WHEN Darasimi and Gabriella stepped into their room for their ice cream, Junior turned to Ola and said;
‘Mommy has a book she writes in. She keeps it in the drawer in the kitchen. She smiles and cry when she writes into it. She…’ The door opened again and the little intruders came out again. She wondered if their parents ever had sex!
‘Let’s go,’ Dara said grabbing Junior’s hand while Gabby and the dog followed them.
She watched the children ran to the door. She wanted to give them head-start to get to the party before she showed up so she walk slowly behind their thundering feet. She was digesting the information she just heard when Gabby’s voice tore the air. They were already outside closed to the beautiful garden before the open place where the party was on going. She quickened her steps almost running. As she opened the door Darasimi bumped into her but didn’t wait.
‘Dara what is it?’ She asked almost screaming.
The boy said something she could not hear because he didn’t stop running towards the kitchen. She ran to where the noise was coming from only to see Gabriella and Junior taking turns matching an already dead cockroach. She breathed in relief.
Though she was a police officer who had no problem with firing a gun or going after the bad guys but she was ashamed to admit she was scared of the roaches too.
‘Where is it? Where is it?’ Dara said out of breath holding a bottle of insecticide. Gabby and Junior stepped aside and he sprayed the dead cockroach again.
‘But it’s already dead! Why are you spraying it again!’ Ola asked amused at her nephew.
‘To make sure it’s dead!’ He said and the three musketeers ran to their party.
She was laughing at his silliness when it hit her. Suddenly she understood the overkill of their dead victim; Joy.
Not one, but more than one person killed Joy to make sure she was dead!
‘Oh my God…’ She whispered feeling sick.
Why would three people kill one person? Was it a collaboration? Did they carried it out separately or was it a cover up? She asked herself as she went in search of Paul.
HOW death humbled one was a thing of wonder. Akin watched as the man in front of him relived the death of his sister. He could almost touch his pain. He talked about how bereaved his parents were especially his mother and how they cope with the grief. He mentioned it took them three years to start living as family again. He explained to Akin how confused and dejected he felt because his parents would not care for him wholeheartedly and how he felt he was at fault. Akin could not help but see a humane side of the lawyer. He didn’t look like a lawyer at that moment, he looked like a man in pain and Akin lost himself in his pain forgetting his son for some moments.
Paul’s pain was evident on his face. Every time he remembered his sister, he relieved the pain of that sad day. He felt like he killed his sister because if he had stopped her maybe she would still be alive. His father blamed his mother for choosing a career instead of staying at home and looking after their children while his mother blamed his father for being adamant on not hiring a live in nanny and unconsciously the parents blamed their son for not looking after his sister. Paul talked about how he coped as a young boy; he read hard, buried himself in books and sports, all in the effort to please his parents.
‘The thing about pain is that you learn to live with it if time does not heal you. Somehow, my parents forgave each other and I forgave myself too. Life goes on. The advice I can give you is to live each day as it comes, be patient with your son and be there for him.’ Paul said coming back to the present.
‘I’m sorry for your pain. Thanks for sharing, I’ve learned a thing or two and w…’ He was saying when he saw his son, his new friends and puppy running towards them. He released a breath he did not know he was holding. It looked like his son was alright as he was grinning from ear to ear when they reached them.
‘Daddy! Daddy! We named the puppy!’ Junior announced.
‘Yes, uncle Paul. It’s Liffy!’ Gabriella said and the dog barked upon hearing her name.
‘Liffy! That’s a good name. I bet Junior helped you, yeah?’ Paul asked.
‘Yes J-boy helped us! Thank you uncle Paul.’ Darasimi said nudging Junior with his shoulder.
‘Have you seen your Aunt ar…’ Paul was asking when Toyin showed up calling her children.
‘Dara, Gabby, where have you kids been? It’s time to cut the cake, let’s go kids.’
‘We were naming our dog. Her name is Liffy! Junior helped us.’
Toyin did not even want to imagine how they arrived at that name but she knew she would hear all about it later.
‘That’s a good name. Let’s go change your clothes so we can cut the cake.’
