Uyi panicked, he didn’t know what to do. Immediately, he
placed a call to Stephen but the phone rang twice and there was no answer.
Cassandra was dead and he had to do something about the body immediately. He quickly
ran downstairs to Nosa’s room and knocked at the door quickly, Nosa opened the
door and was shocked to see Uyi standing at the door.

“Oga Uyi…is everything alright?”
“Please drop the Oga for now…I need a favour.” Uyi said
quickly.
Nosa nodded and followed him to his room. As soon as Nosa entered
the room, he shuddered at the display of wealth that the room oozed. The room was tastefully furnished and very beautiful, he was about to commend the tasteful furnishing when Uyi led him to the place his wife’s body lay, she was in a pool
of her blood.
“Osanobua!” Nosa screamed as he almost fell in shock.
“Calm down…I was in the bathroom when this happened….the
robber had left by the time I came in but he had stabbed her already.” Uyi lied.
“What? A robber? How?” Nosa asked, looking around at the
windows to see if any was open.
“I think…he escaped through the balcony…I err….I was
errr…in the bathroom and when I came out, I saw him run off through the
balcony and err…my drawers were open and err…I think he took my money…”
Uyi stammered badly.
“But this doesn’t make sense…this house is well
secured…”Nosa started.
“Are you going to help me out or not?” Uyi asked
impatiently.
“Yes…what do you want me to do?”
“Nosa, I need you to promise to keep this a secret till your
dying day…” Uyi said.
“Secret? Do you mean that I should keep her death as a
secret or that I should keep the fact that a robber killed her a secret?” Nosa asked in
confusion.
“I need no one to know that she’s dead!” Uyi said. “We are
going to look for where to bury her tonight…am I understood? And we are
keeping this a secret till our graves!”
******      

“What I am about to tell you is
serious, I’d rather you sit down.” Amaka said quietly.
Odili had met her up at the
hotel she had directed him to, she had hurriedly dorned on one of her sexiest
outfits, combed her hair and dabbed on some make up before leaving to meet him. Soluzo had taken some tranquilizers and was about to sleep when she left the house. As she was about
to leave the room, Soluzo had asked.
“Amaka, do you think that they
can ever be a future for myself and Odili especially after all this?”
“No baby….there cannot be.
Listen honey, he cheated on you and there’s every guarantee that he will
continue even after you guys get married. Besides, you had second thoughts about him, that’s why you are here. My advice to you is, cut off all communication
with him and cancel the wedding.”
“True…you are right dear…thanks Amaka…” Soluzo
had said and nestled her head on the pillow to sleep.
Now, as Amaka stood before a
very ragged looking Odili, she spoke softly.
“What would you like to drink?”
“Amaka honestly, I am not ready
for drinks, I would like to know where my wife and that fool of a man who
thinks he can appear from nowhere and elope with her is.” Odili said.
“Shhhhh…calm down dear. Have
you slept? There are bags under your eyes…” Amaka said in a concerned voice.
“No…I haven’t slept a wink
and I’m not going to….till I find Soluzo and that wimp and demand an explanation.”
Amaka shrugged and walked to
the bar where she took a drink and poured into two glasses, in one of the
glasses, she quietly threw a pill into it without Odili’s knowledge. She
watched as the pill dissolved and turning back to Odili, she handed over the
glass to him.
“I really don’t want to drink
anything…” Odili started.
“Trust me…you’ll need this! I
really have a lot to tell you and you can only overcome the truth of what I’m
about to say through this drink.”
Odili looked at her as though
trying to trust her, then he took the drink and forced it down his throat.
“Can we talk now?” Odili
started.
“You see, Odili…I’ve been
trying for so long to tell you that Soluzo isn’t the best person for you…she’s
been so bad to you and she’s been cheating on you with some guy….” Amaka
started.
“You said that over the
phone….please give me fresher news.” Odili started clearly irritated.
Odili’s phone chose that moment
to ring, he quickly picked the call.
“Hello, Uche…is everything
alright?” He asked.
“Odi…it’s mommy…she was
bitten by a snake…she’s been rushed to the hospital! Please can you come? We
are so devastated!” Uche, his sister cried.
“What? Mom? Bit by a snake?
What is happening? I’ll take the next bus to the village….please stay by her
side, don’t go anywhere.” Odili pleaded and cut the call.
“What happened?” Amaka asked in
a concerned voice.
“My mom….she was bitten by a
snake…I need to see her…I need to go to the village…” Odili said, feeling
a bit sluggish already.
“Are you okay…your eyes look
so weak.” Amaka started.
“I….I….gosh, I’m so
weak….I feel so sleepy…” Odili slurred.
“Sorry dear….please lie
down…”
“No…I have to be in the
village…I need to travel….I need to find Soluzo, I need an explanation…my
mom has just been bitten by a snake…I need…I need…” Odili said and fell
to the bed in a heap.
Amaka tiptoed to see if he was really asleep, then she nudged him a bit, calling out his name and when there was no reply, she rejoiced.

