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It was clear to him that there was no way he could get back all he had invested in him, so Ernest decided to launch an attack on his brother, to destroy all his properties.It was on Monday morning, 6th September, 2014 when Sampson received a call on his way to work from his site manager for a new house he was building near Weija.
“Hello, my boss” the site manager greeted.
“Hello. How are you?”
“Boss, there is a problem oo…Hmm”
“What problem are you talking about?” Sampson asked with impatience.
“Boss, the house…”
“Yes, the house has done what?” Sampson asked anxiously.
“Boss, the house has been set ablaze by some unknown people in the early hours of the day”.
“What? How? Where are you? I will be right there” Sampson said angrily and sped off in his Range Rover toward Weija.
Upon reaching the site of the building, Sampson realised the place was filled with thousands of people. Smoke clouded the eyes of the area. About fifteen minutes away from where he stood, he saw a fire extinguishing tanker from the fire service department attempting to put out the fire. When he finally got closer to the site, he realised the whole building was eaten up by the inferno and efforts of the fire service personnel was just to prevent the spread of the raging fire to other surrounding buildings. Sampson couldn’t help but cry when he realised his over two hundred thousand Ghana Cedis investment had gone down the drain.
He disappeared into his Range Rover and drove off at the speed of light without saying a word to a single person. While in his car going to nowhere in particular, several thoughts kept running through his mind. He kept wondering why he should be the unfortunate person to face such a disaster. He couldn’t get answers to any of the questions that occurred to him. He wandered the whole City of Accra until he finally decided to go to the Aburi Gardens to relax and think through the situation.
He was just a few minutes from the Aburi Gardens when he escaped an almost fatal accident. A cargo loaded with tonnes of sugar had wanted to cross a junction at the same time when Sampson also arrived at that junction. It took swift turns to the left and right by Sampson and the Cargo driver respectively to avert the accident. However, the cargo driver was unable to control the vehicle safely. The rear of the vehicle threw the whole cargo off its balance and it fell on its side with the driver sustaining some degree of injury.
Sampson, who wasn’t really affected by the accident except some scratches on the rear of his car after it had gotten in contact with a rock by the street, was totally shocked by the event. In a matter of minutes, the whole scene was crowded by a large number of people who had gathered to help save the life of the driver of the cargo. Making his way out of his car by the help of those who rushed to the scene, Sampson realised how cruel and unexpected life could be. He stood aloof, his soul taking a stroll in the world of fears.
“So is this how unrealistic and unfriendly life could be?
What if I hadn’t survived this accident?” he thought to himself while driven in the ambulance to the Aburi government hospital.
At the hospital, Sampson was treated of shock and was checked on for any internal injury and later discharged. Coming out of the ward, there stood Jessica to welcome him with torrents of tears walking down the path on her cheeks. She stood still with her mouth opened as wide as a python ready to swallow its prey. When the beam of light reflected from Sampson into Jessica’s eyes, she involuntarily swung open her arms to have her beloved boyfriend walk into them. A cold embrace from him with his lips finding a resting place in her bosom saw Jessica smile broadly.
“Sweetheart, how are you feeling now” Jessica sighed as she walked out of the hospital with her boyfriend.
“Dear, I can’t even explain how happy I am that nothing has happened to me” Sampson replied with a smirk. Tears of joy rolled out of their eyes in torrents as they drove off in the new Land rover Sampson bought for her to their five bedroom mansion at Madina.
“Well, at least there is something good about this accident: Sampson wouldn’t be worried about the burnt apartment that much anymore” Jessica thought to herself.
It was 6 AM, the following morning. The weather was friendly with cool breezes of the morn’ hugging every soul they saw. Jessica was preparing breakfast when she heard a knock on the door, Sampson was still in bed. Swinging the door open, there stood the huge dark significant figure of Ernest. The same guy who disturbs her with love and marriage proposals.
“And what could the devil himself be doing here at this odd time?” Jessica wondered.
“Good morning, beautiful goddess” Ernest greeted with a smile.
“Good morning, how may I be of help?” Jessica replied with a rather serious look.
“Ummm?? I can see how successfully Sampson has transformed you into a very mean woman. Well, talking about your uncouth behaviour isn’t part of my agenda here this morning so you’d rather bring that on another day” Ernest smiled.
“And what could probably be your reason for coming here?” Jessica asked.
“Could you please grant me entry to the room first? You can’t expect me to stand in the doorway while we talk, do you? Ernest asserted.
“Tell me, of what use is Cat’s visit to mouse? You have no spot in our seats here. Do well to ask your legs out of here this very minute. Nice day!” Jessica exclaimed, banging the door.
