Susan woke up to see herself still crouched beside her door. Remembering how she opened the door to her house yesterday and how she discovered that someone had
seen her commit murder made her wish she could reset the hands of time.
She looked at the clock, it was almost six am, she had slept
for more than twelve hours already and she was already getting sore for sitting in a stagnant position for too long. The lights were still on and she glared at
the boldly written words on her wall and knew she was done for. Her mind raced
rapidly, ‘should I run back to Lagos?’ She asked herself, ‘no, I won’t run or I
might become a suspect besides I don’t want to return to Lagos empty handed, I spent
all my savings shopping for the Abuja life.’ ‘What do I do now?’ She asked herself
again, ‘okay, I’ll act all normal and continue with life as though nothing
happened’ then she thought, ‘I can’t do that, whoever wrote this words on my wall could go to the police with information, but how do I find the person?’

“What do I do?” She finally said aloud.
She stood up and walked to the wall where the words had been
written and stared at it, she quickly dashed into her small kitchen and came
out with a tin of oil paint. The paint was a leftover from the one used to
paint the kitchen cabinets in her apartment and she was grateful that she hadn’t
thrown it away. She quickly rummaged for a brush but couldn’t find any so she
took an old cloth, dipped it into the brown paint and began covering the words
on the wall. Atleast, she thought, it would serve till she called in a painter
to do a better job of it.
She finished quickly, went to have a cold shower and got
ready for work.
********
Chuka was quickly reevaluating his life, he knew he had made
so many mistakes in his past and he had decided that now was the time to remedy
them all. He knew he might sound stupid but he needed to ask her this important
question.
“Do you think you can ever love me?” He asked.
Rita’s feet was curled up on the sofa and she was reading
one of the books she had picked from Chuka’s mini library. She had come to spend
the night in his place as he was still afraid of Aisha’s ghost.

“Excuse me?” Rita asked in surprise, setting her book down.
“I asked if you think you can love me…” Chuka emphasized
again.
“Why…are you asking such questions?”
“Because I just realized that I want to get married and I can think of no other suitable woman for me than you.” Chuka said.

“Are you insane? Chuka! Aisha’s corpse is not even cold yet
and you’re asking for my hand….are you sure you’re not sick?”
“No…I’m not sick, aside from the fact that I can’t stay in
this house all alone, I find that we are very comfortable in
eachother’s company and we have a lot in common. Besides, I am a young man who’s just finally realized that
the only missing puzzle in his life is a woman….” Chuka said sounding serious.
“Chuka…I don’t get you…when you had Aisha, you let her go…I
came to your house the day she died, remember? You had another woman here…why con’t you go ahead and marry that one?”

“That’s not the point…I guess I’ve realized that there’s really nothing to this world and its best that I seize the best things that life has to offer….”

“I can’t accept your proposal, I’m not going to be your comfort-zone, I think that you are realizing how you lost Aisha and you’re trying to replace her with me.”

“No…I’m just trying to pick up the pieces of my life. Rita, I have the money, the class, the power, I have everything…the only thing I don’t have is a woman by my side and I want you to be the woman.”

“How flattering Chuka! To think that Aisha would have given everything to hear you say this to her.”

“Well…we weren’t meant to be, that’s why I’m asking you to be my wife.”

“I’m going to pretend that you didn’t just suggest this!” Rita said.

“I’ll ask you again tomorrow…please sleep on it…”
Chuka said and stood up from the sofa.
Rita watched him leave the sitting room and couldn’t wrap
her head over his proposal. What does this mean? She thought. Aisha was dead
and it was obvious to her that the major cause of her death was the heartbreak
Chuka had dealt her, Rita was too confused, she quickly rung her close cousin
Kewe.
“Hey big babe! Abuja smattering chic! R for Rita…how are
you?” Kewe’s voice sang out through the phone.
“Hey…what’s up?” Rita said dryly.
“Hmmm…still grieving over Aisha? Sorry boo…she’s with the
Lord dear…don’t let it weigh you down, get back to living life, that’s what she’ll
want you to do, you know?” Kewe said.
“Yea…I know…but things are super complicated…” Rita said.
“Really? How?”
“You know that her boyfriend Chuka…”
“Mtcheewww…that bastard! That he-goat that broke her heart
and dumped her, he deserves to die!” Her cousin cursed.
“Slow down okay…” Rita defended.
“Wait ooo…you don dey side de guy? I think say you hate am
before ooo…” Kewe said in her no-nonsense voice.
“Yes…I did but then, I…Kewe I am in a deep mess. You see
ehn, after Aisha’s death, Chuka came over the house to see her not knowing that
she’s dead, so after I broke the news to him and he grieved…o girl, you should
have seen the way he grieved…he was so shaken…he cried and cried…” Rita stared.
“Ehen…jump the crying part…” Kewe cut in impatiently.
“Well, he cried and felt remorse then after that, he went
home and one of his pictures on the wall fell from there and he got scared and
begged me to spend a night in his place…I went ooo…I don’t even know why ehn…so…”
“Wait ooo…cuz…did you guys have sex?”
“Noo…haba na…is that how I jump from bed to bed? Well, back
to the matter, I am in his place and I have been coming regularly to stay with
him because he is so scared…”
“So…did you call me to tell me how you’ve been keeping your
friend’s evil ex company?” Kewe spat.
“No…I called you tell you that he proposed to me today!”
Rita blurted.
“He what?”

