“Why do we have to move?” Queen asked her husband.
“Honey, I have explained it to you several times, I want you to be safe. When that crazy woman comes here again, I don’t want you to be here. I know what I’m talking about. Jessica is so obsessed with me and I have to make sure we cut all ties especially now that I’ve told her that I’m not her husband and I won’t have her stalking me.” He said.
“I will not scamper off like a frightened rabbit. If Jessica comes here to confront me, I will face her squarely and not hide like a coward.” Queen insisted stubbornly.
“Queen, I don’t know you this way…in fact, you’ve seemed to have changed. Where’s the wife who listened to me and tried to do everything I asked her to?”
“That wife doesn’t exist anymore especially after she found that her husband had a woman who parades herself as his wife.”
Zach scratched his head in confusion, Queen was proving to be a tougher nut to crack than Jessica and he’d initially thought that Jessica would be the tough one.
“I need you to trust me…” He said looking at her.
“I don’t want to move away from this place. I like this house, the location and everything.” She said.
“I will find a better house.”
“You haven’t found a house yet…” She said.
“We will stay in a hotel for the meantime.” He said.
“A hotel? How can you say that? I hate hotels, not after the long weeks I spent there when I first moved to Lagos.” She said.
“Honey, please don’t make things difficult for me. If you won’t move because you feel that you can face Jessica, then, think of our son. What if she tries to harm him?”
“I’ll cut her if she does that.” Queen said with anger in her eyes.
“My darling, I am here to protect you and that’s why I want you to listen to me and move to a location where she can never find you.” He said.
“That’s the same thing as hiding.” She said. “Besides, even if I move, she knows my office…in fact, we work in the same place. She has my phone number and my email address. Moving is not the point here…”
Zach looked at her.
“Moving is not the only thing you’ll have to do. I need you to resign from your job, change your phone number and destroy the former sim card, I also need you to change your email.”
Queen’s mouth stood ajar, she stared at her husband in disbelief.
Jessica’s sister stared at her as she pushed her feet into her slippers. Jessica was seated on the hospital bed while her sister stood beside her and stared at her. Her brother opened the door and walked in.
“The doctor says that you are supposed to rest while at home. You are not to go to work or stress yourself.” He said.
“Jude, c’mon, I’m not a baby.” Jessica said to her brother with a smile.
“Well…I’m just telling you what the doctor said. You should apply for a leave from the office, besides, you’ve already called in sick.”
“I don’t think I need to apply for a leave.” Jessica said.
“Why’s that? You’re still not properly healed. Your back is still bandaged and your stitches are still fresh. You can’t just jump back to work like that.”
“I know but there’s good news….I mean…it’s been on the table for quite a while now but I didn’t agree until he brought it up again.” Jessica said.
Her siblings stared at her as though she was talking gibberish.
“What are you saying?” Her sister asked her.
“My hubby wants to start a new business for me, he asked me to do some research and give him an estimate for a good business that I could get into.” Jessica said.
“What? A business? Why?”
“Zach says that he wants to keep me safe…”
“Safe from who?” Jude asked.
“His crazy ex-wife of course…” Jessica said.
“I can’t believe you’re still gullible over all your husband said to you.” Her sister said.
“What do you mean by that?” Jessica asked.
Jude sat beside Jessica and held her hands in his.
“I’m sorry to say this but that story seems like a basket with lots of holes.” He said.
“What are you saying?” Jessica laughed. “Zach was married before, I know he didn’t tell me but he had a good reason to keep it a secret.”
“Look, Jessica, many men lie and I’m not sure Zach has been totally honest with you. I think there’s more to the story than he’s told you.” Her sister said.
Jessica quickly snatched her hands from her brother’s grasp.
“What is wrong with you guys? Right from the first day you met Zach, none of you ever approved of him. Anytime he comes over to the family house, you guys criticise. I get it! I get that you are jealous that even despite my irrational attitude, I got the best man any woman could ask for but please keep your opinions to yourself and stop trying to paint my husband in a bad light!”
“We are not doing that…” Her sister said calmly. “I just want you to think of things properly. If you had not found out about Queen, would he have told you anything? If you ask me, Zach is trying to have his cake and eat it.”
“Sister is right Jess, something doesn’t sound right with his story and I feel that you need to listen to the other woman’s side before jumping to conclusions. You told us that you worked together and that she told you things about her family. Think back to those things she shared with you and see if your husband is really telling the truth. Better still, look for her and have a heart to heart talk with her.” Jude said.
“Don’t you guys get it? Queen is blackmailing Zach with his son by refusing to give him a divorce but he’s working hard on divorcing her…in fact, the whole thing is in court. How many times do I explain this to you?” Jessica started.
The door opened and Zach walked in with a wide smile fit for toothpaste advertorial.
