Excerpt for BLOOD ON HER HAND by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

BLOOD ON HER HAND

In the coolness of the office, Bukky busied herself with typing on the desktop. She always had lot of work to do, from typing to buying lunch for her boss. She was however well remunerated for it. With her earnings, she could afford some little luxuries and indulgence.

There was a little rapping on the door. It opened cautiously and a lady stepped inside. She was a correspondent with Business Forum, a well-known weekly business magazine. She had appointment with Dave, Bukky’s boss. Bukky offered her a seat and glided to the door of the other office.

Dave was not so busy when Bukky popped in.

“Er, the lady journalist is around,” Bukky announced.

Dave was not sure he heard her right. “Lady journalist?”

“Yes, the journalist from Business Forum. She’s here.”

“Oh,” he sighed and glanced at his watch. He was surprised that time had gone that fast. He remembered he had given the journalist, now he could not even remember her name, an appointment for mid day. He had been so engrossed in his thinking that he did not know that it was already mid day,

He leaned back on the leather seat. His eyes went to the 32 inch flat screen to left. An international cable news station was broadcasting the latest armed conflicts in Mosul, Syria. An agitated old man was complaining about how hostilities had wreaked havoc on the land. Dave sighed again.

“Should I ask her to come in or not?” Bukky asked, wondering why it was taking him time to voice his decision,

“Oh, yes. Tell her to come in right away.”

The lady in question was ushered in. She was a slim one in her early thirties. She seemed to carry some grace with her as she walked.

“Good morning,” she greeted. There was a slight smile on her face.

“Good morning,” he enthused, returning the smile, offering a hand shake and pointing to one of the chairs facing him.

“I’m Susan, the one from the business magazine. I had an appointment. I am here for the interview.”

He nodded. “You are welcome.” He noticed how she appeared to be smooth. “I will give you twenty minutes. Let us start straight away.”

She brought out her compact recorder and a jotter. She then fired the first salvo. The questions were mainly on the petroleum and gas industry, from the local content to the international perspectives. Her questioning showed a lot of savvies, professionalism and mastery of the technique of how to goad the interviewee on. Dave was impressed about her. To him, she combined beauty with intelligence. He would hace continued with her had Bukky not interrupted that the time allotted for the interaction as over.

He smiled at Susan. “Sorry, further interview has to be another time.”

“Thank you, sir”

His smile broadened. “Can I have your complimentary card or something?”

She dipped her dainty fingers inside her leather bag. “Here we are.”

He offered the farewell handshake.

“I’ll send you a complimentary copy as soon as its publication comes out:”

“Yes, I will look forward to that.” He had said it with so much avidity as if he was expecting a plaque of recognition from the UN.

“So long, sir” Susan slid out of the office, his eyes following her until the door closed to her back. There was something about her that he found very attractive. He allowed some luscious ideas into his head. Just then, his phone rang. It was Mike, his business partner and friend.

“The Minister has ordered that the payments be made,” Mike said with an obvious excitement in his tone. Dave knew the Minister and the particular payments that were inferred.

“That’s good news. Thank God, that issue is finally laid to rest.”

“Yes. So, are you coming to the club tonight? This calls for celebration.”

“Sure. We’ll meet there at our normal time.”

The line was disconnected. He whistled and felt relaxed. There was usually a running battle between the government and the marketers of petroleum products. The logjam was as a result of disputes over the amount claimed on the subsidies of the products. It usually dragged for weeks and sometimes months.

Dave and Mike had been friends since their university days. They had decided to go into the same line of business and had actually started the same day. It turned out to be lucrative business. Today, the two of them could boast that they had arrived.

He remained at work till 4. 00 pm. On his way home, the ride was smooth as the traffic was still smooth. He stopped at a shop close to his house to buy some gifts for his wife. Once in a while, he would give her a pleasant gift. This was one of such moments. This time, he decided to buy a bottle of non-alcoholic wine and perfume. His very appreciative wife would gladly receive them, hug him and showered kisses on him. “You’re such a darling,’ she would coo. Dave would smile expansively. Sade was the love of his life. For three years now, they had been enjoying the bliss of marriage. Everything still looked good with the fullness of passion. There had been no dull moments in the relationship. How she so much missed him any time he travelled for business. Dave too was the love of her life.

They had met about five years ago during the national youth service. At the orientation camp, they belonged to the same platoon. He was a dashing handsome man while she too was a beauty to behold. As a princess and daughter of a business mogul, she appeared snobbish at first. Dave persisted in his overtures and she finally caved in. however, she gave in on one condition.


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