A glanced at her watch showed five minutes to five, and a peek into her backseat revealed a bloodied unconscious man. She hoped she made it in time to the nearest health centre and saved Danny’s life. Bonuade was a pure bred devil, bloodying two adults in her pregnancy state. It was the knife she pointed to her swollen stomach that saved her own life. She could still feel the impact of her sharp nails around her neck, the girl was going to strangled her after she successfully designed her face with nail marks. At first, she was stunned as the game plan turned against her. She watched in horror as her fingers curled around her throat almost snuffing the life out of her. It was only with a stroke of luck she remembered the knife in her pocket. That was her saving grace.
She slammed on the accelerator, speeding out to meet the next curve that led to the nearest clinic. Mercifully, she arrived in time to meet the clinic opened by the community health workers. Not much was said when transporting the lifeless man inside.He was laid on the couch while Aina beamed encouragement from where she was been attended to. Her face and neck were cleaned with a liquid that stung. She silently cursed Bonuade for her pain and she was pleased she would suffer a million times than her, when Mengele handled her.
After few examinations, the women questioned her, she quickly spun a tale on how they were attacked by theives. The elderly woman took her cold hands in both of hers and told her the man she brought had lost so much blood and he was dead, but she had called the doctor to certified that. She stood still for several seconds, before her brain could interpret the news. Danny was dead, he’s gone. She sobbed amidst other questions they threw at her.
“Aunty stop crying. Will you call your relatives? They have to be here to sign some papers when the doctor comes” The women told her.
It was then it dawned on her that she had to run, her plan was leaking with different occurrences. There was no way she would informed Danny’s family without getting into trouble. He was the only son and his father was a policeman but the boy joined a cult group when he was fourteen. They don’t even know he was in Abuja, his parents believed he was in school.
“My phone is in the car, I will go and get it” the women look doubtful and made to follow her, but Aina left her purse behind, it only contained few naira notes. The health workers relaxed a little after seeing the purse until they heard the car roared down the lonely lane.
Aina’s phone rang, she checked the caller. It was kunle. She plugged in her earpiece and picked.
“I’m in Abuja” she replied him
“What’s going on? My friends are looking for you. They are in my house as we speak. They said you kidnapped a lady” Kunle said
“Kidnap? I don’t know anything about that. I will call you and explain everything. Do me a favour please, call them and tell them am at Banex hotel” she said
“OK. Just be safe. I don’t know what their problem is, they have been questioning me about you”
She heaved a sigh of relief, when he called her again to inform her that they had left for the hotel. It was time she left Abuja too and hid where she wouldn’t be found for some months. She thought all over plans and how they were almost successful before circumstances disrupted her plans. She just prayed Mengele carry out the operation and hopefully Bonuade died in the process. She deserved it. They all deserved to for forcing her to run. She sobbed. And her best friend would be happy, thinking her troubles were over. She dialed Grace’s number.
“Hello, its over a week and I haven’t received a report from you” Aina said without preamble.
“Oh you stupid fool! You actually thought am on your side? You are not a smart chick at all, you are just an excuse for a woman. And let me tell you the truth you don’t know, your wicked days will end in few hours. Just watch” Grace said and the next thing she heard was the disconnec ttone.
“I was played” Aina whispered
Olaronke did not know exactly how she should feel, there was news about Bonuade and the older man with them mentioned it was Aina who kidnapped her. Mrs Ololade was overjoyed hearing that her sister was fine, she danced around the room while Oluwaniyi looked grim hearing the news. He told his sister-in-law to excused him while he talked to the man. The woman obliged and even decided to spend the time searching Aina’s room. They were at Kunle’s place.
“Are you sure, you want to stay here, and listen to everything am about to say?” Oluwaniyi asked politely.
“Yes please” she told him
“Let her” Doctor Oludare said to his friend.
They were the only ones left in the sitting room. Wande and the others had left for the Banex hotel while they stayed behind in case it was another ploy from Aina.
