Dawn stared at the phone in her hand as if it
was a snake coiled to strike. She gingerly
placed the phone on the table staring at it all
the while, unable to process what she just
heard. Did Ugochi just say someone will kill
her? She turned to Paul, her boyfriend of two
weeks, who was staring at her, waiting for her
to say what the problem was.
“That was Ugochi. She told me to come pick
her up before someone kills her.” saying it out
loud like that propelled her to action. She
jumped to her feet and dragged Paul by the
hand. “Come on, we need to move.”
“What exactly is the problem? What did she
say?” he asked as he grabbed his car keys and
watched her put on shorts and a T-shirt
“She was crying, and she said I should come
get her before someone kills her.”
“Did she say where she was?”
“No. but when I talked with her earlier, she said
she was home. She sounded fine then. I can
only assume it’s a problem between her and
By this time they were driving out of the
compound. Dawn quickly dialed Ijay’s number
as she gave Paul directions. Maybe she could
give some meaning to this mess. Ijay picked on
the first ring.
“Hi dear. What’s up? Why are you calling so
“It’s Ugochi. She called me now to come pick
her before someone kills her. I don’t know what
is going on. I’m on my way to her house now
“Kills her? Really? How did she sound?”
“She was crying. She sounded scared.”
“Yeah. I’ll let you know. We are at her place
“Paul is with me.”
“Okay then. Keep me posted.”
They dropped the call just as Paul drove into
the compound. Dawn barely waited for the car
to come fully to a stop before opening the door
and hurrying out. Paul was right behind her.
She knocked loudly when she got to the door.
She could hear shouting coming from within.
She knocked again.
Few moments later Ikem came to the door. He
was sweating profusely and breathing heavily.
“What do you want?” he asked blocking the
Dawn tried to look behind him into the room but
she couldn’t see anything. “Where is Ugochi?”
“She is inside. I’ve packed all her stuff, I don’t
want anything with a liar and a cheat.” He
stepped back and Dawn rushed inside.
Ugochi was sprawled on the settee in the living
room. Dawn covered her mouth with her palm
to keep from screaming when she saw her. Her
face was covered in bruises, one eye swollen
shut and there was a deep cut on her lower lip.
There were bruises all over her body too, it was
like she was involved in a motor accident.
“What in God’s name happened to you?” Dawn
Ugochi pried her one good eye open. She
blinked the eye several times before focusing on
Dawn. She tried to sit up and groaned in pain.
Paul quickly came forward to help her up.
“Dawn, is that you?” she asked feebly.
“Yes dear. What happened to you?”
“Can you get me out of here first? I’ll explain to
you later, please.”
“Okay, okay.” Dawn went to the other side of
her and guided her to the door. They met Ikem
by the door, still sweating, his arms crossed on
his chest and his right leg jiggling as if
preparing for battle.
“I don’t ever want to see you in this house
today.” He said once they got to where he was
stationed by the door. “Just come and pack
your stuff tomorrow and get out of my life
Dawn was so angry she couldn’t see straight.
“You mean you were the one who hurt her like
this? You beat her black and blue? And for
what?” she demanded
Ikem refused to answer. He just kept staring at
them and tapping his foot on the floor.
“Dawn, please let’s go. I need to leave this
house now.” Ugochi said
They all filed out and went to the car. Dawn
helped Ugochi in and arranged her in the best
way to avoid pain. All through the drive back to
the house, nobody said a word, they were all
deep in thought wondering what could have
made Ikem act that way. It was a very baffling
Dawn called Ijay to keep her appraised of the
situation and she promised to check on them
tomorrow. Paul helped Ugochi in and drew
Dawn aside when he had her settled in a chair.
“Babe, I need to go now so you’ll have time to
take care of your friend. I’ll call you tomorrow,
“Okay. Thanks for your help.” She stood on tip-
toe and kissed him on the cheek.
Dawn went to the kitchen, got a frozen pack of
peas to use as a makeshift ice pack, grabbed
her first aid box and went back to her friend.
She handed the peas pack to her so she could
place on her swollen eye, and focused on
treating the minor bruises and cuts that arrayed
When she was done, she sat beside Ugochi and
offered her shoulder for her to cry on, all the
while thinking of how much she would like to
hurt Ikem for hurting her friend.
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