We were finally on our way home, but not until picking Dimeji from the hospital and making a stop at the police station where we had all been summoned. Kamiye had vacated the back seat, leaving me with Dimeji and Tokunbo, who couldn’t seem to get their hands off each other since our exit from the hospital ten minutes ago. I glanced at the couple snuggled in each other’s arms as Dimeji whispered something into her ears which she nodded mutely to, affection shining in her eyes. I looked away again out of the window feeling like a voyeur in such an intimate moment.
Both were clearly worn out. And who could blame them, not after all they had been through in the past days. Thankfully, they had weathered the storm.
Without intending to, I turned again and caught them sharing a kiss, but looked away abruptly, mentally noting not to look their way again for the rest of the trip. And for what must be the umpteenth time, I could hear Tokunbo ask her man if he was okay. Clearly, she cared about him and whoever had believed she’d poisoned Dimeji in the first place, was blind. I mean it was pretty obvious both lives were intertwined and both probably couldn’t live without the other.
But the same could not be said of me. From the little I remember, I had never needed a man. Although now I knew something about that had changed because one look at Tokunbo and Dimeji, and I knew I yearned for that kind of spark. Dr. Dominic started to seep into my mind again and almost immediately I forced my thoughts into other matters as I vowed never to be that dependent. Although deep down nagged the reality of how much I would give away for the Doctor if we ever happened.
“Hello Tobi.” My attention was immediately drawn to Kamiye’s voice as she answered the phone. She soon revealed to us that Tobi was caught up with urgent matters and couldn’t make it to the police station but we could go ahead. I shut my eyes for a short nap and the next time I opened them, we were parked at a navy blue building intersected by yellow lines.
“We are here.” Kamiye whispered as everyone started to alight.
The station was gravely quiet as we entered, with Tokunbo taking the lead beside her man as she spoke to one of the three grumpy sergeants at the counter, and demanded for Inspector Sunkanmi.
The man eyed us and told us to sit on the bench. One of the sergeants studied Tokunbo with admiration, and passed a snide remark in pidgin, that she cleaned up nicely. Though she barely granted them any audience, a scowl from Dimeji was enough to send them retreating into whatever book they’d been studying.
Footsteps resounded in the hallway, and soon the Inspector appeared, the same one we had met earlier that day.
“Good evening Sir.” We all greeted.
The sergeant provided a white plastic chair for his subordinate to sit.
“I hope you feel better now Mr. Dimeji. I was at the hospital earlier, but you were to be undisturbed.”
Dinmeji nodded. “Please, I would like to see my brother.”
“But did he truly poison me?” He asked his most nagging question.
“Yes. And here is the proof.” He pulled his phone out of his pant pocket, and punched at some keys before handing it over to us. “Do you know about any Aisha?”
“Tomiwa’s ex.” Dimeji scowled at the memory of the millions of Naira Tokunbo had revealed she’d been ripped off of. If not because the police had called off the charges on Tokunbo and declared her free, he would have believed Aisha was brawling. He only hoped that whatever information she had was worth the pay.
“Yes. She brought me this earlier today.”
He handed the phone to Dimeji and started to play the video. We all peered over to watch. The next thirty seconds were filled with shock and inarguable confirmation that Tomiwa had done the deed. Halfway into the clip, Tomiwa’s hands became unsteady. At the end of it, it shook aggressively as tears rolled down his eyes. Not even a word from him, but the pain in his eyes was palpable as Tokunbo draped an arm over him, crying herself. It was hard to tell who was comforting whom. It was an unbearable sight.
Stunned herself, Kamiye took the phone from Dimeji and returned it to the inspector.
Why would Tomiwa want his brother dead? I wondered as the same question ran through everyone’s minds.
“Why?” Dimeji suddenly growled, shaking in a combination of anger, pain, shock, and confusion. “Why did he do that?”
“He is yet to tell us why, except when we showed him the video, he spilled that Inspector Tega was an accomplice.”
“Tega?!” everyone screamed in unison.
The inspector let out a gust of breath as he shook his head, his gaze fixed on the ground “Sadly, he confirmed it when he shot Aisha earlier today, we were also on his trail by then, but it was too late to save the woman. But we arrested him.”
“Tega killed someone?” Kamiye jumped to her feet in shock.
Whoa! Can this get any messier?
“What?!” Tokunbo choked in disbelief. “You mean he killed her?! I…I spoke to her this morning. I just…” her voice trailed as the Inspector continued.
“And there is more.”
Everyone stared at him with expectation. “I started re-investigating your wreck. A visit at the mechanic’s place told me it was a brake failure, but after a closer look and a lot of press on the mechanic and assuring him he wouldn’t be in trouble, he finally revealed that he’d told Tega the brake pipe had been cut. So that had stopped oil from flowing into the brake, and thus the stiffness on the brake and the accident. But Tega had left that out of the report, now we know he had intentionally omitted it. In his report, he’d simply stated it as ‘mechanical fault’ so the wheels had started to roll in my head and that was why we were on his trail when we saw him shoot Aisha.”
