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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - the police station, DPO, policeman, slow-killing poison, kitchen, kettle, Nescafe into the cup, poison, coffee, cup, Italian Espresso, file.

Azubuike walked into the police station and asked to see the DPO. He was received by the policeman with whom Folashade had struck a deal to take out Azubuike. “Welcome sir,” he said loudly to Azubuike. “Thank you. Is the DPO around?” “He is not in yet. Can I get you a cup of tea or coffee while you wait for him?” “Actually, I could use some coffee,” Azubuike replied. He sat in the DPO’s lounge and waited for him. The police officer went to the small kitchen near the DPO’s office and worked briskly as he sought to make coffee for Azubuike. He poured water into an electric kettle, plugged it in and turned it on. As the water heated up, he brought out a container of Nescafe and a tea cup. Then, he ran to his desk. He had been anticipating Azubuike’s visit. He kept a lethal, slow-killing poison in his drawer. He carefully picked up the pouch containing the poison. Some days earlier, he had made a quick trip to a village in Ogun State where they prepared the concoction for him.

He looked over his shoulder to make sure that no one was watching. He placed the poison in his pocket and returned to the mini-kitchen. He waited impatiently and soon, the water began to boil. He took a quick look at Azubuike who was buried in the newspaper he was reading. The policeman took out the poison, unwrapped it and dropped a sizeable amount in the cup. Then, he wrapped up the rest and placed it in his pocket. He quickly poured some Nescafe into the cup and then poured some of the boiling water on top of it. He stirred the cup to make sure that everything was well mixed. “Would you like sugar in it?” He stuck his neck into the lounge and asked Azubuike. “Yes, a spoonful of sugar please, and some milk,” he answered. “Okay,” responded the policeman. He opened the fridge and searched for milk but there was none. Afraid that Azubuike might reject the coffee, he ran across the street and bought a tin of milk.

He was breathing heavily as his heart pounded like a formula one racing car. He opened the milk and poured some in. His hands shook. Then, he added some sugar to the cup, stirred one more time and headed out to the lounge. His hands shook as he carried the coffee to Azubuike. “Here is the coffee, sir,” he said with a plastic smile handing him the cup. “Thank you,” Azubuike said as he took hold of the cup. “Mr. Azubuike!” The DPO shouted as Azubuike was about to take a sip. “DPO, you are here,” he replied moving the coffee away from his mouth. “What have they served you?” He asked him. “It is Nescafe, sir,” the police sergeant answered. “Don’t drink that thing,” the DPO said to Azubuike. “I don’t mind actually,” Azubuike protested. “Please pass that cup back to Wale. I was in Italy last week. I brought proper Italian Espresso with me. You have to taste this. You will confess that there is coffee, and then there is coffee after tasting this. Take that thing away Wale. Come to my office. I will make the Espresso for you by myself. And, Wale,” he called to the sergeant. “Yes sir,” Wale answered. “Drop that coffee. Run to my car and get me a file that is lying on the backseat, okay?” “Yes sir.”  He dropped the coffee on the table and made a mad dash to the car. The DPO and Azubuike entered his office and began to chat while he made a cup of Espresso for Azubuike. They left the door open while they talked.

“Sir, there is no file on your backseat,” Wale announced. “I knew I was going to forget that file. Wale, please take one of our vehicles and run to my house. My wife is at home. Tell her to give you the brown envelope I left on the dining room table. Go now!” “Yes sir,” Wale replied. He eyed the deadly cup of coffee which was still sitting on the table in the lounge. “I came to tell you that I want my ex-wife released. Well the divorce is not official, but it will be soon. I can’t call her my wife. All the same, you can release her now. God will judge her. I want the matter off my life and mind,” Azubuike explained to the DPO as he sipped a cup of Espresso. “This is good DPO. Very good, I must say.” “I told you! That is correct Italian Espresso. So, you want her released?” “Yes, I do.” “Are you sure? We can keep her here for as long as you want.” “It is okay now. Let her go. I want nothing to do with her though. I have sent all her things to her parents.”

