Sola and Shania roamed around the reception area. They tried asking for the room number but they were unable to vividly describe who had the room and the receptionist did not know Zahra whose name they mentioned. They were not allowed to step away from the reception area except to step out of the hotel. Shania was frustrated, she was worried at the fact that Sola kept talking about Celine, and he was worried about her instead of concentrating on helping her friend get found.
Sola: “Why don’t you sit down?” he tried making her sit beside him but she jerked his hand off her. “What is wrong with you? Why are you so mad at me?” he asked looking confused. She sat beside him reluctantly then.
Shania: “Why are you dotting on Celine so much?”
Sola: “What do you mean by that?”
Shania: “Why are you paying so much attention to that snob of a girl? She thinks she is better than everybody just because she goes to church more regularly than we do. She is just too proud for my liking. Imagine the way she snubbed you last night. Don’t you find her annoying?”
Sola: “You actually sound funny. Why are you trying so hard to make her seem like a bad person? I don’t find her annoying and about dotting on her, how many times have I ever spoken to her that you feel that way already? Just last night and this morning?”
Shania: “Well I am a woman and I know when a man is really into a woman”
Sola: “So you are saying I am really into her? Doesn’t that sound weird to you? I am into no one, I only know myself, and no one else”
Shania: “Really? How about me? What have you been doing with me then?” she asked with her facial expression clouded in uncertainty.
Sola: “I only give you what you request of me. It is whatever you want I let you have”
Shania: “Really? And all those bouts of sex?”
Sola: “We did it cos you wanted us to. See Shania I have a more pressing issue on my mind right now. I might say the wrong things to you if you keep this up. So let it go” he warned.
Shania: “You mean Celine is the pressing issue right? I guess I am not important to you. I understand that you don’t like me but how can you place the witch above me? Did you ever stop to think of how she got to know where Zahra was? She just closed her eyes for a minute, woke up and went aghast. Don’t you think something is wrong somewhere?”
Sola: “Let’s just concentrate on having the two of them back. Only God knows how dangerous the person having Zahra is” he commented worriedly.
Shania: “I think we need to call the police now. You know I have been hammering on this but you keep insisting we shouldn’t”
Sola: “What part of they will make matters worse do you not understand Shania? We need to go about this with wisdom” he reiterated.
Shania: “You are like this cos you know they might want to take Celine in for questioning. Don’t worry, I know what to do” she stood up and walked over to the receptionist an umpteenth time.
Receptionist: “What do you want again please?”
Shania: “I am sorry for disturbing you but we really need to know the room that lady entered some minutes ago. Please help us”
Receptionist: “How do I know that? She did not tell me anything, and the security men I sent after her could not find her anywhere. Please go and wait for her. I am sure she will be done with what she is doing up there soon”
Shania: “Didn’t you see any tall beautiful lady come in here with a man last night? She has a peculiar look about her, she has large eyes and wore a leather skirt on white crop top last night”
Receptionist: “I was not the one on duty last night. Please go and sit down and stop disturbing me if you don’t know the name she used in booking the room” she replied dismissively and Shania had no option but to go back to her seat.
Zahra was too numb to even feel her own hands as she traced the blood over the paper and finally formed her signature. The deal was signed and there was nothing Celine could do about it. She took some more steps back with her lips quivering as the Mysterious Man collected the paper from Zahra and admired it triumphantly.
Mysterious Man: “Now the deal is done and there is no going back. You are all mine now and I shall make sure I use every ounce of you until you are spent. But being the merciful one that I am, I shall give you all I promised. You will be among the happening ladies in this wretched country as long as you carry out my bidding. Now we shall move to the final sealing which is joining our bodies together to become one. We shall become one” his voice reverberated in the room as he said the last words. Her bent over her spread legs while Celine watched. Zahra laid motionless on the bed, unable to stop him or say anything to him. His facial expression had changed from kind to savage and wicked. He no longer looked charming and handsome, something dark, really dark had smeared his looks as he thrust into her over and over grunting and speaking in an unknown language as Celine watched on dazedly. It was like watching a live porn only that she had never even watched one before.
