This Is War (Gecko Episode 7)
The sound of my phone ringing jolted me out of my flash back, I looked at the screen and saw that it was Ifeoma on the phone. Oh Ifeoma, I had been completely engrossed in the unusual happenings of the day that I had totally forgotten I was meant to have a date with Ifeoma that day.
I contemplated picking the call, I wasn’t sure I still wanted to see her considering the mood I was in at that moment, I simply ignored the call and continued drinking my beer. I looked at the wrist watch, it was a few minutes past 4pm, I had being in the bar for a pretty long time.
The phone rang two more times and I just had to answer the call, in spite of myself I found myself giving her directions on how to meet me up at the bar that I was chilling at
It was a few minutes past 5pm when I saw her walk into the bar, gosh, she looked amazing, she wore a rather short gown that exposed a great deal of her thighs, a large part of her cleavage also lay exposed to anyone that cared to look. She stood at the door and tried to survey the place before she saw me waving at her, she walked towards me and drew out a chair and sat beside me.
‘Are you okay?, you didn’t sound okay on the phone and right now you don’t look okay either, I looked into her eyes as she questioned me, contemplating whether to tell her about Heavy Dee or not, if I told her about Heavy Dee, then it also meant I would have to tell her the whole story and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to do that, at least not then.
‘I feel a little sick, but I would be just fine’ I heard myself saying it and I could tell that I didn’t sound convincing at all by the way she looked at me.
‘I would take that to mean, you don’t want to talk to me about it right?’
I looked again into her eyes as she questioned me again, there was this hardness in her eyes that was making me feel I could trust her and talk to her.
But I remembered our code back then in the Gecko, any external person was a civilian and we had no business letting civilians into tactical issues.
When I didn’t answer her, she stared at me for some time and decided to be quiet as I signaled the barman to take her order, she asked for a bottle of Smirnoff ice and as she was busy drinking from the bottle in silence, my phone rang
The number on the screen was unfamiliar, I answered the call and the message was quite simple and straight to the point. The caller in a deep bass voice simply said ‘Royal Boulevard, 6pm, be cautious’ and the phone went dead.
Ifeoma looked at me in a funny way as I put the phone back to my pocket ‘what is…..’ I cut her short before she finished her statement ‘I am sorry, I have to go now’
She opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something, then she shut it again, she left her drink on the table, stood up from the chair, picked her bag and walked away without saying another word to me.
I wanted to apologize or at least say something to her but I just couldn’t there was so much on my mind, I just stared on dumbly as she walked away and made her way out of the Bar, maybe I just felt it would be safer for her if she stayed away from me at least for the time being till I was able to sort out myself with my dark past that was slowly creeping up on me all over again.
I made sure I was at Royal Boulevard before 6pm, it was a garden resort at GRA, not very far from my location as at when I received the call. I didn’t know who had called me but one thing was certain it had to be in relation to the events that had begun to unfold only a few days ago.
I got there a few minutes before 6pm and located myself in a shady portion in the garden away from obvious sight, I sat there probably waiting for my caller to show up, I looked at my wristwatch at different intervals, time ran fast and my caller was not forthcoming, I soon grew impatient and when it was 7pm, I stood up from the chair and was about to leave, when I heard a voice from behind me ‘patience is a virtue’
I turned quickly but couldn’t see anyone, then I heard the words repeat again and I looked to my left and saw him, he was wearing a dark shade and a hat, he had been sitting there all the while, I had met him there when I came and he had been stealing glances at me at different intervals, I just wondered why he chose to be quietly observing all these while.
He stood up and started walking towards me, he signaled me to sit down and I did, he sat beside me and smiled
It was already dark but the lights at the garden allowed visibility, he removed his hat and his shades and that was when I recognized him
‘Sting!!’ I mouthed his name softly partially in surprise and partially in recognition.
He nodded slowly as he spoke ‘yes, it’s me, I tried to warn Heavy Dee, yester night but he pushed the meeting to today and I guess you already know the story, he never saw today’
The wave of realization suddenly hit me, that was what Heavy Dee was trying to tell me when he mentioned an headway the previous evening, but again seeing Sting was something I couldn’t understand, how could he be here, Sting was meant to be dead to us.
‘But, we thought you were dead’
Sting nodded slowly, ‘indeed I am, or rather, I was, that’s a story for later Nocturnal, what’s more important is why I have called you here, I already gave little details to Heavy Dee on the phone before he died, but for you I guess this should be the beginning with that he brought out a guardian newspaper, opened the page to a particular story and dropped it on the table for me to read.
As I turned the paper to face me, I couldn’t help but remember how I had met Sting, he was there on the night I and Sparrow were initiated into the league of the Geckos, he was the third boy that was initiated that night, he was the ideal candidate for the league of the geckos, he was handsome, intelligent and wealthy too.
I hadn’t taken note of him that first night, so many gruesome things happened that night that I deliberately erased so much of it from my memory, so even if I had taken note of him that night I wouldn’t remember, I eventually got to take note of him on our swearing in ceremony when we had to take up code names.
We were four newbies in all that morning, we had survived three days of intensive training under harsh conditions like we were new recruits for the army, we had afterwards being considered worthy to be sworn into the league of the geckos,
Our real names were Osas, Chijioke, Iroh and Susan, I took up the name Nocturnal, considering one of d major characteristic of the gecko to be very active at nights, Chijioke took up Sparrow, considering the fact that geckos lived very close to humans and sparrows did same too, Susan took up sticker considering the fact that the feet of geckos stick easily to surfaces, Iroh took up Sting, we all wondered why the strange name as geckos obviously didn’t sting but his reasons were even stranger, He said he chose sting because just like the noun form of the word sting, he was going to plan an operation that would topple the gecko leadership and he was going to hurt everyone that contributed in one way or the other to making him join the league of the gecko.
It was a really strange and rather too daring gesture but we all laughed about it and probably passed it of as a rude joke but we were quite sure the Leaders of the league didn’t pass it off so easily, hence it didn’t come as a shock to us when we heard about Sting’s mysterious disappearance a few months later, we easily concluded that the Leaders had taken care of a future problem.
Sting tapped on the table to bring my mind back to the situation we had in our hands at that moment. I raised the newspaper to my face and saw the major stories on that page, nothing seemed to be of importance to me on the page, I looked up at Sting again as if to be sure that was the page he wanted me to look at, he pointed to the bottom edge of the paper and there I saw a rather short story, the headline was simply, Man and wife found murdered in their home.
I read the story and it went on ranting about how the couple were not seen for three days and friends were beginning to wonder what had happened until someone had busted their apartment and found them murdered in the bathroom in their own house.
The story carelessly mentioned the presence of a green colored gecko tied by his feet to the bathroom door frame with a very long rope and how weird it had appeared to the Policemen. The story went ahead to say that investigations were still being made by the Police as regards the strange murders.
Seeing the part that talked about the presence of the gecko got my heart beating very fast and just when I thought I had seen the worst, I saw the name of the couple, I didn’t know the name of the woman but the name of the man was a name any member of the gecko couldn’t forget in a hurry.
My jaws dropped in shock and heightened fear as I continued to stare at the name of the man. It was Abdul-Kadir.
Now it was obvious, this wasn’t just a usual murder, the murder of Abdul -Kadir, the murder of Heavy Dee, the presence of the gecko at both scenes, the photos of Sparrow coming back to haunt us….
It sure wasn’t a regular murder, the murderer was sending a message to us, this was war and I swear I never saw this coming.