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Written by AKOGWU JOSEPH CHINONSO…

In the next forty-five minutes, Thelda was already waiting in her apartment at Niger Street. The apartment was breathtaking and exquisite. The sitting room was filled with expensive colourful furniture. She was sitting comfortably on a sofa. Shania Twain’s Still the One was playing softly over a CD player and she was tapping her feet and nodding in time to the lyrics of the music. After a while, she glanced up at the clock, it was time and he was yet to show up. Was he still going to come? She became tensed. She was no longer enjoying the music and she rose and turned off the CD player. She moved to the window, looked through the louvers and that instant, she watched a guard open the gate and Reagan’s sports car zipped into the compound and halted in the garage. In two minutes, a knock came on the door and she walked to a small corridor that connected to the sitting room to open the door. She held the door knob, turned it and was staring at the ugliest being she had ever seen.

Rowland Reagan was short, with sturdy chins, flat nose and a small mouth. He had an ebony skin and lips that looked afraid of smiling. His face was bedecked with scars he got from street fights when he was a boy and his bald head was hidden under a black hat. At the tender age of six, he was already a burglar and pickpocket. A finger was missing from his left hand and he had the habit of always clenching his left fist to keep people from noticing it. Reagan didn’t know his parents. He was fostered by one divorcee until he was ten. The woman maltreated him and on several occasions, had almost starved him to death. At ten, Reagan suffered from kwashiorkor and ran away from the house. The very day he fled from his foster mother, he broke into a resident’s apartment and stole some jewellery from a safe. In the process, the resident ran into him and he stabbed her with a dagger which he carried in his pocket, and watched her die painfully. He enjoyed the sight. He went to a clinic and was admitted until he was cured. When the doctor showed him the bill, he stabbed him and chortled as he died. At seventeen, he went back to his house and killed his foster mother. He buried her in the backyard and left the police in an eternity search for the woman they termed ‘missing.’ When he was eighteen, he formed a gang but after two months, he abandoned it, made connections and became an international sniper and assassin. He kept in close touch with top politicians and was readily available whenever they needed him. His killings were always accurate and he prided himself on not having seen the walls of jail.

Thelda stood aside and Reagan walked in. As he walked past her, she felt her blood drain away for she thought the man was from another planet. He was such a terrifying being she never envisioned she would see in her life time. He was certainly destined for hell for his looks. She believed. Her body was already shaking slightly but she was glad it wasn’t obvious. He would do the dirty job well. She thought as smiles shone on her face. She followed Reagan into the sitting room and showed him to a seat.

“You sure want your husband dead?” Reagan said and lit a cigarette with his short fingers.

Thelda raised a hand, “No smoking here. I don’t like the smell of that.” She threw her weight on the next seat, “When you’re out of this place, you can do that.”

Reagan drew on his stick, his face expressionless. Smoke swirled up, “That’s what I live on. Don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to my habit.” He showed a broken tooth in a short smile, “When do you want the president dead?”

Thelda clapped off the smoke that made toward her direction, “Tomorrow, during the anniversary.” She paused, “Heard you’re very good at this”

Reagan chewed on his stick, “Was born for this.”

Thelda smiled, “Hope no traces will be left?”

Reagan dropped the dog-end on the floor, “I’m too experienced for that.”

Thelda smiled, “Hope no traces will be left?”

Reagan dropped the dog-end on the floor, “I’m too experienced for that.”

Thelda smiled again and stood for the smoke was becoming intolerable. She gave a loud hiccup and took some steps away from Reagan, facing a middle-sized refrigerator at the dining room, “You want a drink?”

Reagan shook his head, “Not until this is over.” He took another stick from a brown pack, “When do I get my dough?” He lit the cigarette.

“As soon as you’re done, I already have your account number.”
Reagan stared at the glowing tip for a while and pressed on his hat with his short hand, “Then I’ll be on my way. I’ll be back for a condolence.” He got up and left the apartment.

After President Williams was successfully murdered, Thelda grew very close with Anabel that they kept no secrets from each other. Reagan became a ready instrument that was put to use whenever they wanted. When Reagan called that he had murdered Stella, Anabel suggested that Thelda travelled to Ghana. For her, that would help Thelda get over the death of her daughter. Thelda bought the advice and left with her secretary to Ghana, barely two hours after she got the news.

To Be Continued…

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