Behind the Veiled Curtain

Ndidi drove through the traffic at Apapa angrilly,she could not believe she had been in traffic for over forty five minutes, she was tense with anticipation , if after all this trouble she did not meet Glass eyes at his old hangout she would be double mad, suddenly she saw an opening an entourage carrying some local dignitary was blasting its way through ,its  powerful sirens throwing drivers into confusion as cars made way for it to pass, she timed it patiently watching from her rear view mirror as soon as she sighted the last car on the entourage near hers with surprising speed she swerved her steering blocking an ash colored benz that had been tagging behind the entourage making her way through, in less than fifteen minutes she was parked in front of No 26 Erlingston street, she stared at the building it looked deserted, she remembered way back in school when she would come here to visit glass eyes, even on weekdays there were all sorts of parties going on in that house, if the men there were not sharing plates of Isi Ewu, they would be blasting music sharing suya and drinking bottles of beer, she had wondered what kind of business they did there but several months later when her relationship with glass eyes had blossomed from casual lovers to friendship she had discovered that those guys were your regular hustlers, they did everything from supplying forged documents to people trying to clear their cargoes, to mediating between smugglers of illegal goods and the customs officers her relationship with Glass eyes had been a turbulent fast paced one but he had thought her all she needed to know about building an underground network of contacts, she hoped that he could come through for her on this case as Abbas would not touch it anymore, staring at the deserted building she hoped Glass eyes had not gone underground forever.

Lilian felt at peace for the first time in her life, the medical staff had told her it was a miracle she survived her ordeal, if the drugs didn't kill her they told her it was certain that she would have bled to death if Jumoke had not found her, she felt so stupid that she had tried to end her life because of a man, she was still gutted that Ochuko had not even come to pay her a visit, after all those years she spent with him but she no longer felt empty, she had so many ideas rushing through her head, being the girlfriend of a rich socialite traveling all over the world had not been in vain, she had become exposed to another way of life, with the contacts she had made in the fashion and beauty world she knew they were now so many options for her in life, what was it the nurse had told her this morning when she came to clean her up "we cannot choose where we come from but we can choose where we are headed" she was determined she would make a success of her life and make Ochuko regret the day he tossed her aside like a used pad, she sighed in contentment sipping the fresh juice the nurse dropped on her breakfast tray, the first thing was to get back her strength and leave this hospital then the next stage was her brand, she was ready to market herself no more as a mere whore going from bed to bed but as a business woman she would show them that she had a purpose in this world.

A pair of eyes watched Lillian snuggle up and go back to sleep on a TV screen in the hospital, for two weeks he had been assigned the task of monitoring the patient and reporting all developments to Ben, his eyes unwavering he dropped his mobile phone back on the table where he picked it up, the instructions on the other line had been clear and concise , get the package and clean it up...Lillian Phillips would never leave this hospital,

Ochuko stared at his Television  Screen blankly, CNN seemed to be reporting about some court case in Arizona but he was not listening, his thoughts could only focus on the events of last night, he was too shaken to even pour himself a cup of coffee or better still whisky, he had been throwing up all night , not because of something he ate no but out of fear, Ben's words kept on echoing through his head, "we do what we have to do to survive, if you do not have the stomach for it too bad, you are in there is no way out." he cursed the day he met that Evil Ben again after so many years, it had been six years ago, he had come across him at the Polo Club , he was shocked to see him so changed, so successful , Ben had been the go to man in high school, the son of a retired policemen he had been poor but desperate, rich kids like him would go to Ben to supply them indian hemp,Girls and then later answers to some exam questions, how Ben acquired all these things they never knew, a part of him suspected the lad was involved in some serious bad stuff but who was he to judge so long as the chap delivered what he was paid to do, fast forward fifteen years later he was surprised to see Ben extremely rich, he had been  with a casual acquaintance of his Lloyd Ibekwe a director in one of the new generation banks when they met again, gone was the scruffy looking, tall lanky boy that followed them round school like a puppy dog, Ben was built like a military man, wearing a sharp T shirt and jeans speaking queens english, Ochuko was shocked at the transformation, after several drinks Ben invited Ochuko to his mansion at Ikoyi , he could not contain his surprise, Ben's mansion was even larger than his own father's house, he was living in a palace,it must have been about 8.00 p.m when an intoxicated Ochuko noticed that two ladies had come to join the pair, he remembered smiling even though he was extremely drunk and heading to one of the bedrooms with one of the ladies, the last thing he remembered was him moaning as he felt experienced hands touch him all over, he must have slept for over an hour when he heard a shout, he groggily open his eyes to witness a scene straight  out of a horror movie, his partner for the night lay lifeless beside him her neck obviously snapped back, looking down at his hands his belt was wrapped around his hands ,her friend wouldn't stop screaming it appeared he had killed someone.

