SILENT CRIES - Episode 22

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - the Galleria, stubbornness is legendary, gambling rings in Lekki and environs, low gangs in Ajegunle, dirty business, Living in the dredges, through his phone, Shoprite, authorities when necessary.


Nnamdi and Gbenro had remained friends. Their friendship had remained a secret. They were never seen together when they did have to meet. Gbenro had come to Nnamdi at a low point in his life and so had started their unlikely alliance. Nnamdi helped him in cash and Gbenro became Nnamdi's eyes and ears in the underworld.

Just as Alhaji Galadima recruited him for the police, Nnamdi began to funnel information from Gbenro to the authorities when necessary.  Gbenro knew people who knew people and it was Nnamdi who needed Gbenro’s expertise now. 


I need answers and answers I will get by hook or crook, Nnamdi thought to himself.

Gbenro, abeg…Meet me for that place now now...Abeg…E get wetin I want make you help me do…abeg,” Nnamdi said.

Na wa o! Ogbeni. This one wey you don talk abeg like three times so,” said Gbenro.

Wo, dey come, Quick quick!” Nnamdi was becoming more agitated now.

Make I discharge some people. I go dey there sharp sharp!”

Ok now. See you there. Thank you my brother.” He had another call to make.

Ijeoma, Pick up. Pick up,” Nnamdi muttered to himself

There was music in the background when he got through.

“Hello…Ijeoma? Err…are you with James yet?”

“No. I’m still at home,” she said.

“Okay, listen. Call him and tell him you’ll meet him at the Galleria.”

“What?”  There was a tinge of irritation in her voice.

“Look, Ijeoma, we still are not sure of this guy. He’s your sister’s husband but he’s been away for a while…Remember the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.”

“Look Nedu, you don't know him like I do. Sure I told you the later bits,” Nnamdi was too wired to let her continue.

“Trust me Ijeoma, I’ll come pick you up in about an hour. Please promise you’ll do as I’ve said.”

“You are talking weird, Nedu, James is still my sister's husband.”

“Please, just do it, okay?”

“Do what exactly?”

“Call James and tell him you'll only see him at the Galleria in an hour.”

“Okay.”

“Phew! I must “gist” our children o! Kai! This your stubbornness is legendary.” Nnamdi was happy she had accepted to do as he wanted.

Go joor.” Ijeoma replied.

“See you in an hour baby.”
-
Ten minutes later, Nnamdi was at the assigned place and left the engine running as Gbenro slid into the car.

Tuale! Ore mi, kilon popping na? You just shari your guy sha.”

Haba Gbenro! You know everything na,” Nnamdi glanced into all the mirrors as he drove off. He had to be sure no one was following them.

Anyway sha, wetin you dey hurry hurry me make I come do?” his passenger asked.

Ehen, Gbenro, e get one guy like this wey I want make you tell guys make them torchlight am for me. I wan know who him be.”

Wetin the guy do? Im dey disturb you? Make I organize boys make them go arrange the guy neat,” Gbenro volunteered. Satisfied that they were not under observation, Nnamdi stepped on the accelerator and pulled away.

No. No be like that. The story long small but I will explain quick. See e get one girl.”

Ha Sinedu! Woman matter…Naa…I no dey that one.”

Guy, hear wetin I dey talk na! This na my woman o.” They were both silent for a while and then Gbenro nodded. Nnamdi continued, “My girl get one sister when e marry one guy like this, the guy come leave them run…the man come back this year say people wey im owe money dey chase am…the thing be say, the people wey dey chase am come dey think say my girlfriend na the guy partner who hold their money.”

So wetin come happen. She take the money?”

Haba now Gbenro, she no take am. She doesn't even know anything.”

Okay na...so wetin you want make I do?” By now, they were parked not too far from where Ijeoma lived. The engine idled because the air conditioners were on. Nnamdi slung his hands over the steering.

Some people wan kidnap my girl be that Gbenro. It fit even happen tonight!”

Hmmmm…” Gbenro started thoughtfully.

Which one is hmmmm?” Nnamdi asked.

I hear some kidnap rumors sha, na the big Ogas, the ones for Island, na them get that one sha.”

Nnamdi sat up straight. This must be it, it must be the same people Udochukwu was after, the reason he had picked an interest in James in the first place. The ones who ran gambling rings in Lekki and environs and used low gangs in Ajegunle to do their dirty business. He cursed himself for demanding to be out of the loop. Well it was too late for regrets.

Hopefully Gbenro knew the lackeys who would do the actual job and would be able to help foil it.

“Gbenro, I think it is the same deal, what do you know?”

You get the girl picture?”

Wetin you wan carry am do?”

Ogbeni, answer me O jare.”

E dey my phone sha,” Nnamdi began to scroll through his BlackBerry.

Okay..Ehen this one clear..see am.” Gbenro took the phone from Nnamdi and looked at the picture. His features suddenly registered his shock.

