shckr

# Many Shockers for Miss Lucas

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PROLOGUE

 

Once, Bra Dickson had carried a dead man. He carried him from Nelson Mandela Drive to East Lane. He thought the man was alive when he carried him because the man entered his cab with his own legs. But when they got to East Lane and Dickson asked him to pay, he realized he was dead. After examinations, the doctors said he had died since the previous night, meaning he had died even before he walked into Dickson’s taxi. That was a puzzle; but more than a puzzle, a trouble for Dickson that cost him almost everything.

 

The issue wasn’t easy for Dickson, especially as he was a foreigner from Zimbabwe, and in South Africa, being a foreigner was hell. Though advanced medical tests eventually proved his innocence, the incident gave him an unforgettable memory and since then each time he picked up a passenger, he always constantly checked the rear view mirror to ensure they were still breathing and not to have died since yesterday.

 

But this Monday morning, Dickson had more reasons to almost keep his eyes permanently on the rear view mirror. A very beautiful young lady had just boarded his taxi and he derived a lot of pleasure in looking at beautiful faces. He adjusted his mirror to focus on the lady’s face. With what he saw, she would be in her twenties, light in complexion with a long hair and an attractive and youthful facial look.

 

To make things better for Dickson, the lady unbuttoned one of her shirts’ buttons to expose part of her brests, as if she was feeling hot. That was weird, as the temperature was getting to sub-zero.

 

‘Shot left’ the lady said in a typical Zulu accent as they got close to Thomas Junction. Dickson stopped at the next stop sign.

 

The lady alighted at the junction of Thomas Crescent and paid her fare. As she walked down the crescent, Dickson had a better view of her body. She had a big bum, that was normal for all South African ladies. She also had big brests. That was also not uncommon. The rest of her body was average. She wore a pair of shorts that did not go beyond a quarter of her laps and a sleeveless shirt which did not even cover her ringed navel.

 

Dickson was shocked with the way she dressed. Having ring in her navel wasn’t anything special, almost all girls of her age he knew had it. But he was surprised that anybody could go out almost naked like that in winter while he was still feeling cold despite the fact that he was wearing about ten clothes together. He wore a boxer, two pairs of trousers, a singlet, a shirt, three sweaters and a winter jacket. He had gloves on his hands, two pairs of socks on his legs and cap on his head. Yet he was feeling cold.

 

But aside the lady’s dressing, Dickson admitted that she was beautiful. She had perfect feminine curves, long and straight legs, smooth, fresh and radiant skin, attractive completion and pretty face. Everything put together, she was very beautiful.

Dickson shook his head and ignited the engine of his car. “What a sexy Zulu girl.” he said to himself and drove off.

 

The lady walked quietly but quickly down Thomas Crescent. She had ahead of her, a very long day. Her name was Sandra Lucas. She was 25 years old.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

MONDAY

 

It was 11:23. Sandra still had a minute walk to her house and she must get to the bank before noon for her interview. From where she alighted from the taxi, she could see her house from afar and she could see that somebody was waiting for her- an agent of a courier service operator.

As she got closer to her house and saw the way the courier agent was staring at her long legs, that were greatly glorified by her tight shorts, as if she was the only girl in South Africa wearing shorts in winter, she wondered what men benefitted in looking at a female’s body. The taxi driver session had expired, now it was the turn of this old courier agent. But the courier man had come for something far more important than lustful glances. He had brought a parcel for Sandra.

 

“Dumela, are you waiting for me?” she asked as she approached the man.

“Le kai, are you Sandra?” the man asked.

“Yebo” she replied.

“Can I see your green ID?” he demanded.

 

Sandra gave him her Identity Document book. The man glanced at her photograph, name and the 13 digit number and then returned it. He went to his motorbike, opened his box and brought out a big parcel.

“Some people are careless. This person wrote No. 33 instead of 133” the man said.

“How did you now know that I live at No. 133?” Sandra asked.

“I’ve been to No. 33. Thank God, the man living there knows you. He was the one that directed me here.” he explained as he gave the parcel to Sandra and some papers for her to sign.

 

As Sandra was signing the papers, she kept wondering who could have sent such a big parcel to her and what its content could be.

