Slip up

“Okay mum,” I replied my mother as she got up saying she needed to shower because she was hot. 

Just immediately she got into the house, a knock came on the gate. 

“Nene, get the gate, I think it’s Chigo,” I said to my baby sister who was younger than Chigo. 

She happily got up from the chair and ran towards the gate. 

“So you do not ask who is there before you open the door,” Chigo teased and her face went up in a frown as she locked the gate and I couldn’t help but giggle. 

“Big Sis good afternoon,” he greeted me. 

“Afternoon Big man, how was today’s paper?” 

“It was fine,” he answered as he searched for his phone that had just beeped. 

Chigo was one of the candidates currently taking their WAEC. 

“I hope so,” It was my turn to tease him. 

“What would you have me say?” he stated. 

I noticed his silence and I looked up to him. His smile had disappeared and fear was written all over his face. 

“Chigo, what is it? Why is your face like that?” I asked curiously.  

“Sis,” he called and looked up from his phone. 

“What?” I responded. 

“Dad is dead,” He stammered. 

“What kind of joke is that?” I asked angrily. 

He handed his phone over to me and I went paralysed. I was so in shock I didn’t I know what to do or say. There it was, the text message, “YOUR FATHER JUST PASSED ON” 

My expression couldn’t describe what I was feeling inside at that moment. I was broken. 

“Big Sis, what did Bro Chigo say happened to Dad?”

I was too downcast to even answer Nene. Chigo staggered backwards and rested on the wall. 

“Can you guys talk to me?” Nene persisted. 

After some moments of grieving silence, I looked up to Chigo and he asked me, “How do we tell mum?”

“Tell mum what?” I heard her ask and I bowed my head. 

“Chigo what do you want to tell me and why are you all looking gloomy?” She quizzed us. 

“Naza,” she called but I didn’t look up or even reply. “Chigo,” and I didn’t even hear him move. “Nene,” 

“Mum, I’m not sure o. I heard something like dad and died. I have been asking.” 

Mum’s screams made me raise my head in shock. 

“Tell me It’s not what I’m thinking it is,” she said to me. 

I guess she needed no one to answer her as she could read her answers on our faces. 

“Mum,” now my screams filled the compound as I rushed to my mother who had just slumped to the floor. 

Chigo and Nene joined me as we tried to restore her to consciousness. 

“Mum, please don’t do this,” 

Suddenly, Chigo’s phone rang and he seemed like he was head-scratched. 

“What is it again?” I asked him. 

“I don’t understand. My number is calling,” he replied. 

“Pick it and find out what’s wrong,” I stated with displeasure as Nene and I tried to sit my mother up. 

“Are you kidding me?” Chigo pauses, “Okay I’ll send the address right away,” he said as he dropped the phone. 

“So who was it?” because I couldn’t read his expressions anymore. 

He was silent for a while. 

“Chigo, I asked a question.”

“I took the wrong phone from school. It’s the same as mine.”

I bit my lips, “You’re saying it’s not our Dad who….” 

“No,” he replied. 

I shook my head and at that moment I wanted to pounce on him like old times and give him the beating of his life for putting us through this emotional stress but I had to first put my mother I was holding into consideration first. 

“ Chigo, I’m going to kill you after all these,” I exhaled, “but what are we going to tell mum?”

Confused, we all gazed at our mother. 

MY MIRROR

She takes her eyes off the wall clock, turns around and puts her hand on her head as the pistol dangles in her left hand. 

She looks at the well built guy on her left and then the short round guy by the doorway and she giggles. 

Sluggishly, she takes her hands down and taps the pistol on her lap continuously. 

And then, “Marvellous,” she screams startling everyone. 

“You are wasting my time. Let’s just make this easy for ourselves so you and I can leave this place in peace. My patience is running out,” she says as she smiles. 

“Why is Catherine doing this?” Makuo asks. But she doesn’t answer him. Not because she was scared and he could see that but because she was torn between rage and regret. 

