Oladele blinked rapidly.
He stared at his watch which read 12:23 pm and wondered how time moved so fast. He could have sworn it was only 10 am five minutes ago. Anita, his secretary informed him that his 12:30 pm was here and he told her to let him in. Minutes later there was a knock on the door and Oladele said ” Come in “. In walked his friend, Jamal Johnson, a tall African- American man wearing all black and blending perfectly into the monochromatic theme of the office. They were shaking hands when Jamal said ” It’s good to see you after so long Oladele, although you sounded a bit agitated on the phone yesterday when you called to ask me to meet you. What’s up?”
Oladele replied in a serious tone
” Please sit, I require your services.” His expression became grave ” I have reason to believe that Olamide, my twin brother, is still alive.” Jamal couldn’t help but lift an eyebrow in surprise, he leaned forward in his seat as he said ” That’s interesting and serious, what makes you say so?”
“Well, it has been five years since he died but for some strange reason, people keep mistaking me for him. I rather think five years is enough time for the world to register that only one Coyne twin remains but it feels like he is still here.
” Surely, your reason for thinking your brother is still alive cannot be based on mere feeling. Or is it a special twin sense thing?”Jamal asked adjusting in his seat.
” You don’t understand Jamal. Something is off and I feel it in my gut. On more than one occasion ladies have met me either at the gym or in the stores and accused me of being a jerk for going out with them and not bothering to pick up their calls, return their messages or call them back. This usually happened when Olamide lived with me while his house was being renovated. He was a bit of a lady’s man and a player, his only flaw as far as I know, so I understood it. Now, tell me why that is happening again when he is not here?. In fact, two days ago some lady met me at Walmart and told me that Olamide saved her life some days back which we both know is impossible.”
” That’s some goosebump-worthy stuff man!” Jamal exclaimed, “and if what you are saying is true, not only is he alive but he’s also in town … Wait, what if someone is just trying to pull an elaborate prank on you?”
” That’s why I need you. You’re the best private investigator I know. Please, I need you to help me find out what exactly is going on.”
Jamal sighed.” Okay, I’ll need a list of his favorite spots in town, his close friends, or anyone you think he might be meeting. Send it all to my email”.
” Great, I’ll do that right away” and acting on his words, Oladele quickly started typing on his laptop. Jamal stood up to leave ” Alright then, I’ll be expecting it. I have to get going now, I’ll catch you later”.They shook hands ” Yeah man, thank you so much” and Jamal was out the door.
After sending the email, he began to rotate in his black office chair. His office was of a minimalist and monochromatic design with a set of white sofas he never remembered picking out a black glass center table with an empty white vase, and a gift from his brother. Every other thing in the office was either black or grey. The drapes of the sitting room were grey and posterior to this sitting area was a single step leading to his workspace which rested on a raised platform. His office desk and chairs were black, the top to bottom shelf on the left side of his chair was filled with all sorts of books on real estate, economics, and civil engineering and then there were also magazines and old newspapers. On the right side was a ground-to-ceiling glass window which gave him ample view of the sky and the buildings around, not that he ever took advantage of it because they were permanently draped by black curtains. The floor was tiled with grey wood patterned tiles and the office in its entirety wasn’t extensively large or small. He was perfectly content with its moderate size. His ebony office table held a monitor and keyboard, his laptop, some files, and two photo frames, one with a picture of his brother wearing a white shirt and him wearing a black shirt. The other was one of a beautiful Nigerian woman, his mother. He picked up the picture of himself and his brother as he began to think that perhaps he was crazy to think his twin was still alive, especially when he witnessed his gruesome death. The memory played in flashes; Olamide smiling as he put on the goggles and diving gear, a huge splash as he dived into the sea, a shark fin rotating eerily, blue turning into red.
A knock on the door brought him out of his reverie. ” Sir, you are needed in the board room, it is time to close the Jaxton deal,” Anita announced. As he walked into the board room and briskly to his seat, four people rose to greet him: the company lawyer, the real estate agent overseeing the transaction, the Jaxton rep, and their lawyer. He greeted them back and apologized for showing up late and as he took his seat, his eyes met and stayed on the lady seated beside him and her eyes shone in recognition. Introductions were made and a brief discussion followed, documents were signed and the deal was closed. Oladele’s phone rang just as the handshaking was ending. One look at the caller ID and he told them he had to take the call. ” it’s alright since we are done here anyway, we will just head out. Thank you Sir” the Jaxton rep said and he was soon the only one in the board room. “Hello, Jamal. I already sent you the details you asked for…wait what? you already found something so soon. What is it?”
Pamilerin was halfway down the stairs when she realized she forgot her phone so she informed the rest of the team and made her way back up to the board room. She couldn’t help but overhear the conversation.
” No way, how are you sure they saw Olamide?… Well no, I didn’t go to the coffee corner this morning… Yes, you’re right they write your name on the cup when you order… What drink did he order?… That’s his favorite!… but what if it is another Olamide? … You’re right the chances of there being another Olamide Coyne in this city is slim.” He heaved a long sigh. ” Good job Jamal, my brother is definitely out there somewhere, please continue to find out more and keep me posted. Thank you”
Pamilerin’s phone started to vibrate on the table. She ran quickly to take it and Oladele was shocked to see her out of the blue. ” I’m sorry, I came back because I forgot my phone.” He noticed she avoided his eyes and her manner seemed a bit fidgety so he put one and two together. She had already begun her retreat when he said” So you overheard my conversation?”. She turned slowly, obviously ashamed for eavesdropping. ” Yes… and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to”
She looked into his eyes and saw a certain gravity that forced her to lower her gaze. She looked up again, determined not to be intimidated and this time she held his gaze. He couldn’t help but think as he looked at her that she had the most alluring eyes, made all the more so by the curiosity he saw in them and how burgundy suited her lips and this navy gown her figure. ” She’s beautiful,” he thought.
Oladele blinked rapidly.
” Wow, you are beautiful”. He said and Pamilerin’s curiosity quickly gave way to surprise not because the compliment came out of nowhere, she had noticed him appraising her just now, but because he said it as if confirming what someone had told him.
” Have we met before?”. Another surprising question.” Umm…yes, we met at Walmart some days ago”
” Really?. Are you sure we did not meet somewhere else?”
Something had changed in his manner. She had realized he had a cool, calm, and collected manner the moment he walked into the room in his navy suit, and during the meeting she had noticed he was confident but now she was catching a glimpse of haughty.
” Yes, It was Walmart. I mistook you for your twin but you told me he died.” After a short pause, she added, ” I guess he isn’t dead after all?.”
Oladele blinked rapidly.
He looked a bit confused and walked out of the room.
That night as he slept, he dreamt of moments and memories; mother’s smile, father’s disdain, brother’s support, dark alluring eyes, full burgundy lips, and a bloody sea. Suddenly, his reflection stared back at him from the mirror with a smirk.
” Looking for me, dear brother?”
He woke up with a start, sweat over his brow and breathing heavily. He put on his bedside lamp and steadied his breathing.
Olamide blinked rapidly.
He put off the lamp and went back to sleep.