KNOCKOUT

Her thin slow beep comes on as she tucks herself into bed. She groans and stretches for the phone. She clicks on the message. “What?” She says excitedly. Veronica rolls on the bed. She covers her mouth with her hand. Seeing Veronica is still asleep, she sighs, smiles, and drops her phone. 

_______________________________________________ Veronica yawned and stretched as she opened her eyes. “Rita,” She called. 

“Sister, good morning. You are awake,” Rita replied. 

“Yes, I am awake because all your rattling wouldn’t let me sleep. Why are you up so early? And why are dressed? Where are you going to?” 

“Veronica, all these questions this early morning,” Rita responded and turned to Veronica. 

Veronica gave her a surprised look. 

“Ahh, sorry o, Sister Veronica,” Rita jokingly corrected herself and they burst into a laugh. After some seconds of laughing, “Well…I’m going for an interview and they said to be there before 8. And you know I have to win against Lagos traffic to be there on time. “ Rita explained. 

“See my baby girl o. Ehen, what interview is that?” Veronica asked. 

“Well, you know I’ve been applying to be a host, and yesterday this show noticed me so I guess this is it,” Rita replied as she packed her things into her bag. 

“What show?” Veronica inquired. 

Rita put her hair behind as she bent to pick her shoes. “It’s a new game show called ‘knockout’.” 

“Knockout? I have not heard of it before,” Veronica said and climbed out of bed. 

Rita put her shoes in a nylon bag. “Yes, it’s new. I’m going to be among the first hosts they will be interviewing for their show.”

“Are you sure about this?” Veronica asked with a worried look. 

“Definitely. Wait let me show you something,” Rita said as she brought out her phone from her bag, she unlocked it, swiped left and right, and went over to sit with her sister. 

“This is the address,” She and Veronica stared into the phone. Rita took it and swiped again, “This is the flier with the people who own the show in it,” Rita said smiling. 

Veronica tried to smile, “Yea, it looks legit but I don’t know, Rita.”

“Come on Sis. I know you are worried about me but I’m a grown woman and I can take care of myself and besides I’m chasing my dreams,” Rita assured her. 

“Yes you are,” Veronica chuckled. 

“Okay we’ll do it like this, once I get to the place I’ll call you. I’ll video call you so you can see the place,” Rita suggested. 

“You promise?” Veronica asked. 

“Cross my heart. Hope to die.” They both giggled. 

“Oya come and be going before you go late. After all, there is nothing I’ll say that’ll make you change your mind,” Rita said. 

“Nothing o,” Rita voiced as she stood up. She picked up her things and headed for the door. She opened it, “Bye big sis,” and then shut it. 

“Bye, call me,” Veronica yelled. She sighed and went back to bed. 

“And then four hours later…,” Veronica tells her fiancé. 
_______________________________________________ Veronica entered her boss’s office with some folders, and as she stepped in, the folders fell from her trembling hands and she held on to the doorway. 

Her boss and his secretary looked in her direction. “Veronica?” Her boss called. 

“I’m sorry,” Veronica apologized and squatted to pick the folders up. The secretary joined her. 

“Are you okay?” The secretary asked her. 

“I’m fine, Chioma. I just felt dizzy. That’s all,” Veronica responded. 

“Are you sure?” Chioma insisted. 

Veronica nodded. 

“Go to the sickbay. I’ll give these to him and bring them back to you, okay?” Chioma told her. 

“Really?” Veronica asked. Chioma nodded, smiling. They stood up. 

“Go on,” Chioma urged her. 

“Excuse me, Sir,” Veronica managed to say out. 

“Okay, Veronica,” her boss replied. Veronica walked out of his office. 

_______________________________________________
“I didn’t see her calls or even a video call. I thought it was nothing. And then I went home, she wasn’t there. Her number was switched off so I thought maybe her battery was flat. So I decided to wait but then I fell asleep. I woke up and she wasn’t still back. 4 am and my baby wasn’t back. That’s unlike Rita. That’s why I freaked out and came here. You have to help me,” Veronica expresses in tears. 

“Hey, hey, hey, hey, don’t do this, okay? Calm down. Don’t cry,” Kachi consoles her as he dries her tears with his hand and hugs her. “You know the address, don’t you?” Kachi asks her. Veronica nods. 

“Good, so we will wait till it’s a little bit bright, then we will go,” he tells her. 

Veronica breaks off from the hug. “A little bit bright?” She asks furiously. “What if something happens to her?” She yells, “I’m not waiting for when it’s a little bit bright. I’m not planning to marry a soldier if I have to wait till it’s a little bit bright to take important actions. Besides, it’ll be a little bit bright by the time we get there. We are going now.”

Kachi is shocked. “Okay, I’m sorry. We are going now,” Kachi says calmly. 

“Good,” and she storms out of the house. 

_______________________________________________
“Something is wrong with her. Something is wrong with my sister, Kachi. I can feel it,” Veronica says, sadly and lowly. 

Kachi glances at her and faces the road. “Baby, she’s fine, trust me. We are going there to get her, and hopefully as a new employee. You’ll see,” he assures her. Veronica folds her arms and looks away. 

The day is already getting brighter. Veronica slowly sits upright. “What’s happening there?” She asks. 

“Where?” He replies as he passes the scene where people are gathered by the roadside. 

“Stop, stop, stop,” she urges him. 

Kachi brings the car to a halt. “What is it?” He asks. 

“I want to see what’s going on,” she tells him. 

“But baby, you can’t just stop in a place you don’t know to join bystanders,” he advises her. 

“I don’t feel comfortable. I feel like we should check it out, please,” she pleads. 

Kachi sighs, “Fine but we won’t take long, all right?” Veronica nods. 

They approach the crowd, they try to see what is drawing their attention. Veronica manages to see through; from the legs to the hand, the twin bracelet. She froze; feeling nauseous and dizzy as flashing lights cover her vision. 

“Veronica, Veronica,” she faintly hears Kachi’s voice. She blacks out. 

_______________________________________________
She put on her heels and knocked on the gate. “Who is there?” The gateman asked. 

“I’m here for the interview.”

The gate opened and she entered. 

“Good morning,” she greeted. 

“Good morning,” the gateman responded. “Welcome. Just go into the building, you’ll be attended to,” he instructed her. 

“Thank you,” she greeted, smiling. 

She cat-walked into the building still smiling with confidence. She scanned the beautiful interior and also saw some girls being led into different doors. 

“Hi, may I help you?” A voice cut her scanning. She looked at him; tall, handsome, and well built. 

“I’m Rita. I’m here for Knockout’s interview,” still smiling. 

“I’m Julius. The boss’s PA,” Julius introduced himself. “

“Nice to meet you,” Rita said. 

“Nice to meet you too. Can I see your CV?” Julius asked. 

Rita reached for her file, she brought out a paper and handed it to him. Julius rushed through it. 

“Nice,” he remarked. 

“Hope there’s no problem?” Rita asked nervously. 

“No, not at all. They saw it before calling you here and I think your CV is impressive.” 

He smiles. 

“Follow me,” he orders. 

Rita followed him through a door. It’s an office. 

