Mission… in motion
I bided my time. At this point I could not afford any mistakes. I allowed the days to creep into weeks and I remained the new, improved daughter and sister.
I went out smiling goodbye to everyone and returned takeaway packs in hand. Every new day meant something new, something different. And while my bank balance grunted a little at the extra weight it had to bear¸ I waited for the moment it would all payoff.
Daddy and his darling wife finally provided me the opportunity I needed. They woke up one morning and announced that they were travelling to see Afam in school. They would be out of the country for two weeks or so, as they were taking the opportunity to have some well-deserved vacation.
Daniella and I tearfully saw them off to the airport and then dear sister clinched the deal for me. The very next day she gave Ebele and Dorcas three days off to go see their families in the village.
Our dear Yoruba brethren say that what you are looking for in Sokoto state is in your sokoto. Translation, the opportunity I’ve been killing myself for was served me on a platter of gold. So, I didn’t bother to question the stupidity behind her oversabi generosity. I gave my express approval when she sought my opinion on the matter. This was not a time to wonder how she expected us to take care of the house for three days.
With daddy and mummy gone and the housemaids away on leave, we were left with the gardener and gateman. They weren’t a problem since they both hardly frequented the main house.
I didn’t waste any further time. Plenty has been wasted as it was and the wedding was now barely seven weeks away. While I was awaiting the opportune time, I had investigated long and hard and had come up with the perfect tranquilizer.
That same day she sent off the maids, I prowled the city in search of a pharmacy to get the magic tonic. I finally found one and when the pharmacy attendant looked at me like I was a closet murderer, I settled him with a nice padded envelope and a vague explanation.
But it was the envelope that did the trick. People like money sha!
Anyway that evening I knocked on Daniella’s door and since we were now sister-sister, I opened without waiting for her invitation to do so. She was lying on her back, a book over her face. She hadn’t gone to work that day. Had had a day off. Something that agreed perfectly with my plan.
“Bookworm, you no dey rest.” I teased, dropping the tray of juice and barbecued chicken before joining her on the bed.
“Ah, this is just a romance novel na.” Daniella laughed, putting down the book and lifting herself to sitting position. “Oh my God, is that mango juice?”
I smiled widely. It was her favourite juice, even fruit. You could poison her with mangoes and she’d die happily. I always found it fascinating that before a prisoner was taken for execution he gets served a very good meal. Sometimes his favourite meal. At least in the American movies I watched.
Who knows how these things happen in Nigerian prisons? And who cares? But I considered it a good procedure and I took a leaf from their learned book.
“And you bought chicken too, I was think off making us spaghetti with the turkey meat in the refrigerator.” Daniella was already pouring herself a glass.
“We can eat spaghetti tomorrow jor.” I dismissed with a pout. “I thought we should relax and have fun our first night alone.”
Daniella grinned. “You mean like a girls’ night, right?” She took a long sip, then grimaced. “Hmm, this tastes somehow. Abi it’s expired?” She picked up the pack and scrutinised it.
“Expired kè?” I frowned a little, peering at the pack. “I don’t think so. I did check it. I’m sure I did.”
“No, it’s not.” She tried another sip. “Just has this funny taste though.” Then shrugged. “I don’t care jor. It’s probably due to how they must have packed it in with other drinks.” She topped off her glass. “Why did you bring only one glass now? I will finish this drink if you leave me o. You know how I love mango juice.”
Which is exactly why you have it there. “Dani, you sef know I can’t stand mango juice na. There’s pineapple juice in the fridge, let me go get it.” I took a pinch of the chicken and tossed it into my mouth. “Don’t finish the chicken before I come back o.”
“You better hurry up then.” She winked, yanking off a drumstick. “Delay is dangerous.”
I took my precious time coming back. By the time I did, she’d half emptied the pack of juice and was looking way too relaxed.
“I thought we should look through some of these mags.” I said, dumping a stack of wedding magazines I’d picked up in Johannesburg and Dubai on the bed.
“Wedding mags, how wonderful.” She grabbed one and quickly flipped it open. Then caught a yawn with the back of her hand. “Kai, this is what happens when I miss my siesta, I start feeling drowsy early.” She yawned again and shook her head. “Ah, where is this sleep coming from now?”
“Just imagine, I came here to have a lady’s night with you and you are fallen asleep on me, eh?” I pulled a face. “Don’t try it o. Just take something and clip those your eyelids to the top because if I see them flutter, eh?” I made a warning sound.
“Ada, don’t mind me abeg, feeling sleepy at barely eight pm.” She stifled the yawn this time. She reached for the juice pack. “Let me keep myself busy with this drink and some…” another yawn, “… chicken.”
“You better do.” I told her, cutting another piece of chicken and flicking through the magazine I was with. “Wow, look at this gown. Utterly breath-taking.”
“Let me see.” She shifted to my side and peered into the magazine. I could see her struggling to keep her eyes open. “Oh yes, it’s really beautiful. The design looks extraordinary.”
“Unique is what it is.” I remarked, turning the page to another wedding gown model.
And I kept turning the page after page, making breezy comments until I the only response I got from her was the sound of her piggy snores. Then I tossed down the magazines and slid off the bed.
“You might even pass for Sleeping beauty.” I mused, eyeing her disdainfully as she lay straight on her back, her hands over a magazine that laid across her chest. “Well, Sleeping beauty you are not getting a kiss from Prince Charming. Uh-uh, not this time.”
Bending, I snatched the magazine off her grip and gathering the rest, I reached for the pack of mango juice. Evidences must never be left lying around… nah.
Tossing her another mocking glance, I walked out of her room.
Mission… already in motion.