After the man had gone, Sandra examined the parcel carefully. It didn’t take her a long time to realize the parcel did not belong to her. Firstly, the name on it was not hers. The name on the parcel was Sandra Luicers while her own name was Sandra Lucas. Secondly, the address was not hers. She lived at No. 133, Thomas Crescent, but the address on the parcel was No. 33, Thomas Street. Though many people had mistaken Thomas Crescent for Thomas Street in the past, and are still doing so, they are two different places about 15minutes’ drive apart.

Sandra contemplated whether she should open the parcel or return it straight away to the courier operator’s office. She would have chosen the latter but for her curiosity, she chose the former. She decided she would return it after opening it and explain to the agency that she did not notice the discrepancy in the name and address on the parcel and her own identity until she had opened the parcel and the content made no sense to her. After all, if their agent could not notice it why would they blame her for not noticing it?

Gradually, she removed the wrapper from the parcel and it exposed a black box. She was a little bit afraid. She opened the box and inside it was another black box. She got seriously afraid.

 

She examined the second box carefully. It was well sealed with a paper tape. She shook it. It appeared it contained small books. Why should somebody put books in black boxes? She asked herself rhetorically.

Then it was 11:30. Sandra had thirty more minutes to get to the bank for an interview. She couldn’t afford to waste all the time trying to open the box so she went to her kitchen, took a knife and dipped it inside the box. The box tore apart and its content fell on the floor. Sandra was amazed to see several bales of 100-pound notes scattering all over the place. She screamed.

She threw away the box and gazed at the money on the floor. Each bale contained one hundred notes of 100pounds each. That was ten thousand pounds, and there were about fifty of such on the floor. A hell of money!

Sandra wondered why anybody should put hard currency in boxes and send it to someone else. Still on the floor, she counted the money. They were fifty five bales. That number rang a bell in her head. It appeared she had heard it several times in recent time but she couldn’t remember where.

 

She pondered. Fifty five bales of 100 pounds notes. That was five hundred and fifty thousand pounds. She took out her phone and opened the currency converter application on the phone. She converted five hundred and fifty thousand British pounds to South African rand. It gave her ten million rand. That did it. She instantly realized the source of the money.

Since the past few days, the news of how the daughter of the Vice President of the country was kidnapped has been the major headline of every newspaper and topic of every newsroom. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of ten million rand to be paid in British pounds of a high denomination. The ransom was paid. Five hundred and fifty thousand British pound sterling, paid in fifty five bales of hundred pounds notes. Since then, the police had been looking for the kidnappers and the money. Most of the members of the mob had been killed but the money had not been recovered. Undoubtedly, that was the money littering her sitting room floor.

Sandra thought deeply. Most of the members of the kidnapping mob had been killed by the police but their leader was still at large with the money. He must certainly be the one that put the money in the boxes and mailed it to one Sandra Luicers who knew best what to do with it.

She stared at the money again. Ten million rand in foreign currency mistakenly delivered to her. Should she report to the police? Should she return it to the courier agency that delivered it to her or should she run away with it? She was thinking about what to do when she heard a loud knock at her door.

 

Sandra was baffled. Then she remembered that she didn’t lock her gate and the door. The money was still everywhere on the floor. She knew it would take a lot of time to pack them. She kept still, hoping the person would go away. The person knocked harder. Sandra remained quiet still, and then she saw the handle of the door turning slowly.

 

 

Exactly 16H00, Police Captain Vortrek Morgan walked slowly into the office of the Branch Controller of Flexi Marshall Corporation, a courier service operator. Without any greetings he said “Our boys said she has fled”

“I am sorry, Captain. We didn’t know the content of the parcel. We would have informed you.” the Branch Controller said.

“I understand. Can I get the details of the transaction again?” Morgan said as he sat in front of the Branch Controller.

That was one thing the Branch Controller hated about the white police, they loved asking the same question several times.

“It was exactly the way my assistant told you. The parcel was sent to us from our regional head office at the closing time on Saturday to be delivered to Sandra Luicers of 33 Thomas Street. We had no idea what it contained and who Sandra was. So we carried out our duty. It was delivered 11:25 today and by 3pm we got a call from the head office asking us to still hold on with the delivery and I told them that it had already been delivered. I was confused and couldn’t understand the reason for that until my assistant called me and told me that you believed the parcel contained the VP’s money. I am sorry but we are only doing our job.” he explained.

“I understand. I am not accusing you of any wrong doing. I am only doing my job as well. Can I talk with the staff that delivered the parcel?” Morgan requested.

