Kola halted in front of the gate and Imelda came down, a glance at the gate and presence of the police told her that something was not right.
People were gathered in small groups, whispering on low tones. They seem to have kept silence while looking at her pitifully when she got closer.
“Na her sister be this?” She heard someone asking
“I no know o, but them they stay together” came the response
She looked at Kola who wanted to follow her inside to know what was going on;
“Don’t worry Kola, I don’t want you to be late to work, I will call you to let you know what is going on” she dismissed him
“What if it is something you cannot handle? What if something has happened to your friend” He was worried
He was already feeling guilty, she wanted to go last night, but he had been selfish enough to talk her into staying. She had dialed Grace’s number few times last night and nobody picked,
She is not picking, I nothing is wrong with her, she always pick her calls” She had said
“She may have slept off” He had tried to calm her down.
They had a nice time together, they had chatted into the night, and had bid each other good night at about two am. He had wanted to pull her into his arms and cover her lips with his one more time, but he was scared that would be asking too much, so he watched her close the door as she entered inside his bedroom to sleep.
“Will she think about me?” he wondered as he lay awake in the guest room. She was like a sweet intoxicating drug to him.
Looking at her worried face now made him feel guilty; he would have brought her home when she insisted
“I will let you know if I need help, I will be fine Kola” Imelda assured him.
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He walked towards one of the police officers, he needed to know what happened, he couldn’t walk away like that.
“Excuse me Officer, I am a friend to the lady that owns this house, what is going on” Kola asked
“Ehen? You be friend na why you just come here come dey ask stupid question, you no see where other people dey stand?” The police officer retorted
“Sorry officer, Grace is my sister, I stay with him here, I wasn’t around last night am just coming in this morning, please where is my sister?” Imelda tried again to get the attention of the Police officer.
“You say she be your sister?” asked the Police Officer who looked her from hair to toe
“And you leave your sister commot go where? Anyway, come meet oga make you explain yourself”
Imelda was filled with fear, her heart raced as she imagined the worst thing that could happen to Grace. She saw the dry stain of blood as she walked with the Kola and the young police officer towards the dinning where the DCO was speaking in his cellular phone.
“Your friend is still unconscious in the hospital so we could not get her to say anything to us but we found out from her call logs that she sent you message stating that you were supposed to either call her or come back home” Said the DCO eyeing her suspiciously
He had hurriedly narrated what they suspected that happened, breaking the news that Grace was obviously poisoned. The bottle of wine with its remaining content was at the dining table, it has been retrieved from Grace’s bedroom
Her eyes widened as she saw the wine, reality dawn on her;
“Yes! The gift! The girl! It was all a set up!” she muttered
“What are you talking about Imelda?” Kola asked her turning her to face him
“The girl! The girl!! She said she was sent by Ken, that she is his sales girl” Imelda was shouting now
The DCO was looking at her keenly, taking record of her reactions
“The girl!!! The girl!!! Someone should find the girl, she was in a hurry to leave, and she didn’t even give me her name!!!” Imelda continued saying.
She remembered the fair lady that brought the gift, how she was shocked to see her opened the gate, as if she was expecting someone else to come out, the lady kept looking away or looking down, but she had thought the lady was just shy, the lady had hurriedly left after handing the bottle over to her.
“Madam…, you will have to come with us to the station to explain more about this” The DCO said, beckoning on one of officers
“Ehen Officer, I think you are not getting something right here, this lady was with me throughout the night” Kola meant to intervene
“Okay Mr.… who?” Asked the DCO
“Kola sir, her fiancé” Kola lied
“Really? Okay…so you mean to tell me I am not getting what the lady meant? Would you mind coming to the station with her to explain more?… I hope not, if you don’t mind, I have an investigation to carry out” The DCO said, looking at him with disdain
She arrived there as early as six am, she wanted to make sure the news about her death was true, she didn’t want to celebrate prematurely.
Chinyeaka met people gathered in groups when she arrived, it wasn’t difficult for her to join one group and blended
She wouldn’t leave everything to chance so she made sure she would not be recognized by anyone who saw her yesterday standing in front of the gate. She covered her cut tinted hair with a braided wig, wearing a Bubu long gown that hid her curves perfectly;
“But the woman die?” she asked with much sadness
“She no dey breath the time way them carry her comot, but I hear say them carry her go hospital” a woman responded
“Chai! Nawa o, people wicked sha, who go do this kine thing na?” She asked, with her hands folded across her breasts
“the police way go the hospital say the woman husband talk say she call am for night, tell am say person bring drink come give am but them no know who the person be”
“Sure say no be the man send the drink true true, I hear say them no dey together again, him fit wan kill the woman” Someone chipped in
“Why the man go wan kill her na?” the first woman asked
“I hear say the woman get money, she get good job come get plenty land way she done buy sef, the man fit dey jealous na, abeg na Nija we dey, things dey happen” the Man explained
“What of the other girl way dey stay with her?” a young lady asked
Chinyeaka had wanted to ask this question, she wanted to know whether the lady she met yesterday also stays in the house with grace, and what happened to her, but she was being careful.
“That one, na now she dey come back o, with one bobo sef, I dey suspect her too, no be her collect the drink? Why she no drink am? Mtcheewww…”
Chinyeaka was relieved, the lady didn’t die with Grace, so it would be easy for the police to circle their investigation around her.
She saw then came out of the building with the lady who took the drink from her.
Imelda saw her, their eyes met, she widened her eyes in shock and recognition, she couldn’t mistake that eyes anywhere, though she was on yellow tinted law cut yesterday not on braids, she knew it must be the lady because she too widened her eyes in surprise.
Imelda tapped at the Police that was walking beside her, but before he could give her attention and followed her hands to the place she saw the lady standing, the lady vanished.
She stood there, eagerly searching the crowd to get a glimpse of her
“Madam don’t waste my time!” the police office tugged her to move forward
Edu had a conviction that Chnyeaka may be responsible for the story he heard. He had called Ken immediately when he saw some policemen around his shop questioning his three sales girls.
That was when he knew something was wrong, none of the girls admitted to have known Grace’s house not to talk of sending any gift.
“My Man where you dey?” he had asked Ken
“I still dey hospital, she has not regain consciousness”
“We need to see, this is not going to end like that, whoever that did this had something personal against either you or her, do you have anybody in mind?” Edu asked him
“Aside her PA and this Man that was into her some time ago, I don’t have any other person in mind” Ken responded
“Guy meet me up, let someone take care of her there, we need to get to the root of this matter o, police may not help us, they may drop this case very soon” Edu sounded urgent
“Are you suspecting anyone?” Ken asked
“Chinyeaka is my best bait for this”
She increased her pace as she walked, looking behind her to make sure she wasn’t being followed, then she ran, as fast as she could, she needed to get away, far from that place.
The lady had recognized her no doubt, and by now the Police may be searching for the person she was pointing at, or they may thing if she was looking for whom to drag down with her, like a sinking ship.
She thought of going to her cousin’s house and allow the sun to go down before she went back, she had told her madam that she was going to visit her sick cousin, going home now would raise questions from her Madam, but she may not be able to handle her cousin asking her questions on why he had to disguise herself.
She chose the later, she had to go back the restaurant, formulating a story for her madam wouldn’t be a problem for her. She had confirmed that she was lifeless when they took her away, there would be no way she would have escaped death, except if she was a cat with nine lives.
She had also wanted to know which hospital they took her to, she desperately wanted to see her dead, to laugh at her lifeless body, to beat her chest and tell her that she, Chinyeaka had won at last. But all that would wait, she would soon dance on her grave side soon, for she planned to be there at her burial.
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