I looked at the old, brown envelope in my hand; I turned it over and over again, fighting within two options, to open or not to open. What did he have to say? Apologize? Was it not too late to apologize? He brought the woman that killed my mother, and stood there and watched while she destroyed his son’s life. There was really nothing he could say, that would make everything right. I tossed the envelope to my bed, and slumped on the bed after it. I didn’t have a television and I needed to know what was going on in the outside world, so I went on my Facebook, I had a few social media celebrities and I knew if anything significant was happening, it would show on my news feed. But there was nothing, Prisca obviously did not heed my message, she must be really mad. My problems were becoming bigger than me, so I went to my resting place, which were the memories I had of mother. Even in the mental home, whenever I felt like I was going to go truly insane, I went back to the fond memories I had of mother.
Leke: “I miss you so much mother” I said as tears clouded my vision, I felt so alone and lost in a big world. I began to really doubt if I could effect justice for my mother’s death, after all the investigator said that the case was too old and there no concrete evidence. Thanks to Banke, I was no longer at the company, how could I ever get evidence when my cover was already blown. Before I finished the thought, a knock came on my door. I jumped out of the bed in fright, had Nora found out my place of residence? But how did she find out? These questions were buzzing in my head, as I walked tentatively to the door. I used the peep hole, and saw it was Banke. I sighed and opened the door. After we stared at each other for a few seconds, she broke the silence.
Banke: “Are you not going to let me in?” she asked twirling her hair, if she was trying to seduce me, it was not working.
Leke: “Why do you want to come in, everything about me is out in the open. There is nothing else for you to uncover” I spat at her.
Banke: “please forgive me, when I found out about your true identity, I realized why you have been spying on Nora, I saw things through your eyes, and I wanted to help you. But when I saw the nudes and the disappointment in my sister’s eyes, I was pained. I didn’t think, I only thought of the pain, and I thought at the time that you did it because of Prisca. I am really sorry” she said and made to kneel down, but my hand flung out in reflex, and held her. But I removed my hand immediately, like I was stung by a bee.
Leke: “Don’t do that” I said uncomfortably, and moved aside for her to enter the house.
Banke: “I can still help you anyway I can, I know you probably don’t want me, but I want to help for old times’ sake”
Leke: “Now that you all know my story, I don’t think either you or Prisca would want me. So why do you want to help?”
Banke: “But I do, age is just a number, I know Prisca broke up with you, she told me. But that is not why I want to help. I lost my parents while I was young, but I had Kunmi to take care of me. You have no one and that must suck like hell. Allow me help you, I still love you”
Leke: “I love Prisca” I threw the bombshell, she had been leaning towards me, but she pulled back immediately.
Banke: “How can you love her, after what you know about her?” she asked incredulously.
Leke: “Love covers a multitude of sins. Besides, everyone has a story, a past they wish they could change. We don’t judge people by how they were, but how they are now” I replied.
Banke: “In any case, call on me if you need anything, I mean anything” she emphasized, my eyes were on her mouth, I watched the way her tongue rolled the words. She was trying desperately to seduce me; I told myself that she needed to be rewarded for her efforts, so I pulled her to my chest in one swift move and crashed my lips on hers. She did not hesitate for a second; she kissed me right back, with everything she had got. I pushed her to the bed and tore her buttons away, the demon in me was aroused, and I was ready to devour the meat that was presented to me.
When I woke up, Banke was in my arms, sleeping peacefully. The room was dark, and I could see the white sliver of moonlight on the window pane. I checked my phone, it was 7pm already, and there were many notifications on Facebook. I opened my Facebook page and smiled, Prisca had come through for me. The video had gone viral, with many comments. People were asking for Nora to be prosecuted, she was branded with all sort of derogatory names, and people began to speculate that she had killed the famous Folake Aboderine.
Leke: “Yaas!” I exclaimed, I could not contain my burst of joy. Banke woke up at my exclamation and looked at me in amazement. I grabbed her and kissed her in joy, I might have even kissed my enemy at that moment. I was filled with hope again, finally the journey was coming to a close, or so I thought. Then a knock came on my door. I jumped out of bed again; I was sure this time that Nora was the one on the other side of the door. Banke saw the fright on my face and asked what the matter was.