“He normally knocks off by 3pm. It’s already past 4, but you can collect his phone number and address from my secretary.”

Morgan thanked the Branch Controller and left his office.

 

***********************

Benson May was an old man. People used to call him Benson April, apparently referring to April fool because he used to make mistakes a lot and many people saw him as a foolish man. He was fired in his former working place for making a vital mistake that almost led to the closure of the company. But since then, he had been very careful in his way of life. It had been a long time that he last made a serious mistake. But now, May needed no soothsayer to tell him that he will soon be looking for another job. After delivering the parcel to Sandra Lucas, he had gone back to correct a minor error in the form Sandra filled only to see several bales of foreign currency everywhere on the floor. That the parcel he delivered contained a huge amount of money wasn’t a problem to him but an inner voice kept telling him something was wrong somewhere, somehow. So as he was about to knock off for the day, he decided to check the particulars of the parcel in the record book again. That was when he saw that the name was Sandra Luicers and he was sure that the man that directed him to the lady he delivered the parcel to mentioned Lucas. Then he checked the district map and saw Thomas Street and Thomas Crescent as different places. Certainly he had delivered the money meant for Sandra Luicers of 33 Thomas Street to Sandra Lucas of 133 Thomas Crescent. He wasn’t sure of what to do. He rushed back to Thomas Crescent but there was nobody at No. 133 and nobody to tell him the whereabouts of the lady living there. She must have certainly run away with the money, May thought, as he went home totally dejected and confused.

 

As he was getting home, his phone rang. He was afraid of answering it. He started asking himself different questions “Could that be his boss? Has the real owner of the parcel called the office complaining that the parcel has not been delivered?” As he took out his phone, he realized that it was a new number. With shaking voice he said “Hello”

“Hello, is that Mr. May?” Morgan asked with a distinct Afrikaans accent.

“Yes. Who am I speaking with?”

“This is Police Captain Morgan, from South African Police Service ”

 

May missed a heartbeat. Morgan continued to talk but May couldn’t concentrate. From the few things he could decipher from the conversation, he was sure the police officer was talking about the parcel he delivered this morning. So his foolishness has finally landed him in the police net, he thought. From the voice he heard, he knew the police officer was an Afrikaan and the white police are usually thorough and tough.

 

“Are you at home now?” Morgan asked.

“No. I am far away from home.” May lied.

“O.k. I will see you in your office tomorrow.” Morgan said and terminated the call.

May was relieved. He told himself he must not be foolish to go to work the following day. He sat on his bed and started thinking of what to do. He will certainly lose his job. That won’t be a problem but they may ask him to repay the money and since he could never be able to get such amount of money, they may hold his guarantor responsible.

Jim Jackson was May’s guarantor. Jackson himself was not a straightforward man; in fact, he was once a cold blooded killer. Then he was known as Jackie and reputed to have a natural flair for killing. Jackson had retired from active crime and had settled down to business but many people were still afraid of him and May wouldn’t have had anything to do with him, but when he got a job at Flexi Marshall, he needed a rich man as a guarantor and when all the rich men around him refused to stand for him, he approached Jackson who agreed to be his guarantor. Now that May had caused a problem he could not handle, he was sure the company would contact his guarantor, so he decided to go and see Jackson and explain things to him himself.

 

**************************************

Jim Jackson owned a musical studio, a transport business, a shebeen, a hotel and many shady businesses. He was listening to the 6 O’clock news bulletin when May came.

 

“Dumela” May greeted him.

“Bra May, you are now a celebrity” Jackson replied.

“I came for something very important sir” May said.

“So what I’m saying is not important? They just mentioned your name on the TV now” Jackson said.

May didn’t understand what Jackson was saying so he ignored his comment and told him everything about his error at work. Jackson listened attentively. When he finished, Jackson laughed and said “That is why it’s good to listen to the news. That is what I was telling you. The police believe another story”

“I don’t understand.” May said.

“According to your company and the police, you delivered the parcel to Sandra Luicers of 33 Thomas Street. No error committed. Simple.” Jackson explained.

“What if the real owner starts asking for his parcel?”

Jackson laughed, “Listen Bra May, the money is stolen money. The police are looking for Miss Luicers. She can never show up to ask for any money. She had fled and the police believe she fled with the money.”