 Catherine inhales and exhales deeply, she opens her eyes now filled with hatred and suffering. 

“Boys, tear this house down and bring them to me,” she orders and immediately unpleasant sounds of broken objects fills the room as they carelessly scatter things. 

As the only object close to the TV, the boys give themselves the go ahead look as they pull the shelf down together. A smirk appears on their faces. 

She looks up as they push the couple to where she’s sitting. 

Her charming smile returns, “Oh well, look at who we have here. I must tell you, that was one good hide and seek game you put up. I’m thrilled, as usual,” she comments as she claps. 

With rage and fear now, Marvellous gaze doesn’t leave Catherine’s. 

“Make then kneel,” Catherine orders again. 

“Kneel down,” the muscly guy roars as he taps their heads. 

Her smiles gradually turns into an evil look, “Fucking bitch,” Catherine spits as she lands a resounding slap on Marvellous’s face. 

“Stop it Catherine. What has come over you?” 

Catherine tee-hees derisively, “Are you mad? One more word and I’m going to blow your fucking brains all over this room,” she threatens as she points the gun to him. Makuo swallows with a little bit of fear. 

She slowly turns her head to Marvellous. 

“I thought you were dead.” 

Catherine bites her lips and turns to him again. “Really? Well, don’t I look dead to you? Do I look alive with these scars all over my body? Do I?”

Makuo looks away. 

“Don’t look away. Answer me,” she thunders. 

“No,” he replies. 

“Good. Did you hear that? I don’t look alive,” she giggles and then pauses. 

“All thanks to you, bitch. I hate you more than I hate my body,” she voices and turns her back to Marvellous. 

Marvellous swallows. 

“I gave you everything.  I did everything for you. I loved you with all my heart. And I know you didn’t lack anything.” She laughs and shakes her head, “Marvellous I loved you like I loved me,” sadness fills her voice, “but you chose to do this to me. You let greed and jealousy come in between us. You decided to kill us. I trusted you so much that I’d do anything for you, same reason I followed you to the plantation that day and before I could say knife, you turned into a Lioness and plucked my wings.” The anger in her heightens. “You could have just killed us but no, you still wanted to have the pleasure of torturing us like animals, for three days.” She squeezes the gun, “you killed the love of my life after I begged you. I couldn’t understand why you left me alive, “she shrugs her shoulder, “maybe because you thought I wasn’t strong enough and that I would probably bleed to death.”

She exhales, “You thought me something Marvellous. If my own blood sister can make an iron go through my arm without blinking then nothing would make a tear drop from my eyes.” 

“Catherine,” Marvellous calls out softly and Catherine turns to face them, smiling. 

“This is what I wanted. To see you on your knees, crying, helplessly,” Catherine laughs hysterically. 

“You know when you know your sister’s strengths and weaknesses, you can strike anytime,” she bends over and looks into her eyes. 

Marvellous stares into her eyes too, trying hard to fight the tears as she seemed defeated, her bravery fades. 

“Catherine sighs, “this gun wasn’t for you, it was just for shows,” she walks to her back, bends over again and whispers to her, “Tell my love I said hi,” with that she slits her throat with her pocketknife. 

“No,” Makuo screams. 

She unsympathetically turns Marvellous around and pushes her to the floor as she watch her grasp her neck, choking on her blood. 

Disallow

“You may kiss the bride,” the Priest passed freely. 

Without hesitation, the couple kissed and the congregation or should I say the five persons they had invited, cheered. 

Feeling uneasy, Uloma got up from the back where she had been seated watching the whole thing. She knelt with one knee as she made the sign of the cross. She got up, kissed her Holy Rosary and made to leave the church. The worried look on her face was conspicuous. 

“Uloma,” a loud voice startled her as she got to the narthex. 

Uloma looked down and saw her standing there, she held herself from spitting on her. She just gave her the bad eyes. 

