Philip called his friend who stayed in the next apartment close to him and pleaded with him to come to his aid. Malik came to the room and was surprised to find Naya lying on the bed.
Malik: “What is this? Why did you call me at this time of the day? Do you want us to have a threesome or something?”, he winked at Philip and cast a lustful glace at Naya supposed sleeping figure.
Philip: “She is dead!”
Malik: “What! You killed her or something? Did you take Viagra or something?”
Philip: “I didn’t even touch her, I just decided to wake her up and tell her something and then she was dead. You are the only one who can help me”. Malik excused himself and went out to where he packed the car that his politician father had bought for him when he secured admission. He was one of the biggest boy on campus and stories had it that his father could use his influence and money to get him out of any trouble, that was one of the reasons why Philip had opted to use him to get himself out of the mess he found himself in.
Malik returned carrying a knife, it was nothing close to what Philip had expected. He had expected him to return with a sac or at best a better way of disposing the body but what he saw in the hand of his friend was a long knife, the type used in butchering cows.
Philip: “This long knife? What do we need this for?”
Malik: “Are you sure that you are not a psycho? What else but to butcher this meat on your bed?”
Philip: “Malik, please. Let’s do it another way, Naya’s body doesn’t deserve to be mutilated. She was such a nice girl. Besides, cutting up her body will go a long way to implicate us. If we ever get caught, the police will think we killed her and then butchered her body”.
Malik: “Okay, you have a point there. So, what should we do now?”
Philip: “Let us wrap the body and go and throw it away in the river or the forest opposite the university’s annex campus”.
Malik: “Good idea, but how are we going to carry the body from this place to where we will throw it away without getting caught?”
Philip: “We will wrap it up and put it in the boot of your car and drive it there”.
Malik: “Hell no, not my car. If I ever get caught, they will frame me up as the murderer”.
The two guys became engrossed in different thoughts, each thinking of the easiest ways to dispose the corpse. Malik seem worried, he wished that he had not even gotten involved in the first place. “okay, this is what we will do. We will take the body and take it outside your room and leave it there”. Malik suggested.
Philip: “Outside my room? But won’t that be suspicious? Why my room?”
Malik: “That is the best way to eliminate you out of the people that will be suspected because the Police will believe that if you had killed her, you wouldn’t have had the guts to leave the corpse in front of your room. In fact, let’s keep her under the stairs. That secluded corner opposite your room”.
Philip: “Sounds like a better idea”.
Malik: “Let’s do it then, we are taking too long on this matter”.
They quietly opened the door and carried her body out to secluded corner under the stairs. The lodge was a two storey building occupied by students. It was a weekend and most of its occupants were yet to return from their weekend gate away. Having helped his friend to get rid of the corpse, Malik returned to his room and went to bed immediately. He knew that it the next day was going to be a long day and he needed to get all the sleep he could.
The next morning, Maya left the house to go and visit her sister in the school, Naya had told her during their chats the previous day that she was lonely and was finding it difficult to sleep alone in her house ever since Florence moved out. Her father had instructed the driver to take her to the school as early as 7am that morning so that they could beat the early morning traffic on the city center before taking the route to her school.
The driver took her to Naya’s lodge, locating the lodge was not a problem for him as he had several times brought her to school from home upon resumption. Maya knocked on the door, she knew that her sister would be pleasantly surprised at her coming in to see her that early in the morning, Maya thought that she would follow her to her morning lecture so that she could have an experience of what lectures were like in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
“Excuse me, please”, Maya said to a lady who occupied the apartment next to her sister’s.
Lady: “Naya o, this one that you are knocking on your door this early morning, did you forget your key somewhere?”
Maya: “Erm, I am sorry but this is not Naya. I am her twin sister”.
Lady: “Wow, you two look so much alike, identical twins I guess? She told us you two look alike, I didn’t know that the resemblance was this striking”.
Maya: “yeah, you are right. Please, I have been knocking for a while now and she is not responding. I tried to call her but her phone is switched off. Have you seen her this morning? Could she have gone for early morning lecture?”
Lady: “Lecture? No o, we are in the same department and in the same level. If there was any lecture this morning, I would have been there too. Maybe she is sleeping, knock harder”.
Maya: “No, she can’t be sleeping. Naya is a light sleeper, with all the knocks, if she was in she would have woken up”.
Lady: “Okay, maybe she slept out then but that is very unlike her, she is always sleeping at home. Or maybe she went for TDB”.
Maya: “TDB? What is that?”
Lady: “till day break, like students going to read all night because I saw her going out yesterday night and I can’t remember her returning”.
Maya: “I see. I will just hang around and wait till she returns then”.
Lady: “come to my room and sit down, Naya is a nice girl and seeing you is like I am seeing her”.
Maya thanked her and dismissed the driver to return home. She entered the lady’s room and continued to dial her sister’s number”.
“Everybody come o, what is this that I am seeing wrapped under the stairs here?” one of the lodge’ cleaner’s voice pierced the air, disturbing the peace of the morning. One by one and in twos, the rooms in the lodge vomited their occupants. Few minutes ago, judging from the peace and serenity of the compound, one wouldn’t have believed that the rooms had so many occupants in them.
Philip was drifting into a troubled sleep when he heard the cleaner’s voice, his opened his eyes and sprang to his feet. He knew that this hour would come but he had not expected it this soon. After he had taken out Naya’s body with the help of Malik, he had returned to his room, locked his door and had taken hours to clean everywhere. He had emptied his perfume, body spray and air freshener in the room, he wanted to get rid of her scent. The bed sheet on which she died on was soaked in detergent and sanitizer in his bathroom. Before he opened his door to step out, he took one last tour of everywhere in his room just to make sure that all was in order and that nothing gave him away. He opened the door and his heart flew to his mouth when he saw students gathered around the stairs. “What is happening here? Why is everybody standing close to my door? Mama cleaner, why were you shouting and disturbing our early morning sleep?”
Cleaner: “make una see the thing wey dey under that stair case”.
They all bent and all turned their faces immediately when they saw that it was a body.
“Chineke meh, Jesu Oluwa, wayo Allah na”, the student chorused simultaneously. Malik and Philip had covered the face with her headtie and so students did not know whose body it was.
“But who could she be? Maybe an occupant of this house?”
Philip: “Let us open her face and see”, he moved close and removed the head tie from her face.
“Goodness, they have killed me. Naya! What are you doing here? Who did this to my girlfriend?” he said and slumped and pretended to have fainted.
“It is Naya o, that fine gentle girl, who could have done this to her, ah, the world is wicked o”.
Cleaner: “make una help o, make una bring cold water come here, him don faint o. Make una do quick o, make we no come get two dead body for here”.
The group broke as everyone dashed into his or room to get water to revive Philip. Some gathered around him and were fanning him with their shirts and all they could lay their hands on. In one of the rooms, one of the occupant brought out his phone and dialed the Police.
Question: Where is Malik? Who made that call to the Police? Will Philip ever get away with this?
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