist and he got tensed in his body, ready to receive a punch.
He heard a click behind him and the door opened. He turned around and Engineer Lawal stood in front of him.
“Thank you Sade.” Engineer Lawal said.
Luke entered the room and Engineer Lawal closed the door behind him. He was torn between gratitude for not having to feel the wrath of the girl and anger over how he had been treated.
“What are you doing here Luke?” Engineer Lawal asked.
“I could ask you the same thing.” Luke said.
“Weren’t you supposed to sit tight?”
“You are supposed to be helping Doctor Jordan get out of jail, instead you are…” Luke looked around. The two men he had seen earlier were sitting with two bottles of wine and half empty glasses in front of them. “You look like you’re celebrating something.”
“Yes, we are Luke.” Engineer Lawal said and returned to his seat.
“I don’t understand.”
“Get a glass Luke, you should share in this celebration.” Engineer Lawal said.
Luke’s heart started racing. He was confused about what was going on here but it did not look like anything good.
“What is going on?”
“You helped us achieve a goal we have been trying to achieve for years Luke. You are our hero.”
Luke shook his head. “Congratulations on achieving your goal but I’m here to talk about Doctor Jordan. What are you doing to get him out?”
“Nothing, Luke.” Engineer Lawal said. “Absolutely nothing.”
“What?” Luke said, his throat was getting dry and he was finding it hard to swallow.
“Why would I want Doctor Jordan out of jail when I was the one who put him there?”
Luke suddenly felt faint, staggered backwards and reached for a place he could lean on.
Engineer Lawal stood and moved closer to Luke.
“Your boss, Doctor Jordan, will not be getting out of jail today. In fact, he will not be getting out of jail at all. Thanks to you.” He lifted his glass to Luke. “Cheers.”


