Derin’s Plight (Cut 3)

CHAPTER 4

Derin did not feel that the homicide case was progressing fast enough. The last couple of weeks had been filled with constant arguments between her and Sope. She had become quite overbearing to him. He complained incessantly about her unnecessary interference with their investigation. She however did not relent in her efforts. She even made occasional courtesy visits to the station. According to her, it was like no one else cared about getting justice for her father. 

With time, Derin started feeling that the neckpiece seemed familiar. She had asked to see it again but Sope refused. 

Her grandma was right; she was becoming obsessed with the case.

 “You have to chill Derin! You practically do not have a life anymore.” Bisola constantly repeated.

She had really missed out on her favorite soap operas. Derin was scared that her life was gradually becoming boring. As if it wasn’t bad enough, she also had Sope to contend with. 

“I wonder why in the world he is so upset with me,” Derin soliloquized. She switched on the television set, nothing seemed appealing.

 “I guess I didn’t miss much,” she sighed. After thoroughly scrutinizing each channel, she stumbled on disturbing news. Mr Jolaosho; her father’s business partner had called for an emergency science convention.

He had worked with Professor Cole for six years before they separated about a year ago.  Apparently he had a ‘bigger than life’ announcement as was suggested in the news.

 “I wonder what is so grand that it cannot wait till next year’s convention,” she pondered. Her mind started to race with all sorts of despicable thoughts.

 “Could he be the murderer?” 

He had never seemed like a violent person to her in the years she had known him. She hardly spoke to him anyway. He was always with her father most times when he came around, besides, what motive would he have to kill Prof A? 

“I must attend this emergency convention,” she muttered.

 “Something is just not right.”

The emergency convention was scheduled for the week after. It was going to be a strictly by invitation affair. 

“I should be able to get an invite; after all, my Father was one of the greatest scientists in West Africa before his death.”

Derin eventually discovered that Mr Jolaosho had carefully selected those he wanted present for his big revelation. She tried all she could to get an invite but failed in her attempts. The only link and influence she had in the science world; ‘Prof Adetola Cole’ was gone. 

The news of the big revelation spread like wild fire the day after the convention. Mr Jolaosho was a relatively young Professor, nobody expected anything that ground breaking from him. Derin was however in a state of confusion. 

“Time changer!” she exclaimed when it was announced on the news. 

“This cannot be,” She immediately rushed to grab her father’s diary.

 “It is just too coincidental, how can he have the exact idea Dad had just before his death,” Derin murmured.

It was really difficult for Derin to rest throughout the night. She hardly slept. Various thoughts crossed her mind. The most bizarre of them was that she somehow felt like the damaged neckpiece belonged to Mr Jolaosho.

 “Snap out of it Derin, That man doesn’t look like he can hurt a fly much less any human.”

Bisola made a resounding entrance into the living room with her feet thumping onto the tiled floor. 

“Good morning dear,” She spoke half awake as she made her way into the kitchen. 

Bisola usually emphasized how breakfast was and would continue to be the most important meal of the day. Even old age did not succeed in curtailing her zeal to fix breakfast each morning. “Would you like toast and eggs or Pancakes and sausages instead?” she asked and walked towards Derin.   

 “Oh my! Did you sleep at all?……..look at those bags under your eyes,” She frowned.

 “I slept just fine ma. There is no need to get worried over nothing. I am going to freshen up so I can have some of the yummy breakfast you are making,” Derin giggled before heading for the bathroom. 

Bisola had always been overprotective towards her granddaughter. Frankly speaking, Derin did not have much of a social life. She was only interested in climbing up the ladder in her career as a pharmacist. This was quite disturbing to her grandmother.

 “This child of mine,” she sighed.

 “Just maybe if there was a young prince charming to sweep her off her feet, she would be less obsessed with her revenge scheme,” she reasoned.

The aroma that emanated from the kitchen was not one to be ignored. Derin actually realized how hungry she was after catching a glimpse of the toast and beautifully spiced eggs.

 “Mama the mama! You still remain the best cook alive,” She winked at her grandma.

“So can I have my share now please?”