The evening seemed to drag long like the day was never going to end. At first, she had lost all hope that they would find Bonuade. It was heartbreaking, when at every turn they took, they met a roadblock. The private investigators reported that, the lady they were trailing at Ibadan was a look alike and. What they suspected was, Aina had intentionally done the same hairstyle with the lady that shared the same, height and stature with her. It was all a ruse to cover up her acts. And when Oluwaniyi broke down in tears after his men told him they have no news on his missing wife, Olaronke had felt sorry for him. She had never seen him like that. He was in a great pain and she didn’t know when she started sobbing. It was his broken state that softened Mrs Ololade, who consoled and assured him his wife would be found alive.
Hours after that, Oluwaniyi received a call from a doctor whom he directed to Kunle’s house. She watched the man held a wine glass to his lips and drank slowly.
“We all need this” he said raising the bottle up “Young lady?” he asked as he poured for the other men
“No, thank you” she murmured.
“Aina contacted me yesterday. She came to my hotel and paid me to perform hysterectomy for one pregnant woman she’s holding captive”
Olaronke felt as if she was in a sick, miserable daze. Even the usual blankness she always sought when in trouble had failed her this past few days, she couldn’t even pass out as reality stared at her. She had chosen to be deceived by Aina’s smiling presence and fake friendship. A friend that constantly lied to her. And she gullibly trusted her.
“I got to know she is your wife, when she told me her name is Bonuade, it was the latest news in our circle then” he said this smiling.
“Where is she now?” Oluwaniyi asked
“I took her to the hospital, she’s in a critical condition” he answered
“Where’s the hospital?” He asked jumping to his feet
“Calm down. The question should be how much do I want” Mengele corrected him
“I will pay you one million naira” Oluwaniyi said
“For what? You know how this things are. Her uterus would have fetched me that amount, not to talk of her other organs. If I had dissected her body, the ritualists would be willing to pay more”
At this, Olaronke eyes widened to an unimaginable fraction. She stared at the man, with all his soft demeanor, he was capable of taking the devil’s role.
She couldn’t remembered what else was said as different images chased themselves across her numbed brain. She stood up and groped her way up the staircase that led to the room Aina was using, clinging to the rail for support. Her head throbbed until she thought it would split into halves; her whole body felt rigid as she kept moving.
What was the matter? Why was she always the last person to found out the truth? Oluwaniyi belonged to a confraternity and she did not know that about a man she dated for three years.
“It’s official, I am stupid” she said
“What did you say?” Oluwaniyi who was behind her, asked while she stared with wide eyes.
“Don’t look so alarmed. I had to check on you when you left without saying a word”
“I am fine” she said and he nodded.
“Wande called me just now. He said I should tell you to eat. So I have arranged for food to be brought to you here” he told her and together they walked to the room Aina was occupying.
“What did you find?” he asked his sister-in-law
“Nothing useful. Some discs and jotters” she informed him.
“I will be heading to the federal hospital to check on my wife. I don’t want to leave you here unprotected so I have told Wande and the others to come over here and take you home. Its past seven already”
“When you get to the hospital, call me so I can speak with Bonuade” Mrs Ololade told him while he nodded.
They saw him off and watched him leave with the other men. She shut the door and went back to the room.
The room was filled with everything Aina. Overflowing ashtrays covered every surface, that was the reason they didn’t live together in the university. She hated smoke and her best friend was filled with me. She could still hear Aina’s beautiful voice demanding fiercely as she dragged her cigarette “So, Bonuade is still chasing your man?”.
And then she had lied to her, that she had stopped smoking. As usual, she believed her blindly.
She picked one of the jotters, assumed it would be one of those containing the things she needed to buy. But it turned out to be vicious. She imagined her friend writing the sheer vitriol from her long red nails. It was about Mrs Georgina. It was a revelation on how the woman had a daughter for her sister’s late husband which she passed off as her estranged husband first child. The most damaging section was where she wrote about exposing the daughter’s paternity to the world. Olaronke shook her head at the bitter words dripping from Aina’s hand. She was going to exposed an innocent lady secret to the media. How could one person be capable of such wickedness and cruelness?
