Adam jumped out of bed, the phone sounded so loud in his brain it could have been a bomb exploding. He crawled out of bed and picked it up, it was the governor. It was twelve A.M. he wondered why the governor would call him so early.
“Hello sir, good evening.”
“Good morning Adam and just so you know I’m taking you responsible for this.”
“Errr, I’m sorry, responsible…?”
“Kate is yet to get home, again! You know she should be in Senegal already, but no, you had to plead on her behalf. She did not wait for a whole week before going back on her promise.” He sounded upset, angry.
“I thought you said one of your drivers would pick her up, how did she make the driver stay out this long?”
“Adam, she’s smart, smarter than you give her credit for. She did not call the driver, she just snuck out on her own.”
“I don’t understand, she sounded really sincere. Have you called her sir?”
“Of course I have called her and like every other time when she goes partying her phone is switched off.”
“I’m really sorry about this sir. I’ll talk to her in the morning.”
“Oh you will not be doing that. Immediately the day breaks, I’m putting her on a plane to Lagos and on the next flight to Dakar. I called so you wouldn’t worry when she doesn’t come in tomorrow. Good night Adam.”
He ended the call before he could reply.
Adam rubbed his sore eyes, he had just fallen asleep for about thirty minutes when the governor called. He was tired but he could not sleep without making sure Kate was alright. Tola had been with her when he left the office.
He dialed Tola’s number and waited. She did not pick up the phone, he tried her again. He waited till he heard the dial tone, she did not pick. He should have known better than to call a married woman in the middle of the night, a lot could be happening.
He set the phone on his bedside dresser and stretched on his bed. He had just closed his eyes when his phone rang. He picked the phone, the number was hidden. Adam sat up on his bed, he had a bad feeling about the call. He looked at the phone till it stopped ringing. It rang again, he answered the call and put it on speaker.
“Hello detective.” A voice said over the phone. The voice was edited and it was a machine voice but he knew it was the church street killer. He did not reply. “Detective, this is not the time for games, it’s pretty late and I’m sure you need to go back to sleep.”
“What do you want?” Adam asked.
“I just want to say that as a concerned member of this society you are not taking your job serious. How many people have died on your watch now and still you just float around like nothing is at stake.”
“If I needed a sermon I would have gone to church and if you know me like you claim to, you would know I’ve not been to church in a while. So, cut the crap, what do you want?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying, you are not taking this seriously. Who has a killer loose on his street and does not go to church and pray, especially when he is supposed to catch the killer?”
“I’m hanging up now, this is more fun for you than it is for me. If you have nothing to say, I have to go.”
“Alright, you’re no fun at all. I have some important news for you though, one that will make you take this case more seriously. I saw that the stakes have been too low for you, so I have increased them.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Adam asked, his temper was beginning to rise.
“Kate! Is that name familiar to you?”
Adam jumped from the bed, his phone almost dropping. “What are you talking about? Oh my God!”
“Yeah, I thought you might react like that, I was counting on it.” He said with a chuckle.
“What have you done to her, you b—–d? She’s not one of your toys or preys…” Adam started, starting to raise his voice.
“Shhh detective, we don’t want to wake the whole neighbourhood, do we? By the way, why is she different from the other girls? Oh yeah, she’s the governor’s daughter.”
“Yes, she is. You kill the governor’s daughter, you cannot imagine what’s coming to you.”
“That is exactly my problem with this justice system, nobody cares about…”
“The justice system is fine. You are the one with the problem and your problem is with me, not Kate. Let her go, I will do whatever you want, just let her go for God’s sake.” Adam said, pacing in his room and wiping sweat from his face.
“Aww, that is so sweet detective but I’m sorry. Contrary to your belief, this isn’t just about you. Kate is a part of this as much as you are, that’s why I can’t just let her go. She’s not as innocent as you think, you know. Although your promise to do anything is springing up a lot of ideas in my head. So, you have your information, you can go back to sleep.”
“Wait…wait, there’s got to be something you want. This is the governor’s daughter, the state will provide anything you want.” He sat on the edge of his bed, tapping his heels on the ground.
“What do I want?” His voice went cold. “I want her liver! I can’t get it with her alive, so somehow she’s going to have to die.”
“No, you have to….” The call disconnected. “Jesus Christ!”
Adam stood from the bed, ran towards the wall and punched it. His head was empty, he had no idea what to do.
He grabbed the phone, he sighed disappointed, it was Tola.
