SILENT CRIES - Episode 21

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - working for EFCC, You were in love, shark, the Gang, she works in a bank, understand the danger, Bob Marley’s Stir it up.

“I know you've said I should leave you out of this one but...”

“Dude forget that, tell me what is happening, what's wrong? I just dropped her at her place now I'm even not yet home,” he had subconsciously headed home based on the plans he was trying to make for another evening with Ijeoma.

“You remember the contact person I told you about some time ago,” Udochukwu asked.

“One James person,” Nnamdi interjected.

“Yes him,” Udochukwu confirmed. “So it turns out he was at Ijeoma's place some months ago...”
Nnamdi swore under his breath, “To do what? Does Ijeoma know him?” All these Nnamdi asked all at once. His mind was already joining the dots together but he did not want to see it. This was the woman who owned his heart, dammit!

“Damn, damn, damn!”

“Calm down,” that was all Udochukwu could get into the conversation as Nnamdi was on an overdrive, worked up about the danger lurking around Ijeoma. “I swear Udochukwu, if anything happens to Ijeoma I will kill that guy, who is he by the way?”

“Will you just hear me out?!” Udochukwu shouted. “My James is the same as her brother-in-law.” Nnamdi heard faintly as he put on his ear piece.

“Ijeoma's brother-in-law is the same as your informant?” he asked Udochukwu to be sure.

“Yes he is. I only found out the other day when he mentioned his family for the first time. His wife is Ngozi and he is scared for them. Things are beginning to get ugly.”

“Hey dude, back up one second please, so you are telling me that this James fellow you have been working with is Ijeoma's brother-in-law, so why are you just finding out now?”  At this point, Nnamdi finished plugging in his hands-free set and did a U-turn to head back to Ijeoma's place. She was not going to be out of his sight from now on. If her life was in danger then he would protect her, with his own life if need be. “Udochukwu you can do better than this!”

Nnamdi pulled into traffic and checked his mirrors. “You usually would have found out everything about anybody you were working with seconds after they join your team!”

“But that is it Nedu, he is not on my team!” Udochukwu tried to defend himself.

“What is happening?” Nnamdi demanded, “So he is not also working for EFCC or what.”

“That's exactly what I'm saying. He didn't have as much information as I thought, and I preferred to leave him at the peripherals while concentrating on the bigger fish...”

Nnamdi began to mutter, “This cannot be happening, I don't believe this...”

At this outburst, Udochukwu who was already upset with Nnamdi and began to shout at him. “Will you just shut up? If you listen to me maybe, we can still smoothen things out before it really gets bad.”

That seemed to really shut Nnamdi up, so Udochukwu went on, “Nedu, this is not like you at all. How can you be panicking like this? Some weeks ago, you were the one who told me not to involve you anymore in this case! What was your reason? You were in love and did not want the distraction...”

“Okay, okay... I am sorry, let's cut to the meat of the matter, shall we?” Nnamdi did not regret his earlier action. It had been to protect Ijeoma that he had begged off Udochukwu's current mission. How was he to know she would be involved through another person?

“Maybe if you had not been out of the loop, you would already know everything,” Udochukwu muttered. “Anyway, James is in a lot of trouble with the Gang. He ran into hard times financially and made the error of gambling with the Gang in hope that he would be able to settle the gambling debt already incurred. In the process, he went into business with T-shark, you remember the guy we found burnt to death some years ago.” Nnamdi nodded as he recalled the events of about three years ago. “Well it turns out that T-shark also had loads of gambling debt which he claimed his partner would pay off, the partner being James. Apparently T-shark double crossed both James and the Gang and made the Gang believe James had more of their money than he actually did. So the Gang has been after him since then. He abandoned his family after T-shark's death and went hiding so they don't get caught in the web...”

“Okay, okay, okay, Udochukwu so how does this concern Ijeoma now?”

“Chill my guy,” Udochukwu said, “If you remember some months ago, Tochi kept going on about Ijeoma's car not being good, well she took a cab and it turned out to be the one James was driving; his way to make a living of some sort. And Ijeoma recognized him. He went to see her in a bid to allay her fears and keep her from looking for him or telling Ngozi. Wrong seems he was being tailed. Now they've got pictures of Ijeoma at her house, office, and in the car at various places. They have been sending threats to James that if he does not provide their money by the end of this month he won't see Ijeoma again.”