She read other jotters that exposed her plans for her and Bonuade. And the stupid reason behind it was that she was in love with Oluwaniyi.
” Read this” She gave the other jotters to Mrs Ololade while she went to the door to get the food.
Several minutes later, they sat at the dining table enjoying the spaghetti while they waited for Wande to show up. Oluwaniyi had called her on IMO from the hospital. They watched Bonuade’s pale face and lean body on the hospital bed.
“Don’t talk too much. Save your strength and be fine” Olaronke shushed her from apologizing to her.
“What did the doctor say?” Mrs Ololade asked
“She said, Bonuade has to remain in the hospital bed, and we should pray that her body will be able to hold the baby for three more weeks. Our son will have to be delivered prematurely. She is traumatized and very weak”
Another series of “sorry dear” and few prayer words were said before she ended the call.
“Finally” Olaronke said when she heard the door cracked open.
Standing before her was her best friend, with nail marks on her face.
“Wow! The witch is here” Olaronke said clapping her hands
So great was Aina’s shock that she actually swayed on her feet. She could see her jotter in another woman’s hand. Bonuade’s sister
It was impossible—–she was seeing things. She saw her laughing friend, a venomous look on the elderly woman’s face. She turned to leave but Olaronke’s firm hand pulled her back. Her game was over. She braced herself for any drama that might ensued. Those two ladies knew she was the enemy, whatever it was this night, she would be leaving here alive. No bargain on that.
“Is seeing us here, really such a shock to you?” Olaronke asked, her eyes fixed on her friend’s trembling hands.
Aina sighed “Olaronke, will you excuse me. I want to pack my things”
“Calm down bestie, I assure you, you will leave with your things. But I really need to know some answers. Who are you really? A foe masking as a friend?”
“If you really want to know, I am not your friend nor do I hate you. I chose to remain with you because I want to teach you a lesson” Aina calmly said.
“Fine, what was it that I did to you?”
“Your over righteousness. Madam virgin that do not sleep around but failed to mind her own business and lecture me now and then. And you always have everything that I lack. What best friend agrees to date a man her friend is in love with?”
“I understand how that is all painful to you. How that is a very good reason you have to make those moves to ruin my life. I used to think I have a psychiatric issue, but after reading through your jotters I realized you are the one with a mental problem. You have always had an attitude problem. You never listen to anyone but your wicked mind and I assure you, you will die a victim of your own wickedness, some day. I have been nothing but nice to you. I trusted you with my weakness and secrets, but what did you do? You used it against me all the time. I loved you like my you are my twin but you chose to betray me.” She couldn’t continue with her emotional outburst. Her voice was laced with unshed tears. Mrs Ololade moved over to her and drew her into a warm embrace. They both stood aside as Aina dragged her bags down the staircase to the door.
“We should call the police” Mrs Ololade said
“No, let her go, her acts will consume her someday”
Aina heard her friend’s reply, and for the first time, she felt remorseful. Despite her wickedness, her friend had shown her mercy.
Four weeks later,
Aina walked the street of Ikeja very early at 5am, today she was finally leaving the country to start a new life at cape Verde. Mrs Georgina had been willing to pay more than she requested for just to cover her secrets. And she had put the money into good use. She had spent the first week after the incident hiding, but after having a thorough thinking, she realized that she was safe. No matter what Adunni feels, she would never have her arrested. Nor will Oluwaniyi, not because he didn’t want vengeance, he was busy at his wife’s bedside. She felt used by everyone of them. Bonuade used her to get her crush, and Mengele duped her. She heard he has left the country with his family. And Grace had took her money. She would be back to deal with them all. She would.
Just then, she felt a man moved from the shadow and pointed a sharp object towards her Lower back. It must have taken just a few seconds but it seemed to Aina that everything happened very slowly. She was suddenly in a dark car that sped to a lonely road. Her mind asked questions. Who? But there were too many enemies who could do this to her.
