Nosa felt his back hit the
trampoline below and he quickly let out a deep breath. All thanks to Uyi’s
penchant for trampolines, Nosa knew that if he had fallen on bare ground, it
would be instant death. He heard Uyi’s cry of rage and not sparing a moment, Nosa
quickly steadied himself on the trampoline and jumping down, he hurried off.
Instincts told him to head towards the gate but something else told him that
Uyi was going to run out through the gate in search of him so, he quickly
dashed into a corner and slid beneath one of Uyi’s cars, parked outside. Soon
after, Uyi ran out of the house, racing towards the gate and on reaching it, he
flung it wide open and headed outside, all the while shouting “Bastard!”.

Nosa panted heavily and
crouched low under the vehicle, praying inwardly, soon, he heard the suddenly
screech of tires and the loud sound of the brakes on metal, then a loud crash
followed.
‘What was happening?’ He
thought.
“Heeeeehhhhhhhh!” Uyi’s
gateman’s voice pierced through the whole house.
Nosa heard a vehicle pick
up its ignition and race off loudly.
“Heeehhh ooooo….Iye me!”
The gateman screamed louder.
Nosa quickly crawled out
from underneath the car where he lay and inched towards the main house. He
didn’t know what had happened but he needed to get out of the house as soon as
he could. Getting back into the house wasn’t the wisest decision in the world
but his bag contained his personal belongings including his original
certificate. He found his way into the house as the maids ran outside to see
the cause of the gate-man’s cry. Nosa hurried to his room, picked up his
belonging and was about to leave when he saw the bag of cash still in the
corner where he had left it earlier. He contemplated; should he or shouldn’t
he?
Suddenly, Nosa grabbed the
bag of money and along with his personal bag, he hurried out of the house
through the back door and headed to the backyard. Weeks ago, while Nosa had
been washing clothes at the back of the house, he had seen a small exit gate at
the back of the house, he never used to pay it heed but today, he was grateful
to know it exists. There was no sign of anyone in the house so, he seized the
opportunity, and headed towards the small gate. Thankfully, it wasn’t padlocked
so, he unlatched it and as soon as he stepped out, he saw a taxi cab. He
quickly got in.
*********
It was a beautiful Saturday
morning and as soon as Soluzo opened her eyes, she said the words ‘it is well’
and she meant it. There was so much hustle about her as some of her family members
were busily preparing for the ceremony which would start in about five hours.
Soluzo didn’t sit up immediately, she closed her eyes again and thanked God
sincerely for the gift of life. She had come so far, Odili too hasn’t been left
out. Life was making a new meaning to her and it was teaching her things, she
never thought existed. She removed all thoughts of Amaka from her mind and
concentrated on her prayers.
Last night as soon as
Soluzo and Odili arrived in Lagos, they went to a hotel which wasn’t too far
from the church. There, the couple booked different rooms for the night,
Soluzo’s mother and aunt were hands on as they made sure that everything was
ready. They had replaced Amaka’s part in the train with Soluzo’s immediate
younger sister, Chiejine who was so excited to finally be the maid of honour
after pressuring her big sister for a long time. The couple had also booked two
extra rooms in the hotel for the bridal train and groomsmen.
“Soluzo! Wake up! It’s time
to start getting prepared.” Her cousin said.
“Shh…let her be, I think
she’s praying.” Chiejine said.
“She looks like she’s
sleeping to me…” Her cousin said.
“Not every prayer requires
lip movement! Pharisee!” Chiejine said tauntingly.
Soluzo ended her prayer and
sat up, smiling at all the girls in the room. Some of them had spent the night
with her in the hotel while a few others had assembled at the hotel in the wee
hours of the morning.
“Good morning sunshine!”
Chiejine said and hurried to give her sister a kiss on the cheek.
“Good morning….” Soluzo
said.
There was a rap at the door
and Chiejine ran to answer it, it was room service with a special delivery.
“Guess who got a parcel?”
Chiejine said, with twinkling eyes.
Soluzo blushed and laughed.
“Bring it here jor…bring it
to the bride.” Her cousin said.
Chiejine handed the parcel to
Soluzo, it was addressed to ‘The Queen Of My Heart’
“Awwwww…..” Everyone said with
goofy eyes.
“Come on open it…” Chiejine
said aloud.
Soluzo opened the parcel
and inside was a beautiful rose, a gold coloured bible and a beautiful pendant,
there was a note attached and it read.
