PREVIOUSLY ON B—H.
*At The Front Of Zainab’s House.*
“Should I still delete your number?”. – Henry.
“Your choice.” – Zainab
“Okay, I’ll call you later on, maybe to make your hair,” Henry replied in a sarcastic tone and drove off before Zainab could think of a suitable reply.
* * * * *
*At the WheatBaker bar*
“Is this the latest trend?” – Richærd.
“Pardon?” – Bukky.
“Oh! I was just wondering if its now a trend for beautiful ladies to sit alone in a bar,” – Richærd.
“Is this seat taken?” – Richærd
“No, not at all, please seat,” – Bukky.
“Okay, enough chit-chat, why don’t you follow me up to my room and let’s get down to business?” – Richærd.
“I was wondering when you would say that.” – Bukky.
*Richærd looked down at the bulge on his trousers and smiled.*
* * * * *
*In Richærd’s suite, WheatBaker hotel*
“Go, go, go, go/ Oh lover, don’t you dare slow down/ Go longer, you can last more rounds/ Push h-rder, you’re almost there now/ So go lover, make mama proud/ And when we’re done, I don’t wanna feel my legs…” – Kelly Rowland
“Where did you learn how to unhook a b-ra so fast?” – Bukky.
“That not really important? Is it?” – Richærd.
*In a few seconds… Paw paw paw!!! They both climaxed.*
“ichærd and Bukky were still having s€× when out of nowhere, there was a knock at the door.
“Can I help you?” – Richærd.
”Good, am Agent Ambrose and my friend here is agent Emeka, we are both from the new Lagos state investigation agency, and we have a court order to arrest you,” – Agent Ambrose.
“I don die!!” – Richærd.
* * * * *
*At Jummy’s Office*
*She picked up the flower and perceived it, she had no idea what type of scent it had but it sure had a nice scent… What can possibly go wrong? She asked herself rhetorically* – Jummy.
“Oh! I see you’ve already gotten my flowers?” –
When she started working at GNP, Jummy had an issue with Stephen. Stephen was interested in her and made multiple moves at her but Jummy shunned him each time until he got tired, or so she thought.
At that time, they were both just regular employees and didn’t have much authorative positions like they now did.
Stephen had started working at GNP before Jummy so it was only natural his promotion came first. Ever since his promotion, Stephen didn’t bother Jummy about anything and Jummy was glad he had forgotten about her.
So she was surprised when she over heard Stephen and Mrs Ogbonaya arguing over her promotion, she just didn’t get why Stephen wanted her out of the company. But the major surprise came as she discovered Stephen sent her flowers. Wasn’t he the same person that wanted her out of the company? She wondered.
It took Jummy several seconds before she could think of what to reply Stephen as she figured the flowers was from him and not John as she had expected.
“Why did you send me flowers?” She asked sternly.
“Hey! You are welcome,” Stephen replied sarcastically, ignoring her question.
Jummy wasn’t please or moved by his sarcasm, “I asked you a question,” she repeated herself.
“Do I need to have a reason before I send my personal Jumoke flowers?” Stephen asked, grinning widely, he seemed to be enjoying the conversation.
“People only send send flowers to friends, and when last I checked, we were good friends” Jummy replied, staring sternly at Stephen.
Stephen got the irony in Jummy’s message and he rose an eyebrow, “we are friends na, or aren’t we?” He asked.
Jummy bursted out in laughter, “you and who are friends? As far as am concerned, you are an immature nobody.” She said in between laughters.
“Why are you acting this way and saying all this cruel things?” Stephen asked with a somewhat pitiful look.
“Have you forgotten I overheard you conversation with Mrs Ogbonaya?”
Stephen l-ips curved into a smile, “don’t tell me you took that personal? It was all just acting and I did it for your own good.”
Jummy became curious, “for my own good? What do you mean by that?” She asked.
“I and Cynthia or Mrs Ogbonaya as you guys know her both had a little ‘something’ in the past but it just didn’t work as she had both planned so she became mad at me and vowed to hurt me somehow. Cynthia don’t play with her threats and I knew she knew you were the only one I cared about in this company, so obviously if she hurt you – which she can, she automatically hurts me. So what I did was make her think I don’t care about you so she won’t hurt you,” Stephen coughed and continued while Jummy listened with rapt attention, “I compiled a list of incompetent staffs that I want to be transferred or fired and I included your name. It worked as I had hoped, she transferred other staffs and promoted you thinking it would hurt me, but unknown to her, she just made me a lot more happy, so you see, I am truly your friend,” Stephen concluded and grinned at her.
Jummy wasn’t impressed by the explanation. “You are still at fault for putting me at risk in the first place. And let me remind you that you are a married man,” Jummy said. “And if you don’t mind, I have some work to do so please kindly leave my office and if possible take your flowers with you, I don’t need them.” She concluded with a tone of finality.
“Jummy, but I…” Stephen tried to say but was shunned by Jummy.
Angry, he stood up from the chair and stormed out of her office.
Jummy picked up the flowers and walked to the door side where the waste bin was, she took a deep breath and dumped it in the waste bin, she hated doing that but had to pass a message across.
She smiled at this thought.
* * * * *
Richærd was still trying to understand what was happening to him.
Few minutes ago, he was having the time of his life but now he was stucked in a police van, surrounded by two macho police officers who claim to be from the Lagos State Investigation Agency. What does that even mean? Richærd wondered, he didn’t know such a agency existed to start with and what do they want to do with him? The only crime he had ever been caught committing but an officer of the law was stealing meat from his mother pot and the ‘officer of the law’ was his own dad, ever since then, he was been very careful and made sure he left no stone unturned.
The silence in the van was deafening and it had a sinister effect. Richærd was uncomfortable.
“Where are you people taking me?” He asked with a low tone, he somehow felt that if he spoke too loud one of the macho agents beside him might beat him up for shouting at him.
“When we get to the station, all your questions would be answered to you satisfaction,” Agent Ambroose replied without even looking at Richærd.
“You can’t just barge into my hotel room, arrest me and take me to your station without at least giving me a reason first. I have the right to know!” Richærd replied, gradually raising his voice.
“We know it is your right to know the reasons, but we have our orders and it was simply… ‘Go and bring Richærd Anderson to the station’,” Agent Emeka replied.
