Second Chances E5

………They made small talk through the meal, Simi and Kunle’s mom asking her more questions in an attempt to know her better.

“I thought its prospective husbands that are grilled this way, all these questions remind me of when I came to marry Simi. You all asked so many questions and I’m sure turned over every stone in my family before you allowed me to marry her.” They all laughed.

“Yes o, that’s how it’s done. It’s normal. We’ll investigate her family, and they in turn will investigate us.” Mrs. Philips replied.

And the delicious food turned to sawdust in Deola’s mouth. She didn’t want anyone looking too closely at her.

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The rest of the afternoon passed pleasantly, they finished the meal and returned to the sitting room where Kunle’s mom regaled them with tales of Simi and Kunle’s antics.

Ade and Simi left soon after to pick their kids who had gone for a birthday party. Simi whispered to Kunle as he saw them out that she liked Deola.

Kunle returned to the living room and heard the tail end of Deola inviting his mother to her brother Dayo and Chima’s wedding, and his mother accepting to attend. He couldn’t be happier, things were going so well, his family loved Deola; he could tell, and Deola liked them to. He knew her, had seen her pretend to be pleasant to people, and he knew she wasn’t faking it now. They left in the early evening; he dropped her off at her home, and went on to his while she recounted her afternoon to her mother.

That night, they all went to bed happy; Kunle, Deola, and their mothers.

**********

Simisola Ade-Johnson was a career banker on a two-week leave. She loved working, and she loved her job. She found that unlike most people, when she was on leave she was bored listless. She had capable domestic help, and a loving but equally busy husband who was rarely home. So she had very little to occupy her when on leave. She and he husband; an engineer had planned to synchronize their leave but an emergency on a site that needed his expertise had necessitated Ade being called into work, and she was home alone and bored. She would gladly have foregone her leave days, but company policy was that all staff had to complete their annual leave days.

So, on the Monday after lunch at her mom’s with Kunle and Deola, after the kids had gone to school, and her maid had gone for her vocational training, she was bored, there wasn’t anything she found interesting on TV, so she decided to find out more about her soon-to-be, she expected sister in-law.

She entered the website address Deola gave her; she was impressed with what she saw on her official website. It was obvious Deola had talent, and she was a rarity too, a designer who could actually sew, and was actively involved in the creative process.

She googled her, hoping to find reviews of her designs on other websites. She was shocked at the hits she had. There had to be a mistake, she refined her search. Same; articles on Deola Lasisi and a married senator kidnapping saga. This couldn’t be. But the pictures she saw were of the Deola she had lunch with the day before. The same Deola had been a suspect in the kidnapping of her lover, a very married Senator Tom Briggs.

She couldn’t believe it! This was the same woman Kunle wanted to marry? No way. She was about to call her friend Lola, a gossip blogger to get more information when her doorbell rang. She hurried to the door, wandering who it was and was pleasantly surprised to find it was her husband.

She opened the door and hugged him, very excited that he was home.

“Welcome honey, what’s up, you’re home early.”

“Yeah, we made remarkable breakthrough on-site this morning, so I left the site engineer in charge, and came home to you, my dear.” He replied.

“That’s very good news. Come in and sit, let me get you something cold to drink.”

He sat down, while she went into the kitchen to get him so juice.

“Honey you won’t believe what I just found out.” She said as she returned to the living room with two glasses of juice on a tray.

“What is it?” Ade replied wearily.

“Apparently, Deola has this scandal involving her and one married senator who was kidnapped recently, she was his mistress,……”

“Senator Tom Briggs?” Ade asked.

“Yeah, I think, that’s him.” She pouted. “How come you know this things, and I don’t? I thought gossip was meant to be a women thing?”

“I don’t know about the gossip aspect, I just remember the senator was kidnapped sometime last year, and his mistress was a suspect. What does Deola have to do with all that?”

“Deola is that mistress!”

“Wow! Small world!”

“Small world indeed. I need to call Kunle and alert him to this fact and mama as well.”

“I don’t think you should do that.” Ade dropped the now empty glass on a side stool and turned to face his wife.

“Why? Kunle needs to know who he……”

“Do you honestly think Kunle doesn’t know? What the line of business he’s into?”

“Obviously he doesn’t or he won’t be serious about her. He won’t have introduced her to us, I mean, that’s an insult to mama, introducing such a woman to her.”

“I think you should stay out of Kunle’s business. He’s a grown man.”

‘He‘s also my brother, my only brother. I cannot fold my arms and watch him make a mistake.”

“Stay out of his business Simi.” Ade warned. “I forbid you to discuss this with him or mama.”

“But honey…….”

“Simi!” Ade warned sharply.

**********

Simi struggled with her husband’s warning that she was to stay out of Kunle and Deola’s relationship.  How could he expect her to sit back, do nothing, while her brother made a huge mistake?

She cringed as she drove into her parents’ compound later in the week; she had gone grocery shopping and picked up a few items for her mom. To think that Deola had fooled her as well, she had come across so innocent and nice, whereas the reality was different.

Anyway, her husband had made her promise, so she wasn’t going to say anything to her mom. But she believed her mom would find out herself sooner or later. This things had a way of coming out. A bad reputation couldn’t be covered.

*****

“Good evening mom.” She greeted her mom on entering the house going on her knees.

“Simisola, bawo ni?” Tinuke Phillips replied asking how Simi was doing in Yoruba.

“I’m fine ma.” Simi replied in English, rising to sit beside her mom on the sofa.

“Your husband and children, nko?”

“They are fine ma.”

Her mom’s maid; Alero came into the living room to greet Simi, and Simi gave her her car key asking her to get the groceries she bought from the car. She joined her mom in the movie she was watching on Africa Magic Yoruba. They were watching and discussing the movie, when her Mrs Philips pointed out that a fabric one of the actors was wearing in the movie was similar to the one Deola sent to her as the aso-ebi for her brother’s wedding.

Her mom came out with the fabric in a bag. “You won’t believe she didn’t measure me, she sent a finished iro and buba to me, and it’s my perfect size. Would you be free to attend the wedding with me, its next month?”

Simi had truly meant to keep the promise she made her husband, but if her mother and Deola were getting so familiar for her to plan on attending Deola’s brother’s wedding, she just had to speak up. She owed it to her family to tell what she knew.

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Second Chances E4

…….”I tried your number countless times it was switched off, where were you?” Chima accused.

“She was hiding away from me.” Kunle replied from the doorway.

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Kunle couldn’t have asked for a better opening, he couldn’t have had a better ally than Chima. As could be expected, Chima demanded to know why Deola was ‘hiding’ away from Kunle, and he told her. She joined forces with Kunle and they both attempted to convince Deola she was wrong to hide away from a relationship because of her past mistakes.

“You guys aren’t seeing this thing from my point of view.” Deola interrupted them. “Believe me; I have given this whole issue a lot of thought. Let me paint this two scenarios; on one hand; Kunle and I start dating, and it goes sour at some point. What next? I would have lost a very dear friend.”

“Who’s to say it will go sour?” Chima cut in.

“Please let me finish.”

Chima waved for her to continue.

