Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 146
I was scared for the unknown. The threat meant a lot to me but my colleagues reacted casually to it. Sly was snoring and Jaz seemed to be reading an erotic magazine squeezing his crutches . It looked like I was the only one concerned, so I opened candy crush on my phone and knocked myself out with it.
Few hours later the big guy and his colleague both came in looking exhausted. I sat up, searching for any hint of grudges or antagonistic smirk, anything that would be a pointer to what’s coming, but I found absolute peace in the tiredness they show. So I heaved relief sigh and continued my game.
The cabin boy called later and said.
“Lunch is ready”.
Jaz was the first to stand from his bed, he threw the magazine aside and reached for the door, while Sly was still in dream land. I was the one who woke him up, and we both left leaving the two guys behind.
The cafeteria was busy by the time we got there. It was a buffet with about six attendants, all putting a blue apron. I and Sly took turns with me behind, while Jaz was already dealing with a full plate of rice, fried plantain, salad, moimoi, eggs, fish, beef and chicken.
It got to Sly’s turn, he took almost the same as Jaz save for eggs. I was being modest, I had rice, salad, fried plantain and chicken, with a bottled water and joined Sly at his table. We ate silently until two guys we were sharing a table with, but they were seated in front of us putting a yellow overall asked.
“you guys are Biggy?’’.
I did not get what they meant, but looking at Sly who ate silently, I knew they were really referring to us. Sly nodded, swallowed the food in his mouth and answered.
“And what?”. Suddenly looking sternly at them both.
The guys exchanged glances and the one by the left, younger looking compared to the one who spoke earlier said carefully choosing his words.
“Biggy didn’t pay all the crew. They are angry with him”. He paused, then leaned forward a little, whispering this time. “I suggest you settle these guys. They have been talking”.
“Talking?”. Sly asked.
“Yes”. The boy said, and moved back to continue his meal.
“Talking about what”. Sly asked again.
‘’They want to teach Biggy a lesson, using you guys as scapegoats”. The first guy said.
Sly dropped his spoon and took a glance at me, then returned to the guys and asked.
“Were you guys among the ones who benefited?’’.
“No we are not. We know what these guys can do, they’re heartless”. The younger one said.
Sly thanked and promised them a feedback. We finished our meal in silence and returned to our bunks where Jaz was already emptying a bottle of beer.
“Hey guys”. Jaz called and handed us two mini crates of beer.”Knock yourselves out. One of them guys gave me for the road”. He said and emptied the remaining content.
Sly slowly dropped one on his bed and gave me mine. Then said to Jaz who was opening another beer with his teeth.
“Let’s talk outside”.
Jaz stopped what he was doing and examined Sly’s face. He realized it was something serious. He stood up and dropped his bottle in the crate, looked suspiciously at the big guy who was busy with his phone and said to me.
“Don’t allow even fly come close to my drink”.
I nodded and they both walked out of the room. About an hour later, they were back. I wondered what kept them that long; perhaps they went to resolve issues. Sly went up his bunk silently as soon as they returned and Jaz hyper mood was suddenly hampered. He wore a worried face and slowly opened his beer, took everything down his throat in a go, and threw the bottle under the big man’s bunk bed. The big man gave him a warning stare and returned to his phone.
I knew something bigger than my wit could grasp was brooding. I was tired of fights and hard life, I wanted peace for once. All the while I met Esther’s crew; I have been as quiet as ice. I needed to be, so they won’t put me in the front of trouble, though Jaz seem physically fit for any trouble, and Sly…… i am yet to know his worth since he’s always the peace maker. Yet, I feared for the unknown.
The evening was cold, even though the ship was hot earlier when we arrived. Again we visited the cafeteria and I had bread and tea coz I wasn’t that hungry. My body had begun to adjust to the sea by this time. The ship was fully lighted and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
A man in uniform, like an officer walked in, in the company of four other guys. They were armed and wasn’t smiling. The man, who is tall, fair with his head void of hair save for his brows stood on a table and shouted in a commanding voice.
