*** Present day ***
Students of Millennium High Schools are seen playing in the open grassy fields of their school. Noisy and full of reserved energy, the students played like there is no tomorrow. With the exception of the senior classes, their high pitched voices filled the large open fields. With adequate security measures, both the school management and the students are quite comfortable.
I'm Divepen, a second year senior student of the school; I stood among a group of friends, and we chatted away happily.
“Who knows the third law of motion?” I asked.
Most of my friends tried giving one or two answers but none was correct.
“State the Pythagoras theorem,” Funmi, one of the students in my circle of friends threw this question at me.
I reeled of the answer as if I was reading it from an invincible book.
“What are laws of conservation of energy?” Toma asked, facing me.
I gave an accurate answers. They all gasped in surprise. I had being the poorest boy when it comes to academic excellence. Most times, I often zoned off during lectures, sky rocketing out of the four walls of my classroom to the milky way galaxy; most times, the teachers thought I ought to be in Art class, meant for the dummies and educationally retarded students like myself, they often say.
I didn’t know when I spontaneously started smiling at them. I had been preparing smart ever since I watched one educational program on TV. I persuaded my mother to take me to one of the orientation programs I watched on TV. There, I met with people who changed my life two weeks ago.
Some of my friends were happy about my sudden improvement while some 'bad belles' felt sad. No one thought I would start picking up pieces of my academic life so soon.
We chattered towards the school cafeteria to get our lunch. We decided to stay in the cafeteria to battle down our food; after all, most of the juniors were playing outside in the field.
The time for lunch was up and all students were expected to be in their respective classes. We quickly finished up our meals and joined other students who were moving into their classes.
While climbing the stairs leading to my classroom, one of my classmates disrupted my movement, making me tumble; I staggered backwards, no one to hold me. I felt a sudden sharp pain at the back of my head; it felt like a sledge hammer was used to iron out my skull. My eyes began to close. Students and teachers gathered around me.
I could hear my class teacher urging me to stay awake, but some stronger forces were closing my eyelids. I passed out five minutes after my planned fall.
President Chris was uncomfortably sited in the midst of his cohort; they were all silent, ironically observing one minute silence for their upcoming doom. The fact that they will be impeached and capital punishment awaiting them, domiciled their thoughts.
The Minister of Finance broke the silence.
“Mr. President, what are the steps you've taken to retrieve those files from the custody of Gen. Wood?”
The president gave him a cold stare, before saying, “none!”
The Minister of Defense spoke next;
“We are all in this mess together. No one should heap the blame on Mr. President.”
“Aren't you the cause?” the Minister of Information and Publicity shouted at the Minister of Defense.
“When I told you all to move those files to my custody, didn’t you counter with claims that the files were secured in the database?”
The Minister of Defense flared up, but the president ordered them to shut up.
He placed a call to the head of NSS.
“Good day, Mr. President!” the NSS boss greeted, bowing his head a little over to the large screen where he was receiving the video call from.
“What’s good about the day!?” the president yelled at him.
“I want a board meeting in the next five minutes.”
“Get your heads ready, good bye.”
The president disconnected the call with a single button. The head of NSS immediately placed a call to all the heads of department in the corporation.
In the next five minutes, they all stood, facing the large screen, waiting for the president’s call to show up.
Exactly six minutes after the first call, the presidential call surfaced on the screen.
"Mr. President, I've gathered none but all. We are ready sir!” the head of NSS said.
“Well, I've got nothing much to say. The second time I instructed you to get General Wood locked up, you failed!”
The president began to get irritated, and anger flushed on his face.
All the heads of NSS became silent, no one dared to speak.
"Now, I'm giving you all a seven day ultimatum. Get rid of Gen. Wood or I would personally get rid of all of you."
“Ehm... Ehmm... Sir, Mr. President,” the head of NSS stammered.
They all feared the president, he never makes empty promises. The call disconnected.
The NSS boss dispersed everyone from the meeting, instructing them to gather every living soul in their department for an emergency meeting, in the main hall, in the next two hours.
I walked home sluggishly from a big firm’s interview; this is the thirtieth one I would be going to in a period of one year after graduation.
The results are always the same, “we would get back to you when the need arise.” I wonder if this is the only statement they knew perfectly.
I walked sluggishly into my room; it looked scattered as if flash had ran thrice inside the room. I walked out in anger, caught my younger brother by his cloth and dragged him into the room. I didn’t know when I landed two hot slaps on his cheeks. He yelled in pains.
My mum rushed onto the scene almost immediately. She saw how scattered and littered the room was. She said nothing but walked out immediately. I ordered my brother to arrange the room before I got back.
I walked to the parlor and met my mother seated, her beautiful face filled with worries. She’s an ideal woman any family could boast of.
“Good afternoon, Ma!” I greeted.
“What is good about the afternoon? Ehnn, I said what is good about the afternoon... when you nearly killed your brother!?” her voice now rising beyond normal pitch.
“I’m sorry mum, he really annoyed me,” I apologised almost immediately. I knew better than not to apologise.