“As you said earlier, its my right to know and I demand to know now or I’ll call my lawyer!” Richærd yelled suddenly becoming confident.
“Sir! I would say this just once, calm and nicely. With all due respect, KEEP QUITE! All your questions would be answered when we get to the station,” Agent Ambroose replied.
Richærd was about to say; “You can’t tell me …” When Agent Ambroose suddenly turned to face Richærd for the first time. He wasn’t smiling.
Richærd got the message and kept quiet for the rest of the journey.
They got to the station in about fifteen minutes time. It was a casual bungalow which had a symbol of the Nigerian Police: -an elephant and an eagle. The symbol was drawn on drawn on a sign board close to the main entrance.
The van was parked at the front of the station and all its occup-nt walked out of it.
Agent Ambroose had the hunch that Richærd might try something silly so he held him tightly on the arm and walked into the station.
Richærd was taken straight to the commissioner office and once the door was opened, a man seated at on of the vacant seat opposite the commissioner turned and smiled.
“Oh, Richærd, am so glad you could make it, you welcome,” he said.
The man was Barrister Boniface.
* * * * *
Zainab finally woke up by 12:53PM after sleeping for roughly 15 hours, her head ached, her legs were weak and she just felt like going back to bed and sleep more, but she knew her body a little too well, she knew if she slept more, she would wake up by 8PM in the evening and even though she had no serious plan for the day, she didn’t think it would be cool to sleep all day, so she reluctantly and sluggishly stood up from her bed.
She went straight to the kitchen and filled a glass cup with a refrigerate pack of orange juice and literally gulped down the entire contents in one big gulp, the juice did wonders and she felt a great surge of energy boost, she felt like working out. Its been weeks since she did any sort of work out and she could feel she was getting fatter.
She picked up a towel and walked straight in an empty room where Richærd kept his treadmill.
Zainab could still smell and picture Richærd running on the treadmill shirt – less, sweating and his abs exposed for her viewing pleasure, she felt a tingle in-between her thighs, she missed Richærd.
She waved the thoughts out of her mind and went to work. She set the thread mill at average speed and started jogging on it when she heard her phone ring all the way from her room, she let it go to voicemail. But it rang again and again and again, she new it was either Jummy that was calling or it was something important. She switched of the treadmill and went to her room to pick the call.
She picked it on the sixth ring.
“Hello,” she said.
“Hello, is the Zainab Anderson please?” The caller asked.
“Yes, this is her.”
“Okay, good. This is Agent Ambroose of L.S.I.A and your presence is needed at our station immediately.”
Zainab was alarmed, “presence ke? For what now? Any problem?”
“No, not at all. You lawyer, in person of Barrister Boniface requested I call you and he also said I should add its really important and you need to come right away.”
“Okay, where is the station please,” Zainab asked, looking worried.
“I’ll text you the complete direction from you house right away, thank you.” Agent Ambroose hung up.
Zainab dropped the phone and went to shower, by the time she was done, the text had been sent, she called for a private cab which arrived fifteen minutes later and in a total fifty minutes from when the call was made, Zainab arrived at the station.
She had no idea why Boniface needed to see her so urgently and why at the police station of all places.
She walked in to the station and was directed to the commissioner office by sergeant Yemi who manned at the front desk.
She knocked and walked into the office only to see a full room, filled with five men.
She looked at them all clearly, she identified the one on suit to be Boniface. The fat one wearing the custom black and black police uniform was obviously the commissioner. She saw Richærd at one end of the room looking at her with surprise written all over his face but what really caught her attention where the two men who looked like they had just survived a bomb blast. The both wore just boxers and had huge scars and injury all over their body.
Zainab needed some explanations. She turned to Boniface and asked,
“What the hell is going on here?”
Zainab got to the office of the commissioner as she was directed and knocked before walking into the office only to see a full room, filled with five men.
She looked at them all clearly, she identified the one on suit to be Boniface.
The fat one wearing the custom black and black police uniform to be the commissioner. She saw Richærd at one end of the room looking at her with surprise but what really caught her attention where the two men who looked like they had just survived a bomb blast. The both wore just boxers and had huge scars and injury all over their body.
Zainab needed some explanations. She turned to Boniface and asked, “What the hell is going on her?”
Boniface smiled, “oh, it took you more than an hour to get here but its good you are here anyway.”
“That’s not what I asked you,” Zainab retorted, “who are all these people?” she was really curious.
Boniface sighed, “I wonder why you are always this up tight and can’t take a joke. Anyway, if you must know.
That man over there is your Husband and the person who would soon go to prison for a long time” Boniface pointed at Richærd, “at my front here, is the commissioner of police, in person of Mr Ajibade. And those two gentle men over are the men who stole your car.” Boniface concluded.
Zainab was surprised, she hadn’t told Boniface about her missing car and here he was, showing her the people who stole it, “stolen car? But I didn’t tell you anything about that…”
“No you didn’t, and we are going to talk about that later. But as for now, all you need to know is that your car is presently within this premises and in perfect condition,” Boniface paused and recalled the car has a slight scratch on the bonnet, “or at least its still exactly how you left it.” He added and smiled.
Zainab wasn’t still satisfied and just couldn’t get why Boniface always loved sounding smart, “so these two men stole my car and that’s why they are here, noted. So what is Richærd doing here, I thought we didn’t have enough reasons to get an arrest warrant,” Zainab replied purposely avoiding Richærd stare.
“Have enough reasons? What does that mean? You already have some reasons?… I’ve done nothing wrong and I can assure you that I’ll sue all of you once my lawyer gets here,” Richærd said, he had already called Tony, his supposed lawyer.
“Oh! That’s what you think,” Boniface replied Richærd and then turned to face the two shirt-less men and asked, “gentlemen, can you kindly tell the wh0le room who hired you both services to steal Mrs Anderson’s car?”
The men both looked at each other as if contemplating on wiether the should speak or not, then without said a word to each other the turned the Richærd and said, “him,” in unison.
Richærd face went read and he clenched his fist, he had paid them a really insane fee to keep their mouth shut no matter what happened, “me? I have never seen these men in my life!” Richærd denied.