“Adam, what was so urgent you had to call this late?” She said.
“He’s got her! Tola, he’s got her!”
“Who’s got who?” She asked.
“Kate, the killer has her.”
There was silence for some seconds then Tola said “Did the governor tell you…did she…are you sure about this?”
“Tola, he just called me, the b—–d just called me.” Adam said, sighed and moved towards his wardrobe. He picked a shirt and a pair of trousers.
“What are you going to do? It’s the middle of the night.”
“I’m going out now, I don’t know where yet but there’s no way I’m sleeping in this house with Kate kidnapped.”
“And the governor?” She asked.
He had not thought of him. “Of course I’ll have to tell him at a point, but I don’t know if telling him now is the best. Tola I can’t think straight while I’m in this house. We’ll talk in the morning.”
“Okay, Adam is this serious.”
“Tell me about it.” He said and ended the call.
He stuck his feet in a pair of shoes, grabbed his wallet and his car keys and left the house. He entered his car and drove out his compound. His windows were down as he drove, the cold wind blowing on his face and soft purring of his car soothed his tense body. Losing Kate to the church street killer would be the end of him. He had lost her mother to a bullet and now he was losing her to a killer’s knife. He had thought different times of what he would do when the killer was caught and he had always chided himself for the sinister thoughts that came to his mind. But now, he knew they were not sinister enough, this killer was not going to jail, he was going to die. Painfully.
His phone vibrated, he dug his hand into his pocket and brought it out. He looked non-chalantly at the phone. It was Ese. The night was getting weird. Calls from the Governor of a state, a killer, a partner and an ex girl-friend in the middle of the night, the same night, things could not get weirder.
“What is happening Adam, I just got a strange email.”
“Email from whom?”
“From Kate, the governor’s daughter.” She said.
“I’ll be in your house in a few minutes.” He was wrong, things could get weirder.
“Is there something going on that I should know?” Ese said as she opened the door. “By the way, you got here incredibly fast.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t very far away when you called.”
“You were driving around at night? Or you were headed here already? What’s going on?”
Adam sat down and told her about the calls, from the governor and the killer.
“You are not allowed to use any of the information I’m giving you here. I’m telling you this as my friend or whatever it is you are to me. You understand that?”
“Yeah, I understand but you’re telling me the killer has been talking with you?”
“Yeah, he has. That’s why I have policemen at all churches, I’m sure you must have heard. Wait…oh my God!”
“What is it?” Ese asked, shifting forward in her chair.
“He said he would kill again in three days, that was three days ago. Today is the last day. Kate! Oh my God!”
“But why did Kate send me a picture? Of course she didn’t, he did. I’m not sure if he sent this to me personally or he sent it to all other journalists out there.”
She showed the picture to Adam. Kate was seated on a wooden chair, it was old, the type that would break if you shook it too much. Her hands were tied behind her back and to the chair. She was unconscious but she looked like she had not been harmed. The picture had been taken in a jungle, or at least in the midst of a lot of trees.
“So he’s not just talking to me now, he’s sending pictures to journalists?” Adam said. “He’s getting cocky, he thinks he can’t be caught.”
“What did the governor say when you told him?”
“I’m yet to tell him, I don’t even know if that’s a good idea. I would wake him up to tell him his daughter has been kidnapped by the worst killer this city has ever seen?”
“It’s better than he calling you in the morning, you’ll still have to tell him then. He would want to know now.”
“Okay, I’ll call him now.” He dialed the governor’s number and waited. He picked at the first ring.
“Adam, is she at your place? Tell her not to bother to beg, you cannot get her out of this, okay?” The governor said.
“Sir, about that…” He paused and looked at Ese, she nodded. “Sir, I have some terrible news. Kate is not at a party, she was taken.”
“Taken? What does that even mean? Wait a minute, she was kidnapped?”
“I’m sorry sir.”
“By who? How do you know this? She could just be at a party, I’m sure she’s just at a party. She’s a young girl and she’s doing what all young girls do; party.”
“Sir, she was taken by the church street killer, he called me.” Adam said, squeezing his eyes shut. He could not imagine what was going on through the governor’s mind.
The line was silent for a while then it went dead. Adam looked at Ese, she opened her mouth to say something but she stopped. The phone rang again, it was the governor.
“I want you and your partner in my house, right now!” He said and ended the call.
Adam stood. “He wants me at the government house immediately and he wants me to bring Tola.”
