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Prose

FACELESS

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woman with gentle flower on hand buttoning blouse

Dele markiwa was beaming with smiles. It was his moment and he thrived in it. He made sure to enjoy the spotlight, as some will call it, while it lasted. He had worked his butts off for five good years for this particular “feeling”-the job of his dreams! He still couldn’t believe he had achieved it. He had craved for this position since the day he made up his mind to venture into coperate practice. Even though majority of his friends regarded office job as boring, he still never failed to brag to whoever cared to listen how it would be his dream come true.

“Excuse me sir, there is a call for you” came the voice of his secretary, distracting him from his thoughts.

“Should I put her through?” she asked when her boss made no attempt to act accordingly.

After a little pause, he swallowed hard and asked: “her?”

“yes sir. Its a woman”

“Alright, put her through”, he said, making his way to his office to get the call. The blank countenance he wore was proof that he was still brainstorming on who the unknown caller might be.

“Hello”, he said the moment he took his seat.

“Dele Markiwa?”

“Speaking. How may I help you?”. He was still trying to figure out whose voice it was when it came again, pulling him out of his thoughts.

“You must be wondering who I am. Doesn’t my voice sound familiar? Its only been five years, don’t tell me you don’t remember me”.

Dele was transfixed. Shocked was an understatement, he was terrified. He had no personal experience to refer to but he knew enough to tell that calls like this don’t always end well. His eyes remained fixed to the floor like it haboured the answer to this mystery. He was certain that this voice sounded familiar but he wasn’t sure when, where or to whom it belonged to.

“Dele honey, you still there?” The voice remained cool, calm and collected and Dele couldn’t understand how a person could maintain such neutrality while placing others in a skyrocketed state of apprehension.

“I know you are in a state of merriment. Your office has always been exquisite but that of a managing director would pass for nothing less of heaven on Earth. Meanwhile, congratulations on your promotion” the voice chuckled.

“How did you know about my promotion?” Dele was beginning to sweat all over. The oblivious state of not knowing who the caller is was downgrading but the scorn, the mockery evident in the voice was belittling. Dele was getting embarrassed even though no one else was listening to their conversation. This wasn’t him. He was Dele Markiwa, the man that is always in control of his activities.

“What do you want?” He shouted, his temper rising.

“Hey man, don’t raise your voice at me. I call the shots here, not you. Now listen and listen good, if you don’t want me giving your precious wife a call, you do exactly as I say. Am I understood?”

“Yes” Even though yet to wrap his fingers around it, Dele knew he was in for a lot of trouble.

As he sat in his seating room later that evening watching his usual 8 o’clock news with his wife, his phone rang. He was surprised to see the same number that had called him earlier in the day. The hiss escaped his mouth before he recalled his wife was present.

“Darling, is everything alright?” Came his wife, as expected. He lied, using work as cover up but the calls never stopped coming until he sneaked out to listen to the obviously more threats the caller had.

“What is it again, what do you want from me?” He screamed at the phone.

“Dele love, screaming the house down will do you no good so I advise you calm down. I saw you at the address I texted you. You didn’t see me, so don’t bother your little head. The whole point of making you revisit that venue is to help your memory. So tell me, do you now know who I am, has your memory done its job this time?”

Dele was fidgeting. “Look here young lady, I don’t know who you are or what games you are playing. Just Incase you haven’t figured it out, I will enlighten you. Am a very busy man hence, I don’t have time for your dirty games. Have a good night!”.

Not so fast. If I were you, I would first go through that email I just received before taking a decision. She was smiling and Dele could feel it. That crooked smile, that outrageous grin could only mean one thing…

His mouth hung open as he read through the mail. “Nooo! This can’t be true. This can’t be happening! Especially not now.” He snapped his fingers in furry and Paced to and fro his passage, biting his finger as he thought of the quickest escape plan.

He had spent the past five years praying that nemesis doesn’t catch up with him but like some will say: “karma is a bitch!”. He had felt so guilty of Maureen’s death even after making sure his tracks were covered air tight. Dele knew he wasn’t exactly the perfect definition of a good man but he was certain that he made it to the top 20. Well, at least, everyone around him made him feel so.

