Jerry knew he had to start treading gently in his new quest for knowledge. He would start following all the money he has (every one of them), and the best place to start his search was his bank account. How did he get such a huge amount of money? He needed to find that out. Now that he was beginning to get clues as regarding himself, he would stop at nothing to know more about himself. At that moment, he wished above all things to meet his beautiful thief again, so that he would get to know all he needed from her. She has many questions to answer, a whole lot of them, and from what he had learnt, she has a lot of answers to any of his question.
Just when he got to his room, his phone rang, vibrating vigorously in his pocket.
‘Hello, Ms. Jabobs’.
‘Hello. Jerry… Good morning. How was your night?’
‘Wonderful… Please are you free today around two o’clock? I want to get the refrigerator… You remember that refrigerator, I talked about, right?’
‘Yes… Yes… Where do you intend to get it?’
‘Agric bus stop’.
‘Please remember to bring that thing’, she said conclusively as the phone gave a beeping sound to show that the connection has been broken, ‘ I can’t come there to collect it because of time’.
Jerry had promised to give her thirty thousand naira out of the amount she said she needed to get a freezer. She wants to start selling soft drinks at her house. He would have love to give her everything, but he wanted to keep the fact away from everybody that he was two million naira rich, especially now that he needed to find his origin.
‘ Should I find my origin or not?’ He asked himself as he laid back on the bed, with fear that he himself would not like what the future might hold, that whatever might have happened in the past would really affect him, humanity and ecosystem, that whatever might have happened in the past was just a beginning of his trouble, of a bigger trouble.
By 2.30pm, Once had gotten to Ikorodu, from Ibadan. He hated the journey, the stress, especially the traffic jam of Lagos state. He promised himself that any time he sees Jasper; he would use the butt of gun to hit his head. Why had the foolish boy not be picking his calls? Once looked around at the place he just parked. As he dropped from the car, he was happy that he had done his research about that area well because his search would have made him be at stand-still.
He pondered on where he would start his search. Should he start by going to the police station? No. One of the code of conducts of their organisation warns them to avoid the police station at all cost, that no matter what they want to know they have to research it out. He looked for a place to park his car; a place the car would get full protection. At that time, he wished he had followed a public transport. He drove to the nearest car-wash park, took his tools bag, and left the car for them to wash.
Once crossed the road, still pondering on what to do as he crossed the road. Would he walk the whole of Ikorodu, searching for Jasper. He just had the prenominating that he knew what Jasper must have come to do there, that Jasper had gotten the job he, Once, was aspiring to get ,and had been sent to the house. Once has all the details of the place and was preparing to do the job before chief told him he had given out to someone else.
‘What did you think about that fridge’, a lady’s voice said behind him, startling him as he hurriedly left the way for the owner of the voice to pass.
‘It’s not worth that amount… At least the guy should have giving a better price or try reducing the price’, another voice- a male voice said.
Once knew that voice. He knew that voice. That must not be who he thought he was. There must have been some resemblance somewhere. He needed to be sure the voice does not belong to whom he, Once, thought it belongs to. Having no better choice, he turned back and decided to follow the owner of the voice. Just to see his face, to be sure it was not who he thought he was. So that he would know that nothing would ruin his precious reputation, the one he had been preserving for close to five years now, the one many people feared.
Once followed the voice at a distance because if the owner of the voice was truly who he thought he was then he must not see him, and if he is the one, Once promised himself,
‘Na final judgement time’.
Even from the physique of this person, Once saw that the owner of the voice look like who he thought he was. His heartbeat increased as he thought of what that would means to him if the person was truly the one.
After sometimes, he saw that it was who he feared it would be: it was Leech.
As much as he was in a hurry, Once was not ready to jeopardise this new mission by killing Leech in the public.
Once followed them via a bike, making sure he kept a safe distance until Leech and the Lady entered a house. All he needed was to be alone with him. So, Leech was still alive. How did he survive that gunshot on the head? How did he survive that great fall? Thousands of question arose in his mind, he needed answers to every one of them and Leech must answer them.
Even till now, Leech was still Leech. He was still with the lady, not coming out, and that vexed Once where he sat, waiting. Leech had not stop doing what made everyone in Chief’s house call him ‘ Leech’.