‘I don’t think I’ve
ever felt like this before, I don’t think I have enough words… but I know that
I am so grateful. To have you as mine, to bask in the promises of God that our
love will weather whatever storm that may come and to know that through thick
or thin, we’ll always be together. This parcel bears three gifts and no, they
do not sum up my love for you. They are just a reflection of a drop of how I
feel right now. Red rose symbolizes my undying love, the bible is the word of
God that will forever be in our hearts and the pendant is a beautiful accessory
I thought you should have. I love you, Soluzo, you are everything I dream of
and much more…
The letter was signed
Odili.
Soluzo felt so misty eyed,
she wiped the tears with the back of her palms and placing the letter back into
its case, she handed it to her sister for safe keeping.
Then, the preparations
began.
*******
It was a day after he
escaped from Uyi’s house that he heard the news. He was seated in the sitting
room of his aunt’s house at Ugbiyoko, recounting the scenes and all that had
happened the day before.
As soon as he had gotten
into the taxi, he had made a call to his mother, hurriedly telling her that his
life was in danger and that he feared going home to her because he might be
fished out. He didn’t tell her about Uyi and all he secrets his so-called
friend hid from the eyes of the world but he had asked her to send him his aunt’s
address and tell her that he was on his way to her place.
Uyi had arrived at his aunt’s
place in less than an hour, after paying the taxi driver, he carried his bag of
clothes and bag of money into his aunt’s house. His mother’s eldest sister was
a widow who had lost her husband years ago, her children were not in town so it
was practically the old woman, alone in her house and a few helps. She welcomed
him well and showed him a room where he was to lay his head. As soon as Nosa
had entered the room, he dropped the bags in the wardrobe and falling on the
bed, he closed his eyes in sleep. The next time he opened his eyes, it was
morning already.
That afternoon, while Nosa
was contemplating on what to do and where to go, his mother came to visit him.
“Ma pikin…u dey alright?”
His mother asked him.
“I am fine…I am just so
glad that I am alive…mama…all that glitter is not gold ooo…” Nosa said.
“Uyi don die…” Nosa’s
mother said quickly with tears in her eyes.
“What? Uyi? No! He’s alive!”
Nosa said quickly.
His mother shook his head
silently.
“Na yesterday for night…I
dey for inside house…ooo…jeje. Mama Amanda come cry enter my room, she talk
say, she hearsay Uyi die. I talk say, na lie, how Uyi go die like dat? She talk
say na im gateman and driver drive come compound, say dem dey find road to Uyi
papa house make dem tell dem de news. The gateman talk say, he dey him post
jeje ooo…na so Uyi run from house like say dem dey pursue am and as he comot
for gate, motor wey dey for speed nack am down. Na so he die and the worst
thing be say, the driver wey nack am disappear like spirit. Dem carry him pikin
for inside de motor sef…” His mother said. “You know say na sake of say, Uyi
too dey visit our compound, na im dem think say im papa and mama dey our
compound.”
“What? Uyi?” Nosa said in
shock. He suddenly realized that the noise he had heard while he was hidden
under the car and the loud shouts of the gateman were not in vain.
Uyi was dead, he felt so
bad that his life ended that way but, it was either Nosa’s life or Uyi’s. Nosa
knew that if Uyi didn’t die, he’d hunt him down but now that he was dead, he
was free and good news is, he was one million naira richer.
********
Amaka had stayed up all
night till the priestess arrived at her house. The priestess arrived looking
like every other woman on the street. She really mastered the art of camouflage
because her queer facial marks were nowhere to be seen, even Amaka hardly recognized
her. As soon as she walked into the house she sat down on the sofa and demanded
for water. Amaka hurried to bring it for her and quickly asked.
“Where is my mother?”
“She is dead.” The
priestess said.
“What? What? My mother is
what?” Amaka said falling to the ground in a heap.
“Pull yourself together.”
The priestess advised.
“Pull myself together? Do
you know what you are saying?” Amaka cried aloud.
“You have to be strong…”
“Where is her body? What
killed her?” Amaka cried.
“Soluzo and Odili!” The
priestess said.
“What?”
“Yes, the couple killed
her. Your mother had gone to make the ultimate sacrifice but your friend Soluzo
and her husband to be, called upon their God and he killed your mother!”
“Huh?” Amaka said in shock.
