DR. Akin placed a possessive hand over his son’s shoulder as he watched the detective walked towards them. He also felt his son’s plight but there was little he could do about it. He wished they were never there but he had no choice but he was determined to keep them away from his son.
Ola as been doing this job for a while and she knew when to go soft. She saw the father laid a protective hand on his son and she was prepared to disarm him.
‘Hey Junior! Are you enjoying the party?’
‘What do you think about the puppy?’
‘Awww! It’s so cute! What’s its name?’
‘I don’t know but since you know a lot about dogs why don’t you help your new friends figure out a name for them? Ehm, that is if it’s okay with your dad.’ Ola knew what she was doing, she was placing the man in a tight corner but she did it harmlessly.
‘Dad?’ The boy looked up to his father with pleading eyes.
Dr. Akin considered his options very well but he really didn’t want the boy out of his sight. He felt she could see he was trying too hard to keep the boy to himself and thought she might suspect him so he gave his permission. Besides, what could two innocent young children do to harm his boy?
OLA went in search of the children whom had left the spot she left them and were running around with their new puppy. All other entertainment paled in comparison to their new dog. She passed a small group of people which Paul was part of. He was watching her all along and he knew something was up and when she passed him and whispered; “go do your job.” He knew exactly what she was saying, he politely excused himself from the small group and moved towards Dr. Akin to start a conversation while Ola went about making plans.
Ola’s first stop was her sister’s, where she was busy dishing food for people.
‘Hey you! Where have you been? You brought a man to a party but you are not attending to him! How do you expect to get mar…’ Toyin was accusing her sister but Ola cut her off.
‘He’s an adult Tito, he can take care of himself, besides, you invited him!’
‘I’m trying to help you escape the single girls club!’ Toying snapped back.
‘Aww! That’s sweet of you! Anyways, I need a favor.’
‘What can I do for you?’
‘Can you start giving out the ice cream?’
‘Why?’ Toyin asked baffled.
‘I will explain to you later.’ Ola said and quickly left. She would have to explain if she stayed longer.
Ola finally caught up with the children and gathered them around her. While holding on to her niece and nephew, she told the other kids the ice cream machine was ready to give them ice cream and they scattered running towards it. The power of ice cream seemed to be greater than the love for a puppy.
‘So guys, I have something for you, but we have to play a game first.’ Ola said to her sister’s children.
‘I love playing games!’ Darasimi stated.
‘I want to play with my puppy!’ Gabriella sulked.
‘Our puppy! It’s not only yours, tell her Big Mommy!’
‘The puppy belongs to both of you and the game we want to play involves playing with your puppy and I will give both of you more gifts if you play the game well!’
‘Yeah! More gifts!’ Gabriella screamed jumping and clapping.
‘So this is what I need you to do. You remember Junior, your new friend?’ She said and they nodded.
‘He knows a lot about dogs. I want you to take him into my room and I want the three of you to figure a name out for the puppy! I want you to remain in your room till I come and I will give you your gifts. Can you do that?’ Ola knew her niece and nephew were intelligent and they could carry out the assignment well but she needed to make it sound interesting and rewarding.
‘Yes! Yes!’ The children chorused.
‘Good boy and girl. Now let’s go get Junior and remember to be nice.’
‘Okay Big Mommy.’
With her plot in place and her actors ready, she walked with them towards Akin and his son.
DOCTOR Akin squatted to his son’s level as soon as Ola walked away. He needed to make sure his son did not talk to any body about what he might know.
‘Junior, you know I love you?’
His son nodded.
‘Remember mommy told you not to talk to strangers, especially adults?’
The boy nodded again.
‘You know this people are strangers? Please don’t talk to anyone about mommy and daddy. Do you understand?’
‘Yes daddy. Do you want me to stay here?’ Junior asked sensing his father’s distress but didn’t understand why he was so worried.
Frankly, he would prefer that but he couldn’t do that to his son. He was about sounding more warning when he saw Ola coming with Darasimi and Gabby who was carrying the puppy.
‘Okay Junior, remember what I told you. Be a good boy and I will get you that puppy you want.’ He bribed the young boy. Junior’s face lit up.
‘Really dad? I will be a good boy!’ He screamed throwing his arms around his father’s neck.
