Written by: Victor Chinoo
Bimbo exited Alausa shopping mall in Ikeja. She had just returned to work having taken some time off, following her break up with Biola. She was carrying polyethylene bags in each hand, while a purse was dangling on her shoulder. Her eyes had taken refuge behind a pair of dark sunshades with gold-colored rims. She was eager to return to the safety of her air-conditioned car on a blazing hot day. Bands of sweat careened down her face. “Hi Bimbo,” said Biola. Jane had told him that Bimbo went to Alausa shopping mall in Ikeja. “I am not talking to you,” she said angrily, increasing her pace towards her car. “Please don’t do this, Bimbo. We need to talk,” Biola pleaded. “I want nothing to do with you,” she reiterated. Deep inside, she was so pleased to see him, but she was not about to show it.
“I am leaving for London in two days on a business trip, Bimbo. It is important that we talk now, dear.” The fact that he used the word, ‘dear’ was music to her ears.” “I want nothing to do with you, Biola!” She bellowed, slamming the trunk of her Honda Civic. She opened the door and entered the car, ready to slam the door too. Before she could lock the door, Biola got hold of the handle and yanked it further open. “Sticking his head into the Honda Civic, he pleaded with her as she reached for the car key. “Bimbo, please take a moment to listen to me. I am sorry, we really need to talk. Please give me a second chance.” “I just want to be home, Biola. Please get out of my car.” “If we don’t talk by tomorrow, I probably will not return from London. I am serious, I will move to London for good,” Biola threatened, pulling off every trick in his bag.
“Then go…I don’t care!” Bimbo shouted halfheartedly. She wanted to take her word back and ask Biola into the car, but her pride got in the way. Holding on, she placed the key in the ignition and started the engine. “Please Bimbo! I beg of you. I love you darling,” he lied. “But you hurt me very much. Why did you hurt me?” She asked as tears poured down her face. Biola held her, caressing her gently. He felt bad lying to her, but he was keen to find out who attacked Modupe and why his father had been eager to have him marry Bimbo. “I am sorry darling! Please let’s talk. Please give me a second chance.” “I need some time to clear my head, Biola. Come over to my place tomorrow,” Bimbo offered, caving in to Biola’s pressure. “Thank you sweetheart. Thank you! I will see you tomorrow, my dear.”
The next day, Biola went over to Bimbo’s father’s house in Lekki. Dayo was happy to see him and Bimbo together again. Biola convinced Dayo, Bimbo and Akin that the wedding was back on the cards. “You should never treat me like this again, Biola!” Bimbo warned him. “Never…never again my love,” Biola assured her. He felt sick to his stomach for telling her another fat lie. They were lying on the bed in her apartment within her father’s mansion. “Make love to me,” she said authoritatively, peeling her clothes off her body. “Stop!” Biola protested. “Why? You don’t want to make love to me again? Are you still in love with that wedding planner, Modupe? What did you even say happened to her?” Bimbo hurled questions at him relentlessly.
“Of course I am dying to make love with you, my love. I’d do anything to rip your clothes off and make love to you for eternity, but I want this to be…to be perfect from now on. I don’t want to make any mistakes. I want us to take time to preserve our bodies for each other until that special night after our wedding. Purity! Perfect love and gregarious passion; that is what I want, Bimbo,” Biola preached, looking for anything he could lay his hands on to keep from making out with Bimbo. “That sounds really beautiful…special!” “Yes, it is my love. Of course, I have no feelings for Modupe. I wonder why you’d even think of that. You know she was attacked and almost killed,” Biola said casually, minimizing the topic the best he could.
“Really?” she asked. Biola scrutinized her face, looking for any sign of guilt or deceit. He could not make out what he saw on her face. “Who would have done that?” She asked with little emotion. “That was what I thought when I heard that she was attacked.” “Where is she now? You are not interested in her, right?” “Of course I am not. I am all in for you, my love. I’d do anything for you. I am not interested in Modupe, whatsoever.” Three hours later, he left Dayo’s compound not sure what to make of Bimbo’s response to Modupe’s situation. Time…time will reveal the truth, she assured himself.
“Do you trust him?” Akin asked his father. They were in Dayo’s duplex on the far east of the compound watching as Biola drove away. “I don’t know what to make of him, but I am keeping an eye on him. It seems odd that he’d just change his mind like that. Just yesterday, he was keen on not marrying Bimbo. All of a sudden, he comes back and is willing to marry Bimbo. I am not convinced he is genuine. I will keep an eye on him,” Dayo said scratching his head. Shortly after Biola left, Jimoh called Dayo.