“Sit,” Julius told her as he took a seat at the other side of the table. He pressed a sanitizer into his palms and rubbed his two palms together. Two casually dressed men entered. Rita looked back. “So who did you tell about your movement?” Julius asked and Rita faced him. 

Unsuspectingly, “my sister,” she responded. 

Julius took a pen and tried to write. 

“So where does your sister live?” He demanded. 

With a nervous laugh, “why would you want to know that?” 

The man of her left landed a backhand slap on her cheek. Rita screamed and another slap landed on her right cheek. Rita burst into tears, “what did I do?” 

Julius indicated with his head. One cupped his hand over her mouth, while the other twisted her hands behind her. Rita moaned painfully as they dragged her out of the chair. Julius stood up and began to undress. Rita’s eyes widened in shock as she understood what was about to go down. Rita struggled with the powerful men as they forcefully and firmly laid her on the table. Julius picked up a black box and took out a pair of scissors. He faced Rita with a devilish smile. 

Rita, with all the strength she could muster vehemently wriggled her body but she couldn’t break free. Julius bent over her, and he slowly cut open her dress from bottom to top. Tears fell down Rita’s eyes. 

Sans pity, “I’m sorry you honored Knockout’s invitation,” Julius told her as he climbed on her. 

_______________________________________________
Veronica opens her eyes. Kachi rushes to her side in the bed. 

“You are awake,” he utters. She looks at him, “it wasn’t a dream, was it?” She asks with a pale countenance. 

Kachi shakes his head. 

Veronica stares at him. 

“My colleagues went to the house. There was no one there. We are still on the search hunt.” 

Tears fall from Veronica’s eyes but she doesn’t blink. She rubs the bracelet on her wrist. 

“There’s something you should know,” Kachi continues. Veronica doesn’t take her eyes off him. 

“She was raped,” Kachi reveals. 

Veronica gasps, her mouth opens in shock and she starts breathing fast. 

Kachi grabs her, “Stay with me, baby. Don’t go off on me again.”

“My baby, my poor baby. They treated her like an animal. They didn’t just rape her but they left her for me without a head. You’re going to find them. You’re going to find them,” Veronica sobs. 

Kachi embraces her, “I will, my love. I will”. 

Pleasing Ardor

SHE steps out of the bathroom as she wraps the towel round her dripping body. She is startled when she looks up.
She twists her face in a frown, “What are you doing here?”
Seeing no forthcoming answer, she rolls her eyes and walks to the dressing mirror. She takes her lotion and tries to apply it but she feels his fixed stares on her.
“What is it?” she yells. “Why are you even here? I told you that I don’t want you here until I am done being mad at you.” She rests at the edge of the dressing mirror with her eyes staring widely at him.
“Baby,” he calls but she folds her arms and looks away.
He sighs, gets up from the bed, walks up to her and touches her.
“Don’t you dare touch me,” with a stern look.
“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” He pauses for a while and exhales. “I messed up, I know. I shouldn’t have reacted like that. Just so you know, I’ve apologised to Jude and he has forgiven me. I need you to do the same baby.”
She gives him the bad eye and looks away again.
“Baby please I’m sorry” he says.
She could feel the sincerity in his voice but she wasn’t ready to give in that easy.
He caresses her arm but she still doesn’t look at him but he could see the little smiles she was trying to conceal.
“So you won’t look at me, yea?” “Fine. I think I know what to do to make you look.” He tells her but she still maintains her gaze.


With a sexy smile, he moves backwards and slowly takes off his shirt. She couldn’t help but watch him from her side. Immediately, he took of his short and she gasps as he throws it in her face. She chuckles, taking it off her face. She turns to him, “What do you think you’re doing?” She asks him, this time her smile is visible.
“Nothing,” he says softly and goes on to remove his boxers.
She just couldn’t help but stare in lust as she bit her finger. He brings his naked body to her, raises her head up and stares into her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers.


She closes her eyes as she feels his warm breath on her face. He kisses her gently. She kisses him back and she could feel the rush of excitement down her spine. She wraps her arms around his neck as the kiss grew intense.
He kisses her like he is scared her owner will walk in any moment. They loll helplessly thinking of nothing but the delicious taste of each other’s mouth. With her tongue turning in his mouth, he drags her close to his body but realising the towel was creating an obstruction, he yanks it off her. He could feel his heart racing as her soft breasts touches his body. He wished she would hold him like this forever. Her kiss felt like a colour reaching out to his soul, the sweetness and softness of her lips that he had missed for three days. As they devour each other, he felt like he was floating.
He shifts to her neck, separating his lips as he leaves slow wet kisses on them. She holds him tight like he was making her crazy. He advances to her ear, breathing hot air on them. She bites his skin gently and brings his lips to hers; grabbing his hard penis. Unable to contain the urge anymore, he carries her and drops her on the bed. Gracefully, she wraps her legs around him and drags him to herself. She kisses him for sometime before he moves down to her breasts, fondling them as he sucks her nipples. She moans softly, biting her lips.
She uses her left hand to rub his head while she slides the other down her vagina, as she tries to stimulate her clitoris. He notices and gently takes her hand away. He moves down slowly, leaving wet kisses from her stomach down to her vagina. He places a kiss on her vagina. He sees she’s already very wet and he smiles. With his finger, he rubs her clitoris, increasing the force as he went. She couldn’t hold in her moans as she tries to sit up but he pushes her back. He keeps stimulating her clitoris while she let out moans of pleasure. Seeing she is close to an orgasm, he stops moves up to kiss her. He breaks off from the kiss and moves back to her vagina. He moves his tongue up and down, side by side as he licks her.
“Fuck, Yes,” she squeezes her breasts as her moans ricochets around the room.


She presses his head down as he continued licking her. Every feeling his wet tongue gave her makes her go crazy. He progresses to adding his fingers, rubbing her clitoris hard as his tongue worked. She grabs the sheet and squeezes them. She sits up, pulls him up and pushes him making him lie on his back and then she climbs on top of him. He drags her head to him and kisses her passionately but she wants more. She puts him in as she gently sits on his penis, she gasps as she could feel him deep inside her. She loved it. She had suddenly forgotten this was the same man that she stayed mad at for days. All she knew now, was that she wanted her husband deep inside her, nothing more.


She just couldn’t get enough of him.
He kept squeezing her breasts as she tilts her vagina, moving in small, tight motions. She grinds him quickly and as her clitoris rubs against his pubic bone, loud gasps of pleasure escapes from her lips. She leans in and kisses him while she keeps riding him. She could see she was driving him crazy as he presses her butt down on him and squeezes it hard. She places her hand on his chest as she kept grinding her hips on him.
She smiles as they lock eyes.


It felt so good to be on top but she was tired and she still wanted him in her.


She just couldn’t get enough of him. She leans forward, letting her breasts smack his face as her hips moves rhythmically. He pushes her down and turns her back to him. With his hand, he helps his penis penetrate her from behind. He parts her butt cheek as he thrusts in and out slowly. His pace gradually becomes fast and hard.
Once again her moans fills the room because his thrusts made her clitoris rub against his pelvic bone once more. She grabs the sheets as she reaches climax whilst he pulls her hair.
“Yeeeeeeeeesssss,” she says, looking like she is going to pass out.
“I’m cumming,” he groans as he shoot his load inside her.
He pulls out slowly and falls at the foot of the bed. She drops her naked body on him and kisses him.
“So am I forgiven?” He asks, staring into her face.
She smiles, “maybe,” and then proceeds to rest her head on his chest.
He smiles and holds her.

