Priest already knew that his men wouldn’t be able to get her. He had once again allowed his emotions to have the best of him. He mustn’t continue to make a fool of himself; it was time for him to start using his sixth sense. He must stop thinking like an ordinary man and allow his spiritual self to take over. Adanna must die within the next three days or he would face his doom.
She was his nemesis, his archenemy, even though she was not aware. In fact her ignorance was his greater doom.
Priest believed in the significance of opposites, Black vs. white, dark vs. light, good vs. evil and God vs. Devil. To him, just as God has the devil as his enemy and humans all have their assigned enemy, but since humans were still earthly beings, their enemies were also humans like them. Unfortunately most religious bodies make people believe God’s enemy was their enemy. But Priest believed that was a wrong teaching; to him, the God has his own enemy and humans have theirs. Adanna, Priest believed, was his assigned enemy.
Priest was a 32 years old delusional but brilliant founder of an organization called ‘The Religion’. They believed they were the one and true religion. According to him, all humans are gods on earth, a belief that had its origin from his early exposure to the bible. Priest was of the view that our main purpose for being here on earth was to face it off with our earthly enemy. This is the only way humans can be transformed into Gods of their own world after death. Yes, once one of two rivals on earth wins, he or she becomes a God in a very new world while the loser becomes the devil; the rivalry continues there but with the winner ruling endlessly with dominance over the loser.
The universe, according to him was an endless space which defines the true meaning of ‘forever’ and can contain zillions upon zillions of worlds. That meant the citizens of a new world after death would also be required to become gods of their own after death. This process continues to infinity.
This was why his preaching was centered on identifying one’s earthly enemy and killing him. They were a brotherhood that looked out for each other and helped each other kill off their enemy. Apart from preaching about love for one another, Priest’s special function in the church was to help members identify their enemies. He, in his sermon made them understand that their enemies could be their friends, neighbors or even clients at business areas. And one thing was certain; their enemy was never too far away from him for a long time.
All these knowledge he acquired through listening to his inner spirit; the small ‘yet to manifest’ god in him likewise every other individual.
“We couldn’t follow them when the car drove off, we are truly sorry for failing my Lord.” Chinedu pleaded.
Chinedu and his partner, Jack, were Priest’s special executioners; they also sometimes partook in crime together with Priest. Priest had met Chinedu in the prison on one of his evangelism while Jack was introduced to him by an old time criminal friend. They were Priest’s best choice given their intelligence and determination. Further they were both ruthless and took their calling seriously.
Like every other member of The Religion, Chinedu and Jack respected Priest and saw him as a god whose mission was to make gods out of them. He made them feel special.
Chinedu had succeeded in killing his own earthly enemy, a 23 years old final year student of Federal University of technology, Owerri. She was the daughter of his family neighbor who never liked him. Jack was yet to find his enemy but believed in Priest’s words: that he should continue to have faith.
Right now, killing Priest’s Enemy was their utmost important mission.
Priest was smiling. His executioners thought it was their fault that they couldn’t kill Adanna. He was wearing his normal white robe. Priest never associated himself with anything black except something he couldn’t help, like his skin and hair colour. The slim, average heighted and energetic preacher was dark in complexion. All his cloths were white, religious building was painted white even the chairs and all members must be dressed in white. If they were at their normal places of work, they must have something white attached to their work dress code. White was what they represented. It symbolized victory and to be victorious was their mission on earth.
“I knew it wouldn’t be possible to kill her so easily. Don’t stress yourself. In fact I should be blamed for allowing you to go out there to waste your time. I should have known better. Please forgive me.” Priest was a slow talker and his voice sounded like they were coming from a pit of intelligence. One can’t help but listen just to savoir its penetrating effect. “But I wouldn’t count your mission as a loss yet. Right now, I want to believe that there were details you got about her that could help us know her where about.” Priest was a very intuitive person and most times made right guesses. He wasn’t bothered with the fact that three nurses had been killed in the mission.
“Yes my Lord. We were able to get the registration number of the Toyota Siena that drove her off.” Jack quickly said.
“Ok, give it to me and allow me to ruminate over what next to do. I will need the whole day off, please inform all visitors that I will not be available for the rest of the day. Thank you.” He said and quickly walked into his inner chamber. He needed to make sure Adanna was dead within the next three days. Priest was convinced that if Adanna does not die before then, he would lose his own life. He must speak with his inner spirit. He will definitely find answer to his problem.
