Chinyeaka stood in front of the gate with the package, with the way she was looking behind her as if someone would walk up to her at any moment, one would know that she was nervous.
It took her much time before she came up with her plan, thank goodness she still remembered the wine she saw at Ken’s house the last time she was there. She didn’t know the name but she could still remember what the bottle looked like, so she had gone to the super market looking for it.
It was difficult knowing which one it was, since there were many bottles that had that shape, she kept picking and dropping, one of the attendants was becoming suspicious of her, he kept coming over to her asking questions;
“Excuse Ma’am, are you looking for a particular wine?” he had asked
She looked at him and shook her head, she told him she was making her choice, but he didn’t leave her alone, he came to her again after few minutes;
“I can help you make a good choice” he had offered
“Make you leave me na ah ah!” she was losing her temper, and she desperately needed to get out of there to avoid the attendant prying further on her
She randomly selected one and paid for it, she was left with seven hundred naira after she paid for the bottle of wine, she then bought a gift wrap and a cardboard paper.
She had sat down outside the Super market to scrabble the words ‘To the woman I love, from Ken’ she had chosen that among other ideas that came to her, but she wanted Grace to believe that the gift came from Ken.
She had condemned almost half of the cardboard paper and was almost getting agitated when a young boy of about fourteen approached her;
“You fit write this thing for me, make em dey fine well well?” she had asked the boy
“Yes na, I fit do am, but you go find small thing for me o”
And so the boy did the calligraphic design, and handed it over to her, she handed him a rumpled fifty naira note and walked away
As he stood at the gate, she wasn’t sure her plan would work, if it does, then Grace would be dead and out of the way before morning, that would be if she drank from the wine and if nobody found her immediately.
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The boy that handed her the poison had assured her that the poison would start having effect few hours after the victim must have ingested it. That was why she chose that night, when she knew no one would come looking for her.
“Babe don’t keep this man waiting now, you have been in front of this mirror for like ages” Grace shouted at Imelda
“I want to be sure I look perfect” Imelda said tilting her head to the left in other to view her cheek
“It is past seven already, and you said you are meeting him in his place by seven”
“I know but… ok let me put finishing touch to my heir”
“Girl you look perfect, you hair is nice, can you just go?” Grace held Imelda by the shoulder
“Am going already… so how do I look?” Imelda now facing Grace asked, turning around for Grace to view her backside
“You look gorgeous, oya go burst his head with your beauty but don’t confuse him too much” Grace told her
“Seriously Imelda, this night is your night, make the best out of it, enjoy it to the fullest but don’t be pressured into doing what you wouldn’t want to do” Grace admonished
“Thank you sis, you are just wonderful…” Imelda said
“You are just sweet Imelda… so do I wait up for you or are you sleeping over?” Grace asked her, winking
“I will definitely come back but… if I can’t, I will still let you know”
“Oya get out of my house now let me lock the door” Grace said and the both laughed
Imelda grabbed her purse and walked out of the house towards the gate.
Chinyeaka knocked at the gate again, she was being careful not to draw attentions, she doesn’t know why she was being so tensed, she had tried acting normal to avoid passers-by noticing that she was new to that street , not that anyone would care though.
She was about to give a fourth knock at the gate when the gate opened and a lady walked out, she was taken aback. She had never seen that face before when she was spying the house nor did her informant told her that there was someone else staying with her, probably, this lady may have come for a visit, she thought.
“Who are you and who are you looking for” Imelda asked the stranger at the gate
“Ehem… I dey look for Aunty Grace” she stuttered
“And who do I tell her is looking for her?” Imelda asked
“I bring gift come for her, my Oga send me say make I give am, him no fit come by himself” Chinyeaka was trying to play as natural as possible
Imelda took the wrapped package from her, she felt it with her hands, she brought it closer to her face to have a very good view of what was written on it, and then she smiled.
“Ok, I will give her” Imelda assured her, and walked back into the house
Chinyeaka wanted to ask her if she stays in the house, but she didn’t want to risk exposing herself to scrutiny, so she hurriedly walked away praying that the lady she met would leave immediately and allow Grace to drink from the wine.
She didn’t want both ladies to drink of it, that would be too much and could raise more questions, it would become obvious that they were poisoned, but if only Grace got poisoned, her visitor could be held responsible and not her.
She looked back again to see whether she was being followed before she turned to the other street.
“Grace o, you have a package!” Imelda called from outside
She was running late already and wouldn’t want to go in again
“From who?” Grace asked from the house
“Come out and see now”
Grace came out; examine the package for a while before speaking
“Was he here?”
“No, he sent one of his sales girls, she said he would have been here by himself but has been busy” Imelda said
“Hmm… this is strange o, none of his sales girls know my place and I have not spoken to him for a while now, why bother bringing a gift for me?” Grace asked no one in particular
“I don’t know, he loves you that is why… anyway, don’t finish that drink o, keep some for me and don’t get yourself drunk” Imelda said and walked out of the gate.
Grace walked inside the house with the package, she examined what was written on it, and it wasn’t his writing,
“Hmm, was he trying to be romantic?” Grace chuckled
She remembered she did not lock the gate, she lazily lifted herself from the chair and went outside to lock the gate. She was getting heavy lately, it was becoming obvious that she was adding weight and it was giving her concern, but she couldn’t control her craving for fried foods lately.
She locked the gate, bent down to pull out some grasses she saw growing by the gate and walked back inside, she picked the package again and sat down in the sitting room to unwrap it.
She picked the TV Remote; she flipped through the channels until she settled for MNET Movies, and the movie ‘Redemption’ was showing
She was totally engrossed with the movie and had forgotten about the package until she stood up to get her leftover fried potatoes.
With a mouthful of potatoes, she sat down again to enjoy the movie when she saw it, she placed her plate of potatoes on her laps and tore the package open, she examined the bottle, read the label to know how much alcoholic percentage.
She wasn’t really into alcohol, but she did take it with ken once in a while, Ken always made fun of her on how light headed she was, those were fun days, she thought.
She wanted to call him immediately, but didn’t know what to tell him was the reason why she hadn’t been picking his calls, she had wanted to thank him for his gift, but she dropped her phone on a second though.
She wanted to keep the drink in the fridge, but couldn’t lift herself from the sofa, so she left it on the chair while she chews the potatoes voraciously like a native.
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