“What is going on?” Dayo asked expectantly. “I have reached the girl, oga (sir).” “Where is she?” “I am not sure, but she says she in Port Harcourt. She is due to fly to the US in few days.” “And her boyfriend?” “He will be dead in a few days. I offered them a bait and he is onto it. I expect him here in a Lagos in a few days.” “Whack him!!! Finish him off!” Dayo ordered. “I will let you know as soon as he is down,” Jimoh replied arrogantly. His voice was cold; bereft of ‘humanity’. Akin had returned to his building on the mansion leaving Dayo to himself, his Gulder and a young girl lying naked in his bed waiting for him.
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The next afternoon, Biola tucked himself into his seat on a Virgin Airline Boeing jumbo jet about to depart for London. About the same time, he was buckling his seat belt, Dayo received a phone call. “He is flying to London, sir,” a rusty voice said over the phone. “London?” “Yes sir!” “I want you to contact Raymond in London. Send him a picture of Biola. Do you know which airport he is flying to? Gatwick or Heathrow?” “No sir.” “Find out…find out immediately. I want Raymond to be at the airport to trail him in London. I want to know what he is up to while in London.” “I will do that, sir,” the voice replied assuredly.
Princewill alighted from the taxi and walked happily towards MTN building on Allen Avenue. A day earlier, he had seen Isabell off to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. He was excited…excited to see her leave, with the hope that he’d join her soon. He ambled his way out of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja like a prince. Soon…soon, I will be on a flight to London, he thought. Later that night, he boarded a flight back to Lagos, eager to claim the one hundred and fifty thousand naira. Isabell had called earlier in the day to inform him that she arrived safely in London. He could not help counting down to the day Isabell would come to pick him up. He was convinced it was a matter of time before he joined her in London. For now, I have to pick up that one hundred and fifty thousand, he thought to himself with a sly smile on his face. At least, I can take Yetunde out tonight. We could go to clubbing on the Island tonight, he assured himself. He had been seeing Yetunde for nearly a year now behind Isabell’s back.
Jimoh peered keenly at the picture on the screen of his phone. He wore a yellow MTN shirt and a yellow MTN cap to match. He loitered the hallway of the major building just beyond the main gate. Carefully, he scanned the gate intermittently and peered at his phone in-between. A Mercedes 230 E Class plastered with MTN posters stood outside the gate with a driver behind the wheel. Princewill walked majestically into the compound, looking around as he wondered where his contact might be. He had been told to ask for Bitrus Birang. Jimoh sighted him. Hurriedly, he scampered towards Princewill. “Are you Mr. Princewill Oleka?” Jimoh asked him, smiling. “Yes, I am.” “My name is Bitrus Birang,” Jimoh replied smiling as he stretched out his hand for a handshake.
“I have been waiting for you.” “Pleased to meet you,” Princewill replied excitedly. A broad smile perched colorfully on his face. “Come with me. I have been working on your girlfriend’s account. The money has been approved. To quicken the process, we need to run down to the bank down the street, so you can get paid right away,” Jimoh offered. “Yes…yes!” Princewill acquiesced. His voice reeked of smarm. “Please sign here,” Jimoh handed him a sheet of paper with MTN boldly inscribed at the top. Without asking further questions, he appended his signature on the paper and handed it back to Jimoh.
“Okay, let’s go!” Jimoh ordered, heading for the Mercedes 230 E Class. Jimoh and Princewill hopped into the backseat. “You are very lucky!” Jimoh said. “Let’s get you paid and get on to other winners,” he added, making far-reaching efforts to keep Princewill engaged. Soon, the Mercedes 230 E Class screeched past Allen Avenue. “I thought we were going to the bank on Allen Avenue?” Princewill asked. “If you move, you are dead!” Jimoh ordered. His voice was menacingly cold. He brandished a gun which was pointed at Princewill. His excitement and anticipation were quickly supplanted by numbing fear.
He could not stop staring at the gun until the vehicle left Lagos and headed for Epe, several miles away from Lekki. “Please don’t kill me. You can take the money,” Princewill begged. “I will never tell anyone, please take the money. I don’t care,” he continued, crying profusely. “Shut up!” Jimoh shouted. The driver remained quiet, focusing completely on the driving. He slowed down, veered off the highway and drove into the forest on a pothole-filled dirt road. “Stop here,” Jimoh instructed the driver. He marched on the break and the car came to a halt.
“Out!” Jimoh shouted at Princewill, who obliged. Jimoh had him walk to the end of the dirt road and then they veered into the forest. Jimoh fired at him from behind. “Ahhh!!!” He grunted, slumping to the ground. Jimoh fired again. Blood spewed out of Princewill’s back. Then, everything went quiet. Princewill’s numb body lay on the ground in a pool of blood. Jimoh hurried back to the Mercedes 230 E Class and joined the driver in the front seat. Soon, they were on the highway on their way back to Lagos. Jimoh rang Dayo to inform him that Isabell’s boyfriend was dead.