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Life of pains Episode 18 to 20

Episode 18
Benson got the nurse to wra-p Preye
with a towel and took her to the be-d.
They la-id her on the be-d and watched
her for some minutes. The nurse smiled.
Benson: “what is it?”
Nurse: “she recognized you. That is good
Benson: “is it?” his phone rang. It was
Gladys. What was it again?
Benson: “Gladys what is the problem? I
am in the middle of something?” she
was crying on the phone.
Benson: “what is it Gladys, is papa
okay?” he picked up his car keys and
started rushing to the door.
Gladys: “brother, Pere had an accident.
His car caught fire and he died at the
Benson st©pped running. He stood still,
then he walked silently to the car. He
entered the car and sat down for a while
before driving off.
Abel was slowly improving in
knowledge. He had taken advantage of
the skill acquisition and education
program arranged by the Delta State
Government in as-sociation with The
Living Free Foundation for prisoners.
He was learning tailoring now. Papa still
taught him and his mother [email protected]£ every
visiting day. Prison was not that bad just
lonely. Crackpot had died though. He had
syphilis and that ate into his [email protected] He
had gone insane before he died. He had
no one outside the prison to come claim
him. He had been buried by the state.
After his death, their cell had been really
quiet until they brou-ght in Jeff and Obus.
Trojan did not like Obus, he said he
reminded him of his first son. Obus was
18 years old and fearless. He had been
s£ntenced to 15 years in prison for
armed robbery, burglary, battery and
illegal ownersh!pof a firearm. The judge
had been pissed at his remorselessness
and he had a poor defense.
Abel had tried to encourage him to come
learn a skill too but he wasn’t interested.
He [email protected] a lot about his guys who
were driving big cars in town, wearing
flashy clothes. “Omo d street dey pay
boys o”, he was known to say. Maria had
come to see him and had just left. He
was talking with papa when Obus [email protected]£
to join them.
Obus: “I hear say your male get bre-ad o.
why she never come discharge you
comot dis yard na?”
Abel: “I dey serve time for killing a
woman. How she wan take free me?”
Obus: “omo free dat matter. Money go
run anything. If my guys collect beta
block for d street, dem must reason my
Abel: “come, look… all this ‘your my guys
for d street’ wey you dey talk so. You tink
say dem get your time?”
Obus: “Of course na. Dem be my brodas
o. we be blood.” He said, swelling with
Abel: “the day dem arrest me for The
Cardinal’s I dey wit some of my old time
guys too. Dem dey run street too. Dem
discharge leave me. When koti go even
find dem, dem don discharge comot
town. So no reason am, your guys no
s£nd you.”
Obus: “I remember dat marra o. e don
still tey small na? Dem say you kill girl
wey get belle for you too….hahahaha… I
dey dere dat day o. Na dem Collins you
siddon wit abi?”
Abel looked at him in surprise.
Abel: “yes, you know dem?”
Obus: “no be Udu? We no d boys wey
dey collect for d street na.”
Abel nodded his head.
Abel: “me, Collins and Blessing grow up
Obus: “ehen…small world. I hear say dem
don enter town o. no b small bash dey
throw for B-side o. dem say dem spoil
everywhere o; Andre, Hennessey, Ace,
Vodka dey cry for dere dat night. Babes
yakpa, boss. I swear down.”
Abel sat quietly. So Collins dey flex life
abi? E good for dem. He got up quietly
and left them.
The house was in an uproar when
Benson stepped out of the car. Cars were
packed all over the place. He rushed
inside and went straight up to his
father’s [email protected] His mother was wise.
The noise did not get to this area due to
her orders that chief should not be
disturbe-d. His father was on his chair
watching TV.
He greeted him and sat down quietly. His
father looked at him and nodded his
head for him to come close. His voice
slurred as he spoke;
Bright: “how is she?”
Benson: “she spoke to me today.” He
said watching his father’s face.
Bright tried to smile but his face was no
longer the same. One side of his face
refused to respond.
Bright: “she’s recovering. Good.” He
started to cough.
Benson got him water to drink. He
waved it away. He coughed with tears
running down his eyes, catarrh
streaming out of his nostrils. After the
cough abated, he gestured to cu-p placed
by his side. Benson got up and picked it.
It contained saliva and water. He gave it
to his father, who spat into it. Benson
picked a handkerchief close to his father
and used it to clean his nose and mouth.
He [email protected]£ irritated,
Benson: “where is the fv¢king nurse?”
Bright tried to laugh. Benson looked at
him in irritation. Bright saw him and
smiled sadly
Bright: “don’t think I do not mourn Pere.