Treachery 3

Luke sat at the bar, eyes fixated on his untouched cup. Two weeks after he ran out of the Eden building he was still laden with guilt. Everything was going on well with Law Engineering, more than just well; things were booming. Engineer Lawal was not joking when he said they need somebody young and mobile. He’d already been to six cities in three different African countries in two weeks and he was scheduled to meet Engineer Lawal the next day. Those meeting usually led to another trip. He was enjoying his work. Mostly. He’d had to poach some of the staff at Eden to start his own company, that part he didn’t enjoy. He was yet to see or talk to his former boss and he hadn’t even officially resigned. The most painful thing though was losing Elizabeth before he even had her.
Luke picked the cup and took a sip of whatever the bartender had poured in there. Up until two weeks ago, he had never taken alcohol but it was fast becoming a habit now. People said alcohol helped you forget your troubles. He didn’t forget his, but at least they numbed his guilt for a while. Maybe he didn’t deserve to have his guilt numbed.
He waved over the bartender and stood. He dropped a few notes on the bar for her and walked out the building. It was dark now and there were no stars in the sky. It looked like it was going to rain but nobody seemed to care. Cars drove past him, blaring their horns at nothing in particular. Women sat under makeshift tents hawking their wares. Tired pedestrians walked past them without as much as a glance. Luke looked at them with envy, they had no problems. At least not the type that he had.
He entered his car and started the engine. He closed his eyes and tried to picture what his life would be if he could control it. He imagined L.B. Consulting’s grand opening; Doctor Jordan and Elizabeth on either side of him. He imagined traveling to six cities in two weeks with Elizabeth by his side. He imagined Doctor Jordan calling to congratulate him on closing the deal with Law Engineering.
He opened his eyes and punched the steering wheel. He was trying his best to get away from Doctor Jordan, how come his mind wouldn’t let him?
He shifted the gear into drive and turned into the road. And then everything happened in a blur. He heard a loud horn beside him followed by a crash. The car swerved away from his control and he slammed the brake.
What just happened?
His heart was racing and his eyes were blurry. He opened the door of the car and stepped out. A crowd was starting to gather. He looked around and saw a Benz GLK350 not too far from his car. He looked back at his own car and it had a huge dent. Anger surged through him. Whoever was in the Benz had run into him. Today was the wrong time to mess with him. He walked towards the Benz. The driver was still inside, he wasn’t even going to come down to apologize? Luke walked around the car to the driver’s side. He knocked on the window, whoever this fool was, he was going to let him have it tonight.
The window rolled down slowly and he tensed, ready for whoever was behind the wheels. The windows came down and he frowned.
She turned and looked at him. “Luke? Oh my God.”
Luke looked around, the crowd on the scene was becoming larger. It was only a matter of time before a policeman arrived to try and take advantage of the situation.
“Can you still drive?” Luke asked, she nodded. “Good, we have to leave this place now.”
“Drive ahead, when you get to the next street, turn right. There is a restaurant just after that turn, park in front of it. I’ll join you now.”
“Okay.” She said.
Luke stood and watched her drive away. He turned around and headed for his car. Was this a coincidence? He smiled, there was no way this was a coincidence. He’d literally run into her on the night when he was feeling the lowest, that was no coincidence.
He got to his car and entered. He turned the ignition, and the engine started, spluttered and stopped. He turned the ignition again, this time it did not start at all. He looked up, Elizabeth was already out of sight. He stepped out of the car and looked at it, what was he supposed to do? He was not an engineer; he could not fix the car. Even if he could he did not have the time.
“Mister Man?”
He turned around and saw a policeman approaching him. He didn’t have time for this.
“Is this your car?” The policeman asked.
Luke looked at the car, it wasn’t his favourite anyway. And he probably would get it back.
“No, it’s not.” Luke said and walked away from the policeman.
He waved down a commercial motorcyclist and was away from the accident scene before the policeman could ask any other question.
He stopped in front of the restaurant he had described to Elizabeth and she was there, sitting in her car. He knocked on her window and she stepped out of the car. She was still a little shaken.
“I’m so sorry for… “Luke said. “I don’t even know what happened back there.”
“You turned into the road without looking.” Elizabeth said, her voice a little too cold.
“I’m so sorry, I was having a bad day.”
She looked up at him with concern. “A bad day? I thought your business was doing very well.”
“Yes, it is.” Luke said.
“And that is why you haven’t called all this time?”
Luke was confused. She still wanted him to call her? He’d imagined whatever her father had told her about what he did would have driven out any kind of feelings she had for him.
“Can we go inside the restaurant, please?”
“I don’t have long.” She said, looking at her watch. “I’m traveling with my dad tomorrow morning, I haven’t packed yet.”
“I won’t waste your time.” Luke said.
They entered the restaurant and sat. They ordered just drinks, to the disappointment of the waiter.
“I’m sorry I didn’t call you.” Luke said.
“That’s all you have to say? No explanations?”
“No explanations because they’ll just be excuses.” Luke said she didn’t look like she was buying that. “I’ve wanted to call, believe me, I’ve wanted to. It was part of why I was having a bad day.”
“So why didn’t you?”
“It’s complicated.” He could not believe she did not know all he had done.
“Are you going to ask how Eden is doing?”
“I know Eden as always been and will always be fine.”
They sat in silence for a couple of minutes, looking out through the window. Luke did not mind the silence, it suited him. Any word he said could potentially ruin the moment so he just let her be. It had started to drizzle outside and people were hurrying past their window. He watched them; a large soup of humanity, stirred up and down by huge spoons of desire. He hated being in that big pot with everyone else, he hated being turned up and down by those spoons but he’d made a vow to himself a long time ago; his desires would not go unaccomplished.
“I think it’s time to go.” Elizabeth said.
She was one of the biggest things he desired at the moment, he was not letting her go.
“When will you come back from your trip?”
“In a week.”
“Will you answer if I call?” Luke asked, with a sly smile.
“Will you call?”
Luke nodded, of course he would. But there was still the issue of his running away from her father.
“Do me a favour please,” Luke said. “Don’t tell your dad you saw me tonight.”
“Okay.” She said.
That was surprising. He’d expected her to protest or at least ask why.
He walked her to the car and watched her drive away. There was no guarantee that he would see her again but whatever had made him run into her tonight would make it happen again.
His phone vibrated in his pocket and he brought it out. It was a text from Engineer Lawal.
Meet me now. Usual place.
Luke entered the restaurant and almost stepped out to check if he had the right place. The place was full, it was transacting business as usual. He looked at the spot where he usually sat with Engineer Lawal, it was occupied by a couple. They looked like teenagers, but the girl had a ring on her fourth finger so maybe they were not as young as he thought.
Where was Engineer Lawal?
He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around.
“Come with me sir.” A young lady in dungarees said.
He wanted to ask who she was but what was the point? He followed her through a door with a tag; ‘Staff Only’. They went through a short corridor into the kitchen. The chef and his staff went on with their work like they didn’t see him. He suddenly felt like he was in an Italian mafia movie and he was about to go meet the caporegime in an underground gambling house. They went out of the kitchen into a room and there Engineer Lawal was. It was a well-furnished room. It looked like a normal office except the furniture looked really old.
“Thank you Sade.” Engineer Lawal said and the Dungarees lady left the room.
“Running out of money Engineer?” Luke said as he walked towards the table where the man was seated.
“You didn’t buy the restaurant off tonight.”
“Nah, this meeting was too impromptu and the restaurant was having a very good night, I didn’t want to disturb them.”
“If you say so.”
“You don’t like this place?”
Luke pulled a chair and sat opposite Engineer Lawal. “It’s nice.”
Engineer Lawal drew closer to him and looked at his face.
Luke leaned back. “What?”
“You look happy.” He said.
“That’s because I’m happy.”
“Why are you happy?”
“Why am I happy? I’m always happy.”
“No, you’re not always happy.” Engineer Lawal said. “Come on, tell me why.”
“If you must know, I just talked to a girl I really like.”
Engineer Lawal drew away from him very sharply. “You talked to Elizabeth?”
“How on earth do you know that?”
“Okay, look, it’s none of my business what you do with your private life as long as it doesn’t affect our business.”
“How will it affect our business? It will not affect our business.”
“Okay then.”
Luke did not like what had just happened. Why did Engineer Lawal know about Elizabeth and why did he sound so disappointed when he found out he talked with her? It wasn’t his business.
“Why am I here anyway?” Luke asked.
“We have a problem.” Engineer Lawal said.
“A problem?”
“We have connections with the DSS and we heard a warrant will be issued for your arrest tomorrow.”
Luke sat up. “What? I don’t understand. My arrest?”
“I was as confused as you when I heard but let me explain.”
“Please do.” He could not believe what he was hearing.
“Remember all those trips you made in the last two weeks, they were all to countries where terrorists are known to have strongholds.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“They think you are one of their sponsors.”
Luke jumped to his feet. “What?”
“Calm down Luke, okay? You will only be proving them right by acting haphazardly.”
“Calm down? You want me to calm down? You just said the DSS thinks I’m a terrorist.”
“No, not a terrorist, a sponsor of terrorists.”
Luke at the Engineer like he would strangle the man.
“Sit down please.” Luke sat. “Apparently, one of our weapons fell into the wrong hands and since your signature was all over the deal, you can imagine why they made this mistake.”
“You made the weapons, why aren’t you the one they want to arrest?”
“Frankly, I don’t know Luke.”
“So, what now? What am I supposed to do? I have to clear my name.”
“Clear your name? You can’t do that between now and tomorrow when the arrest happens. The only thing you can do is leave the country as early as you can tomorrow morning.”
“You want me to run?”
“I want you to live.” Engineer Lawal said. “You never know what the DSS are capable of. You could be dead before your name can be cleared.”
Luke bowed his head and held it with both hands. “I didn’t bargain for this.”
“This would never have happened to Doctor Jordan. He is way too experienced and connected to be arrested like this.”
Luke grinded his teeth. “Why didn’t you work with him then?”
“Wait a minute, there’s something we can do.” Engineer Lawal said.
Luke lifted his head. “What is it?”
Engineer Lawal shook his head. “No, I don’t think you have the balls to do something like that.”
“I’m desperate here, what is it?”
“Okay, I’ll say it. Remember I’m just trying to help you though.”
“Say it already.”
“Remember how I said your boss can never be arrested for something like this?”
Luke nodded. “Yeah?”
“Did you ever officially resign?”
Luke shook his head slowly. “No.”
Engineer Lawal paused. “Are you sure you want me to say this?”
“Engineer.” Luke said with a stern face.
“How about you sign an affidavit saying you signed all those documents on behalf of Doctor Jordan?”
Luke gasped. “What?”
“Think about it. He cannot be arrested, at least not yet and that will give us the time to sort all our issues with the DSS.”
“You want me to implicate my boss?”
“I want you to live.” Engineer Lawal shouted. “Don’t be a fool. You will be safe, your boss will be safe and we will clear all these nonsense before anybody gets hurt.”
Luke wanted to cry but that would not solve his problem at the moment. He wished he’d not taken Engineer Lawal’s call that day at Eden. He wished he had walked out of the office like he planned to. How could he implicate his boss in his own foolishness? But what if Engineer Lawal was right and this could not touch Doctor Jordan?
“What are you going to do?”
“Can I think about it?” Luke asked.
“You realize I said tomorrow morning, right?”
“Elizabeth mentioned that she and Doctor Jordan were traveling out of the country tomorrow morning.”
Engineer Lawal clapped his hands. “Great. He won’t even be in the country when the warrant is issued. By the time he gets back, we will have sorted everything. He might never even know what happened.”
Luke shook his head, what was he doing? This was crazy and it was all happening too fast. One minute he was having a good time with Elizabeth, the next he was about to sign her father’s arrest warrant.
“Luke, what are you going to do? I have to leave now.”
“Leave?” Luke asked. “Go where?”
“I have things to do Luke. I have explained the situation to you. What are you going to do?”
Luke sighed and asked. “The affidavit, how am I going to do that?”
“Are you going to sign it?”
“I don’t have a choice.”
Engineer brought out a bag Luke had not noticed from under the table. He opened the bag and brought out a form. He handed the form to Luke.
“Here, sign this.”
“You have the form already?”
“How do you think I got this successful? I can predict how people will behave. I knew you would turn on your boss and I had one of my people draft the document.”
He knew he would turn? Was he that kind of person now? Judas? A betrayer?
“Sign this already.” Engineer Lawal said. “I really need to get going.”
Luke collected the pen Engineer Lawal was handing him and signed the document.
“Thank you Luke.” Engineer Lawal said as he collected the document.
“What am I supposed to do now?”
“Go home and sleep. Everything is going to be alright.”
Luke did not sleep that night, he knew everything was not going to be alright.