“Uloma eeeeh. Is this how you are?” 

“Adanma, Ogini? What is it ehhh? Why are you shouting my name like that? Don’t you know that this is the house of God?” Uloma retorted. 

“House of God gba g’oku there,” Adanma returned. “So after warning you to tell your son to stay away from my daughter, you didn’t yield instead you allowed your son to stupidly lead my daughter to this altar. To think you even passed by my shop this morning and you didn’t deem it wise to let me know, okwa ya?” with an evil temper. 

“Look at you. So you think I was invited. Well unlike you, I found out about it and I honored the event in ‘peace’. But here you are raving like a madwoman. I don’t have time to exchange words with you. I’m leaving,” Uloma said and pushed her aside. 

“You’re leaving, right? Okay. Where is that son of yours?” screamed Adanma as she turned and started marching down the aisle to the altar. 

The couple turned to see her when they heard the screams. 

Fear crippled the bride. 

“You won’t touch my son, you witch,” Uloma yelled as she went after Adanma. 

“Did you tell her anything?” Ebube asked his bride. 

She directed her attention to him and in surprise, “of course not. How can you ask me that?” Kelechi responded. 

“Then how did she find out?” Ebube asked again. 

“I don’t know. How did your mother find out too?” Kelechi asked as her ire had been aroused. 

“I’ll kill you both today,” Adanma threatened as she drew closer. 

She made to seize Kelechi but a hand pulled Kelechi away and dragged her towards the vestry. 

“Chibuzor,” Adanma roared. 

“This girl won’t kill me.” Immediately she grabbed Ebube by the collar, “you dared me, this boy. Ebube, you dared me,” she vociferated as she choked him by pulling his tie continuously. 

“Mummy,” Ebube managed to call out as he choked. 

“Let go of my son, witch,” Uloma struggled with her till Adanma let go of her son. 

Still fuming, she ran off to where Kelechi had gone to. 

“Thank you mother,” Ebube uttered. Uloma eyed him from his head to his toe as she let out a deafening hiss. 

Knowing the exact room they were in, she walked up to the door and banged on it. 

“Kelechi, Chibuzor, open this door right now,” she ordered. 

Chibuzor looked upon her elder sister who was sitting on the floor with her wedding dress. They could hear their own heartbeats. 

“Open this door now,” she shouted behind the door. 

“No mother. I will not open this door and I’m not coming out of this place,” Kelechi found her voice. 

Adanma chuckled, ”so you girls have now grown to defy my orders. Kelechi, I ordered you not marry any man at all; rich or poor, dead or crippled but you went ahead to marry Ebube. Chim o, you’ve killed me,” she whined. 

“Why do you always think we should let you ruin our lives because you say so. We do every single stupid thing you’ve asked of us. Mother, I have not offended you in any way. I only got married to the man I love…”

“Shut up your mouth. Lover girl. I got married to the man I love,” Adanma mimicked her. 

“Yes mother, I am now Ebube’s wife and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Kelechi stated unapologetically. 

Adanma banged on the door more furiously, startling the girls. She couldn’t stand their insolence. 

“If you like break the door, I’m not coming out of here,” Kelechi vocalized. 

“Mother, we can all talk this out. Just calm down. See, Ebube is a nice guy; he’s intelligent, caring, well to do, handsome and above all, he loves sister,” Chibuzor added. 

“Shut up that stinking mouth of yours. What do you know about love, little girl?” Adanma riposted. 

“Okay o, all-knowing Mother Oracle, you will sleep out there this night. I’m not saying anything again,” Chibuzor stated as she joined her sister on the floor and held her hands. 

“And until you conceive vividly that all your reasons for always hurting us are useless, we are going to remain locked in here. If we die, we die at least it’s better than spending another minute with you,” Kelechi said as she looked into Chibuzor’s eyes. She squeezed her palms and they smiled. 

The thing

Neatly dressed but with an appearance sans colour, she stepped out of the keke, took a deep breath and exhaled. 