The Own-Race Bias.

The Prestige blog

Image source: CNN.

Dear friend, psychology has caught my interest lately, not because i love psychology but because it’s important if you’re in to marketing and more especially if you wish to control the power of the people (politics) just like me.

Enough of the intro, I’m here to tell you a psychology phenomenon you might or haven’t noticed.

Without further ado let’s dive in…

Have you noticed you can tell if someone is from your tribe, just by mere looking at their face even if they have no facial (tribal) mark(s)?

Let me make this easy…

A yoruba man can easily recognize another yoruba man just by looking at his face even without facial marks.

Don’t it surprise you, how you look at someone and conclude he’s from a certain tribe or religion because his face looks like them?

Anyway that’s what psychologist refers to as the “Own-race bias”(ORB).

View original post 306 more words

No Dey Quick Judge Person.

😃 amazing

The Prestige blog

Image source: Google.

I know say e dey surprise you, say today, i dey write in Pidgin, make e no shock you, because me self nah naija boy i be and i sabi speak Pidgin.

You know say, if we speak Pidgin for school them go call am vernacular, them go say e wrong, them dey even beat or punish us untop.

Shey you know wetin cause am?

Image source: Google.

Nah slave mentality cause am, you know say nah british get english language and nah them colonize us and other countries including america, and them come force us learn their language (english), but USA come modify the language, come dey speak am, d way dem like but dem no call am vernacular but, American english (AmE), because their people accept am as official and indigenous language.

Here for naija we too like to dey copy our slave masters, we…

View original post 293 more words

Why Cry Over Spilt Milk?

The Prestige blog

Image credit: Google.

It’s a fact that You and I complain when things don’t go our way, isn’t it?

With the situation in the country, we complain by default, yes or no?

I trust our, soro-soke generation we must complain until things get better in this country.

I’m not faulting complaints, because it’s a channel for You and I to register our grievances about a thing or situation.

But, why cry over spilt milk?

Let me paint a clearer picture with this story.

A group of young millennials like you and me, always visit a wise man complaining about the same problem they had encountered in the past.

One day, he decided to tell them a joke and they all roared with laughter.

After a few minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.

Then he told the same joke for a…

View original post 126 more words

My Run Your Time

We alighted from the car after he had parked in the lot. I was so angry and frustrated that I had been towed there that Sunday. For God’s sake, I thought Sundays were for rest. 

“I have told you to stop wearing short dresses if you won’t wear them properly,” dad said as he dragged my dress down. 

“Dad stop this thing you are doing,” I angrily mumbled to him and he gave me a bad look. 

Sophia chuckled in front of me and it was I and mum’s turn to give her the bad eyes. 

We went into the hall. I’d admit it was beautifully decorated. They put a lot into it. 

I hissed and crossed my leg as I sat close to mum. “Mum do I have to be here?” I sulked. 

“Well, your father insisted we all come. He claims it’s a special day,” she said faking smiles as she greeted some people. And I realized she was just as dissatisfied as I was to be there. 

“Just relax and enjoy it. I bet it’s going to be fun,” the annoying younger sister squeaked like a rat. 

I frowned at her, “you… you better move away from me before I pluck your small eyes out,” I threatened and she humbly moved to the end of the roll. 

My sister was a pain in my ass; like father like daughter. 

I was still furious that I had to be there. “Why couldn’t these men just celebrate their end of year party alone just like when they always have their meetings.”

My thoughts were cut short when my sister tapped me. I didn’t even know when mum moved over to where dad was seated. 

Sophia was smiling sheepishly. 

“What is it?” I asked her without blinking. 

She signalled with her head towards the door. I looked and I saw that a very handsome man and his parents had just arrived and they were exchanging pleasantries with people. 

I was still staring when his eyes caught mine and I quickly looked away. 

“He saw me,” I whispered to my sister. 

“Really?” She giggled. 

I expired and pretended to be looking at my parents. 

Merriments had already begun and everyone was having fun especially Sophia who had already blended with some girls and was carried away by their small talks. 

After about what came off as hours, “Merit, come,” dad called from where he was seated. Mum had already been hauled away by her “fellow” women. 

I stood up and readjusted my dress, I didn’t want to get one of his looks in front of all the people there. 

“Dad,” I said as I got to him. 

“Ada m,” he remarked smiling. “This is my first daughter I was talking about.” He told the men around him. 

The man who I had seen earlier with the handsome man spoke, “I saw her sitting over there looking so pretty. She’s perfect.”

I was confused, what was dad trying to do?

“He’ll like her,” the man added. 

“Excuse me. Perfect, pretty. I’m sorry what are you talking about? Who will like who?” I asked. 

The man smiled and looked at me, “My son. I think you’ll make a perfect wife. Don’t worry, he’ll be here soon.”

My eyes widened and I tittered, “wife?”

“Yes. You will make a good wife to him, Merit,” my father commented with a straight face. 

“Dad,” I called and he gave me the usual look. 

I couldn’t explain how angry I was at that moment and I couldn’t express it either. So my dad was serious about this marriage talks and now he just wanted to peddle me off like that. I stood there like a dummy in front of them, waiting for a man I knew nothing about to show up. I couldn’t believe my life was going to change soon. Me, a married woman? I wasn’t even ready to think for myself let alone for two people. A new life. What was it going to be like?

“You pushed me into something I wasn’t ready for. You ruined my life. You almost killed me. I don’t know if I can ever forgive you, dad,” Merit turns her head to the other side of the bed. 

“Ada m,” her father calls but she doesn’t reply. 

Sophia lays down beside her and hugs her from behind. 

Her mother after staring at him for a while, “Did I not warn you? I told you all that glitters is not gold. You said let us try this gold. You said she’s taking too much time. I told you she’s just taking her time. For heaven’s sake, she was just 24,” a tear rolls down her cheek. 

“Now see what you put my baby through. See what you put our daughter through. I knew that that fine face was a demon from the very first day I saw him get angry at that party over a mere wine bottle that was broken by that poor boy. A wine that did not even concern him, bottle or wine did not even touch him. It was so glaring that he was a mad dog waiting to be unleashed and today, he intentionally broke a wine bottle and stabbed my child all over with it. The child I carried in my womb and suffered for, he almost killed her.”

She shakes her head, “somebody’s husband. I don’t care how long this abuse has been going on but that idiot will not escape this one.”

Merit’s father lowers his head. 

“Look at me.” 

He doesn’t raise his head. 

“Look at me Jacob,” she thunders. 

He lifts his head to look at her. 

“Now look at her,” she says in sobs. 

He looks towards the bed and her state pierces through his heart. He shivers. 

“Yes, I hope your conscience can handle this,” she swallows. “If not, I want Ebere to suffer like my daughter is doing right now.” 

She daringly looks into his eyes. Then she dries her eyes and strolls out of the room. 