“Yes, you can,” Bisola replied with a grimace. 

It was almost as if breakfast induced a sleep attack on Derin. She fell asleep immediately after the meal. She smiled when  she saw her granddaughter curled up on the couch. 

“She didn’t even make it to the bed,” Bisola laughed.

She had decided to catch up on her favorite TV series before the butler beckoned on her to tend to Derin’s guest at the door. Derin had constantly deprived herself of sleep in the past few days. Bisola therefore decided not to disturb her. She was however surprised to see Sope at the door, he was casually dressed and greeted her with a smile. 

“Good morning ma, I am here to see Derin,” He mentioned.

“Oh! I see,” she sized him up from head to toe with a sheepish smile. 

“Sope isn’t it…you are my granddaughter’s childhood friend.”

“Yes ma” he replied, Sope was shocked she remembered him.

Bisola rumbled with laughter.

 “There is no need to look surprised. I remember the young teenager that always visited the mansion; Derin’s male best friend,” She spoke with a raised eyebrow. 

“I hope that is changing soon though.” 

Bisola noticed how confused he looked. She relented on her comments because he looked like he was about to choke. 

“She is asleep and I don’t want to wake her. Would you rather leave a message?” 

“There is no need to wake her ma. Please tell her I came to check on her,” he smiled.

“That is so nice of you dear, I would definitely deliver your message. Do have a lovely day.”

 It was about four in the afternoon when Derin woke up. The house was extremely quiet. She was shocked when she noticed the day was far spent.

“Another Saturday almost gone,” she sighed.

 “I really should go out more often.”  Derin decided to take a walk round the compound. It was amazing how the dullness that once enveloped the mansion had suddenly disappeared. The nice blend of Tullips, roses and petals were mesmerizing. They did justice to Bisola’s efforts channeled towards adding some aesthetic value to the garden. 

“Nana!……. Derin called out and tried to figure out her grandmother’s exact location. 

“Over here dear,” Bisola beckoned. She continued with the gardening job she had gladly taken upon herself.

“You would be seventy next year Nana. Please cut down on this manual labor. Leave it to the household staff.”

“Age is nothing but a number dear, I am still as fit as a fiddle,” Bisola laughed.

So how was your nap? Did you have sweet dreams?” she winked. Her countenance and questions were somewhat amusing to Derin.

 “Nana what’s going on?  You are acting a bit weird, is there something you want to tell me?” 

“Well……,” She paused for a moment and made a sound that could pass for a giggle.

 “A fine young chap came to check on you today…….What’s his name again,” She squinted. “Yes Sope!” How can I ever forget the teenager that carried you on his back? He brought you all the way home after you fell from that tree. We always reprimanded you for climbing it back then but you were just too stubborn to listen. He has grown into a fine young man. He even has dreamy eyes.” 

Derin had a perplexed expression on her face .She wondered what her grandmother was up to.

“I would pretend you are not acting strange right now. What did Sope say about the case,” she asked anxiously.

“Case? What case dear, the young man only came to check on you.”

“O Lord!” Derin rolled her eyes.

 “I am serious Nana they have taken too long to crack this case. Why dint you wake me?” she screamed and rushed to her phone to dial Sope. Bisola immediately followed her.

“Well, because you needed the rest and judging from your response right now I envisage more sleepless nights for you,” Bisola sighed.

“Hello,” Derin greeted, ignoring her grandmother’s remark.

 “Nana said you stopped by earlier today. Do you need my help in any way with the case?” 

“Hi, I would prefer we meet up and talk rather than have a phone conversation.”

Derin was quiet for a few seconds.

 “What is going on Sope?” she asked solemnly. 

“The tone of your voice is far from encouraging. It seems like you have bad news for me.”

“Just relax for once,” he snapped.

“Can we hang out at Sisi’s restaurant later this evening by 8pm?”

Sope somehow sounded subtle with his request.

“Ok, Sope no problem, see you soon,” she responded before dropping the phone.

 “I would be going out to Sisi’s by 8pm this evening Nana,” She mentioned as she faced her grandmother.

