He walked into the study as directed by the manservant at the doorway, he marveled at its opulence and exquisite furnishing, chandeliers dangled from the ceilings , it’s clear cut glass sparkled like diamonds suspended in the air giving the room a whimsical look, he spotted by the corner a piano perched by the dining set, carvings etched on its wooden frame signifying it was an antique of great value, the sofa was soft to the touch he gave an involuntary whistle as he sighted the magnificent painting that stood on the far side of the wall , even to his untrained eye he could tell that it was of great value, with his hands perched in his pockets he continued to survey the room marveling to himself
“There are Rich and there are “Rich” people “he thought, everything in this house smelt of long money, not quick riches obtained from Bank loans and sharp deals, the wealth he could see in this house was the type of wealth where Bank CEO’s outside the country would be on first name basis with the owner, surprisingly there was no tinge of envy and it was not just that the owner of the house lay dead in a mortuary in Ikoyi , Richard was not an envious man , dedicated and hardworking he would rather get his own things than look with envy at what belonged to another or so he thought until he saw HER.
A splashing noise turned his attention to the windows at the far left of the study, his curiosity got the better of him so he walked cautiously and peeped, what he saw took his breath away.
She glided out of the swimming pool like a siren rising out of the ocean, black wet raven hair dropped to her shoulders framing her beautiful face, her skin was literally like pure cream chocolate, she held the railings of the swimming pool and paused throwing back her head and letting the sun rays fall on her body, he followed the rays as it revealed firm rounded breasts , literally almost bursting through a barely there lemon green bikini top, her tummy flat and spotless glistened under the hot sun as water drops glided down to her well rounded hips and legs….long legs that seemed to go on forever, Richard felt himself tighten before he let out a breath , he had never in his Thirty Five years seen such a beautiful woman up close.
Suddenly she opened her eyes and looked straight at him, he jolted back afraid of being caught , he took a second look at the drapes and realized there was no way someone outside could see into the main building “or could she?” he thought haphazardly , he turned back and slumped on the sofa.
He remembered the warnings he had received when he had been assigned this case, his superstitious colleague had accosted him immediately he came out of the C.O.P,s office this morning.
“Psst fine boy what did they call you for?”
Richard rolled his eyes exasperatedly, the dirty politics they played in the CID office, always wanting to be in people’s business.
“They gave me a case” Richard muttered half heartedly, “what case?” His colleague Gbenga persisted but he ignored him , powering on his system and trying to do some research on the high profile case he was just assigned to by two of his bosses,
“Is it Senator Medina’s murder case?” Richard raised an eyebrow , the Ibadan man was always so astute it irritated him,
“Ahhh it’s Senator Medina’s murder case” His colleague Gbenga repeated shaking his head and taking steps backwards “Anu eh ma shemi o!” .he muttered in Yoruba.
Richard’s ears pricked up “what’s all that one for now?” he queried,”e no reach like that na”
“Oh Oyibo e reach o, I don’t think your head is big enough to carry the load they have placed on your head.” Richard sat back in his seat in contemplation, now he was slightly confused, he had thought that it was a pretty straight forward case.
After about ten minutes of Richard pretending not to be bothered by Gbenga’ s statements he could not take it anymore, “Ogbeni” he began teasingly , “what’s the deal na, help your boy” Richard pleaded standing up and walking to Gbenga’ s seat, As two senior detectives they both shared an office but they were not close, There was always some sort of unnecessary rivalry that existed only in Gbenga’ s mind but he was not sure his last statement was a ploy to derail him from the investigation, the tone of his words were very serious. Gbenga sat staring at him for some time, throwing in boiled ground nuts into his mouth like a hungry five year old and rubbing his big belly, his round eyes looking amused at Richard’s discomfort. After some time he finally spoke
“When a Rich man dies suddenly with no witnesses who is the first suspect” Gbenga began, “who stands to benefit from the death right”Richard said nothing, they were rhetorical questions he wanted to know where the mischief maker was heading.
“who do you speak to first , it’s the widow right “ Gbenga paused, “this particular widow no be normal woman have you heard of her ?” “you mean Lady Grace Medina?” Richard queried.
“Ah this one no be lady o, this one na sorceress” Richard hissed and went back to his seat, so this was where the superstitious Ibadan man was heading,
“Argh ma shebe o, there is no Oyibo in this one o” Gbenga taunted sitting up. “Look have you heard her story?”
“Gbenga I don’t have time for all this your local theories abeg , sorceress really so that’s what we call people now “
Richard picked up his diary and started scribbling down appointments he had for the day.
“Ok o rat that finds meat inside coffin thinks he has hit the jackpot, it’s not always as it seems o” Gbenga’s loud voice continued. With that the large bellied detective continued chewing on his groundnuts as he looked at his colleague in pity.
"Poor little rat" he muttered under his breath.