He stares down at the woman he bumped right into, catching her and holding her steady before she hits the ground. He stares down at her dark-screened eyes, she had on all black.
”I..i am sorry i didn’t see you” He says lifting her upwards and stepping away from her
”You should watch where you are going okay, i would have landed hard on the floor” She adjusts herself and then stares back at him
”You didn’t, my reflexes are quite good. My apologies”
”That’s fine” She says walking away
He turns and stares at her briefly before turning and exiting the building. Entering his car he looks at he passenger in his front seat ”You are going home Kid” He says to the boy and then zooms away.
”Yes Miss?” The lady dressed in a police uniform nods.
”My name is Anikka Aviella Thomas George” She offers to the officer who is staring at her questionably.
”’How can i help you?”
”I would like to speak to the chief of police please”
”Why Ma’am, is there a problem i can help you with? If you want to file a report or report an incident i would just give you a form to fill out and then you wait over there. I would get to you”
”No i do not want to file a report or wait. i would like to speak to the chief of police about the death of my father”
”And your father is?”
”Benjamin Thomas George, he was buried yesterday out at the groove elementary . He is-”
”The man everyone keeps singing praises about”
They turn to find a man smiling at her ”Miss Anikka Thomas George” He comes to her, shaking her hands ”I will take it from here. Do you not whose daughter she is? ” he queries the officer who looked curious , he touches Anikka by the elbow and ushers her away ”Do not mind the officer, she is a new recruit, she does not know how important that name is. Come, we would discuss in my office. Good i came out just then, i was on my way for lunch with the wife, but that can wait. How are you?” He closes his office door behind him and pulls out a chair for her to seat ”Can i offer you anything Miss?”
”I am fine, considering. And no thank you, i am fine. This is not a tea visit Mr..?”
‘Mr Geti Richards”
”Mr Richards, i am here specifically about my father”
He nods ”He was a great man, a great man,. I am sorry for your loss. If there is anything the police can do for you, we would, all you have to do is state it. I am sorry, i did not see you with anyone” He observes.
”Yes, thank you for your concern. I need information and i would get to it in a minute. See me with anyone how?” She inquires.
”Security detail. This city is not so calm on most days, a person of your prestige and being who your father is, you should not be walking around the streets without any form of security.”
”My father never liked those”
”Well, your father do not understand that this are perilous times and he is a man, able to defend himself. You on the other hand is a beautiful woman in her prime, new to the city. You do not want to be in places you are not familiar with and no escort . Do not worry, i would assign you security, maybe five?”
”Five, whatever for.?” she exclaims.
”Okay, Ten? Ten would do”
”No, i do not need them.”
”Anikka is fine”
”You do not know who your father is here do you? He was like a president, a great man. While alot of people may have loved him, there might be a few who do not. Like Jesus of Nazareth, you heard about him, you read about him in the bible? Those who he loves were the ones who betrayed him. So, i would not allow a man who have done so much for me and my family and for others to have his daughter walking round the city without protection, God forbid if something were to happen to you”
”Like my father?”
He pauses ”What do you mean. Your father died from a plane crash. God rest his soul”’
”I believe Mr Richards that my father was killed”
He sits up ”How do you think so?”
”Well, i have just come to know that several attempts were made on his life prior before his death, is this news or this information is old and stale?”
He stares at her ”Madam Anikka, i would admit that your father had reported cases like that. And we did do a thorough investigation and gave him security which he still refused. But over time we came to see that there was nothing to worry about. Most times he went out on his own and if people had evil intentions against him, they would have gotten to him. Yes, this city is known for its notorious-ness, and there are a few gang boys who like to feel fancy. Common thieves and vandalizers nothing more. Noting substantial and he on his own pulled out the report. But we kept watch over him nonetheless, when he was aware and when he wasn’t. However, your father’s death had no foul play”
”Right, if that is what you say, can i request for the black box”
He did not expect that..”The black box was damaged Miss Anikka”
She laughs ”How convenient! Mr Richards, i want to officially open an investigation into my father’s death”
”But Miss Anikka, your father is dead, you do not want to preserve his memory?”
”I do, that is why i want to know for sure if my father was killed or if he died just because of natural causes and the weather was bad and the plan crashed”
He sighs nodding ”Answer me this, who gave you the impression or rather told you of the several attempts on your father’s life ”
”Why?” She raises an eyebrow.
”We need to know the sources so that we can start there. Because we do not want information spreading like wide fire, it would cause an uproar which we do not need. We would question them, and then we would start a proper investigation if you insist. But i beg to differ. There were no real threat to your father, he was loved and praised and everyone is also devastated about his sudden death. But if you insist-”
He nods ”Very well, we would begin investigation. Is there a number you can be reached, or where you are staying at the moment so we can get to you whenever we need you. We know he had a few properties in town . So which one would you be staying in — ” He brings out a small pad and a pen to jot down.
She eyes him, a sudden vibe seeps through her , the voice of the drunk comes back to her ‘‘Trust no one,”
”Why don;t you give me your number and i would call you?”
He smiles nodding , pulling out a card ”You can contact me through this” She takes the card and then walks away as he leads her out of the door.
