As soon as Jummy opened the door, what she saw nearly made her jumped out of her skin. She wiped her eyes with the tip of her top just to be sure she was seeing right, and yes! She was seeing right.
She let out a loud scream which made both Samuel and John run closer to her.
Richard was taken unawares so he stood transfixed on the spot, for some seconds, he couldn’t move nor scream, it was as if his brain was still trying to process what he just saw, and that was when it happened.
He came back to his senses.
Without a second thought, he jumped out of the wardrobe and headed for the door after pushing Jummy out of the way. Samuel saw this and ran after him.
Richard could hear the hefty foot steps chasing him and that even made him run faster. Samuel didn’t need to be told that, the person he was chasing was the Richard guy he had heard so much about from both Zainab and Jummy, the guy who was a wife beater and perhaps a killer too.
If there was anything he hated more than the devil, then it would be guys who disrespect ladies, that made him run faster too.
So the scene was something like, Tom, chasing Jerry.
Richard ran out of the the main building into the compound and wanted to head for the gate but he figured he might be caught before that, so he turned and started running round the compound, Samuel still followed him and was already gaining more speed and catching up with Richard.
Meanwhile, inside the house, Jummy ransacked all of Zainab’s bag in search of the tape, she felt that finding the tape was more important that running after Richard, after the mile she had walked to the house, she concluded she had had enough exercise for the day.
She had already emptied the contents of about three of Zainab’s bag when a pack of cond0m fell from it and John who was at her back saw it, instead of him to keep his big mouth shut and go after Richard just like Samuel, he had to ask, “I thought Zai is married, what does she need cond0ms for?”
Jummy looked at him and the kind of stare was enough to let John know his question wasn’t welcomed, so he added, “I’ll go and join Sam outside, that is if he hasn’t caught Richard by now” and left the room.
Jummy just shook her head and murmured some words to herself, then she smiled.
She had almost searched all the bags in the wardrobe when she eventually got to the Ralph Lauren bag that the tape was, she opened it and did the normal routine, but the tape wasn’t there neither so she kept on searching and by the time she was done searching all the bags and didn’t see the tape, she knew catching Richard was now of top priority. She walked out of the house reluctantly, silently praying Richard must have been caught before she got out.
Unfortunately for her, Richard seemed to be un-catchable. At the speed he ran, even Usian Bolt would be scared of securing the gold medal at the next olympics. He knew the right time to turn left and the right time to turn right so as to avoid both John and Samuel.
Jummy watched was happening for a while and couldn’t help but laugh out loud, they really looked like kids playing.
She finally controlled her laughter and went down to business, she studied how Richard ran for a while and stood at a spot she knew he was going to turn, before Richard could hold his brake, he had already run into the leg Jummy had set for him and with a loud thud he went down flat- its funny how lazy people always find an easy way.
Samuel was the first to come around, still pacing, he grabbed Richard on the floor and launched three punches at him. The punches made Richard to start seeing things, the first made him see two tiny angels playing table tennis on his head and the second made him see the same angels playing basket ball only that there were four angels now, as the third punched landed on his stomach, all the angels seemed to have disappeared. Richard passed out – moral lesson? Don’t joke with a soldier’s punch, ex soldier or not.
After pouring almost a bucket of water on his face, Richard finally came back to life.
Jummy who was already impatient went straight to the point.
She held Richard on the belt as if she was ready to beat him up and said;
“Am going to ask you this only once, so think before you reply.” She paused for a split second and then continued, “where is the tape?”
Richard had made a lot of mistakes in his life, but the worst mistake he made is when he looked up at Jummy in the face and asked;
At times in life, we make mistakes that aren’t called for or simply mistakes we could have easily avoided all because of we didn’t close our big mouths.
“which bag are you talking about?” Richard asked Jummy.
The response he got was unbelievable to both Richard, John and Samuel.
Jummy relocated her hand from the waist line of Richard to his chest region, and with the sort of energy you can expect any normal female to have, Jummy pulled Richard up and smashed him down, that action could be likened to “Undertaker’s signature choke slam”.
John and even Samuel shifted a little backwards just in case she decided to pull another unbelievable stunt.
Jummy squatted close to Richard who was still stunned and said, “I want to believe you didn’t here me correctly the first time, so this is probably the last time I’ll ask you this, better pay attention this time” she paused and gave Richard and inquiring look, as if to make sure he was listening, “WHERE IS THE TAPE?” she asked, emphasising on each word.
Richard had already gotten back his composure and was quite scared by Jummy, he was at the verge of peeing in his pants.
“I swear to God, I don’t know what tape you are asking about.”
“Are you sure” Jummy asked.
“Dead sure, if you doubt me, why don’t you search me?” he suggested but Jummy wasn’t interested in that.
She stood up, looked at John and said, “he is telling the truth, the tape isn’t with him”
“Why don’t you search him to be sure?” Samuel asked.
Jummy didn’t like being challenged, and the fact that Samuel was always not on her side made he more pissed;
“I’m telling it isn’t there, you can go ahead and search if you like” she said.
“But you haven’t…” Samuel was about to reply when John cut in, “lets go back into the house and check. Considering all this commotion, the tape might have slipped off the wardrobe and you might not have seen it”, John eyes suddenly shone like someone who just had a bright idea, “wait a minute; Zainab said its a recording right?” he asked.