“Well, we would leave that for the judge to decide, it would be your word against mine, and mind you, I have a copy of all your bank transactions in the past one week and from what I saw, you transferred one million naira each, to two accounts that co-incedentially bears the name of this two men here, so maybe you should start working on your guilty plea, because that might reduce your sentence,” Boniface gave a contended smile. He loved when he does stuffs like this, he liked out smarting others just as Zainab had thought.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” was all Richærd could say.
As all this happened, Zainab had been staring at Richærd with hate, she just couldn’t believed her ears, “Richærd, did you ever love me at all?” She asked, already at the verge of crying, even with all that had happened, she still felt something for Richærd.
Richærd couldn’t answer the question, “Zainab, I… I…” He stuttered.
“I thought as much,” Zainab said and wiped her tears, she turned to Boniface and asked, “how long would it take before this b—–d is thrown behind bars?”
“Well, it depends on how fast the trial goes, I expect a very fast one since we have tonnes of proof to look him up for life. So maybe in a week or two,” Boniface replied.
“Good, can I have my car keys now? I have somewhere I need to be now, and I can’t stand the presence of this arse h0le!” Zainab literally yelled.
“You can’t leave yet, you have to sign some papers first and we might need you for one thing or the other,” Boniface replied.
“I trust that you can handle everything yourself, after all, you are the best lawyer there is. Now where are the papers I’m meant to sign?”
Boniface smiled, at last,
Zainab admitted he was smart. He brought out the papers and served it to Zainab who signed it.
“So where are my car keys?” Zainab asked.
“Pick it up from sergeant Yemi at the front desk, I supposed you have met him already?” The commissioner replied.
“Yes, I think so, thanks,” Zainab walked towards the door and opened it, before she stepped out, “and one more thing, don’t contact me until the court date has been fixed, I want to be there when he is sentenced,” she added.
Boniface nodded in response.
Zainab glared at Richærd for a bit and then finally walked out. She picked her keys from. Sergeant Yemi as instructed and went to her car.
She smiled as she saw her car, neatly parked beside a couple of police vans, she entered the car and drove E.A house. She had missed E.A endless phone calls and BBM chat, it was time to make up, she needed her friend back.
Ever since she was a kid, Jummy had been in a position of power only once and that was when she was appointed as the class captain of primary two in Kalac Nursery and Primary school. Back then, just as she is now, Jummy was outspoken and bold – two important criteria of a leader. So when her class teacher stood her at the front of the class one faithful monday and informed the wh0le class the Jummy was now the new class captain, it came as no surprise to her.
Well, she was only class captain for just a term as the most brilliant boy in the class took the position from her the next term.
Anyway, all of that was history as she she looked at the name tag on her table: “MISS OLUKOYA JUMOKE.” Below the name, “Assistant manager” was Bodly written.
She couldn’t wait to have a little fun with her newly found authority so she stood up from her desk and headed out of the office, she intended on going to make some people regret she was now their boss. She smiled at this thought.
She stood at her door post for a while, looking round the big hall filled with cubicles and customer care agents, she was looking for who to disturb.
Her search was short as she s₱0tted a female staff who instead of picking the call that was probably from a grieved customer, was busy filing her nails and at the same time gisting with another male staff who was sitting on her desk.
“Perfect!” Jummy exclaimed in joy and then straightened her face almost immediately, she knew she can’t smile and go there if she wanted to be taken seriously.
In less than twenty steps, she was an arms length close to the two staffs, she had a quick glance at their I’d cards, the female name was Rita and the male Richærd.
The male name reminded her of Zainab’s husband and she made a mental note to call Zainab later on to as for an update of her husband case.
“Hi guys,” she said with a grin, a sinister grin, I might say.
“Hey girl, what’s up,” Rita replied, still filing her nails.
“I’m fine oh, I’m just wondering if you are being paid to flirt with the male staffs and file your nails..” Jummy replied, the grin was no more.
Rita paused with the filing and slowly turned to look at Jummy, “I beg your pardon?” She said.
“Oh! You don’t understand english? Or are you just deaf?” Jummy replied.
“Wait oh! When last I checked, you are the one who left your desk and come here, aren’t you guilty too? See if you don’t have anything useful to do with your time, you can pick a broom and sweep the wh0le office.”
Jummy bursted out in laughter, Mrs Ogbonaya hadn’t informed other staffs of Jummy’s promotion yet.
“Do you know who I am?” Jummy asked.
“Yes I do, you are the person that’s about to leave my presence,” Rita replied with a tint of sarcasm.
“Rita, shut up first,” Richærd cut in. “Please tell me you are not the new assistant manager, the rumour has been flowing all morning,” he added, referring to Jummy.
Jummy smiled, “first of all, its not a rumour, and secondly, I am as a matter of fact.”
Rita immediately dropped the file and stood up, “am so sorry ma, I didn’t know you were…”
“Oh! So you are sorry now?” Jummy cut in.
Richærd stood up from the desk, “its just an innocent mistake na, you were once like us, just let this slide, I can assure you it won’t happen again.”
The confidence and politeness in Richærd tone made Jummy smile, “okay, its all right, you guys should return back to your work immediately before the main manager see you guys.”
“Thanks,” Richærd replied and walked away.
Rita just smiled and picked the call that has been ringing all along, “hello, welcome to GNP customer services, how may I help you?”
Jummy sighed and walked back to her office disappointed, she had hoped for more action.
She got to her office only to see the least person she had expected to see.
Why was she receiving strange guests today? First it was Stephen and now this one? She wondered.
“Hello Jummy, how are you doing?”
It was John.
* * * * *
The truth of the issue, even though Zainab would never had accepted it was, she liked E.A very much, but she didn’t fancy office dating so she kept on ignoring his moves.
This time, she made up her mind that she needed a new man in her life that would help her forget Richærd more quickly, and the only one she had on her mind was E.A. She concluded that she might eventually give him a trial if he forgives her this time.
Zainab cruised into “Rasaki” street in Ajegunle at exactly 4:30PM. The street was tarred and fairly neat thanks to the new governor but like most normal Ajegunle street, it was noisy and filled with people: touts, pregnant girls, kids wearing only p-nt and pushing “okada” tyres.
Zainab wondered why E.A still lived here, he had the money to move out and rent a comfortable apartment in FESTAC or any better place but he just wouldn’t move.
Zainab had thought about suggesting it to him several times but she feared he might take it the wrong way and assume she was insulting him, so she kept quiet and rarely visited him.