She stood on the side of the road waiting to cross to the other side. 

“Do you think you really need to be there?” He asked her. 

Slowly, she turned her head to her left, “Excuse me?” 

He chuckled, “Why are you going there?” He asked signalling with his head to the gym on the other side. 

“Because that’s where I work,” she responded. 

“No, that’s where you’ll die.” 

Flummoxed, she turned to him fully, “What are you talking about?” 

“Enough with the pretentious act. I can see your soul leaving your body gradually and I’m certain you can feel it. They are poisoning you slowly. If don’t act fast, you’d be the next to die there,” he warned. 

“I have people I need to train and you’re delaying me,” she said as she made to cross. 

“Do you want to die?” He asked. 

“We are all going to die one day,” she declared as her heart raced. 

“But not if you have the chance to save yourself. Why are you letting them do this? Listen, you owe them nothing. They gave you a job and trained you. They’ve changed your life but that doesn’t mean they own you and that definitely doesn’t mean they can take your life too. Or do you want to die in someone else’s arms as Tipsy did in yours?” He questioned. 

She shut her eyes and flashes of Tipsy filled her mind; Tipsy had come out of the pool and as she handed the towel to her, smiling, Tipsy fell on her, dead. 

He could see her quivering body. 

“I can help you escape what’s coming,” he revealed to her. 

“It’s useless. I don’t have much time left. Besides, they’re watching my every move. I’ll be dead before I even get to wherever my safe haven might be,” she informed him. 

“If you leave now, you’d have every chance in this world to save you. Let me help you, Chinaza,” he stated as he took her hand in his. 

Hearing her real name for the first time in three years, she turned to face him again, “Okay.” 

He smiled contentedly and handed over the bottle he was holding.

“What is this?” 

“Palm oil for a start.”

And with shaky hands, she took it from him. 

With a grin, he glanced at a jwindow in the tall gym building and with her hand in his, he led her away. 

Assemblage

It was 3am and they couldn’t stay anymore so they decided to head home. There was no cab, keke or bike to take them home so they trekked. 

After a long while, they felt they were being followed so they hastened up. 

“We should have waited till morning o,” Tochukwu whispered to her friends. 

“We’ve left already. So let’s focus on walking faster,” Gloria told them. 

Amarachi muttered some words of prayers as they walked hurriedly. 

“Where do you girls think you’re rushing to?” One of the girls asked them as the blocked the way. 

Fear gripped the girls as they saw their SS3 ladies and even some of their own classmates. 

“Home. Or do we live in the school?” Gloria boldly asked the girl who had earlier taken her drink at the party. 

With an excited irritation, the girl slapped Gloria; her cohorts cheered her whilst Gloria rubbed her cheek. 

“That is to teach you that you don’t answer a question with a ques,” she was cut short as Gloria retaliated. Everyone wowed. 

“And that is to teach you not to bully younger girls,” Gloria told her, Amarachi and Tochukwu smiled conceitedly. 

Kate, filled with rage, violently pushed Gloria to the ground. Gloria picked her dad’s phone she had collected from him and with a panting breath, she tried to make a call but Kate dragged the phone from her. Just then a madman ran past them yelling and in fear, the girls all ran away. 

Amara and Tochi helped Gloria up. They dusted her, removed their shoes and ran towards the direction of their houses.  

Gloria got home and realised she had lost her father’s phone. She explained everything to him. The next day he reported everything Gloria told him to the police authorities. Kate and her cohorts were dealt with at school while the teachers responsible for the misconduct at the all girls party were penalised. 

To Ikotun

“Oga move front abeg. Cross to the other side because the load I’m carrying is heavy,” I entreated the bus driver to move a bit forward. I was bearing a large sack in which I had put all the foodstuffs I just bought from the market. I was going to Ikotun and I had been directed to board a bus going to Ikotun from Iyana ipaja but this bus driver was bullheaded.