“Yes” Jummy replied irritably, she didn’t get why John had to ask the question again even though he was there when Zainab was saying her story.
“If its a recording, what makes you think its a tape? A phone, MP3 or other electronic devices can record, I don’t think the anonymous guy would be carrying a tape recorder in his pocket and start it without Richard noticing”
Just like how John’s eye had shone when he had that idea, Jummy’s eye suddenly shone too, “I recall seeing an Ipod in Zainab’s Ralph Lauren bag” she said.
Samuel gave Jummy and inquiring look which asked, “who one is Ralph Lauren now?”
Jummy got the look and even though Samuel hadn’t ask the question out loud, she replied, “it’s just the name of a designer”
“Alright then, what are you waiting for? Go and bring the Ipod na” John said and watched Jummy run inside the house.
“See her big yansh self” Samuel murmured as he too watched Jummy go, John lips curved into a slight smile, slight enough for Samuel not to notice.
Richard had already stood up when Jummy came out, instead of him to be planning an escape, he let curiosity take the better part of his judgement, he wanted to know what was in this tape this people have been talking about since.
“Is that the Ipod?” John asked as he saw a small white device in Jummy’s hand.
“yea, but it has no speakers, we need an earpiece to listen to the contents” She replied.
“I’ll be right back, I think my earpiece is in the car”
“ahh! That’s double stress for you oh, see why I disagreed with you when you decided to park a ,mile away?”
she was ignored and John said, “you searched the other bags and saw no electronic device right?”
“okay, there is not need for Sam to walk to the car and come back, this is probably the thing we are looking for, lets all go back to the car together”
“Good idea” Samuel replied, he was delighted that Jummy wasn’t entirely right.
John turned and headed for the gate, Jummy followed and just when Samuel was about to follow he saw Richard still standing there and asked no one in particular, “so what’s going to happen to this guy now?”
“Oh! Him? Bring him along, we might be needing him” John replied and walked out of the compound.
Samuel grinned at Richard and Richard got the message, he wasn’t in the mood to see angels playing table tennis on his head again so he just voluntarily followed them.
Zainab must have been thinking too much because from the way she looked, she would probably get sick from too much thinking.
The pieces just didn’t seem to fit in her head, the anonymous call, Richard trying to kill her, and why did the anonymous caller even want to help her? After all, nothing goes for free in this part of the world, or so she thought.
Her thoughts was once again interrupted by a phone call from the person she least expected, Eric Amaechi or E.A as he is fondly called.
There are two important things you need to know about E.A, one is he is the host of the talk show “Single or Married” where he and his co-host who happens to be Zainab, talk about relationships and stuffs like that, and two, he has been crushing on Zainab for over two years, or lets just say since the first time he laid his eyes on her which happens to be two years ago when she applied for the job.
Although he and Zainab tries to maintain a strictly professional relationship, he had made several moves at Zainab in which she turned down not because she is married to Richard, or E.A wasn’t an ideal partner but because she didn’t like E.A that way, you know what am mean right?
Anyway, Zainab looked at the screen of her phone and sighed, “ohh! not this guy again”
She reluctantly pressed the green button and murmured a “hello”, barely hearing herself.
“Hey! Zain where are you na?” E.A asked immediately, he so often called Zainab, Zain, it can be argued he has forgotten Zainab’s full name
Zainab wanted to mention the hospital but something told her E.A would leave whatever he was doing and run to the hospital with flowers, cereals and many other things she might not be needing since she was to be discharged the next day, she didn’t want to bother him.
“Am at Abuja now, we are shooting a new episode of Broken Dreams” she lied.
“And you didn’t think it would be nice to inform us before hand so that we could had worked something out?” E.A asked, he really sounded offended.
“Work something out? Like how?” She asked, she sounded genuinely confused.
“Does the phrase “single and married” ring a bell?” he asked irritated.
“Oh my goodness, E.A am so sorry, I forgot we are meant record the special weekend episode today, I’m really sorry!” she apologised, she had forgotten all about the plans she, E.A and other crew members had made about a week ago. The talk show was doing really well, and they already had a large fan base, so the fans wanted more, so they planned to record a special weekend edition to show their appreciation.
“What would your sorry change? The whole crew are ready to go, what on earth do I tell them?”
“Err… Okay you know what, I’ll be back in lagos by tomorrow afternoon, we can record it in the evening, tell them I’ll bring a celebrity guest along”
E.A seemed to like the idea of hosting a celeb, he knew it would hype the show profile so he calmed down, “special guest? Who do you have in mind?” he asked.
“I don’t know yet, maybe 3face or even P-cube, I heard they are both engaged and planning to get married soon, it would be nice to have them on the show, don’t you agree?”
“Good idea, if you can get P-cube to come to the show then you would be forgiven but if not….”
“Don’t worry, Zain is in control” she cut in.
E.A laughed and thought it would be nice to flirt a little, “you see why I like you?”
Zainab wasn’t ready for that so she just ignored him, “E.A, bye” and she hung up before he could think of a reply.
She had barely dropped her phone when Jummy, Richard, John and Samuel trooped in to the room, the look on Jummy’s face told her the result wasn’t good.
“What’s wrong Jummy?” She asked a little jumpy.
Jummy just threw the Ipod and earpiece to Zainab, “Listen to the content”, she said.
TO BE CONTINUED.