She parked at the front of NO 5: a wine coloured five story building with E.A two bedroom flat on the third floor. She had purposely not called E.A before coming because she expected him to ignore her call so she decided to surprise him, hoping he would be home.
She stepped out of the car and looked around, she noticed the group of young “area boy” that were sitted at a corner close by were all looking at her without even blinking.
She sighed, she knew she was beautiful and curvy and like when people stare at her but she didn’t like this particular stare, she just hoped that all the boys would do is just stare from a distance.
She walked into the building, the gate was rickety and at the verge of falling down.
The landlord had in the past been warned by his wife to change the gate before it injured someone, but he ignored her.
Zainab walked to the stair way at the side of the building and without pausing for once, she climbed all the way to the third floor and stopped at E.A’s door, a door made of metal. She wasn’t expecting a door bell so she knocked directly.
After knocking for a few minutes with no response, she finally assumed E.A wasn’t home, so she sighed and was about to go when she heard some noise from the door as if someone was trying to open it, she smiled and murmured a “thank God he’s home.
”The door swung open and a lady who wore one of E.A’s shirt, she obviously had nothing under it as the contour of her nippl3 was obvious through the shirt.
“Who are you looking for?” The lady asked with a suspicious tone.
Zainab was surprised, she was already wondering if she was at the wrong flat. But that was E.A shirt, she had seen it on E.A a couple of times, but then again, there are probably over a million of that same type of shirt in the world.
She was still debating on what she was going to do next when she heard a voice say, “babes! Who is at the door?”
“I don’t know, think the person is either deaf or dumb!” The lady replied back.
The person who spoke first walked to the door and looked outside at Zainab.
“Zainab! What are you doing here?”
It was E.A.
* * * * *
Jummy was shocked as she saw John sitting on her seat in her office, when did he pass her? And how did he even know where she worked to start with? She wondered.
“John!” She exclaimed, she was overwhelmed by his presence.
“Jummy!” John exclaimed in response in a mocking tone.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“I get that I’m supposed to book an appointment to see you but I didn’t know who to book the appointment with since you have no secretary or P.A,” John replied. He seemed to be enjoying the moment.
Jummy sighed, “I don’t mean it that way, as in, how did you know where I work? How did you enter without me knowing? And on a more serious note, what are you doing here?” Jummy asked.
“I would have thought you didn’t like as I’m here but you are smiling,” John replied grinning. Jummy didn’t even know she was smiling.
“Oh! John! Am glad you are here, am just curious that’s all,” Jummy replied and sat on one of the visitor’s seat opposite her seat in which John was sitted.
“Okay, well, let’s just say I know a few people and have a few friends almost everywhere,” John replied. “And I think this is weird, you are supposed to be sitting here and I.. There,” John added.
“That doesn’t matter. What are you doing here anyway?” She asked.
“Well, I know we are supposed to go for dinner tonight or maybe tomorrow night but I just couldn’t wait to see your face, so I came to take you out for lunch.” John replied.
“Lunch? Its just 11PM and lunch is by 2PM,” Jummy replied.
“Oh! You are the assistant manager now, am sure you can leave for an early lunch without anyone complaining,” John replied.
“Err.. I don’t know if…” Jummy was about to say.
“Oh! I’ll advice you to not to say no because If you say no, I’ll probably just have to drag you and I’m sure you wouldn’t want your staffs to see me dragging their boss out of the building,” John replied.
Jummy smiled, she was already blushing, “you don’t give up easily, do you?”
John shook his head and hummed a NO.
“Okay, if you insist, I’ll go out with you but I can spare only one hour,” she replied.
“I need only one hour,” John replied and picked up Jummy’s handbag for her.
“You not going to carry that for me, are you?” Jummy asked grinning sheepishly.
“I am, I wouldn’t want my lady to stress herself.” John replied and stood up.
Jummy cheek turned tomato red. She hadn’t seen any guy that’s more rom-ntic than John.
John walked towards her and held her hand, “shall we?” He asked.
“Of course, we shall,” Jummy replied and couldn’t believe her luck. She somehow felt they might be out for more than an hour.
Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. – James A. Baldwin.
* * * * *
Zainab stood transfixed on that s₱0t, trying to assimilate what was happening and at the same time trying to tell herself that it was all a lie and hopefully a misunderstanding. She just couldn’t really believe that after she had agreed to give E.A a chance, she had to see him with another woman.
“Zainab, why didn’t you call before coming over,” E.A asked again as he saw Zainab probably didn’t hear him the first time.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know you have a guest,” Zainab replied. She knew she didn’t have any good reason to be disappointed or angry but she just couldn’t help it.
E.A chuckled, he could read Zainab thoughts. “I know what you are thinking at the moment but its not true. This small girl here is my sister,” the lady at the front of E.A turned and playfully tapped E.A on the shoulder, “am not small,” she said.
“Yes, you are small, don’t think because you now have two tiny oranges on your chest that you are now big oh,” E.A then turned to Zainab, “as I was saying, she is just my sister and ignore the ‘honey’ I called her earlier, we just tease ourselves a lot.”
Zainab was a smart lady and didn’t entirely believe what E.A just said, so she kept quiet and patiently waited for some kind of confirmation.
The confirmation eventually came, as E.A’s sister opened her mouth to talk.
“Wait a minute,” she said turning to E.A, “is this by any chance the Zainab you’ve been giving headache with? Telling me about her every second?”
E.A was embarrassed, he was blushing, “firstly, I don’t talk about her that often and yes, this is Zainab.”
“Yes you talk about her too much, anyway,” she turned back to Zainab, “am sorry for my rude attitude earlier on, just that in this hood, we get strange visitors often and the only way to deal with them is being rude.”
Zainab just smiled in response, she wasn’t entirely convinced yet.
E.A’s sister then stretched her hand for a hand shake and said, “Am Diana by the way.”
And that did the trick, that was the confirmation she had been waiting for, E.A had mentioned the name “Diana” to her a couple of times, “oh, so you are the Diana?” She asked.
“I don’t really like the way you make it sound but yes I am, so are you going to shake my hand or would I have to fry akara for you first?” Diana asked jokingly, or maybe she was serious.
“Oh, am so sorry,” Zainab replied and took the hand. “I guess you already know me so no need for introduction.”