Jacob sniffs, lets out a heavy sigh as he takes his eyes off Merit’s bed and leaves the hospital room too. 

Merit bursts into tears and Sophia tighten her hug. 

Offended 2

“Nini, Nini,” Kemi called her friend who was fast asleep. “Nini,” she called again, but this time she gave her a nudge. 

Niniola groaned and opened her eyes quickly, “Yes,” she yawned. 

“I didn’t think you’d sleep too,” Kemi mocked. 

“Well, who wouldn’t after all that exhausting run?” Niniola asked. 

“So the smell wasn’t bad after all,” Kemi stated and looked away, chuckling. 

Niniola ignored her, rolling her eyes. 

Pretending not to have smiled, “It’s late now. This is our chance to leave,” Kemi told her as she picked up her purse and stood up. Niniola closed her eyes with her fingers. 

“Come on. Let’s go,” Kemi urged her. The ladies hastily walked away into the dark. 

“I wish we had something like a scarf or cap for a disguise, you know,” Kemi murmured. 

“Well, they didn’t give us a chance to carry my box along,” Niniola commented and they both giggled. 

After some minutes of walking, the ladies began to feel uncomfortable. 

“Kemi, I don’t feel safe. I feel whoever wants to kill me might see us soon,” Niniola said uneasily. 

Kemi looked around, “I feel the same way too. I don’t think being out in the open is safe. We’ve got to hide. Follow me,” she told Niniola. 

Kemi walked towards the hotel she had sighted and goes in with Niniola following behind. 

They entered into the building and Kemi started heading for the staircase without saying a word to the receptionist. She halted when she noticed Niniola wasn’t following. 

“What are you doing standing there?” Kemi asked as she slowly descended the stairs. 

“Why are you going up there?” Niniola asked her too. 

“The lounge is upstairs, okay? I feel…,” she paused and smiled in the direction of the receptionist. “Come close,” she gestured and Niniola moved closer to her. Whispering, “I frequent this place with Joe,” she stopped, not being able to continue because of the look Niniola gave her. 

“What?” 

“Joe, seriously?” Niniola said. 

“Is Joe the problem or the real problem we are having now?

“Sorry. Continue. You were saying?” Niniola apologised. 

Kemi gave her a bad look. “There is a lounge upstairs and I think there are other rooms there cause I’ve seen doors. So since it’s late, we’ll just look for a room that’s unlocked and stay in it. We’ll call someone when we think it’s safe to come out,” Kemi suggested as she stared at Niniola waiting for her reply. 

“It seems like a nice idea. So let’s try it,” Niniola replied after some time. 

“Good. Let’s go,” Kemi said. 

As they ascended the stairs, the lights began to fluctuate and immediately Kemi dragged Niniola to the right side. 

“What?” Niniola asked in fear. 

“The glass isn’t opaque,” Kemi said referring to the big windows, from which the streets could be seen. “We have to be careful. He could see us through it,” Kemi explained. 

“Oh Okay,” Niniola mouthed. “But you scared the hell out of me,” She confessed. 

“I’m sorry,” Kemi said. 

They went up the remaining stairs and when they got to the first door on the first floor, they tried to open it but it didn’t open. They moved to the second, same thing. They proceeded to the third, Niniola turned the door knob and pushed the door, it sqeaked open. 

******************

Their eyes widened as they beheld ladies in black wrappers with chalks on their foreheads. They looked like they were in a trance or something. 

Niniola was frozen and she just gaped at them. Kemi dragged her away as she gently closed the door. The girls ran down as fast as their legs could carry them. They pretended to be okay when they saw a staff and a neatly dressed gentleman coming up the stairs. Kemi’s eyes followed the handsome man all the way up. 

“Kemi,” Niniola called snapping her out of her fantasy. 

“What is it?” Kemi replied coldly. 

”Kemi, did you not see what I just saw? And you are looking at man. Ahh, Kemi, they have use man to swear for you,” Niniola remarked. 

“But he’s fine,” Kemi stated and Niniola hissed. 

“But on a serious note, Nini, what did we see?” Kemi asked Niniola. 

“My sister, hmmm, it looked like cult in a hotel. Things are happening.”

Kemi puts her hands on her head, “Ore mi, let’s leave this place,” Kemi said and made to leave but halted at the door. 

“You hear that, don’t you?” Kemi asked. 

“I do,” Niniola answered. 

“We’ve really got to check out where that is coming from,” Kemi stated, smiling. 

They walked up to the receptionist’s desk and Kemi cleared her throat, “Hey Miss,” Kemi greeted. 

“Good evening. How may I help you?” The dark skinned lady smiled, revealing her beautiful white set of teeth. 

Kemi smirked, “Please where’s that music coming from?” Kemi inquired. “It’s coming from the underground club,” the receptionist replied. 

Taken aback, “there’s an underground club,” her eyes brightened. “Could you please show us the way?” Kemi asked. 

“Sure,” the receptionist said. 

And Kemi smiled. 

“Why?” Niniola whispered to Kemi. But Kemi ignored her as she listened to the directions being given. 

She walked to the door on the right but seeing that Niniola didn’t move, she went back and dragged her by the hand.  

*************

“Hello,” she greeted the bouncer at the door with a smile and her charm gave them an immediate pass. 

“Thank you darling,” Kemi said as he opened the door for them to go in. 

Niniola shook her head as she watched her friend flirt with the bouncer. 

Kemi danced and tried to blend with the crowd. 

“What are you doing?” Niniola yelled because of the very loud music. 

Kemi goes over to her and spoke into her ear. “Come on Nini. You don’t always have to be such a bore. Have fun sometimes. And tonight is a great time to have fun. You’ve been through so much in one day already. So baby girl, shake some stress off,” with one hand waving in the air, she took Niniola’s hand and led her into the crowd. 

They danced all through the night. And for a moment, all their worries and fears seemed not to exist anymore. 

****************

“Now tell me you didn’t have fun,” Kemi teased Niniola as they walked out of the building. 

Softly, “Well I won’t lie,” then with an excitement, “it was crazy,” Niniola told her. 

“I know right,” Kemi said, smiling. Niniola smiled too.  

As they approached the gate, they saw some group of people entering a mini bus.  

“Kemi, look. I danced with that guy,” Niniola divulged. 

“Whooshh, someone has a crush already,” Kemi taunted her. 

“Ewwww, no. What I’m trying to say is we could ask if they can give us a ride,” Niniola told her. 

“Oh,” Kemi said with disappointment. “But that’s if they are going our way,” she added. 

They looked at each other before walking over to where the minibus was parked. 

With a smile, he listened to them and answered their questions. Since they would actually take the ladies route, he took permission from his friends and they let them in, Kemi went to the back and Niniola sat by the door. 

After they were all seated, the bus made its way out of the hotel premises. And as they tried to turn into the road, a man jumped into the open bus, pointing a gun at Niniola who was sitting at the edge. They all screamed as Niniola struggled with the armed man to prevent him from killing her. 

Niniola cried in fear as she struggled with with him. “Kemi,” she called out. 

“Nini,” Kemi called back, confused on what to do as she tried to move from the back to where Niniola was. 