“I’m going with you.” Ese said.
“No, you are not. He asked for me and Tola. I don’t want you getting too deep in this, he’s already sending you pictures, I don’t want him getting to know you too much.”
“I can handle myself.”
“Ese, you realize you cannot go public with this kidnap, right?”
“I can go public with the picture, I did not get that from you, did I?”
“Ese, you will not go public with this story, not yet.” Adam said and headed for the door.
“If you want me to keep quiet about this, take me with you.” She said, standing up and crossing her arms across her chest.
“I cannot…” He started but he looked at her, she was not bulging. “Okay, but if you are stopped at the gate, you are on your own. Now I have to call Tola again.”
“You know something just came to my mind, you said the Church Street Killer said this was about Kate too, not just about you, right?” Ese said. They had just driven into the government house.
“Yes, so?” Adam asked.
“Do you remember the major news on TV before the first body was found?”
“No, I don’t watch TV.” Adam said with a scoff. Then he quickly added. “I watch you though.”
“Whatever, but the major news was the accident involving Kate. She hit a boy, remember that?”
“Yeah, I remember that, she was drunk. The family of the boy didn’t sue.”
“Yes, they didn’t sue but they were very angry. Her father is the governor so of course they would have been paid, bullied or something to stop them from suing.”
“Are you saying somebody from the family of this boy could be doing this?” Adam asked as they pulled in front of the governor’s house.
“It’s a good lead.”
They walked to the house where Tola was waiting. Her husband was standing with her, he had a tie on.
“Dr. Dosumu, I’m sorry for having to drag your wife out of bed, the governor asked for her. And you are dressed up too.” Adam said, shaking his hand.
“I just got back from the hospital when she said she was going out, her eyes were literally closed as she dressed up. I decided to bring her here, it’s your job to get her back home now.” He said, pecked Tola on the cheek and left.
“Nice guy.” Ese said, watching the doctor drive away.
“What’s she doing here?” Tola asked, she still looked drowsy.
The governor came out of the door before he could reply. “Come in now!”
They were seated in a large office inside the governor’s house. The governor sat at the end of the table clearly disturbed, and Adam knew he would be at the receiving end of the outcome of that disturbance.
“Adam, you let this go on for too long, now he has my daughter?”
“Sir…” Adam started but he was cut off by a ringing phone. It was coming from Tola’s purse.
“I’m sorry about that.” Tola mumbled as she dug into her bag, she brought out a small flip Nokia phone. “This isn’t mine.”
She looked at the phone and passed it to Adam. Adam opened it, the caller ID read “CSK”
“CSK?” Adam asked, looking at Tola then at Ese.
“CSK as in church street killer.” Ese said.
“How did that phone even get into my purse?” Tola asked.
“Just answer the call!” The governor said. “And put it on speaker.”
“Hello.” Adam said, putting the phone on speaker and setting on the table.
“Hello Ese, Detectives and his excellency. I’m sure I need no introduction.” A voice that sounded Asian said over the phone.
“How does he know who is here?” Tola whispered.
“Is he Asian?” The governor asked.
“No sir, I am not Asian. My voice has been edited by a computer software I’m using. If you Google voice edit software, you will find some amazing options. But I know you are not really interested in that, right your excellency?”
“What do you want?” Adam asked, shifting forward in his chair.
“What do I want? I want the governor to resign and I want a million dollars in cash.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Adam said turning away from the phone.
“No, no, Adam let’s hear him out.” The governor said. “Why do you want me to resign?”
“Because, errr you have… you know, you have not…nah, who am I kidding? I don’t care if you are governor or not, I was just playing with you. But seriously now, I don’t want a what, I want a who.”
“What are you talking about?” Adam asked.
“I want Adam to resign; I want him hung at the gallows for disservice to the people of the state. That is what I want.”
“You know that is impossible, is there a way we…” The governor started.
“Yeah, I know it’s impossible. I guess what I’m saying is there’s nothing I want, Kate is going to die and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Yeah, except catch you and kill you, very slowly.” Adam said, his eyes red with anger.
“I love that spirit. So until you do that, I’ll be having fun with Kate. Bye.”
“Wait!” The governor shouted, jumping out of his chair.
Adam picked the phone, the call had been disconnected. He would give the phone to Faruk, there had to be a way to trace the caller.
“Adam, you have twenty four hours, find my daughter!” The governor said and stormed out of the room.