The lady officer was on the phone when they stepped out.
”Yes please, what is your complain. Go ahead Ma’am” the officer at the desk is speaking through the phone, her head shoots up and then she stares right at them ”Miss Anikka Benjamin George is missing? I think that is a mistake Sir. she is standing right here infront of me ..yes please”
Anikka exchanges looks with the Chief of police and then the officer.
He steps away from her and goes to the officer, taking the phone ”Who is this?”
He listens, nods and then stretches the phone to Anikka
”I do not know who is calling and reporting me missing ” she backs away from it.
”It’s your father’s lawyer, he said he had been trying to get a hold of you since yesterday and the house you were last seen had no one in it, he figured he should lay a complain. He also says that he must speak ti you urgently”
”My father’s lawyer?”
She nods and then takes the phone ”Hello?”
Abetta starts the engine as soon as she sights Anikka walking towards her. She enters the car staring ahead.
”I have asked the Chiefof police to open an investigation on my father”
‘Tsk tsk sk Miss Anikka, you do not know what you are getting yourself into..this is not good, this would only bring people’s attention;s to you. I have told you here is not save for you..you should go back to the states but you refuse. If the police starts asking the right questions from the wrong people it would not be good for you Miss.”
”Then tell me what the hell is going on.” She raises her voice staring at her ” You give me nothing other than my father said you should protect me. From who? Ghosts? Faceless enemies? I need to know if there was some foul play and hell would i run the other way just because you speak of impending danger. If my father was killed, i would ensure Justice is carried out”
”But you do not know if he was killed, you may be teasing a sleeping dog for no reason”
”Maybe it would ruffle it’s feathers and a bone might drop” she puts on her glasses ”I do not need you to smother me, you are not my mother and i do not know you neither do i trust you, but right now…i am here. So if you think i am too much of handful, i release you from the promise you made to my father. I will handle it from here” she says
”No, i cannot leave you, we would find out together, yes? My sons would help”
”Speaking of, where did they go to?” she turns to her, Abetta turns away pulling the car out of the parking lot.
”To scout the area for anything, news whatever that sound suspicious” she says
”Right. I have to get to this pace ”she says showing her a note she had scribbled an address on.
”Who is there?”
”My father’s Lawyer, he wants to see me urgently”
”I take you”
Geti Richards watches her enter the car from his window and then waits till they drive off. He takes his phone and then dails.
Rubbing his temple he waits till the line was picked from the other end ”Get me the Boss, tell him it’s urgent.” He nods and waits. He stands up straight as soon as a voice answers, he clears his throat
”Sir, we got a problem. His daughter just left here and she is asking questions, all the wrong ones, what do i do?” he waits ”No, she did not give me an address, so i find her. ” he listens ”She came in a Black Sidan, the driver was a woman. Was not close enough to get the plate number to run it against the data base” he listens perching on his desk and folding his arm. ”Yes , he got lot of properties scattered about, i would put my boys on it to find out which she is already in. Good thing, she got no security detail. And boss, the lawyer got to her, what’s our move?” He nods standing up ”Yes Sir” he cuts the call and then heads out, stopping to speak to the officer.
”Get me the boys on district 9, tell them to meat me up at the Lupe Pub, there is a report from there, someone was shoot.”
Lucas is standing outside a building with a woman who is hugging a boy not more than fifteen, her eyes filled with streaming tears.
”Thank you so much, i thought i lost him ” she says looking at him and then places kisses on the boy’s face.
”It’s no problem Ma’am, i am just happy to help. ” He turns to the boy , making him look at him ”Hey Kid, i understand how it gets for you at this age. You want to try out every thing, be in all the gangs and feel funky. But you need to understand the world out here is real and sometimes we end up getting more than we bargained for. A friend of yours died today, over dose, drugs kills, you are lucky you are standing here else you would be in jail. Your mother’s prayers kept you, and i got to ask a few favors from a friend at the station and because you were not directly involved and that’s why you get to go home. Look at your mother, see how happy she is to see you, see how much love is in her eyes for you? Don’t ever think of doing something as stupid as running away again and being in bad company, you hear me?”
”I can’t hear you”
‘Now go on in with your mother and do right by her; go to school, graduate and make something out of yourself, you get it?”
”Yes Sir” The boy nods.
”Apologize to your mother” He nudges the boy forward.
The boy turns and then says to her ”Sorry Mama, i won’t ever disobey you again, i promise” he blinks, his eyes had remorse in then, his hands shook. she grabs them and then kiss them.
”I just want you safe , just safe, it’s okay baby, come in, let’s go wash you up” She leads him away and then mouths another thank you to Lucas who nods.
A smile on his face as he makes his way home.
He mets her at the entrance of the building, ushering her in after introducing himself ”Please Miss Anikka, take a seat. Do i offer you anything please?’
”No, i am fine, I rather not. You said you were looking for me, and you are the lawyer to my father?”
”Yes, i am, and i have his will here.”
”I need to read it to you and then, i would call for a meeting with the board members for you to be introduced to them officially”
”You would understand after the reading”
”Do you not have anyone else with you, as a witness?”
