Prose

FACELESS

Dele markiwa was beaming with smiles. It was his moment and he thrived in it. He made sure to enjoy the spotlight, as some will call it, while it lasted. He had worked his butts off for five good years for this particular “feeling”-the job of his dreams! He still couldn’t believe he had achieved it. He had craved for this position since the day he made up his mind to venture into coperate practice. Even though majority of his friends regarded office job as boring, he still never failed to brag to whoever cared to listen how it would be his dream come true.

“Excuse me sir, there is a call for you” came the voice of his secretary, distracting him from his thoughts.

“Should I put her through?” she asked when her boss made no attempt to act accordingly.

After a little pause, he swallowed hard and asked: “her?”

“yes sir. Its a woman”

“Alright, put her through”, he said, making his way to his office to get the call. The blank countenance he wore was proof that he was still brainstorming on who the unknown caller might be.

“Hello”, he said the moment he took his seat.

“Dele Markiwa?”

“Speaking. How may I help you?”. He was still trying to figure out whose voice it was when it came again, pulling him out of his thoughts.

“You must be wondering who I am. Doesn’t my voice sound familiar? Its only been five years, don’t tell me you don’t remember me”.

Dele was transfixed. Shocked was an understatement, he was terrified. He had no personal experience to refer to but he knew enough to tell that calls like this don’t always end well. His eyes remained fixed to the floor like it haboured the answer to this mystery. He was certain that this voice sounded familiar but he wasn’t sure when, where or to whom it belonged to.

“Dele honey, you still there?” The voice remained cool, calm and collected and Dele couldn’t understand how a person could maintain such neutrality while placing others in a skyrocketed state of apprehension.

“I know you are in a state of merriment. Your office has always been exquisite but that of a managing director would pass for nothing less of heaven on Earth. Meanwhile, congratulations on your promotion” the voice chuckled.

“How did you know about my promotion?” Dele was beginning to sweat all over. The oblivious state of not knowing who the caller is was downgrading but the scorn, the mockery evident in the voice was belittling. Dele was getting embarrassed even though no one else was listening to their conversation. This wasn’t him. He was Dele Markiwa, the man that is always in control of his activities.

“What do you want?” He shouted, his temper rising.

“Hey man, don’t raise your voice at me. I call the shots here, not you. Now listen and listen good, if you don’t want me giving your precious wife a call, you do exactly as I say. Am I understood?”

“Yes” Even though yet to wrap his fingers around it, Dele knew he was in for a lot of trouble.

As he sat in his seating room later that evening watching his usual 8 o’clock news with his wife, his phone rang. He was surprised to see the same number that had called him earlier in the day. The hiss escaped his mouth before he recalled his wife was present.

“Darling, is everything alright?” Came his wife, as expected. He lied, using work as cover up but the calls never stopped coming until he sneaked out to listen to the obviously more threats the caller had.

“What is it again, what do you want from me?” He screamed at the phone.

“Dele love, screaming the house down will do you no good so I advise you calm down. I saw you at the address I texted you. You didn’t see me, so don’t bother your little head. The whole point of making you revisit that venue is to help your memory. So tell me, do you now know who I am, has your memory done its job this time?”

Dele was fidgeting. “Look here young lady, I don’t know who you are or what games you are playing. Just Incase you haven’t figured it out, I will enlighten you. Am a very busy man hence, I don’t have time for your dirty games. Have a good night!”.

Not so fast. If I were you, I would first go through that email I just received before taking a decision. She was smiling and Dele could feel it. That crooked smile, that outrageous grin could only mean one thing…

His mouth hung open as he read through the mail. “Nooo! This can’t be true. This can’t be happening! Especially not now.” He snapped his fingers in furry and Paced to and fro his passage, biting his finger as he thought of the quickest escape plan.

He had spent the past five years praying that nemesis doesn’t catch up with him but like some will say: “karma is a bitch!”. He had felt so guilty of Maureen’s death even after making sure his tracks were covered air tight. Dele knew he wasn’t exactly the perfect definition of a good man but he was certain that he made it to the top 20. Well, at least, everyone around him made him feel so.

Killing Maureen was the worst thing he had ever had to do especially judging by the fact that she was very nice to him. Her extended hand of friendship came at the lowest moment of his life. She had helped him both advise wise and financially, as any good friend would. Driven by quest for power, Dele had killed her the moment he found out just how wealthy she was. The realization that Maureen was an only child was enough prompt for the scheme. Dele had ceased the grieving period to get close to her dad and hence his company.

“How exactly is Maureen still alive? I made sure she breathed her last five years ago before leaving the scene. If she has been alive all these while, why wait five years before coming for what is rightly hers? By the way, how does she know about my little affair with Nneka and the son produced by the ill-fated union?, the very information she has been threatening to let my wife in on.” He had lots of questions yet, no calculated answer for any of them. The past five years had been peaceful, little did be know that these actions will come back to bite him in the ass.