Sampson heard the door bang and called out Jessica from the bedroom where he still laid in bed. “Jessie!”
“Yes, dear” she responded.
“Who’s at the door?”
“Oh! Don’t mind those crooks. It was some crazy guys who lost their way and I tried redirecting them but their mouths wouldn’t rest while I talk. They’re just annoying” Jessica lied.
“Okay. But you shouldn’t be that harsh on them. You know humans are bound to act in that manner so you should learn to tolerate them”.
“Okay, sweetheart. I’m sorry about that” Jessica said.
“It’s alright. Was Ernest here today?”
“No, he wasn’t. Why do you ask?” Jessica asked.
“I thought I heard his voice here but it’s alright. I guess I was dreaming or so” Sampson concluded. “Yea, I think so too. Dear, go back to bed while I finish up with the meal.” Jessica said as her legs carried her into the kitchen.
Later that day, Sampson’s phone cried to alert him of Ernest’s call.
“Hello, bro.” Ernest said.
“Hi brother. How be?” Sampson replied.
“I’m good, bro. I learnt of the misfortune that befell you yesterday. I hope you are getting better now?”
“Hmmmmm…My brother, I sincerely don’t understand what sort of evil this is that has befallen me. But I know my Lord will definitely see me through” Sampson.
“Don’t worry my brother. God will definitely make a way for you. I shan’t forget you in prayers and please don’t forget to be steadfast in prayers too” Ernest said.
“Okay, my brother. Thank you so much for being there for me. God bless you” Sampson said. “Okay, bro. And God bless you too. I have to work on some things now. We shall talk later. Do take care of yourself” Ernest said.
“Okay, bye for now” Sampson said before ending the call.
Around 8 O’clock in the evening that very day, while watching a movie in their flashy living room, Sampson engaged his fiancée in a conversation.
“Ernest called me today. He wanted to find out how I’m fairing after the accident” Sampson said. “Really? So what did you tell him?” Jessica asked with surprise.
“Oh! Nothing. I just told him I’m fine and that I’m hoping on the Lord for answers.” Sampson said. “Okay. That’s nice of him” Jessica said pretending to be alright.
“Yea. But you didn’t sound okay when I said he called. Is there anything you’d like to talk about regarding him?” Sampson asked.
“Oh! No. Don’t worry; there is nothing to be worried about here.” Jessica smiled.
“If you say so, then I have no choice than to believe you” Sampson shrugged.
“But seriously, I don’t understand why someone would set my house ablaze. Who could that person be?” Sampson wondered.
“Sweetheart, worry not about that okay? God will definitely judge all those behind this.” Jessica said.
“I know God will judge them all. But who are they?” Sampson said looking confused. “Uhuh! Wait a minute…. I think I know the people behind this” Sampson said.
“Who do you think it is, dear?” Jessica asked with curiosity in her eyes.
“Jacob and his people!”
“Wait. Wait…Wait… Who is Jacob?” Jessica asked.
“Jacob, the guy with who I had issues regarding the plot of land I bought at Kasoa. I think he is responsible for this because he has ever threatened me”
“Oh yea… That man! I remember him fully now. Then you have to report him to the police as soon as possible.
“Certainly, I have to report him”.
“Yes, dear. His words were poison. The devil himself fears him”.
They laughed together.
It was 7 in the morning; the sun had just risen from her bed journeying towards the west. A breeze of fear and anger cuffed Sampson’s thought as he drove to his multimillion plazas at Adabraka.
“Who is Jacob to hit at me over my own property?”
“Has he gone crazy?”
“Doesn’t he know I burn the sea?”
“So he thinks he could get away with this? The drum of war has been sound, I shall dance with him to every beat of it till the last bone breaks”
“I should report him to the police?
Was that what Jessie said?
Hell no! I’d be a dog if I do that.
I’m a cat!” Sampson fought his fears with these words.
Before he could leave his thoughts, he had already pulled up in front of his multimillion “Great Sammy plazas”. The building was as mighty as a ship with wide wings stretching out at the apex as couch. It was an edifice among edifices. The golden coat of paint that clad the building gave it a view worth smiling at. Glassy frames, doors and windows graced the face of the building, a trait that made it a site of attraction. Five hundred people a day, three thousand a week, twelve thousand plus a month was the number of customers who patronized their services and products ranging from games, cinema, supermarket through to restaurant and boutique.
He walked through the aisle of the very large hall which housed his super market that covered the first floor of his four storeyed plazas.
“Jonas!” he called out the manager of his super market. Jonas was his best friend.
“Yes, my man. What’s up? Jonas replied
“Bro, I’m cool. How is the shop today?”