Killing Maureen was the worst thing he had ever had to do especially judging by the fact that she was very nice to him. Her extended hand of friendship came at the lowest moment of his life. She had helped him both advise wise and financially, as any good friend would. Driven by quest for power, Dele had killed her the moment he found out just how wealthy she was. The realization that Maureen was an only child was enough prompt for the scheme. Dele had ceased the grieving period to get close to her dad and hence his company.

“How exactly is Maureen still alive? I made sure she breathed her last five years ago before leaving the scene. If she has been alive all these while, why wait five years before coming for what is rightly hers? By the way, how does she know about my little affair with Nneka and the son produced by the ill-fated union?, the very information she has been threatening to let my wife in on.” He had lots of questions yet, no calculated answer for any of them. The past five years had been peaceful, little did be know that these actions will come back to bite him in the ass.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Hertz

    April 9, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Kill her again, problem solved

    • Dera

      April 9, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      🤣🤣🤣
      That’s quite hilarious

  2. ViKtorsobe

    April 14, 2021 at 11:58 am

    Wants more of this story.
    Is she Maureen, or someone cashed in in the opportunity?
    But no soul that sins goes unpunished.
    Thanks Dera

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Prose

Beaten and Untangled

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family doing grocery shopping


It was another beautiful morning in Phoenix, Arizona, my favorite state in the whole of United States. In my seventeen years of life, I have traveled across a greater part of the states in US and have succeeded in living in five out of the many I have passed by. My dad is a Civil engineer and his work takes us almost everywhere. Moving to and fro wasn’t easy at the beginning but I guess I have become used to it now.
I smiled as I watched the sun perform its magic on everyone and everything. As I waited for the school bus, I couldn’t help but notice, again, the happy and well knitted family: “The Hunters”. Though new in the neighborhood, I was already abreast with the details of the Hunters. Trust me, they are that captivating and ravishing! I still remember asking the first kid I saw in the neighborhood who they were. Everything about them is inviting. Their house was the best in the entire street, their cars were numerous, I could go on and on.
I kept staring as Mr Hunter opened the front car door of his Ferrari for his wife while their daughter sat at the back. Their affluence apart, the love and unity between them made them the center of attraction; the family everyone wanted to be like.
Whenever I did something wrong, my mum would always remind me of Kathy, their daughter. “Don’t you see your mate Kathy? Don’t you see how good, respectful and well behaved she is? Why can’t you just be like her?”.
The time difference between the onset and end of academic activities for the day was short, brief like a trance. Maybe its because I was lost in thoughts throughout. Mr Hunter’s perfectionism and how mind-blowing he has made his family was all I could think of. Sometimes I wished he was my dad too.
The sudden hault of the school bus jerked me back to reality. I made a quick survey of the environment. We were at my street but not yet at my house. I was both shocked and frightened when I sighted the numerous cop vehicles in front of the Hunters apartment.
I rushed home immediately, banging the door behind me out of fear. Mum wasn’t home yet, neither was dad. I was so frightened and my heart was beginning to beat really fast, heightening my fear. How relieved I was when mum came back.
A middle aged young man showed up at our door later that evening to interrogate us. He introduced himself as Detective Jones. It was on the course of the visit that we realized that Mrs Hunter had been stabbed in her apartment and the murder weapon missing. Kathy was left alone in their apartment as her dad couldn’t be reached.
The shock and flabaggasted expression on my mum’s face was equivocal to the feeling surged in my chest.
The Hunters of all people, who could have done such a thing?
“I just hope Mr Hunter doesn’t commit suicide. We all know how he never leaves her side”, my mum said.
The very month following the incident was grueling. Back and forth confrontation, uncomfortable invasion of privacy and out of the blues accusation by the cops.
We were all angry and stressed out. The worst feeling was the rumor that Mr Hunter had killed himself.
I couldn’t curtail the shock, the surprise and the confusion I felt when Detective Jones showed up at my house two months later to inform us that Mr Hunter was in their custody for the murder of his wife, Jasmine.
“He has given his statement and presently awaits trial.”, he added.
No one in the neighborhood could believe what happened. Mr Hunter of all people!

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Prose

Dear Daughter

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man people woman hand

It was another beautiful day, bright enough to brighten even the most troubled heart yet, intertwined in the midst of an avalanche of stress. It had been a long day and all I longed for was my bed. The academic stress was really taking its toll on me. I had known it wouldn’t be an easy process but I never knew it would be this difficult.

