The Jailbird

THE JAILBIRD (Episode 54)

THE JAILBIRD ®18 SNVL (Episode 54) ©Aaron A.A 

The upcoming GojuFist fight, coming up in two weeks, is dominating every other topic in the country.
The Crankson camp has accepted the challenge, but extended the one week demanded by Chris to two weeks to hype up the event.
Crankson is now back to his bragging best.
He is on all platforms on social media, releasing video after video of how he is going to destroy Chris Bawa.
Chris left all the arrangements to Wailer Vroom.
He only went for the medical check-ups but refused the press conferences.
He also left that to Wailer.
Chris is now extremely happy, and he dedicates his time to being at the restaurant and then with his family.
Effe, never one to deceive anybody, wants to tell Steve that things have changed and she now wants to be with Chris.
Steve, however, is not ready to see her.
He told her he is going on a trek and will be back for the fight, and after that he and Effe will have a talk.
Effe has no choice. She decides to wait for him to return.
Every dawn Chris rides to Vroom Wailer’s gym to work out and train. He is quite dedicated to this.
Darlett comes with him almost every time.
Darlett, an electrician by trade, has started working.
Eyram has allowed him to use the other bedroom in the Boys Quarters until he finds a place to stay since Darlett has no one to go to.
His wife had moved on, and since he has no children, he has not bothered to find her.
His family does not want anything to do with an ex-convict, so he has nowhere to go.
The weigh-in for the fight takes place on a Wednesday.
Because of the tension in the air and the deep anger between Crankson and Bawa, the authorities scheduled different times for the weigh-in.
Crankson weighs-in in the morning, two hours before Chris.
A massive crowd comes to the GIGA to witness it.
The media is a combative force of presence that shocks many. Never has there been such tension and frenzy in the country.
Chris attends with Wailer Vroom and Darlett, and he wears a light white T-shirt throughout to cover the horrible mutilation on his back.
There are a lot of people and support teams at the arena carrying Chris’ paraphernalia
When they finish, and are in Wailer’s car the thick crowd surrounds the car with everybody wishing to touch Chris.

You’re back, Chris, you bastard. They’ve not stopped loving you.
Darlett laughs, but Chris says nothing.
When they get to JUNIOR’S and Chris opens the car door to get out Darlett pokes his head out of the window.

Hey, Chris, I’m going to that new warehouse to continue the wiring. You promised to help me out tomorrow morning to fix those air-conditioners, remember?
Chris smiles and nods.

Yeah, I remember, old man. Tomorrow dawn we’ll go there and finish up before I come to the restaurant.

Sure, sure, bro. Will see you in the house then.
Darlett Thompson is wearing blue khaki overalls and driving a rickety truck which he claims belongs to the cold store company he is making the electrical installations for.
Chris is sitting beside him.
It is still dark by the time they reach a huge gate locked with huge chains and giant padlocks.
It is completely dark.
Darlett gets out of the car, yawns and stretches.
He approaches the gate and opens the padlocks with a bunch of keys.
He opens the gates wide and then comes back to the truck and drives through.
Chris can see through gloom that it is indeed a new site.
The buildings are mostly completed, but there are a lot of debris lying around and none of the buildings is painted.
Darlett stops in front of the tallest building. It is about six storeys, and it is fitted with lights.

Destination reached, son.
Chris gets out and also stretches. He is tired and still needs sleep, but he needs to help his friend.
He sees that to the left of the building is a huge pool of water. It is as if the ground has been dug out, maybe for some underground construction, and water from the ground has filled it up.

Waterlogged land this is. This company will spend a lot of money filling up the ground.

Yeah. Rich company. They have the dough to do that.
They carry some tools up the stairs to the sixth floor landing.

Wow. Quite a stretch. Going up and down these flights of stairs will break your heart soon, old man.

Exercises the old heart, my son.
They are on a corridor.
Darlett flicks some switches, and lights come on.
He walks along the corridor which has doors at each side, but he opens the door at the end of the corridor, flicks a switch, and enters.
Chris follows with the sack of tools and puts them on the floor.
This room is very huge and very neat. On the floor are boxes of new split air-conditioners.
The windows are sliding-glass, but the burglar-proof metals have not been fixed yet.
Chris walks over to the window at the end of the room, slides it open a bit and looks out.
Far below him he sees that great pool of water which has filled up the crater in the ground.