*** *** *** ***
“Yea, take a punch! Left! Right! Again! Good, good!” Chidi’s trainer screamed to his ear. “Okay, that’s enough for now, well done.
Chidi continued bouncing in the ring. He felt good. His trainer said he was improving and he was happy with the news. He jumped off the ring to join Inspector Bassey who was waiting for him. Chidi had earlier asked Bassey to wait for him if he finished his training before him.
“You are really improving, I can see you are not joking with your desire to become a boxer,” the policeman said as he waited for Chidi to clean himself up and get dressed. He had been observing his friend throw off some punches.
“It’s not that I want to become a professional boxer, I just enjoy the sports.” Chidi said as he led the policeman towards the exit of the sports centre. “How’s work?” He asked. Chidi intended to convince Officer Bassey to pick interest in Adanna’s case. He was aware that she had not been found all day.
“This city is getting crazy man. This is the only place I can locate my sanity. Chief Orji was murdered in cold blood on his way to his home at the early hours of the afternoon. And I guess you heard of a crazy young woman who murdered three nurses before escaping from City Hospital this morning.”
“Yes, I heard about Chief Orji, what a shame… he was such an upstanding man.” Chidi returned.
“That’s what we are facing my friend. The work is not an easy one, especially with the likes of the Omenka family making the job a real hell for us.” Bassey complained.
“Mhn, I don’t envy you my brother. But how far have you guys gone with the investigation on Chief’s murder? Any lead yet?”
“Well, I shouldn’t be telling you anything about the case for now. But as my friend, I can tell you that the arrow points to the Omenka’s. And that makes the investigation a more difficult one. You understand what I mean?”
Chidi understood quite alright. Bassey never stopped complaining about the Omenka family. They were really a threat to his profession. “How about the case of the three dead nurses? Any information on the suspect’s where about?”
“None yet, and the difficult part is that no one knows her identity. Nothing about her was known before she left this morning because she was obviously not in touch with reality yesterday when she was brought in.” Bassey replied hopelessly.
“I agree with you, the town is indeed going crazy,” Chidi thoughtfully concurred. “You know my neighbor at my workshop has been missing for almost 24hours now?”
“Wow, male or female?” the cop asked.
“Female, she is the elder sister to Nkiru, my crush.”
“Ahh, ok, but are you sure she is missing? It could be one of these girlish trips. Have the situation been reported?”
“No… Yes but Nkiru was asked to wait until 24hours elapses. I am a little bit surprised myself; she isn’t the type that makes such trip without her sister’s knowledge. Besides I heard she actually went to the saloon to retouch her hair on Sunday evening. It has been confirmed that she actually reached the saloon but never got home,” Chidi explained.
“That is weird… okay, just give me her description, I will open a file once I get to the office right now.”
Chidi quickly gave his police friend Adanna’s description. They reached Bassey’s car. “That is okay, I will see what I can do and I will definitely give you a call once something comes up.
“Thank you very much. See you tomorrow.”
Chidi quickly walked up to his Toyota Camry, got inside and drove off. He couldn’t help but pray that Adanna was alright.
*** *** *** ***
“Hello, can you hook me up with Doctor Samuel please?” Daniel spoke into his mobile phone. He was sitting in his comfortable brown leather seat that stood distinct in his shabby apartment. The strange lady was sleeping on his bed in the bedroom which was equally shabby.
They had gotten home and Daniel had quickly prepared the last Indomie Noodles that remained in its carton; something he had overlooked before leaving house this morning with intention to never come back.
He had been keen enough to observe her reaction to his unkempt home, but something happening in her head needed more attention than the condition of his home.
She had laid down on the bed obviously suffering from a severe headache and had barely stood straight to eat the meal he gave her.
He was sure she needed immediate medical attention, and the only person he could remember was his Doctor friend, Samuel. He prayed that Samuel would forget his actions in the past and come to his aid.
“Please who should I inform him is calling?” Came a smooth female voice which Daniel guessed was his secretary.
“Tell him it’s Daniel, Daniel Ikoha.”
“Alright, please hold while I inform him.”
Daniel didn’t have to wait for long. Samuel came online within forty seconds.
