I looked up from the plate of food in front of me. My fork paused midway to my mouth.
” What?” I asked, in disbelief.
” They’ve all been locked up ” Kelvin repeated, Tosin, Victoria, Linda, the D.P.O said there was another guy with them. They all claimed to be the murderer”.
” This sound funny even though it doesn’t look it. What happened? Why would they do that?” I asked.
” I don’t know” He replied.” I’ m going to see if i can bail their assess ”
” Has Tosin’ s father been Arrested? ” I asked.
” He hasn’t been in the country for a long while now.” He replied, ” So far, Linda is the prime suspect and she’s going to court next week. Although the police are still investigating”.
” I want to go see Tosin’ s mother. God knows what the poor woman is going through now”. I said.
” Are you sure babe? You need to rest” He said.
” I am pregnant, I am not crippled.” I replied, shoving food into my mouth. ” I will be fine dear”
He laughed. ” Well becareful. My would_ be best man is locked up, I hope i will have some luck getting a bail for him and his ‘ criminal’ gang. Then we can have our wedding.” He leaned down and kissed me on my forehead.” Be safe, my lazy girl” he joked, walking out of the room.
I finished my meal, took my plate to the kitchen sink to rinse it out. I drove down to Tosin’ s house. His mother was on the couch when i entered. She smiled and welcomed me.
” Tomi how are you?” She asked kindly.
” I am fine ma” I replied, sitting down.
” I have not seen Tosin. Have you?” She asked, worriedly.
” He…..he…..um went to the police station with Kelvin” I stammered out the lie.
” I have this nagging feeling. I have been trying to put it out of my mind but i can’ t” She said.
” What is it ma?” I asked.
” Come with me” She stood up, picked up a set of keys.” My maternal instinct cannot fail me”.
I stood up and followed her out of the living room, she opened her car and we both entered. She drove out of the compound.We went on, in silence until i saw a car behind us, we took another turn, the car took the same turn. She curved into another street, the strange car did the same. An alarm bell went up in my head.
” We are being followed” I shouted .
” Are you sure?” She asked.
” Yes. What do we do?” I asked, panting in fear.
” I will take a wrong turn, let’s see if the person will follow ” She said, driving faster.” Are we still being followed? ” She asked after some few wrong turns.
I looked into the rear mirror and sighed in relieve. The car wasn’t in sight.
” No. We lost him. Where are we going?” I asked.
“I have a feeling that Kelly is with her great_grandma.The woman is so cunning, for years she and my ex_ husband has tried to get custody of her.”
” Why? Why would they want to take her from her biological father?” I cried.
She was silent for a second before speaking again.
” You are family now so there’s no harm in telling you. She is the daughter of my late son, Sola. Kelly’ s mother dumped the baby on Tosin’ s door step one morning with a note.”
” Awww. How could she do that?” I asked, placing my hand protectively on my tummy. ” Does she come to see her?”
” Rosa? She died of drug abuse some years ago, after almost milking Tosin dry. He adopted Kelly when she was a year old. Ever since then his father and grandmother has been fighting for custody of her” The older woman replied.
” Is she dangerous? I mean should we be going there alone? ” I asked.
” She’s only an old woman with arthritis and regrets.” She replied, she entered an estate gate and blared her horn in front of a house.
” Stingy woman. I am betting she has no gate man. Let’s walk in” She said, killing off the engine of the car. We got down and pushed in the little gate. We entered and closed it back. There was an old model car in the beautifully Flowered house. The compound was so silent, i doubted if anyone lived in it. We knocked on the door and it was opened by a little girl, she shrieked and threw herself into the arms of the older woman.
” Kelly!” She screamed holding the child close.” Where is great_grandma?”.
” She’s inside. I think she’s sick”. The cute little girl replied.” Hi” she said to me.
” Hi yourself, how are you?” I asked, happy to see that she was alright.
” I am fine. Thank you ” she replied politely.
We went into the living room. An old woman was laid up on the couch, she stirred and her eyes flew open. She sat up aggressively.
