The NSS did not tell anyone that Femi had confessed to the crime, not even the President. So the president was hell bent on making Yvonne pay, nothing but death could atone for the irreparable damage her act had caused the Party. He had however found out that Mathias was not aboard the plane. His conscience cried over the 100 people that died for no reason, but he silenced it. They were collateral damage. He was glad however that finally they had been able to stop Mathias.
He walked over to his desk and grabbed the envelope brought by one of the NSS agents. It had been taken from Mathias’ desk at the dead of night. He opened the envelope and saw that it contained a CD plate.
“What could this prove, that Miss Ngegwu is not the criminal?” he wondered as he slotted the CD plate into a player.
What he saw confounded him, he stared in disbelief. Yvonne was not the culprit after all. But unfortunately, the world could not see this, no one should find out that Yvonne had been wrongly accused and all she had gone through, was for naught. No, that would end my presidency, the same way our chances at the polls have been taken away by this crime. There were other ways to make the real culprit pay, but as for Yvonne, it was unfortunate, but there was no other choice, she had to be sentenced to death.
He picked up the envelope and threw it into the fireplace where the housekeeper had just made fresh fire to wade off the cold. He watched the fire leak at the edges of the envelope and before long, the fire had consumed the envelope.
“Now, no one will know that Yvonne is innocent” He thought. It was a relief to know that his friend Raji Lawal had not betrayed him. But then, why had he written that statement? He was puzzled by this, so he picked up his phone and called the DG of NSS.
Yvonne sat in the front row with Mathias, she thought of what Mathias had told her and realized that someone badly wanted her to hang for this crime.
Mathias: “I kept that envelope before I slept, I had not even looked inside. The investigator told me that the video shows the real culprit and it is not you. He said, it had taken him instinct to check for cameras and when he found it, he had to look for where it goes to” Mathias had tried to explain the missing evidence to her.
The investigator had found that the recording was inbuilt inside the camera, and somehow whoever installed cameras in the house, had forgotten about them. He had taken the one in the kitchen and given to a technologist who extracted the tape. Mathias had waited to get to court before opening the envelope, he wanted to make sure the judge was the one who opened the envelope. Unfortunately, when he went to his desk the next morning, the envelope was gone. He had gone berserk, hoping that it was just a dream, but until now he had not woken up.
Mathias just stared at the government prosecutor as he thrilled the crowd with his stories of how Yvonne became a tool in the hands of politicians, just because she wanted to rule her domain. He even told them that she also killed her rival, Daisy, along with the politicians in one fell swoop. The audience in the courtroom ate his words for he was a great orator and Mathias knew that they believed everything he said.
Mathias: “What is the government playing at?” he asked rhetorically. Yvonne just kept mute, she was tired of thinking, she had left her life in God’s hands and was ready for whatever came out of this tribulation. She remembered a passage in the bible which said “Even when you walk through fire, I will be there with you”
“Perhaps God will go with me, even to the hangman’s noose. My only regret will be, not knowing my father sooner” She locked eyes with Mathias and then she suddenly hugged him. She could not stop the tears now, as the sobs made her shudder. She cried out.
Yvonne: “I forgive you for abandoning me, I forgive you and I wish we met sooner. I don’t know why you decided to abandon me, but I know you would have made a great father” she sobbed.
Her foster father, Prince Ngegwu, who was sitting behind them, watched them with surprise on his face. Realization dawned on him when he remembered that Mathias had asked him when Yvonne was born.
“It is the reason he is fighting for her. So he is the father of a woman such as Yvonne” he thought regrettably, despite all that had happened, he still wished he was the biological father of Yvonne.
Yvonne’s cries had disrupted the Prosecutor’s speech, and everyone stared at her. The judge looked at them with an angry frown, and when Yvonne did not let up, he banged the gavel.
Judge: “Order in my court” he yelled.
Mathias: “I have reason to believe that this trial has been compromised. I demand that it be called off, and a new trial set” he stood up and said, hoping to buy time in order to get back the camera, even though he did not know where to start. The government was a faceless entity, he didn’t know who to accuse.
Judge: “Are you say I should recuse myself from the case, are you saying I am corrupt?” he yelled, his face becoming red with anger.
