There on my computer screen was Prisca’s naked body splayed on the bed, with an old man beside her, and the caption, oh God the caption… “The truth behind Lagos runs girl turned Blogger”. I could not even bring myself to read it, I just scrolled to the end and I was not surprised to see Banke’s name appended at the bottom. I was confused, so Prisca was a runs girl? And she had told me her parents were rich, so the money she has is really hers, but gotten from doing runs, sleeping with rich old men for money? I got up and paced my office, things were beginning to get hot, and it really was time for me to get to those investigators. I quietly left the office, but I felt like I was being followed. I turned and saw a man dressed in black from head to toe, he was just standing and looking somewhere else, but I could see his attention was on me even though he was looking somewhere else. So I did a test, I walked into a nearby restaurant and sat in a hidden booth farther inside. I watched as the man in black walked into the restaurant and began to glance everywhere like he was looking for something, he was obviously looking for me. I saw a door that probably led to the back of a restaurant, I got up and bending low, I left the restaurant through that door. The door led to a backyard which seemed like the cooking area, the cooks gave me wry looks as I walked past them in a hurry. I came out on the road and hailed a Taxi, I was going to meet the female investigator first.
I got to the office building where she does business from; it was one of those upscale office buildings in Lagos, with glass walls, shiny reflective floors and steel door elevators.
Leke: “Hello, how do I get to B and B P.I services?” I asked the chic looking receptionist. The demon in me almost asked her out. She was really beautiful, with long shapely legs that I could see from under her desk.
Receptionist: “Take the elevator to the fifth floor, it’s the first office on your left” she said in a melodious voice.
Leke: “You are beautiful by the way” I said, I couldn’t help it, I had to tell her. She smiled in response without saying a word; I guess she was being professional. I reached the front door of B and B P.I services and paused. It looked like opening the door was a big step I was taking, and it was because things were progressing into another stage, soon I would put a case against Nora and get restitution for all she had taken from me. I opened the door and went in. Benita who I had spoken with on phone, was a big woman, she was huge even while sitting down.
Benita: “How old are you?” she asked the moment I stepped into the office.
Leke: “Do you want the real age or the football age?” I asked with a straight face, even as she bubbled with laughter.
Benita: “I want the real age”
Leke: “I am 16, but I am an orphan, I have no legal guardian, but it is safe to say am emancipated”
Benita: “Let me hear from you, what exactly you want?” she asked looking intently at me. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did a course in psychology and was already psychoanalyzing me. I told her my story, and what I wanted done, I also gave her the evidence I had at hand and what I wanted her to find out about Nora. She gave me her bills and I used the whole money in my bank account to pay. I was left with the only five thousand naira in my pocket. But when I thought of Nora paying for all she did, it was all worth it. As I was about to leave, Benita stopped me with her voice which always had an authority to it.
Benita: “There is something I will like to share to you” she said, I walked back to her desk, and it dawned on me that she was going to preach, she already had a big bible open.
Leke: “I don’t have time for this; I have got to get back to the office, concentrate on the job at hand and leave my spirituality out of it” I said curtly and left the office without looking back. I had almost decided to use the other P.I I saw, but I was not ready to sacrifice professionalism on the altar of my needs. I believed that she would stick to the wishes of her client.
On my way back to the office, I kept pondering on the man in black that was tailing me, who had put him on my tail, who was monitoring me, and why? It was confusing to me because, I felt no one knew me, the alias I use “Mikhail” is an inconsequential person, the only two people affected by his existence is Banke and Prisca, no one else cared if I lived or died, so who was following me, could it be Banke? I thought. When the thought of her intruded my mind, it caused a great anger in me, I wanted to do something that would hurt her badly, but my hands were tied. Even if she was no longer helping, only she was privy to the undercover job I had been doing. If she exposed m e, I would be kicked out of my mother’s company, and I might not get the chance to uncover the things I wanted to uncover. But when the time was ripe, I would hurt Banke badly, I promised myself. I slipped out my phone and dialed Prisca, she responded immediately it rang.
Prisca: “Leave me alone, haven’t you guys had enough news, yes I was a runs girl, come and beat me!” she yelled angrily into the phone, obviously she did not check the caller before she responded. It was also obvious that she was under a lot of pressure from paparazzi and the press community.