Treachery 2

Treachery EPISODE 2
Luke stood there waiting for Doctor Jordan to reach their table. He could barely feel his legs, and his palms were starting to get wet. He’d never been good with lies, his boss would figure this out in a minute. He turned his attention to Elizabeth, she was smiling; she had no idea what he had done. Maybe he could still back out of this deal with Engineer Lawal. Was it worth all this tension?
Doctor Jordan arrived at their table and he smiled.
“Luke, my son.” Doctor Jordan said and stretched his right hand out.
“Sir.” That was the only word he could manage as he shook the hand. There was no way he could look this man in the face or say more than a word without betraying his betrayal.
“Can we sit, please?” Elizabeth said.
“Sure.” Luke said, forcing a smile.
They sat, Luke opposite the father and daughter. Maybe if he kept his eyes on Elizabeth throughout the night, he could focus on her beauty and not the ugliness of his own behavior.
“Betty said you wanted to give her a rundown of what has been going on in the company.” Doctor Jordan said.
Luke nodded and said a strained. “Yes.”
“That’s a good idea.” Doctor Jordan said. “But I hope you’re not trying to teach her so you can run away.”
Luke cleared his throat. “What? No, I was just…”
Doctor Jordan burst into laughter and Elizabeth joined him. Luke watched them for a couple of seconds before his nerves were calm enough to let out a few laughs.
“You need to have seen your face Luke.” Elizabeth said. “You looked like you were caught with your hand in the pot.”
“I’m sure you will never catch Luke with his hand in the pot, just as I’m sure he’s not leaving us. Not now.”
Luke grinned, revealing too much teeth.
“Right? Luke?” Doctor Jordan said.
“You’re not leaving us now.”
“Of course not.” Luke said and swallowed.
There was no way he could survive five more minutes of this. He was dying inside and the death was soon going to become very evident outside. He needed to escape this dinner, cut his losses and go stop the deal with Engineer Lawal.
“I’ve never been here.” Elizabeth said. “What’s their specialty?”
“You are about to order food?” Doctor Jordan asked. “I think it’s time to leave then. I’m done eating today.”
Luke sighed. Finally.
“I’m so sorry to see you leave.” Luke said.
“I’m sure you don’t mean that.” Doctor Jordan said.
“Of course, of course sir, of course I mean it.” Luke said, his face more squeezed than an orange in a juicer.
“I’ll let you kids talk.” Doctor Jordan said. “She must be home before midnight.”
“Of course sir.” Luke said.
“That was a joke Luke. What? Is she Cinderella?”
“Of course sir.”
“Are you okay Luke? You’ve been saying a lot of ‘of course’ tonight.” Doctor Jordan said with a frown.
“Of course I’m okay sir.” Luke said. Oh crap, he’d said it again.
Doctor Jordan and Elizabeth looked at him, a little more closely and seriously than was good for his nerves at the moment.
“That was a joke sir.” Luke said and let out a nervous giggle.
“Of course it was.” Elizabeth said. “See? I did it too.”
Everybody laughed.
“Good night Daddy.”
“Good night sir.”
Doctor Jordan walked out of the restaurant. Luke leaned back in his chair and sighed.
“Is it me, or are you relieved he’s gone?” Elizabeth asked.
Luke paused, smiled, he could be himself again. For now. “No, I love your Dad. Why will I be relieved he’s gone?”
“Honestly, I am relieved he’s gone.” She said.
“Really? Why?”
“Nobody wants their dad going on a date with them.”
Luke smiled. “So, this is a date?”
“I’m not stupid, Mister Bassey.” She said. “We could have used the office if all you wanted to talk about was my father’s company.”
Luke put his hands up. “You got me. Apparently, I’m not as subtle as I thought. I had no idea your dad was going to show up as well?”
“Was that why you were all nervous and shaky?”
“I wasn’t.”
“Sure you were. I was afraid you were going to pee on yourself.” She said and laughed.
This was not good. If she had noticed, Doctor Jordan definitely would have noticed too.
“Well, asking your boss’ daughter on a date isn’t a very smart move.” Luke said.
She nodded. “Usually it is a terrible move. But not in this case.”
Luke sat up. “Really?”
“I wasn’t going to tell you this, but my dad has tried to set us up so many times.”
“Oh wow, that’s good then.”
“So Luke, tell me about you. The things my dad hasn’t already told me, I mean.”
He wanted to say ‘I am a traitor who just betrayed your father.’ But instead he asked;
“What do you want to know?”
Luke sat at the head of the table watching the projector screen with disinterest. One manager after the other, stood before the group to discuss their progress. Days like this always pushed him to the edge. The few times he’d considered resigning were after these horrendous and boring meetings. He considered canceling them when he became the boss but he couldn’t, they were necessary. His days of sitting through them were probably over though. Somehow he couldn’t feel happy about that.
“We have a little problem.” Lekan Abisoye, one of the managers said as he rounded off his presentation.
“I’ve told you before Lekan, I don’t want to hear all your little problems, solve them yourself.” Luke said.
“Actually, it’s not a little problem.”
“No? What’s going on?”
“We have a problem with Law Engineering.”
Luke swallowed and leaned back in his chair. “What is the problem?”
“They are dropping us.”
“They are?” Luke asked.
“According to their CTO who talked to me, they are moving on to another company. Some new consulting firm called L.B. Consulting.”
Holy Molly, the dumb CTO had given them a name? It was only a matter of time before everyone realized L.B. was Luke Bassey.
“Did he give you a reason?” Luke asked.
“No, he didn’t.” Lekan Abisoye said. “But this is not good sir. We have to deliver this news to the Chairman as soon as possible.”
Luke shook his head. “Nobody tells the Chairman about this. I will deal with it myself.”
“Sir, only the chairman deals with Law Engineering. Most of us don’t even know what they do.”
“Are you my boss now, Lekan?”
“No sir. I just think…”
“Will you leave this to me then?”
“Okay sir.”
“Nobody tells the Chairman about this until I say so. Is that clear?”
“Yes sir.” The puzzled manager said. “Finally…”
Luke stood, that was about as much as he could take. “We’ll finish this later.”
He walked out of the conference room and headed for his office. His phone vibrated in his pocket. He removed it and checked, he didn’t recognize the number.
“Hello?” He said.
“Mister Luke.” The voice on the phone said.
“Engineer Lawal?”
“You already recognize my voice, I always like that in people I work with.”
“Good morning.”
“I need to see you now.”
“Right now?” Luke asked. “I’m kind of in the middle of an important morning.”
“This can’t wait. Meet me in the same restaurant in twenty minutes.”
“That’s not…”
The call ended. Luke looked at his phone and shook his head. If he wanted to be in the restaurant in twenty minutes, he had to leave now. He walked into his office, picked his car keys and his jacket and hurried out of the building.
He was about entering his car when his phone rang again. It wasn’t even five minutes yet, why was the Engineer calling back? He looked at his phone, it wasn’t the Engineer; it was Doctor Jordan. Luke stared at the phone; why was he calling? Did somebody tell him about the Law Engineering problem? That Abisoye fool. He could not take this call. He was not in a proper mental state to answer the Chairman’s questions. He would call him later.
He started the engine of the car and drove out of the Eden compound. He was just pulling out into the road when his phone rang and it was his boss again. He clicked the ‘silent’ button and continued on the road. This was crazy. He loved and adored this man for the seven years he had spent working for him, he could not believe he was now hiding from the same man.
Fifteen minutes later, he pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot. He looked at his phone, it was still just the two missed calls from his boss. He would figure this out later.
He entered the restaurant and like the last time, it was empty but Engineer Lawal was waiting this time around. Luke walked to his table.
“Are you going to buy off this restaurant every time we meet?” Luke asked as he shook the Engineer’s hand.
Engineer Lawal looked around. “It’s getting boring, right? Maybe next time I’ll buy off a hotel.”
Luke sat. “So what was so urgent you had to pull me during working hours?”
“You work for L.B. Consulting now, and L.B. Consulting works for Law Engineering, have you forgotten that?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Alright, very good. I need your account details, we want to make our first deposit today so we can get this show on the road.”
“Oh, wow. I wasn’t expecting any payment today. I’m yet to set up my corporate account.”
“I have a guy who can do that for you in less than thirty minutes.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
“Alright Mister Luke, it’s time you know what we do.”
Luke felt a huge weight lodge in his chest. He had a bad feeling about this. It was probably just nerves though. Who wouldn’t be nervous on their first major job?
“At Law Engineering, we do a lot of manufacturing but the place where the real money is in weapons manufacturing.”
Luke shifted in his seat. “Weapons? You mean like… real weapons?”
“Yes Mister Luke, real weapons.”
He knew this was going to be something terrible. He was been dragged into an arms deal? He couldn’t do this. But then arms dealers weren’t likely to just allow walk away. Why would Doctor Jordan be involved with arms dealers though?
“Doctor Jordan knew this was your business?”
“Of course he knew.’ Engineer Luke said. “I know what you must be thinking but we don’t do anything illegal. We deal with the government only. The federal government is our biggest sponsors actually.”
Luke sighed. Okay, this wasn’t an illegal arms deal with terrorist groups or drug dealers.
“If Doctor Jordan has been working with you since and working well, why would want to leave now?”
“That’s a good question Mister Luke. You see, it’s time for our business to expand outside of Nigeria. We have gotten links with the government of Cameroun and they are ready to deal with us. We want to work with a young, active and non-bureaucratic firm. Is that you Mister Luke?”
“Of course it is.”
“Great, I believed you were.” Engineer Lawal said. “It’s time to discuss numbers now. How much are you charging us?”
Before he could open his mouth, Luke’s phone rang. He looked at the phone, it was Doctor Jordan. He would talk to him later, he was about to get on the ride that would take him into his future quicker than he expected. He would deal with his past later.

