June 25, 2022

Nora’s lawyer had his mouth open; he could not believe how things were turning out. He had thought that if they discredited Bamidele Aboderine, the testimony of the letter would be made invalid, but he was not told about the murder weapon.

Nora’s lawyer: “My lord, I need a few minutes with my client” he said, eyeing barrister Indimi.

Judge: “The case is adjourned” he replied, and called the two lawyers into his chambers. He gave them a date which was two weeks away. He told them to prepare, because he was ready to wrap the case up.

While I was walking out with barrister Indimi, I saw Nora and her lawyer in the hallway, they were arguing.

Nora’s Lawyer: “I cannot believe you allowed me enter this case blind. I have made murderers beat the rap, but usually, when I ask you for the fucking truth you tell me as it. Besides how did the murder weapon get into their hands?”

Nora: “It is all my fault, I should have disposed the murder weapon, all these while I forgot about it. I never imagined in my wildest dream that that boy would come back to haunt me. I am so confused” she said hysterically.

Nora’s lawyer: “I will try my best to see that you don’t go to jail. Trust me; hardened criminals have walked free when I handled their case.” he said as we passed by. I could feel eyes bore into my back, so I turned back and saw Nora’s eyes with so much hate filled in them; her eyes bore into mine like a challenge. I turned my eyes away and continued walking, but my hands were trembling with fear, in my pockets.

Banke and Kunmi had agreed that I bunk with them, till I was back on my feet, despite pleas from barrister Indimi to get a house for me, as a gift to my late father. But I didn’t want to be alone, I loved the feeling of togetherness I had with Banke and her sister Kunmi. Banke had turned into the best thing that happened to me in a long while. She, who was a sex kitten, could spend the whole evening with me without thinking of sex. She was very smart, and whenever I was discussing the fashion company with Kunmi, she would make inputs that were brilliant and workable. She also loved making delicious meals just for me, she made me feel special and I didn’t feel so lonely. Even though my grandfather had opened his doors to me, I still was not used to him or his family. I spent years without them, and I was fine on my own. Suffice to say that Banke and her sister were the family I had.

I had just had my bath; Kunmi was as usual keeping a late night at the office, because we were planning a collection launch which would also let our customers know that despite the EFCC brouhaha we were still in business, Banke also had a study group meeting. I was expecting her home anytime soon; I had even heated a portion of soup she would eat with the semo I made. I was reading a spectacular story on insidearewa.com on my phone, when I heard the doorbell ring.

Leke: “That must be Banke” I said with joy as I rushed out to the foyer to open the door. I made a costly mistake. In my haste, because I did not expect anybody to attempt my life, once was enough, I opened the door without checking. It only occurred to me that I had made a mistake when I came face to face with the muzzle of a gun held by no other than Nora.

Nora: “Hello Adeleke. We meet again, this time no pretenses” I was holding on to my phone, and Nora asked that I fling it away.

Nora: “I will not allow you catch me unawares again. In fact, after this visit, you will not be making any videos” she said pointing the gun at my head.

Leke: “Have you come to kill me? Do you really think you will get away with it this time?”

Nora: “I will, I have made enough money, I can afford to live in any country of my choice. As I speak to you, a private jet is waiting to take me out of this country tonight. But I could not leave without tying up loose ends”

Leke: “Then kill me, I shall reunite with my parents” I said spreading my arms wide, with my eyes closed. I was waiting to feel the pierce of the bullet through my skin. I would miss the life I would have had with Banke, but at least, I would see my parents again, especially my mother.

Nora: “You were let out of the mental home; you were given a second chance at life. You could have made a new life instead of coming after me. Did you think you could win? Did you think I would let you win? I regret only one thing, I should have killed you when I had the chance, after your mother’s death, or even at the mental home. It would have saved me all these nonsense. But then, better late than never” she said through clenched teeth. I opened my eyes to see her fingers squeeze the trigger. I heard a loud whack sound. I stumbled backward as Nora started falling. She fell flat on her face and that is when I noticed Banke holding a big stick in her hand, with fear in her eyes. She looked up at me, then dropped the stick and ran to hug me.

Banke: “Leke, are you alright. When I saw her pointing that gun, I thought I would die if she killed you” she said in a rush as the tears rolled down her cheeks.

Leke: ‘I am here, thanks to you, I am still alive. How did you know” I asked, puzzled.

Banke: “I came in through the kitchen door, I bought cat fish I wanted to use in making pepper soup, didn’t want it to stain the house. I saw her pointing the gun, from the hallway, I knew Kunmi wasn’t back and knew it was you. I tiptoed back; I was so scared she would see me. Found the stick at the backyard” she said kissing my neck desperately. She wouldn’t let go of me, it was like she was scared she would lose me.

Leke: “We have to call for help before she wakes up from unconsciousness” I said and dialed barrister Indimi. He picked on the first ring.

Leke: “Hello barrister, I need help. Nora is here, she tried to kill me” I said into the phone.

Barrister Indimi: “Wait for me, in fact, go outside, the police will be on their way now” he told me. I hung up and pulled Banke, we secured the front door, and went out through the kitchen door.

In a few minutes, I could see blazing red and blue lights, and I could hear the siren wailing, the police were here. I gave my statement and so did Banke. We went into the house, and Nora was still unconscious. She had a big concussion on the head. One of the officers carried her out.

Police officer: “Please, come to Area one command tomorrow, it is important” he said and led his team out. I heaved a sigh of relief, the worst was over. No judge would grant her bail now, and the case was as good as won. She had thought she would kill me and flee the country, but she had failed. I turned to Banke and embraced her, I owed her my life.

Leke: “Thank you Banks” I said

Banke: “Don’t thsnk me, I have a lot to make up for” she replied with a radiant smile.

Nora never left the prison house; she was remanded there, pending the outcome of the trial. The day of the trial finally came, and we returned to court. Nora was brought in, wearing an orange prison garb. Gone was the confident smile, in its place was a scowl. She kept struggling with the prison wardens that brought her.

The judge came in, and the court session began.

Judge: “We need to wrap this up, we have seen the evidence. The defendant was even caught in the house of the plaintiff after attempting on his life. It is obvious, she is a repeat offender. Anything from the defense counsel?”

Nora’s lawyer stood up and shook his head, he was obviously feeling bad, and this was his first defeat in court, as it was obvious where the case was going. We all expected a jail term for Nora, but was shocked beyond words when the Judge gave his verdict.

Judge: “On one count of murder, the court finds Mrs. Nora Aboderine guilty. On one count of attempted murder of Mary, the court finds Nora guilty. On one count of attempted murder of Adeleke Aboderine, the court finds Nora guilty. You are thereby sentenced to death by hanging. This is my judgment” he hit the gavel. The court fell silent, if a pin had fallen to the ground at that moment, the sound would have been heard throughout the court. I turned to barrister with eyes wide open.

Barrister Indimi: “I didn’t expect this” he said, answering a question I only asked in my head.

Nora: “No I won’t take it, I will say the truth. I have something to say” she broke the silence.

Question: What does Nora have to say?

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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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