“Oh! We dey manage. Business is quite booming today”
“Great. Charley, let’s talk some issues over some bottles”
“Oh okay, man. Let me just get some stuffs in place so we go. But do you want it at our restaurant?”
“No…No…No… Let’s go somewhere else. Westman Restaurant wouldn’t be bad”. Westman restaurant was a first class restaurant located at Abeka Lapaz. It was the point of relaxation for the first class citizens as well as diplomats.
Sampson’s Nissan Navarra pickup pulled up right in the parking lots of the flashy glossy Westman restaurant. It had a green skin garnished with strips of white with scores of light making it paradise. An oasis in a desert, a swimming pool sat in the middle of its forecourt. The young sun painted the content of the pool blue causing a glow.
Just when Sampson slipped out of the car, his eyes met the devil. The same devil he was planning to deal with. His eyes shone with shear bitterness and hatred immediately. His blood boiled causing his heart to burn with anger. That crook, Jacob was leaving the premises of the restaurant!
“Sammy. What’s up? We no go go again?’ Jonas called out
“Oh yea! Yea” he startled. His lips curled only to produce a smirk which unleashed the anger hidden in his heart.
“Ah! What dey worry you?”
“You, we go talk. Make we go inside”
Inside the mighty Westman restaurant, the tables were soldiers in a fray. The beauty of the room was stressed with the lightening system and state of the arts furniture that filled the room. An air-conditioned room with red labelled tables and stuffed seats were enough reasons why only the affluent could patronize the Westman restaurant.
A man clad in blue-black jacket with a blue-black cap and a tuber of yam for shoes led them to a table which sat in the far left corner of the spacious room. He was obviously a security man.
While the seat hugged them from behind and the man had left, a damsel in her early twenties walked up to them. She was wrapped in a blue overall with a white apron branding her chest.
“Good morning sirs. Welcome to our restaurant. Here is our menu, check and tick what you’d want to have” She greeted in a calm tone.
“Good morning, my dear.” Sampson said
They took a few seconds to look through the menu before ticking something.
“Here. Give us this” They said while handing over the menus to the waitress.
“Okay. Just a minute please. Your order would be ready soon.”
While the waitress took her time to get the drinks they had ordered, the duo were engaged in a brief conversation.
“So what’s bothering you?” Jonas asked
“My guy, I’ve a serious problem now.” Sampson replied
“What’s the ish?”
“Someone’s messing up with me big time and I need to show him some red colours”
“Oh! Who could that be?”
The waitress came back with two glasses and two bottles of wine. Her presence interrupted their conversation.
“Here you are sirs” she said. “You may call on me for any other assistance when the need arises”
“Okay. Thanks.” Sampson said with a pile of words locked up in his mouth.
“Okay. She’s gone now. So who did you say is disturbing you?” Jonas asked
“That thwart! Jacob!”
“Jacob? Who is that?”
“The crook who threatened me during the land dispute at Kasoa”.
“Oh okay. That guy? The importer?”
“Yea! That son of a bitch! He is responsible for the burning of my building”.
“What! Are you serious about this?”
“Very sure, in fact!” “Do you remember he threatened me?”
“Oh! Yea…I do. Then we should work on him”.
“Sure! Charley, I feel like strangling that guy!” Sampson said while he held the collar of Jonas’ shirt in demonstration.
“Oh! Massa, why you dey hold me like I be Jacob? Relax oo.”
“Hahahaha…My blood dey run, Man.” They both laughed
“But on a more serious note, I need your help, Joe” Sampson said.
“Oh! Mention it and it’s done”
“Fine! I want you to arrange some boys for me. I want to pay him back in his own coins”
“Oh okay…you mean giving him a reason to call 911?”
“Sharp! Hahaha…” They laughed.
“I shall arrange the guys by close of today and I shall invite you to meet them” Jonas said.
They played with few glasses of wine before settling the bill and eventually disappearing from the restaurant.
It was five past 7 in the evening. The sun was laid to rest by the young moon which was barely an hour old. The eyes of the moon caused fragments of light on the earth. Sampson’s phone blinked. He quickly swiped the screen unlocked to a message from Jonas.
“We are at joint now. An uncompleted building opposite Top trees hotel. Waiting for you.” The message read.
His eyes blinked with a sting of revenge, he blew of the light of his car before steadily stepping out virtually preventing being noticed. His wrist watched blinked with a “tin tin” sound just when his ringtone called his attention from his pocket. It was thirty-five minutes past 7. The caller was Jonas.
In the hearts of the uncompleted building, Sampson found his way into the innermost room where stood five men all clad in dark-coloured clothing. Jonas was one.