Luke entered the Eden building walking midair. At least that was how he felt. He’d just made his first million dollars. The money was not all his, but still he had just closed a very huge business. Everything looked too good to be true but he was not going to worry about that just yet.
He still had to call his boss.
That thought brought him crashing to the floor. This was not going to be easy but there was no going back now.
“Hey boss.” A feminine voice called behind him.
He turned around and stopped; it was Elizabeth.
“Elizabeth?” He was happy to see her but nervous at the same time.
“I didn’t know you were going to be out. My dad said you spent twenty two hours every day in the office.”
Luke chuckled. “Looks like your dad was trying too hard to sell you on me.”
“He was. That was not a good point to add for his pitch though but he didn’t know that apparently.”
“So, Miss Elizabeth Jordan, what can I do for you today?”
“I was here to continue my education.”
“Oh really?”
“I was thinking maybe today, you can tell me what a big CEO like you does during his lunch hour.”
“How about I just show you?”
“That will be awesome.” She said.
Luke smiled. His boss’ calls aside, today was turning out to be very good.
“Wait here, let me drop my jacket in my office and grab my wallet and I’ll be right back.”
Luke had just entered his secretary’s door when he looked through the glass walls and saw a figure seated in his office.
“Welcome back sir.” The secretary said.
“Who’s that? In my office, who’s that?”
“It’s the chairman, he’s been waiting for a couple of hours.”
That was not very good, not very good at all.


Treachery Episode 1

November was usually the toughest month of the year at Eden Consults. There were accounts to be balanced, reports to be written and rewritten, contracts to be renewed and several other things that kept everyone in the office till midnight. Luke Bassey hated November as much as every other person in Eden, but he could not complain very much. His boss, Doctor Ima Jordan had retired a year ago and for the first time Luke was in charge of Nutty November.
Luke rolled his sleeves and put the AC back on. He was not having a particularly good day. He had a mild cough which got aggravated when the AC was on but he also couldn’t stand the heat when it was off. It was just a few minutes after eleven, he was not going anywhere soon. Maybe he should take a break, walk around the office a little.
He stood and headed for the door. He was almost at the door when his desk phone rang. He wanted to scream and punch the wall but that was unbecoming of a Director. He sighed and walked back to his desk.
“Hello?” He said into the phone.
“Good morning Mister Luke.” The voice over the phone said. “This is Engineer Lawal.”
“Oh, very nice to hear from you Engineer.” He said, but it was a lie.
This was going to be a very long and boring call. Engineer Lawal was the only client he was not directly in charge of; his boss still handled majority of the business with Engineer Lawal. Luke moved his notepad closer and picked up a pen and leaned back in his chair, hoping not to fall asleep.
Engineer Lawal was just about to begin the discussion when a knock sounded on his door.
“Excuse me for a moment please.” Luke said into the phone and looked up. “Who is there?”
The door opened and his secretary walked in.
“You have a visitor sir.”
“Who is it?” Luke asked then quickly added. “Don’t answer that. Tell whoever it is to wait, I’m busy right now.”
“Okay sir.” She said and left the room.
“Engineer, I’m so sorry.”
“That’s fine.”
“I’m assuming this is about the contract we sent over, right?”
“Yes, it is.” Engineer Lawal said.
Luke shifted in his chair, braced for the tirade of complaints that was about to come.
“What part of the contract do you have a problem with?”
“Do you know exactly what we do at Law Engineering?”
Luke frowned, that was not what he was expecting. “I think your name gives it away, you’re an engineering firm.”
Engineer Lawal chuckled. “Of course, but do you know what kind of engineering services we provide?”
“No, not really.” Luke said.
“Would you like to know?”
What was going on? Why was he asking these questions? Where was this conversation going?
“Okay?” Luke said.
“You’re not sure you want to know?”
Luke paused, did he want to know? “If my boss wanted me to know I’m sure he would have told me.”
“So do I hang up?”
“No, of course not. I assumed you also wanted to talk about the contract.”
“Leave the contract for now.” Engineer Lawal said. “You really don’t want to know about my company and how you can help us?”
“I want to know that for sure. You know at Eden we always do our very best to help our clients.”
“I’m not asking Eden for help, I’m asking Luke Bassey.”
“Yes Mister Luke.” Pause. “And you will make a lot of money from helping us.”
“I have to say, I’m a little confused.”
“I don’t want to do this on the phone. Let’s meet later in the day, I’ll explain everything to you.”
“Alright sir.”
“I’ll call you later to fix a time.”
“That will be good. Thank you.”
Luke ended the call and frowned; what was that all about? He was not sure what the Engineer wanted but he had a feeling it wasn’t something so clean. It wasn’t something he should be getting mixed with. Especially as he was trying to do this behind his boss’ back. The right thing to do would be to call his boss and tell him what just happened. But maybe he should hear the man out first, find out what he wanted.
Luke stood, it was time to take that walk before he lost his mind.
He stepped out of this office into his secretary’s. She wasn’t on seat but there was a lady seated in front of her desk. He needed to talk to his secretary about having visitors during working hours. He turned his attention to the rest of the office. There were people everywhere bent over whatever November had dumped on them. He turned the corner away from his secretary’s office and almost bumped into her.
“I’m so sorry sir.” She said.
“Rose, I think we talked about bringing your friends to work.” Luke said.
“I’m so sorry sir. She did not even enter, I just went to give her something.”
“What? I’m talking about the lady in your office.”
“Oh, she’s not my friend. She’s here to see you.”
“That’s right, you mentioned I had a visitor. Who is she?”
“Elizabeth Jordan, the…”
“…boss’ daughter.”
Luke turned around and ran to his secretary’s office. He stopped at the door and cleared his throat.
“Hello.” He said.
She turned around and smiled.
“Oh, wow.” Luke said before he could stop himself.
She stood, walked up to him and stretched her hand. “I’m so sorry for coming in without warning.”
Luke shook the hand. “It’s no problem. I didn’t know you were back in the country.”
“I came in last week.”
He hadn’t seen her in five years and wow, she was beautiful. He couldn’t remember how she looked the last time he saw her, she wasn’t even on his radar.
“It’s great to see you again.” Luke said. “Can we go inside my office please?”
They walked past his secretary who gave him a funny smile. Luke looked at her, what was that for?
They entered his office and sat.
“So to what do I owe this surprise meeting?”
“My dad told me about all the good work you’ve been doing since he retired last year and I came to say thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Luke said.
Luke looked at her and she looked at him. For about ten seconds, they sat in silence. At first, it was nice, a beautiful moment passing between them but it soon became awkward.
“I think I should leave now.” Elizabeth said.
“So soon?”
“Well, there’s nothing more to do here.”
“Can I show you around the office, introduce you to some of the top managers here?”
“I will like that.”
The day was looking up, in fact November was suddenly looking good.
Luke entered the restaurant and looked around, the whole place was empty. He stepped outside, the sign on the door said it was open. He entered again and walked deeper into the room.
“Mister Bassey?”
Luke spun around and saw a lady in some sort of uniform standing behind him.
“Hello? I’m here to see…”
“Yes sir. He said you should sit.”
“Okay.” Luke said and sat. ”Is he here?”
“What will you like to have sir?” The waitress said. “We will make your order while you wait.”
“I’m fine.” Luke said. “Please just tell him I’m here.”
“Alright sir.”
The lady walked away. Luke wondered why the man was meeting him in an empty restaurant. Maybe it was like in the movies and he was about to discover the man owned the place. He leaned back in the seat and waited.
One hour later and he was ready to leave. Engineer Lawal had not shown his face and the waiter had not come back. He slid off his chair and started towards the door. He was somewhat relieved the man did not show up.
He was almost at the exit when he heard a door open behind him. He stopped and looked back and saw Engineer Lawal coming out with a smile on his face.
“Mister Luke, I am so sorry.” Engineer Lawal said.
“I’ve been here for…”
“I know, I’m so sorry.” Engineer Lawal said. “Please sit.”
“I have another meeting in one hour.” Luke said. And this meeting he was really looking forward to. He was meeting Elizabeth for dinner under the guise of updating her on what was happening at the company.
“We won’t be long.” Luke sat. “Are you sure you don’t want anything?”
“No, I’m fine.” Luke said. “So, you wanted to tell me about your business.”
“Yes, I want to tell you about my business. Unfortunately, I can’t.”
“What?” Luke said. “So why am I here?”
“I want to tell you but we need to discuss something else first.”
“See, you are really getting me confused now.”
“Forgive me. That was not my intention. Mister Luke, have you ever thought about starting your own company?”
“Yes, of course I have.”
“Why haven’t you?”
“The time has not been right.”
“You know they say the best time is always now.”
“What do you want Engineer Lawal?”
“I started a new project last month and I was looking for a young likeminded consultant to bring on the project.”
“You’re firing Eden?”
“I want to hire you.”
“I work for Eden.”
Engineer Lawal smiled and held Luke’s gaze. Luke nodded as realization dawned on him.
“You want me to resign from Eden and take this as a solo project?”
“Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.”
He really wasn’t. He’d thought of starting his own company for years but Doctor Jordan always took some decision that seemed to tie him down for a few more years. He’d thought the previous year was the right time but then his boss had decided to retire. It looked like bad timing to leave the company at the same time so he’d stayed. Maybe this was the right time.
But not in the middle of Nutty November.
“What are you thinking?” Engineer Lawal asked.
“The timing is…”
“The time is now. I need to make this decision in the next twenty four hours and I don’t have a plan B. So if you’re going to say no, you need to say it now.”
“Then I’m sorry, I have to say…”
“It’s a five billion naira contract.”
Luke swallowed. “Five…”
“Billion naira. Spread over the next twenty four months but still, five billion naira.”
That was a lot of money. For a start up with little or no structure and experience, the odds of finding this kind of job was little or nothing. Eden as big as it was would not reject this kind of offer. This was so right, this was what he’d been waiting for.
But not in the middle of Nutty November.
That was a major issue. It would come across as very disloyal to leave in the middle of the company’s most busy period.
“Can we start this deal in January, so I can hand over to somebody at Eden?”
“I’m so sorry Mister Luke, I’m already behind schedule and I need to get things going right now.”
“How soon do I need to make a decision?”
“Right now.”
Luke sighed. This was the opportunity of a life time. This could be a quantum leap for him if he had the guts to take it. But it would also mean betraying his boss and mentor.
Engineer Lawal spread his arms in front of Luke. “So what is it going to be?”
This restaurant had people in it because unlike Engineer Lawal, Elizabeth knew better than to buy off the restaurant for the whole day. Luke sat at the table he had reserved and hoped Elizabeth would not make him wait for one hour too. Or maybe it would be great if she didn’t show up at all.
He’d accepted the deal with Engineer Lawal and it was going to be difficult trying to get the daughter of the man he had just betrayed to like him.
He saw her enter the room and for a few seconds he forgot about his treachery. Maybe he could have his cake and eat it.
He stood as she came closer.
“I am so sorry for keeping you waiting.” She said.
“No, that’s okay.”
“He kept me waiting.”
Luke blinked. “What?”
“My dad, he insisted he wanted to join us.”
Luke looked up and saw Doctor Ima Jordan enter the restaurant. Judas was about to have his last supper with his master.