“Yea, so why don’t you come in? Or you are still admiring the staircase?”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to…” Zainab was about to decline when Diana cut in.
“If you say no, I’ll have to drag you in,” she said.
“We aren’t exactly in talking terms at the moment,” E.A whispered into Diana ears.
“Good, you just gave me another reason to make sure she comes in,” Diana replied, then turned to Zainab, “so am I going to have to drag you in or would you make it easy for the both of us?”
Zainab just smiled and walked pass Diana and E.A into the house, she knew her way around so she went straight to the sitting room and sat on the couch. E.A joined her few minutes later and they both stared at each other in silence.
Diana went to the bedroom and after five straight minutes of consistent noise making, she finally came out fully dressed to go out.
“E.A, I wanna assume you guys would be needing a lot of privacy since you obviously have a lot to talk about so I’ll be on my way, I won’t come home tonight so don’t expect me, so for crying out loud, don’t blow this opportunity,” she turned to Zainab and smiled, “I now see why he like you so much, you are almost as beautiful as me,” Diana replied and walked out of the house leaving both Zainab and E.A laughing uncontrollably.
“Your sister is really funny and nice, you know?” Zainab said after they were done with laughing.
“Yea, I know, she is the only sibling I got. After my parents gave birth to her, they decided to start using c0ndoms,” E.A replied mischievously.
“At least your case is better, I’ve told you about my family right?”
“Not really, all I know is that they are all based at Canada,” E.A replied.
“Well, I have two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister, after I finished schooling, I was the only one who decided to come back to Nigeria, my brother decided to work for my dad in his company and my junior sis just stays at home and grow fat,” Zainab said pitiful.
E.A smiled, “I guess I’m kind of better off that you.”
“Yea, you are.” A brief silence followed.
Even though he was supposed to be mad at Zainab, he just couldn’t really stay mad at her, he liked her too much and with her sitting beside him at the moment, he felt the urge to do something crazy.
Zainab on the other hand felt the same way but as the lady, she didn’t think it would be right to make the first move, so she decided to give him a sign, “E.A I’m sorry,” she started, “I don’t really know what I did that hurt you the most but for whatever it is, I’m really sorry,” she paused before adding, “and I need you… Back.”
E.A was having a mental crises and weight his options, what could be the possible worst thing that could happen if he does what his mind tells him to do, Zainab would probably just walk out of the house, he concluded that it was worth the risk.
As Zainab silently waited for a response, E.A leaned over and pecked her, then he quickly withdrew and stared deeply in her eyes, waiting to see what would happen next. Then it happened.
Zainab leaned over and k-ssed him back, and before the could say “Jack Bauer” they were tossing and turning, k-ssing like teenagers who just found love for the first time.
Like magic, Zainab top flew from her body and E.A’s shirt disappeared too, the Zainab’s b-ra and skirt somehow found their way out of her body. By the time E.A carried her to the bedroom, they were both unclad and well… I think everyone knows what happened next *wink*.
* * * * *
It was already 8:45PM when the ringing of Zainab’s phone woke her up from a short sleep, she couldn’t feel her legs as E.A had done a good job, so she rolled and picked up her phone which was on the floor beside the bed, she had no idea how the phone got there.
“Hello,” she reluctantly said.
“Hey! Hi, this is Barrister Boniface, I just called to tell you that a court date has been fixed for Richærd trial.”
“Good, so when is the date?” Zainab asked excitedly.
“Tomorrow by 2PM,” he replied.
Zainab was surprised, “so fast?”
“Yea, I happen to know a few people,” Boniface replied, feeling pompous.
“Okay, email me other detail.”
“Okay, I’ll do that, but brace yourself, the case isn’t going to be as easy as we thought. Your husband hired Barrister Anthony Okili and they seem to have some sort of new witness who claims he knows everything that happened, and he has proofs,” Boniface replied unsure of himself.
“Hmmm, who is Barrister Okili and who is this new witness?”
“Barrister Okoli is one of the best lawyers to come from this country and I’m not sure but I think the new witness is a certain Doctor.. Doctor Daniel or something like that,” Boniface replied.
“We have the tape, and our own witness of our own, so I guess we just have to wait till tomorrow.” Zainab replied, she sounded unsure too.
“I’ll email you the full details right away, time would tell,” Boniface replied and hung up.
The court room was filled to the brim, someone would have thought it was the Michael Jackson child molestation case with Gavin Arvizo that was being re-tried.
They court made it clear that no camera would be allowed into the court room, so most TV and Magazine representatives that hadn’t come with an audio recorder had to delete every file on their phone memory card so that there would be enough space on it to record the wh0le trial on tape.
Richærd sat at one end on the court room in a customed cubicle that was designed to restrain his movement. He had a sober and confused look, he was still trying to understand why so many people had come to witness the trial and how they even found out about it.
At the other side of the court room was Zainab and of course, Boniface – her lawyer.
Zainab looked quite attractive in her grey coloured plain top and a blue pencil jean.
“So I got your email yesterday and noticed that you filed a three count case. I’m aware of the stolen car issue, the supposed attempted murder so what’s the third count?” Zainab asked.
“Do you remember what happened five years ago, about a week after you married Richærd?”
Zainab looked confused. “Not really, what has that got to do with this case?”
“Well you sacked your manager for stealing two million naira from your account without any reasonable excuse.” Boniface paused for second, he knew Zainab won’t take what he was about to say lightly. “Well, I have reasons to believe that Richærd is the person who actually stole it and he used the money to establish his own video company.”
Zainab face turned red in anger, “that b—–d!” she cursed.
Jummy sat right behind Zainab with John and Samuel by her side, she tried her best to say nothing.
The noisy atmosphere became as quiet as a grave yard as the presiding judge, in person of Judge Oditah Fidelis walked in to the court room from his chambers and the court staff scre-med, “court rise!”
Everyone in the court room stood up as the watched Oditah walked to his seat which was directly at the front of the wh0le court room. As soon as he sat down, everyone in the court room sat down too.
The court staff then went ahead to announce the case that was about to be tried to the public and confirmed the presence of everyone that had something to do with it.
“Mr Richærd, you have heard all you are charge for, what’s your plea? Guilty or not guilty?” Judge Oditah asked.
