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Police investigation into Dennis’ death was moving at quite a slow pace. Aliyu had been taken to Dennis’ work place to identify the visitor who reportedly visited on the morning Dennis died, but the effort was futile as the gate man couldn’t recognize anyone he had seen that morning. He was remanded in police custody and held as a suspect for being an accomplice to Dennis’ murder.
Frank himself had not been left out of the police drama. He had been reporting to the station every three days to answer questions. Several others were questioned, and Dennis’ parents were also asked to come. They wanted their son buried as soon as possible as the sight caused them agony, but the police held their ground saying he couldn’t be buried until investigations were concluded. Frank accommodated Dennis’ parents in his house and tried his best to act as a son to them. He was however careful not to mention his best friend’s name too often in order not to cause his mother to burst into uncontrollable tears, because she was not easy to pacify. Frank respected the memory of his late friend, and will do anything in his power to keep his memory alive, but he couldn’t wait for the investigations to be concluded.
Most importantly, he couldn’t wait to leave the country with Sandra, who also had been impatient. Sandra maintained a casual stand in the investigation process. She only managed to say “May his soul rest in peace” when Frank finally mentioned ‘Dennis’ to her. She also refused driving to the police station with him, but she kept on hammering on the importance of leaving quickly.
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Things took a highly dramatic turn on this fateful Monday morning. Frank was dressed for work and was about to drive out of his compound when he received a call from the detective in charge of Dennis’ investigations, asking him to come to the station when he is free for the day. The call got him worried all through his stay at the office and he couldn’t concentrate. There was a tone of urgency in the detective’s voice and he just couldn’t wait to unravel whatever mystery was behind it. He checked Sandra’s office but she wasn’t around. Her secretary told him she called earlier to say she wasn’t coming for that day as she was under the weather.
Frank left office shortly after, and made for Sandra’s place. He called her phone but she didn’t pick her calls and that added to his worry, so he drove fast. On his way, he flashed back to the morning he discovered Dennis’ body and felt a sense of ‘De Ja Vu’ which sent cold shivers down his spine. The last person he would want to see dead was Sandra.
Dafe reflected over events of the weekend as he settled down in his office. His father was ripe with age, and according to the old man, all he wants is to see his grandchild from his only son.
“Dafe, your sisters have all gone to their husbands. They have children whom I call my grandchildren and give thanks to God that he has given” he said amidst coughs, “but they no longer bear the name of this family, they do not bear the name of my fathers anymore. They have joined other families to help them uphold the name of that family by producing children, even male children.” He turned on his side to look directly at Dafe, stretching forth his hands to hold his son. “Dafe, you are my only son. God gave you to me last. He saved me of the shame of putting my father’s name into extinction. My son, you are of age, and I’m getting closer to the grave every day. When will I see my grand child from you? I want to see him in embryo even if I won’t live long to see him born.” He said as he turned back to his erstwhile position.
“Your father has spoken, my son” his mother went on, “you have everything a man should have to settle down with a woman. I really don’t know what’s keeping you. Your father was much younger than you when we had your eldest sister.” For the first time, his mother was piling the pressure. She had always been a patient support, who believed he should find a woman he truly loved. Dafe wasn’t surprised, he knew it was only a matter of time before his mother fell his father’s way.
He promised to do something about it quickly, as he always did each time the topic was brought up. When he left his parents the day before, all he could think of was getting Bimbo pregnant as soon as possible. He didn’t care if she still loved another man, he just wanted to be happy with her and consequently make his father happy.
Up until the time he got to the office, he had been calling Bimbo’s phone but she didn’t pick up, and after a while, the number was switched off. He checked her office, she wasn’t there. He was worried, and felt he had pushed his luck too far with his attitude on the Friday before. He should have listened to her and given her assurances of her place in his heart. He only wanted to give her some distance for her to decide where she wants to be, but now that he is ready to make things right, she’s nowhere to be found. He decided to check her in the quarters during lunch, since that was where she said she would be for the weekend. He feared she might be ill.
Later in the afternoon, he went to the staff quarters. On getting to her door post, he found a door message which read “Traveled. Leave a note here please.” In his disappointment, he went back to his office and went on with his work with a heavy heart.
“Sandra! Tell me the truth. Did you send anyone after that boy other than the ones I sent?” The MD inquired, pacing impatiently across the living room, covered in cold sweat.
“Uncle, I don’t know what you are talking about. You walk into my apartment on a Monday morning without informing me prior to your arrival, and then you bring unfounded accusations.” Sandra was running out of patience as well. They had been in this little duel for over thirty minutes and she’s yet to figure why the MD would make such accusations.
The MD sat on the centre table, directly looking into Sandra’s eyes. “Now let me explain to you. I went to pay Bertola’s balance yesterday and he told me he didn’t kill that boy, someone else got there before he did!” Sandra was as surprised and shocked as the MD when he first got the news “Oh now you see what I’m talking about. The truth here is, no other person knew anything about going to that boy’s apartment that morning. It was just both of us. If Bertola, whom I personally sent, didn’t kill him… Then it must be you or someone you sent who…” The sentence was stopped abruptly with a hot slap on his face.
“How dare you call me a murderer?” Sandra stood up, looking down at the MD who was not only perplexed, but was totally embarrassed and couldn’t bring down his hand from his cheek. The slap had taken him by surprise. “I remember asking you to convince him to do what I asked him to do, I didn’t ask you to kill him. That was your choice! Why do you now come in here to tell me this arrant nonsense? I am no murderer like you!” She walked away, looking out of the window.
“Sandra… You slapped me!” The MD’s eyes were red and boiling with anger. He got no response. “Sandra!” He shouted and that made her cower and she gave a short scream. “I swear, you’ll regret this.” He was walking towards her, as she took backward steps away from him. She noticed he was already holding the flower vase, made of hard clay, which was on the table some few minutes back. He moved towards her violently, looking like a wounded lion as she moved away from him. Suddenly, she was tripped by the window curtain and fell, hitting her head very hard against the wall and immediately laid still on the floor, with blood dripping out of her nose.
The MD dropped the flower vase and ran to her. “Sandra! Sandra! Oh my God!” He was confused and tried to shout but there was no one to call upon. It was a flat and Sandra lived there alone. He bent down in attempt to lift her when the doorbell rang.
“Good morning Sandra.”
He couldn’t have mistaken that voice. It was Frank’s.
Cupid’s Quandary Continues….