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Fear No More (A Romance Thriller)

Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:20 pm

Fear No More

Sola Raphael

© 2019
All rights reserved. No part of this story must be used without the express permission of the author.

Comments and criticism are highly welcome.
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Sam is a jolly fellow who goes about in a confident way bereft of worries. When his boss instructs him to become driver to his wife, Sam thinks it’s another simple task. He is confounded by the turn of events. The dalliance between him and his boss’ wife becomes an albatross. His life is on the line. He becomes a man on the run, even as another love intrigues pull him back.

The Hyndai jeep drifted with the traffic. It was few minutes after five p.m., and it was the hour many workers had closed at the offices and were returning to their homes. Sam was not in a hurry, so the traffic could be as slow as it wanted to be. Like others, he was returning home where he hoped to have a deserved rest. In order to chase off boredom, he snapped the jeep radio on. A female presenter was blabbing about the importance of fidelity in marriage and other relationships. As a single man at thirty years old, Sam felt the message was of no importance to him.

He promptly changed the Frequency Modulated station and settled for a musical station. From Ketu, to Mile 12, Owode, Irawo, Ajegunle and Ogolonto, the traffic remained busy.

At Ogolonto, he turned right to drive to Ebute. From here, he would drive towards Igbogbo. His final destination was a storey building off Igbogbo Road. It was few minutes after six when he drove inside the compound. He took the sidewalk to his two-room apartment at the back of the main building. It was supposed to be a boys’ quarter, but it was a glorified one with nice rooms and en-suite kitchens and toilets. It was one of his gains for working for Chief Kashi, the business man cum politician.

One of his phones rang as soon as he stepped inside the house. He let it ring for a while as he removed his shoes and socks. He then picked the phone. It was Jenni on the line.

'Hello, baby. How're you?'

'Fine. Are you at home already?'

'Yeah, I just got home now. Are you coming over?'

'Yes, I'm on my way.'

Jenni was a co-worker. While Sam worked as a special assistant to Chief Kashi, Jenni was the boss' secretary. Jenni was however more than a co-worker to Sam: they were lovers.

It was not the first time Jenni would be visiting his house or sleeping overnight. That had become a routine. Jenni didn't mind his companionship. As a matter of fact, she wanted more than just sleeping together and claiming to be lovers, but he behaved as if the issue of marriage was an anathema.

Sam believed he was far from being ready for serious relationship. He still had some years ahead of him, he would claim. So far, Jenni had been playing everything cool, like someone bidding her time.

Sam stripped down to boxers and singlet. It was March and the weather was stuffy. Right inside the house, it was okay for him to remain as he was. The standing fan was blowing, but it hardly helped the stuffiness. He must fix the air-conditioner system he had promised himself to do.

Some thirty minutes later, Jenni arrived in the house.

Sam stripped down to boxers and singlet. It was March and the weather was stuffy. Right inside the house, it was okay for him to remain as he was. The standing fan was blowing, but it hardly helped the stuffiness. He must fix the air-conditioner system he had promised himself to do.

Some thirty minutes later, Jenni arrived in the house.

'Hello, dear,' he greeted.

'Hi,' she returned. She came to give him a peck.

'How was your outing?' she asked.

Though she and Sam had the same employer, Sam hardly stayed in the office. He was always on the move doing one hatchet man's job or the
other for Chief Kashi. But to Jenni, Sam was a plain and upright guy.

'All went well,' he replied, grinning. 'How was the office too?'

'Fine.'

She would have loved to converse more with him but he was in no mood for conversation. That could wait, as far as he was concerned. He drew
her to himself and planted a long kiss on her lips.

'You didn't even wait for me to rest,' she protested lightly.

'Rest? You'll have more than enough time to rest, my dear.' He pulled her to himself again and resumed the kiss. The hands too soon went to
work, cuddling her boobs. Jenni was slim but busty. That was what Sam liked. It was what attracted her to him in the first place, and one of the factors that would continue to do be the attractive points. The action soon progressed to the removal of clothes.

He fondled and smooched on the boobs, from left to right. They were not just handful, they were shapely. He knew she couldn't be more than
twenty-five, but sometimes age had nothing to do with shapeliness of a lady's boobs. Sam had seen different boobs of different shapes with ladies of different ages ranging from seventeen to fifty! And the boobs he had seen had ranged from apple-like ones to water-melons-looking ones.

He kind of nibbled at Jenni's nipples, but he knew the pre-intimacy was only a preamble to the main act. Sometimes, she wished he would just stop at
the pre-intimacy. In fact, she enjoyed that more than the real sex. She knew he would never agree to stop at the pre-intimacy. She had once asked him
to stop at that preamble level, but Sam had laughed and had scoffed it off.

'It's like putting delicious food in your mouth,' he had argued. 'After munching it, you now ask that I should not swallow it, but spew it out.'

That was the logic of Sam.

He went on to strip himself and due to her coolness, stripped her. It was a grilling adventure that ended after eight minutes. When it was over,
he lay exhausted by her side on the bed.

She rested for some minutes before, she went to the kitchen to cook the meal for the evening. There were still some yams in there, and there were some eggs in the fridge. She peeled off the yams, cut them into slices and put them in a pot. It was when they were eating that she finally told him what had been nagging at her mind.

'I'll be stopping my work at the office from tomorrow, Thursday.'

He looked at her sharply. 'What d'you mean?'

'I'm not working for the chief or the company again.'

He was surprised. 'So, tell me, which new work have you got for yourself?'

Jenni shook her head. 'None for now.'

Again, he looked at her sharply. 'You mean you've not got another job and you want to quit this?'

She sighed and was silent. He held her left hand. 'Why d'you want to leave?'

He was surprised. 'So, tell me, which new work have you got for yourself?'

Jenni shook her head. 'None for now.'

Again, he looked at her sharply. 'You mean you've not got another job and you want to quit this?'

She sighed and was silent. He held her left hand. 'Why d'you want to leave?'

She was silent for a couple of seconds more. 'It's for a personal reason,' she finally said.

He held her tighter. 'So personal you cannot share it with your heart-throb?'

She smiled wanly. 'Well, I guess I have no option than to tell you now. I'm leaving because I'm fed up with the pressures I'm receiving from him.'

His face wore a slight frown. 'Pressures? What pressures are you talking about?'

Jenni turned to face him squarely. 'It's just that I've not told you all this while. Chief has been pestering me for an affair. It has got to a point
now that I just have to ease myself out of that place as I cannot bear his pestering anymore.'

Sam was indeed surprised. 'Really? Are you sure chief has been sexually harassing you all this while and you did not even tell me?'

She was emphatic in her answer. 'Yes, but that's over now. I'll quit and that will stop further harassment.'

He was still befuddled. 'But, is that enough reason for you to quit? Are you now losing your job just because of that?'

She stared at him. 'Are you saying you prefer that your babe should continue to be sexually harassed? Or are you even saying that I should give
in to his demand?'

He quickly checked himself. Of course, he would not say she should cave in. All the same, he felt the reason she was giving him was not enough
for her to quit.

'So, what will you be doing now? I mean, what will you be doing pending the time you will get a new job?'

She made a wry smile to reassure him. 'Don't worry about that. Between now and when the new job will come, I have saved enough money that
will sustain me. I'll surely manage to get by.'

He wasn't totally convinced by her, but he felt there was no need to drag the issue again.

Jenni was with him that night. The following morning, he was up by five to start preparing for work. Since she would not be going to work, she
didn't need to wake up at the time he did. When he was about to set out, he tapped her on the shoulder.

'Good morning, darling,' he greeted.

'Morning, dear. How was the night?'

He smiled. 'With you, it's always a beautiful night. Here's some money that you may need.' He dropped some money on the stool by the bed side.

'I'm off.'

'Bye, dear.'

He kissed her good bye.

At this time of the morning, the traffic was very light. Within forty minutes, he was at the Ketu office where he worked. Though he had the title
Personal Assistant to Chief Kashi, Sam was involved in variety of tasks ranging from body guarding to doing some 'odd job' for the boss. There was some risks involved but Sam always argued that there was no job without a risk. Besides, the pay was good. That lucrative part, no matter how odd the job was, mattered to Sam. It was past nine when Chief came into the office. He was surprised to see that his secretary had not
come.