“Not guilty your honour,” Richærd replied.
“I want to believe you are aware of the consequence if you are eventually found guilty? This court doesn’t take cases of Car theft and attempted murder lightly.”
“Yes I am, and I still stand by my plea. I’m innocent your honour,” Richærd replied. His face straight.
“Okay then,” so can I hear the opening statements please,’ the Judge finally said to Boniface. He was a fairly old man who was at the wrong side of sixty, and he was known to be a no-time-to-waste kind of Judge, the longest case he had ever tried lasted just two hours, he hoped this case would be far less than that.
Boniface adjusted his tie, and placed his wig properly on his head before he stood up.
Judge Oditah was irritated by his Boniface gesture, he had no time to waste and this silly barrister was adjusting his wig.
“Do you want to comb your hair too?” Oditah asked and the wh0le court roared in laughter, even Zainab’s lip curved into a smile.
“No, your honour, I was just…”
“Oh! Keep your just to yourself and tell me what I want to hear, why should I send this young man over here to prison,” Oditah cut in.
“As you please your honour.” Boniface cleared his throat and walked to the front of the court room, he faced the audience and started.
“My fellow Nigerians, we are all here not because we have nothing to do with our precious time or because we just love being in courts.
But we are here to prove that this man,” Boniface pointed to Richærd, “Mr Richærd Anderson, has taken the law into his hand and knowing broken a long list of laws.
Firstly, he attempted to murder his wife in cold blood and when that didn’t work he went ahead to steal her car and if he hadn’t been caught red handed, he probably would have gone…”
“Objection! False charge, my client to be considered innocent of all charges until he is proven guilty,” Tony who had been sitting and listening in silences stood up and scre-m.
“Objection sustained,” Oditah said and turned to Boniface, “you heard the man, please lets stick to things that are already proven.”
“Okay your honour.” Boniface replied and then faced the crowed to continue, “I have reasons to believe that Mr Richærd Anderson is also responsible for the missing two million naira that led to the wrongful sacking of Zainab’s manger five years ago. Are we going to let this man go scot free and give him the chance to make Mrs Zainab Anderson life a living hell? And maybe when he is done with her, he might look for a second prey which might be our friends or love ones?” Boniface asked and gave a puppy face, “No!!!” about half of the wh0le court roared. “I didn’t think so too.” Boniface then turned to Oditah, “that my case your honour.”
Oditah nodded and let Boniface return to his seat before he looked at Tony, “your opening statement.”
Tony, a smart looking man of thirty. Without wasting much time, he stood up and went to the front of the court room.
Tony cleared his throat and began speaking, “In all my years of service as a lawyer, I haven’t seen any case that is as ridiculous at this one, and in my humble opinion, I’ll say it’s just a waste of this court’s valuable time.
And this are my reasons.
Firstly, my client, Mr Richærd, is being charged with a case of attempted murder all because of someone recorded a forged tape an placed it in her house. How can we even be sure that the prosecutors aren’t responsible for placing the evidence there? Okay, let’s say that’s true and we let it pass. How can you possibly think that Mr Richærd who is a well known producer and a wealthy one at that would steal just two million naira from his own wife? Doesn’t that sound really stupid? And finally, he is charged with grand theft auto all because of two people had been tortured or maybe bribed to say so,” Tony paused and turned to the judge, “your honour, this case is obviously a waste of your precious time and I request that its being adjourned. Thank you,” Tony replied and walked to his seat slowly.
Judge Oditah had a comical way of judging each case, he always took a jotter and a pen to court and after each round of, he rate them and give them scores. So as Tony went to sit down he picked up a pen and wrote in his jotter:
PROSECUTOR – 0
DEFENDANT – 1
This simply meant that Tony and Richærd had won the first round.
He kept a straight face and turned Boniface, “your witness please.” He said.
Boniface adjusted his suit and wig once again before standing up, then went to the front of the court, “the first witness on my list is miss Jumoke Olukoya, if you are here can you please walk up to witness box?”
Jummy stood up immediately, and in the process nearly pushing the table at her front to the floor. She walked to the witness box glaring at Richærd who purposely avoided her glare.
The court staff then walked up to Jummy, “are you a christian, muslim or atheist?”
“Christian,” Jummy replied.
He gave her a bible, “can you please place your right hand on the bible and repeat after me?”
Jummy did as she was told.
“I Miss Jummy Olukoya,” Jummy repeated after him. “Do swear that the evidence that I shall give, shall be the truth, the wh0le truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”
The court administrator then walked away as Boniface walked toward Jummy.
“Miss Jumoke, how are you feeling?” He asked.
“Am good,” Jummy paused and then added, “I think.”
“You think? Why aren’t you sure?”
“Well, I dunno, maybe because after all Richærd had done to Zainab, he still stands here and opens his dirty mouth to deny it all.” Jummy said with disgust.
“What do you mean by ‘deny it?’ Where you there when he committed any of the crimes he committed?” Boniface asked.
“I don’t have to catch him red handed, I know Zainab and I know Richærd, I’ve been a family friend since like forever and I know what they can both do. The evidence against Richærd says it all.
At least, I was the one who found the tape,” Jummy said.
Boniface face brightened,
“speaking of tape, I’ll like to submit before the court, evidence number one,” Boniface walked to his table and picked up the I pod from his suitcase and offered it to the court administrator, who then handed it over to Judge Oditah.
“In that I pod, is a recorded conversation where Mr Richærd instructed someone to kill Zainab. The voice has been run through our data base and it has been proven to be Richærd’s voice without any reasonable doubt.” Boniface explained and handed over a report with the federal government stamp which proved his claim.
Judge Oditah nodded in approval, it seemed like Boniface had done his home work. He the switched on the I pod and played it and listened to the contents.
“What’s funny Dr. Dan?”
“This wife of yours which you despise so much isn’t dead, and am so sure when I resuscitate and stabilise her, she would still divorce you.”
“No! She can’t wake up, kill her now!”
“I’m done killing for you! You need to be taught a lesson.”
As soon as the Judge was done listening to it, he shrugged, “So where is this Dr. Dan now? Don’t you think he has some questions to answer too?”
And that was when it all became crystal clear to Boniface. His source had told him Richærd had brought a secret witness known as Daniel and in this tape, a daniel was being called. Two Daniels in one case.
