Queen screamed in shock as she watched her colleague turned friend, fall on her center table and crash it to the ground. Suddenly, there was blood everywhere and Jessica was lying at the center of her sitting room, lifeless.

“Jessica! Oh my God! Help!” She screamed as she hurriedly opened the door and ran outside to call security.

The security man rushed in and when he saw Jessica on the ground, he said in alarm;
“We get doctor for dis house…”
“Where….please tell me where he or she is…” Queen cried.
“He dey first flat and e never comot for work.” He said.
“Please call him…hurry!” She cried.
The security man nodded and rushed out of the sitting room. Queen stared at Jessica’s unconscious frame, she didn’t know what else to do.
***************

Zach opened his eyes and yawned. He stared about the room, ‘where in the world was his wife?’ He thought. They were supposed to talk about the disconnection in their relationship and he’d already made up stories to tell as regards the death of his father and the burial. Jessica should never know that his father’s burial had been held openly for people to attend or she’d have his head.

Between his two wives, Jessica was more hot-tempered. She flared at the slightest offence and she was always nagging him but despite her attitude, he loved her. He loved her adventurous spirit and her witty nature. He also loved the fact that she was spontaneous and not as predictable as Queen. He loved Queen because of her docile nature, she hardly ever argued with him and was invested in making him happy. Queen was the ideal ‘submissive’ wife as she hardly ever disobeyed him. Perhaps that was the reason he’d allowed her to stay in Lagos because for the first time, she was firm about something and it was quite rare, Queen always went with the flow and he loved her for it.
He got off the bed and made his way out of the bedroom.
“Honey!” He called out as he walked about the house. “Jessie…where are you?”
He had searched around the house to no avail then, stepped outside to see if her car was in the compound, only to find it gone.
“She left…without telling me and without waiting for us to talk.” He said sounding offended. “What is wrong with this woman?”
He made his way back into the house and walked to the bedroom, he could hear his phone ring. He quickly walked over to answer it, it was Queen.
“Hello dear…”
“Come to Grace Seed hospital right now!” She spat.
“What…what happened? What’s going on? Is Junior okay?”
“Do you know the way to Grace Seed? It’s ….it’s the second estate after mine…just ask the security and he’ll direct you.” She said and ended the call.
Zach was surprised. He looked at his phone and wanted to call her back but the sense of urgency in her voice pushed him to the wardrobe to get his clothes.
In no time, he was out of his house and running towards his car.
**************

Ella lay on her bed and cried, she felt so guilty about the way she’d spoken to her father and she desperately wanted to call to apologise. She was the only one at home as Jacob had left the house a while ago.

She looked at her phone and almost picked it up to dial her father’s number but stopped herself. If she called him and he sensed her weakness, he’ll stop the transaction and they’ll be back to square one.
“I want my marriage to work out daddy….I just want an ideal marriage…” She sobbed into her hands.
Her phone rang and she quickly sat up and took it from the pillow, hoping to see her dad’s Caller ID, instead, it was Lawrence.
“Hey…Lawrence.”
“You sound sad, are you alright?”
“No…I’m not alright.”
“What happened?” Lawrence asked in concern.
Lawrence had a way of speaking to her and making her feel at peace.
“I had a problem with daddy today and I think…I think he hates me for it.” She sobbed.
“Shh….calm down, your daddy can never hate you…he loves you.”
“You don’t understand. I made him feel like he’s so arrogant and proud and…and…” She sobbed.
“What happened? Can you tell me?”
Ella filled him in with everything that had happened in her father’s office. When she was done, he spoke.
“Your dad is right. You should call the police….for all we know, this might be a scam and a way to get your money.”
“I don’t believe it! Lola doesn’t know my parents are rich and she has no reason to stage a kidnap in order to get my money.”
“But it will be safer to involve the police. What if they’ve killed her? What if?”
“Jacob said that he is being threatened and that they’ve warned that we don’t involve the police.”
“Look, Ella, five million naira is a lot of money and handing it to kidnappers on a golden platter suddenly increases your chance to be hit by them again. This will make them aware that you have money and they might come after you personally.”
“Don’t tell me you see my dad’s reason.”
“Yes, I do. I think your husband should stand up and be a man. I think that he should stop throwing you at the center of things. This woman is his family, right? She’s his priority and he should be the one sacrificing to set her free and not you.”
“But….but…his family is mine too.”
“I haven’t said that…I am only saying that he should be the man in this situation and stop trying to take your money. The money is yours isn’t it?”
Ella paused.
“Well, he also wants us to start a business together with the remaining of my inheritance so that…”
“He told you that?”
“Yes, he did but I didn’t give him an answer because I was so sad over what I said to my dad.”
“Ella! Open your eyes…c’mon…”
“Open my eyes to what?”
“He’s ripping you off. Can’t you see it? By the time he’s done with you, you’ll be penniless and full of regret.”
Ella snapped in anger.
“How dare you speak about my husband like that? The fact that I’ve made you my confidant doesn’t mean you have the right to make decisions for me or insult my husband.”
“I didn’t insult him, I was just…”
“I made a huge mistake, telling you about this. I’d rather we go back to our former ‘fruit juicer and customer’ relationship.”
“Ella…”
She hangs up the call.
*****************

Zach found the hospital and parked his car. He had no idea who he was looking for or why he was here. All Queen had told him was that he should come to the hospital. He alighted from his car and hurried inside, all he could think of was that his son was in danger.

He got to the nurses’ station and was about to speak when he heard his name. He turned round. It was Queen.
“Darling…is he alright? Is my boy alright?” He asked.
“Junior is in the cafeteria with a nurse.” She said.
“What happened to him? Did he hurt himself?”
“I thought you were supposed to be in Abuja, how come you’re still here?” She asked, staring at him stonily.
“I…I…was….my flight was moved…till evening and…that’s why I am here. You are not answering my questions. Where is Junior? Why did you call me here? Is he alright?”
“Junior is fine. He’s eating snacks at the cafeteria, however, I called you here because your wife was rushed here a while ago.”
“What are you saying? Don’t be ridiculous! You are here aren’t you?” He asked. “You don’t look like someone who was rushed to the hospital.”
“I’m not talking about myself, I’m referring to your other wife, Jessica Izamojie or have you forgotten her so quickly?”
Zach almost had a seizure, he stared at his wife in shock.

 

To be continued next week….

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