Leke: “Prisca darling, it is Mikhail” I said and the phone went quiet, I thought she had hung up, but I checked, the call was still on. When I almost spoke, she began to talk, in a less emotional tone; in fact, her voice was flat and dead.
Prisca: “I curse the day I met you at the gym, you have destroyed my life”
Leke: “Prisca, why are you not looking on the bright side of this, any press, good or bad is good for your blogging business. Did you check your views since this story broke? Why not rise from the ashes like the phoenix. You are just nineteen; you have a whole long stretch to make up for your wrongs. Tomorrow is not promised; why not start now, instead of wallowing in pity. Banke wants to destroy you, but her success or failure depends on you” I said in a calm tone. I loved her regardless of what she had done in the past and where she had been.
Prisca: “Thank you, but don’t ever call me again. Ever” she said with such finality that it sent a wave of coldness to my heart.
Leke: “If that’s your wish, I will obey it” I said and hung up immediately. I might love her, but I was not going to crawl on the floor and beg her. After all, she knew I was dating Banke at the time, she started seeing me, she was not even sleeping with me, so why was she feeling like I took her virginity and ran away. Ooops, she doesn’t have any virginity to her. I was momentarily angry at her. Just as I dropped the call, my phone rang, it was Mary, I received the call. Mary told me her nephew knew someone, and I didn’t waste time in getting the details, I rushed to the address.
It was on the main land, in the ghetto part of Agege, where the danfos were rickety and stank, and the roads were red sand, with big potholes that could spoil a car. I was sweating profusely by the time I alighted from the danfo, my shirt stained with the dust from the danfo.
I navigated the street to a compound which had fallen into squalor. The stink from the toilet at the front of the compound was very pervasive. I walked up to a young girl who was plaiting the hair of another young girl.
Leke: “Ku ise o” I greeted, and the girls responded, “I dey look for Femi” I said in English accented pidgin.
Girl: “Oh broda Femi? Go straight then turn go right, you go see am for outside” she said, I thanked her, and walked through the face-me-i-face-you compound, holding my breath so I wouldn’t breathe in the odious smell. I met with Femi, whom Mary had directed me to and within minutes I had a national identity card in the person of “Mikhail Samoa” with parents “Bella Samoa” and “Koffi Samoa”. So if anybody was to search for me on the internet, that was the information they would get. This guy was good, from his cubicle sized room at the back of the compound, armed with his laptop and set of Trojans, he could hack into any site, even the National Identity Commission, I paid him and left, satisfied that my alias was secured.
I rushed into the office to complete the last set of prototypes, so I could submit to Kunmi before I left for home, she was always the last to leave the office and the first to arrive, she was that dedicated, and I made a note to self, that when I got back my mother’s company, I would make her the chief executive officer, she would help me take the company to where I wanted it. After I was done with the prototypes which did not take up more than thirty minutes because I had started it before leaving the office, I walked towards Kunmi’s office to hand over to her, but I heard voices in Nora’s office. I could hear Kunmi, and I was about moving ahead, when I heard Banke’s voice.
Leke: “What would Banke be discussing with Nora and Kunmi?” I asked no one but myself. My eyes widened as snippets of the conversation began to filter out to me.
Nora: “You must not let him know we are on to him, because I am not done with my investigations”
Banke: “I cannot keep on pretending, he disgusts me with his lies and deceits”
Nora: “I paid you handsomely for this, so you have to see it through. I was not there when you decided to be sleeping with him, so you cannot tell me now that you cannot stand him” she said sternly.
Kunmi: “I am not comfortable with this, this is getting out of hand. I don’t want my sister mixed up in this whole mess”
Nora: “But she got herself involved when she agreed to spy on me, the only option aside this, is jail. I will sue her for espionage” she replied Kunmi, and I heard her chair make a scrapping sound, she had gotten up, signaling the end of the meeting. I rushed back into my office, left the prototypes on the table and left the office in a hurry.
Leke: “Two can play this game” I said furiously. I Slipped out my phone and called the private Investigator.
Leke: “I want twenty four hours surveillance on the subject. I want to know everything she does, who she meets, who she talks to. I want to start receiving reports from tomorrow” I said authoritatively into the phone, I was paying good money, so I deserved thorough work. Things had to move fast, it was only a matter of time before Nora discovers my true identity.
Leke: “I know what i have to do” I said to myself as I made my way home.
Question:What will Adeleke do next?
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