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Chapter 12

"...home is not necessarily a building, it could be people, a place, one person even. Home is any where that brings relief when things are hard. Home is a safe space."

That was epic!! Ghost being FM? After all the hopes and wishes we had for him. He seemed to be the right person Paula needed in her life right now. But, we were all wrong. "Not all that glitters is gold" a simple truth that we always seem to forget or neglect when it suits us.

Well Ghost had been Ghost since that dark night in the bushes when he was born. I don't mean normal childbirth. After the chanting and battering, a new personality was brought to life. Ghost wasn't born out of need or necessity, should we call it man's incessant need for power? I think "Greed" is the right word. Olorunfemi was born with a silver spoon jammed in his mouth. Unfortunately for his parents he was the one and only child, his mother and father had tried about 4 times that had resulted in miscarriages. There seemed to be no solution in sight. So when they were blessed with a bouncing baby boy while they were still in their prime, they named him Olorunfemi which translates to God Loves me. They showered him with all the love that they could offer. They had a lot to give. Olorunfemi was a bright kid, his name was lengthy so his peers didn't waste time shortening it to FM and it stuck. FM attended the best private primary and secondary schools in Lagos Island. His academic prowess always lit up his parents' minds. They couldn't contain their joy when he gained admission to the prestigious University of Lagos. The struggle and competition entailed in securing admission into a tertiary institution of such high calibre wasn't an easy feat. To show their appreciation, they ensured that he didn't lack even a drop of ink. They even bought him a car on his resumption into university. Little did they know that they had unknowingly thrown him to the wolves.

Life in the University is like that of an animal in the wild without its parent. FM had a lot of cash to go round and a car to show off with. In no time, he was in with the bad crowd and was initiated before his second year in school. But he had to maintain a good front back at home so he could keep the cash coming in. FM played his double standard so well that it became part of his life. To the general populace, He the gentle and amiable Mr Olorunfemi Ajadi that had made his fortune early in life through a thoughtful investment in crypto-currency. While in the world of Shadows, blood and gore, he was the deadly Ghost that was not to be messed with.

He had met Paula by chance, he was amazed at how well the pieces of the puzzle had now fit. He found Nife's safe space. He had the right button and at the same time he could now put a finger on who killed his boy. He just needed to play his cards right.

Detective Kola was roused from sleep. Job sounded really frantic, they found a body on a farm. Not only that, but the body had a single bullet lodged in its skull; meaning single gunshot wound to the head. As he heard the details of the report he went about getting his things in order in a frenzied manner. He wasn't in his bed that's for sure, and the lithe body lying next to him was too young to be that of his wife. The damsel turned in her sleep and murmured something about payment. He was pretty drunk last night and couldn't remember which of the Iya Ruka's girls had attended to his carnal needs. He dropped the usual fee on the bedside table and left, buttoning his shirt as he flew down the staircase. Detective Kola hadn't for once believed in coincidence. Maybe this time he had something serious on his plate. Something career changing maybe, but he had to get unto it before anyone else.

The rains came too early and fell heavily. Ghost's boys had not taken that into account when they were digging the shallow graves where they unceremoniously buried Ahmed and Zuko. Their laziness and lack of sense for detail would bring their doom. The forces of nature has decided it was time to bring the activities that took place in the shadows to light.

Kolapo had been a farmer for as long as he could deftly wield a hoe. He had inherited acres of land from his family. Much of it had been lying fallow and unused since he couldn't cultivate it all by himself. This year, he decided to leave the current portion he had be utilising for the last few years to fallow and move his cultivation into another part of the farmland. Unfortunately for Ghost's boys he had selected their mini graveyard and discovered the first body while he was tilling the soil. He immediately raised an alarm upon discovery, which brought the attention of several people. The matter was taken to the palace of the Ọọni who then contacted the police. But by then, the crime scene had been contaminated so much that no sense could be made of it.