“Daniel, how are you?” Samuel asked. The surprised note in his voice wouldn’t go unnoticed even for a deaf person. “You remembered me today.”
Daniel had avoided everyone he knew in recent times. He had avoided concerned friends who had tried their best to help him get over the demise of his wife and daughter. Samuel was the closest friend he had and he had taken more of the heat. Daniel started seeing him as a hindrance to his delicate plan only because he had confided in him. This had caused a friction between them.
“I seriously need your help now,” that was the only thing he could mumble. He couldn’t just apologize for avoiding his friend all these while.
“Are you okay?” the doctor asked in a concerned tune this time around.
“I have a sick lady here in my house; I will need you to examine her for me.” Daniel replied hastily.
“Why don’t you bring her to my clinic? From the way you sound, she must be in a critical condition.”
“Yes, but for some reasons, I can’t bring her to the clinic. Please, I will explain when you come around.”
“How do I locate you then?” Samuel asked, remembering once again how Daniel had avoided him. He had been unaware of his friend’s current home address after he had moved out of the house he shared with his wife and kids after their demise.
“House 192, Areal N, World Bank Housing Estate.”
*** *** *** ***
Daniel stood by his side and observed as the doctor examined the female patient in his house. He asked her few questions and allowed her to continue lying down while he motioned Daniel to join him in the sitting room.
“You know this environment is not healthy for you right?” Dr. Samuel said. Looking at his friend, he could see that he had actually changed. There was an uncomfortable hardness that surrounded his eyes and they spelt nothing but determination. He was quite lean which wasn’t surprising to Samuel; he was sure Daniel wasn’t feeding well. He felt both concerned and pity for his friend. And now he wondered what Daniel was doing with the sick lady.
“What is wrong with her?” Daniel couldn’t look his friend directly in the eyes. He also didn’t have anything to say about his shabby home. All his concerns for now were for the lady in his bedroom. She had suddenly become a burden to him, something he had not prepared for but somehow couldn’t avoid seeing her as his responsibility.
Samuel sighed deeply. Another change he noticed in his friend was his new found taciturn nature. This was really unlike Daniel of the past. “She is suffering from amnesia. Something traumatic happened to her which had led her into a state of memory loss. After close examination, I am sure her situation is as a result of a recent hit on her head. The bruises are obvious and this is responsible for the constant headache.” He explained.
“Is she in danger of any kind?”
“She definitely needs medical attention. She could be bleeding inside. I mean, if the hit was hard enough to cause her memory loss, there could be other damages that are not observable except we run some test… who is she?”
“I don’t know who she is. She was escaping from some hoodlums when she ran into my car asking for help. I helped her and now she is stuck with me.” Daniel said.
“Well, you can help her further by bringing her to the clinic. Staying here will do her no good.” Dr. Samuel was the owner of ‘Our Saviour’s Clinic’ a small clinic along MCC road.
“She made me promise not to take her anywhere. The fact is that she has been accused of killing three hospital staff and now she is wanted by both the police and the hoodlums.”
“Why are you allowing yourself to get into this? This could be too dangerous for you and you could get yourself into trouble with the law.” Samuel explained. “How are we sure that she is innocent of what she’s being accused of? I heard the news this morning.”
“She is not guilty, I saw those two men chasing her. They looked more dangerous than anyone I have seen lately.” He paused, “I have decided to help her.”
“Then do this by bringing her to the clinic, you mustn’t also get involved with the men who tried to harm her.”
“Tell me about amnesia, do you think there is any chance she could regain her memory soonest?” Daniel inquired, not wanting to be persuaded by the doctor to do anything she wouldn’t like.
Samuel sat up straight in preparation for a long speech, “there are two main type of amnesia, the retrograde amnesia which is the inability to retrieve information stored in the brain before the date of accident or trauma. Then there is anterograde amnesia which is the inability to transfer new information from the short-term memory into the long term memory. Sometimes these two types could occur together. I think your lady friend is suffering from the former.
Now, amnesic patients have been discovered to have suffered damage to their medial temporal lope or specific areas of the hippocampus. The fact now is that I can’t determine the extent of the damage without running important tests.”
“Like I said, hospitals are generally ruled out. Can’t you just prescribe a drug that can help reduce the headache and even help her recover her memory soonest?” Daniel was already feeling that the lady’s case was beyond help given the long explanation by the doctor.