Mathias: “I am not saying that, my Lord. All I am saying is our evidence was stolen, someone wants my client to hang for a crime she did not commit” he exclaimed.
Judge: “I am warning you counsel, do not make me hold you in contempt of the court” he said.
Mathias: “The plane crash was a ploy to get me, and when that failed, they stole the evidence”
Judge: “Arrest him!” he said and two constables went over to Mathias and handcuffed him. They took him away while Yvonne watched helplessly, “I will not permit such in my court, and this case is adjourned tomorrow. As for you, Miss Ngegwu, you will be given a court assigned lawyer, he or she has between today and tomorrow to acquaint himself with the case” he said and hit the gavel with finality.
As people trudged out of the court, they pondered on what Mathias had said, some felt he was throwing wild accusations, so as to prolong the inevitable, which was the sentencing of his client. But there were others that wondered if there wasn’t an atom of truth in what he said. They also felt that the government was not being fair with the defendant, they wondered why a case would be adjourned for just a day and a new counsel would be brought on board. It seemed that, the government was making sure there was no way for Yvonne to escape. She began to garner pity among the masses.
Mira began to feel caged inside her house, her conscience did not allow her be, as it whipped her every moment. She watched the trial and willed that it came to completion, then perhaps her conscience would be silenced. She was determined that she would not jeopardize her own life because she wanted to say the truth.
“If I say the truth now, it is me, who will be sentenced to death. No!” she hardened her heart against her guilty conscience.
“I will go to Femi and let him understand everything, things will be alright when he knows I am his sister” she said and went to have her shower, after days without bathing.
Mira went to Femi’s house but met the house locked, then she went to his father’s house. With tentative steps, she climbed up the sloppy driveway. When she got to the door, before she could knock, the door flung open and Femi’s foster father glared down at her.
Femi’s father: “What have you come to do, you abominable human being?” he asked harshly.
Mira: “I am sorry sir, but I can explain everything” she pleaded
Femi’s father: “Explain what, that you are pregnant for your brother?” he thundered. Mira began to mutter something as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Mira: “I am pregnant but it is not for Femi” she said in a small voice, as she remembered what exactly happened.
It so happened that Mira had slept with one of her sugar daddies, who was against the use of condom, as he believed that throwing away a man’s seed (sperm) was sacrilegious in his religion. The gig had been for one week, and for that one week she continuously slept with the man.
When she found out she was pregnant, instead of aborting it as she was used to, a devious plan came up in her head.
“Mira baby, this pregnancy is an answer to all your questions, all you have to do is create a situation to pin this on Femi” the thought had crept into her mind.
So Mira had snuck her way into Femi’s life, under the guise of grieving for her friend.
Mira: “All my life I have envied Yvonne, her beauty, brains and her good fortune. When you proposed to her, my jealousy went overboard, and I began to hate her. But with what has befallen her, I realize that no man’s fortune is permanent, and anything can change a person’s lot. I regret hating my best friend and wish that this cup would pass from her, so that I can make amends” she had said to Femi one day. Femi had been touched by her supposed honesty and invited her out for a drink. They drank to stupor and when they got to Femi’s apartment, Mira had still requested that they drink again, this time she offered to mix the drink.
Mira had gone to Femi’s little bar and mixed a cocktail in two tall glasses. In one glass, she poured a bottle of Liquid Ecstasy into one glass and mixed it well. When she was done, she carried the two glasses to the bedroom, and gave the mixed one to Femi. He drank it in a gulp and began to undress.
Mira: “I think I should head home now” she said coyly, looking sideways at Femi
Femi: “Go home, no my dear, you have to stay, it is late, I will drop you off tomorrow” he said over excited, this was as a result of the drug Mira had put in his drink. He began to slur his words as he talked to her, and before long, he slumped on the bed. Mira jumped over to him and completed the undressing. She laid him on the bed, and then she undressed herself.
When Femi woke up, he assumed he had slept with her, but in reality nothing had happened between them.
Femi’s father: “What did you say? You drugged my son to set him up for a pregnancy that is not his? I am so glad I adopted, wonder what he would have turned into, if he grew up in your family. Now get out of my house, I don’t want to see you ever again” he said and pushed Mira away.
Mira cried as she went back home, she wondered what her life would be like, with a child that belonged to an old devious man.