The gun went off and a girl by the window let out a deafening cry. Everyone turned to look at her and in shock, they saw that the bullet had gone through her wrist and her blood was everywhere. The shouts of the injured girl had distracted everyone but Kemi had recollected herself immediately. With the fire extinguisher she had picked up, she hit the gunman on his head. He let out a cry and when Niniola noticed it, she hijacked the gun from him but unable to handle it, the gun fell to the front, on the head of the guy who she had danced with. Another guy from the back immediately pushed the man out of the bus. 

She looked out and saw the man rolling on the floor. Trying to catch her breath, she glanced at the whimpering lady and saw they were trying to stop the bleeding. Unable to digest all she just witnessed, she threw up. Kemi patted her back as she kept saying sorry to the wounded girl. 

“You girls be safe, okay?” The guy told them as they dropped them off at their junction. 

“Thank you so much. Thank you. We will and please take good care of her,” Kemi said referring to the wounded girl. They smiled and moved on. 

She exhaled and turned to Niniola, “Come here. We need to get home,” she said putting her arm around her shoulders. 

“Nini, pull yourself together. Breathe in,” Niniola breathes in. “Breathe out.” Niniola breathes out. “Good. Now, run,” Kemi ordered and the girls ran until they got to their gate. Kemi reached for the gate keys, opened the gate, they went in and without blinking, she locked the gate immediately. They ran to their front door, she unlocked it and they went in. Kemi slammed the door and locked it too as they fell to the floor, panting heavily. 

By 7:30 am, Niniola, already dressed for work was about to leave when Kemi walked in. 

“Kemi, if it were up to me, I’d take today off to recover totally from everything that happened yesterday,” Niniola complained. 

“Well since your boss requested you resume today, you’ll go. He might be merciful and give you a day off if you tell him what happened.”

“I hope so,” Niniola shook her head. 

“But I won’t let you leave this house alone. You’ll wait for Chima to come and take you to work,” Kemi told her. 

“Who’s Chima again?” Niniola asked, confused. 

“That’s not your business o. All you need to know is that he’ll take you to work safely. Isn’t that enough?” Kemi asked her. 

Niniola didn’t answer but instead she took out her phone and sat on the couch. 

Looking breathtaking as always, Niniola walked into her place of work. She ascended the stairs and bumped into the Secretary. 

“Good morning Belinda, what’s up?” Niniola said. 

“Good morning, Niniola. Welcome back,” Belinda greeted with a smile. 

“Thank you,” Niniola returned the smile and made to continue to where she was heading to. 

“Niniola,” Belinda called her back and she turned. “You’re going to see Mr Felix, right?”

“Yes,” Niniola responded. 

“He went to check something at the small store room. So he said if you arrive before he comes up, he’d like you to meet him there,” Belinda told her. 

With surprise, “Small store room? What did he say he went to do?” Niniola asked. 

Belinda shrugged her shoulder. 

“Thank you,” Niniola told her and walked down the stairs with Belinda following suit. 

She opened the door and saw the room was dark so she put on her phone’s torchlight before she stepped in. She closed the door behind her. 

“Sir, Mr Felix, Sir,” She called out as she went further. “Are you sure he’s here? Did Belinda hear him right?” She asked herself and almost let her phone fall as the flipped light switch startled her. She turned around and there he was by the door, perfect as always. 

She let out a sigh of relief. “Good morning Sir. I thought you were not here,” she said but he just stared at her. 

“Sir,” she called. 

“Yes Niniola,” he replied hoarsely. 

“Sir, what are you doing in this store room? It’s not been in use for a long time now. And when Belinda told me…..”

“The best at what she does,” Felix cuts her short. And Niniola smiled. 

“Thank you Sir,” she uttered. 

“Why are you not dead?” He asked. 

Confused, “Excuse me Sir.” 

“You’re supposed to be dead. How are you still alive and standing in front of me? I was supposed to wait for you in vain today. He was supposed to finish you off,” he said. 

And then it dawned on her as her eyes widened. “You mean it was you who… who…,” she stammered. 

“Yes, Niniola. Wasn’t it obvious?” 

“No it wasn’t. I mean why would you want to kill me?” She swallowed. 

“Really? Niniola, really?” He loosened his tie. “You cheated on me. No one does that to Felix. And then you go ahead to do it with my rivals,” he told her. 

“But Sir, I told you it was a one time job and besides I already apologised,” Niniola explained. 

“Well I don’t forgive you. This is taking so much time. Since that idiot couldn’t get a simple job done, I guess I’ll do it myself and perfectly too,” he said as he pulled out a gun from behind and cocked it. 

Niniola gasped. 

“Sir please. You don’t have to do this. Sir please. I’ve been your personal assistant for two years….,”

“Exactly. There were others before you and there will be more after you. No one defies me,” He cackled. “It’s just so sad that a good one has to go. You could have just sticked to me.” 

He pointed the gun at her. Seeing that his mind was already made up, she immediately went on her knees. 

“I beg you sir in the name of whatever you hold dear.” 

He ignored her and made to pull the trigger. Niniola shut her eyes tightly as tears flowed freely. The gun went off and she let out a shrilling cry. She heard another gun shot and her screams increased. 

“Niniola, Niniola,” she heard a familar voice call and she opened her eyes slowly. She was scared when she saw her boss holding his legs as he groaned and sprawled on the floor with blood around him. She looked up and couldn’t contain her excitement. 

“Kemi,” she shouted as she got up and ran towards her. 

“Are you okay?,” Kemi asked and Ninola nodded. “Did he hurt you?” Kemi asked again as she touched her all over. 

“I’m fine. I’m fine,” Niniola told her. 

“Bitch,” Felix cursed. “Look at what you’ve done.”

“Bastard,” Kemi retorted. “You didn’t tell me you worked for a psycho.” To Niniola this time. 

“You didn’t tell me you owned a gun,” Ninola replied and Kemi pouted. 

“Well I collected it from the guy in the bus,” she revealed. 

Niniola opened her mouth. 

“What? You should be thankful I did.” She stated. 

“Right,” Niniola affirmed as she scratched her hair. “So how did you know this would happen?” Niniola asked her. 

“I didn’t. I just knew I couldn’t let you be alone for a second,” she told her as she gave Felix a bad eye. 

“Oh I love you Kemi,” Niniola voiced as she hugged her friend. 

“I know,” Kemi responded. “Come on, let’s leave this place.” She wiped the gun clean and threw it at Felix. 

“Come back you stupid girls. You can’t leave me here like this,” Felix told them. 

“You better come get us because we just did,” Niniola said and gave Kemi a high five. Ignoring his threats, the ladies walked out and slammed the door behind them. 

Offended

Offended 1

She picked up the towel from the hanger and wrapped it round her body as she stepped out of the bathroom. She goes over to the mirror and dried her body whilst watching herself in the mirror. 

“Who is calling at this time of the night?” She asked as she wrapped the towel again and walked to where she was charging her phone on the side table close to the bed. 

“Oh my God,” she uttered as she saw the caller. She quickly readjusted herself and sat on the bed. 

“Really? Video chat,” she picked, “Good evening Sir,” she greeted. She seemed uncomfortable seeing he was not on the screen. 