“Ejo sir, esun si waju. Ibiyi si ji na si bustop,” an elderly woman behind me said. I didn’t understand Yoruba but from the way the driver harshly replied her, I perceived she also wanted him to go further. 

Other passengers didn’t really care, they weren’t carrying anything whatsoever talk more of something heavy, and they all alighted without any complaints. 

“Please sir I beg you. Just move forward a bit. This load is heavy and I do not want to walk while supporting it before getting to where I will board a bus,” I pleaded with the driver. 

When I saw he wasn’t budging, I tidied myself to get down and then he handed my change to me.

“Sir, this is 750 naira. You gave me 250 naira already,” I said handing the 250 naira back to him. He seemed confused for a while because I could see he had forgotten he gave me 250 naira earlier on.

“Oh that’s true. Thank you very much,” he said as he collected the money. I was still pissed because I thought about how I would cross to the other side with the sack. I descended from the bus, brought my bag down and set to cross over to the other side.

“Ikotun, Egbeda, Ikotun, Egbeda,” I heard some men “conductors” shouting after I had just taken few steps forward. As I advanced towards to them, I couldn’t help but be grateful as I imagined myself traversing to board the bus if the driver had yielded to my pleas and crossed me to the other side. Note, I never told the driver I wanted to board a bus going to Ikotun.

Valentine’s Void

“Miracle,stop it,” I bellowed as I made my way from the door to stop him. It was Valentine’s Day so I was here to see Miracle and his wife. We were supposed to spend the day together since my wife was out of the country. 

Hearing her cries from outside, I had rushed in furiously to see what was going on. Miracle was beating Shantel again. I rushed to him and tried to get him away from her but he kept kicking and hitting her hard especially in the stomach.

“Miracle, stop this madness. What stripe of a beast are you turning into? You have to calm down,” I told him as I held him tightly. He struggled to break from my grip but I wasn’t ready to let him go.

“Miracle, you either calm down or I would be the one throwing punches at you,” I said to him and he slowly calmed down as he panted like a lion that had been chasinghis prey. 

He moved tothe sofa and sat on it as I moved closer to Shantel and tried to help her up but lo and behold she didn’t move. I panicked as I checked her and as a doctor, I didn’t need anyone to tell me Shantel had kicked the bucket. I was filled with extreme disgust and anger.

“She’s dead. You killed her,” I said softly on my knees with my hands holding hers. Miracle slowly walked up behind me and I could hear his heavy breathing. 

I stood up to face him, “You broke her spleen. Miracle, you beat your pregnant wife to death.”

He felt ashamed.

I shook my head in disappointment and turned to leave the room. I was torn between reporting this malicious act and safeguarding my brother’s integrity.

-by Anita Pius

Toy store

“Mum, I like that one,” 4 year old Zainab said pointing to a doll that was nearly hidden on the shelf.

“I want the one close to it,” her elder sister Amina stated.

Ejiro looked closely at the dolls and saw they appeared uncanny.

“Of all the beautiful dolls in this toy shop, these are the ones you girls want?” she asked them.

“Yes mom,” the replied in unison. 

“I think you girls are not getting any dolls and I am sure your elder sister is going to get a better doll,” she told the girls.

“Mom, mom,” a voice came calling from the other side of the shelf.

“What is it?” Ejiro asked her eldest daughter.
Monsurat dragged her by the hand, “Come and see the doll I want.”

“I told you girls,” she said to the little ones as she followed Monsurat to the shelf where the doll she wanted was.

“That’s it,” she indicated as they got to the spot.

Ejiro’s smile disappeared immediately as she beheld the ugliest looking doll.

“What is wrong with all of you?” she asked furiously.

The girls cowered in fear.

She turned and saw the employees leering at her. She didn’t want them to think she was a bad mother but still didn’t want her children to get those hideous dolls. Girls of their age love colorful and pretty dolls.