“Okay, on the second hand, we date, we fall in love,…”

“I’m there already.” Kunle murmure dryly.”

Deola glared at him and went on. “As I was saying, we fall in love, we want to get married, and viola; there’s opposition from his family. What next? There’s no winning with this thing.”

“You forgot a third scenario, there’s no opposition and we all leave happily ever after.” Kunle said.

“Yeah right. Because your family has been living under a rock. Let’s be realistic, no African family will let their child get married without digging into the background of the spouse to be. In my case, when they dig, what would they find? Scandal. Do a simple Google search for goodness sake, what do you see when you Google me?”

“Honey, Kunle is a PR professional, if you want him to make you white as snow, he can.” Chima replied drily.

“Don’t be ridiculous, can you pull the articles off the net, can you,……?” Deola was overwhelmed by emotions, she sat in the nearest available chair and tried not to cry.

Kunle crouched beside her and took her hands in his. “I think you’re borrowing trouble where there isn’t any. At least not yet. You asked for realism, I’ll give you realism. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t be a smooth drive, no relationship ever is, but I’m sure of one thing; I’ll be there, no matter what. I love you Deola, I want you in my life, I was there before the scandal, I was there through the scandal, and I’m still here after the scandal. You talked about Google search, I went beyond Google, I knew all about you, and your relationship even before the scandal broke, and still I loved you.”

Deola began to cry softly, she was overcome by emotion.

“We all have pasts, some darker than others. If God can forgive us of our sins, who are we to judge? Take this step of faith with me Deola, I know you feel something for me, but if you want to tell me you feel nothing, you do not want me, tell me Deola. Tell me and we won’t ever talk about it again.”

“I don’t want to have my hopes raised and dashed. I don’t want to risk losing you.” Deola sobbed.

“You aren’t going to lose me, I’m not going anywhere. Take this step of faith with me babe.” He waited for he to respond, after a while, she nodded to her tears.

“Hallelujah!” Chima exclaimed, herself sniffing and fighting tears.

*********

Deola found that when Kunle said he wanted more, he meant more, and at full speed. He made no secret of the fact that he wanted to marry her and soon. He wanted her to meet his family, which comprised of his mom and his elder sister, as his father was late. His mom lived in Lagos, he had told his family about Deola and saw no sense in delaying their meeting.

Deola was apprehensive about meeting his family, and tried to delay it, but Kunle insisted, and a few weeks after they ‘officially’ began seeing each other, he arranged for her to visit at his mom’s house, his sister and her husband would also be in attendance.

She wore a simple gown made from Ankara fabric and sensible heels. Her aim was to look simple and not overly made-up. Kunle’s mom herself opened the door to them. She hugged Kunle who attempted to postrate in greeting as was customary.

Then she raised Deola who was on her kneels in greeting as was also customary.

“Get up my daughter, how are you?” She said to her. Mrs Tinuke Philips looked was a very beautiful woman, who looked surprisingly young, she looked more like Kunle’s sister than his mother. She stepped back into the house and led them into the house. “You’re all welcome. Come in. Simi and Ade are here already.” She led them into the living room, where Simi, Kunle’s sister and her husband; Ade were seated.

Simi and Ade got up in welcome, Deola could see the striking resemblance between his sister and their mom, perhaps Kunle favored his father. After they had all exchanged pleasantries, they sat to discuss while a maid served them cold drinks.

“So Deola, where are you from?” Mrs Philips asked Deola.

“My late father was from Odogbolu ma, in Ogun state, while my mom is from Ikorodu.” She replied.

“I guess you were born here in Lagos, and perhaps haven’t been to any of those places?” Tinuke asked.

Deola laughed. “You’re right ma.”

“I knew it. All of you.” She waved to encompass all of them. “All of you are; my parents say I’m Yoruba.”

They all laughed.

“Deola, Kunle tells us you’re a designer, what’s the name of your clothing line?”

“It’s Deola’s Signature, ma.”

“That’s nice, let me Google you and check out your line. Do you have a website, or a lookbook, what kinds of clothes do you design, ready to wear or haute couture?” Simi asked picking her phone up from the side stool.

Deola was getting uncomfortable, the words ‘google’ were now her enemy, and she didn’t want anyone googling her.

Ade, Simi’s husband came to her rescue. “Women and fashion. Why don’t you put your phone aside, I’m sure you’ll have enough time later to check-out Deola’s fashion line.”

“Abi o, children of the technology age.” Tinu added. “Let us eat first, before you people start googling and discussing fashion. Let us go to the table.” She got up and led them to the table.

They made small talk through the meal, Simi and Kunle’s mom asking her more questions in an attempt to know her better.

“I thought its prospective husbands that are grilled this way, all these questions remind me of when I came to marry Simi. You all asked so many questions and I’m sure turned over every stone in my family before you allowed me to marry her.” They all laughed.

“Yes o, that’s how it’s done. It’s normal. We’ll investigate her family, and they in turn will investigate us.” Mrs. Philips replied.

And the delicious food turned to sawdust in Deola’s mouth. She didn’t want anyone looking too closely at her.

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Second Chances E3

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Deola was woken to the sweet aroma of food, she could smell fried eggs, she could also smell coffee. Was she dreaming it? She opened her eyes to see her mom smiling to her on her bedside, with a tray beside.

Deola smiled widely. “Good morning mom.” She greeted as she sat-up to examine the contents of the tray. True to her nose, they was fried eggs, lots of it, some bread and two cups of coffee.

Hmmm! Her mom was up to something. Breakfast in bed was her tool to disarm, or when she just wanted to soften a person up. She guessed breakfast was about Kunle. For his sake and for the sake of their working relationship she hoped he hadn’t told her mom anything that would lead to her mom pressuring her.

“I need to use the bathroom.” Deola eased of the bed and went into the bathroom.

Five minutes later, she exited the bathroom, her mom was still on the bed, she smiled, her mom really had something on her mind.

“How are you this morning mom?” She asked sitting beside her and reaching for the cup of coffee.

“I’m very well, and you?”

“I’m good. It’s a beautiful day, it’s not every day you bring me breakfast in bed. Today’s gonna be a good day.” She helped herself to some bread and egg, waiting for her mom to get on with her reason for waking her with breakfast.

However, Mrs Lasisi wasn’t in a hurry to disclose, she made small talk with Deola as they ate together. They talked about Chima and Dayo’s upcoming wedding, and some other upcoming family events.

They were done eating and neither of them had mentioned Kunle or the previous night, and Deola’s curiosity was at its peak.

After they had eaten, Deola cleared the dishes, and prepared for work.

Her mom wasn’t in the house when she was about leaving, she heard her voice from the backyard. She was probably at her vegetable garden, since her mother retired, she became an enthusiastic gardener. She grew vegetables and flowers in her garden.

Deola went to the backyard, and true to her suspicion her mom was weeding. “Mommy.” She called her to draw her attention.

Mrs Lasisi straightened and smiled at Deola. “Are you leaving?”

“Yes mom.”

“Ok. Have a blessed day. You’ll call Kunle baa?”

Deola smiled. Her mom knew how to achieve an ambush. “Yes I will mom.”