Celine: “Zahra! Zahra!! I am so sorry. I feel so powerless here. I cannot help you” she muttered, slumped down and started weeping uncontrollably. She could no longer watch on as she kept hearing the creaking of the bed, Zahra’s painful moaning and his animated grunting. Everywhere went quiet all of a sudden she looked up and there was no sign of the man. She ran to the bathroom to check but he was nowhere to be found. She ran over to Zahra who was writhing in pain on the bed. She quickly untied her legs from the bed post and dragged her to the bathroom. She helped her wash up, found an oversize shirt in the closet and put it on her-it covered her up decently enough.
Celine: “Hope you feel better now? I guess Sola and Shania are downstairs so there will be a car to take you back to the hostel. Please hide your palms well, I don’t want the receptionist to get a whiff of what transpired here except you want to make the headlines in tomorrow’s news. Please?”
Zahra looked at her and shook her head slowly. She led her by the hand and they walked slowly down the hallway into the elevator which took them to the last floor where Sola and Shania were still waiting biting their lips in anticipation.
The receptionist did not bother asking them any question when they finally appeared, she just watched as the other two inquisitive friends crowded them with concerns written all over their faces. No one asked any questions or glanced her way. Shania Pushed Celine away from Zahra ready to strike like a venomous snake if she dared take any step towards her again.
Shania: “Don’t you dare take a step closer to her witch” she cast her a venomous look filled with hatred and spite.
Sola: “Shania…” he gave her a warning look but she ignored him.
They drove in silence as Zahra drifted off to sleep.
Celine’s parents sat in their sparsely furnitured sitting room, there was no power supply as PHCN had cut off their power supply because they hadn’t paid their bills for two months. Her mother Ronke, a young hardworking woman who got impregnated out of wedlock and had to marry the father of her baby despite knowing he was just struggling to fend for himself. She made sure she inculcated the right values in her only daughter to keep herself chaste and abstain from anything which would make her live the kind of life she, her mother was living at the moment. All of their hope was on Celine to finish school, get a better job, and marry a rich husband so they could live better lives too so all of their earnings went towards her education while her two siblings Tife and Tito suffered neglect.
Ojo: “Did you notice anything about Celine since she came back?” he asked after a long silence between them.
Ronke: “Yes o. I just wan tell you about am now. I no know wetin dey do that girl o, she no gree comot for room. We for no give am the one room wey we get o”
Ojo: “Is it room you are worried about you this woman? I am talking about our daughter but you are talking about room with that your nonsense English” he hated that she didn’t know how to speak good English. They rented a one room and parlour apartment but left the room for Celine when she gained admission and started using the parlour as their own room with the two boys who slept on the floor.
Ronke: “No vex. I see sey she no dey talk as she dey talk before again. She don gentle well well. Sometimes I think sey she no dey be herself, she go dey look person but e go be like sey she no dey see anything. I don tire for am o”
Ojo: “Well something is wrong somewhere. She was not like this before. How do we go about this now? She is our only hope at a better life. Do you probably think she has compromised herself?”
Ronke: “Wetin be compromise now o, you and this your big big English. Make we just dey pray for am. We no kuku know as dem dey pray, na she be the prayer warrior for this house but we go manage to dey pray anyhow we go fit pray. Abeg make I go…” as she made to stand up, the door to Celine’s room flung open suddenly as if it was at war with the wind. They saw nothing at first until she emerged from the darkness. Eyes blazing like a scorching coal, her long hair in disarray concealing her face. She floated towards them slowly with her left hand behind her back
They jerked to their feet, Ronke ran to hide behind her husband who was openly shivering out of fright too.
Ojo: “Hey Celine! Wha…tttt is going on with you? Why are you like this? Please stop playing roughly like that” he said with his teeth clattering againt themselves noisily.
Ronke: “Make we run comot for this house. Make we run fast” she said and tried to run out of the door but before she took a step, Celine was in front of her, screeching. She seemed to have been peeved by her mother’s comment. She saw her raise her hands up, light from their neighbour’s house shone on her hand revealing the glistening kitchen knife in her hand… “Yeeepa! Egbami oooo” she screamed loudly.
Question: do you think it’s a prank or the girl is really evil? Will she kill her parents?
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