“Fine, you girls should pick your preferred dolls,” she told them smiling.

The girls’ faces lit up, they hugged her and ran to take the dolls from the shelves.

“How much are these dolls?” Ejiro asked the cashier at the counter.

Smiling, “What dolls ma’am?” the cashier asked her.

Ejiro scoffed, “The ones my girls are holding.”
Still smiling, the cashier asked, “Ma’am, are you trying to toy with me?” 

“Young lady, I think you’re the one who is trying to toy with me here and I don’t like it.”

“But I don’t see any dolls with your girls,” the cashier replied.

Ejiro sighed, “Sweeties, hold up the dolls so she can see them very well,” Ejiro asked her girls and they did.

The cashier became uneasy, “Lucy, please come,” she called out to her colleague.

“Yes, what is it?” her colleague asked.

“This lady says her children are holding dolls but I can’t see any,” the cashier explained.

Lucy looked at Ejiro and then the kids, “I don’t see any doll either.”

Ejiro expired and looked at her girls; put out her hands to feel the dolls. She could see and feel it.

“Monsurat, Amina, Zainab, what are the colors of the dolls you’re holding?” she demanded.

“Black,” Monsurat said.

“Black,” Amina said.

“Black,” Zainab said too.

Immediately, all the lights went off and dark clouds filled the air. The employees screamed in fear. The kids panicked and Ejiro’s heart thumped.

Three dark shadows came into sight and walked toward them. As the shadows drew closer, Ejiro held her children close but a strong force pulled her and flung her into one of the shelves.

“Mom,” her kids cried out.

“You have trespassed and you will pay,” the shadows said and their voices echoed. The shadows touched the girls; they faded away, the cloud disappeared and the lights were restored.

“Noooooooooooo. Not my babies,” Ejiro screamed as she ran to the spot where they had stood. 

The store employees, still mystified couldn’t move.

Shift

I tried to control my emotions as she, with nimble fingers poured tea into our cups and served our toast. My solicitude over her grew as I couldn’t digest all I had just seen minutes ago.


Two hours ago, I had seen my mother dressed to leave the house and it was surprising because I and my siblings never get to know she left the house because she never told us whenever she wanted to go out even if it was to get something for the house and for that reason we never knew when she left the house. Ever since our father transited to the other side, we became a dysfunctional family.


Today I woke up early and was just in time to see her serve breakfast and leave almost immediately dressed for work and that surprised me. I could swear my mother rarely went out talk more of working and that always made me wonder how she had enough money to take care of us or go out to buy stuffs if at all she had the money.


“Maybe she wanted to do some shopping,” I said to myself and then I saw our cat run from the other side of the dining table to the kitchen. In a bid to play with it, I followed it to the kitchen and I was paralyzed by what I beheld.


It slowly transformed to my mother, pulled her hair back and tied it. She turned around to see if anyone was looking, and when she was convinced no one was looking, she smiled satisfyingly. As she walked toward the kitchen door, I found the bodily capacity to flee and hide under the dining table. She walked to my elder sister’s room to wake her up and immediately I ran upstairs to pretend I was still sleeping. After some minutes she came to me and my brother’s room and as usual she woke us up sweetly like we were always woken up in the mornings. Now I understood why mum was sweet in the mornings and harsh in the evenings; even if we didn’t talk much, she tried to make us feel good in the morning. I pretended to sluggishly wake up.


“It’s time for breakfast sweeties. Wash your mouth and come down to have your breakfast,” she said smiling.


“Okay mum,” my younger brother said as he hurried to the bathroom to wash his mouth.


I didn’t get down from the bed and I could feel her stares piercing into my body so I looked at her.


“What are you waiting for, young man?” she asked me with a stern look.


I grudgingly got down from the bed and walked to the bathroom. I opened the door to peep as she left the room.


“Clement, aren’t you going to eat your breakfast?” She or should I say Cat mum asked me.


“I will,” I said forcing a smile.