“Ok. Enjoy your day.” Mrs Lasisi waved her off.

Deola walked off, an extra spring in her step. She had already decided to speak with Kunle, explain to him why they couldn’t have a relationship.

**********

Deola’s phone rang as she arrived at her shop. It was either Chima or Kunle, it was their ringtone. She parked her car before picking the call, it was Chima.

“Hello…..”

“Please tell me you’re at the shop, ‘cos I’m almost there.” Chima sounded frantic.

“Yea, I just arrived, what’s up?”

“I’ll be with you in a moment.”  Chima ended the call abruptly.

Deola smiled, shaking her head. There was always a crisis with Chima, she was always excited.

Entering her shop, she exchanged pleasantries with her staff and clients.

She dropped her handbag in her office, said a quick word of prayer and went back out to the showroom to attend to the clients.

*********

Chima breezed in a few minutes later, true to her words, she had been close. She ran past the showroom into Deola’s office, causing Deola to follow.

“I need to talk with you.” Chima began immediately.

“Okay……”

“Where do you draw the line on profitability?” Chima asked.

“I don’t understand?” Deola was perplexed. Was it business that had Chima running harried?

“Like, are there people you shouldn’t make profit off?”

“I guess, what’s this about?”

“Ok, Dayo and I chose our wedding rings, we chose from a selection online, from my dealer, and Dayo immediately transferred the cost to my account, but, when I was finalizing my orders for shipping, my dealer informed me he was giving me the rings for free. The wedding rings.”

“Okay, that’s good news, isn’t it?”

“The thing is, Dayo has refused for me to return the money, he insists it’s his duty to buy our wedding rings, and I agree. However, we aren’t paying for the rings, so what’s the money he transferred to my account for? I mean, I made mega profit from the engagement ring ‘cos when he bought it I didn’t know it was for me, and now again, this one?”

Hmmm. This was a dicey one.

“….And D insists that if I return the money, he’ll have to buy the rings elsewhere, I love my ring already. We’ve had it engraved with our names and, and…..” Chima went on, wringing her hands.

“Calm down Chima.” Deola led Chima to sit; it was clear there was more to this than the rings. “Are you ok?”

“No I’m not ok. I’m freaking out here. If it isn’t one thing it’s another. Dayo is so high-handed, he keeps saying I’m too emotional, he keeps treating me like a child, he’s too, too rigid.”

Deola smiled. “I remember the words you used a few months ago were ‘principled’.”

“That was then, this is now, he’s so….. authoritarian.”

Deola laughed. “Is he really, or do you just think so?”

“Ok, that’s not totally true, it’s just, he’s so frustrating. Last night, I would gladly have moved to another continent to escape him, I tried your number countless times it was switched off, where were you?” she accused.

“She was hiding away from me.” Kunle replied from the doorway.

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Second Chances- A Sequel To Motive

Hey y’all!!  How have you been?  It’s been several whiles, but the story is finally here! Yayyy!

Like I said, it’s a continuation of a past series; Motive and you can read up on it from the archives, while I also give a quick synopsis.

Deola Lasisi was dating Senator Tom Briggs; there were plans for them to get married when the senator goes missing. No one knows if he’s been kidnapped and held for ransom, or if he’s alive. Deola was the first suspect; Senator Briggs’ wife wanted her arrested. Deola is vilified in the press, she lost her pregnancy, and when the senator was finally rescued alive she decided to walk away. Her career as a designer was in crisis, she was the poster girl for home wrecking, but all through her family and friends stood by her, most especially; her PR rep Kunle Phillips.

He professed his love for her, but based on her recent experience, she was wary of another relationship, most especially, on how society and Kunle’s family will view the relationship.

Second Chances is Kunle and Deola’s story. It’s a story of love, forgiveness, and second chances for all.

Enjoy, share, and comment.  XX

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Deola straightened up from her sketches, stretching her back to ease the ache. She glanced at the wall clock; past four? Which meant she had been sketching for over three hours! Whew!!! She looked around her office; design sketches all over the desk, discarded balled up papers littered the floor all around her. A once cold half-filled bottle of water lay on the floor beside her chair. She picked up the bottle and emptied its contents. That wasn’t so bad, although she would have preferred something cold.

Her stomach rumbled. She was hungry, breakfast was light years away, and she didn’t have lunch either. She sank into her chair and thought on what to eat. She wasn’t on a starvation drive, she just ate when she needed to, which was when the hunger pangs were overwhelming. She had a collection to turn out in less than a week, and she wasn’t satisfied with any of her designs.

She hadn’t concluded on what sketches she wanted to work with, and decided the designs was just the beginning. She would have to select fabric, models, etc. all in a few days. This was what was procrastination did to a person, she thought to herself ruefully. She had put off preparations till the last minute, and when she had begun; it was as though her creative juices dried up. She exhaled loudly, almost blowing some of the sketches away, and just on cue, her phone rang. That must be Chima; her bff, and soon to be her sister in-law, they had plans to meet up this evening to conclude on Chima’s wedding dress designs. Chima was marrying Deola’s brother Dayo in five weeks, and she couldn’t decide on what style of wedding dress she wanted. She couldn’t decide between a princess gown and a mermaid gown, and Deola had this sneaky suspicion Chima might be the first bride to change clothes during the church service.

Chima was already decided on her reception dress, but couldn’t decide for the church wedding. Deola smiled fondly as she followed the sound of the ringing phone to find it. On finding it, she was reminded that she hadn’t set that ringtone for Chima alone, Kunle also shared the same ringtone. Kunle was a business acquaintance turn friend. They met back when she had opened her business and contracted his PR firm as her publicist.

They became fast friends beyond business, and he had been a rock when she had been engulfed in the kidnapping-mistress scandal about a year ago. Deola had been surprised to find that Kunle along with two of his friends owned the PR firm. Kunle wasn’t big on titles, or ceremony. His friend had the responsibility of the management and financial part of the business, while Kunle oversaw business development and off course their raison d’etre; Client PR.

Kunle and his partner were good at their business, and the PR firm, in less than five years of its existence was one of the leading PR firms in the country.

“Hey Kunle” She answered the phone happily. “How are you?” She asked, sounding like she said; how you?

“I’m good.” He replied in his rich velvety baritone voice. “And you, how has your day been?”

She sighed. “So so. Don’t know if I’ve achieved anything, I have some sketches but don’t know if I’ll like them tomorrow. You know me.” She laughed, perching on her desk.

“You’re overthinking it. Why don’t you break for the day, come out with me, let’s go somewhere nice.”

“Ok, I’m liking what you’re saying. Where are we going?”

“Somewhere nice, somewhere dressy.”

“I’m in shorts!” she protested, glancing at her shorts and fingering her cotton top.

He laughed richly. “How did I know?” he asked rhetorically. ‘For a cloth designer, you have no personal sense of style.”

“Oh! I do, and you know I do. I just choose not to wear haute couture every day. I’m working.” She reminded him good naturedly.

“I know, I know. Well, I’m sure you can find something nice to wear. I should be with you in thirty minutes and we are going somewhere classy.”

“Ok. I will. Got to go, need to go search for something to wear. Later!”

