- The Storried Platform
THE EVER-SMILING MAN – By Nwachukwu Obinna
One seems to hear words of good cheer from his mouth every time he comes visiting. What puzzles me still was why my family became the object of his attention. Or maybe I’m just being overly conscious as it’s not possible that we might be the only ones he visits. He came first as an assistant priest in my church before he was ordained and given a church to pastor. Still, it never stopped him from visiting.
My Children love him because he would play with them in ways that make them happy. He has a very pleasing countenance and loves to smile a lot, to the extent that my wife, Susan nicknamed him ‘ever-smiling’. I always feel insecure whenever he comes over to my house. Watching as he plays with my kids, I would frown most times and murmur disapproval to my wife. She would laugh and claimed I’m just being overprotective. “The ever-smiling man means no harm” she would always say.
My best friend and colleague, Jonathan seems to be the only one who shares my suspicion. His demeanor whenever he meets the priest in my home is always hostile. And what makes him more furious was the way the priest smiles anytime they meet. I told Jonathan to ignore any silly thought of him because the priest is known to smile a lot, but he told me to be very watchful as the priest won’t be coming to my home if he isn’t looking for something or if he isn’t getting something.
After much thought, I then took it upon myself to be vigilant, watching and observing his every move. Taking note of where he goes, what he does and who he sees. Being a private investigator for over fifteen years has taught me that no one is innocent until proven. Looks, behaviours, and manners never actually moved me because of the nature of my job and the kind of cases I have solved.
Discretely I watched him. From the church where he pastors down to the apartment where he lives, I would follow him like a lioness on a hunt. He never sees me, he can’t see me because I’m just too good at what I do. Following people without being noticed. And I’ve been awarded medals for following and catching alleged culprits.
Susan left the home by 10p.m tonight for the vigil. I took it as an opportunity for me to go over and around the priest apartment so I will be able to find out where he goes and what he does for the night. I left the children with my best friend Jonathan after I lied to him that I will be going to the vigil as well. I didn’t tell Jonathan about the investigation because I never wanted him to get involved.
Just as I was about reaching his apartment, I saw him, he stood still, at a junction, making a phone call. After a while, he began walking opposite the direction where he lives. Though it was dark, I can tell it’s him due to his stature and the way he walks. And I thought ‘This is my moment’ ‘to expose this priest for who he truly is’. He walks and I follow, stealthily on every path that he treads. A few minutes later, he pauses, and looks around, as if he suspects he is being followed. Unbeknown to him I already hid.
He continues his walk and stops at the front of a magnificent hotel. After briefly looking around he went into the building and I followed. He walks straight to the reception, and after a brief chat with the receptionist, he smiles and walks up the staircase. I was still on his trail, but this time more careful because of the lights in the hotel building. My heart begins to race as curiosity overwhelms me, and questions pop my head, ‘what is a Reverend Father doing at a hotel by this time of the night’ I ask repeatedly to myself.
He meets with a man on the corridor on the fifth floor and after a brief but inaudible chat, they both walk straight down, along the west wing of the floor. My curiosity takes complete control over me. And all I want is just to see what this priest is all about.
They both stop in front of the last room by the left. But before barging in, the priest looks over to my direction and smiles. This time I ran along immediately, aware of the fact that I have been caught.
I brought out my pistol and walk into the room. I stood still, overwhelmed with shock with my eyes wide-opened as I look over to the bed and saw my wife Susan, and my best friend Jonathan struggling to get dressed. Then the priest smiles and whispers to my ear, “I am a private investigator too, but I expose adulterers, not criminals.” He chuckles, squeezes my shoulder then leaves the room with his companion.
By Nwachukwu Obinna
One seems to hear words of good cheer from his mouth every time he comes visiting. What puzzles me still was why my family became the object of his attention. Or maybe I’m just being overly conscious as it’s not possible that we might be the only ones he visits. He came first as an assistant priest in my church before he was ordained