Boys With Toys #11
This is one of those long posts, so enjoy. Don’t forget to drop a line at the end! Have a great weekend!
“What did you do?!”
Urena barged into Madu’s office without permission. He was on the phone, looking out his window while he spoke. He gave Urena a glance and promptly ended the call.
“You don’t know your superiors again, abi?”
“What did he do to you that you had to do that to him?!”
Madu left the window, smiling. “I should ask you that same question.”
“Me? You boxed me into a corner! You forced my hand!”
Madu took his chair after straightening out the top of his kaftan.
“You’re so wicked, so evil! Everything they say about you is true!”
“God will punish you for this!”
Madu gave a bored expression. “Are you done?”
“And I’m going to tell Guru! I don’t care if you release the video! Go ahead! I’ll tell him!”
“You are colossally stupid, Urena. You and Guru woke up together the morning after the Smush party, right?”
“You had gone back to check on him and you fell asleep, didn’t you?”
“What’s your point?”
“And you woke up together?”
“So, how on earth will he suspect you had anything to do with it?”
Urena had no answer.
“That’s why I said you’re colossally stupid.”
She calmed down significantly. “I gave him the only drink he took that night.”
“So what? Geez! You’re a thief. So I’m sure you also know how to lie.” He brushed his beard with the back of his hand as if warding off something. It was a sign of irritation.
“Just get out.”
Urena wheeled back to the door and left it slamming hard.
“Go and report nau.”
Guru was calm, having gone through different motions. His head was clear now and he was in the course of deciphering how the scandalous picture had come to be. So far, he knew it happened on the night of the Smush party and was also aware that he had been drugged. But the only thing he remembered taking was Urena’s drink…
Urena entered the office. Not in her usual barging-in manner. She simply walked in with slow steps and her hands before her like a little school girl.
“It was the drink,” she confessed to him.
“The drink I gave you. It was drugged.”
Guru lifted his eyes at her. She exhaled a weighty breath.
“I… some guy I met at the bar gave me. He actually gave me two cups and was like ‘for you and the fabulous Guru.’ I took them but remembered you didn’t drink at parties and so I left one at the bar.”
Urena took more steps forward. “I think it was a setup.” She removed her glasses to reveal wet eyes.
“And I’m so disgusted that I was used, Roy. I didn’t know. I’m so sorry.”
“Ure, why are you apologizing? It’s not your fault.”
“I remember waking up that morning feeling like shit.”
“Did you notice anything strange? Did they do anything to you?”
She shook her head. “I don’t know, Roy. I’m here thinking my own picture will come out soon. I’m scared.”
“I don’t think you were the target.”
“Stop being sorry, Ure.”
Guru left his chair. He peered at his phone; it was ringing. He had no plans to answer it even though he saw it was Mrs. Tunji calling.
“What are you going to do? How do we clear your name, Roy?” Urena asked.
“I don’t know. And honestly, the more I think about it, it doesn’t bite that much. I’m more concerned about my mom. This would kill her.”
“We should do something. Maybe a press release or an interview on radio or on a blog or something.”
Someone knocked on the door.
Mr. Duro’s secretary poked in her head.
“Oga wants to see you, sir.”
She withdrew her head and Guru looked at Urena. “I’ll be fine. Stop stressing.”
He picked his phone and walked out. Mr. Duro’s office was on the second floor. When Guru got there, he endured the subtle stares at him just as he had done on his own floor.
He entered Mr. Duro’s office and found he was not alone. Mrs. Tunji and Madu were there as well. Also, on a 42 inch plasma screen was the infamous picture. Guru averted his eyes immediately.
“Why won’t you pick my calls?” Mrs. Tunji questioned.
“Good evening, ma,” Guru replied.
“Sit down,” Mr. Duro offered a seat beside Mrs. Tunji. Madu was standing.
“I’m sure you already know why you’re here,” Mr. Duro began as Guru sat. “First of all, are you gay?”
“You’re sure? You’re not in the closet or something?”
“I mean, I don’t have issues with anyone’s sexuality. You can be sleeping with a goat for all I care…”
“Duro!” Mrs. Tunji scolded.
“It’s just that we are in a country that has nil tolerance for homosexuality… and with a law to that effect. So excuse my taking this matter seriously. You’re sure you’re not gay?”
“I would know if I was.”
“So what’s with the picture?”
“I was drugged at the Smush party and I think when I passed out…”
“Some guy raped you.”
