It had been two weeks and he had hit rock bottom. He had thought the first six months of his job as Director of the CIB was rock bottom, but two weeks after hitting a dead end with his case, he had a new understanding of rock bottom.
Everybody was out to get him. It was exhausting. The people were more relaxed, but they still wanted answers. The government was silent, that was even more threatening. The Chief of Police had skillfully evaded any press attention and was letting him take all the blame for the lack of movement in the case. It was his case so maybe he did deserve the blame but he had taken it for as long as he could and he had reached his limit. He was allowed a two week break every year and it was the right time to take it.
He was in the office of the Kwara State Chief of Police, he was the one who could free him from the torture of his job, even if it would be temporal.
“Ademola, how are you? Have you lost weight or what?” Chief Adeyanju said as he rolled into his office.
“I believe I have sir.” Adam replied standing to his feet and saluting.
“That is good. Nobody wants a fat cop.” He said and laughed hard, his pot belly showing exactly why nobody likes a fat cop. “Sit down. You’ve never come to my office without me having to force you”
“Well, I would not put it like that. I believe you are a busy man, I usually don’t want to disturb you sir.” He was rarely busy, almost all his work had been delegated.
“I hear you Ademola. So why are you disturbing me today then?”
“Well sir, I need you to approve my two-week vacation sir.”
“Vacation? You’re traveling somewhere?”
“Well, not really sir. I just need a break.” Adam replied him, feigning a smile.
“Detective, you need a break? A break from what? You’ve done almost nothing since you became the Director at CIB, now you need a break when you eventually have something to do.”
“I have something to do? You think so? I have hit a dead end with this case and you know it.”
“No Ademola, I don’t know it. Why did you let the manager of the hotel go? He was a good suspect.”
“He didn’t do it. We were either going to charge him or let him go. There wasn’t enough evidence to charge him. He had an alibi, remember?” He knew he was probably being rude to his boss but he was getting irritated by all the pressure on him.
“Somebody deleted those records. Are you saying the person can’t be found?”
“Sir, we have tried our best. Maybe the person involved in this is one of your politician friends, people with too much power to be touched.”
“That is your excuse now? Ademola, I thought it was a bad idea to make you director of CIB and I told the governor but he insisted you be made the director. He made me swear I will support you and I have supported you, despite all your flaws. I will not take this though, ride out the storm, you might be lucky and this is a one time thing, people will forget soon enough.”
Adam kept quiet and stared out of the window. The chief was right, he was giving up on the case too soon. He was not going to drink away the rest of his life. He had to do this one thing right, if it was all he would do. And then there was the note. The bastard had taunted him.
“Sir, I am sorry. You’re right, I have no right to give up on this case. I’ll look for new angles, I’ll have my top detectives work on it till we get a lead.” Adam said and stood.
“You go do that Ademola. You should also remember that the governor will finish his term one day and no other governor will leave a drunk as Director of the CIB.”
“Alright sir. I’ll take my leave now sir.”
“You were talking about politicians right? Well, you’ll get a chance to quiz the topmost politician in the state today. The governor asked to see you in the government house by 12 pm.”
“You said what sir? When were you going to tell me this sir? Did he tell you what it was about?” He had not spoken to the governor in years.
“No he didn’t. You will find out in…” he looked at his watch.”…one hour and fifteen minutes, if you hurry. Tell him I said ‘hello’”
“This is not working Ese”
Ese looked at her boss and it took all the mental strength she had not to jump across the table and slap the woman. She was a round woman. But her rotundness never stopped her from stomping into everybody’s offices and yanking their heads off. Everyone called her the grinch. Ese was having her head ripped off and she did not like it. True, she had hit a brick wall with the case she was supposed to investigate, but even the police did not have a new lead. It was worse that she had to sit through the lecture with her partner watching. He had run the crime desk alone for years and he had told her in clear terms he was not happy she was employed. He was even more angry when she was given the prostitute’s murder case.
“I told you from the beginning that this is a bad idea.” He said with a huge grin.
“Keep quiet Richard.” The only consolation she had was the grinch disliked Richard as much as she did.
“This is not fair ma’am. I have been here only a few months and I’m being transferred because I’m having a little challenge with the first case I’m working?”
“You’ve got nothing for two weeks, that’s more than a little in my books.” Richard said, the grin becoming wider.
“I said you should shut up, Richard.” The grinch fired Richard a stern look. “Ese, he’s right though. You haven’t gotten anything in two weeks, it might not be your fault. People don’t like change, Richard already knows the people of the state, Maybe he should continue as our crime’s desk reporter.”
“What are you saying? I never said he should quit his job but you cannot remove me from this unit. You know my reputation at NTA…”
“I know your reputation at NTA, and that is why we employed you. Maybe you are better suited with the politics unit.”
“If i wanted to stay with politicians, i would have remained with NTA.” She realised she was raising her voice but she did not mind,they were toying with her.