“Evening Niniola,” he said as he took a seat in front of the camera. “Where are you?” He asked her as he furrowed his brows. 

“Sir,” Niniola said. 

“I will not ask this again. Where are you?”

“Sir, I’m in Enugu,” she replied. 

“What are you doing in Enugu?” he asked her. 

Faking a smile, “Sir I’m on leave. I’m just here to…”

“Niniola,” he cuts her short. 

“What are you doing in Enugu?” This time, she felt the sting in his voice. 

“Niniola, you dare to cheat on me?” He thundered as he hits his fist on the table. 

Immediately Niniola jumped on her feet as she let out a frightening cry. 

“Sir, it’s not like that,” she said with total fear in her voice. 

He chuckled. 

She continued, “Mr Udeh just wanted me to do a one time job,” she explained, stammering. 

Not saying a word, he sniffed, still gazing at his screen. 

“Please Sir. I didn’t mean it like that. I didn’t think you’d find out.” 

He was still mute. 

Niniola went down on her knees. She wholeheartedly wished the ground would open and swallow her. 

“Please Sir. It will not happen again. I beg you. Please Please Please,” She apologised. “I’m sorry Sir.”

Niniola bit her lips as she looked away from the camera, making the sign of the cross. 

“It’s all right, Niniola. You’re right. You are on leave,” he stood up in front of the camera. “Your leave ends tomorrow. See you on Monday.”

“Yes Sir. I’m taking the first flight back to Lagos tomorrow. You’ll see…” she was startled as he abruptly hung the call on her. 

She swallowed hard and sat on the floor with her head buried in between her legs. 

“Would you mind holding my hand?” Niniola stretched her hand to the terrified little boy who was sitting beside her. He looked across to where his mother and brother were sitting and then back at her. He took her hand. She smiled at him as she held his hand tightly. She looked into his face and saw his eyes were tightly shut as the plane made to take off. She bent over to see his mother and they both exchanged smiles. Niniola rested back in her seat. 

“Don’t worry. We will arrive before you know it. Just hold on tightly.”

“Kemi,” Niniola screamed as she saw her friend. She waved excitedly and Kemi ran to her. They were locked in a tight hug for some seconds before Kemi playfully carried Niniola up. 

“Gosh I missed you,” Kemi commented. 

“You miss who? For how many days?” Niniola asked her. 

“Is one week not enough to miss my best friend and roommate?” Kemi asked and a smirk appeared on Niniola’s face. 

“Anyway give me your bag. I know work will not even make you miss yourself,” Kemi stated as she took the box from her. 

“Haba na, shebi I hugged you,” Niniola said. 

“Story,” Kemi uttered and Niniola laughed. 

“Bye Aunty. We are leaving now.”

Niniola turned around and she saw the little boy. She waved at him,” Bye darling. Be a good boy and study very hard,” she responded as he walked to the school bus with his mother and twin brother. 

“Who’s that?,” Kemi inquired. 

“The little cutie? He was my seat mate in the plane. He was so scared so I held him all through the journey. He’s so sweet,” she explained while watching the twins board the bus. 

“Okay. He has entered. It’s time to go. Come on, the car is over there,” Kemi told Niniola. 

The school bus started moving and almost immediately a blast followed. 

*****************************

Niniola stood up from where she had been thrown to by the explosion. She staggered and as her sense of hearing returned, screams and cries of people filled her ears. When she moved forward, she saw the mother of the twins, wailing and running towards the blast. Niniola turned slowly and with goosebumps all over her body, she lets out a shocking gasp. Tears dropped from her eyes. In a twinkle of an eye, she was down on the floor again as a gunshot followed but this time Kemi was on top of her. 

Niniola caught sight of the car with the shooter and tried to sit up. 

“Stay down,” Kemi screamed. 

A little bit excited she gave her friend a quick hug. “I’m so glad you are okay.”

“Me too,” Kemi responded. 

“Yea but what was that?” Niniola asked frightened. 

“Come on,” Kemi roared as she helped Niniola up. She dragged her and they ran towards the car. 

“Kemi, what was that?” Niniola asked again. 

“I don’t know. I just saw them pointing a gun at you. They wanted to shoot you,” Kemi told her. 

“Shoot me? Why would anyone want to shoot me?” Niniola asked, shocked at the revelation. 

“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Kemi replied as they kept running. 

As they got closer to the car, Niniola looked back. 

“Kemi, Kemi, the car is coming back,” Niniola cried out. 

Kemi who was about to stop by the car dropped Niniola’s box and continued running. 

“My box,” Niniola exclaimed still running. 

“My life is definitely more important that your damn box, Nini. Keep running,” Kemi yelled at her. 

“Oh my God. What is happening?” Niniola, crying, asked no one in particular. 

They kept running and screaming like mad woman on the streets as the car chased behind them. 

Kemi sighted an “Aboki” selling oranges from afar and she began to search her purse as they got closer. 

“Nini,” she yelled. 

“Yes,” Niniola answered from behind. 

“You see those oranges, right?” Pointing in the direction of the orange seller. “We’ll pick them,” Kemi informed her. 

Surprised, “why?” Niniola asked. 

Kemi got to the the aboki, dropped two thousand in his hand and then she picked up his tray of oranges and turned to Niniola. 

“We’re throwing them,” she added. 

“Are you insane?” Niniola asked her still surprised. 

“I’ve never been more sane. Now,” she roared and began to throw the oranges at the car, Niniola joined but when she saw it wasn’t really helping, she poured them on the floor. She took another tray as the aboki had already ran away, and poured it too on the floor. 

Seeing the car was coming slowly towards them because of the oranges on the floor, the ladies looked at each other and gave a little smile of satisfaction. 

They looked back at car and saw it was making progress. Fear replaced their smiles. 

They started running again. After like a minute, Niniola screamed, “Kemi, here,” she pointed to a very narrow lane in between some buildings and immediately they headed for it. They kept running without looking back until they got to the end and could no longer see the car. They stopped and painted like their lives depended on it. 

“At least he can’t go through,” Niniola commented. 

“But it won’t be long until he find us. That’s for sure,” Kemi said. 

“But it’ll give us time to rest.” Seeing the look on Kemi’s face. “What?” She asked her. 

In anger, “What is what?” Kemi tutted. “There was an explosion at the airport. You almost got killed at the same airport. That wasn’t a mistake because who ever it was still wants you dead. Now because I’m here, I’m caught up in your mess. Is that not enough reason to want to kill you myself? And you’re asking me what? Look at me running on the roads of Lagos like a lunatic being chased by a bear,” Kemi complained angrily. 

“If you look at it. It kind of look like we’re being chased by a bear,” Niniola giggled trying to be funny. 

Kemi rolled her eyes, “it’s not funny,” she said with a straight face. 

“Sorry,” Niniola apologised, covering her mouth. 

“Seriously who would want to kill you? I mean, do you have any idea of who might want you dead?” 

“Me. No o. I have not offended anyone. Besides I don’t do anything illegal or dangerous so I don’t know why anyone would want me dead,” Niniola told her. 

Kemi thought for a while and then snapped her fingers. 

“Your boss. What about your boss? Does he know you went for a job in Enugu?” Kemi asked her. 