I had always been a star student, among the best in my class throughout my secondary education and even during my one year pre-JAMB class before getting into the University. It had always been my passion to study Pharmacy, the reason I didn’t mind staying back after my first Jamb result couldn’t get me the course I wanted.

My love for academics had never been hidden. I wasn’t just a lover of knowledge but one who loved to read. At a point, I could feel the fear in the eyes of my loved ones as they watched me twill into a world of my own, burying my head deeply in studies with little or no attention to human interaction nor friendship.

I still remember going through secondary school without a single person to call “my friend”. It had been hilarious then because I didn’t see the point of having friends, I couldn’t just understand why everyone placed so much emphasis on the word “friendship”. Now that I look back, I smile. The thought of how deep a transformation my thought process has undergone marvels me.

I haven’t only bought the idea of friendship but have grown so attached to mine that they could easily be mistaken as my sisters. We have gotten to the point of sharing and doing everything together. We even happen to share a room right now. How the friendship started, I can’t really tell. I just feel the universe decided to be merciful unto me. The Lord has really blessed me through those.

As I walked into my room, lazily dragging my feet out of tiredness, I managed to drop my bag to the floor before going for my bed. I was hungry but too tired to think about it. I needed the feel of my bed against my back for a while before paying attention to anything else. I took a deep breath as I stretched out my limbs.

My thoughts suddenly drifted to Ebuka, a final year law student. He was running his second degree program in Enugu Campus, the second branch of the prestigious University of Nigeria. He was one of the few guys who were bound on braking through my defences no matter how tough I make them. I had made up my mind, even before getting into school to focus on getting my degree first before anything else.

There was this saying in town that men love female pharmacy students. Better put, men love female pharmacy students because of the license they are to acquire. A saying I had brushed aside and considered trivial until it played out right in my face a few months in the department. I also got to confirm the rumor that hardly any female pharmacy student becomes a Pharmacist without already being engaged.

As I thought about Ebuka, I was at a loss on what to do. I had tried everything I know, every trick I have learnt yet, the young man wouldn’t just leave me alone. “I’m just a 3rd year pharmacy student for crying out loud, why don’t these men understand when a woman says she doesn’t want to get into a relationship until she finishes school?” My head was beginning to ache. I could literarily feel the throbbing like I was being hit with a hammer, a good reminder that I had starved myself for far too long.

As I staggered up to my feet, I blindly kicked my bag, causing the crashing of my plastic reading chair and a few of my books scattered to the floor. I sighed as I picked them up one after the other while supporting my head with my left hand as though it will stabilize the pounding I feel. As I picked up the last book, I noticed a folded piece of paper at one side of the table. I was sure it wasn’t mine as I hadn’t turn out any piece of recent.

“It must be from one of my mum’s old books”, I told myself. I had been told she died giving birth to me. The only way I had ever felt close to her was by going through her things in the house.

I was transfixed to a point the moment I saw the heading of the letter. I quickly went for the last page to be sure I wasn’t mistaking but no, I wasn’t. It was a letter from my mum. I sank to the floor as I read through, tears pouring down my eyes as I read.

My dear daughter

Dear daughter, you are the apple of my eyes, my joy of motherhood, my seed in whom I am well pleased.

You are stronger than you feel, smarter than you think and wiser than you know.

You are an epitome of beauty, a combination of beauty with brains.

Your elegance stands you out amongst your peers, you speak and they listen.

Your carriage, your humility yet strong stand for what you know is right distinguishes you.

Your good attitude, intelligence and domesticated lifestyle attract people to you.

But here is one thing I want you to always remember: “books before looks”. This is the principal foundation to a good life and the best start for the journey towards harnessing your skills and fulfilment of your destiny.

Be a woman of impact, be a woman of purpose. Be a woman who leaves a mark, a transformation on the lives of others.

You have all it takes but remember, the strength for these can only come from the lord. Make me proud!

Love, Mum.

I kept crying, not just because I missed my mum but because I had long walked in the footsteps that she would have directed me in. I cried because her words, even though as old as I am, sounded like they were just spoken. My heart ached from longing for her, but at the same time, I was glad to have heard these words. Even though not directly from her, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

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Prose

OBNOXIOUS GRANDMA

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grayscale photography of woman

Laura woke up perplexed. The last thing she remembered was getting drunk in a restaurant on a bid to escape the fraustration that sorged her system. Everything was unusual about this strange environment. Ranging from the sweet fragerance of fresh roses to the elegantly decorated bedroom with magnificent pieces of furniture lying at strategic positions.

