“I swear I saw her, the lady that brought that gift, she was different but I couldn’t mistake those eyes anywhere” Imelda insisted
She has remained in police custody since that Saturday she was picked up for questioning. Her story had sounded like a Hollywood thriller to the DCO who didn’t waste time in telling her how unbelievable her story was;
“Young lady, you have to help us so we can help you, tell us who you are working with?” the DCO said to her.
He believed that she had been paid by someone else to poison her Madam, and all he wanted to who and why,
“Or did you do it on your own, probably she has been mean to you or you are tired of answering to her, so you planned it in such a way that you will have an alibi”.
“I didn’t do it, I swear with my life I didn’t, someone else did! I wouldn’t kill someone not to talk of one who has been a sister to me” Imelda had said, with tears streaming down her face.
“How do we know who did? There is no trace of whoever it is you said you saw, we have gone to Ken’s office and non of his sales girls admitted to even know Grace’s house, you are the only one who knows about Grace’s pregnancy and her relationship with Ken, you didn’t want to make it obvious so you decided to twist the whole thing, you knew she would accept anything gift from Ken so you planned on it, admit it!”
She was feeling like a soul in the middle of a black hole, sinking and varnishing into nothingness, everything was like a dream to her, only that this dream wasn’t ending soon and her consciousness had refused to detach itself from it
They didn’t get the responds they wanted from her so they had sent her back to her cell.
“Are they treating you badly?” Kola asked
“I wish I am dead, I can’t believe my life has been turned into this in just one day” Imelda said
Kola had come to see her after he was released to go alone last evening, it was a terrible experience for both of them, he had never stopped blaming himself not allowing her to go home when she had wanted to.
“Don’t say that pretty one, you are not going to die, we will go through this together and will come out victorious”
She searched his face, she wanted to believe him that everything would turn out fine, but she was scared of believing too much, her life had been from one sad story to another, she knew how this type of stories end, she doesn’t want to be positive with him.
“How is Grace doing?” she asked him
“She is still unconscious, I was at the hospital this morning before I came here”
There was no much word to say, all she wanted was for grace to be alright, for this nightmare to be over,
“Did you see Ken?” She asked
He took some time before he answered
“Yes” he answered
“Did you talk to him? Did he also think I did it? That I was the one that tried to kill Grace?” she was eager to know
“He didn’t mention it, he only said he was confused” Kola said, he held her hands and rubbed her palms;
“You will get out of this trust me, meanwhile I have contacted a lawyer, let us see how it goes, but I must do everything possible to get you out of this place first”
She couldn’t say anything, blinded with her tears, she only nodded.
Ken watched the two women walk out of the hospital like old school mates, Grace’s mother had arrived early hours that morning, he guessed his own mother must have called her, for she stood up and went to Grace’s mother, Immediately she came in.
He had feared of what Grace’s mother’s reaction would be, but it was a relieve to him when it turned out that she wasn’t dramatic at all, she was only concerned and worried like every good mother would be.
“Welcome Ma” He had greeted her
“Don’t you think we should move her from this hospital to another one where the doctor would know what to do” She said rather, confirming that his mother had explained the situation to her
“We can’t move her now Ma, it will be very risky to remove the oxygen, she may not survive at all” He replied
“Blessed Mother Mary! Said Augustine our patron saint, please intercede for my daughter” She said, looking towards heaving as if she was seeing the saint.
His own mother had taken it upon herself to make sure Grace’s mother remain calm, so they went out of the hospital to get some fresh air, according to his mother.
“I couldn’t wait for you to make out time to come, I have to come first” Edu said, walking in to the hospital reception hall
“Nwanna ihugonu ijem see my life now” Ken said shaking hands with his friend
“Nawa o, this story sounds like a Hollywood movie, onweghi ihe mmadu agaghi afu biko nu” Edu expressed
“I am just confused, I don’t even know what to do, how do I tell this story if I lose her?” Cried Ken
“This is not time to be confused, you have to be alert on this matter, someone is out there and whoever it is may want to strike again, like I told you over the phone, only one person comes to mind and I don’t think I am wrong” Eddo pointed out
“But she wouldn’t go that far na haba, she is only an unfortunate lady seeking for attention, she doesn’t even know about Grace” Ken tried to dismiss the accusation
“Don’t be a fool my man, we are talking about a girl that openly accused you of sleeping with her and promising her marriage, a girl that lied to you in other to get to your house and talk you into having sex with her, think man think!”
“So what do we do now, should we go to the Police?” Ken asked
“Which police? What will you tell them? We have to follow this case by ourselves first, in fact I will personally set her up, and I need to get tangible facts before we can go to the police” Edu said
“Edu onye oma , thank you so much, I may not be able to think out anything now but I believe that however you decide to go about this will yield positive result” Ken said
“Nsogbu adiro ,no problem… so how is she?” Edu asked
“same thing, unconscious, the doctor said there is little they can do now, she have to fight to leave, she is on oxygen and drips” Ken said, his shoulders fallen and his eyes sunken.
“She is strong, she will pull true” Edu commented.
“This is Ken, Grace’s ex-husband” Mary said to Morgan. Stressing the ‘EX’ as they entered into the hospital
Like every bad news, it was easy to for this to saturate and it didn’t take much time for Mary to contact Morgan and give him the news, partly to secure a perpetual place in his purse, also she would not have wanted Grace to lose a good and powerful man like Morgan.
“Kenneth!” Morgan called
“Yes…” Ken searched his face for recognition
“How is big daddy?” Morgan asked
“You mean my father?”
