Sammy was discharged the following week after Annie’s visit. When they got home, he could not believe he was home at last. He went straight to where his mum’s picture was hung on the wall in his room and said “Mum I am back. Thanks for watching over me and you will not believe I saw a girl who looks just like you, she is so adorable, a real princess. She even saved me, I could have died. I wish you were alive mum, you would have loved her very much too. When I make enough money, I will marry her” he said giggling from ears to ears. His dad snuck into the room.
Richard: “Welcome back home son! I feel like the whole world has been placed under my feet with you in this house again. I hope your mum forgives me too, I made you suffer so much and closed my eyes to what you were going through. I am not a good father at all and you were right, I was a coward and a weakling but that has changed now. I will be strong for you from now as long as I live. How I wish your sister is here too”
Sammy: “We will find her someday dad. It will happen like a miracle so don’t worry dad. Besides what of my step mum? I haven’t heard anything about her for a very long time now” she looked up at him.
Richard: “She is no longer your step mum. I don’t know where she is either and I don’t want to know. She should better remain hidden except she needs more drama in her pathetic life” he said bitterly.
Sammy: “So you don’t love her anymore?”
Richard: “How can I continue loving the person who ruined my family and almost ruined my only son’s life? I regret ever loving her to begin with. I did not look well before leaping and my children were made to carry the brunt of my carelessness. l can never be done with paying for my sins son” he placed his hand across his shoulder and he smiled.
Sammy: “It’s okay dad. I will make sure never to make the same mistakes you made. I will be very patient with my wife and not be quarrelsome for the sake of my children. I will pay more attention to my children too to know when they are going through hard times and then, I will never tell a single woman my marital challenges or listen to her advice especially when I know she will do no good for my marriage. I learnt a lot from you dad”
Richard: “Someone is back to his old self again. I missed you all the way my boy” he said and drew him to a close embrace.
Johnson got back home ahead of time that day but only to find his wife murdered with multiple stab wounds on her mid-section and chest. He was taken aback at first when he saw her pleading eyes frozen by the icy hands of death. He heard his children coming back happily and quickly went outside to meet them locking the door behind him. He took them to their grandma’s place without bothering to answer any of their questions. His mind was running wild, thinking of what to do and how to catch the murderer until he remembered he had installed a CCTV in his bedroom and in the living room since the first time he caught them kissing. He had not been satisfied with their flimsy excuses so he had the CCTV installed in a bid to catch them red-handed.
After dropping his two kids, he went back home, called the police and two officers were sent to him. Even they were surprised at how gruesome the murder was, it was something out of the movies.
1st Officer: “What Nigerian demon could have had the guts to do something like this?” he asked looking at the corpse with horror.
2nd Officer: “It’s truly terrible. And I have checked the whole perimeter, the doors and everything. There seems to be no indication of false entry or much struggle. It seems the victim knows the murderer and was even cordial with him or her. That is my observation though”
1st Officer: “I agree with you but let’s dig around even more maybe we can find more evidence to pin down the person who did this?”
2nd Officer: “Mr Johnson, do you probably have any idea on who could have done this? Maybe a jealous ex, colleague, a stalker e.t.c?” he said facing Johnson who was at one corner shivering like a lone man on a street of London during winter.
Johnson: “I have no idea officer but I do remember installing a CCTV somewhere over there” he said pointing at one said of the ceiling.
1st Officer: “Oh very good! Very very good!! That was very thoughtful of you sir, you just made our work easier” he said walking towards the Camera.
2nd Officer: “Call an ambulance now, so she can be taken to a morgue. She might start decomposing soon” he said as they walked towards the door.
On getting to her hotel, it was as if everybody was pointing accusing fingers at her. Every faces she saw was Gloria’s it was just like Judas Iscariot’s hallucination saga on his way to commit suicide in “The Passion of Christ” Movies. She staggered to her room, thinking it would be over but every objects in the room, even her bed had bloodstains on them. She saw Gloria’s dead face in the mirror instead of hers. She held her head with her two hands and began to scream. All of a sudden, everything became normal again, she fell on her bed and went into a nightmarish slumber.