I do but am just tired. Too much death in
this family.” He sighed.
Benson looked at him and turned as the
nurse [email protected]£ in.
Benson: “plea-se change this
handkerchief it is we-t and sticky.”
Bright laughed again. This led to another
bout of coughing.
Maria met Barrister Odumodu at his
office the day after Pere’s accident.
Barr. Odumodu: “we have new
information. It seems Kelvin, that’s the
dead girl Preye’s friend and Preye’s
brother Pere met in Warri. They drove to
an estate that had restricted access. We
do not know where they went to as my
boy was not allowed into the estate.”
Maria: “what is news there? Are they not
Barrister Odumodu: “they are not close.
According to sources, Kelvin had walked
away from Pere several times, in anger
when Pere approached him.”
Maria: “you think their meeting has
something to do with my son’s case?”
Barrister Odumodu: “I don’t know but I
have a suspicion that their meeting was
As they spoke, Barr. Odumodu’s phone
rang. It was Felix,
Barr. Odumodu: “yes.”
Felix: “boss, Pere is dead. He had an
accident after leaving the estate”
Barr. Odumodu: “what about Kelvin?”
Felix: “I have not seen him o”
Barr. Odumodu: “find him and see if you
can get something out of him, ok?”
Felix: “Ok sir.”
Barr. Odumodu looked at Maria, he
re-moved his glas-ses and ru-bbe-d his eyes
then he wore it back.
Barr. Odumodu: “we nee-d to find out
what happened in that estate, madam.
Preye’s brother is dead.”
Maria absorbe-d the news in silence.
Maria: “why don’t I rent a flat there? It
will give reason for your boys to come
Barr. Odumodu: “you have that kind of
Maria: “I love my son.”
Preye watched the nurse silently. She
looked around the room. This is not my
room o. how did I get here? She
thought, watching the nurse bring out
clothes that she will wear.
Preye: “where is my brother?” her voice
sounded weird in her ears. It has been a
long time since she spoke.
The nurse turned in surprise then she
Nurse: “I will call him to come.”
Episode 19
Felix got to Kelvin’s place in school only
to find the door locked. He asked his
neighbours who told him that he has
not been to the house. He went to his
[email protected] to look for him but no one
knew where he was. He decided to go
back to Warri and hang around the
Barrister Odumodu placed a call to
detective Calixtus in Lagos.
Barr. Odumodu: “we have a problem o.”
Detective Calixtus: “what happened?”
Barr. Odumodu: “Things are beginning
to look suspicious here. Someone wants
to keep a secret. The case is supposed to
be old and dead. Yet after Pere and
Kelvin meet in Warri, Pere had an
accident and died. As for Kelvin, he is
nowhere to be found. It seems this
matter is more than we imagined it to
be. I nee-d your as-sistance. You are a
police man. You can enter places where
my man can’t.”
Detective Calixtus sighed. This matter has
taken another dimension.
Detective Calixtus: “I cannot leave Lagos
now but I will task a trusted colleague
right there in Warri to get on the case.
The case officer for this matter is not
dependable but this my guy is. His name
is Boniface, detective Boniface Bamidele.
He is a good man.”
The burial of Pere was a sad affair. The
family shed tears and there was a lot of
His mother who has been abroad for
some years [email protected]£ back and she brou-ght
her drama with her. She basically
accused the whole house of witchcraft
and nearly fought with Mama Benson.
Alero is an Itsekiri woman and the only
one of Bright’s wives that is not
dependent on Bright’s wealth. She was a
rich woman in her own right, so she did
not feel the nee-d to speak carefully. So
when she said she was getting the
police to come and investigate her son’s
death, everyb©dy knew she not only
meant it, she will do it.
Bright stayed in his [email protected] and did
not receive anyb©dy except Benson, his
physiothera-pist and his nurse into his
pres£nce. His words still slurred when he
spoke but it was stronger now. He still
nee-ded aid to walk.
Bright: “make sure that no police
detective gets into this house. Also move
Preye from that place. Find somewhere
else to put her.”
Benson: “Okay dad. I will move her but I
think we should let the police
investigate. You and I are the only ones
who know about Preye being alive. If we
move her to a different location, we have
nothing to worry about.”
Bright: “okay to avoid suspicion, right? I
get it. Do what you can. You are a smart
Benson: “erm…dad, now that Preye is
recovering, what is the next step?”
Bright: “I am thinking on that. I would
love to see her though. I don’t know if
the people involved in that murder case
are still interested in reopening the case.
I heard a lady tried to get an appeal last
year but failed. We have to be really
Benson looked at his father quietly. He
still wants her. Look at his face; the lvst.
