Probed” is a science fiction concept with a Nigerian setting about five extraordinary children trying to live ordinary lives. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I love writing it!
Hi Guys! Finally I’m putting up chapter sixteen. My hiatus is enough to draw enough hate to the series, but I thank every one of you that waited it out. I also have two new posts up, but I know your mind is in the series. I would have made it longer but it needed to end this way.
Richard had never been threatened because of his work before, even though he had worked with very powerful men in the society; silent millionaires and billionaires who like Mr. Johnson were well aware of the discreet legacy he carried on from his father. He soon became a sole confidant to a lot of these men, often finding himself involved in issues non-related to work in the process.
But his level of involvement had on been on an advisory level; it wasn’t like he was ever physically involved. Until today, that is.
Though it was actually his sons that were involved, it still concerned him because they were his family— it was as good as it being him.
Only that he would probably not have survived being shot at.
“Why would Chief Benson ask robbers to steal the parcel off me when he was the one who asked his men to give it to me in the first place?” Richard said thoughtfully. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Dad… you have to be careful.” Muyiwa said firmly. “It could have been you back there… or Fredrick or—”
Mustapha clamped a hand on Muyiwa’s shoulder before he could even dare put their mum on the list. Richard looked at his sons dejectedly.
“We also have to bump up house security. Probably get a guard.”
“There’ll be no need to get a guard.” Mustapha intercepted. “I don’t sleep… I can serve as a night guard, don’t you think?”
“We could just get the house wired with cams or something.” Muyiwa added, supporting his brother. “We know how you get with external staff.”
“I am your father… I’m supposed to be doing everything in my power to support my wife and my kids!” Richard said, trying his best not to raise his voice. “Not expose them to more danger!”
“The average man does not have children like us.” Muyiwa argued. “You know we could do way more than the best bodyguard you can hire.”
“And aren’t children also supposed to take care of their parents?” Mustapha asked with a frown.
“Not like this boys… not like this.”
Richard put his head in between his hands. This was far more than he had bargained for. But the children were right… he needed them far more than he would care to admit.
Richard began to explain all what he could about the parcel and Mr. Benson.
“Chief Benson is the cofounder of one of the most popular paint companies in West Africa. The other founder, Dr. Adebisi had died five years ago, and had transferred his share of the company’s assets to his only son, Ibrahim.
Now Ibrahim had no interest in the company, and sought to sell out the assets to the highest bidder, refusing to consider what the Chief had to offer him until he had other offers to compare it to. There’s no need to explain why half of the company’s assets falling into a stranger’s hands could pose as a great threat to the company, so Chief Benson had sought out my services hoping I’d find a loophole in the aged contract that’d at least cripple Ibrahim’s plans, or at least force him to succumb to Chief Benson’s offer.”
“So he sent over the contract, and then sent robbers after it?” Muyiwa mused.
“It doesn’t make any sense to do so.” Mustapha added.
“Maybe after I go through the document I’d get a clue about all of this.” Richard said tiredly. “I’ll ask Fredrick to get us lunch.”
The boys silently watched their father as he threw himself into the document immediately; poring over every word like his life depended on it, which in a way it did.
It seemed like there was nothing to be found at first, and after an hour and two plates of rice each, the boys began to mirror their father’s tiredness. Richard threw the parcel into the drawer carefully and let out a defeated sigh.
“I still don’t get it… ”
Mustapha and Muyiwa exchanged looks, and just as Richard was about to say something else Muyiwa’s phone began to ring. He gave his father and brother an apologetic look.
“Please could I be excused?”
Richard gave a consenting nod and Muyiwa stepped out of the room.
“Dad, I think the problem is you’re doing this under pressure.” Mustapha suggested, trying to encourage his father. “Even the few times mum made us drag you out of the study for dinner you’ve never looked this tense while immersed in your work.”
“Maybe you’re right.” Richard said, heaving another sigh. “But how could I not be pressured? Who knows what Benson has planned next?”
“I doubt he would have anything else planned after what happened after what happened today.” Mustapha said with a shrug.
“Don’t be relaxed… he would probably plot something more deadly than mere armed robbers.” Richard said firmly. “Or maybe we should have let him have the parcel.”
Muyiwa came in, looking a little embarrassed.
“Daddy…I have to rush home.” he said, sounding a little nervous. Mustapha raised an eyebrow at him.
“Anything the matter?”
“Um… the thing is…”
“Spit it out bro.”
Muyiwa shot his younger brother a deathly glare before turning to his father apologetically. “Ronke’s dad just asked me to join them for lunch today.”
“And you can’t cancel? Tell him something came up.”
“That’ll be rude… besides, he’s not someone she gets to see often. Her parents got divorced when she was little and she grew up with her mother.”
“That aside Muyiwa, it would be rude to turn down an invitation from her father when there isn’t a concrete reason.”
“Your life is a concrete reason dad.”
“Stop that Mustapha. It’s not like you’d be following me everywhere. Won’t you go to school?”
“We need to get bullet proof vests for you, mum and Fredrick.” Muyiwa said pensively.
“Or bodyguards to follow you around during the day.” Mustapha added.