Guru gave Mr. Duro a blank stare that spoke volumes. He didn’t really know much about the man except that he was his boss. His often absorbed demeanor marked by a plain face that bordered towards aloofness seemed to be gone at the moment. It was as if the man was enjoying poking at him.
“I would’ve known if I was raped,” Guru replied with a stern tone.
“So you’re saying you don’t recall this.”
“You don’t know this guy.”
“No. I was set up.”
“I told you.” Mrs. Tunji sounded relieved.
“You know who set you up?” Mr. Duro continued in his line of questions.
Madu shifted from one foot to another.
“Yes. A friend gave me a drink and I passed out.”
“A friend. What friend?”
“Just a friend. It doesn’t matter.”
“It doesn’t matter?”
“No, it doesn’t,” Madu jumped in. “What’s important is how we clear this mess up.”
“I agree,” Mrs. Tunji nodded.
“If you say so. You are PR,” Mr. Duro looked at Madu. “What do you propose, because this is a huge mess. We have our first fashion show in the first week of April. We have to make sure he’s as clean as a whistle before then. And why do I have this feeling that our competitors are behind this?”
“My thoughts as well,” Madu agreed.
“So what’s the plan?”
Madu rubbed his hands together. A sinister laugh echoed in his head. Whoever said one stone could kill just two birds? With just one move he was knocking off many a bird. Things were going to turn out exactly as he had planned. If Mr. Duro was already suspecting their competitors, it was a good thing. He would need more minds poisoned for the near future when he created some form of beef between G&M and any credible fashion line out there. He was yet to pick any. In his opinion, none of the others were up to par. Still some beef to spice things up now and then was good; it made for great publicity, anything that would get his name out there and paint him in credible light when he eventually stepped in to make things right.
But for now, he was going to save the day and in more ways than one, screw Guru’s life up.
“We all know there’s nothing like bad publicity for a celebrity,” he said.
“This can’t be good for Guru, Ibekwe,” Mrs. Tunji countered.
“But somehow, it’s good for us.” He accessed his phone. “Our Twitter following has increased by over four hundred in the past hour alone. Facebook likes, the same thing.”
“I’m more concerned about Roy. This just can’t be good for his image. Have you looked at that picture?” she pointed.
“Yes…the picture… let’s dissect it, shall we?”
They all turned to the screen, except Guru.
“So, shirts are off,” Madu observed. “Doesn’t mean they are naked. Secondly, Guru is asleep and it’s only his face in view. We don’t know who that fucker is… Okay, so he’s giving him a kiss on his cheek… that’s bad. That’s what we have to fix.”
Guru buried his head lower.
“So we could say it was a prank by a friend.”
“Seriously?” Guru looked up. “You think anyone will believe that?”
“Yeah. You were at a party, passed out drunk and someone played a prank. If by two days, the people behind this don’t come out to dispute our statement, we use some fake Twitter account owned by a fake friend of yours who comes out apologizing for the prank.”
“What if more pictures surface?” Mr. Duro leaned forward.
“They won’t. Trust me, I’ll track down the people behind this by then.”
There was uneasy silence in the office which Madu ignored.
“In the meanwhile, your girlfriend is going to come to your rescue, Guru.”
Guru looked confused. “I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Well, you do now.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do. You have a girlfriend, whom you have been dating over the past six months.”
Mr. Duro laughed. “This all stinks of some IK Ogbonna shit.”
“No, this is way better than that.” Madu’s face came to life as small, ruthless eyes twinkled. “By tomorrow evening, your girlfriend is on Instagram and Twitter, ranting angrily about haters trying to destroy her relationship and spoil her boyfriend’s name. She posts pictures of you two over the past months to prove that you really are a couple. Pictures of you in bed, at home, out at the beach, at restaurants…all of that! Even in Paris!”
Guru was shaking his head. “I’m not doing it.”
“You have to, man! First thing tomorrow morning we’ll be out there, creating a life for you guys. By the time we’re done, nobody will remember this picture!”
“Hmmmm…” Mr. Duro appeared pleased. “Sounds like a plan.”
“Ma’am?” Madu turned to Mrs. Tunji.
“I like it.”
Madu faced Guru. “This means you have to move out of your parent’s house to your new apartment with your girlfriend, because there are jobless people out there who would want to find out if this is all a ruse.”
Guru rubbed his eyes.
“This is the only way, boy,” Mrs. Tunji said to him in a kindly manner.
“I officially have no life,” Guru complained.
“Welcome to the world of fame. From now on, your social media accounts will no longer be run by you. We’ll take over.” Madu held a smile that registered something in Guru.
