Queen was literally drowning in her own tears, she stood and watched as Zach lifted Jessica into his arms and took her outside. It all felt like a terrible dream, a nightmare that she was bound to wake up from.
“Oh God! What have I gotten myself into? If I don’t report this…I will be termed an accomplice.” She cried.
A while later, Zach walked back into the house.
“She’s already in the booth of my car. Now, listen carefully, we are going to drive her to an unknown location and drop her off there.” He said. “All that has happened stays between us.”
“What really happened to her, Zach? Tell me the truth. Did you hit her with a hard object? Did you manhandle her?”
“What do you take me for? A murderer? Look darling, we are in this together so, there’s no use asking what killed her, all you need to think of are ways to get her out of our hands.”
“I’m not going with you. Who do I leave Junior with? Have you forgotten that he’s inside his bedroom?” She said in a shaky voice.
“He is asleep.” Zach said.
“No, he’s not…I’m sure he’s not and I can’t leave him here all by himself.”
“What then do you propose? That we take a four year old child with us?”
“I propose that you take her yourself, while I stay here with Junior.” Queen spat.
“I will do no such thing. Do you think I’m stupid? I need to keep an eye on you, Queen because I don’t trust you. I know that you can’t wait to open your big mouth and shout the whole truth to the neighbours.”
“What truth? Do I even know what happened to her? What happened to her Zach?” Queen asked again.
“I am not going to drag this issue with you anymore…listen to me Queen, it’s either you come with me or I’ll make sure that I take your son from you.”
“You won’t do that…Zach…please…” She said in fear.
“I’ll go check to see if Junior is asleep, in the meantime, I need you to go out to the car and wait for me.” He said. “If you as much as say a word to anyone, I swear, I’ll take Junior away from you.”
Queen watched him leave and began to cry.
Zach got to the car and saw Queen standing by it with a frightened look on her face.
“Wipe that look off your face, Queen!” He spat at her.
“Is Junior asleep?”
“Not yet but we are killing time….we need to get going.”
“But…he’s not asleep…Zach, he will be scared.”
“We will be back soon, besides, I gave him his tablet to play his games.” Zach said quickly. “Now, get into the car and stop whining.”
Queen nodded and got into the car while Zach got into the driver’s seat. As they left, Queen closed her eyes and breathed heavily.
Ella felt so bad that she had refused to join in her husband’s happiness but his attitude was getting to her. All that Lawrence had told her about herself and also, what Lola had said to her kept nagging at her. Was it true? She thought. Was her husband trying to get his hands on all she had? She loved Jacob and marrying him had taken a lot of work as she had had to persuade her parents that he was indeed, a good man.
She sat up in bed and looked at the clock on the wall, the time was seventeen minutes past eleven pm. Where was he? She wondered. Where in the world was her husband. She got off the bed and wore her slippers, then stepped out of the bedroom. The house was quiet and the entrance door was still unlocked, meaning that he was still outside the house. Ella became frantic with worry, she didn’t know whom to call. She dialled his brother’s number but it was switched off, she dialled his friend, Lukemon’s number but it was switched off as well. She began to pace her small sitting room. After waiting for about five extra minutes, she rushed into her bedroom and wore her clothes. She was intent on going out to search for him.
Zach drove the car down the highway and as he drove, he hit the accelerator hard, he was scared because he didn’t want to see any of the authorities so he’d taken different routes and whenever he saw a police van, he turned around and fled.
Queen was tired of the drive, it was already taking too long to get to their destination and she was worried about her son. As her husband drove the car, she spied him from the corner of her eyes and wondered how she had found herself married to a mad man. From all that had happened, she knew that she had no idea of who her husband was. He was not the man she thought she’d married. He’d cooked up stories about her for Jessica and he’d concocted stories about Jessica.
“Damn!” Zach said and stepped on the brakes.
Queen looked ahead and saw some policemen with torch lights standing by the side of the road. The car was already close to them so there was no way that they could turn around.
“Be calm, act normal.” Zach said, more to himself than to her. “These policemen are sneaky…they turned off their torch lights and as soon as I got close they turned them on.”
The policemen waved the car down with their torch lights and indicated that he wound down the window.
“Good evening officer.” Zach said with a very wide smile to an officer who approached his window.
“Sir, can I see your driver’s license?”
Zach pushed a shaky hand into the pigeon hole of his car and withdrew his wallet. He opened the wallet and brought out the license.
“I am a good citizen of the country.” Zach said, trying to be humorous. “I love my father land.”
The officer didn’t speak, he looked at the license and handed it back to him.
“Open your booth.”
“Sir?” Zach squeaked.
“Don’t waste my time, please open your booth.”
“Sir…my wife and I have to rush to the hospital, our daughter had an accident and we were called at this time to go to her.” He said.
Queen’s head snapped at the lie. The officer looked at Zach and at Queen who was staring ahead at the road.
“I would have loved to open the booth lid but it’s damaged and I’ll have to get out of the car and force it open, then after you’re done with your search, I’ll have to close it again…sir…” Zach said.
“I don’t know what you are talking about mister man, I demand that you open that booth now.” The officer said.
Two other officers walked up to the officer and stood by the driver seat window.
