‘Are you kidding me?’ Rose scoffed, she felt stupid for even having S£x with him earlier, he didn’t have the courtesy to let her in on his eloping plans.
‘Bastard’ she spat angrily.
‘Mum’ ! she rushed back to show her mother the letter.
It was like a dream to me, I still couldn’t believe Mark had raped me, I trusted him completely and he treated me like an object.
My hands shook as I washed the dishes, I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened to me, if only I’d listened to my mother, now I’d lost my virginity in the most appalling manner and I had so many fears, what if I got pregnant? what if I got raped?
So many things ran through my mind, I was so scared, I paused and inhaled deeply, everything in me screamed I should leave the house and return to my village, but the quest for revenge swallowed the inner voices.
I couldn’t let Mark go scot free, I had to hurt him as much as he hurt me, even his whole family, they had to pay for what Mark did.
What if he’d raped Grace too? Was that why she wanted to run? I had so many questions yet no answer.
I peeped out of the window into the garden as I heard Rose screaming for her mother, what had happened? Had she discovered her mother’s affair with Nelson?
I shook my head in disappointment, these men of God had a lot of skeletons in their cupboard.
I prayed to be strong, I couldn’t cry now, I couldn’t show Mark I was weak, I needed to fight for myself, I wouldn’t be used and discarded like an old doll, I had my plans.
‘Ajunwa’ the all too familiar alto called my name.
Normally, I would’ve been scared of her, scared of her presence, but I felt nothing as I swirled and faced the woman who was married to a pastor and was equally sleeping with her driver. Suddenly, all my fears disappeared and I felt more courageous than before.
Goodmorning Ma’ I replied coolly.
‘Morning, prepare some food, something spicy, you’ll tend to my husband today, I have a very busy schedule’ Helen gave out the orders and was about to leave when her daughter rushed into the kitchen.
Before that, she noticed something different about Ajunwa, the girl hardly ever looked her straight in the eye but she did right then and that made her uncomfortable, that wasn’t a good sign, she waved it aside and decided she’d deal with the rat later. She had more important things to deal with, she needed to meet with the church elders and she needed to pay Oliver off for his services.
She had slept like a baby throughout the night, she had never felt that much peace, knowing the only person capable of leaking her secret and tearing her family apart was dead, she couldn’t have wished for more.
‘What is it Honey’? Helen replied coolly.
‘Mum, I found this, it seems Nelson has gone’ Rose handed her the note.
My ears were erect as mother and daughter conversed, why would Nelson run? Afterall he had access to his boss’ body and she must have taken good care of him.
‘What? What’s the meaning of this? How could he just leave without telling me’? Helen complained.
‘Mum, I think we should call in the police to find him, he was responsible for dad’s accident and now he has gone, I think he took our kindness for granted, Mum please you need to arrest him’ Rose suggested. What hurt her most was sleeping with him, and he just bailed out on her like nothing happened.
‘No dear, we need to think this through, we don’t need the police, since he’s already gone, there’s no point’ Helen replied.
How could Rose say something like that? Bringing in the police would destroy her plans.
‘Mum? Why are you defending him? he hurt father, your husband, he confessed in this note that the accident was his fault, then what are waiting for’? Rose asked, her mother was acting weird, she noticed Helen’s eyeballs were dicey, she was hiding something.
‘I am not defending Nelson, this isn’t the time to call in the police, let’s support your father, once he is on his feet, we call in the police and deal with him’ Helen replied.
This was getting interesting, first, Grace wrote a note and vanished and now Nelson? I scoffed as mother and daughter argued till Helen’s idea overshadowed Rose’s.
‘Good morning all, what’s the noise about’? Mark swaggered into the kitchen and my heart raced as I recalled what he did to me.
It took willpower to control my shaky hands and the urge to strike his face with a ceramic, I needed to hurt him so badly.
‘I was just telling mother about this and I feel we should bring in the police, what do you think’? Rose showed Mark the note.
‘Uhmmm, not a bad idea, Mum he just confessed, we should report him for running, what if dad never recovers’? Mark asked.
‘You know what Rose? I need to see you in my room’ Helen ordered and strode out of the kitchen with her daughter, leaving I and Mark.