Olaronke was dreaming about food, when she woke up past ten in the morning. She was in her office and her pregnancy made her sleep mostly in the morning and there was that urge to eat some foods she never really cared for in the past. Last night it was noodles and presently she wanted to eat porridge. She called one of her staffs to prepare the meal for her. As she sat there waiting for her meal, Wande came into her office looking grim.
“What is it?” She questioned
“Its Aina” he answered as he slumped into one of the couch.
“What happened to her?” She asked sitting at his armchair
“She’s dead, Adunni. She was involved in an accident. Only God knows where she was going before a car ran her down” he told her
“Wande” she was horrified
“Was she still your best friend?” he asked
“I don’t know” she said, her eyes misting
“You haven’t asked how I know about it” Wande said
“The papers?” she asked
“No, you know you gave me your smartphone and still has your previous sim in it. So I decided to charge it and see if the battery is still working or I will have to buy another one for you. The police called the number, they said your name and number was in her passport as next of kin. I told them I am your husband and they asked me if I knew one Miss Aina. I knew she was dead from that past verb ” knew”
This time her tears started flowing.
“Take it easy. That’s not all. They need someone to identity her body”
“I can’t. I will have to call her relatives” Olaronke dialed Mrs Georgina’s number. She explained everything to the woman who sound less sympathetic.
Afterwards Aina’s parents called her and begged her to help with the burial since it was against their culture for parents to be at their children’s burial
“Although we are not are real parents, we helped her when she was fourteen. She wanted to end her life when her aunty died but some neighbors interfered. You have really been a good friend to her despite knowing she was depressive…..”
Olaronke removed her phone from her ear, had she really heard all that?
“I don’t know she is no I meant she was depressive. Neither did she tell me, you were not her parents”
“Typical her, she spent months at the psychiatric hospital and we encouraged her to take her drugs every now and then and even told her to tell her friend. Her condition is inherited. It runs in her family. Her aunty was depressive and ended her life too”
Aina’s funeral was miserable.
The day started with a heavy rain, that ended in the evening. She and her husband was the only one present well except the ambulance man that carried the corpse. Olaronke had announced on Aina’s social pages, none of her three thousand plus friend on Instagram showed up. Not even the staffs she previously worked with showed up. Poor Aina. She had struggled with her mental health all through her life. As her coffin was lowered into her grave, Olaronke heard a horn and turned around to see Stevie.
“The traffic was terrible” he told her as he bent beside her grave.
She burst into tears, she had always told her late friend that Stevie truly loved. She wished she had listened.
“It’s okay dear” Wande consoled her
“I know you will think am stupid, but I will miss her. She mattered to me. I wished she had embraced her mental illness. She would still be here today. But she became off, and crazy.” Olaronke said
“Who is that man crying?”
“Her ex boyfriend. He has always loved her” she told him
“Let’s go home” Wande said leading her to the big black car
She turned around and waved at Stevie.
“Oluwaniyi called this morning to tell me his wife delivered a baby boy. Both baby and mum is in good condition”
“Wow, that’s some good news. I will call him when we get home”
He drove in silence before his wife broke into his thought
“What are you thinking?”
“To be honest, I am trying not to think. Her accident was no accident at all. She was killed.” Wande said.
“What! Who could do that?”
“I think its Mrs Georgina. I saw a picture at the scene. It was her picture with Mrs Georgina. Probably, she gave it to them, as an indentification”
“What if the picture fell from Aina’s hand during the accident?” She asked him
“No. The picture was inside an envelope. And Aina’s face was crossed. The accident was staged. Her wrists and feet revealed she was bound with a rope to the roadside”
“Wow! What do we do?”
“Nothing. Its left to the government, if this will be another unsolved crime or the one they would look in to”
“What a sad end for Aina”
“Sorry dear, I am not her number one fan but I think she’s better off dead than being alive”
“Wande” she exclaimed
He merely shrugged.
A Big THANK YOU to Zainab Sanusi. Please dear Readers, drop your comments to encourage the writer.