God….he turned away in disgust and
stood up.
Benson: “let me go and find food to eat.
Am hungry.”
Bright: “that reminds me. You nee-d to
start ma-king plans to settle down o. life
is too short.”
Benson: “am working on it dad.” He
replied as he left his father’s pres£nce.
Preye found herself along the express.
She could not remember leaving the
house. Since she [email protected]£ out of the
darkness, she had periods of black out in
which whatever she did, she could not
remember. She stood, confused. Right
there and then, a car horned at her. She
turned and saw that it was her elder
brother, Benson. My jailer. He stared at
her angrily from inside the car. When he
got to where she was, he opened the
pas-s£nger door and told her to get in.
she entered and sat down quietly. He
said nothing, he just drove back to the
house. At the house, he opened the door
for her and motioned her into the house.
The nurse was at the door, beside
herself with worry.
Nurse: “Oga i didn’t know when she left
the house, I swear.”
Benson: “It’s okay. Just pack your things
and leave. Your services are no longer
required. I will transfer your salary to
you. Just leave.” He replied her quietly.
Preye watched them, then she walked
into her room and went to her be-d.
Some minutes later, Benson [email protected]£ into
the room.
Benson: “you cannot go out like that,
She wanted to tell him that she had
blackouts but something made her hold
her ton-gue.
Benson: “you are wanted by the police
as a suspect in a murder case.”
Preye looked at him in surprise. Benson
noticed her look
Benson: “you don’t remember your night
at The Cardinal? Abel? Killing a girl?” he
asked curiously.
Preye shook her head. Benson sighed
then told her the whole tale up to Janet’s
death, her supposed death and Abel
serving time for the crime. Preye held her
head as he spoke. She could not believe
him, she will not believe him. He was her
jailer, s£nt to make sure she never saw
the sun again. To make sure she
remained in the darkness forever.
Benson: “it is best that you stay hidden
until you’re fully recovered. Then we will
think of what to do next. We will be
moving to a different place real soon.
Just don’t go out, ok. I am getting you a
new nurse.”
Preye said nothing for a minute then she
looked at Benson.
Preye: “which prison is he in?”
Benson: “Okere prison. Why do you
Preye said nothing, she just sat and
stared. Benson’s phone rang, he looked
at it then he got up and left the room.
In about two hours, a big man named
Brume [email protected]£ into Preye’s room and
introduced himself as her new nurse.
She looked him up and down. Another
jailer, she thought to herself.
Maria spoke with the agent concerning
renting a place in the Plantation Estate.
The man agreed to show her and Felix,
who will be acting as her son, around.
Felix had suggested that they use the
opportunity to get to know the place
and get a general idea of the layout of
the place. She and Barr. Odumodu had
seen reason with his suggestion. They
agreed to meet with the agent at the
estate on Friday afternoon. Maria further
suggested that Felix come back to Warri
to watch the estate since Kelvin, their
contact in Benin was dead.
So on Tuesday morning, Felix camped
across the road and watched the coming
and going at the estate. He had
memorized the faces of every member of
Chief Bright’s family, Preye’s known
friends, Janet’s known friends, Pere and
Kelvin’s known friends. He had also
memorized the faces of Chief Bright’s
business as-sociates.
Detective Boniface sat quietly waiting in
Mama Benson’s sitting room. He had
question everyone in the house with
relation to Pere’s death. He had not
gotten anything yet but he was a patient
man. Mama Benson walked into the
sitting room and sat down.
Mama Benson: “detective, I am as
shocked as everyone about Pere’s death.
He was a reckless and nonchalant young
man, I guess that’s the result of being
that. He took the same traits as his late
sister Preye despite the fact that they
were of different mothers and disliked
each other intensely.”
Detective Boniface: “yes that reminds me.
Was there any marked change in Pere’s
behavior after Preye’s death?
Mama Benson: “now that I think of it.
Yes. He [email protected]£ distracted and he [email protected]£
home more often than was necessary.
Why didn’t I take note then? She
Detective Boniface nodded his head. He
got up to go.
Mama Benson: “what do you think
happened, detective?”
Detective Boniface: “that is what we are
trying to find out. The last time your step
son was seen, he was leaving an estate
along the express. This was after he had
been seen entering the estate, earlier on,
with a friend. This said friend is
pres£ntly missing. This friend, Kelvin is
his name I believe was a friend to your
late step daughter, Preye.”
Mama Benson: “Preye!”
Detective Boniface: “yes, Preye.”
Felix watched the girl walk out of the
estate and cross the road. He looked at
her. She looked familiar but he could not
say how. He watched her walk towards a
phone booth and beg to make a call. The
girl operating the phone booth refused
and drove her away. Working on instinct,
he walked up to her
Felix: “I see you are in desperate nee-d of
a phone?”
