So today, we conclude on the Boo Matter.
Synopsis: Ekow is taking a midnight run for his life, all because of…er…wrong decisions. I’d advise that you see what exactly happened here ‘ http://www.goldinwords.com/2165/when-your-boo-is-not-your-boo/ ‘ in the first part before you jump into today’s conclusion brought to you by #TeleTuesdays…Enjoy!
The thumping of his heart within his ribcage sounded as loud to him as the rushing of blood he could hear thundering through his ears but Ekow’s feet seemed to have plans of their own, choosing to pound on instead of slowing down so he could catch his breath. That bloody girl, he thought to himself as he reached another intersection and leaned against a light post there, breathing heavily as the sweat rolled down his face in waves.
Sapphire Rose Hotel, Room 42… Sapphire Rose Hotel, Room 42… Sapphire Rose Hotel, Room 42….
Ever since Prince tried to pour a cold one over his developing feelings toward Naa, there had been some unease between the two roommates. Ekow figured that Prince probably had some unrealized (or unresolved) feelings toward Naa from way back when and so decided to throw a wrench into his plans as a result. He’d not known him to be so petty but well…apparently people did change. Either that or he didn’t want Ekow to have a bit of excitement in his own life too, after all, Prince might not like the competition.
Ekow snorted to himself as he straightened the monogrammed blazer he was wearing over the white long-sleeved shirt and jeans. He wouldn’t allow Prince’s words to dampen his evening today.
Spritzing on some Sauvage by Dior, he stepped out of the room without a second glance back at his roommate who appeared to be engrossed in a movie with his arms around yet another girl on his bed.
Relegating thoughts of Prince to the back of his mind, Ekow gratefully sank into the back of a private taxi he’d called an hour before that waited downstairs.
“Sapphire Rose Hotel, Crescent Row,” he gave the address to the driver before settling down in suppressed excitement and anticipation of the night’s agenda. He was running late at 10:35pm, but Naa had said that she’d be running a bit late too so he wasn’t really worried.
The mental imprint of Naa’s surprise kiss still lingered, even now. He kept on playing the events leading up to that moment and after in his mind as the journey sped by so it seemed barely a full minute till he was outside the hotel. Timecheck: 11:15pm. Naa still hadn’t called him so he guessed she was even further behind time than he was and smiled to himself at where the night seemed to be heading now.
The Sapphire Rose Hotel was an impressive 6-storey building that was at the end of a secluded cul-de-sac, joined to the main road out of the city winding through a number of intersections. The shade afforded by the various trees and high walls of large mansions interspersed by streetlights every 10 or so meters apart gave the general Crescent Row area an ambience of elegant mystery. Why some people would choose to refer to this place by such a derogatory name as Thieves Row was beyond him – probably jealousy at the apparent exclusivity, he surmised. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary seemed to be wrong with the neighbourhood really.
Imagining this edifice in particular, however, as the venue of many a secret rendezvous was only too easy. Including mine, he admitted to himself embarrassedly before shoving the uncomfortable thought away hurriedly.
Paying off the cab driver, he considered asking him to wait for an hour or two but decided against the thought. Who knows when I’ll be leaving here? he mused internally, a sheepish grin on his face.
Stepping into the lobby, he took a second or two to appreciate the rich golden theme of furniture, statuettes and furnishings at the two waiting areas before he got to the concierge at the welcome desk.
“Good evening sir, how may I help you?” the young lady asked him with a ready smile on her face.
“Um, hi. I’m meeting someone at Room 42. Can you check if she’s in?”
He thought he saw the smile on her face slip for a bit, but the next second she was smiling brightly as before.
“Oh. Suite 42. We were informed that you’d be here at 11:30pm instead, not so early. No problem – I think they’re ready for you upstairs in the suite, though.” She rifled through some files behind the counter, taking out a silver keycard and pointing him toward the row of elevators.
Smiling as he flipped the card from his right hand to his left, Ekow thumbed open the elevator doors and in short order was accessing Suite 42 with his keycard.
The electronic door opened into a tastefully-furnished lounge which seemed empty, clicking almost silently behind him.
Chale, Naa ein poppee get money o! Kwɛɛ! He thought, wondering how she could afford to book such an obviously expensive Suite for just an evening. I go fit bea give d room for sure, but why I for waste money so?!