'Do you have an idea why Jenni is not yet in the office?' he asked Sam.

The latter would not admit that Jenni slept over in his place. Neither would he admit that she had told him she would not be coming to work
again.

'No idea, sir,' he answered.

By ten, Chief summoned Sam to his office.

'I've been trying all Jenni's lines, but none was going,’ Chief said. 'Even if she was sick, was it not proper that she get across to inform me? She's
not yet at work, yet she remains incommunicado.'

Sam nodded. 'Maybe the battery of her phone was flat, or something. It's strange that she's not here and you've not heard a word from her.'

'Yeah, quite strange.' Chief shrugged. 'Anyway, let's leave that for now.' He paused briefly. 'Sam, there's a task for you.'

By ten, Chief summoned Sam to his office.

'I've been trying all Jenni's lines, but none was going,’ Chief said. 'Even if she was sick, was it not proper that she get across to inform me? She's
not yet at work, yet she remains incommunicado.'

Sam nodded. 'Maybe the battery of her phone was flat, or something. It's strange that she's not here and you've not heard a word from her.'

'Yeah, quite strange.' Chief shrugged. 'Anyway, let's leave that for now.' He paused briefly. 'Sam, there's a task for you.'

Sam drew closer to the boss' desk. 'What task, sir?'

The chief nodded and regarded Sam briefly. 'It's not a difficult task, but it is one that you must be very careful, as usual.'

Sam was very attentive as he listened.

The chief continued: 'One of the offices of our political opponents needs to be torched.'

'Torched?' Sam asked.

The chief stood up from his seat and moved to the window side. He could not stare through the window as he sometimes did as the curtains
were all in place. In seconds, he was back on his well-padded, leather chair.

He opened his drawer and brought out a paper which he handed to Sam.

'Yes, the building should go up in flames, especially the upstairs. That's the address of the office. It's a storey building. You're only to burn the
building, don't take any life. After working hours, a security man guards the place. You have to neutralize him. Except he poses a great threat,
don't eliminate him. Take some liters of fuel along and burn the place down. The operation must be carried out between tonight and the dawn of
tomorrow. Take one or two of the boys along. That is your task.'

Sam nodded and studied the paper he had been given. The building in question was at Ojodu road, Ogba. He was used to that area and could
mentally calculate around the place where the building would be, from the house number.

He nodded again. 'No problem, chief. Consider the task done.'

The chief too nodded. 'Yeah, I'm trusting that you will do a good job.'

He opened his briefcase and brought out a wad of one thousand naira notes. 'Use that for logistics. If it will not be enough, let me know. You can
start with your background checks right away.'

Sam picked the money and pocketed it. He stood up. 'Consider the job done, chief. It's going to be a clean job.'



About an hour after Sam had left for the office, Jenni stood up from the bed to brush her teeth and have her bath.

She had only told him part of the truth when she said Chief Kashi was disturbing her with sexual overtures. The other truth was that she was
scared the man was involved in diabolical things. Jenni had only worked for him for about four months, but she was calling it quit despite the good
pay. It was during this time that she had become acquainted with Sam. She could only hope that Sam was a complete gentleman that he
appeared to be.

She knew that her boss would call her lines the moment he did not see her in the office, so she had switched off her phones. It was better that
she did not speak with him for now.

She had only told him part of the truth when she said Chief Kashi was disturbing her with sexual overtures. The other truth was that she was scared the man was involved in diabolical things. Jenni had only worked for him for about four months, but she was calling it quit despite the good pay. It was during this time that she had become acquainted with Sam. She could only hope that Sam was a complete gentleman that he appeared to be.

She knew that her boss would call her lines the moment he did not see her in the office, so she had switched off her phones. It was better that she did not speak with him for now.

There were still some left overs of the yams she cooked the previous night. She warmed them in the micro-wave oven and fried some eggs to
eat them.

After the breakfast, she decided she would remain in the house till afternoon before she would leave.



About two o'clock that hot afternoon, Sam drove to Ogba for him to do a surveillance of where they would be coming in the night to carry out
arson. Slowly, he drove along the Ojodu road. He saw the number of the building and parked the jeep some meters away from the main gate.
Then, he came down from the car and walked towards the gate. There were some people coming out as he knocked on the side gate. A short
security man of middle-age attended to him.

'Yes?'

'Good day,' Sam replied. 'I'm looking for the office of Barrister Tony.'

'Barrister Tony? In this building? I think you've got the wrong address.'

'Really?'

Through the opened gate, Sam took a quick survey of the building. 'But Barrister Tony told me he occupied an office on the floor of this building.'

The security man shook his head. 'It must be a mistake. This building has no lawyer using it.'

Sam had seen enough for now. 'Alright, let me call him.'

He brought his phone out and pretended he was searching for the so-called barrister's number. As he did this, he walked away from the gate to
where he had parked his car. He had succeeded in his first mission. As he drove back to Ketu, he had no doubt that the task given by the boss
would not be difficult to be accomplished.

He would need two guys to effectively carry out the operation. That would be no problem. Many hours later, precisely few minutes to midnight, Sam was back at the targeted office building. He was in company of Dodo and Guba. He parked at the spot where he had parked some hours earlier on.

'Alright, guys,' he said. 'Just as we have planned, I'll make the first move. Be alert and be careful.'

The two men nodded. 'There's no problem, Sam,' Guba said.

Before Sam stepped out of the car, he checked to be sure that the short gun in his right hip pocket was there. It was. There would be no need to use that as the chief had directed that the operation should not take any life. All the same, he needed to take it for safety, precaution and
expediency purpose.

He slipped out of the car and moved to the wall which served as fence of the building. The wall should not be higher than six feet, but even if it
was, it would not be intimidating to Sam who, at six feet, had mastered the art of climbing heights. In a jiffy, he climbed over the wall and landed
inside the compound of the building.

He slipped out of the car and moved to the wall which served as fence of the building. The wall should not be higher than six feet, but even if it was, it would not be intimidating to Sam who, at six feet, had mastered the art of climbing heights. In a jiffy, he climbed over the wall and landed inside the compound of the building. He crouched and observed the area for some seconds. The security lights were on but everywhere was quiet.

The security man could not be seen. He was most likely in his cubicle which was close to the main gate.
Slowly and stealthily, Sam moved towards the main gate, stooping as he walked. Some few meters to the gate, he paused and observed the premises again.
All was silent. He moved on and was at the security post. The only door was left open. He moved to the door post and peered. The security man was inside, alright, but he had already dozed off on his chair. His left leg was on the table and his mouth was slightly open. Sam studied him briefly. The man was not the same he had met earlier. This one was much younger. Sam brought out his short gun, moved it close to the face of the guy and tapped him gently on the shoulder.
The guy woke up with a start, quickly removed his leg on the table and attempted to stand up.

'Sh-sh-sh,' Sam said, shoving the gun more to the man's face. The man looked shocked to behold the scene.

'You just cooperate,' Sam said. 'I mean no harm, but you must cooperate. I'll only blow your head off if you try to play smart, do you understand?'

The guy nodded dumbly.

'Good. Now, the first thing is stand up and come and open the gate.'

As the man stood up, Sam quickly moved the gun to his right rib.

'Gently, gently,' he instructed. The man picked the bunch of keys on the table.

Sam followed him out of the cubicle to the gate where the big padlock used to lock the gate was unlocked.

The gate was opened. Again, Sam paused him briefly before he and man stepped out. Sam raised his left hand for about three seconds. Dodo and Guba saw the signal and got out of the car, with Guba carrying the can of 20 liters of petrol. In seconds they were where Sam and the security guard stood. Together, they all returned inside the building compound. The gate was closed but not locked.

'Good, now the next thing is to bring the key of the main building. You need to open the main door.'

The man nodded dumbly. He was obviously very much frightened of the gun. He led them to the main entrance door and unlocked it, the gun still stuck to his ribs.

Sam turned to Guba. 'Now, you play your own part.' He handed the short gun to the latter. Guba took it gladly.
'One false move, and I'll blow your head off!' Guba said menacingly, moving the gun close to the security guy's head.