‘Okay mommy.’ They ran towards the house with the dog behind them.
Junior wished he could follow them but his father held on tight to his wrist.
‘Paul are you enjoying yourself?’ Toyin asked.
‘I am. This is Doctor Akin and his son junior.’
‘Hi. Please enjoy yourself. Junior why don’t you come along let’s go cut the cake.’ She suggested but before the young boy could say anything the father said;
‘We will be right there ma’am.’
Toyin turned to follow her children but Paul’s question stopped her.
‘Have you seen your sister?’
‘I saw her talking to Jide over there,’ she said pointing to the west and went on her way.
‘Okay, thanks.’ Paul said and turned to Doctor Akin;
‘Let’s join the party Doctor.’ Paul said already heading to the west not waiting for the doctor. Who was Jide and what did he want with Ola? “Calm down man. You’ve not even asked her out and you are already jealous! You better shoot your shot before someone else get her!” His heart advised.
‘We will be right there.’ Akin called after Paul.
He has been holding on to his son’s hands since he came back. He didn’t want him out of his sight anymore. It looked like the detective did not reach his son but he could not resist asking.
‘Are you okay?’
‘I’m fine daddy but I’m hungry.’ The boy told his father. He had not eaten anything but ice cream since he got to the party and his stomach was beginning to complain.
‘We will go and eat now. Did you talk to anyone about our family?’ Akin asked.
Junior had never told a lie in his entire young life, he never had to but if it was going to help his mother, he did not mind.
‘No dad.’ He lied tugging his father’s hand towards the party.
‘Good boy.’ Akin said following his son. He suspected nothing. The game was almost up, but he didn’t know it yet.
OLA could not wait to reach Paul but Jide stopped her. She had known Jide her entire life. They grew up together, he was a family friend. They were an item at a time and everyone thought they were going to get married one day. Both families wanted that so much but Jide was a typical rich man’s son. He wanted a trophy wife and Ola was not ready for that. He was very angry when she broke their relationship off but he was too proud to admit that he was controlling. He moved on to another woman and they have a kid together. Ola wished she had a family to show off, at least a boyfriend as Jide was trying very hard to make her feel like a failure. She was desperately looking for a way out when she saw Paul strolling majestically towards her. An involuntary smile crossed her lips. He looked like her saviour.
Immediately Paul saw Ola standing in front of Jide, he knew she was in distress. He felt it and he rushed his steps to save her from her predator. He saw the smile that came across her face and he returned it. It gave him confidence. Reaching her side, he couldn’t control his arm as it went around her drawing her into his side. Her arm was cold and he rubbed his hands across her arm warming her up. At first she resisted his touch but after few seconds, she leaned into him. He did what he had wanted to do since he laid eyes on her that money, he kissed her temple.
‘Hi baby.’ He did not wait for her to respond before extending his hand to Jide.
‘Hi Jide, I’m barrister Paul, Ola’s man.’ Paul took his chance and waited for Ola to debunk it or give him a jab by his side but it did not come, he drew her closer. As a lawyer, he knew having more information than your opponent is very important especially when the opponent could not imagine how you came about the information. He saw that Jide was thrown off-balance as he called his name.
‘Oh hi Paul. Erhm, have we met before?’
‘No, at least not in person. I’ve to take my queen away now, nice meeting you.’ He quickly said before he had to explain how he got his name. Paul did not want to give Jide the impression that Ola talked about him, he did not want him to feel important.
‘See you around Jide.’ Ola said smiling and following Paul.
Ola felt like hugging and kissing Paul. He saw the surprise in Jide’s eyes. Did Jide think she could not get a boyfriend? Or was he shocked another man got her when he couldn’t? She must confess to herself, she liked being beside Paul, it warmed her body and soul. He had saved her thrice today.
‘Should I say thank you or chastise you for what you just did?’ She said still holding him. She wasn’t angry at him at all. What was happening to her?
‘You should kiss me!’ He said stealing a kiss on her temple again.
‘You don’t have to keep up the appearance Paul.’ Ola said trying to fight her emotions. She dropped her arm from around his waist, it was a struggle because she did not want to let go.