“How’s my sweetest honey pot?” He asked.
Jessica beamed in smiles and held out her hands to hug him.
“We’ll be leaving now…remember what the doctor said.” Her sister said quickly and left the room while their brother followed closely behind.
Zach sat on the bed beside Jessica and turned to look at her.
“What’s wrong? Is anything the matter? They didn’t even say hi…”
“Don’t bother about them, they’re worried about me…that’s all.” She smiled. “So tell me, how was the new site visit? I hope you were able to catch up with the surveyors?”
“Yes, I was ….I hope I didn’t stay out for too long.” He said.
“Of course you didn’t…I understand that your work takes you away for long periods of time. You are a very busy man.” She said with a smile.
Zach smiled at her, he wished that Queen could be a little more like Jessica.
Ella shot off the bed in anger, she looked at Lola and disbelief was written on her features.
“How dare you?” She fired.
Lola looked at her in silence.
“After all I did to save your pathetic ass, you talk rubbish about my husband?”
“Na de truth I dey tell you.” Lola stammered.
“Do you know what? I want you out of my house…in fact, I don’t want you in my house. The doctors have discharged you so you’d better leave.”
“Sister Ella, na de truth I dey tell you. Jacob nor be better pesin and de thing wey push am to marry you na ya money.”
“Will you shut up? I should have known better than to get you out of the mess you got yourself into.” Ella half-screamed.
“I must to talk truth or I nor go rest. Na because of the bad thing wey I be wan do you naim make my pikin die for inside belle.” Lola cried.
“Stop it! Stop talking you moron!” Ella screamed back at her.
“Na juju I wan do for you because Jacob promise me say, after him get all ya money, he go push you comot and marry me.” She cried.
“You are despicable! You are an ingrate! I can’t believe you want to spoil my perfectly happy marriage with your hatred and lies. Go and tell whoever it is that sent you that even though Ella comes from the crème de la crème of society, she’s not a weak woman and she can fight for her marriage. Even the bible says ‘many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers them’, you are an affliction and my God has delivered me from your hands. Get lost!”
The door opened and Jacob walked in, he was surprised to see Lola in tears and Ella screaming at the top of her lungs.
“What’s going on here?” He asked.
“No worry…I dey go…I go pack my bag from house…”Lola said getting up from the bed.
“What’s wrong? Baby…Ella…honey…” He asked.
“Let’s go home…I can’t stand this ingrate!” Ella spat.
Jacob looked at Lola questioningly and taking his wife by the hand, they both left the hospital room. When they got outside the hospital and stood to wait for a taxi, he asked.
“What happened in there?”
“It’s nothing…” Ella said.
“I need to know. What happened in there?”
Ella sighed and looked at him.
“Lola thought that the best way to thank me for ridding my account of five million to save her worthless life was to tell me that she’s your girlfriend and not your relative.”
If Jacob was shocked, he masked it expertly.
“I can’t believe that Auntie Eunice put her daughter up to that prank even after all she’s been through.” He said.
“Aunt Eunice?” Ella asked.
“My aunt…she never wanted me to marry you.” He said. “Immediately her daughter, Lola, showed up at our doorstep, I knew there was a hidden agenda.”
“How can she be so cruel?” Ella asked. “What sort of aunt is that?”
Jacob looked at her.
“From now on Ella, let’s live our lives devoid of family or external influences. Let’s work hard to make this marriage work. I know that I’ve made a lot of mistakes and that…that…I mistakenly hit you which I will regret till my dying day but let’s stay away from people who are praying for our marriage to fail. Can we do that?”
Ella looked at her husband and nodded.
It was a deal.
Jude stared at his sister as she parked her car in front of an unfamiliar building. They had just left the hospital where Jessica and her husband were and he’d thought that they were headed home but his sister proved him otherwise.
“What’s up? Why aren’t we going home?” He asked.
“Just keep quiet and follow my lead.” She said as she turned off the engine of the vehicle and alighted.
Jude shrugged and alighted with her. She locked the car and walked up to the building where a security man stood at the gate holding a small radio close to his ears.
“Good afternoon.” She greeted.
“Madam, welcome.” The security man greeted still nodding his head to the music from the radio.
“I am here to see Mrs Queen Izamojie. Is she at home?” She asked.
Jude’s eyes widened when realised what his sister was doing.
“Who dey find am?” The security man asked.
“Please tell her that it’s a very important visitor.” She said.
The security man nodded and disappeared into the house.
“What are you doing?” Jude spat at his sister.
“Opening our sister’s eyes. If she doesn’t want to open it herself, then, we’re going to open it for her.” She said.
The security man opened the gate and gave them a long look and said.
“Come inside, the flat is the second at the left side.”
Jude watched his sister make her way into the house, he shook his head and followed suit.
To be continued on Friday…..