FOUR YEARS AGO
The St Timothy and Titus Anglican church, FESTAC, was unusually filled with people from different walks of life who had come to witness the event on that faithful Saturday. Press agencies such as A.I.T, S.T.V, Beat FM, Top Radio, Punch and Sun Newspaper, Ovation Magazine and a host of other agencies had sent their representatives to attend the event and cover it in any way they could. As the television press agents recorded the event on video, the radio press agents tried to record the valuable sound bits on tape and of course, the newspapers and magazines agents, snapped as much picture as their camera memory would hold which was an awful lot, thanks to the invention of multiple memory cards with the data space of over 36GB.
Some of the photographers murmured a little prayer of blessings to whoever invented the Micro SD. At the altar stood three people. A man who wore a black Versace suit and black Louis Vuitton shoes, a lady who wore a sparkling white Gucci wedding gown – don’t bother asking if Gucci makes wedding gowns, it was a limited edition gown, and a priest who of course, wore what priests usually wore when conducting a marriage ceremony service, Yes! It was a wedding. A wedding between Nigeria’s soon-to-be sexiest female celebrity and the then fifth wealthiest video/ movie producer from Africa, now second. It was indeed a perfect union to behold. The priest looked at the lady as if he was searching for something on her face, she smiled. Then he turned his gaze to the man and gave him the same searching look and the man grinned.
The priest then raised the Microphone up to mouth and said; “Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together Zainab Okafor and Richard Anderson in Holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted by God in the time of man’s innocence…” the priest paused once again and stared at the couples with his piercing eyes, then without looking at the book which he had been reading from, it was obvious he knew the next statements by heart, he added. “If any of you know any reason, or just impediment, why these two persons should not be joined together in holy Matrimony, let ye speak now or forever hold ye peace” a long pause followed. During this pause, Jummy, in her silly and always-wanting-to-make-people-laugh attitude, stood up as the priest paused for a response.
All heads and almost all cameras in the hall, hundreds of them, all turned towards Jummy thinking she had something to say. Zainab who stood at the altar almost fainted at this point, she was wondering what Jummy was up to this time. Richard was already trying to get the attention of Dr. Daniel with his eyes, with the intent of passing an instruction to him concerning the drama he thought that was about to unfold, yes! The same Dr. Daniel that was mentioned earlier. Jummy stared at the A.I.T camera man and smiled, before she walked out of the hall sluggishly, purposely dragging her feet on the floor as she swayed her rather gigantic hips. As soon as she left the hall, audible exhales of carbon dioxide followed because almost everyone in the hall had been subconsciously holding their breath in anticipation.
The Priest just shook his head and chuckled in his mind, before he continued with the ceremony; “If there is no one, then by the power invested in me, I now pronounce you both, husband and wife. You may kiss …” Zainab’s and Richard lips were already inter locked before the priest could finish his statement. “Newly wedded” he sighed. The crowd went wide with cheers as the new couple kissed like it was their first time, the press agents kicked, scratched and punched each other just to stand on the spot where the view of the kissing couple was great. Somewhere in between the loud cheers and rowdy environment, Jummy made her way back to the church and up the altar to congratulate her friend. “What the hell were you thinking when you stood up that time?” Zainab asked her as she got within arm’s length.
“Shey e get time wey I suppose go toilet and time when I no suppose go?” Jummy asked mischievously. “Naughty you. What are you doing standing there like a log of wood, won’t you come and give the new Mrs Anderson a hug” Zainab replied, and she probably regretted making that statement because the way Jummy squeezed her with her XX large body wasn’t an entirely funny scene for Zainab. As the girls talked and fooled around, Richard slipped away from Zainab’s side and headed out of the church, he signalled Dr. Daniel to follow him as he went out. Richard went to the back of the church where no one was and waited, few minutes later, Dr. Daniel surfaced. Dr. Daniel was a man of roughly forty years of age, he was quite short, always wore a hat and carried a walking stick because he had an issue with his right leg which made him always limp when he walked, either he was born that way or not is a question no one knew the answer to.
There was something sinister about him and a dark cloud seems to follow him wherever he went, no one could actually boast of ever actually seeing his face, not like they cared to though. “Did you do it?” Richard asked Dr. Daniel immediately. “Young man, you really need to learn how to greet your elders, especially the ones who you are indebted to.” “Oh! Spare me the bull shit! Did you kill the bitch?” “When you say bitch do you mean that girl you impregnate and dumped because you met Zainab?” “Whatever you say, just answer the question. Did you kill her? Yes or no?” Dr. Daniel paused for a split second for no reason in particular, that was just the way he was. “Yes I did, but you know she didn’t deserve to die right?” “I should have let her come to the church and spoil my marriage like she threatened to?” Richard asked rhetorically with an eyebrow raised.
“You know those were just empty threats” “Whatever you say! I’m not ready to take the risk. I’ll have my P.A wire you the money” Richard then attempted to walk out on Dr. Daniel but was stopped in his tracks when his name was called, without turning back he stood on a spot and waited for Dr. Daniel to say what he wanted to. “You know how to contact me if you ever need my services again right?” “I won’t be needing it again” Richard replied arrogantly and as he walked away, Dr. Daniel added; “Don’t just delete my number, men like you always needs men like me. Trust me.” Richard didn’t reply again. He was so confident he wouldn’t be needing Dr. Daniel’s help anymore, but he was wrong.
FOUR YEARS LATER, PRESENT DAY.
After letting the phone go to voice mail twice, Dr. Daniel finally picked up the call, it was just his way to know people who were seriously in the need to contact him. As he picked the call, he kept quiet and waited for the called to speak first. “Hello?” He cracked his memory hoping that the voice he just had would match with a name in his skull, but sadly, it didn’t. “Who is this?” He replied coldly. “Am I speaking to Dr. Dan?” “That depends on who is asking” he was still sounding cold. “This is Richard, remember me? Some years back you did some clean-up for me and I think I need another clean up now” Dr. Daniel searched his memory for any Richard he had met in the past but the only one that came to mind was one of his former apprentice name, and this couldn’t be him because Dr. Daniel killed him, but that’s another story.
“What sort of clean up did the Dr. Dan you are asking for do for you?” He asked. “Does the name Chineye ring a bell?” That question did the trick, just like magic, Dr. Daniel recalled it all. How Richard contacted him and told him of his little problem and for a ridiculously large amount, he had solved the problem for Richard. His eyes shone in excitement as he thought this was another opportunity to be paid well. “Yes, in that case, you are speaking to Dr. Dan” Dr. Daniel replied, obviously dropping his cold tone. “Alright, I’ll text you the details right away, come immediately!” “Understood.” And Dr. Daniel hung up, he always had the knack for being in charge always and even took such details as who ended a call personal, so he always made sure he was the last to speak and the one who ends all calls he made or received. Richard on the other hand sent the address and situation of things to Dr. Daniel who received it and he replied immediately via text; “Piece of cake, I’ll be there in thirty minutes” Richard read the text and then looked at Zainab’s body on the floor and he smiled.