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A Long Ride. Chapter Three.

I am the author of Twenty Ways I Thought I Died 1& 2, Paradise Street, Paint My Heart, and Pathetic Couple.

a-long-ride

Officer 010 can you hear me. I repeat, officer 010 can you hear me please.

A red haired woman in her early twenties spoke softly as she shook Domingo who laid in his hotel room tired.

What? Who are you? He asked as he brought himself to room consciousness.

My name is Ese and I was sent by Krunchgrizzly to save you and bring you to him.

What? Krunchgrizzly is alive?

Talk softly. Some guards are watching your room. What did you even drink?

I didn’t drink. Those idiots gave me drugs through injections. They said its to make me relaxed and feel good due to the hurdles I have been through.

Common we don’t have much time. You better come with me or you get yourself killed before the day ends.

What do you mean?

Will you stop asking questions? Why are you soo stupid. I don’t even know what Krunchgrizzly saw in this Togo man. Look I need to dress you up as a woman so we can escape from here. You know you won’t succeed in killing the president and besides we feel the governor is just trying to use you and kill you afterwards even if you succeed. So its better you on Krunchgrizzly’s side and become a friend to the president, or you are on Governor Shola Akintunde Adekoya’s team, and become dead meat before the end of today.

But how did you get in here?

I am one of the prostitute they brought in for you. I paid off the girls to leave early while I stayed behind.

You mean you people slept with me?

Oh please will you stop asking questions like a child? As if that matters now? Its not as if you are virgin?

How come Krunchgrizzly survived? He was killed in my presence.

Take this leggings, and put it on. Its good you don’t have pot belly, this crop top will look very feminine on you. Because of the risks involved, it will take us three days to get to Krunchgrizzly. We need to move and stop in some hideouts so we don’t get caught. Please hurry up, I will answer every question of yours on our way.

As I sat on the bed to drag the leggings she gave me on, I remembered that Nigerian governor that had to dress as a pregnant woman to escape being arrested abroad. I never knew I would be in this circumstance. I thought of my children and young wife. What was happening to them? Has my disappearance been reported to the police? Are they looking for me? What have I done to deserve all these? Where did I go wrong? I am a foreigner in this land for God’s sakes.

Okay good job. Ese commended bringing me back to my thoughts. Now keep your face straight for some good makeup.

As soon as she was done painting my face, she gave me a flat sandals to wear; which was comfortable to run. Thankfully! I exclaimed.

Now look at me and listen very carefully. Do not say a word. Do not speak. Let me do all the talking and just act shy. Put one this braided wig and sunglasses.

She made a quick call and spoke only urhobo. The only thing I could comprehend was that she was speaking with someone of a very high authority because she spoke soo calmly and respectfully. Maybe its Krunchgrizzly! I said to myself. Why am I happy that he is alive? And am going to meet him?

Okay we need to leave now. Ese said in a hurry, as soon as she was done with her call. Ready? She asked me. Yes I replied. I was scared but happy I would soon be away from my suicide mission. We opened the door and two men looked at us longingly. Where are you going? One of them asked.

We are done with that jerk, Ese answered. He is asleep now like a log of wood.

Where did this other lady come from? The second man asked pointing to me. Oh she? We all came in together this morning. We were four, two left and the two of us stayed to finish up.

Okay just get out of here fast, our boss will soon be here. Infact we need to go wake that fool up. The second mam said angrily, like he hated Domingo personally.

Let him sleep a little guys, we really beat his ass up. Have mercy on the poor man.

Let him rest a little more. The first guard pleaded to his second.

Okay guys, bye. Ese winked at them and blew a kiss. She was really good at it, like she really was a whore for real. She had very straight legs that kept the guards eyes glued to her as she catwalk in her micro mini dress. She was very light in complexion and slim with the right proportion of breast and butt. In short, she was very beautiful.

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As soon as we got outside the hotel, there was a car waiting for us. We got in and the driver zoomed off. We didn’t speak a word until about half an hour, we got down from the car, and entered a bus. This time, there were three other men in it, and they all looked like Krunchgrizzly.

Are you all Krunchgrizzly’s brothers? I had to ask.

Yes we are. One of them replied.

Where is he?

You will soon meet him. But for now, we need to take you to the mountains for a day’s rest. We will continue our journey tomorrow.

We drove for another half and hour and arrived at a small path. There were five motorcyclists waiting there, and we both climbed on each for the rest of the journey. It was a very long, hilly and rough distance. After a long while, I could see sight of a mountain that had a cave. We rode another mile and then we got down from the motorbikes and walked on foot to the cave.

Here we are! Home sweet home. Ese smiled beautifully.

I am hungry. I managed to say.

I understand. After that overdose of drugs they gave you, you have to be hungry. First, take off this hideous cloths you have on and get a shower.

We got into the cave and it was soo warm and friendly. Infact it looked like a home. It had chairs, a TV, big radio, a nice table. I was taken to the small room they made out of it within, and told to have my bath, change into the cloths on the bed and come out for dinner. As at then, it was 5:35pm.

I had this urge to run from there through the window they carved. But I was too tired, weak and hungry to escape. So I had my bath, got into the cloths given to me and went to meet the other in what looked like a parlor.

Here comes officer 010! Ese announced.

Why do you call me that?

But that is your name now. At least that’s what krunchgrizzly told me.

How come krunchgrizzly survived? He was butchered.