Paul let her go. He did not want to let her go but he knew not to push her. She was a kind of woman who would run if she felt controlled.
‘How did you know Jide?’ She asked.
‘I don’t know him. Toyin told me she saw you talking to “Jide” and that’s all I know about him. Who’s he?’
‘An ex.’ She said simply and Paul didn’t ask anything further. He really wanted to ask but he kept quiet.
‘Did you learn anything from that boy?’
‘Yes I did, a lot. We will talk about it on our way home. Let’s get something to eat, I’m hungry.’
BEFORE they could reach the buffet table, the celebrants were ready to cut their cake. The adults and the kids gathered to sing and take pictures then it was time to serve the general party. Ola and Paul helped Toyin and the servers to get the children settled. Finally, they could sit down and eat their food.
Few hours later, guests had begun to leave and Doctor Akin was ready too. He saw detective Ola and barrister Paul sitting few feet away and he approached them.
Even though paul has been smiling but Ola could feel his distress. The smile was not reaching his eyes. What could be bothering him? Has she offended him? Maybe he found out something disturbing about their suspect while talking to him. “Oh Ola! Don’t kill yourself with thoughts. Ask him!”
‘Hey, what’s wrong with you?’ She said nudging him because he seemed lots in thought.
‘Hmmm?’ He mumbled coming back to the presence. He was still depressed about his sister’s death he had to talk about with the doctor. In a way, it was liberating to talk about it with a stranger but it was still painful. He thought he had gotten over it but he had not.
‘I said, what’s wrong with you? We came here happy but you don’t look happy now. What happened dear?’ The “dear” came out of her mouth before she knew it.
‘Hmmm, nothing is wrong. I just talked about somethings that caused me great pains with doctor Akin to keep his attention. It was a painful experience.’ He said.
‘Wanna share with me?’ She said hoping he would. She didn’t like the mood he was, why she cared, she did not know.
Paul would talk about anything with Ola if it get them closer.
‘I talked about the death of my sister with him.’
‘You said I should distract him, I needed something that relates to him. What el…’ He was saying when he saw Doctor Akin and his son approaching them.
‘We have company.’ He said under his breath to Ola who looked up to see the doctor standing over their table. The both stood up.
‘Barrister Paul, Detective Ola.’ He said sending a nod at each person’s way.
‘Doctor Akin.’ They replied. Why were they all formal like they haven’t spent the past few hours socializing.
‘Thanks for inviting us, we enjoyed the party and Junior made new friends. I guess I will see you in your office on Monday?’
‘You are welcome, but you don’t need to come or bring Junior . We don’t want to disturb his school system but please don’t go out of time without notifying us. We will invite you when we need you.’
‘Okay but what about the C.C? You said they will come get him if I don’t show up everyday with him.’ Akin asked.
‘We know where to find him and you, or are you planning on running away with him?’ Paul joked.
‘Definitely not. May I ask about my former wife’s case? Any lead?’
‘Not yet Doctor Akin. We will inform you when we have one.’ Ola answered.
‘Okay. We will take our leave now. Thanks again for the invite.’
‘You are welcome. Bye Junior.’ Ola said winking at the boy.
ALMOST all the guest were gone except for few close family friends. Ola would have loved to escaped with the other guests but she could not. She had to face her parents one more time and endure their lecture. Where was Paul anyways? He came to the party knowing no one but has gained many friends as her mother kept introducing him to everybody as her boyfriend. She did not mind really, it saved her the trouble of answering the question “where’s your man?” and what was not to love and be proud of about Paul? She surveyed her father’s compound and found Paul exactly where she thought he would be; with her mother. She began to approach them only to be stopped by her father who was a few meters away from his wife.
‘Take a walk with me.’ He said heading for the garden. She followed obediently, keeping a step back from her father as they walked. After few seconds of silence, the father began to talk.
‘When I decided I wasn’t having more kids, everyone was against it, they wanted me to have a boy to carry on the family name. It wasn’t that we couldn’t conceive, but I wanted the best for you and your sister and I believed a woman can do anything a man can. Needless I say I am very proud of you though I don’t say it often.’