At last, Leech came out of the house, making Once’s heart to warm up as he quickly took his hand to his bag, and brought out a pistol. His gun was always loaded because of emergency like this and he wanted this killing to be clean, sweet and easy. This time he was not going to play to chance, he would make sure he watch Leech die. He watched the street for any sign of anyone following, but there was none there- rather, it was only a haggard beggar that was there. When Leech walked past where he was hiding, Once placed a silencer on the pistol and watched him turn corner before he followed him, hastily. When he saw Leech cutting another corner, he ran after him, with all his might, but he had to screech to a halt when he discovered the place led to a room. Once quickly turn to a corner, hiding himself very well from the eagle-eyes of Leech, who seems to have heard the screech and had turned back to see what must have happened. Leech entered the room, and then, the time to make the strongest decision came. He wondered if he should kill Leech there and then or if he should just allow the night to come, the night which has a cloak that would cover Once’s face especially this time that PHCN refused to restore electricity.
Yemi sat transfixed as he watched Grace smiling, and knew the reason she had the big, bright smile on: she wanted to kill every grief and face life squarely.
‘Mummy’, a little boy shouted, running into the house, ‘Bolu have take my thing’.
‘That my thing that I see on the floor that time… that time…’
‘Go and call her for me’.
The little boy ran out happily as if his mother’s call for Bolu was the only assurance he needed to get hold of whatever thing he wanted to collect from Bolu.
‘Wow… He is grown up now’, Yemi said,’ you are lucky…’
‘What is his name?’
‘Hmmm… Ademola Adeoti the son of Abidemi Adeoti’, Yemi said absent-mindedly.
Grace got the pregnancy of this boy when she was still an undergraduate, and it almost affected her education, but she scaled through.
‘ Grace accept my condolences’, Yemi said slowly, trying not to raise any sad emotion in Grace.
‘ Oh! Please Officer. The ones that would die would die. I’ve been hoping he would return home for months but I did not see anyone. That is a reason enough for me not to think over his death any longer’.
Yemi felt tears swelling in his eyes, so he quickly pinched it away and checked the time- 9:30 pm.
‘I saw a man in Lagos that looked exactly like Bidemi’, Yemi said blankly, just to talk,’ and he is connected to a murder case that I am working on now, and that’s why I came to ask questions’.
Grace edged forward in her seat, and looked at Yemi intently as if she had not given up on her husband being dead.
‘Where is his picture? Don’t you have any picture of him? Anything that might make me just see him? Even though he is a look alike’.
‘But I thought…’ Yemi said and changed his mind,’ someone stole the phone that has the picture from me in the bus. And you do not need to bother, since…’
‘I need to see him. What if it is Bidemi?’
‘But…’ Yemi said again and kept quiet,’ he is not the one because this other person does not know me’.
‘What if he is pretending?’
‘Nah…’ Yemi said shaking his head slightly, ‘this one was not pretending at all; in fact, the way he looked at me, one would know he had never seen me in his entire life’.
‘So…’ Yemi said as he rose, and dusted off unseen dirt from his body, smoothening his trousers, ‘Grace… I’ll have to return to the station to know what we can make of that murder case’.
Saying that, he turned towards the door but Grace pulled his cloth.
‘ Please, Officer Yemi, let me follow you…To clear my mind, for me to truly believe he is dead because I am not sure he is dead…. I have a feeling he is still alive…’
She went down on her knee.
‘Please, let me follow you to this person in Lagos’.
The beautiful night thief almost jumped for joy as she got to the concluding part of her final plan.
‘I’m good… I’m their boss…I’m the great schemer’, she whispered as she carried the bags of money into her car. She had been monitoring Chief’s transaction for months now, and had been waiting for the biggest one to click, and she was getting ready to lay her hands on it. So, when she got the information about this one, she just knew she had to catch this or never. Luckily for her, Chief still enjoys following the primitive ways of collecting money; they brought the money to him in the house:50 billion naira. She found a way to drug everyone in the house that day since they all trusted her. She had served the family for long, and it was time to get out.
She cannot leave without saving her crush, newfound lover and, hopefully the father of her unborn child. She cannot leave without taking Leech from the place she was forced to put him. The place she was forced to hide him from the evil of this world: Chief.
The moment she got outside the building, she tipped the gateman (who was happy with the amount she gave him and hailed her loudly) and zoomed off. Ikorodu straight. She had rushed down all the way from Lagos to Ibadan when she caught notice of this money, and she must rush down off the grid before Chief wakes. This money was like the flower that blossom in adversity, it is the most rare and beautiful.
Her phone rang: It was Martha, the most dangerous and carefree girl in the world.
‘Once is here’, she whispered.
An invisible bell rang in the beautiful thief’s head.