No he wasn’t. Bull dog will never bite the fingers that feeds him. He helped him escape and acted up his death. Bull dog is loyal and he is our eyes and ears in the governor's quarters.

But why did Jersey do what he did? I asked trying to find out things.

What else? Greed. One of the men answered. I always told brother never to trust that guy. But he never listened.

Food is ready! Ese announced as she came carrying a tray of roasted meat and bread. Eat and drink to your satisfaction. We partying tonight because our first mission is accomplished.

I grabbed one fried chicken lap and asked. What mission. I chewed and waited for a response.

You of course. Is this guy dump or pretending to be.

Common don’t be so harsh kester. He hasn’t been enlightened yet.

Then enlighten him kesteven before I loose it.

Okay let me put it this way officer 010. You are our phosphate. That’s your country's number one natural resource right? We use you and we get it for free to build our agricultural system in Delta. You know our lands are being ruined by our bad government who take our oil without caring to restructure our community. So we get our phosphate for free, and we turn your famous beaches into great resort centres. We will boost your economy with our humanitarian aid. Delta has the largest producing amount of oil, and since Togo doesn’t have oil at all we give you large sums for free. Togo has lime stone, marble, so we make you our number one market because we plan on build skyscrapers and turn Delta into the centre of excellence; better than Lagos is. So we will buy lots of marble from you guys. Your president couldn’t refuse the offer officer 101, you know why? Because you people live way below poverty line.

My president doesn’t know me. How come you choose me for a job so great? What’s the connection.

Ahmed introduced you to us. He sold the idea to us, then we to the governor and the governor to the president. Although we have our own agenda but to get to the president we have to use the governor, but the idiot wants the president dead and power given to the west and that is the opposite of what we want. So we had to play along for some time and then strike. Common you are their pawn, and you became our pawn. We are just doing the same thing America does. When America needs something, they use someone from that country to get what they want. Togo is a west African country. And we are fighting for the west. And your county being soo poor had a lot to gain. So we asked for their support with benefits, and told them we will be using one of them to achieve this. Your country sold you without you knowing.

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As soon as Kesteven was done, I began to place one and two together. I remembered how I had met Ahmed. He was so shy for an that intelligent. He played on my intelligence and acted stupid most times so I won’t suspect a thing. He brought in most of the deals and didn’t ask for a raise. And I thought he was stupid. I thought since I had stated the business on my own at first, he was respecting that. No wonder he always use to say; you are the best business developer from Togo Domingo Fishman. I had two things they wanted; my citizenship and academics.

Who is Ese to all of you? She is too beautiful to be your sister. I asked smiling.

I am their step sister from another father. But we share common goal.

Another father? But you are soo close in age to these men?

Yes. Ovie is the firstborn, follow by Krunchgrizzly, then the twins kesteven and Kester. I came before the twins. My mother was told to have a child for their fathers friend who was dying. He got shot and was brought home by their father. He knew he wasn’t going to make it, and at that time my father was unmarried and childless. Their father made my mother sleep with my father while he was bleeding and battling for his life, they urged him to release and he died immediately after doing so, with my mother on top of him. Thankfully weeks later, my mother found out that their plan worked, she was pregnant. And here I am today.

We need to go sleep now. Ovie spoke for the first time. And soon as his words were uttered, no one said one word more, we all just went to our various sleeping place like zombie’s.

As I laid on the wooden sofa that had just a light blanket in it, I had a very deep desire to run but my flesh was tired mentally, emotionally and physically. I was in the middle of nowhere!

I didn’t know when I slept off, but a light pat on my cheek woke me up at once. Get up now. The voice hurried. I couldn’t guess if it was kesteven or Kester but it was a males voice. Everywhere was so dark.

Didn’t you hear me? Get up.

Okay am I to Bath or something? I asked.

What? Did you go somewhere in your sleep? Are did you soil your pants?

No its okay. So what do I do exactly?

Let’s go outside, we need to start walking.

I got out and realised it was Ovie that woke me up. All the others were waiting and we just started walking. We walked for mile like before, then five motorcyclists were waiting to pick us up. We rode again for a long while, then got to the main road and boarded a bus different from the first one that brought us here. I tried to look for road maps and signs to figure out where I am and how to escape but I saw nothing. Were we still in Nigeria? I asked myself.

Apart from English, what language do you speak? Ovie asked me.

I speak Ewe and yoruba. My wife is yoruba kogi, so learnt it from her.

Kogi! We spent a night in your in-laws forest and you didn’t even know.

Ese! Be careful how you speak. Ovie fired back.

We didn’t say a word again for a long time. Atleast I knew where I was now, and how to put the map together. I kept my eyes fixed on the tinted glass throughout but I couldn’t recognise anywhere! I had been to Kogi a couple of times. Its as if these people followed the back of Kogi because everywhere looked deserted and different.

The bus suddenly stopped and the bus driver announced that is was 4:30pm. When we got out of the bus, I heard Kester whisper to Kesteven that he would get some Benue girls tonight. So we are in Benue, I said to myself. Its high time and fled and go get my family. There is no way I am going to be part of this rubbish. No way!

We got to a large compound that had many huts and many local women. Ot felt like home to these men because they each went a hut along with three women each.

Ese took me by the hand and led me to my own hut which had no woman.

Am I going to have you tonight? I asked her.

Are you mad? Or you want me to cut off your manhood?

I need a woman. Just one will do okay. I smiled at her.

Okay, I will send one in. You men are all the same. I thought you said you are married with children? Rubbish men!

© 2021 Jade George Anibor

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