At the end of the last episode, Humphrey sent to eliminate Olivier by Tony is face to face with Olivier. If you are not following the story, I assure you, you are missing a lot. You can start the story here, very short direct episodes they are. If you are already in the wagon with Olivier let’s continue…
‘May I come in?’ Humphrey said and winked.
‘Iyke is not around,’ Olivier managed to say through laboured breath. Her stomach was churning with fright, life had left her legs so that it seemed she was standing on air, on nothing.
Humphrey took a step forward. ‘I came to see you not Iyke, my sweet.’
Olivier hastily moved back as he lifted another ominous leg up. She collapsed on a sofa when he entered the room and shut the door behind him. He placed his bag on the floor at the foot of the table and reduced his lanky frame on the opposite sofa.
‘Who are you?’ Olivier asked, relieved to break the silence but sure the answer would be as perilous as the silence.
Humphrey laughed with dry mirth. ‘I am a friend of your friend.’
Olivier stopped breathing, now she remembered the dream—Tony on speedboat, grinning, she and Iyke on water, drowning. She concluded that she was on the threshold of death. ‘You will kill me?’
Humphrey laughed again. ‘Your sense of drama is so large, sweetheart.’ He rose to his feet, walked to Olivier and came to a stop on her feet. ‘You are a succulent girl, hihihihihihihi. We can make each other happy, my girl. Hihihi, why not?’
Olivier shut her eyes tight. If he touches me I am going to die, she was telling herself. Not again, God please take my life, I can’t live through this. His rough hand landed on her lap, like the cold trough of a snake. Olivier died over and over again but death refused to take her life. She was frozen and could have passed for a sculpture if not for the stream of tears rolling down her eyes. Humphrey’s hand was now on her breast, fondling when Iyke opened the door.
‘Who are you and what are you doing to her?’ Iyke demanded.
Olivier came back to life, revived by the assured voice of Iyke.
Humphrey hissed. ‘You must be Iyke.’
‘What are you doing to her?’ the tiger was ready to pounce on the kitten and tear it into flesh, tendons and bones.
Humphrey brought out a pistol cupped with a silencer as Iyke charged forward. ‘Take another step, boy and I blast your head off.’
Iyke stopped, looked at the barrel of the pistol then at Humphrey’s face then back to the pistol. ‘You may shoot me ten times over but I won’t let you molest the poor girl.’
‘Yes Romeo, the poor girl yet you live with her. I will like to be in your shoes myself protecting the ‘‘poor’’ girl.’ Humphrey had the gun aimed at the other’s face.
Olivier rose to her feet. She quietly grabbed the table; it was heavy, pure mahogany.
‘Man, you are trespassing, go away,’ Iyke was saying
Olivier lifted the table up.
‘Only fools argue with the gun,’ Humphrey said.
Olivier was consumed with so much repugnance and vengefulness. All the bottled hatreds for Tony, her step-mother, Taju, Suleimon, Jimoh, Tolani and Okoro came gushing into her head in a mad rush, strengthening her bones with devilish energy; her hatreds, all towards Humphrey, the scape-goat at hand. Her love for Iyke and the desire to save him gave her aim lethal precision. Such was her power that when the table landed on the back of Humphrey’s head he fell on his knees without a sound and spread limp like strangulated chicken, his head gushing a stream of blood.
‘Bastard,’ Olivier cursed, but she didn’t see Humphrey. She saw her pains at the deceit and betrayal of Tony, her helplessness as the street men defiled her one after the other, the mutilated baby in her womb, her timeless agony and eternal scar; she lifted the table above her head and landed it yet again on Humphrey’s head. ‘Fool!’ Her eyes were shining like wild lamps lit by the bliss of vengeance; she lifted the table again but Iyke grabbed it.
‘Stop it! Come on dear, stop, pleas-se!’
‘He wanted to rape me.’ Iyke held tight to the table and she let him have it.
Iyke put the table aside and knelt down, he felt Humphrey’s pulse then shook his head.
‘What is it?’
‘He is dead.’
‘He wanted to kill you.’ Olivier wasn’t sorry.
‘I hope I am a normal human being,’ Olivier said.
‘Why?’ Iyke asked.
She sighed. ‘I just killed someone and I am normal. Don’t feel any remorse.’
They were seated on the sofas facing each other with Humphrey’s body wrapped in white shroud lying between them like an unwanted present.
‘You didn’t kill him; it was self-defence.’
She looked at Iyke with hard eyes. ‘I am a murderer, self-defence or not!’
‘I could have killed him myself.’
‘But you didn’t. I killed him.’
