“That report sheet on the ‘Night Time Killer’ is getting bulky,” Sgt. Tunji Adimu dropped the brown folder on his table in exasperation as he turned to face his assistant, “and we are nowhere near getting concrete clue on who the perpetrator is. He is like a shadow… leaving a trail of dead bodies behind.”
He was frustrated. Chasing the killer was like chasing a ghost, a phantom that only appeared at night and disappeared before day break. For him, the longer he was out there loose, the higher chances a body would surface on the streets.
They had been crunching the details so far gathered from the series of murders that had surfaced in recent weeks. Murders they have mapped and in which they had been able to establish a certain resemblance in the modus operandi of the perpetrator – a suspect they now called the ‘Night Time Killer’. This was because all the murders had been committed between dusk and dawn and all victims were young, single and pretty females.
Their brainstorming sessions had yielded very little in turning up fresh insights into the possible profile of their wanted killer. And going through the evidences collected haven’t helped much either. The killer had left little or no trace evidence, and as much as his forensic team worked, there was little or nothing to go on. There had been no trace elements extracted that led anywhere. And even though it was established each of the girls had been brutally raped and murdered, nothing had been found from which DNA could be extracted.
So, they were back to square one and it was the reason he was poring over the file again. He might find something they had overlooked before, but he was not very optimistic.
“Yes, I know it is. Three deaths… murders in a space of five weeks. This is the worst period of my life on this job. And those girls, the way they were murdered,” Sergeant Inspector Modupe Iruola shook her head, stood up and went back to the board where the pictures of the victims were tacked. She had been working abductions, kidnappings and child trafficking in another unit of the police department before asking to be transferred to the new unit – the Special Crimes Investigation unit; and so far, she had been very useful to Sgt. Tunji Adimu, her resourcefulness and her contacts in the underground had been very useful in swiftly solving some cases in the past. But, this new series of killings had left them stumped.
There was little or no leads and the killings had not stopped, rather they seemed to have increased in frequency. There had been two in the past week, with the last girl’s body dumped along the rail tracks at Yaba. Her throat had been slit and her nipples bruised, like they had been pulled with pliers. There had been no apparent link between the last girl, in terms of the M.O. employed by the killer and that of the earlier ones. Those had been really gruesome – the ‘girl in red’, who was the first victim in the series of deaths, was found in a body bag followed by the second whose body they had found with all her finger nails pulled, her vagina punctured multiple times and her face cut up. It was only with the help of forensics they had been able to identify her as Miss Ifuoma Okeke, a student at the state polytechnic.
Those two deaths, had been quickly linked together and logged against the same killer whom they code-named the ‘Night Time Killer’. The third and most recent had been added to this list… until they can prove otherwise. It was logical to assume the killer was involved because the victim was single and young – in her early twenties. Things she had in common with the other girls they are tagging to the ‘Night Time Killer’.
“We need a break in this case and very soon too, or else we would never catch this killer,” she put her hands in her back pockets. The denim pants she wore snugged her thighs and tapered to wrap around her ankles. On her feet was a pair of black flat-soled shoes. She stood backing him as she continued to scan the board, trying to make some new sense out of all the photographs and other pieces of evidence they had been able to piece together at the various scenes.
“Hey Tunji, have you wondered why all these crimes were committed at night?” She asked, still scrutinizing the board and tapping one foot. Tunji could swear he heard the screws turning in her head as she went into deep thinking mode.
“Yes, it was the first thing that came to my mind after the second body was discovered. I also wondered a lot about the profile of the victims so far – all young girls, two are students and the first one a worker. They all lived alone and they were all single. Plus, they were really pretty.”
He knew she was trying to get somewhere with her new line of thought. They worked better that way, poking and prodding till something pops up that they could sink their teeth into. Something they could worry about and not let go until they considered it useless and not worthy of further investigation.
“Hmmmm, why were all of them taken at night?” Modupe continued to question aloud, “Could they have been taken at any other time of the day or was it the only time the perpetrator could swing into action? What does that tell us about the suspect?” She was getting into the groove of it now, counting on the fingers of her hand as she reeled out a number of possible scenarios “he probably has a day time job, which will make it difficult for him to operate during the day. He also has a thing for girls, young beautiful girls. So, I am thinking to myself here – is he a shy type or is he the type of guy who has a challenge having a girlfriend?” She turned away from the board and walked to the window to look out into the streets five storeys below. Her outline against the blinds, was made even more startlingly striking by the stream of sun rays which threw her figure in sharp silhouette. Looking at her from where he was seated, Tunji realized he had never thought about her like that before. Maybe all the talk about beautiful young girls must have dropped something in his mind.
