LIFE OF PAINS
Kelvin carried several books as he
walked with his course advisor. He
functioned unofficially as the man’s
personal as-sistant. The good thing about
it was that when students wanted to
block courses, he was the one they had
to go throu-gh to get to him and that
meant that he made good money. He
also helped out in marking scripts and
recording scores. It was good work, he
has met really h0t girls throu-gh this
unofficial job of his. So when Mr Orilade
calls for him, he does not hesitate. He got
to Mr. Orilade’s car, he opened the back
door and dropped the books on the
seat. Mr Orilade got in to the driver seat
and thanked him. Kelvin turned away
from the car and saw Pere standing by
his side. He sighed in annoyance,
Kelvin: “Pere what is it this time? plea-se
don’t ask me any questions that I don’t
have answers for.”
Pere: “No… I don’t want to ask you any
question, I want to share something
Kelvin: “what news. Did Preye come back
to life?” Pere laughed.
Pere: “hahahaha…very funny. Not that.”
Kelvin: “my friend I don’t have time for
your ru-bbish. I have things to do. What
is it?” He turned to walk away.
Pere: “My father was using Preye to do
runs. Did you know that?”
Kelvin looked at Pere quietly.
Pere: “You do not seem surprised. You
Kelvin: “There are a lot of things about
your sister that you do not know. There
are lot of things about your father that
you do not know either.”
Pere: “then tell me. I am confused.
Everyb©dy in my house is acting like
Preye was never alive.” Pere said,
Kelvin looked at him skeptically
Kelvin: “I didn’t know you cared. From all
she told me about you, I had this picture
of a spoilt [email protected] who was not satisfied
with what he had. Well let me give you
an advice; Preye is dead. Leave it alone.
You might dig and find yourself
swallowed in the hole you dug. Take
care.” He walked away from the
Maria met with the lawyer recommended
to her by detective Calixtus, who had
returned back to his job in Lagos, his
vacation having come to an end. She had
met several lawyers who had charged
her exhorbitant fees then wasted her
time. She was tired. She also had to travel
back to Germany to put some of her
affairs over there in order. When she had
received the call from Nigeria telling her
that her son was in prison, she had
basically dumped everything she was
doing to be here in Nigeria. This new
lawyer’s name was Barrister Dominic
Ifeanyi Odumodu. He handled criminal
law and according to detective Calixtus,
really good at his job. His law firm was
situated along Airport road.
Maria: “Barrister, my son is serving time
for a crime he didn’t commit. The person
guilty of the crime is dead but we still
feel that we can prove his innocence or
if that’s not possible, commute his
s£ntence. This is why I am here. Cost is
not the problem, I will pay whatever.”
Barr. Odumodu: “madam this case is
stale. If I put my boys on it, they will get
little or nothing. Two, the only thing you
will get out of this is commutation of
your boy’s s£ntence, if you get anything
at all. You will not get anyone to go to jail
Maria: “I am aware of that fact. I just
want my boy to be free, to see the sun,
and give him an opportunity to be all
that he can be. Is that too much to ask,
Barrister Odumodu: “I will do all I can
madam but am not ma-king any
Maria: “thank you sir. How much is your
Barrister Odumodu: “two hundred
thousand naira for starters. As we
proceed I will let you know of any
incurred expenses.” As he spoke, Maria
brou-ght out her cheque book and wrote
a cheque for the said amount, signed
and gave it to him.
Maria: “plea-se do your best. You were
recommended to me by detective
Barr. Odumodu: “don’t worry madam. I
will put the best men on the job. That
reminds me, I will have to speak to your
Maria: “no…no… He doesn’t want to hear
about this. He feels that it’s a waste of
time. I will get you any information you
nee-d. If we make any improvement in
the case, then he will be willing to listen.”
Barr. Odumodu: “it is okay then. I will
expect the information as soon as
possible so that we can begin in
Benson entered the pri-vate clinic and
walked straight to the doctor’s office. He
ignored the protesting nurse at the
reception. He pushed the door open and
entered. He looked at the French doctor
who ran the hospital. The man looked up
Dr. Franco: “Who are you?”
Benson: “I am from Chief Bright. Where
Dr. Franco: “erm…that is the problem.
You see there was a complication we
had not foreseen.”
Benson: “what complication? I heard
you were the best. Did she die?”
Dr. Franco: “No. she has woken up from
Benson stepped back in shock. After a
year? That’s unbelievable.