Na she be this?”  “Yes that's her.” “Na wetin happen?” Nnamdi asked a visibly disturbed Gbenro.  Gbenro, shaking his head vigorously said, “Guy, wahala dey o.”

“What do you mean?” He was confused now. Very confused.! He was convinced that there was no way Gbenro could have met Ijeoma…Absolutely no way… but Gbenro’s next words put paid to his thoughts.

Sinedu, this ghel wey you see so, na Dabaru personal project tonight.”

“Dabaru?”

His nightmare was back!
-
Oh God...this was turning into the worst nightmare ever...the situation was getting uglier by every spoken word, every gesture.

Dear God, I said I was sorry, you promised me you'd forgiven me, I turned a new leaf, I did everything. I ...Why is this happening?

Nnamdi had to think hard and fast. Gbenro, assimilating the situation and fully understanding the gravity of what had just transpired, was clearly at a loss as to what to do or where to attack the matter from. He was reduced to babbling.

Kai...You know say I no fit go meet Dabaru...I no fit...him no go wan know. Shinedu, if him hear kperem say you know the girl, the girl own do pari o! Ogbeni, you dey think of your mama so?”

Nnamdi sat up, a plan forming in his head. Living in the dredges a long time ago made him an authority at thinking on his feet...he knew what he had to do. The time had come. The thug in him…the thug that Alhaji hadn’t succeeded in taming had been set loose. The thought of losing Ijeoma to Dabaru. He shivered. He wouldn’t go without a fight. He looked at his wristwatch...9pm.

He was supposed to pick Ijeoma in half an hour. That wouldn't be possible anymore.

Where Dabaru dey?” Nnamdi asked.

Hein? Wetin you dey talk?” Gbenro asked.

Where im dey? I wan see am. This madness has to end!” Nnamdi said out loud.

He couldn’t continue to run from his shadow. Or Dabaru as the case was. What better time to face the music than now?

 A very discombobulated Gbenro was saying “No be me go carry you go where dem go kill you o!”

By now Gbenro was looking left and right as if Dabaru would materialize if just by calling his name. He had learnt quite early that the fear of Dabaru was the beginning of wisdom.

“Gbenro!” Nnamdi called.

Gbenro guessed Nnamdi’s badgering wasn’t going to stop. Ah, how he wished that Nnamdi wouldn’t do this, however he knew his friend. It would stop only when Nnamdi had gotten the information he needed.

Ha, Sinedu…okay, I no go follow you go meet am o! I go show you where im go dey…No call my name o! I dey beg you.”

Gbenro, I be small pikin? You go go show me the place now but I gat to make some calls first…” Nnamdi said while scrolling through his phone.

He dialed. The call was to his very handy cabby...Supo had run many an errand for him in the past.

“Supo. Hello, can you hear me? Where you dey? The place is very noisy. Abeg, abeg, Comot for there then flash me.”

One minute later, Supo flashed Nnamdi’s phone, and Nnamdi called back.

Oga mi! I been dey watch Nigeria friendly match o… those boys just dey…” Supo had a knack for giving unsolicited information.

Supo, where you dey?” Nnamdi asked, cutting him off.

Oga mi. I dey one place like that near city mall.”

“Great! You get reach 10k?” “Ermm…No sir.”

Okay. Ermmm…come for Shoprite, come meet me now now...I dey wait o!!” He turned to Gbenro.  “Ogbeni, pade mi ni No 2. (Meet me at No 2.) Make I reach Shoprite. I wan sharply buy something.”

“No 2” was a code for one of their meeting places. All because the gang must not get wind of their association. Nnamdi sighed audibly but his resolve was strengthened. The next call he made was to Ijeoma.

Thank God for GSM…What would I have done? he thought.

“Sweetheart, are you still at home? Has James called you?” “Not yet.” “Ok. See, I won't be able to come take you to Galleria. No, no!  Just stay there…Yes, I'll send Supo. I love you.” he hung up after she muttered “love you too”.

9.45PM

“Dude, listen to me na…I need a favour.” He had just left Shoprite and was driving to his assignation with Gbenro at No 2.

“Do I need to leave where I am?” Udochukwu asked quietly, “I'm embedded somewhere already.”

“Yes...No. Okay, you don’t need to move. I would have wanted you to get involved, but I can manage with back up…and protection.” Nnamdi said.

“Nnamdi, what are you getting into? These guys have proofing. I think they may have some insider backers. We aren't sure who you’re up against, I suggest you stay out of it my friend.”

STORY CONTINUES...
                CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 23
                          
                CLICK HERE TO READ EPISODE 21

Written by:
Ikpo Henry Chigozirim

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: SILENT CRIES - Episode 22
SILENT CRIES - Episode 22
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - the Galleria, stubbornness is legendary, gambling rings in Lekki and environs, low gangs in Ajegunle, dirty business, Living in the dredges, through his phone, Shoprite, authorities when necessary.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
http://www.moofyme.com/2016/11/silent-cries-episode-22.html
http://www.moofyme.com/
http://www.moofyme.com/
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