#RandomBae 30

My alarm rang and I woke up with a start. It was 5 am. I looked at my phone and wondered why it woke me up by 5 instead of 6:30. It wasn’t my regular alarm, this was a reminder; I had a flight to catch by 8am. I didn’t remember any such flights. Where was I going? And to do what? The ‘mail’ icon on my phone was blinking so I opened my mail. I’d gotten a mail from the Human Resource manager of my company reminding me of my scriptwriting conference in Port-Harcourt. Apparently she’d booked the conference for two months but this was the first I was hearing of it.
I wanted to reply the mail saying so but I changed my mind. There was no big deal. A trip to Port-Harcourt wasn’t a terrible idea and I didn’t have to spend a dime of my own money.
I got ready and by 6:15 I was at the airport. I’d just stepped into the airport when I got a text saying my flight had been postponed for one hour. I wasn’t angry, I’d made a vow never to get angry at Nigerian airlines anymore; it was a waste. I looked around for a comfortable chair where I could sit relaxed. There was a good chance the postponed flight would also be postponed. I found a chair and sat.
I’d just sat for less than a minute when somebody joined me on the chair. I caught a glimpse of her from the corner of my eye and stopped. No, it couldn’t be. I slowly turned around and looked and yes, it was!
Adesua Etomi was sitting beside me.
Enter, all my shyness demons.
I could not believe this. She was my biggest crush in the world and I’d dreamed of the day when I would meet her. I’d dreamed of all the good things I would say to her and blow her mind. I’d also planned that if things were going really well, I’d call my parents and tell them I’d found the one, even on that first meeting. But I was doing none of that. I sat still, not moving any part of me; afraid to scare her off.
I looked at her from the corner of my eye and thought of all the good lines I could use to open a conversation. I’d exchanged tweets with her before, severally. I did a post for her birthday and she replied. Using a lot of emojis, I should add. Maybe if I showed her my Twitter/Instagram handle, she would know who I was. How would that conversation start though? ‘Hi, check out my Twitter handle’? That was stupid.
I was starting to sweat because I had been sitting still for too long. Maybe all I had to do was say ‘hi’ and the conversation will flow. Maybe.
I turned to her. “Hi.”
She looked at me and smiled. “Hello.” And she went back to her phone.
Okay, maybe not.
I had to do something. This encounter was going on my blog and it couldn’t go there if it doesn’t go past ‘hi’ and ‘hello’. I was a frigging writer, why were words failing me now? Okay, if this was Adam Ademola meeting her, what would he say? I shook my head, Adam wasn’t the right character to channel. Mark? Martins? Faruk! What would Faruk say? He’d probably start with something funny.
For a few minutes I thought about jokes I could open the conversation with. I threw away one terrible joke after the other; I was never going to find the perfect… wait a minute, a joke just came to mind. It was perfect.
I was about to turn to her when her phone rang.
“Hey,” She said. “Yeah, the flight was postponed.” Pause. “Okay, I’ll meet you outside.”
She stood, nodded at me and walked away.
That was it? How could I write a blog and talk about how she nodded at me? I shook my head and relaxed on the chair, I was just a sad ol’ geek.
I closed my eyes and dozed off.
It was almost 9am and the flight was not postponed any further. I started on the line to enter into the plane and to my surprise saw Adesua Etomi getting on the same flight with me. What if I ended up sitting next to her? That would be awesome! But who was I deceiving? She was probably in First Class and I trust my stingy HR boss, I was sitting in Economy.
We entered the plane and I was right. Adesua sat in First Class, segregated from me. I felt like a second class citizen sitting at the back of the bus.
But something happened that turned my life around. I was upgraded to First Class.
I wanted to stand and shout Hallelujah but I was afraid I would be sent back to Economy or off the plane so I just beamed a huge smile and said the Hallelujah under my breath.
As if that wasn’t great enough, my seat was next to Adesua’s. It felt like a dream, I couldn’t believe the kind of luck I was having.
“Hi again.” I said, as I sat. I wasn’t going to dull it this time.
“Hello.” She said and before I could say anything added. “Are you lordjoshwrites?”
I nodded so vigorously, smiled so sheepishly, I must have looked like an idiot.
“It occurred to me it was you after I left earlier so I went to check your picture.” She stretched her hand to me. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
I shook her hand. I still could not believe this was happening.
“What are you going to Port Harcourt for?” She asked.
Finally I found my voice. “I’m attending a screenwriting conference.”
“Well, except there are two screenwriting conferences going on in Port-Harcourt today, I’m speaking at your conference. Giving the actor’s point of view.”
“Wow, I can’t wait to hear your presentation.”
“Want to hear it now?”
“Of course.” I said. “Wait, no. I’ll wait to hear it at the conference.”
“That’s fine then.” She said. “They’re sending a car for me, maybe you could ride with me.”
“That would be crazy awesome.” I said.
We sat in silence for a while. I could not believe what was happening to me. I was already writing a letter to my kids; ‘How I met your mother’.
“Do you mind if I take a picture?” Adesua said.
“Sure.” I said. “As long as you agree to send it to me.”
She giggled. Oh such a sweet sound.
She lifted her phone to take the picture then my phone began to ring. Who on earth was calling me at this kind of time?
I looked at the phone, it was my alarm and it said 6:30. That was weird.
I looked up at Adesua and her phone but they were not there. In fact, there were no other people, there was no plane.
Oh my God! It was a dream? I was still at the airport?
No wonder, why would Adesua want to take my picture?
I opened my eyes wider and looked around; this wasn’t the airport. I was on my bed! There was no mail from HR! There was no flight! There was no screenwriting conference!
Well, smack me on the head and call me Sule.
There was no Adesua!


