Rita watched her mother in law clutch her luggage and walk
towards the gate, they had been asked to leave the house and their luggage were at the gate.

“Mummy, where are you going?” Rita asked.

“Where am I going? They kicked us out and you’re asking
where I am headed. I am going to my brother’s house of course.” Rita’s mother in-law said.
“Are you coming with me?”

“I can’t…can’t just leave without Chuka…”

“Chuka would come to his uncle’s house. Tell the gate man
that we are going to my brother’s place and he will relay it to Chuka.” Rita’s
mother in law said.

Rita stared at their luggage of clothing and shook her head,
Chuka’s clothes had filled about five boxes and hers had filled about three
which totalled eight boxes, she couldn’t imagine carrying all these luggage to
someone’s house.

She was still staring at the luggage when the gate man walked
up to meet her.

“Madam…dis una load too plenty ooo….” The gate man said.

“Yes but that’s all we have…” Rita answered.

“You nor fit sell am? Abi una wan carry all dis plenty
property when una nor get house?” The gate man asked.

“What’s your own business ehn? Abeg stay off my business…”
Rita spat.

“Okay ooo…I just dey advice you…” The gate man said walking
back to his post.

“When my son comes home, tell him that we have gone to his uncle’s house.” Rita’s mother in law said.

Rita’s mother in law got a taxi cab and they crammed all
their properties into the car with difficulty. The driver charged extra for the
load and Rita and her mother in law got into the car and left the house.

They arrived at Chuka’s uncle’s house in thirty minutes and
the look Chuka’s uncle’s wife gave them was not palatable at all. She was
obviously bitter that her sister in law had decided to come to her house
dragging her daughter in law with her.

“What happened? Are they really sure that Chuka is to blame
for the missing money?” Chuka’s uncle asked his sister.

“Brother ooooo….” Chuka’s mother cried and quickly
switched into a fast relay of igbo, cutting Rita off completely as she really
didn’t understand the language.

“Where are you taking all that luggage to? You should have
kept them somewhere…” Chuka’s aunty said to Rita.

“I am sorry…but there is no where to take the luggage to.
The house I used to live in before marrying Chuka is currently under renovation as my dad wants to
turn it into a business plaza.” Rita replied.

“Come let me show you to a spare room.” The woman said.

Rita followed her behind with some of her luggage and when
they entered the room, she placed them inside the wardrobe.

“Do you happen to know Chuka’s former girlfriend,
Aisha?” Chuka’s aunt asked.

Rita was shocked at the question.

“Yes, I knew her…”

“They dated for about eight years and I loved that girl so much as though she was my daughter. Do you know that this was the room Chuka used to stay as a young university undergraduate? And this was the room they shared when she came to spend time with him? She was such a beautiful girl….I would have loved that
Chuka ended up with her, but unfortunately, she died. That girl
loved Chuka more than life itself, I have never seen such a love so strong in
my entire life and even Chuka…loved her so much. I am still upset with him that he didn’t mourn her properly before running off to get married to you. Hmmm…life and it’s ups and
downs!” Chuka’s aunt said and shaking her head, she left the room.

As soon as she left, Rita was filled with grief, she sat on the
bed and began to cry.

********

Bode stared at Jumoke but she wouldn’t meet his gaze, she
was seated on the sofa staring at her hands.

“This was no mistake!” Bode said.

“What was it then?” Jumoke asked quietly.

“We expressed the emotions we have left hidden for so
long…” Bode started.

“This will not go anywhere…” Jumoke said.

“Why do you say that?” Bode asked.

“Let’s forget this ever happened, Bode…” Jumoke said.

“I can’t and I won’t. I really like you Jumi…a whole
lot…”

“You have a wife!”

“Do I?” Bode asked.

Jumoke looked at him and turned away.

“It’s already late, everyone would have left the office by
now, I need to get home.” Jumoke stressed.

“I’ll tell the driver to take you home…okay…”

“Whatever…” Jumoke said.

Bode pulled her into his arms and looked at her.

“No regrets…no regrets…” Bode said.

“I need to go…at least, I need to sleep on what just
happened.” Jumoke said and extricating herself from his arms, she walked towards the door.

“Please Jumi…don’t hate me for this and most of all, don’t
hate yourself for this…” Bode said.
Jumoke left the office and shut the door behind her.

*******

They were eating dinner when they heard a knock at the door,
Chuka’s uncle’s son went to open the door and lo and behold, Chuka stepped into
the house.

“Chuka! Oh my God! Chuka!” Rita screamed rushing up to meet
him and hug him.

Chuka looked like he hadn’t slept in days as he had lost weight
and he looked a shadow of himself.

“Chuka nwa’m…are you okay?” His mother asked running up to
meet him.

“I am fine…” Chuka said seating on the sofa.

“Chuka…thank God they allowed you out. I was just
discussing with your mother and hoping that your company doesn’t drag this case
any further.” His uncle said, standing from the dining and walking up to meet
him.

“Uncle…they have taken everything from me, they can’t drag
this case any further….” Chuka said quietly.

“I was so worried Chuka…I was so worried…”Rita said
crying.