She nodded her head. He brou-ght his
phone and handed it over to her. She
took it and dialed a number. It rang then
someone picked,
Preye: “Kelvin, where you dey?” Felix
turned in surprise.
Preye: “hello who is this? plea-se give the
phone to Kelvin. Okay, tell him that Preye
called.” She turned and gave the phone
back to him. She thanked and turned to
walk away.
Felix: “You look stranded. Is there
somewhere you want to go to?”
Preye looked him up and down. She
looked at the express road. Okere
prison…Okere prison.
Preye: “Okere Prison. I want to go to
Okere Prison
He st©pped a Keke and boarded it with
Episode 20
Maria was surprised to see Barr.
Odumodu at her place that afternoon. He
had obviously come in a rush. Within
minutes, the police detective promised
by detective Calixtus, detective Boniface,
arrived too and is ushered in. she asked
what was going on and Barr. Odumodu
explained that Felix was on his way and
he was in a better position to explain.
She therefore went into the kitchen to
prepare lunch for them. She brou-ght a
bottle of whiskey and a bucket of ice and
two glas-ses. The men helped themselves
while she returned to the kitchen.
Some minutes later, the bell rang, Maria
opened the door and she saw Felix and
a girl who didn’t look too good. They
entered and Felix placed the girl on a
chair, where she sat [email protected] ing and
holding her head.
Barr. Odumodu: Felix what is this? What
is going on here? Who is she?”
Felix: “I would like to introduce you all to
Preye, long believed dead but now alive.”
The sitting room went quiet.
They all turned and stared at the
[email protected] ing Preye, who was oblivious to
the attention her name had generated.
Maria: “I don’t un-derstand. From my
son’s explanations and from what I
picked from talking with you all, Preye
was a beautiful girl. This scarred and
weird looking girl cannot be the one of
my son’s fantasies.”
Detective Boniface: “obviously the
accident was serious. She must have
un-dergone quite a lot of surgeries to
look like this.” He said quietly.
Barr. Odumodu: “what is wrong with
Felix: “I don’t know. She just started
acting strange inside the Keke. I think
she was the one Benson was going to
see in the estate.’
Maria: “I don’t think she is alright.”
Detective Boniface looked at the girl
quietly, then he walked up to her.
Detective Boniface: “Hello Preye. Where
have you been?”
Preye [email protected] ed louder, her scarred face,
squee-zed in pain. Maria watched her
Detective Boniface; ‘my name is detective
Boniface. We are trying to save a young
man. Abel, do you remember him? He
was s£ntenced to life imprisonment for a
crime you committed.”
Preye st©pped [email protected] ing, then bent to
twist her shi-t and chanting,
Preye: “Okere Prison, Okere Prison…”
Felix: “that was what she said when I
asked where she wanted to go to.”
Barr. Odumodu: “Well let’s take her
Maria looked at her speculatively.
Maria: “this girl is not alright. It seems
her injuries go beyond the physical. Her
mind was affected also.”
Barr. Odumodu: “her testimony is
useless in that case.”
Maria nodded her head. The doorbell
rang, Maria left the men to open the
door for madam Amina who enter
Madam Amina: “we-tin happen?”
Maria: “come and see for yourself.” She
replied as both of them walked back to
the sitting room.
Maria: “Meet our Abel’s Preye. The dead
Preye is very much alive.”
Madam Amina stared at the girl
Madam Amina: “Is she okay?”
Maria: “No, she is not. We are taking her
to see Abel.” She said.
Benson was mad as hell. He had gone to
the house where he kept Preye only to
meet the foolish buffoon, Brume,
snoring loudly on the couch. Beside him
was two bottles of stout. He had looked
in on Preye but she was nowhere to be
found. He had rushed out to question
the people at the estate entrance. The
phone booth girl had narrated what she
witnessed to Benson. He had become
really worried. He rushed back home to
meet his father and explain. The old man
was livid with anger. Benson was so
sure he was going to get another stro-ke,
based on the way, the veins stood out
on his forehead.
Bright: “find her. I will not risk her
landing inside a police station. Find her. I
am loosing too much. Find her.”
Benson left the house immediately and
started driving round. He didn’t know
where to start the search. Everything is
going wrong, he thought as he drove
around. It got to evening and he still had
no clue. He went back to the estate to
sleep. He nee-ded to think. By the time, he
got there, Brume was gone.
Collins stood beside the Police van,
talking to men of the Special Anti-
Robbery Squad (SARS). They had st©pped
him as he drove out of a club along
Warri-Sapele road. He was trying to
bargain with them but these guys were
not interested.