#RandomBae 29

Giving birth to four children was not very easy. Having to raise them was even less easy. Did I mention they are all boys? I think the first round of blame should be given to my husband and I. After the first two boys, we should have stopped. But I always wanted a daughter so we tried again and bam; another boy. This time we swore we were done. Two of the boys were toddlers already and I could already tell we were in for a lot of trouble with three.
Well, you know how these things go. One night we got too excited over my new Benz and in two months we found out we were expecting a fourth child.
Okay, we only had to hope and pray it was a girl. It wasn’t. Another boy and we had a quadruple of them.
Raising them was the most strenuous thing I think I’d ever have to do. The pains of labor could not be compared to the pains of rearing. There were the nights when they couldn’t sleep because they were high on sugar. There were the days when we had the Royal Rumble in the house. These fights weren’t scripted at all and believe it or not sometimes the youngest won some fights. There were days when instead of jumping in to stop them from fighting, I just sat down and watched. It was easier to tend their wounds than stop the boys from getting them.
But then they began to grow and I began to see a bond between them. They did everything together. Except eat. Eating together was usually the start of the Royal Rumble. They went to school and came back together. They even surprised me and my husband with a song on our wedding anniversary once. It was beautiful, I cried all day. That was not the only time they sang. They sang in church as a quartet, sang in the neighborhood carol, I was so proud of them.
Sometimes they used their unity for bad too.
A boy from down the street once insulted the baby of the house, he just nodded and left. Two days later, they cornered the boy and told him to apologize to their brother. When the refused, they beat him up but still didn’t leave until he apologized. And they made him apologize every day for a whole week. I scolded them for getting into the fight and their father did a little more than scold them, actually a lot more, but I was proud of their unity.
Years went by and they sped through school like it was a Formula 1 race. They aced their classes, graduated with honors, I couldn’t have been prouder as a mother. I still sometimes wished for a girl but I loved my boys.
But the years had done something to the boys, they were no longer as united. They all got super busy with their lives, making money, buying cars, living their dreams. I was happy they were successful but I missed the unity and oneness they used to have.
They rarely came home and when they did, it was never at the same time. They were not fighting, they always told me but everybody was just busy, they would say. Their father, my husband said it was okay, that boys didn’t show their closeness the same way girls did it. I nodded along but I was deeply concerned.
Then Bolaji, the eldest decided it was time to get married. This time they all didn’t have a choice, they had to come home at the same time. They came, greeted each other like everything was fine but it wasn’t. I could sense a rivalry between them. They all brought home their best cars and their ladies. They never mentioned anything about a competition but as their mother I could see it clearly. I wanted to do something but my husband warned me against it. He said all they needed was something to bring them all together. And until that happened, I couldn’t force them to do anything.
Fortunately, the thing that would bring them together wasn’t long in coming.
It was the evening of the bachelor’s eve. They had washed their cars and parked outside the compound waiting for the time they would leave. I was standing outside when a car sped by, ran into a porthole and splashed dirty water all over Bolaji’s car.
“Guy, what the heck?” Bolaji shouted in the direction of the car.
This was no big deal, mistakes happen but the man in the car scrolled down his window and gave Bolaji the middle finger. I could see the rage in Bolaji’s face but the other boys didn’t care. I even saw one of them smile.
That was it, I couldn’t take it anymore. I waited for them while they were at their bachelor’s eve. I was going to let them have it. What had happened to my boys?
It was almost midnight when they came back but I was waiting for them in the living room. As soon as they entered…
“Sit down all of you.” I said.
“Mom, it’s a little late and I’m very sleepy.”
“I said sit down!”
They knew that tone, they sat.
“What is wrong with you? What happened to the four of you?”
“How do you mean?” Bolaji asked.
“What happened to my boys? What happened to the bond between you? You boys used to be best friends, you used to fight for each other.”
Bolaji stood and put an arm around my shoulder.
“We already told you everything is fine. We are guys, we know where we meet. You have nothing to worry about?”
I removed his arm from my shoulder. “How can you say that? Somebody splashed water on your car today, insulted you on top of it, what did your brothers do? Nothing.”
“So you would have wanted us to chase him and beat him up?”
“Yes.” I said then shook my head. “No, not that. I just wanted to see that your brothers were concerned at all.”
“Mom, look out through the window.” Bolaji said.
“Just look out through the window.”
I opened the window and looked out. There was a man outside washing Bolaji’s car.
“Who is that?” I asked.
“That is the guy who splashed the water. He’s going to wash the four cars tonight then come back and wash them again tomorrow morning.”
“What? You beat him up?”
“You don’t need to know the details but let’s just say there things four boys can do that one boy cannot.”


