It has been two months since she was discharged from the hospital and has not been to her house since then. She had wanted to visit her house at least to get her things.
She had raised the issue of going to her place and Ken had objected to it,
“We have to be careful, please avoid that place for now, until we unravel this case” Ken had said
Grace was getting uncomfortable with his over protectiveness; she was beginning to feel like she was actually imprisoned.
“I think I will be going to my house after work” Grace said to Mary
“You still get house? House way rats and cockroaches don full finish” Mary commented
“That one concern you, I still get house, at least my things are still there and my rent has not expired” Grace said
“Anyway please don’t let Ken know I am going there” She said scattering the papers on her table in search of her Pen
“Come o Grace, why you no wan your husband know say you dey go there, tell me, what do you want to do there?” Mary asked suspiciously
“Getaway you…what do you thing I am going there to do? I just want to get few things and bid farewell to the house now” Grace responded
She removed her suit and hung it at the back of his chair while turning of the AC
“Ken insisted that it is not safe yet, for all he knows, whoever it was that wanted me dead may still be trailing me” Grace added
“And I agree with him, girlfriend… please be careful… I think you shouldn’t go there now, one needs to be safe you know” Mary said
“For how long, for how long Mary, how can I be hiding for someone I don’t know, this person may have left the state knowing that the police are after her” Grace explained
“Hmm… okay o, but I dey fear true, I no wan cry o, I don’t even have black cloth to wear for your funeral” Mary joked
“God forbid! Tufiakwa! ” Grace made a circle over her head with her fingers and snapped her fingers as if throwing away a bad omen
Mary laughed and hit her playfully on her arm
“I was only joking girlfriend, don’t take it serious” Mary said
“Who Jokes with death? Stop it o” Grace warned Mary, though she was laughing
“Abeg… fear fear… nothing will happen to you. Anyways how is Imelda?” Mary relaxed her back on the chair, chewing her gum and blowing bubbles from it.
“She is fine, she has finally opened her own shop like she had always dreamed” Grace said with a smile
“Really! Wow I am so happy for her, is she selling
Akara ?” Mary added
“Nawa for you o Mary, ah ah! She now sells Abada and lace materials, you really need to be there” Grace said
“Eehee!… na big business o, see Imelda don become Madam, I still dey here dey run around like a bee for this ungrateful Man” Mary Lamented
“I bought one beautiful Indian George from her last Saturday, you really have to visit the place o, she stocked her shop with beautiful and attractive materials”
“That is good for her, at least, that Ahmad of a guy is no longer in her life, he would have collected the money giving to her as a pay off, and would have blown it off on drinks and weed”
“Am glad too”
Chinyeaka made up her mind for the third time that day, she could no longer wait for Kabiru to give her information, he has not been reliable from the onset, trying to be nice to her lately but she knew that he may be up to something.
Kabiru has not asked her for money lately and that was a relief and a cause to worry too. What else did he want aside money, maybe to sleep with her as well, but he has not touched her inappropriately either.
She checked the plates again for stains; her madam had warned her about serving costumers food with plates that have stains. She picked the ceramic soup plate with her trembling hands, the plate slipped from her fingers and smashed into many pieces on the hard floor.
“Mtchewwww” she hissed, looking through the door to make sure nobody was in view
She hurriedly swept the broken pieces and threw them on the dustbin; this would be the second plate she was breaking that day.
She was really nervous, her palms were sweating and her heart beats faster. She had planned to end it all today, she knew where she works and when she closes from work
“I go wait for her for her office, follow am reach house” She had told Kabiru
“How you go take do that one, what if her husband dey house?” Kabiru had asked
“No dey call him her husband, him no be her husband, na me be the only woman way be his wife” She had warned Kabiru
Kabiru was drinking pepper soup in their restaurant that evening, he has started frequenting the place, sometimes he pays for his food but other times he just sat and drink without paying, promising to pay the next day.