Banke: “Open the door ni” she got out bed and wrapped the duvet around her, then she proceeded to open the door, I pulled her back and checked the peephole again. I saw Prisca, and was relieved, but then I remembered Banke was here and became anxious all over again. If Prisca had come to make amends, she would not, if she saw Banke naked in my apartment.
Leke: “You have to go now, follow the back door” I said even as the knock continued insistently.
Banke: “I am not a whore, don’t treat me like that” she yelled. I sighed, resigning to fate as I flung the door open. Seeing Prisca again, released a flood of emotions I had bottled up inside. I rushed forward and pulled her into an embrace, she hugged me back and I felt her heart quicken its pace. But then she saw Banke half clad, and knew what had gone down, she pulled away from me gently, but her gaze was like a knife piercing into my soul. I looked behind her and saw she had company. I squeezed my eyes trying to recall where I had seen this fair lady.
Lady: “Hi, I am a reporter, we met today under harsh circumstances I must say. Call me Lilian” she said and extended her hand. I took her hands in mine still wondering why Prisca brought a reporter.
Banke: “How do you know this place when you told me you never slept with him?” she asked glaring at Prisca.
Leke: “Hold your tongue, I gave her the address, but she never paid me a visit” I replied her.
Linda: “Maybe we could come back at a better time” the reporter said with uncertainty.
Prisca: “I brought you here, so my job is done. Goodbye” she said and before I could say “Jack” she had gone. I would have gone after her but I was in my boxer shorts. I took clothes from my wardrobe and proceeded to the bathroom to dress up. I could not help but notice that Linda the reporter had her eyes on my bulge below.
When I came back out, Banke had an old worn out paper, whose page had gone brown, in her hands. I looked and saw the envelope on the bed. I saw red.
Leke: “Who asked you to open it?” I barked. I was aggravated by everything she did, I had not forgiven her for outing me like that to Nora.
Banke: “I don’t think you have read this letter, this is what you need” she tossed the old paper at me, I grabbed it and began to read, tears dropped down my eyes.
Bamidele’s Letter to His Son, Adeleke
I hope that this letter gets to you; I pray that someday your life gets back on track. I failed you and your mother. I brought a serpent into our life, but was it deliberate?
Nora was my executive secretary, she knew the in and out of the business, not because i carried her along, but because she was smart, and things I didn’t think she knew about, she knew. Nora found out about some shady deals like money laundering and embezzlements going on in the company, orchestrated by me, using Balon Oil. For years she had built a case against me, with evidences and files that ran for years since she had been with the company. She had been blackmailing me for years, extorting money from me.
One day, Nora got tired of just that, she wanted more. She gave me an ultimatum, to divorce your mother and marry her, or spend my life in jail and have the EFCC confiscate all I had. I was not a courageous man, I chose to marry her. But I loved Folake, she had been good to me, we built all we had together, how could I tell her, I was no longer interested in the marriage? I had cold feet, so she decided for me. She killed your mother, I had gone down to the kitchen to make coffee because I could not sleep, when I heard the scream, I rushed upstairs. But I was too late; Nora was standing over your mother’s dead body. She cried that your mother had attacked her and she was defending herself, she told me I had to say it was a suicide or she would destroy my life. I was weak again, so I succumbed and told everyone it was suicide even though Nora had taken the knife. Your maternal grandparents were the first I called. We agreed to keep it within the family, which was the reason there was no lying in state for your mother.
I consoled myself with the fact that I still had a part of Folake in you; you are just like her, with that stubborn light in your eyes. But when Nora came for you again, my self-preservation would not let me fight for you, my only son. She claimed she did not know who attacked Mary but I knew it was her from Mary’s statement to the police. But I felt confident that Mary would stand up for you, where I had failed, but I was wrong. Mary was bought by Nora, and she changed her statement. This time I found the courage to speak up; I was ready to lose everything. But Nora threatened me that she would kill you if I did. I knew she was capable, only i had seen her in her true form. So I watched you taken to a mental home for something you didn’t do. The guilt lived with me, and as I write you this letter, I might not live past this year, my heart cannot take the guilt and pain anymore, it is giving out. But I hope that one day you would find it in your heart to forgive me.
She also made me sign all my assets to her, but go to Indimi and Indimi law firm, ask for Barrister Indimi jnr, he will tell you what to do. Perhaps things can become all right again.
Question: What is the next step for Adeleke to take, will he succeed in the war against Nora?
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Names have been changed to protect the identity of the narrator and other individuals in the story.
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