“Hahahahaha….my plan is
working! Oh my gosh! My plan is working!” Amaka whooped in delight.
She quickly shed Odili’s
clothes and by the time he was naked, she stripped as well and taking out her camera
from her bag, she set the timer and placed it on the television infront of the
bed, and joined Odili on the bed. The camera clicked
away as it took pictures of the nude Odili and Amaka cuddled together.
********

“What’s going to happen to her, doctor?” Uche, Odili’s sister asked.
“The snake is really poisonous
and so far, I can’t tell how far its poison has gone into her blood stream but  she’s currently on medication even though she’s
not responding well.” The doctor replied.
“Oh my God! Please help us doctor,
don’t let her die….” Uche cried.
“Are you the only family she’s
got?” The doctor asked.
“My dad is around but he had to
travel early this morning to my new sister-in-law’s village, my brother is on
his way and my other siblings are still quite young so, they are at home.”
“That’s okay…we can only hope
and pray.”
“Can I see her?” Uche asked.
“Sure…but please be
quiet…we don’t encourage loud cries as that can unnerve the patient.”
Uche nodded and headed down to
the hospital room where her mother was, she opened the door and stepped in
feeling so heart-broken. Her mother lay on the bed as pale and still as death.
Her face had lost all its colour and her body looked cold, the only assurance
she had that she was alive was the monitor at her side which was beeping.
“Mom…please get
well…please…” Uche sobbed silently.
The
mystic figure was there, watching and filling the room with its cloud of dark
smoke. It was so certain that Odili’s mother would not live to see the end of the
day.
**********

Nosa tried to sleep but couldn’t,
he kept seeing her eyes in his subconscious. They had spent the night digging
the grave at one of the lands Uyi owned at the outskirts of the town. Nosa had
asked himself so many questions even as he dug the earth where Cassandra was to
be buried.
‘What would Uyi tell his
daughter? Was there really an armed robber? Did Uyi kill his wife? Was Uyi
capable of murder?’
These and many more went
through his mind as shovel hit the earth, and as he rolled in Cassandra’s corpse into the earth and covered it with dirt, he felt numb. Uyi had broken down in tears and sobbed at a corner, while Nosa did all the dirty work.
Now, tossing and turning about
his bed, he had no idea of what the future held. The knock at his door startled
him and he quickly hurried to open it.
“Oga Uyi wants to see you.” The
maid said.
Nosa quickly followed her into
the large sitting room where Uyi sat on the sofa and the domestic staff stood
around, waiting to hear what he had to say to them.
“Nosa, please come and sit by
me.” Uyi said aloud.
Nosa walked over to Uyi and sat
beside him.
“From now on, Nosa is my right hand man,
if you need anything from me, you must go through Nosa. My wife Cassandra has left
this house, as you know, she was pregnant and she felt that the climate here
would affect the baby so, late last night, she had asked to be driven to the
airport hotel where she would wait for her flight to Lagos and from there,
leave for overseas.”
Nosa watched as Uyi lied to his
staff and wondered why he wasn’t telling them the truth about the robbery and eventual death of his wife.
“Life would continue as usual,
my daughter is with me so, I expect that the maids would continue to give her
the care she used to receive when her mother was around.” Uyi finished.
The domestic staff murmured their
thanks and left the sitting room.
“Nosa, I am giving you the
honour of being my right hand man…” Uyi said quietly.
“Thank you sir…”
“Please…as my right hand man,
you don’t need to call me sir, besides, it was my wife that insisted that you
gave me that sort of respect. I want you to know that from now on, we are
brothers. I also have some cash for you….please come with me.” Uyi said.
Nosa followed Uyi to the his
bedroom which was ever green in his memory as it was the crime scene. It was
the place where Cassandra had been murdered.
“Here is one million naira in
cash…it is yours to spend as you like.” Uyi said as he handed him a bag full
of money.
“I don’t know what to say…”
Nosa started, clearly speechless.
“Say thank you and please,
expect more…”
“Thank you sir…I
mean…Uyi…”
“You’re welcome and I hope I
don’t have to remind you to stick to the story…”
“Huh? Oh that….sure…yes…”
“You can go now!” Uyi said.
“Nosa nodded and carrying the
bag of money, he left the room.
Uyi watched him leave and
smiled, Nosa didn’t strike him as the hardened sort but even if he decided to
speak against him, he had his evidence. What Nosa didn’t know was that through
the processes of burying Cassandra, Uyi had been secretly filming him. Nosa had
been the one to carry her corpse single handedly and dump it into the ground
while Uyi had been pretending to be in a sorrowful mood when in actual fact, he
had a small camera with which he filmed him with. Just incase he decided to
have a loud mouth tomorrow, then, the tape would come in handy and Nosa would rot
in jail as he would release the video to the police.

Nosa entered his room and
closed the door behind him. Quietly, he zipped open the bag and stared at the
mint money, he didn’t feel elated or happy, instead he felt empty and sad. It
was as though he had blood on his hands.

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