The silver rims on the white land cruiser blind the security detail, briefly, as he stands aside to allow the vehicle cruise well into the Browns’ estate. Wale stands at the entrance of the house to receive him.
Pa James alights, clad in a white garment. He is with a bag. Wale collects it; they head into the house. Some cleaning is going on here and there; “Good morning Father” drops by as they walk past a few servants. As they approach Pa James chambers, a loud scream alarms everyone. Quick, they turn in the direction where it seems to be coming from. Pa James arrives at the scene. A rotten stench fills the air. Everyone’s nose is covered with their palms. It is really bad… He makes his way forward; they make room for him to get through. Wale grabs the screaming Sheila by her shoulders and whispers “shhh! Be quiet!” The thick brown rug is covered in blood; Aunty Maggie’s body lay lifeless on the bed, in a pool of her own blood.
Swiftly, Pa James grabs a sheet from her wardrobe, covers her nakedness and steps back. He rests his back on the wall, his fingers hide the tears that well up in his eyes. The servants murmur a little, he raises his head to addresses them, “Everyone listen. Say nothing of this to anybody. No one must hear of this. Is that clear?” “Yes Sir.” They all chorus, one after the other. Confused and shaken, they leave the room.
Pa James instructs Wale, “Fetch my phone and bring it to the garden. Then empty the contents of that bag in the laundry. You hear?” Wale nods in response, his nose is covered. Pa James leaves the room and he follows after closely. He heads straight to the laundry, empties the brown Kangol hat, shirt and trousers. He keeps the bag away and heads to the living room to fetch the phone…
The feel of the earth underneath her feet gives her continuous chills. She does not understand it. She is mesmerized with nature in the grotto. The groove is beautiful and remarkably neat. A beautiful aquamarine pool sits in the middle of the groove. Sadé is tempted to go in for a swim but she stops herself repeatedly. She decides to have a brief talk with herself after what feels like 30 minutes. “Ah Sadé; All die Na die. If you die now, what difference will it make? You’ve been in this place 14 nights now. Brace yourself, this is inevitable so better face it…. punk ass.” She tries to relax.
Ever brave; she starts towards the pool. She drops her towel and notices a brightness rises out of the water. She is stuck at this point, she does not move. A beautiful light surrounds the pool bank and a beauty springs forth. The brightness of her skin. Her aura is overwhelming. Sadé is in awe. She has never felt so much warmth and peace all at once. She has witnessed this moment too many times in her dreams but this is nothing like in the dreams. “Come to me, my child. Do not be afraid…” She speaks but her lips do not move. Sadé musters all the courage in her and takes a step forward into a pool. Her boldness returns…
Freda cannot find her voice. Her tongue is stuck to the roof of her mouth. Ada, on the other hand, is extra calm. “What is wrong with this man?” She thinks… Young Sam does not blink; “I will not ask you this twice. Whose phone is this?” He asks pointing to the red chinko phone on his table. Freda manages to speak, “it is mine sir.” She replies. “Good.” He says, sarcastic. “And whose idea was it to make this recording?” He asks again. Freda replies “Mine Sir.” Head bent. “Beautiful.” He goes “You, where is your duty post?” He questions Ada this time. “Front desk Sir.” She replies calmly. He throws her another question “And you were by one of the rooms because…?” Ada replies counting her words “I was on my way to collect an envelope from one of the customers in Room 425, Sir.” Young Sam looks at her from head to toe and asks “And did you col-le-ct it?” emphasis on the word ‘collect’. Ada looks away, she manages a reply “Not yet Sir. I ran into her on my way.” Young Sam taps his pen on the desk, his patience, fast wearing out. He points his pen at Ada, “You know my problem with you?” brief pause “You’re always calm. Nothing scares you”. Both ladies remain quiet. “Fine.” He continues “Both of you turn around.” Freda speaks; knowing unpredictable Young Sam can be. “Sir, I am sorry?”… He shouts at them “You heard me! Turn around.” They hesitate for a few seconds and turn around slowly. “Come back here at 5:30 pm sharp. Is that understood?” He adds; “Yes sir” they chorus a response. Both ladies exit the office without saying a word to each other.
Ada knocks on the door of room 425 and Chief opens it. She looks to the left and right and walks in. “What took you so long?” He asks. “It’s Freda o.” Ada replies smiling “She has succeeded in putting us in trouble.” She is in a light mood. “What happened?” Chief asks. Ada laughs softly, “We were doing amèbo and we got caught.” She says. Chief makes a funny face “How?” He continues. Ada sits on the bed to explain. “Well, we were not at our duty posts when the supervisor found us that is one. Two, Freda recorded something hilarious with her phone and he listened to it. The funny thing is that the lady kept screaming Richmond oh Richmond….” Chief lets out a laugh. “Ada you ehn” She chuckles “hmmm, It is for the love of amèbo na; for the love of the gossip…” She smiles.
He shakes his head; “You this girl. Amèbo no go put you for trouble so?” He asks. She scoffs, “hmmm, till 5 pm before we can tell”. She says. “Wait o, on a more serious note is your supervisor about to take you away from our 5 O’clock plans?” Chief asks, enthusiastic. Ada stands “Noooo” she goes “I have to go home first. Tomorrow I’m off duty. So you will have me for about an hour today and all day tomorrow. Plus, you already know it cannot be here” She states, bold. He does not bother to pick an argument. “No wahala, madam. I’ll be here waiting for you.” Ada plants a rather affectionate kiss on his cheeks and picks up the tray on the table to leave. “See you soon.” She says. He smiles “See you soon baby.” He replies. She reminds him just as he opens the door “And don’t forget to bring my gift.” He nods…