“Do I abort it now?” she wondered. She was so lost in her thoughts that she did not realize that a car had been trailing her since she left Femi’s father’s house. She was about to flag down a keke that would take her out of the estate where Femi’s father’s house was situated, when a black sedan without number plates drove and pushed her to the curb. She fell flat on her stomach and before she could stand up, three masked men jumped out of the car and grabbed her. They threw her into the backseat of the car, and she was cushioned between two hefty men.
They drove to a warehouse with padded walls and there they stripped her, and hung her by her hands. They kept asking her who gave her the contract to poison the cake. Mira was stunned that they knew, but her lips were swollen from the blows they had hit her with, to ask them how they knew. She remembered the fateful day like it was yesterday…
Yvonne had insisted on baking her cake, despite opinions from the event planners. So while she was baking the cake, Mira had been taking care of other details with the event planning outfit. But Yvonne’s mother had called and Yvonne had gone to the terrace to receive the call, and Mira had snuck into the kitchen. She had seen the cake batter that Yvonne had mixed, and when she was sure no one was looking, she edged closer, and removed a bottle of green liquid from the pocket of her jumpsuit. When she was sure of the method she wanted to implicate Yvonne, she went on the internet and did a research on poisons, she had found out about the ‘sweet’ poison, which is the Ethylene Glycol, a green substance used in antifreeze. The Ethylene Glycol was capable of crystallizing in the body and then slices and dices the kidney. It was the sole reason that, the guests who ate the cake were vomiting blood. It was like a butcher was slicing their kidneys with his butchering knife.
But no one had suspected her, who were these people and how did they know what she had done? She looked up at them, they had on masks.
“You don’t want to talk?” she heard one of them ask, and then the beating resumed. Then they cut her down, she fell down on the floor, and felt a sharp pain in her abdominal region.
Mira: “Please have mercy on me, I am pregnant” she cried, but the pummeling did not stop.
Among the three masked men was the one who had attacked Yvonne at her birthday party. He was an assassin and got calls from top politicians to assassinate their enemies. When Daisy called him, the job had been simple; kill Danlattu, one of the AFC politicians and drop a strip of Yvonne’s clothe at the scene of the murder. He had succeeded in getting a strip of Yvonne’s clothe but to kill Danlattu had been the problem because, he had expected that the man would go to a secluded area to make calls as politicians were wont to do, but he had stayed put, enjoying the party. He was surprised when the guests who ate the cake had started vomiting blood. He had looked angrily at Daisy, thinking she had mistrusted him and made contingency plans, but he was surprised to see that she had ate the cake too and was vomiting blood like the rest. Then he had thought that she had an antidote, but he was surprised that she laid helpless on the floor. Then he had realized that someone else had poisoned the cake, he didn’t believe for once that it was the celebrant. He knew those who had killer instincts the first time he met them, in Yvonne, he had seen a childish innocence.
So when he had gotten a call from a government official who was in the inner circle of the president, and given the video recording, he had understood everything. His instructions were to mutilate Mira and leave her to die a slow painful death. They were still at beating, they would still get to raping her, and then they would begin to cut her. He smiled a wicked, dark smile as he looked down on the bloody Mira, in a very small part of him, he felt pity for her. When Mira was weak and bruised, the three men took turns to rape her continuously. When she fainted, they would pour cold water on her, and when she was revived, they would continue.
Mira: “Oh God, I know I am a sinner, I know that Yvonne probably went through more than this because of me, but please help me, have mercy on me, the pain is too much” she cried, as the men thrust into her.
When the men were exhausted, their leader who was the masked man at Yvonne’s party took out a Swiss knife and began to make long marks on Mira’s face. When they saw that Mira was no longer moving, they bundled her into their car and took her to the roadside and dumped her body. Their purpose was for someone to find her, but no one would know why she had been attacked.
Cars passed by and they saw the body by the side of the road, they concluded that it was just another runs girl that has met her waterloo. But one man stopped because people were already gathered around her. He was a doctor and he believed that even a dead body had a chance to live again. So he rushed to the bloody mess and knelt beside her. He bent close to her nose, and could not hear any breathing. Then he grabbed her wrist and felt for a pulse, it was a faint flicker, Mira was almost crossing the threshold between life and death.