Collins: “Oga no be so o. we go still meet
again o.” a resounding [email protected] j£rked his
head to the left.
Policeman: “enter the Hilux before I give
you another one. we-tin me and you wan
Collins meekly got into the Hilux, while
another policeman got into his car and
they drove off. After picking several
other persons, they ended up at Ovwain
Police Station.
At the police station, they collected a
statement and threw him into a cell for
the night.
Preye looked at the visitor’s room quietly.
Nob©dy had explained anything to her.
They had just brou-ght her to this prison.
Who do I know here? She looked at the
woman who smiled kindly at her then at
the lawyer who looked surprised
anytime she looked at him. Then he
walked in, as soon as she saw him she
Preye: “hi handsome. I would love to
fv¢k you.” everyone [email protected]
Abel looked at her in shock, then
realization dawned. He walked closer
and peered at her,
Abel: “you did not die?” he asked.
Preye: “I did not die? Maybe I am a ghost
haunting you. I probably deserve to die
anyways for the things I did…
hehehehe…Janet died. Who are you and
why do I feel like I know you? They said
Abel killed the girl. Benson said police is
looking for me and the killer. The girl
pushed me, I pushed back. Hi, I want to
fv¢k you.” She rambled on excitedly,
laughing then she st©pped. She started
Preye: “what is wrong with me?” she
ru-bbe-d her head.
Abel looked at his mother, who nodded
her head. He sat down on a chair and
told her the tale of how Bimbo died. He
told her of his arrest and s£ntencing.
Detective Boniface told her of the
accident, Janet’s death and her supposed
death. Preye listened quietly. After they
were done talking, they sat quietly and
watched her.
Preye: “I have no memory of this. I am
Detective Boniface: “what do you have
memory of?”
Preye: “I remembered being [email protected]£d when
I was 14 by my father.” She looked at
him sadly.
The tears sli-pped out of her eyes
unchecked as she shared her story. The
pain, the betrayal, the heartache, the
surrender, the death wish, everything.
She opened up her soul as best as she
could so they could see the ghosts that
had haunted her all her life.
Preye: “I know that I may be seen as a
bad person but I tell you that I am not
surprised at what happened. I was on a
rollercoaster then. I didn’t care. I did I
anything I liked. I lived like there were no
rules, you un-derstand? I actually could
not stand myself. People looked at me
they see this beautiful girl, all I saw was
an empty shell. I just existed. I was high
most times or half way there. Drugs,
alcohol…I did everything. The S-x…ugh. I
have seen and done it all. Yes I did these
things, but he, my father, Chief Bright,
started me on this road. Hehehehe…
hahahaha…” she started laughing. She
looked at Abel then win-ked.
Preye: “Make all of una go outside, I wan
tell am suntin.” She said smiling as she
started pu-lling her shi-t over her head.
Maria rushed to st©p her and re-move
hands from her shi-t. She sat quietly
looking around the visitor’s room as if
entering for the first time. Anytime her
eyes met Abel’s she would wi-nk and
Abel looked at her. He could see that she
was hurting. He felt sad for her. So even
the rich cry, he thought to himself. Your
own father! And I dey vex say my papa
dey drink dey beat me. Na wa o, Ogidi
Akpo! he thought as he watched the
mentally ill girl.
Maria: “we have a problem though. She
cannot testify in court because of her
ailment and amnesia…”
Barr. Odumodu: “let her be. The
memories will come. The most important
thing is this; Preye, someone doesn’t
want the world to know that you are
alive and they are willing to kill to keep
that secret.”
Preye: “who would that be?”
Abel: “your brother, Pere died in a car
crash after leaving the estate you were
kept in and one Kelvin, I believe, a friend
of yours, is pres£ntly missing. He was last
seen with Pere, going to the said estate.”
Preye screamed.
Preye: “Bright! Bright!” she screamed on
and on as they rushed to hold her down.
While, Maria, Felix and Barr. Odumodu
were at Okere prison with Preye,
detective Boniface went to the Ovwain
police station to check up on the files
relating to Abel’s case. He observed that
a file was missing. He went to the officer
in charge of the case and explained that
the file containing the names of people
suspected to be involved in the death of
Bimbo was no longer on the among the
files on the case. The officer informed
him that the file was being used in
another investigation.
Detective Boniface: “which investigation
is that?” he asked.
Police Officer Sule: “it’s on this yahoo
boys menace o. one Collins who we had
been watching for some time now, fell
into our hands last night.”
Detective Boniface: “can I see the Collins?
plea-se it is important.”

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