Benson: “are you serious?”
Dr. Franco nodded his head.
Dr. Franco: “we were surprised ourselves
when her eyelids opened.”
Benson ru-bbe-d his face. This was good.
Benson: “so what is the complication?”
Dr. Franco: “she woke up alright but a
week later, she started acting weird. she
was started fighting the nurses and
screaming at people. We [email protected]£d her but
yesterday we did not [email protected]£ her because
we wanted to see if she had improved.
she was quiet at first then suddenly the
schizophrenia started again and the
nurse on duty, to my embarras-sment,
could not hold her down. She ran out of
the clinic premises.
Benson moved so fast that the doctor
didn’t know he was being lifted by him
until he hit the wall.
Benson: “you better look for her. If my
father hears of this, you will have more
to worry about you’re your scattered
office. Do you un-derstand me? Find her. I
am giving you three days.”
Benson dropped the doctor, arranged
his suit and walked out of the office.
Pere looked at his father as the nurse
helped him to his seat. He looked old. No
more pimping girls, old man. He thought
to himself and smiled grimly.
Bright: “Pere what are you doing in
Warri?” his speech still slurred.
Pere: “I [email protected]£…” His father’s phone was
ringing. A text message.
Pere picked it and looked at it as he
walked towards his father, halfway he
st©pped and looked at the message
properly then he looked at his father.
Pere: “Preye is alive and is mentally
unstable.” He said quietly.
Bright looked at him coldly.
Bright: “Are you my son, Pere?”
Pere: “what kind of question is that?”
Bright: “then go back to school and
mind your books. If I so much as
perceive or hear a word on this from
you, we will have issues. Do I make
Pere: “I hear you loud and clear sir.” He
got up and left the house.
LIFE OF PAINS
Bright was seated upon his be-d, the
physiothera-pist had his hand behind his
back. Bright’s right side had been
weakened by the stro-ke. He had to
exercise his right leg, his right arm and
his right hand, the f!ngersas well. The
physiothera-pist had brou-ght the
necessary equipment to help the process
on. He was expected to eat food with
salt, lots of iron and all that bland
ru-bbish. He watched the physiothera-pist
move his arm up and down. It hurt to
move it. They said something about
blood clot and what not. I am not
interested, I just nee-d to get better, there
are things to do. He had s£nt for Benson,
he was yet to arrive. I wonder how she
Mama Benson comes into the room and
Mama Benson: “how are you?” he
nodded his head. His speech still slurred.
That was embarras-sing.
Mama Benson: “that’s good. I have asked
them to make Amala for you.” she said
happily. He frowned his face in distaste.
She bur-st into laughter.
Mama Benson: “they say behind every
cloud there is a silver lining. No more
drinking, no more philandering.”
The physiothera-pist acted like he could
hear nothing, while he moved to Bright’s
f!ngers. Bright winced in pain as he
drew on the f!ngers.
Benson stared at his sister quietly as
they carried her into the car. She was
stra-pped to the seat then the nurse
entered with her. When he was satisfied,
he entered the car and they drove off. Dr.
Franco watched them leave with relief.
Thank god we found her on time. That
man is dangerous.
They got to Warri late in the evening.
Benson took them straight to an
[email protected] in an estate along the
express. They got to in and settle the
[email protected]£d Preye on her be-d. Benson gave
the nurse instructions and numbers to
call in case of emergency, then he left.
On his way home, his phone rang, it was
his father. Bright informed him that Pere
now knew about Preye. He told him to
set people to watch him so that he does
not reveal this fact to anyb©dy; whether
family member or not. Benson agreed
and ended the call. He made a call to his
Benson: “did you get the files I s£nt
Kennedy: “yes I did. It was an interesting
re-ad. So what is the plan?”
Benson: “well things are complicated
now. She is back in Warri and our little
bro, Pere, the nosy bastard knows she is
Kennedey: “well what did the old man
Benson repeated to him, the
conversation with Bright. Kennedy
listened then they discussed a way out
and other things.
Collins and Blessing sat in the cab and
watched the darkening evening sky
Blessing: “Gawd, I miss waffi o.”
Collins: “I swear down. Ghana sweet o
but wafftown sha, na highest o.”
Blessing: “omo na to turn up o. press
spoil everywhere o.”
Collins: “no we nee-d to chill o. we nee-d
to confirm say dat preye marra don
settle o. you know d way all these Koti
dem dey run deir marras o. I no get
bre-ad to begin share with any korrofo
Blessing: “na true you talk o. na to make
some calls make we know scores. Who
we go call now?”