“What about the person that sent the money to her” May asked.

“He was the leader of the gang. The police killed him this morning. After killing him, they arrested the people he was hiding with and that was when one of them confessed that he helped him to send the money to Miss Luicers through your company. By the time the police contacted your company, you had delivered the money and by the time they got to Luicers’ house, she had run away” Jackson explained.

 

May felt a great sense of relief for the first time since he discovered his error.

“So what should I do now?” he asked.

“Nothing, just pretend as if no error has occurred. If anybody asks you any question, it is what they believe that you will tell them. You delivered the parcel to Sandra Luicers of 33 Thomas Street. Simple”

May thanked him and left.

As he left, Jackson started thinking about the story. Ten million rand in the hands of a young lady, and the police are chasing the wrong person. If he could silence May and Lucas, then he would be ten million rand richer.

 

***********************************************************

Until May got home, he had forgotten about food, but immediately he changed his clothes, he started feeling hungry. He went straight to the kitchen. His wife wouldn’t come home until around 9 O’clock but she had already put his food in the fridge. He took the food and walked to the sitting room. As he was entering the sitting room, he noticed somebody was standing behind the curtain. He immediately put the food on the table and moved closer to the curtain. The curtain moved swiftly sideway and May found himself standing face to face with Jim Jackson.

 

Jim Jackson put on a killer mood. He had in his hand a long glittering knife. He had in that moment returned to his former self- Jackie, the man with a natural flair for killing.

 

May wanted to scream but before he could open his mouth, Jackson threw the knife. The knife flew in the air. It has a very short distance to move. It hit May in the chest. It dug deep. For a few seconds May saw a stream of blood on his body. For another moment he saw everything turning black. It appeared his ancestors were calling him. Then he saw nothing again.

*************************************

 

Sandra Lucas stopped a taxicab in front of the bank she had gone for an interview. She had performed very well in the interview and the interviewer had told her unofficially that she would definitely get the job. But the interview had taken longer than she had expected. Since noon that she had been there, she finally got through a few minutes to six o’clock in the evening. She had tried very hard to put her mind off the issue of the money that was mistakenly delivered to her so that she could concentrate on her interview. She had made up her mind that she would return the money to the police.

 

Immediately she entered the taxi, she started thinking about the money and what the police would say when she returned the money. She would certainly become a national heroine. She could get a handshake from President Jacob Zuma or Madam Baleka Mbete.

 

“Sorry Sisi, hope you won’t mind if I change the station?” the taxi driver asked her.

“I’m sharp with the music, I think it’s cool enough to allow me think.” Sandra replied.

“But I want to listen to the six O’clock news,” the driver said.

“Anything special in the news?” Sandra asked.

“I learnt the cops had killed Gregor” he said as he changed the radio station.

“Who is Gregor?” Sandra asked.

“The guy that kidnapped the VP’s daughter”

 

The driver noticed Sandra was interested in the news, which was untypical of many young ladies. He was happy he was able to convince her that the news was special but he didn’t know that the news turned out to be more special to Sandra than anybody could imagine.

Sandra was surprised to hear that the leader of the mob that kidnapped the Vice President’s daughter had been killed in a shootout with the police in the morning. She was surprised to hear that one of the people arrested in the house where he was hiding confessed that he helped him package the money and sent it to Sandra Luicers. But most surprisingly, she heard that the police were desperately searching for Sandra Luicers who, up until noon that day, was living at No. 33, Thomas Street. The police promised a cash reward of two hundred and fifty thousand rand for whoever has information that could lead to the arrest of Miss Luicers and another two hundred and fifty thousand rand for information leading to the recovery of the ten million rand. If a single person provided the information for the two, then he would collect half a million rand.

As Sandra alighted from the taxi, she started planning against her initial decision. Since the police were after Miss Luicers, Sandra thought she could escape successfully with the money. So as she got home, she took a shower and quickly packed some of her belongings in a travelling bag. She put the money and some clothes in another bag and decided to leave the house and called her Congolese landlord that she had vacated the house.

 

She knew she could never get a taxi in front of her house; she had to walk to the hiking spot. Even at the hiking spot at that time of the day it might take up to an hour to get a taxi and she could not afford to stand alone at night waiting for a taxi with such amount of money in her bag, so she decided to go and look for a taxi and take it home to take her bags. She locked her doors securely and left.