“So, who is this girl?” Mr. Duro inquired of Madu.
“Well…since this whole thing came up, I’ve had a few girls on my mind but I narrowed them down to three. However, I realized two of them wouldn’t quite fit his profile. One’s a single mother while the other, I just confirmed, is a recovering alcoholic.”
Both Mr. Duro and Mrs. Tunji showed disapproval.
“But the third…I like her, and that’s because I have met her personally. She’s an aspiring actress and a fashionista. Oh, and she’s hawt! Her name is Nmachi Azoro.” Madu passed his phone to Mr. Duro who gave it just one glance.
“Not bad.” He in turn, passed it to Guru. Guru brought the phone to his face, staring at a dark-complexioned girl with a Mercy Johnson frame. She was in a white floral dress and wedges, standing before an exotic car with a poodle in her hand.
A yawn attacked Guru’s right ear and he didn’t have to be told that Monet had taken over his subconscious.
“She’s boring already, Guru,” Monet whispered. “Superficial. Daddy’s girl type of girl. Um…what else? Oh! Incredibly horny all the time. See it in her eyes? She’s telling you take off your pants. Oooooh, so ferosh!”
Suddenly the girl in the picture came to life as she dropped her dog and began to unbutton her dress.
“She’s wearing a buttoned-down dress. How convenient.” Monet yawned again.
Having buttoned down her dress but revealing nothing, the girl leaned back on the car and called to Guru.
“Oh my!” Monet laughed. “She’s wearing nothing under. Dirrrrty girl. Go ahead, take a peep… part that dress open. She’s got nice, full titties. Go ahead… You don’t want to, Guru baby? Don’t ya? You’re sure? Awww…too bad.”
The original picture came back to frame and everything went still.
“I like her Loubs, though. They’re so Du Joir.”
Guru wished Monet away but she lingered a second, directing his eyes to Madu. “You know he’s behind all this. He set you up. You know that, right? And this Nmachi chick or what the deuce her name is must be his client. Come on, they’re both Igbo, so it’s all business. Think about it.”
And just like that, Monet vanished.
“You like her?” Madu asked but Guru merely passed his phone back to him.
“She’ll do,” Mr. Duro answered with authority. “Get in contact with her, right away. I don’t care how much she asks for. Also get one of the junior lawyers involved. She must sign a non-disclosure.” He looked at Guru. “You too.”
Guru knew he couldn’t protest. He stood up but Mrs. Tunji took his hand.
“I know this is hard for you but it’s just for a while. Please, go with the flow.”
She let him go and he walked out with Madu.
“What a mess,” Mrs. Tunji pronounced when she was left with Mr. Duro.
“Nothing Madu can’t handle. I know how good that midget is.”
“Well, he better impress.”
Mr. Duro left his seat and went to Mrs. Tunji’s. He walked behind her and put his arms around her, leaning over to kiss her on the cheek.
“Go away.” She smacked him off lightly.
“Well, I missed you, mom.”
“So much that you took that twenty-minute drive from your house to mine to say hello?”
“I was there on the morning of your birthday, mom.” He straightened up. “Bought you this…”
“Five thousand pound Cartier wristwatch. I remember.”
“And you’re not wearing it.”
“It’s there with the others. Putting on something that expensive can’t fill the void, Duro.”
Mr. Duro went back to his desk and rested slightly on it. Mrs. Tunji dusted off invisible specks from her wrapper.
“Besides, I’m keeping them for your daughter, so when she’s old enough, I can say ‘Hey, Hope, here’s all your daddy got…”
“Stop it, mom.”
“But when, Duro? When will you accept that she’s yours? She’s six years old already.”
“She’s not mine, mom. Stop it. She has four fathers.” He laughed. “Four horsemen who rode Monet…”
“Same time you did.”
“Doesn’t make the kid mine. So, stop it.”
“A simple DNA will prove she’s yours.”
“Why don’t you do the DNA? A sample from you will be okay, as well.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“I don’t want to do a DNA!”
“Shouting on me Durodola, will not change the fact that I see your face in that child’s, that the day she was born, she looked just like you when the midwife first put you in my arms, that she’s growing up not knowing who her real father is and it’s tragic! A shame!” Mrs. Tunji’s lips shook. Her son lowered his head. “Monet did what she did because she loved you! She was in love with you and you hurt her! You came and went and came and went, using her every time you felt like, and she was broken!”
“She knew I couldn’t love her, mom! Monet knew! And why are we even bringing this up?”