Collins: “what of dat Preye brother, Pere.
He go fit give us line na?”
Blessing: “dat e broda wey dey carry
nose like say person dey smell $h!t? Guy
leave dat fella o. make we ask dat dem
friend for school, Kelvin.”
Collins nodded his head in agreement.
Collins: “ehen…dat one na correct guy.
Na to call am. I suppose get am for my
Felix was 35 years old but he looked like
he was 25. He held on to this image by
dressing like a youth when he was on
the job. Today he sat inside the lecture
hall like he was a student. He had
graduated from the university 10 years
ago. He watched Kelvin as he took notes
while the lecturer lectured on the t©pic
of the day.
He has been coming to clas-ses with
Kelvin for some days now. From his
observations so far, the boy was an
intelligent student but he seemed to be
in de-ep with all the corrupt lecturers in
the school and all the dull students in his
clas-s too. Well that’s not why I am here.
He got up as the student sitting next
Kelvin got up. The lecture had ended. He
walked to Kelvin and joined him on his
seat. Kelvin brou-ght a textbook out of his
bag and started to re-ad. He sat patiently
beside Kelvin and started the candy
Kelvin’s phone rang and Felix drew close
to hear the conversation. Kelvin
Collins: “Kelvin na Collins dey talk. Janet’s
Kelvin: “Collins…okay. What’s up?”
Collins: “erm me and my brother just
enter town. We want know if that Preye
matter don die down? You know d way
police matter e?”
Kelvin: “dem don s£ntence d guy wey do
am na. Everywhere don settle, no reason
Collins: “correct guy. We go enter Benin
during the week. Make we see then.”
Kelvin: “I go dey one side o. if una come
sha make una holla me, if I don throu-gh
I go come meet una.”
Collins: “no matter. Later.”
Kelvin ended the call and walked away
from his [email protected] lecture hall.
Pere was in a stew. The only person that
could help him clear his head and
confirm what he had seen on his father’s
phone was bro Benson. These days he
and his father were always seated
whispering like they are planning a
coup. He had to see with his eyes. He had
to confirm that Preye is truly alive. He
also wanted to show the world the kind
of man his father was. I can’t do this
alone, I nee-d someone to help me.
Kelvin…yes… Kelvin. He picked up his
phone and dialed Kelvin’s number. Kelvin
picked on the third ring.
Pere: “Kelvin we nee-d to see. Something
big has happened?”
Kelvin: “Pere abeg leave me alone. What
is it na? na crime to be your sista
Pere: “Kelvin, dis na serious matter. I dey
come school tomorrow. Make we see
Kelvin reluctantly agreed and he ended
Benson sat in his father’s room quietly
watching the physiothera-pist pack up
for the day. Pere had greeted him and
rushed away like a demon from hell was
on his heels. That boy will cause
problems o. the physiothera-pist said his
goodnight and left.
His father looked at him expectantly. He
told him everything that had happened
at the hospital and where he had placed
Benson: “I know you want her healthy.
We will do everything possible to get her
back to us. I was thinking that familiar
things might help guide her back to
sanity. I want to go and check throu-gh
Preye’s things for anything familiar like
pictures, music, films, anything that
might trigger a memory.”
Bright nodded his head and waved him
away with his left hand.
Benson walked into Preye’s room. The
room has not been opened since Preye’s
supposed death. His father had refused
anyone removing any of Preye or
Ebiere’s things from the [email protected] He
waved at the cobwebs and dust that
stood in his way. He looked around but
could not see anything of use. He started
going throu-gh her wardrobe, drawers
and cu-pboards. He found some old
pictures of her when she was pretty. He
stared at the pictures, then kept them
aside. He kept on searching. In a drawer,
where she kept her un-derwear, he
found a digital [email protected]£ra but the battery
had ran out. He kept that one with the
pictures and kept on searching. He
found nothing new. He picked what he
had found and left the [email protected] In his
room in his own [email protected] which was
built [email protected] from the main house, he
inser-ted batteries into the digital [email protected]£ra
and put it on. The pictures were good.