“Oh my God!”

“Indeed...” Udochukwu agreed. “The plan is to kidnap Ijeoma. I think they know Ngozi too, but for some reason think Ijeoma is his current girlfriend and knows where the money is since she works in a bank. So she is in great danger at the moment...”

Nnamdi could not bear what he was hearing, “Look Udochukwu, I'm heading back to Ijeoma's place. What type of danger is she in? I know she is about to meet her brother-in-law James this evening...”

“I know and that is why I called. You have to keep her away from him!” Udochukwu shouted. “We are planning a safe house for all of James’ family. I'm guessing that is what he wants to tell Ijeoma. I told him we would do the job but amateur that he is, he had to do it himself. And it's likely that they will be following him and will take the opportunity to take Ijeoma!”

“No way! I won't allow that.” Nnamdi's mind whirled. He sorted through his memory for the right people to involve in this, he would do anything to keep Ijeoma safe from harm.

“Listen Nedu, as of now I need you to take Ijeoma away to where ever you are sure she will be safe. If anything happens to her Tochi will kill me...”

“I will kill you first,” Nnamdi interjected. “Why didn't you tell me all this before?”

“Well, you said to leave you out, remember?” Udochukwu reminded him. “But seriously, I didn't know the two James were the same until this evening. My James had told me his family was in danger and we were making plans. I put some officers to follow him and they came back today with the information that allowed me to put two and two together. You like that girl don't you?”

“No my guy that one was before. Now I know that I really love Ijeoma and I have proposed...”

“Oh wow...”

“Yes, I was planning another date for her with friends before you called me. I should be in her place in a few minutes. Ijeoma knows my background but she thinks it's all in the past. How do I make her understand how well I still know the Gang and how deadly they are?” Nnamdi asked.

“No o,” Udochukwu shouted, “You can't tell her the whole story yet. You know this case is not over. You could let her more deeply into what you do now and that you help us, that will help her understand the danger. Depending on the turn of things, then we'll let her into the rest. Ijeoma is a really level-headed girl. Just help her understand. I suggest you get her out of her place as fast as possible.”

“Okay Udochukwu, call me in 30 minutes. I think that gives me enough time to get Ijeoma out of her place...”
“Shit,” Nnamdi said when the conversation with Udochukwu ended. If his hands were not on the steering wheel, they'd be clenched at this point. Why now? Now that everything was fine and somewhat dandy. Why now? Now that he was irrevocably hooked on her. Now that he had pledged to love her. Now that he had asked her to marry him. Now that she had accepted. Why? Poor Ijeoma. He couldn’t even warn her of the danger that was brewing…Oh God. How he loved her and wanted to protect her. They couldn’t run away. No! he wasn't just going to up and run like some chicken. Run from who? He didn’t even know who they were up against.

That's the question that should be on your mind, Nnamdi.

This thing reeked of cat pee. Acidic. Could it be just a gambling debt? Or was there something James wasn’t telling even the EFCC? He had to do something… and real fast too…

Bob Marley’s Stir it up was playing in the background…Damn. Bob used to help him think straight…and…Oh! A Plan began to form in his head.

“Why didn’t I think of that….” said Nnamdi, as he dialed a number. A part of him admonished him...begged him not to call the number...told him to think hard before…it was too late…

Ehen??” said the voice on the other side, “Who be dis?”

Ahn ahn! Gbenro, ta lo ji pata re? Who don go vex you today?”

Tani yii? Who dey talk...who be this?”

“Nnamdi ni...”

Ah ah! Tuale!. How you dey na? Na wa o! E don tey oh…”


                       CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 22

                       CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 20

Written by:
Ikpo Henry Chigozirim

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SILENT CRIES - Episode 21
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - working for EFCC, You were in love, shark, the Gang, she works in a bank, understand the danger, Bob Marley’s Stir it up. An African Literary Blog
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