It was three weeks after Claire’s guards were laid off that he found himself following her around again, combining it with his private investigation. He had kept a close watch on Mr. Olive, Bathoand Festus since the three came out top on his list of suspects but, so far nothing substantial came out from them.
He’d decided to ditch his cars having virtually used all of them in following Claire. He was sure that if a pro like him was hired and had been on the girl that it would have been easy to make him out as a stalker.
Again, it was four months gone after that particular incident, since then everything had seemed clear and settled. The SCD had conducted a shallow investigation coming out with nothing and after two months laid the case to rest.
As he sat at the Mallam’s shop pretending to be smoking with a stick of cigarette burning away in between his fingers something caught his eyes; a black Lexus L330. His mind went to work immediately. He remembered seeing that particular vehicle two days ago parked outside the mall where Claire had gone to make some personal purchases. Again, he remembered the car driving recklessly pass Claire’s residence the evening of the previous day. Was it coincidence? He doesn’t believe in that, he couldn’t make out the face of the occupant since the glasses were partially tinted. He waited mapping out plans on his head as all his senses became alert.
It wasn’t long before Claire pulled out and drove by in her Rang Rover Envogue. After exactly two minutes, the Lexus turned and followed her; that was the only confirmation he needed to know that another person had been contracted.
“Damn!!” He cursed under his breath, regretting why he wasn’t with his car. Paying off the mallam, he ran as fast as he could to the main road off the street and hailed a cab. The two cars; that of Claire and the Lexus were out of sight but he knew that Claire was probably headed to her office.
The cab had dropped him a distance away from where he could trek down to the block housing Late William’s office complex. Just like he’d expected, parked a short distance away was the Lexus.
He walked pass the Lexus and went a short distance before turning around. From the windscreen which wasn’t tinted, he saw a guy talking on the phone. He stood at a spot away from the car looking around like someone lost without a direction. He saw a lady walking by and approached her asking for a non-existing address. The lady pointed around to some shops telling him to ask them that she was new around there. He thanked her and went straight to the shop close to where the car was parked.
He’d asked the shop owner for the same fake address and also got directed to another person. All this he did just to get the attention of the stalker to let down his guards. Walking to the car obvious that the occupant was looking at him, he knocked on the glass and waited. After a while, the glass went down.
“Sorry can I help you?” the occupant asked.
“Good morning sir, please do you know no.18 Parkway Avenue?” he asked dead serious and with a look of a lost person as he motionlessly pulled out his gun tucked on his waist.
“Parkway Avenue? Sorry, I have not heard of a place like that. Why not ask people around.” he said.
“Ok, thank you very much but if you don’t mind I want you to quietly put your hands up where I can see them.” He said pointing the gun straight to his head.
The sudden look of shock and surprise which covered the guys face amused him but he kept a straight face. The guy gently raised his hands while Sly used one hand to open the door from inside. Settled on the back seat directly behind the guy, he ordered him to drive off. The shocked guy obeyed without hesitance.
She woke up feeling a lot better than earlier. Picking her wrist watch from the lamp stand beside her bed she checked the time; it was 7: 30 am. Dragging herself off the bed, she yawned and stretched heading downstairs to the kitchen.
She made herself a cup of coffee and sat down, sipping it while her mind roamed settling at nothing. Rinsing the cup after gulping the last content, she walked back to her room to get ready for work. After making her bed, she got off her night gown and surveyed her body on the mirror opposite her. A smile never fails to creep into her lips each time she checked herself out naked in front of a mirror. Done checking herself out, she walked into her bathroom. Allowing the warm water to wash away her troubles, she took her time enjoying the warm bath.
Dressed in a black Zara skirt, with a red H&M shirt with a black Zanotti wedge, she walked down the stairs turning into her study. Packing some papers into her briefcase, she walked out from the study into the sitting room. Looking around the sitting room, the wall clock attracted her attention again; it was already 8: 45 am. She picked her keys on the table and headed for the door. As she held to the door knob about to turn it her home phone started ringing. Whocould be calling me now? She thought. She made to ignore it but the ringing persisted. Leaving the door, she went straight to her bar and lifted the receiver from its cradle.
“Claire William’s home?” she said into the receiver.
“Good morning sweetheart.” Came Lizzy’s voice from the other end of the line.
“Oh! Lizzy, good morning, was about leaving for work.” Taking a reflex look at her wrist watch.
“Ok, have been trying to reach your cell but you ain’t picking, everything ok?”
“Oh my Goodness!!” she exclaimed. “Forgot to turn the silence mode off after the board meeting yesterday. Sorry sweetheart.” She apologized.
“You are going to get a beating for getting me so worried since last night.” Lizzy said.
“If it’s not going to land me in the hospital then you are free to beat me as you like.” Claire replied smiling, rummaging through her handbag for her phones.
“Wait until I catch you.” Lizzy shouted laughing.
“That’s not going to be a problem.” Claire replied with a sigh.
Lizzy must have caught a tone on her voice as she asked, “Are you ok dear?”
