He knew what his colleagues did, but his conscience proved far stronger than his guts.
Ken glued his eyes to the news at one with so much disgust; the minister had just commissioned the installation of a new palm oil plant, not too far from the police station. He knew it was all a lie, something they used to deceive the poor masses. Sometimes, he wished to go back to his father’s farmlands, at least, he would never go hungry. His father left him a lot before he passed away.
A distress call came straight to inspector Ken’s line. He looked at his phone with so much annoyance, what could possibly go wrong at one in the morning? He kept on looking at the phone until it stopped ringing. He sighed, and went back to the report he was preparing. It was the eight month of the year, and no paycheque. He had to abandon his car for the molue, his wife would not hear of any excuses, and neither would the kids who were sent home for unpaid school fees. He felt stupid working his behind out for nothing. Akpan and Tayo were out for the night, they could not take it anymore, poor maruwa and okada people; he knew how those guys could demand for money from them, at all cost, as though they had a right to people’s money. But he didn’t blame them, it was the way those corrupt politicians wanted it.
The call came again, but his conscience could not let him, he reached for the phone, but drew back his hand: how much was he paid to risk his life for the government at one in the morning? He was not ready to stick his neck out for no good reason. If he died, he was sure that his wife and kids would certainly not get his unpaid salaries or his pension, it would end up in another’s pocket; someone who never worked for it. He looked away, and started packing. After all, there was no car in the vicinity, would he walk to the crime scene, if it were a crime?
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Ken got up, and made for the door, but before he got to it, he was arrested by a loud bang on the door. He quickly ran back, and took cover. But the voice from the other end screamed:
“Please, open the door! A man was murdered in our hotel.”
It was unbelievable, he rushed to the door, peeped before he let two night porters into the station. Both men were in white shirts and black trousers ; their breath was heavy like people that encountered ghosts. One said:
“Officer, you have to come with us. Our manager called many times, but no one picked.”
“But there is no vehicle to convey us. Where is the place? “
“Just down the road. Please, Clematis hotel.”
He knew the place: a den of thieves, drug dealers, and prostitutes. They had real girls that could make a man leave his wife. He knew because he had once visited –that was when the salary was still regular. To his utmost surprise, the other said:
“We actually drove.”
He gave a heavy sigh, looked them in the eye, and said :
“You know police is your friend. Show me the way.”
The three dashed out, but before they did, Ken made it a point of duty to leave behind a report, and called for backup.
When they got to the hotel, a thick crowd had gathered all around the hotel. It was as though a popular musician was about to perform. People of all kinds came to bear witness. Ken and his escorts had to squeeze through the crowd before they found their way to the gate of the hotel. In fact, the corridor was the worse. At a point, he wondered who was in the room that attracted so much crowd.
When they found their way to the room, the hotel security agents were ready for him. He prayed that his team would get to the scene as soon as possible, before anything goes wrong. He dug his hands in his pocket, and came out with white elastic gloves. And at his command, the door was opened.
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He went in, but asked the operatives to stand back, it was necessary to guard the entrance and exit ends. He had his gun in his hand as he drew closer to the bed. From afar, he didn’t like what he saw, but it was all in his contract, to search for any possible evidence, and look closely at the remains. He walked round the room, and when he was satisfied, he came back and stood at the foot of the bed. The minister laid shamelessly on his back with nothing on, but his naked skin. The condom was till on his erection, and his slim glided downwards. It was obvious that they must have been more than two, because Chief the Honourable minister didn’t go about in twos. He was a man for every woman.
Ken went about inspecting every inch of the room, but found nothing. As he scrolled through his phone, he came across a long list of women with different faces, body shapes and names; as though he loved them chubby and chesty. It was going to be a hard nut to crack, but the last call triggered off some suspicion, somewhere in his mind, his number appeared right on the screen of the minister’s phone, but when he went to the message box, he heard the sirens somewhere in his head. It was obvious that the victim had called him all these while before his death. Ken knew he was knee deep in trouble; he had automatically put himself in the hands of his village people.
Written by Udemezue, Oluoma
Udemezue, Oluoma loves to read and write; she also enjoys movies and meeting new people. Oluoma believes that life is nothing without a little touch of romance, thriller and reality. Catch her on: firstname.lastname@example.org, Udemezue, Oluoma Judith on Facebook, Instag- oluomaudemezue, and Twit- @Udemezueoluoma.