She ended the call and called to her shop manager; Helen to help her select something to wear, while she tidied her office. Kunle was very punctual, even traffic obeyed his sense of timing. If he said he was picking her up in thirty minutes, he would be there in thirty minutes.

“Yikes! She remembered Chimamani was supposed to come around that evening. She placed a call to her immediately, to find out where she was and if it was possible to cancel. Chima was happy to cancel as she was still some distance away and would appreciate going home to rest. Or, surprising Dayo and taking him out for dinner.

Helen brought a dress into Deola’s office, and seeing it, Deola refused, shaking her head in negation. Helen disagreed, mouthing a yes. The dress was a very deep blue lace bodycon dress; the dress was a show stopper, sure to flatter the wearer. Deola and China referred to the dress as ‘the dream dress’ as Deola got the inspiration for the design in a dream. She had refused to sell it, content to just display it, Chima and Helen had been trying to get her to wear it, but Deola had refused. She ended the call, and turned to Helen and in a voice that invited no argument asked Helen to bring her something else, something understated, as had been her style in the recent past.

**********

Kunle took her to the newest restaurant in town which had just opened the day before. It was an ocean-front restaurant, and Kunle’s firm handled publicity for the event. She had read nothing but good reviews for the restaurant.

There were ushered into a private dining room with a view of the lagoon. Everything from the décor to the ambience spoke of elegance, and Deola was immediately at ease. Her fear of being seen in public and being fodder for the gossip blogs forgotten.

Kunle asked her the details of her day and she launched into an excited tale while they ate. When she got to the part about Chima happily forgoing the dress fitting for a chance to surprise Dayo with a dinner date, she paused and looked up to find Kunle watching her wistfully.

“What?” She asked suddenly self-conscious.

“You are beautiful.” He murmured.

She blushed beneath her dark skin and took a nervous sip of water.

She cleared her throat, and made to continue, but he stopped her by speaking first.

“I want you to be this passionate when you talk about me. I want to be more than just a business associate, I want more.”

“You are already more than a business associate, we are friends.” She replied, increasingly getting uncomfortable at the line of discussion.

“Yes, but I want to be more than friends. I love you Deola, and I want to be with you, I want us to get married, it’s been months now since you asked for time and everyday it’s been torture. I……”

“Are you okay?” Deola snapped at Kunle, suddenly angry, why was Kunle putting her on the spot like this?  “Like, really Kunle can’t you see what a relationship with me would do to you?”

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MOTIVE The Concluding Episode.

All three of them in the room were lost in thought. The commissioner of police was wondering if this case would end up like one of those cases involving high profile people which ended up being swept under the carpet, in this case, the reason will be; it was a family matter. Ateke and Ada’s thoughts were similar; what could have led Ginika to want to kill her cousin? Ateke remembered a conversation he had with Tom; Tom told him Ginika was getting really friendly with Chief Magnus, and Tom was trying to discourage the relationship. Could that be the Motive they sought?
“I remember an incident. “ Ateke voiced out his suspicions. “Ginny and Magnus were getting really close; I think that was a year ago or so. Tom nipped it in the bud, or so we thought. Now, I don’t know, could they be a connection?”
“Where can we find her now, I want her to be brought in for questioning?” The CP asked.
“She doesn’t work, she could be anywhere now.” Ada returned to her seat. “She lives with Tom’s mother.”
“Is there someone else in Abuja who can help us track her? Can I have her number?”
“My mother-in-law is frail, I don’t want anything jeopardizing her health. Also, the leak in your office has to be plugged; I don’t want these getting out.” Ada said.
“We are working on finding the leak.” The CP promised.
“Give me her number as well, I will ask her to come to Lagos.” Ateke said.
Ginika was called, and she agreed to fly into Lagos first thing the next day.
“I would still like to keep an eye on her, in case she suspects something and attempts to run.” The CP said.
“I guess you could use their security detail at their house, Tom should have their contact on his phone. Ateke you have his phone right?”
“Yes, I do.”
When Ginika was called, she was suspicious about the request for her to come to Lagos, she had to be convinced it was for her to come take care of her cousin before she agreed. It was late at night when all contacts were made. Ateke and Ada returned tiredly to the hospital before retiring to their hotel room.

The next day dawned bright and early, the sun arose early shining beautifully.
Ginika was at the airport by six am to catch the seven o’clock flight to Lagos.
Mrs. Lasisi woke up early to prepare food for Deola with the hope and belief that she will regain consciousness that day. She and Chima left for the hospital before eight o’clock. According to her prayers, Deola regained consciousness that day, although she couldn’t eat anything yet.
Ateke and Ada met Ginika at the airport when her flight landed; police officers arrested her in the parking lot and whisked her away to the police headquarters.
After going through the motions of denial of the charges, accusing Ada of planning and framing her, requesting for a lawyer, and refusing to let Ateke represent her, later in the morning she broke down and confessed.
According to her; Magnus loves her and wants to marry her, but Tom refused, saying that will be over his dead body, despite her pleas he was bent on destroying her chance at happiness, so they decided to eliminate him.
“Magnus already had two wives, do you know that?” Ateke asked her.
“It’s me he loves.” She protested.
“Do you also know he is a strong contender for your Tom’s senatorial position? Don’t you think he used you to eliminate your brother?”
“No!” She cried, there was no political undertone, we did it for our love!”
“For ‘love’ you planned to kill your own cousin?” Ada asked contemptuously.
“I begged him!” Ginika screamed.
“So where is this Chief Magnus now?” The CP asked, drawing their attention back to the case.
“I don’t know!” Ginika replied resolutely.
“Young lady, it’s in your best interest to co-operate with us, or else you alone will go down for this crime. Attempted murder is a serious offence.” The CP threatened.
“They can’t prosecute me, I’m family.” Ginika bluffed, staring at Ada defiantly.
“You should have thought of that when you planned with your lover to kill my husband. I will prosecute.” Ada said vehemently.
“This isn’t a civil case, attempted murder is a criminal case; the state against you.” The CP said to her.
Ginika burst into fresh tears.
“Tell us where Magnus is.” Ateke cajoled her.
“I don’t know, his phone has been switched off since yesterday.” She replied tearfully.
“His home and office address?” the CP probed further. “And all other likely places he might be.”
She gave it to them; the information was relayed to the Abuja office. A team of police men were dispatched to both places. His secretary confirmed he was out of the country, she said he instructed her to book two international bound flights, she and his wives claimed not to know where he was.

Senator Tom Briggs caught a life threatening infection which set back his recovery, a week later when he regained consciousness and was brought up to speed with the happenings; as expected, coupled with his mother’s pleading, he wanted to quash the case and treat as a family issue. However, due to public interest, the case had to be tried in court. Ginika was sentenced to three years imprisonment for attempted murder; but if she actually served jail term, is anybody’s guess.

All who were affected by the recent events were changed by it. Ada returned to Abuja and her home, a better person than when she left. This whole saga had really shown her how fleeting life was. She resolved to do all within her power to keep her home.
On the day Tom was discharged from the hospital, Deola went to see him. After a heart to heart talk, they agreed to end the relationship for it would have been impossible to continue with it as it were, and difficult to improve upon.