He stopped and faced his daughter.
‘If I wanted a boy, I could have made one or adopted one. Stop trying to be a man. You have nothing to prove to no one. If I ever gave you the impression I wanted a boy, I’m sorry. I might not like your profession but I’m very proud of your achievements.’ He said, his voice masked with emotion.
Ola has never seen her father like this. He looked old and tired and vulnerable. When she was young, she felt like she needed to be a boy because all the family who came around always told her father to birth a male child. She decided to be a tomboy and do everything a man could do; unconsciously she choose a male dominated field to work. She did it to make her father proud but she got to love the profession.
‘Olaide okin,’ he said holding her daughter’s hand and looking into her eyes.
‘My daughter, you are beautiful and intelligent, you have made your father proud, now make him happy. I’m old; death can take me anytime, let me give your hand in marriage to a good man; give me grand babies. I want to see you happy before I leave this world or have I failed in my duties as a father?’
‘Oh daddy. You are the best dad in the whole world. I will work on it daddy. I’m just trying to make a good choice.’
‘What about Paul, he looks good to me…’
‘I just met him dad, it’s not even up to a week.’ She said for lack of a better defence.
‘And so? I’ve known your mother for thirty-five years and I still don’t know everything about her! It’s not how far, it’s how well, my dear. Let me ask you some questions and please, answer your father truthfully.’
‘He likes you, I can see that, do you like him?’
She was going to lie but her father gave her his most daring penetrating look and it intimidated her. What was it with parents that they could intimidate you even when you were an adult?
‘Good girl. He has a good job, he’s from a good family and he likes you! I don’t see any problem here. Just give him a chance and be open-minded. Break down that silly wall you build around yourself before it’s too late.’
He said and turned back towards the direction they were coming from. Her mother was still talking to Paul and her sister had joined them. They were all smiling as she and her father approached them. What was special about Paul that they were all rooting for him? In her opinion, they looked desperate to hook her up.
‘I hope you are not talking about me?’ She asked.
‘What if we are?’ Her mother replied.
‘Your mom was just telling me about how you beat up boys in your primary school!’ Paul said.
‘Oh really? So now you know I can beat you if you mess with me!’ Ola replied
‘Hahaha! I’m scared!’
‘Anyways, we have work to do tomorrow, mom, we need to go.’
‘Ha Olaide! When was the last time we saw you that you are rushing off? Work, work, work, all the time!’
‘Mom, I promise to come visit as soon as we crack this case. Paul, tell her how important this case is.’ She asked for help.
‘Ma’am, it’s true. We need to work fast on this case. I will make sure we come visiting after this case.’
‘Okay then, but remember, there will always be cases to solve…’ Her mother sulked.
‘Let them go darling. I’m sure we will see her soon. It’s a pleasure meeting you Paul, I hope to see you soon too.’ Her father said.
‘The pleasure is mine sir.’
‘And thanks for honouring my invitation and the plentiful gifts for the kids. You are now their favourite uncle!’ Toyin said grinning.
‘I should be thanking you for inviting me.’
Ola pecked her parents saying her goodbyes. She asked where her niece and nephew were and excused herself from the crowd only for her sister to follow her.
‘I really don’t want to hear anything more about how wonderful Paul is Tito.’ Ola said sensing what was coming.
‘Haba Olly! All I wanted to do is thank you for everything you did!’
‘Hmmm! You are welcome.’ Ola said still not convinced.
‘Okay, I like him, he’s cute!’ Toyin said grinning not able to hold it in. Her sister knew her well.
‘I knew it. You are all the same. You will make him feel special!’
‘Is he not? I know you Ola. If you don’t like him he won’t be here. I can see it in your eyes, you like him too and he’s crazy about you. Stop playing hard to get , you are getting old oo.’ She joked
‘Crazy about me? That’s far-fetched Toyin. Like, yes, I know.’ She said unable to resist the smile that cracked her lips.
‘Great. So you will give him a chance?’
‘We shall see.’ She said as the children came in view. They were playing “throw and cash” with the dog.