”I am an only child, my father was an only child. He had relatives but…distant, i do not know them. They were never in good terms”
”So you came alone from the states?”
”Fine, i would record this too, just incase, shall i begin?”
”Okay, this is what your father left for you and what your duties are going forward ..his properties and all his assets belongs to you as his only heir. You would be signatory to his financial accounts, home and abroad. You now own the power of attorney and every other details would be transferred to you. Also, the blackcoal empire would be directly under you, his projects for foundations would make you the CEO and you would preside over the board of directors from time to town. You would liaise with the had of each project and they would answer to you. Basically, you are the heiress to all that belongs to your father and everything which is everything would not happen until you give the go ahead and appendix your signature”
”When you say everything , what do you mean in value?”
He smiles ”Your father is worth zillions not millions, not billions. And going by the replenishing project of the government, he was worth times two of that raised to power six, if you understand the analogy”
”Oh my God!”
”I know, it is alot to process ”
”No like oh my God!” she stands up ”What am i going to do with all of that?”
”Manage it, that is what your father wants”
‘But how? i do not know anything about what he does and how he does it and all that, what am i going to do with alot of money like that and his projects and foundation and his enterprise and what the government is giving him?”
”They are going to pay him for every penny he had spent, and that ranks up to billions, yearly..”
”Oh my God, i cannot..”
‘But, the board members, you said there are board members?”
”How come he did not ask that someone from there to be in charge of all these?”
”Miss Anikka, do take a seat, i must explain his fears to you”
”Yes” he reaches for a glass and pours water in it, giving it to her, she thanks him but does not drink it
”You see, your father have been running his affairs for yes with a handful of trusted men, ..however, as the years went by and his net worth began to increase, i believe he felt that…there was no one worthy to be a successor within this tiny circle”
”Why is that?” she is curious
”I do not know, i am nothing but a lawyer and a confidant on most days, but i do not pry, it is not my place to. I write what the client wants and make effective changes when they need me to and the need arises, and right now, there is a need to step into your father’s shoes and continue the good work which he had began for years, He says that it must continue. Your Father’s love for humanity is rare , it is also beautiful but it is also dangerous too. Why he gives back to the community , most people might frown upon it”
”Why does everyone keep insinuating that my father had enemies and yet they are never clear?”
”Because here is no man alive with such traits of your father who wouldn’t. They might be faceless or they might be familiar, who knows, but still, that is just my thought,. Your father came to me a week before today and then he told me he wanted to change his will and then the signatory to all his assets”
”Who was the bearer of it before now?”
”Mr Gapon Gillies, the man second in charge when it came to your fathers business’
”Why did he make him the bearer and why did he change it now?”
He stares at her wondering if he should tell her .
He leans in closer ”Mr Gapon Gillies and your father were best of friends, until a year ago when they had a falling out.”
”Your father was sick for a while, life threatening”
”My God!” she gasps
”Yes, he didn’t want to tell you because he didn’t want you to worry. That is why he stayed away for five long years because he was barely living, sicker by the day, lost weight, and was bed ridden. Gapon Gillies had asked the board members to vote him out from being CEO pleading the company’s amendment rule 54.. asking for a replacement of an ailing head. Your father was sick yes but his mind and his thoughts and his plans were robust. He could still hold meetings and make concrete positive decisions and sound judgments and they all worked out, Mr Gapon, how ever, did not think it was right.
God smiling on him, a year later, your father was back on his feet. He should have booted him out from his board but he left him, but he never trusted him again. He made him a bearer at first because he believed that they shared thesame vision, mission and focus and love for humanity and that in his absence incase he died, he would cater for you and protect you and also do what is right on his behalf. Your father changed his mind. So, he came to me. He said, you are an intelligent and strong woman, you took after your mother. He said he believes that you can learn all that he does and then take charge. That you would handle this. He notes that it might be too much for you but he needs you to hold down the forte and take charge of your inheritance and also, of his affairs and the affairs of the communities he holds to heart.’
”But, i cannot..i do not know where to start and how to go about it and-” she trails off ”This is too much” she runs her hand through her hair
”I know, but you need to take over, that is what he wants. You need to sign this documents and i also advice that you get a lawyer that you can trust so he can-”
”You are here, my father trusted you. I will retain you as my lawyer”
He nods ”Very well, please sign this documents, the power of attorney transfer forms, and acceptance of your father’s will. All assets, in material, form and liquid would be transferred to your name and then the work begins” He opens his briefcase bringing out files with a pen ”Please read through them atleast..then sign” he hands her his pen.
Brandon catches up with Tickle after knocking him to the ground. He drags him and lifts him into the car. He places a call .
”Mama, i got Tickle. Where is Miss Anikka?”
”Okay, take him to the basement. Be home soon” Abetta says ”Meeting her Lawyer, maybe getting the power of attorney and everything else. ” She smiles ”We are almost there son, almost. It would happen tonight, be ready.” She continues to smile ”Finally, it would all pay off, and she is sitting goose on our gold mine, get the documents ready and the jet too, make sure your brother Greg is home for take off. It happens tonight”.
She cuts the call and waits for Anikka.
TO BE CONTINUED…