Ola saw how the boy hugged his father tight and wondered what the good news might be. As he reached the duo, she said;
‘What’s the good news?’
Before the father could stop his son, the son grinning from ear to ear said to his new friends;
‘Dad’s going to get me a puppy too!’
The father sighed in relief as the boy didn’t finish the sentence.
“Hmmm! A puppy? Is that a bribe for something?” The detective in her thought.
‘Wow! That’s good. So will you kids go figure out a name for the dog?’ Ola said hiding her thoughts.
‘Yes! Let’s go J-boy.’ The children skipped away.
Ola was wondering what was taking Paul longer than necessary to reach them when she heard;
‘There you are! Your mom wants you in the kitchen, been looking for you.’
‘Mom likes to trouble me! Please take care of our guest, I will be right back.’ She said walking the opposite way from where the kids went.
‘So doc. How are you?’ Paul asked the doctor diverting his gaze away from the kids that walked farther away.
‘I’m coping but it ain’t easy really. Especially for the boy.’
‘I know. I lost my elder sister when I was very young, I was six years old…’ He said looking pained. It was a true story he did not tell often.
‘How did you cope?’ The doctor asked truly interested.
Paul needed a beer to quench his thirst but more importantly, he wanted to draw Akin away from everything and have his full attention. Telling his story, he took a step towards where the beer cooler was. Doctor Akin followed him.
‘It was a raining day and my sister wanted to play in the rain. Our parents were not around and the maid were nowhere around to stop her…’
OLA watched as Paul and Akin walked towards the gazebo. They seemed engulfed in what they were discussing. She didn’t know how long she had so she moved fast. Of course she grew up in this house and knew where to take to avoid being seen. She grabbed the three bowls of ice cream she had savaged for her mission and headed towards her childhood bedroom.
JUNIOR liked showing his knowledge of animals and he really liked his new friends. They were nice. He has not had this much fun since his mother changed and divorced his father.
‘What you want to look at when choosing a dog’s name his its character and look. For example, he likes to jump and play, his fur looks wet and he has spot. You can call him Spoty, Fluffy or Jacky. What do you think?’ He said.
‘Hmmmmm! I don’t like that. I like the name Katy and Cossy!’ Gabriella declared.
‘Those are names for cats Gabby! I like Danny, Bonny, Scout, Burdy!’ Darasimi argued.
‘No! It’s a female dog! Let’s call her Rose or Lily! Its my dog!’ Gabriella cried.
‘Your dog? No its mine!’
Junior was enjoying the battle between the siblings and for the first time, he wished he had a brother or sister or both, the more the merrier. He was about to mediate when the door opened.
Ola stood behind the door and listened to the children banter. It reminded her of her childhood with her sister but when the argument was about to turn into a fight, she opened the door.
‘Big mommy! D-Boy won’t allow me name my dog!’ Gabby accused.
‘I will have to take this dog back because you are not keeping your promise.’ Ola said.
‘Nooooo!’ The children shouted.
‘Okay. I will take Junior out and allow both of you to agree on a name. You can have this ice cream when you agree.’ She baited dropping the ice cream on the side table. She opened the door and smiled at Junior who smiled back and followed her out.
Ola knew she had to thread softly but quickly before the father starts looking for his son.
‘I got this ice cream for you Junior.’ She said giving it to the boy as they reached the stairs landing and sat down on the first layer. She patted the space beside her motioning for the boy to sit down.
Junior sat down beside the nice beautiful police woman. He liked her. He badly wanted to ask about his mother but he remembered what his father said. Though within him, he did not see her as a stranger. She had promised him to find out those who hurt his mother. He had tried what he told her but it didn’t work. He closed his eyes at night and thought about his mother but instead of his mother coming to him, he was having nightmare about all the people who shouted on his mother. He ate his delicious ice cream while he thought of the last days of his mother lived.
Everyone thought he was too young to understand what was going on but he was not dumped. He knew his mother was gone forever. He had seen enough movies to know people die by the hands of their family members. He knew his aunt Grace always shouted on his mom. They always fight when his aunt came around. He knew his dad was angry at his mom and they shouted at each other a lot. He knows his mother scolded aunt Vic often but could any of them had harmed his mother? There was another person his mother screamed at. He was truly confused.
