The black mamba slithered  through the bushes, its tongue flicked as it moved, dancing around the ground on its belly and heading towards its victim.
It was a bright morning and Odili’s mother was just coming from her sister-in-law’s
house when she felt the strike on her leg, then several strikes followed, she yelped in pain and fell to the
ground, rolling around the dusty brown road.

She hadn’t seen it coming and the road was deserted as it was still the early hours of the morning, she felt the venom seep into her body and felt herself grow weak.
It was the morning after Soluzo’s disappearance and she had
gone to her husband’s brother’s house which was within the neighbourhood in the
village to speak with his wife on Soluzo’s sudden disappearance. Odili had returned to Lagos yesterday afternoon to search for his wife after calling to inquire about her whereabouts
from her parents only to be told that they had no idea of where their daughter
was.
As she rolled on the ground in pain, she felt herself
growing numb as she knew that the poison of the snake was taking effect on her
body. Suddenly she felt hands lift her up from the ground and screams of ‘help’
from the person but at that time, she had already lost consciousness.
*******

Soluzo sat in Amaka’s sitting room and sipped her tea, Amaka
walked out of the room and joined her in the sitting room.
“Aren’t you going to work today?” Soluzo asked in between
sips.
“Yes I am but I really don’t have much to do so…I’ll be
here for a bit…I’ll go later…” Amaka supplied.
Soluzo wanted to say something like ‘I thought you had a
busy schedule that’s why you refused to attend my traditional wedding but she
didn’t say anything,  instead she sipped
her tea again.
“So what’s up? What have you decided?” Amaka asked.
“I am so grateful to you for making it back home last night,
you really came home quite late.” Soluzo said.
“Yea…I worked hard at work last night….at the
office….that’s the reason I am not going there early today…” Amaka lied, she had actually left for Lagos from the village yesterday.
Soluzo nodded and sipped her tea again.
“So what’s the plan?” Amaka asked again.
“I really don’t know….I love him…I mean…I really don’t
understand what made me run away from him yesterday and he’s been calling
because I’ve been seeing loads of missed calls from him and my family but I
have not been picking….” Soluzo said with a sob.
“Don’t worry dear it’s going to be fine. Odili never
deserved you anyway…he’s been cheating on you all these while but I couldn’t
tell you because I knew you’d be hurt.” Amaka said.
“Really? He’s been cheating on me? How come? When?”
“There’s this girl I used to see him with…she’s really
light-skinned and she is curvaceous too. I know that they are madly in love
with each other but he stuck to you because you have been dating him for a
while now.” Amaka lied.
“What? Odili has been cheating on me? I guess I need to call
him and tell him that it’s really over and expose him for the cheat that he
is…” Soluzo said.
“Noo….that won’t be necessary. You’ve left him and that’s
what matters….don’t go back to your vomit…that’s not nice.” Amaka said.
“Really? Okay then.” Then standing up from the sofa she said
to Amaka. “I’ll be inside the room, just incase you need me.”
“Okay dear…get some rest okay…”
As soon as Soluzo disappeared, Amaka quickly brought out her
phone and dialled Odili’s number. Odili picked the call almost immediately.
“Hello…Odi…how are you doing?” Amaka asked in a concerned voice.
“Amaka…have you seen your friend? I am even about to leave
for you house right now! I am so upset that she disappeared from the village
like that. I have been to her aunt’s place this morning and she’s not there…I
am so confused.”
“Calm down Odili…I know where she is…” Amaka said.
“You do? Where is she? Where is my wife?” Odili asked.
“Odili I hate to break this news to you but Soluzo is in her
boyfriend’s house…she called me to tell me that she’s eloped with her true love. I don’t know where they are but….” Amaka said.
“What? My Soluzo! What boyfriend?”
“I wanted to tell you but…I couldn’t…I thought that I
would be breaking her trust in our friendship…but now, seeing as she left
your house in the village, I feel that I should have told you sooner.”  Amaka said in a broken voice.
“I can’t believe it….I don’t believe that my Soluzo would
ever do that to me…” Odili denied.
“I am her best friend remember? And I cannot lie about
something like this…” Amaka said.
“Where are you right now? I need to see you…I need to
understand all that you are telling me. Are you at your house?”
“Err…no I’m not….I am actually at a hotel…you see…I
lost my house keys so…I had to stay overnight in a hotel close to my office.
You can come there as I am not going to be at work today.”
“Okay…please send me the address via text message…I’ll be there in a
jiffy!” Odili said.
As soon as Amaka hung up the call, she whooped in delight
and hurried into her room to quickly change her clothes.
*******