‘Baby….’ He neared me and encircled his hands around me.
‘Get your dirty hands off of me’ I screamed as tears welled up in my eyes, but I controlled them, he couldn’t see me as weak.
‘Why the anger? We shared something special last night’ he tried to kiss me but I slapped him. how dare he?
‘You are a devil Mark, you forced your dirty self on me and now you’re telling me we shared something, are you okay? Did I offend you in anyway? Why did you Molest me? Is that how you raped Grace? Tell me, was that why she left you for Romeo?’ a tear slipped from my eyes.
I noticed the surprise in his eyes as I mentioned Grace.
‘Romeo? How did you know about him? what do you know’? he dragged me closer to him, his eyes brimmed with tears.
‘Let go of me you psycho, I knew that’s what you did to her, but I am not Grace, get that into your thick skull, I would pay you back, go and write it down’ I pushed him backwards and ran out of the kitchen.
‘Wait Ajunwa! I am sorry, please don’t leave me’ he cried but I was gone.
His heart raced as he cried, what had he done?
She was right, his problems started with Grace when she fell in love with another man, how could she have chosen another over him?
He had noticed a certain young man whom she hung out with after church service, she had told him his name was Romeo,he had fought hard to win her love before she escaped and brought pain to his world.
‘I saved you from the police, I buried your secret in my garden and you dare question my authority in this house, how dare you Rose’?
Helen poured out her anger at her daughter’s irritable behavior. Who was she to give her orders?
‘Mum, why do you always have to bring that matter up? why can’t you ever let it go? Why do you make me feel like I can’t correct you when you’re wrong simply because you helped me that day. Remember I didn’t ask you to cover it up, I was scared and broken, cutting her into pieces and burying her in the garden was your idea, you had a choice to call the police but you dragged I and father into it’ Rose screamed angrily at her mother.
‘How dare you? You little ingrate, should I had reported to the police, you wouldn’t have had the guts to stand before me, because you would’ve been dead in jail, your father’s reputation would’ve been tarnished, I helped everyone, I cleansed us all and you’re so ungrateful’ Helen scowled.
‘Cleansed us? You’re the one who needs cleansing’ Rose scoffed and turned to walk away but Helen dragged her and offered her a slap which sent her reeling on the floor.
‘Excuse me? I’m the one who needs cleansing? When you murdered Grace in cold blood for a reason I’d never know’ Helen chuckled.
‘I know your secret mum, I saw it in the garden, you think you’re a saint? Wait till dad gets well and I tell him about you and your lover, I would tell him how you sneak him into the house and Fork him, just wait on me’ Rose staggered.
‘How could you’? Helen smirked.
How could her own daughter whom she saved speak to her that way?
‘So it’s the truth afterall’? Rose arched a brow.
‘I only slept with Nelson because your father lost interest in me and had no time for me, he buried himself in church work, why should you judge me, you’re no better’ Helen exhaled.
Things were falling out of place, if only she knew she would’ve reported Grace’s murder to the police, now the daughter she spared was now challenging her authority.
‘You slept with Nelson’? Rose was shocked, so her mother was having an affair with Nelson, no wonder she was reluctant to report him to the police, that did it for her, she would work straight into a police station and report Nelson’s elopement.
‘Just get out of my room, I buried your secret in the garden and I regret every bit of it’ Helen dismissed her.
‘Whatever’ Rose hissed and walked away.
‘God, I’m dead’ Helen sank into her bed, truly, there was no peace for the wicked, if only she knew, she wouldn’t have spared Rose, now everything would fall back on her.
She hadn’t closed her eyes for a five minutes just to take a short nap, when her phone beeped and she checked it, it was a message, one whose words left her terrified and she wished the earth could crack open and swallow her up.
‘I KNOW WHAT YOU DID, IT MAKES ME SICK, I AM GOING TO TELL. A SECRET IS BURIED IN THE GARDEN’.
‘Lord save me’ she cried and buried her face in the pillow, Oliver had shown her the text before, someone was after her, she could feel it strongly.
He had tried a number of businesses but none worked out well than that of blackmailing people and getting them to pay heavily for it.