“Ese, you are not hearing me, this isnt discussion. Richard takes over the crimes desk fully now. Report to the politics unit tommorow.”
Ese picked her bag and stormed out of the room, she would remain in the crimes unit if it meant she had to kill somebody to get a story.
The government house was once second home to him, but not anymore. Adam looked at the familiar lay out of the building as he moved towards the waiting room. He had been an aide to the governor and could have considered him a friend but he was smart enough to know better. They had a great relationship until the first lady was shot. There was nothing he could have done about it, he had told himself a thousand times but he could not let go of the incident. Neither could the governor. He had been sent out of the country for a course in criminology and he had come back to head the CIB.
He had been surprised when the police chief told him the governor wanted to see him and was even more surprised when he got a direct call from the governor ten minutes later asking him to come to the government house.
The room where he was told to wait was one of the several rooms where the governor attended to his visitors, depending on how important they were. If the room where he was meeting the governor was anything to go by, then he was not very important.
“Adam!” A voice called from behind him. He jumped up, it was the governor.
“Sir, I didn’t…”
“Come here my friend, it’s been a long time.” The governor moved towards him and gave him a firm handshake.
“Yes sir, it’s been a while sir.”
“Sit down please. Well, how have…” he stopped as his daughter came in. “You remember Kate?”
“Hello Uncle Adam.” She said, curtsying. He remembered her, she had not changed much. She looked exactly like her mother.
“Hello Kate.” He replied, avoiding making eye contact.
“You want something dear?” The governor said to Kate. She moved towards him and whispered into his ears. Adam looked away. The late first lady had made sure that every room in the house had a picture of their family of three. She stood out from the pictures, she was beautiful and elegant, the kind of wife any husband would be proud of.
“I miss her a lot, you know.” The governor said, cutting into his thoughts.
“My wife, I saw you looking at her.”
“Yes sir.” It was an awkward conversation, one he did not want to have.
“I don’t hold her death against you, I hope you know?”
“Thank you for that sir.” Adam shifted in his chair, he was getting more uneasy.
“How’s your new job? You like it?”
“Well sir, I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me sir.” He was glad for the change of subject but talking about his job was not his favourite topic.
“You’re grateful, I see. So I take it you don’t really like the job”
“Sir, I have a good job, a job most will kill for and like I said earlier sir, I am very grateful for it.”
“How’s the case you’re working coming?”
“We are trying to pursue some new leads sir.” There was no way he was going to admit to the governor he was not sure of what he was doing.
“Alright, let me tell you why I asked you to come.” Adam sat up in his chair. “I have asked around and I know for a fact you don’t like this job. I realize you are grateful for it, I don’t doubt that, but it looks like the only reason you are still on the job is because of me. Is this true Adam?”
“Well sir, I am grateful…”
“I know you are grateful Adam. Alright, this is my offer, you can resign from the job, I won’t hold it against you.”
“Sir, I couldn’t possibly…” He was surprised at the governor’s offer, there’s no way he would resign like this even if he wanted to.
“Just to assure you I mean what I just said, you pick any job you want in the state police and you’ll have it. I realize you might not be suited to this detective work and I put you there without your say, so, here is your out.”
Adam looked away from the governor. He was not totally against quitting the job but not this way. He was already a disappointment to the governor, there was no way he was going to do it again.
“Sir, I appreciate this offer but I will have to decline sir. I am grateful for the job I have and I will do my best sir. I am sorry I gave you reason to doubt me again sir.”
“I’m sure you can be excellent at the job if you if you put your mind to it. And you need to ease up on the booze, you didn’t drink when you worked with me, don’t make it a habit now.”
He was shocked the governor knew about his drinking. He felt even more ashamed.
“I want you to do only one thing Adam, make sure this kind of killing doesn’t happen again in this state.”
It was a simple enough instruction. As long has he had any say in it, the city would never experience such murders anymore.
He placed the knife beside Diana’s blonde offering and walked away. She lay unconscious and unaware of the beauty around her. Diana loved him and he loved her. He had experienced her love in a special way and after two weeks of torture in his sleep, he was going to experience it again. She had loved his sacrifice but it had been a random prostitute, this time He was going to satisfy her with an even better sacrifice.
The blondeness of the girl was a pleasant surprise. Diana loved blondes and was a blonde herself. The girl’s hair was fake of course, there were no Nigerian blondes. Diana would not mind though, she was a fake blonde herself.
You dare call Diana fake?
He picked up a knife from close by and slashed his thigh. He screamed as blood flowed from the cut. Diana was a goddess, she was anything but fake.
He looked up at the picture frame on the wall. Diana smiled down at him urging him on. He stripped off his robe and stood naked in front of the mirror standing below the picture frame. His body was perfect. He ran his hand across the cut on his thigh, he felt the pain sharply, it was the perfect drug.
The bottle of cyanide stood where he had left it from the last time but he would not need it. Diana was going to have a living sacrifice.