‘Aunt Ola?’ He said with his voice shaking.
‘Yes darling?’ Ola answered as gently as she could, putting up her sweetest face ever hoping it was the break she needed.
‘I didn’t see mommy in my dream yesterday…’
‘Oh really? Well I know why.’ She laid the foundation for her lie.
‘Why? Is she angry with me? Is someone hurting her again?’
‘Noooo! She loves you very much. She was with me trying to help me find out what happened to her. You know what will make mommy happy and make her come to you early?’
‘Tell me! I want to see her.’
‘She would like it if you help me…’ She said gentle. She didn’t like lying but in her profession, she had too.
‘Dad said I shouldn’t talk to strangers about our family…’ He said faintly.
Well, that was a good advice but she needed information he could provide.
‘Your dad is very right but I’m not a stranger anymore. Your mommy will really want you to help me. Okay, let me promise you this. It will be our little secret, I won’t tell anyone you talked to me and you do the same. Like that, your daddy won’t know.’ Ola said.
Whatever information she got from the boy couldn’t be used in the court because he was an unsupervised minor and she did not have permission from his parents. She needed it just for narrowing down her suspects.
The boy thought for few seconds and said;
‘Okay, but I don’t want my dad to get into trouble.’
The detective in her stood upright. What has the father got to hide and what did the child know.
‘Your dad will be okay…’ She said feeling heartless. She had not promises the boy anything but he did not know it. If the father was guilty he was definitely in trouble. The boy was not talking again, it seemed he had changed his mind so she asked softly;
‘Who was shouting on mommy, Junior?’
‘Everybody… Dad, Aunty Grace, Aunty Vic and and and…’ He stuttered.
‘And who Junior?’
‘I don’t know the person. Mommy thought I was sleeping but I was not. I heard my name a lot when they were talking. The person was whispering but mommy was shouting and crying. When I heard the door banged, I went to my window but it was too dark I didn’t see the person but I saw the car. It was a blue car.’ The boy narrated.
Ola wished she had her pen and jotter but she stored everything in her brain making mental notes.
‘Good boy. That will be helpful. Is the person a man or a woman?’ She asked.
‘I don’t know.’
‘Why do you think daddy will be in trouble dear?’
‘Hmmm, the day he came to pick me, mommy and daddy were angry at each other. Daddy told me to wait in the car and he went back inside. I heard mommy screamed. Then daddy came out and he was still angry…’ Junior said regrets showing all over him.
‘It’s okay dear. Remember, it’s our little secret. What did Aunty Vic and mommy fight about, Junior?’
‘Mommy said she i…’ He was saying when her bedroom door opened.
Darasimi and Gabriella were getting tired of fighting over their dog’s name. They wanted their ice cream and really wanted to get back to their party so they called a truce. They were going to join each name they chose together.
‘Big mommy! We have a name!’ They announced.
This was the very first time Ola would not be pleased to see her niece and nephew. She knew it was going to be hard to get another alone time with Junior but she also knew she was running out of time before the father suspected anything. She plastered a smile on her face and asked the children;
What’s her name?’
‘LILLY FLUFFY!’ They screamed together.
‘Lilly Fluffy?’ Junior said standing up and moving closer to his new friends.
‘Yes, like a name and surname.’ Darasimi said shrugging his shoulders and spreading his hands. He did not like the name either, he just did not want to lose the dog.
‘Dogs don’t have surname. Hmmmmm. Let’s join the name together. How about LIFFY or FLULLY?’ Junior suggested.
Ola sensing another war was about to begin said;
‘I have an idea. Let the dog choose its own name! Dara, you call her LIFFY, Gabby, you call her FLULLY, wherever she goes is the name she likes. Agreed?’
The children nodded and they both began calling the dog. The poor dog looked confused but after a minute, she went to Dara and so her name was sealed. Liffy it was. The kids looked happy.
‘Alright grab your ice cream and go back to the party. It must be time to cut the cake.’ Darasimi and Gaberilla went back to the room with Liffy closely behind them.
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 Gaberilla 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, not two but three people 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.
…to be continued…
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Written by Olatorera.
Edited by Olatorera.
© 2018 by IBIOLAT VENTURES.