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The Preacher's Love
The Unknown Prince

THE UNKNOWN PRINCE 07

Throughout the day, Banke walked up and down
past my office, but I did not invite her in. I had
already decided she was the right person for my
plans,
but I wanted her to stew, she had looked
down on me the first day we met. Besides, I didnt
like her, I liked her friend Prisca, but Prisca would
not be right for the kind of role I wanted Banke to
play. So I made my move.
Leke: Banks, will you have lunch with me? I
asked as I walked into Kunmis office.
Banke: Oh, I was just about going out for lunch,
so we could go together. Just let me freshen up
she rushed out to the restroom.
Kunmi: How old are you anyway? she asked
without raising her head from the pattern she was
cutting.
Leke: Am twenty one I lied. I was confident I
could pull the age, after all I was big.
Kunmi: What about your parents? she stopped
what she was doing to look at me.
Leke: They are dead, I am an orphan I replied.
At least, I was not lying about that.
Kunmi: Oh sorry dear
Leke: Why are you asking these questions, I only
asked Banke for lunch, I am not marrying her I
teased.
Kunmi: Dont be silly she replied.
Leke: Maam…” I started, but Kunmi cut me off.
Kunmi: Mikhail stop calling me maam, I am
Kunmi not maam she retorted
Leke: Alright alright, Kunmi, what is going to
happen to the collection launch?
Kunmi dropped her scissors and looked into
space thoughtfully; Banke chose that moment to
break the silence. I frowned at her; I was going to
see if I could make Kunmi talk about Noras
reaction, she was someone who knew my mother.
Banke: I am all set, lets go she said and we left
together
I took her to a pizza café for pizza and chocolate
fudges; I still had that love for chocolates. Not
having any at the mental home did not make me
lose the habit. While she ate, I watched her; she
had beautiful, lean and long fingers, that had
rose colored nails, I wondered if she would take
on the role I had for her.
Leke: Do you like me? I asked suddenly, and
watched as she played with the pizza on her
plate, obviously thinking of how best to respond.
Banke: You are a very likeable person; even my
sister likes you…”
Leke: I want us to date I went in for the kill, she
was beating about the bush, it was the only
signal I needed.
Banke: Really? Let me sleep on it she said
Leke: How is your friend Prisca, she seems like a
nice day I asked, deliberately. She would know
that I noticed Prisca, I even remembered her
name. And if she really liked me as I suspected,
she would want to secure her position.
Banke: She is fine, she is probably at her
boyfriends place she replied. So, she did not
secure her position, but she will before the day
ends.
That evening, after work, I was at home, in the
small self contained apartment in the boys
quarter I rented monthly. I was overcome with
grief, I missed my mother. I took out her picture
and traced the contours of her face. I was certain
that she was murdered, by whom, was the puzzle
I was trying to solve. Another thing that baffled
me, was the complicity of my father, did he know
about the killer? I wondered. I thought back to
when I was little, and the house. I took my diary
where I had been writing in since I got into the
mental home and began to sketch the plan of the
house. The details were a bit sketchy, but it was
usable. Banke would need the sketch for her
undercover duties in the house. I was still drawing
the plan, when my phone began to chirp, I saw a
strange number and received it.
Leke: Hello I said
Banke: Mikhail, it is Banke. Sorry, I got your
number from my sister
Leke: Oh thats cool. How are you, have you had
your dinner? I asked, turning on my charm.
Banke: Yes, you?
Leke: I have not; will get something to eat out
Banke: I could throw something together for you
I refused, but I was glad, she was being caught in
the web already.
Leke: If that is all, I would like to go about my
dinner now I said passively
Banke: I wanted to tell you that I have accepted
your offer to date. I would like us to date she
said
royal-prince9
Leke: Wow I am happy, we are a team now I
said
Banke: Yes, see you at the office
Leke: You work with us now?
Banke: Goat, I am coming because of you she
said and hung up. I pumped my fist in the air.
Days after, my relationship with Banke was going
well, she was frequenting the office. Nora
however, was nowhere to be found, she had not
been in the office. I took a risk one afternoon,
and went to my former house. Standing outside
the fear, a sense of foreboding suddenly came
over me, what if someone recognized me, I
thought. But I took courage and hammered on the
gate. It was a new gate man, so there was no risk
of being recognized here.
Gateman: Who you dey look for?
Leke: I am an employee at Fola fashion house, I
am here to see Madam Nora I said in impeccable
English. Our former gateman had been a learned
man, so he always communicated in clear cut
English. This one was quite different and I was
soon to find out.
Gateman: You dey mad ni, who you dey blow
oyinbo for, you dey craze? he flared up and
made to bang the gate in my face, but I held the
gate.
Gateman: Oh, so you want to fight your father
abi
Leke: Na Madam Nora send me, if you no allow
me, she go sack you oh I said because my
instincts told me Nora was not at home, she had
probably travelled out of the country, following
the debacle at the collection launch. He opened
the gate a crack and glanced at me from head to
toe. He was probably pleased with what he saw,
so he flung the gate wide open. I went in
tentatively, looking around the place in which I
had been born. Not much had changed, the
garden was still well kept, and the house had
been freshly painted. I felt nostalgic as I walked
in through the oak doors into the large living
room. The picture of father when he was been
interrogated by the police when Mary was
attacked flashed in my head, I looked towards the
staircase where I had hidden. It felt like it was
yesterday. I walked up the stairs to the living
area; I turned into my parents room. It seemed
no one had lived there since mother died. It had
the musty smell of a place not lived in. I opened
the wardrobe; mothers things were still intact.
Leke: Is Nora scared of coming here? I asked
myself, I left the room and walked to my room. I
opened the door and peeked inside; it was no
longer like the room I left years ago. It seemed
that Nora had taken up residence here. I went in
and began to rummage through her things. I did
not find anything that was note worthy, so I
arranged everything as I had seen it, and left. As I
descended the stairs, I bumped into iyaBiliki, my
eyes widened in shock.
IyaBiliki: Who you be and wetin you dey do
here? she asked with her hands on her waist in
akimbo.
Leke: I am a staff in Madam Noras company I
said and winced as I said this.
IyaBiliki: Eh eh, na here is office? she asked and
came closer, peering into my face.
Leke: She asked to get something from her her
I paused, and remembered that father once had
an office in the house, perhaps Nora had
converted it to hers, so I took a risk.
Leke: She asked me to get something from her
office I concluded.
IyaBiliki: Which office, since oga die, that witch
never use that office
Leke: She seemed out of it though, since that
collection launch I said fishing for gossip.
IyaBiliki: What is you talking. Please come and
be going you no know wetindem send me she
pushed me towards the door. I almost pushed
back and told her that this house belonged to me,
but what would I gain, other than destroy my well
laid down plans. It was time to bring Banke in. I
opened the door and came face to face with Nora.
She was decked in a black jumpsuit and Christian
Louboutine shoes. My eyes were wide in shock
when I saw her.
Nora: You are that graphic designer Kunmi talks
so much about arent you?
Leke: Yes maam I stuttered.
Nora: So what are you doing here?
.
.
.

To be continued

About Author Mohamed Abu 'l-Gharaniq

when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries.

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