They will help. Let me check the videos,
he thought. There was just one video. He
pla-yed it and watched his father k!ssand
fondle Preye in a h0tel pool. He looked at
the video for some minutes then he
switched it off and stared at the wall of
LIFE OF PAINS
Pere called on Kelvin the next day. They
met in the school premises and found
and empty clas-sroom to talk. Pere related
to Kelvin what he had discovered. Kelvin
stared at Pere in disbelief. Pere then told
Kelvin that because he knew that Kelvin
won’t believe him, he had arranged for
them to go look for where Preye could
be. He wanted Kelvin to shadow his elder
brother, Benson to the location. Kelvin
refused at first because he was scared of
Chief Bright but later agreed because he
was as curious as Pere to know if Preye
was truly alive.
Benson went to Preye’s place that
afternoon to see her. The nurse told him
that she was eating but she has not said
anything. Benson listened to the nurse
with half attention, his mind was on the
video on the digital [email protected]£ra. He looked at
Preye now and felt irritated by her.
Felix was on the same bus with Kelvin
but Kelvin didn’t know. This time, he was
a civil servant wearing glas-ses, a beard, a
tie and a black suit with a file to
complete the picture. Kelvin fidgeted all
throu-gh the trip. It made him wonder
who had called him at the entrance to
the lecture hall. He watched Kelvin very
well. His instinct told him that this trip
was going to be a vital key in breaking
this case. At Effurun roundabout, he
watched as Pere picked Kelvin in his
Toyota Camry. Hmmm… Pere and Kelvin
together in Warri. He quic-kly s£nt a
report to his boss as he boarded a Keke
and told the driver to follow the vehicle.
Pere told Kelvin that his brother had left
the house that morning to work. So he
was going to lodge Kelvin in a h0tel close
to their house. He will call him the next
day, as soon as bros Benson left the
house. Kelvin agreed. He then gave Kelvin
some money for food and transport.
They soon got to the h0tel. Pere paid the
h0tel bill then they went to the bar and
Felix tried to listen in but the music was
too loud to hear what they were saying,
so he contented himself by watching
them and drinking a bottle of medium
stout to quench his thirst. Pere soon got
up and left. Felix watched as Kelvin got
up and staggered to his room to sleep.
He got up too and went to the room he
took. His room window was directly
above the entrance, so he saw who
entered and who left. He dialed his boss’
number and made his report for the day,
set his alarm and went to sleep.
The next morning, Pere rang Kelvin and
Kelvin quic-kly rushed down,
unknowingly accompanied by Felix. At
that moment, Benson drove out of the
family house and headed into town.
Kelvin quic-kly st©pped a keke and
followed behind. Felix also followed suit.
They followed Benson to the bank, when
he was done. They followed him to his
clinic. He was there for several hours.
Kelvin located a buka and had lunch. Felix
did the same. Benson [email protected]£ out of his
clinic some minutes past three in the
afternoon. He then drove to a company
office situated in a Plaza along Enerhen
road, which Felix knew from
investigations belonged to his father.
Kelvin stayed back and waited for
Benson but Felix was curious. He entered
the office building in search of Benson.
As he, Felix climbe-d up the last stair, he
saw Benson enter an office. He quic-kly
followed and entered. Benson was with
another man. The two men turned to
him. The surprised secretary was behind,
desperately calling to him.
Benson: “Yes, can I help you?”
Felix: “am very sorry, I thought you were
one of my as-sociates from my MBA days.
I have been calling to you but you didn’t
Benson: “am I you as-sociate?”
Felix: “no you are not. Am sorry. plea-se
excuse me?” Benson nodded.
Kennedy: “what is your name again?”
Felix: “Cletus Imade. Have a good day.”
the two men watch him leave.
As he climbe-d down the stairs, his heart
pumped fast. He got outside and quic-kly
boarded a bike and rode forward then
he told the bike to st©p before a church.
He entered it and made a call to his boss.
Barr. Odumodu: “Yes Felix. Anything
Benson: “I followed Kelvin as suggested.
He was following Dr. Benson, Chief’s
Bright’s first son. He went to his father’s
company and handed over a digital
[email protected]£ra to his younger brother. They hid
it as soon as I entered the office but I
was able to get a glimpse. I also heard
Kennedy, that’s who I believe it was
saying “Papa na real goat.” I believe that
the [email protected]£ra has something damning on
Chief Bright sir.”
Barr. Odumodu: “this is good work. Keep
tabs on Kelvin and Benson. There is
something going on in that family. It
might just be what we nee-d to get this
boy out of jail.”
Felix: “Ok sir.” He ended the call.