#RandomBae 28

It was a very important day for me. I had a meeting with the wife of the governor, this was the sort of meeting that could bring a surge in my business and change my life. But the day was not starting very well; I had a major challenge. I was fully dressed; make up great but minimal, my dress beautiful but not daring. The idea was to look good but not look flashy. After all, I was trying to paint the picture of an up and comer, not an already arrived business woman. Back to my challenge. One of my tyres was flat.
This was usually not a big deal, I’d changed a few tyres in my day but I couldn’t change the tyre in the dress I was wearing. ‘That is why you need a husband’. I could hear my mother’s voice in my head.
I looked at the time, I had more than one hour before the meeting; I could still change the tyre. I went back into the house and removed my clothes. I returned outside and began changing the tyre. I didn’t enjoy it at all. I was sweating; my makeup was ruined for sure. To make matters worse, the cloud started getting dark. It didn’t happen slowly, it happened almost at once. I had to hurry. The problem with tyres was, no matter how much you hurried, there were some things you had to do. Or else you’d better be prepared to meet your maker.
I successfully changed the tyres before it began to rain. I ran into the house and redid my makeup and wore my dress. The rain wasn’t too good for my plans. What were the chances I wouldn’t get wet somehow before I had to meet the first lady? It would be worse if I got wet and I started shivering during the meeting because the AC was freezing me up. I didn’t have to worry about that yet though so I grabbed my umbrella and headed for the door.
The rain was pouring and it was coming down in torrents. Whoever had angered the rain must have said something really terrible to it. I stepped out from under the covering of my house and ran towards the car. I was almost at my car when the wind blew my umbrella away. I ran the rest of the way as fast as I could and entered the car. I looked at my clothes and wanted to cry. The few seconds I’d spent in the rain had almost soaked me. I had just forty five minutes before the meeting now, I couldn’t go back in to change. Even if I wanted to, I’d get wet all over again. I had only one umbrella.
I turned the ignition and the car started. I backed into the street and started on my way. The heater in the car was on full blast. It soon got very hot but I had to endure if my clothes were to stand any chance of getting dry. The rain was very heavy so I couldn’t drive fast. I put on the radio and Jon Bellion blasted from the speaker; a little balm for my problems.
I heard a sound come from behind the car and then the car began to wobble. Oh no, I’d experienced this before; my tyre had burst. Why on earth was this happening to me? On the most important day of my life, no less. I couldn’t step out of the car to check what happened, it was still raining. Even if I saw what happened I couldn’t do anything about it, I had no spare.
I leaned my head against the steering and started to cry.
Why now of all possible times? Why was it raining today? Why did God even create rain?
I needed help. And fast. I scrolled through my contacts and looked for a guy I knew was in town and had a car. I found none. ‘This is why you need a husband.’ My mother’s voice came again. And this time I agreed with her.
Oh God, send me an angel.
I looked at my watch, the meeting was in twenty minutes. I sighed and turned Jon Bellion off, I didn’t want help, I wanted to cry.
I was about to start my crying fest when I heard someone’s horn behind me. I looked in the rearview mirror and I saw a pair of headlights almost obscured by the incessant rain.
My angel?
A few seconds later, I heard someone tap on my window. My angel. I rolled down the window a little. A man stood outside my window, holding an umbrella.
“What happened here?” He asked.
“I lost a tyre.” I said, overwhelmed with relief I almost cried.
“I’m sorry about that.” He said. “You can’t change tyres in this rain though.”
“Yeah I know,” I said. “I don’t even have a spare. I just need a ride to the government house.”
“I’m sorry, I’m new in town, I don’t know anywhere.”
“Is that on the way to Adewole Estate?”
“From where we are right now, yeah.”
“Great, can you give me a description?”
Why didn’t he just wait till I was in his car to ask for directions? The rain was beating him in spite of this umbrella. I gave him the description and he nodded along as I talked.
“Thank you very much.” He said.
“One good turn deserves another.” I responded.
“Okay, I hope you get help.” He said and he was gone.
What? I looked in the rearview mirror and I saw his car pull into the road and drive off. Oh my God! I could not believe the guy. The day could literally not get any worse.
My phone beeped and I looked at it. I’d gotten a text from the first lady’s PA. I wasn’t late yet and I was still coming. It did not matter if I had to walk through the rain. I wanted this chance and I had suffered too much to end up with nothing. I opened the text.
“Meeting postponed till further notice. Sorry for inconveniences.”
I rested my head on the steering wheel and began to cry.


#RandomBae 27

Immediately he walked into the dealership I knew it was going to be a good day for me. I’d not sold a single car in a month and it was already the twenty seventh. My boss was out of the country so I was yet to receive any official reprimands but that was not a good thing. When he returned I was going to have it. That was one of the reasons I was glad to see him that morning. My boss had warned me not to judge people by their appearances but I couldn’t help it in this case.
He was dressed in a checkered gray suit, lemon shirt and red bowtie and he carried a brown satchel. It was a curious combination but it also looked exquisite. I saw the car that dropped him off, it was a KIA SUV. The long story short was that I was going to make a big sale. And I was due one.
“You are welcome sir.” I said to him at the door.
He turned to me and beamed the biggest smile. “Good morning.”
He wasn’t the kind of person you pestered with questions. It definitely wasn’t his first car and probably not his first Benz so I stayed behind him, quiet, while he walked around the dealership.
Selling only Mercedes Benzes is a great business. We have a certain type of clientele. They are rich, they know what they want and they are willing and able to pay a good price. That was in turn good for me because I always got a healthy bonus after each sale. I’d almost saved enough to buy my own Benz. This sale will push me over the target.
“This is my first time in your place.” The man said.
“Oh, really?” I said, feigning delighted surprise. “You look like you already own a couple of Benzes.”
“Yeah, I own one but I didn’t buy it here.”
“Benzes are great wherever you buy them but buying from us is not just about you buying the car but about you buying an experience.”
“You don’t need to sell me on buying from you.” He said. “You come highly recommended and I like what I see.”
“Thank you sir.”
For about five minutes he walked around looking inside cars, checking engines, studying whatever rich people studied before picking their cars.
“Can I have you price catalogue please?” He asked.
“I can tell you anything you need to know. Any prices you want.”
“I know you can, I trust your competence. I just want to pick a car without embarrassing myself.”
I walked into the office and retrieved the price catalogue. This was another advantage of selling to rich people. They bought the cars at your sales price. There were several deals a buyer could make to reduce how much he paid or get him to pay in instalments but these people never asked. And of course I never told. The sooner they paid, the sooner I got my money.
“Here’s the catalogue sir.” I handed him the book.
He flipped through and stopped at the 2015 C400 4Matic. He looked at the price and gasped.
“You see why I had to check.” He said. “This is way more than I plan on spending on cars.”
If he bought this car, I would be buying mine in less than a week from the commission I would get from it.
“Sir, I know I don’t need to sell you on the car but it is worth its price and way more.”
“I know my friend, believe me, I know.”
He looked at the catalogue then at the car.
“Can you take a picture of me in the car? I’ll like to see how it looks.”
“Sure sir.”
He handed me his iPhone 7 and entered the car. I clicked the unlock button and noticed he had the Uber app opened. That was weird. What would a person with many cars like him need Uber for? It did not matter. I closed the app and opened the camera app.
“I love this camera.” I said.
“You’re treating me so well, I might just give you phone.”
What? That would be the best gift any customer had ever given me.
In the next few minutes, he took pictures in three more cars. And frankly I did not mind. All he had to do was buy one of them, give me his phone and I would build a shrine for him if he wanted.
“I think I’ve made my decision, I’ll buy the 4matic.” He said.
Yes! I tried to play cool. “That is a very good decision sir.”
“Now can you get me your account details? I’m going to step out to call my account manager?”
“You can make the call here sir.”
“You just get the account details ready, I will make the call now.”
I nodded and headed into the office. I couldn’t wait to finish this deal. I deserved it, a lot. I picked the book with everything we needed to close the deal and went back into the showroom. My eye caught something; a wallet inside one of the cars. I picked the wallet and opened it. It was for the man. It probably dropped while we were taking the pictures. I’d give it back when he was done with his call.
I waited for about five minutes and he wasn’t done with his call. I stepped out of the showroom and looked around the dealership, I did not see the man. Oh no, did he change his mind? Why didn’t he just tell me? Did he go to get the money? I need this sale, please.
Twenty minutes later, he still wasn’t back. I began to panic. I looked at the wallet in my hand, his phone number would probably in there. I opened the wallet and saw a bunch of cards. I saw three ATM cards, all expired but at least they told me his name. I removed the business cards and checked for his. I saw his card and paused. It read MC Roman, Comedian. Comedian? He didn’t look like a comedian to me. The card had his phone number and social media handles.
I decided to check his Instagram. I needed to be sure it was the same man.
I found him and it was the same man. I saw his latest picture, posted five minutes ago and I gasped.
It was a picture of him in the 4Matic with the caption:
“God’s blessings. #NewRide #DontBeJealous #JustHustle”
I dropped into a nearby chair and fought back tears. I knew I wasn’t getting my car just yet.