I was too shocked to speak. If a heart attack wouldn’t kill us all the moment, I don’t know what would as the answers were slowly falling into place.
“Where are they?” Dimeji angrily barked rising to his feet, no one dared stop him, not even his fiancé. “I need to see them!”
“This way.” The inspector arose, and led us through the passage, before turning to a bend at the right.
I suddenly felt dizzy from all of the news. And as if sensing my needs, Kamiye’s arms wound around me, supporting me or herself, it was hard to tell, but it was comforting.
Noise flitted across the hall; it drew even nearer as we approached. It sounded like a fight and immediately a sergeant sprung on his heel, just as the inspector’s pace increased nudging us to do the same. The end of the hallway brought us to a cell enclosed by heavily spaced bars. A little crowd had formed inside; shielding whatever was going on in the circle. Then came the cracking sound of a punch connecting against bones, definitely shattering, as I caught the glimpse of a man falling to the ground, and another on him.
The shirtless crowd urged for more fight as a couple of policemen stood outside, trying desperately to calm them, and obviously giving up when they couldn’t. Inspector Sunkanami drew close, and just when I wondered what difference his presence will make, his voice belted ‘quiet’ in a stern tone, and the fight seized as the lot tore apart to further present the scene.
In reflex, my hand flew to cover my mouth as the sweaty group of men dispersed, to expose a bloody shirtless Tomiwa on the floor, and rage possessed Tega towering above him. Tokunbo whimpered, Kamiye sucked in a deep breath, and Tega on seeing us stepped away from the man and turned away. Tomiwa had sustained an ugly black eye. He looked too weak and tired to be the Tomiwa I knew.
He tried to stand but managed to pull himself to his feet at a second attempt. Certainly, this couldn’t be the same man who had been at my ward early this morning, I thought as there were bloodstains from different cuts on his skin; his nose and his lip bled, making him almost unrecognizable.
Pity welled in me but soon doused by fresh anger as I recalled just why he’d ended up here. And Instinctively, I glowered both at him and Tega.
Tega too had now turned to us; his looks were daunting like a mad dog on a leash. I sent him the coldest, bone-shattering stare I could muster as his chest heaved in anger. And for once, I was grateful he was behind bars, and I was untouchable.
Tomiwa grimaced in pain as he pushed from the floor, purposely ignoring us with his head bowed. His fingers were trembling. I wasn’t sure if it was from pain, anger, or shame.
“How could you do this?” Dimeji growled into the quiet room, lurching close to the cell. “Answer me you bastard!” His voice echoed in an anguished cry.
“How could you do this, bastards!” He shouted this time, angrily grabbing at the bars. Surely, he would kill Tomiwa if given the chance.
But then, Tomiwa lifted his head with a dramatic stare and rose as he advanced towards Dimeji, limping. I was relieved when Dimeji stepped back, realizing that his brother had lost touch with sanity if the look in Tomiwa’s eyes were anything to go by, it was of no remorse.
Tomiwa’s stare was melting. It was hard proportioning this crazy man with the one who had spoken to me about love. Gratefully, I had been smart not to fall into his trap.
“I don’t blame you, but your very stupid mother.” He chuckled at the shock in Dimeji’s eyes at his reference to their mother. “Yes, your stupid mother that had me for another man.”
“Tomiwa you are mad!” Dimeji’s voice sizzled with anger.
A somewhat devilish smile formed on Tomiwa’s lips. “Even you can’t deny you don’t know that father isn’t my biological father. Or that that crazy mother of yours had an extramarital affair and I was the result of it, or that your father hated me, and you were obviously his most preferred son.”
There was much hate in Tomiwa’s words, just too much of it.
“I hate to think I was just one of his charity works or pet project.” He spat in disgust. “Even you can’t lie you didn’t know about that. Or why did you think he willed everything to you and left only that stupid almost crumbling flat to me.”
“Oh cut it.” Dimeji scoffed. “Didn’t he also give you-“
“Don’t patronize me!” Tomiwa interjected in a scream. “What did he give me?” he shook his head and gave a lopsided grin that seemed somewhat funny with his swollen black eye. “That’s why I don’t regret killing them both.”
“You killed mother and father?!”
There were sharp intake of breaths and gasp, as I sucked in a shaky breath. The happy faces from the parent’s picture still floated in my head. It was enough shock that they were only step-siblings, even more shock that Tomiwa had killed their parents.
“Who do you think orchestrated the car crash?! Me! And Tega here was more than ready to help to cover things up as usual.” He winked at Tega, who screamed ‘liar!’ and was once again trying to get to Tomiwa, save for three macho shirtless cellmates who held him back. For a brief moment, there was fear in Tomiwa’s eyes, and then it was gone when he saw he was being protected.
Amusement danced in almost every prisoner’s eye. They obviously were having a thrill at the unfolding drama.
