Happy Independence day Nigeria! 
Let’s continue to pray for a greater nation 
and that the labours of our heroes past shall never ever be in vain.
I wish us all a happy celebration and a beautiful long weekend ahead.
***********
Stella opened her eyes and felt it force itself shut. Duncan
had beaten her yesterday till she’d passed out. She had skipped lunch and dinner
and just as she had taken a step towards the mirror to look at herself, she’d
cringed in shock. She sat up on the bed and looked at the empty space beside
her and sighed, if Duncan kept up with his beatings, she’ll be dead before the
end of year. She groped about for her new phone, the one Duncan had given her
and finally found it. It was her dream phone, something she’d always wanted
back then but now, she couldn’t feel the thrill anymore. She opened the phone
and stared at the contact list, all she saw was Duncan’s phone number and
nothing else. She didn’t have the phone numbers of her friends and family
memorized except her mom’s so she punched in the numbers and made a call. Her
mother instantly answered.
“Mummy, it’s me Stella.”
“Stella…are you alright?” Her mother asked worriedly.
“I’ve been calling your number for days now and it’s been switched off.”

“Mummy…” Stella started. “I’m fine…how are you?”
“Is this your new number? What happened to your old number?”
Her mother asked.
“Nothing…it got missing…” Stella said.
“How’s my granddaughter? I haven’t spoken to her for a while
now.”
“She’s fine ma…” Stella said quickly.
“How’s life now? How’s everything…are you sure you’re
fine?”
“Yes ma…I’m fine.”
“Okay my dear…I hope you’re being truthful with me because
I have a hunch that things are not really alright.”
“Things are fine ma.” She lied.
“How’s Madu? How’s his job? The last time you called you
said he was being owed at work. I hope his employers have stopped owing him?”
Stella winced in pain.
“Yes…yes they have…”
“I really like that husband of yours, he’s truly a good man.”
“Mummy, how’s daddy and everyone?” Stella asked changing the
topic.
“We’re all fine dear. Yes….that’s true ooo…your younger
sister is coming to Lagos for her industrial attachment in a month. Has she
called you to inform you?”
“What? Coming to Lagos? When?”
“In a month…I told her to call but she’d forming that she
knows the way to your house.”
Stella panicked, none of her family members knew that she’d
separated from Madu and that they lived separately.
“I won’t be around…” She blurted.
“What do you mean by that?” Her mother asked. “You know we
have no one in Lagos except you.”
“Well…errr…I…err…”
“What of your husband? Won’t he be around?” Her mother
asked.
“No…he’s travelling with Kamsi.” Stella lied.
“If you people are not going to be around, you should keep
the house keys…haba! Or are you carrying the house with you?”
“No…I’ll errm maybe arrange that she stays with someone I
know…” Stella said.
When she dropped the call, she began to cry. She wanted to
call Rhoda to tell her that her sister might be coming to stay with her in a
month’s time but she didn’t have the number to call. She resolved to beg Duncan
to let her have her friend’s number.
***************
One
Month Later
It was a full month after Anita had tried seducing Madu and
he noticed that she gave him the cold shoulder from time to time.  He was at his desk browsing through his
computer.
“Madu, be a man!” He kept saying to himself aloud everytime
he saw the sad look on his daughter’s face when she realized that daddy wasn’t
keeping his promise to her that they’ll return to their former home.
“Madu, can I see you for a minute?” Anita’s voice cut
through his thoughts.
Madu stood up from his desk, he followed her into her office
and shut the door behind him. They were not alone as three men sat inside the
office and turned to stare at him when he walked in.
“Gentlemen, meet my personal assistant Mr. Madu.” Anita
said.
Madu greeted them again and they nodded in response.
“Well, are we sure he can do the job?” One of the men asked.
“Yes…look at him, he’s smart and I’m positive that he’ll
be able to do the job well.” Anita responded.
“What if we call Mike to see if he’s available. I don’t
think it’s wise to send someone who’s never been on the route before.” The
first man expressed his concern.
“Nonsense! That’s nonsense! Madu is equal to the task.”
Anita defended.
“He hasn’t been on the road before and even though he isn’t
expected to do much, we need someone with experience. It’s such a pity that we
lost John, he was our right-hand man for this job.” The other man said.
“I don’t know what I need to do.” Madu said, quite upset
that they were talking about him as though he wasn’t there.
“It’s nothing, really. We’ll need you to help us with some
goods by road.” The second man said.
“Goods? What kind of goods?” Madu asked remembering what he’d
seen in Anita’s warehouse a while ago.
“We’re supplying what the company produces.” The third man
said.
“I thought we had people who did the supplies.” Madu asked
turning to look at Anita.
“They are all busy…” Anita answered. “And I don’t trust
them as much as I trust you.”
The idea of journeying with supplies across the country
didn’t appeal to Madu but he nodded.
“I’d have to see what I’m carrying.” He insisted.
“Of course you will.” Anita said with a smile. “It’s time I
put your mind at ease at the kind of business we do here.” She said as she
walked over to open the door. “Come with me please…Madu.”
Madu followed her out of the office and soon, they were at
the warehouse which was filled with lots of plastic buckets, jugs and many
more.
“We have a big client in Aba who buys plastic in large