The next day while the court convened, Femi was released from detention after he had agreed that he was not the one who poisoned the cake. He went home dejected and helpless, his father could not recognize his son when he saw him.
Femi’s father: “Femi! What happened to you?” he bolted out of the couch when Femi staggered in. He looked haggard and it had taken a history with the airline to allow him a space on the flight from Abuja to Port-Harcourt.
Femi: “The NSS had me” he said and collapsed into his father’s waiting arms, as he began to weep with so much grief.
“Yvonne, I don’t understand how our life got so messed up. I tried to help but I am not strong enough, I am so sorry. But I know what to do, if they hang you, I will kill myself. If we cannot be together in this life, then we will be together in the life beyond” He thought this as he wept.
Femi’s father had never seen a man so broken before and it ached his heart that it was his son. He berated himself for being a bad father to Femi, he had allowed his selfishness hurt his son.
Femi’s father: “I am so sorry Femi, I might not be your biological father, but I love you more than life itself. Please let me help you put your life back together. Please Femi, allow me be a father to you” he said in a broken voice that was clogged by emotions.
Femi: “It doesn’t matter anymore” he whispered, barely audible.
Mira opened her eyes in the hospital, they were barely open but the hospital staff jumped up for joy. They had done a surgical procedure on Mira to remove the dead baby. They had found out her uterus had been punctured as a result of the incessant raping. But still they hoped that they could save her from the brink of death.
Mira: “Paper, paper” she muttered in a raspy voice. The nurses stumbled on each other to get a paper and pen. They gave to her and for about thirty minutes, Mira scribbled away.
Mira: “This letter must get to the FCT high court today, Yvonne is innocent, I did everything” she said and slipped into unconsciousness, as the paper and pen slipped out of her hand.
At the High court, the prosecutor had leveled all the charges against Yvonne, and it was time for the judge to give his judgment. The court assigned lawyer had been there for formality, he had done no cross examination of the witnesses produced by the Prosecutor, or even called Yvonne to the stand to give her side of the story.
Judge: “In the absence of tangible defense, there is no need to prolong this case any further. On first degree murder of twenty persons, the court finds Yvonne Ngegwu, guilty. On the first count of threat against national security, the court finds Yvonne Ngegwu, guilty. I hereby sentence Yvonne Ngegwu to death by firing squad” he said and hit the gavel.
Yvonne just stared into space, she was ready to die. Her eyes were dry, her lips were sealed, but in her heart it was noisy.
“So this is the end of the road for me, chai God, is this how I am going to die a disgraceful death for something I know nothing about. But God, is this the expected end you promised me in the bible, or was that promise not for me, or perhaps you were lying to me. I don’t want to die, I have so many things I want to accomplish, I want to live, but it’s not like they are giving me a choice. Those who said truth will prevail surely lied. I accept my fate even though I don’t understand why I have to be given this fate, I have been a good person all my life, never held grudge or conceived evil in my heart, why should I be given this fate?”
She was talking to God as she was dragged away, but then something happened. The doors of the court opened and a man and a woman rushed into the court shouting. Yvonne did not hear them, she was still locked in the conversation she was having with God.
“Dear God, even if I have to die, can you accept my soul into heaven? My consolation is, I will see my two mothers again. Please God, help my father to bear the loss, give him someone to comfort him and protect him from those who want to hurt him. You owe me this, God”
It was Mathias who hugged her and shook her out of the cocoon where she hid herself, talking to God.
Mathias: “You are free! My daughter, you are free” he said as tears rushed down his eyes. Yvonne looked at him, wondering when he was released, and then she heard what was being read. Mira had written about how she hated Yvonne for her good fortunes and how she poisoned the cake to set her up. She also wrote about getting pregnant and setting Femi up to think he slept with her, so she could pin it on him. She also talked about Femi being her brother and she begged Yvonne to forgive her and beg Femi on her behalf.
Yvonne: “Oh my God, Mira did all this, oh Lord Jesus” she cried.
Judge: “In light of new evidence, Yvonne Ngegwu, you are free!” the judge hit the gavel for the second time.
Yvonne: “Oh God, I am sorry for doubting you, you never gave up on me” she said joyously.