“No vex, oya tell me, how you wan take follow am” Kabiru asked again
“That one no concern you, I don plan am since, I know say she go dey alone, Oga Ken dey always go church every Wednesday, him no dey miss am, so I go follow her sharp sharp”
She had expected him to say something but he didn’t, he was chewing the meat like a cannibal
“Watin you want follow her for, me I think say make you leave her alone, no be that man be the only man way dey this Lagos” He was still chewing some meat
She would have used the wooden spoon she was holding, as a drum stick on his head, how could he tell her to allow that woman go? She looked at him with hatred
Kabiru drank the soup, drilling it krooo-krrrooo until there was nothing left. He used his fingers and plucked out some meats from his teeth, shoving them in his mouth again to chew.
“I just wan talk to her” Chinyeaka said, knowing so well that she would do more than talking.
That was yesterday, and the D day arrived before she prepared for it. She had decided against doing it but couldn’t live with the thought that Ken would be in another woman’s arms, leaving her to be the looser.
She has to do this, there was no going back. To her, it was a sacrifice she had to pay for love.
She was greeted by the musky air as she opened her door, the smell of a house that has not been inhabited for a long time.
Nothing has changed from the house the last time she was there, the sitting room was still in disarray, one of the dining chairs was overturned probably the one she fall from the day she nearly died.
She moved into the kitchen, the leftover food has dried up and giving birth to worm lavas, a mixture of rotten food and dust filled her noise, she was tempted to clean the kitchen, but didn’t think she was up to the job.
She entered the bedroom, her bed was exactly the way she left it, the rumpling d the very spot where her buttocks had been before she went to answer the phone.
Then she heard the noise, it was as if someone had opened the gate. She remembered she had not locked the gate as she entered, she peered through her window and saw no one and the gate was intact, ‘probably the wind’ she thought.
Darkness was fast closing the sky and she needed to gather her few things hurriedly before Ken comes back and start looking for her.
The noise came again, this time inside the house, the sound of a door opening and closing. She was beginning to get scared, she peered through the dinning and her eyes traveled through the sitting room but she saw nothing.
She went back inside the room, brought down her box and started shoving some cloths inside the empty box.
It wasn’t easy for Chinyeaka to convince the keke driver to follow the car, he finally agreed after she had offered her life savings to him. The woman took another turn that lead to her former house instead of ken’s house.
Chinyeaka was surprised why she would have wanted to go to her old place, not that it bothered her though. In fact it would be a perfect place for her to die; she wouldn’t want to soil Ken’s home with the blood of that woman.
“Madam abeg come down we done reach” the keke driver woke her up from her thoughts
She wiped her sweaty palms on her cloth, with her bled hiding inside her handbag, she stepped out.
The gate was not locked from the inside and so she entered without restriction, she saw her when she looked from her room to the dinning and the sitting room, she was there when Grace moved back inside her room, she heard her when she moved a heavy object, the noise she made from her room distracted chinyeaka, but then she tried to remain focus
When grace was done with packing, Chinyeaka was waiting.
“Hello Oga Edu…elo ellloooo!” Kabiru screamed from the phone
“Hello Kabiru, thank God! I have been trying to get to you but no avail” Edu said over the phone
“No thank God o, your girl say she wan follow that Oga Ken madam go house o” Kabiru said
“I don’t understand, follow her go house how?” Edu asked
“She say she go follow her from work reach house, since Oga Ken no go dey house, say she go enter house with madam” Kabiru said
“Are you serious?”
“No I no serious, see this man o, I dey tell you make you do something now you dey ask me whether I dey serious” Kabiru rebuked and cut the call
Edu dialed Ken’s number twice, he had wanted to hang up after the third trial but Ken picked.
“Where is Grace?” was the first thing Edu asked
“She should be in the house, why are you asking?” Ken asked the voices of church members singing and clapping was at the background
“We have a serious problem at hand please leave where ever you are and start going home”
“What is the problem? Is she in any form of trouble?” Ken asked
“Nwokem ajuzinam ajuju ahu, don’t ask me that question now, start going home now, I am on my way”
Edu entered his car and drove off.
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