“Good evening sir.” One of the officers greeted Zach.
“Well-done officer…” Zach greeted shakily.
“I am asking him to open his car booth and he is giving excuses.” The officer said to his fellow officers.
“Oga, what is your excuse?” The second officer asked Zach.
“Sir, I would love to open my booth but my daughter was involved in an accident and she was rushed to the clinic. Look at my wife, you can ask her and she’ll verify it. My booth has some problems and opening it is not as easy as it seems. If I step out of the car to open it, it will take so much time to close it again. I am a responsible man, and I have never had any problems with the police. Please accept my explanations…I beg of you.” Zach said.
“Hmmmm….” The second officer said, and then regarded Queen. “Sorry ooo…madam..I hope your daughter gets well soon.”
“Thank you.” Queen said quickly, just realizing that she’s been holding her breath.
“Can we go now?” Zach asked.
“Yes…go ahead but you have to drop something for our work.” The second officer said.
Zach pushed his hand into his pocket and brought out a thousand naira note which he gave to the officers. They accepted in thanks and he drove away.
“That was close!” Zach said as soon as they left the police men. “You are just so useless ehn, so you couldn’t even lend a voice to mine when the officer demanded that we open the booth. If I go down, you go down too or don’t you know that?”
Queen didn’t respond, she turned away from him and stared out the window.
Lola stood in the darkness and waited, she was about to set the trap and wanted desperately for Jacob to fall into it. She had tailed him from the house to the bar on the next street and she could tell that he was very upset. He drank non-stop at the bar and kept shouting at the top of his lungs on how useless his wife was.
“My wife! That woman is a disgrace to me….can…you believe that …I married a millionaire’s daughter? But…she’s an akagum…her hands are too tight….she has refused to help me build my life. How much is five million naira? That’s her tissue paper money….but she won’t bring it…she’s too stingy…she’s an akagum.” He shouted for all to hear.
A lady walked up to Lola and tapped her on her shoulder.
“Dem say you dey find ashawo.” The lady said chewing a gum loudly.
“Yes…” Lola said, bringing out her purse and shoving some notes into the palms of the lady.
The prostitute looked at the money in pleasure and nodded.
“Wetin you want make I do?”
“You see dat man wey dey for inside bar so?” Lola breathed.
“Dat one wey wia white shirt…”
“No, na de one wey wear blue shirt…” Lola said pointing at Jacob’s direction.
“Okay I don see am.”
“I want make you go to am….I nor want make una do de do for hotel ooo…instead, una go use back of bar.”
“Na correct place be dat.” The prostitute said. “The back na wia we dey nack steady.”
Lola nodded and the lady went ahead. She felt lucky that Jacob had decided to make her job easier by stepping out of the house when he did and also, going to the bar. She had been thinking of ways to lure him out of the house in order to send a woman after him but luckily for her, he’d stepped out of his house on his own. As soon as the lady made her way towards the bar, Lola dialled Ella’s number.
Zach stopped the car beside the bushes, they had driven all the way towards the outskirts of Lagos.
“This is the best place to dump her.” Zach said turning off the engine of the car.
“Isn’t this place scary? I don’t think it’s wise to drop her here. I thought you said that you’d drop her where people can see her. If you keep her body here, it’ll have started decaying before people see her.”
“And how’s that any of my business? I have decided to drop her here and my decision is final besides, people would think that she was knocked down or killed by a moving vehicle. No one would link this back to us.”
“Back to us? Zach, I am not a part of this, I am just tagging along because you forced me to besides you brought all this upon yourself. If you’d been transparent from the start, none of this would happen.”
Zach turned to look at her with rage in his eyes.
“Do you think that if I’d told you that I wanted a second wife, you’d have willingly agreed to it?”
“No, I wouldn’t have but you should have been transparent, now see what you’ve brought upon yourself. Her death will forever be on your conscience.” Queen spat.
“We are in this together!” Zach fired at her. “If you as much as breathe a word of this to anyone, I will take Junior away from you forever. I have the power to do that and you know it.”
Queen didn’t speak.
“Come out of the car and let’s dispose her body quickly before someone sees us.” He said.
They both alighted from the car and made their way to the booth. Zach looked around before pushing his keys into the keyhole of the booth. He unlocked the booth and opened it up. He gasped in surprise.
The booth was empty.
“Where is she? Where is Jessica?” Zach asked in disbelief.
“Wherr….where…could…she have go…ooone to?” Queen stammered.
Zach slammed the door of the booth hard and dragged Queen by her hair, pulling her towards the booth and shoving her against it.
“Where is she dammit?” He spat.
“I don’t know! I swear I don’t know…” Queen wailed.
“Shhh…keep your voice down!” Zach whispered.
“I don’t know…I didn’t see you take her out of the house and place her into the booth of your car. Are you sure that you placed her in your car booth?” Queen asked shakily.
“I did…I put her in my car booth…I used my keys so it had to be my car…what in the world happened?” Zach asked still unsure if what was happening was real or a dream.
“I honestly don’t know…” Queen wept.
Zach dragged his wife into the car and shut the door, then got into the driver’s seat and started the car. He couldn’t believe it.
Where in the world was Jessica’s body?
To be continued next week…..