Meanwhile, Paula was livid. She and Nife in the euphoria of their made-up love, had decided to let the matter of the text go. She had been brooding all day and angry at the fact that some one had decided to throw a spanner at the wheels of her love life. Her first thought went to Tutu. But Tutu wouldn't right? Tutu was her best friend and always wanted the best for her. Could it be that Tutu was jealous and wanted Nife for herself? No, Tutu didn't seem like the kind of girl that would pull tricks to get a guy she wanted. Her mind kept running wild. But, she decided to not take any action till she confronted Tutu about it.

Tutu picked up after two dial tones. "Heyy girl let's meet up it's been a while. Plus I have some gist for you" Paula said without even saying hello. "Heyy the gist you've got better be steaming hot. That's the only reason I'll forgive you for snatching me away from my dreamland" Tutu jested. They joked on and then agreed to meet later that day. Tutu was happy for Paula. She strongly believes that she did right thing by putting Nife and Paula's break-up in motion. But, her case was that of one that used painkillers for some else's pain.

"What hairstyle do you want?" The hair stylist repeated for the second time. Nife jerked himself back to consciousness. "Uhmmm, the usual. Just do the punk, that would be great" he replied. It was Sunday, Nife couldn't even remember when last he stepped into a church. His usual habit is to go for his haircut during the times that church services take place in order to beat the usual crowds at his favourite hair stylist's salon. "Are you okay, you seem really troubled. Girl trouble?" The hair stylist asked. Nife managed a smile and shook his head then replied "I wish it was though" The hair stylist smiled and continued on. "We barbers are just like bartenders you know, we do not only perform a service in return for your payment. We can also listen to your travails and give an opportunity to vent." Nife laughed him off and replied "If I'll tell you my so called travails, you would call me a lying asshole and probably get killed for possessing that kind of information." The Barber couldn't keep his laugh in as he replied with sacarsm "What did you do now, kill Vladimir Putin?" They bantered on and on like this till he was done. Nife thanked him and paid the usual fee then stepped out.

The sun was out, but it was peeking out behind dark clouds. It is definitely going to rain again. Global warming sucks he thought. He dipped his hands into his Jean pockets and started walking leisurely towards his flat. He thought about his time with Paula the other day. It felt good, he had a goofy smile on his face and anybody that had seen him. Would see a man contented. He didn't notice the navy blue Toyota Corolla Sport that had followed him from his house down to the salon. As he walked the car had been following him at a respectable distance. Suddenly it sped up and blocked his path and the rear door opened and he was pulled in. His shouts and cries for help muffled as his assailants shut the door and sped up. As he struggled to evade the restraints that were about to be placed on him, he felt the dull blow behind his head and it was lights out.

Detective Kola had seen his fair share of dead bodies. In his line of work, it was inevitable. It's like telling the story of the infinity stones and not mentioning Thanos or the Avengers. Job was bent over at one end of the crime scene puking his guts out. Detective Kola had stopped over at the station to notify the District Police Officer and pick two other constables to assist him with the details of the crime scene. He snapped at Job to man up and keep the crowd back. The body stank, it had been there for a while. Whoever buried it had done a bad job of it. The termites had eaten most of the clothes so it was unrecognisable. The maggots were already feasting on the body so the face was hardly recognizable. He would have to delegate someone that had a sense of details to check through their files to see if the body could be identified.A DNA test would take weeks, if not months to get results. Running it through the system to get a positive ID would take even longer. If not for the bullet hole that could be clearly seen he would have written it off as a ritual killing. Cases like that weren't common but were well heard of. He began to make a proper inspection of the site to see if he could garner anymore clues. He was bursting with euphoria as the excitement when Job called was starting to wear off. He stumbled, hitting his foot against a root stump he hadn't noticed and fell face first into the ground. When he raised his head up and opened his eyes, he saw a skull grinning back at him. He couldn't swallow the yelp that came out of his throat as he jumped off like he had fallen on hot coals. Call the station, tell them to bring the ambulance. We found another body!

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