She was tired, too tired. Her laden legs screamed for her to stop and rest but she couldn’t. She had to find somewhere safe enough to hide from the man chasing her. She could not bear the thought of what would happen to her if the man caught up with her. Her breathe had become laborious and her vision blurry but she ran as fast as her tired legs could carry her. All she heard was the footfalls closing in on her and the next thing she knew, she was on the floor, writhing in pain. There was a numbing pain at the back of her head and blood was already soaking her t-shirt. She felt the man crouch over her and inject something into her three times. For a while, she was excited. Then her heart started beating too fast and she could not breath anymore. All she could think of before her heart stopped beating was what she could have done to deserve such cruelty.
The Shadow kicked the iron bar he had used to hit the petite woman and spat on the floor. He had not been prepared for the stress she had put him through. Follow her, taser her and then inject her; that was what he had thought. Covering the spittle with dust and touching his cross pendant, he started looking around for what could have dropped from him. Seeing nothing to incriminate him, he bent down to pick the metal and thought against it. He would leave it there and give the police false hope of finding his prints on it. He removed the mask he was wearing and wiped it thoroughly clean, brought out the note he had prepared from his pocket and dropped it near the body. Maybe he should be the one to break the news to the press, he thought as he walked away from the scene looking around, making sure no one saw him.
Detective Olaore could not wait to get down from the car. Deji, his friend’s assistant was a talkative and in the space of 45 minutes they had met each other, Olaore had known everything about Deji’s life. He talked about his late mum, his sweet father, his wonderful sisters, his nagging girlfriend. He even talked about how much he loved stray sex and partying. All the detective’s attempt at shutting him up did not work, instead he talked more.
“Ehen, guy, so you enjoy this your police work? How much do they pay you guys? I heard they pay you people as low as 5k per month? If it is me, I can’t even take it o. I love money. Na the money they fuel my escapades. Even me that I earn 55k monthly, I still dey do business outside. My girlfriend will sha do fine girl and I will help the family. You know as e dey be now?”
He talked and talked, not minding if Olaore answered him. When they finally reached the Syrup night club, Olaore almost knelt down to thank God. His ears were ringing from all the unnecessary information he was fed with. The car park was almost full and it was just some minutes to 9 at night. He entered the club, with Deji following him, winking and smiling at every girl he saw. Olaore shook his head, the boy was a yeye one indeed. He found an empty stool by the bar and sat down on it. A waitress walked up to him and asked him what he wanted to drink. She was dressed in a very tight and short skirt and her cropped top showed her glittering belly ring. Her face was heavily made up but it suited her and she had a no-nonsense air about her. She was very pretty and Olaore decided to flirt with her a little to get some answers from her.
“A tall glass of you, sweetie”, he drawled and gave her his best sultry smile. His effort was rewarded with a smile from her.
“I’m too expensive, you know. You can go bankrupt on top my matter o”
Olaore laughed and the girl laughed too.
“I’ll go broke because of you. You are too pretty and I don’t mind soaking garri on top your matter”
“You have a sweet tongue, I see. I like you sha. You know how to make someone smile”
“Let me do more than that. Let me give you the moon and the stars and the skies. Anything you want”
The girl was laughing and leaning on him. Time to ask questions.
“So, if I want to take you home with me, so you can spend forever with me, who do I have to talk to?”
“That will be the manager but you can only take strippers home not the waitresses”
“Why is that now?”, he said, feigning sadness
“Well, we don’t service men, some of the strippers do it. The manger has to approve of the man before she goes with him”
“Where is her office? We need to change that arrangement just for you. You won’t even come back, you’ll be my wife”
“She is not yet around and come to think of it, that’s weird”
“How is that weird? Maybe she is with her boo”
“She is the efficient, punctual type. Since Ruby’s death, she has been coming earlier and checking up on all of us”
“Who is Ruby?”,he said, pretending to hear the name for the first time.
“A stripper that was killed and dumped in public. It was all over the newspapers and gossip blogs now”
“Oh. I’m always too busy to keep with the news. So, the manager is not in and you don’t know where she lives?
“You’re one funny guy. You are willing to go that length to take me home with you?”
“I’ll do everything for you, baby. I want to die on top your matter”
“I don’t know where she lives sha but we can meet after my shift, it ends in 30 minutes”
“Okay, love. I’ll wait for you here till you are done”.
Olaore almost hit the table. Where the hell could the manager be?, he thought. He was already standing up to leave the club when a thought dropped in his mind. He sat down and ordered two cans of smirnoff ice while he waited for his “love” to be done with her shift. As he gulped the drink, all he could do was pray that his plan would not flop.