“Let’s talk about this later.” Richard said with a sigh. “Muyiwa, go for your lunch date and Mustapha will come home with me and Fredrick. I still want to look into this document.”
“Muyiwa still needs to go home and change… I’ll get in the car with him.”
“We’ll be heading out first.” Muyiwa said. “Bye Dad.”
The ride home was silent, until Mustapha decided to break the ice.
“I know you’re mad at me.”
“Give me one reason not to.”
“Forgive me for placing your father’s priorities over your girlfriend’s.”
“Stop being insensitive.”
“I’m being insensitive about my father’s safety?”
Mustapha clenched and unclenched his fists gripping the wheel for fear of breaking it.
“It was impromptu Muyiwa. Surely if you had cancelled no one would have taken offence.” Mustapha said coldly. “Surely if you were about to take an exam and you got such invitation you’d decline”
Muyiwa didn’t respond. “Or maybe I’m giving you too much credit. You might forfeit this exam for a lunch date with your future father-in-law.”
“Give it a rest already Mustapha.”
“Wait? Don’t tell me you’re thinking of marrying this girl. Do you know how many relationships people have before they get married?” Mustapha said, ignoring his brother’s warning. “It’s not like you’d marry her but you want to put her before your family. Besides, you know it’s best that people like us don’t get married.”
“Don’t get me angry, Mustapha. You know how good I am at controlling my temper… that doesn’t mean you should keep pushing me to the wall.” Muyiwa said through gritted teeth. “Besides, if you’re so concerned about Dad’s safety why didn’t you at least drive home with them to serve as a lookout?”
“Because… we just dealt with one attack… they’d have to come up with another plan before they lay another one.”
“Oh… you’re aware of that. So why are you giving me such a hard time about excusing myself for a lunch meeting that’d probably not exceed an hour or two?”
Mustapha let out a sigh. “Guy, you’ve always been soft before now… forget your physical strength. And now you’re getting even worse. It’s like watching you prance about naked.”
Muyiwa winced as though he had been slapped.
“If this wasn’t a busy area I swear down I’d have told you to get out and find your way ho—.”
Muyiwa hadn’t even completed his words when he noticed the car was empty. He hadn’t even heard the door open and close. Only the slight rushing breeze that rustled the umbrellas of the hawkers selling recharge charge gave hint of Mustapha’s movement.
Lillian was at home when Mustapha got in, but he didn’t want to alert her to open the gate. He hadn’t taken his key with him on his way out since he was going out with Muyiwa. She’d be furious if she knew he had been using super speed on the open road. He decided to call Aisha instead. She picked almost immediately, and he explained the need for her to be discreet. But before he hung up he saw Nneka pull up into the estate about six houses away.
“Aisha don’t bother about opening the gate.” He said quickly before hanging up. He waited casually till Nneka had driven to the front of the house before running to the car and sitting in the passenger seat. Nneka gave him a confused look.
“Mum said you went out with Muyiwa.”
“So why are you standing outside?”
“I didn’t take my key out because I went with Muyiwa.”
“Where is he?”
“I ran out on him— literally.”
Nneka sighed and shook her head. “We’ll talk about this when we get inside.”
“And if I don’t want to.”
Nneka turned her head mechanically and gave her brother a deathly glare.
“Just try me and don’t talk when I ask you anything. Try me first.”
Muyiwa checked the time. He had only an hour before he had to meet up with Ronke and her dad. He opened the gate and drove in, bounding out of the car into the house without even closing its door. He had already pulled Mustapha’s shirt by the time he was in the front door.
“Is that you Muyiwa?”
He halted. He could hear Lillian’s voice coming from the kitchen. He dashed in to greet his mum with a smile. She smiled back at him.
“Good afternoon ma.”
“How are you dear? Lunch is almost ready.” She said, gesturing towards the pot. “You can’t believe your brother is still hungry after having KFC just a few minutes ago. That boy eh!”
“Yeah he told me he left you with the car after Nneka baited him with some takeout. At least my food doesn’t go to waste in this house.” She said, ending the last sentence with a laugh. Muyiwa let out a nervous laugh. He knew their mother won’t find it funny if she found out Mustapha trekked home.
“Mummy I really have to go. Ronke’s dad invited me for lunch.”
“Oh really? That’s wonderful!” she said, beaming. “Make sure you dress smart… in fact I want to see what you’re wearing before you leave this house.”
“Is this your first time meeting him?”
Muyiwa nodded. “Good. I trust you to represent your family well.”
Lillian approved his choice of clothing, a blue, long sleeved cotton shirt (which she didn’t let him fold) tucked into black jeans, with his dark blue slip-ons. His palms were sweaty as he drove down to the location she described. They were at yaba, so it didn’t take long to get there. He exhaled greatly before walking into the restaurant, where he saw Ronke sitting with a rather stout looking man dressed elaborately in his native attire. Muyiwa bowed curtly in greeting and exchanged a nervous smile with Ronke, who shifted uncomfortably in her seat.
“Daddy, this is Muyiwa Ogunbade, my boyfriend.” She said, still fidgeting. “Muyiwa, meet my father, Chief Oreoluwa Benson.”