Guba was always like that: he loved to dramatize things. He led the man back to his security post where the task of stuffing drugged handkerchief to the man's nose so that he would pass out would be done.

Quickly, Sam got the keg of petroleum from Dodo and started pouring the fuel on the ground close to the exit. He poured some on the wooden doors of the various rooms on the floor. He then poured some on the floor as he made his way to the upper floor. Here, he doused the doors with more fuel, making sure that the action would bring about maximum effects.

Quickly, Sam got the keg of petroleum from Dodo and started pouring the fuel on the ground close to the exit. He poured some on the wooden doors of the various rooms on the floor. He then poured some on the floor as he made his way to the upper floor. Here, he doused the doors with more fuel, making sure that the action would bring about maximum effects.

Satisfied, they went back downstairs and stepped out of the door. Sam brought out a box of matches from his pocket. He struck a fire and threw it on the floor. The floor caught fire immediately, and the fire moved and spread rapidly inside the building.

There was no time to waste. They joined Guba at the security post where the security guy lay unconscious. Sam looked at the shouldering
smoke coming from the main building. He was certain the security man would not be touched by the fire.

'Alright, let's go, guys.' he said and led the others out of the gate. Swiftly, they moved to their jeep. Only few motorists were still plying the road
at this hour of the night, but they were oblivious of the fire. Soon, without doubt, the fire would become noticeable in the environ. Sam kicked
the engine into life and drove the vehicle off. He sighed in contentment. It was another successful outing.

At Ojota Bus stop, Dodo and Guba got down from the vehicle. They lived around that place. Sam drove to Maryland where he could make a
u-turn and join the road that led to Ikorodu. He got home few minutes to one in the morning. He only slept for five hours. By few minutes after
six, he was up on his feet to start preparing for the day. But he would not be driving straight to work. He drove to the area where the building
was torched. As he drove slowly past the building, he could see that the building was badly burnt by the fire. He nodded to himself as he drove
away from the area. It was indeed a successful outing.





That morning, Guba was still in bed as at eight o'clock. As an artisan, he was under no obligation to wake up early and go to work. His wife,
Sherifat had gone to stay with his mother in Shaare, Kwara state. Sherifat was pregnant with his second child. As he did when she was
pregnant with the first child, Guba asked that she should go and stay with his mother when the pregnancy was advancing. Of course, she went
with the first child, a girl of two years old. For the past two months, Guba had been living the life of a 'bachelor', as he was at home alone.
However, the good thing about his status which was desirable to him was the fact that it availed him the chance to indulge in licentious life
style.

Since his wife travelled, Guba had been carrying different women, some of who were married. It was a past time he had long ago engaged in.

There were knocks at his door, followed by the voice of a woman announcing that the bread seller had come.

Guba stood up from the bed, yawned and stretched himself. He moved to the door, unlocked it and opened it. The bread seller, a woman very
familiar to him, was there with the bread tray on her head.

'Good morning,' she greeted. 'Do you want to buy bread?'

'Bring your tray down and come inside,' he commanded the woman.

It was not a strange command. The woman did as she was told. Guba grabbed her breasts and fondled them.

'Hey, it's too early for that,' she protested feebly.

Guba stood up from the bed, yawned and stretched himself. He moved to the door, unlocked it and opened it. The bread seller, a woman very familiar to him, was there with the bread tray on her head.

'Good morning,' she greeted. 'Do you want to buy bread?'

'Bring your tray down and come inside,' he commanded the woman.

It was not a strange command. The woman did as she was told. Guba grabbed her breasts and fondled them.

'Hey, it's too early for that,' she protested feebly.

'The earlier, the better,' he said, smiling mischievously.

'But I don't have the time, now,' she said further, trying to disengage herself. 'I still have a lot of loaves to sell.'

Guba knew what she wanted. Just like he had done on two previous occasions, he brought two thousand naira from his pocket and handed it to the woman.

'This will take care of that,' he said, his voice full of desire. The woman took the money and let him have his way.



There was no special task for Sam in the next few days. Jenni moved on with her life and got a job as a secretary in a secondary school at Ikorodu. When it became glaring that she was not coming back to work for the chief again, Chief Kashi employed a new lady as secretary. Linda was twenty-five, single and eager about the job. In no time, she proved herself to be efficient and reliable.

Things went on normally for the next few weeks. In the cool morning of the first Monday in May, the chief summoned Sam to his office.

'How was your weekend, Sam?' he asked.
'Fine, sir. We thank God.'

'Yeah, sit down.'

'Thank you, sir.' Sam sat opposite him, staring at him.

'Yes, you have another task that you must execute,' he started. 'This one has nothing to do with a political opponent or an errant business associate.'

Sam waited. He was good at listening.

'This time around,' the chief went on, 'the person concerned is my wife.'

Sam's heart started racing. 'Your wife?'

The chief allowed a smile to play on his cheeks. 'Yes, I know you'll be surprised that my wife is the subject matter here. I have just sacked her personal driver, but I promise her to send another driver to her today. You're the person I'm sending as the driver.'

Again, Sam was surprised. 'Me?'

Chief Kashi smiled ruefully. 'Yes, you. You will go to my house and present yourself as the driver I sent.'

Sam nodded but did not say a word.

'I'm not really seconding you as her driver. The main purpose of driving her around is to monitor her.'

The chief sighed. 'Don't let it surprise you that seven years after marriage, she's becoming more and more unreliable. I'm suspecting that she's having an affair. That is it: your mission is to find out if indeed she's having an affair, and with who."

Sam nodded. That should not be a difficult task, should it? 'There'll be no problem, sir,' he said.

'She's expecting the driver to come and resume now,' Chief Kashi continued. ''You have to tone down your dressing for now. I think wearing casuals will be okay. You're to go to my residence and present yourself as the driver I sent. Of course, you must not go in your car. One more thing, I want a daily detailed reports of her movements and activities.'

'Yes, sir.' Sam stood up.

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Re: Fear No More (A Romance Thriller)

Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:22 pm

The chief sighed. 'Don't let it surprise you that seven years after marriage, she's becoming more and more unreliable. I'm suspecting that she's having an affair. That is it: your mission is to find out if indeed she's having an affair, and with who.'

Sam nodded. That should not be a difficult task, should it? 'There'll be no problem, sir,' he said.

'She's expecting the driver to come and resume now,' Chief Kashi continued. ''You have to tone down your dressing for now. I think wearing casuals will be okay. You're to go to my residence and present yourself as the driver I sent. Of course, you must not go in your car. One more thing, I want a daily detailed reports of her movements and activities.'

'Yes, sir.' Sam stood up.

'Okay, see you,' the chief dismissed.

Sam first drove to his residence at Igbogbo road, changed into jeans and t-shirt and took commercial busses to Magodo G.R.A where the Kashis lived. The security guy at the gate was a new person.

'Yes, who do you want?' the guy demanded.

'I'm the new driver for madam sent by Chief Kashi.'

The guy looked at him from head to toe. Even in casuals, Sam looked good. 'Alright. Give me a minute.'

Sam remained at the gate while the guy went inside the building. Within a minute, he was back to open the pedestrian side of the gate.

'Come in.' The guy pointed at the main building. 'That is the main entrance. Go and knock at the door. They will attend to you.'

'Thank you.' Sam was no stranger to the house, but in a moment like this, he had to put up the act. The maid ushered him to the large and exquisitely furnished sitting-room.

'Madam dey come,' she said.

Sam nodded and sat on one of the seats.

After a couple of minutes, Mrs. Dupe Kashi came to the sitting-room.

'Good morning, madam.' Sam rose to greet her.

'Are you the new driver?' the woman asked haughtily.

'Yes, madam.'

Dupe Kashi came to the sitting-room.

'Good morning, madam.' Sam rose to greet her.

'Are you the new driver?' the woman asked haughtily.

'Yes, madam.'

'What took you so long? Look at the time, it's almost eleven o'clock. Is this the time for you to resume work?'

'I'm sorry, madam. I wasn't told on time that I would be resuming today.'

The woman looked at him all over. For about a year that Sam had been working for Chief Kashi, he had only met the woman once and he wondered if she would recognize him. Thankfully, she did not.

