Written by Chibuzor Iwobi
My peace of mind came to an abrupt end. My jaw dropped; my eyebrows shot up in fear as I took two steps back, shaking my head.
“No! No! No!” I cried, in shock.
Finding James’ killer made me feel good until I realised it may be the other way around: he found me. As one of the premier policemen in the country, I spent years chasing people down; the fear in their eyes gave me an adrenaline rush. It made me feel a sense of respect but now, that fear was showing in my eyes. He was looking for me and was many steps ahead of me. I was definitely dealing with a crazy person and this was going to be the biggest fight of my life. If he was hell-bent on getting my attention, he would be after my family also. Trying to be the greatest policeman the country has ever seen may have lead to me putting my family in clear danger. He had raised the bar. Initially it was all about protecting my state from a careless killer, now it was about protecting my family.
He couldn’t have gone too far when I broke into a car, hot wired it and began my pursuit. I had my heart in my mouth knowing fully well what I was about; this was about to be the biggest pursuit of my career. I was going to make him pay for everything he had done, everybody he had hurt and everybody he had killed. I hit the accelerator as hard as I could and flew out of the gates and it was at that point I knew this chase was going to be crazy; I saw his car parked ahead waiting for me. Immediately I came out of the gates, he sped off igniting the high-speed chase. We burst out onto Adeola Odeku street, took a right at the end of the street heading towards Boni Camp. There weren’t too many cars on the road giving us more than enough space to go well above the speed limits. Just before we got on the Carter Bridge, I managed to catch up to him. With my right hand on the wheel, I used my left hand to handle my revolver, aiming it at him. As I was about to pull the trigger, a bus swerved in front of my car causing me to hit the brakes. That gave him about a 5 second advantage as I quickly got out of that fix.
From Carter bridge, he took the link to Eko bridge and got off at the exit towards Costain, heading towards Iponri. The road to Iponri was a narrow one of just two lanes. Just before a bend stood a gas station where people also waited for buses. There was a large lorry parked beside the fuel station, blocking the view of the people standing there. The road was somewhat clear, with one or two cars going by every 10 to 15 seconds. A pregnant woman with her infant son on her back started to cross the road. He saw her and managed to swerve but it was too late for me. They tumbled aggressively over my car, broke my windscreen and landed with a gruesome and heavy thud onto the road. It wasn’t until I heard her lifeless body land on the asphalt that I realized I had been driving at 120km/hr.
“Blood Of Jesus!” someone shouted.
The heavy insults and backlash for my crime from the people around had begun. My heart sank listening to their wailing, cursing and crying. I had slowed down but couldn’t come to a complete stop to see the damage I had done, even if I wanted. I could only ensure their deaths weren’t in vain by catching this man. If they weren’t dead, it was only a matter of minutes before they would be.
He drove straight down passing Alaka Estate and I was directly on his tail after I picked up speed. The harder I tried to forget what I had done, the more it ate at me. My conviction wasn’t enough despite making myself believe their deaths wouldn’t useless. Killing innocent people in this circumstance made me lose concentration slightly. I caught up to him but there was a bus in between us. The bus tried to move out of the way but he would not let that happen. Without any warning, he slammed his brakes causing the bus to do the same. He immediately accelerated before the bus could hit him. The bus driver lost total control; the bus flipped on its side and I hit the bus head on. There was a loud bang, then another caused by the airbag. I felt my neck crack; I thought I was about to die.
There was an irritating, loud ringing in my ears. I could feel a trickle of warm blood coming from somewhere on top of my head and creating a pool on my shoulder.
“Is he alive?” a deep voice shouted.
“Someone should help him,” a feminine voice cried out.
I opened my eyes and looked around me; everything was so blurry. I noticed I had not been wearing my seatbelt during the high-speed chase.
With the barely existent energy in me, I helped the people trying to open my door by pushing it on the inside. I fell out of the driver’s seat and struggled to my feet. Staggering around in circles, I tried to make sense of everything that had just happened. It wasn’t until a gust of wind blew past me that I realised where I had wandered. With nobody paying attention to me, I had carelessly walked onto the middle of the six-lane road. Standing still out of fear, cars zoomed past me causing me to sway in the different directions. Images of the pregnant woman I hit began to flood my head and I knew I would end up just like her if I didn’t act fast. Quickly, I brought out my backup gun from my ankle strap, pointed it to the sky, fired it three times then stretched my hand forward with the gun in it.
Slowly, I was regaining my senses with my sight being the first to fully return. I had a splitting headache that made my brain feel like it was being chopped into two with an axe. I was relieved when I saw all the cars coming down from Carter bridge halting with some of the drivers hurriedly exiting the cars. As I holstered my gun, I thought I heard a car coming my way and I jumped and rolled to the left because I heard the sound of a horn, I was wrong. The honking continued and I turned my heard briskly to see where it was coming from. Seeing the catastrophe I had caused made me suddenly feel remorseful. Those who were brave stood outside of their cars and along the sides of the streets watching me waiting for my next move. Turning my head slowly I saw a blue sedan down the road with its hazard lights on. The door opened and I saw someone get out and gesture for me to come closer. The closer I got, the clearer my sight became; it was the killer. Once I realized, I took one of the abandoned cars and re-started the chase.
