Adam slid the gear into park, jumped out of the car and ran into the lounge. He looked around the room, Faruk was nowhere. He brought his phone out of his pocket and dialed his number.
He chewed on his nails as the phone rang. He had hoped Tola was wrong about Faruk. Faruk had been the only friend he had kept for more than a whole year. He was a crazy person who lived in a fantasy world, more than a normal adult should but he was a true and loyal friend.
Adam looked at the phone, Faruk did not answer. He walked to the receptionist.
“Hey did you see my friend?” Adam asked.
“Hello Mr. Ademola, you are welcome. How can I help you?” She said, flashing Adam her professional smile.
“Did you see my friend? We come here together all the time.”
“Is he a member here? Does he have a card, we can use that to…”
“No he doesn’t have a card.”
“So he wouldn’t have been able to enter then…wait a minute, are you talking about your short friend?”
“Yes, that guy, did you see him?”
“Yeah, he was parked outside, I thought he was waiting for you. He was there a few minutes ago, I didn’t notice him leave.”
“Did you see anybody with him? A young lady maybe?”Adam asked, all the while looking around for any sign of sudden movement.
“No, I don’t think he was with anybody. Is there a problem sir?” The receptionist asked.
“No, thank you.” Adam said and walked away from the receptionist.
He went out of the lounge and walked around looking for any sign of Faruk’s car, he did not see any. He walked back to his car and dialed Tola.
“Are you still in that office?” Tola asked when she answered the call.
“The office…oh, no I’m not anymore. Have you guys found Faruk?”
“No, we haven’t. I think he is on to us, nobody has caught a glimpse of him. Where are you?”
“I’m outside Caleb’s.”
“Is he there? Adam don’t approach him on your own, you don’t have a gun, remember?”
“You actually believe the only gun I have is the one issued me by CIB? Of course I have a gun but this is Faruk we are talking about, even if he killed those people, there’s no way he’s going to harm me.”
“Adam, are you listening to yourself? He has killed at least six people and you think he won’t harm you?”
“Don’t worry Tola, he is not here, he was but not anymore. Let me know if you find him.” Adam said and ended the call before Tola could repeat her warnings.
Adam entered his car and started the engine. Faruk could be anywhere in the city. He was about to slide the gear into drive when his phone beeped. He picked it and checked. He had received a picture via snapchat, he did not even know he had the application on his phone. It was from Faruk. The picture looked familiar, then it hit him. It was a picture of a corridor in Faruk’s house, the one that led to his room. Faruk was in his house.
He reached for the gear when the phone beeped again. This time it was text.
“Come alone.” The text said.
Adam wondered why he insisted on him coming alone. He dialed Tola on his phone, it did not make sense to go alone.
“Are you alone?” Adam asked as soon as Tola answered the call.
“Yes I am, what’s up?”
“Did you guys check Faruk’s house?”
“Of course we did but we didn’t find him there.”
“I want you to meet me there now. Come alone and if you get there before me, wait for me, don’t enter, okay?”
“What’s happening? Is he there? Let me take a couple of guys with me, it could be dangerous.”
“Tola, come alone! Do not take anybody with you, come alone!” Adam said and ended the call.
He sighed and drove off.
Adam turned off the engine of his car, jumped out of the car and ran towards the door of the house. Tola drove up to the house just as he got to the door. He waved her over and put a finger to his lips, signaling her to keep quiet. He stooped low and walked below a window, he peeped inside the house, he saw nothing. Adam shook his head, he could not believe that he was haunting Faruk like a criminal, except that he was indeed a criminal. At least he was looking more and more like one.
“He asked me to come so I guess I’ll just have to go in.” Adam whispered to Tola. “Stay by the door and don’t come in except you hear gunshots or I call for help, okay?”
“Wait for gunshots? You could be dead by then.” Tola said.
“Or we could go in together and both die. Just do what I said, the world needs you alive.”
Adam said and turned towards the door.
“Be careful.” Tola called after him.
Adam stood in front of the door and sighed. He had been friends with Faruk for so long, how could he be such a gruesome murderer? He shook off the thought, steadied his breathing and knocked.
There was no answer.
He knocked harder. Still no answer.
“I’m going in.” He whispered to Tola.
He turned the knob on the door gently, it opened slowly as he pushed it. The room was slightly dark, the curtains were drawn and the only source of light in the room came through a window linking another room. A fan blew in the corner of the room making an eerie sound that made the hair on his neck stand. He stood still at the door and waited till his eyes adjusted to the dark room. He walked across the room to where the light switches were. He had always told Faruk that the light switches should be close to the door not at the other end of the room.
He flipped the switch and squinted as the light came on. He turned back to look across the room and jumped. There was a body on the floor, it had its face towards the floor. He ran to the body and flipped it over.
It was Faruk and he had been stabbed.
Adam put his finger on Faruk’s neck and felt his pulse, he was still alive. Blood had pooled below his body, he had lost a lot of blood.
“Tola, get in here.” Adam shouted.
Tola ran in, gun held in front of her. She stopped when she saw Faruk on the floor.
“Did you do this?” She asked Adam.
