Sabine sat in front of her laptop, a notebook, Biro, a bottle of wine and a long stemmed glass by the side. She had hooked up to the WiFi installed in the house. She went on Facebook and opened an account. She had always seen the social media as a waste of time. She didn’t have any of the applications in her phone; she was old fashioned that way. She finished then she started searching for Brume Nikoro. She soon got his profile, that of his wife and his law firm’s official Facebook page. She smiled,
“This is good. We are getting somewhere.” She thought to herself. She typed Jessica’s name into the search bar. She found nothing but some write-ups on a Sabina’s Love, obviously a big company in Lagos. She was about to close the page and move on when her eyes caught the words ‘CEO’. She paused and read the thing.
“Wow! Jessica is the CEO of Sabina’s Love? Hmmm…she has been making money, it seems. Reclusive eh…never knew her to be reclusive o. what changed? I guess losing your womb and setting your friend up can change someone. I think I will pay their offices a visit.” She thought to herself grimly, noting down the address.
The drive back to Jessica’s flat was silent. Jude sat in brooding silence, his eyes staring straight ahead. Jessica turned to look at him several times and moved to speak then she closed her mouth and sat back, clutching her purse really tight.
“That bastard Femi is back in Lagos. He has no idea what he has walked into. No idea, the fool. He expects everyone to remain the same after the wickedness he perpetrated. He is in for a surprise” She thought to herself, her eyes counting the street lights as they whisked passed.
Jude’s head hurt. “Meeting with men in dark corners, so I won’t see. I thought she was different? Probably slept her way to wealth. To let myself be fooled by her simplicity and humility. God…” he thought, his face a grim mask.
They soon got to the estate where Jessica had her flat. The gate opened to allow them in as soon as Jessica showed them her pass. They drove down a tree lined avenue and soon got to Jessica’s flat. She turned to look at Jude
Jessica: “everyone has a story, Jude. I am not a saint; never said I was. I have made my own share of mistakes in life. Please don’t judge me until you understand…” she said quietly.
Jude: “I am not judging you.” He interrupted her.
Jessica: “…what I have been through and how I arrived where I am today. What you saw or heard has nothing to do with our friendship but I’ll understand if you don’t call me again.” She continued quietly.
Jude turned to look at her. In her eyes, he saw the calm acceptance of whatever would happen. He sighed
Jude: “who is he? An ex-husband?” he asked.
Jessica: “he is a cancer that needs to be cut off and fast.” She replied coldly.
Jude nodded and decided against prying further.
Jude: “I will call you when I get home.” he said, noting the relief in her eyes as she nodded back, tension easing off her.
Brume opened his eyes and looked around the room. He had been moved to a private room to recuperate without disturbance. Anita had brought some of her stuff to the room and she obviously was with him every day and every night. He sighed. He remembered the events some days ago and he sighed again.
“How do I start? How do I explain to her that I am a better man than the idiot that pulled that stunt? I was scared, God… I am scared.” He thought to himself, as he stared at the ceiling.
The door opened and Anita came in, she stopped when she saw that he was awake. She walked slowly to the table where her toiletries had been arranged.
Anita: “how are you feeling?” she asked her back towards him.
Brume: “Sabine was my girlfriend back in university. She was a beautiful woman and back then I was wild. I am good with computers so I was helping guys do stuff and got paid for it. So I had money to throw around. It was through the computer stuff, I met Femi. He was and still is a totally disreputable character but I didn’t know that then. i…” he went on and told Anita all about the plan he made with Femi concerning Sabine.
Femi: “I told the fool, make it look like she is having sex. But he went a step further and raped her. He raped her and when she was trying to explain, I was screaming her down thinking everything happened as planned. She had a child as a result of the rape. Proving that I was a fool to listen to a quack doctor who said she was barren.” He went on quietly.
Anita said nothing. She stood very still, her back to Brume.
Brume: “ironically, while she obviously is capable of becoming pregnant even after several abortions, I have become sterile.” He said, his eyes searching his wife’s back for a response. “I am sorry baby. I am the reason why we are childless.” He continued.
Anita’s hand was pale as she tightly gripped the brush in her hands; the bristles piercing her palm. She didn’t feel the pain. The pain in her heart as her husband spoke overshadowed every other pain. She felt like she was bleeding somewhere because she felt weaker and weaker as he spoke.
Brume: “baby, say something.” He said, fear tingeing his voice.
Anita turned and went to the cluster of bags on a chair by the window. She rummaged through it and brought out clothes
Anita: “what will you have for breakfast?” she asked, her hair hiding her face.
Brume: “come on baby. Say something please.” He pleaded.
Anita raised her head and looked at him. Her face was emotionless.
Anita: “I have to go buy food. Will you eat akara and pap?” she asked quietly.
Brume sighed and closed his eyes. Anita looked at him for some minutes.
Anita: “I saw her eyes when she ended the call. I saw the way she looked at you, Brume. Brume Nikoro, you better be prepared because a storm is coming. I suggest you start thinking up ways to make amends. That woman will make you pay. There I have said my piece.” She turned abruptly and walked out of the room.
Jude got out of bed late. He pressed his bedside intercom and Samuel appeared from a door.
Bodyguard: “you sent for me sir.”
Jude: “I want Jessica followed and monitored. I also want you to find anything you can on the man she was with that night.” He said from his bed.
Bodyguard: “no problem sir.” He replied quietly.
Jude picked his phone and dialed Jessica’s line. She didn’t pick. He sent her a text telling her to call him when she was less busy then he got ready for work.
Jessica got up very early and was at her office in no time. She had not slept well last night. So many things had come rushing back to her as she lied on her bed in the quiet of her room. Seeing Femi again brought back memories of things best forgotten. She remembered how stupid she had been and how greed and the love of fine things had almost destroyed her life.
“I know I still owe Sabine an apology and her forgiveness. I know that I will never be at peace and find happiness until I can correct my mistakes. From what I can see that idiot’s return is not for anybody’s good. I need to know what he is up to. I need to be prepared and I need to explain to Jude too. I just tire.” She sighed, her hands cradling her head as she stared at her desk.
A timid knock came on her door. She raised her head and looked up, it was her secretary.
Secretary: I am sorry to disturb you ma, but there’s someone here to see you. I said you can’t be seen now as you need to settle in first before visitors are allowed in…” she was not allowed to finish as she was gently pushed out of the way.
Sabine: “Hello Jessica. It’s been a while.” She said smiling.
Jessica stood up in shock and stared, her heart pounding beneath her chest cavity.
Question: Do you think Brume’s confession is going to affect his relationship with his wife, Anita? Do you think Jude will accept Jessica if he hears her story?
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