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Alhaji: “Adebimpe, you are always so unique, are you proposing to me?”
Bimpe: “Perhaps I am, that’s the only way I can be safe, by being your wife. Having a young wife such as me, is going to be a honour for you, your friends will envy you. Think of my whole being given to you”
Alhaji: “I had thought to stop at three wives, to make you my most prized mistress, but when you put it like that, it is interesting”
Bimpe: “Let’s get married on my 21st birthday, in a court. Your fourth marriage needs no much ado”
Alhaji: “Anything you want my jewel”
The marriage contract was signed in the presence of some close associates of Alhaji Dambazzau, in the Lagos customary court. The news of the marriage was carried on every news channel, people were shocked, they could not fathom how Bimpe made Alhaji marry him, and they also did not know where she came from. After the marriage, Bimpe moved into the big estate where Alhaji lived with his family. It was a sprawling estate that occupied 10 acres of land on the Lekki peninsula. Bimpe was taken on a tour around the estate to the consternation of the other wives. A week after marrying Alhaji, Bimpe was given shares in all his companies, as he has done for his other wives, he also furnished her with different credit cards and shopping vouchers, life was good but Bimpe was not satisfied, being any man’s kept woman was not her goal.
In her plenty, she still remembered her family back in Ilisan, she knew she had to help her father walk again. She talked to a specialist and they made arrangements to go to Ilisan and carry her dad for treatment. She refused to go with them; instead she sent one of the aides assigned to her. She had to go about finalizing her plans; marrying Alhaji DDambazzau was just the first phase of her whole plan.
In Ilisan, people had begun to forget about Bimpe, except her family. Her father prayed in his heart that she would come back someday, her brothers missed their only sister everyday and they kept asking their mother when their sister would be back. The latter would shout at them and tell them to forget about Bimpe, that she really was not their sister. As the months went by, the mention of Bimpe’s name began to reduce, they were all getting used to the fact that she may never return. So it was a surprise when an entourage visited their house and told them Bimpe sent them. They brought with them, foodstuffs, and other personal effects. There was an orthopedic specialist with them, who examined Ladejo’s legs.
Ladejo: “What do you want with my leg?” he asked
Doctor: “your daughter wants me to see what can be done about your leg” he replied. Everyone fell silent, even Basirat was astounded.
Ladejo: “My daughter? Where is she?”
Doctor: “I am not at liberty to tell you that, but I want to assure you that we will try our best to make sure you walk again” he said. He began to examine his legs, and after a while, he wrote in his little note book.
Ladejo: “What do you think doctor?”
Doctor: “Nothing to worry about, you will be fine. I will talk to your daughter”
Ladejo: “Please tell her that I am here waiting for her until she is ready to come back”
The entourage came to Lagos to report to Bimpe. The doctor intimated her about the state of her father’s injured legs, and told her the solution would be re-constructive surgery.
Bimpe: “How much will that cost?” she asked
Doctor: “About 10 million naira approximately”
Bimpe: “It is a whooping sum of money, but if my father will walk again, I don’t mind the expense” she replied
Doctor: “I think you should go home, your family misses you” Bimpe kept mute for a while, her head was down, and the doctor thought, perhaps she was crying. But as he moved to touch her, she raised her head; her eyes were dark and hard.
Bimpe: “When will you be able to commence work on my father?” she asked, her face passive, with no trace of emotion. The doctor was taken aback by her indifference; he had never met a woman, with such lack of emotions.
Doctor: “As soon as the funds are ready”
Bimpe: “Expect it as soon as possible. I will call you when am ready” she replied and walked away without another word.
Bimpe was patrolling the grounds of the estate, thinking of how she would raise the money for her father’s surgery, her account had just about two million naira, and she didn’t want to tell Alhaji about her father, after all Ladejo was not really her father. She was lost in her thoughts, such that she didn’t realize Alhaja Zainab was approaching. They almost bumped into each other but the latter shoved her aside, and because she was putting on heels, she tripped and fell at Alhaja’s feet.
Alhaja Zainab: “Yes, that is where you truly belong, on the floor, at my feet like a slave. Where did you even come from, you little tramp” she said. Bimpe felt humiliated, she almost crawled back into her hole, she was just a little girl of twenty one after all, even though her physique belied her age. Almost…
She stood up with agility and walked up to Alhaja, her face up in Alhaja’s face, her eyes boring into hers.