quantities from us.” Anita said waving her hand at the plastics in the
warehouse.
“Have I satisfied your curiousity now?” She asked.
“When do I leave and how soon do I get back?” Madu asked.
“It takes about eight hours to get to Aba so, you’ll have to
leave at ten pm tonight so that you can get there by six am.”
“What? Ten pm? Can’t it wait till morning?”
“I think you’re forgetting who’s boss here.” Anita said with
an icy glare.
“Anita, this is not part of my job description.”
“You’re such an ungrateful human being, after all I’ve done
for you and all I still do for you…you can’t do this simple delivery job for
me?”
Madu sighed, something didn’t feel right.
“I hope this has nothing to do with your underground
business…”
Anita gave him a sour look.
“I know why I’m saying this…I have never been involved in
any illegal stuff in my life and I’d hate to start now.” Madu said.
“Are you blind? Look around you! It’s all plastics! Do you
think I’ll risk your life like that?” Anita fired. “Besides, you need to be
smart inorder to make money and the reason I’m rich today is because I’m smart.”
Madu looked at her and sighed.
“I’ll errr…close early so that I can get ready for the
trip.”
“Good.” Anita said.
She left the warehouse before him and he looked around at
the stacked up plastics that he’d have to deliver and thought that it was queer
that Anita’s supposed client couldn’t get the plastics in Aba
************
Stella had never felt so useless in her entire life, she
hardly ever left the house as Duncan had instructed the security men not to let
her leave the house without his permission. All she did was sit in front of the
television all day, watching TV shows and eating. She felt like a glorified
slave. Yawning tiredly, she stretched herself on the sitting room sofa and
picking up her phone, she dialled Rhoda’s number, grateful that Duncan had
allowed her keep contact with her friend.
 “Hello…” Rhoda
greeted in a laughing voice.
“What’s funny?” Stella asked with a smile.
“Nothing jare…I was just laughing with one of our
collegues. How are you my darling?”
“Same as always…I’m infront of the television watching
shows.”
“Awwww…isn’t that sweet?”Rhoda said.
“My sister comes in tomorrow, please don’t forget to tell
her that I’m not in town for a while.”
“Industrial attachment takes a while and we both know that
sooner or later, you’ll have to tell her the truth.”
“What do you propose? I can’t tell her that I’ve left Madu!”
“What’s the big deal? It’s been more than a month since you
left him or are you planning to go back to him?”
“It’s not that…” Stella started. “I guess I just want to
buy some time. My family really loves him.”
“Abegi jare…” Rhoda said.
“Please do me this huge favour and don’t tell my sister
anything till I’m ready.” Stella said.
“Abeg make I call you back…” Rhoda said.
“Okay….” Stella said, feeling quite disappointed that
Rhoda wasn’t in the mood to talk with her.
She hung up the call and faced the television again, bored
out of her skin.
***************
Duncan watched Rhoda drop the call and smiled at her.
“Stop staring at me, you make me blush whenever you do
that.” Rhoda said.
“Well, I stare at you because you’re beautiful.” Duncan said
with a smile.
“If you think I’m beautiful, you’d have had eyes for me from
the start and not for my friend.” Rhoda said.
They were both seated at the back of Duncan’s car.
“Says who?” Duncan teased.
“I dunno…” Rhoda blushed. “Anyway, she told me you got her
a new car.”
Duncan yawned boredly.
“What is it with you men? You want a woman and finally when
you get her, you’re bored of her.” Rhoda said.
“Who says I’m bored. I have her where I want her and that’s
all.” He said.
“And me? Where do you have me?” She asked. “We’ve been
dating for almost a month now and I really don’t know my place. I’m not
competing with Stella for your attention but I would like to know where I
stand.”
“You’re a fiery one…” He said pulling her close to nuzzle
her neck.
They both giggled and kissed.
“Tell me, what does she want? She’s the one who called you
right?” He asked.
“Yea…” Rhoda said. “You allowed her to get my number from
her old sim card, remember?”
“Yes…I did. So, tell me, what did you guys talk about?”
“Well, last month, Stella told me that her sister was coming
over for her industrial training and asked that she stay with me.”
“Oh…” Duncan said raising his eyebrows.
“I guess she doesn’t want her to stay with you guys.”
“Yes…I told her that I don’t want my house to be crowded
with family and relatives.”
Rhoda nodded but said nothing, she knew that was far from
Stella’s reason for not wanting her sister in Duncan’s house.
“So tell me, what do I get for my birthday next week?” Rhoda
asked with a smile.
“Your birthday is next week?” Duncan asked in susprise.
“Why do you sound so surprised?”
“Well…Stella told me that it was last month…but never
mind.” Duncan said with a smile. “Let’s focus on our fun destination.”
“I have one question to ask though. Why don’t you want
Stella to work? Isn’t she getting fat, sitting there at home?” Rhoda asked.
“Do you like competition?” Duncan asked nuzzling her ear.
“Why do you ask that?”
“I don’t know about you but I’d rather have my women far
away from each other. What better way to make one oblivious of the other than
to stop her from working where you work?” He said with a smile.
“Does this mean you’ve always set your sights on me?” Rhoda
asked.
“What do you think babe?”
“Oh Duncan…” Rhoda said and giggled.
*************
Madu didn’t know why his heart beat so fast but he allayed
his fears by telling himself that he was just delivering plastics. He heard a
sharp rap at his bedroom door and he walked over to open it.

