All New… Old Soldier
Chijioke crept down the corridor to the door at the end of it, it had been two weeks since he and Ada came to spend the holiday at Grand pa and Grand ma’s place and in that time, he had explored all the rooms in the one storey apartment, that smelt of old people. That was according to his loquacious six year old sister. He had particular enjoyed exploring his grand father’s room; it was usually locked but on that day, he had left it open and Jioke; as his grand parents called him, had, had a field day.
His grand father’s room was a gold mine, of particular interest was the dusty, over crowded drawer by his rather sturdy bed, that contained old pictures of his father. Chijioke chuckled as he perused the old polaroid pictures, he had never seen his father with so much hair and look at those trouser, he was certain that he and his kid sister would fit perfectly in one of the legs. He took one of the pictures and stuck it into his pocket, Ada and he were going to have a big laugh about this.
As he made to leave the room, something caught his eyes, something shiny hidden behind a mountain of old dusty newspaper. He reached behind them, tugged a little, it was stuck, he pulled again and it did not bulge. He clasped the metal handle in his hands and pulled and this time, the shiny object pulled free to reveal a sword, much like those he had seen in the movies.
He unsheathed it and proceeded to make slashing sounds as he waved the sword around, just like his hero ninjas in his favorite cartoons.
“Hiya!!” He grunted, as he feigned a kick and just then, the door burst open.
“Chijioke!!!” His grand mother only called him that when he was in trouble, “will you get out of here with immediate effect before I whoop your behind.” She spat out in her thick Igbo accent. “Anu ofia, go and play with your sister outside.” She tapped the nine year old on the head as he walked pass her.
That was a couple of days ago and now he was headed down the no-go-area he had been warned off of. Chijioke wanted to know what lay behind the door he had seen his grandfather often disappear into for hours. He imagined it would contain treasures untold from when his grandpa was a boy, even though he could not imagine him as one.
He reached the door, his anticipation building up, he twisted the door handle and pushed it open and it gave away without a sound. The door was heavy, so he leaned his shoulder into it and pushed, just as he was about to lay eyes on his finds, a gruff voice called out his name.
“Bia Chijioke!!! How many times will I tell you never to go into that room, are you deaf or something?! Come, get out of here before I get my cane. You should learn to mind your business, young man.” The old man’s voice trailed the boy as he scurried away from the corridor.
“Kids of today have no respect, they never listen.” The old man grumbled under his voice as he proceeded into the room and locked himself in.
Chijioke sat outside on the terrace of his grand parents one storey apartment, watching Ada build sand castles, he was too old to do that now, his mother always said as much but he wondered why his grandparents looked at him as if he were still a kid. His roving eyes went to the huge house at the end of the street with its huge gate that looked like it led to a castle, he supposed the house itself was a castle of some sort. He counted the cars in the vast compound; five!!! That was three more than they had. He wondered what other marvelous finds would be inside the huge house and wished he could go on there. His grand mother had once told him that the owners kids were all grown up and had moved out of the house denting his plans of befriending one of them in a ruse to get a look at the house. The White Castle as resident of Hilob close called it, was one of the best things about the close.
The big black SUV glided down the tarred road, the only testament of its movement, the sound of gravel crunching underneath the weight of its equally huge tires.
It came to a stop in front of the huge gate at the end of Hilob close, the driver honked the horn twice and the gates departed as the car disappeared behind it.
An elegantly dressed man stepped out of the car and headed towards the open hands of an equally elegantly dressed woman waiting at the door, while the driver parked the car.
“How was your day darling?” Linda Oforka asked her husband as she took his brief case.
“It was just fine, in fact it was better than fine. It was great.” He replied beaming.
“Wow, tell me about it.” she continued
“Well remember that contract I did for the government a while ago, the one were I was owed about 700,000 dollars? Well, they have promised to pay the full sum tomorrow. I feel so elated, now I can settle my other partners and move on to other things.” He said genuinely relieved.
“That is great news, my prayer definitely worked oh! You would not know how much I prayed for them to release that money. We should go for a thanksgiving on Sunday, what do you think?”
“That is a great idea. So how was your day?” Mr. Gabriel Oforka asked as he began to undress.
“My goods finally arrived from Dubai, I had Sulaiman bring them to the house, tomorrow, I will take them to the boutique myself. I don’t want my staff manhandling them.”
“Seems we both had a productive day.” Mr. Oforka said, to which his wife nodded. He looked at his wife, she looked just as beautiful as the night he had first seen her at that party.
They had been married for Thirty-four years and were blessed with three lovely kids, the last of whom just got married and now they were all alone in this huge mansion and it was beginning to get lonely.
Linda had often spoken of retiring to their hometown or at least home state, to start afresh but he wasn’t just ready to make that drop. He still had a couple more years in him before he could think of retiring. He had suggested they took a trip abroad, maybe visit Rome, so they could go see the Basilica, as they had dreamed as a young married couple but had never found the time. Maybe now was the time. “Honey, what do you think of us finally making good of our plans and traveling to Italy?”
“Rome?!” His wife’s face lit up.
He nodded. She screamed in excitement and came to hug him. “I will love to. When do we leave?”
“Soon, let me finish up with the contract settlement and begin plans on our trip.”
“Oh thank you.” Linda said burying her head in her husband’s chest.
Michael got out of his car, his phone between his ear and shoulder and went to shut the gate, all the time still talking to the person on the other end of the line. He opened the door to his opulent one bedroom apartment and plopped down onto a couch.
“So babe, how about we go catch a movie, I hear the movie 76 is in the cinemas.” What ever the person at the other end said caused him to chuckle. “Okay maybe after we could go back to my place and I can make you dinner and see where the evening goes from there? Okay it is a date then.” He hung up soon after.
Pretty Mike as his friend called him, was an accomplished man at his age. He earned triple figures working as a media strategist for Orange, a brand management company. As his nickname suggested, he was quite a handsome young man and used that to his advantage, a notorious womanizer and never hid his appetite for them. He was in a serious relationship with Rita and loved her but not enough to desist from other women. At the moment, he was “programming” Atinuke, a member of the delegation from a start up company that Orange was supposed to run a brand campaign for.
Atinuke stood at about 5 feet 6 inches and had the body of a model, her full figure were complimented by a full breast and well rounded romps. She had those eyes that were filled with mischief and innocence at the same time, her best feature though was her smile that was caressed by her thin lips and revealed her sparkly teeth. When she walked she did so with a feline grace, Mike felt his blood grow hot as he thought of his new catch.
Tomorrow could not come any sooner, it was a good thing Rita was out of town, he would have all the time in the world to discover the mystery that was Atinuke.
Hilob close, named after the construction company responsible for creating the road networks in the vast estate, the close contained about fifteen buildings the biggest of which was the Oforkas, it had only one entrance in and out which was shut everyday at 10PM. Hilob close was located inside Sunlight estate in one of the most opulent parts of Abuja. Its residents were mostly six figure earners and industry barons so it was no surprise that it was a gated community with tight security. They were not heavily armed but they were very thorough.
The Chief of Security for Sunlight Estate was Yinka Ojo, originally from neighboring Kogi state but had lived all his life in Abuja. His wife had just given birth to their third child and it was already making him rethink his career options, he was tired of catering to the needs and whims of over pampered and pompous residents. The pay was good, no doubt but it was not worth the trouble. But he could not afford to quit this job at least not yet anyway, especially as the economy was going down the drain fast and everyday the things he could do with his hitherto lump salary was dwindling.
He was still contemplating his predicament when one of the other security personnel burst into his office.
“Oga trouble dey oh!”
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