The hall fell in total silence, as everyone wondered what he was up to. When he felt he has the floor he began.
“It was brought to my notice, that there is a thief among us. Yes a thief!”. He paused and watched as everyone murmured and then he shouted again.
The hall suddenly went graveyard and he continued.
“We have begun a search through every cabin. Those of you here, remain here, nobody moves!”.
A voice came from behind.
“What’s stolen? At least we have the right to know, just in case we saw somebody with it”.
When I turned to see who it was, I was astounded to see our cabin mate, the big man talking with confidence.
“Gold!”. The man said,
There was pandemonium in the hall, as word was mentioned. The man watched everyone silently as they went gaga on the case of the news.
After close to 30 minutes later, the man was still standing. His eyes never left the crowed, it was as if he was studying everyone’s reaction. And suddenly two other security men walked in with a bag that looked familiar, he showed it to the officer standing and whispered something to him. Then the officer smiled, nodded and shouted.
“Who are those in Cabin b11!”.
“That’s our cabin”. I said to Sly, with fear knotting my tummy.
Sly seemed so complacent about it, and was the first to stand. Followed by Jaz who followed Sly’s leading. I refused to join; instead I hid my head on the table, for I knew this was trouble.
“Is that everyone?”. The officer asked in his commanding voice.
“There’s one more here!”. The big man who was standing two seats behind us shouted, pointing at me.
Everyone was alarmed, and was stretching to see clearly what was happening. I slowly stood up , shaking visibly. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t hold the fear.
“All of you come here!”. The officer commanded.
We walked out and went to the front to meet him. The officer looked at me suspiciously and asked.
“Why are you scared?”.
“i….i am….no..not scared”. I stuttered, trying to gain my composure.
The officer looked at one of his colleagues and they brought out the bag I spotted earlier.
“Who owns this bag?”. The officer asked me.
I looked at it and then to Sly and Jaz who were as surprised as I was. Then I said to the officer.
“It’s not my bag”.
The officer looked at us and then stopped at Jaz who was expressionlessly looking at the bag.
“Is it yours?’’.
Jaz looked up to his eyes and smiled without saying anything.
Then he ordered that we should be taken to his office. We walked down the stairs to the next floor and ended up in a small office with books on the table and files on an old cabinet. Three pictures hung up, one was of a well decorated naval officer, the second another less decorated and the third the officer from earlier.
We sat on a long chair for four, and the big man with his colleague sat in front of us. I could see that the big man was restless unlike how he was so excited earlier. Before I could study him further the officer came in and took his seat.
“So no one owns this bag, and I want to know who?”. He asked immediately as he sat.
Then ordered for the bag to be searched for a means of identification. The conventional guy kept looking surprisingly at his colleague who was sweating. Soon a document was found and given to the officer. He put on his glasses and said.
“Who’s Timothy Cropfield ?’’. And he examined us, but when no one spoke up, he repeated keeping a fixed stair at us.
“Who is Timothy Cropfield?”.
“I don’t know how that stuff got into my bag”. The big man said suddenly, engulfed with tension. And he turned to us and said pointing. “They planted it! Officer I swear, they planted it!”.
“Do you have proof?’’. The officer asked.
The big man looked confused around the office and made to say something then hesitated.
“You’re a thief and a liar!”. The officer charged. “First of all you denied ownership of this possession, and now you are accusing someone for something you did?”. Then the officer turned to us and said, you can return to your cabin”.
“I swear, they planted it! They did!”. The big man kept saying amidst tears as we walked away.
I was so shocked that the big guy was a thief. He doesn’t really strike me as one. When we entered our cabin, Sly looked at Jaz who stood waiting for an answer.
“It would have been us. He planted it in your bag”. Sly said.
Jaz smiled and let out a loud laugh. Sly quickly shut his mouth with his palm and said.
“Calm down! They may misunderstand you”.
Jaz smiled and nodded, then happily opened his beer and poured a large quantity in his mouth.