“No but we need to get him to a hospital, he’s still alive.” Adam said.
She ran out of the house and came in almost immediately with Detective Benjamin and another detective.
“That was fast.” Adam said.
“I’m sorry but I wasn’t going to face a killer without back-up. Another detective is outside calling for an ambulance. How did this happen?”
“I have no idea, I came in and met him like this.” Adam said.
Adam looked over Faruk’s body; there were bruises on his face and his knuckles. Both fingers were clenched, there was a sheet of paper sticking out of one of them. Adam pried the hand open and took the sheet of paper.
“What’s on it?” Tola asked.
“It’s a list of names.” Adam said, looking over the list.
“Do you know any of the names?”
“Kate’s name is on it, Akinfenwa’s daughter is also on it so I think it has something to do with the murders.”
“Do you think maybe it is a list of people Faruk was going to kill?”
“I don’t know. Kate’s name isn’t even close to the top neither is Akinfenwa’s name and I don’t see the names of the other victims here. One of the names is starred though: Adaobi Okonkwo, is that name familiar to you?”
“No, it’s not. Why was it starred, maybe she was supposed to be his next victim.” Tola said.
“After seeing Faruk stabbed like this, I seriously doubt he is the killer. I think the killer was the one who stabbed him.”
“Why would the killer stab him? Wait a minute, maybe he figured out who the killer was.”
“He wanted to tell me something, maybe that was it. Why didn’t he just call me?”
“Remember he once said the killer was connected to the CIB, maybe he thought he’d alert the killer and he’ll run.”
“Well, he alerted the killer anyway.” Adam said as he stood.
The siren of an ambulance sounded outside and medics entered with a stretcher. Adam stepped back and they placed Faruk on a stretcher and rolled him out of the room.
“If Faruk isn’t the killer then who is?” Tola asked.
“I have no idea but at least we have nine hour left to save Kate. If we’re lucky and Faruk comes to, we can find out what he knows and who stabbed him. Benjamin!” Adam called one of the detectives. “Follow Faruk to the hospital, stay with him, don’t leave his side for a second, if you have to pee, hold it or get a bucket. Whatever you do, do not leave his side, call me as soon as he wakes up.”
Adam looked around the room, nothing stood out as strange; everything looked the same. Except the desktop computer. It had always been dirty, Faruk rarely used it. He said the only reason he kept it was to show his great-grand children and to sell it as an antique years later.
Adam walked to the computer, it had been cleaned, it looked like it had been used recently. Adam connected it to an electric socket and put it on. He tapped the heel of his right foot on the ground as he waited for the system to boot.
His phone rang just as the system came on. It was the governor.
“Adam, you need to hurry. I just got another message and it says there was interference and because of that Kate has only two hours left. Two hours isn’t a long time Adam, find my daughter.” The governor said.
“We will sir. By the way, is the chief with you?”
“Yes, he’s been here since yesterday. He’s coordinating things from the government house which isn’t right but I’ll indulge him, I just want my daughter back.” The governor said, his voice breaking as he talked.”Why did you ask?”
“Oh, just checking sir.” Adam said.
“Find my daughter Adam, find Kate!” The governor said and ended the call.
Adam set his phone on the table and bowed his head. Two hours left and he had no leads, nothing concrete that could help him find Kate.
“What was that about?” Tola asked.
“Kate has only two hours, two hours! We must find out what Faruk knew that got him stabbed.”
Adam opened the browser on the computer.
Tola pulled up a chair and sat beside him.
“Okay, let’s see…recently viewed pages; news from several years ago, why would he read this?”
“Let me glance through.” Tola said and Adam sat back as she read. “Okay, it’s about two orphans, a boy and a girl, they had lost their father to a heart attack, no mention was made of their mother.”
“Why did this make the news? More importantly, why was Faruk reading this?”
“I don’t know why Faruk was reading this, but it says here the boy was a genius of some kind. Wait, Okonkwo, wasn’t that the name that was starred on that list?”
“Yeah.” Adam said, looking at the list. “So this girl was on that list, the big question is why?”
“Let’s check other pages he checked.” Tola said as she scrolled through the page. “Okay, here’s another newspaper page. These all happened so long ago. I didn’t know newspapers are archived on the internet that far back.”
“What does it say Tola?”
“It says…oh, the girl died. Wait a minute, she died of liver cancer. According to this, she was next in line for a transplant…”
“That list had Kate on it, they were on the same list.”
“She was next in line but two people were bumped ahead of her. Guess who they were.”
“Kate and that Akinfenwa girl.” Adam said jumping up from the chair. “That brother of hers, is he mentioned? Where is he now?”
“He isn’t mentioned but wait, there is another page…oh my God! Adam look at this.” Tola said, turning the screen towards Adam. “Does that face look familiar to you?”
Adam looked at the screen, it was a graduation picture. The girl’s liver problem obviously at an advanced stage. She was standing beside a young man who was the one graduating. Adam looked at the man’s face and gasped.
“Isn’t that…?” Adam started and stopped.
“Oh my God! It is”
Stay tuned for the final episode.