Deola went back to work immediately the doctor and her family let her. She needed to keep busy and to move on with her life. The events of the past couple of months had taught her some life’s lessons.
After a creative session with her team, she and Kunle returned to discuss PR.
“From the publicity point of view, I still believe if we go ahead, the exhibition will be a success.” He said when they were seated.
Deola laughed. “I know you are the guy who can sell ice to an eskimo, but on this; I’m going to have to disagree. Sales have dropped, my customers are down to girlfriends and mistresses, all the wives have run away. I don’t want any more publicity.” She smiled wistfully. “Don’t worry, we’ll quietly release our designs in our advertorials, and there’s still the Lagos fashion week!”
“Yes but …..”
“No buts Kunle.” She cut him off. “I don’t want any more publicity. No private exhibition, just a part of the crowd at the fashion week.”
“Your designs always stand out.”
“They do don’t they? I’d rather people be like; ‘those designs are good, whose are they?’ than for them to be like ‘let’s go see what she came up with after her escapades’. Let my work speak for me.”
“They always have.”
“Sometimes I wonder about your belief in me. It’s so firm and absolute.”
He laughed. “I never told you this, but the first time you called me, after I got off the phone with you I goggled you.”
“You did?”
“Yea, I like to know as much as possible about my client. So I searched, I liked what I saw.”
“Now I’m blushing!” She covered her cheeks with her hands.
“Then we met, I saw your designs, I loved everything I saw.”
“Oh Kunle, that’s so sweet.”
“Everything; you and off course the designs.”
She gaped at him open mouthed.
“Then I looked over your financials, saw your financier, then I lost hope, but I didn’t stop loving you.”
“Kunle please stop. Don’t say what I think you are about to say.”
“What shouldn’t I say? That regardless of the recent past I still love you, and want us to…..”
“Okay, that’s enough Kunle.” Deola jumped up.
“Why did you cut me off?”
“What you are asking for can’t happen.”
“Why not?”
“I’m not ready! Besides, goggle me again, I’m the new poster girl for home wreckers. The press will eat you raw! Your family will be aghast!”
“My family is smart enough not to believe everything they read and hear, are you a home wrecker?”
“It’s not an excuse, it sounds feeble even to my own hearing, but I never meant to wreck his home. Tom and I started out with a mentor kind of relationship when I served in the national assembly, I thought I fell in love; it was a relationship that spun out of control. I wasn’t forced or coerced, but I got carried away. I swear I never meant to break up his home.”
“Do you want to go back?” he asked quietly.
“No.” she replied.
“I will give you time, but I won’t back down.” He got up, went over to where she was standing behind her chair and pecked her on the forehead. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He left her office, leaving her looking dazed.

Thank you all for keeping step with me, I appreciate every one of you who has read, shared, commented on MOTIVE and every other of my blog post; I say thank you.
Keep refreshing this page, another exciting story begins soon.

XOXO

Chinma Eke.

MOTIVE Episode Seventeen

Ateke returned to the hospital room to inform Lady Ada he was going to the police head quarters.

“I’m coming with you.” She sprang up, picking her hand bag.

“You need to stay here, with Tom.” Ateke protested.

“Mary will stay behind. If there is a new development, I want to know about it.”
Ateke exhaled tiredly, and led the way out of the room with her following. outside, there were suprised to see it was dusk already. Where had the day gone?

As the driver drove out of the compound, Ateke’s phone rang again, an unknown number. He ignored it the first time, and answered the second time. He waited for the caller to identify him/herself.

“Hello? Barrister? Its me Peter.”

“Peter who?”

“Peter, Senator Tom’s…..”

“Yes Peter…”

“Sir, remember that contact who was supposed to give us info about the senator, he came to see me, he said it was Chief Magnus who contracted the hit on the boss.”

Just as he had suspected, Ateke thought. The question was, “Can he prove it? This your contact, can he prove Chief Magnus’ involvement?” He asked Peter.

“No concrete proof, but if the police investigate…”

“The police are still investigating, I’m on my way to the police headquarters now, I’ll see you when I get there.”

“Okay sir, thank you sir.”
Ateke ended the call.

Ada was waiting impatiently and promptly asked; “What was that about?”

“That was Peter, he said a source informed him that Chief Magnus is behind the attacks.”

“Its possible, but my money is still on the mistress.” She replied.

“Let’s go see what the police have on tape.”

The rest of the drive was made in silence.

“Mrs Lasisi, can we please go to my office?” The doctor said tersely.

“Deola?” Mrs Lasisi asked weakly, fearing the worst.

“She is fine.” The doctor reassured both Deola’s mum and Chima. “Let’s go to my office please.”

They followed him, praying silently that the news wasn’t worse than they feared.

After they were seated, the doctor went straight to the point.

“Deola miscarried the pregnancy. She lost a lot of blood, and for a while in the theatre she was critical. However, we were able to control the bleeding and she should be fine.”

“Thank God.” They both heaved sighs of relief.

“Can we see her?” Chima asked.

“You can, but she is sedated and won’t know you are there. I would advice you go and return in the morning. The sedatives would have worn off.” He replied.

“Can we still see her before we leave?” Mrs Lasisi asked.

“Let me find out if the nurses have settled her into a room.” He pressed a button on his desk and a nurse came in a few minutes later. “Please see if Deola Lasisi has been moved into a room.” He instructed.

“Yes doctor, she has.” The nurse replied.

“Okay, please take them to see her.”
They thanked the doctor on their way out.

The duo of Ateke and Ada were ushered into the CP’s office immediately they arrived. After exchanging pleasantries, he slotted in a tape for them, he had already turned the visitors chairs to face the wall mounted screen. They watched in silence until he zoomed in on a face.

“That’s the woman who made the deposit.” The commissioner said.

“It can’t be!” Ateke said disbelievingly.

“That is….” For the first time in her life, Ada was open-mouthed and speechless.

After receiving the call from his informant in the Lagos police headquarters, Chief Magnus swung into action. He had his secretary book him on the next available international flight that wasn’t going to the UK or US.
He had just been informed that the police were in possession of a banking hall security tape that will show who deposited money into the account of the goon who was arrested after injecting Senator Tom Briggs with the lethal substance. If she were arrested, she will surely lead the police to him.

Although whatever charges the police came up with could be quashed by his lawyer, for nothing could be traced back to him and it will boil down to her word against his, he didn’t want to be in the country when the whole thing blew up.
His phone rang; it was her. No, he wasn’t going to answer the call. He let it ring through before switching off his phone.

The commissioner of police watched both the barrister and the senator’s wife struggle through tongue tied confusion.

“I can see you both know the woman, who is she?” He asked them.

“There has to be a mistake, that’s the senator’s cousin Ginika.” Ateke replied. That wasn’t the face he was expecting.

“His cousin?” The CP asked in disbelief.

Ada got up and moved closer to the screen. Never in a million years would she have suspected Ginika. She was the daughter of Tom’s mother’s only sister, and when her mother died after giving birth to her, Tom’s mother took Ginika as her own daughter. “It can’t be Ginika!” She exclaimed out loud. ” Can you make the screen clearer? Ginika is more of a sister than a cousin. Why would she want Tom dead?”

