“Estupido! Hijo De Tu Puta Madre”
“How dare he?” he screamed in a mad fit. “He has scorned me! He has messed with Muerto!” The great Lord Bucchi never lost his cool. It was one of the fascinating things about him that made him very revered and feared. It is said that a man who can control his emotions, can rule the world. Lord Bucchi of the La Tradico cartel ruled the world. This time though, his calm and finesse, had flown out of the window.
“I am sorry Muerto. He promised me everything. I believed him. He is not like our men. He…He…I am sorry.” a trembling Adelina said.
“He will pay.” Lord Bucchi said quietly in a manner that reeked of death. He was suddenly calm.
Lord Bucchi was nicknamed Muerto which in English meant Death. At the age of 21 his father was killed by a rival cartel. He immediately assumed the coveted leadership role of the Lord of the La Tradico cartel. Many experienced hands pronounced his obituary stating that he did not have the substance needed to lead a massive cartel such as the La Tradico. It was an open secret that in the underground operations of drug lords in Mexico, you had to be ruthless to make a headway. Lord Bucchi knew what exactly he was meant to do and understood how to do it such that every naysayer would be proved wrong. He went beyond proving them wrong. He excelled tremendously in that dark area and got the absolute name accorded to only the most feared, Muerto. Muerto was a title only one person could in a generation. Lord Bucchi had been unanimously chosen. His competition had been killed off. Somebody once joked that Muerto had traded his heart with Death himself, for diamond. There was nothing known to man that could break Lord Bucchi.
Nothing; except Adelina, his beautiful daughter.
Adelina had taken her mother’s life for hers when she was born. As a kid she had always been lively and playful. This attributes made everyone love her. With the foundation laid by her father, Adelina rose in the ranks of respect amongst her peers. Suitors started coming in the dozen immediately she turned 18.
The logic was simple; sleep with Adelina, get her pregnant and have a blood connection with Lord Bucchi. He, afterall, was powerless over the actions she took making her his most vulnerable spot. Fortunately for Lord Bucchi, Adelina had inherited her father’s toughness. Despite the expensive trips and gifts lavished on her by various prospectives, Adelina had never opened up for any of them. She was all Lord Bucchi had, which was family. He had an unspoken golden rule;
Touch me, I might forgive you; Touch Adelina, I will not forgive you.
She always lifted up his spirit whenever he thought of her. She was his rare and precious gem. He was proud that no man had touched her; that she was a virgin.
That is, up until this point.
Lord Bucchi looked around at his inner circle henchmen and said gravely “Gather the boys. Tell them to pack heavy. We are going to Nigeria.”
The Uslop family gathered round in the living room, as was their custom every evening at 10pm. They always shared the word of God and prayed.
A family that prays together; stay together.
Mrs Uslop didn’t believe in that maxim anymore. 10 years they had kept up this routine. 10 years and they had never missed it. Yet, over the last 4 years she had become unhappy and unsatisfied. How do you get to this point while maintaining an effective prayer life. Hyprocrisy, that was the answer to her question. Her husband had gradually changed. She had seen it from the genesis. It came like a little drop of water in a pool and caused it’s ripples in her heart. Her major problem was, she was powerless and helpless against it. Mrs Uslop remembered it just like it was yesterday.
“Honey, what do you want for dinner” an excited Mrs Uslop said into the phone. “Ermmm…nothing hun. I will be home late today. I have some work that must be done. Don’t want to disappoint my boss.” her husband replied.
Mrs Uslop was shocked. Jeremiah Uslop never cared whether or not you are disappointed. He was stoic in the matter of your perception of his work or life. The only time he had used a phrase like that was when he had proposed to her.
“Honey?” Jeremiah Uslop said, more harshly than romantic. She looked up. “It’s time for prayer. You are to round up.”
Mrs Uslop gave a deep sigh. Looked at her husband in a dejected manner for a little bit, then in a manner like electricity was passed through her body she started praying, “O Lord, O dear Father. Before we were a family, you had formed us. Father, you said that what you have put together, let nothing put asunder. Father, you said it. I believe it. You asked a rhetoric question at one time, you said when you act who can reverse it? I declare that every Jezebel in my home be burnt out in Jesus name. O Lord, every creeping insect that wants to become a parasitic pest in my home, I swipe you with the hands of the Holy Spirit…”
Mrs Uslop continued in this way for the next hour and the half.
“What kind of useless prayer was that?” Mr Uslop asked at the end of it, when they were alone.
“Ehn? Prayer fa. Useless?” replied Mrs Uslop shocked.
“I don’t blame you. It is because you are feeling the pinch of it that you are spouting this nonsense. Why are you doing this to us Jerry. Look at us. For 10 years we have built together. You want a wretched whore to feast of our harvest? What is…” Mrs Uslop ranted.
“Shut up!” Jeremiah fumed “Don’t you dare insult her, you ingrate.”
“O ho. Now you defend her right? Not only that; you are now screaming at your wife because of a bitch you work with.” Mrs Uslop said as her voice cracked, showing the first signs of an outburst of tears.
Mr and Mrs Uslop instinctively turned around. An immediate silent truce was called as Mrs Uslop rushed to lift her daughter up.
“Hush hush darling. Your father and I were just talking about something exciting and our emotions got high.” She said, trying to soothe her daughter. As Mrs Uslop got to the door she shot Jeremiah a sharp look pregnant with meanings that could not be articulated even with the choicest of words.
The lights in the building had all been switched off. One office was still illuminated by the covered flourescent tubes. She was working late again. This was a secret to her success and inardventently, the success of LiveWire. Lara packed her documents and placed her laptop on hibernate mode. She stretched and yawned, glancing briefly at her wristwatch.
“Wow. Time really does fly when you are having fun.” She said out loud
She picked up her phone to call Jumebi to find out if dinner was ready when she remembered Jumebi had told her she was going for a sleep over that night at a friend’s. She remembered the nightmarish dream Jumebi had had some nights before. She felt a sudden chill and quickly raised her head and scanned around. This was not the time or place to think of ghosts and prophecies; even if the ghost was your own mother.
“Home alone today.” Lara said “So what do I eat this evening. I am famished.”
She looked to the ceiling, arms akimbo, thoughtfully. She made her decision quickly, Lara’s top skill was decision making. Picking up her phone, she called her driver Austin and told him to bring the car around. She used him on certain days. This was one of those days.
Lara sat on the soft leather seat at the back of the car. “Great Wall of China. Please do hurry. I feel like the worms in my stomach are eating their way out.” Lara rummaged her bag for her Great Wall Discount Card. “I do hope I carried this card. I am not sure but I suspect I am up for a free meal today. Buy 9 meals get the 10th one free. I should be on the free one now.” She kept talking partly to herself, and partly to the driver before suddenly realizing the car had not moved.
“You did not hear me?” She demanded
“I did. The only problem is, I think I have a better option. Muntaz, is a wonderful Indian restaurant. Care to try? My treat.”
Dwayne Abdul smiled as he looked into the eyes of the ruffled Lara Saura.