“I can prescribe general drugs but that’s no guarantee that she will recover her memory soonest, it is also not a guarantee that she will be in good health, hence her life may still be at risk. Most amnesic patients take time to recover; some never even recover at all. This is not eliminating the possibility of a short term recovery. But taking patients to areas familiar with them have proven to be helpful in most successful cases.”
“Wow, I don’t even have idea of areas or anyone she is familiar with.” Daniel cried.
“Yes you also run the risk of losing her to internal bleeding or having her brain damaged if professional treatment is not given to her.” Samuel injected.
‘No! She is going nowhere.”
Samuel was taken aback by this outburst. “Alright, I will try the best I can to help the both of you. Give me a piece of paper.”
Daniel quickly tore out a piece from a note book lying carelessly on the floor and gave it to the doctor.
Samuel brought out his pen and wrote down the names of required drugs. “Buy them and make sure she takes them this night. It will help reduce the headache, but if there are further damages to her brain that could be life threatening, I honestly don’t know. I will come and check her up in the morning.”
“Thank you very much,” Daniel said and stretched his hand to collect the piece of paper. They both stood up. “Can I ask you for a favor?”
“I will need some money; I don’t have anything on me now so…”
“That is okay,” Samuel dipped his hands in his pocket and counted five thousand naira. “This will do for now, I will get you some more tomorrow. He couldn’t hesitate lending his help despite the loss of communication for sometime because both have come a long way. They were good buddies and he wouldn’t wish even his enemy what his friend had passed through two years ago.
Daniel thanked the doctor as he left. He closed his door and walked into the bedroom.
She was sleeping peacefully.
Daniel stared at her for some time. She might be in trouble with the law or whoever, but there was a calmness about her that intrigued Daniel.
It was peace.
Then he admired her features. She was beautiful or at least admirable with full lips that reminded him of Meagan Good’s, a lady he had seen in a foreign movie that he watched recently and admired. Her sleeping face reminded him of a room with her neat dark hair like the beautiful expensive roof a luxurious mansion.
Why would anyone want to hurt her?
He looked at his wrist watch. It was almost 8pm. He’d better rush off to the chemist and get the drugs for her. Quickly, he dashed out of the building.
*** *** *** ***
Chidi couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened to Adanna. And the imagination of Nkiru’s pain was almost unbearable for him. How will the poor girl cope in such a terrible situation?
He had just finished doing 50 pushups which had cause his biceps to swell and thicken making it difficult for him to stretch his hand and take the can of star beer in the fridge.
His two bedroom apartment was immaculately furnished with expensive up to date furniture. The touch in the room was the handwork of one of the best interior decorators in Owerri, a touch that had a special appeal to his visitors, especially the ladies.
He had asked one of his flings who wanted to spend the night with him not to come again, lying that he wouldn’t be coming home tonight.
Nkiru was worried and so should he. To him, spending the night with another lady despite her pain was quite unfair to her. She didn’t need to return his love for him to feel their hearts beat simultaneously.
A movie series was showing on DSTV but Chidi couldn’t concentrate.
He decided he would go to the police station first thing tomorrow morning and ensure the missing person case is looked into in the early hours of the day.
He was almost dozing off right there in his sitting room when his mobile phone rang. Startled by the sound, he immediately stretched his left hand and picked up the mobile phone. He picked the call without checking the caller ID.
“Hello,” he mumbled.
“Chidi, you sound like you’ve been sleeping.” The caller said.
Chidi immediately came back to life. Bassey’s distinct cop voice was all he needed to be wild awake. “Don’t mind me, I will have to cut down on excess food, it is making me get lazy.”
“Well, I have news for you. The description of your crush’s sister fits that of the lady accused of killing three nurses this morning. Thought I should tell you because we will be talking to Nkiru tomorrow morning. We will need to get more information about her sister.”
“Adanna? That can’t be possible. Adanna cannot hurt a fly. Are you sure the description match?”
“As sure as I am that I am a man. We will talk more in the morning. Take care.”
What a strange information, Chidi thought. He was almost sure that his police friend had gotten some things mixed up somewhere.
Well, with this info, he was going to approach Nkiru and make some enquiry before the police speak with her in the morning.
He finished up the remaining can of beer and went straight to sleep.
Author’s contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 08027410988