“I’m bringing it up so you don’t forget. You live in luxury today because Monet made it so, despite how you treated her.”
Mr. Duro laughed. “I earned everything I have today. Who stood by her when she built her crazy castles in the air? Who was there for her when she lost her mind? Who spent endless nights with her? But why do we even speak of these things? She’s dead, mom. Let her rest in peace. She’s gone!”
“But Hope is alive.”
“I don’t care!”
Mrs. Tunji held her chest; she was stung by his words.
“I have a life now. A wife. A home…”
“No. No, you don’t have a wife and you don’t have a home. You two are living a lie. Yes, Duro. I have heard the rumors.” She picked her handbag from the floor. “And may God forgive you.”
Mr. Duro watched his mother as she wrapped her shawl around her shoulder.
“And you, do you forgive me?”
Mrs. Tunji stood to her feet looked at her oldest son with affectionately-sad eyes. She rested her hand on his arm.
“I love you just the way you are, Durodola Williams.” Her hand moved to his chest. “But your heart is dark. I can’t forgive that.”
He took his mother’s hand off his chest.
“My regards to Angela.”
She left his office.
Perhaps he had been looking for a reason to leave her since she returned to his life. Or perhaps it was just how fate wanted it – that they were to be separated again. He wasn’t so sure what the reasons were exactly. All he knew was that he couldn’t look at Beatrice the same again. The trust was lost and it was now clear to him than ever that she was a liar. He didn’t know what to believe anymore.
Had there really been a baby? If there had been, had it been his? Was there a miscarriage or she aborted it? If she aborted it? Why? To be free to live her life without obligations? Or to get rid of a child that possibly belonged to another?
He didn’t know what to make of the whole thing. The worst was why she had to lie about it. He came home on Monday and she said nothing and would have kept it so if he hadn’t mistakenly knocked her handbag to the floor the next morning and seen a pair of sanitary towels alongside other contents. On a normal day, it wouldn’t have struck him as odd that she was carrying sanitary towels around but she was pregnant and it bothered him a little. What also had him concerned was the fear in her eyes when he questioned her about it. She had stuttered in her reply, words he couldn’t put together because of their sheer ridiculousness as she mentioned something about pregnancy and heavy vaginal discharge.
Anger filled him from nowhere; or maybe it came from that place where he had pushed every emotion he had harbored about her that was unpleasant in the past. His voice came out guttural when he repeated his question, demanding the truth. She erupted into a dramatic mess of tears and jerky explanations as to why she lost the baby.
Maybe it was the sex they had that morning… maybe he had been too rough with her… maybe she was emotionally stressed… maybe the housework was too much for her… maybe her family was behind it… maybe she took some unknown substance that did her harm…
Bankole became furious in a way he had not been in years. Something alien and yet perversely sweet which he would later discover was hate, surged through him, and he saw Beatrice in a different light. Picking his car key, he told her in clear tones that he wanted her gone before he returned home from work that night. She didn’t plead; she just sobbed. In the past, that alone could have dissolved him but he wasn’t sure he was the same man from his past. Something had snapped and it seemed he was done with her.
His scheduled photoshoot went well as planned. Ruky and the male model found a common ground and worked together. In two hours they were done and Bankole retired to his office to brood like every brokenhearted person would. However, Ruky denied him the privacy he needed. She came in with a smile. Unfortunately, he couldn’t connect with her.
“What’s wrong, Banky?” she asked. He shook his head. “Okay, today I’m in a good mood but you’re not. What’s up with that?”
“Beatrice piss you off?”
Bankole had no desire to discuss his issues with anyone but at the same time, he wanted to hear someone else’s view, to know if he had acted irrationally towards Beatrice.
He looked at Ruky. Was she friend enough to understand?
“We broke up.”
Ruky’s face went a little serious. “For real? What happened?”
“You might want to sit to hear this.”
Ruky pulled up a chair and sat. He told her everything. He left not a single detail out. She listened without interrupting. She felt sad for him. How could a girl treat a man she claimed she love the way Beatrice treated him? Some girls were plain wicked. What others were looking for in a man, Beatrice had and yet took for granted. Ruky’s quick conclusion was that Beatrice did not deserve Banky.
“Did I do wrong?” Banky asked despondently.
Ruky was not quick to answer. She went at him with coy.
“Ehya, I can understand how you feel. Pele. And Beatrice too, she must be devastated.”
“No, seriously, was I too harsh?”