“Welcome! How about the place you went to? Hope it was positive?” she questioned.
I was still thinking of the perfect reply to give her when she continued.
“I’ve told Mama Chibuem to help me sew some shirts and trousers for you, and I’ve paid that cobbler living behind uncle Faith’s house to help you make some good shoes. I can’t wait for the time you will start going to court.”
My mood changed as she kept on talking, I was lost in thought; how will I tell her that I was postponed again? She’s keen on being ‘mama lawyer’, yet her son wants to venture into agribusiness.
She stopped abruptly when she saw that I was moody, a tear dropped from my eyes.
She knew better not to question me; she patiently waited for my only comforter in the house to arrive.
“Seruwa!” she called my only sister who happens to be the youngest child in the family. She walked in frowning; my mother had called her from the third room where she was watching her favorite TV program. Immediately she saw me, she smiled at me, expecting her usual ‘goody goody’. She was the only one I never stopped buying gifts for anytime I was on an outing. For the first time in her sixteen years on earth, I would go out and never buy something.
I apologised and quickly squeezed a hundred Naira note into her tiny hands. She received it with joy and quickly hid it from the ravenous eyes of my mother.
“Go and serve your brother,” my mother ordered her.
I stood up immediately, following my only sister to the dinning room where she served me coconut rice with egg stew. I finished the food with the last chilled malt in the fridge.
“Brother Semn, did you enjoy the food?” my sister asked, flashing her perfect set of white teeth.
I smiled back at her. Whenever I’m totally angry, her smile alone is enough to calm my nerves.
I finished the food in no time and I must admit that it tasted really good.
“This food is delicious, especially the stew.” I whispered into her ears, “And you even gave me two small meats.”
She giggled loudly, “That was for the money you gave me.”
“But brother Sarviae complained that the stew is too pepperish. He also said that the milk has a poor taste,” she said and stared, sulking.
I patted her gently on her shoulder. Using my second hand, I lifted her face and gave her a peck. Her face lit up with joy.
“Don’t mind him. He doesn’t know what good food tastes like. I’m sure if you dish him a well packaged ‘shit’, he will eat it and still tell you it’s delicious,” I said.
She laughed out loud, almost racking her ribs.
“I need to rest; Sarviae should finish cleaning up the room by now,” I said while getting up from the my seat.
“Wake me up when daddy comes back from work.”
“Brother Semn, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten what you taught me on personal hygiene!” she said.
I rack my brain, trying to get to the point she was driving at when she finally said, “OK, I will help you get a pail of water to the bathroom. Go and take your bath.”
“Oh!“ I said, trying to hide my embarrassment.
“I’ve forgotten my manners since the day you were born. Let me go and get my clothes off, and then my towel. Please add some Dettol to the water,” I said, walking to my room.
The rest is history. I fell with a thud on my bed, only my boxers on, and I slept off soundly, waiting for when my daddy will come back so that I would lay off my plans to him and my mother.
I sat facing my computer in my glass cubicle. I was working on some personal files on the system; this is the third week I’ve spent on this case, yet all clues and information were leading to over seven different suspects.
I let out a sigh.
My girlfriend in the United States had called me earlier in the day, sending me morning e-kisses and warm wishes. I smiled when I received them. She had also called my mum too, and told me she would be spending the weekend with my mum. I had personally and secretly made sure they stayed in the same region in the United States.
Suddenly, the head of NSS walked out of his office; he looked worried, and a million thoughts dancing on his mind. He walked up to his P.A and whispered something to her. Minutes later, all the head of offices had gathered in his office.
Few minutes later, they all came outside. They wore the same look, it amused me, but I dare not laugh out loud; maybe that would be the end of my job.
As the minute hand of time completed a few ‘cycles, the secretary of my department sent me a message, “Your attention is needed in the next one hour at the hall. It’s a general meeting, be there on time!”
I shut my computer immediately. I hated sluggishness and procrastination. I walked to the door of my office, stretched myself, tucked in my shirt, picked up my suit, walked out of my cubicle and then locked my door.
I checked the time, 2:23 pm. I walked leisurely to the general hall. Let us go and hear what they have to say.
I walked into the CIA office, my new place of work; I had been transferred from the Nigeria Military Academy, the largest in West Africa. I’m been here for just two months.
I walked into my office, my secretary already at her table; she seemed puzzled when I walked up to her.
“Good morning, sir” she greeted.
“Sir, there is something I want to discuss with you,” she said with the hope that I won’t turn the discussion down.
I gave her a positive smile. She had been in this organization two years before my arrival. She once served as a Personal Assistant, but due to her fragile nature, the board had no choice than to make her a permanent secretary. She never goes on missions.
“Let’s meet in the afternoon. I need to finish up with some things; I’ve got a serious mission tonight. I need total concentration,” I said while walking to the door of my main office.
I could see the shock on her face. What did she wanted to tell me? Hope it has nothing to do with feelings, I’d already taken her as a sister. Hope she doesn’t try anything funny.
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