Nosa stood before Uyi and stared at the ground, he had been
contemplating on what he’s say to his friend even though he knew he might end up stammering. 
Uyi was on the phone barking orders to someone and it was
quite obvious that he wasn’t in a good mood, as soon as he hung up the call, he
turned to stare at Nosa.
“If you have come to complain, please go away, I have bigger
things on my mind.” Uyi said hastily.
“Oga Uyi, I need a favour from you…you see…I have not
been doing anything with my life and I really need to get out of your
favours…I mean…I don’t mean it that way but I need you to help me…err…I
need some money from you…money which will enable me set up my business…”
“Hahahahahahahaha…..”Uyi laughed. “Hahahahahahahahahha”
“I don’t mean to be funny….” Nosa started.
“Will you shut up?” Uyi barked. “Do you think I pick money
on trees? I work hard to make money!”
“Well…could you introduce me to your business? Please…”
Nosa said quickly.
“Introduce you? You want to join my business? Do you have
two point five million naira capital?” Uyi said to Nosa and when he saw that
Nosa was shocked at the amount he had mentioned, he continued, “ Yes, two point
five million naira! That’s the exact amount I put into my empire and I watered
it till it grew….so, if you are ready to bring it, welcome to the club but if
you aren’t then, cut your cloth according to your size.”
“Oga Uyi, you know that I don’t have that kind of money…I
…I …don’t have that kind of money…how do I get it?” Nosa said in a shaky
voice.
“Hmmm….that’s for you to figure out and as for the loan
you asked, don’t bother counting on me for it…I don’t have any money right
now.” Uyi said.
“I didn’t mean that you should loan me the money….I
actually meant that you should help me out with the money….” Nosa said.
“You fool! You ungrateful pig! How dare you? Get out of my
house now! Go pack your things and get the hell out!” Uyi screamed.
Nosa had never seen Uyi this way before, he shivered and
fell to his knees in plea. He knew that pride couldn’t let him go back to
poverty and neither could he return to his mother’s house, he recoiled when he
thought of the shameful gossip from the neighbours.
“Oga Uyi…abeg…I take God beg you…I am on my knees, please
forget that I asked…I am pleading…just let me stay…I won’t complain
again…I beg of you…” Nosa pleaded.
“Get out of my sight..now!” Uyi ordered.
Nosa scampered off in fright, he reached his room in less than
thirty seconds and shutting the door behind him he placed his hands on his head
and breathed fast.
*******

Uyi and Sandra were screaming at each other, they were both
in their bedroom, lunging at each other in anger.
“How dare you accuse me? If my brother decides that he’s
tired of doing business with you, what have I got to do with it?” Sandra
screamed at her husband.
“It’s your fault! It’s all your fault you stupid b**ch! You
called him and told him to cut me off and that’s why he gave this business that’s
supposed to land me millions to another!” Uyi screamed at her.
“Then I guess he doesn’t trust you!” His wife shouted.
Uyi raised his hand and gave her a loud slap her cheek.
Sandra fell to the ground in a heap.
“What? How dare you?” Sandra screamed as she stood from the
ground and lunged at him.

Uyi pushed her away from him and she fought back, using her
nails to tear his skin, she hurried to the side of the room and picked up the
fancy table lamp and lurched it at him. It landed on his arm and Uyi quickly
pulled open his drawer, took a knife from its confines and threw it at her. It
hit her squarely on the chest and Cassandra opened her mouth in shock as the
pain of the knife went through her. Uyi stood there and stared at her, watching
her grope about for support. Cassandra cried in pain and fell to the ground in
a dead heap.

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