Written by Chibuzor Iwobi (@JeSuisChiby)
Full name: Oluseun Alfred Olusegun. The Oluman as he was fondly called, but Alfredo Pareto stuck because it was catchy. Alfred was an extremely intelligent student, no exaggeration. He was poised for big things for he was on a higher intellectual level than us – his peers. Alfred loved economics to the bone. He would give excuses to the claims of him being stingy;
“We are rational. We, economists, strive to minimize cost and maximize utility with respect to scarce resources. In doing so, I wouldn’t forgo any resource in a bid to please anybody and end up being dissatisfied.”
“Those are fancy words for saying ‘I’m tight fisted’,” someone once said and the whole class burst out in laughter.
Years after, Alfred, the one poised for big things, ended up becoming a police man. He felt he had a duty to serve and protect. He and I always kept in touch. I liked him as a person. Not too long after secondary school, he got married to his heart throb – Angel. We all felt like he had something against the finer things of life. Becoming a policeman? Getting married at such a young age? Something definitely was wrong, but if it was one thing, he easily excelled at anything he set his mind on. He was a very fine policeman, if not the best. Easily and swiftly, he moved up the ranks. What Alfred never told anybody was the real truth for becoming a police man. Most people did not know this but he wasn’t always the only child. His kid sister was murdered when she was five. He swore on his life the culprit would be found and he did just that. He told me how tempted he was to take justice into his own hands but he said his job came first, so the killer is behind bars for life.
Alfred had spent a long boring day in the station simply because there was nothing for him to do. Seeing his phone ring and my caller ID excited him. I called him out, we met outside the station and that was when I filled him in on my situation. He said,
“Wow! James! You really should have come to me earlier.”
“You’ve been too busy, remember?”
“So, what was your plan?” He asked.
I kept quiet because I knew it was rhetorical.
“It’s a dangerous game you’re playing, James,” He scolded me, “You’ve been watching too much CSI.”
“Who dey follow you laugh? I go tear you slap!” He yelled.
“I’m sorry,” I was quick to apologize.
“You know I love you like a brother,” He said, “Ever since I lost Tope, you have been the closest person to a sibling.”
Usually, Alfred would place a cig in between his lips without lighting it. It was a weird habit of his, but this time, he was smoking. He wore a worried look on his face and if I didn’t know any better, I would have said he was going to cry. With every drag he took he sighed, his eyes wandered around with the passers-by. We leaned on my car which was parked just in front of the station and opposite it, was a market which surprisingly wasn’t rowdy. Exquisite fleets of cars passed us in a matter of minutes. And they said money isn’t in this country, I thought. I refocused my thoughts on Alfred. I knew he was displeased with my actions because he was scared. He used to be a bit withdrawn, doing his best not to form attachments to people he might end up losing. Two years after his sister’s death, his dad abandoned both him and his mother for another man. Childhood wasn’t particularly easy for him.
“I wanted to kill him,” I whispered, “I still want to. I must.”
Alfred replied me with silence.
“The book, the things he wrote down,” I looked at him as if trying to get his attention, “He talked about murdering people, like it’s a sport.”
He still didn’t say a word. His eyes went left right, left right, following any passer-by till the person was out of his sight.
“I planned everything carefully,” I whispered, “No way was I going to slip up and make a mistake.”
Alfred’s sudden stare at me frightened me. My heart beat fast and returned to normal in a matter of seconds.
“You stupid fool,” He muttered, “You think you’re smart? Out smarting these criminals, you think it’s easy?”
He blew smoke into my face. I coughed endlessly. Idiot, I thought.
“You think it’s easy to kill? Cause I can assure you its not,” He continued, “Furthermore, you’re talking about committing murder to a policeman?”
He threw the cig on the floor and stomped it.
“Say something, James.”
“He killed my mother, Alfred!” I shouted, “You should be on my fucking side.”
“But I am! Nobody’s got your back like I do, you fool!” He shouted back, “So, let’s say, theoretically, you actually kill this man, what happens next?”
“I don’t have time for this, Alfred,” I blustered, ” I came for your help.”
I brought my keys out of my pocket.
“What do you think you’re doing?” He asked with a cold stare, “You don’t know what happens when you take a life, do you?”
He brought out another cig, but didn’t smoke it.
“I still remember my first kill. He wouldn’t drop the damn gun,” He continued.
He brought out his lighter, had a quick think and put it back in his pocket.
“I’m fighting this addiction,” He smiled at me, “Angie hates it. She’ll kill me if she finds out I smoked. Our secret?”
I smiled back. He got his back off my car, walked three steps left, six steps right and three steps left, turned his back on the road and placed his two hands on my car. His legs were about three feet away from my car while his hands were still on my car.
“Once I pulled the trigger, I felt my innocence depart from me.” He looked at me as if expecting a reaction, “It was hard keeping everything together. If not for Angie, if not, I would have gone haywire and I mean that literally like that guy in prison break. I couldn’t sleep at night. I had these terrible dreams. I was deeply tormented. God saved me, I would have ended up at Yaba left. ”
“Are you trying to frighten me?” I said, uninterested with his drama. “Cause we both know that wasn’t your first kill. I have been having those nightmares again.”
“Don’t bring that up ever again. Never ever again?” He angrily warned me.
