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Bala woke up that morning with a very strange headache. Off late he hadn’t had enough rest, from one late meeting to the other. There was a knock on the door and it felt like it was in his head,
Bala: “Oh,oh. Who could that be this early, eh?”
The knock continued, it was harsh but gentle and continuous,
“Someone cannot have enough rest again?”
He dragged himself out of the bed and looked at the watch it wasn’t as early as he thought. It was almost ten in the morning; exhaustion had made him oversleep.
“I’m coming!”he yelled as he made for the door as it tweaked open, it was Kyauta- she was almost leaving when the door opened. He was super excited to see her- the headache he felt melted away. Her sight seemed to be the needed medicine.
Kyauta:”Good morning,” she wore a sullen face.
Bala cleared his throat, suddenly he remembered that he was ought to be angry at her for she had avoided seeing him- when he needed her she wasn’t there. He remembered that day he was selected by the people to represent them as the candidate he ran to her place to break the news for her before telling anybody getting to her house she received him dryly.
Bala: “I’ve got good news,baby!”
She gave him a cold look; an arctic feeling grasped him. It was as if the world had turned against him,
Kyauta: “Please,mum sent me, can we talk later?”
He nodded and shrugged it off tried not to make a big deal about her behaviour,
Bala: “I can wait for you in your room until you’re back!”
Kyauta:”Noo. It is Gawu I’m going to, I don’t know when I’ll back!” she looked away.
Unable to say a word, he just left. For days, he couldn’t eat or sleep in peace. Many thoughts entered his head, is she seeing someone else? Why has she changed? That was when he heard the rumour that she had been spot twice at Captain Nwanze’s house at night while he was in jail but it was something he found hard to believe. It was just unbelievable. His Kyauta could never cheat on him no matter what; she loved him too much for that.
For making him miss her so much, he was mad at her.
Bala: “Good morning, Kyauta!” he leaned on the door, “You know I’m mad at you right?”
Kyauta: “You have every right to,” he sighed, “Can I come in?”
He opened the door for her to pass and shut it as she entered; he went straight to the bed and sat by the edge as she sat down on the small couch,
Bala: “Why have you been avoiding me?”
She dropped down her head looking at her fingers; tears trickled down she tried to conceal it but it was late, he rushed to where she was,
“Why are you crying, baby?”
She shook head unable to say a word sobbing; he held her head to his chest, “Please, stop crying you’re breaking my heart with your tears.”
After five minutes, she wiped her red eyes. It looked like she had been sprayed by the tear gas used by the military.
Kyauta: “I want to tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth…?”
Kyauta: “why I have been avoiding you.”
Bala: “It doesn’t matter,sweetie. The important thing that matters to me is that you’re here and I’m happy to have you back,” he kissed her and smiled but she couldn’t smile,
Kyauta: “Please, I want to!”
He held her hands,
Bala: “Can’t we just forget about it?”
She sighed. Forget about it? She wasn’t ready to continue torturing herself. For weeks she hadn’t been able to eat or go about her activities for guilt had its toll on her. The plan was simple, leave Bala a note and then run to the city to her maternal uncle’s but then Hauwa advised her against such,
Hauwa: “That’s a stupid thing to do!”
Kyauta: “But I cannot face him and tell him I’m pregnant for another man!”
Kyauta gawked at her,
Kyauta: “Are you seriously asking me why?”
Hauwa: “Yes,why not!”
Kyauta: “Do you realize I got pregnant for sleeping with his enemy a man who sent him to jail for no just cause?”
Hauwa sensed her anger countered her,
Hauwa: “Did you just decide to sleep with him on your own?
Kyauta getting her point, she became sober,
Kyauta: “I did because of him!” tears gathered in her eyes,
Hauwa: “now you get my point! It’s better you tell him before he finds out by himself. If it happens that he finds out by himself it’s going to be a real disaster.”
Kyauta: “But he is going to be mad at me!”
Hauwa: “You did that because of love. You loved him too much to watch him die!”