 

****************************************************

 

Jim Jackson looked around carefully to ensure nobody saw him before jumping into Sandra Lucas’ compound. With some luck, Sandra might still be around with the money. If so, it would be very easy. He would kill her and take the money and if she had run away with the money, he would try to get her picture and as many information about her as possible. He knew a secret agency that could fish her out wherever she might hide.

As he got to the compound, he took out a skeleton key and opened the door. He was surprised to see two leather bags on the floor. Certainly, Miss Lucas was about travelling and surely she wouldn’t be travelling without the money. When he was sure nobody was in the house, he tried to open the bags but they had been locked with number codes. To decode one may take over thirty minutes and only God knew how soon Sandra would return.

 

Carrying the two bags was out of the options. It would be too risky to attempt carrying those big bags over the fence. Someone might see him. He decided he would wait for Sandra to return. He would kill her, and then he would have enough time to decode the bags. He adjusted the position of his knives, hid behind the big fridge in the sitting room, and waited patiently for Miss Lucas.

 

 

Harry Whyte was working with Continental House, a newspaper printing company. He had been working in the company for the past ten years and felt he deserved a higher position than the one he currently occupied. But he knew very well that his academic qualification was the reason for his slow progress. He joined the company immediately after finishing high school at the age of 18. He had no further academic qualification. He had been told by his bosses that he did not need a university degree to be promoted; all he needed was a professional qualification in his field. He could do a two year professional course on printing. Whyte was from Lesotho, although he had been living in South Africa since the days of apartheid and he had his basic education in South Africa. He could speak Afrikaans, Zulu, Sepedi, Venda and Xhosa fluently, yet he was still seen as a foreigner and hence not qualified for bursary, he must pay for his education. But he hardly earned enough to make a living not to talk of saving for a professional course. Harry Whyte lived at No. 33, Thomas Crescent and he was a friend to Sandra Lucas.

 

On the fateful day, Whyte was having a day off at work and he had a very good sleep. He was woken up by a bang on his door. He was surprised that he had slept for that long time as he glanced at the clock before answering the person knocking. Then the time was 11:20am. The man that woke him up was Benson May, an agent of Flexy Marshall. He was looking for Sandra Luicers. Whyte corrected him that the name was Sandra Lucas and that she lived at No. 133. The courier agent thanked him, got on his motorbike and left. But as Whyte was listening to the 6 O’clock news later that day and heard that a parcel was delivered by an agent of Flexy Marshall to Sandra Luicers of No. 33, Thomas Street at 11:25am, he became curious. Certainly the Flexy Marshall agent that came to his house had not made a mistake for asking after Luicers or coming to No. 33. The mistake he made was taking Thomas Crescent for Thomas Street and people frequently did that. But then he misled him. He sent him to Lucas instead of Luicers and to No. 133 instead of 33. But did he actually deliver the parcel to Lucas?

 

The police said the parcel was delivered by 11:25. Whyte was sure the courier agent left his own house by 11:20, and a journey on his bike to Thomas Street could not be less than 15 minutes. If he delivered the parcel by 11:25, he must certainly have delivered it to Thomas Crescent, to Sandra Lucas.

 

An idea suddenly occurred to him. If the money was with Sandra Lucas and the police were looking for Sandra Luicers then Lucas could successfully run away with the money without anybody noticing her. And if Lucas had ten million rand with only two of them knowing anything about it, then he was entitled to half of it for keeping his mouth shut, half of ten million rand, that was five million rand. With that he could build a house in his homeland in Lesotho and do his professional course conveniently outside Africa. He thought of doing it in America or England, Harvard or Manchester University. A certificate from Manchester University would sound very good. With that thought, he dressed up and started walking towards Sandra’s house.

 

It was just past six, but everywhere was dark as if it was midnight. That was one bad side of winter. Whyte thought. As he got to Sandra’s house, he saw the gate locked, showing that she was not at home. He took out his phone and started searching for her number then he noticed somebody was inside the compound. He peeped and saw Jim Jackson opening the door to her sitting room. He was surprised and afraid.

It was well known that Jim Jackson was once a ruthless killer, though he was retired now, Whyte knew it would still be too dangerous to tangle with him. But five million rand was also a lot of money; Whyte was not ready to give up.

He took his phone immediately and called Sandra

“Hello! How are you?”