He returned to his original position – leaning his back on my car.
“I still need your help,” I said, “He has to be taken off the streets.”
“My help or the police’s?”
I went into my car to retrieve the sketch and handed it to Alfred.
“Is this him?” He asked.
“So again I ask, my help or the police’s?”
“I want him found,” I replied, “When you read what he wrote, you’ll know how I feel.”
“You mentioned that earlier, reading something, what’s that about?”
He folded the sketch and pocketed it.
“A book, like a diary. He wrote down his atrocities. It came in my possession last Saturday.”
“How? Don’t tell me it magically landed on your door steps?”
“I’m being serious, James. This could be a set up.”
“Set up? Don’t you think you’re overreacting?”
“Where’s the book?” He asked.
“At home,” I lied.
I felt I wasn’t ready to hand him the book yet.
“You haven’t answered me yet,” He said
“Where did you find the book?” He asked again.
“I found it in the park last Saturday,” I replied.
“You’re as dense as you’re handsome.”
“What’s the supposed to mean?”
“So you just happened to find a book that has details of your family and you didn’t think it was suspicious? You didn’t bother to report it to the police?
“You were busy, remember?”
“Goddammit! Am I the only fucking officer in this country? Stop talking through your arse, James.”
He walked away using his right hand to signal me to follow him which I did. We walked into a supermarket. He picked up a pack of plantain chips, gala and a can of Amstel malt, paid the cashier and we walked out.
“So even as a policeman, you’re still practicing this your stingy economics?” I asked.
“Is it because I didn’t ask you to pay?” He replied.
Ode. I shook my head.
“There’s no point scolding you anymore,” He said, “How soon can you get the book down here?”
I took a while to think, “Tomorrow?”
He gave me a thumbs up, “I’m going to assign you a security detail. Something isn’t right. Policeman’s intuition.
I sighed, “Oh brother! No need. You’re just worrying for nothing. I’ll be alright.”
I watched him eat the gala in a minute.
“Aren’t you hungry, Damn,” I laughed.
“Oh boy, this job, ko easy,” He sighed, “How far them babes?”
“They go dey alright but I’m tired of Tina. The babe just fall my hand anyhow today. She caused a big scene, bro,” I replied spreading my arms wide apart.
He laughed hard, “Told you she’s crazy, you didn’t listen.”
“Forget that side, I get this new shawty wey I just jam. Light skinned hunny-”
“It’s alright,” He cut me short,”Just be careful man. I’m serious. You know I’ve got your back.”
“Of course! I’ve got to move. We’ll see later.”
We shook hands and I drove off.
Alfred quickly signaled a junior ranking officer.
“Follow that car. I want you to report to me every hour,” He said, “Now, go.”
“Yes sir,” the officer replied.
After the departure of the officer, Alfred walked into his office and stared at the sketch. He looked at his watch; 6:30pm. He folded the sketch and tucked it into his pocket. His feet were on his desk and his arms at the back of his head.
“I’ve got a bad feeling, James,” He whispered to himself, “Something isn’t right.”
He stuck another cig in his mouth as he spent an hour going through his Facebook account with his phone.
“Sir?” a voice from his police radio called, “I followed the car to a house in Lekki phase.”
He probably went home, Alfred thought.
“What’s the address?” Alfred asked.
“74 Castle Drive,” The voice replied.
That’s not his home! What are you up to, James?
“Okay. Still give me reports by the hour or whenever something happens.”
Another hour went by and the officer reported no unusual activity. Alfred’s phone rang, it was his wife.
“My Angel,” He answered.
“Dim oma,” She replied, “When are you coming home? I miss you.”
“I’m so sorry. I should have called you, I’ll be home late tonight. Doing something for James. I’m worried for his satefy.”
“Ah! What’s wrong?” She asked fearfully.
“Sir! The driver of the car just rushed out and drove off in a hurry,” The voice from his police radio interrupted.
“I’ll call you back, Angie,” He hung and picked up his police radio, “Follow him! Don’t let him out of your sight.”
Whats wrong, James?
“Okay sir. And sir?” The voice continued
“What is it?” Alfred asked.
“I saw a tall figure sneak into the house just before I drove off.”
“74 Castle Drive? I’ll handle it,” Alfred got on the police radio and requested any officer within the proximity to go to 74 Castle Drive.
“It’s officer Tomiwa. I’m just around the corner, I’ll check it out,” An officer replied.
Alfred was very nervous. He was smoking his third cig in five minutes.
“Sir!” The voice startled Alfred, “I just followed the driver to another residence. He’s inside now.”
“What’s the address?” Alfred asked.
“25 Timothy Road,” The voice replied.
“Okay,” Alfred fell back into his chair feeling relaxed. He went back home.
Alfred, after realizing he hadn’t heard from Officer Tomiwa, radioed him, “Officer Timothy, what’s the status with the house?”
There was no reply, Alfred, again was worried.
“Alfred,” A voice with a Hausa accent cut him short.
“Who is this?” Alfred asked.
The voiced laughed, “Don’t you know me?” The voice laughed again, “You should start coming. Your friend will soon be dead… like your sister.”
Written by Chibuzor Iwobi (@JeSuisChiby)
Edited by; Gbadebo (@Oaa148) and Oladoyin (@Miss_Ola_D)
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