The Author (Episode 23)

It took longer than normal for Okey to untie himself because he was still shaking out of fright. The masked man always succeeded in scaring him senseless. After freeing himself, he sat for a while to steady himself before he switched off the lights and headed for the front door. As he was locking up the door, he heard footsteps behind him.
‘Sorry, bar’s closed’, he said. ‘Trust me, we’re not just any group of customers’, a voice said. The voice sounded familiar to Okey, so he turned sharply to see the two men who worked for the masked man behind him. They were both dressed in large black suits. ‘Oh, it’s you guys. You didn’t need to come. I heard your boss’ warnings loud and clear. I intend to keep my mouth shut’, Okey said. ‘We know that. We’re not here to warn you’, one of the men said. ‘We just needed a drink before we left town, so we decided to stop by’, the other man said.
‘Alright, but you can’t stay long. It’s well past my closing time already’, Okey said and started opening the door for the second time that night. ‘Thank you. We really appreciate’, both men said as they entered the bar. The bartender switched on the lights and moved to the counter. The two men chose a table and sat down. ‘Bring six bottles of beer and come drink with us. It’s not like you’re expecting any other customers’, one of the men said. Okey smiled. He had always been more comfortable with the two men than he was with their boss. He took the drinks and glasses to the table and sat down with the men. The three men chatted as they drank. They discussed various topics such as: women, Nigerian government and the economy. Okey became very relaxed. The visit of the masked man now seemed like a long time ago. He even started mimicking the behavior of some customers when they are intoxicated to the amusement of the two men.
‘The drinks are finished. Next round is on the house’, Okey said when they had emptied their bottles. ‘No need for more. We’re driving out of town tonight’, one of the men said. ‘Thanks a lot for entertaining us tonight’, the other man said. ‘It was my pleasure. You can drop by……’, Okey stopped talking mid-sentence when he saw both men stand up and pull out their pistols. Before he could find his voice, both men shot him and he fell down. Okey died with a shocked expression on his face.
‘It’s a shame. I was beginning to like him’, the first man said. ‘Me too, but he was a loose end and the boss hates loose ends. We have to make this look like a robbery gone wrong. Let’s move quickly’, the second man replied and both men moved to the counter to empty the cash register. They also made away with some expensive wines, wiped their prints and left the bar.

‘Lizzy you have to understand. I’m doing this to save our lives’, Chisom said. ‘You know, I’m actually glad that you still remember that I have a life. You came to my office at Ikeja and whisked me off to a hotel at the Seme border. I was even starting to entertain the notion that this was a romantic getaway. Now I’m hearing a different story from you entirely’, Elizabeth replied. She was still dressed in her cooperate office attire and was seated on the large bed in their hotel suite. Chisom was on his knees before her.
‘It’s not just a story. It’s true. I’m a highly ranked police officer, privy to lots of intelligence reports. I received a report from very reliable sources that two different sets of people want me dead’, he said. ‘You’re a senior police officer. Can’t the police protect you?’ she asked. ‘Trust me, the police can’t protect me from these people. The best chance we have is to leave Nigeria. Let’s get some sleep. Your papers will be ready tomorrow afternoon. We’ll leave this country once they arrive’, Chisom said.

The Author was parked across the street from Chisom’s hotel. He had been discreetly tailing him all day waiting for the two men to make their move on him. ‘I’m tired of all this waiting. If those men don’t show up by tomorrow night, I’ll kill Chisom and disappear as usual’, he thought. He had decided to sleep in his car so he could watch the entrance and see the two men if they showed up there. He also could see Chisom’s car parked near the gate.

The Author had dozen off after a while but he was awoken by a loud explosion. He immediately looked towards the hotel and saw that Chisom’s car or what was left of it was on fire. ‘These people are good. They’ve been a step ahead of me at every turn. I need to disappear before they catch up with me. They were probably sent by very powerful people’, he thought.
He needed to inform Lilian that his status had changed from predator to prey.


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