So, that was how Hauwa with her persuasive prowess was able to convince Kyauta. It had taken her two days to really digest the advice and make a move. She couldn’t allow Bala talk her out of telling the truth- he didn’t even know what it was in the first place.
Kyauta: “Please,lemme tell you.”
Bala: “If you insist!”
Kyauta: “when you were locked up in jail. I couldn’t sleep,eat or do anything. I cried everyday,wondering the pains and torture you were going through. Every minute of the clock, I imagined what was been done to you. For I heard it is such a cruel place, “Bala nodded, “I wanted to feel your pains. Time was running real fast and I learnt you were to be executed I just couldn’t watch you die without a fight. I ran to Captain’s place…”
Bala:”That bastard! Did he touch you?”
She ignored the question and continued,
Kyauta: “ I pleaded with him to help release you! He agreed but on one condition!”
Kyauta: “to sleep with him!”
Bala: “I know you didn’t sleep with him,right?” he smiled but she broke down in tears,
Kyauta: “I’m pregnant for him,” she held his hands on her knees as she pleaded sobbing, “Please,forgive me!”
Bala who was now standing gave her a look of disgust as tears rolled down one of his cheeks,
“I didn’t have a choice, baby!”
Grinding his teeth,
Bala: “someone that planned for me to be poisoned in jail?”
Kyauta who was still crying said,
Kyauta: “he tricked me! I was played!”
Bala moved away from her. He was angry about himself, Nwanze, the world and Kyauta.
Bala: “I never thought you’d ever cheat on me not to talk of getting pregnant for another man!” she crawled to where he was standing held his legs sobbing, he was sobbing too,
“why? Why would you break my heart like that?” he heaved,
Kyauta: “I’m sorry, baby,” she still held his legs.
Bala stood in silence for a while; he wasn’t thinking but pained. Getting rid of Captain was on his mind. After being silent for few minutes, he heaved and moved made for the door,
Bala: “I want you out of here this minute!” he said with quivering lips,
She was still pleading but ran out when he yelled, “leave me before I do something stupid to you!” he banged the door collapsed to the ground crying like one who was mourning. He kept saying,
“Nwanze I’ll make you pay dearly for this!”
Timothy sat down in Captain Nwanze’s office waiting for him. Captain Nwanze had sent for him; he kept himself busy by looking at the artworks that covered the wall and Nwanze’s pictures,some showed him during officer’s training and others captured him in parade.
Captain Nwanze: “Sorry for keeping you waiting!” he said as he shut the door.
Timothy gave an awkward smile; he was wondering why Captain Nwanze had summoned him,
Timothy: “No problem,Captain!”
Captain Nwanze sat and crossed his legs on the table,
Captain Nwanze: “It’s been hectic,man! From one meeting or the other we are trying to make sure the transition from the military era to democracy becomes a smooth and successful venture!”he smiled.
Timothy smiled too and nodded,
Captain Nwanze grunted,
Captain Nwanze: “Without wasting much of your time. Let me tell you why I called you!”Timothy rubbed his hands on his trousers and smiled, he looked nervy, “I hear you and Bala aren’t best of friends,” he smiled for he was planting a seed in Timothy’s heart.
Timothy: “ God forbid. We can never be! I can’t be friends with a murderer and a criminal!” Captain Nwanze smiled as he saw the anger on Timothy’s face- they were on the same page.
Captain Nwanze: “Good I just had a meeting with members of the People’s United Front not too long and they are looking for a candidate that would go against Bala and I couldn’t think of no other but you!”
Timothy was dumbfounded but excited that the chance he had wanted to tear Bala down had presented itself,
Timothy: “Really?” he sound overly excited,
Captain Nwanze nodded as he came close to Timothy,
Captain Nwanze: “Let’s tear Bala down in shreds. I hate him as much as you do!” they shook hands.
Was Bala right to send Kyauta away? Do you see trouble brewing for Bala? Would Timothy and Captain Nwanze succeed in bring down Bala?
To be continued…
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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