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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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  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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woman standing near window in balcony

As Lydia hid behind the giant art work just behind the closed door, voyalge of thoughts ran through her head. Misconceptions after misconceptions. She couldn’t believe she let herself get so belittled! The perfect plan she had in her head was the exact opposite of what the world seemed to have in stock for her. The moment she heard the sound of the car as its driver drove out of the compound, she hurriedly picked up her stuff and dashed out of the house. Derrick’s voice, in all its sweetness could not stop her. She couldn’t let it. Her brain went from memory to memory, revoking every single time they had spent together to the detriment of her mental health. She couldn’t believe it had been a lie all along! How could Derrick do this to her, to her of all people!

The annoying sound from the forcefully closed door as Lydia made her way into her little sized self contain room alerted Zara, her roommate and long time best friend. The anger that sprout out her system, one she was ready to unleash on the intruder demystified as quickly as it had formed the moment Zara sighted her roommate. No words needed to be spoken, Lydia’s face said it all.

“Babe, what happened? Is something wrong with Derrick?” She asked the moment Lydia managed to take her seat.

The reply she got wasn’t encouraging. Lydia couldn’t talk. Tears poured down her eyes like a fresh downpour from a secluded spring. More tears found their way down her cheeks each time she opened her mouth to talk. Her heart was beginning to beat fast as she was beginning to choke as she drowned herself in her own tears. Zara’s heart was beginning to skip some beats, she was elated. Only one thing was capable of making a lady cry this way over a man. How she wished her guess was wrong. She knew how much her friend loved her fiance. She could still remember how brightly her eyes glittered the day Derrick had proposed.

Memories upon Memories flooded Lydia’s mind. She couldn’t get herself to understand how an already married man with a kid could lead another lady on, promising her heaven on Earth and even go to the extent of engaging her. To what end? How much more callous can a man be? She was caught in the midst of piercing emotions yet, no clue as at what to do. She pulled out the engagement ring off her finger and flung it to one corner of the room screaming: it is over!

Zara’s guess was confirmed, the worst of her fears… She was still yet to understand what could have led to the severance of a perfectly endowed relationship.

As though reading Zara’s thoughts, Lydia screamed :”can you believe that the idiot is married? His wife visited his house today. He had no idea she was coming. I’m sure if he did, he would have found a way of meeting me outside the house. Zara’s palms hugged tightly to her open mouth. The shock on her face was palpable. She didn’t see it coming. None of them did. It was the last thing she expected from Derrick.

Lydia stared in confusion, her brain turning like a wave under the influence of a multidirectional wind. Amidst the chaos going on in her head, one thing was clear, the only way out of this mess. She needed to move on, she needed to let go. Then comes the big question: can she? How would she embark on that journey of picking up what was left of the pieces??

As she wept, the realization began to creep through her system, the presence of her saviour. She felt His strongholds supporting her weak body. She felt relived knowing that the Lord was with her, the only thing standing between her and and life!

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portrait photo of woman

The loud voices from the other side of the house woke Kathy from sleep. It was another round of argument and name calling. Her parents were at it again. She had hoped that they will one day resolve whatever the clash of interest was but it didn’t look like that day will ever come. She covered her ears with her hands as the voices rose the more, trying however she could to wedge the words from stabbing her as she could literarily feel the words pierce through her system.

It was barely dawn when she changed into her gym outfit, grabbed her headset and made for her usual early morning jogging. It was the way she knew how to keep herself away from the tension that has long built up at home. The only way she could clear her head. Situations like this made her wish she was still in the University. How she missed hostel life now, even though she wasn’t a fan of it while it lasted. To her, anything was better than staying at home. The most annoying part was the fact that her parents have never told her exactly what the problem was.

Kathy strolled into the house lost in thoughts, the sweet Melody from Michael Jackson’s hit “you are not alone” caressing her ears with much inuendo. She was halfway up the stairs when she heard the shrill cry of her mum. She dragged the headset off her head with immediate effect and rushed down the stairs with so much energy for someone who had just drained herself working out. She traced the voice to the kitchen but it was no longer her mum crying, it was the other way round: her mum lay motionless on the floor while tears poured down her dad’s eyes.

Kathy was shocked. She stood staring, her mouth ajar with her two palms cupping a greater part of its opening. She stared from her dad to her mum, back to her dad. As she was finally able to focus on the blood that oozed out of her mother’s head, tears surged down her cheeks. Her mother’s cracked skull stared back at her.

It took her a few minutes to realize she actually had nothing to say to her dad. Nothing! Nothing, yet. She turned with immediate effect, rushed to her room, packed a few of her things and rushed out of the house. She was long gone before her dad realized that he was home alone.

Kathy made her way to the nearest bus stop and joined the first bus at sight. She was fighting to keep her sanity intact. She had her headset on with lucky Dube’s Crazy world blaring at the highest volume. She wanted to escape. She craved for the foul engrave of the memory to dabble away.

It took the shred voice of the bus driver to bring Kathy back to the present. He had obviously repeated himself over and over again and was beginning to loose his cool. The reason was evident: Kathy looked around but there was no one else in the bus. It was at that moment that she realized that she has no idea where she was.

“We have reached out last bus stop madam, please come down” he said again, staring at Kathy as though if she spent another minute in his bus she would contaminate it.

“Please where are we?” Kathy asked as she made her way down.

The driver gave her an even more horrifying look before muttering “Akwa-Ibom” state. “You have not paid me my money o” he added, his voice high this time.

Kathy stared at him for a while. She felt lost and confused. She couldn’t understand how she could move from Anambra state to Akwa-Ibom state within such a short period. She had been so lost in thoughts during the drive that she didn’t notice how long it had taken. Scribbling some naira notes from her purse, she handed them over to the driver and made her way down the street.

It was her first time in Uyo. She had always known it to be not just the capital of Akwa-Ibom but also a nice place to reside. As she kept walking, all she saw was the dark cloud hovering over her. Everywhere she looked, there it was. Even with the street lights radiating from all angles, she still couldn’t appreciate the beauty of the town. She neither knew anyone in Uyo nor had any idea where she was headed. She couldn’t remember passing any Hotel nor did she know the nearest place to get one.

It was the most grueling moment of her life. She could feel her world collapsing right before her. A grain of tear found its way down her cheeks and she wiped it off, determined to encapsulate the tears and mask her grief.

The sight of a restaurant was like a grey of Hope in her misery packed journey. She barely touched the food she was served when the news from the television stole what was left of her appetite.

“The sudden death of Mrs Regina Offordile, the wife of the millionaire business tycon, Chief Uzodinma Offordile who was found dead in her kitchen earlier in the day in a suspected home accident is under investigation. Her husband, Chief Offordile, the only witness to the scene is too traumatized to speak to us. The ware abouts of Kathy, their only child is unknown. A picture of her will be made available soon. Anyone who helps us locate her will be handsomely rewarded. Once again, we sympathize with the family.”

Kathy kept staring at the television. She couldn’t believe her ears. How could her dad do this to them, how could he do this to her? Even though she wasn’t there when the accident happened, she knew her dad propelled it. How dare he pretend to know nothing, making it look like she was on the run out of guilt? Now the police was looking for her like she was the culprit. In a matter of days now, her picture will be all over the place and her dad would have just succeeded in stealing away her freedom, the only thing she had left!

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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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