He plunked into the comfy loveseat to wait for Naa – it seemed she had not arrived yet and he did not want to go exploring without her by his side. He proceeded to fiddle with his phone for an indeterminate amount of time, only pausing when the low battery warning beeped its alert.
Lifting up his head finally, he cast his eyes around the lounge and his attention was immediately drawn to a pair of slightly curved and ancient-looking knives mounted on one wall he hadn’t taken particular notice of before. They looked to be made of cleverly carved wood and so he stood up to take a closer look. He’d done some carving as part of his course for almost 6 months at a time and had learnt to distinguish between most choices of wood at a glance, but these pieces simply eluded him now. There appeared to be 2 other depressions in the mounting on the wall where other knives might once have been below but were now empty.
Just as he reached out to touch them to feel the texture of the strange wood, the double doors to what he presumed to be the sitting room proper swung open slightly and a man stepped out in a fine pair of charcoal-gray trousers and partially undone white shirt. He noted that the collar seemed to be stained with a drink of some sort, and once the man noticed him and started speaking with a small smile on his face, he was pretty sure it was wine.
“Ah ah! You look like a new one today. You’re the one they sent for today’s event, aren’t you?”
Assuming the man to be a member of the jazz band they were going to listen to, Ekow decided to mess around with the slightly intoxicated man and actually nodded in agreement.
“I’m here for the show.”
The man looked at him quizzically but after a second shrugged, mumbling something under his breath sounding like “…small boys of today all want money too…”. But that couldn’t have been it, right?
“I’ll come call you when it’s your turn to cut in like 5 minutes, okay?”
With that, he spun round and entered the room again, shutting the door as before.
Now, Ekow was intrigued.
Did he say ‘cut’? What’s going in that room at all?!
He was still debating with himself mentally on whether to open the door to the sitting room and find out more for himself when the main door to the suite clicked open as someone accessed it from outside.
Turning toward it with a ready smile for Naa, Ekow was confronted by the blackest man he’d seen in years since JoJo Tuntum had left their JSS for another school in the Eastern Region when his father got transferred! He was of average height with short dreadlocks, dressed similarly to Ekow, but with a black shirt and blazer instead. A scar on his right cheek reminiscent of a branding gone wrong, shaped like a cross with a fishhook tail drew Ekow’s attention to his scowling face. The guy was built like a bull on steroids, his muscles straining against the jacket!
“G-good evening sir,” Ekow stammered out.
The man opened his mouth as if to reply, then seemed to reconsider it.
“You, sit down. Wait here”, he ordered gruffly pointing at the chair before striding up to the sitting room doors and opening them without even knocking. He banged them shut after casting another dirty look at Ekow.
This time, Ekow shot up from his seat for the door. The door hadn’t been as firmly closed as he thought – a slight gap was between both doors and he gradually widened it so he could peep into the sitting room beyond.
His heart had begun to pound with what seemed like excitement now. Where is Naa? He thought for a second as his eyes roamed quickly over the even more tastefully furnished parlour there as he saw the man with the stained shirt once more – he looked so familiar – now talking to the hulking man who’d just entered, gesticulating wildly.
“Aha!”, he exclaimed before he could stop himself, clapping his hand over his mouth and ducking low so as not to be caught eavesdropping. He’d finally recognized the man. He was the Minister for ******** whom he’d seen a few times on the News, pushing forward some project or the other of the Government.
This must be a really exclusive event if he’s here, mused Ekow. But something he’d seen inside seemed a bit off. He tiptoed up to the door and peeked inside again.
“Kadah, this one is all on your people. You should have come earlier. I didn’t invite that guy in o, he came himself and what was I to think?!” The Minister was almost shouting now in a panicked tone as the other man – Kadah – stood with his back to Ekow, arms folded.
- There was a sheet of clear plastic spread everywhere on the floor of the sitting room that had some more spilt wine on it with some rolled up bundles on it holding it down..
- The missing wooden knives from the lounge were on a glass coffee table to the side and looked stained darker than those on display outside.
- The ‘wine’ was not wine – it was blood; the ‘wood’ was not wood – it was carved human bone; the blood was streaming from the rolled up ‘bundles’!
