THE TENANT Episode 18
© Ajiboye Ayobami Tomilayo
Francis settled down on a single seat facing his mum
‘Mum tell me what you know please’ Francis begged
‘Well I guess your sister did a good job in telling me who was the lady you went out with and what she looked like. I think she deserves an accolade. To start with Vanessa’s mother was a very food friend of mine and she actually got married before I did. Her husband which was Van’s biological dad though late was not very rich and he worked for Van’s step dad, Williams. Didn’t Van tell you how beautiful her mum was? She was pretty and from what I knew and still know about Williams- he is selfish, greedy, pompous and mean…when I talk about mean my dear, he is the devil himself. I knew Williams arranged Van’s dad’s accident- he bahaved exactly like David who lusted after Bathsheba. I couldn’t tell my friend considering the fact that she was pregnant that time but I later told her which I guess she told Van.
Well…let’s say Van’s mum was Williams favourite then because he sent his first wife packing because of her but I think he developed the hatred when she witnessed him murder two business partners in their home.
As you both know, Francis’s mum continued I am asthmatic, her mum sent her over to send me the provisions I bought from her shop. I was wriggling in pain…your dad was away at work and my daughter Sharon was at her friend’s and she was very young then. This young and intelligent girl rushed to the kitchen to get me table salt mixed with water when she couldn’t find my inhaler from the places I managed to describe for her. I wonder who taught her about that first aid and guess what she never leaved me, she called my husband to inform him and her mum. She practically saved my life. Then I had travel. I lost contact with my friend.’ Francis’s mum finished uninterrupted and her children sighed.
How is my friend? Is she still at William’s house? She asked.
Francis eyes w¡den,’ didn’t Sharon tell you?’
‘What?!’ His mum asked
‘ I couldn’t tell her since they ‘were’ friends and I won’t be able to handle it alone when she breaks down’ Sharon said and Francis nodded in understanding.
‘Shut up Sharon why would you say we were friends, we are still friends of course’ Francis mum said disturbed.
‘Mum she’s dead!’ Francis burst out which commenced an hour of weeping from their mum.
The next day, Van woke up very late as she slept quite late and was surprised to find out that Niks had gone to work without waking her but she thought better off it- maybe she noticed that I was stressed out and didn’t want to disturb my peaceful sleep.
She prayed and reached out for her phone on the side stool beside her big bed. She swiped and saw a text from Francis.
‘I will be there by 10am to bring you to my house- I have a plan’
10am! Van half scre-med as she jumped out of bed fully awake, this is already 15 minutes to 10.
She dashed into the bathroom and dressed up casually. When she was done, she checked out herself in the full mirror- she wanted to look food for him- what! Shut up girl, she thought as she slapped herself.
She was about entering the kitchen to fix something to eat when Francis drove in.
‘oh! She gro-ned so I won’t have anything to eat and I am so famished’
Francis entered and noticed the frown and asked her what was wrong. She explained that she woke up late and famished right now.
Francis chuckled and replied,do not worry my mum cooked us breakfast, I haven’t eaten as well so there you go we are eating together.
‘Wow! She exclaimed happily, I can’t wait to meet that nice woman’
With that the two exited the house and in another two minutes they were in Francis’s house. Van was so surprised to see the extent to which the house was exquisitely built.
Francis opened the door with Van trailing behind him to the living room where Sharon was seated. She jumped up to hug Van who returned the hug warmly. They were still exchanging pleasantries when Francis’s mum entered holding a hand towel.
Vanessa dear! She called out and Van whom recognition hit immediately turn around to see the third human being she misses after her biological dad and mum.
It didn’t take her a minute to process what was happening that she flung herself at her crying.
‘Mummy you left me! Dad left me, mum also did! You all left me’
‘Am sorry my child, I am so sorry’
They hugged crying as the sweet memory flooded in while Francis and Sharon looked on awed at how mighty the Lord is.
‘Ha! Mummy I suffered! What my eyes have seen- what I have been through!’
‘Shhh- I know everything now dear’ but your trials will definitely become testimonies and your wailing your worsh¡p.
They finally calmed down while Francis’s mum retold all what she knows and it tallied with what Van was told by her mother.
The plan now is Williams must go down!
The short trip to Niks office was not hectic as the road was not very busy. Thank God she described the place which we got quite easily and thank God Francis is not expected to resume work that week since it was an agreement stuff.
In five minutes time we were seated in Niks spacious office after being directed in by her personal secretary.
‘Make sure you have the duplicate of the evidences then report to a police station’ Niks said with slight irritation.
‘Niks, we have the duplicates but I guess as a professional you ought to follow us there, the police can be cunny a times and considering he is a very influential man!’ Francis said also irritated. What is wrong with this young Lady? When I thought she would eagerly accept to do the job, Francis thought.
‘I can’t do it! I just got this job, I am not a professional’ Niks said adamant.
‘Niks this would earn you promotion if you do it successfully. Van said confused at her friend’s behaviour.
‘I will think about it was all Niks replied as she pursed her l-ips shimmering with lilac lip stick.
Van exchanged looks with Francis and they both replied okay and left wordlessly.
I have to talk to Niks! Francis thought. She doesn’t have to punish Van because of me.
Why would this happen when everything is coming into place.? Van thought as Francis drove back to his house then her phone rang, it was Nike.
‘ hello, I will do the job, we can go right away’ Niks said.
What, okay we will turn back right away.
‘Call me when you reach the environs I will cone out to meet you. So you wouldn’t have to come in again’ she said
She happily told Francis who turned back to their previous destination. She put a calk to Niks who appeared 10minutes later carrying her bag and a file holder. Her face was emotionless so Van couldn’t figure out what was happening.
She entered the car and told them of a very reputable police station which Francis headed to catching Niks staring at him through the rear mirror since she was sitting at the back seat.
To be continued…
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