MOTIVE Episode Sixteen

Ateke was fast beginning to hate his phone, seemed like no good news ever came through it recently.
So when the phone rang while he was in the doctors office later in the day, he glanced at the screen: the police commissioner. He braced himself for more bad news.
“Hello sir!”
“Barrister Ateke, they are complications!” The police commissioner went straight to the point.
Ateke sighed. “What sort of complications?”
“The suspect has confessed.”
“Okay…”
“He said he was contracted to kill the senator by a woman who identified herself as Deola Lasisi.”
“What?”
“Calm down.”
“But Deola has been in the hospital, how did…”
“Exactly the point barrister, exactly. So, we alerted the bank through which payment deposit was made, for now they have confirmed that was the depositors name…”
“How?”
“Calm down barrister, calm down. I have requested a copy of the banking hall security tapes. We should get it very soon.”
“There has to be an explanation for all these. What will be her motive for killing him? She gains nothing if he dies.” He spoke his thoughts aloud.
“Greed barrister, greed. If she is connected in any way, the law will take its full course, doesn’t matter what the senator believes. I have to go, how is the senator?”
“The doctor said his vitals are improving.”
“Okay, keep me posted.” He ended the call.
Ateke whistled. “I tell you doc, this whole issue is fast turning into one ugly soap opera.”
“Life is one long soap opera.” The doctor chuckled sardonically. “I need to take advantage of this lull and have breakfast.” He glanced at his wrist watch “Its almost lunch.”
“I’ll join you, I’ve not had breakfast either.” Ateke said.
They both left the office.

When Deola screamed, her mother dropped the pot cover in her hands in fright. She ignored it as she and the maid rushed into the sitting room. Deola lay slumped awkwardly in the chair.
Chima who was on her way in, heard the scream and ran into the house.
“Deola! Deola!” Her mother called to her to revive her. “Water, get me….” She righted her head, the maid returned with a bowl of water. Mrs Lasisi sprinkled some on Deola’s forehead and tapped her cheek lightly. Deola roused with a start. “Call the driver.” Her mother instructed the maid who dashed out to do her mistress’ bidding.
“Mommy….”
“Ssshhh!” She hushed her. “Let’s take you to the hospital.”
“I’ll drive.” Chima said.
“What…..” Deola screamed as an intense pain tore through her, from her womb.

Corporal Francis read and reread the blog post through his phone with a sense of trepidation. He dragged deep on the cigarette he was smoking behind the police headquarters. Damn this blogger for saying his source came from the police headquarters, they were very few who had clearance to work on the Senator case, and if push comes to shove it won’t be difficult to identify the leak. He hoped the paltry fifty thousand he was paid won’t cost him his job.
“Corporal Francis!”
He snapped back to reality. “Sir!” He stood at attention. He had been so engrossed in the blog post he didn’t notice his superintendent join him outside for a smoke.
“Are you pinging?” Superintendent Dele asked as he lit a cigarette.
“No sir!”
“Are you reading your babe’s love text?” He laughed. “At ease, carry on!”
Francis quickly stubbed out his cigarette and hurried back into the station.

On returning from lunch, Ateke and the doctor went to Senator Tom’s hospital room to check on him, and met an obviously furious pacing Lady Ada Briggs. “What is the meaning of this?” She rounded on Ateke extending her mobile phone to him.
“What is the meaning of what?” He asked carefully, he had never seen Ada in a rage, and as such took a defensive step back, he noticed her PA sitting in a corner, typing rapidly on her phone. The doctor ignored their exchange and went ahead to check on the patient.
“The news is all over on all the blogs, on how Tom’s tart has been fingered in his attempted murder.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Take it, read for yourself.” She thrust the phone into his hand and resumed pacing.
Ateke took the offered phone and began to read, his eyes widened in surprise as he read on. Whoever was the informant did a thorough job.
“Did you have anything to do with this?” He asked Ada after reading through.
“Off course not. Why would I give information to the press and hide under anonymity. I want to know if there is any truth to this story?” She demanded.
He joined Mary to sit on the sofa. “The police are working on it.”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
The doctor cleared his throat loudly.
“Excuse me. The patient has shown tremendous improvement, and is likely to regain consciousness soon. It won’t do him good to wake up to a tense situation.”
“That’s another thing,” Ada cut in. “When were you going to tell me my husband had regained consciousness?”
“What are you talking about. The man is unconscious.” Ateke replied.
“Prior to the attack last night, he had regained consciousness but….”
“Excuse me, please, can we take this to my office?” The doctor interrupted.
“Yes, and while we are there, you will prepare the necessary papers, I’m taking my husband out of the country for better medical treatment. This Lagos is so toxic.” She said disdainfully.
“My office please.” The doctor urged.
“Mary, remain behind. Guard him with your life.” She instructed as she left following the doctor and barrister Ateke.

After hours in the theatre, the doctor emerged. The look on his face was enough confirmation of what both Mrs Lasisi and Chima dreaded. His insistence to see them in his office further heightened their fear. He didn’t have to tell them Deola lost the pregnancy, for they already knew it. Their fear was on the state of her health.

“Hello Barrister.” The commissioner of police voice sounded excited through the phone.
“Hello sir.” Ateke sounded and was tired.
“We have the tape with us, showing the person who made the deposit.” Now he sounded triumphant.
“I’m on my way…”

MOTIVE Episode Fifteen

Ada had the quickest bath she had ever had in her life, she was ready when Mary knocked on her door ten minutes later.
She opened the door immediately Mary knocked.
“Good morning ma.”
“Morning.”
“I spoke with the nurse, she insisted she has to be paid before she divulges any more information.”
“Peasants.” Lady Ada spat out in contempt. “How much is she asking for?”
“Two hundred thousand.”
“For what?” Lady Ada screamed looking up from strapping her sandals.
Mary cringed. “She says she has information no one else will tell us.”
Ada sighed. “This is her lucky day, give it to her. I want to know everything before Ateke gets here.”
Mary dialled Nurse Funmi’s number immediately.
“Hello?” Funmi sounded out of breathe when she answered, she had to find the nearest toilet for privacy.
“Nurse Funmi?”
“Yes it’s me.”
“Ok. Send me your account details and I’ll transfer the money, but you have to tell me what you have for me first.”
“Last night, when I went to use the rest room,” Funmi fibbed. “Someone sneaked into the senator’s room $ injected a poisonous substance into his IV. His system has been cleared, but his situation is still critical. The assailant was arrested and the police are questioning him right now. The main gist is the senator had regained consciousness before the attack and was just faking it.” Funmi ended triumphantly.
“Are you sure?” Mary asked. Lady was waiting impatiently.
“Hundred percent sure.” Funmi affirmed.
“Hold on.” Mary narrated all that Funmi had just told her to Lady Ada.
“Is she certain?” Ada asked.
“She appears so.”
“Hmmm. Ask her when he regained consciousness.”
Mary spoke into the phone and asked Funmi.
“I think it was two days ago.”
“You are not sure?”
“It was two days ago.”
“Ok, later.”
“I’ll send my account details.”
“Okay.” Mary ended the call. “She said two days ago.” She said to Lady Ada.
A knock sounded on the door.
“Who?” Ada asked.
“Ada, I’m leaving. Are you ready?” Ateke asked through the door.
“Yes, we’ll meet you downstairs.” Ada replied. “Let’s go.” She grabbed her hand bag and they both left the hotel room to join Ateke.