'If you will be resuming late like this, then you can't work for me,' she said.

'I'm sorry, ma'am, it won't happen again.'

'What's your name?'

'Sam, madam.'

She nodded. 'Can you drive well? Can you drive a jeep?
'
He nearly laughed at her questions. Was there any car he could not drive?

'I can drive any car, ma'am,' he said.

'Have you driven SUV before? Can you handle cars with automatic gears?'

Again, he felt like laughing it off but suppressed it.

'Yes, I have, and I can handle cars whether automatic or manual.'

She regarded him briefly and smiled. 'Okay. You seem to be a smooth talker. We'll see how smooth you are as time goes on. Now, let's go.'

Sam nodded and followed her out of the living-room to the outside of the building. By the left side were arrays of cars.

'Here,' she handed a car key holder to him. 'We're going out with the silver color CR-V.'

Sam took the keys from her and went to the car. He could see that it was already washed. He started the engine and revved it up a bit.

The madam entered the car and took the rear back seat.

'We will first go to Ikeja,' she said. 'I have a boutique at Allen Avenue.'

'Yes, ma'am,' he replied, moving the jeep towards the gate. The security guy quickly opened the gate as he saw the approaching jeep.

He drove from the residence to the Magodo Estate main gate.

'You seem to be good in handling the car,' she said.

Sam grinned. 'I'll try my best, madam.'

'And your English is good. Tell me your level of education.'

'I got to tertiary level, ma'am.'

'Oh, really? That's good. Which school did you go and what did you study?'

Again, Sam grinned. 'Polytechnic. HND Public Admin.'

She nodded. 'Why did you opt for driving job?' She knew what the answer would most likely be, but she asked all the same.

'It's the situation in the country,' Sam replied.

She nodded meaningfully. She spent the next few minutes to receive and make calls. When they got to Allen, she directed him to the shop. It was a big shop in a shopping plaza.

Sam had no doubt that she must have invested huge sums of money to have a place like this. She had two sales girls that ran the store.

'I'll be here for some time before we go to my second store,' she said. 'You have to stay in the car.'

She nodded meaningfully. She spent the next few minutes to receive and make calls. When they got to Allen, she directed him to the shop. It was a big shop in a shopping plaza. Sam had no doubt that she must have invested huge sums of money to have a place like this. She had two sales girls that ran the store.

'I'll be here for some time before we go to my second store,' she said. 'You have to stay in the car.'

Stay in the car! His mind screamed at him. How boring that would be. He was beginning to detest the assignment after all.

The woman went to the store while Sam remained in the jeep. He opened his own side door so that he could take fresh breeze. To kill boredom, he switched on the radio. He remained in the car for about two hours and even dozed of for some time before the madam came out of the store. She settled herself in her favorite seat.
'Now, we'll go to the second store,' she announced.

Sam nodded. She directed him to Opebi where the second store was. This one was bigger than the first.

Just like the first, there were two sales girls that ran this store. It also had a bigger parking space. Besides, there was a security post at the entry where Sam could stay for the while.

Upon realizing that he was Madam Kashi's new driver, the security man offered him a plastic chair, close to his own. That was where Sam was for about another three hours.


* * *

Guba was fixing the last nuts on the Honda car he was working on. He had been working on the car since the previous day, but he had almost completed the task now.

After screwing the nuts, he went to the driver seat to start the engine again. The car roared into life. Guba revved the engine up until the plosive noise filled the whole place. He was satisfied with what he had done. He remained on the driver seat for another couple of minutes while the engine purred normally.

He shifted a bit on the seat and winced. For the past two hours or so, he had been experiencing a back ache. Could it be the nature of his work that caused that? Or could it be as a result of the sexual position he had taken when he had Bose, the bread seller?

It shouldn't be the latter because he had used that same 'doggy' style with different women in the past and had not experienced this kind of pain.

He revved the engine one more time and stopped it. The owner would soon come for it and pay his balance.
'Mukaila!' Guba called out. Mukaila was one of the apprentices in the mechanic workshop.

'Sah!' Mukaila replied and emerged from underneath a Toyota bus he was trying to fix. He came to meet his boss.

'You will buy food for me,' Guba told him and dipped his hand in the right pocket of his trousers.

'Buy fufu from that woman.' He handed money to Mukaila. 'Just as you used to buy it. Tell her to add ponmo, this time. Then, go to that chemist shop and buy panadol extra. There's this nagging back ache I must deal with.'

Mukaila nodded and set forth to get what his boss had asked him to get.


* * *


By few minutes after four, Madam Kashi asked one of her sales girl to tell Sam that she was ready to leave. Sam went to the jeep, and just then, the madam too came to the car.

'We're going back home, now,' she announced.

'Yes, ma'am,' he replied, started the car and drove to the exit.

He beeped the horn as he neared the exit, waved at the security man and drove out of the premises. He would take the Opebi link Road to Maryland. The traffic had started building up, but was not yet terrible.

'How did you find your first day at work?' Madam Kashi asked.

It was terrible, his mind said. He however smiled.

'It was a nice experience, ma'am,' he said.

She nodded. She did not expect any other answer. About forty minutes later, he drove inside the compound at Magodo Estate and parked the car.

'Let me have the car key,' she said. Sam handed it to her.

'Well, you can close for the day. See you tomorrow. Remember that you're to report here by eight in the morning.'

'Yes, madam. Goodnight, ma'am.'

'Good night.'

She nodded. She did not expect any other answer.

About forty minutes later, he drove inside the compound at Magodo Estate and parked the car.

'Let me have the car key,' she said. Sam handed it to her.

'Well, you can close for the day. See you tomorrow. Remember that you're to report here by eight in the morning.'my

'Yes, madam. Goodnight, ma'am.'

'Good night.'

Sam sighed as he left the gate of the house. What a boring job! Why did the chief give him this kind of task? He, Sam, was an action man that loved taking action. How could the chief saddle him with the responsibility of driving his wife around and monitoring her?

Sam shrugged. Well, if that was what chief wanted, no problem. Now, he would have to call him and give him the feedback of how the work went. He decided that rather than taking a bus to the main gate of the estate, he would walk. While he walked, he called Chief Kashi and gave reports of how the day went.

'Good,' the chief said. 'Continue with the work.' The line was disconnected. Sam chuckled and nodded to himself.

At the gate of the estate, he took one of the kekes to Ketu. From there he took Ikorodu bus. At Ikorodu round about, he took another bus to Igbogbo. When he got home, Jenni was already at home.

'Hello, love,' she greeted him excitedly. 'How was the office today?'

He grinned. Sam was not going to tell her that he had another task of driving Mrs. Kashi around.

'Office was fine,' he replied. 'How was your school too?'

'Fine. Everything went well.'

She gave him a short welcome kiss.

'I saw your car parked in the compound,' she said.

'Initially I thought you were in the house. Why didn't you go out with it?'

Sam had to think fast. 'It has some faults,' he said.

'Oh, let me rush to the kitchen and see what I'm preparing.'

She dashed out of the sitting-room. In the kitchen, the white rice she was cooking was about to be fully cooked. She added some salts. Earlier, she had prepared some vegetable soup and stew with cow beef.

'The food will soon be done,' she told him as soon as she re-entered the sitting-room.

'What're you cooking?'

'White rice. We'll take it with stew.'

Sam nodded. The food was one of his favorites.


* * *

Guba was at home towards dusk. It had been an eventful day at the mechanic workshop and he had raked in some substantial sum of money. He had agreed with Aishat, an eighteen year old young lady he was dating to come around in the evening.

She would probably stay with him till eight-thirty or thereabout before she would leave. Since the absence of his wife, Guba had not exactly been living a decent life.

He was supposed to have a jolly frolicking time with Aishat. He was supposed to be excited by the fact that she would be coming and he would be able to satisfy his lust. But Guba was not happy. Something had been nagging at his mind and he was in a state of distress. The ache on his back had not abated one bit.

He had taken Panadol extra, yet the pain remained. Just before he left the mechanic workshop, he bought the local medicine called 'agbo' from one of the women hawking the herbal medicine. As a fact, taking the 'agbo' appeared to have made the matter worse. Now, the pain seemed to be searing at his back.

