Chief Emeka Raymond Okafor briskly walked into his office with his secretary trailing behind him and using laboured breaths to inform him of his next meetings. His P. A walked at his left, as brisk as his employer.
Chief Emeka had been delayed at the church where he and the pastor were trying to finalize the financial requirements of the church. After he had built an orphanage in the memory of his late mother, he had been approached by the church and how thrilled he was to put in his resources.
As soon as his P. A opened the large door to the conference room, everyone who had been seating rose to their feet to welcome him.
“I’m sincerely sorry for coming late…got held up at a meeting. Do forgive me” he apologised briefly as he walked to his seat and sat down.
They all sat and a man at the end of the table, Mr Bamidele, opened his notepad and began.
Chf. Emeka cut him short by putting up his right hand. “Someone should please pray for us”
They all smiled knowingly. Chf Emeka never started a meeting without calling God to preside and they all knew that but Mr. Bamidele was employed only a month ago and had still not gotten used to the system.
Chf. Emeka sat in his office scanning some files that Pamela, his secretary, had given to him. In just two years, the number of orphans had doubled in his orphanage and this brought a sad smile to his face: it was unfair to the kids being abandoned but he felt really good providing a home for them.
“Sir” Pamela called and entered the office. “Its time to go home. Your grandson is waiting” she informed as his eyes darted to the wall clock; it was already time and it was a forty-five minute drive to his home from the office.
He began to gather the files after Pamela had left when a knock came on the door and a young man walked in dressed in a suit.
“Are you going home already?” he asked as Emeka nodded at his son.
“I don’t want your son and his cousin to have me for dinner” he added with a smile as his son chuckled. Godwin Okafor was his son and sole heir to the Okafor enterprise. Words could not explain the pride Chf. Emeka felt whenever he stared at his son who was already fulfilled at a very young age. He was happily married to a young woman who had grown on him and his beloved wife and they both had a son who always spent the holidays with his grandparents.
“I just wanted to let you know I would be presiding over the meeting to be held this afternoon” Chf. Emeka tried to recall but his son helped him out. “The one concerning those homeless people…we need to go through the financial records to make sure they’re being well fed by those we put in charge”
“That’s my boy” his father praised and walked towards him. “See you this evening…don’t hesitate to fire anyone who proves to be corrupt” he advised as his son nodded with a smile and he walked out of the office.
He was already seated in his car with his grandsons laughing and playing games in the back seat.
“Grandpa, mummy doesn’t want me to take ice cream again but I won’t tell her if you buy for me” he said with a smile as his grandfather smiled in the driver’s seat.
“Did I say I was getting you ice cream?”
“Not yet” he replied smartly. “But I’m thirsty” he said at once as Emeka smiled and nodded.
James was Godwin’s seven-year old son who was actually smarter than his mates. He was also a chatterbox unlike his cousin Patrick.
Patrick’s mother was the black sheep of the family. She had given birth to him eleven years ago and claimed she had no idea who his father was. She was an alcoholic and a chain smoker and they knew leaving the little boy with her would affect him adversely so they took him in permanently when he was four and even had papers to prove it but that was not until they paid her. It was obvious he was a burden to her and she unleashed her frustration on him all the time but when they opted to take him, she apparently sold her son to them but they really did not care.
She never visited and if she ever called, she never asked of him. Patrick Okafor was quiet most of the time except when James was around to make him laugh while they played around.
“We’ve arrived” he announced as both boys glanced outside the window and smiled at each other.
“Time to watch…” Patrick put his hands up for James to reply.
James immediately shouted “Boss babyyyy!”
The kids were the first to run into the house before their grandfather strolled in.
“Mummy please give birth to a boss baby…it’s going to be so cool” he said to his mum who laughed and promised to do just that.
“Welcome daddy” she said the moment she noticed her father-in-law and hugged him. She was like a replacement to him and his wife and they loved her dearly.
“I hope everyone is back”
“Welcome dad” Godwin greeted walking into the living room as James pounced on him.
“Mummy said she’ll give birth to a boss baby” he announced happily as Godwin smiled.
“That’s really nice of mummy” he remarked and smiled at his wife who smiled back.
“Did my superheroes just return?”
The kids did not need a soothsayer to tell who asked that. “Grandma” they both called out and ran to her.
“How was the-”
“Mummy is going to give birth to a boss baby” he cut in as his grandmother laughed and smiled at her children and then her eyes were fixed on her husband.
She hugged him with a smile on her face and turned to everyone. “First to get to the dining room will get the biggest portion of the cake” she said as they all ran towards the dining but Godwin and his wife, Annabel knowingly let the kids pass them.
“Was today as stressful as planned?”
“More than that…but it was for a good cause” he replied as she smiled at him.
She really admired her husband. His philanthropy was exceptional. He was not just running the orphanage, he was like a father to those kids. She could always see the look in his eyes when he was with them. She loved her husband dearly.
“Time to eat then we’ll talk about all that happened today”
They had all had dinner and said their prayers. As his wife lay down to sleep, Chf Emeka kissed her on the forehead and walked towards the door.
“Where are you going to Chf. Okafor?” She asked tiredly as he turned.
“Just want to go through some files in the study. I promise I won’t take long”
She muttered an inaudible ‘okay’ and he was out of the room.
The house was already quiet and the lights to all the rooms were turned off.
He arrived at his study and walked in closing the door behind him. He sat at the table and it didn’t take long for him to find the file he was looking for. Godwin had dropped them on the table. He began to flip the papers when he heard footsteps outside the study.
Maybe James going to his parent’s room, he thought and bent back to look at the file in his hand.
“I’ve been waiting for this day” a voice said behind him and before he could turn, a thin rope found its way to his neck.
He struggled with his attacker whose grip was too strong. He tried to use his fingers to loosen the grip on his throat but soon he felt blood dripping from his fingers. He did not care about that. He pulled harder and turned his neck a bit to the left and bit the wrist of his attacker who immediately hit his head hard on the table. His grip loosened and so did that of his attacker. He remained still. He wanted to move but he wanted his attacker to think he was dead. Who would want him dead? What had he done? Catherine?
He could feel the blood trickling down his neck. He had to think of something; shouting was out of the question. There was a letter opener in the drawer but he could not open it without getting the attention of his attacker. But what if he was extra careful?
Well he was wrong. The moment his fingers moved, his head was raised and the last thing Chf Emeka felt was a knife piercing his chest.
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