“Let’s go back, Richard,” Vanessa said. “The girl has obviously gone.”
“Let’s check at the Akasson’s too as the guy said.”
“She probably would have used any of the bigger names.
“Oh well, we wouldn’t know for sure, would we?” Richard’s eyes didn’t leave the road.
They passed a small crowd of noisy people and Richard slowed the car.
“What’s going on there?”
Vanessa rolled her eyes. “How would I know?”
Richard stopped the car and pulled the shifter to R. The car started to reverse.
“Let me check out what’s happening there.”
Vanessa let out a small groan of impatience.
Richard parked and stepped down.
Vanessa reluctantly joined him.
A large fair lady held a younger lady in a long flowing dress by the neck. Most of the people gathered round were asking what the matter was, some pleading to the woman to leave the girl or at least tell them what the problem was.
Finally the woman released the young girl. Her forehead was reddened in fury, beads of sweat steadily condensing on the surface.
“That’s how you people come here to eat free food every day because una don hear say Father Christmas dey sell food for bus park.”
“Madam, I having money before, I swearing with my life. I not knowing what–”
“You are mad. So you no check your bag before you begin order like person wey dey work for Central Bank. You think say I no know you?”
“Hey, Madam, I not knowing you o. I never coming here before, in fact–”
The woman made to slap her and she dodged. “Thief, today na ur last. Just don’t pay me my money and you’ll see what I—”
“Madam, how much is the money?”
Mma screamed and threw her arms around Richard.
Richard hugged her back.
Vanessa stood at the back glaring.
“Madam, how much does she owe?”
“Two-hundred naira,” the woman threw out.
Richard brought out his wallet and gave her two clean N1000 naira notes.
The woman’s features straightened out suddenly as she collected the notes. Her smile of glee hadn’t fully formed when Mma reached and jerked the notes from her hand.
She gave her one of the notes. “Giving me change fast fast.”
The woman stared at Mma, all her cavities open.
Richard was smiling.
Vanessa entered the car and slammed the car door shut.
“No. I not going back to the house.”
Richard glanced up at the rear-view mirror. “Why?”
“Madam asking me to leave. She seeing me again and I not knowing what she will doing to me.”
Richard parted his lips to say something but didn’t, couldn’t.
“Richy,” Vanessa called. “If I may suggest, I don’t think it’s a good idea taking her back to the house.”
“I mean it’s not such a good thing to do.”
“What is the better thing?”
“Let her sleep in a hotel near the park tonight so that she’d be on her way early the next morning.”
“Yes. Or you can drive to the airport straightaway and get her a ticket.”
“Please, I not entering alo-plane o.” Mma folded her arms below her breasts.
Vanessa looked at her and took her eyes back with vivid unconcern. “Any of the two options is the better way out.”
“She is not going anywhere.”
“You have a fiancée.”
“A wife almost.”
“And she just left your house.”
“And she will be back sooner than you think.”
Vanessa’s bafflement drove her to silence.
“What you people talking about?” Mma asked.
“Nothing of particular relevance, Mma.” Richard turned into the road that’d take them up the bridge.
He glanced at Vanessa. “Tell me where to drop you.”
Vanessa’s lips became tightly pursed. “Drop me at the estate gate,” she murmured.
Vanessa got down at the estate gate but two days after she was back, with a different plan.
The lady pursuing her was short and ugly. She had the feeling they’d met somewhere before but now she couldn’t remember where.
And in the weird manner of dreams, the lady wore a long black gown with hair that stood up in long thread-covered spikes.
She concentrated more on surviving. She ran fast but her pursuer ran like she was on rollers. Ghostly quite. The narrow bush-fringed track seemed endless.
Now the evil woman appeared in her front. She jolted to a halt.
The woman threw her lips open in a wicked laugh. Black-stained teeth flashed at her.
She trembled. The woman held out two hands to strangle her. She knew of nothing else to do. Her body felt too heavy for a fight, as if under a numbing spell. She closed her eyes, surrendering herself to death.
Cynthia came awake with a sudden start. She clutched Jack The Bear to herself and tried to settle her breathing.
Soon a knock landed on the door.
“Who is that?”
“It’s me, ma.”
“Yes, ma. Madam asked me to call you. Your friend is around.”
Cynthia struggled out of the bed.
At the sitting room, Vanessa stood up and hugged her.
Cynthia’s mother closed her book and put her glasses in the case.
“I’ll leave you two.” She walked into the room.
Vanessa didn’t ask many questions before she lowered her voice and told her what she had come for—the final solution to the whole drama.
Cynthia stared while she unzipped her shiny leather bag and brought a small bottle. She held it up for her to see. “Just a single drop and she’d bleed empty.”
Cynthia shook her head, her face dull with hesitation. “No, Vanessa, I don’t think I can do that.”
“Babe, you will. The only bind tying them together is that pregnancy. It was a huge mistake you made not allowing her to carry on with the abortion in the first place.”
Cynthia shook her head, turning her face away.
Vanessa moved closer to her. “Babe, listen, sometimes you have to be fierce to get what is yours back. This is no too big a deal. You said it yourself that she was willing to go on with the abortion before.”
“Yes, but I felt she only wanted to please Richard and I.”
“Whatever her reason was is of little purpose, use this and get your man back. No one would even suspect a thing.”
Cynthia stared at the small brown bottle Vanessa held out to her, her eyes clouded with indecision.
Copyright © Daniel Nkado 2014. All rights reserved.
Consented personally by the author to be used on Alifediary only.
Daniel Nkado is a Nigerian writer and journalist, author of bestselling Ola – The Tale of a Young Moon Maiden and founder of DNBStories.com.
Interact with him on www.dnbstories.com or @danielnkd on Twitter.