Damaged Goods (Part 7)- a short story

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Do you love crime fiction? Then this story is all you ever wanted.

 

Please follow the story from here.

Onono; whatever happened to you?

A total of three million, five hundred thousand naira had been transferred from two accounts that had text notification linked to Onono’s iphone. The officers watched in horror as they summed up each withdrawal that Sunday morning in a note pad manually.

“He must think himself clever, only by half” Oladimeji gave his officers, who were huddled together over the iphone, another uneasy glance before turning his back to witness the lovers’ spat between Glory and Nnamdi from a distance.

The two stood at a safe distance, far from ear shot, in animated confrontation. Nnamdi was the aggressor whose rage, like a stormy vortex, poured out with every word he spoke to Glory. His face, so serious that you could play twenty four hours of good comedy without getting a reaction from him. He was livid to say the least.

Suddenly the argument got physical as he grasped her chin with one hand, forcing her head back before she yanked his hands off quickly and started to walk away from him.

“Leave me alone. Bastard. How dare you lay your hands on me.” The words rang out like a bell through the quiet lobby. No one intervened, only a few knew what it was about. Glory walked away leaving Nnamdi rooted to the same spot.

Nnamdi had turned on the CCTV video recordings immediately the DSP left his office to engage his officers at the hotel lobby, that had become the official investigation centre, on the discovery that withdrawals had been made from bank accounts linked to the victims number.

He had watched video clips where Glory visited room 408 five times that afternoon and on one instance only a few minutes before she joined him downstairs for their romantic tryst later that night. The discovery broke his heart into smithereens. To think that he trusted Glory enough to have unprotected sex with her every other weekend. Now he would have to go get tested.

Oladimeji watched the unfolding drama intently before retiring into the manager’s office. He liked the girl; she had a feminine quality and sexual appeal that was not lost on him.

“Maybe, maybe.” he let himself fantasize.

His officers had found more startling information from the victim’s phone and the details could turn into a full-blown investigation involving special crime units of the police force if he didn’t close in on the killer quickly. His superior had called him for updates informing him of the need to return to the police head quarters as soon as he could. There were other pressing criminal cases of national importance requiring his services, this investigation was supposed to be a quick win on his records.

The DSP sank into the swivel chair, closed his eyes, and gazed into fields of nothingness, before suddenly opening them moments later to peruse his note pad. The investigation had turned into a perfectly choreographed chaos within a few hours. His field officers were already tracking the Automatic teller Machine withdrawals and he was certain that Ekpeyong would be arrested in no time. The Nigerian Police were no sluggard in tracking his ilk.

A frown fell upon his lips when he discerned one message found in her sent items, only a day before the she died.

“Sweetie, I am keeping it. I always wanted a baby.”

The message was short and straightforward, just as there was no existing SMS thread with the recipient’s phone number. All fifty-three messages in her inbox were either bank alerts or messages to her husband.

His officers had dialed the recipient’s number several times without luck. The number simply did not exist, at least that was what the operator said. Knowing that the sim card may have been registered with a fake name, he wondered at the futility of the effort of his officers in tracing the owner.

“Dead end!” Oladimeji scribbled on his notepad. “Who is Onono?”  he asked no one in particular. If she was pregnant, then the autopsy would confirm this. But the autopsy results would take weeks before any meaningful result could be released to his team. The bureaucratic nature of the police force was not only frustrating but also sickening. Now he would have to solve the mystery the hard way.

Without warning his phone jangled in his pocket almost violently. Startled, he reached for it quickly.

“Hello.”

“We found the bastard, Sir. We are on our way to the hotel.” The voice on the other side of the phone announced gleefully with glint of pride in the fine police work they executed.

“Good. Very good.”

***

When Ekpeyong first came into view, through the hotel entrance accompanied by two police escorts, Oladimeji almost didn’t recognize him, he’s too far away and his gait was all wrong. The shadows of the beating he had received were all over his skin, but his left eye, swollen to pulp, was the stand-out evidence.

Oladimeji groaned inwardly, almost with pity, but more of pleasure, as he watched him walk on like a scarecrow in a lopsided limp through the lobby as the police escorts watched his gait from behind.

His left eye was so swollen, he was convinced there was no way he could be seeing a thing out of it and he sure wouldn’t for a while yet. That pleased the DSP.

“Welcome back, “Mr. killer”. Now that you have drained your wife’s bank accounts, I hope it was worth all the trouble?” He raised both his arms in a satirical pose.

