‘Ojo, that man could be a policeman. Let’s go with what we already have’, one of the young men said. ‘Don’t be a coward, Temi. Even if he’s a policeman, he’s alone and there’s two of us. There’s probably a lot of money in that suitcase. Let’s collect the money before we leave’, Ojo said. ‘Alright, let’s do this’, Temi replied. The two men left Lilian and Allison and moved towards the Author.
The Author smiled when he saw that the two men were moving towards him. His intention had been to put some distance between the young men and Lilian. The Author handed over his briefcase to Temi when the two men approached him. Temi opened the briefcase and saw wads of cash. ‘I thought you were joking with us. We would have skinned you alive’, he said as he closed the briefcase and both men turned to leave.
They had not taken up to three steps when Ojo heard two deafening gunshot sounds. He turned to speak to Temi but Temi had fallen. Temi had been shot. Ojo turned and saw the Author brandishing a pistol and a wave of fear gripped him. He dropped his dagger and knelt down. ‘Please don’t kill me. Take back your money. Take our money too. Take whatever you want. Just spare my life’, he pleaded. The Author smiled. ‘Unfortunately, what I want is your life; he said and he shot Ojo twice.
The Author picked up his suitcase and cleaned the blood on it. He emptied the young men’s pockets and put all the items in his briefcase.
Looking up, he saw that Allison and Lilian were still watching him from their initial position. He decided to return their stolen phones and wallets. Armed with his pistol, he started walking towards them.
‘He’s going to kill us. Let’s run’, Allison said. ‘Wait. Why would he want to kill us after saving us? He probably just wants to talk’, Lilian said; more to convince herself than to convince Allison. The Author had always been a very jealous lover. She knew that the chances that he would spare Allison were very slim.
‘I won’t let him do this. If he wants to kill Allison, he would have to go through me’, Lilian thought and she took a step forward and stood in front of Allison.
The Author saw the defiant look on Lilian’s face and halted his movement towards them. He turned and walked away from them. He walked a distance to where he had parked his car and drove off.
‘He’s gone. I’m not sure that I want to be home alone tonight. I’m a bit shaken. Let’s go to your place’, Lilian said. She knew that the Author would probably be watching her house, so she thought it best to stay at Allison’s place for the night.
‘She must be more scared than she’s letting on. She was acting bravely throughout’, Allison thought. He took her hand and led the way to his apartment.
The Author was still finding it difficult to believe what he had just seen. Lilian was seeing another man. ‘She was the only person I trusted. The only person I cared about. I’ve killed a lot of people because of her, yet she had the guts to betray my trust’, he thought.
‘Hey. You look so far away. I thought you said that you were going to bring your partner. Where’s he?’ Chisom asked. ‘My partner is gone. Let’s just move ahead. Tell me about the four men’, the Author said. The two men were seated at the bar of the Oceanview hotel where they were staying. ‘I don’t think so. I need to rest and you need to mourn. Let’s discuss in the morning around ten’, Chisom said. Apart from the fact that he was tired, Chisom wanted to first decide whose side he was going to take. ‘I’ll listen to Michael’s proposition tonight. If it is more favorable, I’ll betray the Author’, Chisom thought. Both men left the bar in different directions.
Lilian left Allison’s apartment, early the next morning and took a cab to her house. Before she could bring out her house key from her handbag, the front door was opened from inside.
‘Come in’, the Author said. Lilian was surprised to see the Author in her home. She walked into the house without saying a word. They both stared at each other without saying a word. After a while, the Author broke the silence.
‘The phones and wallets are on the table. I came to return them. Stay safe’, the Author said and made for the door. Lilian blocked his path. ‘Aren’t we going to talk about us?’ Lilian asked. ‘There’s no ‘us’ anymore and there’s nothing to discuss’, he replied. ‘Wait, it’s not how it seemed’, Lilian said. ‘Save your breath. I can tell that you’ve fallen for him. I saw the look of defiance on your face last night. You were willing to fight me, weaponless because of him, even when you knew that it would have certainly meant your death. Anyway, I just wanted to warn you. It turns out that the main people behind my brother’s murder are now very powerful men. I’d advice that you stay alert and always carry your weapon. Leave this country if possible. I’ll continue my mission and ensure that I avenge my brother’s murder’, the Author said. ‘Let me help you out’, Lilian offered. ‘I’m afraid that is no longer possible. I only work with people I trust. I don’t trust you anymore’, the Author said and walked out of the house.