‘Hey babies!’ She called out.
‘Big mommy.’ They said running to her.
‘I have to go my darlings. Remember to take care of Liffy and don’t fight. Promise?’
‘Promise!’ They both said while Liffy barked.
‘Wonderful! Enjoy your gifts and be good. I will come see you soon my dear. Okay?’
‘Okay big mommy! Will you bring uncle Paul?’
Even the children had been bought!
‘I will try!’ She said rolling her eyes. They hugged and pecked then made a run for Paul’s car before anyone else stopped her but it was too late. Paul was already by the car talking to her brother-in-law.
‘Thanks very much for the gifts, Paul. Hope to see more of you.’ Toyin’s husband was saying when Ola got to the car. At the rate everyone was going, they would give her away to Paul without collecting any bride price!
‘Hey sis. Thanks for everything, at least the kids will let our neighbour’s dog rest.’
‘You are welcome bro.’ She said hugging him and headed for the passenger’s seat before he would say anything about Paul. She watched as the two men shook hands and said few words before he entered the car.
‘What’s eating you up dear?’ Paul asked seeing the frown on Ola’s face.
‘Nothing.’ She snapped.
She was not angry with him really, she was pissed at her family. Even if she liked Paul, they should let them move at their pace not throw them together.
Paul wanted to know what was wrong with Ola but he was beginning to understand her nature. She became more adamant when pushed so he did not ask further questions. They had a good day and he did not want anything to spoil it, so instead, he asked about their case.
‘Were you able to find anything out from the boy.’
‘Yes I was.’ Ola said softening her voice and look. Paul had done nothing wrong to her and it was not his fault her family was pushing them together. As she has promised, she was going to give their friendship a trial.
‘Any new lead?’
‘Not really, we still have our major suspects plus one the boy can’t identify but who drives a blue car. I found out the victim kept a diary and it might help us. Also, the doctor was not truthful to us during interrogation. He went back into the house leaving the boy in the car, placing him alone with the victim. He confirmed the victim and the other two suspects were at longer heads too.’
‘Good. We have to look for that diary and laptop as soon as possible and get the culprit to confess before he or she has time to clean up his act.’
‘Well, I don’t think the crime was committed by one person…’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I can feel it in my gut… I can’t wait for the lab to finish with their tests so we can have the facts and arrest the culprits. The press will soon be on our neck and they will make us look bad.’
‘I’m sure we will have a clear direction as soon as we have the DNA of the tear drop. If the gun used is in the system, we will find its owner. Meanwhile, Doctor Akin still has an explanation to do about the poison used.’
‘That reminds me, we need to get the doctor’s records. CAY3P must be documented when used, so if it came from him, we would know.’
‘And we need the victims laptop too, I need to call Smith, I told him to get on it.’
‘Seems the coming week is going to be a busy one.’ Paul said as Ola dialled Smith’s number. Paul listened in to Ola’s side of the conversation because the phone was not on speaker.
“Hey.” “I’m good.” “Any news?” “The laptop?” “Okay.” “Tomorrow then.” “Bye.”
‘Any news?’ Paul couldn’t help but ask. A small smile cracked Ola’s face. She knew he would ask just like a Jealous and insecure lover.
‘Not much. We are still waiting on the lab for results. He couldn’t get into the office because it was locked and the victim is the only key holder. It’s weekend and we can’t get a judge to give us a warrant to break the door so he’s going to the house to search for the keys.’
‘More work for you this coming week.’
‘Same to you pal. You wanna tell me what happened to your sister?’ Ola did not forget about their earlier conversation and she really wanted to know more about him; his childhood experience was a good start.
…to be continued…
(WE NOW HAVE A MOBILE APP, DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY STORE AND INSTALL AND HAVE UPDATES AT YOUR FINGER TIPS! YOU WILL NEVER MISS ANYTHING!)
FOR ADVERT PLACEMENT AND SPONSORSHIP CONTACT:
***Note: Please read, like, leave a comment and share! It makes me write better and want to please you more!
Written by Olatorera.
Edited by Olatorera.
© 2018 by IBIOLAT VENTURES.