When Yvonne was released, there were reporters waiting at the gate of Kuje prison. They thrust microphones in her face, but Yvonne said nothing. Truly, she had been surprised that within days of Mathias taking over her case, she had been granted bail. But she didn’t fool herself into hoping that her problems would roll away. She doubted that she would be able to win the case, not when there was no logical explanation to the poisoning of the cake. She was sure that, the government would have a long line of witnesses who would testify that only her had access to the cake.
It was the reason she kept her mouth closed, as she was led through the throng of reporters to a waiting car. She had been barred from leaving Abuja as her case would come up in the FCT high court in a fortnight (two weeks). Mathias had gone ahead to rent out a hotel suite for her in the heart of Abuja where she could be comfortable and recuperate after the harsh treatment she had received.
Yvonne: “Sir…” she began to say, when she sat in the hotel’s restaurant on the rooftop with Mathias. But Mathias stopped her before she continued.
Mathias: “Can you just drop the ‘sir’, and call me Mathias instead?” he had always insisted that she called him by his first name, but Yvonne was always reluctant to do just that.
Yvonne: “Ok, Mathias, I think God has given me this reprieve so I can put my house in order” she said, her thoughts on the television talk show where the host and her guests were discussing the sentence that would be given to her should she be found guilty. Everyone believed that she would be given capital punishment, which is death.
Mathias: “Don’t lose faith yet, I am already working on the case and in no time, something will give” he said, even though there was despair in his heart.
Yvonne: “Thank you for believing in me, even when no one else did” she said and Mathias only nodded his head in reply. He was too overcome with emotions to talk. Looking closely at Yvonne, he realized that she had a resemblance to Laila, his girlfriend who died. Laila was Fulani and had this creamy skin, and curly black hair that extended to the small of her back. It was the same hair and skin that Yvonne had. He also noticed her small, button nose, which was strangely alike with Laila’s.
The uncertainty was killing him, he needed to know, and he couldn’t ask Yvonne directly because he didn’t want anything that would make her take him off the case. He was the only one who could help her because he was the only one who cared.
Yvonne: “So I want you to help me with my portfolio. I have stocks in Coveteur which I find has been closed. I want to sell my part, and I want you to help me with that. Here, meet with this man, he was my partner at Coveteur” she wrote out Femi’s number on a sheet of paper and gave it to him.
But before Mathias left, he asked for a hug, and Yvonne, feeling a sense of indebtedness decided to oblige him. As they hugged, Mathias pulled out a strand of her hair; this made Yvonne to push him away abruptly.
Yvonne: “What was that?” she asked rubbing her hair.
Mathias: “I don’t know, must have been an insect or something” he replied with a straight face.
When Mathias left, she went up to her room; her father, Prince Ngegwu, had been gracious enough to pack a bag for her from Port-Harcourt. He had even put a framed picture of her mother, Annabel. It was this picture she held to herself as she laid on her bed pondering over the past events.
When life is going too sweetly, be careful because there might be a bump ahead. This was the case with Yvonne. When Femi proposed, she had thought that nothing could go wrong in her life. But things had quickly taken a wrong turn and here she was, without the love of her life, or even her family. She thought of her friend, Mira. Mira had not even as much as visited her in prison. For a long time, Yvonne had wondered why Mira did not come to visit her, but when she saw the video showing her and Femi naked as the day they were born, she had understood. She began to understand all the subtle signs which she had ignored before. She came to realize that, Mira had wanted Femi, and she had waited till Yvonne was out of the way before she came in to claim the prize. She felt oddly alone, and it hurt her to think that, all the while, she had thought that Mira and Femi were the answers to all her prayers, when all they were to her were traitors. She had no family, and no friends. Yvonne was tempted to hire an investigator to look for her father, but she restrained from doing that. To her, there was really no need; she was going to die soon anyway. But she decided to hear from Mira and ask her why she set out to hurt her. If only she knew that it went beyond sleeping with her fiancé.
After that day that Femi had told her of Yvonne being bailed from prison, Mira had been restless. She had seen the lackadaisical way in which Femi assured her that the wedding would progress as planned. The date has been picked for the wedding, and even though it was going to be a Muslim wedding, she was pulling out all the stops to make it the most talked about wedding in Nigeria. Her to-be father-in-law had given her a signed blank check with which she could withdraw any amount she deemed fit. This was the good news she took home to see her mother who had requested her presence.
At her mother’s house, the woman kept asking about Yvonne, as she remembered all the good things that she did for her and her family. But for reasons she did not understand, her daughter kept evading the question.
Mira’s mother: “Mirabel, what has happened between you and your friend, Yvonne?” she insisted.
Mira: “Mother, what cocoon do you live in, do you not know that Yvonne killed twenty people and has been at Kuje prison until recently?”
Mira’s mother: “Jesus Christ is Lord” she exclaimed, looking befuddled, “No nau, that girl is too good to kill. I don’t believe it” she added.
Mira: “She did mom, she poisoned her cake, and those who ate it died. It was a contract from a politician whom she had gone to for help” she mouthed off.
Mira’s mother: “You seem unbothered about your friend’s situation” she said, pulling her daughter to face her. Mira flung her hand away.
Mira: “Mother” she said through clenched teeth, “I am sure, you did not call me here to talk about Yvonne, so can you go straight to the purpose of the meeting so I can be on my way. I am planning a wedding and there is not much time”
Mira’s mother: “You are planning a wedding, so Mirabel, you are getting married and didn’t think to let me know?” her mother said, pained. She knew that right from when Mira was younger; she had been discontented with their financial status. She often lied to her classmates that her father was this and that, even though her father was just an ordinary civil servant. So she was not surprised that her daughter wanted to exclude her from her marriage ceremony.
Mira: “I was going to tell you anyways. I am getting married and my husband’s people are going to come and see you anytime soon” she said offhandedly.
Mira’s mother: “Your father’s documents has revealed a secret that I think is going to change our lives forever”
Mira: “What secret, is he a multibillionaire?” she asked, even though she knew it was unlikely. Her late father was not the type that ever got rich.
But before her mother could reply her, her phone rang. She dug out the phone from the clutter of her handbag, and saw the number was not saved. She contemplated not receiving it, but for the fear that it could be important, she slide the receive button on her screen.
Mira: “Mira, who is this?” she asked curtly, and then she heard the voice she had been dreading to hear.
Yvonne: “Mira, I trust you are doing well” the voice was cold and calm.
Mira: “Yes I am. Why wouldn’t I be? After all, I am marrying the man I have loved for a long time, whom you nearly stole from me” she said bitingly.
Yvonne: ‘What! You are getting married to Femi?”
Mira: “Yes, I am. You are invited to my wedding, that is if you are not in prison by then” she said with a chuckle.
There was silence on the other side of the phone, and Mira could hear Yvonne’s heavy breathing. Then she heard the dial tone, Yvonne had hung up.
Question: What is the secret that will be revealed in Mira’s father’s documents? Also, what will Mathias find out in the DNA result he is about to conduct?
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