Ekpeyong’s eyes, almost shut with swelling, pleaded for forgiveness as he hobbled towards the manager’s office. Then he tried to say something, but his cracked lips failed at the first syllable, before he coughed out some bloodied sputum.

“Get him cleaned up before you bring him into this office. I don’t want to smell his bloody mess around this small office.”

The case was starting to unfurl like a theatrical production, all Oladimeji hoped to do was to put all the evidence in one place and nail Ekpeyong. Maybe, afterwards he could catch a cold bottle of beer and some hot suya, while he overcame his scruples about starting something with Glory. No, he didn’t want her for the long haul, she was to be his “proceeds of war”, his prize for breaking the case.

In his summary, Ekpeyong had a hot argument with his wife. He couldn’t tell if he hit her or not. He wouldn’t be surprised if the idiot did. The autopsy result will reveal this bit of details. He got into a scuffle with Efe, that same afternoon, because he was insanely jealous of the budding friendship that was rekindled that afternoon. That bit of evidence was caught on camera. In a fit of anger, he murdered his wife. Somehow after he had turned off the CCTV at the pool side, he rolled her body into the pool, before returning to the room until she was found out.

The simpleton then escaped the temporary lockdown imposed at the hotel to steal money from his deceased wife’s bank account, possibly in the hope that he would escape arrest.

There was still a few missing information in his theory. How did he kill his wife? What was the motive? He had lots of questions in his head that needed answers. Answers only Ekpeyong could provide. He hoped that he was broken enough to start talking.

His thoughts were soon interrupted when the heavy footsteps of his officers were followed by the creaking of the office door. Ekpeyong had been returned looking slightly better than minutes earlier.

Oladimeji did not waste any time with his questions. He fired them in quick succession.

“Why did you kill your wife?”

No response. Ekpeyong looked like he could break into a muffled cry any moment.

“Why are you making withdrawals off her bank accounts?”

Not even a blink, only a glazed stare.

“What was the argument you had with your wife about?”

His ragged breath was all the reply Oladimeji got in response.

“Look here, if you don’t start talking, I will have the boys outside roughen you up some more till you can’t see a thing.” That must have sent the jitters up his beaten body.

When Ekpeyong opened his mouth to speak, each labored breath reverberated through his body like sonic waves to his brain. His jaws felt like they were slack and controlled loosely by muscles throbbing in pain mixed with sharp, stabbing agony that made speaking quite uncomfortable. Oladimeji didn’t care for his struggles, he wanted the truth. Whichever form it came from.

“Onono was having an affair and she was foolish enough to get pregnant.” He paused to clean the dribble of spit from the corner of his mouth.

“She was asking for a divorce.”

“Why was she divorcing you?” Oladimeji’s face softened.

“You see, I am unable to give her a child. I have a medical condition that makes it almost impossible to father a child. We were trying all medical interventions to have one, but it has been very unsuccessful for many years.”

“You are impotent?” Oladimeji declared, but with a ting of pity. He could almost relate to his condition. He appreciated his willingness to be vulnerable with him.

“I see. So why are you withdrawing money from her account after you killed her because she was divorcing you?”

“I swear to God, I had nothing to do with her death. She was my wife for God sake.” His voice trailed into a silent sob as he held his jaws in both hands like they were about to come off.

“Answer the question my friend!”

“The money was part of the savings for the several medical procedures we had scheduled for the fertility treatment. We agreed to save them in her account till we had enough for the next trial. It was all we had.” This time he held his head in his hand like they were about to fall off too.

“Where were you at the time of her death?”

“I was in the room attending a virtual meeting. I had planned to meet her downstairs so we could reach an agreement.”

“What agreement?”

“That I was willing to raise the child, if she stayed in the marriage.”

At that moment, Oladimeji rose from the chair, shaking his head vigorously. He wasn’t sure what to believe anymore. He knew he had to watch the CCTV recording again to confirm his story.

This investigation looked deeper than it seemed.

Catch up with the rest of the story here.

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20 thoughts on “Damaged Goods (Part 7)- a short story”

  1. Pingback: Damaged Goods (Part 6)- a short story – Akin Akingbogun

  2. Pingback: Damaged Goods (Part 8)- a short story – Akin Akingbogun

  3. Pingback: Damaged Goods (Part 9)- a short story – Akin Akingbogun

  4. Adedamola ilori

    It now looks like I will have to have a pity for the killer, if it’s ever revealed that either Efe or Ekpeyong is responsible, both are beginning to look like unfortunate victims.

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