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The Mechanics Of Yenagoa (XV)
Post Series: Mechanics of Yenagoa

Start from Episode 1

“It looks like I’m interrupting something—”

I didn’t let her finish. If Blessing sensed it was another woman wanting to see me that early in the morning, there would be trouble and I didn’t want that, at least not so soon after settling with her and giving her the full assurances of my undying love and devotion.

“Adinna, what are you doing here so early in the morning?” I whispered. Of course, I already knew the answer, so I could only hope that I nailed my angry face and surprise voice. I pulled her to the living room and joined her on the sofa. She seemed distraught and broken, like she was struggling to get something off her chest. So, I asked, this time a little louder, “Are you okay?”

“Ebinimi, I know it’s early, but I couldn’t sleep last night. Something terrible happened yesterday; I don’t know if you’ve heard already?”

At that point, I widened my okpolo eyes for effect and in pretend anticipation of what was to come, so she wouldn’t suspect I already knew.

“It’s Aguero. He was arrested yesterday. The police found guns in his car.”

“What?” It was all I could say. Before I could think of what next to add so I came across as believable, Blessing walked into the parlour. She had on one of my white BYC undershirts that barely covered the flagship of her lady parts and nothing else. She did a sexy walk to where I was and wrapped her arms around me, completely ignoring my female visitor.

I didn’t know she had it in her to speak with so much tenderness, so it must have taken a lot of practice for Blessing to sound so sweet and demure before an adversary. It wasn’t a side of her she showed often, but the strategy was intentional.

“Baby, did you see the pink bra I left in your room the last time I slept over? I wasn’t wearing any when you called me to come and be with you yesterday.”

I saw Adinna cringe where she sat. I could tell she was embarrassed and uncomfortable, but I guess the problem that brought her to my house that early was bigger than the morning-after glow of her ex’s lover.

“Ebinimi, make I dey go. Clearly, I came at a bad time.” Adinna started to get up from the chair, but I motioned to her not to go.

“See, Blessing we go look for your bra ehn, but I have a guest that has come to discuss a very serious problem with me.”

Blessing hesitated, but I guess it occurred to her in that moment that if it was a contest, she had the upper hand. She was the one I spent the night with and she literally had the T-shirt to prove it and even rub it in. Her performance was to mark her territory and she did it quite well.

After she decoupled her embrace and went back into the room, Adinna continued from where she stopped before the interruption. “Ebinimi, I know I wronged you and you have every right to be angry with me, but right now, you are the only one I can run to. Aguero is your friend too. You and I know that he has his own problems oh, but guns? Aguero isn’t that kind of person and you know it.”

“Well…” I paused, as if in deep contemplation of the situation before continuing, “all these bunkering and kpo fire business he puts his hands into sometimes expose people to all kinds of bad actors and shady characters.”

“I know he’s into illegal refining and smuggling of crude oil, but guns and drugs? Ebinimi, that’s not your friend na.”

“So what do you want us to do now? Are his parents aware? Is Preye—” I hesitated, not sure if it was appropriate for me to bring up his wife, but Adinna didn’t seem to mind.

“She’s aware, so are his parents. I understand his dad has even spoken with the police commissioner,” she hesitated for a bit and then continued, “but I know something the rest of them don’t.”

“You do?” My eyes popped again. This time it wasn’t pretence, but real concern. It looked like my secret was out and that was why Adinna came to see me. “What do you know?” I managed to ask without revealing how scared I was.

“I know it was a set up, and I also know who is responsible.” I was already drafting my confessional statement in my head when she added, “It is Justus.”

Phew! She thought it was her aristo! She thought it was her boss, Justus Woyinpereowei, the 63-year-old Commissioner for Employment, Rehabilitation & Social Welfare who had asked her to be his second wife and she had turned down many times, only to accept the same position from the much younger and good looking Aguero. Adinna was convinced he was responsible for her fiancé’s arrest and gun possession charge because he had said to her only two days before that if he didn’t marry her, no one else would.

You should have seen the relief on my face, hands, legs and every other part of my body when I realised Justus Woyinpereowei was her main suspect and not me. I was surprised I hadn’t thought of that angle, because as I did, it made perfect sense to go along with her conspiracy theory and perpetrate the notion of her sugar daddy’s presumed complicity in a frame-up.

Even though she and Aguero really hurt me, a part of me felt bad that I was even having that conversation with her when I knew the truth about the guns. It was like I was in a Star Wars movie and had crossed over to the dark side.

“You mean someone as highly placed as that in government is after Aguero? I acted surprised. “Are you willing to say this to the police or even before a judge in court?”

“Yes, I am. The man threatened me only a few days ago. I swear, Justus made it clear that he was prepared to teach us a lesson, we wouldn’t forget in a hurry when I told him again that I was serious about not wanting to sleep with him anymore since I had accepted Aguero’s marriage proposal.”

“Nonsense!” She must have thought my outburst and anger were directed at her moneybag, when all the while I was wondering if the gold-digger thought I was a fool. Why in God’s green earth would she come to one jilted lover to complain about the threat from another jilted lover? But I played along.

“So, what are we going to do now?”

“Ebinimi, I don’t know. I can’t even go and visit him in the station because of his wife,” Adinna said crying.

A part of me wanted to sympathise with her, while the other part was happy that my contrived karma had served up a very cold dish.

“Crying wouldn’t solve anything, Adinna. Let me prepare so I can go and see him in the station. He’s at Ekeki police station, right?”

“No, he’s at the SARS office at Road Safety road.

I saw her off to the gate where the cab driver that brought her was already fast asleep and snoring loudly. When I got back to the room, Blessing was all dressed up to leave. But I trust my girl; she wasn’t about to leave without a fight.

“Well done oh, Ebinimi. I see say this na your ‘bring-back-all-the-old-firewood’ week, abi? Look, make I first tell you, that sugar when you dey put for mouth before you call me go soon melt.”

“Blessing, wetin come dey bring this kind of talk this early morning again?”

“Ask me, Ebinimi; I say make you ask me. You don see mumu Blessing, no be so? If to say I nor dey house, nor be jogodo that karishika come find for Ovom this early momo? After you tell me last night say una no dey again, she still dey come find you. But you see as my God take expose the two of una?”

“See, I’m not ready for your wahala this morning abeg. You when dey shout, ‘expose,’ not you and Reverend Ebizimor God expose to me the other day?” I got back into bed and covered myself up with the duvet, signalling to her that I was in no mood for her drama.

“Make I tell you ehn, na that your sister when him pikin no resemble her husband God go expose.”

That made me jump out of bed. Was she hinting at something, insinuating anything? I had to ask her.

“I’m not insinuating anything Ebinimi. But the next time you see your nephew, if woman never blind your eye before then, take a good look at his face and you will see who the boy really resembles.”

Blessing was out of the door before I could stop her.

All through the morning, and even afternoon, I tried crushing the seed she had planted in my head about Anda by concentrating on fixing the cars brought in for repairs by my customers, but the table she was shaking wouldn’t stay still.

Even though I was busy with one vehicle after the other, and Tiekuro had agreed that we meet in the evening at Ayalla Hotel to finalise the issue of his balance, my mind kept going back to what Blessing said about my sister and her son before fleeing my room in the morning.

When Blessing asked me to take a good look at my nephew’s face, was she stylishly confirming something about my sister, Ebiakpo, that I had been suspecting for a long time?

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