Meanwhile, every stations on GOTV carried the news of the murder of a young woman at her home by her best friend whom she was allegedly having an immoral affair with before she got married. Her picture was all over the social media urging anyone who sights her to give the police a call. A bounty price of Ten million naira was placed on her head. Everyone who saw the news or read it online was on the lookout for her.
One of the cleaners who helped clean her room once at the Hilton hotel called the police and informed them that she was there, she also gave them her room number.
As she slept, she heard a bang on her door and opened her eyes like a possessed. The door handle turned and three police officers with their AK47 pointed in front of them aiming at her barged into the room. She made to run to the bathroom but they were swifter and double-crossed her.
Policeman: “You are under arrest for the murder of Mrs Gloria Arowolo. You are advised to keep quiet since anything you say now can be used against you in the law court” he said like a programmed robot.
Ophelia: “Who are you guys to arrest me like this? I refuse to go with you. I am innocent, I did not murder anyone…” she screamed and kicked as they handcuffed her hand behind her back and led her down the corridor leading to the exit door. “You guys are making a grave mistake, you are arresting the wrong person…I am innocent, I don’t know anything about it I swear” she kept ranting on and on until they got to the police station. She was locked in the interrogation room bound hand and legs to a wooden chair. Immediately she heard the door open, she started screaming and ranting on and on about being innocent again.
Officer: “Will you shut up now you heartless woman?” he said casting her a disdainful look.
Ophelia: “I want my lawyer. You guys are looking for whom to frame. I want my laaawyer!” she screamed and the officer gave her a resounding slap.
Officer: “Who is looking for whom to frame? Now did you kill Mrs Gloria Arowolo or not? I want a yes or no answer and nothing more”
Officer: “Do you know why I am asking you even when I already know the answer? Because I want to torture you to my heart’s satisfaction. Look at that plugged iron over there, it is for your face, I will use it to iron out those two dimples on your cheeks” he threatened while Ophelia burst into tears.
Ophelia: “I did not do anything I swear. She was my friend so I wouldn’t do a thing like that to her” the tears flowing down her face would fill one washing basin. The officer went over and lifted the iron into his hands. Brought it close and placed it on her cheek letting it linger for some seconds. She screamed and screamed, her lungs almost tore out. The officer dropped the iron which had a fragment of her skin stuck to it.
Officer: “Now let’s go again. Did you murder Mrs Gloria Arowolo or not?”
Ophelia: “What evidence do you have for you to be doing this to me? I said I want evidence” she said weakly. The officer dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out his phone which had the video of her murdering Gloria. He showed it to her and she became silent immediately.
Officer: Now answer my question…”
Ophelia: “Yes I did! She was trying to ditch me after all the good times we shared in the past. I needed her but she left me in the lurch? She said defiantly.
Officer: “Tell that to the judge at the law court” he said and walked out.
When they got to Richard’s house from the hospital where they were told that Sammy had been discharged, they realised that no matter what happens, Annie was going to have a good life even with them. They had deliberated a lot on whether to let her go or not but a person’s parent will always remain so. They reached the conclusion that if at all it is true that she is their missing daughter, then they will have to let her stay with them.
Richard: “Welcome to our humble abode our princess charming. I am so glad to see you at last. Now I can see why my son is so in love with you. You look exactly like his mum” he said scooping the giggling girl into his arms.
Paul: “Thank you very much, we are very happy to have been invited into your home”
Richard: “No! Its I who is honoured to have you here. I want to say a big thank you for saving my son. You are very lucky to have such a popular girl as your daughter” he said looking from one to the other.
Ralph: “The truth is we are very surprised the media is making a ruckus about such small act of bravery. I can’t count how many interviews we have had to reject. She is still young and we can’t let such things get the better of her”
Richard: “She deserves more awards than she has gotten so far. Even I have one for her” he said looking from one to the other. “I am going to sponsor her education to the highest level. She only has to mention where she wants to study at and she will be there”
Dickson: “Isn’t that too much sir?”
Richard: “It’s not even enough. She saved my only son for crying out loud. Oh! It’s even small” he said pulling her chubby cheek playfully. Just then Sammy showed up.
Annie: “Sammy…” she jumped down from Richard’s leg and ran to him, stopped for a while to take a look at him, satisfied with what she saw, she then hugged him. They both beamed with smiles.