Peter(Senator Tom’s guard) was suprised when he was told someone was there to see him, since his incarceration, no one had come to see him, and it was quite early for social calls. He was even more suprised to see it was John, the thug who was supposed to have given him information about the senator’s kidnap.
Peter sat facing John across the table after they were ushered in. John signalled for the police man to excuse them.
Oga no o! This man na high profile suspect. I no fit excuse una.” The police man refused.
John beckoned him closer and passed three thousand Naira to him. The officer smiled and promptly pocketed the bribe. “Five minutes.” He said as he left the room.
Guy you see say this politicians no dey know person, see as you dey waste here, nobody remember you.” John said when they were alone.
“My guy such is life o!” Peter replied sighing heavily.
“Anyway, I come give you small info, maybe e fit help you. You know, for old times sake.”

Peter perked up.
“I know who ordered the hit on your boss.” John Johnson said.

The silence in the car on the drive to the hospital was broken by Lady Ada’s phone ringing. She was sending a message to Mary who was seated in front and didn’t want Ateke to hear. She was instantly irritated when she saw it was Ginika; Tom’s cousin. She let it ring through without picking. Ginny called back immediately, this time Ada answered.
“Good morning Ginika.” Ada said coldly, hoping Ginny will get the message and keep the call short.
“Aunty good morning.” Ginny replied unperturbed.
Ada cringed, she hated being called ‘aunty’, especially by a lady of over thirty years.
“How is brother?” Ginny went on.
“He is still in the hospital, I’m on my way there.”
“Aunty, you are not staying in the hospital with my brother, who is taking care of him?”
“Hospital staff.”
“Ha, they won’t take care of him like his own family. Maybe I should come to lagos and….”
“That won’t be necessary. Ginny, I have to go.” Ada ended the call. Gosh. If she let Ginny go on she won’t ever get off her phone line.
When they were close to the hospital Ateke cleared his throat.
“Ada, I need to prepare you, Tom was attacked again last night, and is worse off. The assailant was apprehended and is currently being questioned by the CP himself. I’ve spoked with him this morning and they are working to get to the root of the matter.” He said.
“Is that so? Well, I want to fly Tom out of the country today. Lagos has proven to be unsafe for him.” Ada replied after a while.
“He might not be fit to travel.” Ateke pointed out.
“We’ll get an air ambulance.”
Ateke sighed. “Let the doctor decide.”
The rest of the drive was made in silence. Ada concluded her instructions to Mary.

Deola felt better as the day progressed. She was seated in the sitting room watching TV. Her mom was making lunch in the kitchen. There was nothing interesting on TV. She decided to surf the web and catch up on the latest happenings. As she powered on her laptop, her phone rang; Kunle Phillips. She smiled wistfully.
“Hey Kunle, wassup?”
“Deola.” Kunle’s rich baritone caressed her name. “How are you doing?”
“Better today, thank God.”
“Good. Sleeping in your own bed sure helps.”
“Yea. How are you, how is work? Those designs we were supposed to meet and discuss….”
“Deola, I thought we agreed no shop talk. All that can wait till you are a hundred percent.”
“Seriously I haven’t given work a thought. Helen is handling everything.”
“Good.”
“Thanks for understanding.”
“My pleasure. So, are you being pampered enough or should I come and take over?”
Deola laughed. “My family are even over doing it.”
“That’s good. Anyways, just checking up on you. I’ll swing by this evening or next. You take care.”
“Thanks dear. You are a good friend.”
“Enjoy your day.”
“You too.”
Deola dropped the phone. Kunle was her PR rep, who had gradually turned into a friend. He was such a sweet guy, but for Tom, she would have encouraged his advances.
She scrolled through the headlines on one of her favourite blogs; all gossip. She opened another, and there was her picture under a headline: ‘DESIGNER DEOLA LASISI TRIES TO KILL LOVER: SENATOR TOM BRIGGS’.
Her heart rate sped up as she read, her hands trembled, she felt a sharp pain in her stomach and screamed as she passed out from the pain.

MOTIVE Episode Fourteen

As the assailant slipped into Senator Tom’s hospital room, he couldn’t believe how easy this job was turning out to be. He was contracted to inject the senator’s IV with a deadly vial mailed to him by his employer. According to his contact, the senator was still unconscious and wouldn’t present a problem, the problem should have been getting past the policeman on guard and the nurse, and that had been taken care of by fate.
He quickly injected the substance into the IV bag and pocketed the syringe and vial. He exited the room, and bumped into the policeman returning from the rest room.
“Who are you?” Officer Ade asked suspiciously.
“I’m Nurse Phillip, I mistakenly entered the wrong room.”
Officer Ade eyed him suspiciously and was about to let him go when an alarm sounded from the senator’s room.
On hearing the alarm, the assailant tried to bolt, Ade pursued and held him, they engaged in fisticuffs. Hospital personnel, security and other policemen in the building responded to the alarm. The assailant tried to use the pandemonium to his favor but was held down by hospital security.
The doctors and nurses rushed into the room, senator Tom was having a seizure. The doctor checked his vitals, his blood pressure had sky rocketed, he was having a cardiac arrest. They set to work, not knowing the source of the cardiac arrest.
The policemen stripped and searched the assailant, when they found the vial and syringe, one of them gave it to the doctor who sent it to the lab for testing while they battled to save the senator’s life. Twice in that night, the senator’s heart rate flattened out and he had to be revived with a crash cart. It was a long night, and by seven am the next morning, his vitals were weak and thready.
The assailant had been taken away for questioning by the police, the doctor collapsed into his office chair and called Barr Ateke.

Deola was woken by a bout of morning sickness, after bathing and dressing, she left her room in search of something to eat. She was suprised to see Dayo in the kitchen, making breakfast, whistling and dancing.
“What happened, did you win a big contract? How come you are here this early?” She asked, noting he was still dressed in yesterday’s clothes.
“Good morning sweet sister, how are you this morning?”
“This is serious, what happened to you?” She smiled as she pulled a kitchen chair against the wall and sat down.
“Yemisi and I got engaged last night!”
“Oh my!” She screamed as she got up and hugged him. “Congratulations, where is Chima? Finally, you have seen the light! I’m so happy for you guys!” She continued. “Alright, go ahead, give me all the juicy details.”
He went back to his cooking as he talked. “Last night, I went over…”
“What’s with all the screaming this morning?” Mrs Lasisi asked from the doorway.
“Mommy, Dayo and Chima got engaged last night.” Deola answered.
“Good morning mom.” Dayo greeted.
“Good morning oko mi, congratulations!” She went to him and hugged him.
“Oh! Good morning mom.” Deola greeted smiling sheepishly.
“Thanks mom.”
“Finally, I’ve been praying for you to notice her for a long time.” Mrs Lasisi said.
“I always knew they had a thing for each other. It was only a matter of time.” Deola said confidently. They all laughed.
“The spaghetti you are cooking has dried up.” Mrs Lasisi said looking into the pot.
He took the pot of the cooker and strained the spaghetti. “You ladies go into the living room and wait, breakfast is on me. Yemisi will be joining us.”
“This is so romantic.” Deola cooed as she and her mom left the kitchen.