He was still contemplating what to do when a knock sounded at his door. That must be Aishat, he thought.
'Yes, come in,' he called out.

The door was opened. It was indeed Aishat, wearing a tight-fitting jeans trousers and spaghetti top.
'Oga Guba, good evening,' she greeted.

'Ah, welcome.'

The way he looked and the way he answered her showed that he was distressed.

She sat on the plastic chair close to the old and worn out cushion chair he sat on. 'Anything the matter?' she asked. 'You look sick.'

'I'm not feeling well,' he replied matter-of-factly. 'I've been having this nagging back ache since morning?'

'Back ache?' She looked at him curiously. 'Did you sleep with another man's wife?'

As innocent as the question appeared to be, it struck a chord in his mind. Aishat had guessed right by the fact that he indeed slept with another man's wife. But could that act be responsible for the terrible ache he had been having?

She sat on the plastic chair close to the old and worn out cushion chair he sat on. 'Anything the matter?' she asked. 'You look sick.'

'I'm not feeling well,' he replied matter-of-factly. 'I've been having this nagging back ache since morning?'

'Back ache?' She looked at him curiously. 'Did you sleep with another man's wife?'

As innocent as the question appeared to be, it struck a chord in his mind. Aishat had guessed right by the fact that he indeed slept with another man's wife. But could that act be responsible for the terrible ache he had been having?

'What do you mean by that?' he asked in a way to brow-beat her and to assert his non culpability.

'Well, I've heard about a man who slept with another person's wife. Soon after the action, he started to complain about back and chest pain. He took all sorts of drugs, but the pain and the ache continued. By the following day, he was taken to hospital. The pain defied all treatment. He died on the third day.'

Guba's heart skipped a beat. Was that true? Could what Aishat had told him be the truth? But he would not be shaken by that. Rather he shook his head dismissively and laughed it off.

'Oh, Aishat. You like to dramatize issues. What has sleeping with a woman got to do with all these things?'

'But it is true,' she said vehemently. 'It really happened and ...'

'Alright, alright. Enough of that. Let's talk about other matters.'

There was a brief silence. 'I've come to collect the money you promised.'

Guba was instantly on the offensive. 'Which money?'

She looked surprised. 'Ah, ah. Have you forgotten you asked me to come for the money you said you would give me for my birthday, today?'

He sighed and nodded. Even without her reminding him, he knew very well that he had given her that promise.

'Alright, but I don't really have much on me right now.'
'Just give me what you have,' she said.

Guba nodded, stood up and went to one the trousers he wore to work. There was money in there. He did not bring out the whole lot, but removed some. He counted the naira notes he had brought and handed them to her.

'Here, take this.'

Aishat did not bother to count the money. She opened her hand purse and tucked the money inside. 'Thank you,' she said.

She was surprised he did not ask for sexual gratification as he used to do. The pain must be very serious, she thought, for him not to make a sexual advance.

She stayed with him for several minutes before she finally left.

The sleep he had that night was a fitful one. The pain prevented him from having a good sleep. By dawn, he was convinced without doubt that he had to do something exigent about it. He had to seek professional medical treatment.

Guba did not believe in modern medicine. He believed in orthodox treatment and had always been going for that. There was an herbalist at Ogudu that he normally consulted. The man had proved to be efficient in the past. He would have to visit the man again.


* * *


Sam was dressing up for work. There was not much to dress in as he wore a corduroy trousers and a t-shirt. It was few minutes past six. Jenni too was dressing up for work.

'I will have to go to the school clinic,' Jenni was saying. 'The way I'm feeling definitely shows that I should go for a test.'

Sam nodded. 'It's okay.'

He wore a pair of black, leather sandals and was set to leave.

'Won't you wait for the yam I'm boiling to be done? It will soon be ready.'

'I can't wait,' he replied. 'I don't want to be late to work.' He winked at her. 'See you again.'

'Okay,' she said. 'You'll meet the remaining yam when you come back. I won't be coming around here again until tomorrow.'

Sam waved at her and was off. He did not want any trouble from Mrs. Kashi, so he must always be punctual in resuming at work. The traffic was still quite light at that time of the day, so he was able to get to the residence of the Kashis by five minutes to eight.

Sam waved at her and was off. He did not want any trouble from Mrs. Kashi, so he must always be punctual in resuming at work. The traffic was still quite light at that time of the day, so he was able to get to the residence of the Kashis by five minutes to eight.

The house girl came to open the main entrance door for him.
Ok
'Good morning,' the girl greeted.

'Good morning.'

'Madam said you should stay with the security to wait for her.'

He nodded. 'Okay.'

That was it. His new office was the security post. He went to meet the guy, sitting on a plastic chair at the doorpost. He chatted on and off with the guy, talking on sundry matters ranging from the weather to the latest results of UEFA championships.

Surprisingly, madam did not come out on time. Sam remained with the guy for long. It was some minutes after eleven when Madam Kashi emerged from the grand house.

* * *

Guba knocked at the door of the traditional doctor he had come to consult.

'Yes, come in,' a husky voice said from inside.

Guba turned the knob and stepped inside the room. As usual the room smelt of herbs. Guba wondered how the inner room would smell and look like. Since he had been coming, he had not met any woman or seen any child. The baba seemed to be living a solitary life.

'Good morning, baba,' Guba greeted.

'Good morning.' Upon recognizing him, the old man beamed in smiles. 'Ah, my son, you're welcome. How are you?'

'I'm not fine, baba. I'm not fine at all.'

The man motioned him to sit on a chair that equally smelt of herbs.

'What could be the problem, my son?'

Guba sat heavily. The pain he had been feeling since the previous day had deteriorated. Now, he was feeling pain not only on his back, but all over his body, especially at the groin, which appeared to have swollen up a bit.

'Baba since yesterday, I've been in serious pain. When I say pain, I mean real pain. I've used different drugs, both modern and orthodox, but the damned pain remains.'

The old man looked at him keenly. 'Since when did you start experiencing the pain?'

'Yesterday afternoon, and it seems to be getting worse.'

The man nodded. 'You fell down from somewhere or hit something or what?'

Guba' s shake of head was emphatic. 'No, I did not. The pain started from my back but had now spread all over the body. Even my groin had swollen up.'

The old man was thoughtful. 'Let me ask the oracle what the problem could be.'

He brought out a string made of cowries, made some incantations and spread the string on the spread white cloth on the table.

He stared at the string and cowries for some seconds and then nodded meaningfully.

'Hmn, what is revealed to me here is a serious problem. You have slept with a woman that had 'magun' on her.'

Guba became crestfallen. That meant Aishat had hit the nail on the head when she suggested that sleeping with another man's wife might be responsible for the pain he was feeling.

He had heard a lot about 'magun' before, but never believed he could be a victim of it. As a matter of fact, Guba had boasted that he had an innate power that would neutralize any such spell. Now, he was at the receiving end.

'But, I've slept with the woman I slept with before, and nothing like this happened.'

The old man nodded. 'Yes, let's just say it was this time around that the woman had the forbidden 'thing' on her.'

Guba winced in pain. 'What do we now do, baba? The deed has been done, what is the solution?'

The old man stared at the cowries and strings for another few seconds. 'I will have to prepare some concoctions for you to eat. The whole thing will be costly, but once you eat it, you will live and become well again. If not, you have three more days to live.'

Guba's heart missed a beat. Three more days to live? No, no, no.

'I'll do anything you ask me to do, baba,' he said with gritted teeth.

'Good. Bring fifty thousand naira to prepare the concoction. Come back in three hours’ time. Once you start taking it from today, the pain will cease. That is the solution to your problem.'

Guba brought his wallet out from his left pocket, counted twenty thousand naira and handed the money to the old man.

'Take this part money, baba. I will be back for the medicine and to pay the balance'.

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Re: Fear No More (A Romance Thriller)

Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:26 pm

Guba brought his wallet out from his left pocket, counted twenty thousand naira and handed the money to the old man.
'Take this part money, baba. I will be back for the medicine and to pay the balance'
The man grinned. 'You have done well. Don't worry, just come back in the appointed time and start taking the concoction. You'll see how fast you will recover your health.'