Sammy: “Now follow me, I have plenty things to show you in my room” he said leading her by the hand.
Annie: “Wow! Your room his awesome!” she exclaimed when they entered inside. She ran to the little bed by the corner. ”whose bed is this?”
Sammy: “It’s for my sister”
Annie: “Oh I see!” she went over to where the picture of his mum hung. “Who is she?”
Sammy: “My mum!” he said sadly.
Annie: “Can you bring it down please?”
Sammy: “Sure” he said, brought down the frame and handed it over to her. She ran her fingers over Rebecca’s face…
Annie: “She is beautiful. Can I call her mummy too since I don’t even know mine?”
Sammy: “Awwww! Of course!” he was touched. He went over to his box and brought out a picture “And this is my sister” he handed it to her.
Annie: “Oh my God! Oh my God!! How did you get a picture of me? I am the one in the picture” she ran out excitedly to show her dads the picture leaving the dazed Sammy behind.
Sammy: “She is the one? Oh my God!”
Annie: “Daddy! Daddy!! Daddy!!!” she ran into Ralphs arms excitedly. “See Sammy has my picture. This is me when I was small right?”
Ralph: “Yeah yeah! That’s you” he smiled at her weakly.
Richard: “Oh my God! Please didn’t any of you give birth to her?” he asked standing up.
Paul: “No! We found her, some men were trying to harm her so we rescued her from them”
Richard: “Wow! Annie!!” just then Sammy ran into the sitting room too.
Sammie: “Daddy she is our Annie. My sister is back” he walked slowly towards her and embraced the stunned girl.
Annie: “You are my brother?” she asked and started to weep profusely.
Sammy was on his tears too sobbing,
Sammy: “I swear I didn’t mean to be that careless loosing you to those ritualists. And to answer your question, “Yes! you are my sister. I am so sorry that I let you go like that? I should have held on to you very tight. I was not a good brother despite promising mum I’d take care of you. I am sorry baby sis” he said covering his face with his hands. Richard was short of words, he just didn’t know how to console the two of them.
Annie was sobbing too,
Annie: “So it’s my brother those people were beating up like that? They were even going to set you on fire. Oh my God! I should have beaten them back. My brother! I am so sorry I did not beat them back” she said trying to remove his hands from his face, she succeeded at last and hugged him again. She cried profusely as her hands were shaking!
Sammy: “My sister saved my life dad. The sister we already gave up on, she saved my life” Sammy couldn’t hold it any longer as he shed tears uncontrollably.
Richard: “Everything was my fault children, don’t blame yourselves okay” he quickly dabbed away the tears on his face so they wouldn’t see it. He joined in their embrace and felt his daughter’s tiny arms trying to encircle him and he smiled. Richie broke down in tears
Annie: “I guess I have four dads now and still no mum…Wish I got to know her anyway”she said after they had disengaged from the embrace. Wow! 1st daddy, will you let Sammy go home with us?” she asked excitedly.
Ralph: “Yes he will of course. And you will also be staying here whenever you want.
Richard called them aside…
Richard: “I owe you guys my life I swear. Thank you so much for saving my children. I know it will be difficult for you to let her go now. Infact I am not her dad but you guys so she should stay with you and come here whenever she feels like”
Paul: “No things are not done that way. She will be staying here and probably be coming to us for holidays. She should get to know her real family too. She might be sad if we tell her she wouldn’t be living with us anymore so all we have to tell her now Is that she will stay with Sammy until he has fully recovered, she will be elated. Letting her go is not easy but I guess it’s high time we got married too and had our own kids.
Richard: “Oh thank you so much. Thank you” he said shaking their hands one after the other. “Infact every disappointment is always a blessing. I think her getting kidnapped was for a good reason, had she been in this house, her step mother, Ophelia would have turned her into a lesbian. She is a paedophile you know. I really thank God my family is whole now, wish their mum was alive too” he finished sadly.
Dickson: “it’s okay sir. Everything is for a reason. Only God knows why she had to die. Let’s pray none of us should die untimely.
Ophelia was found guilty of murder, child abuse and lesbianism in the Law court. She was sentenced to death by hanging. Her dad suffered from stroke due to the news of his daughter circulating the internet and newspapers, he was rendered immobile for the rest of his life.
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