“Coincidence? Nah, I think not.” Boniface murmured to himself. He had a perfect Idea.
Boniface grinned. “That’s the problem. I don’t know where the Dr. Daniel is at the moment, but I have a feeling he might soon turn up.”
Judge Oditah hated Boniface smile, it was one of all those smart arse smiles of proud lawyers who think they know it all, “let’s hope you are right.” The judge finally replied. “You may continue with you questioning.”
Boniface turned back to Jummy, “So Miss Jumoke, do you know about the missing car?”
“Yes, I was at the club with Zainab when it was stolen.”
“Before it was stolen, were you aware that Zainab and Richærd were having more than just marital problems?”
“Yes, I think Zainab was even considering a divorce before the wh0le thing got more complicated and she landed in the hospital.”
“So correct me if am wrong, I just want to understand the pattern here.”
“Zainab and Richærd had marital issues, so Zainab decided to divorce Richærd, right?”
“Yup, that’s right.”
“Okay, so after Richærd learnt about the divorce, Zainab magically landed in a hospital few days later?”
“Yes, that’s correct too.”
“And just when she when she started making plans of suing Richærd, her car mysteriously disappear?”
“Mysteriously? Nah. That arse h0le over there stole it to spite Zainab!” Jummy blurted.
“Objection!” Tony yelled from his seat.
“Objection sustained. Miss Jummy, you are warned.” Judge Oditah responded. “You may proceed, barrister.”
Boniface nodded, “so miss Jummy, in summary. Zainab attempted to divorce Richærd and then all sort of bad things that can’t really be explained started happening.”
“From your years of knowing the couple, how would you describe Richærd in an emotional view?”
“Hmmm, well, let’s just say Richærd doesn’t take defeat lightly and he is a control freak.”
Boniface smiled. He was sure his point had been passed and he was sure Judge Oditah had gotten it.
“That’s all Miss Jumoke. Thank you for your time.”
“You are welcome.”
Boniface turned to the judge.
“I rest my case.”
Judge Oditah nodded in approval and watched Boniface go back to his seat. He turned to Tony, “would you like to question the witness?”
“Yes your honour,” Tony replied.
Tony sprung up from his seat and ransacked his suitcase in search of something. He beamed of joy as he found it – a single sheet doc-ment.
He took it and handed it over to Jummy.
“Miss Jumoke, can you please confirm if that’s a copy of your statement?” Tony said.
Jummy quick scanned it, and confirmed that was what she had written earlier, already typed. This people have very fast typist Jummy thought.
“Yes, it is.”
“Okay, good, can you please turn over and read the highlighted portion?” Tony replied.
Jummy turned the paper and saw a portion that was typed in a different font.
“…I know Zainab very well as we have been best friends for years and I can vouch that…”
“Thank you Miss Jumoke, you have already read the portion I want the wh0le court to hear.” He walked over an took the doc-ment back from Jummy.
“So from what you just read, Zainab is your best friend right?”
“Yes, she is.”
“As your best friend, you can do anything for her right?”
Without thinking much, Jummy replied, “yes, I can.” She smiled at Zainab, who smiled back.
“Good. So there is every possibility that she told you to write all of this and because she is your best friend, you did as you were told?”
“She didn’t tell me what to write, I wrote what I know.”
“Not that the question I asked you. Is there a possibility she can tell you to write this?”
“The question is irrelevant since I wrote what I know,” Jummy replied, already getting pissed.
“Just answer the question! Is there any possibility that Mrs Anderson can tell you to write that?!”
“Miss Jumoke, please answer the question.” Judge Oditah added.
Jummy looked at Zainab and the at Boniface, then back at Tony. “Yes, but you have to acknowledge she didn’t tell…”
“Thank you miss Jumoke,” Tony cut in. He turned to Judge Oditah, “Your honour, I rest my case.” Tony walked back to his seat smiling. His intent was simple, he hoped the Judge would think that Zainab had told Jummy to write false things in her statement.
Judge Oditah picked up his pen again. This round was a tough one. The possibility of Richærd being a Psycho who can’t take defeat easily and the possibility of Jummy statement being a lie.
He thought deeply, but briefly about it and wrote on his jotter:
He concluded that Jummy lying in her statement can’t affect much in this case but the possibility of Richærd hurting Zainab because of she wanted to divorce him was more appealing. The score were now even.
The Judge rose his head and turned to Tony, “Your witness please.”
Tony smiled and stood up,
“Mrs Zainab Anderson, can you please walk up to the dock?”
“Objection! The victim can’t be called as a witness!” Boniface yelled as he sprung up from his seat.
“She is the prosecutor as well as the victim, she is on my witness list and I have every right to call her to the dock,” John replied calmly.
“He has a good point,” Judge Oditah replied.
“But, your honour…” Boniface tried to say.
“Counselor, this is my court room and if I say she can be interrogated, then she can be interrogated.” Judge Oditah cut it, he then turned John, “you may proceed.”
Zainab stood up from her seat reluctantly but was some how sure of herself at the same time. She walked to the dock and sat.
“Mrs Anderson, what lead to your admission in the Lagos State Teaching Hospital?”
Zainab sighed, she thought of her responce and choose her words wisely, “am not entierly sure since I can’t really recall the entire event, but I know Richærd knocked me out.”
Tony smiled, “are you aware that adultery is a crime under the Nigerian Law?”
Zainab could sense where he was heading to and didn’t like it. “What has that got to do with this case?” She asked.
“A lot actually. Just answer the question and I’ll tell you.” John replied grinning. He loved that Zainab was feeling uneasy.
“I’m not familiar with that portion of the law,” Zainab replied.
“Well, I’ll tell you. It is a crime punishable under the Law.”
“Good to know,” Zainab murmured then avoided eye contact.
“So miss Zainab, have you been entirely faithful to your husband?”
Zainab shruged she looked at Boniface who immediately saw something was wrong and he knew the start Zainab gave him meant “do something now!”
“Objection!” Boniface stood up.
Judge Oditah turned and gave Boniface an irritating glare.
“What are you objecting to this time?”
“My client is being asked irrelevant questions. This isn’t a magistrate court where we are to talk about marital issues.” Boniface replied, and was glad the response made sense because he didn’t think before he spoke.