The size of the bedroom alone surpassed her entire house put together. She was lost in awe as she starred from furniture to furnish, almost drooling. The sound of someone clearing his throat alerted her. She turned briskly to the direction of the voice and froze. She wasn’t sure but something about this young man sitting comfortably by her bedside looked familiar.

“Who are you and what am I doing here?” She asked, guarding herself on the bed, ready for the worst. The guy said nothing but only pointed at a shirt hung at a corner of the room. Laura looked from the guy to the shirt, back to the guy. It wasn’t clicking. She couldn’t tell what was going on.

“Use your words mister!” She screamed at him, rolling her eyes.

The young man cast a quizzical glance at her. For a moment he was silent. When he finally spoke, he pointed at the shirt again. “Doesn’t that shirt strike a cord?” He asked, calmly at first before raising his voice when Laura just starred at him without saying a word.

“That was the shirt I wore last night and I doubt if I would ever wear it again, no thanks to ill mannered simpletons like yourself!”, he yelled.

Laura was shocked and scared as the memory of the awful encounter flashed through her mind. She quickly covered her mouth with her hands, expecting the worst.

A knock on the door by Raph, the young man’s driver and personal assistant took Laura off the hook. She immediately took a deep breath and retracted further from the young man.

“Boss, the witch is here!” Raph announced the moment he entered the room. The young boss whom Laura got to know was called Leo, jumped to his feet, agitated.

“Is there a problem?”, Laura asked when she noticed the sudden focus on her.

“Mrs Gladstone is here. I know you don’t know her but the summary is that she is Boss Leo’s biggest business partner and she is trouble. Boss Leo is forcefuly engaged to her grand daughter Lucy, even though he has no interest in her. It’s the only reason their business relationship still waxes stronger. She is equally boss Leo’s mother’s closest friend. They have the same character. I know you are from a poor family. Let’s just say that if she singles you out, you are as good as dead!”. Raph explained.

Laura’s mouth was wide open. She wasn’t sure what to say. “Hey, is that hereditary?”, she said after the pause, looking at Leo who cast her a warning glance, then looked away.

Mrs Gladstone walked into the room with her head high. She always carried herself like a queen. “Who is she?”, She asked without even a response to their greetings. Leo immediately cooked up some lies about Laura’s background. Laura was terrified. She had been scared at first but seeing how Mrs Gladstone kept every other person on their toes terrified her. She couldn’t wait to run away from this oven called home!

Laura ran off the moment she got the chance. She never stopped running until she got to the bus stop where she boarded a bus. As expected, her mum and her younger brother were already parambulating around, walking to and fro their little compound wearing the typical hopeless countenance.

“Where did you sleep last night? Do you know how worried we were? Your father even had to go to work late all in the name of waiting for you to return. We haven’t even gotten any edible ready for your grandmother who informed us that she will be paying us a visit today simply because we were worried about you!”, her mum sighed. Laura didn’t need a suite Sayer to inform her that her mother’s bag of questions were rhetorical.

“Did you say grandmother, what grandmother?” She queried, turning to look at her mother.

“Which other grandmother do you have if not mine, or are you ready to resurrect your paternal grandmother from her grave?”

“Mum, that is not funny at all. The point is, I have never seen your mother!” She complained and made her way into the house.

“Well, you will see her today. It’s about time” her mum said to the already closed door.

The sound of the approaching vehicle alerted everyone in the house. “Your grandmother is around” screamed Laura’s mother.

Laura was shocked to see the same woman she had seen earlier that day. “Mrs Gladstone!”, She screamed before she realized it.

“Yes, that’s your grandmother. I’m sure you are taken aback by the fact that she looks almost my age. She had me when she was sixteen, that’s why.” Laura’s mum explained.

Laura was speechless. She had no idea what to say. Lots of questions to be asked. How could a woman as rich and accomplished as Mrs Gladstone be her grandmother yet, they have lived in abject poverty for as long as she could remember.

One thing was certain, Mrs Gladstone wasn’t exactly an easy person to deal with but that notwithstanding, her mum had a lot of explaining to do.

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