The night was cold and windy. The leaves from the nearby trees sang an eerie lullaby, as they were swayed from left to right by the moving wind. In a distance, Ajifa saw the lead police officer putting the cuffed CJ don, into the backseat of one of the police cars. CJ don was furious and stared at Alex with hot revenge in his cold eyes. Kola, Akpan and the rest of CJ’s men, who were eleven in total, were taken by the other officers. The two other cars and three trucks that were brought after the intervention, were used to take them.
The lead officer, Bankole Smith came back to shake Alex’s and Jude’s hands. “Congratulations to you both. Detective Alex, you’ve finally gotten your runaway criminal, haven’t you?” he said with a satisfied grin. “Yes, finally, the bird of the air is now brought to the ground”, Alex replied. After the scene had cleared, Alex turned to face Ajifa with a smile but she wasn’t smiling back at him. He knew he was in a boiling pot of pepper soup and he would definitely need that Captain America’s shield for protection.
“Sooo, where do i start?” Alex said apologetically. “Don’t start” Ajifa retorted and walked away. He followed her, “Com’on Ajif. Don’t be mad”, he begged. “Com’on what? I just found out that you’re a detective. I shouldn’t be mad that you kept the fact that you knew Biodun, pardon me, CJ don, all these while? Or that you were using me to get to him? What part shouldn’t i be mad about?!” Ajifa yelled. Alex took her hand but she waved it away. “That last part isn’t true. I never thought of using you as bait. Ever. I was already on this mission before i found out you were involved with Biodun”, Alex assured her.
“I met you through Jude, purely by coincidence” He continued. “Oh, so how do you explain the gym then?” Ajifa questioned. “You happened to just come into town and decide to go to the SAME gym i work out at huh?” She asked further. “I can’t explain that myself. I can’t explain how it was my car that blocked yours from moving, or how i ended up seeing you on that same day at Nala’s art exhibition. It’s destiny i guess”, Alex said. Ajifa scoffed. “It’s true”, Alex said. “I’m not sure what’s true with you anymore Alex”, Ajifa said.
Alex recognized the look in her eyes. It was the same look she had, when she told him of her relationship with Biodun. How he kept things from her and how it made her feel. Alex didn’t want this to come between him and Ajifa. He took her hand again, “Ajifa…” Alex was cut short by Jude. “Sorry to intrude guys but we gotta go. It’s pretty late”, Jude said. “Yeah, i can’t stay here any longer either”, Ajifa said while walking towards her car. She drove home while Jude and Alex were dropped off by the police.
The TV channels and radio stations jostled with news of the infamous CJ don’s arrest, both nationally and internationally. People were thrilled on how the notorious and skilled business criminal was apprehended. Everyone talked about it in offices, in close neighborhoods, even at schools. While Ajifa was shopping at a farmers’ market, she overheard the following conversation between a meat seller and a female customer.
Customer: Ehen, shey una don hear about that big yahoo yahoo boy, wey Oyinbo bin wan try catch since last year for obodo oyinbo? Meat seller: Ehn! Wetin happen? Customer: Hmm, e don enter news say dem don catch am and na for Naija here dem arrange am oh. Meat seller: Hei! Good for am. Him time don reach be that. Customer: Chai, na him mama i dey pity. See shame. All that money don waka go. Meat seller: Ehn, him go sleep for Kiri-kiri until e old. Customer: At least this one deserve am. Nigerian Police don do better thing at least for this life. Meat seller: Na so oh. Thank God. How much meat you wan buy? Customer: Abeg, sell me better meat today oh. Hehehe.
Ajifa had to admit to herself as well, the relief she felt about Biodun’s arrest. She wanted to speak with Alex but still felt betrayed that he didn’t tell her his real job. It took a lot of getting used to, seeing his picture on the TV screen, wearing his LAPD uniform and see him talk at the press conferences about this hot case.
Nala came to see Ajifa at her house that weekend. “Alex is a Police man. Wow!” Nala exclaimed. “Cop”, Ajifa corrected her. “Police, Cop, all join” She said grinning. “Wait, and you didn’t notice all this time? Hmm, he’s good oh”, Nala continued. “Yeah, that’s why i’m never speaking to him again” Ajifa said. “Haba, Aj, you can’t blame him na. This was a delicate case. He had to stay undercover. Undercover.. So exciting” Nala shivered at the thought. She looked at Ajifa calmly, “He’s desperate to talk to you though. He asked me to beg you to pleeeaase, pick your calls, Nala persuaded.
There was a knock on Ajifa’s door. Dorcas, Ajifa’s mum came in. “Small madam, there’s a young man here to see you. I believe it’s your Alex”, she winked. “I don’t want to see… “She will be right down mum” Nala said, cutting Ajifa off. “Thank you Nala my daughter. Talk to this your friend oh. She didn’t even tell me he was a detective and a very fine one for that matter”, Dorcas winked again. Ajifa got up from her grey fluffy bed. “I didn’t know either mum but i’m about to find out why”, Ajifa said heading towards the door. Nala and Dorcas hurried behind her.
In the sitting room, James and Alex were already getting along. James had asked Alex to tell him of his kidnap tale and was listening with rapt attention. Ajifa was secretly pleased at this sight. She joined them and Alex got up, smiling with uncertainty. “Sweety, why don’t we leave these two to talk? Dorcas said to James. “Ehn, sure. Nice meeting you Alex”, James said, smiling. Her parents left the two of them. Ajifa folded her arms and looked up at Alex. “Hello detective” she said.
To be continued…