Niniola looked at her in shock. 

“Kemi. My boss? No. He knows but come on. My boss is not like that. I know he acts crazy sometimes but he wouldn’t be crazy enough to want to kill me for something like that. Besides I’m the best staff he’s got right now. What am I even saying? It’s not him. Period,” Niniola expressed but then…

“Is there something you forgot to add?” Kemi asked as she had noticed her mood. 

Stammering, “the people I went to work for. I think they are dangerous people. I think….”

“You think, you think. Seriously Niniola?” Kemi cuts her short. 

“Okay fine. I overheard them discussing something,” she paused and looked at her friend,” something bad,” she added as she looked away. 

“Niniola,” Kemi shouted. 

“The pay was good. I was perfect for the job and I didn’t know they were bad people. I don’t even know if they know I overheard them,” Niniola said trying to clear herself. 

“Really? Are you kidding me? So this looks like what to you? Huh?” Kemi asked. 

“I didn’t plan for any of this either. I’m sorry.” 

“You’re sorry? That sorry would have made sense after this whole bullshit. But guess what? I might never get to hear you say it again because we may never get out of this mess you put us in,” Kemi hissed and walked away. 

Niniola looked around, frightened and remorseful, she ran after Kemi and caught up with her. She sulked. “Where are you going to? He might see us,” Niniola asked her. 

Reluctant to answer, she pointed towards a place with her index. 

Niniola looked, “What? The dustbin area? Are you kidding me Kemi? The bad odour will choke us to death.”

Still angry, Kemi stopped and turned to her then she faked a smile, “that would be much better, wouldn’t it?” Then a frown appeared, “we will stay there till nightfall. Then we’ll move,” Kemi told her and continued walking. 

Niniola ran to meet her again, “What if he finds us there?” She asked. 

Kemi paused, exhaled and turned to her again, “would you have ever considered hiding out in the dustbin area?” She asked. 

Niniola didn’t respond.  

“Exactly,” Kemi added and walked away. 

Niniola watched her, feeling defeated. 

“You better come over before you attract him standing over there,” Kemi told her from afar. 

Niniola lets out a grunt and goes over. 

Bad Omen

Ignoring the rustling sounds of the dry leaves being blown around in the compound by the wind, she walks to the cleared spot on the ground and drops the basket. She wipes her hand on her cloth, moves to the hut, bends and goes inside. 

Few minutes later, she comes out and goes to sit on the cleared spot close to the basket. 

A man comes out of the hut, stretches and looks up at the sky. He exhales and he too goes over and sits on the other side of the clear spot. 

The woman brings out the little calabashes of food and they begin to eat. 

“Dim oma, what is wrong? You are not eating your favorite ‘ofe ora’ like you do. You don’t look happy and even when I came to call you from inside, you were in deep thoughts. Please talk to me. What is it? O gini?

He drops the fufu he is holding and lets out a disheartening sigh. 

“Dim oma,” she calls. 

“Ugom, I am worried,” he tells her. 

“About what?” She asks. 

“About what the Chief Priest said,” he replies. 

Ugo readjusts herself, “that’s true. You didn’t relate the outcome of your visit to the shrine yesterday. What did he tell you?” Ugo asks curiously. 

Her husband looks directly into her eyes, “Ugom, we are going to have twins,” he reveals. 

Immediately, “Tufiakwa. May the gods forbid,” Ugo spits. “Dim oma, how can the Chief Priest say that?”

“Are you calling the gods liars?” He asks her. 

“May I be damned if I ever blaspheme against the gods. Dim Oma, what I’m saying is that there is no way I’m going to carry twins in my womb and give birth to them. The Chief Priest may have made an unintentional mistake this time around. Think about it, my great grand mother did not have twins, my grandmother did not have twins even my own mother did not have twins. So how can I? It will not happen. It can’t happen. I can’t have twins,” she spits again. “I will give you a child and not twins.” She maintains. 

He gazes at his wife. 

“Dim Oma, stop worrying yourself. The gods will not allow such a bad thing to happen to us. Calm yourself down and eat, biko. Eat my husband,” she adds. 

She brings the fufu to his mouth and he eats it. 

Ugo comes out of the hut and as the night breeze blows on her, she wraps her arms around her body. She looks up at the dark sky with sadness. 

“Gods of my forefathers, please do not forsake me. Do not let me be put to shame. Do not let my husband be put to shame. For three years we have yearned for at least a child of our own to bring us blessing, not a curse. Gods of our land, I pray that you revert this curse if it is true and bless me with just a child. Please gods of our land.” She lets out a heartbreaking sigh and gently sits on a stone in front of the hut. 

“Ugom,” she hears him call and she turns around. 

“What are you doing outside in this cold night?” He asks her. 

She smiles, “I couldn’t sleep. The child was making me uncomfortable so I decided to come out for a bit,” she explains. 

“But you should have at least woken me up. Remember it is our child, not yours alone. So whenever things like this happens, let me know. Please my love,” he tells her. 

“Anugom,” she says still smiling. 

“Let’s go inside, this cold is not good for you and the child,” he tells her as he helps her up and they enter inside. 

Ugo’s screams fills the whole compound if not the whole clan as well. 

“Gods of our land, please protect my wife and my child. Please keep them alive,” he prays as he clenches his fists and paces around the compound. 

After about few more minutes of Ugo’s screams, he hears the cries of a baby. He could not contain his joy as he runs to the hut and back to where he had been standing. 

He turns around and sees the midwife looking downcast. 

Still smiling, “Adaku, how is my wife and child doing?” 

Adaku shakes her head, looks down and then back to him, “Bad omen,” she divulges. 

“No, no, no, no, no……….,” was all he kept screaming as he runs into the hut. 

He was still grieving when the Chief Priest arrived with his assistant carrying an earthenware pot. He looks up and his sadness is visible. 

Without looking at him, “Ozoemena, it has happened as I predicted. You know what you must do. First thing tomorrow else the goddess’s wrath will visit not just your family but the whole clan.” Then he turns to him, “tomorrow Ozoemena, tomorrow those weapon of destruction dies. For now, go in and bring them to me.” The Chief Priest orders. 

Ozo stands up and sluggishly heads into the hut. Few minutes later, he comes out with the babies, making efforts to ignore Ugo’s cries. Without looking at his babies, he hands them over to the Chief Priest who puts the babies into the pot. 

“You must come with two tubers of yams, two white cocks and two kolanuts for the cleansing of our land,” he turns around and leaves quickly while his assistant carries the pot and follows behind him. 

Ozoemena watches them with teary eyes till there are no longer in sight. 

Ugo walks out slowly and sits on the stone, staring into emptiness. 

She is startled as a hand touches her shoulder. 

She shuts her eyes knowing it’s her husband. 

“Why?” Ugo asks. 

He doesn’t respond. 

She takes his hand and holds it. 

“Why?” She asks again. “Why us? Three years of childlessness and then this. Obim, I waited, yearned, prayed and walked with pride for nine months, and all for what?” The sadness in her voice pierced through Ozo’s heart. 

Ozo squats and with his hand, he turns her head to him. 

“My love, you have to be strong. You have to be strong for me and you, for the child that we will have,” Ozo tells her. 