With my shaky hands and a mind cognizant of what was happening, I picked the cup and brought it to my lips but I couldn’t drink out of it.


I looked up from the cup to look at my bother and sister’s face, oblivious of what was happening, they cheerfully ate their breakfast. I was torn between telling them what I had seen and keeping quiet because I deemed our cat was a sweeter mum.

The Raw Deal

“Officer, when am I going to go home? You can’t keep me here. I’ve been here for ten days with your unending torture and you still haven’t got anything out of me and to top it all you don’t even have any evidence against me,” Camille complained.

She was battered from the repeated blows by the investigation police officer.

“Now listen to me young lady. You are going to confess to your crime no matter how long it takes,” the investigator threatened.

“You have to believe that I’m innocent. How can I keep the truth from you after everything you’ve made me go through,” she said bitterly. Her lips were wounded and swollen; she could hardly keep them apart.

“Indeed. Culprits like you are difficult to penetrate but I’ll crack you open,” he said to her with a stern look.

“Please have mercy. You can’t expect me to concede to what I didn’t do. How can you be this heartless?”

He slapped her hard allowing the wound on her lips bleed. It was difficult for her to even cry because she was in much pain.

“The next time you talk to me like that, I’ll make sure you suffer for it,” he said, holding her neck.
She groaned in pains, “Like my life could get any worse than this,” she muttered.

Her head dropped as he released her neck and sat in front of her. The officer standing behind her tried to raise her head.

“Let her be, Timini. She’s too weak to move so doing that would be otiose,” he told his colleague.
“If you are innocent, why do you tremble? Listen, we are still looking into this case and we are going to find the evidences to make you pay for your crime,” he assured her.

Camille shut her eyes in despair.

“I can see you’ve regained some strength so let’s continue from where we stopped. Camille I want the truth so tell me what I need to know now.”

Camille kept mute; she was tired of explaining herself or “denying the crime” as they termed it.

“So you won’t talk. Fine,” he got up, hit her in the face and punched her twice in her stomach.

“Excuse me Sir, the boss wants you to see something in his office right now,” Timini informed him after answering a phone call.

“I’ll be back for you, murderer,” he forewarned her and left.

She tried to snort in the catarrh falling from her nose as hot tears streaked down her cheeks.
Few minutes later Timini came in. Her body shook as he came close to her. To her shock, he helped her stand up but she didn’t bother to ask any questions.
He led her into the DPO’s office.

“Uncuff her,” the DPO instructed. Camille was taken aback and she could see her investigator didn’t seem so tough anymore.
“Please sit down Miss Camille,” he said as he offered for her to sit in the chair close to his desk. Camille was astounded that she was been addressed as Miss after been treated like an animal.
She proceeded to sit down. She ached all over.
“I want to show you something.”
He turned the laptop to her so she could see the screen. She was stunned by what she saw: his screams made her aching worse.

“What’s going on here?” she asked.

“The policemen who were still investigating the house saw the tech man who came to check the cameras and he told them about the surveillance camera he had installed for the victim some months ago. He didn’t get a call from the victim so he decided to check up on him. So this video is all the evidence we need. And to think she was the one who testified against you.”

Camille was dumbfounded. Tears streaked down her cheeks, “How could she? He was her boyfriend. I can’t believe her disapproval of me working with her boyfriend in his house could escalate to this,” she shook all over.

She turned to look at the investigator with disgust.
“You tortured me for nothing. You beat me up even when I pleaded with you. You wanted me to admit to something I didn’t do. You decimated my dignity. I hate you,” she said amidst tears. Without a word, he walked out in shame.

Then she turned to the DPO, “So what will happen to me? How are you guys going to pay for the damage, the pains, the ill treatment and the shame you’ve all caused me?”

He apologized and promised to pay for her medical expenses and send people to arrange her house. With all the pain and a pint-size of happiness of being vindicated and of the reality that the actual murderer will be arrested, Camille left the police station.