“I dunno, Banky. Only Beatrice can answer this. If indeed she did not abort the baby, then you were wrong. But who can judge you after what she did to you? Wo, Banky, I don’t know what to say but just… I feel for you. I can’t imagine being with someone I can’t trust. Maybe you guys should try working it out again to see…”
Bankole frowned. “No. I can’t. I just can’t. She’s a liar, Ruky. I can forgive other things but the lies… and then the fact that she thinks she can just shove anything down my throat and I’ll swallow. Do I look like a fool to her?”
Ruky would speak no further. She was trying hard to put herself in order. Here was a man she was attracted to, suddenly single and yet brokenhearted and obviously still in love with the one that broke his heart. She had to look at the situation from all angles and if she had to go for him, she had to tread wisely.
“I can’t really advise you on what to do but I can help take your mind off your pain. My cousin is having a naming ceremony for her son today, starting by two. We could go if you don’t have anything major to do here. There’ll be food, drinks, music and maybe some chick who’ll make you forget?”
Bankole thought about it but not for long. “Can we just leave now? Go somewhere…”
Madu barged in after a brief knock.
“Dude, I need you,” he announced. “Hey, Ruky.”
Ruky smiled back.
“What’s up?” Bankole asked. Madu explained the Guru situation and expounded that they needed him to help take some shots of Guru and his ‘girlfriend’. Bankole advised that the best pictures to take for such a situation would be selfies.
“Or rather fakefies.”
“Normal shots made to look like selfies. That’s what the Kardashians and the rest do. Someone else is actually behind the camera and the other person stretches out their hand as if taking the pic themselves. Makes for great photos.”
“Wow. The things they come up with. So, can you help us?”
“Got an appointment now. My PA will go with you. She’s into that sort of thing, actually.”
Bankole called in his PA, gave her instructions and asked her to follow Madu along.
Madu thanked him and left.
“Phew that Guru’s picture is still trending online,” Ruky mentioned. “You think he’s gay?”
“He’s so not gay. Just haters. They set him up.”
“How? He was naked…”
“Or so it seemed. That picture is fake.”
“No but staged.”
“So, you were saying we should go somewhere?”
“Yes. You like movies?”
Ruky shrugged. She silenced the warning blaring in her head, telling herself that the situation was unique and she wasn’t selling herself cheap to a man. Bankole was hurting and needed a friend. She had nothing doing at the office and needed a well-deserved movie time. They were perfect for each other at that moment.
Sachi was on all fours, scrubbing the floor. Gloved hands held a brush tightly and went at a spot aggressively, back and forth, back and forth, until it slipped off her grip and had her sliding down with her chest flat against the wet surface of the tiled floor.
She looked ahead of her for a second before she let out a cry which her head immediately told her was unnecessary. Still she cried, pulling herself up to sit and stare at the mess without really being there. Her weeping took her to a time in her life she was afraid she would never experience again. Pain clutched at her heart and she lay on her side.
Memories of them together would not leave her. He loved her once; she was certain. And it didn’t really matter that she knew he was after her money, things were still great between them. It had to have been love. Even when he started hitting her, she was convinced it was merely out of passion. He was a good man and their love was theirs alone to define. She believed there was no one picture that fit all when it came to describing what should exist when a man and woman were affectionately connected. As sick as her relationship with Khalid was, she had found it perfect.
He was drifting away. Even more so that she had given him half of all she owned. And no, Uju was not to blame. Things were just coming to an end and she was helpless about it.
Take him to a babalawo, a friend had suggested, before you know it you’ll have him under your control completely.
Bring the matter to my pastor, another threw in, there’s nothing that man cannot do.
Sachi had listened in silence. Their suggestions were tempting but she had lost her will to fight. Lost her will for anything, even for him. Each time he visited and made love to her, she lay beneath him like one dead. He would stop, stare at her and get off the bed. He never bothered to ask what was wrong with her. There was a time he would have cared.
Heavy eyes lifted up and tried to focus on a shapely figure. It took few seconds for her to realize it was Uju. She pulled herself up.
“I entered this house calling your name and you didn’t hear me. What is this?” Uju stared at her friend. “And when did you start scrubbing your floor like a housemaid? They’re tiles, for heavens’ sakes! They don’t need scrubbing!”
“There was a stain,” she murmured. Uju sighed and went for a bottle of water from the fridge.
“Your husband is a demon. He dumped me.”
She slammed the fridge shut.
“Dumped you? What happened?”