“You used me, you deceived me. You bastard!” Tega angrily yelled at him since that was all he could do incapacitated by the lot.
“Yes I know I’m a bastard, thank you,” Tomiwa whispered. “But if you weren’t so greedy you wouldn’t have been of help.” Tomiwa was back now to Dimeji.
“Seven years back, you were working with Dallas incorporation, you brought some money home and you were robbed. Eventually you had to pay back that money yourself.” He nodded in amusement against Dimeji’s silence. “Well, this man had sent those robbers.” He pointed at Tega, before drawing closer to Dimeji in a much-lowered voice, that I had to strain my ears to listen.
“Don’t ask me how I know. I just know. I always know everything.” He boasted with pride.
Tega had stopped struggling now, he was quiet, and intently averting his gaze. I’d never seen the haughty inspector so broken.
“So you see I discovered that robbery, and since then, Tega has been the puppet on my strings.”
“You were stingy Dimeji.” Tega interrupted. “I needed that money, I asked you for it, I knew you had it, but you were back with your excuses. You were so stingy Dimeji. You have always been.”
“And that is enough justification for you to rob me?” Dimeji finally spoke up after a long time of silence. “I vividly remember telling you that it was the company’s money not mine. I sold my last inheritance to raise that money and pay up. Hell, I even lost my job because of it. If not because Tobi asked that I join at Longe’s I can only imagine where I would be. You wrecked me!”
“I will take responsibility for Dallas theft and nothing else as I know nothing about the rest. Tomiwa here only blackmailed me.”
“That’s because you are a dumb cop.”
Once again, Tega began his struggle to reach Tomiwa, as every ounce of respect I ever had for the man shred at the face of his confessions.
“I hate you though.” Tomiwa steered back at Dimeji. “You ought to be dead right now. I really don’t know why I decided to give you a second chance. Or maybe, I didn’t want it to be that easy. Death would have been too easy. I wanted you to suffer first.”
“You are unbelievable.” Dimeji hissed. Even his voice was clogged, proving his tears. “So all this is for what? Revenge?”
Tomiwa cocked his head to the side in quiet speculation. “Well, that’s only a part of it. In plain terms, I wanted your inheritance. You have never been smart Dimeji, and you have been too trusting, that’s why everything would have gone smoothly. I mean, you even willed your property in my name, in case of your demise.”
Dimeji’s eyes narrowed in slits. “You saw my will?”
Tomiwa started to chuckle, a most sinister sound but somehow I found myself drawn to him in spite of it. “And why did you want Tobi and I dead?”
Silence continued as he turned to me, finally noticing me.
“Oh beautiful.” He cooed. I stepped back involuntarily as he shot his hand out through a rail and retrieved them. “I never wanted you dead; I wanted your brother dead. You were only a bonus. You see our brothers are partners at Longe’s construction, so having both of them out will put me at the fore-front of things, don’t you see?”
I knew he just admitted to a near murder, but I needed him to say it in more plain words. “So our accident was your fault?’
“Yes darling, I knew you were smart.” He smiled like this was some random chit chat. “Like I said, technically, it was more directed at your brother, his wife, and kids… and maybe you. But Dimeji would have taken a fall for it that was the plan. Tega was supposed to accomplish that, but he just couldn’t get things right.” he shrugged, and then adding as an afterthought. “I would have regretted killing you though because I truly love you.”
“You fool!” Kamiye shouted angrily from behind, and also came beside Dimeji. “So you think you would have succeeded without anyone figuring it out.”
“Yes aunt K.” he snickered. “I had you all wrapped in my fingers. I would have killed you and the boys, remember the gunshot at the hospital?” He rubbed his thumb and index finger together; he sniffed, and rubbed his hand over his bare arms like he was cold. “I feel sick.” He sniffed again, making it even clear that he was on drugs.
“I didn’t know he wanted you, Dimeji, Kamiye, or the kids dead.” Tega said to me like he was seeking for some retribution. “He did things without telling me and left me to clean up the mess. He had things against me.”
“That’s because you were dumb to commit robbery in the first place.” Tomiwa sneered at Tega.
Once again, the guys held Tega down. I was scared for Tomiwa. Tega would definitely kill him when we all left.
“Oh yes!’ he turned back to Kamiye. “And the shots too, where you and Dimeji were cuddling, the blackmail, that was me.” He grinned, taking pride in his work.
“Wow you are truly crazy!” Tokunbo spat from behind as shocked as Dimeji, as Kamiye mouthed that she would explain to them later.
“My only mistake was leaving it to a woman. I should have known that Aisha could never keep a secret.”
Tomiwa began to laugh now, a deep throaty laugh that rang in the cell as we all dispersed, telling us that the man was raving mad as inspector Sunkanmi signaled to a sergeant to turn off his recorder.
Hey loves, I know you are probably smiling after this scene. Don’t ask me how I know, I guess because I’m smiling too. Hahaha. Just wanted you to know there will be another scene tomorrow and for y’all to stay tuned. Thank you for your love always. I love you!