“Amaka…you must pull
yourself together. Now, we are not only waging a war against the couple because
we don’t want them to be together. We are waging a war against the couple
because they have killed your mother.” The priestess said in anger.
“Oh no! Oh no! Mummy! Mummy
where are you?” Amaka cried.
“Are you listening to me?
We are going to wage a war to avenge your mother’s death.”
Amaka tearfully nodded, she
was still crying.
“Show me to a room where I
will prepare the charms for tomorrow. The priestess said.
Soluzo pointed at a door
and bent her head to cry, the priestess stood up and walked out of the sitting
room.
*******
“Dearly Beloved, we are
gathered together to join in holy matrimony this couple, Odili Michael and
Soluzo Francisca.” The priest was saying.
Seated in the crowd was
Odili’s parents, Soluzo’s parents and well-wishers, Odili’s mother stared at
her son and his bride in pride. She had rubbed a saint Michael’s oil on their
foreheads and on the car that had brought them to the church. Now, seated on one
of the pews, she was happy, there was nothing under the face of the earth that
would stop this wedding, she thought.
*******
Amaka and the priestess
arrived at the church as soon as the wedding mass started. Amaka heard the
priest call the name of the couple to be wedded as the microphone speakers were
loud enough that those outside the church gate could hear what was going on.
“So…Soluzo and Odili went
on with this wedding even after all we did ehn?” Amaka asked herself aloud.
“Never underestimate people.”
The priestess said quickly.
The church security opened
the gate for Amaka to drive in but as soon as the car reached the gate, it
stopped.
“What’s happening? I
serviced this car not too long ago, why did it stop?” Amaka said hysterically.
“Aha
ah…what could be happening?” The priestess asked.
“Madam…what
happened?” The security asked.
“My car suddenly
stopped…” Amaka said.
“Are you here for the
wedding?” The security asked.
“Yes…what else would
I be here for?” Amaka retorted.
The security took in her
dressing, she didn’t look too wedding-ready, she was dressed in a denim trouser
and a slightly faded blouse.
“You are going to
block the road ooo…” The security said.
“What do you want me
to do, fly? The car doesn’t want to move.” She said.
“Okay…I’ll call the
guys so that we can push it in…” The security said signaling to the
other security men.
“Thank you.”
Amaka said.
Two men walked up to
Amaka’s car, she turned off the ignition and turned it on again. She held the
gear and pushed it to drive but the gear didn’t budge.
“Madam…put the gear
in neutral.” The security man was saying to her.
“I was trying to see
if it could drive but I can’t even change gears…oh gosh!” Amaka
exclaimed as she pushed the gear again and it still couldn’t move. She tried
pulling it back to reverse and the gear shifted.
Amaka found that the car
could indeed work but it could only reverse and not move forward so she pushed
the gear to neutral and asked the men to push it. The men pushed it forward to
no avail as  the car sat as still as a
heavy rock.
“Na wah ooo…dis woman go
cause traffic for here ooo…” They said.
The security men moved to
the front of the car and tried pushing it backwards, the car moved.
“No! Stop! I want to go
inside the church and not stay outside!” Amaka screamed.
“That’s the only way the
car can move ma…” The security man said while he helped the other men push the
car backwards to a safe distance from the church.
“Let’s park the car here
and get in, we have no time to waste, immediately the father pronounces them as
man and wife, it is all over.” The Priestess said.
The priestess alighted from
the car, made some small incantations and entered the church. Amaka turned off
her ignition, and followed the priestess into the church.
“Ah…everywhere is too hot…”
Amaka complained, she looked at the sky but the sun wasn’t out yet.
“Follow me closely, these people came prepared.” The Priestess said.
Amaka couldn’t stand the
heat, she could feel herself boil and it was a though she was in a huge pot of
soup.
“I can’t stand this heat any
longer…haba! What’s happening?” Amaka asked.
The priestess turned to
face her and placed her right hand on her forehead, saying some words.
“Wow…what happened? I feel
much better…” Amaka said.
“They invoked the angel of
battle!” The priestess said, looking around suspiciously.
“You look strange…” Amaka
said quickly.
“Strange? How?” The
priestess asked, she was already shaking like a leaf.
“Your face is growing
wrinkled….your skin too…” Amaka said in fear, she too was already feeling hot
again.
“We have no time to waste,
let’s go into the church, they are about to say their wedding vows.”
The microphone could be
heard from inside the church as Soluzo was saying.
