Ken got to his house before Edu, he couldn’t wait for the midweek service to end before he picked his bible and dashed out of from the western door of the big cathedral
“Brother Ken, you are leaving?” Asked elder Gbinle who has the habit of walking around the church compound seeking for those that would likely leave the church to either answer calls or chat with friends outside the main auditorium
“Don’t let the devil get deprive you of your blessings today” He would say
Ken wasn’t in the mood for a stopover chit-chat; he already had his hand on the door of his car from the driver’s side when the elder approached him
“You have not even gotten the blessing of the day and you are…” the elder was still saying
“Elder please not now, I have something very important to pursue…” ken entered his car and turned on the ignition
“Children of this days, may the lord have mercy on their souls” Elder said, curving his mouth in disdain as ken drove off.
It was as if he wasn’t fast enough, he applied more speed until he looked at his dash board and noticed that he was running at 120 kilo meters, he removed his leg from the throttle and slowed down a bit.
The road was a bit free to his advantage and it wasn’t long when he got to his gate, he honked and Baba opened the gate. He looked at the main building and there was no light inside.
“Good efinin Uga ” Baba greeted
“Where is my wife?” Ken asked before stepping down from the car
“Madam I nefa kwom back (Madam has not returned)” Answered Baba
Ken felt his heart jumping out of his body,
“You mean she has not returned since she left this house in the morning?” Ken wanted to be sure
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“Yes uga, I nefa come (yes Oga she has not returned)”
Ken looked at his wrist watch, it was some minutes to eight pm, Grace didn’t call him to say she was going anywhere, neither did she mention visiting anybody to him.
“Where could she be by this time of the night without anybody knowing?” Ken muttered under his breath
“Eh…” Baba answered thinking Ken was talking to him
“Did anybody come here today?” Ken asked
“No o, no person don enter here today” Baba answered
The sound of a car engine that was turned off in front of his gate caught their attention, Ken waited in anticipation, hopping that it could be
Grace, though that didn’t sound like her car. But to his disappointment, Edu walked in
“Where is she?” Edu asked from the gate
“She is not here, Baba said she had not returned since morning” Ken replied
“But… where could she be?” Asked Edu
“I don’t know…why did you call me Edu? Didn’t you hand the evidence over to the police as we agreed yesterday? they should have this girl in their costudy by now. What is going on?” Ken asked
“My informant told me that Your girl had planned to follow Grace to the house, since you will be going to church today, according to him, she want to just talk to Grace one on one, but you know we cant trust her now…and yes, I was at the police yesterday with the voice record, they assured me that they are on the case, i don’t know what happened” Edu explained
“My God! I need to call her now” Ken brought out his phone
He dialed her number but nobody was picking up, it rang continuously until it was switched off
Grace had the feeling that she was not alone in the house, she always had that feeling when something wrong was about to happen to her or someone around her, like the day she almost died, she had felt that chill and goose bumps on her, though it disappeared as soon as it came.
But this feeling wasn’t leaving her, it got stronger and stronger until it filled the room and was like a shadow hanging over her head in the dark, the cracking sound of her door made her look back, she was relieved when she saw nothing and no one there;
“That stubborn door that always has a way of scaring me” she said
She walked to the door and closed it properly, and went back to packing her things, she brought down her suits and fitted gowns and stuffed them inside the box
“I will not be using then for a long while until this baby is born” she muttered but yet she packed them in the box.
She brought out the gown she had worn to the birthday party which led to her pregnancy, she remembered the joy it brought to her, how Ken had looked at her and couldn’t let go of her, she remembered the sweet love he made to her that night;
“You and I have a long business together” She said to the cloth and carefully folded it inside the box.
She rubbed her protruded stomach with her left hand and smiled
The door cracked again, but since she had gotten used to it, she paid it no heed.
Chinyeaka watched Grace turned towards the door, she saw when Grace got tensed, when she searched the room with her eyes, she has been watching her every move, and knew that Grace was afraid.
Grace’s fear gave her joy, for once in her life she could actually hold someone to ransom, and she was enjoying the whole scene.
She was the one that dramatically opened the room door which got Grace jumping out of her skin, the door was slightly opened and she had been peering inside the room from the little space, until she pushed further and the noise from the door scared the other woman.
The other woman had closed the door out of fear, but had forgotten to lock it, just as she also forgot to lock her gate.
“Foolish woman way no get sense” Chinyeaka thought
Chinyeaka has succeeded in opening the door slightly the second time without making much noise, Grace didn’t turn and that was good for Chinyeaka
The room was dark except the touch from Grace’s her phone which she placed on top of the table beside her bed.
Chinyeaka looked at the other woman with disgust as she paraded her protruded stomach, she felt like spitting on the other woman’s face when she rubbed the stomach, she wished she could slap the older woman’s face and wipe off the smile she had on her.
She didn’t know how long she stood there looking at Grace but she felt she has had enough scenes and that it was time to change the dance beat
Imelda got down from the taxi, it has been a good day so far, business was picking up gradually and she was beginning to see the positive result of starting her own business.
She had left her former work with no clue of what next to do, with seven hundred thousand naira as a pay off, she didn’t know where to start from. She needed to get a house and a shop, but what she has wasn’t going to be enough;
“You can stay with me here while we look for a shop for you” Kola had offered
“I promise to be as noble as possible while you are here, we are friends and I will not take advantage of that” He has added when he saw the uncertainty in her eyes.
It wasn’t about him she was worried about, it was her, she didn’t trust herself to stay with him without showing the feelings she has for him.
But she had agreed to stay, probably because Graces house was out of the question for her, though Grace had offered that house before, but she couldn’t leave with the memories that followed the house, so she had declined.
Staying with Kola has been fun and a torture for her, his laughter, his joked, his anger, his presence and saying good night every night. He has kept to his words so far, keeping his hands off her, treating her like a friend and a sister, and helping her in her new business.
He was there when she made her first mistake in the business and had lost eighty two thousand naira to a woman who bought on credit and had disappeared without trace. He had laughed at her and had equally consoled her, he had strategized with her and has giving her ideas on how to market her wares.
They had sat down each evening surfing the net for new costumers, and posting her latest materials on facebook and other social media platforms.
When she got an alert to send five yards of cord lace to Abuja, she screamed and had flung herself on his body without minding who he was to her, he had lifted her off the floor. Both of them realized their awkward situation when they landed on the sofa with her on top of him;
“Sorry, she had said to him, hurriedly lifting herself off him and looking away”
That was a month ago, now she wanted to get some of her things from Grace’s house, if she is lucky, she could save enough money and get her own place by the coming year, then she could come and get the remaining stuffs.
“Abeg wait for me, I no go waste time, na just to collect small thing inside” She told the Taxi Driver
She had her spare keys but the gate wasn’t locked no bolted when she pushed it.
She wondered who could be inside, maybe it wasn’t locked since the day Grace was taken to the hospital, she thought.
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