…Continued from last post…
The first thing about her that I noticed were her extremely long and sexy legs. She was seated at the back of the restaurant (perhaps to provide maximum privacy for us) and uncrossed her legs as I ate up the distance between us with long strides. When I reached her, I took the hand she offered.
“Thanks for coming Barrister Martin, I really appreciate it,” she said as she rubbed my hand with her other hand.
“It’s all right. Let’s get to it.” I was a little grumpy because of how things were turning out.
“You mind if I record this interview?” she asked, and when I shrugged, brought out her phone, and turned on the recorder. Then she began, “Few months back, you got involved in a case involving a man who killed his boss because he caught him in flagrante delicto with his wife; and just few days ago, it was reported that the woman in question attempted suicide. What is your general view on the case?”
“My view is plain and simple: he committed a crime and will have to pay for it.”
“But morally she was wrong,” she insisted.
“Killing is both a moral and legal offense,” I jibbed back.
“If you were in his shoes, what would you do?”
“Since I’m currently divorced, I can’t say.”
“Oh, that’s true! You were caught with your secretary, right?” Her questions were taking the kind of turn I didn’t like.
“Lady, I decided to come here because you said your job was on the line; but as it seems, you are looking for a cheap way of being in the limelight.”
“Sir, my aim is to determine whether…” her voice trailed off as something else caught my eye. By extreme corner of the restaurant, towards the northeast side, I saw something that made the wheels in my head start turning. It was a couple; the man’s right hand was inside the girl’s gown and she was trying hard to resist a giggle. The girl was the very same girl I bumped into while getting into the elevator. And the man strangely looked familiar. But where have I seen him before? This my memory had a way of disappointing me when I least expected it.
“… so I want to know if you’re objective about this case,” I came back as she finished.
“Whatever you’re implying, I will advice that you stop,” I glared at her, “I took up the case because I hate it when people decide to take laws into their hands. She was wrong to cheat on her husband but that doesn’t excuse his actions.”
“I think this interview is over. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve had a busy day and need to retire.”
I left her staring wide-eyed at me.
As I drove into the parking lot of the hotel, the image of the boy with his hands inside the girl’s cloth came back, and this time with the recollection of where I’d seen him before. He was sporting a beard unlike the picture of him at his parents’ house — the Afolabis. That was why I hadn’t recognized him immediately. What was he doing with that girl? I’ll have to find out later. For now, sleep was paramount and nothing will deprive me of that.
For three hours, I was lost to the world, inside a sleep so well deserved that it took a biting hunger to wake me up. I got out of bed, ordered food, and went to the bathroom to freshen up. Ten minutes later, I was done and my meal had arrived. As I was wolfing down gulps of eba with a most delicious and egusi soup, the bride stormed into my room crying.
“Yemi, what is the problem?” I asked as I guided her to a chair.
“Oh Mr. Martin, the most awful tragedy has occurred,” she replied. Streams of tears were running down has face undeterred.
“Calm down dear. What happened?”
“It’s Tracy, my chief bridesmaid. She shot the best man!”
“Chuka — that’s the best man — was sleeping in my fiancé’s room and that’s where she shot him. The police has been alerted and my father wants to see you right now,” she tearfully recounted.
Eating suspended, I went into the bathroom, changed and followed her to the scene of the incident. When I arrived, the place was a beehive of people. I wormed myself into the room, expecting to see the body of the best man. But he was very much alive, only that his midsection was bandaged.
I went to Chief Peter’s, and asked, “Yemi said he was shot?”
“Yes,” he said, “But he was lucky that Tracy was no assassin. She shot him in the dark and so missed any vital organs. We called for a doctor who has assured us that he has no other serious injuries.”
“Do you know her reason for wanting to kill him?”
“That’s what we intend to find out once this throng of people disperses.”
It was well over two hours before the people eventually went out of the room, each person with a different speculation about what happened. Then we all — I, Lanre Peters, Barth Umeji, their respective wives and children — faced the victim. But no one knew how to start. It was Ugonna, the groom, who broke the silence.
“Chuka, I’m very sorry for what happened to you. But please, do you know why she wanted you dead?”
The young man tried shifting his sitting position but even that was hard for him. Later, he was aided into lying down. With painful grunts and laboured breathing, he began, “Ayo, who did you kill?”
The question threw everybody off balance; those who already knew of what he was talking about were obviously shocked as to how he got to know, and those who were oblivious of that fact were looking around open-mouthed.
It was the boy’s father who replied, “How did you get to know about that? And how does that concern what happened to you?”
“I don’t know the full details, but I overheard Tracy and one man saying something about Ayo being hoodwinked. According to her ‘They will pay up without knowing they were fooled’. I was still listening when the ring of my phone alerted them of my presence. The man had scurried away and Tracy just left.
“I then came into this room to inform Ugonna but he was in the bathroom. I decided to wait for him and the next thing, I was sleeping till she shot me. I must have forgotten to lock the door in my haste.”
With this piece of information, some pieces of the puzzle started falling into place. The police later arrived and took the girl away. The boy had already absconded before the police could get him.
…To be continued…