Ben took care of everything, those weeks were the worst weeks of his life, he felt as if the police would knock on his door at any time to arrest him for murder, he tried to this day to remember what happened but he had no recollection, that was not the last time he saw Ben, four weeks later Ben called him to meet him at some bar and laid his conditions, he was to join the three legged horsemen or be reported to the police, he had pictorial evidence of Ochuko and the dead girl including information on where she was buried and the evidence of the other girl to support his claim, Ochuko was cornered he had no choice but to become a horseman.at first he was scared expecting it to be some dark twisted group but he surprisingly began to enjoy the group, all they did was meet up discuss business, once in a while they asked him to cargo goods using his fathers company papers across continents but it was nothing sordid, they met up once in a year at exotic places and he received a much appreciated membership retainer of 100,000 us dollars yearly, he had never heard of an organization who paid their members but who was he to complain until now..Ben's cold voice had pierced him through out the night "do you realize what i am saying Ochuko, your unstable girlfriend could destroy all we have labored for over the years" "i don't understand how? she has no idea the group exists, she is not a threat to anyone.." Ochuko argued pleadingly, Ben had just paused looking at him coldly with no expression in his eyes "you rich kids disgust me you know that?" "you live life as if you expect everyone to bow to your wishes and refuse to pay your dues" " the instruction in Dubai had been explicit, come alone, no girlfriends no wives but you had to bring your sex slave along and ruin everything, she came to our party and took photographs, do you realize what those photographs could do to our members in the wrong hands, we are a secret organization and an unstable jilted lover has pictures of almost all of us in her camera what do you think it means?" Ben had asked coldly inhaling his cigarette, Ochuko had been terrified it could only mean one thing. "yes spoilt kid i can see understanding in your eyes, she will die..today , tomorrow who knows,as soon as we get that camera your girlfriend would have breathed her last, you should be lucky we are not eliminating you too " Ochuko was still shaking, he was stupid to think he would not get his hands dirty in this group, Lillian was going to die and it was all his fault.

Jumoke increased the volume of the porn movie she was watching as she slid her fingers inside her panties, hearing the moans from the movie got her all wet and excited , she closed her eyes and pictured Lilian seductively sucking her nipples, she began to gyrate slowly at first as she touched herself , suddenly she felt the pressure build up as she began to slide her fingers aggressively into her private part, suddenly nothing else mattered but the pressure building up in between her legs she began to moan as her fingers picked up pace, her moans increased as her free hand grabbed her pillow roughly she began to feel herself vibrating, suddenly her moans became louder as it washed over her, she sighed as she came loudly in the confines of her bedroom, when she was done she felt ashamed and relieved at once, she was ashamed that she had to resort to masturbation to relieve her of sexual stress, she had not been touched in over a year and she was beginning to feel exasperated, and she was relieved that the woman of her fantasies was back to life, maybe her dreams would become reality and Lillian would fall in love with her, till then she could only dream. she had washed her hands and put out the light when she heard a noise, her body tensed all over, quietly she tiptoed to her parlour straining her ears to catch the sound again and sure enough it came, a key was being turned, she cautiously went to her door and peeped, she had to hold her mouth not to scream for right in front of her eyes two men with masks  were breaking into her neighbor's flat , she was about to tip toe back to her room and  reach for her cell phone to call the police when she decided to give the men another look from the peep hole, one of the men had forgotten to remove his day clothes, she saw the security badge on one of the men's shirts and understood this were not thieves, the new security men in the building were breaking into Lillian's flat, Jumoke suddenly felt very scared something not right was happening here and she did not like it........

To be continued

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