Wow. Quite some drop. Alright, old man, let’s get started.
He turns back with a smile and then he freezes.
Darlett is standing against the door, and he has a huge gun in his hand, and it is pointed at Chris’ chest.
They look at each other, and Chris sees death in the eyes of the old man.
Darlett is too far away for Chris to disarm him, and the only things lying around are the boxes of air-conditioners, and in the far end a deep-freezer; absolutely nothing available for Chris to use as a weapon.

I’m sorry, Chris.
Chris’ jaw is working.
He is absolutely stunned.
He does not know what is going on, but he has trusted this old man with all his heart.
Darlett had been his cell mate in prison.
He and Chris had been great friends.
Chris is hurt, and he leans back against the window and folds his arms.

What’s going on here, Darlett?
Darlett’s jaw is working tightly.
For a brief moment, his face is filled with indescribable pain and regret.

I work for King Shapiro, kid. Ever heard of him? He is a drug baron.
Chris sees that Darlett’s face is shining with sudden sweat, and that his hands are not quite steady.
Chris sighs, but his fury begins to mount uncontrollably.
Here is a man he had loved and trusted. A man he had accepted into his life unconditionally.
And at the moment when his life is turning around quite beautifully, this friend he trusted has now become an enemy with a poisoned sting.

What has your involvement with a local drug baron got to do with me, Darlett?
The old man bites his lip, and his face takes on a pained look.

I owe Shapiro a lot of money, kid. Drug money, before I was imprisoned. I knew he was gonna kill me. There was no way I could hide from him. I used to work for him, you know, before I went to jail. He’s a ruthless bastard. He came to me, Chris. His proposition was simple. I have to lure you here and either kill you or wait for the police to pick you up. Then he will wipe my slate clean, you know, my debt paid so I could have my life back again. If I fail, he’ll kill me. So you see, it’s your life, or mine.

So you’re gonna kill me, Darlett? What will be the story? Robbery? I came here to steal? You’ll do that to me?
Chris moves from the window, his heart beating with fury, and Darlett raises the gun and draws back the hammer, his eyes cold and focussed, a killer’s eyes.

No, kid. Stealing ain’t gonna get you enough years in jail. in,side that freezer over there is enough cocaine to put you away for fifty years.
Chris’ face darkens, and his body trembles with crippling fury.

How could you do this to me, Darlett?

Shut the f-ck up, kid! It’s for my life! There was no other way, man!

Don’t do this, Darlett.

I’m sorry, kid. No option. But I can do this much for you. A quick death, or I wait here and let the police get you. Your choice, kid.

You’re a fool, Darlett. You think Shapiro is gonna let you live? Gaddemn it man, use your bloody head! As soon as I’m dead or captured they’ll kill you too to close the deal! You’ll be f-cking expendable, man! Because I’ve never known Shapiro, and I don’t owe him. So why would he want to kill me or frame me for possessing cocaine? Simple, somebody is paying Shapiro to get rid of me, and that somebody wouldn’t want you around as a witness, so Shapiro will kill you too.

No, I’m no fool. I put everything on record, see? I recorded all our phone conversations, and gave the audio to some guys to release them to the police if anything happens to me, or if I die in any way apart from natural. And I mentioned this wh0le scam. King Shapiro wouldn’t dare touch me. It’s my insurance, you know.

You idiot! What judge is going to believe a bunch of stupid tales on a tape, especially from an ex-con like you? You ain’t got shit, man! You kill me, you’re gonna hurt Junior, and Effe, and believe me you’re going to pay hærd either in this world or the f-cking one after!

Shut up, kid. Just shut the f-ck up! Your choice. A quick death, or the police?
And at that particular moment Chris hears the sirens.
A lot of police sirens.
He looks through the window, and he sees them!
A lot of police cars are approaching!

To be continued…

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