He had blackmailed lots of Nigerian politicians, most of them made the mistake of being mean to their domestic staff, and that was the easiest means to get to them.
‘Why didn’t you take pictures, how could you be so stupid? Now we have no evidence, she could easily deny it and claim nothing happened’ Kachi Romeo yelled angrily at one of his agents.
He not only owned a blog, he had numerous connections with different secret cults as well as assassin groups, so anytime a big fish ordered for the death of someone, he knew, except for very top officials. Helen was not close to the top, she played into his hands very easily.
‘Take a picture after shooting him? she was right there and if I tried that she would’ve killed me too and buried me in her sweet little garden’ Oliver scoffed.
Working with Kachi Romeo was good business, most times they both connived and blackmailed those that had hired him to kill.
‘Bury you? You were the one with the gun’ Kachi poured himself a drink.
‘So what? There are many ways to kill a man, trust me, Helen Ita is a very dangerous woman. Nelson was foolish to have S£x with her even after you’d revealed to him the woman that had sent men after his life’ Oliver replied.
‘Well Delilah killed Samson, how much more a smaller fool like Nelson?’ Kachi scoffed.
‘You call him a fool, but what about you who is in love with Rose, a woman that fu-Cks her own dad, who does that’? Oliver grimaced.
‘In love? I used to love her once, but now, I see her as a means to a very rich end,this would be our biggest job, a family with secrets, each would pay to keep their abnormalities from the world’ Kachi laughed heartily.
‘What about Helen’s son? Mark, he seems to be clean, you have not said a thing about him’ Oliver asked.
He’d worked together on the Ita family case with Kachi for a long time.
‘Mark is no angel, in fact, he is the reason Grace really opened up to me, we’ll talk about some other time, now I need all the information to find Grace, I need to know she is okay, she helped me very much’ Kachi sighed, Grace had really suffered, she had gone through hell in that cursed house, he was glad she had opened up to him.
‘Nothing much, the pastor is still in the hospital bed, and I think Grace has returned, I saw her last night serving the Ita’s’ Oliver replied. He was sure of it, the girl that served dinner was Grace, he’d seen her many times when she met in secret with Romeo.
‘Are you sure about this? Then why didn’t she contact me? Why are her numbers not going through, this would be the greatest news ever’ Kachi dialed her numbers but they weren’t reachable.
‘I swear it, maybe I could go back to the house, and instruct her to meet you’ Olive suggested.
‘No, that would be dangerous, stay away from the Itas, now, we have to get evidence that the pastor is sleeping with his own daughter, we already have a voice note of Grace telling me how Mark raped her a lot of times, after which I convinced her to fix this a tiny video camera in the house to catch Helen and Nelson in action, which she did, now all what remains is our biggest fish, Pastor Ita and Rose’ Kachi clapped his hands excitedly.
‘You’re very smart, but I think we should take on just one person, too much of everything is bad’ Oliver advised, he wasn’t too comfortable with Romeo’s idea.
‘No, one person wouldn’t make me as rich as I want, so we take them all down’ Romeo replied not too pleased with Oliver countering him.
‘I still don’t support it, I say we take the pastor down, he was what to lose most, he has a ministry,we have to think very clearly’ Oliver insisted.
‘Since when did you start giving me advice on how to run my business’? Romeo snapped angrily at him.
‘Well, mind the way you speak to me, we’re still in this business’ Oliver warned.
‘Partners’? Romeo scoffed, he knew how just to deal with Oliver, with the snap of his fingers, the fool would obey him.
‘Of course, I do your dirty work’ Oliver replied.
‘Well that’s because you’re dirty, you’re a pig and I am the clean one, next time you challenge me, I shall leak your secrets and trust me, the Nigerian police would treat you just find and all the clients you blackmailed’ Romeo hissed loudly and walked out of the room.
Romeo’s words stilled Oliver and scared him too, he suddenly discovered he was a slave to Romeo like everyone else whom he blackmailed.
‘No way, I wouldn’t be your pawn’ Oliver rose to his feet, he needed to get out of Romeo’s clip, and he knew just how to get out.
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