As the plane began to descend, Jasmine could see the city of Lagos below. The hustle and bustle did not stop while she was away in Calabar, in truth, she felt like Calabar was a planet away. She had not called her husband to tell her of her arrival, she wanted to surprise him, and see how he spent his time when she was away. At the airport, she took an Uber ride to the house. Throughout the ride to her house, she kept thinking of how best to broach the matter with her husband. She wished that the cup would pass away from her. But she knew if she would be free from her blackmailer, she had to come out with all her secret. She told herself she would start with the son she would never see again.
When she got into the house, she met her mother-in-law in the garden; the latter looked at her quizzically.
Haliru’s mother: “That was a short trip” she said simply.
Jasmine: “Mother, how are you doing?”
Haliru’s mother: “I am doing well; did you inform your husband you were coming?”
Jasmine: “No ma, I wanted to give him a surprise” she replied and made to go upstairs.
Haliru’s mother: “Well, he just left now. He was in a hurry, he got a call. I hope all is well. I have a bad feeling about this” she said rubbing her arms.
Jasmine: “Ma, you worry too much, my husband is fine. Have you eaten?”
Haliru’s mother: “Your maids have been feeding me rubbish oyibo food, prepare that nice soup you made that day”
Jasmine: “Mother, you are funny. So you like afang, it means you were destined to have a daughter-in-law from Akwa Ibom . Let me freshen up, meal will be ready soon” she replied, laughing as she went up the stairs. She felt good being in the comfort of her home, and talking with Haliru’s mother.
Jasmine: “I have a family here, please God, do not allow it be taken from me” she prayed within.
However, the call that Haliru had gotten was from Nengi, she had told him, she had something very important to tell him, pertaining his wife.
Haliru: “I have nothing to say to you, my wife and I are good, we had a rough moment like any couple, and now we are good” he replied
Nengi: “You are just like the person that is inside water, and soap entered his eyes. Will you be spewing that nonsense if you knew that you are not the father of the child she is carrying?” she asked. There was silence on the other side of the phone for a little while. She could practically hear the sound of Haliru’s breathing.
Haliru: “Meet me in my office in twenty minutes, I will instruct the security men to let you in” he said and hung up.
Nengi dressed up in a sexy cut-out play suit that was barely covering her butt cheeks, and knocked on a clear heel pair of platforms.
As she strutted through the gates of Danlami Oil Group, she knew in her heart that today, she would get what she was looking for. She was led by a man in MOPOL uniform, to the lobby where another staff escorted her to the office of the CEO. When the door opened, she saw Haliru standing behind his desk, he looked so pensive.
Nengi: “Do you have cognac in here?” she asked.
Haliru: “No, this is not a social call, you made a serious allegation against my wife, and I need to see your proof”
Nengi: “Proof, why would I lie against Jasmine? I just see the way you love her, and it hurts me that someone who is so wicked could get such love. She is my friend, but I hate injustice, and what she is doing to you is an injustice” she replied, so earnestly that Haliru believed her.
Haliru: “I still want proof” he said and invited her to sit on the couch. He opened the mini refrigerator and brought out ice, and then he took out a bottle of cognac from the wine cabinet.
Nengi: “So there is cognac after all” she said, happy that Haliru had relaxed. She accepted the glass of chilled cognac from him, and began her tale.
Nengi: “The bitter truth is that Bali, your wife’s lover is the father of her unborn child. They have been lovers behind your back, even on the eve of your wedding, they met. They even recorded the act, here let me show you this” she took out her phone and played a video. Haliru heard Jasmine’s moaning before he saw her being banged by a man, the same one that had disrespected her right in front of him. He dropped the phone and walked to the window, and looked below. There were people hurrying to and fro, but he saw none of that, the scene at the lobby of the hotel kept playing in his head.
Haliru: “Oh God, he was laughing at me” he said holding his head like it was going to split. He folded his fist and punched the wall. Nengi ran to him and held him from behind.
Nengi: “Don’t hurt yourself, she has hurt you enough” she said and turned him to face her. She looked deep into his eyes and Haliru felt himself drawn into its dark depths. His head turned like he was going to have a headache and the deed was done. He saw Nengi in a whole new light, everything she did was in his favor, he told himself.
Haliru: “Why didn’t I see you all this while, you were right in front of me. I wasted my time loving a despicable woman” he said and hugged Nengi. She sniffed in his male scent and smiled to herself. She had him just where she wanted him.
Nengi: “I have to go now, my job is done” she said and extricated herself from him.
Haliru: “Please don’t go yet, stay with me. I feel so lost, please don’t leave me” he said, as tears gathered in his eyes. Nengi hugged him again, and then she raised her head and brought her lips to meet his. Haliru kissed her hungrily, and pushed her on the table. He tore the front of her playsuit and shifted it downward.
Nengi: “Come on, stop, I don’t want this” she protested weakly.
Haliru: “I can smell sex all over you, you want this as much as I do” he said and tore the playsuit into two. It was like he was possessed with an evil, too great to explain. He spread her legs and began to pound into her, his eyes glazed over, like he was under the influence of a hard drug. But Nengi did not feel any sexual satisfaction. She had fantasized about having Haliru, she had wondered how it would feel to have those muscular arms hold her the way it was holding her now. But all she felt now was emptiness, all she could feel was the way she felt when the truck driver pounded into her.
Jasmine had prepared the soup, and served her mother-in-law, she waited for Haliru to return, but he didn’t. She ate so she could take her drugs and waited for her husband to return. Daylight turned to twilight, and soon the darkness set in, all the lights in the mansion were turned on, and yet Haliru didn’t return. She had called him severally, but he was not receiving his calls, neither was he returning them. She went up to her mother-in-law’s room and banged on the door.
Haliru’s mother: “What is it again; somebody cannot sleep in this house. I think it is high time for me to go back to my husband’s house” she said as she tied her night robe tightly around her.
Jasmine: “Mother, something is wrong, Haliru is not back and he is not picking my call” she said, going out of her mind.
Haliru’s mother: “Calm down, your husband is safe. You have to think of your baby, this kind of hysterics is not healthy. So go sit on your favorite chaise, while I contact his personal assistant” she replied and went into her room to get her phone. Then she followed her daughter-in-law, downstairs to the living room. Before she called the personal assistant, she called her son, it rang and then he picked, to Jasmine’s surprise.
Haliru’s mother: “Haliru, where are you?” she listened for a while, and then the call cut. She looked at the phone astonished.
Jasmine: “Mother, was that my husband?”
Haliru’s mother: “Yes, and I don’t know what is going on anymore. He says he is not coming home. Did you guys have a fight?” she asked, but Jasmine was no longer listening.
Jasmine: “Oh my God, he found out. No wonder the blackmailer did not call me; she has decided to expose my secret. But why tell Haliru, to punish me no doubt, for trying to kill her. Oh God, what am I going to do now” she thought within.
Haliru’s mother: “Are you even listening to me?” she didn’t answer, she just walked away, up to her bedroom, muttering to herself.
Haliru’s mother: “What the hell is going on in this house” she said aloud and began to dial her husband’s number.
Bali waited for Nengi to come as she usually did, but she didn’t, even when he called her, she didn’t pick. He tried looking for his phone, but couldn’t find it.
Bali: “Damn you Nengi, you think you are smart, I will surprise you” he said angrily.
Question: What is Bali going to do, will he destroy Nengi’s plan?” What will Haliru do now that he has found out about Bali?
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