‘He asked for it.’ Olivier made to talk but Iyke didn’t let her. He rose to his feet. ‘I am off to Ojo’s place.’
‘Who is Ojo?’ she also rose up.
‘The guy whose car we will use to depose of this body.’
‘I am going with you.’
He placed a hand on hers. ‘No you won’t, you will stay here.’
‘I won’t stay here, with this thing.’
‘But you need to stay out of sight. Tony and his cronies might be on the look-out for you.’
‘I just can’t stay here with this body.’
Iyke hugged her. ‘My dear, he is lifeless, he can’t hurt you. I have to go alone for haste.’
‘I can’t stay here.’
‘What if we take the body to the next room and lock it in there?’ Iyke asked.
‘What if Tony or his friends come here in your absence?’
Iyke handed her Humphrey’s gun. ‘We will lock the front door. Don’t open until you hear my voice. If they break the door, threaten them with the gun.’
‘What if they think I am bluffing?’
‘Shoot them. When I come back we will wrap them up and carry them off as well.’
‘That is too cold, Iyke!’
‘That is necessary, Olive. I have to go now. I won’t be long.’
They hugged again and Olivier held him tight. ‘I am sorry for making you pass through these problems.’
‘It is nothing, dear. I have been looking for such an opportunity to live for someone. I have always lived a selfish worthless life, now I am glad to live for the purpose of doing someone else some good. It is the only life worth living.’
They stayed hugged for a lifetime. Then, ‘Let’s take the body inside.’
Iyke held the shoulders and Olivier the feet. It was so heavy, Olivier felt she was carrying a car engine, and her waist was on the verge of snapping off by the time they placed the body in the next room.
Iyke locked the inner room, pecked Olivier on the cheek and locked the front door after him. He was gone; Olivier felt extreme wind of loneliness blowing her. She collapsed on a sofa as tears flowed ceaselessly, meeting at her jaw and dripping on her body. She held the gun on her lap like a child would hold a computer game she was crossed with, waiting, crying, waiting.
Tony was walking short circles in his room. It was now ten hours since Tony had called Humphrey to wish him good luck. Now, Humphrey’s number was switched off. Something must have gone wrong, something was definitely wrong. Could it be that the plan had gone sour and Humphrey had been arrested? He smiled, ruefully, that was impossible. But wasn’t he wasting time? Couldn’t he find out what was amiss and be ready? Yes, he could find out, he would go to the address Humphrey told him and check. Or was he worrying for nothing? Humphrey was an expert and shouldn’t have problems with settling the small case of Olivier, a mere girl. Or could it be that Olivier had tickled his lust and he was having good time with her?
That was it, Tony affirmed as a boiling anger rose from his toes, tore through his body, burning intestines, kidneys, heart and lungs to his face, contorting into a grotesque mass. ‘The swine,’ Tony cursed as he made for the wardrobe. The swine was having it out with Olivier, his Olivier! He wouldn’t allow that, he would teach the swine not to double-cross again. Even when he wanted Olivier dead, Tony couldn’t stop himself from the claws of jealousy at the thought of Humphrey sleeping with her.
It was late but he would still get to the address. Nothing would stop him!
It was raining heavily, a celestial release of torrents choked at intervals by jeers of thunder. One a.m., Iyke and Olivier stood before the corpse.
‘I can carry this alone,’ Iyke said.
‘No, we do it together.’
‘You can’t do this,’ Iyke said. ‘The car is far off, you will be drenched before we get to it.’
‘Then let’s wait for the rain to stop.’
‘No, we must do it now, with the rain no one should be outside.’
‘I will do it,’ she said stubbornly.
‘Are you sure you can do this?’ Iyke asked.
‘If not, I can carry it alone—’
‘I will help.’
‘I will help!’
So they carried the corpse outside where the angry rain drenched them within seconds. The car was parked some twenty metres from Iyke’s door. Olivier crashed her end of the corpse just before the gutter as she stretched up her battered waist, breathing through the mouth and nostrils. Iyke stood under the whip of the water, watching her; he shook his head in compassion. He would have to carry the body alone, even if he had to drag it on the wet ground, he would do it alone; he wouldn’t let her pass through this labour. He bent on the body and stopped as a powerful torchlight blinded him.
‘What cargo are you guys carrying?’
Olivier, her heart paralysed with fear and Iyke, braved for the worst blinked at the voice behind the torchlight. Even the rain paused to watch.
‘The police?’ Olivier gasped.
‘Worse than the police,’ came the metallic reply. ‘It’s your friend Tony.’
Tweets to @oke4chukwu