Across town, Ateke had just gotten off the phone with the doctor. He dialled Mrs Briggs number. She answered on the third try.
“What is it Ateke, why are you calling me at this ungodly hour?” She asked coldly.
“I just got off the phone with the doctor, there was another attack on Tom’s life last night.”
“What?”
“There’s no time for details. I’ll be at your door in fifteen minutes, be ready.”
“Fifteen what?”
“I’m leaving in fifteen minutes, if you are not ready, you’ll meet me at the hospital.” He ended the call and proceeded to get ready.
Lady Briggs dialled he PA’s number. Mary answered almost immediately.
“Good morning madam.”
“Mary, call that nurse contact of yours immediately, something happened last night, find out what it was, and be ready to leave in ten minutes.”
“Yes ma.”

MOTIVE Episode Thirteen

Down the hallway from the Senator’s hospital room, nurse Funmi snuck into the toilet adjoining the nurses station. After securing the door, she dialled the number given to her earlier in the day by the senator’s wife’s PA. It rang out, she redialed, and it was answered on the second ring.
“Hello, Mary?” Nurse Funmi asked to confirm whom she was speaking with.
“Who is speaking please?” Mary responded quietly with a question of her own. She was tired, just settling into her hotel room after her boss had been settled in her suite.
“It’s Funmi, nurse Funmi.”
“Oh, ok. What’s up?
“When you people were leaving, the barrister told us a lady will be coming to see the senator. She is here now.” Funmi narrated.
“Who is the woman?”
“I don’t know, the barrister said she is a close friend of the senator.”
“Did you get her name?”
“Yes I did, no one sees the senator without my knowledge.”
“What is her name?”
“Adeola Lasisi. She came with….”
“Ok, I’ll get back to you.” Mary ended the call, cutting her off. She dialled her boss’ number on speed dial. Lady Ada answered on the fourth ring.
“Yes Mary, what is it?”
“Lady, sorry to interrupt you, the nurse just called.”
“What nurse?”
“The senator’s nurse whom you instructed me to make contact with. She said there’s a lady there now to see the senator.”
“Who is this lady?”
“According to Barrister Ateke, whom the nurse said left instructions that she be sent in to the doctor immediately she arrived, she is a ‘friend’.”
“Hmmm.” Lady briggs mused. “A friend, what’s her name?”
“Adeola Lasisi.”
“Very well. You are off for the rest of the night.” She dismissed her, ending the call.
Mary wondered, like she had over the past two years if she worked for the evil witch Cruella de Vil, or just a woman who liked being mysterious.
Lady Ada Ahaba-Briggs was snobbish, standoffish, and every other adjective in between, but Mary had never seen or heard her be truly evil or cruel. She was the one person Mary knew who could berate someone thoroughly without using one foul word, or maybe there were hidden in all those plenty english she used. She had no confidante, and even she as the woman’s PA couldn’t claim to know her secrets.
Whoever this woman was whom Lady Briggs was interested in, she hoped there was nothing underhand going on. Lady Briggs paid well, and she would hate to lose her job.
She sighed, and lay back on the bed. Her boss had given her the night off, and she was about to take advantage of it.

Nurse Funmi was affronted at the way the PA cut her off. She hissed. “All these Abuja people, she probably thinks she’s better than the rest of us. She had better bring me the promised money tomorrow”. She said aloud.
She unlocked the door and returned to the reception. She noticed the man and woman who came with the Adeola woman still seated in the waiting room, which meant she was still in there, she thought to herself. She walked briskly to the hospital room, exchanged pleasantries with the police man at the door and was about to open the door when she heard a voice on the inside. It was the same unfamiliar voice she had heard when the barrister was alone with the senator. Wait a minute, did this mean…? Off course it did, how could she have been so naïve? A patient deceiving a certified nurse of her years of experience. This politico’s sha! They bad pass actors!
She turned, smiled at the police man, and moved closer to him.
“Oga dey inside?” She asked.
“Your oga abi my oga?” He countered.
“Which people dey inside?”
“Doctor and one woman. Enter nau, shebi you be senator private nurse?” He was becoming suspicious of her sudden extreme friendliness.
“No o! As oga dey there, no need. Who be that woman?”
“Ha nurse Funmi? Which kain questioning you dey question me dis nite? Nurses and amebo!”
“As I say make I come chat with you small you no happy? I don go.” She walked away smiling. The senator had regained consciousness, and was faking it! This info should get her more money from his wife. But first she had to see how generous the lady was before feeding her more info. Funmi walked gaily down the aisle to the nurses station.

Ateke’s phone rang, again. If there was a disease to be gotten from constantly being on the phone, surely, he had it already from these past few days.
“Hello senator Duke.” He greeted the senator’s colleague, and one of the other senators from their state.
“My friend Ateke, how are you?” Senator duke was an older gentleman, who spoke slowly. Ateke could imagine him puffing on a cigar as he spoke.
“Good sir, and you.”
“I’m well. How is my friend Tom?” Everybody was senator Duke’s friend.
“He’s good. The doctor says the prognosis is good.”
“Good, good. Any word on the hoodlums who perpetuated this act?”
“Not yet sir.”
“Ok, I trust my friend the commissioner of police in Lagos state. He and I have met a couple of times, a fine man. Knows his job.”
“I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear that sir.” Ateke wondered the purpose of this call, if it were for information?
“Very well, I’ll let you enjoy your evening. Give the old boy my best. I’ve just been served a bowl of steaming fresh fish pepper soup. You know how they do it a’home.” He chuckled.
Ateke chuckled politely. “Enjoy sir.”
“I will, I will. Good night.”
They both ended the call and Ateke placed a call to the senator’s doctor. He answered immediately.
“Hello Ateke.”
“Hello doctor, how did it go, did she come?”
“Yes, I just saw them off. The senator spoke with her.”
“Hmmm. Thank you for your co-operation.”
“It was nothing.”
“I won’t be able to return to the hospital tonight, I hope all is good? Tom is settled?”
“Yes. You rest. So you don’t collapse.”
“True doctor. I’m fatigued.”
“We’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Yea.”
Ateke dialled Tom’s private line, it was switched off. The nurse was probably there. He called room service to order dinner.

The hospital was quiet, all the patients were asleep, there was no emergency. Nurse Funmi caught herself from almost falling off the chair while dozing. The senator was asleep, what would it hurt if she found an empty cot to sleep in?
The night duty police man was asleep, she tiptoed past him. He jerked awake when she shut the door leading out of the VIP wards, and looked around, not seeing what woke him, he concluded it must be his full bladder. As he went to ease himself, a figure in a lab coat eased into the senators’ hospital room.