'Thank you, baba. Thank you, very much.' Guba winced again as he stood up. There was no doubt in his mind that the old man would find a perfect solution to his problem.

* * *

The places where he drove Madam Kashi to the previous day were the same places he drove her to today. There were, however, some variations in the way she behaved to him. She seemed to relax a bit and was less condescending. Besides in the afternoon, she ordered one of the sales girls in the second shop to buy lunch for him. She also left the second shop earlier as she said she wanted to visit one of her friends.
'Drive to Isheri,' she said.

He was directed to Golden Ones Nursery and Primary school, a place owned by Mrs. Khadijat, Madam Kashi's friend. Mrs. Khadijat's residence was adjacent to the school. The two women were together until few minutes after six in the evening. By the time they got to Magodo, it was already past seven.

'Good night, ma'am,' he said as he handed the jeep keys to her.

'Won't you wait to eat dinner before you go?'

'Er, thank you ma'am. Maybe tomorrow,' he politely declined.

But Sam was not in a hurry to go home. He went to a joint at Ketu, close to Ile-Ile bus stop where he sometimes frequented. It was a big place close to the main road. There was a large flat screen beaming a European football match. He ordered for two bottles of beer and a plate of pepper soup.

Later, he ordered for one more bottle of beer. He was at the joint till after nine before he decided to go home. He didn't get home until almost ten. As he was unlocking his door, a female voice greeted him from behind.

'Good evening.'

He quickly turned. He wasn't expecting Jenni this evening, and certainly, the voice did not sound like Jenni's own.

The voice belonged to the lady that occupied the next room.

'Sorry, but I misplaced my key,' she said.

Sam grinned. Bisi was a teacher, or something. He didn't know much about her because he rarely interacted with her. He however knew that she was a relative of Chief Kashi and that she should be in her mid-twenties.

'Good evening,' he replied.

'I misplaced my keys,' she repeated. 'And I could not enter.'

'I see. Let me get a hammer or something to break the padlock.'

'I would rather you don't break it. The padlock is a rare security lock. I forgot the keys in the school where I worked, so I will get them tomorrow morning. All I need is a place to sleep for the night.'

Sam's grin dropped. 'You want the door to remain as it is?' he asked, quite unnecessarily.

'Yes. Can I just put up with you for the night?'

Sam was bemused. What an unusual request! His mind was abuzz. Well, maybe it was just a harmless thing.
He shrugged.

'I guess that's okay.'

'Oh, thank you, so much,' Bisi gushed. 'I appreciate this a lot.'

'You're welcome.' He preceded her to his sitting-room. 'Please, have your seat.'

'Thank you.'

He briefly left her for his bedroom. Now, what kind of guest is this? He asked in his mind as he changed from his leather sandals to a pair of slippers. He soon returned to the sitting-room.

'So, what will you like to eat?' he asked. 'Perhaps, you can go to the kitchen and help yourself.'

She smiled. 'Oh, no, don't bother. I've already taken dinner.'

He sighed. As for him, the refreshments he had bought for himself at the joint were alright for him for the night.

He switched on the television. He wanted to put it on a sports channel, but changed his mind. On an impulse, he handed the remote control to her. 'Put it on a channel of your choice.'

Again, she smiled at him. Not surprising, she changed the channel to the one showing soap opera. Few minutes after, staring blankly at the flat screen, Sam yawned. It was time for him to hit the pillow. But what about his guest?

Maybe she should sleep on the couch in the sitting-room. He would have to get a pillow and a bed spread for her. He stood up, went to the bedroom and brought the two items.

'I'll soon be going to bed,' he told her. 'Please, try to make yourself as much comfortable as possible.'

She collected the items from him, smiling. 'Thanks a lot.'

He nodded. 'You're welcome.' He went on to lock the main door to the sitting-room. 'Good night, then.'

'Good night.'

He nodded. 'You're welcome.' He went on to lock the main door to the sitting-room.

'Good night, then.'

'Good night.'

He went to his bedroom and stripped to his boxer. As usual, he would be sleeping only in the boxer.

He yawned again. Oh, what an eventful day. Tomorrow morning, he would continue with the routine of going to Mrs. Kashi's house to drive her around.

What a job! He lay on the bed and closed his eyes. Well, it didn't matter whether he was now a driver or not. What mattered was as long as the chief would pay him his handsome salary at the end of the month, then everything was alright.

He soon slept off. He had a short dream in which he found himself living in Ontario, Canada. He was living a large life with his white Canadian wife. They were at the dining-table and were about to have a sumptuous and exotic meal. His cherished meal was abruptly interrupted by a hand that aroused him from sleep.

He opened his eyes and stared at a female figure that, at first, looked indistinct.

'Sorry to wake you up,' Bisi said.

Sam had to clear his eyes with his right palm. Then, he remembered her as the neighbor he brought to his mini-flat to spend the night.

'Hmn?'

'I said, sorry to bother you,' she repeated.

'There are many mosquitoes in the sitting-room.'

Sam sat up on the bed. 'Mosquitoes?

He opened his eyes and stared at a female figure that, at first, looked indistinct.

'Sorry to wake you up,' Bisi said.

Sam had to clear his eyes with his right palm. Then, he remembered her as the neighbor he brought to his mini-flat to spend the night.

'Hmn?'

'I said, sorry to bother you,' she repeated. 'There are many mosquitoes in the sitting-room.'

Sam sat up on the bed. 'Mosquitoes?'

She nodded emphatically. 'Yes. They make a good sleep quite impossible.'

He scratched the back of his head. Did she even knock at the door before she entered? And look at how she aborted the fascinating dream of Canada that he was having!

'Okay,' he said, suppressing his annoyance. 'You can sleep here in the bedroom, while I go and sleep in the sitting-room.'

'Oh, no,' she quickly said. 'That was not what I was saying.'

He looked at her inquisitively. 'What're you saying?'

She smiled briefly. 'It will not be fair if I push you to the mosquitoes. I will suggest that we manage this room.'

Sleep disappeared from his eyes. What was this lady suggesting? That they should sleep on the same bed? Of course! That was what she wanted all along and he should have known that!

'You mean you don't mind the two of us sharing the same bed?' he asked. It was an unnecessary question and he knew it.

She nodded.

'Alright. Climb on the bed.'

There was a tinge of excitement in his voice. It was very good that she had made herself such a desirous and willing partner. Sam would never miss such an opportunity.

* * *

That very evening, as a matter of urgency, Guba started taking his herbal medication.

The native doctor had assured him that all would be well. Guba whole-heartedly believed him. The following morning, he decided to stay at home and rest. He ate well and took his medications.

Going by what the native doctor said, if he had not come on time for treatment, he would have died in a matter of few days.

Guba shuddered at the thought of death. No, he did not want to die now. He was only thirty-five years old, for God's sake! Why must he die now? No, no. He still had many years to live. He had only a child and was only expecting another child. He must live to be the father of his children (which included the yet to be born child), and the husband of his wife, twenty-six years old Sherifat.

His mind went to the genesis of his current problem. The baba had said it was as a result of his sleeping with another man's wife. But, wait a minute. Why must he do that? There were many single ones at his beck and call, why must he extend his lascivious quest to married women? What would he possibly gain in sleeping with married women that he could enjoy in young and fresh single ladies? Sometimes, he himself was confounded by his unbridled desire for women! It was like a spell on him.

He must turn a new leaf, he chided himself. After he had survived this current ailment, he would stop all the affairs he was having with married women.

He must turn a new leaf, he chided himself. After he had survived this current ailment, he would stop all the affairs he was having with married women. Just look at the big trouble the bread seller had wrought on him.

No, henceforth he would not have anything to do with such women again. He would flee from adultery. But for now, the most important thing was for him to regain his health.

Then, his mind faltered. But, why would a man put 'magun' or whatever on his wife? If a man was suspecting his wife of unfaithfulness, couldn't the man too go out and look for other women to enjoy himself? Why would the man seek to fight back through this kind of way?

But then, another part of his mind asked him why he could not leave married women alone. Did he just want to die like that?

Again, he shuddered. He decided that he must indeed amend his ways.