He walked out and boarded a bike to
where Kelvin had been waiting but he
Kelvin had waited until Benson [email protected]£ out
in hurry entered his car and drove off in
a squeal of tires. He quic-kly followed in a
keke. They drove until they got to the
estate and there the keke st©pped.
Benson drove in but Kekes were not
allowed into the estate. Kelvin paid the
keke man, crossed the road and sat at a
drinking parlour to watch the gate. Some
hours later, Benson drove out. He
followed him back home. He, kelvin,
returned to his h0tel. Then he called
Pere. Pere [email protected]£ some minutes later and
there Kelvin related what he had seen to
Pere: “I know the estate o. My popsy get
one crib there wey e dey use as guest
house o. hmmm…abi na dere Preye dey?
You know we-tin? I go go the place. I don
use the place several times take camp
girl. You go go with me. We go go as my
brother dey commot.”
Kelvin agreed then he and Pere [email protected]
Once again Felix could not make out
their conversation. He had tried not to
get too close because he believed Kelvin
might recognize him from when he
went in after Benson at the Plaza earlier
Pere sat back in his room and thought to
the conversation he just had with Kelvin.
What could be in that flat? I could go this
night to find out. hmmm… I know what
to do. He took out his phone, called
Kelvin to meet him outside. Then he
picked up his car keys and drove out. He
picked Kelvin on the way and they drove
to the estate. The security let him in as
they knew him from previous visits. He
drove to an area of the estate that was
uncompleted. There, Kelvin hid in the
booth. Pere drove to the [email protected] there
and rang the bell. The nurse opened. He
introduced himself and asked who the
nurse was. The nurse said she was a
friend of Dr. Benson visiting Warri for a
medical conference. Pere wanted to
hang around but the nurse refused,
claiming that her host told her not to let
anyone in. Pere nodded and left.
Meanwhile, Kelvin had crept to the side
of the house and was peering throu-gh
the kitchen window, he saw nothing
then he moved to the rooms. One room
was darkened, so he saw nothing. He
crept along the wall to the next room. He
spied inside and he saw Preye on the
be-d slee-ping. He [email protected] in surprise. He
knocked on the window but Preye didn’t
reply. He knocked again.
Voice: “she is [email protected]£d.”
As Kelvin turned to the voice as arm
[email protected]£ around his n£¢k, a sweet smelling
cloth was placed over his face and he
saw no more.
After some minutes of arguing with the
nurse; enough time for Kelvin to hide
somewhere, Pere entered his car and
drove away. The agreement with Kelvin
was for him to stick around until
morning then call him when his bro, Dr.
Benson comes there, so they can get to
the root of the matter once and for all.
Pere drove forward and took the
roundabout. He was soon on the
express headed for home. He nee-ded to
think. His head was full of grim thoughts;
tomorrow we go know the truth.
He sped up. I nee-d a drink bad. I will go
to Pablo’s to chill for a bit before going
to Becky’s place. I am not in the mood
for that house this evening, he thought
As he got to Otokutu, he pressed his feet
on the [email protected] but got no response, he
tapped it again and again to no avail. He
swerved off the road to avoid a truck
parked along the road. He tried to avoid
a pile of blocks but it was too late. He ran
into the blocks. The car ti-pped to the
side and went on to hit the frame
holding a bill board up. As people rushed
towards the car, it caught fire and those
close to the car, claim they could hear the
screams of the driver until there was
silence. Pere was dead.
Felix had waited until he saw Pere drive
out before leaving the gate to the estate.
He had reported to his boss the events
of the night. Barr. Odumodu wanted to
know what Pere and Kelvin had talked
about but most importantly, he wanted
to know where both of them had gone
to. They nee-ded a way to get into that
The nurse walked into Preye’s room to
administer the evening dose of
medicine. Preye was not on her be-d. She
started to panic. She rushed to the
bathroom and tried to open the door. It
was locked from inside. She pushed at it
but she didn’t have the weight to take
the door down. She called to Preye to
open the door but all she could hear was
the shower running. She got her phone
and quic-kly dialed Benson. She explained
the situation and Benson quic-kly rushed
Benson: “Preye, open the door.” He
turned the handle. He hit the door with
his b©dy again and again. He was soon
Benson: “Preye plea-se open the door.”
He tried the door again to no avail. Then
he heard a cli-ck. The door opened.
Preye was standing at the door. She
looked directly at him and smiled.
Preye: “brother, Can you see my scars?”
Her eyes rolled and she fell to the floor
Life of pains Episode 15 to 17
LIFE OF PAINS