“I’m sharp, wena?”

“I’m sharp, where are you?”

“Right now I am at McDonald walking towards hiking spot, you wanna see me?”

“Yebo, and it is very important. When will you be back?”

“Aowa! I’m busy now, I’m just looking for a taxi, I’m gonna sleep in Jo’burg tonight. Can’t we discuss it on phone?

Whyte thought briefly then he said “Don’t worry, I will make a plan.”

“Sharp!” she replied.

“Sharp, sharp” he said and terminated the call.

Whyte’s mind went straight to James Sydney. Sydney was a Nigerian born in South Africa. He had committed many atrocities in South Africa before returning to his native land. Just few days back Sydney came back to South Africa, though he claimed he had come back to rest after a terrible experience inside a cave searching for a missing Nigerian General,* he knew Sydney would be willing to be involved in a multimillion rand deal. He took his phone and called Sydney and narrated everything to him. He was sure Sydney could handle Jackson. Sydney was an ex-commando and a member of the dreaded Dragon mafia. He was one of the best shooters the continent had ever produced.

 

******************************************************************

 

“A knife thrower.” police Captain Morgan said as he kept pacing with a cigarette in his mouth at the scene of the murder. About four women were holding May’s wife who was crying profusely. A police cameraman was taking pictures of the scene while three other police officers were preventing people from touching materials at the scene to prevent interference with forensic evidences.

 

A journalist walked up to Morgan.

 

“Do you think this has anything to do with the parcel he delivered to Miss Luicers this morning?” he asked.

 

“It’s obvious” Morgan replied without stopping pacing.

 

“But Miss Luicers had the money and she had fled. Why would she risk her safety to murder this innocent man?” the journalist asked again.

 

“Luicers doesn’t use knife. This man was murdered by another person. Someone we are not thinking about. This courier man must have seen him with Luicers this morning. I don’t know why I decided to wait till tomorrow before questioning him” Morgan said.

 

“You mean there are still other members of the kidnappers you don’t know, that Mr. May might have seen with Miss Luicers this morning?

 

“That is the theory for now until fresh facts emerge, and don’t ask me further questions until then”

 

*****************************************************************************

 

James Sydney stopped in front of Sandra and wound down his car window.

 

“Hi baby! You going towards Leon Stars?

 

“Yeah.” she replied.

 

“Then can I give you a lift?”

 

“No, thanks.”

 

“Why?”

 

“I am waiting for a taxi”

 

“And what is the difference, must you spend money?”

 

“I have some loads to carry,” she explained.

 

“C’mon sisi! I can follow you to carry them,” he offered.

 

“Won’t that affect your journey?”

 

“Not at all, I am not on any mission, just looking for someone to ride with”

 

“All right then” Sandra said and got on the car.

“Five robots, then turn left,” she directed him

“Sharp. My name is James”

“I am Sandra. You are from where”

“South Africa”

“Aowa! We know ourselves”

“Sharp. I am from Nigeria.”

“Igweee” she said.

Sydney laughed. “Am I safe” he asked.

“Stop it bra, don’t condemn a nation by the action of few. We love you here.”

Sandra had nothing against foreigners, but she had a lot of issues with Nigerians. She had some Nigerians living in the same compound with her when she was in high school. She first started noticing them when she was in grade 9 and her teacher mentioned Nigerian. She could still remember Mrs Maputla saying “South Africa does not depend on any country for her survival. Almost everything we consume are produced right here in Mzansi. Perhaps the only thing that is being brought here from outside is what shouldn’t have been here at all,” then she stopped and started another topic. Sandra then asked for what was being brought in that shouldn’t be. The woman replied “Drugs, hard drugs, being smuggled to our country by the Nigerians”

That day when she got home she asked her uncle whether indeed the Nigerians were the ones smuggling drugs to South Africa. She got a worse response from the man.

“Nigerians? They are all bad news. Every Nigerian here is either a drug mule or an internet scammer”.

Since that day as she used to see the Nigerians going in and out in their flashy cars, she took all of them for criminals. But that changed when her best friend tested positive to HIV.

HIV wasn’t any serious sickness in South Africa. People feared malaria more than it. But Lerato didn’t take it lightly. She refused to use antiretroviral provided by the government. She went on hunger strike and won’t talk to anybody. When Sandra told a nurse about her friend’s condition, she laughed and said “Can’t she afford to go to Nigeria?”