#RandomBae 26

Superstardom was on the horizon now. Nonye Baker had just been signed to Maybach Music. She wasn’t anybody’s mate in the Nigerian music industry. Getting signed to an International music label was something most artists could and would only dream of. She was living their dreams now. She was only twenty one and a young graduate but she was more known than all her university professors. Maybe even her university. Such fame has its disadvantages though. Now, everybody wanted to take pictures with her. People she had met only once claimed to be her best friend. But the one she had to deal with right now was her secondary school reunion invite.
She’d never been to the reunion and usually nobody cared. They never sent her personal invites or checked to see why she didn’t come. Not even her best friend from school bothered to check on her. But now, they wanted her to perform in their reunion. The nerve they had.
The reunion was that night but she was going to have other things lined up. Her manager was trying to arrange a meeting with Tiwa Savage for the next week but she’d asked that he make it that night. She didn’t care much for her classmates but she still wanted a good excuse for snubbing them.
The President of the old students association had called her severally the day before. He’d called from morning till night, every hour of the day but she did not answer the call. She knew if she said no a day before the reunion, they would do all they could to convince her. It was better she said no just a few hours before. The guy had not called that day though.
Was this pride? Was she just being a snub because she was famous now?
She shook her head, no. Nobody brought her where she was, nobody should take advantage of where she was. One of the things she’d learnt coming up was that people who ignored you, refused to acknowledge or appreciate your progress when you were climbing were usually the ones who wanted a piece of what you had after you got to the top of the ladder. She’d learned to be tough and not get emotional about these things.
One of her former managers had given her the litmus test for people who asked for favors. She had ask herself; is this good for business? If it wasn’t, it was a ‘no’ to the request.
She picked up her phone and opened Twitter. She’d dropped a tweet the day before that was trending, she’d gotten several replies; some from people she didn’t even know knew she existed. Oh, the joy of success.
She clicked on the trends of the day. She was still trending and #Reunion was trending also. Was this her own reunion? She opened the trend and scrolled through the tweets. Most of the tweets weren’t from her old classmates but she kept scrolling. Then she started seeing tweets from people she knew. It looked like her former classmates had started the trend and other people had taken it viral.
She closed Twitter and sat up. If they’d gotten the reunion to trend, maybe it was a good idea that she went for it. She would help the trend and in return the trend would help her.
Her phone rang; it was her manager.
“Hello Pee.” She said.
“I got the Tiwa Savage meeting for you. Seven, tonight, at Caleb’s.”
The reunion was starting at seven too. But she couldn’t cancel Tiwa Savage for a reunion that might or might not still be trending at the end of the day.
“I’ll be there.” She said.
It was eight thirty and Tiwa Savage was nowhere to be found. Nonye had called her manager several times but he was not answering his calls. She’d called Tiwa herself and she wasn’t answering either. This was frustrating. To make matters worse, the reunion was still trending.
A lot of the people in the club wanted to talk to her or take pictures with her but she was too angry she was afraid she would say something wrong to one of them. Her day couldn’t have gone worse. Her tweet had stopped trending, she’d been stood up and it looked like the reunion had given up on her because the president had stopped calling.
Maybe she could go to the reunion, surprise everybody and save her day.
That was what she would do.
She got to the hall and she was shocked; there was nothing. Nobody. What was going on? Was the party so lame they finished before nine? She saw a guard and called him.
“What happened to the reunion holding here?”
The guard’s face lighted up. “The reunion was crazy. Come and see as musicians turned up, it was great.”
She shifted from one foot to the other. “If it was that great, how did it end so early?”
“It ended around twelve because we needed to close the hall.” The guard said.
“What? I thought the reunion was…”
“Yesterday, it was yesterday.”
She brought out her phone and looked at the invite. He was right, it was the day before. She gently walked back to her car. Exactly how silly was she?


#RandomBae 25

I consider myself to be a good boy who sometimes does bad things. I’m a student who has a lot of needs, most of which my parents – especially my father, considers not important. Please, how is a set of customized t-shirts not important? I wasn’t trying to get the t-shirts for no reason. It was my departmental week in a month and I was the director of socials, I had a responsibility to represent my department well. It was not the first time I was asking my father for money and he refused. He refused to sponsor my trip to South Africa, even though I told him the trip was a six unit course and failing to travel was failing the course. He told to fail and ended the call. When I wanted to run for president of my department association, he refused to sponsor me, saying I should ‘yahoo’ like my mates were doing. Of course he added that if I was caught, he would not bail me out of jail and I would cease to be his son.
I don’t consider my father to be wicked, he is just stingy. However, if the ‘danfo’ driver has learnt to drive without stopping, we the passengers must learn to jump out of a moving vehicle. My dad was stingy but I was smart.
“Good afternoon Chief.” I called my father one hot Sunday afternoon.
“My son, how are you?”
“I’m fine sir.” I said. “Thank you for the dry fish you sent the other day.”
“Your mother sent the dry fish.”
Of course I knew my mother sent the dry fish but I wanted to thank him for something. The last thing he did was pay my fees and give me my pocket money for the whole semester. I’d already exhausted the ‘thank you’ for that.
I looked at the dry fish where it was sitting on my cupboard. My mother was so nice. Even if everything she sent I ended up giving out.
“Papa, I need your help sir.” I said.
“Is there any problem my son?”
“Not really sir but you know we are about rounding up our three hundred level that means we are preparing for our final year projects already.”
“Our level adviser, who is also going to be my project supervisor is traveling to Kenya next week and he wants to get all our costume and other materials for our project performance.”
“So, in short, you need money.”
“It is not money I need, it is the project materials, unfortunately to get them, I need money.”
For a few seconds there was silence at the other end of the phone and I was already resigned to another big ‘no’.
“Alright, I will send the money.” He said and I could not believe it. “How much is it?”
I could not believe my ears. He’d agreed to send the money even before he heard how much it was. I was going to ask for fifty thousand naira but not anymore.
“Two hundred thousand naira sir.” I said.
“That will be enough?” He asked. “I hear final year projects cost a lot of money.”
“That will be okay sir.” I said then quickly added. “If the supervisor asks for more money, I will call you sir. You know with this fluctuating exchange rate, we never can tell.”
“Okay, my son.” He said. “Just study well, let me worry about money.”
I ended the call wondering what had just happened. Was my father drunk? Was he dying and he was trying to make me happy before he broke the bad news? Wait a minute, was he cheating on my mother? Well, it did not matter, I was getting what I wanted.
I was about to begin my celebration dance when my phone rang. It was Papa calling me back.
“Hello Chief?”
“I just wanted to ask if there was any sample that look like the cloth your teacher wants to buy for you.”
I frowned, what kind of question was that? “I don’t understand Papa.”
“Your mother said that money is too much and wants to see a sample of the cloth so we can make sure your lecturer isn’t duping you.”
“A sample? I don’t have a sample. They get the cloth only in Kenya.”
“Your mother said I should not send the money without seeing a sample. At least five yards.”
This was not good at all, where was I supposed to see a sample of a Kenyan cloth? Then it occurred to me; my father doesn’t know what this cloth looks like, neither does my mother. I could send newspaper sewn together and they wouldn’t know if it was Kenyan or not.
“I will talk to my lecturer and send you a sample.” I said.
I ended the call and called my girlfriend; we needed to go fabric shopping. All we had to do was find a very good material that would justify the money I was asking for.
Two days later, I’d bought and sent a very good material worth forty thousand to my home town. It was an investment. It was all the money I had but as soon as my money came in from him, my T-shirts were sorted. And I’d have change.
It took a while but finally my mother called to say they had seen the cloth. She admitted it was good but wondered why we wanted to buy it from Kenya. Of course, I sweet-talked her until she promised my father would send me the money as soon as possible.
Two days after the cloth got my town, I’d not heard anything from my father. I did not want to put a lot of pressure on him so I did not call. When it was four days later, I could not hold it anymore, I had to do something. I sent him a text.
ME: Good morning Chief. Please don’t forget me.
He replied almost immediately.
CHIEF: Sorry I kept you waiting. Check your Whatsapp.
Check my Whatsapp? It’s not possible to transfer money via Whatsapp. That was a good idea by the way, I made a mental note to think about it later.
I put on my data then opened my Whatsapp application. A few seconds later, his message entered. He’d sent an image. I opened the image and he’d sent a picture of him wearing the cloth I’d sent to him earlier.
ME: Looking good Chief.
CHIEF: It’s all thanks to you son.
ME: So when are you sending the money for the project materials sir?
CHIEF: Sorry, I will not be sending any money. I called your lecturer and he told me he was not traveling to Kenya. But thank you for the free cloth.
CHIEF: How does it feel to be on the receiving of a scam?