A cleaner entered the lounge and began to wipe the table. “Is this coffee for you, sir?” The cleaner asked, referring to the poisoned coffee. She was a middle-aged woman…slender and soft-spoken. “No, you can have it,” the DPO answered. “I don’t drink coffee sir.” “You can hand it to any of the cell occupants then.” She carried the coffee to the cell closest to the main hallway. She banged gently on the gate to get the inmates attention. “Do you want coffee?” “She asked Folashade, who was the first to answer the call. Her cell mates had placed shabby pillows over their ears in an attempt to sleep. “The DPO did not want it anymore. It is a bit cold, but I guess coffee is coffee. I don’t drink coffee, so…” “Please hand it to me,” Folashade answered. “I have not had coffee in weeks.” She took the cup, moved it to her lips and took a sip. “That is heaven!” She said with relief. “Thank you…I have been craving coffee.” “I am glad that someone could have it rather than waste it.” “Yes, you are right, Folashade said as she took another sip. She closed her eyes and then gulped the entire cup down, delightfully.

“I never cheated on you, Caitlin,” Chisom said. “Oluchi made the whole thing up to get at me. She and I have sorted out our differences. You can call her and ask her if I am telling the truth. Better yet, we could go over to her place. Believe me, I have never loved anyone like I love you,” he explained. They were at Oxford Street Tube Station. Chisom was going somewhere when he ran into Caitlin at the station. She was arguing with her boyfriend who treated her rudely…dumping her at the tube station, right in front of people. “I no longer want you, Caitlin,” her boyfriend had said. “Just leave me alone,” he added impudently before heading down the underground. Caitlin covered her face with her hands as tears streamed down her face. Then, a hand touched her gently. “Hi Caitlin, you deserve better than that,” Chisom said. He took her outside where they stood for quite some time and talked.

“I am in a very bad state of mind right now, Chisom. I need some time to process all this.” “I understand. I am not asking you to take me back right now, but I need you to know that I have always loved you. I have not been in any relationship since we broke up. I am still waiting for you. It broke my heart to see that guy treat you like that. You are a queen and you deserve to be treated as one. Just know that…and remember that there is someone still waiting to treat you as one and that person is me.” “Will you take me home?” She asked him. “I just need someone to talk to right now.” “If you needed me to, I would walk you to the moon and back,” he said jokingly. “My mouth, my eyes, my legs, my heart and soul, they are all ready and eager to talk to you. I am here for you!” he emphasized. “You have not changed,” she said smiling. “You are still as funny as you used to be.” “I am happier and funnier when I am with you, actually.” “Thanks for making me laugh after what just happened to me.” “I’d play the clown for you, Caitlin.” “You are a darn good one too!” She said smiling. The walked along the road, laughing and smiling.

“Look at you…you are no longer crying,” Matthew’s mother said to James. “Tomorrow we take you to the beach at night to fulfill the prophesy we have been waiting for all these years,” she continued. “There were times when I did not believe in you mom, but now, I do completely. You were absolutely correct. The child came to us just like you said,” Matthew said. His mother was the chief priestess of a cult. She had told Matthew that someday, he was going to have a child through a woman married to a wealthy young man. “The gods have already claimed the boy before he was born. We will sacrifice him at sea and afterwards, millions will flow into your life…and mine, my child like water. We have suffered enough my child, but with his birth…and sacrifice at sea, our god, Irediula will wipe our pains,” she had explained. “Feed him, Matthew. Let him eat now so he will have more blood to offer the gods tomorrow night,” she urged Matthew who was feeding James. They had told their neighbors that James was Matthew’s mother’s younger sister’s daughter’s child. “She traveled to the village, so we are keeping the baby for her until she returns,” they lied to their inquisitive neighbors.

“There was a cup of coffee on the table here earlier. What happened to it?” Wale asked the cleaner.  “The DPO said I should hand it to one of the cell inmates,” she replied. “And you did?” “Yes, of course.” “Which one?” “I don’t know her name but I will show you.” “Please come and show me.” “That one there,” the cleaner said pointing at Folashade. “What?” “Why…I did what I was told. Is there a problem?” “What is it Folashade asked from inside the cell. “Nothing. I came to tell you that the DPO has sent for your parents to pay your bail fee. Your husband was here today and he asked that you be released.” “Really? I am so thankful.” “You can go now,” Wale said to the cleaner. “So everything is okay?” “Yes, everything is fine.” Wale wanted to drop dead. He did not know how to explain to Folashade that she had drunk the coffee meant for Azubuike. “Did you…?” Folashade asked Wale in a low tone, referring to their plan.

Written by:
Victor Chinoo

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - the police station, DPO, policeman, slow-killing poison, kitchen, kettle, Nescafe into the cup, poison, coffee, cup, Italian Espresso, file. An African Literary Blog
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