” What are you doing here?” She bellowed. ” Omolola get away from her! Come here! Where are my maids? Who left my gate open?”
” What did i ever do to you? Why do you hate me so much? ” Tosin’ s mother asked.” Why? You ruined my marriage and you ruined the life of my son! don’t you have conscience? how do you sleep at night? ”
” Get out of my house! I warned you! didn’t I? I told you to stick to your kind and leave my son alone! You were so greedy, you wouldn’t take the money i offered you. You wanted more! You turned my son against me! My grandsons doesn’t even visit me because you turned them against me too! I was so lonely! My only son was gone! Stolen away by an ibo gold digger! ”
” You chased your son away with your nagging behavior.Your grandsons were scared to visit you because you always hovered around them, you smouldered them, always wanting them to be in your sight. I tried to tell you that the boys were uncomfortable with the petting and smoldering.You didn’t even hear me out instead you turned the boys against each other”She said,tears streaming down her cheeks.Everything became a competition and a test of will to determine the weaker child.You and Sola, picked on Tosin. You both shredded his esteem in two. He was not good enough to you because he had a good heart. He was a weakling to you because he stood up for his mother.”
” You were making him into a little girl with no backbone! How will they one day become the controller of the Williams wealth and enterprises if they are too soft? How will they take good management and business decision if they think with their hearts like a little girl! Instead of thinking with their head like real men! I knew you were unfit to be their mother. I had to take you out of their lives to save them.” She said without regret.
” So you set me up and sent me away from my matrimonial home. My first son became a drug addict under your tutelage. I guess you are happy and you are satisfied with how things have turned out. Why did you take Kelly without our knowledge? if you wanted to spend some time with her you only have to ask.” Tosin’ s mother asked bitterly.
” I rescued her! I saved her life and brought her here with me!” The oldest woman replied, unrepentant.” Where were you when i took her?”
We heard the door creak open, the sound of a gun cocking sounded and i whirled around. Tosin’ s mother put herself in front of Kelly, Shielding her from harm, the oldest woman in the room stared at him open mouthed. I moved backwards, away from the nozzle of his gun. His eyes were blood shot, his hair was shaggy and his beards were overgrown. He looked sick and high on something. He was the one following us, i realized with a sinking feeling.
” Richie……” I said, shakily.
” Shut up! Shut up you unfaithful biitch.” He shouted, swinging the gun in his hand. ” I will kill you all! I will kill you just like i killed your stupid boyfriend. Then i will go after that biitch called Linda. ”
” What…..what is going on?” Tosin’ s mother asked, frightened. ” Who is he?”
” Shut up woman! I loved you Tomi! I would have done anything for you! You….. allowed Linda to tear us apart.You encouraged her to seduce me so you can use it as an excuse to run to your lover! ” He said, crying. ” You shamed me! You betrayed me!”
” Richie…….listen to me. You are not yourself…… this isn’t you. Whatever it is, i will get help for you. I will stand by you and make sure you are alright. ” I said.
” Liar! Serpent! You won’t fool me again. I have been watching and following you all. You have been f* ucking him! You spread your legs for him and your penance is death.” He shouted.
“You sound sick. Very sick” Great_ granny said.” You need medical attention, don’t hurt anyone here. It won’t solve what ails you.”
He looked at her and scoffed, tears running down his cheeks. He was acting like a baby, i could see indicision written on his face. This wasn’t the Richie i knew.
” You sent someone to murder my boyfriend at the church?, he’s dead now. There’s no need for you to harm anyone else here. I am the one you came for please take me and leave the others alone. They have done nothing to you. I am the one who wronged you ” I said.
He advanced towards me and i held my breath.He raised up the gun, the others gasped, pleading with him. He lowered the gun,swiftly hitting the butt of it on my head. I staggered backwards, dazed, he brought it down again and i collapsed to the ground. The room was suddenly swamped with darkness, I slowly felt myself slip away, into the arms of that blissful darkness.
To be continued..