“He asked if I can learn to love him and if I will marry
him. Mind you, this guy is a confirm big boy in Abuja ooo…and I’m thinking, ‘will it hurt? it’s just marriage’….”
“He killed your friend! Rita Eseoghene,
are you mad? Do you mean to tell me that when that bloody bastard asked you to
marry him, you didn’t hurry to give him a ‘dorty’ slap?” Her cousin screamed.
Rita fell silent.
“Rita, listen to me, nothing good and I mean nothing good
can ever come out of a union of such! That man is cursed and he just realized
that he is cursed and he wants to drag you to curse-kingdom with him. Do you
know what you are talking about?” Kewe said in disbelief at her cousin’s
stupidity.
“Okay…I’ve heard you…” Rita said.
“Abeg nor dey spoil my ears with this kind ‘dorty’ talk…”
Her cousin said and after a short pause, she said “ehen, my wedding date has
been fixed.”
“Oh really? When did you get proposed to?” Rita asked in
surprise.
“You sef! You have not been on BBM for a while now, my ring
has been gracing my display pictures ooo…Victor finally popped the question and
trust me na, I nor waste time, I carry am go meet my papa kia kia, I nor dey
hear story. So, our trad and white wedding happens in three months.” Her cousin
said in glee.
“Oh…congrats dear…” Rita said dryly.
“Thank you ooo…my sister.” Her cousin said then changing her
tone of voice again she continued. 

“Abeg remove that jaga-jaga proposal thought from ya
mind you hear? Nothing good fit ever come from that proud man…I take God beg
you ooo…” She said.

“I hear…I have to go now, I have stuff to do…” Rita said and
hung up.
As soon as she dropped the call, she found herself thinking
about Chuka and how he had asked for her hand in marriage. Rita stood
up from the sofa and quickly left the sitting room.
********
Tosin stepped out of the aircraft with the confidence that
only befits a queen. She knew that her managers were already having doubts
about her ability to take charge of the role at hand and she was going to show
them what strong stuff she was made of by making sure that the company opens for operations in two weeks.
She got into the car and waited for the driver to start the
vehicle and as they moved down the roads of Abuja, she felt confidence build up in
her like the bull that was ready for a challenge.
As she was immersed in her thoughts, her phone rang and she
looked at the caller ID to see who it was, it was her children’s nanny.
“Nanny what can I do for you?” Tosin asked, soundly
business-like.
“Ma…madam…I don’t know what’s happening to baby but…he’s
been throwing up all morning, and …he’s been stooling too…” The nanny spoke
with fear in her voice.
“What? Call the doctor! Call Bode!” Tosin shouted.
“I don’t have Oga’s phone number ma…only yours…” The nanny
said.
“Don’t worry I’ll call him…” Tosin started but then, she
quickly realized that calling Bode might end up in an argument on who should
take responsibility for the children and who shouldn’t, she quickly said. “Listen,
I will send you his number right now but in the meantime, is there any driver
at home?”
“No ma…” The nanny replied.
“Okay…quickly take the baby and go and get a taxi, you know
the hospital we usually take the kids to right?”
“Yes ma…”
“Take him there and call my husband…he knows what to do.”
“Yes ma…” The nanny said.
“And next time, if you want to call for any of my children’s
welfare, call my husband, he’s not just a sperm donor but their father as well.”
Tosin said and hung up.
As soon as she ended the call, she quickly downloaded a
block app into her device and begun blocking the numbers of people who could
distract her from reaching her goals, her husband’s number was number one on
the list. Atleast, after the company opening in Abuja, she’ll unblock his number and start taking his calls again, she thought.
*********
Susan had returned from work quite early and had asked
around for the services of a good house painter from some of her colleagues.
“Painter? For your house? I thought the company provided you
with accommodation, isn’t painting supposed to be a part of the package?” One
of Susan’s colleagues had said.
The office was still mourning the news of the death of their
senior colleague and his recent transition to glory posters which was placed in
the information box in the office confirmed that the news was so true. An
autopsy was being carried out on the body and no one was particularly waiting for
the results.  
“Well…I really don’t like the colour and want to paint it to
my taste.” Susan had supplied.

“Really? But that’s the company’s property! Shouldn’t you be
asking for permission?” The lady replied.

It was at the tip of Susan’s tongue to say ‘Shouldn’t the derelict
who painted the accusation on my wall have known that it was the company’s property?’
but she said,
“I can’t possibly ask for permission now, not with the state
of the office as regards the death of Tom.”

“I don’t know anyone but I know that we work with some
contractors for all our projects. Re-painting might not be as easy as you think
so, I think you should ask the HR.” The lady had said and walked away.
Susan felt like hitting the lady with the back of her palm,
since Tom’s death, she had either been too angry or too frustrated, she really
didn’t know which to pick.
She made up her mind that on her way home, she’ll ask around
and when she took a taxi from her office to her apartment, something told her
to ask the driver.
“A painter?” The driver had asked.
“Yes…a painter…” She had reechoed.
“My brother Musa na big painter…I fit give you im contact?”
The driver asked.
“Sure…I will appreciate it …thanks.” The driver said quickly
and once he stopped at the front of her house, he called out the number for
her.
Now, she sat and waited for the painter, looking at her very
‘stained’ walls, she heaved a huge sigh of desperation. Whoever it was that found his or her
way into her home was messing with fire, she concluded. A big frown sat on her
face as she stared at the walls again and hissed. 

Soon a knock was heard at the door
and Susan hurried to open it.

“It must be the painter.” She said to herself.

She opened
the door and the words flew out from her mouth.

“You? What do you want?”

“Hello…Susan…” The person greeted with a smile.
To be continued tomorrow….

6 COMMENTS

  1. I have mixed feelings about Tosin and Bode, while I agree that Tosin is taking her ambition too far, I also think that Bode should be more involved in the care of the kids.
    As for Rita, marriage to Chuka is a huge mistake.

  2. while i agree with you Adaezenwa, let me point out that bode is trying his best to be there for his children. that was evident in the last episode. I cant wait to see the PA taking over Tosin's wifely duties completely. hahahahaa. well done Ada dear

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