“How many years have you spent in the force?”
“Two years, sir!”
“And do you think you can still cope here? Reports about you are making me question your ability to fit into our system…”
You see, I am very terrible with fitting into anything much less a ‘system’. I could hardly fit into my clothes or shoes. I couldn’t even fit into the world I found myself in, which I have come to understand a little more than I did as a child.
As a child, I thought the world was perfect. No evil. All good. But the world, everyone and everything in it is completely flawed!
“You do have a good work ethic which I admire though. So what do you have to say for yourself?”
“I would resign since I am not a very good fit sir.”
“Resign?! That’s ultimate. I will give you a week to think about what you really want. Then come see me on Wednesday next week.”
*** three months earlier***
I must confess that I have stalked Davina for more than three years consecutively. She was bent on having nothing to do with me because I was a man of no means. And clearly she was out of my league as well but that didn’t stop me from checking up on her unsolicitedly. And she made stalking quite easy for me since she was very quick to update all her social media accounts with almost every single detail about her life.
“I don’t believe you,”
“You should Davina,” I warned. “I might not have what it takes have you all to myself,” I winked at her “but I have evidences to back my claims.”
“For old time sake, I will listen but it won’t change my mind about Felix,” she concluded.
“That’s fine,” I eagerly replied. All I needed was for her to listen.
Felix Udeh was everything an African woman could dream of. Charming, soft-spoken, wealthy, attends church every Sunday, a giver with a huge heart and averagely photogenic.
I met him two years ago at Aguda Police Station where I was first posted to as a Correctional Officer. But we never spoke.
He came in with an elderly man, who claimed to be his lawyer, and requested the release of his father while he was taken instead. Felix allegedly murdered his wife.
As I would do to other inmates, I studied him closely for the twenty-four hours he spent in detention under my watch. He was as calm as unstirred water. That was too strange for someone who had been accused of being the primary suspect of a Murder case.
In the course of my very unattractive position as a Correctional Officer, I had studied inmates with the same charges but they reacted differently than he did. It was as if he knew that his stay there was going to be very short. And truly it was!
He was my first! The first inmate, having been accused of being a primary suspect of a murder case, who remained peaceful in the misdt of a dwindling fate. Being my first, I became weirdly thirsty about him. And that thirst made me discover things no one wanted to listen to because I was just a ‘Correctional Officer’.
“Pick one thing and focus on it! You can’t be a Correctional Officer and a pretend Detective at the same time! Be a Jack of one Trade!” My superior, Sergeant Miko repeated bitterly each time I was served a query letter. But this Jack was of many Trades…
“He told me about that,” Davina responded after I shared details of the case with her. “He didn’t kill her, he was framed.”
She was right about one thing— Felix didn’t kill her, but he knew everything that led to her death.
Lauretta Moses was about to inherit one-hundred million dollars upon the death of her aged father. The lawyer Felix brought to the police station was Lauretta’s father’s business partner, named Gabriel Sanni. And the man Felix claimed was his father was the Lawyer’s elderly driver. Felix was the lawyer’s loyal aide.
Lauretta had turned down Gabriel Sanni’s marriage proposal. She sensed he was up to something. Few weeks later she met Felix. They dated. And then married eleven months later. Two months into the marriage Lauretta died in an hotel and all evidences proved that Felix was not the murderer. Which was true. She died of food poisoning so the hotel was charged with the crime instead.
Felix, Sanni and the elderly driver vanished! Nothing was heard about them until I spotted a face that resembled Felix in one of Davina’s photos. Since we left secondary school we haven’t spoken but I secretly stalker her online. I had to ask her about it, so I sent her a message on Facebook and hoped she would respond.
“How did you find out about all these,” she quizzed with heightened interest.
I wanted to tell her about everything —how I went from house to house, person to person, uncountable case files and my unusual methods. But could I trust her? Could I trust anyone? I didn’t want to be the next victim because I was nosy. Intead I gave her a note to hide somewhere Felix didn’t expect her to have access to.
***seven days after***
After speaking on and on about everything that happen two years ago, and the lovely chat I had with Davina, General Gyang was partially convinced.
“Jeremiah,” he called me casually ( which he never did for all the years I knew him), ” I am only letting you go because I don’t think the force can afford you even though you will become such a great asset. You don’t belong here. Find where you belong. And never hesitate to reach me when you need anything! Anything at all!”
And so I left the Nigerian Police Force to find where the ‘complex’ and ‘impossible’ Jeremiah Teyode belongs to…