Saturday. 10pm. Chief Osagie starred hard into the cold eyes of the three men standing before him. They created a contrast to the luxury of the big spacious living room filled with tasteful furniture; Persian rugs, Egyptian fabric upholstered seats, marble floors and crystal-like glass tables and stools. While everything around them carried the aura of class and opulence, they bore a mean and repelling aura that sent huge goose bumps round your skin. They were all casually dressed in jeans and polo or T-shirts, each one of a different shade and colour. The only similarity in their menacing looks was the dark shades and stone cold expression each one of them wore on his face.
Chief Osagie chuckled. Why on earth were they wearing shades indoors? Is it a fraternal thing or was it just another influence of the hip culture of wearing shades to look cool or deadly? The Chief pulled lightly on his big brown cigar, puffed into the heavily air-conditioned atmosphere and crushed part of the burning embers of his fat Cuban in a marble ashtray.
‘Gentlemen,’ Chief Osagie began, ‘I have seen your ‘resume’ and I’m quite impressed.’
His listeners said nothing but looked on, their eyes seemingly colder and darker than the shades they wore.
‘I also heard you are the best in the business and always do a neat job. Besides that, you only chose to work for the highest bidder, am I right?”
The heftiest amongst them with the strongest composure which suggested that he was the leader, nodded in such a slow manner it unnerved the Chief a little.
‘I heard that Chief Nwanko bid you to work for him for 1.5 million but because I need your service more urgently and since you go to the highest bidder, I decided to hire you for a higher amount – 3 million.’
The hefty one smiled. It was a warm smile that instantly diffused the tension in the air. He turned to look at his shady comrades and they acknowledged with affirmative nods.
‘Go on. We’re listening’, came the response from the leader of the trio. His voice was gentle yet cold..
‘Good’, said the Chief crushing another burnt butt in a beautiful ashtray. For a moment he paused as his eyes caught sight of the untouched brandy his maid had served his guests. He waved at it.
‘Gentlemen, feel at home, have some brandy’.
‘Sorry Chief, but we are here for business and not pleasure’.
The statement caught the Chief a bit off balance. He felt slighted. He was not a stickler for easily swallowing a blunt refusal over a seemingly good gesture. He opened his mouth to make a counter statement but thought the better of it. At least one thing was certain from the impression they were creating; the fact that they were serious businessmen.
He picked up a large envelope and tossed it on the table in-front of his dark guests.
‘His name is Alfred Osindele. A very powerful businessman whose transport business seems to be the main interest of the city. Mine used to be the best but Osindele has started coming up with some cunning ideas that threatens to dwarf my profits in the transport business. I want you to eliminate him. He is an obstacle to my continuous booming success.’
The leader of the trio picked up the envelope, pulled out the documents, then took off his shades to get a clearer view of the documents and photos.
The Chief got a good look at his face; bushy eyebrows, clear bright eyes and a gaze that seemed to pierce into one’s soul.
‘I thought you had a very good reason for wanting him out of business’, the leader finally spoke, his roving cold eyes sidetracking the Chief’s own.
The Chief gave him a nasty look and chewed angrily on his cigar to hide his building fury. The man was beginning to get on his nerve.
‘Look, I’m offering you 3 million to kill the guy. Does it concern you what reasons I have for doing that?’
He was beginning to lose his cool but his guests were not rattled. At a signal from their leader, they promptly stood up. He gave the Chief his last word.
‘Expect Alfred Osindele to be deceased in two days time’. And with that they left without saying goodbye.
To be continued…