Bimpe: “I am going to let this slide, just this once, but next time, you will feel the touch of my palms”
Alhaja: “You gold digging tramp, if you think Alhaji is going to die soon so you can inherit his wealth, you are in for a long ride. Soon he is going to get tired of your smelling cunt, and when he does, he will abandon you. Mind you, as his wife, you are not allowed to keep small boys, what will you do when your bed gets so cold and you forget how it feels to be a woman?” she sneered at Bimpe.
Bimpe: “That is for me to worry about. I also know about the little stunt you pulled with those men you sent to my house, I have not forgotten and at the appointed time, you shall have your reward”
Alhaja: “How did you feel when they took turns at you, well watch your back. I do not back down from a fight”
Bimpe: “We shall see” she spat and walked away briskly. She felt vexed by Alhaja and she promised herself she would have her revenge, what form it would take she didn’t know yet.
That evening, she pampered herself with a long bath in scented waters, laced with relaxing oils. After which, she wore a lacy black lingerie, oiled her body with her favorite Egyptian oil, and donned a furry jacket over it. She walked from her house in the estate to Alhaji’s house, which was just beside hers. Alhaji was in the living room with his bodyguards and some of his business associates, when Bimpe strutted in, with her polished feet clad in a nude colored pair of louboutins. Alhaji made to dismiss her, but Bimpe dropped the fur jacket she was wearing, leaving only the lacy lingerie. Everyone had their mouth wide open, and their eyes popping out of the socket.
Alhaji: “Everyone out, this meeting is postponed” he ordered and everyone left the room.
Bimpe: “You want some?” she asked as she walked to the kitchen and brought out a jar of ice cream.
Alhaji: “I don’t regret marrying you, you are good for my heart rate” he said as he undressed. They frolicked throughout the night; Bimpe was surprised at his energy level.
That fateful day, the day that would be remarkable in Bimpe’s life, she woke up very early before the sun. She looked at Alhaji still snoring away and went out pulling on her fur coat; she walked to the extreme part of the estate close to the water embankment. The sea, she saw, was peaceful, but inside her, there was a raging storm. The phase two of her plan was solidifying in her mind, anything could go wrong at this moment. She slipped out her phone from the pocket in her fur coat and dialed a number.
Bimpe: “Is it done?” she listened for a moment and slipped the phone back into her phone. She walked briskly to her house; it was daybreak by the time she reached her house. She could see Alhaja at the balcony of her house. At that moment, she remembered that today was Alhaja Zainab’s turn to be with Alhaji Dambazzau.
Bimpe: “What would this fat cat do in bed? Roll around?” she chuckled as the imagination made her giddy. She went in, took her bath and dressed up, it was time to play student. She instructed her driver to take her to University of Lagos.
By the time she got back, she met a gift wrapped elaborately in pink wrappers, she picked it up and read the note, and it was from Alhaji. He was a generous man, but not generous enough to give her ten million naira without explanations. She really needed to give the man who gave her a surname, his life back. She was still looking at the gift when something caught her eye, she turned and saw Alhaja Zainab looking at her, and leaning on the balustrade. She gave Bimpe the stink eye when their eyes met.
Bimpe: “She would kill me, if she had the chance” she sighed and entered her house.
That same night, at midnight, a loud cry rent the peace and serenity of the estate. Its inhabitants rushed out of their houses, in their sleeping garb, everyone but Alhaja Zainab. Bimpe rushed out of her house, people were gathered in front of Alhaji’s house. Bimpe rushed down, and pushed everyone to get to the front. There on the staircase was the housekeeper, a middle aged woman, she was crying profusely.
Bimpe: “Why are you crying, where is Alhaji?” she yelled. The housekeeper kept crying, and pointing to the living room. At that moment, Alhaja Zainab came out of her house, she was wearing a jalabiya which she usually used for sleeping.
Alhaja: “What is going on here?” she asked and rushed into the house, the other wives, including Bimpe went in with her. There on the staircase leading to the bedrooms was Alhaji Dambazzau, splayed on the floor, in the midst of his own lifeblood, with a dagger buried halfway in his chest. It was obvious from where they were standing, that he was dead.
Question: Who killed Alhaji Dambazzau?
To be continued on 30th March
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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