On the stairs of the courthouse, the press trudged in their numbers, shoving microphones in her face. “Any word, say anything” they begged Yvonne.
Yvonne: “All I have to say is, there is God. He brought me back from the path of death, truth prevailed because He is God” she said and walked away.
She had heard from the emissaries that after writing the letter, Mira had gone into coma, so Yvonne took a flight back to Port-Harcourt to go see Mira. In the plane’s cabin, she thought of all the events that happened since her birthday. She didn’t know what to feel towards Mira, but she sure pitied her. She knew it took a person, who was dissatisfied and in a bad place to concoct such evil machinery against someone who had been nothing, but good to her. She had also heard about the attack on Mira, and she wished that Mira could get a second chance.
“They say you are a God of second chances. Mira has realized her mistakes, howbeit through a hard way, but still Lord, give her a second chance for Femi’s sake” she prayed in her heart.
Femi stayed glued to his television waiting to hear that Yvonne had been sentenced, so he could take his life, but what he heard was that Yvonne had been acquitted and Mira had confessed. His father had told him everything that transpired in his absence and he knew that Mira was his twin sister. But still he felt no pity for her. He hated her for destroying their lives and he wanted nothing to do with her.
When Yvonne deplaned at the airport in Port-Harcourt, she took a taxi straight to Femi’s apartment and when she didn’t meet him, she went to his father’s house. Her father had stayed back in Abuja, he wanted to expose those who had engineered the plane crash, and because of the publicity of the trial, people listened to him and they clamoured for an enquiry into the plane crash. They demanded for answers.
Femi was in the sitting room talking with his father, he asked his father if Yvonne would still want anything to do with him after everything that happened.
Femi’s father: “Good people don’t change because of bad situations, Yvonne will remain as sweet as ever, and as such, she would accept you” he admonished.
They were still talking when the doorbell rang and Femi looked inquisitively at his father as he went to open the door. He opened the door and was met with a smiling Yvonne.
Yvonne: “I have missed this face, baby boy” she said and rushed into his arms. They hugged and cried and kissed.
Femi: “I am so sorry for everything you went through, my baby”
Yvonne: “It ended in praise, my darling” she said as the tears kept coming down.
Back at the hospital, Mira woke up alone, she looked around her, and saw only white lights and white walls.
“Where am I?” she wondered. The room door opened and a doctor walked in with two nurses.
Doctor: “You are awake” he said and pointed a small medical torchlight into her eyes.
Doctor: “What is your name?” he asked.
Mira: “I don’t remember” she replied with a puzzled expression. The doctor looked at his nurses in puzzlement. It dawned on him that Mira had lost her memory, perhaps the trauma had been too much and her mind had snapped. He shook his head in pity. After hearing what the girl had done, it had taken a doctor’s heart to still feel pity for her. But since she did not die, he believed that God had given her a second chance, who was he?, an ordinary man, to judge her.
When Mira went to the bathroom, she saw her mutilated face and screamed. The doctor rushed into the bathroom and sedated her with an injection shot to her arm. By the time Mira woke up again, Yvonne and Femi were in the room with her, but she didn’t know them.
Mira: “Who are you guys?” she asked. They were not surprised for the doctor had briefed them about Mira’s amnesia.
Femi: “I am your brother” he said. Yvonne had talked to him and convinced him that if Mira lived, she needed all the love for she had been through a lot. “You change bad people with love” Yvonne had said to him.
Yvonne: “And I am your sister” she said with a smile. She edged closer to the bed, and kissed Mira on her bandaged fore-head.
Femi: “You are my twin, and I will help you through all your difficulties, I promise” he said and held her hand, with the other hand he held Yvonne and pulled her closer to him.
It has been a great journey and I have learned a lot of lessons. I believe in a God of second chances, but do you want to pass through the fire like Mira before you change your ways? Also, life is not a race, running a race with your peers is what leads to jealousy. Be content in who and what you are, and only strive to be better than who you were yesterday, and all your heart desires will come true.
Are you going through a difficult situation, maybe you have been accused wrongly, and you are beginning to doubt all the promises of God in the bible or Quran, do not despair because, He is still God, and though He may tarry, but He is never LATE.
We hope this story has inspired you to be a better person, share with us your thoughts on this story and what it has said to you personally.
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