When David got the call from Annabel requesting to see him, he immediately concluded that she had come to her senses and wanted to apologise to him for her bad behaviour the other day at the Samson Siasia Stadium. Since their altercation at the stands, where she threatened to deal with him and Rain, the two of them hadn’t seen or spoken to each other and David wasn’t looking forward to engaging with her again. He only wanted to hear from Demon Cub that his instruction to eliminate her had been successfully executed.
David was unhappy at the delay coming from someone he was told was an excellent marksman and ruthless executioner by the Prime Lion of the Wounded Lions Cult himself.
Immediately D3 got off the phone with Annabel, he sent a message to the boy, asking him to come with a keke to the Famgbe end of the Swali Bridge where he would be waiting for him.
Within minutes of David’s arrival at the meeting point, Demon Cub pulled up on the opposite side of the road. He paid the driver of the tricycle and crossed over to join David in the black Hyundai Accent Rain said was his for keeps since she now drove the new car assigned to her by virtue of her recent promotion at work.
Demon Cub chanted the customary greeting of their group, but David didn’t respond. Clearly, he wasn’t in the mood for socialising. He turned off the radio in his car.
“Wetin dey happen for your end na? Why all this langa-langa movement?” David asked, frowning so Demon Cub could see his displeasure. “The way things dey go, e just be like say I put you for hotel for nothing. My bill dey increase every day, yet I never see anything. Something when we agree say we go conclude sharp-sharp, I still dey wait to hear from you. Abi you and the girl don dey kolobi each other behind my back already?”
“Bigger bro, make you no vex. Everything dey under control. I assure you say I know wetin I dey do. Bros, I be pro for this matter oh, leave that thing.”
“Which one be leave that thing? See, me I no dey like all this kain galabagalaba play, na result I want.”
“Baba, you sabi say as a Wounded Lion, I gats dey clinical so that things no go gas for my end and e no go gas for your end too.”
“What is the plan?” David was still frowning. “What is causing all this unnecessary delay?”
Demon Cub took a long breath and explained. “I’ve been tailing your girl for some days now so I can establish a pattern. I found out that she gets home about five o’clock in the evening. Usually there is no electricity so she puts on her big generator from when she gets home until about nine in the evening.”
“I know that already. I stayed with her for some weeks.”
“After that, she go come put on the small I-Pass-My-Neighbour generator from that nine in the night until the next morning. My plan now na to disconnect the gen like fifteen minutes after she on am. Then when she come out to come check why the gen off by himself, I go scatter her body with bullets. The noise go make her neighbours fear so nobody go come out immediately come help her. When I don finish my rain of bullets, I go sharperly japa inside the bush when dey beside her house. From there I go cut back enter express and then join keke back again to where I go park my car. The car go dey in front of that big supermarket when dem dey call Market Square.”
“Okay. I like the plan. Wetin I no like sha na the delay.”
“I go do am this night. Everything don set for action.”
“No. Make you wait small first. Me and her go meet this night to trash out some issues so make you never carry out the hit yet. The outcome of my meeting with her later today go determine whether or not we go proceed as planned or if things don change.”
“Baba, we no go bring her down again?”
“I go let you know this night. Just wait until you hear from me. Meanwhile, person when dey work for the hotel tell me say na so so galabagalaba play you dey play with our Yenagoa girls since you enter this town. I hope say dat no be why you no wan do wetin bring you come here again oh?”
“Bros! Bigger bros!” Demon Cub hailed David playfully. “Bible sef talk am say as a man, anywhere when your feet touch, make you sample.”
“No be only Bible talk that one, Fela sef put mouth join,” David teased.
“Bros, I don get phone numbers of some very clean babes for this town, I dey tell you. If you want now, now, now, now, I fit arrange something for you.”
“I no want. The one when I do na him don hook me for throat so,” David laughed. “My guy, abeg come down for my car, I still get plenty waka to do today. I dey expect my babe mama and papa for my house this evening. So I want quickly branch Swali market, buy ingredients when I go take make correct banga soup and starch for them.”
When David slid back into the traffic heading towards the market, he didn’t notice the black Toyota Camry driving a few metres behind him. Because he was oblivious of the fact that he was being followed, he also didn’t notice the same car positioned adjacent to the spot he parked his car when he got back home.
“Where are your parents?” David was surprised to see Rain return home from work alone. “I thought your parents were coming with you for dinner?”
“Oh my! I forget to tell you dinner was cancelled. Something unexpected came up with my father so they had to return to Port Harcourt almost immediately they arrived Yenagoa,” Rain lied to her boyfriend. “We didn’t even have time for all the plenty talk about me and you that brought them to see me in the first place.”
“So I am not getting their blessing today?”
“Not today, David. I’m afraid you’d have to wait another day for that and if it is being delayed or denied, we’d just have to proceed with our plans without it.”
“Are you saying they don’t like me?”
“No, I’m not. I’m simply saying that they couldn’t stay in Yenagoa long enough to come here for dinner.”
“Rain, you should have told me this on time na,” David lamented. “Do you know that I spent the whole day in Swali market and then in the kitchen inside this hot weather just so I could impress your mum and dad with my cooking?”
“The last time I checked, David, it is a girl’s heart you capture with good food, not the in-laws,” Rain joked.