* * *

Just like the previous day, Madam Kashi did not come out of the house until few minutes to eleven. This was the third day of his working for the woman and he had resigned himself to fate.

He drove her to the shops at Allen and Opebi respectively. Few minutes to five p.m., she called it a day at the Opebi shop. She would not be visiting any friend today as he drove her straight home. After parking the car on the spot where he normally did, he handed the keys to madam.

'Here's the key, madam. Good night.'

She took the keys from him. 'Don't go yet. Come inside. I want to discuss something with you.'

He wondered what she wanted to discuss with him that she could not say when they were still in the car. He however voiced no dissension.

'Alright, ma'am.'

They entered the spacious and tastefully furnished sitting-room.

'Give me one minute,' she said and went upstairs.

Sam sat on one of the settee and awaited her. He could not but wonder what she wanted to discuss with him.

He wondered what she wanted to discuss with him that she could not say when they were still in the car.

He however voiced no dissension.

'Alright, ma'am.'

They entered the spacious and tastefully furnished sitting-room. 'Give me one minute,' she said and went upstairs.

Sam sat on one of the settee and awaited her. He could not but wonder what she wanted to discuss with him.

About five minutes after she had gone up, Madam Dupe Kashi returned. She had changed to a t-shirt and jeans trousers and she looked much younger.

'Oh, forgive me,' she said. 'I should have asked the house girl to get you some drinks.'

She wanted to call the girl, but he quickly interjected.
'Oh, no. There's no need, madam. I'm okay as I am.'

'Are you sure?'

He grinned and nodded. 'I'm perfectly sure, ma'am.'

She sat back relaxingly on the chair. 'Alright, if you insist that you don't want anything, no problem.'

Sam nodded. He was curious about what she wanted to say.

'Alright. Let me go straight to what I want to discuss.'

Just then her phone rang. He was kept in suspense for another two minutes or so that she spoke on the phone. She finally disengaged the line.

'Yes,' she said, facing him squarely. 'Before I even say what I want to say, I need to ask you a question.'

A question? What kind of question could that be?
'Ask any question, madam,' he said.

Again, the phone rang and he remained in suspense for another three minutes. He could feel his muscles tensing up as he waited for her to be through with her call.

'Sorry about the diversion,' she said. 'Now, my question is this: what reports have you been giving my husband about me and my movements, so far?'

He was confounded. How did she know that he was giving reports about her?

'I ... I don't know what you mean, madam,' he stuttered.
She smiled to put his mind at rest, but did not really succeed.

'My husband, your employer, said you should be monitoring my movement and be giving him reports, didn't he?'

He found his heart hammering against his ribs. But how did she know that? Could Chief Kashi have told her? He could not answer her. Rather, he looked away.

'Anyway, relax. Don't look rattled. You're doing a good job. Keep it up. I'm sure he's impressed with your performance.'

There was something about the way she was saying all these that marveled Sam: she seemed so much at ease.

She left the sitting-room. The meeting was over. Still feeling numb, he left the room and the house. As soon as he was on the road, he called Chief Kashi. Promptly, the chief answered his call.

'Good evening, sir.'

'Good evening, Sam. How was the day?'

'Er. Fine, sir. I just left madam now.'

'I see. How did everything go?'

'Fine, sir. When we returned home, she said she wanted to discuss something with me. I was surprised when she mentioned the fact that I was monitoring her and giving you reports.'

Sam expected the chief to react sharply to that, but the reverse was the case.

'She said that?' Chief Kashi said. 'I see.'

Sam was befuddled. What kind of reaction was that? What was going on?

'Then, she said she would continue to discuss what she wanted to do tomorrow,' Sam continued.

'I see.'

Sam was beginning to get angry. These complacent responses from the chief meant he indeed told his wife about his mission. What was going on? What kind of game was this?

'Listen, Sam. You're doing a good job. All I can tell you is to keep it up. Don't worry about whether she knows you real mission or not. You just continue to do what you're doing.'

'Yes, sir,' Sam found himself saying.

'There's one more thing, Sam. No matter what she asks you to do, do it. Harbor no fear. Just do whatever she asks to do.'

'Yes, boss.'

Chief Kashi did not give room for any further question. He disconnected the line immediately after his last words. Sam remained perplexed. What was the meaning of all this? Why would Chief Kashi react the way he reacted? What was the meaning of ‘do whatever she asked you to do’? Anyway, there was no need he got himself worried. As time went by, events would unravel themselves.



The school closed by four in the late afternoon, and by five, Jenni was in Sam's apartment. She had gone for the test at the staff clinic and had got the results.

She could have called him on the phone to inform him but she decided that since she would be physically present in his house, it was better she told him face-to-face.

Somehow, she was excited about the result of the test. Surely, this should mean he should speed up plans about settling down with her, shouldn't it?

But, then, she would caution herself that she did not really know how he would react. It was not all men that would be glad about the news that their girlfriends had an eight-week fetus growing inside them.

But, Jenni was more than a girlfriend, wasn't she? She was his fiancée! He should be glad to hear the news.

After changing from her office wears to casuals, she went to the kitchen to make the dinner. It was a simple dinner of jollof rice and fried plantain. She covered the pot of rice, put the plantain in warmer and went to the sitting-room to relax. It had been a tiring day. She soon dozed off. It was when he arrived that she was awakened.

'Hello, love,' he greeted.

'Welcome, darling.'

'How was your work at the school today?'

'Fine. And yours?'

He nodded. 'Fine too.'

She allowed him to change to his boxer and to settle down before she broached on the main issue.

'I've done the test and I've got the result,' she announced.

He nodded. 'Oh, yes, the test. What was the result?'

He nodded. 'Oh, yes, the test. What was the result?'

Rather than telling him, she handed the paper containing the result to him.

He scanned through and suddenly stopped short.

'What? You're pregnant?' he exclaimed.

She nodded. 'Yes, I'm carrying our baby.'

'How could you get pregnant? Aren't you on pills?'

She was studying his reaction. So far, it wasn't an encouraging one.

'No, I wasn't using any pill or contraceptive.'

'But you should,' he said fervently, like someone counseling a naive fellow. Now, see what that negligence has caused.'

Jenni's heart palpitated. It was obvious he viewed the whole thing in distaste.

'So, when will you go for abortion?'

She was shocked by the bluntness. 'Sam!'

He ignored her pleading eyes. 'That's the only option we have, isn't it?'

She shook her head vigorously. 'No. That's not the only option we have.'

'Really? So, tell me the other options that we have.'

She was sad and indignant that he was reacting this way. Of course, he should know the other options that they had.

‘The other option is to get married now.’

He was not listening to her. 'I'll suggest that you go and remove it as soon as possible,' he said.

Now, her indignation increased considerably.

'That will not be right,' she said. 'Since we're going to be married, we may as well start having babies now.'

She was sad and indignant that he was reacting this way. Of course, he should know the other options that they had.

‘The other option is to get married now.’

He was not listening to her. 'I'll suggest that you go and remove it as soon as possible,' he said.

Now, her indignation increased considerably. 'That will not be right,' she said. 'Since we're going to be married, we may as well start having babies now.'

It was his turn to shake his head. 'No, not now. I'm not ready for that yet.'

She was exasperated. 'But I want the baby!'

'Really? Well, count me out!'

She felt hurt. How could he be making such indifferent statements? Why did he feel so detached from what he ought to feel enamored to? Why was he sounding so cold?

'I'll give you the money to terminate it tomorrow morning. That is that. Let's forget that issue. Any food in the house?'

She was too numbed to say anything again. She stood up and went to the kitchen. She first stood still for some seconds in the middle of the kitchen. Why did he react so unfeelingly? Where was the love if this was the best way (which to her, was the worst) to react to the 'good news'? Did Sam really love her at all, or was she just another 'play thing' to him?

Tears came down from her eyes. She certainly expected something much better than this. After some seconds, she dried her eyes, dished the food inside flat plates, put them in a tray, added a bottle of cold water and two glass cups, and took the tray to the sitting-room where he was waiting for her.

The following morning, he gave her some money.

'Go and remove it,' he said.