“I Soluzochukwu Fransica,
take you Odili Michael, to be my lawfully wedded husband…”
“The vows! They are taking
the vows! We need to hurry!” Amaka said.
“Where is the door to the
church? I need to get in and blow in my enchanter and it will all be over!” The
priestess shouted.
The two women spent ten
minutes running round the church, looking for the doors. The doors were open
but somehow in their eyes, there were no doors as the church seemed to be
encased in huge strong walls.
Odili’s mother was taking
pictures with her tablet when the parading duo caught her eye. ‘Isn’t that Amaka?’
She almost said aloud as she watched Amaka hurry off with a strange looking woman.
The priest finally said.
“With the power vested in
me as a priest of Christ’s holy church, I now pronounce you, man and wife. What
God has joined, let no man divide!”
It was as though a searing
hot fire went through Amaka’s chest, she let out a howl and fell to the ground
in pain as soon as she heard the pronouncement. The priestess started screaming
out words and running about the church in frenzy, she suddenly started
scratching her body and hitting off invisible ants from crawling over her.
The congregation of the
church clapped their hands at the union of the couple while those determined to
put asunder the union, fought the pains of hell outside.
Church dismissed twenty
minutes later and when everyone came outside to take pictures, they saw Amaka
lying on the ground, looking burnt while the woman beside her kept slapping
herself and speaking inaudibly.
“Amaka!” Soluzo’s mother
shouted as she stared at Amaka on the ground.
Soluzo and Odili walked out
of the church hand in hand and was shocked at what they saw.
“Soluzo…I am jealous of you…you
had everything…I had to destroy it…” Amaka shouted as soon as she saw Soluzo.
Soluzo stared at her once
pretty friend, she looked burnt and very horrific, Soluzo hardly recognized her.
“Amaka? What did I do to
deserve this?” Soluzo asked with tears in her eyes.
“Nothing! You did nothing
to me! You were a good friend to me but I couldn’t bear to see you happy! I
wanted to be married too…I wanted to arrrghhhh…” Amaka started and screamed as
some kind of pain seared through her body.
“Where is the security?
Take them away! This is a church and a wedding is still going on. We still have
pictures to take and a ceremony at the hall. We don’t need these revelations.”
Soluzo’s father shouted in anger, he too had heard of the things Amaka had put
Odili and Soluzo through.
“Soluzo! Soluzo!” Amaka
screamed as one man hurriedly dragged her to her feet and pushed her towards
the gate.
The priestess jumped to her
feet and ran out of the church, Amaka shouted, calling out Soluzo’s name. She
suddenly began to undress herself and laugh loudly as though, senile.
People watched in shock as
the security men escorted her out of the church compound while she kept
speaking to herself and laughing. Many crossed themselves while others snapped
their fingers over their heads and spat on the ground.
Soluzo felt crushed, she
couldn’t believe what her eyes saw, ‘Amaka! How? When? Who is this person? She
asked herself. She was still staring when Odili tugged her hand and gestured
that they go to take pictures, she quickly followed him.
**********

Nosa invested his one
million naira in a business which he started off in Warri, he rented a shop and
bought equipment for a business center. Soon, his business expanded as it grew
from one shop to two shops. Uyi was buried within a week of his death, his wife’s
brother found his way to Nigeria and took his niece back with him to her mother’s
country. Stephen and the gang attended the burial and life continued, Nosa
never set sight on them again. Uyi was owing the bank a lot of money so, his
assets were confiscated and some of his properties seized. All the events of
Nosa’s life made him value freedom and work hard towards achieving set goals
and objectives, he no longer envied people or their successes because he had no
idea of what they did to get so rich. Uyi’s wealth had taught him a lot.
Amaka ran mad as soon as
she left the church and by the time her family came looking for her, she was
already dancing at the markets. She was placed in an institution for the
mentally derailed and she spent donkey years there. Her family never saw Amaka’s
mother and had no idea of where she could be, they assumed that she might have
been kidnapped.
Soluzo and Odili started
their family and soon welcomed their first child into the world, Odili’s mother
named the baby, ‘Kachiside’ which means ‘As God has written, so shall it be’.
In other words, life is a
mystery and even though we battle principalities, demons and evil powers, we
must put God first, trusting fully that once God says YES, then it’s yes all
the way!
The End!
Did you enjoy the end? I
bet you did!
I love you guys for reading!

New Season for Black Mail
begins on Sunday (God Willing)

16 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here