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The Chicken Chasers

‘Blind ambition and the dark side of international politics…Ike’s titles leave an indelible impression behind in the reader’s mind.” ‑ DAILY TIMES

 

THE CHICKEN CHASERS

Chukwuemeka ike

 

 As Baby Face soaked her body in the hot bath, her thoughts went back to the S-G.

The ball was now in her court. The S-G had treated her like scum. She had gone beyond the bounds of propriety to let him know how much she adored him. She had given him a secret post office box number, to enable him to write to her at will, without the slightest danger that the letter would get into her husband’s hands. He did not have to write long epistles. Just some occasional sweet nonsense. Or simply to say when next he would pay an official visit to Manu. And yet he never wrote one single line. Not one word. Ask him today why he failed to write and he would say he misplaced the address. But if she were to give it to him again, there would still be nothing doing.

She had given him a phone number of a trusted friend who could carry any message safely to her. All he had to say was that he was in town, and she would get in touch. No. He never used the number, nor sent any message.

She ought to have given up but how could she? Give up such a tall, masculine, handsome man, the mere mention of whose name, even in a newspaper story, was sufficient to send an electric signal right down her spine? She had taken the initiative and written to him, hoping his wife would not see the letter. Not much in the letter, but sufficient to make him aware that he could get a lot more from her if only he could show the faintest interest. No reply.

She had next obtained a copy of his itinerary, without his knowledge, just to know when to expect him in Manu. During one such visit, she was lucky to catch him in his hotel suite. What artifice did she not employ to win him over, but with what success? And what crazy things did she not do, after the cold rebuff?

Then came the final act. She was attending a UNESCO General Conference in Paris. The head of the Manu Mission to UNESCO gave a huge party that went far into the night. The S-G was at the party. Prior to the party, he had said a polite ‘hello’ to her after the formal opening ceremony, mentioning that he and two members of his staff were attending as observers. No sign of intimacy. Just a polite exchange of greetings, as if they had never met before, and he had melted away. The man she had done so much to catch!

All through the party she was watching the S-G, hoping he would come over to her. No. He was chatting away with a tall, pretty, fair-skinned African girl. Who could she be? Baby Face wondered. Had she not seen the two of them together at the formal opening ceremony? Could she be a girl-friend? His Paris mistress? A chance meeting at the conference? She observed that the girl had no wedding ring. Not even an engagement ring. That inflamed her curiosity.

As the S-G and the girl stood chatting away, Baby Face had to admit that the girl was naturally beautiful, without any make-up. She also had the advantage of youth – she could not be more than twenty-four. Her twinkling attentive eyes gave away the intensity of her feelings for the S-G, and this made Baby Face envious. Intensely possessive.

She hardly allowed her Honourable Commissioner who had been dancing with her to detach himself from her before she made straight for the S-G. No mincing of words. ‘I want to have a dance with you,’ she told him. He thanked her courteously, profusely, and said he would bear the tempting offer in mind whenever he was in the mood for dancing. Baby Face felt insulted, but decided not to lose her temper.

Fifteen minutes later…Read more

 

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