“You think it is funny, abi? Now, what’s going to happen to all the food I prepared and the expensive drinks I bought to show them that I have good taste and that I am capable of taking care of their only daughter?”
“David, I’m so sorry. Things were really crazy in the office today. First, it was my parents arriving pretty early in the morning when I hadn’t even quite settled down in the office. And then Padrino came with the sad news of Mr Waks’ death.”
“I thought you said he was kidnapped?”
“I didn’t tell you?”
“You’re not telling me plenty things today oh, Rain.”
“Abeg no vex. Turns out he was murdered. The police found his body inside a dustbin on Okaka road.”
“Wow! That is so sad, very sad. Well, I know we aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead, but don’t you see karma at work here?”
“How do you mean?” Rain asked in bewilderment. She was unsure what angle David was coming from.
“You told me the other day that you were investigating his activities and that you found out he had made several unauthorised visits to the till.”
“Yes I did.”
“Well, if it is true that he was defrauding your boss and helping himself to the company’s funds, then he wasn’t such a good person and he could have got what he deserved. A man like that must have stepped on important toes, or what do you think?”
“So you think his death may not be unconnected with my findings?” Rain took a long pause to process that thought and then she shook her head. “No, no. I refuse to believe there’s a correlation. It’s all coincidental.”
It was David’s turn to be silent for a minute. When he spoke, it was as if a light bulb flashed in his head. He looked Rain in the eyes and asked, “With Mr Wakama dead, does it mean you will be appointed the next Chief Financial Officer of Edozie Express?”
With Mr and Mrs Tamuno no longer showing up for the planned dinner, David had to come up with a plausible excuse to leave the house. He lied to Rain about wanting to meet up with the owner of a new nightclub opening up close to Mbiama junction about the position of club manager.
The cancellation meant he could reschedule his appointment with Annabel for earlier. That way, he could still circle back with Demon Cub in the event nothing changed after hearing Annie out. If the hit was still on, then the executioner’s timing was sacrosanct.
Once again, they elected to meet in the stands of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex. It was the safest and most clandestine place David could think of at such short notice and Annabel was comfortable with the location.
D3 found a secluded spot with just a handful of young boys and girls within earshot. Since he didn’t recognise any of their faces – even though a couple of them looked like scoundrels he shouldn’t be hanging around with on a good day, he felt people like that wouldn’t be interested in the conversation between him and Annabel.
Still, they kept their voices down. David asked after her job and her health as a way of easing into what he suspected was going to be a long heated conversation about their future and how he hoped to fit her into the marriage arrangement he was entering with Rain. On the phone, she sounded subdued, like someone in need of assurance and he was prepared to accommodate her, just as long as it didn’t jeopardise his chances with his fiancée.
David was ready to be magnanimous with her, as long as she was willing to play ball and not act all defiant and headstrong. She may have been domineering in the past, but this time he had the upper hand and he was prepared to squeeze until he squished the life out of her. David grinned from ear to ear as he waited for Annabel to beg. Unfortunately, his confidence didn’t prepare him for the shocker dropped on him by a girl he thought he had vanquished.
Annabel didn’t beat around the bush. Seconds after they dispensed with pleasantries, she broke the news to him straight.
“D3, I’m pregnant for you and I’m keeping the baby,”
David was stunned by her announcement, but he quickly regained his composure so she wouldn’t see how devastated he was by her news.
“Annabel, you can’t be pregnant. We always used protection.”
“That night you did three rounds, have you forgotten what happened the last time to the condom you used?”
“When I checked, there was no tear.”
“Something must have gone wrong because I am pregnant. The doctor confirmed it today.”
“Annabel, don’t do this. It will ruin everything.”
“If the plan is for you to leave Rain eventually, then I don’t see how my pregnancy with your child changes anything. We would still be together in the end when you divorce her, won’t we?” Annabel was cheeky in her response and it wasn’t lost on David.
“I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. I am very sure I used a condom.”
“David, there’s no mumu in my life right now I can pin this on. I’ve been exclusive with you this period and you know it.”
“Annie, I don’t know anything.”
“David, I didn’t ask to see you because I want to make trouble. I just wanted you to know that I am pregnant and I am not having an abortion. Please, for the sake of this our unborn child, keep that at the back of your mind as you and Rain plan for your big society wedding.”
“Annabel, if you keep the pregnancy, people would ask questions when it starts to show.”
“What would you tell them? What will you tell Rain? She is your best friend. You’d probably be the chief bridesmaid at our wedding when we eventually fix a date. You can’t tell her without giving her a name. You know Rain, she would even insist on meeting the man.”
“I don’t think I would be the first woman to have a child and keep the identity of the father a secret. Look, David, this baby changes everything. In case you’re planning anything bad against me, remember that I am carrying your child. Also remember that you cannot harm me without harming your own seed.”
“What kind of dirty talk is that, Annabel? Who told you I am planning anything bad against you?”
“I am just saying my own.”
“You can keep the baby if you want. My own is that Rain can never know that I am the father because it will spoil my plans.”
David waited for Annabel to leave the stadium before texting Demon Cub that the plan had changed. Annabel was right; he couldn’t kill her without killing his own child.
As David was typing his message to Demon Cub, a couple of feet away from him, a guy in a black face cap was also sending a text message from his phone. His message was short and cryptic.
“Oga Alabo, how soon can we meet? Target has delivered.” \