“And what if we have twins again?” She asks him. 

“We will keep trying. It is not the end of our world. As long as we have each other, we will be okay. We have lived three years without a child. At least people will know that you are not barren.”

“But they will say I have a cursed womb,” she cuts him short. He just stares at her. 

Softly, “do you know how it feels to not hear the cry of a child in this compound for three years and when I finally do, it’s a bad omen?” And then a tear drops from her eye. 

Ozo dries it with his finger. 

“Tomorrow we will get rid of the bad omen and we will keep trying,” he tells her and stands up. 

Ugo looks up at him. 

“For now, lets go inside. You need to rest,” he stretches his hand to her. 

“I am not pregnant and I’m not a nursing mother either. So there’s no need for all that care,” she comments sadly. 

“You’re still my wife and you deserve all the care I can give,” he states, still with a stretched hand. 

She looks away and reluctantly takes his hands. He helps her up and hugs her before taking her into the hut. 

Carrying the pot on his head, Ozoemena, Ugo, the Chief Priest with his assistant carrying the bag of the items for the sacrifice walk through the lonely bush that leads to the “ajo ofia” (evil forest), silently. Getting to the entrance, Ugo stops. 

The Chief Priest pauses but doesn’t look at her, Ozo urges her with his eyes, she ignores him. The Chief Priest continues while Ozo drags his wife by the hand into the Evil Forest. 

“Drop it there,” the Chief Priest points to a spot close to a tree and Ozoemena gently brings the pot down from his head and places it on the spot. 

The Chief Priest starts his incantations as he carefully takes out the sacrificial items from the bag, dropping them close to the pot, at the foot of the tree. As the incantations went on, Ugo holds on to her husband. 

“We are done. You’re free to go. The land has been cleansed. We have all been cleansed,” the Chief Priest, smiling, announces to them after the incantations had come to an end. 

“Thank you Great one,” Ozoemena and Ugo greets him in unison. And the Chief Priest nods in satisfaction. 

Ozoemena takes his wife by the hand and leads her out. Ugo turns back to look at the pot, tears welling up in her eyes. 

“Look at me woman,” Ozo says as he tries to shake her out of her grief. “The gods will help me give you a child and I will make you happy again. I will give you a reason to walk with pride again.” He tells her softly. 

Ugo looks at her husband and at that moment she believed everything he said as she felt a rush of peace down her spines. 

She stands on her tip toes and hugs him tightly. 

“I love you,” Ozo whispers.

Father

“Miracle, go back,” Jennifer shouted as Miracle stepped into the house. 

Shocked, Miracle paused with eyes wide open as she beheld the drama in front of her. 

“Mum, what is going on?” Miracle asked. 

Jennifer, on her knees, sighed when she realised there was no way out for Miracle. 

“Mimi baby. My angel. You’ve not changed one bit. Still the same spoilt girl I’ve always known. But if it makes you feel any better you’ve grown to be so beautiful,” Greg said to Miracle who was staring furiously at him. “Isn’t it too late to be coming home by this time? He died worrying about where you’ve been,” he told her as he gave way for her to see what was behind him. 

Miracle gasped, “ Oh my goodness,” she expressed in shock as she saw her father sitting on the sofa in his own pool of blood. 

“What have you done?” Miracle yelled as she made to attack him. 

Greg pointed a gun at her making her stop in her tracks, “Don’t even think about it my darling.” 

“You killed my father, you monster,” Miracle stated softly. 

With rage, “Are you insane? How dare you refer to him as your father in my presence? Last time I checked you weren’t so little when your witch of a mother took you both away that you can’t remember my face.”

“And the last time I checked, a man who has moral standards, who knows how to take care of a family even if it’s not his, is who I can call father. Not one who has the same qualities as a dog,” Miracle vocalised and a hard blow from the gun landed on her head. 

She screamed and Jennifer made to get up. 

“Get up and I’ll blow your brains out,” he threatened. 

She retreated. 

“Now join them,” he ordered Miracle. 

Miracle removed her hand from her head and saw blood on her palm. She gave him a bad look. 

“I said to join them,” he pushed her forward. 

Miracle staggered and still holding on to her handbag, she walked over to her mother and knelt beside her. She bent forward and whispered to her younger sister by her mother’s other side. “Are you okay?” 

Benita nodded her head in fear. 

“Come on Jennifer. Stop giving me that look. You thought I wouldn’t find you? Or you thought I would let you go just like that?” Greg asked. 

Surprised, “Yes. Of course, I thought you would let me be. Of course, I thought staying away from you would give me peace and maybe it would give you some peace too. What did I ever do wrong?” Jennifer replied. 

Greg chuckled, “What did you ever do wrong?” He walked over and stood in front of her. “What did you ever do wrong, Jennifer? So you think waking up one day, taking my girls and leaving me alone wasn’t wrong?” Greg asked again. 

“No, no. You’ve always hurt me. Long before I ever conceived the idea of running away,” Jennifer said. 

“I own you, Jennifer,” Greg uttered. 

Jennifer chuckled, “No you don’t. You’re so heartless. So you wanted me to die because I was married to you? You disrespected me. You beat me. You treated me like I was an animal. What am I even saying? Worse than an animal. What did I not endure for our love but you were bent on sending I and my girls to our early graves,” on top of her voice, “and you stand here to tell me that I was wrong for running away to save my life and getting married to a real man? What do you want from me, huh? What do you want, you bastard?”

Greg hits her hard across the face. 

“You won’t talk to me like that.” 

Miracle and Benita held their mother as they stared at him with disgust. 

Greg cocked his gun, “I’ll show you what I want from you.”

Jennifer, with eyes blazing with fury, looked up. 

“I want you and your girls to join your hero.”

Jenifer shakingly looked at the lifeless body of her husband. 

“You’re going to kill me and your daughters?” Jennifer asked him. 

Cautiously, Miracle dipped her hand into her bag and gently searched for something. 

Greg snorted, “you do not matter to me anymore. As for the girls, their blood will be on your head because you caused all this.” Pointing the gun to Benita, “and I’ll start with the youngest so you can watch everything you cherish die with your eyes,” he laughed hysterically and Jennifer swallowed hard in fear. 

As Greg made to pull the trigger, Miracle charged with force and stabbed him in the waist area. 

“Mum, Benita, run,” she thundered as she ran towards the door. With her mother and sister following behind her, they rushed out. 

“Run for the car,” Benita yelled. 

“Why?” Miracle asked. 

“I grabbed dad’s keys,” she replied. 

They got to the car panting. Benita threw the keys to Miracle. 

“Why are you throwing it to me?” Miracle asked with surprise. 

“You don’t expect mum to drive in this state, do you?” And without waiting to hear her reply, Benita opened the door and helped her mother in as she rushed in too. 

“I’m on no position to drive either. Can’t you see I’m drunk?” Miracle muttered to herself. 

“Miracle, get in the car now,” Jennifer yelled. 

Seeing Greg open the front door, Miracle without thinking anymore got into the car and drove out and into the streets like a mad person. 

“This is not the end, Jennifer. This is not the end for you and the girls. You’re mine to kill,” Greg spat in anger.