Knowing that she has betrayed herself in trying not to let Lizzy know that she was bothered, she tried last night to get Lizzy off her back. “Yea everything is fine, just having a slight headache.”
“You know what?” Lizzy started. “You’ve never been a good liar not even when your life depends on it so, just come out straight and tell me what’s bugging you.”
She know that Lizzy is not a friend that takes ‘don’t worry’ for an answer and decided to lay her cards down. “It’s the dream.”
“Again?” Lizzy exclaimed.” Same as before?”
“Yes.” She replied with a sigh.
“Don’t worry dear, it’s gon be fine ok?” Lizzy consoled.
“Sure, thanks.” Claire replied.
“I’ll drop by at your office so we can talk about it if you don’t mind.” Lizzy suggested.
“Sure that will be great. I can do with a little distraction.” She replied smiling.
“Oh! I’m now a distraction? Ok, wait till I see you at lunch.” Lizzy fired.
“Lunch time it is then. Remember to come along with your cane.” Claire retorted laughing.
“Sure, I ain’t gon forget it. Have a nice day hun lemme run along.”
“Ok sweetheart. Do take care of yourself.” Claire replied.
“You too hun, bye.” Lizzy said as the line went dead.
Claire dropped the phone and picking her briefcase from the sofa she hurried towards the door. Holding the door knob, she turned and took a last glance at the room to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. Satisfied, she walked out and pressed some buttons on the security lock.
Opening the door of her car, she dropped her briefcase before climbing in, slamming the door shut after her.
Easing the car into her parking lot, she came down with her briefcase and handbag. Walking a little away from the car towards the entrance to her office, she pressed the car lock without turning as the car beeped twice.
As she walked up the stairs to the entrance, the security man at the door held it open for her with a smile.
“Good morning ma’am.” He greeted.
Smiling at him as she walked through the door, “good morning Nick.” She greeted. “How was your night?” she continued without stopping.
“Fine ma’am, welcome.” He replied behind her.
“Thank you and do have a nice day.” Claire said smiling as she stopped and turned to him briefly before walking on.
As she walked towards the elevator, she got greetings from other staffs whom she knows by their names. To these greetings she replied with a smile without stopping.
Stepping out from the elevator, she walked towards her office.
“Good morning Vera.” She greeted her secretary who was busy typing away on her laptop as she walked in.
“Good morning ma.” Vera greeted standing up. “Welcome.”
“Thank you dear. How are you this morning?” she asked heading to the inner section which served as her office.
“Fine ma’am, thank you.” Vera replied behind her.
Few minutes as she settled down in her office, Vera walked in with her schedule for the day. She placed it on the table quietly and walked out trying not disturb Claire who was busy with her laptop. After few minutes of typing and checking through her mails, she pushed it aside and picked up the schedule. Glancing through it, she picked a ball point pen from her table and marked asterisks on some of the typed events of the day. She doesn’t feel like attending to any schedule that day.
Dropping the schedule on the table, she stretched her hand and picked up the neatly arranged mails on the table. Taking a glance at the mails one after the other, she smiled as she opened the last of them. As she read it, she smiled before dropping them back into her drawer. She picked a copy of one of the tabloids and scanned through the headlines, none seemed to capture her attention; no doubt she was already having a bad day. As she was still reading through the daily captions, her desk phone started ringing. Dropping the paper, she pressed a button as Vera’s voice came on the line.
“Ma’am you have Mr. Bob on line three.”
“ Ok, Thanks.” She replied and pressed another button and Bob’s voice came on air.
“Morning Angel.” Bob greeted.
“Good morning Uncle.” She replied.
“How are you sweetheart?” he asked.
“I’m cool Uncle just had a bad night.” she replied relaxing back on the seat.
“Ah!” Bob exclaimed, “What was it about dear?”
“Don’t even want to think or talk about it now.” She sighed.
“Why not drop by at the house after work and tell me about it. We can go see a movie at the Ozones.” Bob offered.
“Hmmm…” she thought for a while. “A friend will be coming around this evening, so I don’t think I can make it after work. And as for the movies, thanks, don’t feel like it.”
“Ok. That reminds me,” Bob continued. “What happened to your phones? You weren’t answering your calls last night.”
“Oh! Sorry uncle,” she apologized. “I forgot to unsilenced it after the meeting yesterday.” She didn’t still do that after Lizzy called and returned it back without checking the phone.
“That’s ok dear, wanted to remind you of the meeting with Ampcom Investors today.” Bob said.
“Yea, my secretary has already briefed me on that but uncle, I don’t think I will be able to be there, why not oversee everything.” She said weakly.
“Why, is everything ok with you?” Bob asked concerned.
She knew that was what was coming next.
“I’m not just feeling myself and coupled with the dream, think I’m having a bad day already.” She explained.
“Ok then, why not rest a little, I will take care of the meeting.”
“Ok, thank you very much.” She appreciated.
“Anything for you my little Angel.” Bob retorted.
Claire smiled shyly as if her uncle was standing before her before they said the goodbyes and Bob rang off…
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