As she sat in the chair, she held her head between her hands and pondered on the one possibility that her sister was still alive, somewhere. But she was careful not to raise her hopes up, for she was already on the journey to accepting her sister’s death. She could not bear to hope and get her hope dashed.
Melanie: “If this is not Sheila’s body, then where is she?” she asked the one question that was uppermost on her mind.
Police officer: “It is possible that the professor killed her in another location, and discarded the body”
Melanie: “Whose body is this then?”
Police officer: “Yet to be identified, we found though, a peculiar pock mark by the side of the navel, and we are hoping that we could use that and identify her.
At that moment, a memory came to Melanie; it was the memory of the picnic she went on, with her sister and her sister’s friends. After the mountain hiking, they had a swimming session, and everyone had changed into swimsuits provided them, by the management of the fitness club. Sheila and her friends had two piece swim wears, and while Sheila was giving the tall, dark and handsome guy, a lap dance, Inyene was belly dancing, and she was good, so she had Melanie’s attention. Melanie could swear that Inyene had a pock mark near her navel.
Melanie: “Oh my God that is Inyene. She has a pock mark near her navel; I saw it when we were at the picnic with my sister” she said standing up slowly. The room fell silent, under the gravity of the news; someone who they thought had a hand in her friend’s death was now the victim.
Dele: “I need to talk with the professor”
Melanie: “I am coming” she said and went after him. They went to an outbuilding which housed criminals that have not been charged to court. The building was divided into cell blocks, and there was an interrogation room. As Dele entered, he told the officer on duty to bring out the professor. Melanie looked around the interrogation room, and her skin crawled. The walls were splattered with dry blood, the floor which was once white tiles, was now stained with grime. She could vividly imagine the kind of interrogation that went down there.
When the professor was brought in, his face was pale and there was fear on it, and for a moment Melanie wondered if he was really responsible for the crime he was being accused of, but then she remembered the phone they had seen.
Professor: “I am still innocent; coming at me a thousand times will not change my answer”
Dele: “Where did you keep the body of Sheila?” he asked and regretted it immediately. He had made a costly mistake by showing his card. The professor wasn’t a dumb person; he knew then, that the body found was not Sheila’s, so he burst into laughter.
Professor: “You can’t charge me for murder without a body, and you cannot charge me for another person’s murder either because, I don’t even know the person. You will be hearing from my lawyer” he said.
Melanie: “Not so fast mister. Inyene whose body it is, was obviously wearing Sheila’s clothes for reasons best known to Sheila and Inyene, and the boys you sent to kill my sister thought she was the one, and fired at Inyene. From where I am standing, you are still guilty of murder. Now, where is my sister?” she retorted. Dele smiled with relief, when the professor was talking, he could see the case going back to square one, but Melanie had intervened.
Dele: “I will see you at the bail hearing, and be sure that you are not going out on bail” he said and left the room, with Melanie on his heels. When they left the prison building, Dele turned abruptly, to face Melanie.
Dele: “I am scared that someone is setting up the professor, and I am also scared that your sister might be the one who killed Inyene”
Melanie: “How can that be? You heard the witness, there were boys, and my sister doesn’t own boys”
Dele: “But she has money and can buy thugs” he retorted.
Melanie: “My sister is many things, but she is definitely not a killer” she said because she knew that Sheila was incapable of killing anyone, or so she thought.
That evening, it took all of Melanie’s will power to still invite Dele over to the house, she was distraught, confused, and she didn’t know what to believe.
Dele: “I will need to freshen up, the day was a long one”
Melanie: “Dinner is by 7pm, see you later” she replied and walked to her car.
When she got home, she quickly went to the kitchen, and began to dice all the vegetables her mother had bought, she also grated the cheese. When the spaghetti was on fire, she quickly dialed her mother because her mother had obviously left after coming back from the store. Her mother told her that she had to go back to the store because, she just got a batch of merchandise.
Melanie: “Make sure though that you don’t miss dinner” she told her mother before hanging up.
After cooking, she rushed upstairs to shower and dress up in a simple shift gown. Not long after she freshened up, Dele came.
Melanie: “My mom is late, please sit down” she said and poured red wine into a goblet for him, while they were talking about the case, Bukky came home.
Bukky: “Mellie, what is this I hear, that the body found was not Sheila’s, but that of her friend?” she asked the minute she entered the house.
Melanie: “Mother, go into your room, freshen up and let’s have dinner. Thank God, Dele is here, he will explain everything to you”
While they had dinner, Dele briefed Bukky on the latest development;
Dele: “If Sheila is alive, then she is at the center of this and can tell us what really happened” he said, not wanting to inform Bukky that Sheila had turned from victim to suspect.
While they ate, Dele’s phone rang, Melanie became more anxious than the owner of the phone, and while Dele received the call, she peered at him, trying to read the meaning of his facial expressions. She was scared that they would say they had captured Sheila and that she was really the one who murdered Inyene. She looked at her mother and worried because, that kind of news would devastate her.
Melanie: “What is going on Dele?” she asked him, the moment he hung up.
Dele: “The professor wants to talk; I am going to the Area command”
Melanie: “I wish I could come with you, but I have to stay with my mother Keep me posted” she quipped, and bade him goodnight.
Bukky: “I know I have always told you that all men were evil, just because, my first time at love, was with a bastard. But, I think this man really loves you, I see it in the way he looks at you” she said, not sure how to have this talk with her daughter.
Melanie: “I understand mother. Mother, I want to ask, if our father comes back to ask your forgiveness, would you forgive him?” she asked. Her mother, Bukky kept silent, turning the spaghetti in her plate with the fork in her hand. She thought back to all that happened in the past, and knew that there was no way; she would ever be able to forgive him.
Bukky: “I cannot forgive him. I don’t carry the pain around, because you and your sister made my life full” she said and began to cry silently, the thought of Sheila being dead, made her heart ache.
When she had the twins, all the pain she felt at Ayo’s betrayal flew away, and she built her life around her daughters. But now, she had lost one and she blamed herself..
Bukky: “I don’t carry the pain around, but I lost a lot because of him. There is no forgiving that” she replied and began to clear the plate from the table. Even when Melanie objected to her clearing the table, she insisted on doing it, so her daughter left, knowing that her mother needed her alone time.
She had gone upstairs after locking up all the entrances, and showered. She was in her satin night robe when her mother called her on her cell phone, and told her to come downstairs. Melanie hurried out of her room and down the stairs. When she saw Dele standing in the middle of the living room, her heart skipped a beat. She wrapped her hands around herself, as she took tentative steps towards him.
Melanie: “Why are you here, Dele?” she asked, afraid of the answer she would get.
Dele: “The professor confessed. Sheila is really dead” he said and held his eyes, he was trying to stop the tears from coming down. He had hoped that perhaps Sheila was still alive, for Melanie’s sake. Melanie staggered into a couch, and held her head in her hands. Then she remembered her mother was in the room. When she turned and looked towards her mother, she had a passive face, devoid of any emotions.
Melanie: “Mother, are you alright?” she went to her mother, and held her. That was when Bukky began to sob, she made choking sounds like her heart was about to leave her chest. Even though she had tried to be objective, she had hoped that somehow her daughter would still be alive. Dele was unable to stay in the room because; it was filled with pain and sorrow, so he quietly excused himself.
Question: Who killed Sheila and Inyene?
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