“Yes! Oh you don’t remember me? Uncle Mo” Morgan held his shoulder like a brother would, he was a little brother to him, he had helped him with his assignments when he was staying with them years back,
“Uncle Mo? Is this you? Jesus Christ! You left us and didn’t visit after you left”
Mary stood like a statue, looking from one Man to the other. They were still exchanging pleasantries when Ken’s Mom walked in with Grace’s Mom,
“Where have you been all this while?” Ken asked
“Morgan!” Ken’s Mother called out
“Auntie Meg!” Morgan walked into her embrace
“What are you doing here?”He asked them both
“My daughter in-law is here, she was rushed in here yesterday unconscious, she was poisoned.
Morgan didn’t want to believe that they were both there for the sake of the same woman, could it be the Grace?
“Ehem… Kenneth is married now?” he carefully asked
“Four years ago, though not anymore, but we are still friends … I was hoping we could build something again before this happened” Ken responded
It’s really a funny world, who ever thought that he would meet the son of his godfather again, after more than twelve years,
“What of you? You have a friend or a family admitted here?” Ken’s Mother asked
“Oh no, I heard about Grace, she is a friend and had once done a great job for my company” He said
How would he tell them that he had been in love with the same woman who used to be the wife of his godfathers son, that he had come to be by her side with the hope that she would see him worthy of her love.
Mr. Smart the British , had taken full responsibility of his well being right from the time he entered secondary school, he had brought him to Lagos after he finished his SSCE at Okongwu grama school Nnewi , to stay with him and his new wife.
There only son Kenneth, was still in secondary school when he left for Canada, and that was where he found his feat after his PHD, he had gotten married few years later and the Australian woman had died of cervical cancer, shortly after the birth of their daughter Ariel.
“How is Old Daddy?” He asked again, they were all sitting at the reception, waiting for any new development from the doctor
“He is doing great, the last time I spoke with him” Ken answered
“I called him few months ago though, he told me you are in Lagos, and you have refused to join him in the family Business, that you insisted in starting up your own and becoming your own Man” he said
“He wasn’t seeing any prospect in Lagos here, he relocated to Abuja and wanted me to move with him, I chose otherwise, Mother shuttled abuja and Lagos now” Ken replied
Both Men sat in silence for a while, Mary had left after hanging for a while, she said she needed to get back to her family, the two mothers were engrossed in their individual thoughts
“How long has it been?” Morgan asked Ken
“I brought her in yesterday, unconscious, she had been like that till now, we are only praying for the best”
At that Moment a nurse walked into the Hall,
“Who is Mr. Kenneth? The doctor said I should call you.
She heard the cry of her babe for the second time, yet she couldn’t get where the cry was coming from, the further she went in search of her, the farther the cry got, yet she walked on.
She got close to an uncompleted building, the cry became closer, she picked up her pace and hurried into the building, the voice became louder and louder, crying in her head, preventing her from knowing the particular direction the cry was coming from.
Then she saw her, lying on a pile of cloths Unclad entangled in them, she rushed to pick her up, but she couldn’t, something was holding her down, she tried again to lift the babe up, but failed, the babe was heavier than she thought,
She was getting weak, every effort to carry the baby drains strength from her but she didnt want to let go, she struggled with the babe until she had no strength left in her, she lay beside the baby, crying and singing to her, she was about putting the baby on her chest when she heard another voice;
“Don’t go with her please!”
She looked around, she saw him standing afar, he couldn’t come closer to where she was, he was carrying something with him, she didn’t know what it was but it was wrapped with a cloth,
“There will be another”
She heard him say, she was torn between staying where she was with this babe, or going to him, she chose the later, it wasn’t easy to let go of the babe, it was as if the babe knew for she resumed crying, her voice tore the silence and broke her heart.
She struggled to get to where he stood, he was gradually vanishing away, she needed to beat the time, it was like something was drawing her back, she fought with the last strength she had,
She suddenly opened her eye, and saw an unfamiliar face gazing down at her; he was saying something to a woman that dressed like a nurse.
Ken entered shortly, their eyes met and he smiled
Chinyeaka has been restless since that Sunday morning, her brain was empty, void of any solution to the immediate threat facing her.
“I know say na you do am, na you kill that woman way you say make I dey follow” the caller had said to her over the phone
“I no understand wetin you dey talk” she had responded
“No dey form, why you wan make I follow that woman, why you wan make I dey watch her movement? No be to kill am? I know say na you do am” the guy had said to her
She never saw this coming, she paid him the money he asked for to spy on Grace, why will he call her now to push it to her face that he knew she was the culprit.
“Wetin you want?” she asked, trying not to sound fearful
“I wan make we meet, make we talk fresh price for the job way I help you do, if not I go report o, them go come for you” he threatened
Her palms was suddenly wet, she was sweating, trickles of perspiration roll down her face from her forehead like pebbles rolling down the hill.
“See I no dey fear you o, you think say you fit make me fear? You don forget say na me and you do the job? Na two of us go suffer am if anything happen” she hoped she sounded brave and bold
“For your mind you dey form hard woman, you think say I no get sense? You think say I no get my own plans abi? No under estimate me o”.
Why was this coming up now? Why was she unlucky like this? Simple task that would have pave way for her happiness was beginning to get complicated;
“Carry better money come, I no go take that chingom money way you been dey give me” the caller said
“How I go treat this guy f**k up now?” she thought
“Beauriful laide, I cen ba jiu the weld ya nor? Wow! Demn! Luk at that big fat butt! ” Ademola said behind her
As much as he disgust her like her father, this expired Americana might be her only ticket to freedom from her blackmailer
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