“Oh bro. You’re late oo. The guys were about leaving” Jonas said
“No worries. I’m here now. You know, traffic.” Sampson replied
“Boss. We no dey waste time oo… We dey do our things sharp sharp! So you for
Just drop filla then we move out” The leader of the gang spilled out amidst rowdy hand
“Okay. Calm down guys. He’s here now so let’s listen to him” Jonas announced
“Fine. Sorry for the lateness. You see, the guy has a gas filling station at Dansoman. Joe will provide you with details on the location. You guys have to sneak in around 11pm to carry out the operation. There are two security men usually by that time. Here is your deposit. You shall receive the balance when you are through with it all” Sampson handed a brown envelope over to the leader of the gang.
“I want a clean work” he stressed.
“Sure! Massa, make you no fear. You go hear from us soon”
The hmmmmm of Sampson’s engine woke Jessica from her sleep. She rose up her neck toward the direction of the dark blue wall clock which leaned on the wall. The biggest hand was on 11 and the minutes hand stood on 5. Her face grew with a grin. It was unusual for Sampson to leave home only to come back at such an odd hour. He’d have to explain when he gets here, she thought.
The door cracked open slowly. Jessica coiled her eyes in as though she had slept. Sampson tiptoed into the room only to be startled by a rather slim but strong voice.
“And where are you coming from with such looks on your face?” Jessica asked.
Sampson’s heart dropped, his nose prickled and his voice was the palm of a baby.
“I…I was with my friend, Joe. You know traffic” He said.
“You shouldn’t keep this late in the night and you know it. You didn’t even tell me where…”
Sampson moved near her and rested a warm kiss on her lips before she could say anymore words.
“I’m sorry my dear. It won’t happen anymore.” Sampson pleaded
His words were police officers and her anger was the criminal. She couldn’t help but ease a smile. He moved over and joined her in bed.
It was a Thursday morning, three days after Sampson’s meeting with the gang. Words had it that morning that the gas filling station near Dansoman had burnt into ashes and the security men were caught by the fire. Sampson had his fair share of the news too.
He quickly drew out his phone from his pocket. His fingers were pressed against a few keys before he heard a voice from the phone after he had rested it near his ears supported by his palm.
“Good morning, Joe” Sampson greeted.
“Morning, my boss. How far?” Jonas replied.
“Man. Your guys no do the thing oo… Why them dey delay such?”
“Oh! Don’t tell me you haven’t heard the news. I thought you’d heard it”
“Which news are you talking about?” Joe said with an anxious look on his face
“The guys do the thing this morning. The news spread all over self”
“Oh! Really? So it’s true, after all!” Joe said with a mischievous smile
“Aah! So you knew all along? You paaah?”
“Hahaha…I didn’t believe it so I had to verify from you.”
“Okay, I hear. Prepare the balance for the guys. They don’t joke with their money”
“No problem. Tell them to meet us at the usual point 9PM today”.
The call dropped dead.
It was 7:30 PM that same Thursday. Sampson looked toward his immediate right where Jessica sat in a gold-coloured seat in the sitting room where they both sat watching a movie. She had moved a little bit away from Sampson because he was obstructing her from concentrating on the movie. She loved movies so much especially Nollywood movies which Sampson detested to some extent. Sampson realised her eyes were still fixed on the TV screen as though they were glued to it. He traced his thoughts at the moment to the good times they’ve had together all the while. Suddenly, his eyes struck the face of the wall clock which stood firmly on the wall like a soldier on parade. The time read 7:45PM. His face beamed with shock and worry. He would surely not forgive himself for forgetting his appointment with the gang. No! But the time was still an hour or so away. But wait a minute! Traffic! And hey, how does he move out of the house with Jessica, a security man at post?
“I have to find a way about this.” He thought to himself.
He sat still with his eyes marking the entire volume of the sitting room in search of a brilliant way to go out. Alas! He finds a remedy. His lips curled to reveal a smile that smelled of success. Jessica was still concentrated on her movie.
He drew out his phone from his pocket making sure he didn’t attract the attention of Jessica. He made his phone play the same song he used for his ringtone in a quest to feign a call. He quickly threw the phone over his ears.
“Hello. Yes, Joe. What’s it by this time of the night?” He said
“I told you not to call me during my quality times with my woman. So what’s it?” He continued
“What! You mean she collapsed just like that? At your place?” He screamed.
“Okay. Okay, Okay. Just wait for me. I’m driving there right away. Bye”. He said again before taking the phone off his ears.
Jessica’s eyes shifted instantly to the direction of Sampson with fear written all over her face.