“Your honour, I’m aware that this isn’t a magistrate court. I know where am heading to and by the time am done, you would see the relevance it has to this case.” Tony replied immediately.
Judge Oditah looked at Boniface and the back at Tony. “You may proceed counsellor, I’m curious about where this is going. But hit the nail on the head quickly.”
“Yes your honour.” Without waiting for any additional statement, Tony turned back to Zainab, “can you answer the question now please? Are you a faithful wife?”
Zainab shrugged, she calculated there was no possible way they must have know about her and E.A, so this definitely had to do with Clement. “I’ve been faithful to Richærd ever since we got married. I decided to explore my options only after I had filled for divorce,” Zainab finally replied. Being a smart lady, she definitely choose her words well but Tony wasn’t impressed.
“Please, can you just answer yes or no?” Tony asked. “Have you been a faithful wife?”
Zainab sighed, “well, I have!”
“You have?” Tony asked.
“Okay then, so does that mean you don’t recall this face?” Tony turned to the door and just like clock work, someone opened it and walked in. All the reporters and audience all turned to the door to see who just walked in. It was Clement.
As Zainab saw him, she felt like blood had rushed into her head and was about to faint. Boniface had a hint of what was going on and wondered why Zainab never told him that part of the story.
“Do you know this man?” Tony eventually asked as the drama subsided.
Zainab was speechless.
“I’ll take your silence as a yes. Agreed?”
Zainab still remained mute.
“Okay, since you have suddenly lost your ability to talk, let me do the talking for you and tell this court something that is missing from your statement.”
Everybody ear w¡dened, even Judge Oditah smiled, this might turn out to be the most interesting case he has tried but he quickly straightened his face and hoped no one saw him smile.
“Mrs Anderson, you were still married to Mr Anderson when you met this young man over there, in person of Mr Clement. You took him to your matrimonial home and laid with him on your matrimonial bed. As Faith had it, Mr Anderson apparently got home at that same period and caught you and Clement red-handed. As any husband who truly love his wife would react, Richærd started a fight with Clement and in the process he mistakenly pushed you and you fell down hærd, so you passed out.” Tony paused to let what he had just said sink into the audience and Judge head before he continued, “so from this, we can see that my client is actually the victim here. Is it a bad thing to get angry? What ever happened to Zainab was solely her fault but she can’t accept that she was unfaithful so she blames it all on my client. And just for the record, Mr Clement knew nothing about her marital status and she didn’t bother to inform him neither. I rest my case.” Tony concluded and walked back to his seat.
It took the judge ninety seconds before he could talk, he was surprised from what he just heard and judging from
Zainab silence, it was true.
He turned to Boniface, “would you like to cross-examine the witness?”
Boniface took a deep breath and responded, “yes, your honour.”
Boniface stood up and walked to the front of Zainab. “When you married Mr Anderson, did you love him?”
“Of course I did.”
“Do you still love him even after all this has happened?”
Zainab sighed, she hadn’t expected such a question from Boniface and wasn’t sure if she was supposed to say yes or no, she decided to risk it. “In as much as I know I’m not meant to. I still have feelings for Richærd.”
“So if you love him, why then did you have an affair outside your marriage?”
Zainab gave Boniface a what-the-fvck-are-you-doing stare, instead of Boniface to be asking her questions that would help matters he was asking questions that seemed to be worsening her case.
“Can you please answer the question?” Boniface asked, straight faced.
Zainab decided it was best she just played along and say the truth, “I and Richærd weren’t working any more and Richærd was also a cheat. I have caught him red handed more that once cheating in different manners and since I was we were just weeks away from being divorced, I decided to try and move on. I agree that what ever I had with Clement was wrong in all aspect but I Richærd broke my heart by cheating several times and I had too much alcohol that evening so I was also drunk.” By the time Zainab was done talking, she was already crying.
Boniface smiled. He had gotten exactly what he wanted, he had hoped she would cry. The wh0le court seemed to have forgotten how Zainab had cheated and now glared at Richærd for being such a player.
He dipped his hands into his pocket and brought out a shinning what handkerchief then handed it over to Zainab to dry her eyes, “am so sorry Mrs Anderson.”
Tony sat on his seat and couldn’t take it any more, “you have got to be kidding me,” he murmured, “objection your honour!” He yelled.
“This isn’t a play and definitely isn’t Nollywood, so can we stick to the case?”
“That’s exactly what we are doing, this is the case, you brought up the issue of marital infidelity, I just wanted to make sure the court also saw it from Zainab’s perspective.” Boniface replied, he didn’t want to push his luck so he adjusted his tie, “but just for the record, I rest my case.” He walked back to his seat.
Judge Oditah sighed, this was definitely the toughest round so far and he really didn’t know who to give the point to. He picked up his pen and wrote in his jotter:
“Mrs Anderson, you may step out of the dock.” Judge Oditah said to Zainab.
Zainab sniffed and slowly walked out of the dock down to her seat. The court was strangely silent as everyone now felt her pain.
The Judge looked at the crowd and announced. “We would go for a ten minutes recess. When we return, the final witnesses would be questioned.”
The bailiff stood up and yelled, “All Rise!” As Judge Oditah walked back to his chambers. He need to rest and ponder over the case.
Tony walked to Richærd as the wh0le court room became rowdy. “Were is the witness?” He asked sounding impatient.
“Calm down, he is coming. Trust me.” Richærd replied.
“How can you tell me to calm down when I’m going to call him after the short recess?”
“I know him to be a living and walking calculating robot, he would be here when you need him. Trust me.” Richærd replied, sounding confident.
Tony sighed and walked back to his seat frustrated. He needed something strong to win this case.
At the other side of the court, Zainab was still trying to gain her composure after crying.
“Why didn’t you tell me anything about this Clement guy?”
“Hey! Don’t go judging me. I didn’t think it would be relevant to the case and beside, its not something I’m proud of, it was one of my weak moments and I was too drunk… Really drunk.” Zainab replied.
Boniface wanted to push it but thought it would be wise to keep his trap shut, so he changed the topic. “Do you know who I filled in as our final witness?”
“Don’t worry, I’ll prefer to keep it a secret for now. We are going to win this case, trust me.” Boniface replied and winked at Zainab who wasn’t entirely impressed.
But then something happened…..
To be continued
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