He checked her out, her breasts and her well-proportioned ass were well put together. The symmetry was perfect, and standing against the window and the light further made the picture irresistibly appealing. She was beautiful in her own right; she will turn a few heads and those breasts… Tunji shrugged the thought off his mind. She had been working closely with him for close to ten months and not once in all that time had he ever thought about her in this manner. He was now more fully aware of her and those breasts. He blinked twice and for no reason, something he read or saw somewhere came creeping into his mind –
Every time a guy meets or sees a girl, first thing he wants to do is check out her breasts.
Every time a guy looks at a girl, he imagines her naked… and every time a girl looks at a guy…
Tunji blinked again and forced his eyes away from Modupe’s breasts which were tantalizingly outlined against the window. He will have to watch himself around her. The seed was sown and he would have a battle on his hands to get his mind thinking straight when he was around her. She was pretty and they were both single… and in his experience, there were no rules between men and women. And that lack of rules, soon makes everything spin around without control.
My relationship with Funbi was complicated. She was my boss at the office, but that didn’t stop her from falling in love with me. At first, I was wary of her. Why me of all the guys at the office and in the world for that matter. I wasn’t much around women – didn’t have enough experience, was naïve and on hindsight I believed the only reason she had found me appealing in the first place was because I was handsome (at least I was told or heard that from many people) and I wasn’t ‘spoiled’ like most of the other guys.
My ‘pure heart’ (that is what she called it – my heart) was something she once made a reference to. But, I knew my ‘pure heart’ wasn’t all that pure. No, it wasn’t at all. If anything, it was far from ‘pure’. Not with all those late night lewd thoughts that occupy my sleepless nights. The online pornographic treasure trove and the myriad of other dirty thoughts that run through my mind every time I encounter a random woman in the streets or my daily activities. Women with big tits, small tits, flat or round tits and those blessed with ass and the ones on the other side of the spectrum.
At the time though when she referred to my heart as ‘pure’, it didn’t matter much to me what she thought about my heart. I was just happy to have a girl who was ready to give me some of her time, so I got lost in the euphoria of having my own ‘girl’.
In time, I and Funbi grew into a brief, but steady relationship. The relationship was as intriguing as it was complicated. I was the new boy in the team, she was the team leader. Of course, there were talks behind both our backs. People made snide remarks and looked at me funny. A few times I have caught some of the ladies look at her funny too when she made her way in or engaged me in discussions in the office. They plied me with impossible timelines, and although I knew it all came with the territory of the job I was in, where clients also demanded delivery on impossible timelines, I was tempted to believe it was punishment by a bunch of hateful colleagues. But, in spite of all that we ploughed on and it was what made it even more painful when the split happened.
She was a nice girl, but I was no good for her or for any girl for that matter. I still remembered how we met.
My first day at the office had been like any day at any office until I was shepherded into the S & M Room, where I encountered one of the very few women who would ever make my heart melt like hot knife through butter.
I just stood there while I was introduced to the rest of the Sales and Marketing team, very aware of the appraising eyes of the guys and especially the girls as they sized me up. However, there was a particular girl who sat at the far end of the room whom I was even more aware of. She was wearing a white frilly shirt on red skirt and she was checking me out, even though she was trying very hard not to make it obvious. I was introduced around and their names I also got. But, not one name did I remember. My mind was almost a total blank standing before all those appraising eyes. Before them, I felt like a gold fish in a glass bowl. It was all I could do not to put my hands behind my back like a student before a panel of teachers. To my relief, the introduction was over quickly and I was whisked away to another department.
Later on when I was brought back to the S & M office, I was shown to my desk which happened to be right next to that of the girl in white frilly shirt and the red skirt – the one who sat at the far end of the room pretending not to check me out when I came in earlier. She was not on seat at the time, but I wondered how I was going to survive being so close to her. She had made my heart thump like it had never done before. I didn’t have much experience with girls and I had little or no social skills when it came to the opposite sex. That was primarily the reason why all through school I had stuck to my books, piles and piles of them. And, in my new office I would be doing something similar – Market and People research. A line of work that is stylishly catalogued as – Research and Strategy Analyst.
That was my designation and I was to help the sales team make sense of a lot of market trend and indices. Things that would usually appear as jargons to those guys whose only expertise lies in getting people to part with their money to pay for services our company offers, like I would add to Vincent, whether they want/need those services or not.
However, when she returned to her desk things were easier than I had thought they would be. She had struck up a conversation, asking me about my previous place of employment and the likes. In due course the chit-chat led us to exploring each other and we found out so much about each other and were laughing like old friends. She was easy to talk with. She also gave me useful tips about everyone in the office and how to best deal with certain situations that might crop up.
“You will have to watch out for Vincent,” she chuckled. “Not like he is very difficult to spot anyways. He is the biggest guy in the whole establishment. You can’t miss him alright. And my advice to you, stay away from him.”