“I shouldn’t take so long but just in case I do, please don’t bother waiting up for me.”

 The expression on Bisola’s face was quite confusing. It seemed like Derin had just mentioned she would be getting married later in the evening.

“Oh! Please take your time,” she replied with a big smile.

“Would you like the driver to drop you off, or would you rather drive yourself,” Bisola asked.

“I would tell him to drop me off and wait till I am done Nana,” she answered and headed upstairs to prepare for her evening appointment.”

Nana watched her with pure revelry as she left the living room.

 “Knock him dead,” she immediately screamed before Derin was out of earshot.

CHAPTER 5

Derin wasn’t quite sure why her grandmother had been acting mischievous all day. It was a real struggle leaving the house considering the serious scrutiny Bisola subjected her to. 

“When did it become a crime to wear Tees and a pair of jeans to a casual meeting?” 

It felt like her grandmother had a master plan to frustrate her. 

“She did make me laugh with her request to put some color on my face. That was actually hilarious,” Derin smiled as she reminisced. She alighted from the vehicle for the driver to secure a good parking space. 

It was no problem locating Sope when she entered the restaurant. He sat at a corner close to the live band. He seemed to be enjoying the soft rhythm.

 “Over here,” he called out as soon as he saw her. His countenance today was somewhat confusing. He looked a bit laid back, contrary to the uptight façade she had become accustomed to. He was adorned in a blue polo shirt and a pair of brown chinos which complimented his brown caramel skin, it was worlds apart from the formal police uniform he was mostly in.

“Good evening, Derin,” Sope greeted with a smile

 “You look great,” he stuttered as he pulled out a chair for her.

 “Thank you,” she replied before taking her seat. 

“I hope there was no traffic on your way here,” he made a feeble attempt to make good conversation. 

“Cut the chase Sope, you are actually acting like you are trying to patronize me or something,” Derin frowned. 

“We both know the reason for this meeting so please tell me what I need to hear.”

He sighed before proceeding with his unpleasant news.

“Ok, your father’s murder case has been closed,” Sope blurted out.

He stopped to observe the expression on her face, but it was difficult to understand her blunt affect.

“Trust me, I had nothing to do with this. It was an order from my boss,” he mentioned in an attempt to defend himself.

The events that followed his revelation left him dumbfounded. Derin picked up her bag and left the restaurant without even saying goodbye. She seemed to have muttered some curse words as she walked out. 

“I should have known better than to trust those highly inefficient and corrupt law enforcement agencies in this country,” she soliloquized on the drive back home. All she wanted to do was to get to her room and map out her plan to expose the murderer since she no longer had the backing of the law. 

“To think Sope was supposed to be her friend with her best interest at heart. Some friend he is indeed!” she shrugged.

The first hurdle Derin had to cross before getting to her room was to avoid her grandmother. She had almost succeeded until Bisola called out her name halfway through the stairs. 

“Yes ma,” She turned to answer her.

 “Why are you back so early? How did the dinner date go? What are your future prospects like with him?” Bisola bombarded her with questions.

“O Lord! Nana please easy with the questions. Where on earth did you get the notion that this was a dinner date?”

“Of course, it was a date dear, that young man adores you. It was written all over him when I saw him earlier.”

“Ok if you say so ma. Please can I go now?” Derin silently prayed for her grandma to let her be so she could retire to her room peacefully.

 “You know dear, I worry about you a lot. Other girls your age are more interested in starting families and bringing forth beautiful children. You are only obsessed with finding out something that could hurt you,” Bisola sighed before heading to her room. 

Derin thought about her grandma’s statement for a split second. She however dismissed it.

 “Nana can be so dramatic at times,” she reasoned. Her phone had been buzzing nonstop since she got home. Sope was determined to run her phone battery down with his incessant calls and texts.

” That brute! What the heck does he want?”  She screamed before switching off her phone.

 “I really don’t know why I was waiting for them anyway. I already know the likely culprit. Derin tried so hard to stay awake, she however, could not cheat nature. She dozed off on the sofa in her room while trying to map out her revenge scheme.

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