Uju shook her shoulders. Khalid ended their relationship the moment she told him she was pregnant and was going to keep it despite what the test results had revealed about their genotypes. She hadn’t cried when he told her he was quite bored with their arrangement and was calling it quits. In fact, she smiled and told him she understood. With calm, she put her things together and asked him to drive her to the airport. She was going to take the last flight to Abuja that evening. He told her to stay until the morning but she insisted on leaving. He chauffeured her to the airport and waited until her flight took off, leaving her with a kiss that drove daggers into her heart. By the time the plane hit the skies, what she felt for him turned cold and dark. Lying on her bed later that night, she knew she never wanted to see his face again.
“Khalid simply got tired of me, Sach. Why should that surprise you? It’s his way. We’re all temporary entertainment to him. I was just another honeypot and you, his pot of gold. And now that he’s gotten what he wants from you, you’ll be history too.”
“I’m his wife.”
“Third wife. He divorced the others and took their money; same thing he’ll do to you. I saw divorce papers in his briefcase, Sach. Your time is up.”
Uju took a long drink of her water as her words found their way into Sachi’s mind.
“And you should know that he’s invested in his relationship with that Monet’s child right now. Monet’s father was a billionaire and he willed everything to her. She, in turn, left it all for the girl. Khalid wants that money.”
“The girl might be his.”
Both women were silent for a while.
“Sach, have you ever thought of getting rid of Khalid?”
Sachi’s eyes narrowed as she tried to make meaning to what she just heard. The question had come out of Uju’s lips with a nonchalance that chilled her.
“Getting rid of him. How?”
Uju took another long drink. “How do they get rid of people, Onsachi?”
“What sort of nonsense are you suggesting?”
“It’s not like you’ve not done it before.”
Sachi’s eyes widened now.
“You killed your dad, Sach. I don’t care what the newspapers said, you killed him.”
“I did not.”
“Whatever, lie to yourself. Just don’t sit there like a victim and allow yet another man screw you and your brain like your dad did.”
Sachi drew her knees up. “Uju just go, please. Just go.”
Uju was disappointed. She had not expected to meet Sachi in this dejected state. It was useless talking sense into her. She would return to continue where she left off. They would get rid of Khalid by all means.
“And by the way, I’m pregnant,” she added as an afterthought. Maybe the breaking news would push Sachi into the state of mind she was hoping for. “He wanted the baby, begged me to have it, offered me the world to get pregnant.”
She watched as Sachi’s facial features contorted into anger in a slow manner. She smiled within and turned towards the dustbin to discard the empty water bottle in her hand. But just as she lowered herself to lift the lid off the bin, she was struck with a heavy blow at the back of her head that sent her almost crashing to the floor.
The dustbin broke her fall and grateful for quick reflexes, she was up on her feet again. She swiveled just in time to stop another onslaught from Sachi who had swung the weapon in her hand a second time. She had used a mop stick which broke in two as it made contact with Uju’s upraised arm.
Sachi came at her one more time but she pushed her off long enough to stare into eyes and see the devil dancing in them.
Uju counted seconds. She could aim for the backdoor but it might be too late. She could go straight for Sachi and wrestle with her but she wasn’t sure she was a match for her. In their teenage years, Sachi gave her a couple of black eyes during catfights. The woman was strong despite a delicate outward appearance. Uju’s only option was to protect herself.
She made a sharp turn, facing the cabinet to search for a weapon; and she found more than she needed. A block of knives within her reach beckoned to her. She grabbed a knife but she was too late. Sachi had pounced on her from behind and locked one half of the broken mop stick over her neck. It hit Uju with a painful jab and pressed down on her windpipe.
Uju choked but held the knife in her hand tighter as Sachi dug in.
Uju didn’t wait one second to attack. With a fast aim she speared Sachi. It was a blind target but the knife went in smoothly and came out in the same manner.
Sachi instantly released her grip and fell back a step. Uju felt the pressure around her neck weaken. The stick clattered over the floor and for a second, all was still. The smell of blood filled Uju’s nostrils and she felt that strong urge she had been feeling over the weeks to barf at the slightest irritation. She dropped the knife to the floor as her vision blurred before her. She was terrified over what she had done to Sachi; she could not look back. Her hands began to shake, her knees watered…
What had she done?
She had scarcely thought those words when she was shoved angrily over the counter and her head slammed over it with a violent blow that ended her life before she had the chance to wonder what had happened to her.
It was fast. It was quick. A finger or two moved, an eye blinked. But that was all.
Uju was dead, staring out lifelessly at the kitchen window where two turtledoves had just perched to hide away from the fiery morning sun.