“It’s time.” Anita said to him.
“Okay…lemme go and say goodnight to my daughter.”
Anita watched him leave his room with his small duffel bag
and walk over to his daughter’s room, when he emerged, she said.
“You don’t need the bag, you’ll be back tomorrow…” She
said.
“I just have my soap, underwear and fresh shirt inside.” He
said.
“Okay then.” Anita said as they walked down the stairs.
Soon, they got downstairs and Madu was introduced to a young
man.
“Meet Sean, he’ll be helping with the supplies. He will be
driving the truck.” She said.
Madu didn’t know what came over him when he saw Sean but he
felt a clench in his stomach.
“Okay, what do I do when we get there?” Madu asked.
“Nothing, you’ll just follow my lead.” Sean said with a
smile.
“Yes Madu, you must follow Sean’s lead as he is the head of
this assignment.” Anita instructed.
Madu nodded and soon, they were both out of the house and on
their way.
**************
Cherry panicked, something told her that something bad was
about to happen and she didn’t know how to stop it. After their introduction,
she’d had a long talk with Sean as regards his line of business and he’d promised
her that he’d stop his illegal business and robberies as soon as he got enough
money to set them up.
Two nights ago, Sean had assured her that he’d be going on a
last operation in the east so that after that, they could both start a new life
together but it didn’t sit too well with her. Something told her that it was
going to take a wrong turn. She dialled his number but it was switched off, she
stood up and paced Sean’s bedroom.
Her mind strayed to Mitch who’d refused to pick her calls or
reply her text messages. The last time she’d tried getting through to him, he’d
sent her a stinker message and she’d been devastated but being the survivor that
she was, she’d decided to stick with Sean and try to move on. They had set the
date for their wedding for the twenty-fifth of next month and even though
Cherry felt that it was all done in a rush, she really had no say in it.
Thunder rumbled signalling the usher of rain and Cherry was
so afraid. She was alone in the big house and her heart beat so fast. She began
to pray
To be continued on Friday…..
Did you miss the last episodes, catch up
here>>>

14 COMMENTS

  1. Nooo! Ada why did you link that evil Sean with Madu naw? Please don't let anything happen to him o for Kamsi's sake. May God remove friends like Rhoda from our lives, Amen.

  2. I don't scratch anything to happen to Madu but he is too 'slow' especially for a man! Arrgh. All the women in his life know how to push him upandan!
    Anyway, it's only God's grace that can help him as he obviously doesn't like doing the needful and standing up as should.

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