He left the main roads and moved into a secluded area. I couldn’t help but wonder what his plan was because he had purposely led me all the way here. I was falling into his trap and I was fully aware. Then he stopped in the middle of the sandy road. This was it; this was the face-off I had longed for. Angrily, I stepped out of the car and pointed my gun at his car, walking towards him till I was about ten feet away.
“Get Out!” I shouted.
“Okay, Detective,” He replied. “But keep your gun. You aren’t going to kill me in cold blood.”
“I said, Get Out!” I shouted.
He got out of his car as instructed, standing beside the door looking at me with a smirk on his face.
“Seriously, Detective, do away with that gun. Let’s not worsen matters for you,” He said, calmly.
“Shut up!” I shouted. “Shut the fuck up.”
“Pull that trigger and you’re looking at 25 to life,” He chuckled. “Let’s not forget your little accident back there. I’m sure somebody recorded it.”
I got closer and struck the butt of my gun against his head, slammed his face into his bonnet and pointed the gun to his head.
“I’m trying to help you,” He continued talking. “Let’s talk like mature adults.”
I held him by the collar strangling him.
“Pull the trigger. I dare you to, Detective,” He said with a crooked voice. “We both win anyway. There’s no way you’ll get away for killing an innocent man.”
“Innocent? You must be fucked up!” I responded, angrily.
“Watch your language Detective, Funke won’t like that….. if she were here.”
“Shut the fuck up!” I screamed and hit him on the head twice. “You don’t know anything about my sister. Shut up!”
“Do you know what her last words were?” He chuckled. “I want to see my mummy.”
He mimicked her voice perfectly thereby triggering my memory. I remembered when she would run into the sitting room wearing a white dress and a tiara shouting “Mummy see! Mummy see! I’m a princess.”
Joining her index and middle fingers on her right hand, she put them on her head and spun like a ballet dancer while repeating, “I’m a princess, Mummy.”
I used to mock her and my mother would scold me for that.
“Are those tears I see, Detective?” He asked. “Game over, I win.”
He burst out laughing hysterically.
“You know,” He continued. “She was always so quiet but when I was slicing her up, she called for you. “Alfred, help! Alfred, help!” she screamed.
Out of anger, I pulled the trigger but instead of a loud bang, there was a click; the gun jammed. He reacted faster than me. He pushed me away and used his legs to knock mine from under me; causing my gun to fall out of my hand. He picked it up, sharply tapped the base of the magazine and racked the slide. With the gun pointed at my face, I closed my eyes for what seemed to be an eternity, waiting for him to pull the trigger and he did; but shot the ground next to my head instead.
“Get up, Detective,” He commanded.
I hesitantly complied.
“It’s your fault,” He cried, hitting the butt of the gun on this head.
I was confused. “What the fuck are you talking about?” I shouted at him.
“It’s your fault she’s dead,” He shouted back at me. ‘Because of you, I killed her and you must pay.”
“You are crazy! Fuck you!” I shouted back angrily.
“Oh!” He exclaimed. “You’re just going to deny like you didn’t have a hand in her death; in all their deaths.”
He aimed at my left leg and didn’t miss this time.
“Arghhh!” I yelled, falling on the ground.
It was an excruciating and burning feeling that shot through my entire body, numbing the feeling in my leg.
“Tell me you’re sorry and maybe I won’t kill you,” He said.
“Sorry for what? I still don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied him with my voice muffled, trying to hide the pain.”
“You made me kill Titilope!” He screamed, stomping his right foot on the ground aggressively. “It’s your fault she’s no more.”
“You might as well pull the trigger because you aren’t getting any apology from me. I did nothing!”
“I was right. You are a heartless being who doesn’t deserve to live!” He howled. “You’re just going to leave Angie and your daughters all alone?”
A sudden cold shiver shot through my body, terror held me in a vice-like grip. Like the cold breath of a grave, his words cut my very soul.
Slowly and clearly I said, “Stay away from my daughters, sadist fuck!”
His high-pitched cackle irritated me. He was enjoying every single moment of my dismay.
“I just had an orgasm,” He laughed. “I just had an orgasm just thinking of how I would slice them up.”
He jumped around playfully, like a child whose promises were about to be fulfilled. His face was beaming with excitement; evil intent shone bright in his eyes and I became silent with fear. It was over and there was nothing I could do about it. He placed his left foot on my bullet wound and applied pressure on it. I let out a discomforting shriek.
“Nobody can hear you,” He said, in the form of a whisper.
“Get over with it,” I said.
“Idris Kazeem,” He said. “That’s the name of the man who is about to take your life. You can share that with James’ when you get to hell.”
He re-pointed the gun at my head and pulled the trigger.
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