She felt indignant again. How could he be talking so callously like this? Listless, she took the money from. She would have loved to ask him some
questions, such as when would he be really ready for marriage? But in her distressed state, she could not.

Throughout the day, Sam was eager to hear the second part of what Madam Kashi wanted to discuss with him. He did not like the deliberate suspense she had created but he had no option than to exercise patience. It was few minutes to seven when they had returned to the Magodo home of the Kashis that the madam dwelt on the issue again.

Just like the previous day, they were in the sitting-room.

'You must be eager to hear the second part of what I wanted to discuss with you,' she said.

Of course, he was. 'Yes, madam.'

She nodded knowingly. 'It's not a difficult, but I must tell you it's highly confidential. It's between life and death.'

Sam's eyes grew in expectation. God, that must be serious. So, what could that be?

She was studying his reaction. 'Yes, it's very serious. So serious that it requires that you take an oath before I can tell you.'

His eyes grew wider. Now, this was really serious.

She stood up. 'Follow me.'

She nodded knowingly. 'It's not a difficult, but I must tell you it's highly confidential. It's between life and death.'

Sam's eyes grew in expectation. God, that must be serious. So, what could that be?

She was studying his reaction. 'Yes, it's very serious. So serious that it requires that you take an oath before I can tell you.'

His eyes grew wider. Now, this was really serious.

She stood up. 'Follow me.'

He did as he was told. He could almost hear the thumping of his heartbeat as they went up the staircase and walked to the end of the passage.
She opened the room to the right. It was a bedroom. On a closer look, he could see that it was her room. Some lingerie and female under-wears
were on the bed and on the sofa in the room. Sam could hear his heart hammering. In his mind he had to scold himself to be a man.

'Sorry that the whole place is untidy.' She quickly packed the clothes on the bed and sofa, opened one of the wardrobes and put them there.

She opened another wardrobe and brought what looked like a black horn. It was indeed a horn with a red piece of cloth tied to the opening.

'Here, hold this.' She handed the horn to him. Gingerly, he took it.

'You will say after me. That if I - you will mention your name - ever disclose the secret I'm about to be told to anyone ...'

Sam said the words he was asked to say. He swore that if he should ever disclose the secret to anyone, woe should betide him. He was also asked to touch the tip of the red cloth three times with his tongue.

'Alright, now that we have passed the crucial stage, you can sit down while I tell you.'

Sam felt like he was watching a strange drama. He sat on the sofa the woman asked him to sit and awaited the so-called secret. She seemed to
be taking her time, as if she had all the time in the world.

'Now, let me not waste further time.' She went to sit on the bed but faced him squarely, staring at him.

'There's a challenge your boss is having which you can help him to solve.'

Sam's brows went up. 'Chief Kashi has a challenge?'

'Yes, and it's a secret. It’s a well-guided secret.'

Sam sighed and waited for her to continue.

'He has a challenge of Erectile Dysfunction System. That means, technically, he could not perform. I have only a child for him so far, and we
need to have more. I could have looked from anonymous sperm donor, but we preferred this other alternative. We want you to be the donor.'

Sam was thrown off balance. Of all the conjectures he had in mind, this was not one of them.

'I don't understand you, madam,' he stuttered.

'Listen. You will understand. What I'm saying is not difficult. We want you to father a child on his behalf.'

Sam was thrown off balance. Of all the conjectures he had in mind, this was not one of them.

'I don't understand you, madam,' he stuttered.

'Listen. You will understand. What I'm saying is not difficult. We want you to father a child on his behalf.'

If Jenni had said this, he would have laughed. But then, Madam Dupe Kashi was not Jenni. Besides, there was that serious look on the face of
Madam Kashi that showed that she had no time for facetious time out.

'You can't be serious, madam,' he found himself saying.

She chuckled and shook her head. 'So, you imagine I've brought you here to make jokes? This is as serious as anything can be.'

He still shook his head. 'I'm sorry ma'am, but I need to ask and confirm from him for me to believe that all I'm hearing is the truth.'

She nodded too. 'I think that's okay.' She stood up from the bed. 'You can take a leave now. Call him for whatever confirmation you need to
make. Remember the oath you've taken never to reveal this to anybody. See you tomorrow.'

'Good night, ma'am.'

'Good night.'

He stepped out of the house, feeling as if he had just stepped out of the theatre where he had watched a drama of the absurd.


* * *

When Sam got home, his mind remained in turmoil. He needed to do the needful by calling Chief Kashi to confirm what madam had said. Somehow, he felt reluctant to call the man, but he really had no choice. As soon as he settled in his sitting-room, he brought out his phone to call the boss.

'Hello, sir. Good evening, sir.'

'Good evening. I'm in a meeting now. Call me again, say in two hours' time.'

'Yes... Yes, sir.'

He sighed as the connection was cut off. So, he had to wait for another two hours before he could make a simple confirmation. That was
suspense!

Jenni would not be coming tonight as it appeared she was now coming every other day. He thought over what Madam Kashi said. Did that mean
she needed sample of his semen for fertilization, or what? His mind wondered. What if he said no? What if he declared that he would not be part
of it?

It seemed there was something sinister behind the whole thing. If the purpose of making him get close to the woman was this procreation matter,
why did the chief tell him to be monitoring her for an entirely different reason? Why giving him a false impression only for the woman to talk about
this?

A knock at his door interrupted his thoughts.

'Yes, come in,' he called out.

The door opened and Bisi came in carrying a tray containing plates of food.

'Good evening,' she said. 'I've brought something for you to eat.'

'Good evening.' He could perceive the tantalizing aroma of the food. He had no doubt that the taste would be delicious.

The door opened and Bisi came in carrying a tray containing plates of food.

'Good evening,' she said. 'I've brought something for you to eat.'

'Good evening.' He could perceive the tantalizing aroma of the food. He had no doubt that the taste would be delicious.

'You shouldn't have bothered yourself going through all these troubles,' he said, smiling.

'Oh, it's no trouble.'

She set the tray on the center table. The food was yam porridge grilled with assorted meats. It was good that Jenni would not be coming
tonight. How would he explain the reason for Bisi bringing food for him?

'Thanks,' he said, still smiling.

'You're welcome.'

Her presence temporarily made him forget about Madam Kashi and her bizarre proposal. But there was something about Bisi that he must get
over. Whether she already knew Jenni or not, he needed to tell her about Jenni and how he had promised to marry her.

'You must know that I'm already in a relationship with another lady. It's a serious one and I'm planning to take her to the altar,' he said as he
took the food.

She nodded. That meant she knew. So, where would this relationship he was having with her head towards? Would she, Bisi, be ready to play the
role of a 'side chick' and remain content with that?

'You should also understand that anytime she comes around, she must not know that there's anything going on between us.'

Again, she nodded. Good, that meant there was mutual understanding between them.

She opened the bottle of water she had brought and poured some water inside a glass cup.

'O ya, enjoy your meal,' she said.

Sam smiled and pointed at the second spoon. She had brought two spoons with her. She said a short prayer and joined him in eating.

'Did you cook it?' he asked.

'Yes.'

'Good. This is delicious.'

She smiled. 'Thanks.'

She remained with him after the meal, chatting. About two hours later, his phone rang. It was Chief Kashi on the line.

'Hello, sir. Good evening.'

'Good evening, Sam. How're you?'

'Fine sir.'

'Yeah. What did you want to say the other time?'

'It was about what madam told me, sir. She said ... '

'Listen, Sam. I've told you before and I will say it again that whatever madam wants you to do, do it.'

'But what she is saying is out of place and ... '

'Sam, listen to me,’ Chief Kashi interrupted. ‘Are you listening?'

'Yes, sir.'

'Anything my wife ask you to do, just go ahead and do it, but remember you're to keep everything secret. Remember the oath you took.'

There was no need Sam said anything further on the issue. It was obvious the chief and his wife had plotted everything together.

'Okay, sir.'

'Yeah. Good night.'

Chief Kashi disconnected the line. Sam was still puzzled about the whole thing. Well, he shrugged. Why was he bothering himself? Why didn't he
just watch and see how the situation would go? What would be his stress in doing the simple thing madam in connivance with her husband had
asked him to do? He shrugged again.

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