“Your luggage is safe in my house…you can stay here for as
long as you want.” Chuka’s uncle said.

“No…we are not infringing on your generosity any further,
uncle…” Chuka said.

“What do you mean by that?” His uncle asked.

“I’m here to pick my wife…” Chuka said.

“Where are you going to?” His uncle asked.

“Anywhere. I am not going to live off you…” Chuka was
saying.

“You are letting pride speak for you. How won’t you stay in
my house even if it is for a few days till you get back on your feet..” His
uncle started.

‘What feet? I can’t get back on my feet…I am not a
business man but a corporate worker who just lost his job.” Chuka shouted.

“Chuka, go and sleep, in the morning, if you still want to
go, you can go but you are not going to drag your wife around Abuja this night
knowing fully well that you have no where to go.” His uncle shouted and
went back to the dining table to continue his meal.

Rita held out her hand to Chuka and led him to the room that
they had been given in his uncle’s house.

“I hate it when I’m living off someone else.” Chuka shouted
as soon as they entered the room.

“We have no choice…” Rita started.

“What do you mean by that? If you have no choice, I have a
choice…I don’t want to live off my uncle.”

“You are letting pride rule over you.”

“Pride? You call it pride? I had everything, Rita!
Everything! Till it all went away but I swear it, I am going to get back
everything I lost…everything…” Chuka broke down in tears.

“I am sorry that you feel this way…” Rita started.

“Did you go for a check up at the hospital to see if…the
baby ….there was no miscarriage?” Chuka asked in tears.

“I couldn’t go but I know….a woman knows when something goes
wrong….” Rita said.

Chuka pulled her on to his laps and looking into her eyes
with his reddened ones he said, “We will have a family…we will have another
baby…I promise you…” He said.

Rita nodded and hugged him.

*******

Tosin was in Priscilla’s room, lying on the bed and watching
television, the door to the room opened and a teenage boy stormed into the
room, looked at her and ignoring her, he walked to the fridge in the room and
opened it.

“Hello…” Tosin called out.

“Hey…” He said still ransacking the fridge.

“Are you Priscilla’s son?” Tosin asked.

“Yup and you are?” The boy asked rudely, turning to regard
her.

“I’m her friend…” Tosin said.

The boy gave her a knowing look and left the room shutting
the door behind him and holding a coke can in his hand.

Shortly, Priscilla walked into the room.

“I just saw your son…” Tosin said.

“Oh…he wanted to get a coke…”

“He didn’t look too pleased to see me…” Tosin said.

“He’s a young boy, he doesn’t know what he should and shouldn’t
be pleased about.”

“Well…it’s our first time of seeing each other, he should
have been polite…” Tosin started.

“You are with me and not him, why are you bothering yourself
with what he thinks or feels?” 
Priscilla fired.

“I’m sorry…”Tosin apologized.

“I am so sorry for snapping at you that way…” Priscilla
said walking up to the bed and climbing it.

“It’s okay…” Tosin said.

“Why don’t we start off with a warm soak in the tub?”
Priscilla said sweetly.

“That sounds tempting but…why don’t we chat first?” Tosin said.

Priscilla didn’t reply, she just leaned in and gave her a long kiss. “Do
you still want to chat?” She asked after giving Tosin a passionate kiss and
when Tosin shook her head, she said. “I thought as much!”

*******

Susan was still behind bars, her company hadn’t said anything and the police acted as though she didn’t exist. She had given her parents to direction to her house and since she had brought the keys to the police station, she had asked them to take it from the police man who had collected it from her. Now, seated on the bare ground and wondering what the sun looked like, she saw a female police officer walk past her cell. She was so relieved to see a woman other than herself at the station so she called out.

“Ma…excuse me…”

The click of the woman’s boots resounded as she walked back to the cell.

“Oh…a lady…what’s your offence?” The police officer asked.

“I….was charged for the murder of Thomas John…”

“Ohhhh…the hot case!” The police officer said staring at her.

“I didn’t do it…” Susan started.

“That’s what people charged with murder always say….”

“I feel so sick…I have been throwing up and I can’t get any food down…” Susan complained.

“What do you want me to do?”

“Could I go to the hospital maybe? I might have some kind of infection…”

“Hmmm…agreed….our cells are not clean.”

“Yes…”

“I am sorry my dear, I can only have a doctor come and pay you a visit….” The police officer said.

“Okay…”

The police woman looked at her for a long while and said.

“The evidence presented against you is so convincing. You need a lawyer, a very good one because the expatriate community is taking this up and they are getting the government involved. You see, with the boko haram attacks, expatriate kidnaps and stuff, they are quick to call anyone working against them, a terrorist…”

“What are you saying?” Susan asked in fear.

“I am saying that you are in a bigger trouble than you think you are…” The police officer said and walked away.

Susan felt fear lurch in her chest and she threw up all the content of her breakfast to the ground.

To be continued on Friday….

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2 COMMENTS

  1. blessings….
    Sometimes in life, there will be times that we will need to seek the help of others. Iin those times we will be required to set our pride aside less we create more suffering for ourselves.

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