That day, on my first day at work we became fast friends and soon that friendship grew into something more intimate. She invited me to come along to some of her meetings with clients and for account pitches.
It was professionally done and didn’t arouse too much suspicion at first, as these were part of my job functions. But, soon it became noticeable she was taking extra interest in me. We hung around each other at work most times and she was always ready to help me out when I ran into a cul-de-sac in my work. It didn’t take long for her to invite me to lunch, then dinner. Quickly, the occasional lunch and dinner became a regular part of our daily lives.
Then one evening, some weeks after I resumed at the office she invited me to her apartment. We had worked late and about when we both called it a day, it began to rain. She offered me a ride home, but enroute she asked me to come over to her apartment for a meal instead. It was a Friday and I had no genuine reason to turn down the offer. However, something had jumped to the fore in me and instead of her place I asked her over to mine. It was like someone or something took over. Usually, I was shy and clueless around girls, but that evening I was imbued with a confidence in myself that was as alien as it was welcome.
We had driven to my apartment and soon she had conjured a meal from my meagre supplies in the kitchen. The evening had passed pleasantly enough and the chat over the rice and stew and glasses of fruit juice had switched swiftly between work, the boss and her own troubles with guys.
“You are different from the other guys I know,” she was looking at me the same way she had looked that first time. Her appraisal must have been positive, it brought a thin smile to her lips, “you have a pure heart and you are handsome.”
She leaned over the short distance and planted a kiss full on my mouth. In a way, I wasn’t surprised. It was like I expected it to happen. In another sense, I knew that was not ‘me’. Something ‘else’ had taken over my senses and that took me by surprise. My brain was singing rhythm and blues, but my body was dancing to disco.
My body reacted in a different way from how my brain directed it. And the whole of my body was being controlled by that something ‘else’.
I felt like I was in a battle. My ‘real’ self against my ‘other’ self and it was one my real self was fast losing. She drew back from me, and I guessed she must have seen the change in my eyes.
The devil which rose beneath and reared its ugly head that night for the first time.
“I think I have to get going,” she seemed unconvincing even to herself. I looked at her and saw the plea in her eyes. They were pleading for me to help her. To help her and myself from doing something stupid. Something either one of us was going to regret later. But, my ‘other’ self was not going to back down easy.
Why do women do this all the time? Lead ya all the way down the street, right to the house and leave ya hanging at the door. They leave ya to kick ya the sand at what might have been if they didn’t develop the cold feet and ran. We have to teach this one… we have to teach her real good, boyo!
For a long awkward moment we both froze in shock. The statement hung in the air between us like the executioner’s scythe. The silence was as heavy as it was loud, a death knell being struck by the church’s bell. I didn’t know what I meant, and I am sure Funbi was even more confused than I was.
No? I didn’t want her to leave? Or I was fighting the notion put forward by my ‘other’ self? I knew alright how it could end if she refused. Already, I could feel the rise of the devil. The bulge in between my legs was a pain I was struggling to suppress.
You can’t afford to be turned down by her, boyo. You have to do her reaaaaaal good. If she comes easy, do her twice.
Now, the look in her eyes was the scared one of a rat standing face to face with a cat. She was afraid and I saw it in her eyes now.
“I should really go. I am…am…sorry for all of this,” Funbi flung her arms around to indicate the meal and the kiss. She was flustered and I was in between embarrassed and burnt.
“But…” I stammered as I tried to articulate what to say. I wanted to tell her all the nice things I always wanted to tell her. Things I found hard to put into words when I am around her because I was afraid. Things I was afraid to let out for fear of being told I had mistook all her ‘obvious advances’. That I had been wrong and she only took me for a professional colleague. Even the fact that we just kissed didn’t give me that enough courage to say those things. I was impotent and powerless, the way I always had been when it came to women. My ‘real’ self was now asserting itself and my tongue was locked.
Fool! Ye are jus’ a wimp and a fool!
“Leave me alone.”
She started back and stood up quickly, grabbed her bag and was at the door before I even realized what I said or what just happened.
“No, please not you.”
“I think this is a bad idea. I am sorry and we will see on Monday,” she stood and was gracious enough to still regal me with a smile. “You are a nice guy, but this is moving rather too fast.”
I stood up and made to approach her, but I stopped in my track at the sudden fear that jumped into her eyes.
You foolish idiot. Now, she will never come back here.
I followed the tangent of her eyes, my own eyes falling down to look at the grove between my legs. Something was sticking and straining against my trousers… and it was huge.
Yes, she saw that!
I didn’t hear her leave, but I heard the door when it banged shut and the hurrying footsteps, as she ran far away from the devil which resided in me.
The devil that I had no control over.
Written by @shaiontheprowl