“What’s wrong, dear? Who was that?” She asked
“Dear, I have to go now. When I get back, I shall explain everything to you. Let me run along now” he said.
“Honey, let me come with you, please?” Jessica pleaded
“Oh! Don’t worry. Be home. It’s late and we all can’t leave the house now. I’ll be right back” Sampson said. He moved toward her and pinned down a peck in the middle of her right cheek.
Jessica stood still, her eyes tracing every step of Sampson’s as he goes back into the bedroom, changed his shirt to black, before he finally disappeared.
He pulled up in front of the uncompleted building once again. In an almost similar fashion except that this time he had arrived a bit earlier. His watch struck 8:52PM when he arrived. Apparently, the usually all-choked traffic condition was better that evening.
He found his way into the same room in which they held their first meeting. To his surprise, the room was a cemetery. Only the smile of the moon in the room was his companion. Just before he could pick out his phone to call Jonas, he heard some voices approaching him. He quickly shifted to one corner of the room in fear with his hand still stuck in his pocket even as he tried removing it. The place was isolated and he knew he wasn’t safe there at all.
“So this your friend no go come early today self?” He heard one of the voices say.
There was a familiar voice in response to the first voice. It was Jonas, Sampson concluded.
“Oh! He go come now.” The familiar voice said.
“Oh! I’m here oo” Sampson said rushing out of his hideout as though he had buried his fears.
“Ah! But where you pass?” One of the gang members asked
“I passed the other side” Sampson said, pointing toward the direction from which he came.
“Oh! Yh… The same place you passed the last time, right?” Jonas asked.
Sampson responded in the affirmative. There was a short silence. Sampson cleared his throat to break the virginity of silence.
“I didn’t know you guys would do the job. I feared you’d disappear. I must say, I’m impressed” he said.
“Oh! Massa paah? This job, we dey do am long time oo. Politician self dey contract we. Last time self; I go fire some house of Weija. Some new building like that” the leader of the gang said.
Sampson’s face changed with interest in the comment made by the previous speaker. He wanted to know more about that.
“You said you fired a house at Weija? When was that?” He asked.
“Oh! Yea! Me and my boys self way do that job. Sharp! We burn is like some months this?” The gang leader replied.
“Who did you do the job for?” Sampson asked
“Oh! Massa, I no dey release information like that oo…You for talk well make I talk”
At this point, Jonas was confused about why Sampson asked all those questions. But he wouldn’t ask him anything yet. Maybe when they left there, he would ask him the reason for all this.
“Okay. I’ll give you 500 cedis for the information” Sampson bargained
“Make it 1,000.”
“Okay. No long talks. Let me give you 700 cedis” Sampson said with all seriousness.
“My man, e no good oo…Add 50 cedis. That one self E be say you be my boss that be why oh”
“Okay, deal.” Sampson said.
“Drop the cash make I give you the info” the gang leader said.
Sampson reluctantly removed some few fifty cedis notes from his pocket and handed it over to the gang leader.
“The man be Mr Ernest Sarpong. The one way dey do the import/export for Tema.” The gang leader said after making sure the money was up to 750 cedis.
“But boss, why you make interested like that?” the gang leader said.
Sampson’s mouth was opened in shock at the news. He knew he had committed a grievous mistake. At that moment, Jonas’ mind was opened to harbour a clear idea of what was going on at the moment. At least, he could relate with the name, Ernest Sarpong. It was the name of Sampson’s elder brother. “Wait a minute! Is he responsible for…?” Before Jonas could finish his thoughts, Sampson’s voice interrupted him.
“Joe, I think we should go now.” Sampson said, handing over a brown parcel to the gang leader.
“That’s your balance. It’s been nice doing business with you” He continued.
Sampson and Jonas left the premises with the gang singing praises to their names behind them.
“Bossu be that! You too bad. Bossu be that” they sung repeatedly.
Back in the car, Sampson and Jonas figured out how to deal with the controversy at hand. All of a sudden, Sampson’s phone rang. He checked and it was Jessica calling. Obviously, he couldn’t answer the call at that moment considering his mood. He muted the phone and laid it flat, belly facing earth on the dashboard. There was silence for a while until Sampson started the engine.
“Sammy, so you mean your own blood brother did that to you?” Jonas asked
“Hmmm…I don’t even know what to think now. What could be his reason?” Sampson replied
”wasn’t he the same person who took care of you throughout your education?”
“Of course! He was. And that’s what makes things more difficult for me to understand”
“Don’t worry; we shall get to the bottom of this.”
END OF PART ONE.
Watch out for part two of this story.
And don’t forget to grab a copy of my debut novel “DOOM’s DAWN”.