Hello guys. I’m super glad to share this, The Curios Case of Leticia Banyin, fan-fiction I wrote based on the Inspector Bediako series, with you guys. I wrote it out as a prologue, so try not to be too mad at me for all the plenty unanswered questions. Hope you like it! And yes, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED! LOL.
He picked up his spectacles from on top the dresser and placing it firmly on his nose, turned to her – a small woman sat up in a small bed. In the dimly lit room, the sweat on her brow and chest stood out as dazzling crystals on her skin. Her make-up had faded into dark streaks across her face. Her hair was disheveled; her eyes, red from a tiredness she would have rather died than ever admit to. She was broken glass. A fragmented reflection of the many lives that had replaced hers in dark corners and damp rooms much like this one. She looked around her and picked up a box of cigarettes from somewhere across the sheets.
The old man tapped at his pockets and brought out a lighter. Calculatedly, he walked up to the bed and sat next to her. His ailing hands would not stop shaking. She held them in place with both hands and brought the cigarette on her lips to his fire. The two sat in silence as she smoked; The only sound emanating through the room was the loud ticks of the motel’s wall clock. He wondered whether to announce his departure or simply leave as he had done so many times before. This was the last time they would be seeing each other. Sure, similar promises had been made over the years, but he was sure in his resolve this time. He had grown tired of the lies and self-disgust. The stress of keeping secrets was beyond his years. What was sex at his age anyway? A few seconds of lackluster gyration and he was done. Lately, getting it up had started taking more time than actual coitus even. He decided it was best to leave. Announcing his intentions would only further complicate things. He wanted to leave, and quickly.
Maayaa drew the cigarette from her lips and whistled a plume of smoke in his direction. He came out of his stupor and stared at her quizzically, as if not sure where exactly he was.
“And what are you so excited about?”
She was smiling at him – a wry, condescending smirk that made him feel like a child. She scooted off the bed and began picking through the clothes she had let loose on the floor. She was young, voluptuous; nothing like him and nothing that would look at him twice but for circumstance and to an extent far larger than he would have wanted to believe, fate. Unintentionally, he found himself staring at her nakedness; at the dark scar below her navel, from where the doctors had cut out her still-born child.
A part of him had always wanted to ask her if she had known who was responsible for the pregnancy– seeing as her profession – seeing as the mystery that surrounded the foetus – the one she had never been allowed to see. Perhaps today was as good a night as any. After all, it was the last time he would be seeing her. He leaned forward and cupped his hands together. She noticed his eyes and turned away, wiggling her buttocks into her jeans.
“I have to ask you something. Promise me you will tell the truth.”
The professor walked briskly out the motel into the cold evening air and paused at the parking lot, uncertain where he had parked his old Benz. He found it some distance away, between two broken down vehicles, and quickly trotted to it, his arms draped around his sides for warmth. Swiftly, he fell into the drivers seat and banged the door shut. Although nice and warm inside he could barely help his shivering. It was some time before it dawned on him that perhaps his shaking was less the cold and more the story Maayaa had just shared with him. He did not want to think about it, but like an eerie presence, it banged at his consciousness, begging to be acknowledged. He started the cars engine and turned the radio on. The time showed 11:43 pm.
The motel, in the spirit of its secrecy was located at the outskirts of town next to an endless stretch of dirt road. There were no streetlights, there was no traffic, no human beings for miles around. In the poignant darkness, his cars headlights were the only thing to see. It was not his first time plying the road, yet he felt the tentacles of a foreboding squeeze out the quaint confidence that had come with his repeated successes.
Why had he asked even? Why hadn’t he just left?
The trees that spread the distance across both sides of the road metamorphosed into ghoulish shadows in his mind, bearing down on the small vehicle. He rolled up his mirrors and turned off the car’s radio for better perception, yet the anxious feeling at his chest would not budge. All around him he thought he heard voices. He was desperate to escape into Main Street – there where there was sure to be light, and life. He exerted his feet on the brakes and searched round his pockets for a cigarette. A sudden pop startled him. He felt the car wobble out of his grip. This could not be happening!
Dejectedly, he brought the Benz to a gradual stop beside the road and slammed his fist into the steering wheel.
He remained in the car for minutes, frozen still by fear and confusion. What was he going to do? He did not not know how to fix a flat tyre, he had no means of reaching anyone. He thought of going back to the Motel, but that was miles behind him. If he was going to push the tyre to its limits, then it was going to have to be on a more enterprising venture like reaching home, or best, getting to Main Road. Anywhere but there, in the dark and alone with his horrors. He looked about him and started the engine again. The tyres would take him. They had to.
He moved at a turtles pace; an oddly shaped effervesce of light in the midst of evil. The cars noises played into the sounds about him – the hum of an engine, the hoot of an owl, the creak of a deflated tyre, the howl of some wild animal. He had been persevering for what felt like hours, a silent prayer on his lips, when he noticed it through his rear view mirror: the twin lights of a pick-up truck fast approaching.
“Oh Jesus, oh God”
He honked urgently, olaying the charging car with his hands.
“Hello Professor, you have a direct call from an Inspector Bediako”
“Uh, let it through Sandy”
*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEE-*
“Hello? Mr. Afari?”
“Yes, Professor Afari, sorry. My name is Inspector Bediako, with the National Bureau of Investigation”
“I was wondering if you’d be available for a quick word tomorrow. 1 P.M maybe?”
“Tomorrow!? Look, Inspector, I don’t know what schedules you have up there, but impromptu meetings are reserved for the Dean, the President and, or, Investors. So, unless you are looking to invest in the school’s Criminal Psychology Department I’m sorry I’m going to have to –“
“Professor Afari, Leticia Banyin ALIAS Maayaa; Dark skinned female, 5:3, deep brown scar on her lower belly died at the hospital yesterday from what we at first believed to be self-inflicted lacerations.”
“….. At first believed?”
“Yes. For now, let just say we have reason to assume otherwise.”
“…… But, but what do I have to do with anything!? I dont know her. I dont know any Leticia… Or Maayaa. What’s my business in all this?”
“She named you as her next of kin”
“Professor?” I will see you tomorrow?”
“ Yeh – *Cough Cough* Yes”