“No worries sir,” he overheard Kadah say. “We’ll add him to the Offerings, surplus for the Masters, no?”
“Mtchewww!” he hissed as he heard the sounds of a vehicle in the distance. Headlights like pinpricks made a turn unto the road about 500 metres behind Ekow and he took to his heels once more! This time he chose to dash through a narrow path between two walled compounds onto a parallel street to the right, shouting aloud this time.
“Help me! Somebody, help!”
The only response he got was from pedigreed guard dogs barking in a chorus, safely behind their walls.
He ran on, now aiming for the far off main road, though his stamina seemed to be ebbing now. About 350 metres behind him now, the car turned into the street behind him again, speeding closer…
He did not wait to hear more and jumped back as just then the Minister turned and met his eyes squarely.
“Kadah, get him before he runs away!” he roared as Ekow stumbled back from the door, knocking over one of the ornate chairs as he scrambled to maintain his balance. He was out of the room and stabbing at the elevator button in 2 seconds flat! Mercifully, the elevator hadn’t departed to any other floor yet and the last image he saw as the doors slid shut was Kadah’s cruel smile as he unbuttoned his jacket and flung it at the Minister before yanking open the door to the staircase.
In a flash of inspiration, Ekow stabbed the Basement button, hoping it led to an underground parking lot through which he could escape, having gained more time to evade the monster in hot pursuit.
The moment the doors pinged open, Ekow was out of the lift and off at a mad sprint like a bat from hell! A car enthusiast, were it under different circumstances, he would have spared some time to gawk at the 2016 BMWs, Audis, Range Rovers and the solitary Maybach parked there, but self-preservation took precedence today.
“Hey! Hey! Stop!”, the guard at the barrier shouted at him as he vaulted the 4-foot barrier without even breaking a stride.
As he burst out of the compound’s gates, he looked around for a car to flag down but the road was already empty.
“Stop him! He’s a thief!” he heard the Minister’s voice as he shouted from within the walls of the Sapphire Rose, followed by a chorus of “Yes sir!” from what had to be the Hotel’s security men.
“He went this way, follow me!” came another gruff voice that could only be Kadah.
Ekow needed no more incentive to run. He took to his heels once more as he mentally cursed Naa’s name…
Ekow was now spent. His tired legs were like rubber, his muscles like lead. He breathed with every muscle he could commandeer but he knew that he had come to the end of his ability. He could hear the car drawing closer behind him but not even that realisation could draw out any more from his weary limbs.
He stumbled once, then again, before tumbling into a heap in the middle of the street. He heard the driver sharply apply his brakes to avoid running him over as the adrenaline ebbed from his veins.
How stupid all this is he mused silently as his world slowed down. I’m going to be killed because of one silly kiss that confused me on who I really loved. Eno’s smiling face came to mind and he gave out a heavy sigh as he was rolled unto his back.
Ekow felt his eyes lose focus, staring up at the figure standing over him as he passed out in the middle of the road…
Monday lectures were brisk as usual.
Eno tapped her pencil anxiously on her desk. Ekow’s place was empty this morning. She was beside herself with worry because he hadn’t called her since they last spoke on Friday, which was unusual, but she’d decided to tough it out. He’d been absolutely mean to her and she wasn’t going to feed his ego by trying to cosy up to the obstinate idiot of a boy. Still…
30 minutes into the period, just when she had just decided to go find out what was wrong with the lout, he slid into his seat, sliding her a piece of paper.
I’m sorry Eno. I’ve been foolish. I got distracted by other shining attractive things when I’d forgotten that the real gold was by my side all along. I now realise what really matters in my life: it’s you.
She crumpled the sheet, turning to look at his shocked face with a cold, level look…and then she smiled that Eno smile that finally made his world alright again.
“Ekow you stood me up and didn’t have the common decency to even – “ His upraised right palm silenced her.
“But Ekow you didn’t force at all for – “
“Shushhh!” he cut in again, this time with an index finger on his lips. Noticing Eno stepping into the cafeteria, he got up from the seat and backed away with both index fingers making the sign of a cross in her face.
“Yesu mogya nka w’anim*!” he muttered before turning around to walk to Eno…
*May the blood of Jesus touch you