“Nigeria, do they have good doctors there?’

“Who needs doctor for HIV? Nigeria has many powerful men of God. Every month, hundreds of South Africans travel to Nigeria to see the prophet, and they always come back with good news.”

The following week, the nurse, Sandra and Lerato went to Sunny Side to see some Nigerians. There Sandra saw a different set of people from the Nigerians in her imagination, responsible, caring and loving people. They assisted lerato in processing her visa and also gave her contacts in Nigeria where she could stay during her visit. Lerato went to Nigeria and returned completely cured of the infection.

Since that time, Sandra had loved Nigeria and Nigerians and had decided that as soon as she earned enough money to travel out, she would visit Nigeria. She had gone to FNB stadium in Johannesburg to support Nigeria the day Nigeria played Burkina faso in African Nation’s cup final and had jubilated wildly when Nigeria lifted the cup as if it was South Africa that won. She was even happy when Nigeria overtook South Africa as the African largest economy. But the story changed again on the day she heard that eighty-two South Africans died in a building collapse in Nigeria. The Nigerian government blamed it on negligence. To make it worse, the government delayed in releasing the corpses. What an injustice to the dead. Maybe Nigeria will always remain a bad news. But right there was a Nigerian driving her home and a sum of ten million rand waiting at home which she was not even sure how she would escape with it. Will this Nigerian be her saviour or another bad news? She asked herself.

Sydney appeared to read her mind “Sandra, are you scared of me?” he asked.

“No, why?”

“Nothing, I was born in this country. I have South African Green I.D” he said.

“Really? Then you are a South African”

“Aowa, a 13 digit number can’t define my identity. I am a Nigerian but we are good people”

“yeah, from a great nation” she said.

“Oh! You heard about it?”

“Of course, I was here when your minister came shouting that your country has been rebranded.”

They got to Sandra’s house. Sandra asked Sydney to wait for her in the car at the gate while she went for the bags.

Sandra got to the door. She took out her keys and unlocked the door. As she was about to open the door, she suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. She was shocked and terribly afraid.

“Are you a ghost?” she said to Sydney who was standing beside her.

“Why?”

“That you could move that fast. I thought I left you in the car”

Sydney smiled. “I am a pro.”

“I have a gun.” he added.

“A gun, what for?” Sandra asked as they stepped into the sitting room.

“Just for protection. I am a blind shot.” he said and took out a shot pistol.

Sandra was confused. She was not sure if it would be safe to travel with all the money with a man that carried a gun. But before she could change her mind, Sydney had taken one of the bags with one hand while holding the gun cautiously with the other hand.

“James, why are you telling me all these?” Sandra asked.

“For you to know that when I am around, you are safe” he replied.

 

Jim Jackson cursed behind the refrigerator he was hiding. He had thought of Sandra returning with a taxi driver, but he had never thought of a bodyguard. From where he was hiding, he knew it would be too risky for him to attempt killing a blind shot carrying a gun with a knife. He could not even see the person at all from where he was, not to talk of targeting him. He wondered where Sandra could have seen him. The voice sounded familiar to Jackson but he couldn’t figure out where he knew him.

 

Jackson remained quiet until Sandra and Sydney had gone and locked the door leaving him inside. Immediately they left, he went straight to the door. With his skeleton key, he opened the door as fast as he could. He rushed out of the compound, not caring whether he was being watched or not. But by then, it was too dark for anybody to notice him.

 

He rushed after the car. He was fast enough to see that the car was a blue BMW, copy its plate number and notice that it was heading towards Leon Stars Avenue.

 

“James, tell me who you are” Sandra asked as she sat comfortably in the car.

“My name is James Sydney. I am looking for someone to spend my vacation with.” Sydney replied as he offered her fruit juice in two paper packs. She took one, sipped it quietly and kept wondering if Sydney was sincere.

Unknown to Sandra, the juice she drank had been spiked with anaesthetic drugs.

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2 Responses

  1. Osabuohien Richard Nosakhare
    Osabuohien Richard Nosakhare - at - - Reply

    I most commend the write of this piece. I have never used my time to read anything this far, but I have uncontrollably give an inception. The writing, story is so lovely, nice and best. But please how can I down load the rest of the story.. . I can not see a download link as said.

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